state fair 4-H Horticulture Judging Contest started at 8:30
this morning so we had to leave home by 6:30. Julie wasn't on
the county team but she judged as an individual. The team got
8th out of 23 teams. We think that's really great as it was
the first time our county had participated in the contest!
Wayne's class is studying insects so the three of us checked
out the 4-H Entomology exhibits while Julie did the horticulture-judging
contest. Julie's vest is on display in one of the showcases
in the 4-H Exhibit Building. It got a blue ribbon - not bad
for her first year of sewing.
It was so hot at the state fair that we didn't try to do it
all and see everything today - just came home in the middle
of the afternoon. Julie has to go back next weekend for the
4-H LifeSkills Judging Contest and Dean has to be down there
for the Wheat Growers the same day. Hopefully, it will be a
little cooler and we can see the rest of the fair. After 6 years
as a county 4-H agent and going down almost every year since
I 'retired', Dean and I pretty much know our way around the
state fairgrounds and what we want to see each year.
a pretty good chance for rain tonight so the guys are scrambling
to get as much fieldwork done as they possibly can. We're back
to the point where we really need some rain. There's good moisture
down below (subsoil) but the topsoil - closer to the surface
where the wheat seed will be planted and needs moisture to sprout
- is really getting dry and dusty.
After the 4-H club meeting tonight, Dean went out and baled
alfalfa until 1:30 a.m. John ran the tractor and disc all evening.
I'm not sure when he shut down but I heard the two of them talking
back and forth on the radios before I called it quits for the
did rain a little early this morning. It was enough that the
guys can't get into the fields today. If it doesn't rain any
more, they'll be back at it again tomorrow. They may be getting
to where they can see the end of this round of fieldwork - maybe!
When it's time to plant wheat, we need to have all the weeds
killed and chopped up. This little bit of rain should help any
leftover weed seeds sprout. We'll go back over the fields with
the cultivator right before we plant the wheat with the drill.
The cultivator just works the topsoil where the wheat seed will
be planted - breaking up dirt clumps, picking up big clumps
of weeds or other trash, and pulling out the small weeds that
have just sprouted. It leaves the dirt smooth and the wheat
seeds should be able to sprout and grow quickly without lots
of competition from weeds.
mornings are good for fence fixing! Since the pipeline project
is all done on our land, we sorted cows and calves and moved
some of the bred heifers back into the pasture the pipeline
project crossed. The fence was only broken in 6 places between
our pasture and the neighbor's pasture beside it. It may be
a good idea for all of us to get together and rebuild the whole
fence sometime this winter.
finally have the new computer and new accounting program up
and running. Now I'm scrambling to get several months of bookwork
caught up before we meet with our accountant. We belong to the
Kansas Farm Management Association, which gives us some guidance
on tax implications, etc. of some major decisions. On some issues,
the economists will use actual figures from the Farm Management
statistics to determine the effects of policy changes, tax changes,
decided to go to the high school football game tonight. Maybe
we were just tempting it to rain as it sprinkled the whole time
we were there. The DTN National Weather Service radar showed
that the storms were moving this way even before we left home.
The stormy skies and lightning were pretty spectacular out to
the west around Dodge City, which got over 7 1/2 inches of rain.
When the lightning was on all four sides of us, Dean & I
decided we didn't really want to get caught in the football
stadium by a bad storm and we bailed out. By the time we got
to our car and were on the edge of town headed home, the storm
cut loose. We heard they stopped the game and then finished
it after the storm passed but we were glad we left when we did.
that it's rained, Dean will be more willing to go Hutchinson
and the state fair tomorrow.
attended a breakfast with Senator Pat Roberts, Secretary of
Agriculture Dan Glickman, Congressman Jerry Moran, and other
officials and leaders of Kansas agriculture organizations this
morning. Sponsored by the Kansas Farm Bureau, the breakfast
gave the state's agriculture leaders a chance to air some concerns
and address some issues.
The kids and I went to the Kansas State Fair. We had a little
extra time before the we were to meet the other members of the
Life Skills Judging team so we sat and watched part of the 4-H
Dog Show. In one ring, the 4-H'er was in a wheelchair. She and
her dog performed all the turns and commands just like all the
other 4-H'ers. It was really neat to watch.
We met Dean at the Farm Bureau Arena for a live television and
radio broadcast about ag issues, with Senator Roberts and Secretary
Glickman answering questions from both the live audience and
telephone callers. Julie watched the debate between Senator
Roberts and his opponent last year at the State Fair and still
remembers some of what was said.
Dean worked awhile at Agri-land, a children's agriculture exploration
area sponsored by the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and
other Kansas commodity groups and agriculture organizations.
Julie had made plans to meet her band camp roommate at the 4-H
Encampment Building so we were at the other end of the fairgrounds.
One exhibit that really stands out from our visits to the state
fair this year was a 4-H Geology exhibit of fern fossils from
Franklin County, Kansas. We'd never seen anything like it before.
Most of the state of Kansas was underwater and there are lots
of fossils from the sea but I had forgotten that part of northeastern
Kansas was once a forest on the edge of the water.