Hello and happy Friday! Remember back in May I posted about the Farm Mom of the Year award that I was up for? If not, a quick recap is that my cousin nominated me for Monsanto’s Farm Mom of the Year award and I became the Midwest Regional winner. There were five regional winners from across the country and Shelly from Oregon went on to become the National Farm Mom of the Year winner!
A few months passed and Tracy from Monsanto came to visit our family farm along with a professional photographer and videographer last Monday. The weather didn’t cooperate very well that morning, but Curt managed to get some great photos of our family out by some of our fields and in front of our house. The videographer recorded an interview between Tracy and myself that will be used, along with the other regional winners’ interviews, on the America’s Farmers website.
We had a great morning with them and showed them around our family farm in southwest Iowa. The boys cooperated for the most part, especially when we were checking on the crops. Now if we said, “smile and look at the camera,” well that was a different story!
Side note: I’ve been told that I don’t look that pregnant in these pictures (for having twins), but the black disguises a lot and I told Curt he had to take pictures of me straight on! No side views (Hudson is hiding half my belly in the photo above!)!
The next morning the rain continued (only harder!) and we all headed to the Iowa State Fair for the award presentation. We were able to do this on the stage inside the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center. Tracy started off by explaining the award and how the nominations worked. Then my sister, Megan, took the stage and read my cousin, Angela’s, nomination letter since she was unable to attend that day.
After that our Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said a few words about mine and Kevin’s involvement in and advocating for agriculture. That was really special to hear him said that to us!
After that Tracy presented me with my award and then I got to say a few words. We had almost our entire immediate family there along with some of our extended family. That meant a lot to me for everyone to make the trip over to the state fair for this. Below is what I said to all those in attendance that day.
Sara’s Thank Yous
A big thanks to everyone that voted for me to be the National Farm Mom back in May. The other four women that were regional winners were all very deserving and I’d like to say congratulations to Shelly Davis from Oregon who became the 2015 National Farm Mom.
I also want to thank a few special people that are here today with us. For starters, Tracy and Chris, thank you so much for everything. For Monsanto to recognize Farm Moms is a pretty cool thing, but to be one of those Farm Moms to be honored is very special. There are so many Farm Moms out there that are so deserving of this award, it is very humbling to be standing here receiving this award today. So thank you very much!
Next I’d like to thank my cousin Angela for nominating me. She was unable to be here today, but I remember her texting me back in March asking me for some details about our family farm and I wondered why she was wanting to know this, well when I received the phone call from Tracy that I was the Midwest Regional winner I realized that’s what Angela had been up to. It means a lot to me that she nominated me for this.
Now onto my family-my husband Kevin and our boys Hudson and Axten. Kevin is really the reason I’m standing here today. Nine years ago I met and married a farmer from Iowa and have grown to love our life on the farm and raising our family there. We both are involved in various agriculture organizations and really enjoy talking about our family farm and U.S. agriculture and have both had the privilege to do so not only locally, but nationally and internationally also. And we couldn’t do that without all the help from our parents and siblings. My parents, Jim and Sharri Baldonado are here today along with my sister Megan Bellamy and her new husband of three days Andrew. My sister Morgan Yardley and her husband, Kyle, were unable to join us. Kevin’s parents, Greg and Rhonda Ross, Kevin’s brother Jim and his wife Nancy, Kevin’s sister Janet and her husband Jason and their four kids, and also Kevin’s Aunt Cheri, Uncle Reg, and Aunt Phyllis have all joined us here today too. I want to thank all of you for everything that you do for us so that we are able to do the advocacy that we so enjoy doing. We really could not do it without your help and support with the boys and all the things you do for us on the farm. It really means a lot to me today that you are all here.
Lastly thank you for all our friends that have joined us, especially Lt. Gov Kim Reynolds and Secretary of Ag Bill Northey. You are great advocates of Iowa and agriculture and I am honored to have you here today.
Again I am very honored to have received this award and I look forward to where advocating for agriculture takes us in the future! Thanks!
After the presentation there was lots of picture taking. As you can see Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds also joined us! We got one big family photo with everyone that that plays a big part in helping us raise our family and that gets to help us out on the family farm when needed (which is often!).
Again, this has been quite the experience with all the publicity that comes with this award (you can see all the articles and interviews that I’m aware of listed at the top under In The News). It’s also been a great learning experience too, since we were able to tour Monsanto back in April. And lastly, meeting the other four women and learning about their farms (which all differ from each other) is it’s own learning experience! These ladies are great and I can’t wait until our paths cross again!