Friday, March 29, 2013


Today USDA announced the availability of funds from the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for agricultural producers and rural small businesses for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Click below to read more!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mid-Week Motivation from Sarah Aubrey!

Did you know that successfully finding and winning grants is really more like project management than being a grant writer? Read more in this weeks MwM from Sarah Aubrey!


Monday, March 25, 2013

The Missing Ink Book Review By: Sarah Aubrey

          I have always loved writing-both the mental creation of a story and the actual mechanics of putting pencil to paper thus allowing thoughts to flow into real-time. It’s a novelty, really, the way writing enables the seamless transition from brain, to pencil, to appearance before your eyes on paper. It reminds me of the summer camp experiment of writing with lemon juice and then heating the paper-the words appear where none were before! This exercise I apparently have in common with British writer, Philip Hensher, an award winning author that mentions the lemon-ink trick his is recent treatise on handwriting called The Missing Ink.

         I picked up the book, drawn to it due to the cover image of his   subtitle The Lost Art of  Handwriting and knew I’d instantly be a commiserator when I read his opening paragraph:

 “About six months ago, I realized that I had no idea what the handwriting of a good friend of mine looked like. I had known him for over a decade, but somehow we had never communicated using handwritten notes…I had no idea whether his handwriting was bold or crabbed, sloping or upright, italic or rounded, elegant or slapdash.”

            How many friends did I have whose writing I could not aptly recall? Hmmm, a few, I suspect, but surely not close friends! I couldn’t be certain, so I read on:

“…it seems handwriting is about to vanish…is anything going to be lost apart from the habit of writing with pen and paper? Will some part of our humanity, as we have always understood it, disappear as well?”

            Handwriting-vanish? Surely not! I love all that nice penmanship implies about a person. And, I actually enjoy writing-with all of its potential for calluses, pen stains, hand cramps, and even the odd blue-gray shadows on the sides of fingers. Sadly, if I am honest, it’s true I spend most of my time scribbling notes quickly and messily. My handwriting has become more of a scrawled, shoved-to-close-to-the-margins habit than an exercise in creativity or style. Yes, it’s really an abomination of the “art” once considered to indicate a person’s educational level or status. Though I blush with shame when I chicken-scratch a note or an unsightly letter to a colleague (yes, I do send handwritten thank you’s and notes of congratulations), I am set to wondering-does handwriting matter?

Hensher raises the question repeatedly in his book, but before he does, he shares some ‘benefits’ of handwriting. One I particularly like:

“…you could call up exactly the right word by pen chewing, an entertainment which every different one contributes to in its own way.”

            Who among us has not used the pen-chewing approach to writer’s block? What are future generations to do-bite the OtterBox, indestructible case of their iPhones?

            He also points out the relationship we have with writing and writing instruments-I certainly have my favorite pens and pencils.

“The pen has been with us for so many millennia that is seems not just warm, but almost alive, like another finger.”

While I have a favorite pen that glides nicely across the page, balanced by a perfect weightiness, I certainly have no love for the irritating touchscreen keyboard of my phone or the clickty-clack of my laptop keyboard. In fact, my favorite pencil does not betray me by creating errors I never intended! If I jot something in error, it’s my fault and not because the ‘auto-correct’ (Auto-correct, which all the while claims it “knows” how I type, when in fact it does not know what I intend to say!) has a habit of creating rather embarrassing type-o’s!

            Is the keyboard or touchscreen the evolution of penmanship?  Eek-the thought! Hensher credits Marx with an interesting fact saying he believed civilization’s advance was marked by the fact that humans have opposable thumbs.

 It was impressive (that Marx apparently ‘guessed’) that sooner or later men would invent a way of writing that required only the movement of thumbs.”

Now with my once practiced and even (a little) pretty penmanship disheveled I wonder if it matters. What does one’s handwriting indicate about them today? If you write something in a messy way, is it now excusable because the reader will assume a phone to text or create a voice note was (gasp!) unavailable?

“…We have surrendered our handwriting for something more mechanical, less distinctively human, less telling about ourselves…”

I almost feel now an urgent need to correct the handwriting that has fallen into disarray and carelessness. I think I will endeavor to improve while people still read handwritten correspondence lest the need for it fall away completely. I’d rather my last handwritten notes be fetching, not only fastidiously drafted!

Take a look at The Missing Ink. Maybe you should also pen someone a note-it might soon be your last chance! 

Principal, Prosperity Consulting, LLC

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mid-week Motivation from Sarah Aubrey!

How many times have you been faced with a touchy issue in your family, business or corporate life? Read more in this week's MwM from Sarah Aubrey!


Friday, March 8, 2013

Sarah Aubrey to Speak at Indiana Farm Bureau Spring Conference


Thank you to Courtney Rude and  Indiana Farm Bureau for hosting Sarah as a speaker at your 2013 Spring Conference. 

 Sarah will be presenting "Financing Your Succession Plan: Grant Programs and Ideas that Can Help" from 2:45-4:00 PM today at the Marriott Indianapolis East.

 For the full 2013 Indiana Farm Bureau Spring Conference Agenda click here:

Friday, March 1, 2013

Free REAP Grant Conference Call - March 6th!

We are now submitting REAP grants for 2013! Join the Prosperity team and USDA on a free conference call for details and live Q&A. Use the number below to take the call from anywhere!
Free REAP Grant Conference Call
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 @ 4:00 P.M. EST
Conference Dial-in Number: (605) 475-4800
Participant Access Code: 619303#
Call us today to start an application! All applications must be submitted prior to construction and payments on any equipment. An on-site energy audit is also now required for every application. If you have a grain dryer, irrigation or greenhouse project, please contact our office to start the audit process. (317) 996-2777 or by email to

To Your Prosperity,
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