altBill and I had the opportunity recently to help our newly formed Buffalo Mo., FFA Alumni serve up dinner at the chapter’s fall banquet, where the new Greenhands and Chapter degree recipients were honored.

Members were all smiles as their names were called to receive their pin as parents and guests looked on. I was proud to see Madison, my niece, preside over the ceremony as chapter president, and to see three generations of my family in attendance.

While I was in FFA in high school with the exception of my senior year, and I still kick myself for quitting, it was Bill’s first FFA meeting. I don’t think they had the organization at his high school and he left his junior year to join the Navy. By the end of the night, Bill was the proud owner of two Buffalo FFA t-shirts and is a new advocate for the youth organization.

We all need to be advocates for youth in agriculture; be it through an organization like the FFA, 4-H, local fair boards or hiring a neighbor kid who shows an interest in agriculture to help out now and then. Without guidance from adults involved in the agriculture industry, we are paving a path for future generations to become estranged from the farm.

Even though the majority of us live in small, rural communities where agriculture is the main industry, a large percentage of our neighbors, even those we grew up with in those same small towns, are two and three generations removed from the farm.

Thankfully, young people involved in agriculture today are advocating for our industry. They are speaking up to share information about farming and agriculture with their peers, who are hopefully sharing what they learn with their parents and others. I’m hopeful that through their efforts we will end the “food comes from the store” mentality.

As adults involved in agriculture, we need to take a lesson from our young people and become more involved in advocating for agriculture. Maybe we should go back and remember when we were Greenhands and were excited about getting that first pin for our jackets. Maybe we need to believe in the future of farming/agriculture with a faith born not of words, but of deeds.

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This issue of OFN includes our annual cookbook and this year, as in years past, there are lots of yummy recipes from our readers. I’ve eyed a few I might try to make myself for the holiday season.

As we were putting recipes together, I remembered a box of cookbooks I got at an auction this fall. I didn’t really need them, but my mother-in-law wanted something else in the box, so I bid on it.

When I got home, I combed through the box of old books, mostly cookbooks printed by churches as fundraisers, and found many of the things my mother and grandmothers made when I was a kid. Mom used to make an oatmeal cake with a cocoanut and brown sugar icing. I haven’t had the cake in decades, but I remember the smell of the cake in the oven and the icing as she boiled it on the stove like it was yesterday. Like many other things, Mom “just made it,” and didn’t have a recipe.

Nestled in almost each book were also handwritten recipes and recipes cut from newspapers and magazines. I don’t know how old the clippings are, but judging from the condition of the paper and type style, I’d venture to guess they are much older than I am. Many of the cards and clippings have a rough texture and are stained by years of flour covered hands and spills. I can’t help but wonder how many memories are in those yellowing pieces of paper and spiral-bound books?

We hope the pages of this year’s Country Christmas will inspire a little clipping and bring your family holiday memories for years to come. Merry Christmas from all of us at OFN!

Julie

Julie Turner-CrawfordEditorial / Opinionsalumni,buffalo,FFA,Julie Turner-Crawford,MissouriBill and I had the opportunity recently to help our newly formed Buffalo Mo., FFA Alumni serve up dinner at the chapter’s fall banquet, where the new Greenhands and Chapter degree recipients were honored. Members were all smiles as their names were called to receive their pin as parents and...The Ozarks' most read farm newspaper, reaching more than 58,000 readers in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma