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

Mark Phillips: Student and Farmer

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Mark Phillips is a classmate of mine at Auburn. Currently we have Ag Marketing together. Some days it gets time for class and fellow classmate Garrett Dixon will jokingly ask “Where’s Mark? Did he drop the class?” 

If Mark is late or rarely happens to not make it to class we usually know where he is. In the field. DSC_0834

Mark is a senior at Auburn studying agronomy, but his ambition is to one day be a full-time farmer. He didn’t grow up living on a farm, but his grandparents and uncle farm and he worked on their operation from an early age. When he came to Auburn, Mark knew he wanted to farm, but wanted to go ahead and get a degree.

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During his time at Auburn he has worked for a local farmer. So every afternoon when classes are over for Mark he heads to the farm for an afternoon of work. During planting and harvest seasons this means some long days because after he leaves the field in the evenings he still has homework to do.

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“I love it” says Mark “some days they have to almost drag me off the tractor.”

Most students that major in some form of agriculture do not aspire to be farmers. However I am thankful for those like Mark who want to. I cannot think of a more noble profession than to feed people and care for animals. It is so encouraging to know there are people out there like Mark that are passionate about farming, especially at such a young age.

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Whoop! Auburn Beat the Aggies and We Were There To See It!

When they announced the football schedule the 2013 season my brother and I started discussing how we could make it to College Station for the Texas A&M game. We booked flights in January and FINALLY the weekend arrived.

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We arrived in Texas and our first stop, being the conservative, American, Bush loving tourist we are stopped by the George Bush Presidential Library.

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I had heard to much about the Aggie Yell Practice they have each Friday night prior to home games. That was one item on our list of things to do we were not going to miss, we had been up a long time, but we made it to midnight.

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It was interesting, not many people could explain what was going on, but it was still something to see. They do not have cheerleaders at A&M, but have yell leaders who are male. They give signals to inform the crowd of the cheers. It was interesting to see and experience.

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Emily and I got up pretty early on Saturday morning to get prepared for the game and we left the house dressed up and ready for the 2:30 game. Driving through College Station on a game day was not bad, we just couldn’t figure out where the fans were. It was 11:00 and there was not that many people out, parking lots were not too full, a stark contrast from Auburn game days.

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It is 11am and there are not that many people, where is everyone?

Parking at A&M was frustrating, you could only park in a lot, their campus is huge, one of the largest land-wise in the nation, but you were not allowed to park on any grass, you had to pay to park in a lot. A&M’s tailgating reminded me more of what you would see at a NFL game, in parking lots, actually on tailgates of vehicles. We attended a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences tailgate, a great networking opportunity, and was able to meet up with a friend of mine, Anna, who is at A&M finishing up her master’s degree.

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We made our way to the stadium, the majority of the ~6,000 Auburn fans in attendance were in the upper end zone. Their stadium in in three separate sections the student section takes up one whole side and holds around 30,000 people! Very impressive, this is where their “12th Man” sits. Their students didn’t get there extremely early, but they were packed in around kickoff. To be 30,000 strong I didn’t think their student section was that loud, they got that way towards the end, I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and sayit was the wind or where we were sitting, but I’m not convinced.

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In case you missed the game report, Auburn was able to hang in there with the Aggies and Ol Johnny Football. Auburn scored a touchdown with about a minute and 19 seconds remaining which was plenty of time for A&M to score again. The next 1:19 was the longest of my life.

It came down to a few seconds and a final down and as Johnny was tackled in the backfield, cheers of victory filled the air in the Auburn section. I am pretty sure I picked Emily up and swung her around. We screamed and hopped and hollered. It was great.


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I had previously been 0-5 on the road, now I am 1-5 so we’re making progress.

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I will never forget this game and I am so glad I will be able to remember it with Emily, Kira and Krista.

We stayed and cheered some more, sang the Auburn Alma Matter and then headed for the car. The entire time I was at Texas A&M we never had anyone give us  a hard time, be rude to us, bark in our faces, scream at us etc. It was such an enjoyable experience, the best away game experience I have had thus far.

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Few Last Highlights of the Weekend:

1) We got a great deal on a rental car for obvious reasons. We dubbed it the washing machine it had the motor of one and was about the size of one. Good thing we didn’t actually have to drive it to Texas.

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Emily Jones “Traveling around Texas with the two tallest people I know in the “washing machine.” #compactcar #tincan #cantstoplaughing #tallpeopleprobs #goodtobeshort”

2) BBQ- Texas Brisket….enough said. Everything else was good whether it was sausage or turkey. Tex-Mex was also great. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

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3) We got to meet some great people, worship with the congregation out there which reminded me a lot of Auburn. A special shout out to Amy, Chandler, Emily and Taylor who let Emily and I stay with them.

Texas A&M has probably been one of my top 2 away games I have attended. It had all the elements of a great weekend. I have two more trips to games this fall so Arkansas and Tenneessee are going to have a lot to live up to. The experience was great, but coming home with a win over Texas A&M…. priceless.

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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*

Auburn Traditions 101: Live By the Creed

Today’s Auburn tradition is not something we as Auburn fans do on game days or game day eve, but something we believe in and strive to carry out every day: The Auburn Creed.

To be honest before I actually started school here at Auburn in the fall of 2010 I am not sure that I was even aware that Auburn had a creed. Once you come to Auburn, it becomes important, and is referenced very often in conversation and in class.

You hear many references to the Auburn Creed, even on cookie cakes.

You hear many references to the Auburn Creed, even on cookie cakes.

From my research, creeds are not extremely common, but we are very proud of ours, it is more than a cheer or song it doctrine at Auburn. The Auburn Creed was written in 1945 by George Petrie. Petrie was the first Alabamian to receive a PhD and was Auburn’s first football coach.

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The Auburn Creed mentions several things I am a firm believer in: God, hard work, America and human touch.  Auburn is a very conservative university, the student body was actually recently ranked by the Princeton Review as  The Most Conservative Student Body in the Nation, however regardless of your political views I believe you can agree the Auburn Creed is a set of guiding principles for Auburn students that all of us can believe in and strive to live out here at Auburn and beyond.

The Auburn Creed

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.

I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully.

I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.

I believe in a sound mind, in a sound body and a spirit that is not afraid, and in clean sports that develop these qualities.

I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all.

I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.

I believe in my Country, because it is a land of freedom and because it is my own home, and that I can best serve that country by “doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God”.

And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it.

–George Petrie