The wonderful and “famous” Eve!

This is my wonderful wife Eve:


She is the one to the right, graciously posing for me with the terrifying “Macaroni the Clown” (I’m very afraid of clowns … don’t ask) at the 2013 “Florida Family Fun Fest.” This September 23rd we will be married 24 years.

I cannot believe she has put up with me for 24 years.

Back on January 3rd I had a blog posting entitled “A caption in the University of Iowa Alumni publication & the stories behind it.”

It was in part an excerpt from my memoir, with additional information, about my testimony before the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee back in 2010. Well, there was an interesting part I did not include.

Here is another small segment from from my yet unpublished memoir, “Muckville: Farm Policy, Media and the Strange Oddities of Semi-Rural Life” that sort of outlines how special Eve is.

Eve, for many years, has essentially carried our family, much to my personal humiliation. She has earned some years far more than I have and also has continued to manage all of our finances and spending. I would simply be lost without her. And she has for all intent and purposes has supported my “farming habit.”

2009 was an excessively wet, though not a “flooding season” and we took a beating. I purchased the 70-100 coverage for the 2009 crop year, paid a $10,000 premium and the taxpayer paid a $20,000 premium, suffered a $115,000 to $150,000 loss (or more) and I collected a $6,000 indemnity. That’s right, I didn’t even make back my premium. This was all due to the policy provision of “Production to Count.” As Eve and I have said for years, this statute violating provision renders the policies essentially worthless and my experience in 2009 is a case in point. To make matters worse the awful permanent disaster aid program, the SURE program, awarded me … 0! That’s right, nothing.

On June 30th, 2010 the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held its first hearing on the re-authorization of the Farm Bill. The hearing was entitled “Expanding Our Food and Fiber Supply through a Strong U.S. Farm Policy” and it had three panels, the first was Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, the second was the heads of the two major national farming organizations and the third was a panel of four farmers. I was invited by Senate Agriculture Committee member, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, to testify and thus had the rare privilege of doing so. My testimony (both my written and oral are available on the Senate Agriculture Committee website:

My testimony focused on crop insurance. One of the main areas I focused on was “Production to Count” and our practical solution to reform it. The opening paragraph of my written testimony, which I read, said this:

Allow me to also state that though I am testifying alone today my wife Eve has been my full partner these past fourteen years in working on this issue and making the various improvements we have to the policy and without her and her hard work and imagination I would not be here today.”

When I said that I meant it from the heart. She should have been up there with me. Now, my saying that scored major points with the Chair of the Committee Sen. Blanche Lincoln. It also pleased others. After the hearing Eve and I had lunch in one of the Senate Office building cafeterias, with our old friend Brooke Jamison, who went from Senator Schumer’s office to become Senator Gillibrand’s legislative director. I have told Senator Gillibrand she is extremely fortunate to have her. Also joining us was Senator Gillibrand’s agriculture staffer Kathryn Tanner, another brilliant person who does an outstanding job. So, we are eating and talking about the testimony (they were both very pleased with the job I did). At one point as we were talking a woman, a total stranger, walked behind Eve and gave her a big hug. She said “I just had to meet the famous Eve!” She then related she went to the hearing and so enjoyed my testimony, and especially how I praised Eve and gave her credit for our accomplishments. She said, “You know, many men wouldn’t do what you did.” I nodded in agreement. She then related that she was from Oregon or somewhere, and she was hoping to get a job at USDA doing public relations work … and she would just love to profile people like Eve and me. She then gave Eve another hug and simply walked away. After she left we sort of looked at each other and then burst out laughing. Brooke deadpanned “That’s the exact reason why I never come down here for lunch.”

What was a bit disappointing about the hearing was that though most of the committee member were there for Vilsack’s testimony some left after his and virtually all of them left after the panel of the two talking heads from the ag organizations. Only the Chair, and Ranking member Saxby Chambliss remained for our four farmer panel. Of course all of the committee staff were present, and you really want them there, because they do so much of the work. I will say that during my testimony at many points their jaws dropped. That was gratifying. But what was also disappointing was that Vilsack, and the entire herd of USDA officials he brought with him, and he brought a large herd with him, left after he finished his testimony before the committee. Not a single USDA staffer remained to hear our farmer panel and what we had to say. They knew it was more than just our submitted testimony that they had read before the hearing. We would also be discussing issues and giving our experiences, insights and perspectives for 45 minutes to an hour. Couldn’t the Secretary of Agriculture spare one person to stick around and hear what we had to say? Are they all really that busy, including the Secretary?  Do they really place so little value on the experience and opinions of the farmers their work affects?

End of Excerpt

Random photos:


Brooke & I prior to my testimony.


Eve telling me where it is at as CNN Reporter Gary Tuchman nervously looks on.



Kathryn with the boys and I the day Sen. Gillibrand visited the farm.


Eve and Senator Gillibrand enjoying a laugh.


Eve and I and a bunch of onions.


Eve and Caleb with then CNN Reporter Maria Hinojosa before our 3rd CNN appearance.


Eve and I with Sen. Gillibrand before my testimony.


The family with Sen. Schumer. Chuck enjoyed rapping with Eve.


Eve and I in a picture taken on our wedding anniversary in 1999 for a National Onion Association publication.



As I have mentioned multiple times previously my campaign to raise funds for an editor will be featured in an upcoming episode of the new Crowd Funder Show.

What is the Crowd Funder Show and what does it mean to appear on the show? According to their website:

The Crowd Funder TV Show highlights various ideas that have been selected based on their merit for creativity, social relevance, and commercial viability. Each episode focuses the spotlight on six or seven inspiring projects and personal goals that give the viewing audience insight into the campaign, its principal, and the reason(s) why it should come to fruition. The Crowd Funder TV Show highlights various ideas that have been selected based on their merit for creativity, social relevance, and commercial viability.

What is so neat about their crowd funding method, versus Kickstarter’s, is that it is not “all or nothing.” Further, the rewards are much more exciting. Again, from their website:

Viewers can choose to support the projects they watch by contributing directly to the campaign website or by calling a toll-free number. The Crowd Funder Show rewards contributors with sponsored gift cards for the same amount of money they contribute, up to $100. Supporting people and their projects has never been easier so it’s no wonder you can’t help but feel like you’re a part of something special. The Crowd Funder TV Show is an interesting, inspiring program that highlights human ingenuity and co-operation.

When you go to my page you will see locations once can choose from for the gift card include: Sears, Best Buy, Home Depot and Toys R Us. So, if you plan on doing any shopping at any of these locations anyway you are essentially donating to my cause for free. A total win-win!

2 thoughts on “The wonderful and “famous” Eve!

  1. Pingback: Video of my U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee testimony on the Farm Bill in 2010 | Mucking it up in Muckville

  2. Pingback: Woman of Distinction! | Mucking it up in Muckville

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