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Osage City historical downtown property shares in statewide preservation grants

The Star Block, at 520 Market Street, Osage City, center of photo, was once an early day doctor’s office, operated by Dr. Roup for a year or so sometime around the early 1890s. Photo thanks to the Osage County Historical Society.

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – An Osage City property will receive a historic preservation project grant as part of 2021 round of Heritage Trust Fund grant program.

The Star Block, a portion of the downtown in Osage City on Market Street, will receive $90,000 of the total of $1,168,492 awarded for 15 historic preservation projects across the state.

HTF grants reimburse expenses for projects that preserve or restore qualifying historic properties. The funded projects represent a diverse collection of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places or the Register of Historic Kansas Places. All awards are contingent upon available funding.

“Kansas has a unique and rich history, and with these awards, we can continue to celebrate and learn about that history for generations to come,” Governor Laura Kelly said in announcing the grants.

Learn about social implications of herbicide choice; annual crop fertility issues

The Frontier Extension District will hold a virtual meeting on “Crop Fertility Issues and Social Implications on Herbicide Choice,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

Crop fertility issues surface each year. This virtual crop update features Dr. Dorivar Ruiz Diaz, who will address the latest fertility issues arising in corn and soybeans. Each year sees an increase in potash deficiency and during the growing season. Ruiz Diaz will address these issues and more during the presentation.

Herbicide choice not only has an effect on your crops, but potentially on the neighbors’ as well. Kansas State University agronomy specialists Terry Griffin and Sarah Lancaster will use a game approach that they developed to show how herbicide choices can affect others. With awareness of drift and proper management, hopefully specialty herbicides can continue to be used as effective tools in weed control for producers.

To register for this Zoom presentation, call the Ottawa Extension Office at 785-229-3520, or email [email protected].

K-State veterinarian to outline quality beef practices in virtual meeting

The Frontier Extension District will hold a virtual meeting “Beef Quality Assurance Practices,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 10, 2021.

Beef Quality Assurance is a producer driven program in which cattle producers, from the cow-calf producer to the feedlot sector, assume responsibility for producing beef that is a healthy, wholesome, quality product and free from defects such as injection-site lesions and bruises. BQA guidelines are designed to make certain all beef consumers can take pride in what they purchase – and can trust and have confidence in what they eat.

A.J. Tarpoff, KSU Extension beef veterinarian, will be the featured speaker, discussing BQA practices, vaccine care, processing, treatment records, injection site location, and livestock handling using low stress methods. Time will be available at the end of his 45-minute presentation for questions and answers. This meeting will not certify producers in beef quality assurance.

To register for the Zoom presentation, call the Frontier Extension office in Ottawa at 785-229-3520 or email [email protected]

Pandemic limits options for free local tax return assistance

Due to COVID-19, AARP will not be coming to Osage City to do tax preparation this year. To assist taxpayers, Osage City Public Library has compiled some information about availability of local tax assistance.

Tax return preparation assistance is available by calling Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging, 785-235-1367, or Avondale East Community Center, 785-233-1365, both at Topeka, to schedule appointments. Three appointments will need to be made – to pick up paperwork, drop off paperwork, and pick up paperwork. There is no charge for this service.

Appointments also can be scheduled with CCNEK: Catholic Charities of Lawrence by calling 785-856-2694. There is no charge and participants do not need to be of the Catholic faith to use this service.

FHTC completes educational renovations in first phase of Inspiring Wranglers Campaign

FHTC's newly renovated commons area includes space to study or relax.Students returning to Flint Hills Technical College’s main campus for the spring semester are enjoying newly remodeled spaces and labs. The renovations were made possible by the completion of the Inspiring Wranglers campaign that kicked off in 2018. The more than $2 million campaign wrapped up in 2020 with the goal of providing students enhanced educational facilities, helping students achieve success.

“We are excited to have our students utilizing the newly renovated spaces within Phase 1 of the project,” said Mike Crouch, FHTC Vice President of Advancement. “The renovation would not be possible without the support of our many donors and we are extremely appreciative of their generosity to ensure that FHTC students have top of the line learning environments.”

Phase 1 began in August 2020 and the newly finished spaces include a state-of-the-art chemistry lab and upgraded student commons area with student study spaces and a dedicated luncheon area. Hospitality and culinary arts area renovations involved two kitchen labs – a senior teaching kitchen and a demonstration kitchen. Both labs were reconfigured with an optimized layout and outfitted with new equipment and technology. Construction on Phase 2 has begun and is slated to be completed by late spring 2021.

Virtual horticulture series blooms with spring flowers, flower arrangements, design

Frontier Extension District’s second webinar in its virtual horticulture series will be about cut flowers and arrangements. The webinar, at 7 p.m. Feb. 18, 2021, will help participants keep their Valentine’s Day flowers looking fresh longer, and learn which plants or flowers best to make arrangements, and how to design arrangements. Turner Flowers, which has been serving the Franklin County area since 1936, will present the webinar.

The meetings in the horticulture webinar series are free to the public; each will be a 45-minute Zoom presentation with the opportunity to ask the speaker questions at the end. For more information or to register, call Ryan Schaub, horticulture agent, Frontier Extension District Garnett office, at 785-448-6826 or email [email protected].

Other upcoming meetings:

  • March 4, 2021, irrigation for homeowners and gardeners, Cathie Lavis, KSU Extension specialist in landscape management.
  • March 18, 2021, wildlife control- Drew Ricketts, KSU Extension wildlife specialist.

Extension schedules virtual corn and soybean herbicide update

The Frontier Extension District will hold a virtual corn and soybean herbicide update at 7 p.m. Feb.10, 2021.

Sarah Lancaster, KSU weed control specialist, will be the featured speaker. Lancaster will update the latest in herbicide choices for corn and soybeans and will cover the latest on applicator certification needs for respective herbicides. Join in for a short and informative herbicide update.

Anyone interested in registering for the Zoom session should call the Frontier Extension District’s Ottawa office at 785-229-3520 or email [email protected].

Young Farmer Award: Young farm family learns from experts – parents, grandpas, uncles

Lori Kuykendall
Osage County Conservation District Manager

Young farm family, the Wiscombes: Amber, Justin, Jaycee, Kayden, Lorren. Courtesy photo.

Each year, the Osage County Conservation District honors a young farmer, and this year’s award recipient is Justin Wiscombe, of Overbrook, Kan.

Justin had many teachers in his farming endeavor.  His mom and dad, Diane and Kirk, both grew up on farms and now have their own operation in northeast Osage County. Both of his grandfathers, Jim Wiscombe and Fred Ullery, are farmers. His uncle Kelly Wiscombe also farms in the northeast part of the county.

The first big job Justin remembers doing on the farm was picking up rock and building fence with his dad, grandpa and uncle when he was about 12 or so. About six years ago, Justin’s dad let him plant some double crop beans after his wheat. The beans made 40 bushels to the acre and Justin was hooked.

He now farms around 260 acres in Osage and Douglas counties.  He is working toward applying no-till farming on all his farm ground.  He also has 63 head of cow-calf pairs.  Justin also has a full-time job with Douglas County public works.  He works on the asphalt crew as a paver screen operator.

Justin helps with his dad’s operation and his dad helps him out when he needs it.

“I have had some good teachers,” Justin said. “My dad, grandpas and uncle have been farming in this area since the late 50s and early 60s.”

Justin’s goals for the future include remaining healthy and able to work, paying a few things off, and growing his operation. Justin farms because he likes it.

Justin said his Grandpa Jim told him, “If you’re going to farm and have cows, you’d better like it or it’s not any fun!”

Justin also gets help from his wife, Amber, and their three daughters, Lorren, 11, Jaycee, 9, and Kayden, 6.

“If it wasn’t for their help and support, I couldn’t farm,” Justin said.

Justin, a deserving recipient of the Young Farmer Award, will be honored at the Osage County Conservation District annual meeting 10:30-11:30 a.m. Jan. 25, 2021, at the Osage City Community Building. The meeting will be come and go; and all are invited.

Kansas Bankers Conservation Award: Shoups continue family tradition in caring land

Shoup Farms: Doug and Lara Shoup and their children Garrett, Cade, Charlotte and Leanne. Courtesy photo.

By Lori Kuykendall
Osage County Conservation District Manager

This year’s Kansas Banker Award for soil conservation goes to Shoup Farms. Shoup Farms is located north of Lyndon, and operated by Doug Shoup and his wife Lara and their four children. Doug received his BS, MS and PhD in agronomy from Kansas State University, and was an agronomist for 20 years before returning to Osage County to farm full time in 2012.

Doug and Lara both grew up on farms. Lara grew up in southern Osage County, where her parents still farm. Doug grew up on the farm they now care for.

Doug said, “Like most who farm, I grew up around it and have a passion for the challenge of raising a successful crop, and trying to make improvements to the operation every year.”

Doug and Lara met at Kansas State University and were married in 2005.

Shoup Farm’s crop rotation consists of soybean, corn and wheat. Doug believes soybeans are the most profitable crop in their rotation, so they try to implement a crop rotation to help improve their soybean yield. Corn can be profitable, but they mainly use it as an option to help break up their rotation keep from continuously growing soybeans. Wheat is valuable in reducing soil erosion, because it is a growing crop for eight months in a year and produces additional crop residue for added erosion reduction.

“We nearly always plant a double crop behind the wheat,” Doug said. “We do plant double crop soybeans but look to plant other crops to continue to help break up the rotation.”

Shoup Farms just completed their ninth growing season since Doug’s dad retirement. Doug’s dad cared for the soil enough to adopt soil reducing practices like terracing and reduced and no-till.

“I feel very fortunate to take over a farm that has been well cared for over the last 50 years,” Doug said.

Shoup Farms has seen a lot of changes in the last 10 years. They sold all their livestock in 2014, and have increased their crop rotation, and improved the monitoring of soil fertility levels. One way to monitor soil fertility is to grid sample, which reveals how nutrients are distributed across a field. By using the results of the grid sample, fertilizer can be applied where it is needed the most.

Doug feels that they essentially missed most of the “golden years” of agriculture between 2007 and 2013. “I’m hoping we experience future positive opportunities ahead for all of agriculture,” he said.

When asked what was next for Shoup Farms, Doug said, “I want to continue to adopt technology that will offer the greatest return on investment.”

For their conservation practices, Shoup Farms will be honored with the Kansas Banker Soil Conservation Award at the Osage County Conservation District annual meeting 10:30-11:30 a.m. Jan. 25, 2021, at the Osage City Community Building. The meeting will be an informal come and go meeting; all are welcome.

Frontier Extension District schedules agriculture virtual meeting series

The Frontier Extension District has announced the dates for an agriculture virtual meeting series that will begin at 7 p.m. Feb. 10, 2021. The series will consist of weekly Zoom presentations provided by experts in the agriculture field. Zoom sessions will begin at 7 p.m. and will last approximately 45 minutes to one hour.

Six virtual meetings are scheduled:

  • Feb. 10 – Herbicide update for corn and soybeans. Speaker will be agronomy extension specialist Sarah Lancaster.
  • Feb. 16 – Cool season grass management and wildlife food plots. Speaker will be agronomist Stewart Duncan and wildlife and outdoor management assistant professor Drew Ricketts.
  • Feb. 24 – Heifer selection and management. Speaker will be animal sciences Extension specialist Jaymelynn Farney.
  • March 3 – Crop fertility issue and social implications on herbicide choice. Speaker will be agronomy professor Dorivar Suarez, ag economics assistant professor Terry Griffin, and agronomy Extension specialist Sarah Lancaster.
  • March 10 – Beef quality assurance practices. Speaker will be animal science Extension specialist AJ Tarpoff.
  • March 17 – Anaplasmosis in beef cattle and fly control strategies. Speaker will be animal science Extension specialist AJ Tarpoff and entomology assistant professor Cassandra Olds.

Anyone interested in registering for any of the Zoom sessions is asked to call the Frontier Extension District Ottawa office at 785-229-3520 or email [email protected].

Sustainable agriculture company awards sponsorships to 2 Osage County 4-Hers

Sustainable Environmental Consultants has announced two Osage County 4-Hers as the recipients of its first 4-H and National FFA Organization Sponsorship. The 2020 recipients are brother and sister, Ethan Kneisler and Allie Kneisler, of rural Lyndon, Kan. Each will receive a $250 sponsorship that recognizes individuals who are actively involved in their local 4-H club or FFA chapter, demonstrate a passion for agriculture, and exhibit a desire to grow in personal and professional development.

Ethan and Allie Kneisler

Ethan Kneisler is a member of the Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club and Lyndon FFA Chapter. Currently a sophomore, Ethan has been involved in 4-H for nine years and FFA for two years. Presently, he serves as the treasurer of his 4-H club and was recently re-elected as president of the Osage County 4-H Council. This year Ethan was also chosen as an Osage County 4-H Ambassador and was awarded the I Dare You Award for his leadership skills. Apart from 4-H and FFA, Ethan has been involved in numerous sports, is a member of Future Business Leaders of America, and can be found mowing lawns and throwing hay for extra income. Upon graduation, Ethan plans to attend Kansas State and pursue a degree in agronomy.

Allie Kneisler has been a member of the Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club for six years. The seventh-grader currently serves as president of her 4-H club and treasurer of the Osage County 4-H Council. In 4-H she has both livestock and non-livestock projects. She shows cattle and goats, and participates in woodworking, quilting, visual arts, photography, and buymanship projects. Allie attributes her most proud achievement to winning grand champion overall with her market goat. She plans to use the SEC sponsorship to buy quilting blocks and purchase supplies and feed for her goat herd. While she still has a few years before graduation, Allie plans to remain involved with the livestock industry and continue her involvement with the 4-H community.

Lyndon childcare facility recognized for participation in statewide improvement system

LYNDON, Kan. – The Kansas Department for Children and Families awarded the Founders’ Link to a Lyndon, Kan., childcare facility and 36 other facilities across the state for their work helping to develop Kansas’ childcare quality recognition and improvement system, called Links to Quality.

Thill Express Child Day Care Home, in Lyndon, was among the programs that participated in a two-year pilot of Links to Quality, which aims to support early care and education professionals in recognizing and building on the strengths of their program to provide higher quality care.

During the two-year pilot, the facilities worked on three links – program leadership, family partnerships, and learning and development – to demonstrate their commitment to quality and to help inform the development of the system. Pilot participants had access to peer support, technical assistance, and other incentives to help them improve the quality of their care.

As they worked through each link, pilot participants provided DCF staff with feedback about processes, content, and overall experience of the program. Their feedback will benefit all future participants and contribute to strengthening the early childhood profession across the state.

Conservation reserve program general signup underway

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Agricultural producers and private landowners interested in the Conservation Reserve Program can sign up for the popular program as of Jan. 4, 2021, until Feb. 12, 2021. The competitive program, administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency, provides annual rental payments for land devoted to conservation purposes.

“This signup for the Conservation Reserve Program gives producers and landowners an opportunity to enroll for the first time or continue their participation for another term,” FSA State Director David Schemm said. “This program encourages conservation on sensitive lands or low-yielding acres, which provides tremendous benefits for stewardship of our natural resources and wildlife.”

Through CRP, farmers and ranchers establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees, to control soil erosion, improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat on cropland. Farmers and ranchers who participate in CRP help provide numerous benefits to their local region and the nation’s environment and economy. CRP general signup is held annually and is competitive; general signup includes increased opportunities for wildlife habitat enrollment through the State Acres For Wildlife Enhancement initiative.

New cropland offered in the program must have been planted for four out of six crop years from 2012 to 2017. Additionally, producers with land already enrolled but expiring on Sept. 30, 2021, can re-enroll this year. The acreage offered by producers and landowners is evaluated competitively; accepted offers will begin Oct. 1, 2021.

Osage County Community Foundation: Your community, your foundation

Click to download an OCCF grant application.The Osage County Community Foundation serves the Osage County area by helping donors make a lasting difference and improve the lives of people in the local community. Through its grant making opportunities, the Osage County Community Foundation works to bring together the financial resources of individuals, families, and businesses to support nonprofit organizations and others in our community.

As OCCF’s mission statement says: “The Osage County Community Foundation provides a method of giving that represents the ideas and interest of people who want to increase the impact of philanthropy.”

OCCF makes grants for innovative and creative projects and programs that are responsive to changing community needs in the areas of health, social service, education, recreation, and cultural affairs.

The foundation offers grants through its general fund, which is made up of unrestricted donations to the foundation, and donor advised funds, which are designated for a specific purpose by the donor. As a donor supported foundation, OCCF also continues to seek donations to continue its work in supporting Osage County organizations.

The foundation typically offers two rounds of grants annually. Any organization or group based in Osage County can apply, but preference is given to those that are not directly tax supported or agencies that have taxing authority. General operational expenses are not funded. Following the application deadlines as set each year, the foundation’s board meets to review applications and select recipients.

For more information about donating to the Osage County Community Foundation or the grant application process, contact Perry Thompson at 785-528-3006 or contact one of the foundation’s board members, Joe Humerickhouse, Casey Mussatto, Janet Steinle, Jodi Stark, or Mike Pitts. A grant application is available here. Completed applications should be mailed to the Osage County Community Foundation, PO Box 24, Osage City, KS 66523.

Osage City Golf Course announces Moore as clubhouse manager

Osage City Golf Course has announced that a familiar and talented golfer has been hired as clubhouse manager. Clinton Moore, who is also the current 2020 Osage City club champion, has been named to the manager position after working at the clubhouse since last summer.

Clinton Moore, Osage City clubhouse manager

Moore grew up in Ottawa but spent many hours playing golf in Osage City. He has been playing golf since he was four years old, and he graduated as a multi-sport athlete in 2011, including four years of golf. He went on to play four years of golf in college at Allen Community College and Kansas Wesleyan – he graduated in 2015 with a degree in business. He won club championships during his college play, winning in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

Moore came back to Kansas this past June after working four years in Arizona as an assistant golf professional. He gave lessons and worked on golf clubs at Torreon Show Low, Troon Country Club, and The Phoenician Golf Club, all in Arizona.

Since he has worked at the Osage City club since summer, many who play golf there have already met him. He will offer lessons and work on clubs at Osage City.

For more information, call Moore at 785-214-9093.

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