Saturday, September 1, 2012

Happy National (International?) Bacon Day!

I've heard conflicting reports on whether it's National or International Bacon Day today.

I say who cares?! It's a day to celebrate Nature's candy!

Here's an awesome infographic to give you some cool facts about this deliciousness:


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Today, I ate Chipotle.

I have a confession to make. Today, I committed a "cardinal sin". I did something I don't usually ever do. It made me feel so guilty I looked around to make sure no one I knew was watching me. 

I ate Chipotle for lunch.  

"Oh my gosh!" "Why would you do such a thing?" "Don't you love agriculture?!?!"

I have been anti-Chipotle for about five years now. It all started with some ill-worded billboards and a few nasty messages on the sides of take out bags. When Chipotle started touting the slogan "Pork from Farms, not Pharms", they lost this consumer. And honestly, Chipotle can say whatever the heck they want. But then again, I can choose not to purchase from them either because of what they say. 

Remember these puppies? 
I don't appreciate the fact that Chipotle tries to slander the agriculture community by saying that the majority of us are "factory farmers". I understand that this sells food, but it sure doesn't help public perception of modern ag. For that reason, I've made it a point not to eat there. 

So now we come back to today... 

Why are you so good?!?!?!
I had a craving! For chicken soft tacos. And it was a strong one. Usually I just make lunch at home. Not today. Today I drove into town feeling guilty as heck and went inside the new (I say it's new... I guess it's been there a year or so. First time I'd been inside!) Chipotle. I ordered three chicken soft tacos, an order of chips and a soft drink. I paid a ridiculous amount of money for those three items and I then I walked over to fill up my cup. 

Here's where it gets cool: 

I happened to be wearing my "I Dig the Pig" t-shirt. The one that I have like twenty of because of working the Ohio Pork Producers stand at the Ohio State Fair. And this is for real. Some guy saw the shirt and came up to me. He asked if I was a hog farmer. We started talking a little bit and ended up having a great discussion about public perception of modern farms. He said he'd never really understood how they worked and that the only "facts" he had about them were from companies like Chipotle. He just liked the idea of animals being happy and comfortable. 

The t-shirt :)

Conversations like these always boggle my mind because in my small town of Canal Winchester, I like to assume that everyone knows about modern ag. I don't like to think that many people are so far removed from the farm. I like to think everyone in my town knows where their food comes from. At least today I know that one more person does know. And maybe he'll tell his family. And they'll tell theirs. And so on and so forth... 

I guess maybe what I'm trying to say is, I'm a big believer in things happening for a reason. Last week I had the opportunity to attend the AgChat Foundation Agvocacy 2.0 conference where reaching consumers and learning to speak their language was a huge point. And today I did something I never do and ended up reaching out to someone. Maybe Chipotle is evil. Maybe I broke the "code". But by being in that restaurant today, I got to share my story of agriculture and now that story can be passed on. 

And honestly, the tacos were delicious :)  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hello Stranger ( plus a bunch of branding business)

Hey there! 

Remember me? 

Yeah, it's been a while.

But I'm back now! And better than ever. 

For the last few months, I confess I've been a bit behind with Fact or Hogwash. To tell the truth, I was getting a little discouraged. My links weren't quite hitting the audience I'd liked and it just didn't seem like anything I posted was having an effect on anyone. Then something happened.

I have no idea how. 

But one of my pictures WENT VIRAL. I mean, INSANELY VIRAL. (the funny part being, it wasn't even one of my favorite pictures.)

And while it wasn't the best way for me to learn that "even one person reached has made a difference", it definitely helped motivate me to get my bum in gear again. I made myself a pact to post at least once or twice a day and to have original material at least three times a week. 

Then I took a look at everything. Random profile picture, random cover, even more random blog... this wasn't helping me define my audience at all. There needed to be a change. 

While I may not have been on Fact or Hogwash these last couple months, I have been busy. Some of you may know that I'm also a photographer and a new one at that. I've been working on developing a brand for my photo business and it hit me:

Fact or Hogwash NEEDED a brand. 

I got to work. I liked the idea of the "confirmed" stamps you sometimes see on papers and I also knew I'd LOVE a script as an accent. The tagline "real facts. real farms." came to me almost instantly and I knew I didn't have to look any further for a line. The choice to have two colors also helps with the identity. It's simple, it's clean, and most of all, it's catchy. People can now look at both my facebook and my blog and see a uniform idea. It's strong and reinforces the goal behind Fact or Hogwash. 

the Facebook makeover

the new look

So now that this is built up and (in my opinion), quite beautiful, I'm excited to start posting much more. I'm attending the Agvocacy 2.0 event in Kansas City in August, which I'm confident will help me spread my message even more. 

Now it's your turn: Fact or Hogwash can't really make that much of an impact unless you SHARE SHARE SHARE. The Internet has made it really easy to do this too. Be a pal and pass the word along :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Lovely Spring

Okay I know it's not exactly "agricultural", but in a way Spring is a very important part of a farmer's year. And it does speak to the hope of the future harvest.

But really, I took this picture yesterday, it was so out of focus that I actually loved it and HAD to find a way to use it :) 

Monday, April 2, 2012


In addition to enjoying safe and quality meals, American's also enjoy the most affordable food supply in the world.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Faith and Patience

A simple verse and yet it's a farmer's whole life. There is always a time to plant and always a time to harvest, it can change from year to year, but it always happens. Faith and patience go a long way in the agriculturist's world...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

No Kidding...

Here's a TON of other facts about goats! Did you know goats are actually really picky eaters? Debunk the stereotypes! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Where Does Food REALLY Come From?

This one was inspired after watching The Amazing Race a few weeks ago and realizing some of the contestants had literally never seen a cow before in their lives. This fact both totally depressed and amazed me. Clearly, we need some major agriculture education in our nation!
Believe it or not, that ice cream bar doesn't actually come straight from the grocery store!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor...

To all of going out to enjoy the midnight premiere: Use those smartphones to check and don't stop until you get the "Please silence your cell phones now" sign!

You're just going to be sitting there waiting for the movie to start anyways :) 


I then proceeded to figure up the number of kernels that would be... somewhere in the neighborhood of 21 quadrillion (and yes that's actually a kind of number!) or enough for every one of the 7 billion people on earth to have 300,000 kernels. Just from Ohio. Just from last year.

That IS a LOT of corn.

Want to learn more about Ohio's second largest commodity crop? Check out!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hello Spring

Not that we've really had much winter to worry about... 

But agriculturists do face a lot of adversity, from nature, from consumers and from radical groups. If they let every little thing get them down, the world would be pretty hungry. 

Think of farmers as perennial optimists... there's always hope for a new season. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Stout Knowledge

Okay, so maybe one of my more "random" and "out there" agriculture facts, but an important one none the less! And today seems like a fitting day for it :)

Here's the article if you're interested:

Celebrate responsibly lads and lasses!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Fact or Hogwash is trying to reach 317 fans today on Facebook... Help us out by sharing us with everyone you know! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Support the 75 thousand Ohio farmers who feed the 11 million of us!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Celebrating National Teach Ag Day

Happy National Teach Ag Day! 

Team Ag Ed hopes to reach their 10x15 goal of having 10,000 agriculture science education programs in place by 2015. Find out more about 10x15 and other programs by visiting ! 

Oh... and go thank YOUR Ag teacher for their efforts to develop leaders and agriculturists!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ewe Probably Should Read This

I may not have grown up on a sheep farm, but there's just something I
 love about those wooly buggers! 

Why don't "EWE" go check out some more facts about the Ohio Sheep Industry!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Hunger in the Heartland

Combating world hunger is important, but it's important not to forget about our neighbor's needs locally as well.

For more information on conquering hunger in the United States, check out

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Haters be Hatin'

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you'll be criticized anyway." ~Eleanor Roosevelt 

Just because farmers face opposition, doesn't mean they're going to stop feeding, clothing and fueling our cars for us. They take that criticism, face it, and move on. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Feeding the World

American farmers do a lot to help feed the world! With the population expected to reach over 9.1 billion by 2050 and almost a billion people without sufficient nutrition now, agriculture not only has to step up it's methods of production, but must also find new and innovative ways of supplying nutrition to the world. Tomorrow, we'll explore the differences between the farms of yesterday and the farms of today... just another way we're celebrating National Ag Week 2012!

For more information on how modern farmers are combating the issues of hunger and malnutrition, check out

Monday, March 5, 2012

Kicking Off National Ag Week...

Celebrate National Agriculture Week! Check out for ways you can incorporate ag facts into your daily routine and be sure to share Fact or Hogwash? with your FB friends as well... we'll be sharing lots of facts this week to raise awareness of America's number one industry!

Here's a video to get you started: 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Thank a Farmer Fridays

Have you thanked a farmer for feeding you today? You can do so here. Let's make every Friday, Thank a Farmer Friday!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Moooove Over, We've Got a Post on Milk Today...

Regardless of whether the milk you buy is organic, natural or regular, rest assured that it's going to be safe and healthy for you to drink! 

Dairy Farming Today has a pretty sweet game that takes you inside the day to day chores of a dairy farmer- do you have what it takes?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Is There a Difference?

Pork Producers (and all other livestock farmers as well!) work hard to provide safe, efficient and cost effective housing for their animals. When something is your livelihood, you want it to be 
the best if can be!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

No Other Life I'd Rather Live...

Four years ago today, I lost my father, one of the most humble, passionate, hardworking agriculturists I've ever known. Today, I got up, put on my boots and charged my camera, got in my car and just drove. My heart took me to Pickaway County, to fields and fields filled with the promise of a good harvest. Working these fields, as I could tell they'd be itching to do, were the farmers. The green tractors, the red tractors, even a yellow tractor, diligently preparing the land for this spring's planting. I don't know about you, but this is one of my favorite views in the whole world. Dad used to be a grumpy old bear all winter, always complaining and yearning to get back out the fields as soon as God would let him. But as soon as He did, that old bear cheered up like no other. I know that now when I pass those farmers, my dad isn't in that tractor, but I like to imagine he is. The best kind of calm and peace comes over me and it fills me with such joy. Missing someone is never easy, but the peace that comes with the years makes it's much more bearable and for that, I have to thank God. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Winter? Wheat?

It may be pretty "blah" around here right now, not a whole lot growing, but it's always a fantastic sight to see the popping green of winter wheat poking out of the ground in February! 

Learn more about Ohio wheat (and other grains) at

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Everything But the Oink!

Pigs have always fascinated me. They're smarter than most people assume (you can almost train them like dogs), are healthier to eat then many other meats (that's another post though) and by golly, can you get some wacky products from them! 

Also, check out what Dutch designer Christien Meindertsma found when she followed the path of Hog # 05049! It's a very cool story! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blogging is Harder Than It Looks!

So my dear readers, I had promised you the second installment in "The Forty-Four Presidents and Farming" tonight before 11 pm. Any chance I can persuade you to forget about that promise until tomorrow?! I'll make you all pretty pictures! Actually, I've spent the majority of today catching up on correspondence, creating new graphics, researching this series and believe it or not, studying! (I'm a college student, as well as a blogger.) I have to give bloggers a TON of credit, because creating new material, coming up with ideas, formatting, following social media and praying technology works the way you want it to is a lot harder than it looks. It takes persistance and patience to make a blog successful, which is what I hope to have soon!

Anyways, if you're a history junkie and absolutely need your fix, check out this AMAZING site for a look at American Agriculture through the years. I promise you won't be disappointed.

P.S. Just a little FYI, if you thought Martin Van Buren was a boring president, wait till you get a load of these next five. It's taking much longer to find anything of importance on them!  

A New Era in Agriculture...

Do you believe in the future of agriculture? Past, present or future members, we are all FFA! 

Alphabatography Agriculture

“Agriculture…is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness.” – President Thomas Jefferson

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Forty-Four Presidents and Farming: Part 1

Maybe this post is a bit premature... while at work today, I had the bright idea of sharing farming facts about all 44 of our presidents. Big dream for one afternoon, no? My original plan had been to not only FIND these facts, but make INDIVIDUAL graphics for each one. Even bigger dream. I think I'll revise that idea a bit. So far I've got 10 presidents researched, so I'll share 10 tonight- then 10 every day for the rest of the week!

To start off our list,

#1, George Washington: 

Our nation's first president also had the nation's largest Whiskey Distillery of the time. 

Washington at Mt. Vernon (painting by Stearns)
George was a pioneer in agriculture at his Virginia farm, Mount Vernon. He utilized new fertilizers, methods of crop rotation and revolutionary (no pun intended) equipment.

Are these guys related to Washington's stud Royal Gift? 
One other super sweet fact about ol' G.W... He is credited with introducing the first mules to America! Read all about his steeds here!

#2, John Adams: 

A humble man and the father of of a president! 
 Not much is said about our second president and agriculture, however it is known that he bought a farm adjacent to Thomas Jefferson's plantation, Monticello. That and he had this to say about the farming life:

"Let me have my farm, family and goose quill, and all the honors and offices this world has to bestow may go to those who deserve them better and desire them more. I count them not."

#3, Thomas Jefferson: 

Our third president was possibly our most agriculturally involved president. Jefferson was zealous about soil conservation, wrote books on farming, maintained a large plantation at Monticello and even won a Gold Medal from the French Society of Agriculture in 1809.
Jefferson was what might be considered, a true Renaissance Man. 
Monticello Gardens

"Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals and happiness."

#4, James Madison 
James Madison was a prominent farmer who maintained a farm near both Adams and Jefferson. An avid environmentalist, he remained adamant about the fact that "nature is fragile" and even chastised Virginian farmers who did not think to conserve the soil. We may have Mr. Madison to thank for our interest in conservation today! 

#5, James Monroe: 

A few very important things happened during the presidency of James Monroe that affected agriculture. 

First and foremost, the Land Act of 1820 allowed farmers to purchase up to 85 acres of land at only $1.25 an acre. 3.5 MILLION acres in new Western territories were purchased in 1820 alone. 

Ohio under the Land Grant of 1820

Also during this time, farming became more a commercial trade. With the beginning of industrialization and the advent of more efficient farming practices, people could move to town and those remaining in rural areas could grow more crops and raise more livestock to sell for profit to those in town. People no longer had to grow their own food to sustain themselves. 

#6, John Quincy Adams: 

J.Q. Adams was actually the son of President #2, John Adams! 

The Erie Canal, c. 1825
With the completion of the Erie Canal (and subsequently, the Ohio-Erie Canal) in 1825, transportation of agricultural goods across inlands became much more practical. 

Ohio' s canal routes

#7, Andrew Jackson: 

"Agriculture, the first and most important occupation of man, has compensated the labors of the husband man with plentiful crops of all the varied products of our extensive country."

Andrew Jackson's plantation, the Hermitage, actually remains as part of working farm today, in addition to being a historical site. 

Check out how agriculture works at the Hermitage today! 

#8, Martin Van Buren: 

While he may not have been one of our most memorable presidents (really, who thinks about Martin Van Buren?), but during his presidency, agriculture accounted for 73% of America's total exports and brought $74 million to the economy. So go Martin! 

A forgettable president, but a memorable industry.
And perhaps the greatest invention of Van Buren's presidency was a little thing called the Steel Plow. A dude named John Deere may or may not have come up with it, and it may or may not be responsible for much of modern agriculture today. 

Ze steel plow of John Deere!

#9, William Henry Harrison: 

It's quite difficult to find information about a guy who was only in office 40 days. That's what happens when you give a 90 minute inaugural speech in the cold March rain. But hey, he was the first president from Ohio, the first president to die in office and of special importance to this list, the first president OF THE HAMILTON COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY! Harrison helped found the Ohio county's ag society and yearly fair in 1819. 

Paving the way for Ohio presidents since 1840... 
 And #10, John Tyler: 

Today's inaugural post on the president's and agriculture (see what I did there?) concludes with our 10th chief of state, John Tyler. 

John promoted agriculture and commerce, calling them "twins" and mandated that they should not be "restricted by the folly of high duties and tariff restrictions." Tyler definitely championed America as a leading exporter of agricultural products. He once said that "America is the granary of the world."and indeed it still is to this day. 

Stay tuned for tomorrow's installment of The Forty-Four Presidents and Farming, featuring heads of state #11-20! 

P.S. Sorry this is practically tomorrow anyways. Tomorrow's will be up before 11 pm, I promise!