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Ehmke Diaries

November 30

Got a standing rib roast in the oven. Then off to Sunday School. Since the boys were going back to Manhattan, we came home quick. Had a great dinner. Cole and Tanner left about 2:00.

We left directions for Layton to feed animals; any other chores like breaking the ice if it gets real cold. In the afternoon he met his friends for a paintball war! They had a great time out in a pasture. Layton did get hit!

Vance and Louise left for Salina, Kansas.

December 1

A big day for wheat. We started with a leadership breakfast of wheatgrowers at the Holiday Inn. The Wheatheart meeting followed where we reported on all of our activities--especially Wheatmania.

At noon we heard Representative Jerry Moran and Kansas Ag secretary Allie Devine. The main problems facing farmers now are with the railroad. There's not enough cars and terrible service. There are more trucks than ever over our roads, which also cannot stand a lot of pressure without constant repair.

Our wheat awards were given in the afternoon to Dr. Bikram Gill, a wheat researcher; Lynn Rundle for outstanding marketing in the 21st Century Alliance; Jean Hixson as Wheathearts and wheat spokesperson; Rod and Saralee Bentley for their service to the wheat industry.

And now Louise is past president of the Wheathearts!!! Now chairman of the Festival of Breads. It was a big day ending with a tradeshow party.

In between meetings, Vance put a bid in for the ground--the 320 acres. We'll keep our fingers crossed.

December 2

Commodity Classic Day at the convention with numerous speakers. Vance attended the 21st Century Alliance board meetings. They had their photo taken as the "dream team " of agriculture for Successful Farming magazine cover this spring.

Received a fax from the realtor that someone else had bid higher. Now for the next decision.

Louise attends some meetings but also took some time for Christmas shopping. The list is long!!!!

The Kansas Wheat Commission dinner featured the governor as well as noted wheat breeder Rollie Sears. Rollie was very good as he explained how wheat varieties are selected. One of the main varieties he developed and is now quite popular was once in the dumpster at KSU. When he realized it had potential because of its high protein because of a grain analysis, he had to climb into the dumpster the next morning to find it. Fortunately he did and that is KARL wheat today.

Farmer checkoffs on every bushel of wheat fund wheat research. For every bushel a farmer sells, 1 cent goes to fund our own wheat research and market development.

December 3

Snow!!!! Vance stayed for the 21st Century Alliance meetings while I hitched a ride home with the Paris's. Beautiful trip home as we enjoyed the snow on the trees. It is cold--17* so the 3" of snow stayed on the ground and trees. Roads were ok.

All was ok at home. Just lots of messages and mail. No progress on the land deal.

Vance arrived late.

December 4

Vance drove around the farm. All looks fine. Great to get some moisture again.

Mules and dogs are great. We do smell a skunk. He's loading up on dog food!!

Louise caught up on phone calls, mail, dirty laundry. Vance made a call to our banker about buying the ground. He thought it was great for us. So we'll call the realtor again.

Vance also worked on a story for CPM magazine. Louise serves on the board of the Area Mental Health Centers for Southwest Kansas. We had a dinner board meeting. Our center is very busy serving the mental health needs of the region.

December 5

Vance called in our other bid for the ground and guess what . . . we got it. Tomorrow the realtor will come by with the papers to sign. We will sign and write a check for a down payment. We are excited!!

Louise worked on the Festival of Breads breadbaking contest that will be in March and finals in April. We need to get letters out now for donations and a news release announcing the competition. I work closely with Cindy Falk of the Wheat Commission who is in charge of the contest.

Layton played in the band for the first basketball game. Dighton won over Scott City--a big school and big win.

Marit worked on art projects and some letters.

December 6

Will travel 80 miles to Dodge City for Layton's Honor band, he's first chair tuba. Will do some shopping!!

The realtor came by with the contract to buy the land. We signed the contract. If the sellers agree to the terms then the responsibility of land ownership begins. That means taking care of the land, making sure it is managed properly such as conservation practices in place, not overgrazing the grass, rebuilding the fence. Land ownership is great opportunity as well as responsibility.

Layton was in an Honor band in Dodge City. He was first chair tuba--had some great parts to play. Marit and I drove down to hear him. We did some shopping and then home to the wonderful fire Vance had built in our fireplace.