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General Derek Schmidt last week asked a federal court to find that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has properly withdrawn an Obama-era rule seeking to further regulate the organic livestock and poultry industry.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

Some of my biggest kitchen messes/adventures have occurred in or near the refrigerator. There was the time that I sneezed while holding a smoothie destined for the fridge. Let’s just say I had smoothie smear from the floor to ceiling (including inside the fridge). 

The glowing full moon that had bathed the land in orange for two nights in a row was quickly fading and the pink light of morning was struggling to emerge from behind a bank of clouds when the deer began to appear. Like tawny ghosts they silently slipped, one at a time from the tall grass an…

Strong family relationships don’t just happen; they are developed. Here are some ideas for your holiday family gatherings to develop strong families.

When you think of the holiday season, what comes to mind? For me, it’s togetherness, family, gratitude, gifts and thank-you notes. Yes, that’s right, I said thank-you notes. 

Do you have a few more gifts to purchase but need ideas? Consider these kitchen essentials that make great gifts and help keep food safe.

During the holiday season, the Christmas tune, “The 12 Days of Christmas,” or a version of it can be heard over and over in malls, on the radio, etc. Popular culture has even created different versions — a redneck version, a teacher parody, “The Twelve Days of CATS-mas,” the list goes on and…

The countdown for Christmas officially has begun in our house. This year, aside from a little felt Advent calendar we hang on a door to help the kids understand how many days are left until Christmas, we also added two chocolate Advent calendars — one for my son and one for my daughter. We f…

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Deer rifle season began here in Kansas last Wednesday and I’ve put-off penning this week’s column hoping for a deer hunting story to tell. Alas, no deer or deer story yet, but each year this experience brings back memories of deer hunts from my past, some when deer were successfully harveste…

Late fall is the time many cattle producers are weaning spring born calves and making selections for replacement females. Trying to decide if replacement heifers should be kept and, if so, the best way for making that decision was a recent discussion topic for Kansas State University Beef Ca…

Are you engaged? Not engaged to be married, are you engaged? Are you engaged in your day-to-day life? Are you engaged in your job? Are you engaged in your family? Are you engaged in your childrens’ activities? Do I need to better clarify?  Engaged (adj.): busy, occupied. 

All producers who have not reported their fall seeded crops are urged to call and make an appointment with the Farm Service Agency at (620) 221-2060. The deadline to certify is Dec. 15.

There are certainly plenty of ongoing concerns in the world, but at least for us humans, it has never been a better place to live. It’s easy to conflate headlines with the actual state of humanity. It’s an understandable reaction, but it’s also a misreading of what makes news. While most cer…

The stories that are the most fun to write and to read are those stories in which the big buck is fooled and harvested, the fish bite ferociously, coyote traps hold coyotes morning after morning and pheasants, quail, ducks and geese literally swarm the blind and limits are met before breakfa…

The Udall FFA chapter attended the South-Central District horse judging contest and the entomology contest on Oct. 16. In the junior division, Hailey Southern placed ninth and Montana Saguto placed 13th. The team placed third overall.

With the addition a couple years ago of a pre-rut antlerless only season in October, the deer hunting opportunities here in Kansas have become almost too numerous to keep track of. One thing is certain though, and that is that many deer hunters will be after one of Kansas’s signature big buc…

Food provides carbohydrates, fat and protein that the body uses for energy. Carbohydrates are found in grains, fruits, starchy vegetables, milk and dairy products. Too many carbohydrates — whether starchy or sweet — can cause excess glucose to circulate in the blood plasma (aka hyperglycemia…

Cowley County 4-H families celebrated a year of successes at the annual 4-H Achievement Night Saturday, Nov. 9, at Cowley College’s Brown Center. The celebration was held to honor 4-H members, clubs and their annual accomplishments in the 4-H program. 4-H members, families and guests enjoyed…

About this time each year we begin to hear and read stories that all center on the illegal taking of Kansas wildlife. Whether it’s Bald Eagles being shot, outfitters being investigated for assisting their clients in illegally taking and transporting game or numerous game law violations inten…

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”…

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