Archive | December 2013

Missionary Work Abroad

Jolene Brauer, Customer Service Rep at the Dodge City Lab, participated in a mission trip with her church, Christ the King Lutheran Church in Dodge City, from Dec. 1-11, 2013.

The purpose of this trip was to learn more about a missionary her church supports financially and with prayers. Julie Olson Smude, founder of Deeper Still Ministries, has been in Thailand for 10 years teaching English as a foreign language while bringing people to Christ Jesus.

 “We saw first hand the love and dedication Julie has for the Thai people and to Christ,” said Jolene.

Deeper Still Ministries works with Thai Christian college students to conduct outreaches to “unreached people groups.” The ministry and the students go to village hill tribes to do the outreaches in very remote areas. They may do soccer or English outreaches while using the Bible for many of the lessons.

This particular outreach was a Christmas celebration outreach.  “We did crafts, games, and lessons with school age children that emphasized Bible lessons and how much Jesus Christ loves us. We went to three villages- two were schools and the third a church. This church was built by the Nazarene Church some years ago and while there are a few Christians in the village, the Thai college students put together this village’s first Christmas service. There was the gospel, singing, and testimonies. There were two highlights of this outreach at the church. First, a young woman dedicated her life to Christ while we were present and second, our American team sang ‘Joy to the World’ with a group of Thai speaking and Lahu speaking Thai during a candlelight service on top of a jungle mountain on the Thai/Myanmar(Burma) border. What a feeling of JOY!”

Thailand is located in southeast Asia, is 12 hours ahead of Kansas, has a population of approximately 67 million, and by most estimates 95 percent Buddhist and 1 percent Christian.

According to Jolene, “The people were respectful, the food was great, the language difficult, and Christ was glorified! It was a very amazing trip.”

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New Ag Parody Video

Here’s a great new video from the Peterson brothers!

Roto-Mix Blog

Good morning!

There’s a new agriculture parody video out!

The Peterson Farm Brothers just released ‘Chore,’ a parody of the song ‘Roar.’

Here’s the video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toyN81wZzLw

And here’s a story about the video from The Hutchinson (Kan.) News: Video shows cold weather stops no farmer 

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Dr. Daniel Hillel and the future of agriculture

Last month I met Dr. Daniel Hillel at the Agronomy meetings in Tampa.  He is small in stature, but a giant in his contribution to agriculture.  For me, meeting him was like a basketball fan being able to hang out with Michael Jordan or a country-western fan getting to be backstage with George Strait.  Daniel received the 2012 Borlaug World Food Prize, the agricultural equivalent of the Nobel prize, except I think you actually have to have made a significant life-time achievement — not just have made a couple of speeches about climate change or world peace.  Daniel is credited as inventing the concept of drip irrigation.  He told me he is “83 going on 120”  and lives on the side of Mount Carmel in Israel.

Daniel Hillel and Fred Vocasek

His introduction as keynote speaker for the “Blue Waves, Green Dreams, and Shades of Gray – Perspectives on Water” symposium tells more: Dr. Daniel Hillel was born in 1930 in the semi-desert, man-made oasis of Southern California.  He was taken at a very young age to Palestine, then in the first stages of reclamation from centuries of environmental degradation. At the age of 8, he was placed in a pioneering settlement in the Jezreel Valley, where he was first exposed to, and captivated by, the open environment and its contrasting counterpoints of soggy winter and searing summer, open sky and bare earth. Given a spade and asked to direct the frothy waters from a ditch, he marveled at the exuberant growth of tender saplings that rose up defiantly in the midst of the dry plain. That early fascination eventually became an avocation and a vocation, a professional pursuit and a labor of love.

After World War II he was brought back to the United States, where he studied agriculture and worked briefly for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 1951, having earned a master’s degree in soil science and climatology from Rutgers University, he returned to newly established Israel to help in the young State’s development. Working for the Soil Conservation Service, he participated in the first survey of the country’s soil and water resources. He then joined a small group that ventured into the Negev Desert and established the first settlement in the rugged Highlands of that region, named Sdeh-Boker. The work was hard and dangerous, and three of the twelve original settlers lost their lives in the first year. Later, the pioneering settlement was visited by Israel’s founding Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, who was so impressed by the venture that he decided to resign from the Government and came to join in the venture.

While working on land reclamation, Daniel Hillel also conducted research on the water relations of desert plant habitats and the properties of their soils. That work was granted a doctorate by the Hebrew University. Dr. Hillel then continued his research in soil physics and hydrology in the U.S., first at the University of California and at the U.S. Salinity Laboratory, and later at the University of Massachusetts. Over the ensuing decades, he has taught and directed the research of scores of students, published or co-published over two hundred research papers and reports, and some twenty definitive textbooks on various aspects of soil physics, hydrology, agronomy, and the environment.

He has also served as advisor to international institutions, including the F.A.O. and the World Bank, taken part in advisory missions to some thirty developing countries, and cooperated with the Goddard Institute of NASA in extensive studies of portending climate change and its potential impacts on global and regional agriculture and on natural ecosystems.

In June, 2012, it was announced that Dr. Hillel would be awarded the 2012 World Food Prize at the annual Borlaug Dialogue international symposium in Des Moines, Iowa, on October 18, 2012. The announcement ceremony, held at the U.S. State Department, was presided over by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who said:

“Dr. Hillel’s work will become even more important as we grapple with how to feed the world’s growing population…And according to the latest FAO estimates, the world will need to produce 60 percent more food than we do today to feed everyone. In that same time, the demand for water to grow food will rise by almost 20 percent. But our water supply is finite. So if we’re going to strengthen food security, we have to get more out of each drop.”