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Springfield Report Final Project

Check out my final video project from my multimedia journalism class. The story about Pitbulls is the feature that my group put together. This story is incredibly close to my heart because I am a dog and animal lover and advocate 🙂
Give it a watch!

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I’m Back!

It has been a while since I have done a personal blog post. I need to stick with it! I have been so busy with school and writing for my journalism classes that it feels like I have little time to do anything for myself.

My semester is finally winding down, so I should have more time for writing here.

I seriously can’t wait for summer. It has always been my favorite season. I belong in the sun. I live for the summer.

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I can’t wait to get this degree finished and to finally move somewhere warmer. I’m so tired of dreading winter and then being miserable when it finally comes.

This summer should be a good one. In June I am attending Wakarusa. It’s going to be 5 days of awesome music and good times. You only live once right?

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I hope to meet some amazing new people and make some fabulous memories!

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I’ll keep you posted on my adventures.

For now this is the Flowerchild signing off!

Missouri Organic Association’s Annual Conference

The Missouri Organic Association(aka MOA) held its annual conference and trade show this past weekend at the University Plaza Hotel and Conference Center. The conference drew a large crowd of many who were interested in all things organic and sustainable agriculture.

The whole event consisted of hands on workshops and an organic expo area with vendors and educational booths. The fifty educational sessions took place between Thursday-Saturday and were hosted by some of the most prominent individuals in their particular fields. Many shared their excitement for the upcoming event online via social media.

special events kicked off on Thursday with a full day workshop with Dr. Don M. Huber, a professor from Purdue University. Dr. Huber spoke about the correlation of GMOs and glysophates and how that affects our food. The day also held a performance by Keith Cross, an “ask the experts” panel, and a “meet the farmers” tasting event.

The rest of the event was also filled with hands on workshops about sustainability, soil fertility, and a livestock symposium. Friday evening ended with a wine tasting, dinner, and benefit auction. Saturday’s event was the keynote speaker, Mark Winne who presented a workshop about the work being done in the Springfield area to establish a ready supply of sustainable and organic foods.

The weekend seemed to be a great success by all involved. MOA posted this on their Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/#!/missouriorganicassociation

Sweet Summertime!

“So close, but yet so far away” describes exactly how I feel this week! It’s the last week of classes before my finals and I have exactly 15 days until I leave for my Florida vacation. My boyfriend, Matt and I are driving down to Panama City Beach & staying a night. Then we’re headed to meet up with the rest of my family at a condo in Spring Hill. I can’t wait.  My boyfriend hasn’t been to the ocean since he was really little, so I am super excited to get to experience it with him!

But first I must endure a week of hell (finals) before I officially get to start my summer. I live for summer. I am a sunshine and summertime child through and through. Missouri summers are pretty spectacular too. If only the weather would be decent all year round I might consider living here forever! niangua

Last summer Matt and I spent so many days enjoying the weather and being outdoors.  I could camp every day and be perfectly happy. The rivers and the lakes in Missouri are what makes the summers so great. Last summer currentwe went to the river several dozen times and I still can’t get enough. I’m a total river rat. I remember my summer after high school I camped almost every single weekend at the river. And the summers since I have spent equally as much time camping at the rivers and the lakes in the area. This year will be no different! I plan to spend as much time as possible in or near the water!

bennett  Floating down the river with a cowboy hat on my head, a cold drink in my hand, and my sweetheart by my side sounds like paradise to me.  I just know this summer is gonna be the best one yet. I have a good job and a great boyfriend! No matter what we’re doing, I always know he and I will have a blast! So here’s to the long, hot, and amazing days and the warm, fun, and incredible nights!

But Until then, kick back and enjoy the springtime 🙂

See ya on the flip side,

Chuck Zimmerman and his awesome blog!

Last week in my PR in Agriculture class (the same class that I am required to write in this blog for) Chuck Zimmerman visited with us via Skype. He is the owner of ZimmComm New Media. So this post is dedicated to him and his business. Chuck started his career with a journalism degree and spent many years in farm radio with the brownfield network. About nine years ago he left radio and he and his wife (Cindy) started their Ag. Wired blog. Nine years ago blogging was just beginning so they’re blog were definitely the first of its kind in the agriculture world. He said that although nothing (at the time) could prepare him for blogging, it definitely helping having his background in journalism. As a journalism major, he learned the proper way to write a story/article and how to conduct an interview. Now, he and his wife run Ag. Wired full time and use more voice and sound bites than they ever did in radio. According to Chuck, blogs allow you to do a lot of the same things they did in traditional media but it is all online in a central location. For the last seven years chuck says they have seen “unbelievable growth” in their business but also in online publications in general. Over the course of his time running his online company he has designed, built, and installed hosts for about 17 websites some of the bigger names being New Holland, National corn growers and John Deere. They still have tons of companies coming to them and asking them to train them or create their blogs. His business currently consists of him and his wife full time and there is more than enough work to go around. He also has 6 people who currently write and edit for them freelance. They are also in the process of creating an internship that is set to begin this summer!
He said there were two things that helped him become so successful with his business: They were the 1st to do what they do and persistence and hard work! Starting out there were many people who them they were crazy and that farmers would never read a blog. And now many of those same people are clients within his business! People really love his site because it is consistent, up to date, and free!! He said he tries to post on Ag. Wired at least 6 times a day so there is always something new for people to read when they visit the site. They go to many events throughout the year and fully cover those events with pictures and interviews. The coverage is then uploaded to Ag. Wired and free for anyone to use! That’s the reason his business has become so successful, it was the first of its kind to offer free news, information, pictures, and interviews within the agriculture community. Although agriculture has already changed so much over the course of Chuck’s career, it is still ever changing. As more and more media and advertising turns to online outlets I’m sure the agriculture sector will keep following suit. I speculate that the role of agriculture communications and journalism will continue to change and develop with the times and I’m sure Chuck’s business will be right there to lead the way into the future!agwired-logo

Happy Earth Day!!

As many of you might already know today is earth day! Although I believe every day should be treated as earth day, I wanted to write a post in honor of Mother Nature today! Many people still don’t believe that it is our jobs as humans to protect the earth and 15dccc57293ef27c093fdbe292255b7dall its inhabitants. Well I say to you, exactly whose job is it then? The horse who only wants to eat his share of grass? Or the monkey who just wants a tall tree to climb? Or the human who takes and destroys more from the earth than he puts back or replenishes? As a strong advocate for the environment, I really don’t see the thought process behind those who don’t think it’s our responsibility to treat the earth with respect?! Those who think we can just kill, cut, or destroy anything we want on the earth without repercussions? The majority of us have seen the movies like Avatar, Wall-e, or the Lorax, but we never really walk away with the message they are trying to send. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” That’s a quote from the Lorax. The story they try to teach is that you can’t keep taking and taking from the earth and expect it to just keep fixing itself. We have to preserve the beauty 1a8a7667ec04ce206b74c5600add0887that is on our planet or it will be gone forever. After all you aren’t just preserving it for you! You’re preserving it for your children’s children to enjoy as well!

The earth day we now celebrate today can be attributed to Senator Gaylord Nelson. When first elected in 1962 he faced a lot of repression from the Senate on getting any kind of legislation passed for the protection of the environment. He finally got April 22nd dubbed as a National day for the environment, and in 1970 the first earth day was celebrated! Now Earth Day is celebrated in hundreds of countries worldwide and the more recent push to “go green” has helped the cause tremendously. I feel environmentalism can be broken down into several categories. I’ll discuss each a little bit just so you can get an idea of how broad and important each can be.

Oceans, Lakes, Rivers, and Streams

Our water is a huge concern for pollution, especially since all living things need it to survive!

Did you know:

img_Great-Pacific-Garbage-Patch_2“In 2007, the Ocean Conservancy released a comprehensive report from the National Marine Debris Monitoring Program, which studied 21145_10151156275398462_2019986270_nmarine debris in 180 coastal states, islands, and territories of the United States from 2001 to 2006. They found that marine debris from the land and the ocean increased by 5% each year of the five-year study. Hawaii was the only location that showed a significant decrease in debris.

During the five year study 238,103 debris items were collected. The debris was classified into three categories: land-based debris, general source debris, and ocean-based debris. Land-based debris, such as straws, balloons, and cans, accounted for 48.8% of all debris. The next greatest source of debris came from general sources, such as plastic bottles and bags, with 34.4% of total debris. Ocean-based debris, including rope, fishing line, and buoys, was the smallest source at 17.7%.”impact34

Crazy stuff! Why does Hawaii’s debris seem to be decreasing? Because they are actually doing something to change the mess they have made!  It always makes me so upset when I see people litter! So next time you throw something on the ground just remember that will probably end up in our water supply!

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Air pollution has been a concern for a while. Once researchers linked carbon emissions and greenhouse gases as the main cause of global warming, a lot of people have started to worry NASA-Arctic-Ice-Cap-Meltabout it. But it’s not enough, there are still an astounding number of people who don’t believe in global warming or think it’s just a big hoax!? Really? The fact that even NASA (in a 2012 study) found that the polar ice caps interior ice is melting at an alarming rate doesn’t sway you to think that it is a problem?

 

Did you know:

Last year California held 13 of the top 25 spots for the most Ozone polluted metropolitan areas!? Seems like California needs to clean up their act!! Especially since they are one of the first areas in the United States that could be negatively affected by rising sea levels!

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Land and Trees

Deforestation( the process of clearing natural forests) happens all the time in agriculture. 30% to be exact! It is estimated that the world has already lost 80% of its natural forest cover and that number keeps growing! The amazon has been hit the worst. It has lost an estimated 15% of its forests just since 1970!deforestation

Did you know:

deforestation-causes-HI_104236“The rainforest deforestation statistics reveal that 60-70 percent of the deforestation in Amazon can be attributed to cattle ranches, while a significant part of the remaining 30 percent can be attributed to small-scale subsistence agriculture.”

This is a serious problem. As the population keeps increasing at an alarming rate, so does the food demand. But with more land and forests being taken for agricultural uses, it leaves less area for animals to survive in their natural habitats. This problem needs to be solved instead of it continuously getting swept under the rug and ignored. The longer we ignore the serious problems in our environment as a whole, the longer and more difficult it will be to fix or reverse!

Animals

Last but certainly not least I believe you can also include all living creatures in your celebration of Earth day. I mean after all this is our home!wwfgraffitibear550x352wwfgraffitirhinoceros550x352

Did you know:

wwfgraffitiwhale550x352There are over 3,879 animals worldwide that are critically endangered, over 5,689 that are endangered, 10,002 that are threatened, and over 4389 that are near threatened. That’s over 23,959 species that make it somewhere owwfgraffitielephant550x352n that list! In the list of most critically endangered all with less than 100 species left worldwide are the Amur Leopard, Javan Rhinoceros, Panther, and Red Wolf. It’s so sad to read the list because almost all of the animals listed are on that list because of humans. Either because of their habitat being destroyed, or being overhunted/whaled, we are the reason for their almost extinction.

 

All it takes is everyone banning together to try to change the pattern. Educate your children to do the right thing that way we will have responsible and aware future leaders of the world! Someday they will have to be the ones to protect our earth. Sometimes I think humans forget that we share the earth and it’s not just ours for the taking. At times it feels like we are just aliens who don’t appreciate any part of its beauty or worth. They say all people today know the price of everything but the value of nothing. And the more we destroy nature, the more that statement become truth. We do not own the earth and it is the only home we are given. Let’s respect it and take care of it the best we can!45519fd11e7954b7e82721b811d7454b

Wanderlust

18e31dc47d8047d28c39240208779b3bI’ve always said that I have a gypsy’s soul and traveling has been on my mind A LOT lately. It seems to be all I think about these days. The end of May cannot get here soon enough! I am completely checked out and needing a vacation! Well lucky for me, my family and I are going to Florida for vacation. I have been all over Florida about 5 times and don’t get me wrong I LOVE Florida! I would live there if I could, but my soul was meant to travel. Have you ever heard that quote “Life is a book and those who don’t travel read only a page”? Well that is my motto. I live and breathe those words! Along with being successful at my career, my goal in life is to travel. There is a gigantic world out there to be seen and I am ready! There are so many places I want to go and see. After all life is short, so it’s best to see has much as I can, as soon as I can! Wanderlust is defined as “a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.” I definitely have wanderlust in my veins! Although there are so MANY places I want to go I have come up with several that are my top picks. Here is a list of a few of them. Caution: these pictures are AMAZING and will make you feel like you just stepped into a fairy tale or calendar 🙂

INDIA- Beautiful, Spiritual, and Sacred

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The NORTHERN LIGHTS- Although they are not situated in one particular country and they tend to move across the sky, it doesn’t make them any less beautiful. Since I was a little girl I have wanted to see there magnificent beauty with my own eyes.

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IRELAND- Much of my family’s heritage comes from there and I have always wanted to visit the beautiful Green country!

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ENGLAND- A lot of my family’s heritage stems from here as well so I would love to visit it and see some of it’s rich history!

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AUSTRALIA- They have a little of everything! Minus the heat. what’s not to like?

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ITALY- I hold Italy in a fond place in my heart. When I was a little girl I can remember my mother telling me stories of her trip to Italy as a girl and how she always dreamed of going back. Now I would love nothing more than to go myself! 🙂

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Grand Cayman Islands- It’s beautiful, beachy and warm. I see this paradise in my dreams!

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Montana- Ahhh Big Sky Country! So beautiful!

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A ban on sustainability?

Something has peaked my interest in recent news. A representative is leading an effort to ban sustainability in its entirety. The Republican Kansas state representative began his plight against sustainability last year against the United Nations sustainability agenda. Now Dennis Hedke has introduced legislation that would ban Kansas state and local governments from spending any public funds on sustainable development. The legislature would outlaw using public funds to promote, support, or plan for “sustainable development.” Of course this ridiculous bill, dubbed “Agenda 21”, is not the first of its kind. In 1994 a similar piece of legislature was brought to the floor. But the UN trying to place new guidelines for the fight against climate change (For example requiring bike routes) has ruffled some feathers. I just don’t see what anyone could possibly have against sustainability? I mean the textbook definition is

1: capable of being sustained

2: of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged <sustainable techniques> <sustainable agriculture>

3: of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods

That sounds pretty good to me! Who wouldn’t want to protect the earth? Humans are in a way like parasites to the Earth and we live as if we have another planet to go to! It’s about time we change the horrible way we treat our environment before the damage is irreversible. That’s just my opinion though; you can be your own judge. Here is a funny video to leave you with. Louie CK is one of the most hilarious comics ever but he also has some really insightful humor!!

 

Caution: this is very funny but he does use some bad language! 😀