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Agriculture

  • 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.

  • 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.