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Agriculture

  • New farmland preservation group formed

    With the state's Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easements (PACE) at a standstill, a local group is starting a farmland preservation effort aimed exclusively at Shelby County.

    Shelby Area Rural Conservation (SARC) is a non-profit organization that hopes to leverage local dollars with federal programs to save farmland. Jim Ellis, president of SARC, said the organization hopes to tap into federal money under the Farmland and Ranch Protection Program that matches locally raised funds to buy easements that will preserve farmland forever.

  • Students learn plants from roots to stamens

    Senior Nathan Truax supervised as a couple of students in the high school's greenhouse class mixed fertilizer for the ferns.

    They consulted the chart on the bag, measured out the fertilizer in a cup and poured it into a bucket, turning the water a deep, aqua blue. Then they added more water to the bucket before heading to the greenhouse to give the ferns a shot in the fronds.

  • A taste for fresh vegetables

    Ken Waters said he is afraid of produce, at least of the picture-perfect fruits and vegetables offered in grocery -store aisles that have been heavily sprayed and shipped thousands of miles.

    “It scares me because I know what you have to do to grow food that looks like that,” Waters said.

  • Farmers hear about changes with master settlement

    With millions of dollars coming from the Master Settlement Agreement since 2001, local farmers have built hay storage facilities, bought better bulls, fenced cattle away from streams, added egg processing machinery, or built greenhouses.

  • Two named Master Conservationists

    Kevin Skelton was also named Master Conservationist at the Soil Conservation District meeting. With Skelton were his wife, Lynn and daughters Kristi (back left) and Amanda. The Skeltons farm in the Jacksonville area.

  • Keeping vets down on the farm

    The Holstein cows lined up on the Kalmey Dairy Farm on Tuesday morning were calmly eating a silage mix while a plastic-sleeved Dr. Melissa Lipps checked them one at a time for pregnancy. These black-and-white bovines gave no indication that they minded the intrusion – or even noticed.

    Lipps, like the dairy farm where she was working, is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity in Kentucky.

  • Ray Moss Tucker family quits dairy business

     Cow No. 464 ambled into the milking parlor, hung her head and quietly submitted to the ritual of teat spraying, udder attachment and plink, plink, plink of the milking machine that will drain her of several gallons of milk.

    It's a  ritual that will be repeated for 49 of her black-and-white Holstein herd mates twice a day, 365 days a year.

  • Reese takes over as ag agent

    Brett Reese is getting back to his roots – not his plant roots but his farm roots.

    Reese grew up on a farm in Scott County and his father was the Extension agent for agriculture there. Now Reese, who hired on as Shelby County's horticulture agent in 2005, is the ag agent here.

  • New life for an old machine

    You would expect that a piece of farm machinery that had been sitting in a barn unused for more than 30 years would be long ossified into a nearly worthless piece of junk metal.

    But a couple of local farmers this summer brought back to life an old combine that was headed for the scrap heap.

  • 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.