Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hey, Emily! Did you know it was National Ag Week?

Why yes, yes I did!

Wait? You couldn't tell I already knew it??

Is it because it's now THURSDAY, and I'm finally writing about some things that happened last SATURDAY?


Anyway, in case you missed it, Jack and I celebrated National Ag Day (which was yesterday) by playing tractor family:

And while I don't have anything truly profound or crazy to share with you in honor of National Agriculture Week, I do want to share with you that I have emerged from my mom coma, slapped on a pair of heels and will be doing my "thing" not once, BUT TWICE this week! 


I'm fancy.

And, yep, the twins have gotten some road time and exposure from these endeavors.

Last Saturday, the girls and I loaded up for the Illinois State University campus in Bloomington. Each year, mini vans invade the campus for three days. The Hearts at Home National Conference happens here every March, and before I became a mom, I completely thought this sounded like the most bizarre concept. Ever. While the mini van stereotype is true (why am I surprised every year I go that there are a lot of sensible gals out there who rock the mini van?), this conference is anything but bizarre. Moms from across the country gather to hear New York Times bestselling authors and nationally heralded speakers and experts who range in their expertise from parenting to marriage to technology to fashion. It's really awesome. I have attended, but considering my girls are pretty close to the source and, while this is a mom conference, there are NO KIDS, I was delighted to volunteer for Illinois Farm Families in their booth.

Genius. Moms are overwhelmingly the primary grocery getters of the family. It's a mom's conference.  We're moms. Here's the proof: babies. 


Plus, I got to go with Holly, my dear, dear friend. We spent the day jiggling babies, changing babies, all the while advocating for agriculture. It was the ultimate in multi tasking. The genius marketing we had there: BABIES. Twin babies. We were flocked to like a moth to a flame. 

In between answering the ever present, "yes they are twins," "yes, they are mine," and "no they are NOT identical," questions, we were challenged to answer hot topic questions. Moms here are from all over. Urban, rural, Midwestern, etc., but they all want to know and to buy and to feed their kids the best way possible. We had moms who wondered about GMOs, even though Holly and I felt like we were in a Jimmy Kimmel moment when one sweet mama offered that GMOs were sprayed on and were killing her bees. Huh? Holly wowed me with her knowledge and rattled off the big word chemical that had been linked to bee health. However, it really made me think of this awesome video:

I'm digressing.

But it was funny, right?

Anyway, we had moms who just wanted freezer beef. They wanted to have the opportunity to run out to their freezers and enjoy a steak dinner on a whim, as I did on Monday night. 

We had folks who wanted their questions about antibiotics answered. 

We had moms who walked by and rolled their eyes. Yes, we had a rather large (read: life sized) picture of a rather dusty older gentleman as our poster child (not the greatest choice...could we change that, please?), and we had no giveaways to truly entice them to come up to us, but we had babies, and sparkling personality and a breadth of knowledge, and were able to make a few connections and calm a few misconceptions. 

It was also a little bit of This Is Your Life, Emily Webel Edition! Friends from junior high, high school, college, early adulthood, my old church, my former moms name it, I had a buddy there. It was awesome.

After a brief side trip to some stores I never get to go to, I headed home, happy, exhausted, and with aching feet. It was so worth it to be amongst the people.

This week, being National Agriculture Week, is perfectly wrapped up with the Women in Agriculture conference. Holly, Deanna and I will be podcasting...deep breath...LIVE at the last session. I have the important details covered: I know what I'm wearing, and the diaper bag is packed. However, what to say...we'll be working on that tomorrow. Never fear, friends, if you're a listener, our latest podcast is "short," and it's 30 minutes. We're nothing, if not chatty!! You can listen to it here.

So, in answer to the initial title question, yes! I do know it's National Ag Week, and YES! I am celebrating it...just actually doing something about advocacy in agriculture to honor it.

How genius, don't you think?

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