Ending of Blogging Sabbatical and Life in St Louis

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In the spring I kept telling myself: “After I graduate I’ll have more time to write blog posts, I won’t have school work or as many extra curricular activities taking up my time” While at the time that may have … Continue reading

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.

Taking Time in 2014

At the end of each year we look back and every year it seems hard to believe that another year has passed, this year has been no different. This morning after I woke up I grabbed my iPad and flipped through pictures from this year and read some of my old blog posts.

This has been an interesting year to say the least.

The biggest thing that happened in my year is that I moved to South Dakota for an internship with Monsanto for 3 months. Moving to South Dakota, somewhere where I knew very few people, learning a business I wasn’t extremely familiar with, and driving 60 miles to church and the grocery store was definitely a new experience, but a great one. I learned a lot about myself, my faith, and the Midwest and its people. My love and knowledge of agriculture and the people that grow our food was increased. Through this I was able to make some great acquaintances and got to enjoy a different part of our beautiful country.

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 In 2013 I also planted my first two crops! This was huge for me. I had always wanted to be a farmer, when my dad stopped farming back in 2006 I didn’t think it would ever happen. This year it did! I planted a crop of winter wheat which I harvested July 1 and then planted a crop of soybeans behind the wheat which I harvested November 30th. I was fortunate that I had pretty good and I didn’t end the year in the hole, which to a farmer is typically the sign of a good year. Anna Leigh Peek

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 A surprise for year was that my Auburn Tigers did well. In case you haven’t heard we are actually playing for a national championship on January 6 (which will be my second adventure of the upcoming year). After going 3-9 last year, my expectations were not very high, ANYTHING would beat last year’s performance. I got to witness two Auburn games that will be talked about from now to eternity, the Georgia and Alabama games. After the Alabama game got to rush the field, which was something I’d wanted to do during my time as a student.

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I traveled to Texas A&M, Arkansas and Tennessee this year for ballgames. Traveling to games is always fun, I usually know people at the school so its great to reconnect and see their traditions, campuses and try their local eats.

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Midnight Yell Practice at Texas A&M was cool to experience with fellow College of Agriculture students

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Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium is the third largest college stadium in the country

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Through my invovlement in FFA and 4-H I have friends at many schools across the country and getting to visit with these friends is always such a treat. John I met through FFA and he is a Tennessee alum. Anna I met through 4-H and she is now a Texas A&M alum.

This year I was also able to see my favorite band, Mumford and Son in Atlanta. After seeing them I think I could go the rest of my life without seeing another one. Yes, they were THAT good.

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 As 2014 is all but here there are a few things I am going to work to take time for in the coming year.

1) To Say Thank You- For everything and anything. I have had so many people who have helped me this year and been an encouragement to me especially when I was in South Dakota and as I am trying to figure out what’s next after college. Between now and May I am going to need to thank a lot of people who have been instrumental in me making it through college.

2) To Exercise/Sleep- The last few months I have made a conscious effort to sleep and exercise more and what a difference it has made. Making time for it is key though. I hope to continue making time for sleep and exercise in the coming year.

3) Enjoy Nature- One of the things I enjoyed so much in South Dakota was the scenery and the natural beauty that I saw on a daily basis. I took time to enjoy it (after all there was nothing else much to do), now that I am back in my element in Auburn I haven’t taken the time to enjoy God’s creation as much as I should have.

4) Be Holy- Brother Greg Gravitt made a point during a Bible study a few weeks ago that really hit home. “Nothing in life matters. If He is with us, THAT is what matters.” So in the coming year as I work to finish school and decide where to go after graduation it will be easy to stress and potentially forget what is important. After all we are told to “Seek first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33). I have no idea where I will be on December 31, 2014 which can be scary, but I’m not too worried about it. By making sure to remember what is important this year I will be taken care of:  “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” – Romans 8:28

Best wishes in the year ahead. Thanks for reading in 2013. I don’t know where I’ll be next year, but I will always be Anna Leigh from Alabama (ALfromAL).

Anna Leigh Peek

Harvest: My Favorite Time of Year

I was an August baby, at home my mom has pictures of me in the cotton field with my dad when I was just a few weeks old. I’ve always been around it been around harvest in the fall . My dad quit farming a few years ago, but because my younger brothers and I have started farming I am still around it. This fall I am looking forward to harvesting my first soybean crop and I am beyond excited.

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My soybeans were looking good when I was home a few weekends ago. They are all but ready to harvest.

Yesterday I had an opportunity to do something I usually do not get to do in Auburn. I left class and went and went to the fields. This time it was not to work. I am writing an article about one of my classmates Mark so I needed some pictures of him working. Although I was along to take pictures it was such a thrill to spend some time in the soybeans.

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Watching soybeans and corn so intently with my internship this summer I am more amazed than ever at the  cycle plants go through. It is absolutely amazing to watch tiny seeds push through hard crusted soil, it is amazing to see them be subjected to harsh environmental conditions and see them bounce back. I have a post in mind to do soon relating seeds/plants to life, but ‘m not going to jump in on that today.

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I’m so thankful that the cycle of life exists for plants, its really remarkable to see how a tiny seed can be planted and cared for and can be turned into a useful product that may be turned into food, fiber, fuel, plastics, medicines, etc. Harvest is when farmers can see all their hard work come to fruition. Some years depending on drought and other factors it may not be a good year, but those are things we do not have control over.

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Another reason I like harvest is just the ability to be outside. Typically the weather has cooled off, blue skies, clear and cool mornings and evenings. I think that is just what I needed yesterday, taking off work and spending some time outside was just the therapy I needed to break up the afternoon work cycle I am in each day. Yesterday was a beautiful afternoon, I wish I could have spent all afternoon there, but alasImage

Finding Joy at Dawn

When I came back to Auburn this fall I made a goal to do better about finding time to exercise. I don’t mind exercise, but usually it is the thing that gets put off at the end of the day when other appointments run long and other things “come up”. My freshman year I was a lot more consistent in my exercising because I worked out before school.  So I have decided to start getting in bed earlier and getting up earlier. This has been hard, because we college students seem to be almost nocturnal. Last year I would typically get in bed between 12-1 in the morning so that has had to change this year to more like 10:30 or 11.  So far I have done very well getting up at 5:30 to go to the gym. it is not always easy (this morning being a prime example), but I am always glad I do it. Unlike most of my classmates in my 8am class, I am actually awake and ready to go.

It was a little more difficult to get up this Friday morning and I was not in the best of mood as I drove toward campus, so I decided that I would find reasons to be joyful. The list went something like this:

-Another day of life

-The ability to get up and exercise

-Food in my kitchen,

-Being here in Auburn

-Quietness of campus that time of the morning

– It is Friday

-I am getting to go home to Athens for the weekend

-The beautiful sunrise

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Just the fact that we have another day on this earth should be enough. The Psalmist said it best in Psalms 118:24

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Each day we are here we have the opportunity to exist in God’s creation, a blessing I too often take for granted. Some of my friends are journeying to Atlanta this weekend to attend the funeral of a friend, she leaves behind a husband and four children. While they are celebrating her walk on this earth, she will also be very missed.

So every early morning from now on, instead of thinking about how early it is and how I could still be asleep I will be joyful that God has given me another day of life.

I believe the song we sing at church, I Will Wake the Dawn With Praises will be my new anthem in the mornings:

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“Dawn and sunset, fierce and joyful, each reflect his mighty ways. With the sea and sky before me I will praise Him all my days.

*Since there is no home game this weekend there is no Tailgate Treats this Friday, there will not be another until October 4*

Celebrating Parents

In case you missed it today is Father’s Day. One day a year fathers and mothers are celebrated here in the United States. I feel like most people would agree that they should be celebrated more than once a year. After all growing up they fed us, changed many dirty diapers, nursed us back to health when we were sick, put up with us fussing with sibblings, endured whining, went to numerous ball games, recitals, and school programs.
I’m so thankful for my parents and I definitily do not express it enough. Not only did they care for me and my brothers growing up, but they taught me how to work hard and most importantly raised me in a home where God is put first as is commanded.
Proverbs 6:22: Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Deuteronomy 6:7 (in reference to God’s law): You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Ephesians 6:4: Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
So Happy Father’s Day to my father and all you other fathers out there. Let us remember to not only be nice to and thankful for our parents one day a year, but consistently throughout the year.

Mother’s Day 2013
In honor of Father’s Day my favorite picture with my dad.

Rainy Days Help You Appreciate Pretty Days

I do not exagerate when I say that today was probably the 3rd sunny day since I have been in South Dakota. I really wasn’t sure if it was possible for the sun to shine all day, but today it proved me wrong.  Like usual I spent most of my day in a corn field so it was such a nice change from what I have been experiencing the last 2 1/2 weeks. It has been an absolutely beautiful day today and I speak for the crops when I say it was much needed. The cows were enjoying it too!

There is a pretty young calf in the pasture. He gets out and roams around the yard ocassionally. Walk toward him, he runs back to his mother.

Otis the cat wasn’t too happy to be cooped up inside on a pretty day.