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County Fairs The Biggest Show On Earth

Download Related File For farmers and ranchers, the county fair is the biggest show on earth – nearly 3000 fairs occupying more than a quarter million acres. Maybe the county fair in your county has shrunk in size, but when combined with others across the country, it’s still quite a show that you guys put on… County Fairs — The Biggest Show On Earth For farmers and ranchers, the county fair is the biggest show on earth – nearly 3000 fairs occupying more than a quarter million acres. Maybe the county fair in your county has shrunk in size, but when combined with others across the country, it’s still quite a show that you guys put on. No other industrialized country even compares, and no industry is even close to being showcased like that of agriculture. So with 4-H being the centerpiece, it embodies the spirit of farming and ranching like none other. Having participated in most of the major livestock shows around the country as either a judge or coach, I can assure you that nothing makes the adrenaline pump like that of competing with your peers at the county level – people that you grew up with and listened to the folklore of the one that would-a, could-a, should-a won. This is unlike that of the professionals, where strangers meet and compete for perhaps the first time....

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It’s No Bull

To be rejected, discovered, and mis-identified all in one day, is more than just any ol’ calf should be expected to tolerate. But, like they say, “don’t look a gift horse (calf) in the mouth…” Unfortunately, the mouth of a neglected calf was that of greatest concern – even more than that of determining sex and other pertinent data of a day old calf. There it laid, no mama, no milk, and no one to even claim it. You see, the cows had all been rounded up and trucked off to their winter home. The summer pasture lay vacant — grazed to the depths of blending with all the beautiful fall colors. There was a cool, brisk evening breeze, and with the gates hanging wide open, what’s to stop the free spirit of a four-wheelin’ ride? This was a ride they had been looking forward to all summer, with nothing to stop them but a fence between them and the cows. It was full throttle when they hit the gate hole down the ravines, up the hills, and flying over that little narrow creek bed. It was so much fun, but suddenly — what could that be that they almost ran over? With a closer look, there was no question about it — it was a new-born calf, just laying there scared and almost motionless. Obviously, it had been...

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Recycling in the garden

I think gardeners have been recycling since people first began gardening.  Farmers spread the barnyard fertilizer on fields and on gardens; it adds tilth to the soil, as well as needed nutrients. My chicken house ‘stuff’ is mostly straw, and it really makes my soil much lighter than it is naturally. Think of hard clay gumbo with some small rocks thrown in, just to make the tiller jump! Several of our readers sent in some neat ideas for ways to recycle in the garden over the past couple of years.  I tried them and since they work, I decided to share them with all of you. Tin can ‘protectors’ Some of my neighbors use old gallon tin cans around their tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, and other similar veggies. Basically, anything that is set out individually as plants, instead of seeds. The tins protect against wind damage to the tender new plants and keep cutworms from chewing stems off at ground level. The plants grow over the tops of the cans and won’t be seen when the garden is fully growing.  In the fall, when the garden is stripped clean, the cans are piled up in the shed to be used next year and for many more to come. Others use the gallon plastic milk jugs with the bottoms cut off and the caps removed as sort of a hot...

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Arming the Natives

Dear Michael: We have quite a bit of land, machinery, but we’ve also been able to stockpile some savings and quite a bit of grain on hand or on contracts that has grown to a good amount over the past few years. We have one child who farms and three other children not involved in farming. Right now we have enough that we feel all of the children…   Dear Michael: We have quite a bit of land, machinery, but we’ve also been able to stockpile some savings and quite a bit of grain on hand or on contracts that has grown to a good amount over the past few years. We have one child who farms and three other children not involved in farming. Right now we have enough that we feel all of the children should be treated equitably, if not equally, by splitting up our property – both land and liquid assets – between all four of our children. Our farming son will receive enough of our liquid assets that he should be able to buy out his non-farming siblings when we die. Are we looking at this the right way? – Pondering. Dear Pondering: It’s good that you took the time to stop and think about this as very few people do. Most people make a visit to their local attorney, tell him or her...

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Will Your Farm Survive Into The Next Generation?

Will your farm survive into the next generation? If it does, it will happen for two reasons. The first reason will be your lifelong ability to build a financially viable farming operation. This will insure enough assets to sustain your retirement, be fair to your non-farming offspring and to transfer your farming assets to your successor(s). The second reason is your willingness to groom your successors to be good operators in their own right. The succession and eventual agriculture success of the next generation depends on personal relationships within the family and astute farm management. Love of the land.  By early adolescence, teens have formed their feelings about farming. This is based on their attachments to the land, close working relationships within the farm family, and the independence of farming as a profession and prospects for the future.      Financial strain on the parents affects the attitude of the children. If the parents see no future in agriculture and/or are angry and bitter over their farming experience, their children are not likely to choose farming as their intended career.      Young men are more likely to enter farming or develop a strong preference for living in a rural area if they come from highly productive farms. Parental help is necessary to get them started. This process is easier when there aren’t as many male children competing for family resources....

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