As we enter into the holiday season, many organizations and schools begin conducting service projects to benefit those in need. It is not uncommon to get a note from the school that your child’s class is collecting food for a food drive. We see angel trees at our local churches and stores. O…

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On Oct. 25, members of the Muddy Creek 4-H Club, a newly formed Cowley County 4-H club, joined members of the Rock United Methodist Church, who allowed us to use their facility to host our first Trunk or Treat.

This time of year, when the eight-letter word “football” fills many people’s thoughts, our thoughts as hunters and trappers should dwell on another eight-letter word, “scouting.” Here in the farm country of the Midwest, game movement patterns often change from year to year and even from seas…

Just as fuel helps your vehicle, glucose is fuel for your body. Carbohydrates found in foods break down to simple sugars such as glucose.

Popular descriptive words and phrases come and go with generations. When I was a kid they were fairly mundane, like neat, cool or far-out. Evidently a recently concocted phrase is “awesome possum!” I’m always looking and listening for experiences or utterances that might make for a good colu…

Everyone is different.  Everyone has different interests. Are your kids involved in activities that help them to explore their interests and expand on those interests? Do they have the opportunity to further develop their skills in a variety of areas? Do they feel like they “fit in”?  

4-H teaches valuable life skills. Leadership and community service come to mind almost immediately when one thinks about the values that 4-H teaches. Along with leadership and service to the community, 4-H members learn citizenship. Citizenship and leadership seem to be one in the same but h…

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a debilitating, fatal disease that attacks the central nervous system of whitetail deer, mule deer and Rocky Mountain elk, actually resulting in small holes developing in their brains. CWD was first diagnosed in captive animals in Colorado and Wyoming in the …

Everyone wants to be successful. However, sometimes barriers and choices impact our success. You've got to have grit.” 

The temperatures have dropped, and it’s truly beginning to feel like fall on the farm. The air feels crisper, the sky seems brighter and everything seems a bit fresher now that the summer heat has left. It’s as if the plants, animals and people have all perked up after they’ve had to conserv…

At the recent Kansas Fur Harvester’s convention I strolled past a booth where several dozen beautiful flint-blade knives were displayed for sale. The owner and creator of those knives was Chris Yackle from Paola, Kansas who told me “As a young boy I was absolutely fascinated by the large col…

I’m not a very opinionated man, but I do have a few annoyances. I try hard to keep these “pet peeves” on their leashes, but occasionally they break free. Bad signs really irritate me; hard to read, too small, homemade looking, bad signs! For instance, a bad “for sale” sign might as well say”…

I love watching hawks hunt and I love observing how they’ve learned to interact with farm equipment as it rolls across fields and stirs up rodents and small birds that scurry about and often end up as a snack for the hawk. Our raised deer blind overlooks a grass waterway that grows up in gia…

Are you involved in your kids’ activities? No, I mean really involved. Are you getting into what your kids are doing and really getting involved? As parents, oftentimes we are tasked with being the chauffeur, the baker, the snack picker-upper, etc., and we get lost in our own world. While th…

Amateur photographers like myself seldom need encouraging to take photos. Even if you aren't that into photography though, I'd still encourage you to snap a few of your garden as each season unfolds. And only when you have some lovely photos of all the colorful plants and blooms, but I also …

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Ark City FFA took 22 first-year members to the South Central District Greenhand Conference on Sept. 26 at Andale High School. A total of more than 400 students were in attendance. Freshman, Jacob Arnett, left, placed 10th in the Greenhand FFA information test. Sophomore, Madyson Broce said ‘…

When thinking of Fall plantings for color, most people automatically think of mums and asters. While those add much beauty, a lot of Fall color actually begins with Spring plantings. 

Over 75 Cowley County 4-H members exhibited over 150 projects at the 2019 Kansas State Fair in the 4-H division. 4-H members age 9-18 are eligible to exhibit at the Kansas State Fair if they receive a purple ribbon at the county fair with a non-livestock project. Special Visual Arts projects…

My first experience with someone who died by suicide was in high school. It was odd to have been in class with someone one day and then they were gone. Students, staff and the our community individually pondered the question “Did we miss or ignore potential warning signs?”

Jim Kammeyer remembers a dove hunt with his dad years ago when he was about fourteen. A small group on a father and son dove hunt had stopped along a pond to determine how to capture a dove someone had shot and dropped into the pond. A breeze was steadily blowing the downed bird out to sea w…

HUTCHINSON — The Kansas Junior Livestock Show is host to 772 youth from 97 counties for the 87th annual event Sept. 27-29 at the Kansas State Fairgrounds.

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How do I increase my already awesome 4-H experience? I volunteer at the Kansas State Fair. It is a long day, up at 6:15 a.m., leaving town at 7:30, and not arriving back home until 10:30 at night.  But what I gain from the time is well worth it.

One day as I gazed out my window it seemed to me that there are many things in life we are unsure of. For the sake of time and newsprint, I will not elaborate on them here though. Instead I will discuss a fact I am absolutely sure of — God is a gardener. Even if there was no biblical descrip…

My first experience with someone who died by suicide was in high school. It was odd to have been in class with someone one day and then they were gone. Students, staff and our community individually pondered the question, “Did we miss or ignore potential warning signs?”

I have a question for all you outdoorsmen and women. Think back with me as to how you learned to enjoy the outdoors. I doubt it suddenly just happened, so who was it that taught you deer hunters where to put a stand, and you turkey hunters how to sound like a lonely lovesick hen? Who showed …

September's arrival always signals me to be on the lookout for Monarch butterflies. They will soon be migrating to their warmer habitats in Southern California and Mexico. With Kansas being in the center of the U.S., we are smack dab in the middle of the "highway to Mexico". 

What can be so hard about getting a hatchet to stick in a big square piece of wood from 16 feet away?” I asked myself. I stepped into the “pit” as the axe throwing range is called, and three tosses later stuck the axe perfectly in the target. Then for the next fifteen minutes every attempt f…

I should consider it a privilege to share my life experiences in this news column to help you not make the same mistakes I make. Today, I would like to record my recent adventure as “the great thaw.”

Ok, I know, Fall is still aways off, but it's not too early to take an assessment of conditions in our landscape. It sometimes takes awhile to achieve all that needs done before the cooler temps actually arrive. Especially if you are an aging gardener such as I am. While you are checking the…

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I hate hot weather like slugs hate salt, or like dogs hate sirens. I hate summer almost as much as I hate horses. Luckily both Joyce and I share this hatred of summer temperatures or things could get really ugly at the Gilliland home this time of year. When it gets much over 80 degrees outsi…

We all know energetic people that get things done. What’s their secret? They eat breakfast.

As Summer wears on and our landscapes take a deep breath in the midst of the heat, we like our plants, just want a break. There seems to be a lull in the gardens while we, like them, await Fall's colors.

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As the busy school year came to a close, our officer team began prepping and planning for the 2019-20 school year at the officer retreat that took place in June.

In the Extension Office, we get a lot of questions. We work in a business where we supply knowledge for life. With certain “seasons,” we get specific questions. In January, producers begin asking about farm leases. In November, people are asking about preparing turkey. In the spring/summer, …

If you love peaches, you might describe this time of year as “peachy keen.” The dictionary definition of this phrase is “unusually fine.” Local markets are featuring peaches from Georgia and Colorado, but you might be lucky enough to grow your own or purchase directly from an orchard.

Good golly, Miss Molly — it's hot outside! And humid too. By 9 a.m. I'm done working in the yard. Work may still remain, but my internal clock and the sweat of my brow (and everywhere else) tell me I'm finished. If I push it too far "done" changes rapidly to "done in". Having experienced hea…

It’s important to share some of the day-to-day things that 4-H’ers go through, so that as a community, we have a better understanding of our 4-H program. The Cowley County Fair isn’t the “be all, end all” for Cowley County 4-H. *GASP!* I know, I know, you’re shocked. But I’m about to be real…

I stepped out the front door one spring morning a few years back just in time to see a large falcon-shaped bird glide low overhead. It landed in a tree a block away, so I hustled to get my binoculars and our Kansas bird book. The bird sat contentedly, almost posing for me as if making certai…

Area crop producers, chemical applicators and anyone interested in wheat production and agronomy are invited to attend the Cowley- Sumner K-State Wheat Pre-Plant Meeting at 6 p.m. Monday in the Oxford High School commons.

The pens are taken down. The barns are cleaned out. The exhibits are gone. The livestock have been sold or put out to pasture. The rodeo arena is taken down. The carnival has moved on to the next venue. The Figure 8 cars are … let’s be honest, I have no idea where Figure 8 cars are. The poin…

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