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Sunny & 75!

Woohoo, finally some warm weather! I spent a week down south and it was absolutely what my soul needed. Between great friends, great food and great hospitality, there was nothing more one could ask for.

I headed south for Commodity Classic. Not only to attend as an interested patron but also to participate in all things corn. I love being an advocate and taking every opportunity I can to promote what I love. While attending different educational sessions, the trade show and of course hospitality rooms. I was able to interact with a lot of my peers and make new friends from throughout the US. The older I get, the more I realize that it truly is a small world and all you have to do is just start a conversation. Which may be why I love meeting new people so much.

Don't worry though, it was not 100% all business all the time. We definitely had time to lay by the pool and catch some rays. There were two other girls and myself that sought out every opportunity we had to bask in the sunshine.

Once Commodity Classic was over, I rented a pickup and started to head towards Northern Florida. I went on an adventure meeting up with a few of my customers. We looked at crops, talked business and of course caught up on each others families. I think that's one of my favorite parts of working with farmers. Once you gain their trust and respect, you in a sense become like part of their family.

First I made a pit stop to see some of the crew that grows green beans. These guys, man have they been there for a lot! Over the past 2-3 years we've had a lot of growing together, and they truly have become like family.

My next stop was to visit one of our carrot farmers. People always ask me if carrots taste different from different regions, I promise you the carrots that come from South East Alabama are sweeter and tastier than you've ever had! These guys really know how to grow carrots and they do it in a way that fully involves the family! One thing I highly respect and cherish. Remember when I mentioned how easy it is for others to feel like family? Well, these guys are nothing short of that! I feel like we've shared a lot throughout the past few years and I without a doubt would trust them with my last breath.

From there, I traveled North East to Atlanta to visit family before flying back to Illinois. When I arrived to my Aunt Linda & Uncle Steve's house, I was surprised to see an extra car in the driveway. They had invited their daughter, Marnie and her adorable son John Wesley over for supper. As I walked in the door, I was instantly greeted with warm hugs and big smiles. John Wesley must have heard the commotion, because he came running down the stairs yelling, "Cousin Ellen, Cousin Ellen!". We don't get to see each other as often as we would like, but we do try our best to keep up with one another. I hadn't seen little John Wesley since he was a baby and now he's a dashing little 3 year old with the biggest personality and a heart of gold. We all enjoyed supper together and catching up on everyone lives. Unfortunately, I had a short stay as I flew out later the next morning but I'm so glad I was able to take the time to visit.

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