I found out today via social media that it is National Dog Day. So of course a post went up on NDFB’s FacebookTwitter and Instagram accounts because dogs are pretty much a  required farm critter! And, even though he isn’t a farm dog, I shared a photo of this guy…


His name is Riley and he is an 8-year-old Springer Spaniel. He pretty much lives a cushy life. He visits the farm where I grew up from time to time and bugs the cats, but really, he’s just a big food-stealing, attention-demanding furball.

When I turn on the blow dryer to dry my hair in the morning, and he’s at my feet looking expectantly up at me, because ONCE I made the mistake of scratching his ears while the blow dryer was on.

He once boldly stole half a hamburger off the dining room table that my son had just warmed up for lunch. My son had forgotten to bring the ketchup with him so he went back into the kitchen to get it. The reason I say boldly is because the only thing dividing the kitchen from the dining room is a 3 foot tall counter.

For all his foibles, he really is a joy to have around. In a bad mood? His incessant need to be “loved” means if you are sitting on the couch, pouting, he’s going to jump up on the couch, and try sitting on your lap (all 48 pounds of him). It’s enough to make even the grumpiest curmudgeon smile.

In fact, when we were picking out the pup we thought would best fit our family and our lives (and would make a good hunting partner for the hubs) he came up to me. I picked him up and he immediately snuggled his nose in the crook of my neck. Yep. Hook. Line. And sinker. And he’s still got me wrapped around his paw 8 years later!

So, Riley, even though you can’t read this, and don’t really care, happy #NationalDogDay!

Hazy day


The  sun rose hazy today. Apparently the result of the Pacific Northwest fires. It makes for some really great photos, but after a few days, many of us begin to complain that we just want our clear North Dakota skies back.

Especially at night. Even when you live a few miles away from a bigger city in this state, you can enjoy the night skies. Which I do. It settles me. Sometimes, when the day seems particularly stressful, a deep breath and a look up at a sky full of stars is all it takes to make everything right.

But the haze is thick today and might stay around for a while.

And speaking of hazy, there is a hearing in Fargo today regarding EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule. The state of North Dakota has joined with several other states in an attempt to block the rule going into effect. The rule is so vague (hence the “and speaking of hazy”) a landowner has no reliable way to know what will be regulated. It’s a tense time for farmers and ranchers as this whole thing plays out.

From the NDFB perspective, throwing out the rule and starting over is the only sensible thing to do. We’ll see if common sense prevails!

My NDFB life

So here I am. 30 years in the business. 30 years with Farm Bureau (I know. AP style says DON’T start a sentence with a number. It just seems so much more impressive when you use the number at the beginning of those two sentences. Sorry! Just bein’ honest!)

NDFB was my first career move out of college. And it will hopefully be my last. Why? Because this is my passion. Sharing stories about people, people who I admire and trust. People who, every day, impress me with their courage, determination and strength.

That being said, this job has evolved and changed over the years, just as I have. What I’m doing today is MUCH, MUCH different than what I did back in 1985. And to be honest, I am not one to say, “I wish we could go back to the good old days.” When I started working for NDFB, I was hired as a writer for the magazine Dakota Family. Back in the old days, a hashtag was something you found on your Hash jeans! Anyone remember those? (They were all the rage at the high school I graduated from.) Now I’m tweeting and instagramming and hastagging #antfarmview and #ahhthegoodlife and #throwbackthursday all in the name of NDFB. And I’m loving it!

What is this blog supposed to do? Just give you a behind-the-scenes day-in-the-life account of an organizational communicator’s process at a job they truly love. (If there is even a process. To be honest, my best work comes to me in the shower, or while I’m driving around country roads by myself looking for things to photograph.)

So, I hope you will join me as I share my NDFB life with you, because it has been a wonderful ride, and I’m not done yet!