A long overdo blog post – catching up

Sometimes, I’m a bit embarrassed by the length of time between blog posts here.  So, I think I’ll do a random rundown of what I consider the important aspects of my life recently:

1)  The holidays, nothing real traumatic really.  Weston (our three year old) expanded his growing farming operation rather significantly.  I do wonder what will happen when his expansion dreams exceed the confines of the basement walls.  My two youngest daughters took a road trip with Grandpa and Grandma to Ohio and spent a week with my sister’s family.  The quieter house was a nice gift for mom and dad.

2)  AgChat Foundation hired Emily Zweber as our executive director.  I couldn’t be more happy about this bit of news.  It was a long search process, but in the end I think we hired someone with an excellent skill set to match our needs.  I’ve immensely enjoyed my involvement in AgChat Foundation since the beginning, and having someone of Emily’s caliber committed every day to  moving the Foundation forward is exciting!

3)  I am now officially a school teacher!!!  Yes, that is not a typo.  Let me explain a bit.  Our kids attend a small private school, about fifty students total.  After Christmas break we made some changes and there was a need for some part time teachers.  So, every other day, I’m going in to school to teach 7th and 8th grade science and reading.  I am thoroughly enjoying it, I have only been at it for a couple of weeks though, so this may change!  Also, the students, or more importantly the students parents, may feel a bit differently!

4) Which brings me to the last, and maybe most important change.  One that’s been brewing for a fairly long time, but is becoming increasingly obvious to me.  When I started social media, I was known as the “data dude”, it’s even part of my blog headline.  I have spent years where my free time, my passion, my interest was all data, all because I truly believed that the right data, crunching the numbers the right way, would really matter.  That belief is currently undergoing a fundamental shift.  I still enjoy data and numbers, I still think they are important.  But if I’ve learned one thing in the last two years it’s this:  People are what matter, period.  That’s true with my family (obviously) it’s true regarding the mission of AgChat Foundation, it’s true in making our farm successful, it’s true at our private school.  Not data, but people…  Those that have known me the longest will appreciate the monumental shift of that simple sentence.


13 responses to this post.

  1. I was just thinking the same thing about people being important. My most recent blog post talked about our friend who died in a tractor accident. I remember taking pictures of all the farmers who came out to help harvest his crops. They are all good hard working guys helping someone else out.


  2. Posted by pearlsnapsponderings on January 12, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Good to hear from you again Darin! I was starting to wonder what had happened to you. And you’re right people are what matter. In the end they’re the ones we’re doing all this (agvocacy) for, they’re the ones we go home to, they’re the ones that allow us to do what we do, and they’re the ones that care.


  3. 1) Sister and I loved ertl toys growing up. We had livestock, barns, fences and more. Mom had as much fun building the farm as we did. Sounds like you have a future farmer on your hands! We lost my grandpa 8 years ago. I miss him dearly. Grandparent relationships are very important. I was lucky to have a Great Grandma until I was a freshman in college.

    3) Good Luck with your new teaching position! I bet you are great with the students. Who better to teach science than a farmer or rancher?

    4) I have to remind myself that people relationships are the most important of things. I tend to get rutted in housework, chores, town job ect, and think I don’t have enough time for family, friends or neighbors. The laundry and dusting will still be there tomorrow.

    Thank You for the update on what you are up to, Judi!


    • Thanks Robyn, I enjoy farming with Weston, he doesn’t think I do enough!

      The topic of people – taking time for people, working together as a team, all those are of big interest to me.. I’ll probably blog more, not because I have anything figured out, just because I think it matters so much.


  4. Part of me wants to say “I told ya so,” but that’s the immature, sleep-deprived, snowball-throwing side. So, I guess now that I’ve had a good night of sleep, I can go on the write a more worthwhile comment.

    When we first began this blogging adventure together three or so years ago, we always joked about or discrepancy of opinion regarding this. You never pressured me to hunt for stats, but in a way you did challenge me. You opened up statistic analysis to a non-math-type. So, even as you focused on data, you still had an impact on people. You’ve made me a better blogger and a better strategist. On the flip side, over the years I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to explain my non-mathematic reasoning for my actions. I like to think that’s had an impact on you.

    This exchange is the perfect example of bridging a gap with social media. We are about as unlikely of friends as there could be, yet we’ve grown because of our friendship. I think that is proof enough that you’ve always understood the importance of people.


    • Kelly, what can I say. you’ve had as much of an impact on my shift from less data to more people focus as anyone, blogging and otherwise! Mostly I’m just glad you found this after some sleep 🙂


      • Hahaha, this week has been more than a little exhausting, but in a good way. You know how much I love teasing you, though. I promise I won’t throw snowballs at you…this time. 🙂

        I’m glad that we have had such a mutually-beneficial exchange of ideas over the years. I know my social media experience and my online community would be vastly different (and missing something special) if you weren’t a part of it. Thank you, Darin.

  5. Our lives revolve around data – it’s just not everyone understands it. 😀 It’s opened up a new appreciation for what those numbers mean…at least when I find them! Life flows and ebbs – and I think in the end it combines interests in talents into what we’re meant to be at that time. Awesome about the teaching opportunity!


  6. You can’t fool me! I know you still love the numbers! Seriously though, the best part about my almost one year now of ag blogging, tweeting and all the rest is the people I’ve met. I have made some friends through these channels that I have never met who are better/closer friends than people I actually know. One of my goals for 2012 is to meet at least a few of those people.


    • It is ironic that the most intense 24 hour period I’m sure I’ve spent thinking about and emailing regarding data in the last several months Brian occurs at the same time I publish this blog! In the end through blogging data is one thing that have convinced me people matter. We can run lots of fancy charts/graphs, and they can be and are useful, but people still have to act on them, work to understand them, try things, measure results, try again, etc.. In short, the data part is easy!


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