OK, I began this adventure through COVID 19 land as a member of the “just how far will we go to protect ourselves from ourselves” club, thinking we were taking this whole thing to the extreme. But just as I was softening my stance and beginning to see the need for the whole social distancing…

Your local Extension Office offers soil testing procedures for local agriculture producers as well as homeowners. Having your soil tested is a great way to prepare for cropping systems, hay production, vegetable gardens and local fruit production. Soil samples are received at the local level…

Warmer weather, and hopefully April showers, will really get the garden growing. Take advantage of this month to clean up and refresh the landscape, get compost and mulch worked in, and start planting. Just be on the lookout for late frosts!

I love the new “Whatever’s Biting” category that Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism has embraced this year. Each year, lakes and reservoirs around the state are rated per there populations of each individual sport fish, and this year a new list has been added for the fishermen that are happy…

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The Cowley County Livestock Association held its annual meeting March 12 at the Tisdale Methodist Church gym. Nearly 100 farmers, ranchers, friends and neighbors attended the affair, which was catered by Grouse Valley Grill of Dexter.

The Reid household will be trying some new recipes soon. Like you, I currently have more time at home and I am trying to be more intentional about how and when I shop. 

Somewhere on my lengthy list of unanswered questions is the query that asks “Just how far will we go to protect ourselves from ourselves?” Don’t get me wrong, there are some very necessary warnings out there, like huge letters on a tank of gasoline that read “FLAMABLE,” or flags that tell us…

Growing up on a livestock operation teaches agriculturists such life lessons as the value of hard work, the miracle of birth, the joy of caring for animals and, sometimes, the loss of livestock.

Spring is just around the corner. One sign of spring in the Flint Hills is burning of the Kansas tall-grass prairie. Cowley County is located on the edge of the Flint Hills and is one of 17 Kansas counties included in the Flint Hills Smoke Management Plan. We’re no stranger to smoke in the a…

Do you remember the song with the lyrics “Walk this Way” by Aerosmith? Since the song had nothing to do with walking technique, let me share key points.

One cold march evening in 2004, a group of seven avid outdoorsmen, outdoorswomen and conservationists sat around a crackling campfire in the southern cascade foothills of Oregon. They all had concerns about the management of our nation’s wilderness, and the shrinking amount of public land av…

What do you want to be known for? We put ourselves into roles by profession, activity, interest — roles that sometimes become defining for us. But have you ever really considered what you want to be known for? Have you considered how you can be effective in your life? 

Cowley County Conservation District is conducting its annual cost-share sign-up from March 1 through April 15, to accept requests for state financial assistance to install enduring conservation practices.

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VAN BUREN, Ark. (AP) — State, local, federal officials gathered in western Arkansas last week to discuss the response to historic flooding along the Arkansas River in Arkansas and Oklahoma and ways to reduce damage in the future. 

I think overall wildlife have done a much better job of coexisting with man than we have done coexisting with them. If you think living in town excludes wildlife from our presence (other than the obvious resident squirrels and cottontails) think again. Possums, skunks, raccoons, beavers, fox…

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Gary Kistler, of Udall, and Bob Lawson, of Burden, load coyote pelts Monday afternoon when eight Cowley County trappers brought their furs to Udall and met up with a big G.F.W. fur truck from Illinois, which is the largest fur buyer in the U.S. There were a record number of coyotes.

Spring is just around the corner and producers can be preparing their gardens now. The Cowley County Extension Office has resources available to help producers improve their lawns and gardens including Kansas Healthy Yards and Communities, an initiative of K-State Research and Extension to h…

I could claim to be a hand washing expert. Over the past years, I have inspected more than 5,000 hands during youth hand washing programs. These school enrichment programs focus on healthy eating, trying new foods and getting rid of germs. 

Happy New Year! I know, we’re long past January 1, but today is a new day! It doesn’t matter if you quit your new year’s resolution weeks/months ago or got off track with your goals, today you get to start again, today is a new beginning! For many of our 4-H’ers, the topic of new beginnings …

Conversations about mental health don’t have to be awkward. Community members are learning how to respond when someone tells them they’re not OK at a unique mental health first aid class now available in Cowley County.

On Feb.14, 2020, United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued a proclamation naming Feb. 16-22 as Grain Bin Safety Week.  The purpose of the week is to highlight safety practices and bring attention to safe work practices in an effort to decrease the number of accidents associa…

A couple years ago, students at Humboldt High School in southeastern Kansas noticed that a large colony of chimney swift birds was roosting in the big chimney of the old abandoned high school. Knowing that the old school was scheduled for demolition, the students decided the chimney swift co…

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TOPEKA — A group of young producers from across the state met Feb. 18-19 for the first installment of the 2020 Kansas Livestock Association Young Stockmen’s Academy.

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Every town has its population of feral cats. Let me be clear right up front, when I say feral cats, I’m referencing cats that live on the streets or in the fields, that are unsocialized and quite possibly have never had an “owner,” not Fluffy that rolls around in a paper sack on the living r…

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WICHITA — On Aug. 16, the second day of the school year, students in the Burrton district felt the shake of a 4.2 magnitude earthquake. They knew exactly what to do: hide under their desks until it stopped.

This time of year, anywhere there are hedge apple trees, also known as Osage Orange trees you will find piles of greenish-yellow hedge apple husks, deposited by squirrels chewing them apart to get to the many succulent seeds inside. In the 1880’s before the invention of barbed wire, ranchers…

What do you love? Family, friends and places may top your list. But what motivates you to love?

In the early 1940s the state of Kansas began purchasing land north of Great Bend for what would become the largest inland wetlands system in the continental U.S., known as Cheyenne Bottoms.

I was home for two days with a fever and other symptoms that made me want to stay in bed. Feeling “under the weather” is not fun, and it prevented me from doing several things I wanted to do. I had time to think about others who have chronic health conditions.

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Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania was settled and named by the Delaware Indians as a campsite halfway between the Allegheny and Susquehanna Rivers. When German settlers arrived in the 1700’s, they brought with them a tradition known as “Candlemas Day,” celebrated in Germany on Feb. 2nd, which happe…

Farming is one of the most stressful jobs in America. Farmers often live where they work, and their coworker(s) are their spouse and or other family members. Many farmers work alone. Farmers may have the advantage of being their own boss, but the reality is that they control very little. Man…

Kansas State University’s Southeast Research and Extension Center is host to the Tamegrass Stocker Field Day on Feb. 20 to help the area’s producers to improve the health, nutrition and pasture management for their cattle herds.

How many of you made a New Year’s Resolution? How many of you have already “fallen off the wagon” with that resolution? If you said yes, you are not alone. 80 percent of the population who begins the new year with a resolution will let go of that resolution before February. Some have already…

More than 50 percent of Kansas agricultural land is rented. Many farmers find leasing to be a necessity in order to run a viable agricultural business due to high land costs and inputs. 

'Tis the season for soup! I challenge you to try this fail safe formula for creating a soup that serves four adults.

A term tossed around by trappers and by people who work with fur is the word “prime.” When a fur-bearing animal’s fur is at its very best it’s called prime. An animal’s fur pelt has thick, dense “underfur” similar to the down feathers on a bird that insulates the animal from the cold. That d…

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) encourages agricultural producers to enroll now in the Agriculture Risk Loss (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. March 15 is the enrollment deadline for the 2019 crop year.

We have flipped the calendar to a new year, and that also means the “silly season” of politics is starting in earnest. This year promises to be an even sillier year than most because of state and national elections. More than just about any year I can remember, there is more at stake for our…

RISE Cowley — Cowley County’s health coalition — has been partnering with community groups to make living healthfully an easy, familiar and expected part of routines and traditions. This is happening in our community through active living policies, systems and environments.

This week I had the opportunity to ride along with a young trapper who traps a couple hundred coyotes every year in the large wooded pastures and the CRP fields of central Kansas. Mange is a disease often found on wild coyotes caught by Kansas trappers, and he told me that over one-fourth of…

The New Year usually brings with it decisions to make this year better in one way or another.  We come up with “New Year’s resolutions” with determination to lose weight, get fit or improve our lives in some way. Most of us begin a new year with a goal to do something. We set goals to live a…

TOPEKA — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt last week asked a federal court to find that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has properly withdrawn an Obama-era rule seeking to further regulate the organic livestock and poultry industry.

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I remember back in the 1970’s when the Ohio wildlife and parks were talking about transplanting wild turkeys in Ohio. I had 150 acres of farm ground similar to our south-central Kansas ground, but with more trees, and I can remember how excited I was at the possibility of having wild turkeys…

My brother recently sent me a video showing him releasing a bobcat he had trapped. He used a piece of plywood with a notch cut in the bottom; by keeping the plywood between him and the trapped cat, he pushed the cat back as far as it could go so the plywood was set down with the notch over t…

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