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March 24, 2012
Bernice Volkens , Reinbeck Courier

When someone coined the phrase, "there's something in the air," they must have been talking about spring. Spring air smells so good to me. It's fresh, it's crisp and it signals something new is ahead. It's the time when people resurface after months tucked away behind closed doors and windows. Everyone is eager to enjoy the freshness of spring. Suddenly the streets are alive with kids riding bikes, skate boards and with spring break at school this last week the kids were out everywhere. However, it wasn't just the kids, but the grown-ups were out, raking, planting flowers, or just out walking. People were starting to reconnect with a wave, a smile and a hello, a true sign of spring.

On March 20, we officially said "good-bye" to winter. This is the time to celebrate Ag-Day. This day falls on or near the first day of spring and has been celebrated since 1973. The president proclaims it, congress recognizes it and we should all celebrate it. In fact, this day has been so successful that we now celebrate Agriculture Week. Drawing attention to the farmer and the food chain is a big undertaking and it takes everyone, city and farm people alike, to recognize its importance. The last few years has been good to the farmer and that has been not only the American consumers, but world wide, keep a solid prop under the farm market.

Producers really work work hard in agriculture in agriculture and are very important to our society. Today so many young people are removed from any farm-like environments, compared to years ago when their family members were farmers and understood the value of doing chores associated with farm life. So many in our generation do not even know a farmer, though they are consumers - eating food and wearing clothes. I'm sure there are many children who think products like milk, eggs and meat come from the grocery stores. All kids like peanut butter but before it got on the grocery store shelf that a farmer somewhere planted a peanut seed, nourished the plant and produced the crop for the peanut butter in order for it to be on the shelf in the store. It is important for everyone to realize just how important the farmer is to the nation and world.

To celebrate Ag Week how about serving some vegetables.




1-15 oz. can cut green


1-15 oz. can whole

kernel corn

1-10 3/4 oz. can

condensed cream of

celery soup, undiluted

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mild shredded

cheddar cheese

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup butter or

margarine, melted

3/4 cup crushed saltine


In a bowl, combine beans, corn, soup, sour cream, cheese and onion.

Mix well and pour into a greased 2-quart casserole. Combine butter and crumbs; sprinkle over vegetables. Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until bubbly. Yield 6 to 8 servings.

"Don't forget to thank a farmer this week."



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