Val Plagge is originally from Stanhope, Iowa and currently lives at Latimer, Iowa with her family who in Val’s words are, “my husband Ian who is referred to as My Farmer on my blog, 3 ½ year old son Klayton referred to as LP and 17 month old daughter Audrey referred to as MP, and we are expecting Baby number 3 before the New Year!”
Val learned at a young age to stand up for her livelihood as a farm girl and it has continued into her adult life with a past agriculture communications career and now full-time on her farm. I respect and appreciate Val’s engagement in agriculture now at this stage in her life, despite a full life as a mom with young kids. I LOVE that she highlights below she’s the “homosapien production manager” of their family farm.
We all can make excuses on why we don’t have time to have conversations about our farming practices. But many of you have questions, far from our farm fields and there are women in agriculture, like Val Plagge, working daily to share with you about her farm and answer your questions. Connect with Val on her Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +. This woman is connected!
Meet Val Plagge, in her own words, below as an inspiring woman of agriculture.
What is your role in agriculture today? I’d say my current role in agriculture is being a farmer and raising the next generation of farmers. When you farm you are always asked “what do you raise?”. My husband and I always answer this question by saying we raise corn, (soy)‘beans, pigs and kids. And that’s where I got the name of my blog. My husband and I joke around that I am the “homosapien production manager” for our farm but I do a lot more than that. I manage our farm records, drive tractor in the fall and spring, help with the pigs when needed, run to get parts and pretty much fill in wherever.
Being in agriculture taught me responsibility, it taught me about the circle of life and the value of hard work. In elementary school one day the rumor started flying around that I helped my parents castrate pigs. After initial embarrassment, I owned up to it and it gave me the opportunity to share what my responsibilities were on our hog farm (and I think it scared the boys away…). I also remember in high school my sisters and I being late several times due to lambing season. This gave me another opportunity to share about our sheep flock. I’ve always loved sharing about life on the farm and about agriculture in general. I was involved in FFA in high school and very active in 4-H throughout my youth. Those organizations helped me decide to major in Agriculture Communications when I attended college at Iowa State University.
Following college graduation I worked for the Iowa Soybean Association and worked with producer education and consumer education activities and events. The position I had helped me to continue sharing about the world of agriculture. Once our son was born I “retired” from the Iowa Soybean Association to be at home and start raising our family. I began blogging less than a year after our son was born. My blog is now a great way for me to continue to share about agriculture.
What excites you about your community? I love being a part of the communities of Latimer, Franklin County and North Iowa. The area is a rich agriculture and entrepreneurship community. I think that is due to the German, Danish and Hispanic heritages of its citizens. The demographic of the communities has changed a lot in the last twenty years and I believe that is because my local town and county have been welcoming and encouraging to all who have entered. There are a lot of great ideas and plans to only continue and create a better understanding community.
What is your favorite home-cooked meal? I better say a pork dish since we raise hogs… so I guess I’d have to say bacon! My husband and I love bacon and actually make our own bacon. We have several friends and family members that request “Plagge Bacon” when they come over to our house because they say it is the best bacon they’ve ever had. Other than bacon, beef stroganoff brings back a lot of childhood memories and it is such an easy dish to whip up on a busy night.
If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? My Great Grandma Mae. She grew up during the Depression and because of that valued everything she had. She also became a strong Christian woman later in life. She could recite bible verses, songs and important milestones in her Christian life. I was and always have been amazed by how strong and beautiful of a woman my great-grandma was and feel very fortunate to of had her in my life for 22 years.
What makes you smile? My family. I’m pretty sure the reason why I married my husband was and is because he knows how to make me smile. When I’m sad, frustrated or getting worked up over something, he knows just what to do to help me calm down and smile. My kids make me smile in their own special ways as well as how they love each other so much and play together so well.
My son loves being in the tractor. When we’re not in the tractor and at home, he’ll move chairs around and imagine he is driving his own tractor or he’ll be “carpet farming.” His imagination makes me smile in amazement too.
My daughter has the best smile and laugh and seriously just walks around all day smiling! How can that not make everyone else around her smile too! She loves to read, play tickle monster, give kisses and play with her brother. She too is a trooper in the field and has been my right-hand “man” in the field this fall. It is the simple things that make her smile and she is a good reminder to all of us to be thankful and happy for the simple and little things.
Thank you, Val, for sharing your lifelong passion of agriculture with us and I can’t wait to see pictures of your healthy baby before the end of the year!
Connect with all the women featured this month in the 30 Days of Women in Agriculture series below and be on the lookout this week for a new giveaway I’m sharing this week with you. It has to do with my favorite cookware and will come in handy for you this holiday season and for years to come!