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Agriculture

  • Shelby County farmers rode ups and downs of the ag economy in '08

    While the general economy went into a tailspin in 2008, the nation's and the county's agriculture sector rode a roller coaster. Commodity prices hit delirious highs and gut wrenching lows -- sometimes within the span of a few months.

    While some farmers enjoyed record setting prices in 2008 -- at least for a few months -- all farmers had to endure higher input costs, especially of fuel and nitrogen fertilizer. Diesel fuel topped $5 a gallon for a period of a few months in late summer.

  • Southern States Shelbyville distributes assets

    A check in the mail is always a good thing. Two checks are even better. Two unexpected checks are better yet.

    Members and patrons of the Southern States Shelbyville Cooperative got checks in the mail last week as the local cooperative dissolved its assets. Last June, the Shelbyville cooperative voted to go out of business and join the larger, regional Southern States Cooperative. The change took effect July 1, and co-op officials marked a grand reopening in mid-September.

  • Schools' program helps migrant youth, farmers

    A USDA program administered by Shelby County Public Schools can help both the children of migrant workers as well as the farmers they are working for. Problem is, few farmers know about it.

    The Migrant Education Program (MEP) is designed to serve children of agricultural workers who have been in the county less than three years. Those eligible for the program can be up to 22 years of age, but they, or their parents, must work in agriculture. The workers do not have to belong to a particular ethnic group as long as they work on farms or nurseries.