Finding Love After Loss: Sharing Passion for Seeing New Places, Meeting New People

Suffering crop loss in 1993 turned out to be one of the best things that could have ever happened to Augie Schad. If it wouldn’t have been for Mother Nature, he might never have met claims adjuster Nancy Ruesink.

Augie and Nancy enjoy traveling. This photo was taken while visiting Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada.

Nancy grew up on a farm in western North Dakota and moved to Minnesota after she married.  When she became a widow at age 26, she chose to farm so she could stay home with her two young sons.  Then in 1989 Nancy became a crop adjuster.  Today she works as claims supervisor for eastern Minnesota and is also actively involved with the seed business.

“My experience in crop insurance complements the seed business and vice versa,” says Nancy.  “I stay informed about the newest technology and have the privilege of seeing many different products perform on many different farms.   And knowing what’s happening in the seed world helps me inform the producers I work with.  It’s really all about helping people.”

Helping farmers become even more productive and profitable keeps the seed business interesting for Augie, who was raised on a dairy farm near Plainview, Minnesota, and has been a Latham® dealer for 18 years.

“New seed traits and technologies have made production agriculture safer for producers and consumers alike,” says Augie.  “And making the best seed products available to customers is really important to me.  I know that, as a family-owned business, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds is most interested in helping farmers be profitable and successful.  I also like the fact that I can talk directly to the company’s owners.”

Outside of work, Augie and Nancy enjoy traveling.  This winter they headed west for a few weeks, visiting family and friends.  They spiced up a community potluck in Arizona with a batch of “Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos.”  As soon as someone tried the first pepper and said how much he liked it, Nancy said the rest of the batch was gone in a blink of an eye.

See how quickly these appetizers disappear as you gather with family and friends!  Nancy’s recipe for stuffed jalapeños follows.  Also listed below is her recipe for Blueberry Chicken Salad, which has been a hit at their family reunions.

Now that the days are getting longer and warmer, it won’t be long before the picnic season is here.  What’s your favorite dish to make for a potluck?

Blueberry Chicken Salad

BlueberryChickenSaladYield:  4-6 servings
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  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 cups cubed, cooked chicken breast
  • ¾ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup diced sweet red pepper
  • ½ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 carton (6 oz.) lemon yogurt
  • 3 T. Mayo
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Bibb lettuce leaves, optional


  1. Set aside a few blueberries for garnish.
  2. In a large bowl, gently combine the chicken, celery, red pepper, onions and remaining blueberries.
  3. Combine the yogurt, mayo and salt: drizzle over chicken mixture and gently toss to coat.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Serve on lettuce-lined plates if desired.
  6. Top with reserved blueberries.

COOK’S NOTE:  Great for lunch or a light summer supper.

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapeños



  • 24 medium jalapeño peppers
  • 1 pound Jimmy Dean® regular pork sausage (raw)
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 12 bacon strips, cut in half



  2. Make a lengthwise cut in each jalapeño, about 1/8 in. deep; remove seeds and any membrane.
  3. Combine raw sausage and cheddar cheese; stuff into jalapeños.
  4. Wrap each jalapeno with bacon, secure with toothpick.
  5. Prepare grill for indirect heat, using a drip pan.,
  6. Place jalapeños over pan, grill covered, over indirect medium heat for 17-20 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reaches 160°.
  7. Grill, covered over direct heat for 1-2 minutes longer or until bacon is crisp.

COOK’S NOTE:  These appetizers are guaranteed to disappear at a party!