Thursday, November 26, 2020  •  Episode 9

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Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! In celebration of Thanksgiving, this is a special edition episode featuring only your hosts Samantha Teten and Jackson Stansell. Instead of focusing on the typical digital ag conversation and continuing with the quantifying and responding to soil spatial variability series, for this episode we are just talking about Thanksgiving. We offer up Thanksgiving fun facts, some stories about Thanksgiving traditions and favorite foods, and express what we are thankful for this year. 2020 has been an odd year to say the least, but I think we all have something to be thankful for. We hope that you'll celebrate a small part of your Thanksgiving season with us! We're thankful for all the support you've given this podcast in the short time that it's been produced so far, and we look forward to many more great episodes ahead. If you'd like to share your favorite Thanksgiving traditions, a Thanksgiving fun fact, or want to respond to anything we shared in the episode, please get in touch using the contact info below! 

Opinions expressed on FarmBits are solely those of the guest(s) or host(s) and not the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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host Samantha Teten
host Jackson Stansell
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Samantha: Welcome, happy Thanksgiving!

Jackson: Happy Thanksgiving, you know this is a special edition of the FarmBits podcast, we've not really done an episode yet that has been kind of unplanned we're kind of going to do this one improvisationally. We improv a lot with questions but very rarely with the intro and outro.

Samantha: Yeah, and if you know anything about me or Jackson, we like to plan ahead and so this is gonna be interesting, I think for us, so hopefully it's fun and enjoyable for you as much as it is for us.

Jackson: Maybe it's a little bit more of a personal touch than what we've had so far, and I don't know, it's something different people don't want to necessarily be thinking about digital ag on Thanksgiving. It's a better time to just be thankful for what we have and I don't know enjoy the people around us. So, we thought we'd get this episode kicked off with some thanksgiving fun facts (and of course agriculture related) of course they have to be. So, I guess we have a few interesting facts, one of the most interesting probably relates to pumpkin pies and turkeys right.


Samantha: Yeah, so we learned that apparently Americans will in this year will eat approximately 46 million turkeys but then we'll eat 50 million pumpkin pies, so.


Jackson: I don't know what that says about where we are but.


Samantha: The priority is obviously with the pies.


Jackson: It is which I guess is good for Illinois right, because they produce a ton of pumpkins in Illinois. They're by far our largest pumpkin producing state in the United States.


Samantha: Yes, by acreage and however we also looked up that maybe you should go check your pumpkin pie cans in your pantry because a lot of them actually contain winter squash and are not 100% pie.


Jackson: And see that's just so disappointing to me because I always feel like I, I'm eating unadulterated pumpkin pie because I'm eating pumpkin out of the can but.


Samantha: I think there's a lot of artificial color.


Jackson: There has to be, and I'm just I'm disappointed, so now I'm gonna have to double check whatever mom's buying to make our pumpkin pies this when I go home for Thanksgiving.


Samantha: Yeah, or go make it from scratch. Jackson:


That'd be fun, get some little pie pumpkins. (There you go) But yeah so pumpkin pie is I guess kind of a Thanksgiving favorite out there. I personally like Kentucky derby pie which is a little bit of a better take on a pecan pie because it's got chocolate instead of like that traditional pecan pie filling that's out there.

Samantha: But your accent when you say Kentucky derby always cracks me up.

Jackson: Yeah, I don't know you know but pecan is also kind of an interesting word right because some people say pecan pie which grates my nerves a little bit.


Samantha: And we learned that the top three producing states of pecans or however you want to say it is Georgia and New Mexico and Texas. And as Jackson pointed out to me before we started his hat is actually describing the pecans.


Jackson: Of golden, peanut, and tree nuts. It's an ADM subsidiary in and Headland, Alabama. There's a location there. I'm not promoting anybody.


Samantha: But disclaimer. Jackson: That's where the hat comes from and the tree nuts on the hat are pecans, and Georgia as a leading producer of pecans they have obviously have to have somewhere to go and process them so, yeah it's kind of unique.


Samantha: We also should have started this off by saying if you didn't listen to our first episode or our introduction about ourselves, I am originally from Nebraska but Jackson is not.


Jackson: No, not a Nebraska boy by my birth or anything like that, I'm from Alabama and I guess our states have some differences in terms of the favorite dishes for our states on Thanksgiving. So, down south, almost the entire south, we're going to share this map in the show notes yeah is dominated with a favorite Thanksgiving dish of dressing, which some people might also call stuffing, I don't like that it's a dressing, but Nebraska has a different.


Samantha: We call it stuffing yeah but oh yes for our favorite dish, our favorite dish is apparently mashed potatoes so for those Nebraskans out there watching this you can add your comments if whether you disagree or agree with that, but yeah mashed potatoes are apparently our favorite.


Jackson: And what sort of gravy are you putting on your mashed potatoes.


Samantha: Yeah, I'm sure that's another debate, but my you know my preference is actually no gravy. I come from a house of very picky eaters and so I feel like I probably don't fit the norm of most Nebraskans with our Thanksgiving meal.


Jackson: That's everybody, has their own things personally for me you know I love white potatoes like typical russets and gold potatoes that go into mashing or whatever but sweet potatoes are definitely my favorite type of potato, and interestingly, North Carolina is the largest producer of sweet potatoes in the United States.


Samantha: And of turkeys.


Jackson: So, does that make them the Thanksgiving state of America? I mean is that?


Samantha: Yeah, yeah.


Jackson: That's pretty impressive. They're also the research triangle so we have some bias to them anyway for companies. Jackson: We do and this is something you may- there's some Christmas-related themes about North Carolina, as well that we.


Samantha: We'll get into that later in a month from now.


Jackson: Yeah, we may have to just stay tuned. You'll learn a little bit more about North Carolina's special holiday ag production.


Samantha: Yeah, maybe once COVID is over we'll encourage everyone to go to North Carolina, but until then.


Jackson: Now of course we'll have to talk about Minden, which is the Christmas city of Nebraska at that point in time.


Samantha: We will, yes they are, I don't know the whole history behind that but I do know they had a big celebration that I actually went to last year. We'll have to do some research on that for our episode around Christmas.


Jackson: Yeah, I'd love to go out there. I've seen some pictures of the I guess all the different lights that they have in the downtown there in Minden. I don't know it would be kind of a cool place to go see. I've been to see Seward, the fourth of July city of Nebraska, that was fun.


Samantha: Oh yeah, Nebraska and our small town celebrations and events.


Jackson: I love it. So, we've talked about the U.S.'s favorites different states and where those things are produced, but we haven't really talked about our personal Thanksgiving favorites so what is your Thanksgiving like?


Samantha: We're gonna start with me?


Jackson: Yeah, we're gonna start off with your Thanksgiving traditions.


Samantha: Okay so I- there's not one that like specifically comes to mind, my family kind of switches it up every year. We sometimes don't even celebrate on Thanksgiving, so it kind of depends whatever works for everybody. I will say my favorite like almost Thanksgiving tradition is typically the weekend after Thanksgiving my family all gets together all the women in my family and we make cookies, dozens and dozens of Christmas cookies. Dozens of different kinds and so honestly that's what I first think of, and it's super fun for us. So yeah, we'll see if that happens this year with COVID as I'm sure it's switching up lots of people's traditions so.


Jackson: And interestingly, you know my family used to do Thanksgiving on Thursday every single year and now we're getting to the point where actually this year we're going to push it back to Friday and do it on Friday because with mom's work schedule you know she wants to be involved in making things, and I won't be getting home until later in the week and I typically you know help out with making Thanksgiving dishes so. We're gonna make Thursday kind of our Thanksgiving prep day.


Samantha: There you go, so what's your favorite traditions?

Jackson: So traditionally, I used to love getting up on Thanksgiving morning and actually watching the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade which is obviously on Thursdays and pumpkin 

bread, pumpkin muffins would always be a part of that some pumpkin muffins and apple cider. So, that was one of my favorite traditions, but I also really love making dressing two days before our Thanksgiving celebration with my mom and so there's a kind of a debate based on this map that we saw a little while ago that you know most of the southern states like dressing, but Louisiana stands out as searching cornbread dressing. And so, Sam and I were talking about what that means. Yeah, how- what percentage of cornbread do you need for it to qualify as cornbread dressing? Because when we make cornbread we typically have when we make dressing we typically have a bunch of cornbread that we produce earlier in the week then we make biscuits the morning of and both of those go in at about 50/50 ratios to our dressing, so I'm like is that enough to call it.

Samantha: We also have to specify here your cornbread is sweet cornbread correct?

Jackson: Sugar in it right that's, right what's different than what's typically in the Midwest. Yeah, you got white granulated sugar, it's moist but it's definitely sweeter than what you run into out here. So, I don't know, I guess that's probably my favorite Thanksgiving tradition, similar to you though where you kind of transition into the Christmas thing. We always as a family watch  Jim Carrey's The Grinch that Stole Christmas the night of Thanksgiving to kind of transition into the Christmas season.


Samantha: Were you a black Friday shopper. I say were because obviously not this year. Jackson: Never, not once.


Samantha: I've gone a couple times. I'm typically not that into it, I'm not gonna go running down the doors right when they first open.


Jackson: Exactly, so do you have a favorite Thanksgiving food? I know you're a picky eater.


Samantha: I am a picky eater, I really like green bean casserole and you know hot dish, that's we just had this discussion too apparently the Northern part of the Midwest calls it hot dish,  and so yeah and I will be spending part of my Thanksgiving up in Wisconsin this year. So, I may have to get used to that. But no, I really like I also really like cooked carrots. So, I like that type of thing.


Jackson: Yeah, that's unique.


Samantha: Yeah, I like that, with the crackers on top, oh yeah.


 Jackson: Nice, I've not- that may be something new I need to try. I haven't done that. I haven't done the crackers on top of them. I'm a big sweet potato casserole person.


Samantha: Jackson makes it himself, he brought it to one of our office things with some bourbon in it. It was very good.


Jackson: Absolutely, it's a little bit of maple syrup, a little bit of bourbon, it's very, very good. I also love dressing obviously. But yeah, I guess I don't know those are kind of my Thanksgiving favorites. We've talked about just about every food that you could possibly talk about, I'm getting hungry.

Samantha: Yeah, me too, we also you know mentioned this before for those who didn't know- Jackson played football in college and so you're talking about how that's often a really important part about people's Thanksgiving.

Jackson: Yeah, I mean we'll see how that goes I know the Iron Bowl was a huge tradition back home. Alabama and Auburn play, it used to be sometimes on the Friday after thanksgiving, but you know more recently it's always been on that Saturday afterwards. And I think Nebraska and Iowa have kind of established a Thanksgiving football tradition out this way so.


Samantha: Hopefully people can stay healthy and those things can proceed.


Jackson: Absolutely yeah, COVID made everything a little bit challenging this year, and I know Thanksgiving won't quite be the same but it's still a great holiday to celebrate.


Samantha: That's right, which leads us into I think what we're really thankful for and you know I think that's kind of what we're getting into. You know it's not necessarily the traditions or you know it's been an interesting year for us for sure in the office, too. So, you know that doesn't take away from the things that we are most thankful for.


Jackson: Not at all and there are a lot of different things to be thankful for and since this is a podcast it's focusing on digital ag we obviously need to have a little bit of digital ag in this episode, and so one thing I think we wanted to talk about was what digital technologies that we've been thankful for this year particularly as it comes to agriculture. And some of the work that we do, so I guess I'll go ahead and start with offering up mine. I'm really thankful for the internet of things and telematics the reason being that basically those technologies specifically for pivot control and pump control in the field basically allowed me to go down and spend time with my brother for his graduation in the early part of August of this year. You know, I was able to go and fly our drone for our research and you know use the software to turn prescriptions around. But, I could send those prescriptions in from anywhere that I had an internet connection. And so, I was, I was down in Tuscaloosa at the University of Alabama just enjoying graduation. But, you know when the farmers wanted to actually kick that pivot on and make that fertigation pass I was able to just hop on the phone make sure everything was on, send the prescription in and there it was. Research was being conducted without me needing to necessarily be there and still getting to have time with my family so that was, I was super thankful to have those cool technologies available to me.

Samantha: Yeah, that's awesome, I don't know if I could top that answer by any means. I hadn't really thought about this beforehand. I you know coming into grad school I felt like everything was a new technology to me. I learned ARCGIS or which is you know our program that we use a lot. So, I learned all that stuff which has really made things easier. But, I think one thing that is probably overlooked often in digital ag is the video capabilities that we have which sounds you know but like I think about you can go home and fly your drone and you can get some really awesome footage, aerial footage. We can take use our IPhones and take really clear footage and we're able to compile videos. We're able to do really unique things that share our science in a way that's never, you know that wasn't historically done. We can share that to consumers, we can share that with other people and I think in some of our future episodes we'll talk about that farm to consumer process and what technology's done for that. And you know I think we have a lot of that at our disposal now in a way that wasn't before.

Jackson: Yeah, the communications aspect is really important and I mean, I'm even thinking about when we stick GoPros on planters to be able to see you know exactly how that planter's functioning in the field how those row cleaners are working like all those different sorts of things were very- they're new. I mean you couldn't get that perspective.

Samantha: It makes me think about if you have a question you know about something that happened with your equipment or whatever you can go to YouTube and probably find a video that will explain it to you. You know, we can all kind of be experts now with Google and YouTube and things like that. Technology has done some really amazing things that we're thankful for.

Jackson: Very thankful for it, and especially during this time of COVID you know where it's hard to connect to people. Technology has made connecting, I think a lot a lot easier to do. And so that kind of leads us into our next part of this episode which is what we're personally thankful for this year. I know we it may seem like there's not necessarily a ton to be thankful for depending on where you are in any given day during this time. But, I think there's a lot that we have to be thankful for right now. So, one of the things that I'm personally thankful for is that my family has largely been unaffected health-wise by COVID, and I am super grateful for that. You know, it's tough when you you know people and friends and other families that have gone through things but I can't be more thankful that you know it's it's managed to miss us so far at least.

Samantha: Yeah, I would 100% agree with that. Family is always a top thing same with friends, I would also just add you know something that I think is kind of unique in our situation campus is really quiet around here if those if anyone here is listening that students it has been really quiet but our lab and our office mates you know you see us but we do have other office mates as well and we've you know honestly I think became kind of closer during all of this. Maybe even not if not in person we still communicate a lot. Our advisor works really hard to talk to us every week, so I guess I'm still thankful that we find ways to stay connected you know with our research, which has been fun.

Jackson: Yeah, and it seems like it's opened some doors in terms of how we do work, which I'm also very thankful for.

Samantha: You know they pushed us to do this podcast.

Jackson: It did because it's a different way of getting information out, we didn't have any field days.

Samantha: Right yep, so then we made videos for field days. Yeah. we're going to be able to go home you're going to be able to go home for an extended break.

Jackson: Probably the longest break I've had since I mean yeah and yeah, we'll still be able to work like as if there wasn't even a hiccup because we're so used to working virtually now, so. And you know, we can work from home and I think having more flexibility in how we work has also given us more time with family. I know you know, you have travel to go and see loved ones often and being able to work on the go and have that be kind of an acceptable way of doing things now. I think is a it's gonna really make us a lot more connected as people after this.


Samantha: Absolutely yeah, and you know going back to what you said with the friends or the family and then also friends you know taking that extra time  to go connect with them even if it's not in person, you know technology can help us.


Jackson: So, it can, so I guess really that's a great overview of what I'm thankful for this year. I think Thanksgiving is going to be a really fun time it's going to be a great time of celebration for my family. I hope it is for everybody else out there.


Samantha: We should also add because UNL's schedule got pushed up our finals are actually this coming week and so we get to celebrate the end of the semester as well, and so we're excited for that. So, by the time this is released we will be done with classes for the semester and we'll be able to really celebrate with our families.


Jackson: That's exactly right, no stress or at least limited stress. Because of course writing will be coming up after that for our theses and everything like that. But that does kind of bring us into the fact that we will not be taking a break from FarmBits, however.

Our series on quantifying soil spatial variability is going to continue right after this Thanksgiving episode, but we do have another special edition episode that's coming up right for Christmas.

We're thinking about doing that right. So, that'll be kind of another cool opportunity to in that episode talk about a little bit of a different side of ag than what we may see here in Nebraska or what you may typically think of and commodity production.

Samantha: But hopefully it gets you in the Christmas mood, that's our goal and maybe you can apply it to your own agriculture or your own range land, so we'll see.

Jackson: Who knows get to think about trees, that's all I gotta say. So anyway, that is probably a wrap for our Thanksgiving episode, I hope that you enjoyed a little bit more of a personal touch. Sam do you have anything else too?

Sam: Just happy Thanksgiving, go enjoy your family and friends even if it's virtually. Thanks for taking some time out of your Thanksgiving to listen to us and for joining us every week. Jackson: Absolutely, happy Thanksgiving. GBR!

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