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Response to Gov. Polis: Impossible Burger

As a cattle producer from eastern Colorado and president of the largest producer-only cattle association in America, R-Calf USA, I was very disturbed by Gov. Jared Polis’ publicity stunt with the “Impossible Burger” and his advancement of his own personal dietary agenda to the detriment of cattle producers.

This governor has pushed many radical, morally repulsive initiatives since coming into office and this is just another in this brazen, in your face efforts to dismantle fundamental economic foundational Colorado industries, i.e. the cattle industry. His actions demonstrate his clear support for the corporatists’ agenda at the expense of Colorado’s family farms and ranches.

First and foremost, it is not the role of a governor to endorse social engineering in the dietary habits of Coloradans. It is not by happenstance that he posed eating a fake burger and then ordered them for the department of ag. This governor has an agenda and cattle producers and animal agriculture are in his sights. His underlying assertion that consumers are demanding this laboratory made protein is baseless and lacks any scientific evidence. Right now all that can be said for consumers is that the “Impossible Burger” is a new item that some consumers are trying because it is a new fad. No health benefits have been proven or for that matter health woes.

Gov. Polis displayed an ignorance and arrogance about the beef industry and its importance to Colorado and all its communities both rural and urban. He evidently has no understanding of the ruminant animal and its place of converting roughage, grass and forage, into one of the best protein sources available to humans. The importance of the Colorado economy from cattle is tremendous. Without cattle our corn and hay farmers would not have a market for much of their production. His misinformed assessment that we can retool our ranching business to meet this lab generated protein is way off base and comes from the radical, morally repugnant notion that cattle are bad and harmful to the environment. The governor’s views are not science based but rather are advanced as an extremist strategy of fearmongering.

It is time for all cattle and farm organizations to get together and reject this governor’s extremist views and tactics. Also, the head of the department of ag should have stood up for cattle producers and not kowtowed with dribble about unsubstantiated change trends. ❖

Hoping for higher prices will not save you

Welcome to my column. One thing you will learn about me very quickly, I’m the guy that says what everyone is thinking but is uncomfortable saying. I do this because I truly believe that all of our hard-working farmers and ranchers need to hear the hard truth.

Today’s discussion is around “Hoping for higher prices will not save you.”

During my five years as an ag loan officer in Western Kansas, I cannot tell you how many times I heard “well, hopefully prices go up next year and we will be good to go.”

That is literally how cash flow projections are built these days. Built on hope. Built on living in the fantasy land of higher prices.

Then judgement day comes. The day of reckoning. The day when your banker has to call you and say — “We can’t renew your operating line this year,” or “We have to take another mortgage and eat up all of your equity.”

This frustrates me, why?

Because it doesn’t solve the foundational issue. Doing the same thing year after year and hoping for different results isn’t a strategy. It’s INSANITY.

I share this because I want you to consider the possibility that there is a different path for you. BUT some things have to change. We can no longer do what our parents and grandparents did 30-60 years ago. We have to look at the facts and make a course correction in our business. You have to be willing to change things up and do whatever is required to build cashflow.

What’s funny is back in 2012 greed took over everyone for the most part. The banks started loaning money on net worth. And farmers started buying assets because of net worth.

And we forgot about the one foundational resource that makes every business tick — cashflow. Now banks have been cracking down. And the farmer is left with what? Not much.

I’ll leave you with this. You need cashflow. That’s it. There is no secret way to building a profitable farm operation and Family Farm Legacy. Cash flow is the only way.

So, my question is this — What skills, expertise, and resources do you have personally and on your farm operation that could be used to build additional cash flow? Every single one of us has something extremely valuable that we can provide to the world that will result in cash flow. You just have to BELIEVE that you can find it and utilize it.

Also, focusing on the problems you face only brings you more problems. Focus on the one thing that is going to solve them. Cash flow. Find it. Build it. Succeed.

You got this! ❖

Let’s take notes from Fair Oaks Farms on handling activists

No farm or company ever wants to hear that they’ve found themselves being targeted by animal rights activists. Having your commitment to animal welfare called into question can have major consequences, including dropped business relationships and diminished consumer trust.

Sometimes, a company’s first instinct upon hearing about a potential undercover video release is to hope the story won’t get out. Fair Oaks Farms – a major dairy and pork agritourism operation I’ve referred to previously as the ‘Disney of agriculture’ – chose the total opposite approach when then they heard last week that activists had sought ‘undercover’ employment at one of its dairy farms.

I’d like to commend Fair Oaks on its bold, transparent approach. The company quickly issued a public statement via social media to inform customers and others about the situation and has continued to respond to comments and publish additional content related to the matter, including video commentary from the owners. While the statement has attracted some of the usual comments from activists, it has also drawn out responses from strong supporters of the farm. A few such comments:

“It has been on my To Do list, to bring my family to experience your farm. Now, I feel an obligation to do so. We’ll see you this summer. Thank you for all you do to share such an important and wonderful life experience.”

“I’ve been to Fair Oaks Farms and they are a clean well-run facility. They treat their animals the best they can. We loved our experience there and highly recommend people going and taking the tour.”

“Love your farm and always will. I trust that if any mistreatment of one of your animals is videotaped you will nip it in the bud.”

By being the first to comment on the situation, Fair Oaks has been able to own the narrative and taken a lot of air out of the activists’ tires. Local media has covered the situation and allowed the farm to amplify its message. As of yet the video has not even been released – likely because the activist group has to re-think its strategy as a result of the farm’s response.

The supportive comments also demonstrate the immeasurable value of building up your “trust bank.” Fair Oaks has made countless deposits to its trust bank over the years through each positive customer interaction, and now the brand is able to draw against that goodwill and be trusted to handle this situation appropriately.

We should all take a page out of Fair Oaks’ book – build trust and goodwill with consumers and customers every day, which will give us the confidence to boldly address our critics if we ever need to.

-Thompson-Weeman is vice president of communications for the Animal Agriculture Alliance.

It’s time to redouble efforts for an improved flood control system

With heartbreak, we have watched our friends and neighbors across the states of Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska suffer from the impacts of historic Missouri River flooding, caused by severe winter weather, which included the infamous “bomb cyclone” pattern, leaving behind record river stages, a dam failure, and scores of levee breaches with little warning for residents to move personal property, equipment and stored crops.

Much has been said about this event, including criticisms directed toward the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. While there will be plenty of time to analyze if anything could’ve been done better, we are thankful for the Corps’ efforts on several fronts, including positioning flood control gates at Gavins Point Dam to allow it to hold over 2 feet of extra water, and stopping releases from Fort Randall Dam. These extraordinary measures undoubtedly prevented further damage.

While some are angry about misplaced priorities of the Corps, angst might be better directed at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which dictates much of the Corps’ actions. We are not implying the service’s directives contributed to this extraordinary flooding, but believe it’s worth pointing out its history of mandates to the Corps. These include implementation of artificial spring rises, construction of shallow water habitat chutes and notching of rock dikes that control the river’s channel — all unproven experiments to aid endangered pallid sturgeon.

The service views the Missouri River as a pallid sturgeon laboratory, and its forced experiments have led to severe riverbank erosion, undercutting of levees, and destruction of private property, resulting in a changed river for people that live and work alongside it. While we support science-based species recovery efforts, any planned habitat construction projects that increase flood risk should be discontinued immediately.

Going forward, government agencies and stakeholders should engage in renewed discussion on how to enhance flood control throughout the system. While virtually all the discussion has centered on the mainstem Missouri River regulated by dams, it’s worth noting this event primarily originated in the “unregulated” portion of the basin, which produces just less than half of the average runoff into the Missouri River. Any discussion that ignores this important fact misses the mark.

It’s time to redouble our efforts on providing lower Missouri River residents with an improved flood control system that can better withstand events of the magnitude we’re seeing in 2019. Flood control and protection of human life and property must be paramount in any decisions regarding Missouri River management. Serious consideration must be given to increased upstream flood control storage, whether that be in the mainstem dams or on tributary projects. Any proposed change in flood control storage must also keep an eye toward times of drought, which the Missouri River system is just as prone to. In addition, policy makers should take into account navigation, which is the other congressionally directed primary purpose of the system, as well as water supply needs for drinking water and utilities that we often take for granted, but have an enormous impact in our everyday lives. We are encouraged by the recent meeting between the governors of Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska and Corps leadership, focusing on solutions to protect against future floods. The governors stated they want to become more active in Missouri River management, and its high time they have a prominent seat at the table.

While large floods often create huge amounts of destruction and personal suffering, they also create the chance to be more resilient to future floods. For the benefit of regional economic development and opportunities for future generations, we cannot delay these crucial conversations. ❖

— Muench is the chair of the Coalition to Protect the Missouri River, St. Louis, Missouri.

Now is the time to weigh in on proposed Clean Water Rule

“Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights,” has long been attributed to Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and our nation’s third president.

When he wrote those words in 1789, Jefferson could not have imagined how true they would ring more than 200 years later, when the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed an overreaching “waters of the U.S.” rule in 2015 that was more about controlling land than protecting water.

Fortunately, at the end of 2018, after years of litigation and controversy, the agencies proposed a new rule that provides farmers and ranchers with Clean Water and Clear Rules. Now EPA and the Corps want to hear directly from members of the public — including farmers, ranchers, landowners and others who may be subject to regulation — to make sure the new Clean Water Rule provides clear and easily understood guidelines. But with the comment period on the proposed new rule closing on April 15, there’s no time to lose. To have a voice in this process, it’s important to submit your comments online now at www.fb.org/cleanwater.

EPA’s administrator has stated he wants the new Clean Water Rule to work for agriculture and all of America. Below are some key reasons to be optimistic about it:

The proposed new rule provides clarity, regulatory certainty and protects water resources, while respecting the federal-state balance that Congress struck in the Clean Water Act. It alleviates unpredictable and inconsistent case-by-case determinations of which waters fall under the agencies’ jurisdiction. It also brings an end to the decades-long trend of persistent federal government overreach that cannot be reconciled with either congressional intent or judicial precedent.

This proposed new “waters of the U.S.” definition is grounded in the Clean Water Act. It’s also consistent with Supreme Court precedent. And it helps correct past agency practice, guidance and interpretations that improperly expanded the scope of federal authority under the CWA.

The proposed rule eliminates much of the uncertainty, ambiguity and inconsistency that characterized previous definitions related to the scope of EPA and the Corps’ jurisdiction. The proposal also appropriately places the burden on the government, not landowners, to show jurisdiction in cases where historic evidence is needed.

The proposal appropriately defines tributaries to include only those streams that contribute perennial or intermittent (as opposed to occasional or ephemeral) flows to a traditional navigable water. The focus on the well-understood concepts of ephemeral, intermittent and perennial flow allows landowners and regulators to more readily identify tributaries subject to CWA jurisdiction.

Under the proposed rule, wetlands adjacent to other jurisdictional waters (traditional navigable waters, tributaries, ditches, lakes, ponds and impoundments) would fall under EPA jurisdiction. With this “adjacent wetlands” definition in place, agencies asserting jurisdiction over isolated, intrastate, non-navigable waters is no longer a possibility.

The proposal reaffirms the “prior converted cropland” exclusion, which grandfathered in many acres of cropland and exempted them from federal jurisdiction.

Farmers and ranchers want Clean Water and Clear Rules. Don’t miss this chance to let your voice be heard. Submit your comments online today at www.fb.org/cleanwater. ❖

— Shearing is director of internal communications at the American Farm Bureau Federation.

8 traits for effectively leading the family ranch forward

I received a phone call from a college student recently. He was a freshman studying animal science and had been assigned the task of interviewing beef industry leaders to learn about their careers and to gain advice and insights for their own futures in agriculture.

I took the call while driving to a FFA fundraiser where I was speaking, and he asked me a wide variety of questions. What would you do differently in your college years? What advice would you give to a college student wanting to be involved in the industry? Who do you look up to in agriculture? What motivates you in your career? Why is it so difficult to bridge the gap between consumers and producers?

Honestly, the conversation spurred many ideas for future columns.

However, one question in particular got me thinking during my road trip. He asked me, “What challenges do you face on your family ranch?”

Admittedly, I had a hard time answering at first. Our problems seem so “common,” and I wasn’t sure which one to pinpoint as a challenge worth noting. Do we communicate well? Is our transition plan solid? Does our multi-generational business operate as smoothly as it could? Is there room for improvement?

I decided to go the route of transition planning. Depending on the day, my dad will say he’s retiring in one year or 15 years. To me, that uncertainty is one of the biggest challenges my husband and I will face in the upcoming years.

We certainly don’t want to “push” him out before he’s ready. On the contrary, I could use a little more time to get my own affairs in order, so I feel confident and financially secure to purchase assets as he transitions into retirement.

It’s just the unknowing. How soon will we need to be ready? What will a purchase agreement look like? How much can we take on?

In thinking about those variables, I noticed I was placing the burden squarely on my folks to figure everything out. That’s when I realized that I hadn’t necessarily expressed these concerns or vocalized how much or how little we were willing to take on, should my parents decide they are ready to retire.

So I made a goal for myself — to schedule a meeting for all of us this summer. The discussion of this family business meeting wouldn’t necessarily be on the “when,” but on the “hows,” so when the time comes to transition the operation into new leaders — whether that’s six months or six years from now — we’ll know what the plan is and how it will be executed.

I’m sure it will take more than one discussion, but we’ve got to start somewhere, and it needs to start with me. By being transparent in my own goals and plans and by being willing to communicate and walk through all scenarios and potential pitfalls, I hope it will be a seamless transition that leaves the business intact and the family harmonious.

I recently read an article that addresses what it takes to be an effective leader in the family business. Written by Steve Moyer for SKM Associates, the article recaps management guru Peter Drucker’s list of traits that make for a great executive in business.

Drucker’s list includes:

• 1. Ask what needs to be done.

He says, “Get the knowledge you need by asking what needs to be done, and take the answers seriously. Failing to ask this question will render the leader ineffective. Once you know the to-do list, set priorities and stick to them.”

• 2. Ask what’s right for the enterprise.

“Don’t focus on what’s right for individuals (i.e. owners, family members, employees or customers.),” writes Drucker. “What is right for the enterprise may not be right for individual stakeholders or family members.”

• 3. Develop action plans.

“Set a plan that specifies results and constraints compatible with family and organizational goals,” he advises. “Create check-in milestones and revise your plan as necessary to reflect new opportunities or insight.”

• 4. Take responsibility for actions.

• 5. Take responsibility for communicating.

• 6. Embrace change.

• 7. Run productive meetings.

• 8. Say “we” not “I”

You can read more of Drucker’s tips here: http://netfamilybusiness.blogspot.com.

I would love to hear what has worked for your family in effectively running business meetings, guiding conversations and making meaningful and lasting decisions for the operation and the family. Please email me your advice to amanda.radke@informa.com. Thanks. ❖

Farmers do want clean, affordable and reliable energy

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union has a rich history of assuring family farmers and ranchers have a voice and opportunities to make their life’s work of producing food and fiber better. RMFU has and continues to be a leader in the cooperative movement.

Now, we are speaking up because our electricity costs under Tri-State Generation & Transmission (Tri-State) are simply getting too expensive — and we’re not sure Tri-State is getting the message.

At RMFU, and for just about anyone who relies on their rural electric cooperative that’s part of the Tri-State system for electricity, we want competitive, stable and low-cost electric rates. Tri-State has an opportunity to recommit itself to those principles in its upcoming electric resource plan in front of state regulators, and we hope they do so.

Tri-State is an essential partner in our rural communities and on our farms and ranches, so the folks at corporate headquarters in Westminster, Colo., need to make sure the company is financially and operationally sound. Tri-State’s long-term ability to provide low-cost, reliable energy to RMFU members and all our agricultural producers is critical to the long-term viability of farm and ranch families, as well as rural communities.

Still, we’re worried that they just don’t get it. Farmers and other agriculture producers work on razor thin margins. On average, 7 percent of a farmer or rancher’s budget goes toward energy costs. Our family farmers and ranchers deserve a competitive and fair price for electric energy just like other customers and they shouldn’t be at a disadvantage for being in rural communities served by member-owned electric cooperatives. When we hear that other electricity providers like Xcel Energy offer much lower rates, we wonder why and puzzle over how Tri-State could make more programs and policies available for our local electric cooperatives to lower our rates.

We know the cost of renewable energy is dropping as technology and critical mass both work to make it more affordable and accessible. Xcel’s plan to shutter two aging, costly coal plants and replace that generation with renewable energy was purely economics — the company’s decision to add new resources in the forms of wind, solar, and even batteries was made because the cost of such generation are much cheaper. And these new resources would be located on our farms and ranches, providing landowners with significant lease payments that supplement their income and bolster our local tax base and economy, both of which are reliant on agriculture. We should encourage more renewable energy development and integration across Tri-State’s territory — it not only lowers rates but provides local economic development that many parts of rural Colorado need.

To be fair, Tri-State did recently announce two new renewable energy projects, but it seems to be in response to one of its member-cooperatives filing its intent to leave Tri-State to pursue more cost-effective, local generation. Other member cooperatives also are continuing to push and negotiate with Tri-State so they can pursue other options to provide clean, affordable, reliable electricity to their customers. We encourage Tri-State to act boldly and make sure they serve the needs of locally owned rural electric service cooperatives and rural communities.

The costs of renewable energy continue to fall, yet some of the coal plants that Tri-State owns are becoming more costly to operate and maintain. Tri-State should look for ways to retire or move away from these expensive assets — a process that could save its members up to $600 million dollars, a recent study found.

As Tri-State begins planning for what will be in its 2019 Electric Resource Plan, RMFU encourages our farmer and rancher members to weigh in. We encourage Tri-State to engage local leaders, businesses, farmers and ranchers and others to listen to what we would like — clean, affordable, reliable electricity.

At the end of the day, we want the power to come on. Farmers and ranchers depend upon electricity for much of what we do. We also want to keep working the land, providing food for the table, and support diversification of our local rural economies. We need clean, affordable and reliable electricity from our cooperative and we ask Tri-State to help us do just that. We stand ready and willing to partner with Tri-State in these efforts to keep agriculture in business. ❖

— McCall is president of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, a progressive, grassroots organization representing more than 20,000 farmer and rancher members in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico.

The people of Wyoming agriculture

The agriculture industry in Wyoming plays a significant role in the success of our state. From the obvious economic benefits it brings to maintaining of the open spaces we all enjoy, agriculture is one of the main factors of what makes Wyoming great.

This industry not only provides food and fiber for many and a direct economic impact in our state, it also sustains rural communities and towns, maintains open spaces, provides habitat for wildlife, is important to our history and culture, and facilitates energy growth across our state. The benefits of agriculture to Wyoming are substantial and easily seen in our everyday lives. With that said, the most important impact is the people and families of this industry.

As director of the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, I get the opportunity to meet and spend time with producers from across the state. The people of Wyoming ag are a hardworking, dedicated, resilient group of business owners and operators who I consider one of the most important resources in our state. Many of these producers have been on the ranch for generations. Their great grandparents homesteaded here, their families were raised here, and they continue that tradition today. For generations, many of these producers have thrived and succeeded through difficult times with dedication, hard work, business savvy, and a focus on their family and the future.

These producers face difficult challenges every day. Challenges like our ever changing and harsh weather, increased pressure from cumbersome regulations, difficult markets that create thin profit margins, and more make running an agricultural operation in Wyoming a stressful and difficult job. Through all of this, these producers weather the storms, navigate difficult regulatory situations while being great stewards of the land, find ways to diversify their operations to make their businesses succeed, and more while raising the next generation to come and take the business into the future.

As the weather warms and the industry moves forward in 2019, I’d encourage you to take the time to visit with a farmer and rancher about their operations. Learn more about where your food and fiber comes from and the challenges they face. Make the effort to put a face on this important industry. As each generation passes, the general population gets further and further away from the farm. This is the time to learn more about where your food comes from, buy from local producers if you can, and build relationships with these incredible people. This is your chance to learn from the source about this industry that plays such an important role in our state and one that we truly cannot live without. ❖

Positioned to return more value to wheat buyers and producers

Recently, I was searching online for some wheat market information to share at an upcoming meeting. I saw a headline that asked: “What country exports the most wheat?” Great, I thought, here we go again with more propaganda about Russia beating the United States in the global wheat export market contest.

Instead, I was quite pleased to scroll down to find that the United States was still the world’s largest wheat exporter in 2017 in terms of “value” according to the “World’s Top Exporters.” Russia produced almost twice the volume of wheat than the United States and more than matched U.S. export volume that year; but at an estimated $6.1 billion, U.S. wheat exports generated $300 million more value than Russian wheat exports.

The reason is clear: there are many private and public wheat buyers, millers and processors around the world that prefer the quality, variety and value of U.S. wheat; and that remains a primary asset to our farmers.

U.S. Wheat Associates has adjusted its allocation of wheat farmer dollars and program funds from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service to activities in markets that have a growing need for a variety of flour products with high quality functional characteristics. There our differential advantages shine through and where the investment offers the most return. On the other hand, USW continues to provide the trade servicing needed in the more cost-sensitive markets that are buying Russian wheat. There is value there, too, with a market environment like today’s in which the price spread between U.S. wheat classes and Black Sea supplies has narrowed. We continue to provide technical support to those buyers to demonstrate and build more knowledge about the true functional value of U.S. wheat. In addition, we are strong advocates for continuous improvement in wheat quality.

Looking ahead, I believe this is the right position for U.S. wheat in a global market with growing income levels, increasing urbanization and record setting consumption every year. It also reflects our mission: to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. producers and its value for their customers. ❖

Introducing ‘Can-Do Cowkids’

I’m a ranch mom to three beautiful, rambunctious cowkids — Scarlett, Thorne and Croix. When I became a mom, I realized there were very few agriculturally accurate children’s books available. More often than not, the cow was the main character and not the rancher. Even worse, the rancher, in so many books and Disney movies, was portrayed as evil, sinister and lacking in care for his livestock.

I wanted to change that, so in 2011, I wrote a children’s book titled, “Levi’s Lost Calf.” The book focused on a young rancher who was committed to taking care of his land and his animals. Since the book released, I have had the great honor of presenting this story to elementary schools across the country.

Giving kids an introduction to ranch life and making them fall in love with agriculture is a passion of mine. Promoting agricultural literacy is so important, if we are to have educated and empowered consumers at the grocery store, and it starts with kids.

Last week, my second children’s book, “Can-Do Cowkids” officially launched, and once again, I had the privilege of working with talented western artist, Michelle Weber, on the project. New this time around — the book was sponsored and published by the Georgia Beef Board, with co-operation from the Georgia Agriculture Commodity Commission for Beef, Beef Checkoff, Georgia Farm Bureau and Georgia Department of Agriculture.

With full industry support, this book focuses on agricultural careers and inspires young “can-do cowkids” to work hard, dream big and never give up, no matter what. Readers are introduced to exciting beef industry careers including veterinarians, auctioneers, agronomists, nutritionists, conservationists and so much more.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, between 2015 and 2020, there will be an average of 57,900 annual openings for college graduates with expertise in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and the environment. Of those jobs, 27 percent will be in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); 15 percent of jobs will be related to sustainable food and biomaterials production; and 12 percent of the openings will focus on education, communication and governmental services.

Yet, despite these 57,900 available career opportunities in agriculture, there are only 35,400 new U.S. graduates with expertise in these fields of study. The USDA says young people are, “essential to our ability to address the U.S priorities of food security, sustainable energy, and environmental quality in the years to come.”

Not only do I want young readers to have fun reading “Can-Do Cowkids,” but I also want them to know that any kid — whether they grew up on a farm or not — can pursue these exciting and rewarding opportunities in agriculture. With so many job openings available, the sky is really the limit in food production; it’s just a matter of finding the right fit for a kids’ special talents and applying it to a career where we are nourishing people with food, fiber and energy.

This spring, I will once again travel the country reading this story to elementary kids. It is a great privilege and an honor for educators to entrust me with their students for an hour or two, and it’s my goal that when I leave, they feel more confident about their food and where it comes from. More importantly, I hope they believe that one day, they too, could be part of our nation’s food system.

As Ag Literacy Day approaches on March 21, it is my hope that more educators will choose agriculturally accurate children’s books to read in their classrooms. I hope parents will do the same when they choose the bedtime stories they read to their kids at night.

To learn more about my book, my classroom visits or my keynote speaking, please check out my new website www.amandaradke.com. Thanks for your support and happy reading. ❖