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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…

This time of year is often referred to as "the dog days of summer". I suppose it's called that since a dog with any sense at all chooses to nap lazily in the coolest spot possible. Still, I think it's unfair to saddle man's best friend with such a horrible season. The recent period of extend…

Most of us strive for achievement in our daily lives. Achievement or mastery helps youth to discover their interests and strengths and increases their sense of self. One of the great things about 4-H is that it offers youth the opportunity for mastery.  

A new critter is fast becoming a common sight in central Kansas. It has a tiny head with a long pointy little snout and perky little ears, much like an anteater. It’s armor-plated from head to toe, sort of like a mini rhinoceros. It has claws so long they seem out of proportion to the rest o…

You’re invited to the Cowley County Fair. Before you go to the fairgrounds, make these preparations so you can be hydrated, healthy and and happy at the fair!

I want to share with you what many in the 4-H world are dealing with right now. 

What do you get when you mix equal amounts of water and cider vinegar in a jar with a drop or two of dishwashing soap? According to a friend of ours, you get a redneck fruit fly trap. This time of the year along with all the fresh fruit and veggies from our gardens also comes those pesky tin…

The Burden 4-H Club held their annual 4-H tour and swim party Sunday at the Burden City Park.

Agriculture is the largest economic driver in Kansas. Valued at more than $65 billion, agriculture accounts for 43 percent of the state’s total economy. But today, Kansas farmers are facing challenges that threaten the future of agriculture in Kansas, challenges such as tariffs, consolidatio…

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The Cowley County Fair begins Aug. 1. If everyone in the county entered at least one item, Barn 4 at the Winfield Fairgrounds would be overflowing! Here are the top 10 reasons why you should enter something in the Open Class division:

Last summer my daughter came outside to find me in my garden (which had never happened before, so I knew something was amiss). She looked distressed and shared her dilemma. She had been making an apple pie and when putting it in the hot oven, the pie filling slid out. All. Over.

As we walked up the sidewalk and across the patio at my grandson’s house the other night we had to watch our footing as the ground practically moved beneath our feet. Dozens of tiny toads the size of quarters hopped in every direction with each step. An adult toad the size of a peach, probab…

It’s been quite a year for weather and we’re only in July.The heat of Summer has arrived in full force. I can handle the heat, but the humidity is another matter. It couldn’t be my age contributing to the problem, could it? I consider myself pretty physically fit for my years, but sure can’t…

It’s hard to think of floodwaters as being good for anything, but high water makes for excellent bowfishing. A few years back, I rode along with Doug and Tricia Whitehead as they bow fished flooded timber around Melvern Reservoir. Doug learned to bowfish and got his passion for the sport fro…

Do you have a covered porch or patio that is shaded but exposed to bright light? To many of your houseplants, that could be what an island getaway is to us. 

When does the Cowley County Fair begin? I’ve been receiving this question for a couple of weeks. Most people will answer August 1. That is, in fact, the first day of the fair this year. The dates are Aug. 1-5.  For extension agents and some 4-H members, it began with the Dog Show June 22. Fo…

Every year, at about the same time school gets out in May, I begin to hear one of the following: “You’re getting ready to be really busy, aren’t you?” or “You’re getting into your busy season!”  

When the weather is warm, we spend more time outdoors. Alas, so do cats, dogs, and wild animals. So what do we as kind, animal-loving humans do? We pet those dogs and cats and even try to befriend the wildlife. 

I encourage consumers to read labels on food. There are standards defined for the Nutrition Facts label, but date labeling by manufacturers is inconsistent with phrases like “best by or sell by.” Confusion over date labeling accounts for an estimated 20 percent of consumer food waste.

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