Pesticide exposure Lowers I.Q.

This explains it!

When I was a kid growing up in LaGrange Park, Illinois the mosquito abatement truck would drive through our neighborhood on summer nights fogging the area with pesticide. We’d ride our bikes alongside the truck as it sprayed our lawns and yards. Our parents would run through the house shutting windows so we wouldn’t breathe in the fumes.  Eventually, realizing we were still outside, they’d call us in and force us into the tub to wash off the spray.  Kill Joys!

Researchers at the University of California, Berkley’s School of Public Health have found that prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides (widely used in food crops) is related to lower intelligence scores. Researchers found that every tenfold increase in measures of organophosphates detected during a mother’s pregnancy corresponded to a 5.5 point drop in overall IQ scores in 7 year olds.

Watch for pesticide and herbicide use to grow exponentially in the future.  A recent Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) report suggests that the rate of agricultural productivity must increase at a minimum of 25 percent per year to meet future demand and double agricultural output over the next 40 years.


©Glenda Plozay, Forest Hill Farm Products,LLC

My Magnum Opus

“Are you awake, Charlotte?” He said softly.
“Yes,” came the answer.
“What is that nifty little thing? Did you make it?”
“I did indeed,” replied Charlotte in a weak voice.
“Is it a plaything?”
“Plaything? I should say not.  It is my egg sac, my magnum opus.”
“I don’t know what a magnum opus is,” said Wilbur.
“That’s Latin,” explained Charlotte. “It means ‘great work.’ This egg sac is my great work - the finest thing I have ever made.”  From Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White


This is my magnum opus (one of two, actually).  He’s turning eighteen this week and graduating in the next couple.  I knew from the time I first read Charlotte’s Web that someday I would have boys and we would live on a farm together.  I also knew that one of those boys would be named Blaze after the pony in C.W. Anderson’s series, Billy and Blaze.  But that’s another story.  My boy, named after a pony, is all grown up.

When our boys were younger we made habitats to learn about life cycles.  We caught tadpoles, hatched chicks, and collected striped monarch caterpillars and placed them in a butterfly habitat with milkweed to feed them.  We watched them consume leaves and build their chrysalis.  Their metamorphosis was amazing.  As the tiny openings first appeared in the cocoons I had to remind the boys that we were not to assist in their emergence.  Their struggle through that small opening was a necessary part of the life cycle.  After several hours of watching the butterflies trying to free themselves the temptation to assist was overwhelming.  However, we knew that the restriction of the cocoon and struggle were part of God’s plan to force fluids from the butterfly’s body into its wings.  Without this struggle the wings would remain shriveled and the butterfly could never take flight.

You don’t raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they’ll turn out to be heroes, even if it’s just in your eyes. -Walter Schirra, Sr.

From the very first time I held this baby in my arms I knew his potential was limitless. For what it’s worth, upon his graduation, I offered him the advice;
-You have nothing to prove
-Life’s joy is in the journey
-A tattoo is permanent. Age and gravity will take its toll
-Decisions made by an eighteen year old, with no life experience, should not define you at ages 28, 38, 48…etc
-Search for new ideas.  Let your mind play. Be creative.
-There is no such thing as an overnight success
-Find happiness outside of success or failure
-Life is full of detours; enjoy the scenery
-When credit card offers arrive throw them away. Nothing is free.
-No one can achieved independence while they have debt
-Find what you want for yourself and life will be full of passion and fulfillment
-A job title and salary do not measure human worth
-Create a life that reflects your values and feeds your soul
-“Abandoning” a career to raise a family is an investment in the future.  Take pride in what you have created
-Our actions define us.  Each decision you make tells the world who you are
-You are capable of more than you think

I would also offer an additional piece of advice; show gratitude.  Your family, pastor, teachers, counselors, coaches, and administrators have made your success their priority.  They have set high standards and goals for you to achieve and have expected you to represent yourself, your family, school, and community with pride.
Your achievements are the result of exceptional efforts made by you and made on your behalf.  As your new journey commences remember who you are and in whose image you have been created.  You are the crowning glory of all who love you and have invested in you.

And so, my magnum opus- you have struggled, emerged, and succeeded.  You are capable and prepared; Your wings are strong. You’re ready.  Take flight!


©Glenda Plozay, Forest Hill Farm Products,LLC

As you'll see in this video Meat Glue is everywhere

We love filets wrapped in bacon.  When I pass the meat counter in the grocery store I’m reminded to take them out of the freezer. We wrap bacon around them, nitrate free bacon. They’re delicious.  Especially grass fed beef filets, REAL BEEF FILETS without “meat Glue” in the mix.
The FDA classifies Transglutaminase under the classification GRAS (generally recognized as safe) The EU has banned it’s use.  You can decide for yourselves.  Currently, Transglutaminase is not identified on the label.

Forest Hill Farm does NOT use feed with antibiotics. We don’t use hormones either. The industry practice is to implant hormones behind the ears in cattle.  WE DON”T IMPLANT OUR CATTLE!  We don’t use any hormones.  We started raising our own meat Twenty years ago when we were expecting our first child.  Here's info on hormone implants in beef cattle

Here are our two most important reasons for antibiotic free, hormone free, non-GMO, grass fed, pasture raised meat...

Consumers Expect Better Taste From Grassfed Meats
Source:   Stockman’s Grass Farmer, April 2011

The research firm Technomics reported two out of three consumers think beef labeled grassfed will taste better than unlabeled beef.  The survey of 1500 consumers found that consumers found that lean and extra lean cuts of meat taste better while being healthier.

Spring snow melt

New data collected by the Iowa Daily Erosion Project (IDEP) strongly suggests that the vast crop acreage within the state is eroding at rates far greater than USDA estimated. The IDEP data is derived from new modeling techniques that for the first time estimate the soil lost to individual storm events.  Topographic and land use information captures the damage caused by high impact events.  Environmental Working Group concluded that the USDA underestimated the erosion rate on more than 10 million acres of Iowa’s farmland.  Here’s the site that updates the erosion maps daily

Click here for more info

Bald Eagle watching over the farm

The Eagle’s Spirit

This past week we’ve enjoyed watching the live internet stream of the eagles nest at the Decorah Trout Hatchery.  The eaglets hatched and the parents had a rabbit along with a collection of small birds to feed them.  Here in north east Iowa  bald eagles are prevalent.  All winter there are a pair of eagles at our farm.  In the spring they relocate to their nest along the Turkey River.  They hunt in our area throughout the year.  As a result, we’ve had to alter our plans during the hatching and farrowing season.

Our sows use to farrow in the pasture.  Between the owls hunting at night, the eagles by day, we were loosing piglets.   Farrowing later in the spring is safer for the piglets.  The bald eagles don’t travel far when their eaglets are very young, instead they hunt closer to their nesting areas.  After ten days the shoats (piglets are called shoats) are too large for predatory birds to carry off.  We have great respect for the bald eagles.  It’s both fascinating and thrilling to see them up close.

A couple of years ago Keith and Cookie were fortunate observers of a ceremony to release a bald eagle back into the wild.  The eagle had been caught in a net, injured, and rehabilitated.  This event was in Blue Mound, Wisconsin, along the banks of the Wisconsin River.  There was a crowd of spectators (mostly boy scouts), a DNR agent. Two Native Americans (father and son) were performing a ceremony to release the eagle back into the wild.  The son explained that his father would be speaking to the Great Spirit and the spirit of the eagle.  His song would unite the soul of the bird with the Great Spirit.  As the Native American elder began singing the crowd became silent.  The eagle, which had been agitated and restless, stopped his movements and focused intensely on the singer.  As the song progressed the bird never diverted his gaze. The DNR agent removed the leather straps that tethered the eagle to her arm.  Now, completely free, the bird remained still and focused.  After several minutes the song ended. Remaining still for a moment longer, the eagle shifted his gaze, then lifted into the sky.  He flew across the river, and alighted into a tree branch on the river’s edge.

For a brief moment in time Keith and Cookie were privileged witnesses to a melding of two spirits.  Our family has a story to pass along; the story of a regal Native American who joined the spirit of heaven and earth and through his song became the conduit for both.

      “I am tired of fighting.  Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Toohoolhoolzote is dead.  The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say “Yes” or “No”. He who led the young men (Olikut) is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death.  I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever”.  –Chief Joseph (Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt) speech at Bears Paw Battle Oct. 5, 1877

The way that Native Americans were treated is a shameful chapter in American history.     During the plains wars the soldiers justified their actions claiming the Indians were “heathens”.  This couldn’t have been further from the truth. For years the polluting of our fields and waterways were abusive to wildlife. Thankfully the use of some of those pollutants has been eradicated.  Sadly, we may discover too late the harmful effects and the full spectrum of disorder that today’s defoliants/herbicides has caused.  The proponents of factory farming insist that organic practices aren’t practical for feeding the world.  If one's actions require justification perhaps one isn’t acting “justifiably”.

To view theBald Eagle on her nest here’s the live stream


©Glenda Plozay, Forest Hill Farm Products,LLC

"Hey, They taste like chicken!"


The boys and I headed to Florida at the end of February, Keith held down the fort. Our vacation was too short, as all vacations are.  We visited with my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  We ate, enjoyed the sunshine, played on the beach, ate more, swam, laughed, played tourist, ate even more, and finished our vacation at Universal Studios.  Because we were driving (I love driving trips), we had to watch the weather very carefully.  Keith, my dad, and the Weather Channel kept us posted on an ice storm consuming the midwest.
On our way through Georgia we stopped at a rest area to view the live weather radar. Standing in front of the screen was a very tan gentleman. He was shaking his head, despondent.

“Headed back north?” I asked.


“Look at all the pink and white on this weather map! It’s sad, isn’t it?” I commented.


“On the bright side, spring is just around the corner.”  I tried to sound enthusiastic, I really wanted to head back south.

Giving me a sideways glance he said, “I spent a month in Florida.  Everyday I went fishing.  Each morning I got up, grabbed my pole, put on flip flops, packed a cooler, and tackle box.  From the beach I’d cast my line and sit in my chair. I fished nearly naked.  Now I am headed back to northern Minnesota.  Do you see all the white on the radar?  That’s where I’m headed.  Back to the white.”  Tears welled in his eyes. “Do you know how I’ll fish when I get back home?”

I shook my head from side to side.

“I’ll get up, put on long johns, two pairs of socks, pants, two shirts, down jacket, coveralls, gloves, hat, boots.  I’ll grab a bucket, auger, tip-ups, and get into my truck, which I’ll have warmed up for ten minutes.  I’ll drive onto the ice.  I’ll drill a hole, sit on a bucket, skim ice from the hole. I’ll blow warm breath onto my frozen hands. Then I'll wait for a damned fish!”  He was becoming animated so the boys and I slowly inched our way towards the door.  With every syllable he pointed to Minnesota on the map. “I - am - going  - back - there!” He shouted,  “I am going home... to that massive front of white! Why?  Why am I going back?”

As we got to the door I turned and said, “Your going back home to be with family and friends. I started running and then I called out,   “You know, misery loves company!” For all I know he’s still staring at that map, waiting for all traces of white to disappear.


©Glenda Plozay, Forest Hill Farm Products,LLC

Successful Farming Magazine’s May-June issue, had an article titled “Midlife Weight Gain Cuts Life Span.” Considering the information presented in the article, I have less than six minutes to live. Beginning in1976 researchers studied 122,000 women between the ages of 30 and 55. The research reveals that women who lived to at least age 70, without major chronic disease or serious health problems, did not gain weight between ages 30 and 55.
For each 2.2 pounds of weight gained, the chance of healthy survival decreased by 5%. Other studies show that the location of excess weight makes a difference. A waist circumference exceeding 28 inches indicates excess fat around major body organs. This is linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes.
In a study that I will be conducting, researchers, who report on women with waist circumferences greater than 28 inches, will have greatly impaired health due to tar and feathers that clog their pores.