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Campbell Blvd. Hopkinsville 1-800-599-2624 4 Ag Families-Fall WHATS INSIDE Turning the table 8 A look at how Thanksgiving dinner gets from farm to plate The other side of ag 12 Farmers wives chime in about living the ag lifestyle Plump prospects 20 Couple supplements income raising pumpkins Wings of wonder 22 Retired school teacher finds new passion in raising monarch butterflies Back to the future 26 Veterinarian his father manage backgrounding operation on family farm Other stories 4-H programs for fall 10 New ag careers to consider 11 Rural reminiscence 28 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 Mayra Diaz-Ballard Toni W. Riley Olivia Clark Diane Turner Rhonda Werner Rae Wagoner Janie Corley and P.D. Dickinson. 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 Correction An article on page 22 of the April 2015 issue of Ag Families should have said that Kathy Hacock was the chief operations officer of Christian County Public Schools. Find us online AgFamilies FamiliesMagazine EDITORSNOTE I For the first time ever Im embracing the fall but most of all Im enjoying how creative people are getting with this pumpkin spice obsession. There are pumpkin spice cookies cupcakes cheesecake and even pumpkin spice dessert pizza. I dont even like pumpkin but Im a little curious about sampling the latter. With all this pumpkin spice wafting around Im looking for- ward to whipping up Thanksgiving dinner. Ive always loved to cook but I vividly remember the first year I told my family to leave the turkey to me. I was going to do every- thing except go out and hunt the big bird myself. Boy was I in for a rude awakening. I quickly found out that clean- ing the turkey was a more grue- some task than I had expected. I also discovered exactly what makes that creamy flavorful giblet gravy I slather on top of everything. I wont ruin it for you but I didnt eat giblet gravy after I made it that year. Theres something about knowing where your food comes from that either amps your apprecia- tion for it or makes you gag. In recent years consumers have become more interested in who grows their food and where its coming from but in the same vein many people still think their food comes from Wal-Mart or Old McDonalds and not the one on the farm. On page 8 take a closer look at the plate and join us as we explore how Thanksgiving dinner gets from the farm to the table. As Ag Families Im sure you know exactly how your food is grown but I challenge you to pass on this infor- mation to families who have no connection to farming. Im sure they will be a little more thank- ful when they sit down for dinner this year. Leading up to the big feast there are fall festi- vals from here to Nashville and pumpkin patches everywhere in between. On page 20 learn about the Gripshovers who made their dream of own- ing a farm come true after moving to Logan County. To pay for it the couple started a thriving pumpkin operation. A new adventure to explore with your family is the Bale Trail. The route of creatively decorated hay bales spans across Todd County and each sculpture makes a fun fall photo backdrop for the kiddos. Stop in Trenton and count how many min- ions you can spot on South Main Street. Then go find life-size Nemo Angry Birds Mike from Mon- sters Inc. and more all made of hay along the way. Visit httpexploretoddcounty.combale-trail to print off the list of stops and hop in the car with your family. Its the perfect day trip to keep the youngins occupied while the turkey finishes in the oven or in the deep fryer if you ask me. Best Wishes Zirconia Alleyne Editor ZirconiaAlleyne We should all be thankful for farmers BY SUSAN HURT Fall is my favorite season the one I look forward to all year as we make the transition from summer to winter. I love everything about it the golden hues the wonderful smells the decorations and the cool evenings perfect for a bonfire with family or hayride with friends. With the days getting shorter and the temperatures getting colder it reminds us that winter is right around the corner. Dr. Todd Freeman a local veterinarian shares the follow- ing tips for keeping your pets snug safe and warm this fall and winter. A physical exam is im- portant to identify any physi- cal problems that may make winter hard on your pets. Keep your pets inside as much as possible and if they do go outside stay with them. When you are too cold to be outside they probably are too. Some breeds are more susceptible to colder weather than others. Medical condi- tions like diabetes and heart disease can affect the pets ability to regulate their body temperature. Cats search for warm places like a car engine. Be sure to check carefully before starting your car. If you use fireplaces or space heaters in your homes keep in mind your pet likes heat too. Burns can occur from close contact with flames heating coils and hot surfaces. Be prepared cold tem- peratures bring severe winter weather and power outages can occur. Prepare a disaster and emergency kit and in- clude your pet in your plans. Have enough food water and any medications your pet may be taking to last you a minimum of five days. Prepare outside shel- ters for outdoor pets. Keep adequate bedding solid shel- ter against wind and plenty of fresh unfrozen water. Continue heartworm prevention and flea control through the winter. A warm day in the middle of January can bring mosquitoes out or if its warm in your house they can camp out there. Monitor your pets food intake during the winter and make sure they get adequate exercise in order to avoid ex- cessive weight gain. ToddsTips10waystokeeppetssafethisfall Ag Families-Fall 5 6 Ag Families-Fall 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. Mayra 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. Rhonda CaughlinWerner was raised and resides in Elkton. She grew up on the family farm and attended Murray State University obtaining her degree in agron- omy and agriculture business. After college she worked for what is now Bayer Crop Science as a salesman and other roles eventually deciding to move back to Kentucky to marry her husband BenWerner. Rhonda spent four years managingWaters Agricul- tural Laboratories before becoming a recruiter for Ag 1 Source in 2007. She currently serves on the board of directors for the AgriBusiness Association of Kentucky is the board president for the Kentucky Certied Crop Advisor Board and is a member of the Rotary Club of Elkton. On the side she nds time to manage the Todd County Moms Facebook page and blog. Susan Hurt Tony Hurt RaeWagoner Janie Corley RhondaWerner ToniW. Riley P.D. Dickinson Mayra Diaz Ballard Olivia Clark DianeTurner ScantheQR codetofollowAgFamiliesonFacebook. Ag Families-Fall 7 CCPro Video Perfect as a gift or to help sell your home Ot CCPRLe and high-definition arm F Video take beauO video fdefinition phoaerialtifulVideo take beau ...ouryftage ooof or tto t as a gift o sotpho ... Acreage landtrial Indus opertpralur R truction siteons C land yopert truction site ages sackP Pe t ascctfereP l yo t as llleellp sheel as 199wotart as lages s r t s a g r hom your homes a gift o as 199 dgmail.ctahls -6446270-881 omvideo.c omdgmail.c 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-Fall Turkey Typically many consumers purchase a turkey from a local grocery store. Store-bought turkeys come from farms where a hen a fe- male turkey lays an egg while housed in the layer house. The egg is then collected and in- cubated for 28 days until it hatches. Once the poult the young turkey hatches it is sorted based on the sex of the animal. Once the sex is determined it will be sent to a farm within the first 24 hours. Poults remain on this farm until they reach market age and weight. On the farm young turkey start out in a brooder house a barn for poults and stay there until about eight weeks of age. Once the birds have grown too big for the brooder house they are split into two groups in two separate build- ings called the Grow-out Building. When the turkeys have reached 20 weeks old or about 40 pounds for a tom male adult turkey they are now in market range and are sent to the pro- cessing plant. When in the processing plant the birds are randomly sampled to ensure qual- ity and safety of the animal. A whole hen will weigh approximately 16 pounds after process- ing with 70 percent consisting of white meat and 30 percent dark meat. The toms will weigh more than the hens. Turkeys that are pur- chased can be conventional free range antibi- otic free or organic. Although many may prefer buying a store- bought turkey others still prefer the more his- toric approach of hunting down their Thanks- giving centerpiece and enjoying the pride of providing for their family. The greater debate may not be how they received their turkey but how they prepare it baked deep fried grilled marinated and the list goes on. Yams Yams are a special crop that require almost a year to develop. Yams are often mistaken for sweet potatoes but yams have a longer grow- ing season and are grown in Africa and Asia be- cause its are a sub-tropical plant. Yams are then imported into the United States. Yams can be as small as regular potatoes or grow to be as large as 5 feet long. Yams are typically peeled boiled and mashed or dried to be ground and cooked into porridge. Sweet pota- toes grow from about 100 to 150 days and are grown primarily in the southern states how- ever North Carolina is the number one produc- ing state of sweet potatoes in the U.S. Sweet potatoes are usually peeled and boiled or baked. Potatoes Potatoes are the leading vegetable crop in the United States. For many people mashed potatoes or some form of potatoes are a main- stay for meals in the South. Potatoes are grown year round however 90 percent of the production harvested in the fall from what is planted in the spring. Seed potatoes are cut from sprouted whole potatoes usually certified seed potatoes and planted with their eyes up in rows. The top producing state is Idaho fol- lowed by Washington Wisconsin Colorado and North Dakota. Stuffing Stuffing is a side dish that finds its way on many tables during the Thanksgiving holiday. There isnt much information about how it made its grand entrance to the feast but some believe it was due to needing support for the birds hollowness after being cooked. Others believe the turkey was once stuffed with veg- etables to fill the hollow parts of the turkey. Stuffing can be cooked on the stovetop or in- side the turkey. Most stuffing recipes include herbs spices vegetables bread crumbs and some kind of liquid such as chicken broth stock or pan drippings. As you sit down to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade or a football game or settle in for a nap after all that turkey take a moment to be thankful. Whether its being thankful for your faith your family your freedom or the farmer who produced the food on your table you are fortunate and have so much to be grateful for. HowThanksgiving dinnerget sfromthefarmtothetable Foodfo r thought BY OLIVIA CLARK As you sit down to enjoy a feast at Thanksgiving have you thought about where the turkey and all the fixins come from Not only are there many people who dont know where all the delicious details of Thanksgiving dinner are grown but many dont know how it arrived on their plate. Take a look at the turkey and a few of Americas favorite sides to keep things a lit- tle more in perspective this holiday season. Ag Families-Fall 9 10 Ag Families-Fall BY DIANETURNER Our world is ever changing with advancements in technology and other up-and-coming trends. Thats why its important to make sure our children are involved in programs that cultivate skills and develop feelings of self-worth by efforts of hard work. The 4-H Youth Development Program through the University of Ken- tucky Extension Service has been a part of our community for years and is currently going through a transition period. A few years ago Christian County went from having a single agent with assistants to hiring three full-time agents last year. Many faces have come and gone to the pro- gram but each one has helped it to grow in a different way. Most recently extension agent Mia Farrell moved back to Lexington to work for the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension. Farrell in- troduced the MANRRS program Minorities in Agriculture Natural Re- sources and Related Sciences which continues to give new opportunities to youth in our area. Current agents Matt Futrell Kendriana Price and Kaitlyne Davis come from varied backgrounds but bring some amazing talents to the table for the 4-H program in Christian County. Kaitlyne the newest agent to the team comes from the 4-H program in Williamson County Texas. Originally from Kevil Kentucky which is just outside of Paducah Kaitlyne graduated from Murray State University with a masters in animal science. I moved back to Kentucky with my fianc who took a job in Hop- kinsville she said. We were blessed to both find a job here together. Before life as a 4-H agent Matt was a health inspector for the Christian County Health Department. When asked what lead him to become an agent he said I wanted to come back to 4-H. Who wouldnt want to have a career that is this fun Matt earned his masters in soil science from Western Kentucky Uni- versity. Being the only agent from the area Matt said Knowing people in the community really helps when we look for partners for events like Healthy Kids Day. Kendriana started out as an ag-biotechnology major at the University of Kentucky. It just wasnt the right fit so I earned my degree is kinesiology in- stead. While at UK I joined the MANRRS program and that is how I was exposed to extension in Kentucky. Kendriana interned for 4-H for two summers and fell in love. A military kid herself Kendriana began working with 4-H on post at Fort Campbell. I was on base about 90 percent of the time and Im now a county agent for 4-H Youth Development she said. Christian County 4-H has clubs centered on the military the commu- nity and project-based areas. The project clubs focus on cooking horses livestock rabbit and poultry ag and horticulture the Teen Council MAN- RRS sewing shooting sports woodworking and the newest addition a bicycle club. Each club works on mastering a set of skills and learning how to use those skills in daily life. Kendriana is excited to introduce a dance fit club in the spring. She said this Zumba-style club picks at her heartstrings. Kaitlyne said they are always thinking of new clubs based on the in- terests of local students. For homeschooled students PACHEK Penny- royal Area Christian Home Educators has a club that meets on the first Wednesday of each month. When comparing Kentucky 4-H to the Texas equivalent Kaitlyne said Kentucky has moved away from community-based clubs. Most 4-H clubs now meet in a central location like the extension office instead of com- munity centers around the county. In Texas I had 15 clubs with only four being project based she said. Community-based clubs build stronger bonds between the members because they are more likely to see each other on a regular basis. Kaitlyne said she is excited about the new programs she is working on for the schools. One is a cooking and nutrition class for kindergartners and two other classes for students with disabilities. Every day is a new adventure in this position she said. 4-H agents introducing new programs this fall Get involved If you are looking for a way to plug into Christian County 4-H there are several upcoming events and programs to check out. National 4-H week is Oct. 5 through 9. National Kids Science Day falls on Oct. 7. The Jr. MANRRS area meeting will be in Hopkinsville this October at the extension oce. The Issues Conference will be the third weekend in November.The conference is a four-day event where high school sophomores and juniors gather to talk about current issues within their peer environmentsand ways to battle issues like peer pressure. Also in November a group of students will be heading to the North American Livestock Con- vention in Louisville. 4-H members will be entering a oat into the Hopkinsville Christmas Parade in December. If you cannot make it to an after-school club 4-H has classroom programs like STEM that pro- vides curriculum targeting science technology engineering and mathematics. 4-H also sponsors events like the Reality Fair where high school freshman are given the op- portunity to live like an adult for a day. Although adults cannot be 4-H members volunteers are always needed to help with events and club meetings. If you have a special interest in building bird houses cooking or cycling feel free to call Kaitlyne Matt or Kendriana at the Christian County Extension oce at 270-886-6328. The oce is at 2850 Pembroke Road. KendrianaPrice Price earned her bachelors in kinesiology from the University of Kentucky. She interned at Christian County Extension and took a job in Hopkinsville upon graduation. Along with Jr. MANRRS and programs at Fort Campbell Price is looking forward to starting a Zumba-style club. TocontactPriceemailherat KaitlyneDavis Davis earned her masters in animal science from Murrary State University. She is the newest agent coming from the 4-H program inWilliamson CountyTexas. Davis is working on a new cooking and nutrition class for kindergarteners and two other programs for students with disabilities. MattFutrell Futrell earned his masters in soil science fromWestern Kentucky University. Being the only agent from the area Futrell enjoys planning Healthy Kids Day. Ag Families-Fall 11 BY RHONDAWERNER People who know my husband Ben Werner would be surprised to know hes not a farm kid. He has a degree in agricultural mechanization and a successful career in the ag equipment industry but he grew up in a residential area of Sikeston Missouri surrounded by houses as- phalt and railroad tracks. No one in his immedi- ate family farmed or had a career in agriculture but somehow carpet farming as a kid devel- oped into a passion that followed him through college and his career. Here he is thriving in an industry he wasnt born into and we need more people like Ben in agriculture. Theres a misconception that you must have some kind of farm heritage to work in the agri- cultural industry and thats just not so. Granted practical farm knowledge may make under- standing the basics easier but it doesnt give you a free ticket to a job. It seems like there are two primary ways non- farm kids end up in ag something in their life either triggered an interest like owning a horse a love for tractors and equipment FFA and 4-H or just living in a rural area and wanting to learn more. Laura Rinderknecht received a degree in fi- nance and real estate and one thing lead to an- other. She agreed to move to the country with her husband and work in the Case IH dealership they bought. Thirty years later shes still the comptroller there and doesnt want to work in any other industry. Folks somehow fall into agriculture and then fall in love with the people the business and the ever-changing aspects of the industry. According to a 2012-2013 report by the USDA and Purdue University the demand for gradu- ates with degrees in food agriculture renew- able natural resources or environmental industry is on track to be around 35000 per year for the next few years. The real kicker there will be a need to fill almost 58000 jobs annually in those areas between 2015 and 2020. Thats about a 23000-person deficit for jobs in those industries which are all tightly re- lated to agriculture. With the number of farms and farmers in the U.S. not increasing there just arent enough people coming off the farm to fill the demand in the industry so growing up on a farm isnt mandatory to have a successful career in agri- culture. Having a passion for science technol- ogy engineering and mathematics STEM will be what the industry needs in order to grow. Another misconception is the workforce of agriculture is predominantly male. The USDA report also shows 52 percent of graduates with a bachelors degree in the food agriculture re- newable natural resources and environmental industry were women. Women with masters degrees in that same industry made up 55 per- cent and another 48 percent had a Ph.D. Of graduates with a doctorate of veterinary medi- cine 77 percent were women. There is a myriad of career opportunities for anyone who wants to work in agriculture. I work as a recruiter for the agriculture industry and while I work with companies on all types of jobs even the ones I see and work with on a daily basis are just the tip of the iceburg. Ca- reers in the ag industry are so diverse and there is more than likely a spot for the next genera- tion. Check out the list below to discover some of the possible careers that are available Agriculture Communications For those interested in marketing public rela- tions politics or journalism. Market news reporter Farm news reporter Public relations representative Advertising specialist Marketing communications manager Regional sales manager Account manager Agriculture Economics For those interested in economics markets or all things business related. Grain broker Farm and land appraiser Ag economist Agricultural policy analyst Insurance Agriculture finance and lending Agriculture Education For those who enjoy teaching others from students to farmers etc. Ag teacher Farm management Soil conservationist Extension advisor 4-H agent Agriculture Engineering For those who enjoy building things tearing them apart seeing how they work. Structural engineer Irrigation engineer Sanitarywaste handling Food engineer Bioprocessing engineer Equipmentmachine engineer AgronomySoils For those who enjoy plants crop production biology chemistry. Crop specialist Soil scientist Fertilizer sales representative Plant breeder Plant geneticist Soil conservationist Soil surveyor Farm supplyfarm input representative Animal Sciences For those who enjoy working with animals Livestock production manager Feed salesmanagement Livestock procurement Livestock insurance representative Veterinarian Ranch management Stable management Livestock feedlot operator Animal scientist Animal geneticist Food Sciences For those interested in how to improve the foods available to consumers. Food products research and development Quality assurance Food chemist Food microbiologist Food manufacturing Food researcher Even with this long list of possible careers there are other essential jobs that are cross functional in agriculture and other industries. There are certified public accountants and attor- neys who only work with farmers or other clients in the ag industry. The career opportunities in the agriculture field are endless and even better they are in high demand. Our industry has its ups and downs as all industries do but we seem to pre- vail and grow. If you are attending college soon or perhaps going back to switch careers you dont have to be a farm kid to work and succeed in the agriculture industry today. The door is open for anyone. Careers in agriculture are not just for farm kids 12 Ag Families-Fall W hen I caught up with Donna Leavell she was just leav- ing cow day at her family farm. She was checking her boots and pants as she walked in the door and apologizing because you just never know what youll bring back from the farm. I explained to Donna the con- cept of this column for people to see the other side of agriculture because farming doesnt just hap- pen in a field. There are many hands involved which often go unnoticed. Most readers wouldnt have guessed that just an hour before our interview Donna was working with her husband and son holding down calves helping give shots and a few other less-desirable tasks. A farmers wife has many roles sometimes its helping with the books and other sea- sons its in a field on a combine. The ladies in this article were gen- uine and candid about their love for their family and the farms that span generations and interests. Growing up did you see yourself as the spouse of a farmer one day Donna Leavell Goodness no My parents are looking down laughing I had a garden when I was growing up and I hated it. I dont think anyone could have ever foreseen this lifestyle. I worked in banking for over 20 years and never imagined that Id be as active as I am on the farm today. Sandy Hancock Well its all re- ally my Daddys fault. He worked on a big dairy farm one year and we moved out to the farm. I started attending a different school got involved in 4-H met Kenneth and we started dating. When my family moved back to town I remained active in 4-H and as soon as Kenneth got his license we started dating again. I always loved the farm so its never been a surprise that this is where I ended up. Ashley Smith Ummm No I graduated college got a job at Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital and moved to Nashville never to re- turn. Then I started dating LeeJay. My role is mainly a supportive one. I keep the other areas of our life runningespecially during plant- ing and harvest seasons. I also take dinner to the field help move equipment and get parts from town if needed. Bailey Leavell No I was raised primarily in the country but never on a farm. When Foster and I started dating it all came so natu- rally. I fell in love with the farm and always looked forward to seeing things come to life. What challenges go along with being a farming family Bailey Weve certainly seen a lot of those challenges in the past few months as Foster and I have become parents. This is not a 9-to- 5 job with a predictable sched- ulehe doesnt get to have off days if hes not feeling well. Even when everyone was snowed-in this year the farm was still run- ning and Foster was out there tak- ing care of his cows and plowing roads and driveways. Its also fi- nancially frustrating. If you have a bad year you dont get paid. A lot of people have second jobs in ad- dition to farming to pay the bills and I know my paycheck has been a security blanket for us a few times. Donna The farm owns you you do what it says and when it says it. Its so difficult to makes plans for vacations reply yes to a wedding or even plan a family meal. Weather can make things very unpredictable and there are times that you just cant make it happen. Farming is a big gamble too. You never know when the prices of commodities will rise or fall. We operate by the mindset of finding a price where were mak- ing a profit we can live with and then sell without ever looking back. Sandy It was always very diffi- cult to plan events with certainty. I know that Kenneth missed a lot of regular activities like church and school functions and that was sometimes disappointing to him. For me the greatest challenge is seeing the hard years regard- less of the hard work and endless hours. Its difficult for me to see his disappointment. Kenneth al- ways worked for the fire depart- ment as well sometimes it takes the entire family. Ashley For several years it was very hard for me to get used to the number of hours LeeJay worked. During busy times not seeing him for days and days at a time was a huge challenge espe- cially after we had kids. Farming is so unpredictable and so is our schedule. Mother nature controls so much of our life. What triumphs do you cherish as a farmers wife Ashley Going hand in hand with my greatest challenge Ive had to learn to go with the flow and accept that God will provide for us despite the unpredictability of farming. Ive developed a deeper trust and understanding of sufficiency. That has been my greatest triumph. Donna We are very fortunate to run a family operation. I see a TheOtherSideofAg Wives edition BY KRIN MIMS DonnaandRichardLeavell BaileyandFosterLeavell AshleyandLeeJaySmith SandyandKennethHancock Ag Families-Fall 13 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 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 You dont have to be a cowboy to attend Christian County Cowboy Church 3 Proudly Serving Hopkinsville andWestern Kentucky CONVENIENT OFFICES ONTHEGO Member FDIC 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-Fall OTHER SIDE CONTINUED... dynamic between my son and husband that not many mothers are fortunate enough to experience. Ive raised two beautiful children on a farm and never had to worry about what theyd be exposed to hear or see. Theyve learned the meaning of hard work earning their way and getting dirty. I truly think it has helped to mold them into the adults theyve become today. Sandy No matter how bad it looks this year there is always a beautiful hope for next year. There is an unparalleled optimism on the farm that you simply wont find it anywhere else. There is also a generational connection here. My husband was actually born in the master bedroom of our home. Our children were raised here without a care in the world. One summer my son was literally stained from the knees down from spending so much time in the pond. I can remember a time when tragedy hit our family and other local farmers just showed up in our fields. They brought their combines without being asked and got our crop in. There is a distinct thread of unselfish nobility flowing through a community of farmers. They know at the end of the day this is not just some big business. Bailey Farming really is beautiful. Watching the land produce and seeing creation never gets old even for someone not raised with this apprecia- tion. I know my children will learn so much on the farm. They will see true work ethic dedication and responsibility hands-on. I dont know many people who truly love what they do. I cant imagine my husband doing anything else. The relation- ship he has with his father is remarkable. They are so much more than just coworkers. What should readers know about farmers and their families Donna This is hard work and it doesnt ever end. But we have a lot of fun and we know we are very fortunate to do what we love. Farmers are very smart and they dont just grow things. One minute they are re- quired to be a mechanic the next a vet and the next a chemical engineer. Dont ever learn to drive a combine. Once youre on it youll never get off Bailey I hope people have learned to have a better appreciation for farmers and have gained a new view on our struggles as a family. There is good and bad to farming. Its hard to see some of the smaller farmers struggle. Sometimes it can become such a game of politics and that is really unfortunate. On the other hand I have learned over the past few years that the farming community can really have your back. We had a fire a few years ago and within minutes we had a field full of Amish and sur- rounding farmers working to put out the fire. That has always stuck with me. Its quite a profound relationship we all have. Ashley Our familys business is just that family. My father-in-law moved here from Tennessee 25 years ago and farmed side by side with LeeJay until he died eight years ago. Now during harvest season my husbands family from Tennessee comes out for a week or so to help out. Our girls love to spend time with LeeJay doing whatever it is hes doing on the farm. Its very common for them to be in the shop with him or ride in the combine. The guys who work for us are quite used to two little girls tagging along. I hope my girls grow up to have wonderful memories of growing up on a farm. There arent many professions where your kids can be such a big part of what you do on a daily basis. I feel very blessed to be married to a farmer and I am so glad we are able to give our girls this way of life. Sandy Farmers are not hay-seed rednecks. They are actually very intelligent and adapt to new and developing technology each day. We have been tasked with taking care of the land and preserving a legacy that has been passed down through generations. Also please be patient on the road. If you see us please slow down. I promise were moving as fast as we can and well do our best to be out of your way as soon as possible. I consider myself to be very fortunate to have spent time learning from each of these ladies. Im grateful for the time they took to share personal stories laughter frustrations and even some heartache as they allowed me to enter their world for a moment. Whether they are helping in the field running meals out to their husband or making sure the house stays standing at home these women are valuable assets to their family operations. The age-old saying stands true Behind every great man there stands a great woman. Sometimes shes right behind him driving a combine. Ag Families-Fall 15 Hopkinsville Elevator Co. Inc. 16 Ag Families-Fall BY RAEWAGONER Like many veteran farmers Rock was working alone in the field when the chopper jammed. It was an older piece of equipment and Rock did what many farmers would do he tried to clear the jam with his foot without shutting off the chopper. He had done the same thing many times before but this time would be his last. It caught one of my legs and cut it off he said. Unfortunately that wasnt enough to free him from the blades and he lost his other leg in the same fashion. Laying helpless he didnt lose consciousness and used his cell phone to call for help. Rock didnt have health insurance but the cost of that decision proved to be high. Between the ambulance helicopter hospital costs and reha- bilitation the bills added up quickly. Rock needed a miracle. The communities local and agriculture-wide started a fundraiser called Keep Rock Milking. Neighbors took care of the crops in his fields and friends from the local stockyard babysat his cows while he used all of his energy for rehabilitation. People I knew and people I didnt just came out of the woodwork Rock said. I try to be the kind of guy who would help someone else out but being on the receiving end of all that help was a real blessing. Two years since his accident Rock has two prosthetic legs and is get- ting around with the help of a walker and his wheelchairs. He has a light- weight chair for regular use and a track chair complete with a flashlight and toolbox for working out on the farm. Rocks wife Karen said she had no doubt that he would recover. The couple got married last fall. When he got that track chair and I first saw him out in the field in it rounding up cows ... thats when I knew he was going to be OK she said. Rock cant say enough about the people who literally helped him get back on his feet. DairyfarmerGaryRockstruckhasbeenfittedwithawheelchairliftandhandcontrolssohesself-sufficient.Rockseveredbothofhislegsduringafarmingaccidentin2013. Hehasbeenregaininghisindependencesincethen.HecantransferfromhistrackchairtohisBobcatwithnoassistance.PHOTO BY RAEWAGONER Just about every life has its ups and downs. Luckily few if any of us will experience the downsthat2013dealtHodgenvilledairyfarmer GaryRock.InMayRocklosthisfatherandJune brought a tornado that wiped out much of his farm. Provingbad things come in threesRock suered a life-changing injury in August 2013 while chopping silage to feed his dairy cows. RockingonMaking it through a hard place Ag Families-Fall 17 the secret to MORE RSVPS Let us cater all your Holiday needs. Place your order online or over the phone at 270890-0042. As a way to make your experience more remarkable we deliver any order that is over 150.00 .................................................. 18 Ag Families-Fall Rock is confident the Lord isnt finished with him yet. Thesupportofthecommunitymyfamilythe doctors and nurses and physical therapists the prosthetics people at Louisville Prosthetics everyone has been so kind and so helpful. Its hardtoaccepthelpbutsometimesyoujusthave toRock said. After the accident Rock said he never felt like he needed to quit farming or look for another way of life. This is what I know. This is what I do he said. Rock speaks in churches from time to time but one of his favorite outreach activities is talking with children. Kids arent scared of prosthetics he said. Theyre fascinated by them and want to see how they work so I show them. As for his dairy business Rock and his employees are going about business as usual along with a few adjustments. He still drives his own truck which has been outfitted with hand controls and a wheel- chair lift from Vocational Rehab a company he said is great. They came out here to the barn and we showed them what I used to do and how I used to do it and they helped figure out how I can get back to doing almost everything I used to with a few mod- ifications. Rock Brothers Dairy milks 130 cows twice a day 365 days a year on land that has been in his family for 280 years. The operation has about the same number of replacement cows from babies to heifers ready to rotate into the daily milking when the time is right. Rock said an operation of this size will be hard to pass down to the next generation. In this age of mega-companies its hard for the small to medium- sized family farm to survive he said. Diversification is the key to success Growing your business doesnt always mean adding more cows. It might mean finding a niche market to produce an- other revenue stream. Some dairies are making their own cheese some are giving tours. Well just have to see what works out. For now his no. 1 goal aside from milking cows is to inspire oth- ers and to be an encouragement. Through tragedy Ive had a lot of doors opened to me and I have learned that tragedy can be the start of a great blessing. I shouldnt be sitting here talking to youhe said.I probably should have died but I didnt and I gure that for now at least my purpose on this Earth is to be milking cows. That may change and if the Lord leads me to something elseImopen.ButthewayI seeitstuhappens toeverybody.IfI caninspireothersbytellingmy story then thats what I am supposed to do. Rock is a big believer in not squandering his second cchhaannccee aatt lliiffee.. DairyfarmerGaryRockperformsthetasksofmorningmilking.Someactivities heperformsfromhiswheelchairwhileothertaskslikecleaningteatsand vattachingmilkersrequirehimtostandatwhichhesimprovingeveryday.PHO TO BY RAEWAGONER Ag Families-Fall 19 HOPKINSVILLE 3205 EagleWay Hopkinsville KY42240 RUSSELLVILLE 115 Commerce St Russellville KY42276 To find an office near you call 800-444-FARM or go to Farm Credit is an equal opportunity provider. Whetheryourebuyinganewcountryhomeora20000-acrefarm FarmCreditMid-Americahasjusttheloanyouneedtoachieveyourgoals. PUT DOWN ROOTS When youre ready to . 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-Fall BYTONIW. RILEY When Dr. Ellie Gripshover accepted a position with the Logan County Animal Clinic in 2010 she and husband Paul knew they wanted a farm. They had lived in Iowa where Ellie started her veterinary practice and wanted a farm there but as Paul said land never came up for sale. As they settled into Logan County the couple began their search for small farms. One caught their eye on Woodward Road in the Chandlers Chapel area but they werent sold on the house. Eventually the property won them over and the Gripshovers knew they had found what they were looking for. They also knew they would have to supple- ment their income to pay the mortgage on the 70 acres. They talked about several different things but the property had no fence so that eliminated cattle. They fell back on an enter- prise that had helped Ellie and her siblings have spending money and pay for college and cars as teenagers pumpkins. Our real estate agent Tim Haley thought we were nuts Paul laughed. He told us we couldnt raise pumpkins here. Haley had to eat those words or maybe just pumpkin pie because he now serves as the auctioneer for the Bluegrass Market be- tween Fairview and Elkton where the Grip- shovers sell their pumpkins. The couple said growing pumpkins was a log- ical choice for their family. The crop wouldnt re- quire as much equipment as most row crops or even cattle and Ellie already had experience raising them. The couple grew up in Northern Kentucky within sight of Cincinnati and Ellie along with her sister and brother raised 6 to 10 acres of jack-o-lanterns along the Ohio River and sold them directly to customers at the Boone County Farmers Market. Now five years and two children later the Gripshovers are still raising pumpkins. Jack-o- lantern pumpkins are a very small part of their 6-acre patch. Paul said the first year they raised jack-o-lanterns and had an almost total crop loss. Jacks are a more northern crop even though they are raised as a southern variety. While the jacks worked for Ellie in Boone County the pumpkins didnt tolerate the heat this far south. The secret to the Gripshovers success with pumpkins has been diversity. Knowing that jack-o-lanterns are risky the couple planted a quarter acre of Indian corn that first year and since then theyve grown decorative and spe- cialty pumpkins. Ellie said the specialties have become the mainstay of their operation. Magazines such as Better Homes and Gar- den and Southern Living and websites such as Pinterest show fall decorations with different kinds of pumpkins and that has in- creased demand she said. She went on to explain that specialty pump- kins can be a little misshapen and still sell well. Now the Gripshovers plant 10 to 12 varieties of pumpkins and gourds with names such as mini angel wings Jardale Cinderellas Flat White and Long Island Cheese. Ellie begins their production year in January by researching what pumpkin seed varieties to purchase. Her method is simple. We try a variety for two years Ellie ex- plained. If it doesnt grow or sell well its off our list. Seed varieties can range from a few dollars a pound to 80 per one-fourth pound for really hot sellers such as goonies. In the spring the Grip- shovers roll bale the wheat they planted in the fall as a cover crop and no-till the pumpkin seed through the wheat stubble. In May and June an old corn planter with modified plates plants the pumpkin seeds in their fields. The pumpkins are fairly low maintenance through the summer but the weeds have to be con- trolled and Paul regularly sprays for insects such as squash bugs cut worms vine borers and aphids. Another important ele- ment to their crop pro- duction is pollination. We never had to worry about pollination when we was raising pump- kins as teens there were wild bees and farmers close by with hives Ellie recalled. However in Logan County the Gripshovers needed bees. After contacting a local beekeeper who was going out of business Paul got a deal on the hives and equipment. He and their 4-year-old son Oliver are now beekeepers an endeavor Ellie admits she was hesitant about. They now have four hives and collect 50 pounds of honey per hive which they offer for sale. As the days begin to shorten the Gripshovers begin to gear up for har- vest. They hire local teenagers who come after school to pick pump- kins and load farm wagons. The pumpkins are sold at the Bluegrass Market and at their own farm at 641 Woodward Road Auburn from mid-Sep- tember through early October. Pumpkins have enabled the Gripshovers to live a lifestyle that is important to them raising their children on a farm and working to- gether. As customers gath- ered on the first night of farm sales Ellie and Paul laughed about the late nights they had put in that week. Paul asked Ellie if she wanted to live in town and they both laughed and said No way. Family profits from pumpkins to enjoy farm life PaulGripshoverandhiswifeDr.EllieGripshoversmilewiththeirchildrenOliver4andAmelia2atGripshover FamilyFarminLoganCounty. Thefamilyraisespumpkinvarietiesandseveralbeehives.PHOTO PROVIDED Ag Families-Fall 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-Fall Rewards Royal BYTONIW. RILEY Each spring Susan Chiles gently examines the leaf of a tropical milkweed plant and with her experienced eye detects a tiny white speck that is a monarch caterpillar or a cat as she calls them. Susan collects the caterpillars all summer at her Trigg County home and raises them through each stage of develop- ment until they become the regal monarch butterfly. Her efforts with the monarchs dont stop at raising them but continue through the end of summer when she and her granddaughter Lauralynn tag the butterflies as part of the Monarch Watch program an initiative through the University of Kansas that tracks monarch migration. Susan and her husband David Chiles are both well-known retired Christian County Public School teachers and naturalists known for their concern for the environment. Susan became interested in developing a habitat for monarchs after meeting other naturalists who grew milkweed and enjoyed watching the butterflies. Naturalist ignites new passion cultivatingmonarchbutterflies Ag Families-Fall 23 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 Get the latest SPORTS SCORES and NEWS delivered to your phone Go to and sign up for by SIGN UP NOW 270.886.4444 24 Ag Families-Fall MONARCHS CONTINUED... Susan immediately thought I can do that and began researching milkweed plants with David for their garden. She discovered milk- weed is in the genus Asclepias and is the only plant the monarch caterpillar uses for food. She also found monarchs prefer tropic milkweed to other varieties. As monarchs and other butterflies float through her garden Susan delights in talking about her project and newfound passion. I taught school for 28 years and that was my passion she said. Now this is my pas- sion. I love sharing what I have learned and in- troducing others to the fascinating world of the monarch butterfly. The life cycle begins when a female butterfly lands on a leaf and deposits its eggs. In about four days a tiny cat or monarch larvae will emerge on the underside of the leaf. Susan col- lects the caterpillars and raises them in monarch sanctuaries that resemble a 3-foot- tall mesh laundry hamper. She provides fresh milkweed leaves and cleans the sanctuaries twice a day. It takes the tiny caterpillars 10 to 14 days to grow into the easily recognizable yellow and black striped caterpillars that are ready to pu- pate. When the caterpillar is ready to trans- form it crawls across the top of the container and hangs in a distinctive J. It will then turn itself inside out and become a green gold- flecked chrysalis. A monarch butterfly will emerge in another 14 days. Considered the king of butterflies the monarch has a distinctive orange and black pat- tern. Early American folklore says the butter- flies were named monarchs and even called King Billies by early British settlers in honor of King William who was previously the Prince of Orange. The life journey of the monarch butterfly is driven by an intergenerational GPS system that brings them back home each year. Its the only species of butterfly that migrates from south to north in the spring and then from north to south in the fall. Many of the monarchs that stop at the Chiles home migrate to southern Canada in the summer and Mexico in the winter. Susan explains the monarchs leave Mexico in late February and head to Texas where they lay eggs that will develop into caterpillars butter- flies and then move northward. The monarchs Susan raises from late spring until mid-summer wing their way to southern Canada and lay eggs there. Regardless of their location all monarchs born in late summer and early fall instinctively know they are born to fly and spend their time fattening up for the trip south. Susan and her granddaughter will tag these so they can be tracked back to Mexico. Unfortunately habitats for monarchs are dis- appearing because the list of plants preferred by butterflies are considered weeds and have been removed from cropland. However there can be a balance between food production and nature with individuals such as Susan provid- ing habitats for these pollinators. Susan said developing a monarch habitat is not difficult and all a person needs to provide is a caterpillar host plant a nectar plant as butterfly fuel water and shelter. Susan is ever ready to share her knowledge through programs at Jeffers Bend where she and David have developed a certified Monarch Way Station. She provides cats and chrysalises to curious children adults classrooms and a local assisted-living facility. Currently three teachers at Trigg County Primary School are raising monarchs from Susan. Once the butter- flies emerge she will help the teachers and students tag them for release. In mid-August the tops of the three sanctu- aries in Susans living room are covered with chrysalises. By mid-September she is ready to start tagging the final generation of butterflies that have been born since late August. Tagging is the culmination of this labor of love and a project she relishes because it gives her the opportunity to nurture her granddaughters ad- miration of the monarch. As they share this experience Lauralyn care- fully removes a butterfly from the sanctuary identifies it as boy or girl male monarchs have a small dark dot on their hindwing hands it to Grandmama who places the tag records a series of data and returns the butterfly to the sanctuary. To apply the tag which is a small water-proof disc slightly larger than a pencil eraser Susan carefully holds the monarch between her thumb and index finger. The tag goes on the butterflys discal cell which is a large mitten- shaped cell on the hind wing. As tiny as it is the tag is labeled with a web address the words Monarch Watch in red letters a phone number and the tag number. The sanctuary is then taken outside where Susan and Lauralyn have the joy of releasing the butterflies together. They say their good- byes wish the monarchs a safe journey to Mexico and look forward to the day when one of their tagged butterflies is found. Susan doesnt hesitate to explain why she loves raising and tagging monarch butterflies. From the elderly at our local assisted-living facility to my carpet cleaner to my dentist I have yet to meet a person who wasnt amazed at the metamorphosis and incredible journey of this beautiful butterfly she said. It makes me so very happy to be sharing my experi- ences and what I have learned with others. Lauralynnlightlyholdsataggedmonarchfromhergrandmothersgarden.Eachtagislabeledwithawebaddress thewordsMonarchWatchinredlettersaphonenumberandthetagnumber.PHOTOS BY CATHERINE RILEY Atinymonarcheggabovethatwillhatchintoacater- pillarsitsonamilkweedleaf.SusanChilessharesher knowledgeaboutmonarchswithhergranddaughter LauralynnandherfriendNova.PHOTOS BY CATHERINE RILEY Ag Families-Fall 25 26 Ag Families-Fall Back to the future BY SUSAN HURT PHOTOS BYTONY HURT A uthor Thomas Wolfe said it best in his 1940 novel You Cant Go Home Again when he wrote one can never fully go back home to your family back home to your childhood back home to places in the country. Wolfe was not trying to say one can never physically go home but rather things will never be the same as when you left. The theme was time passes things change and people change but for Todd Freeman memories of home were not just reflections from the past. They were the fa- miliar images guiding his future. In fact it was Freemans past that shaped his future. Freeman was born and raised in Trigg County to parents Ewing and Bonnie Free- man. He graduated from Trigg County High School in 1989 and went to college at West- ern Kentucky University. After graduating he attended the College of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University and graduated in 1998. Freeman landed his first job as a veterinarian in Georgia. Despite the Southern hospitality Georgia was not on his mind for very long. Freeman married his college sweetheart fellow veteri- narian Dr. Joanna Freeman in 1999. The next year the couple packed up their belongings and left the Peach State for his old Kentucky home of Cadiz population 2656 plus two. Ag Families-Fall 27 FUTURE CONTINUED... The Freemans began working at Trigg County Veterinary Clinic a place Todd knew well. As a high school student he worked there before heading off to college to pursue his degree in veterinary medicine. In 2012 the Freemans opened Little River Veterinary Clinic where he and his wife Joanna treat everything from cats to cattle. Todds passion for cattle began when he was young. His father Ewing Freeman who lives on a 160-acre farm in Trigg County started buying a few heifers with the help of his father Sam Freeman who worked at the Christian County Livestock Market. Todd admits before heading off to vet school he wanted to pursue the cattle business full-time. Ive always enjoyed fooling with cattle and that was all I really wanted to do Todd said. Since returning to his roots the Freeman family partnered together to purchase the orig- inal Freeman farm that has been in their family for 170 years. The father and son had big plans for the 186-acre farm that was in the conserva- tion reserve program at the time of purchase. We wanted to get into backgrounding cattle when we bought the farm but there was a lot of work to be done to get the farm ready for cattle Todd said. Conservation reserve is a U.S. Department of Agriculture cost-share and rental payment program administered by the Farm Service Agency. The program encourages farmers to convert periodically cropland to vegetative cover such as grassland to improve water quality control soil erosion and improve wildlife habitat. The CRP is currently the largest public- private partnership for conservation and habitat protection in the United States. Once the farm was fenced and ready for the herd Todd and his father teamed up with Prairie Livestock in Hopkinsville to purchase approximately 200 steer calves for what is commonly referred to in the cattle industry as backgrounding. According to the Penn State Extension back- grounding is an economical beef production system that maximizes the use of pasture and forages from the time calves are weaned until they are placed in a feedlot. The weight gain from backgrounding is derived primarily from muscle and frame development with lit- tle from fattening. The gains are a result of making maximum use of hay silage and pas- ture feeding. Minimal grain feeding is used in backgrounding calves. Steers are typically 6 to 8 months old and weigh between 400 and 600 pounds when purchased. They are ready for finishing when they reach 850 to 1000 pounds. These calves are usually in high demand by cattle feeders who prefer to buy heavier-weight cattle in hopes of reducing the grain requirements it takes to feed lightweight calves early on. Todds background as a veterinarian is critical to keeping the calves healthy when they arrive at his farm in the cold winter months. We have to vaccinate them for respiratory diseases and deworm them as soon as they come in they are highly susceptible to pul- monary-related diseases Todd said. Backgrounding requires a good preventive health plan to reduce the loss ratio since it takes two to four weeks for calves to recover from weaning and shipping stress. Freemans calves are kept in a small well-contained area where he can monitor their health and feed them until they adapt to their new environment and the risk of sickness has diminished. The success rate with stockers is a flip of the coin based on the quality of the calves and the weather conditions at the time of wean- ing Todd said. The loss rate typically runs 2 to 3 percent each year. With their preventive health plan in place the Freemans didnt lose any of their stocker calves this year. One of the biggest expenses for beef pro- ducers is winter feed costs. Cattle farmers profit margins are dependent on low feed costs. One way to lower these expenses is to feed stockpiled forages. Once the risk of sick- ness has subsided Freemans calves are turned out into larger pastures where they can freely graze on his stockpile of fescue and clover. A successful backgrounding program re- quires good forage management like rotational grazing. We move the calves every two weeks to a new field of fescue Todd said which helps him turn a profit while feeding a growing herd. Because pasture growth and quality are re- duced during mid-summer the calves graze during the optimal nutritional season and are sold to feed lots in August after an average weight gain of 350 pounds. Backgrounding calves consumes a lot of the Freeman familys time however this year Todd is combining two of his interests cattle and genetics to market quality bred heifers. I have always been interested in cattle re- production and genetics he said so we have started a breeding program using artificial insemination. Todd recently used artificial insemination to impregnate 60 heifers with semen straws from a registered Angus bull with exceptional ex- pected progeny differences. EPDs indicate the relative genetic merit of beef cattle for various traits and can be used as a tool to increase de- crease or maintain any trait for which they are calculated. Before the artificial insemination begins Todd conducts a breeding soundness exam on all of his heifers tp determine if they are good candidates for breeding. Conducting BSEs on cattle is an important tool to help reduce the in- cidence and severity of calving difficulty. After evaluating the reproductive tract taking pelvic measurements and calculating breeding weights Todd selects the highest quality can- didates and the reproductive process begins. Once the heifers are pregnant they will be sold off the farm as bred heifers. Along with their full-time careers the Free- mans have a cow-calf operation consisting of 30 cows bred the old fashioned way by a reg- istered leased Angus bull. Freeman admits time is the biggest factor for his family. Working and raising cattle keeps us very busy he said. Fortunately for the couple they have three sets of extra hands Tyler 13 Olivia 10 and Aubree 7 who all help out on the farm when needed. As for Todds father retirement wont find him relaxing in a rocking chair. After 50 years as the owner and operator of Ewing Freeman Electric and Plumbing he is ready to hang up his hat and spend more time on the farm. Im kind of looking forward to retiring and being able to be on the farm full time Ewing said. Only time will tell what the future holds for the Freeman family but if the past is any pre- dictor of the future there are no limits to the endeavors this family will embark upon once Mr. Freeman slows down. Fall was always busy for my family because it was the time when we canned froze and stored fruits and vegeta- bles from the garden. We also stockpiled meats in the freezer to feed us during the winter to come. Everyone had their parts to play in the canning and freez- ing work. We kids were al- ways given the job of washing the canning jars. Our hands were small enough to fit in- side and rinse out any dust or residue that accumulated from the previous year. Wed all be seated in a circle around a large tin washtub with wash- cloths and bottle brushes. The tub was filled with warm soapy water and placed outside the kitchen door in the yard to avoid us wetting down the house as we cleaned. Canning the garden vegetables and fruits as well as freezing meats was and still is a big part of the self-sufficiency we farming families are proud of. In our family aunts uncles cousins and grandparents gathered together for this ac- tivity like we did for everything else. We would all join together picking gathering and plucking ripe fruits and vegetables that had been nurtured all summer long. Ladies girls sometimes menfolk and boys would sit around boxes bags or tubs of green beans and pass on the time with conversation stories jokes or just teasing each other. Wed lay the whole green beans on either our aproned laps or in bowls to be stringed and broken up into bite-sized pieces for washing packing in jars and finally heat-sealed canning in pressure cookers. The pressure cookers could be dangerous if you didnt know what you were doing or didnt monitor the pressure well enough. Once one of my aunts was using the cooker to can green beans and didnt pay attention to the pressure buildup inside. The next thing we knew we heard a big BOOM and ran into the kitchen to see what had happened. Luckily no one was hurt but there stood our aunt with a dismayed look on her face and her hair full of green bits. The green beans along with broken glass from the canning jars covered the stove the wall the ceiling and our aunt. Another popular canning food was tomatoes. One year in particular wed raised a really large crop for all our families to share. We washed peeled cooked and canned tomatoes until we could barely stand the smell of them. We had tomato juice whole tomatoes diced tomatoes red tomato ketchup green tomato ketchup frozen green tomatoes tomato preserves tomato soup mixture and anything else they could think of to make with tomatoes. Besides all the canning of vegetables and fruit we also did a lot of pickling. Vegetables could be pickled as well as the standard cu- cumber. We pickled okra cauliflower carrots green tomatoes beets onions and more we had more kinds of pickles than anyone could imagine. We had regular sweet and dill pickles until one of my aunts got a pickling recipe book and the ladies began swapping pickling recipes. As a result we had seven-day pickles eight-day pickles 10-day pickles 14-day pickles sweet and sour pickles bread and butter pickles freezer pickles million dollar pickles cinnamon pickles watermelon rind pickles and a plethora of other colorfully named pickle creations. At least it gave us a good variety so we couldnt get bored with them. All the pickling canning freezing preserving and drying of the foods wed raised was enjoy- able as well as educational because we did it together we learned how to be sustainable through the winter. No matter how busy we were as a family we always seemed to make time. In the end we relished the time we spent together work- ing playing planning and preparing for the first winters snow. Canning makes family come together 28 Ag Families-Fall Rural Reminiscence P.D. DICKINSON I Ag Families-Fall 29 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 SouthernStatesreminds homeownersofsafety FROM SOUTHERN STATES PETROLEUM Fall has arrived and we at Southern States Petroleum Cooperative would like to remind homeowners of propane safety precautions. Take the following measures to keep your fam- ily safe and your gas heater working properly this fall and winter. 1. Always remember to clean and inspect ap- pliances and burners before lighting them for the first time. Make sure your vents chimneys and flues are clear of any dirt debris or corrosion. 2. Inspect the tank and lines to make sure nothing was damaged during the mowing sea- son. 3. If there is a storm and it causes damage to the tank try to turn the tank off if you can do so safely. Then immediately notify your propane supplier. Do not turn the gas back on until all lines and valves have been checked and a leak test performed by a certified technician. 4. Make sure to monitor the tank gauge during the heating season. Try not to let your tank get too low. If the roads are too hazardous or drive- ways are blocked due to snow and ice delivery trucks may take a little longer to deliver. 30 Ag Families-Fall A series of Special Events based on Harper Lees To Kill A Mockingbird for the entire family. Book Discussions Historical Exhibits Art Workshops Fall Festival Film Screenings More For additional information Pennyroyal Arts Council 270.887.4295 thebigreadhopkinsville HeyBooWhatPageAreYouOn SPONSORS Hopkinsville-Christian County Public Library Museums of Historic Hopkinsville Planters Bank Atmos Energy Bob Lancaster Designs Books On Main Boys Girls Club of Hopkinsville Christian County Christian County Chamber of Commerce Christian County Public Schools Christian County Read 2015 City Of Hopkinsville Griffins Studio Hopkinsville Art Guild Hopkinsville Community College Kentucky New Era Pacific Property Management Southern Exposure Photography - Tony Kirves WHOPLite 98.7 October 8 through November 14 2015 October 8 through November 14 2015 FREE BOOK DISTRIBUTION POINTS Starting October 9th - While supplies last Pennyroyal Arts Council Hopkinsville Community College Library Hopkinsville-Christian County Public Library Planters Bank Hopkinsville locations DONT MISS THE KICK OFF EVENT Thursday Oct. 8 700 PM at The Alhambra Theatre with featured speaker Mary Badham the actress who played Scout in the 1962 Academy Award-winning film To Kill A Mockingbird SPECIAL EXHIBIT -To Kill a Mockingbird A Christian County Cast October 9 - November 14 CARTOONING WORKSHOP - Oct. 13 20 27 Nov. 3 RACE RELATIONS IN HOPKINSVILLE - Where Are We Now Where Do We Want to Be and How Do We Get There Thursday October 22 SUPPER IN THE CEMETERY - Friday October 30 The evening includes a Southern supper catered by the Pioneers. BOO RADLEY FALL FESTIVAL - Saturday October 31 COOKING BY THE BOOK - Thursday November 5 PAINT PARTY AT GRIFFINS STUDIO - Saturday November 7 TEEN BOOK DISCUSSION - Tuesday November 10 SOUTHERN TRIVIA NIGHT - Wednesday November 11 ATTICUS IN THE COURTROOM - Saturday November 14 HERE ARE SOME OF THE MANY SPECIAL EVENTS SCHEDULED... Ag Families-Fall 31 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 32 Ag Families-Fall