The MidWest

So apparently I didn't quite have my fill of galavanting along with a group of ladies, fearlessly guiding the "covered wagon" know as Farren.

For another 9 days in July, our jolly band explored the Midwest.

We enjoyed a leisure morning of watching the sunrise and waves crash along the shore of Lake Michigan at Illinois Beach State Park. (Except for the driver who slept in and missed the sunrise but it was cloudy on the horizon and she didn't miss much, they assure her.)

Wisconsin enamored us from the beginning. We grabbed an early lunch at Cracker Barrel and some Good Samaritan picked up the tab for all 10 of us. That generous heart blessed me completely.

We managed to hit several open houses at different creameries across Wisconsin. As I watch people interacting with the farmers and their herds, I was again impressed with the importance of "hands on" agricultural education. These farms were doing a wonderful job at that!

The tour ended back at the creamery where I watched children on pedal tractors (provided by the creamery) racing through the yard. And met the resident calf. AND enjoyed a fantastic ice cream cone. What a great stop!

Another stop introduced us to the "Gouda Gals" where we learned about the cheese making process, ate some cheese curds, and got a barn tour by the owner who wore wooden shoes in honor of his native country. (Any guesses which country that is? 🇳🇱)

I hadn't spent much time in the dairy state, previously. I love all those colorful red barns. I find that even though I'm not as closely involved with the dairy these days, there is no way to get certain loves out of my heart. Dairy farming is a wonderful calling.

And then we traveled on to another land flowing with milk and honey, and more opportunity for KH to obsess. The corn belt.

The crops in Iowa are something to behold. We (or mostly me) got all excited about the crop dusting that was going on. It is incredible to watch the bright yellow planes darting and diving, delivering insecticide to the tasseling corn- missing trees and power lines…

Somehow I think this picture resembles me going through 2017 #augustalready ?!?

Psalm 65:8 The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders, Lord;
where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.

More hands on Ag Ed included a tour of a hog farm. 🙊 This bacon in the making is kinda cute, isn't it? 🐷 I would enjoy a more complete tour sometime when I'm not worried about spending the rest of the day smelling like a pig farmer.

Near Charles City, IA is this adorable little brown church. In the 1850s when the area was just a meadow, a Dr Pitts wrote a poem about a church house he envisioned there. He returned after the Civil War, and saw the church house construction. The cheapest paint available then was brown, so the congregation agreed to a brown church house. Dr Pitts remembered his poem, and put it to music in time for a group of high schoolers to sing it at the dedicatory service. And that is the story behind the song "Church in the Wildwood…"
🎼oh come, come,come,come…

The Midwest adventure ended on a very high note. We toured Harvester Works in East Moline, IL. I'm not sure I could've enjoyed a tour more! We followed the progress of a combine from the bending of the first steel pieces until it drove off the assembly line. Wow!

And now with a bit more understanding about the beautiful machine, I look forward to taking my newfound information and returning to the field. It won't be long!! 🙂



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