Dust In My Coffee

Loving my life as a woman in agriculture one sip at a time

Agriculture is everyone’s culture so when we celebrate Ag Day on March 24th everyone is welcome to the table.  Many people picture a barn, a tractor, maybe a field of corn,   vegetables at a Farmer’s Market or farm animals when they think of agriculture.  Agriculture is much more than those of us planting crops and caring for animals to produce food.  Agriculture connects everyone from researchers in the lab to families in the home into one large community.


This is my dad.  He was always in charge of carving the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.  My dad inspired a love for farming in me leading me to making career choices eventually leading to my role as a woman in agriculture.

When I was growing up the word agriculture was a synonym for farming.  Corn fields surrounded my childhood home with farms nearby even though our home was not on a farm.  I never thought of myself as part of the ag community because I was not a farmer.  In the past decades many farmers and ranchers have come to appreciate the role consumers have with a culture that provides food, fiber and fuel.

gpa ruskamp unloading corn

This is my father-in-law, Francis.  He was a farmer his entire life and loved harvest season.  He would drive a grain truck until he was in his 80’s.  My husband and I live on the farm Francis was raised on.  We have over 100 years of history with cattle and corn on this farm through the Ruskamp family.

Corn is a crop we are able to utilize in Nebraska for a variety of purposes including food for animals and fuel for cars. We grow field corn to feed to our cattle.  Nebraska is also a top state for growing popcorn.  There are numerous gardeners in our state who grow sweet corn to enjoy eating during late summer.  You can read more about the history of corn in Nebraska by clicking here.

isaiah corn 17

There is nothing like the taste of sweet corn fresh from the garden with a little butter and salt on it.  Our grandson is enjoying every kernel on this ear of corn.

Farmers and ranchers have worked hard to offer consumers a wide variety of food choices based on production methods, diet needs, sourcing methods and much more. Some farmers and ranchers are able to direct market the food they raise while many others have products you will find on your grocery store shelves.  My husband and I do not direct market any beef but are just as committed to safety and quality as if we did.


I love visiting with consumers about beef.  I’ve done some store demos for Nebraska Cattlewomen and visited with shoppers through CommonGround.  Farmers and ranchers are committed to excellence in raising cattle and the beef it will become.  You can get more information about beef nutrition, recipes, how beef is raised and more clicking here.

Our life is agriculture because we feed cattle and grow row crops.  Your life is agriculture because you eat food, wear clothes and possibly use ethanol for fuel.  Together, we can work to make sure our families enjoy plenty of food choices while making sure our resources are utilized in a way to build the health of our planet.

If you would like to learn more interesting facts about beef or agriculture with some fun activities for kids you can click on these links here and here.  While the facts can help us understand more about agriculture, it is always the people that matter the most!




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