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

Modern Hog Farmer


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

Righteous Bacon


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

The Pioneer Woman


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

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).”

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