Feature Friday – Robert Vincent Jr.

Headshots_Bios_2018 (21 of 3)Name:   Robert Vincent Jr.
Store:  Bay City
Title:  Sales Consultant

Robert prides himself on being customer focused and providing the right type of equipment for each need. Robert has been with Shoppas for three years but has extensive knowledge of the agriculture business with more than 25 years of experience. Robert has many hobbies like gardening, hunting, and fishing, but his true joy is spending time watching his grandchildren play sports.

Feature Friday

Wesley CatesName:   Wesley Cates
Store:  Victoria
Title:  Store Manager

Wesley Cates has only been with Shoppas for a few months but has been apart of sales, sales management, and store management for over 15 years. As the store manager of our Victoria location, Wesley’s job is to oversee daily operations, problem resolution, customer relations, as well as create and maintain communication throughout all departments. When he is not at work, Wesley enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters or helping out at his parent’s ranch.

Feature Friday – Donnie Strieder

Headshot of Donnie Strieder, small ag salesman for Shoppas John Deere.

Name: Donnie Strieder
Store: East Bernard
Title: Small Ag Sales Representative
Donnie Strieder has been the small ag salesman with Shoppas for six years. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University (he would throw a whoop in right here). Before coming to work for Shoppas, Donnie worked in equipment sales for over 30 years with Washington County Tractor, Virnau Tractor, and Sealy Tractor. Donnie says he enjoys his job because he gets to interact with customers. Part of that responsibility is knowing that they can call him at any time. In his spare time, Donnie also farms hay, raises cattle, and horses, in Sealy.

New Year’s resolutions – Farm Edition

At the beginning of the year, thousands of people place a list of resolutions on the fridge and think this is going to be the year. The year of getting fit, eating healthy, try something new, traveling, or maybe just being nice to others or getting organized. Have you ever thought of having a New Year’s resolution for your John Deere equipment? We have a list of resolutions that can easily be applied to your farm, ranch or lawn care equipment.

  • Maintenance – Bring your equipment for its yearly maintenance. This could include an oil change, hydraulic hoses checked or replaced, etc. This is just an easy way to reduce the time spent trying to fix something during your busy season.

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  • Inspections – while your equipment is in the shop, go ahead and have it inspected. Shoppa’s technicians may find an issue that could save you headaches in the future.
  • Stock up on oil, filters, and net wrap – Now is a great time to stock up on all your supplies such as oil, filters and net wrap. Not sure if you want to stock up? Well then check out our filter sale during the month of January.r4d087288_rrd
  •  Store your service manager’s number into your phone – I know this may sound like a weird resolution, but having your local service manager’s number stored into your phone could save you valuable time when you are broke down in a field.
  • Winterize your lawn mower – What a better way to get your lawn mower ready for the mowing season than to put all new blades, belts and getting an oil & filter change during the winter months? Getting this done as a New Year’s resolution will save you time and possible money later.

New Year’s resolutions offer a lot of benefits to a person whether it is health, finances, or just trying to be productive. All our New Year’s resolutions can help reduce potential stress, it’s always cheaper to buy in bulk and have everything maintained, and it will allow you to increase productivity. So, make sure you stop by your local Shoppa’s dealer to start your New Year’s resolution off right.

2017 Shoppa’s Gift Guide

Christmas is here! It is time to be completely stressed with getting the Christmas decorations up, cookies baked, and all the presents bought, wrapped and placed under the tree. With everything that is happening, here are some tips to help pick out a perfect gift for the farmer or future farmers in your life. Let us relieve a little bit of your shopping stress with our Holiday Gift Guide. 

  1. Hand Tools – It’s bound to have happened within the past year, someone has lost the hammer while building fence, killed the battery in the drill, or bent the blade on the chainsaw. Choose to replace those items as Christmas presents with our Stihl products and hand tools! r2c011008 
  2. Pressure washers – When living in the Texas Gulf Coast, the next rain storm is just moments away. With rain comes muddy tires and tractors; so, gift them with a pressure washer to clean off their John Deere first. 
  3. Calendar  – We all have that one farmer that ask for a new calendar for Christmas. Well look no further than our 2018 Shoppa’s John Deere Calendar. Just don’t tell them it was free! file-19
  4. Riding Mowers  – The new year is just around the corner. Say Merry Christmas with a brand new Z-turn mower, a gift you can use 10 months out of the year. R4E028441_RRD
  5. Gift Certificate – Can’t find that perfect gift for the most difficult person to buy for? Well fret not, our gift certificates are the perfect gift for every farmer.  
  6. Toys – Little boys love to play with their John Deere tractors to haul dirt and farm. Little girls use them to drive their dolls and princesses to the ball. No matter the age, John Deere toys will always bring a smile to kids when they open them up on Christmas morning. Christmas Toys (2 of 14)-2

 

We know that this gift guide doesn’t have the perfect gifts for everyone in the family like your Aunt Jill who has no clue why you live in a small town. This gift guide is a simple and easy way to relieve the stress of finding those meaningful gifts. Stop by any of our 8 stores today to get your shopping done. 

6 Easy Recipes for the Holidays

Who is counting down the days till we are allowed to eat as much as you want, take a nap on the couch and watch football? We are! Thanksgiving can be a fun and lazy holiday until your get nominated to bring a dish to the table. Oh no! Well fret not, whether you got stuck with the appetizer, side dish or dessert, we got you covered. So, throw on that John Deere apron and whip out one of these famous recipes from some of our Shoppa’s employees. 

 Appetizers: 

  • Fruit Salad  – Give Thanksgiving dinner a healthy option with this amazing Fruit Salad! Shoppa's recipe cards_3
  • Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Chips  – Fruit covered in cinnamon and sugar is still healthy right? Whether healthy or not, this dish will be gone in the first few minutes.  Shoppa's recipe cards_6

Side Dish 

  • Twice Baked Potato Casserole – Casseroles are one of the easiest and most tasty dishes in the world. This potato casserole may top everything. Shoppa's recipe cards_1
  • Cornbread Dressing  – Give Granny’s dressing a run for its money with this cornbread dressing recipe. Shoppa's recipe cards_4

Dessert: 

  • Cinderella Cake with Coachman’s Icing  – Your family have a sweet tooth? Well this cake will be gone in minutes. Shoppa's recipe cards_5
  • Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake – Give them an option other than pumpkin for a fruity dessert this year. Shoppa's recipe cards_2

 

Whether you are an expert cook or a novice or you just want get the cooking done, so you can watch more football; these recipes are simply and easy. Everyone will be talking about your cooking skills, even if they are laying on the couch in a turkey coma. Think you have a recipe better than ours? Share it will us on these awesome recipe cards we made just for you! 

5 Winter Plants that will Plow the Stress Away

A winter garden can the perfect holiday escape. The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year; having to deal with tangled strands of Christmas lights, a tree that will not stand up and the light-up nativity scene that will not light. With all the stress, you may not have a good stress reliever. What about planting a winter garden? It’s great for stress relief and it brings some life to your yard. Here are 5 winter plants that will help plow your stress away. 

 

  1. Blueberries – Though blueberries are perennial, if planted now, will give you blueberries every year during the late winter, early spring. They are easy to take care of and cold tolerant. Use blueberries for jam, desserts, pancake and waffle toppings, and so much more. 
  2. Winter Lettuce – What is better to plant for winter than some winter lettuce? This plant loves the cold and looks great in a garden or in flower pots on your front porch. Just use the lettuce to make a healthy salad so you don’t feel bad about eating all that Holiday food. If you are not interested in staying healthy, slap some of that lettuce on a double cheese burger with extra mayo. R4E038256
  3. Carrots – Chop up these cold weather vegetables and toss it that healthy salad for a nice crunch. Carrots are great to start indoors during winter. Once large enough, transplant them outdoors so no one with a bottle of ranch dressing finds them. R4E038251
  4. Greens (mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens) – You need to act quickly and plant some greens! These bitter tasting, leafy plants love cold weather and if planted now, should be ready to pick for a New Year’s Dinner of pork chops, black eye peas, greens, and corn bread. If you need help getting your kids to behave this holiday season, just make them eat their greens before opening presents.  
  5. Herbs – Basil, oregano, thyme and parsley are easy to grow indoors if you don’t want to deal with the cold. Just plant in container near a window for some light and watch it grow. Herbs are great to use in the kitchen to add a fresh kick of flavors to any of your dishes. 

 

So, give yourself something to do this holiday season rather than stress over holiday meals, ugly sweater parties, and crazy family members. Place some seeds into some dirt and cozy up in your favorite fur boots and garden gloves. Happy Gardening! 

5 Fall Decorating Tips that are Simple and Easy

With school events, harvest just wrapping up, and football filling your weekends, life can just get busy. So who has time to truly notice that it is the middle of fall and you have not decorated your home? Or maybe you have noticed, but just don’t have a lot of time to dig out the fall decorations and completely redo your home décor. Whatever the case maybe, decorating for fall does not have to be hard or time consuming. We have 5 simple, easy tricks to give your home a fall vibe.

  1. Pumpkins Though pumpkins may seem like an obvious decorating piece, most people use them as outside decor. Yet, pumpkins can be used anywhere throughout the house such as the dining room, living room or your entry way. Place small pumpkins in bowl for a center piece, or scatter different sizes or colors across your mantle to give it a pop of colors. Don’t want to have bright orange pumpkins around your house. Get some white pumpkins! Leave them white or paint them with patterns to give your mantle or entry way a fall look. 

    Target
    Image by Target
  2. Candles Candles offer a warm, inviting feel as well as making your home smell wonderful. Tip: If you can’t find a good cinnamon scented candle? Place a non-scented candle in a jar and stuff cinnamon sticks all around it. As the jar heats up and the wax melts it allows the cinnamon sticks to release a scent that will fill your entire home! fall decor (1 of 4)
  3. Use your harvest What is more fall like than a yearly harvest! Use cotton, milo and corn stalks to give your home a rustic feel by creating floral arrangements or use loose corn, milo and rice and place them in jars for some fall colors. Does your family like to hunt? Why not put those random antlers found around your property up to a decorative use! Place them with pumpkins and table runner to create unique center piece. fall decor (2 of 4)
    Tone on Tone
    Image by Tone on Tone

     

  4. Pillows and blanketsJust like candles, pillows and blankets can make living rooms feel warm, cozy and inviting. Make you living room feel like a cozy cabin. Switch out the couch pillows with fall colored ones and add a knitted throw to the arm of a chair. This will ensure your family and any potential guest will feel right at home. fall decor (5 of 5)
  5. Use the Green Needing to decorate the outside of your home too? Incorporate what you have by using your husband or kid’s John Deere Tractors. Place pumpkins, mums and maybe even a friendly scarecrow to give your front lawn a fall vibe.

    John Deere fall
    Google Image

Whether you use the inexpensive pumpkins and mums or just decorate with warm and cozy pillows, decorating for fall can be simple. Just light some cinnamon scented candles and your home will feel like fall. Have some other simple and easy fall decorating tips? Let us know in the comments below!

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My First Teal Hunt

“Have you ever been on a Teal hunt?” That was a question I got asked last week, and I am pretty sure what came out of my moth was “What is Teal?”. Growing up in Florida, my family hunted hogs, turkey and whitetail, but never duck. So, when Ben Anderson and his wife Ashley invited me to go on a Teal hunt with them, I jumped at the opportunity; even though I didn’t have a TX hunting license. But I did have my camera and that was good enough for me!  

When 4:45 am hit on Saturday, I was up, dressed, and out the door with my camera bag and cup of coffee ready to me the Andersons at 6 am in Lissie, TX. Once I met up with Ben, Ashley and a few of their friends, we were off to one of Ben’s rice fields that he had scoped out the evening before. By the time we got unloaded, drove the Gator to our spot, and got the decoys set up it was just about 7am. Barely able to see with all the fog and the sun just starting to light the sky, I put on my rubber boots, someone’s extra pair of water pants, and sat down in the middle of a road that separated 2 rice fields.  

I think everyone kinda expected to meet our limit of 30 Teal within an hour. Due to the fog, that “hour” quickly turned into 3, only shooting singles and doubles. For those of you who do not know, singles and doubles mean one or two birds flying together, not in a group. The group ended up getting 18 Teal and I had an absolute blast! Now do I get my hunting license or do I buy a pair of waders? Thanks Ben and Ashley for allowing me to tag along! 

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National Farmer’s Market Week

National Farmer’s Market week is August 7-13th. This designated time is to celebrate and bring awareness to farmers, ranchers and businesses related to local agriculture. Why are farmer’s markets so popular when your local grocery stores offer a wide variety of similar products in one place? The attraction of going to a farmer’s markets goes beyond just an offering of produce. Most markets include items like baked goods, fresh eggs, soaps and canned goods such as jams and pickles. Farmer’s markets offer the consumer a wide variety of products that families, farms, ranches, and businesses bring. Farmers markets are a big part of the history of the United States. Your local farmer’s markets offer a glimpse into the past. Demonstrating just how rural commerce was done since trade began between the Puritans and the Indians.  

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So why not try one out? Here are 4 reasons why you should go to your local farmer’s market every chance you get! 

  1. Supports local economy and farming and ranching families: When you shop at farmer’s markets, you are supporting local families, farms, ranches and businesses, in addition to boosting your local economy. Shopping local is a great way to meet area producers who can provide products to your family all year long. 
  2. Fresh and seasonal: Fresh just taste better. So, while walking around a farmer’s market, you can see all the fresh, seasonal possibilities for snacks or dinner. 
  3. An affordable variety: At farmer’s markets, many booths offer the same types of products. If you like to bargain shop this allows you to find comparable fruits and vegetables for the best price.  
  4. Social: Local farmer’s markets can be fun and social. You can make it a fun trip for the family. Make it an educational trip for the kids by talking to the vendors about how they grow or produce their products. Most are happy and excited to share in the process. Once you purchase something, have your kids taste it! You can’t do that at the local store! The kids will remember that experience for a lifetime. 

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Though the reasons to shop at a farmer’s market are convincing, you may wonder where you will be able to find one near you. Here is a list of just a few of the local farmer’s markets.  

Local markets: 

If you live in or very close to the city of Houston, check out these:

 

So, get outside and go to your local farmer’s market this weekend! Not only will you be supporting your local economy, but it will also be fun!

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