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The mystery of the Central Ohio cereal killer

By Matt Reese

My kids love Life — cereal.

It was nearly bedtime for our two children and they wanted a snack. After debating the merits of candy, ice cream or cookies before bed, I convinced the children that some delicious Life cereal was the best way to go.

I got the box out of the cupboard that I had put there after breakfast that morning. I opened it up and poured out some of its contents into a bowl with an unsettling “thwump” sound. I looked in the bowl to find a coagulated mass of partially crumpled up Life cereal. I poked it to find that it was sort of gooshey and quite unappetizing in every way.

My mind started racing to assess the potential causes of this horror wrapped up in a cereal box. Had this been festering in there for weeks (or months) since it was packaged? What were the health implications since we’d eaten from this box for breakfast?

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Maybe it should be spelled Pharming

A few weeks ago, a co-worker and I were talking about all of the trying challenges that come with farming. As we were chatting we noticed that there were many words (some that will not be used in this post) that started with the letter P. We laughed it off at first and then I got an email from her later in the day that proved our theory even more. So, without further adieu, here is our list so far. Add to it if you would like and Happy Pharming!

Patience

Planting

Produce

Peeved

Praying

Pour

Pounce

Packing

Punishing

Prod

Procrastination

Pace

Pressure

Pleasure

Poop

Pale

Pail

Parcel

Planters

Parked

Pest

Phosphorous

Pigweed

Precipitation

Politics (especially this year)

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Is this a dog show?

By Kim Lemmon

Sometimes while attending horse and livestock shows it can be difficult to determine if you are attending a livestock show or a dog show. Dogs of all shapes, sizes and dress codes often steal the show at events that are actually held for other species of animals.

Recently, I attended the River Ridge Charity Horse Show at the Ohio Expo Center, and I can assure you that this group of spectators and exhibitors had great love for their dogs. It was often hard to concentrate on watching the horse show with all the distracting well-dressed and colorful dogs marching up and down the aisles as they accompanied their owners — or babysitters if their owners were showing — to the seating area.

Some of the dogs seemed to enjoy watching the show. Some seemed to take naps on their owners laps and some seemed interested in greeting every dog that went past their seat.

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May — what a month!

May — what a month! It is National Egg Month and National Hamburger Month, which are two of my favorite things.  In fact, fairly recently I had a combination of the two and it was delicious. I will say that the initial thought of a delicious egg on a delicious burger did not necessarily sound appealing, but it was actually very good. My wife and kids met me in Columbus for lunch at a small Columbus restaurant called “Skillet” that focuses on serving foods produced at local farms. I got the burger and it had an egg on it, along with some other tasty stuff. It made for a fantastic May sandwich.

May is also a great month because of the excitement of the planting season and, more importantly, my birthday. But that is still not all May has to offer, here are some other important days in May. I found this on the Internet, so these all must be true:

 

May 1 is .

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Immaculate conception in goats: The update

By Kim Lemmon

If you read my blog in March about immaculate conception, you are aware that I own a pygmy goat doe that has managed to become pregnant through mysterious circumstances. I thought I had the how, when and where figured out in March so I was confident that she would kid no later than April 12 and most likely before Easter.

Late March and early April were hard times for me because I tried to stay home with Foo as much as possible — pygmy goats can need help with kidding from time to time. I also had the baby monitor on in the barn 24 hours a day so I could hear Foo if she needed help.

By Good Friday, I was out of my mind. During the next seven days, I was supposed to attend two kids’ birthday parties for my niece and nephew and an Easter dinner.

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Preschool animal day

This week, the Reese family was fortunate enough to get to help with our

daughter’s preschool animal day. In our rural community, several of the kids

in our daughter’s preschool are from farms. So, on a pleasant spring day,

locals bring some gates and some critters and set up a fun farm day right outside the church preschool. We brought two sheep, along with some lamb recipe cards and some fun sheep stickers to hand out to the kids.

The event was a huge success, with a young boy staring up at a massive Case IH tractor saying, “This is the best day EVER” with the sincerity only a four-year old can muster. There were cows, a goat, ducks, rabbits, a pony, donkeys, pigs and a preschool full of happy kids.

When our four-year-old daughter’s class came through the display, we were

very proud parents as she told her classmates that the sheep were Horned Dorset ewes.

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Taking the “Subway” approach to farming

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

What is it about heading to your favorite restaurant with your family for a bite to eat? For some, it is the atmosphere, for others it is the food and for many it is the fact that their kitchen can stay spic and span for more than an hour or two. No matter what the reasoning, eating out is time that my family and I enjoy on occasion.

How much do you know about your favorite eatery? Do you ever think about what goes on behind the swinging doors that your waitress pops in and out of with full and empty trays?

I am not trying to put negative thoughts in your head about where you eat, although you might have already done thate yourself. It is a good thing that we trust other people enough to let them prepare food for us. It says a lot about our society, if you ask me.

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The tardy martin mystery

They arrive in mid April of each year —

One more reason to celebrate.

Another wonder of spring to cheer,

But the purple martins are one day late.

Maybe they’ll come tomorrow.

Then their throaty cries will resonate,

And bring spring’s joy to winter’s sorrow.

The purple martins are two days late.

The sugar peas in the garden have sprung.

The daffodil bloom is first-rate.

The wheat fields are green beneath the sun.

The purple martins are three days late.

The insects are buzzin’ with no Martins to eat them,

Gnats have begun to congregate.

I just can’t imagine what would keep them,

The purple martins are four days late.

The martins have arrived on the very same day,

For more than 45 years — now this wait.

My old martin house by the pond is crumbling away,

And the purple martins are five days late.

They fly up here from far down south,

From the Amazon to our northern state.

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Just Google it!

By Kim Lemmon

In this modern age where technological advances have permeated nearly everything, there is constantly something new to learn in order to keep up with these new advances. This is especially true if you are like me and graduated from college more than ten years ago. It seems to me that the longer I am away from school, the harder it is to learn things.

We often discuss these advances in technology at work as we all try to keep our skills current. One person’s answer to almost everything is, “Just Google it!”

I admit that when he first started proposing this line of thought, I was skeptical and kind of shell shocked. Was I really supposed to advance my job skills by just Googling what I needed to learn?

As it turns, out this was good advice. I have learned many new computer and computer software skills by Googling what I needed to learn.

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Make your horse smile

Every spring when I have my equine vet visit to give the horses their vaccines, I invite my equine dentist to come at the same time. The combined visit isn’t cheap but it is necessary.

My equine dentist uses the latest equine dentistry power tools so it is necessary to tranquilize the horses for the procedure. That is why I have the dentist and the vet visit at the same time. Unless an equine dentist is a vet, they are not legally allowed to tranquilize a horse themselves.

It is not just young or just old horses that need to see the dentist. All ages of horses can experience dental problems.

This year, we looked at three of my miniature horses’ mouths.

Ike is 14 years old. He had only minor sharp points so he was the best off of the three and required minimal but important work.

Mike is also 14 years old and he had a wedge.

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The dark secrets of agriculture

By Matt Reese

With full bellies and suspicious minds, consumers are questioning more than ever the science behind their food. Genetically modified crops, antibiotics, pesticides — these are all scary sounding things that seem more at home in a science laboratory than in relation to something as intimate as the food on our plates.

Despite the fact that it is this same technology that allows for those plates to be so full of healthy, bountiful and diverse foods, the reality is that such science sounds suspicious to many consumers. This certainly seems to be the case for the frenzy of fears associated with antibiotic use in livestock. Like every aspect of these seemingly mysterious production practices, science is on the side of agriculture, but it is not always easy, or practical, to convey this to people. Because of this, it is easy for the agricultural industry as a whole (from the scientists to the farmers) to make decisions based on the science and move forward without much explanation to or consultation with the general populace about what is going on.

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Sharing the debt

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

Look at everything happening in D.C. lately. Almost every day there is a bill sent to the House or Senate floors that go absolutely no further by design. All of these bills are built to make the other party look pitiful when they fail and sway the voters one way or another during a vicious election year.

There is bickering about healthcare, social security, food stamps and most important to the ag industry, farm programs.

I was disappointed to find out that the Buffett rule was not about getting a plate and making numerous trips to the food line. Adding one “t” can ruin everything for a guy.

That rule and all of the squabbling in Washington got me thinking that instead of thinking of “sharing the wealth” as an economic recovery tactic, maybe we should consider it more of “sharing the debt”.

Agriculture has already tried to do this by volunteering to delete over $20 billion dollars from farm programs late last year during the Super Committee process.

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Follow up with the foul-mouthed food blogger

We recently took a trip to the city.

It was an adventure with the children, my wife, and her siblings, parents, grandparents and

me on a road trip to visit my brother-in-law in southern Mississippi, just outside of New Orleans. One day on the trip, we went into the city to see the sights and enjoy some delicious beignets.

Though we had a nice time, it had to be very clear to anyone we encountered that we were not locals. We had cameras. We had to ask for directions. We made numerous wrong turns, and we were not quite sure how to place an order at the local café. I am sure we were quite a site in the land of stylish Mardi Gras masks and colorful beads. We fit in about as well as a corn planter on Bourbon Street in the Big Easy because it was just not what we are used to dealing with on a daily basis.

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A farmer’s silent partner

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

 

He may look all alone

In the middle of his field

All he sees is all he owns

Where a silent partnership is sealed.

 

He’s not talking to himself

And he’s not praying to The Devine.

It’s a conversation with the land

That has his future on the line.

 

It’s a mutual agreement

With everything in view,

“Land, you take care of me

And I’ll take care of you”

 

Then, a handshake with the soil

He’s knows no other way.

A relationship he will never foil

For to him, every day is Earth Day.

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45th Equine Affaire

By Kim Lemmon

Equine Affaire is an unique horse event that incorporates shopping, seminars and demonstrations all into one large event for horse lovers. Most folks attend to shop or watch some demonstrations or learn something, I attend to check out all the breeds of horses represented.

I like to see types of horses I do not normally have a chance to look at up close. I have included a few photos so you can share my experience and take a sneak peak into what Equine Affaire has to offer.

Equine Affaire takes place at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus on April 12-15. Its schedule includes 230-plus educational sessions in eight venues, acres of exhibits to browse, and special events on Thursday through Saturday evenings.

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Mississippi crawfish boil

We went on family trip to visit my brother-in-law in southern Mississippi early this week. We celebrated Easter with a delicious Cajun Crawfish Boil. This was a first for me, and anyone in my family. While I wouldn’t want to do it every day, there are certainly worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Basically, from what I could ascertain, a boil involves throwing a bunch of stuff in a giant pot with Creole seasoning. Our boil included sweet corn, onions, peppers,

spicy alligator sausage, mushrooms, potatoes, and 35 pounds of fresh caught crawfish. All of the ingredients, minus the crawfish, were chopped up and prepared before being combined in the pot and boiled for a half hour or so. With a rolling boil, the live crawfish are poured into the pot and boiled for another 5 or 10 minutes. The spicy boil was stirred with a shovel, for an extra special rustic touch.

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Very dangerous; Do not attempt: Pony Parade

By Kim Lemmon

So if you read my blog last week, you are aware that I have started allowing the horses to graze again. It is nice because it keeps the stalls and paddocks cleaner, but I doubt it is less time consuming as I am still regulating the time they spend on pasture.

It is pretty easy turning everybody out on pasture. I just lead the draft mare to her pasture; I open a gate for the bays; and I lead the appy mini to the pasture with the bays. Taking every one back to the barn is another story.

The bays and the appy mini are all in the same pasture. The bays do not like to be separated and are hard to catch separately so I have to always lead them back to the barn together. The appy would have no problem staying in the pasture by himself but the gate is a problem.

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Who’s Keeping Score?

If you’ve read enough of my blogs, you know that my favorite thing to do is to be a Dad. There is nothing else like it. I made a promise to myself when my daughter Paige was born almost 8 years ago to never look back and wonder where the time went. To me, that is a deterrent to what is happening now and what is happening now is much more fun to me.

I was never really good at sports. I was born with an incomplete left hip and I have always had a hitch in my giddy-up, if you will. The problem is I love sports and I love competition. I would live my sport-life vicariously through my brother, who was (I would say is but he is in his 30’s as well) a great basketball player. When he played basketball my athletic heart was racing as I cheered him on.

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Who's Keeping Score?

If you’ve read enough of my blogs, you know that my favorite thing to do is to be a Dad. There is nothing else like it. I made a promise to myself when my daughter Paige was born almost 8 years ago to never look back and wonder where the time went. To me, that is a deterrent to what is happening now and what is happening now is much more fun to me.

I was never really good at sports. I was born with an incomplete left hip and I have always had a hitch in my giddy-up, if you will. The problem is I love sports and I love competition. I would live my sport-life vicariously through my brother, who was (I would say is but he is in his 30’s as well) a great basketball player. When he played basketball my athletic heart was racing as I cheered him on.

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