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Woman keeps husband’s dream, cattle company alive

Gene and Carolyn Sorrell owned one of Kentucky’s largest cattle brokering companies, Fox Creek Cattle Co., selling up to 70,000 cattle a year and transporting 2,000 calves each week across the United States.

Gene and Carolyn Sorrell owned one of Kentucky’s largest cattle brokering companies, Fox Creek Cattle Co., selling up to 70,000 cattle a year and transporting 2,000 calves each week across the United States.

By Susan Hurt

Photos by Tony Hurt

The famous quote “behind every great man there stands a great woman” is a fitting description of Gene and Carolyn Sorrell. The Sorrells owned one of Kentucky’s largest cattle brokering companies, Fox Creek Cattle Co., selling up to 70,000 cattle a year and transporting 2,000 calves each week across the United States.

At only 5 feet 2 inches tall, Carolyn Sorrell was the woman standing behind the 6-foot-4 man that made it all happen.

Carolyn knows cattle, after all, she has been living among them all of her life. She grew up in the stockyard her father, Duard Bowles, built in Metcalfe County after World War II. You could say she learned the art of salesmanship before she learned her alphabet. She did all the jobs from writing scale tickets to washing ponies at daybreak, before riding them in the sale ring. Continue reading

The importance of beekeeping: Crops could suffer without pollinators

By Toni W. Riley

When was the last time you were sitting on your patio and noticed a bee nestled inside a flower, emerging with its legs covered in pollen? Chances are it has been a while.

The population of bees, native and domestic has dropped drastically in the last decade due to bee colony collapse. This has caused a decrease in these mighty pollinators and a decrease in the production of fruit and vegetables. One of every three bites of food comes from plants pollinated by honeybees and other pollinators. Continue reading

It’s time for the rodeo! CCCA, Lonestar Rodeo get ready to put on a show

Trick Rider Jessica Blair. Athens, Tenn. jumps her horses, Goose and Moose, over a line of fire. Blair and he horses provided dare devil entertainments for the crowd in between the rodeo competitions.

Trick Rider Jessica Blair. Athens, Tenn. jumps her horses, Goose and Moose, over a line of fire. Blair and he horses provided dare devil entertainments for the crowd in between the rodeo competitions.

By Zirconia Alleyne Photo by Kat Russell

If bareback, saddle bronc, calf roping and steer wrestling ring any bells, then you may want to take your family to the 16th annual Christian County Cattleman’s Association Lone Star Rodeo.

The main event will be at 8 p.m. Aug. 15 and 16 at the Western Kentucky State Fairgrounds. A free, special needs rodeo will be at 10 a.m. Aug. 15 for special needs students in the Christian County Public School system.

The association sponsored the first special needs rodeo last year and is excited for the students to enjoy another exclusive daytime show, lunch and petting zoo.

Lanny Boyd started the rodeo as a fundraiser in 1998, just three years after the local cattleman’s association was formed by veterinarian Pat Dougherty, Dell King and Gene Sorrell. Continue reading

Farming and faith: We are thankful for help, harvest

Janie and Milt Corley operate Christian Way Farms with the help of their three children.

Janie and Milt Corley operate Christian Way Farms with the help of their three children.

By Janie Corley

The first employer was God and the first employee was a farmer named Adam. “The LORD God took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden to work it and watch over it.”

But the job was too big for one man. “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is like him.’” (Genesis 2:15, 18 HCSB). Continue reading

There’s no place like home: Daughter comes home to manage family farm

baker fam

The Baker family currently runs River Bend Farms in Cadiz where they have 5,000 acres comprised of corn, soybeans, wheat and hay.

Story by Susan Hurt
Photos by Tony Hurt

A t 26 years old, she has already earned many accolades; Miss Trigg County, a college graduate, and most recently, the President’s Award from the Trigg County Chamber of Commerce. The title she is most proud of is being a farmer’s daughter.
Alana Baker, daughter of Stan and Mary Beth Baker, has been bottle feeding calves since she was drinking from a baby bottle herself. She grew up on the family farm, River Bend Farms, appropriately named since the Little River meanders through its lush green pastures. Continue reading

Barn-based agri-tourism business continues to grow

By Toni W. Riley

Keith and Sara Shepherd had no idea when they took over the Shepherd family farm, that someday they would have an agri-tourism business where brides and grooms would be toasted in the barn that once held prized Shorthorn cattle.

A wedding venture might not be what first comes to mind when thinking of an agri-tourism business, but Kelly Jackson, Christian County agent for horticulture who works with the Pennyrile Region Agri-tourism Committee, says agri-tourism is any activity that brings people to a farm or a farm-like setting. Continue reading

‘Meals on wheels’ takes on new meaning for farm families

picnic

By Rae Wagoner

Kentucky Soybean Board

When most people think of tailgating, images of ball games or other sporting events come to mind. For farm families, though, a truck-tailgate picnic in the field may be the only way Dad gets dinner during planting and harvest seasons. It may be the only family time spent together on any given day, a bright spot in an otherwise long and weary 24-hour period.

With the soybean crop thriving and record acres planted this year, some farmers will work from before daylight to long after dark, pausing only to shower and grab a few hours of sleep before returning to the combine this harvest season. They’ll be mighty glad to see the wife and kids arrive with “meals on wheels.” A precious half-hour with the little ones along with the evening meal is a welcome respite from row after row of the same view. Continue reading

Healthy snacking is important during planting, harvest time

By Rae Wagoner
Kentucky Soybean Board
Many of our area farmers have been spending a number of hours in the cab of a tractor recently, often planting from sunup until long after sundown. With all of that time spent in a sitting position, it’s easy to pack on a few pounds, especially if your cooler is full of sugary sodas and your snack pack is crammed with high-calorie goodies.
Sure, it’s easy to grab a big bag of chips and some snack cakes or candy bars to fill time (and your belly) during the long hours in the cab, but a healthy snacking plan will benefit you in the long run. Snacking IS important, because it keeps hunger under control between meals.
If breakfast is at 5:30 a.m., lunch at noon (maybe) and the evening meal (sometimes) not until 8 p.m. or later, there must be some fuel added to keep the body going between times. Continue reading

Crop insurance policies, plans and protection: Whole-farm coverage option to be available in 2015

By Melisa Morgan
Crop insurance is an important risk-management tool for the modern-day farmer and it is key to a farm’s success.
Congress authorized the first crop insurance program in the 1930s along with other initiatives to help the industry recover from the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.
The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation was created in 1938 to oversee this program, which started as an experiment. It was limited to major producing areas and included only major crops in an effort to stimulate growth.
This “experiment” continued to be a government program until 1980 when the Federal Crop Insurance Act was passed, expanding crop insurance to more crops and regions. This expansion replaced the free disaster coverage that had previously been offered under other farm bills in the 1960s and 1970s.
Today, the federal government’s job in crop insurance is to regulate and establish policy provisions, rules and regulations. The government still subsidizes the producer’s premium by 38-67 percent depending on the amount of coverage as well as provide reimbursement for administrative and operating cost to the insurance companies. This allows for approved insurance providers to have the ability to reinsure producers.
One of the greatest feats for an agent is staying up to date with crop insurance products, guidelines and their producer’s needs, all of which can change frequently. Continue reading