January 30, 2014 | From the Field | Arlette Sambs

Roots Run Deep

Getting back to an “aggie” home.

The farm on which I grew up has changed hands — probably more than once — since my parents passed away. My brother worked the land for a while, but the era of small dairy and hog farms with 120 acres of corn and alfalfa is a few decades behind us.

I enjoyed the farm — even with all the work we had in front of us every day. My siblings might argue that I enjoyed socializing with other farm kids even more so. Probably true. County fairs and showing livestock were great … and just happened to be where I met the guy who became my husband.

Working on Feed & Grain in my adult life has given me a different perspective on agribusiness. I have a better understanding of global demand and transportation infrastructure issues, of the challenges of high-efficiency throughput and top-flight feed manufacturing. But I also understand, because of my background, the foundation of agriculture: hard working men and women who think smart and work smart every day to feed the world. Those who help them to become more efficient are a key element of every farm’s success.

It’s fitting then, to note that in my hometown of Evansville, WI, Landmark Services expanded its grain shuttle facility, adding storage, a new grain dryer and improving receiving and load out in 2013. All part of a significant investment in helping their customers have more and better options serving the world’s food chain.

There are times when I shake my head in wonder at the technology, capacity and speed of today’s modern facilities. I
wonder what Mom and Dad would think to see agriculture, though it passed us by, growing and strengthening in that little corner of the world. I believe they’d be proud that, for a couple of generations, they laid the foundation for an ag community that continues to grow.

I’ve written recently about the changes in the world of media, and of our acquisition by the American Farm Bureau Federation. There is a link, I’ve realized, that we’d been missing at Feed & Grain. That link is agriculture. As part of a media company, we were one brand among many. As part of the Farm Bureau, we are as we were in Feed & Grain’s roots, surrounded by “aggies.” And it makes me feel at home again.

Best wishes for a great 2014 and beyond.

Arlette Sambs
Publisher, Feed & Grain

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