KATHLEEN TIGAN IS NOT A FARMER. But through her abatement falconry service, she helps farmers and ranchers keep nuisance birds at bay, which saves valuable crops. Although the practice of falconry goes back thousands of years, it took innovators like Kathleen and her husband, James, to see how it could be applied to today’s ag industry. You can read Kathleen’s story on page 42. I think it exemplifies today’s farming life—an age-old industry, steeped in tradition and passed-down practices, now driven by innovators and their new ideas. You’ll see that blend of old and new throughout this issue. Mark Mueller raises corn and other grains on a fourth-generation farm in Iowa. While he drives a 1953 Dodge truck and lives in the house his grandfather built, Mark constantly looks to the future, with its looming water concerns, promoting imaginative practices to preserve soil health and improve water quality. Find his story on page 28. That mix of modern and traditional is perhaps most evident in the stories, beginning on page 36, of farmers who have turned to social media to bring their way of life to the world through Facebook and Instagram posts. Many of them have found that sharing pictures of their lives on the land helps reinforce to the public the importance of farming. For those of you already adept at snapping gorgeous pictures of your farm and the folks who work it, check out our latest photo contest on page 8. You could win $300! So get out those cameras, and share your favorite images of life and work on your farms and ranches. We can’t wait to see them.
A big shout-out to Terry Donnelly, who took the cover photo of the April/ May 2018 issue. Find more of his gorgeous images at: Donnelly-Austin.com