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Meet NYIP Graduate Peter Behlen

I just enrolled in NYIP's sister school, the New York Institute of Career Development, because twenty years ago I learned photography at NYIP and loved it. I assumed (correctly) that NYICD's Complete Course in Professional Blogging would be the same type of course. I love the three tier approach: reading, listening, and doing.

I grew up, and still live, on a 1,200-acre corn and soybean farm in western Minnesota. I'm a fourth generation farmer and have farmed for 38 years, first with my dad and now on my own. My dad farmed for 70 years, so I guess I've got it in my blood. I've been married for four years to Amie, who is from the Philippines and loves the country life. While explaining farming to her, I realized that there are many Americans who know even less about farming in the United States than she did, and yet they are very interested in knowing where their food comes from. That's when my idea for a blog came about. With eight chickens and a dog, I won't be able to talk much about livestock farming, but I can address concerns people have about pesticides, commercial fertilizers, and other modern crop farming methods. I'm not as interested in being an advocate as I am in fostering understanding. Farmers are not faceless corporations. We're the first ones to suffer if we do something wrong because our work and our lives are one.

I live fifteen minutes from the nearest town and probably resemble the stereotypical farmer more than I'd care to admit. Solitude and quiet, nature, and the small-town life are what I love. The concepts of urban and rural are becoming more and more separate, and I hope I can do a little bit to bring them back together. I'm hoping to concentrate on the little things, not the big policy issues. Items like how we plant corn, how we harvest, and what is a typical day is like on the farm. I've also seen huge changes in agriculture in my life, going from what many consider the "better days" of fewer pesticides and less technology to the use of computers and tractors that steer themselves. Maybe I can explain why some of the "good old days" weren't so good, and why and how the new technology came about.


Peter Behlen is a graduate of NYIP and is now a student in the Complete Course of Professional Blogging. He's currently working on building his blog, Rows Upon Rows.

Want to learn more about blogging, and how you can turn an online hobby into a money-making career and put your photographic skills to great use? Explore The Complete Course in Professional Blogging from NYICD.