My mom often tells me that I was born outside of my proper generation, and I would tend to agree. Every day, I find anomalies that set me apart from the typical person my age.

I don’t know if he really made it through all seven and a half hours and 18 innings, but the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 Game 3 win over the Boston Red Sox prompted a friend to ask about personal favorite World Series memories.

As September turned into October, I was recuperating from a cold I seemed to have picked up after attending the World Beef Expo in West Allis the weekend before. I had to get better fast as my biggest assignment yet was approaching — coverage of the World Dairy Expo at the Alliant Energy Cen…

With one our children off to college in Chicago and the other not far behind while maintaining a very full extracurricular and social life, Dave and I are getting our first taste of what it’s like to be empty nesters.

Why is it that spring is described as coming in like a lion or a lamb? Every year, school children make their spring predictions, creating cotton-ball lambs and tissue-paper lions on what March will bring for weather. This common phrase describes how the season changes so drastically from th…

Actress Meghan Markle married into royalty, tying the knot with Prince Harry earlier this year to become the Duchess of Sussex. For others, the path to royalty isn’t quite so romantic. In fact, it’s just plain a lot of hard work.

I remember it rather clearly. Significant other Jamie’s old, bright red Pontiac Grand Prix had revved its engine for the last time. We were in a pickle. He needed a cheap, reliable car — and fast. A bit panicky myself, I posted on Facebook, hoping, but not really expecting, anyone on my frie…

In my mind, the flip of the calendar from August to September marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall. School is in session, leaves are turning and pumpkin stands and corn mazes are popping up across the countryside. Despite the calendar telling me though, it is hard to believe tha…

With archery season just a couple of weeks away, deer fever has once again returned to my house. A couple of new trail cams have been placed around our property, and the first evening the cameras were out, a doe, a small buck, and a bigger buck with a nice basket rack passed through our land…

Anyone who’s ever raised livestock knows it all too well: When the cattle are out, everything else in your life is put on pause until they, hopefully, are once again contained.

There is rarely a time when my mom and I are out together that someone doesn’t comment on the beautiful flowers she has growing around her house. Yellows, pinks, oranges, purples — all of the colors are currently in full bloom as we enter the late-summer season.

I took a few days this last week to work with the new FFA officer team for my local chapter. Although I have probably already talked way too much about all my good memories from my time as an FFA member and the high hopes I have for these current members, these days away have a way of remind…

The countdown is on: About eight weeks to go, if I’m lucky, before the arrival of baby girl No. 2. For most pregnant women in the last trimester, that would seem like an eternity, but for me it’s fewer than eight weekends to get about a million projects done at home. Throw in a day at the fa…

June 21 was the official first day of summer, although we’ve already experienced some hot summer days down here in the southwest corner of Wisconsin. For me, summer has always been a fun time for hiking and swimming out at the state park, family vacations and attempting to avoid a terrible s…

In 1918, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest man-made structure on Earth, Woodrow Wilson was U.S. president and Charlie Chaplin was a major movie star. The agriculture industry was just in its mechanical infancy, with horse-drawn harvesting machines and John Deere entering the tractor manufactu…

Back in mid-April in the midst of a snowstorm, I thought there was no way we’d be making our annual Memorial Day weekend camping trip to the family land in Price County. If we did, I figured the lake would still be frozen and we’d be parking the camper between snowbanks.

Aside from having someone abscond with what would have been our only edible watermelon, last summer’s foray into gardening at a nearby community garden — instead of our deer-infested backyard — was mostly successful.

It’s not often you find ostrich, rabbit, frog legs and fried green ‘maters on your lunch menu — at least, not in Wisconsin. But these entrees are just par for the course in the South, and y’all can bet they’ll be served up with a hearty helpin’ of down-home hospitality.

It was the Wednesday before the most anticipated event of the year for the Bechen family — the marriage of my brother Jake to his beautiful fiancée Cara Levetzow. The two were high school sweethearts, heading off to college in Madison together after graduating — Jake at Edgewood and Cara at …

It is hard to believe that just a few short weeks ago there was 18 inches of snow in my yard. It buried all of our vehicles and kept us snowed in for the majority of the weekend. Besides the snow, most of my outdoor April interviews included frozen fingers and pens that didn’t want to write …

As I entered the Alliant Energy Center for the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin Business Conference in mid-March, I was a little nervous. This was likely the largest gathering I’d been to since beginning my journey at The Country Today, and I was certainly surrounded by people who k…

With the nicer weather, I have been spending less time in front of my computer and more time at events listening to topics ranging from spring planting to farm upgrades. Several of these have included getting my boots muddy out on local farms, a welcome change of pace from conference rooms a…

I don’t get out much. As the copy editor and page designer for The Country Today, I spend 40 hours a week at my desk in a windowless office. The closest thing to agriculture in my daily life — other than reading about it, of course — is a pathetic old potted plant that refuses to die.

It was just a slight slip, but it apparently took quite the effort on my part to regain my balance. So I swung my right arm in something of a windmill motion and, on the backswing, swatted the tray of cookies from the nice volunteer’s hand and onto the snow below.

As I sit down to write this column, the wind is howling and the snow is blowing sideways. Schools, if open on this Presidents Day, are closing. Gosh, it’s almost enough to make me want to exchange my denim shorts for a pair of long jeans.

A few weeks after I started working for The Country Today, I received a phone call from Shelly Mayer, executive director of the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin. She had called to introduce herself and ask if I needed anything. After talking a bit, she asked me about my agriculture …

Feb. 17 marks the beginning of National FFA Week, a week dedicated to celebrating FFA members across the nation. The celebration also recognizes all the stakeholders who help members achieve great things.

The freezer is full once again. But accomplishing that was no small task. Having butchered his fair share of deer over the years, and being the frugal type, and, well, putting it off long enough that every meat processor within 100 miles was booked out until spring, my husband took on the ta…

“I’ll ski in anything. I’ve got rock skis,” Rick said. This was a few days after a decent snowfall and seconds after I got done introducing myself and saying this was my first time out over a mile this ski season. I’d made one other attempt, but it was cold and there was just about as much g…

Many people start off a new year with resolutions. I’ve never been one to stick to the old “lose 20 pounds” or “spend less time on my phone.” I’ve always seemed to focus on resolutions as they pertain to my job, with last year’s resolutions to improve social media presence, learn more about …

One thing I love about the Christmas season is the traditions that come with it. I think every family has certain things they do for the holidays; rituals that help make the festivities more vibrant and warm the heart and soul. My family has not been much different, although the only traditi…

Starting at the beginning of the year, I began telling friends that I planned to retire from The Country Today July 31. I was so sure of the decision that I used 073117 as my computer password.

I’m not usually one to overlap holidays. In a house full of people who would like the Christmas season to start as soon as the last piece of Halloween candy has been passed out, I’m often facing an uphill battle.