The Other Side of Ag from the perspective of grain buyers

By Krin Mims
If you live in Christian County, you know, as the weather begins to warm up, more action takes place in the fields. Everyone can identify a stalk of corn, and you may even know it’s cut with a combine. But what happens next? Where does it go? How does it get there, and who is involved in this process?
The local row crops go on to do great things all over the world, and the journey begins right here. It’s something in which we all should take great pride. I spent some time in two local grain elevators recently and learned a great deal about the voyage our crops take before they become a part of our daily lives.
The process for both companies is fairly similar. Farmers can presell their crop before it’s even planted by signing a contract with the grain elevator. In the same way, buyers are also pre-buying from the elevators. Continue reading

Cooking Cuban cuisine in Kentucky

By Mayra Diaz-Ballard

My native birthplace is the tropical island of Cuba. Even though I immigrated to the United States in 1954, eating black beans still remains a part of my culture today.
You eat these beans as you would Great Northern Beans, served as black bean soup or over white rice, adding the chopped raw onion as a garnish.
This dish is a definite must-have when celebrating Noche Buena, which is Christmas Eve.
The second recipe for flan de leche was handed down to me by my beloved Tia Luisa, a wonderful cook who lived in Tampa, Florida.
Continue reading

How country stores are surviving in the 21st century

By Toni W. Riley
Anyone growing up in the country probably had a country store that was the center of the community. These stores were reminiscent of Mr. Godsey’s store in “The Waltons,” offering the regular grocery items but also everything from fabric to hardware. The country store also served as the gathering place for everyone to learn the news of the neighborhood. Sadly, the country store is almost extinct — the product of the times. Continue reading

How farmers hope to avoid another farm crisis like the ‘80s

By Rhonda Werner

The agriculture industry has always been a volatile one. They don’t call farmers gamblers and entrepreneurs for just any reason. As John F. Kennedy said, “The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale and pays the freight both ways.” The way farmers do business may not always make economic sense, but for most years, it works and it works well — until it doesn’t. Continue reading

How an impromptu trip to S. Africa lifted our faith

By Janie Corley

At 11:45 a.m. on July 29, 2006, an email from the other side of the world appeared in my inbox. The subject line: “INVITATION: World Farmers for Christ Conference.”
The text included an invitation to us personally. The author had read about our farm on the Internet and was inviting us to a conference in Bredasdorp, South Africa.
The idea of the conference was “to connect farmers from different parts of the world and to give them the opportunity to talk about how they can make a difference in their own communities. We welcome people like yourselves to share your experiences with others.” The conference was only 38 days away — Sept. 5. Continue reading

Store motivates drivers through outdoor marquee

By Toni W. Riley
In today’s fast-paced, in-a-hurry lifestyle, it’s easy to miss the little things that might provide a positive boost throughout the day.
Examples of those “little things” are the motivational messages on each side of the marquee at Buy-Rite Parts and Supply store on Skyline Drive.
The inspiration for these messages came from owner Jeff Davis during the summer of 2014. Davis returned from a Baptist convention and wanted to put encouraging memos on the sign. Since then, each month, the marquee boasts a new message on each side. Continue reading

5 ways to find solace while working

By Olivia Clark
Spring is one of the busiest times of the year for area agriculturalists. Selecting the ground, preparing the soil and planting are all vital yet tiring steps in farming.
Due to all the demands on farmers to get the crops planted in a timely fashion, their battles with the weather and having to make the most of each hour of the day, there is little thought in making time to relax. Hopefully, the tips below will help you and your farmer to remember to smell the roses while working hard. Continue reading

20 signs it’s spring on the farm

Spring is finally here, but what does a farm family expect now that the winter blues are gone? I asked the Luttrull and Wright families and here are their responses:

  1. Planting season starts.
  2.  Signs of new life, such as a baby calf standing by its mom.
  3. The word “vacation” doesn’t exist until July.
  4. As a wife, you look forward to rain so you can see your husband. But, as a husband, you wish the rain would go away.
  5. Walking outside and taking in the fresh air
  6. Family time becomes very precious since there is not as much to go around.
  7. Kids riding around in the tractor with dad while he plants.
  8. The trees budding with new life and the frozen daffodils after a late frost.
  9. Dinner is no longer at 6 p.m. It’s now at 8, 9 or 10 …
  10. The wonderful smell of chicken manure fills the air as the farmers fertilize the fields.
  11. Finding seeds in the washer and dryer.
  12. Extra jobs for whoever is standing around — and the jobs have to be done right away.
  13. Eating dinner by yourself and then putting his plate in the oven to stay warm.
  14. Taking dinner to your husband in the field.
  15. “Free” weekends are few and far between.
  16. Spring is the time to execute the plants that were made during the fall and winter months.
  17. Part runs when things break in the middle of planting.
  18. The extra daylight that comes with longer days.
  19. Taking care of the kids as a “single” parent
  20. Seeing school buses at Wal-Mart on Sunday.

Tips for driving safely alongside farm equipment

By Jay Stone

Spring is quickly approaching and with it comes the planting season for farmers; a time when ground is prepared and crops are planted. With this and every planting season, our local roads will be shared with farm implements, as farmers move tillage and planting equipment from field to field.
As the borders between urban and rural areas constantly change, it is likely that motorists will encounter large, slow-moving machinery as part of their daily commute. In order to avoid accidents, practicing a few simple rules and having a good sense of awareness while on the road will help prevent unnecessary collisions. Continue reading

Farmer of the Year Brian Oatts on his love of new technology, techniques

By Zirconia Alleyne

Brian Oatts was still under the impression one of his daughters was receiving an award for “agri-leadership” when the MC announced he was the 2016 Farmer of the Year. His wife of 22 years, Carla, knew that coming up with a fake award for one of their girls was the only way to get Brian off the farm, dressed up and at the Salute to Agriculture breakfast at 7 a.m.
“I was shocked,” Brian said, about the moment he heard his name. “My wife had me fooled. She had me thinking I was going for something else.” Continue reading