About

Holly Henschen_Connie Ward Photography-158

Holly Henschen, Futurist Farmgirl

I was born with food on the brain.

Raised on a fourth-generation cattle and grain farm in Central Illinois, I learned to love the land. An extended stay in Costa Rica gave me an unrivaled tropical perspective. I now reside in all of the beauty of Madison, Wisconsin, where I am starting my first gardening venture since childhood!

I’ve covered agricultural commodities futures (corn, soy, rice, cotton, sugar, cocoa, coffee and frozen concentrated orange juice) for Dow Jones Newswires, The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s in Chicago and New York City. I researched on wrote on the food industry and consumer food trends for three years at the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association. I followed that up with a stint as editor of Food Manufacturing, a trade publication for food processors, then a gig as communications director for the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. Now, I’m a freelance writer, back to doing what I love.

This blog is a collection of my thoughts on the interplay of society, the global food system and agriculture. I also throw in a few recipes for kicks. For fun, I add “relevant” music videos.

Buen probecho! (That’s Bon appetit en espanol!)

If you like my food writing, I invite you to check out my personal page and blog at HollyHenschen.com.


About the cover image: My father took this photo of a sunrise on the family farm in Central Illinois, on the border of Christian and Montgomery Counties. You can see the outline of a decorative windmill my maternal grandfather built and the silhouettes of trees that my dad planted as seedlings when my brother and I brought them home from school on Arbor Days.

My paternal grandfather’s family moved to Illinois from Germany and France (under German rule). Within three miles of my house are country cemeteries where my great-great-great grandparents and all of their relatives are buried. The land my father and brother cultivate has been in my family for more than 100 years and it truly is a part of me.

To the left, out of the frame, sits a red wooden barn with the head of white mule painted on its apex. My great-grandfather and his father used these mules to plow the land. I once heard a story about my grandfather being bitten by one of the two mules. He responded by leaning over and biting its ear. I never got the chance to meet him, but its apparent that his genes were passed down to the Henschens I know and love today.

2 thoughts on “About

  1. Interesting. I also live on the Chrustian/Montgomery county live, 5th generation of farmers and 4th on this property. Barns built by my great-grandfather, trees planted by them and by me, Great-Grandma’s peonies still thrive in odd spots around the farmyard. We have Henschens in the family tree, out of Rosamond and Ohlman, but our common ancestor was Johann Dahler of Switzerland. Our German genes came through the maternal side of the family. No French I’m aware of but you and I could still well be kin.

    • 😀 My great-grandma’s peonies are in my parents’ yard! Thanks so much for the background! I was told that my Grandpa Jostes (pronounced “YAH-steh” in French) was really French culturally, but got lumped in with the Germans when the territory he was from changed hands. My auntie told me that he never seemed to fit in with the Germans 😉 Thanks so much for writing, Linda!

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