Category Archives: Military

My Prayer for Afghanistan

God, I’m so grateful that we can come before Your throne to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. My heart is so broken for the situation in Afghanistan…I’ve struggled for words. The news…the photos and video footage…all just glimpses into the horrible truth that lies there. I’m just so grateful when there’s nothing else I can do that I can come to You in prayer for this situation.

Please God, be extra close to the women, children, all those individuals who helped our military, all those who converted to Christianity, all those who may in the future, all the Americans trapped there. I can’t imagine what they’re all going through…can’t imagine what they’re facing and fearing…Please help them to know You can be their refuge and strength, helper and deliverer in the midst of all the turmoil. Help them to experience Your love, peace, comfort in this midst of this storm. Please be with all those helping with evacuations, all the pilots in the rescue efforts and the trauma they must be facing and living with, all their families who are supporting them…I just don’t have words…as I cry out with tears, I just can’t imagine this entire situation. Please God, raise up leaders in Afghanistan willing to fight for their country to take it back. Thank You God for being a God who knows, sees, hears!

And God, my heart goes out to all our military members and their families…the sacrifices made, the prices paid, all those still serving there aiding in evacuations. So many different experiences and perspectives. Please God, be with them all. Help each one, especially now, not to isolate, but to reach out and talk to someone. Help them to find peace in their purpose even now. And please God, protect our military members who will be the last out whenever that occurs.

God, I don’t understand Your sovereignty yet I’m so grateful You’re in control and I’m not. I’m so grateful Jesus already defeated death and the grave and will one day reign victorious! Please let me…let all who put our hope and trust in You rest in that hope…for that’s the true hope we have in the midst of so much brokenness on this earth. I’m so grateful You allowed me to live in the U.S…so blessed to live in this Country…broken, but still the greatest nation in the world. Please God, heal our land and divided nation. Please be with all our Government leaders, help them seek Your face and give them wisdom and discernment. Please continue to be with our military and their families.

Thank You God for how You’re working…in the ways we can and cannot see. Thank You for the comfort You provide when I come to You in pouring my heart out to You! I thank You for all this and pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

8/16/21. Updated as I continue to pray. Shared in the event it could help anyone else and for those who’ve asked for thoughts. Ultimately, we can pray and we can reach out to veterans and their families to see if they would like to talk.

JenREES 11-11-18

Through the years I’ve been blessed to meet many individuals including farmers/ag industry professionals who served (or continue to serve) our Country in the military. I’ve observed how service has influenced perspective on life’s difficulties for many individuals. And, I’ve observed how impacts of service have resulted in additional difficulties in life after service for some. There shouldn’t be shame regarding the struggle or in seeking help. While it can be scary, healing can come in the midst of honesty and vulnerability. Tonight I watched a special TV interview with four highly decorated individuals of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars-a couple of whom I’ve read their books. It was interesting hearing their perspectives on combat then coming home, on being in the military and then getting out, and much more. They ultimately shared how difficult it is after war and after service to step into civilian life and how important their military connections were in keeping them going. They also shared how important it was to find a sense of purpose in serving others and living life well in honor of those with whom they served who never made it home. Most likely all of us can think of a family member or friend who has served. Those individuals may have stories and/or wounds without words. Let’s be sure to show our gratitude to them for our freedom in America. Thank you to all our Veterans and all those in our Armed Forces for your service! Thank you also to their families!

Fall Applied Anhydrous Ammonia: When I began my Extension career, it was a different perspective for me to experience fall applications of nitrogen. My perspective from our farm was in-season nitrogen applications. Since then, there’s been several research based studies regarding the benefits of in-season nitrogen application. I appreciate there’s different reasons for the ways farmers approach the decisions within your farming operation. I’ve also observed more farmers of various operation sizes moving to more in-season applications. The reasons they’ve shared with me include: wanting to be more efficient with nitrogen application when the plant needs it, worried about any loss in off-season and wanting better water quality for kids/grandkids, research shows hybrids need nitrogen later in season, wanting to find a way to make it work before any potential regulation, and wondering if they can get by with less nitrogen with better timing in season. We also know today’s farmers in general have become increasingly efficient in both nitrogen and water use. There’s an interesting article in this week’s UNL CropWatch (http://cropwatch.unl.edu) where a multi-disciplinary team of authors share on nitrogen application in the fall having enhanced risk due to potential loss. This is due to data on the increase in extreme precipitation events over time that can lead to increased nitrogen loss through leaching and/or denitrification. We also know that there are years, like last winter, where areas I served didn’t even receive 2” of precip from fall through early May. So every year is different. Because we can’t predict the weather, the authors suggest, “Consider a more robust and less risky N management method that includes: applying a small percentage of N near planting time; follow with sidedress N applied as late as is possible given your equipment capabilities or several fertigation applications that are timed with crop uptake needs; and ensure the final application of N is done before the R3 growth stage.” They also suggest the following if you plan to apply N in the fall, “Avoid fall N application for soils of hydrologic Group A (sand, loamy sand, sandy loam) and Group B (loam, silt loam, silt); Avoid fall application of fertilizers containing urea or nitrate; Apply only when soil temperature is consistently below 50°F to slow nitrification (Last week temperatures fluctuated above and below 50°F at the 4-inch depth.); Use an inhibitor with known efficacy when applying N; and Hope for dry cold weather!”. The following is a really good resource if you’re interested in different University studies regarding various nitrogen inhibitors: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/crops/nitrogen-extenders-and-additives-for-field-crops. It’s too long to share here. A general summary of studies involving the inhibitor N-Serve used with anhydrous ammonia applications shows that it consistently resulted in increased ammonium nitrate the following spring (thus it worked well as a nitrification inhibitor). Yield increases were inconsistent throughout studies and years due to precipitation differences amongst the years. That resource also discusses research regarding other nitrification inhibitors in addition to urease inhibitors and slow-release N products, so it may be a helpful resource. We’ve also had farmers conduct on-farm research studies in the past looking at the application of inhibitors in anhydrous vs. none. They also haven’t consistently shown a yield increase (and we failed to always take soil samples to document any differences in ammonium nitrate the following spring). But if you’re interested in trying a study this coming year looking at nitrogen timing or use of inhibitor, please contact me or your local Extension Educator and we’d be happy to work with you!

Memorial Day

Greater love has no one than this than to lay down his life for his friends- John 15:13

Grateful for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and for their families left behind.

We Will Never Forget 9/11/01

 

In September 2013, I had the opportunity to visit the US Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania.  The Memorial is mostly a grassy field but also has a series of signs to explain the events on 9/11/2001.

In September 2013, I had the opportunity to visit the US Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania. The Memorial is mostly a grassy field but also has a series of signs to explain the events on 9/11/2001.

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This sign shares the heroic efforts of those who fought back against the terrorists on the flight that day.

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May we never forget the lives lost in these terrorist attacks.

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A quiet place to reflect. US 93 would have flown toward us as we view this photo on the left side of the photo.

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The grassy field where US Flight 93 went down. In the distance (center of photo), there is a memorial rock which marks the spot of the crash.  Thirteen years later, we will never forget the innocent people, rescue workers, and all our men and women in uniform who lost their lives.

This is a blog I have enjoyed reading; the author will be embedding with a Minnesota National Guard ADT team in April. Good lesson here of stepping back and understanding why people do the things they do before implementing a change that although may be beneficial in one component, may not have the desired effect in the long run!

Bridging War and Hope

As a television producer every once in awhile I take a step back and realize my job allows me to experience so much more than most.  Don’t get my wrong, my days are typically not packed with the sorts of things I’ve been writing about as I prepare to embed with the Minnesota National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team (ZADT) deployed in Zabul Province, Afghanistan.  During my more typical productions I am not preparing for travels to a war zone, most of of the time I’m not thinking about body armor, Visas or nearly 15,000 round trip miles of travel.  I do, however, routinely get the opportunity to meet very passionate, smart and inspiring people.  Today was no exception.

Dr. Ghafar Lakanwal and I met this morning over tea at a Starbucks in Bloomington, Minnesota.  Last week I was introduced to Dr. Lakanwal by chance through a mutual professional contact; however…

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Thanksgiving Reflections

Thanksgiving is upon us and every day I’m reminded I have so much for which to be thankful!  It seems like there’s such a rush to go from Halloween to Christmas and it’s sad to me that Thanksgiving seems to be lost in the shuffle.  Today as I gather with my family, I’m thankful for so many things God has blessed me with:  salvation, my wonderful family, all our men and women serving overseas, my home/career/dogs, wonderful food and our farmers who grow it, so many things!  May you have a blessed Thanksgiving reflecting on the blessings in your life as well!

Sunday night was our 4-H Achievement program.  Watching the youth receive their awards, I was thankful for the parents, grandparents, leaders, and volunteers who helped those youth achieve success in their projects.  I’m thankful to work in a county with such wonderful people!  Every organization or board our office works with understands that the 4-H program and fair are about the youth-developing life skills and successful young people for the future.  I’m so thankful for these relationships and the fun we all have at 4-H activities and the fair!  I’m also thankful for all the sponsors of our 4-H program and the youth and parents appreciate you as well!  It was a great night with a great turnout and a nice conclusion to the 2011 4-H year. 

Speaking of being thankful, IANR released a special feature entitled “Feeding the Future”.  It shares a Thanksgiving message from Dr. Ronnie Green and how IANR’s research, teaching, and extension efforts are helping to ensure success in feeding the future throughout Nebraska and around the globe.  Check it out here:   http://www.unl.edu/ucomm/ucomm/special/20111115/

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