What can you get for $5.61?

Click the shopping tab in Google and search for “things that cost $5.61.” What do you get?

How ’bout a 2 oz. promotional heaven carabiner bottle?  (I didn’t even know what a carabiner was! Had to look it up!)

What about a 50-count bottle of vegetarian B-12 tablets?

Or a “geo recycled notebook?”

One of many books, (I counted seven $5.61 books in a row on page two of my search.)

All fine choices, but quite frankly, I’m putting my $5.61 on an all-American Independence Day meal. And we’re talking a hamburger, pork spare ribs, a hotdog, potato salad, baked beans, corn chips, lemonade, chocolate milk, watermelon, ketchup, mustard and American cheese.

Yep. You read that right. American Farm Bureau did a July 4th Cookout survey and that meal for 10 people comes to $5.61 per person.

CS15_075 July 4th Marketbasket Survey_2015It’s amazing, really, when you think about it. We can buy a book. Or eat a whole meal with family and friends.

Food is so affordable in this country, it has allowed most of us to think about everything BUT how fortunate we are to have the amazing food system — starting with our farmers and ranchers — that we have.

So this year, instead of succumbing to the food scare of the week that is fueled by people looking to make a buck or two on fear, ask a farmer why they do what they do and how they are continually looking for ways to improve and provide us all with the bountiful food we have become accustomed to.

And enjoy that burger, hotdog, spare ribs and potato salad with your friends and family.

Happy eating! And happy Independence Day!

Sunburst tip from an award-winning photographer

Photographers seldom think about what it’s like to be in front of the camera, so when I asked Katherine Plessner of Verona if she’d be willing to do an interview for our publication Focus, and for NDFB’s YouTube channel, she was a little hesitant.

What would she possibly have to say? Well, turns out there was so much, we couldn’t fit it all into a two-minute video. We talked about photography in general. About her involvement in Pride of Dakota for many years. About the lovely park in Verona that she spearheaded. She even shared a few photography tips! It became clear pretty quickly that this multi-talented lady needed a little more “media” time. So expect to see a couple of video clips from Katherine over the next few months.

Katherine recently won second place in the technology division of the 2015 American Farm Bureau Federation’s Photo Contest, and the story of how she got that photo appeared in NDFB’s newsletter Focus in print and online.

And here’s one of those bonus features: Katherine explains how to create “sunbursts” in your photos. You won’t believe how easy it is.