Auburn Ag Students Believe in Work, Hard Work

In a previous post I explained Auburn University’s creed that George Petrie authored that is a set of principles and ideals that members of the Auburn Family are to have.Probably my favorite lines of the creed is:

“I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.”

Growing up on a farm and in a Christian home (Colossians 3:23) my brothers and I were always taught to work hard. I am actually not sure if it was necessarily taught, but it was definitely expected and I’m thankful for it.

Sadly many in my generation have never learned to work which can be frustrating when you have to work with these people. However this past week I have been encouraged by some outstanding young people I have had the privilege to work alongside. 

If you follow me on any other social media platform you may have seen my posts and Tweets about Auburn’s Ag Week. This week we in the College of Agriculture looked for ways to bring awareness to agriculture and the way it provides for us. 

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Monday we started with a lecture/panel discussion called “Feed Me the Truth About My Food”, we had Tea and Tie-Dye on the concourses where we handed out Milo’s tea (an Alabama food product), information about Alabama agriculture and allowed students to tie-dye Peace, Love and Ag t-shirts. Wednesday we had the annual Ag Hill Picnic which included a special guest this year, Clyde the Camel for Hump Day. This event always brings people from all over campus and this year with Clyde many folks from other colleges stopped by Ag Hill to have their picture taken. 

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Thursday we had Breakfast on the Green where College of Ag students served an “Alabama Grown Breakfast” to students as they got off the transits for class. We served Mary B’s Biscuits, Conecuh Sausage and eggs from the university’s poultry farm. Booths were set up by each of the College of Agriculture’s clubs and they each shared a ag fact with students. Thursday night we had a social event for College of Ag students that was competition style called Ag Island, a lot of fun for all. Friday we had students from two local Boys and Girl’s clubs that came to learn about agriculture at get “Ag-tive Day.” Saturday was a day for friends, family, alumni, and prospective students as we had Ag in the Park, which unfortunately did not go as planned due to weather. 

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We had A LOT of events going on this week, it has probably been one of the busiest weeks I have had while being at Auburn. The week went great, we were fortunate to have good weather (minus today) and we reached many students across campus and hopefully challenged them to think a little more about where their food comes form. 

It would not have been nearly as successful of a week without some OUTSTANDING help. Like I mentioned earlier many people in my age group do not know how to work, but that cannot be said about most of the students in the College of Agriculture. I am involved in various organizations and activities on campus and I have never seen good work ethics like I have this week. 

We had an abundance of volunteers and not only were they willing to volunteer, but they looked for additional ways to help while at the events, some were not even singed up to help. When events were over people went to work taking down and cleaning up, they did not have to be told minus a few directions about where certain things needed to go. There was not people standing around and talking while a few people worked, it was great. 

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Thursday night especially I had to ask for help several times during our Ag Island competition, there was no complaining or grumbling, but willing helpers. A few competitors even stayed late to help set up for the next day’s activities. I was rushed to make it from an event to class on Friday, parked in a questionable spot and got stuck. My brother had went home for the weekend and embarrassed I called a friend/classmate at 9:00pm and he was so kind to come and get my truck out of the mud. I have no idea what we has doing on Friday night, but he was so sweet to come right then and help  me. 

I say all this to say I have been blown away this week by our students in the College of Ag. I have helped with a lot of events over the course of my short life and I usually frustrated by people’s lack of work ethic. I’m not saying there aren’t other kids at Auburn that know how to work, or that there are no other people my age who know how to work, but I am saying we’ve got some great ones over on what we call Ag Hill. I don’t know why they are that way, it can be a number of things; upbringing, faith, growing up working in a farm/rural setting, living The Creed, or other reasons, but all I know is I am so thankful for their help this week and the fun times had and just to know so many great agriculture students I’ll hopefully be working alongside in my career as we work to feed the world.

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Pie and Peanuts

Seeing that today is March 14 it has been dubbed as Pi Day, pi like 3.14159265359 or to you mathematicians, the distance around a perfect circle, or the circumference, divided by the distance across it, or the diameter. Nerds everywhere have celebrated this day today, I decided to celebrate by making a pie, a peanut butter pie to be exact because it is National Peanut Month.

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Peanuts are grown in numerous states across the United States, but seven states account for 99% of the peanuts produced. Georgia, Texas and Alabama are the top three producing states. 50% of peanuts grown in the United States are grown within a 100 mile radius of Dothan, Alabama! There are four kinds of peanuts grown in the United States and you can learn about them here.

ImagePeanuts are different than most plants, the peanut plant flowers above the ground, but fruits below ground. It takes 4 to 5 months for the peanut to reach maturity. Planting usually happens in April or May and harvest is typically in September or October.

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About 10 days after planting a green leafy plant will grow on top of the ground, but interestingly the fruit (peanut) is below ground. Peanuts like water and need 1 1/2-2 inches of water a week when the pods are filling out. When the peanuts have reached maturity. the farmer will drive a digger through the green rows of peanut. The digger has long blades that run four to six inches under the ground. The plant is loosened and the main root is cut. Just behind the blade, a shaker lifts the plant from the soil, shakes the dirt from the peanuts, rotates the plant and lays the plant back down in a “windrow”—with peanuts up and leaves down. The peanuts will then lay exposed in the field for several days in order to dry out moisture. Here is a great video showing the inverting process.

After the peanuts dry they are combined where the plant is separated from the nut portion. The peanuts are put in trailers and air is blasted into the trailers to further dry the nuts. There can be no more than 10% moisture in order to store them. There are enough peanuts harvested from each acre so that you could make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches!

Peanuts are good for you! They contain protein, mostly good fats, fiber and more than 30 essential vitamins and nutrients. Peanuts are used for products like roasted peanuts,peanut butter and oils for cooking and the hulls are often used in chicken houses instead of wood shavings. George Washington Carver came up with over 300 uses for peanuts including shampoos, laxatives, dyes, etc.

My favorite use for peanuts is for cooking purposes. Peanut butter fudge and pie being my two favorites. Since it was Pi day I whipped up a simple peanut butter pie that is quite tasty and so simple.

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Peanut Butter Pie

  • 1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 package (8 Ounce) Softened Cream Cheese
  • 1-1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 package (8 Ounce) Cool Whip, Thawed
  • 1 prepared graham cracker crust (or if you are feeling froggy you can make one)

To Make:
Beat the peanut butter with the cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add in the thawed Cool Whip and beat mixture until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.

Pour filling into crust, evening out the top with a knife or spatula. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

Hungry for more peanut info? Check out some fun facts from the National Peanut Board.