In the 4 months since I’ve started in this role with Gro Master, one of the biggest things I’ve learned is how much I don’t know.  I have a lot to learn about agriculture, the hog industry, farmers, and what it means to provide safe and affordable food for the world.  Lucky for me, I like to learn.  I enjoy reading and researching and listening to people talk (or write) about their passions.

Many farmers, industry bloggers, advocates and yes, even journalists do a great job writing about the various aspects of growing food.  I spend a lot of time reading a range of views on issues important to the industry – here’s just a few of my favorites.

Griggs Dakota

Writing from the vast plains of Griggs County, North Dakota, Jane does a phenomenal job of documenting life on their 5th-generation diversified crop farm.  Jane and her husband Fred raise corn, soybeans, pinto beans, canola, barley and wheat.  Her posts are photo-filled, educational and a bit sentimental.  I’m a fan. Read more at GriggsDakota.com.

Modern Hog Farmer

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The Leadership Director for Kansas Smith Farms, Nathan Smith shares his honest perspective on what it takes to be an innovative leader in pig care, employee/company culture, and the modern swine industry.   He “used to think that working in animal agriculture was a boring, discouraging, ungrateful, and a stinky industry.” But he changed his mind, and you can read his story at modernhogfarmer.com.

Righteous Bacon

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Diana Prichard has probably the best name for a blog, ever.  In fact, I started reading her work because I loved “Righteous Bacon” so much.  I quickly learned that Diana also offers one of the most balanced, thoughtful perspectives that I’ve found in the non-conventional vs. conventional hog farming world.  Diana raises heritage-breed hogs outdoors in deep-bedded pens and pastures, and writes on agriculture, food security, nutrition, and policy.  All the righteous goodness can be found at righteousbacon.com.

The Pioneer Woman

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Long known and loved for her recipes, cookbooks and Food Network Show, Ree Drummond also provides a look into her family’s life on their Northern Oklahoma working cattle ranch.  Chock-full of beautiful photos and Ree’s signature style and wit, the Ranch and Country Life categories on her blog are must-reads.  Don’t miss the posts by the cattle rancher himself, Ree’s husband, Marlboro Man.  Find all that (plus your favorite recipes) at thepioneerwoman.com.

modern farmer

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Modern Farmer is, in their own words, “for window-herb growers, career farmers, people who have chickens, people who want to have chickens and anyone who wants to know more about how food reaches their plate… [they] recognize the escalating importance, even urgency, of global agriculture issues and want to raise awareness through excellent, independent journalism (and the occasional baby animal picture).”   modernfarmer.com

Do you tweet?

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If so, check out @herdyshepherd1 for all the little lambs you can stand.  His photos are always beautiful and his tweets are often funny – it’s a glimpse into a rare and unusual lifestyle.

One more?

Okay – follow Luke Runyon @lukerunyon on Twitter.  He’s a reporter for Harvest Public Media and KUNC – community radio in Colorado.  He writes about the intersection of the environment and business, and tweets about food, fuel and farm.  Really good stuff.

Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4