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2 Ag Families-Summer Ag Families-Summer 3 FORD F-150 5505 Ft. Campbell Blvd. Hopkinsville 1-800-599-2624 2015 FORD F-150 THE FUTURE OF TOUGH. ALL-NEW F-150. The future of tough is here today so you can own work now like never before. - High-strength military grade aluminum- alloy body - High-strength steel frame for less weight yet greater strength - Best-in-class towing and payload - Improved power-to-weight ratio across the entire 4-engine lineup for greater performance - Better fuel efficiency by up to 20 percent over the previous years F-150 - Best-ever ride handling and braking - New features that redefine the cab and pickup box Class is Full-Size Pickups under 8500 lbs. GVWR. 2015 4 Ag Families-Summer WHATS INSIDE Mule matters 12 Family finds success in raising mules as a hobby Beneficial bugs 16 Find out how critters play an important role to the land For merit or money 18 Farmers weigh the value of USDA organic certification For the love of flowers 24 Farm blossoms after couple reunites The sharpest shooter 28 CCHS graduate earns state and national trapshooting titles Other stories How to keep Fido cool this summer 8 Finance tips for an ag household 10 Farming and faith column 32 Memories of shadetree mechanics 32 About us Ag Families is a quarterly magazine serving those whose livelihood grows from the ground up in the southern Pennyrile. Inside youll find new and useful agricultural information ideas for cultivating great things on your farm and a host of other fun activities for everyone in your family. Ag Families also seeks to educate readers about the role agriculture plays in the local economy. Executive Editor Eli Pace Editor Zirconia Alleyne Advertising Manager Ted Jatczak Contributing Writers Susan Hurt Tony Hurt Melisa Morgan Toni W. Riley Rae Wagoner and Janie Corley. To advertise in Ag Families contact Ted Jatczak at 270-887-3278 or email him at 1618 East Ninth Street Hopkinsville KY 42240 270-887-3235 Find us online AgFamilies FamiliesMagazine EDITORSNOTE I APPthat AG WEED ID helps farmers identify weeds during scouting in six major row crops corn cotton rice sorghum soybeans and wheat.The database includes info and images for nearly 75 common weeds.The search can be narrowed by crop season and location. AgWeedwascreatedbyPentonandFarm Progress.TheappisavailableonAndroid andiPhone. A g Families celebrates its one-year anniver- sary this month so I decided to reflect on how much Ive learned about agriculture this past year. I learned that the ag community shows up whenever needed. When my publisher told me we were launching an agricul- tural magazine I was ready for the challenge. With the help of the Christian County Extension Service we rounded up a focus group of 10 farmers wives who were eager to tell us what they wanted to see in an ag mag. I left that meeting enlightened excited and ready to get the tractor rolling. Farmers are hardworkers faithful innovative steadfast and forever adapting to the highs and lows of their trade. I was determined to find writers who live and breathe agriculture and thankfully they found me along the way. They are farmers farmers wives ag teachers ag salesman ag enthusiasts and simply people who grew up on the farm. Im glad you all are on my team. I learned that ag families want to read the sto- ries that often get overlooked. Many were thrilled that there was finally a local publication dedicated to the producers in our community. It was a chance to educate the public about agriculture as well as highlight the families who put so much time and sacrifice into it. I wanted to be as hands on as possible. I wanted to meet people try new things and learn what goes into farming. Over the past year Ive learned how to cut tobacco and how it can be used for fuel. I learned about hybrid canola and the benefits of using its oil for cooking. Im still using my bottle of Solio canola oil to grill my sum- mer dishes. I pet a Longhorn bull at Lone Star ranch in Crofton and Ive been licked by a calf in Pembroke. I even milked a fake cow at the Downtown Farmers Market. I could go on and on about what Ive learned over the past year but there are more stories to harvest and more seeds to plant. I hope you have enjoyed the stories we shared with you over the past year and I hope the sup- port and enthusiasm for Ag Families continues to grow as we plow into year two. In this issue read about a family who breeds and raises prize-winning mules a teen who holds a multiple titles in trapshooting and a couple who reunites and starts a business based on their love of flowers. Be sure to connect with us on our Facebook page Ag Families and tell us the stories youd like to see and the stories youre glad you read. Best Wishes Zirconia Alleyne Editor ZirconiaAlleyne One year in more stories to harvest The 16th annual Christian County Cattlemans Lone Star Rodeo will be 8 p.m. Aug. 14 and 15 at theWestern Kentucky State Fairgrounds.The special needs rodeo will be 10 a.m. Aug. 14 at the fairgrounds. Events include bareback bronc riding saddle bronc riding calf roping cow- girls breakaway roping steer wrestling team roping cowgirls barrell racing Brahma bull riding and chuckwagon racing.There will also be contests for the best dressed cowboy and cowgirl. Box seats are 100. Adult general admission is 10 in advance or 15 at the gate. Children are 8 in advance or 10 at the gate.Tickets are available at all the elite sponsors Skyline Animal Clinic Planters Bank Buy Rite Auto Parts Kentucky New Era Sisk Auto HR Agri-power and Hutson.Visit the Kentucky New Era and Ag Families booth at the rodeo to get your picture taken at the photo booth.Then likeAg Familieson Facebook to see and share them. Rootin atthe Ag Families-Summer 5 6 Ag Families-Summer CONTRIBUTINGWRITERS I Susan Hurt is an elementary teacher at Heritage Christian Academy. She received special recognition for excellence in jour- nalism from the Associated Press. She is the wife ofTony Hurt and they have two children Jake and Jessica.The couple re- sides on their family farm inTrigg County. Catch up with Susan online at www.pinterest.comsusan4621 Tony Hurt is a native of Elkton. He is a freelance videographer and photographer and the owner of Cornerstone Outdoor Productions LLC. His work can be seen on TheWorld Fishing NetworkThe Outdoor Channel andThe Sportsman Channel. He and his wife Susan have two children and live on a farm inTrigg County. FindTony online at www.linkedin.compubtony- hurt5486a613 RaeWagoner is the director of communi- cation for the Kentucky Soybean Board and editor for the Kentucky Soybean Sen- tinel. Rae is a former general manager for a small weekly inWestern Kentucky. Con- nect with Rae on Facebook atKentucky Soybean Associationor follow her on Twitter kysoybean Janie Corley her husband Milton and their three children moved to his familys farm in north Christian County in 1999. Since then they have shared their love of agri- culture and their love for Jesus through ChristianWay Farm Mini Golf a working farm and an agri-tourism experience for all ages. Find Janie on Facebook asJanie Smith Corley. ToniW. Riley served as the Christian County 4-H Agent for 35 years before retir- ing in 2014. She now manages a 30-head herd of Boer goats and raises goats for 4-H and FFA project members in ve states. She has two daughters Elizabeth 26 and Catherine 24. Her late husband David Riley was editor of the Kentucky New Era. Mayra Diaz Ballard was born in Havana Cuba before she immigrated toTampa Florida in 1954. Ballard lived in ve other states prior to settling inWestern Kentucky in 1985.While residing in Pennsylvania she raised fruits vegetables and rabbits. She became more associated with agricul- ture in 1998 while assisting farmers in ob- taining their farm labor needs. She currently resides in Mayeld where she and her husband enjoy beekeeping and raising Boer goats. Portia Dickinson grew up in a farming family near Christian County. She recalls her childhood like it was yesterday. Each quarter Portia who goes by the pseudo- nymP.D. Dickinsonwill retell a childhood memory she shared with her family. DianeTurner grew up on a family farm and has ocially been a farmers wife for al- most year. She is happily married to Jason Turner. In high school she proudly wore the blue and gold colors of FFA and was a member of the National FFA Band. She loves to volunteer in the community and is currently the president of the newly formed Rosebuds Homemakers Club. She and her husband live near Pembroke with their dog Sallie Mae. Olivia Clark graduated from Christian County High School in 2000 and attended Murray State University where she gradu- ated in the fall of 2003 with a bachelors degree in agriculture science. She also holds a masters in agriculture. While at Murray State Clark taught some agricul- ture courses and completed a thesis on agriculture leadership development pro- grams. Clark is one of the agriculture instructors at CCHS where she co-sponsors the schools National FFA organization. Susan Hurt Tony Hurt RaeWagoner Janie Corley ToniW. Riley P.D. Dickinson Mayra Diaz Ballard Olivia Clark DianeTurner ScantheQR codetofollowAgFamiliesonFacebook. Ag Families-Summer 7 CADIZ KY New Pre-Owned Vehicles Parts Service Finance 5525 Hopkinsville Rd. Cadiz KY 270-522-6636 LUTTRULL FEEDS Beef Dairy Poultry Feed Livestock Minerals Pet Food Supplies Seed Bee Supplies Non-GMO Chicken Starter Layer 127 Hobson Street Pembroke 270.475.9999 Mon.-Fri. 800AM-400PM Sat. 800AM-1200PM 8 Ag Families-Summer Keep Fido COOL during the DOG DAYS of summer BY SUSAN HURT PHOTO BYTONY HURT If your home is anything like mine your dog is part of the family. Char- lie our border collie mix is faithfully by our side which means he spends his days running on the farm swimming in the creek and chas- ing squirrels in the woods. Keeping Charlie healthy means keeping him safe and free from disease-causing parasites. Veterinarian Dr. Todd Freeman shares tips for keeping your canine cool and healthy during the dog days of summer. Heartworms Larvae are transmitted from one animal to another through mosquitos. Heartworm preventatives kill larvae before they mature. Preventatives are ineffective toward adult heartworms. Heartworms can be transmit- ted any time of the year. Ive seen mosquitos every month of the year so a preventative should be given year round. Adulticide treatment is expensive and risky for the pet. Prevention is key. Pets that have not been on heartworm preventative should be tested for heartworms before starting preventative medicine. Ideally they should be retested in six months because it takes approximately six months from exposure for larvae to be detected by the test. Heartworm disease is fatal if left untreated. You can ensure your pet stays heartworm free with prevention. Ask your vet for a heartworm preventative to keep parasites at bay. Fleas Only 5 percent of adult fleas are visible on pets. The remainder are immature stages in the environment. Fleas must get a blood meal to lay eggs. A female flea can lay 3000-plus eggs during its lifetime. All animals in the household must be treated and pet owners must kill the adult flea before it lays eggs to break the life cycle. It may take three months for all eggs to hatch after an infestation so dont expect one treatment to kill all the fleas. Oral flea and tick products are effective at killing adult fleas but the immature stages are difficult to eliminate. Environmental treatment can be helpful in getting flea infestations under control. Ticks Ticks are hardy little critters that can carry some deadly diseases. They are best controlled by oral flea and tick products but there are a few types of collars that are very effective. See your veterinarian for the best products for your pet. Most over the counter flea and tick products give less than desirable results. Joy Rides While it may be fun for Fido it is dangerous to drive with a dog in the back of a pickup. In fact in many states it is illegal. Dogs can be injured or thrown from the truck bed during a ride. Dogs should always ride in the cab. Never leave your pets in the car. Even if windows are cracked the in- terior temperature can rise 19 degrees in as little as seven minutes. On a hot day this can be deadly. It only takes 15 minutes for an animal to get heat stroke and die in a hot car. Keep Cool Exercise your pets only in the early morning or late evening. Avoid the hottest part of the day usually between 1 and 4 p.m. Provide shelter in a shady place preferably away from tall trees for your dog to retreat to when the weather is hot or stormy. Signs that your dog is in distress due to heat include vomiting or drool- ing fatigue heavy panting or obvious difficulty breathing diarrhea or seizures. If your dog shows signs of heat stress move it to a cool place drape a damp towel over its body rewetting the cloth frequently and get the dog to a vet as soon as possible. Hydration Dogs drink more water in the summer than other seasons. To keep your dog hydrated place a few buckets of cool fresh water in different locations around the yard. Make sure the inside water bowl is always full too. Collars Make sure that your dog always wears a dog collar and current iden- tification tags with your contact information. Safety dog collars such as reflective and illuminated dog collars ensure additional safety. Dogs love the long summer days because it means spending more time with family outdoors. Keeping your pets healthy will ensure you share many more summers together in the great outdoors. Ag Families-Summer 9 10 Ag Families-Summer BY DIANETURNER While working on this article about managing farm finances I thought How can I write this when I am terrible at a budget my- self Then I thought Everyone does things a little bit different. We all have different methods to understanding our money mad- ness and what didnt work for me might work for someone else. When I changed jobs a few years ago it was hard for me to adjust from being paid every Friday to only twice a month. I struggled for months with my budget Lets be honest maybe I still do. I brain- stormed different techniques and tried giving myself only half of my check and putting the rest aside. When that didnt work I put money in my savings accounts so I would get a penalty if I withdrew money too often. As you can imagine that method failed as well. After get- ting married I realized I needed to step it up and finally started using a different system. For our family things are a little bit easier. My husband and I have full-time jobs that bring in regular paychecks and my husband farms on the side. Monthly bills are paid with income from our full-time jobs. For insurance and extra items we use the envelope system putting a little bit away each week so that when large bills come the sting isnt as bad. Many families have one stream of income to pay for monthly ex- penses. Others rely on income when crops are sold. Some larger families may find it easier for the primary-care provider to stay home and save on the cost of child care in the early years and to lend help in the field or in the shop. Not every year is a good year for farming but there are options when things are not so great. Recently I had the chance to talk with Jarrod Bennett sales representative and owner of Western Ken- tucky Crop Insurance about the products he offers farmers when conditions are unfavorable for crops. Most of the policies Bennett offers are considered federally sub- sidized while 5 percent of the policies are private. When a claim is placed insurance is tailored to make up for the annual shortfalls in cash flow and revenue. The policy itself acts as liability protection for the purchaser. Many lending sources require farmers to have some type of crop insurance before they are approved for lines of credit. Bennett said the most recent Farm Bill is a source of concern for the agricultural community considering only 20 percent of it is focused on insurance and FSA programs. We have to protect Americas food source so there was a great deal of lobbying in Washington D.C. to pass a Farm Bill that gave reassurance to the community he said. Lending institutions provide the light at the end of the tunnel for many farmers. Brandon Oldham branch manager of United Southern Bank spoke about the options he can offer customers. Lines of credit provide cash flow for purchasing equipment seed or others products vital to the production and harvesting of crops. Oldham said the bank works with its customers in ways that are convenient for them such as arranging annual or semi-annual pay- ments with only the interest being due each month. He also talked about how the bank is competitive with its interest rates and that he is not afraid to send customers elsewhere if they can get them better terms. My no. 1 concern is the customer Oldham said and making sure that their needs are met. If I cant do that here Ill refer them to someone who can help. With the assistance of lending institutions such as United South- ern Bank and Farm Credit Services many small farmers have the financially stability they need. Luckily the government also believes in setting aside funds for our agricultural communities through programs at local FSA offices and supporting crop insurance agencies. Much of this information is not new but it helps the rest of us understand the struggles our ag families face maybe we need to take a lesson on budgeting from our farmer friends. Finance tips from a farmers wife and experts Ag Families-Summer 11 270 339-6858 Crofton KY John Deere Sprayer - 60 boom foam markers new tires ready for the field. 3200032000 2006 carelift zoom boom 8044 - job ready 2450024500 Harlo Forklift - HP6500 4x4 1750017500 9500095000 Ditch Witch 4010 - with trailer 89008900 CAT 926E Loader - New motor and transmission good tires with forks 2950029500 1997 Ford Service Truck - Ready to Work 1500015000 2006 Takeuchi TL130 1750017500 Heavy Equipment Sales Parts Service SALES PARTS SERVICE CARTRUCK PARTS TIRES 2005 D6R - under carriage 90 cold ac Ferguson 46b Canopy Roller John Deere engine 420 hours 75007500 12 Ag Families-Summer the possibilities muleing over shadows as the McCuiston family tacks up their mounts to ride out and check the cattle. Theres the normal family banter about who feeds most who mucks out stalls and who cant get their saddle on correctly. The family laughs and teases each other as they put their feet in the stirrups and ease into the saddles of their hybrids mules that is. The McCuistons Patrick LeeAnn Maci 16 and Tanner 13 have become one of the pre- mier breeders and exhibitors in the North American Saddle Mule Association. Mules are the hybrid of breeding two different species a female horse called a mare and a male donkey a jack. Patrick says his venture of raising and showing mules was God given. His voice is marked with emotion as he describes the special relationship he had with his late grandfather long-time State Senator Pat McCuiston. I spent a lot of time with my grandfather who I called Daddy Pat as I was growing up Patrick says. He gave me my first heifer calf an orphan that I raised on a bottle and my first quarter horse mare. He made me the cowboy I am today. BYTONIW. RILEY PHOTOS BY CATHERINE RILEY he early evening sun casts long Ag Families-Summer 13 ExpectGreatThings MemberFDIC ServingHopkinsvilleWesternKentucky andClarksvilleTennesseewith13 ConvenientOces TRENTON FARM SUPPLY Milking Equipment Sales Service Milking Equipment Sales Service 2470 Cemetery Rd. Trenton KY 42286 270-466-3180 2470 Cemetery Rd. Trenton KY 42286 270-466-3180 14 Ag Families-Summer MULE CONTINUED... The quarter horse mare was named Holly Bar Nita Bucky for short. Bucky was to become the foundation for the mules which began in 2001. Patrick needed to pack a mule for a fu- ture elk-hunting trip so he decided to breed Bucky to a jack owned by David Toms. His plan was successful and a male foal was born marking the start of what is now McCuiston Mules delineated by the rolling Mc brand. Patrick decided to name it Jake. When David Toms saw the young mule as a 2-year-old he told Patrick Jake needed to be shown but Patrick was hesitant. We were really uncertain about showing Jake but decided OK if thats what we need do Patrick remembers. He entered Poco Jake in the National Mule Show in Shelbyville Tennessee as a halter mule. Patrick admits he had no idea what he was doing. He even had to take a 4-H horse ex- hibitor with him because she knew how to show at halter. Patrick wasnt expecting much to come of the show and none of the family went along. You can imagine the surprise we had when Patrick called and said that Jake had been named 2004 NASMA National Champion 2- year-old LeeAnn laughs. This began the McCuistons family experi- ences in riding and showing mules. Patrick began to break and train Jake which was something he loved doing with horses. Breaking and training a mule uses no different techniques than a horse he says but the trainer must have 10 times more patience. Mules are very smart and arent going to do anything where they think they will get hurt or you will get hurt Patrick explains. They have to be confident that the trainer knows what they are doing before they will do what the trainer asks. Patrick says mules are intuitive and have great endurance whether they are showing working cattle or serving as a pack animal. As members of the National Saddle Mule As- sociation the McCuistons began to show Jake in 2007 and realized what an exceptional ani- mal he was at several different levels. The as- sociation has four age groups and more than 30 classes that test a wide range of the mules ability. A mule can be exhibited in Western English speed barrels and poles as well as sorting and team roping which are classes that test the mule and riders ability to work cattle. LeeAnn says Jake can adjust not only from class to class but also from rider to rider and still have the endurance to be shown compet- itively for three days. One time when Patrick Tanner and Maci were showing Jake the mule competed in 18 classes over a three-day show. Its really hard to appreciate what Jake has to do until you think about the fact that he has to switch from an adult rider to a youth to an under 10-year-old rider LeeAnn says. When Tanner was in the under-10 class all they can do was walk and trot. Even if Tanner tried to go faster Jake instinctively knew not to travel any faster than a trot. As Jake became more successful on the NASMA show circuit which covers a large area across the United States Patrick began raising more mules. When breeding for mules Patrick says the breeder has to consider the mule will get its athletic ability from the mare and its temperament from the jack. Patrick wants to continue using Bucky and her off- spring Lexi because their bloodlines are from strong foundation Quarter Horses. Their jack isnt fancy LeeAnn says but it does have a good personality and disposition. Like many families the children were in- volved in several activities during elementary school but have made choices about where they are going to spend their time as theyve gotten older. Maci chose the mules and Tanner chose sports. Parents also have to balance work with pleasure and the McCuistons are no excep- tion. Patrick who farms and does electrical work travels with Maci to shows as far west as Denver and across the Southeast. LeeAnn who is the Todd County Extension Agent for 4-H makes sure Tanner gets to his sporting events. Someone has to be here to muck stalls and feed when they are gone she said. Even though Tanner doesnt show he enjoys trail riding camping out at Wranglers Camp and riding with the family in parades. Patrick watches with pride as his daughter describes how much she loves Jake. Hes mine now Maci quickly pointed out. Hes my bud and we have bonded. Maci talked about how she and Jake butt heads when she tries to work him a certain way but she loves that part of their partner- ship. She really enjoys having fun with the other members of the NASMA Youth. One fringe benefit was learning how to two-step at one of their events. Patrick hopes to raise mules full time some- day. He built a large arena where he can break and train but his real emphasis in the mules goes further than just raising showing and riding. Again his voice cracks with emotion when he says What makes this so special is that its what me and my granddad did and now me and my kids are doing it. TheMcCuistonsfromleftTannerPatrickandMacisitonmulesaroundMomLeeAnnontheirfarm.RightAmulehaslongearswhicharestrongsignsthatthishybridisnt ahorsebuttheresultofbreedingafemalehorsewithamaledonkey.PHOTOS BY CATHERINE RILEY Ag Families-Summer 15 What Is Hydronic Heating Hydronic heating systems provide a wonderful solution for heating a variety of spaces ranging from farm shops to homes. Although there are various types of hydronic heating the most typical systems heat the space by circulating hot water through pipes in the floor. These hydronic systems offer a variety of advantages over forced air systems including unsurpassed comfort and energy savings. THE BENEFITS OF HYDRONIC HEATING Unsurpassed Comfort Energy Savings Clean Quiet Operation Multiple Heat Source Options Even Heat Distribution System Design Service Available ELECTRICALPLUMBING DESIGN CENTER HVAC Since 1919 270-886-3335 Hopkinsville Russellville Owensboro Mayfield 2015 Christian County Cattlemans Association Rodeo August 14 15 Western Kentucky State Fairgrounds 270-886-4444 offer valid through 8312015 270-886-4444 offer valid through 8312015 400worth of Holiday World tickets will be given away. Register at the Kentucky New EraAg Families booth for full details 2015 Christian County Cattlemans Association Rodeo August 14 15 Western Kentucky State Fairgrounds Special subscription offer Mention Cowboy Upwhen you order a new full year subscription and 20 will be donated to the Cattlemans AssociationScholarship Fund. I f you are already a subscriber convert your account to KNE-Z Pay and 10 will be donated. Special subscription offer Mention Cowboy Upwhen you order a new full year subscription and 20 will be donated to the Cattlemans AssociationScholarship Fund. I f you are already a subscriber convert your account to KNE-Z Pay and 10 will be donated. 16 Ag Families-Summer Predatorsparasitizerspollinatorssoilenrichersallserveapurpose benecial bugs BYTONIW. RILEY With temperatures rising families wont be the only ones out and about to enjoy the weather but a myriad of insects that are native to our yards and gardens will also be crawling and abuzz. Before dousing every creepy-crawly bug-like creature it is im- portant to know there are beneficial insects that provide a real service and pose no threat to humans. Dr. Doug Johnson entomologist at the University of Kentucky Extension says beneficial bugs can fall into three categories predators and parasitizers pollinators and soil enrichers. Pollinators Pollinators have furry bodies that collect and carry pollen from one plant to another allowing the plants to reproduce. While hon- eybees are the most recognizable pollinator there are other im- portant pollinators to remember. Butterflies flies moths and other types of bees are also attracted to bright blooms to feed on nectar. These insects polli- nate more by accident as they move from blossom to blossom in search of food. Bee per bee many other bees are more efficient pollinators than are honeybees Johnson says. He points out the bumblebee known as a general pollinator and the Squash bee which is a solitary bee that specifically pol- linates squash. There are more than 3500 species of bees in North America. On a historical note Johnson notes honeybees are not native to America. The Europeans brought them here. Some early Ameri- can writers said Native Americans called honeybees white mans flies and knew a white settlement was nearby because of the bees. Johnson goes on to say that all pollinators even those that arent widely recognized should be protected. Soil enrichers predators and parasitizers Soil enrichers such as earthworms centipedes millipedes sow bugs and dung beetles all have a niche in the soil to aerate compost and control pests. These bugs either eat other bugs or lay their eggs on them. The hatched larva uses the host bug as nutrition. Though gruesome all of this has a purpose. Kentucky is home to several species of lady beetles which are probably the most recognizable beneficial bug. Known commonly as ladybugs these beetles are a universal garden predator and enjoy eating aphids which are sap-sucking plant lice. Before be- coming adults ladybugs go through a pupal stage and resemble caterpillars. Once developed most are red with black spots but some are black and shiny. Similar to the ladybug green lacewings are important garden predators and also love to eat aphids. Lacewings look like small green dragonflies but are more closely related to beetles. The praying mantis is commonly mistaken with the walking stick insect. The Chinese mantis is 4 inches long and a prize in insect collections. Using its color for camouflage the mantis am- bushes its prey with its front legs and then devours its food by chewing. While the praying mantis can fly it doesnt fly often however it is an excellent jumper. The praying mantis is not remarkably beneficial but it also isnt considered a pest. While everyone detests their painful stings wasps are benefi- cial. Most wasps including ants feed on caterpillars and other pests and some are parasitoids. The latter lays its eggs inside caterpillars where the larvae hatch using the host for food. Parasitoid wasps serve as vital pest control agents for many crops. The ichneumon wasp has a special egg-laying tool that in- serts its eggs into logs or branches that are infested with wood-borer beetle larvae. When the eggs hatch the wasp grubs consume the larvae. Assassin and ambush bugs are named that for a reason. An as- sassin bug catches its prey and instead of chewing it uses tube- like mouthparts to suck out the juice. Assassin bugs actively search for prey while ambush bugs wait in hiding. Assassin bugs will bite humans if handled carelessly and the bite can be painful. The wheel bug is one of the largest and most common assassin bugs. Hence its name it has a large wheel on its back. Everyone knows spiders catch prey in their webs and most arent dangerous to people. They come in all shapes sizes and colors. While most spiders spin webs to trap their prey the wolf spider actually hunts for food on the ground. Spiders use their venomous fangs to control their prey. Orchard spiders which are bright green white and yellow can be fascinating to watch. These large spiders are long-jawed and weave large intricate orb- shaped webs in gardens. Ag Families-Summer 17 CCPro Video Perfect as a gift or to help sell your home Ot CCPRLe and high-definition arm F Acreage Video take beauO videodefinition P t as a gift o paerialltifullVideo take beau ouryftage oooo f or tto as a gift oor sotpho ...our omvideo.c Acreage latriall Indus opertprallur R truction siteons C land yopert truction site ackP Pe t acctfeecreerP l t a llleellp s heel awwotart as lages sack as a g hom l your homeas a g ft as 199 dgmail.ctahls -6446270-881 omvideo.c omdgmail.c -6446 We meet every Thursday evening at 700PM and the first Sunday of the Month at 1000AM You dont have to be a cowboy to attend Christian County Cowboy Church Maybe you would like to attend a rural church in a rural setting. We believe that Jesus has and will continue to forgive sins and heal broken lives. We believe in the Holy Bible as the infallible Word of God. Preachers MikeBarbee 270 484-3211 SteveStewart 270 498-1332 4465 Witty Lane Hopkinsville OWBOY HURCH christian county the posse We meet every Thursday evening at 700PM and the first Sunday of the Month at 1000AM Preachers MikeBarbee 270 484-3211 SteveStewart 270 498-1332 18 Ag Families-Summer STORY AND PHOTOS BY ZIRCONIA ALLEYNE As consumers become more interested in the who what where and how of their food some farmers are leaning toward all-natural production practices and marketing their crops as organic. Its buzz word for consumers and signals produce was grown without pesticides or genetically modified organisms. But for farmers being an organic producer isnt as sim- ple as throwing the word on a label and sticking it on their products. Since 2002 the U.S. Department of Agricul- ture has required all farmers who market their products as organic to go through a lengthy certification process. The packet of papers is an inch thick said Tony Prettyman owner of Bramble and Bee Farm. Its worse than doing your taxes by a long shot. Before a farmer can label their produce as organic their soil must be free of prohibited substances for at least three years. After receiving organic certification farmers must continue to document their growing process and get inspected every year. In other words organic farmers cannot use most synthetic fer- tilizers and pesticides. Tony and his wife Alethia earned organic certification for their farm last year from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture a USDA certifying agent. The couple is widely known for their honey products at the Downtown Farmers Market but theyre repertoire includes a variety of herbs squash green beans broccoli cucum- bers cabbage purple hull peas snap peas okra melons peppers tomatoes beets radishes leeks green onions garlic and carrots based on the season. They sometimes sell organic tomatoes from a Mennonite farmer. Tony has been growing organically for as long as he remembers going back to the gar- den his mother kept at home in his childhood. Mom was organic before it took the USDA to tell her she was organic he said. When he and Alethia started farming Tony followed the same practices as his mom. It wasnt until they started selling their produce at the farmers market that the Prettymans decided to seek organic certification. Tony thought it would set them apart from other farmers there none of whom boast organic labels he said. Lots of people claim to grow chemical free or organic and dont he said. Many people who come to the farmers market think that everybody here is organic when theyre not. The question is Is it worth it Studies show that nutrients and antioxidants are higher in organic produce and the pres- ence of antibiotics pesticides and growth hor- mones is reduced. Many people who choose to buy organic do so out of consciousness for their health and the environment but Tony believes many local consumers dont yet have that mindset. In Hopkinsville the vast majority of people that come to the farmers market dont care if its organic or they dont know the differ- ence he said. The vast majority arent willing to pay any more because it is organic. So the question becomes is it worth it to me to go through all that paperwork and keep all the records of everything I harvest how much I harvest everything I sell Tony said hes still figuring that out. He and Alethia plan to recertify for two or three years to determine if the label is worth the 250 annual fee. We are cheaper in Kentucky than most states even though it seems expensive he said. But if it doesnt give me an advantage at the market why am I doing it Alethia said being certified by the USDA gives them the credibility with customers who doubt or dont know their practices are genuinely chemical- free and non-GMO. Even without the label the Prettymans will continue to grow their produce the healthiest way possible. The couple said they encourage all farmers to use organic practices. Everyone should consider organic practices whether or not they want to formalize it Alethia said. Its still a value to the environ- ment and a benefit to themselves to avoid using synthetic pesticides herbicides and fungicides. The pair joined the Organic Association of Kentucky several years before applying for certification. The group promotes and brings together farmers who want to learn more about growing organic. To any farmers thinking about pursuing organic certification Alethia laughed and said Get started. Its going to take a long time. Farmer wonders if organic certification is worth it TonyPrettymanwritesinalogbookattheDowntownFarmersMarketwhilehiswifeAlethiatalkswithacustomer. ThePrettymansownBrambleandBeeFarmwhichiscertifiedorganicbytheU.S.DepartmentofAgriculture. Theorganiclabelleftcertifiesproduce hasbeengrownwithoutanypesticidesor GMOs.Anyfarmwantingtolabeltheir produceasorganicmustbecertifiedby theU.S.DepartmentofAgriculture. Ag Families-Summer 19 Your hometown farm equipment financing source. Credit products are subject to normal credit approval and program guidelines. Deposit products offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC. EQUAL HOUSING U.S. Bank Community Banking is locally grown making decisions at the local level based on the relationships weve nurtured for years with customers and the community. Because after all when our communities find success we share in it together. Come see how we can help your business and our community prosper. branch 20 Ag Families-Summer BY ZIRCONIA ALLEYNE The Christian County Cattlemans Lone Star Rodeo has been drawing families to the grandstands for 18 years but for three local siblings their place isnt in the seats its in the arena atop horses. Paige Stallons 19 Aaron Stallons 17 and Bethany Stallons 14 will compete in the annual Lone Star Rodeo August 14 and 15. They have been riding horses as long as they can remember. Paige and Aaron got their start in the rodeo scene 10 years ago when their parents David and Becky Stallons enrolled them in the 4-H horse club. Weve always had horses and our kids grew up with horses said David a former team roper. We had looked to get the kids more in- volved into different sports and the kids really enjoyed the horses. Many of the children in the horse club were also competing in the Kentucky Junior Rodeo Association so the Stallons decided to give it a try. We had some friends who had done it in the past and helped get them started in roping and barrel racing David said. As they got older we started going to roping and barrel racing clinics. Paige found her niche in barrel racing pole bending and goat tying. Aaron started with dummy roping and goat tying. Bethany who was 4 at the time watched from the sidelines but was more than ready to hop in once she started kindergarten. Since then the teens have competed in more than 100 rodeos. Theres no telling how many rodeos theyve been in the mom laughed. The kids have made many trips to nationals. This is our sev- enth trip to the junior high national finals. Paige a student at Murray State University started competing in col- lege rodeos when she graduated from Hopkinsville High School. She recently held titles for Kentucky Jr. High All-Around Cowgirl Kentucky Jr. Rodeo All-Around Cowgirl and All-Around Cowgirl at the Southern Tennessee All-Star Rodeo to name a few. Last year she was a scholar- ship recipient from the Christian County Cattlemans Association Lone Star Rodeo. Sometimes she competes against Bethany in breakaway roping or Aaron in barrel racing. Paige said it pushes her to do better when her brother and sister are in her category. Usually I would have a faster time if I ran after they did because that was a little bit more motivation to come back and beat them just to say I did she chuckled. Bethany a student at HHS competed in the Kentucky Jr. High Rodeo nationals in Des Moine. Last year she won the Bowling Green Lone Star Rodeo and happened to be the youngest contestant there. Stallonssiblingsreadytowrangleinannualrodeo BethanyStallons14hangsonduringastuntattheNationalJuniorHighFinalsinJuneinDesMoinesIowa.Itwasherthirdtimeonthenationalstage.PHOTO PROVIDED TRIPLETHREAT Ag Families-Summer 21 Fairview Farm Center LLC 100 Ladybug Lane Pembroke KY 42266 Phone 270 707-2331 Fax 270 707-2335 Monday- Wednesday 7-5 Thursday Friday 7-630 Saturday 730-4 Closed Sundays Belts Pulleys Hardware Hydraulic Hose Farm Supplies Plumbing Supplies Electrical Supplies Large Inventory of Sprayer Parts Dealer for CropCare Ag Sprayers Weixi 3-Point Tillers 7-12 Width Much More 22 Ag Families-Summer AaronStallonsslingshisropeduringateamropingchampionshipinFranklinTennesseeinwhichAaronwasawardedthe championheelersaddle.PHOTOS PROVIDED RODEO CONTINUED... Aaron an HHS senior was named reserve champion calf roper and champion heeler at the Southern Tennessee All-Star Rodeo. In July he competed in team roping with Dawson Springs teen Allen Morse at the Interna- tional Finals Youth Rodeo in Shawnee Oklahoma. The rodeo drew 1500 competitors. Aaron said seeing the number of spectators in the stands gave him mixed feelings. I was excited and pumped but I was also nervous he said. His mom and dad were also there to cheer them on. Becky a stay-at-home mom said rodeoing has kept their family close through the years. It is expensive and were gone a lot but I get to spend a lot of time with my kids she said. Ive really enjoyed that. David a self-employed paintless dent repairman said theyre on the road most weekends out of the year. Our youngest doesnt know anything other than rodeos on the weekend the dad said. It does get tiresome and you get behind on things at home but it is a lot of fun. Paige remembers long cross- country car rides when she and her siblings were younger. She said theyd pass the time by play- ing road games annoying one an- other or catching up on sleep. When youre in a vehicle for sometimes 24 hours at a time you learn a lot about everybody and you have to learn to get along. Luckily the Stallons dont have to travel far for the upcoming Lone Star Rodeo. The two-day event will be at 8 p.m. August 14 and 15 at the Western Kentucky State Fairgrounds. The teens look forward to the event each year because family and friends get a chance to see them do what they love. They also hope to win big and place high. Its a hometown rodeo so you dont want to go out there and choke Bethany said. You want to do the best you can. Bethany said to prepare she puts forth her best effort and works hard in practice. Paige said the key to winning any rodeo is keeping a positive attitude. A lot of it can be considered a mind game Paige said. If you go in really nervous or upset you could beat yourself out of it before you ever even go. TheStallonsfromleftDavidPaigeBethany AaronandBeckymakerodeocompetitionsa familyaffair. RightPaigeStallonsridesher QuarterhorseFlyduringahighschoolrodeo inMartinTennessee.BelowBethanyand PaigeStallonshookasteerinteamroping. Ag Families-Summer 23 W. F. WARE COMPANY INC. P. O. Box 144 Trenton KY 42286 270.466.5628 P 270.466.5629 F Barry K. Groves President Buyers of Barley Corn Soybeans Wheat Specializing in Corn for Human Food Products Receiving Canola for Hart AgStrong HOPKINSVILLE 3205 Eagle Way Hopkinsville KY 42240 RUSSELLVILLE 115 Commerce St Russellville KY 42276 To find an office near you call 800-444-FARM or go to Farm Credit is an equal opportunity provider. Whether youre buying a new country home or a 20000-acre farm Farm Credit Mid-America has just the loan you need to achieve your goals. PUT DOWN ROOTS When youre ready to . 270-885-7667 Located inside the Kentucky New Era 1618 East 9th St. Hopkinsville KY email Full Service Printing BUSINESS CARDS BANNERS LETTERHEAD POSTCARDS FLYERS 24 Ag Families-Summer Love blossoms in business life STORY AND PHOTOS BYTONIW. RILEY On any Friday night from mid-April to frost the kitchen of Martin Farm is filled with buckets of cut flowers from gardens just across the Trigg County line. The owners David Martin and his wife Martha White will gradually empty the buckets and use their flowers to create unique bouquets to sell at the Downtown Hopkinsville Farmers Market. The story of how the couple developed Martin Farm and moved into flower farming is one where timing was everything. How two people with vastly different careers and personalities came together to develop a partnership in life as well as business could be described as serendipitous. David is quiet and reserved has a degree in horticulture from Oregon State University and has a masters in genetics and molecular biology from Purdue University. Martha is outgoing and talkative and has a degree in library science from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. In 2000 David purchased the property in Trigg County that would soon blossom into Martin Farm. He loved plant breeding and wanted to develop varieties of grapes and gooseberries that would be sustainable in the South. In 2007 he took a position as a research lab manager at the University of Kentucky with the intent of going home on weekends to work on the plant development. Martha whose husband died in 2005 lived in Columbus Ohio but took a position as a librarian at the Lexington Public Library in 2007. She and David met when they were teenagers visiting family in tiny Rugby Tennessee but lost touch through the years. When she moved to Lexington Martha wrote David at his grand- fathers address in Rugby to tell him she hoped to reconnect. The letter made its way to Gallatin Tennessee where Davids father lived and eventually into Davids hands. Ag Families-Summer 25 Hopkinsville Elevator Co. Inc. 26 Ag Families-Summer HusbandandwifeduoDavidMartinandMarthaWhitehelpacustomerleftwithflowersat theDowntownFarmersMarket.ThecoupleownsMartinFarmwheretheygrowavarietyof cutflowersandperennialsforfloralarrangements. FLORAL CONTINUED... The childhood friends reconnected and were married at Martin Farm on 10-11-12. Martha chose the date so David wouldnt forget their anniversary but she was the one who forgot. As the pair settled into married life David finished their home and continued hybridizing his grapes and gooseberries. Martha took a year off work and they began developing a business based on selling perennial plants. But once again fate stepped in. Martha was visiting her sister in Knoxville and saw a small bouquet of sunflowers and other local blossoms on her sisters table. When she returned home she told David We can do this. She wanted to start a fresh- cut flower farm. I thought No one would buy those David said. But he was willing to try. They planted some zinnias sunflowers and a few other cutting flowers and made a few bouquets. When we put the bouquets out at the market and I told a customer they were 3 she looked at me as though I was crazy for selling them so cheap he laughed. David and Martha now grow more than 100 different varieties of cutting flowers which bloom at different times from mid-April until frost in order to ensure a reliable supply of blooms all season. Currently the cut flowers are outselling the perennial plants. A detailed bloom chart shows when each flower will be available. A vertical row of numbers shows the month when the flower is in season and a horizontal column shows what week that flower is expected to bloom. For example if a flower is 54 it will bloom in May during the fourth week or a flower with the num- ber 73 will bloom in July and be available the third week. The couple laughed at how their personalities reflect on their business. They each know what they do best. David waits for the customers to make selections and doesnt encourage them Martha said while she will spot a customer looking at their jams and say Would you like a taste The pride and pleasure they take in their flowers and exquisite arrangements is evident even though it is a tremendous amount of work. When they arent cutting flowers or digging perennials they make jam and jelly from the gooseberries grapes and elderberries. As their business grows their partnership again res- onates. David researches flowers that grow best in this area before narrowing down several choices to give to Martha. She then makes the final decision based on color and texture and how the flower will contribute to the arrangement. While their Downtown Market business is good Martha would like to be able to provide flowers to florists and weddings. Martin Farm currently provides flowers for a florist in Owensboro who buys them by the stem rather than in arrangements. Martha has done some weddings and enjoys working with brides but she said brides have to be mindful of what local and seasonal mean noting that some florists get their flowers from South America. As David and Martha continue to make Martin Farm a successful business its obvious their partnership as husband and wife will be an integral part of that suc- cess. Their distinct personalities are intertwined in the business just as their choice of flowers is intertwined into their one-of-a-kind arrangements. MartinFarmnotonlygrowsflowersbut gooseberriesgrapesandelderberriesto makejamtosellatthefarmersmarket. Ag Families-Summer 27 BY OLIVIA CLARK Squad ready Scorer ready Pull These words are all too familiar to 17-year-old Bobby Fowler who has been trapshooting for six years. In that time the Christian County High School graduate has won both state and national trapshooting contests. Fowler started trapshooting with the 4-H Sharp Shooters after seeing an advertisement in the newspa- per. Once he started working with the group a friend of Fowlers dad Dean Debow who is a record trap shooter sought him out and suggested that Fowler take his clinic so he did. From then on things moved forward with his suc- cess in trapshooting. In 2010 Fowler started working with the Amateur Trapshooting Association ATA and left 4-H in 2012 to join the associations youth program called Academics Integrity in Marksmanship. The AIM program according to its website allows elementary through college-age shooters the chance to compete in registered competitions on a level playing field either as a team or as an individual. Fowler began competing individually but kept Debow as his coach. Dean has a real mathematical way of looking at this Fowler said. Hes taught me how to properly acquire a target and how to be able to hit it under any circumstance. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of men- tal training. Kentucky tournaments typically have 12 events over a six-day period with entry fees of 25 to 30 per event. The first four days may have three events a day with championship events on the last two days. The events usually include singles one target to hit for 200 times per event doubles two targets to hit for 100 times per event and handicap one target to hit for 100 times per event at a specified range that the shooter qualifies for. In singles and doubles each shooter stands approxi- mately 16 yards away from the trap house or where RIGHT N 28 Ag Families-Summer TARGETG Teendominatesnationalstatetrapshootingcontests Ag Families-Summer 29 Kentucky Farm Bureau Brian Harton Agent Ashltyn Hudson Agency Mgr. Phillip Greene Agent 104 Forbes Dr. Hopkinsville KY off Country Club Lane before Canton Pike Mon.-Fri. 800AM-500PM 270-885-FARM 3276 httpwww.KyFb.comChristianSouth Agents Who Will Be There Til the Cows Come Home FROMTHE LIFE AND HEALTH INSURANCE FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION It broke my heart to hear my daughter Dorsey say she wished her daddy was still here. But thanks to his foresight well still have the things heworkedfor. Dorsey Hoskins father Bryan felt a tingling in his arm. The diagnosis an inoperable brain tumor. He died six months later at 33 leaving his wife Dean alone to reaise Dorsey and her sister Hattie. Fortunately Bryan bought life insurance when he got married and again when his daughters were born. Dean invested the proceeds in her own clothing store which gives her flexibility to spend more time with her children. Are you prepared Without life insurance your financial plan may be just a savings and investment program that dies when you do. An insurance agent or other financial professional can help you create a plan that will continue to provide for the ones you love. To learn more call 1-888-LIFE-777 or visit Lifeinsuranceisntforthepeoplewhodie.Itsforthepeoplewholive. TRAPSHOOTING CONTINUED... the target is released. A trap house is built out of wood or cinder blocks with an open front that faces away from the shooter. The shooter does not know which direction the target will travel until it is launched from the trap house. In doubles the trap house launches two targets in opposite directions and the shooter attempts to take out both targets before they hit the ground. Fowler competes in most individual contests and his list of accolades is quite lengthy. To name of a few Fowler is a three-time ATA All-American five-time Kentucky State Team three-time Kentucky State AIM Singles Champion 2013 AIM National Singles Champion 2015 U.S. Open Cham- pion and three-time Kentucky 4-H Singles Champion. He competed with the Christian County FFA team in 2012 where he was the state singles champion that year. Fowler has earned sponsors from Blaser a company that produces rifles and shotguns and Claybuster a company that produces shotgun wads. He has also been featured twice in Trap and Field Magazine. His passion for trapshooting also resonates off the field. Last year he pre- sented twice to legislators in Frankfort about the promotion of trapshooting as an extracurricular activity in schools. The sport is already recognized in Tennessee high schools. Trapshooting is a very safe and supervised sport Fowler said. The goal for any trapshooting coach or program is to promote firearm safety and personal responsibility among students. Firearm safety is monitored by range officers at many of the events that I have attended. Not only is safety promoted at the competitions but friendships among participants. While we compete against each other and want to win there is no time these students or myself have any bad feelings towards each other Fowler said nor do we try to undermine each others shooting. These are my friends and I have many around the country. We all know that we are not going to finish first at every event. We take that in stride congratulate the winner and move on to the next event. In April 2014 the Kentucky State Legislature approved House Consent Resolution 11 which encourages the Kentucky High School Athletic Asso- ciation and school districts to adopt trapshooting as a sport for students. Fowlers parents Mike and Mona Fowler are passionate about the sport as well. Mona serves as the AIM director of Kentucky and Mike serves on the board of directors of the Kentucky Trapshooters League. Even with all the titles sponsorships and press the couple said their son stays humble. Trapshooting has taught Bobby a sense of honor and fair play that cannot be derived in other sports Mike said. The teen said he knows anyone can win at any time. I go out and I let my shotgun talk Fowler said. I dont want to stand and brag Im not that kind of person and thats how Ive maintained the whole way through. 30 Ag Families-Summer BobbyFowlerliftshishattofanoffapeskybutterflybeforepreparingforthisnextshot. AftercatchinghisshellsFowlerdropstheminashellpouchrightthatsitsonhiship. PHOTOS BY ZIRCONIA ALLEYNE Ag Families-Summer 31 7 things new homeowners shouldknowaboutpropane BY SOUTHERN STATES PETROLEUM If youve just purchased a home that has a propane tank and have never used propane before the first thing to know is propane is en- ergy efficient and also a clean source of energy. It carries absolutely no health-related risks and will not harm the environment pets or plants. Here are some additional tips to get you started as a new propane customer. Determine the location and owner of the tank. If its an under- ground tank only the lid will be visible above the ground. Become familiar with the location of the underground lines. Locate the shut off valve on the tank in case of an emergency. Know what propane smells like in case of a leak. Decide if you want propane delivered on an automatic basis or if youll call for it. When you call for pricing ask about summer fill prices and payment options. Locate your percentage gauge and ask how to read it so you always know how much gas you have in the tank. One of your biggest decisions will be deciding on the best propane supplier for your needs. Make sure the supplier youve cho- sen can do more than just sales and installations. Choose a propane supplier that can do service has 24-hour emergency service and will provide good customer service. Pricing is not always the only factor when choosing the right propane supplier for your needs. Call us now or stop by for details. Hopkinsville Petroleum Co-op S O U T H E R N S TAT E S . C O M H O P K I N S V I L L E P E T R O L E U M 5475 Canton Pike Hopkinsville KY 270 886-1303 Mon.-Fri 700am-430pm Closed Sat. and Sun. PEACE OF MIND FOR YOUR BUSINESS Trust your propane needs to the experts Convenient bulk delivery Worry free automatic delivery 24 hour emergency support PEACE OF MIND FOR YOUR BUSINESS 32 Ag Families-Summer BY JANIE CORLEY Have you checked the forecast Theres a 20 percent no wait. Now it shows 60 percent chance of rain. Oh now it says the rain chances are gone til next Thursday. Its the endless game we play. Its time to plant pumpkins and as soon as the seeds are planted chemicals must be sprayed for weed prevention and it must be done before the seeds sprout. If rains come quickly seeds can sprout before we can drive through the field to spray. Yet we need rain to come soon after we spray to activate the chemical and be sure it does the job we need it to do. It doesnt feel so much like a fun game at times. Even the best forecasters cant predict a random shower that pops up and they cant predict the 30 percent who misses the rain showers and the other 70 percent that gets rain So how do you know when to plant Its a matter of faith. As farmers we research the best seeds the most beneficial fertilizers and the chemicals that provide the balance of weed and pest prevention that are the least harmful to consumers. We consider the crop rotations that provide the best yield and invest in the best equipment we can afford to maximize planting spraying irrigating and harvesting. It seems to be a precise science. And yet its still a matter of faith. Then the season comes when we know weve purchased the right seed and used all the correct chemicals and fertilizers. The rains come at the perfect time and its time for harvest. Then disaster strikes. In 2006 we did all of the right things. The field almost glowed with these beautiful orbs of orange but as we began to pick them we realized that something wasnt quite right. In a just a few days the orange fruit melted into a puddle rotting almost immediately. Upon further inspection we realized each pumpkin had a white spot on its underside that soon turned into a cancerous rotten spot. The entire field was ruined. A disease oc- curred in our soil doing the damage of a hailstorm on a peach crop a wind- storm on a wheat crop or a flood that obliterates an entire field of corn. We learned all of our fields were contaminated. All the precision of a well- planted crop was for naught or so it seemed. The scientists at the University of Kentucky told us the cure for pumpkin crop disease Dont plant in that field for several years. But being a U-pick pumpkin farm that remedy seemed impossible. Without knowing our plight a neighbor offered to let us use some of her land which we did for a few years. She will never fully know how she increased our faith as we waited for our land to heal. So here we are nine years from that failed crop. As we plant new seeds in the warm soil the reality rings true We farmers can do absolutely noth- ing to make that seed grow. We cant stop a drought we cant prevent a flood and we cant control a tornado. For us we can do nothing to be cer- tain this disease is gone except to have faith. Truly I tell you if you have faith as small as a mustard seed nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 1720 So how do we keep doing it By asking for more faith. Therefore I tell you whatever you ask for in prayer believe that you have received it and it will be yours. Mark 1124 A matter of faith BY P.D.DICKINSON Summertime brings back lots of memories not only those of working on the farm but also of the things teenagers used to do to pass the time. Like teens of today with smartphones texting and social media we made do with what we had. To most teenage boys in the 60s that meant mechanics. Skills learned from working on farm machinery coupled with innate talent made many of them veritable geniuses in mechanics. In no time at all they went from building bicycles and home- made motorcycles to building some of the most souped-up- sounding engines you ever heard turn over. Every penny they earned was saved and put into building their car or truck. Theyd take on jobs with other farmers to earn extra money to finish their vehicles. They started out with an old junk car body and chassis and then found a motor to drop in and work on until it would run. After that it was all about building up a motor transmission and rear end that would leave behind anyone who dared to chal- lenge. Only after they got all the mechanical aspects like they wanted did they worry about slick paint jobs and rolled and pleated seats. None of them had nice garages and the term shadetree mechanic was quite literal. Anytime you wanted to find a friend brother or cousin and they werent working in the crops theyd have their car or truck parked under a big cool shade tree with their tool box sitting close by. Youd see the guy laying on the grass under the vehi- cle with only his boots sticking out or bent over the fender leav- ing in sight only his belt and denim jean legs to his feet. Unless you happened to catch them when theyd just gotten bathed it seemed like they all perpetually smelled like oil gaso- line and transmission fluid. It wasnt a bad smell it was a smell of good honest work. When they finished tuning up or adding something new to their rides particularly on weekends theyd bathe shave put on their best cologne and clean clothes. We all knew where they were headed. After picking up girlfriends and cruising the fast food joints to show off their vehicles theyd eat go to a movie and head back to the country. Some of the guys would take their girl- friends home first but others would bring them along to the neighborhood schools parking lot. All the guys would line up their cars raise the hoods and check out each others work. After much bragging and appreciation one guy would chal- lenge another to a drag race. It was usually a friendly affair to see who had done the best job building their machine or if a certain brand of parts seemed to work better than another. Then farther down the road to the quarter mile theyd drive. The quarter-mile was a stretch of straight road that had been meticulously measured and marked off years before. Everyone knew where it was and called it the quarter mile even the adults. By this time of night or early morning there was no traf- fic but spotters sat at each end to watch for oncoming cars. When the challengers lined up and received the go sign both jarred down on the gas popped the clutches and squealed out on smoking tires to fly down the road as fast as they could. Sometimes in their enthusiasm to win the guys would tear out a clutch or rear-end. On rare occasions they might even blow up a motor. The other guys were usually good about giv- ing each other a ride home or hooking a chain to the disabled vehicle. Many times within the next few days when they werent working theyd get together and help each other fix what needed repairs. This humble beginning of working in mechanics continued with many of the boys into manhood. Mechanics still continues for many of them today through their livelihood and careers. Memoriesofshadetreemechanics Ruralreminiscence Ag Families-Summer 33 34 Ag Families-Summer Buy-Rite Parts Supply Our Name Says It All Mon.-Fri. 700 A.M. to 500 P.M. Saturday 700 A.M. to 100 P.M. Sunday Closed 270 886-3976 1 800 356-9205 Like us on HD Truck Parts Light DutyAutomotive Ag Fastners Gates Hyd. Hoses ... and much more Come See Us Today 950 Skyline Drive Hopkinsville KY Independently Owned NAPA Store Buy-Rite Parts Supply a locally owned business in Hopkinsville KY. Weve been serving the community for 40 years with over 300 years combined experience. We specialize in Ag Families-Summer 35 36 Ag Families-Summer