Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Merry Christmas from the O'Neals!


How can it already be Christmas time? Time sure flies when you are having fun!

2015 has been a full year for Royce and me. We've both done some traveling, Royce with Texas Farm Bureau's Ag Lead program and me with my job at Monsanto. Last week I was trying to figure how many weeks I traveled this year, and it turns out I was gone around 17 weeks! No wonder it feels so good to be home when I make here! I've enjoyed almost every second of traveling, too (except those flight delays). Most of my time was spent meeting WestBred seed suppliers and farmers, walking wheat fields and either orchestrating photo shoots or performing shoots myself. Overall, it has been a busy, but fun-filled and wheat-filled year for me!

With Ag Lead, Royce has been able to see and learn about agriculture in multiple places across Texas as well as California. When Royce hasn't been traveling, he's been busy on the farm. 2015 proved to be another challenging year for farming, though in the exact opposite way than the previous few years. We've had record rainfall this year, making it hard for us to get in the field at the ideal times. This spring, planting was delayed, and in the cases when we planted prior to the monsoon of May/June, we ended up replanting those crops. The rain helped our crops, once planted, grow very well, but also gave the weeds a big boost. We spent a lot of time spraying weeds, plowing weeds, and having crews hand-hoe the weeds. Insects also flourished this year, with sugarcane aphids attacking our grain sorghum/milo crops. Rains this fall have delayed harvest. At the time of this writing, we still have late-planted corn in the field as well as some dryland cotton. We might not be able to finish harvest until the new year. From what has been harvested, our crops have yielded well, but commodity prices are making it tough to turn profits. We are definitely thankful for the regular income from my full-time job.

Despite our professional travel schedules, Royce and I both made time for some fun travels too! In March, I got to add Houston to my list of Texas places seen. We saw Ryan Bingham live at the House of Blues in Houston, and let me tell you, it was SO worth the drive! In May, I spent Memorial Day weekend in Michigan with my friend, Sam. I even got to help put in a Channel corn and soybean plot while I was there. In August, Royce and I celebrated our one year anniversary by flying down to Fredericksburg, TX. We determined the duck schnitzel at Otto's is probably the most delicious German food ever! Tomorrow, we are headed to Jamaica for some time in the sun with my dad's side of the family. We're looking forward to the beach, the sunshine and the all-inclusive bar. :)

Another Texas Place checked off my list. Royce and I at the top of Enchanted Rock.
Over the last year, we've been blessed to meet great people and spend time with family and friends. 2015 has been a great one, farming challenges and all. Thanks to everyone who has followed along, given us motivational words, and supported us through all of our adventures! Here's to a prosperous and wonderful 2016!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Much love from Royce and Kaitlyn, Ranger and Rori

1 comment:

  1. Your dogs are so cute! You also look perfect, guys.
    Thank you for sharing your life with us. Nice post.
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    ReplyDelete