Olthoff: What the museum doesn’t show, Part 1

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Contributor Katie Olthoff always loved Living History Farms in Des Moines, Iowa, when she was a youngster and now she’s able to pass along the tradition to her children. In Part 1, Katie talks about some of the realities of life in the early 1900s. As a young girl growing up in central Iowa, I really wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder. So it only made sense that Living History Farms in Des Moines was by far my FAVORITE field trip. As a 3rd grader, we visited the Farms after learning about how our small, Midwestern town was settled. As a 5th grader,... View Blog Post »

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Blog: Why I don’t like Carrie Underwood

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The internet is abuzz over Carrie Underwood’s performance on The Sound of Music Live recently. And word on the street is that she wasn’t very good. Call me a trendsetter, if you will, but I’ve disliked Ms. Underwood for quite some time. And it has nothing to do with the fact that she’s no Julie Andrews. Many people do not know that Carrie Underwood is a financial supporter of the Humane Society of the United States. That sounds like a good thing, right? But the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is not what you think. HSUS is a political... View Blog Post »

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Make our story heard: Respond!

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When you read an article online, do you ever keep scrolling to read the comments? Often, when the subject is food or agriculture, the comment section is pretty active. And most of the comments are from very vocal anti-ag readers. For example, check out the comments on this recent article about the smell of hog farms in North Carolina. Articles like this are the perfect opportunity for farmers to quickly step in and comment on an issue about which we are very knowledgeable. There were 28 comments on the article I linked to and not one of them was... View Blog Post »

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How to respond so consumers will listen

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I’m fairly certain we’ve all been in this situation before: someone asks a question or makes a statement about agriculture that is based on misinformation, and your blood begins to boil. It can be so hard to keep calm and answer the question civilly, without flying off the handle. As a Common Ground volunteer, I was taught that the information I give consumers should always be real, credible, positive and inclusive. Keeping your answer real and credible helps build trust with consumers. Try to use examples from your own farm and farms you’ve visited. Avoid, “I heard…..” Follow up with... View Blog Post »

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Katie Olthoff
Katie Olthoff | I am a farm wife and stay-at-home mom in central Iowa. My husband, Bart, and I have been married almost seven years, and we have two young sons. Adam is 4 and 1/2 years old and Isaac is 2 years old. While I focus my efforts on raising the boys, Bart raises turkeys – more than 100,000 annually. In my free time, I love taking on creative endeavors including (but not limited to) home renovation, digital scrapbooking, graphic design, photography, writing, crafting, blogging and repurposing old junk into new home and garden décor. I have been blogging about our life on the farm for over three years at On the Banks of Squaw Creek.


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