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Awards given out at Salute to Ag eye opener breakfast

Photo by Dan Stahl

Award recipients stand with members of the Christian County Agri-Business Association. Photo by Dan Stahl

Friend of Agriculture Jimmy Waldrop – “Your dad would’ve been proud” is the recurring message Jimmy Waldrop has received since being named the 2015 Friend of Agriculture. Waldrop, better known as “Slim,” said that’s been the best part of winning the award.
Growing up, he worked on the farm with his dad, Bill, who was a sharecropper. Slim looked up to his father and shared his passion for agriculture. Continue reading

Farmer of the Year juggles business with family

Farmer of the Year Jeff Davis sits with his daughters, Emily and Sarah, and his wife, Robin.

Farmer of the Year Jeff Davis sits with his daughters, Emily and Sarah, and his wife, Robin.

By Zirconia Alleyne

Born and bred in Pembroke and raised on his parent’s livestock farm, Farmer of the Year Jeff Davis could easily be named Businessman of the Year, too.
Not only does he own a 1,350-acre farm where he grows corn, wheat, soybeans, tobacco, canola and hemp, Jeff owns Buy-Rite Parts and Supply and has several rental properties. He was also part-owner of a sub shop and owner of a liquor store in the past.
In recent years, Jeff has experimented with new tillage practices and was one of only six farmers in the state to grow industrial hemp last summer.
Jeff couldn’t pinpoint where he developed his entrepreneurialism and innovative edge but said he’s always liked trying new things. Continue reading

The key to attracting bluebirds and butterflies

Bluebirds
The bluebird population declined drastically, as much as 90 percent, from 1920 to 1970. The decrease was primarily due to two things, the loss of nesting habitats, including tree holes, rotted fence posts and old orchards and competing for nesting spots with other bird populations, like the starling and house sparrow. Luckily, today, bluebirds are easy to attract to your yard.
The first thing to understand when luring bluebirds is they prefer open areas, if the yard is heavily wooded other nesting birds will be attracted but not bluebirds. Probably the easiest way to attract bluebirds is to provide houses or nesting boxes along with food and water. Continue reading

Cleaning marks the beginning of a new season

By P.D. Dickinson

Spring was always a time of renewal during our childhood on the farm. The trees, shrubs and flowers thrived with bursts of vibrant colors from burgeoning leaves and buds. The spring planting of gardens, corn and tobacco crops were always the primary concern; however, aside from the planting, there were chores to be done as well.
Along with the spirit of renewal, the season brought spring cleaning. We, kids, helped with the planting of crops and gardens just as we helped with all the other chores during the year. Everything — and I mean everything — was stripped down, cleaned out, dusted off, washed, freshly varnished or painted, repaired or
replaced. Continue reading

Dad bonds with sons during Ky. youth hunting weekend

Eli and Jason Morris smile with his wild turkey. Photo provided

Eli and Jason Morris smile with his wild turkey. Photo provided

By Toni W. Riley
The mock cluck, cluck of a hen turkey resonates from the friction call in the hands of Jason Morris. He and his son, Micah, 11, have been hiding inside the turkey blind since before daylight during the youth hunting weekend. The call works. Seconds later, a gobbler fans his tail and struts into sight.
“He’s a big one,” Jason says quietly. “Be calm, be still and don’t move.”
Micah waits patiently for the gobbler to move into range. The gobbler hears the hen call from Jason’s hand again and sees the decoys Jason and Micah have set up 20 yards from the blind. As the gobbler struts forward, Micah continues to wait until the bird is near enough. He pulls the trigger and harvests a wild turkey.
Jason will continue this annual hunting tradition with his other son, Eli, 9, as will many other ag families during the Kentucky youth hunting weekend and possibly again during the regular turkey hunting season. Continue reading

Make your yard a habitat for nature’s critters

Imagine enjoying the bright color of a goldfinch on a sunflower, the fragrance of a crabapple, the song of a mockingbird or the flutter of butterfly wings right from your front porch.
Attracting wildlife can be an educational and memorable experience regardless where you live. Whether your family lives in the country, a subdivision, an older historic section or even an apartment, wildlife can become a beautiful part of the landscape.
Wildlife needs food, water, shelter and space to live. When those things are available, a habitat is established. The first thing to consider is which of these factors are already available? What species would be easy to attract and what do you need to provide in addition to what is already available? Continue reading

Research projects more female farmers to take leading roles on US farms by 2027

Kathy Hancock manages a 230-acre family farm in Herndon with her sister.

Kathy Hancock manages a 230-acre family farm in Herndon with her sister. Photo by Meredith Willse

By Olivia Clark
Thirty years ago a woman involved in agriculture looked different than she does today. At that time, she may have been found alongside her husband out in the field, preparing meals at home or being the farm bookkeeper. She was the biggest supporter of her farmer and what he pursued as his career for the livelihood of their family.
Today, women in agriculture are seen in many more roles within the industry. Women are seed and chemical sales representatives, crop insurance agents, agriculture teachers, loan officers, farmers and the list continues. Many of those women live right here in Christian County. Continue reading

Davis family visits Trenton for AgStrong open house, explains canola processing

AgStrong owners and cousins (from left) Mallory and Jessica Davis and Jennifer and Robert Davis came from their hometown in Bowersville, Ga., to the open house of their new canola processing plant in Trenton.  The 23,000 square foot plant has been up and running since December. Photo By Zirconia Alleyne

AgStrong owners and cousins (from left) Mallory and Jessica Davis and Jennifer and Robert Davis came from their hometown in Bowersville, Ga., to the open house of their new canola processing plant in Trenton. The 23,000 square foot plant has been up and running since December. Photo By Zirconia Alleyne

By Toni W. Riley
The word “family” resonates throughout any conversation about Hart AgStrong, an oilseed crushing and refining company that opened a multi-million dollar canola processing plant in Trenton last December.
Robert Davis, the founder and CEO of the company, and Mallory Davis, the project manager, traveled to the Bluegrass from their hometown Bowersville, Ga., with their wives and children in tow for the open house of their new 23,000 square foot facility in March.
Plant manager Mark Dallas led tours of the building for nearly 50 farmers who were curious to learn about canola and its emerging role in the Pennyrile. Continue reading

Gardeners guide for growing spring flowers in containers

By Diane Turner
I come from a long line of flower garden lovers with green thumbs, so naturally I love planting flowers. As a child, I remember the yellow roses and peonies that were scattered around my granny’s front yard. Mammaw loved growing Bleeding Hearts and would collect seeds from her neighbors to grow different flowers, like Four O’Clocks. The most impressive is my aunt and uncle’s garden that has a variety of flowers, vegetables and a Koi pond.
Unlike my family, I tend to grow my gardens in containers. We have many stores in and around Hopkinsville that offer an array of plants and container choices. Continue reading

Agri-Business of the Year: Luttrull Feeds nears 20th anniversary

Brothers Ronnie and Danny Luttrull head toward a storage facility at their feed service company, Luttrull Feeds. The duo started the business in 1996. Photo By Zirconia Alleyne

Brothers Ronny and Danny Luttrull head toward a storage facility at their feed service company, Luttrull Feeds. The duo started the business in 1996. Photo By Zirconia Alleyne

By Zirconia Alleyne
A business started by accident, Luttrull Feeds is nearing its 20th birthday next year, and what better way to celebrate than being named Agri-Business of the Year at the 2015 Salute to Agriculture Eye Opener Breakfast hosted by the Christian County Chamber of Commerce.
Brothers Ronny and Danny Luttrull decided to start a feeding service in 1996 after Ronny lost his right eye in an accident.
At the time, Ronny had a side job delivering feed but couldn’t work for three months after his injury. Danny, 63, was working in a factory at the time but would help Ronny, 60, with his deliveries after he got off.
“I enjoyed doing it, and I thought it might be something we could do together,” Danny said. “We started from just a little delivery truck and within a year or so, we bought — I think we leased (a building) — then at the end of that year, we bought it.” Continue reading

5 practices that prepare cows for spring

By Susan Hurt
Spring is an exciting and eventful time on the farm. Farmers begin preparing the ground for crops, and new life emerges as daffodils sprout and animals are born. Veterinarians are preparing for issues that may arise with the increase of lamb and calf births.
It’s a time of change as cattle transition from winter silage to spring grass, which can be problematic for animals that spend their time grazing. Dr. Todd Freeman, veterinarian at Little River Veterinary Clinic, shares his tips for keeping cattle healthy this season. Continue reading