Category Archives: Business

Teeing off: Osage City golf course open to all

By Richard Burkdoll
Osage City Golf Course President

The question I get asked most is how is the golf course since Greatlife took over. The answer is the golf course is in great shape and is still Osage City Golf Course! Greatlife doesn’t run your golf course. A board of directors elected by the members of the golf course has run the course for many years. Elections are held each year in October for six of the members. The other three members come from each of the clubs – men’s, women’s, and couples.

The city of Osage City has always owned the course. Originally it was a semi-private course. The course is public, open for anyone to play, and has been for years. The agreement the city has with Greatlife allows Greatlife’s members to play here and our members to play any of their courses for free or for a reduced cost.

ORBIS Corporation enhances Osage City plant with new molding presses

Osage City Chamber members and ORBIS employees cut the ribbon to celebrate new advancements at the Osage City plant, from left, Christopher Staley, Joe Humerickhouse, Thelma Humerickhouse, Katie Hodge, Cindy Koch, Maurice Koch, Jeremy Young, Shanda Koett, Robin Sage, Robyn Williams, Tricia Gundy, Richard Porter, Aliks Serna, Will Kerns, Jeanette Swarts, and Bryan Zeigler; not pictured Edana Phillips, Richard Swarts, and Wayne White. Chamber photo.

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – ORBIS Corporation, an international leader in reusable packaging, recently hosted the Osage City Chamber of Commerce for a facility tour and ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the successful launch of new injection molding presses. Local business leaders were able to see the results of the investment, which improves the flexibility and overall output at this location.

This plant produces a variety of reusable and recyclable trays, baskets and totes for use in the food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industries. These products move goods throughout the supply chain to reduce damage, to better utilize truckloads and to reduce waste.

This continues to support the modernization initiative started in 2017 with press replacements. In 2018, the facility continued the plan by significantly upgrading its plastic recycling systems. The upgrade allows for up to 40 percent of the plant materials to be supplied with recycled products that have reached the end of their service life.

Reminder for annual test to help prevent deadly horse disease spread

“All horses must have a Negative Coggins Test in order to participate in any activities on the show grounds.” That’s a common note on announcements for horse events or rodeos sponsored by many groups around the Midwest.

At first often annoyance to horse owners, requirement’s importance becomes apparent when a disease positive horse is identified. Alarm sounded loudly a couple of years ago when several Western Kansas horses were confirmed positive for Equine Infectious Anemia.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health received that confirmation from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory.

“EIA is an incurable, infectious disease caused by a virus afflicting equine species,” said veterinarian Dr. Robert N. Oglesby.

The deadly disease, also called swamp fever, affects horses, donkeys and mules.

“There are typically a small number of EIA cases in the United States every year,” Oglesby said. “But, the disease is common in other parts of the world.

“EIA is controlled in the U.S. by regular testing before traveling across state lines and before exhibition,” Oglesby explained.

That analysis for EIA is generally referred to as a Coggins Test.

“The EIA virus destroys red blood cells and is spread through blood-to-blood transfusion, not close proximity or contact,” Oglesby informed.

Clinical signs of EIA include fever, anemia and edema. However, affected horses may not show symptoms.

“All infected horses, including those which are asymptomatic,” Oglesby said, “are carriers of the disease. Transmission of the virus can be from an infected equine to a ‘clean’ equine by biting flies.”

Additionally, spread of the virus can be from using contaminated medical instruments, or through a blood transfusion.

The disease does not affect humans, KDA-DAH officials emphasized at the time of EIA confirmations in Kansas. Research has shown that the EIA virus survives for a limited time on the mouth parts of the fly vectors.

Lions Club to host Carbondale farmers market

The Carbondale Lions Club will again be hosting a summer farmers market, which will begin May 22, 2019, and continue through the vendors’ production season, usually through September and possibly into October.

The farmers market will be 4-6 p.m. every Wednesday at the Carbondale City Park. All items are to be homegrown or home produced. Vendors can offer seasonal produce, plants, canned goods, jellies, baked goods, assorted crafts, clothing, jewelry, and decor made from wood, fabrics, yarn, and concrete creations. The market will be held every Wednesday, unless unsafe weather conditions are occurring.

Anyone who would like to be a vendor should contact Mary Vawter Burgett at [email protected] or leave a voice mail at 785-836-7887.

Teens operating farm machinery for employment require safety training

The Frontier Extension District will sponsor a Hazardous Occupation Training (HOT) class on May 31, 2019. This class is required for 14 and 15 year old youth who want to operate farm tractors on farms other than for their parents. Only 14 to 15-year-olds who work for their parents on the family farm are exempt from this required training. This training is required if the family’s farm is a partnership, incorporated, or the youth is working on a grandparent’s farm. This training is also required if youth are planning to use lawn mowers or tractors larger than 20 horsepower.

The local HOT class will meet 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, May 31, 2019, at the Pomona Community Center, 219 Jefferson, Pomona, Kan. The driving and written test will be given off site at a local farm. Youth will be transported by instructors to the farm and back to the Pomona Community Center.

There is a registration fee of $10 to cover class materials. Registration is required by calling one of the Extension District offices: Lyndon, 785-828-4438; Ottawa, 785-229-3520; Garnett, 785-448-6826 or by emailing agents Rod Schaub at [email protected] or Darren Hibdon at [email protected] by May 24. Participants are required to obtain tractor safety materials from the Extension office and read the materials prior to the start of the class.

FHTC connects students to potential employers

FHTC welding students discuss welding skills and techniques with business operators.

Flint Hills Technical College held two events April 10, 2019, that connected FHTC students to potential employers. FHTC’s annual career fair was held on the main campus with nearly 50 employers in attendance. Students from all programs participated and were able to network with employers and discover opportunities available both locally and regionally.

The welding reverse career fair was held at the W.S. and E.C Jones Trust Welding Technology Center. Held in a welding environment, the reverse career fair enabled employers to see students’ skills first-hand. Attendees representing companies from Kansas and Missouri came to meet FHTC welding students and view their welding samples.

Eastern Kansas grazing school to be held in Ottawa

Rotation grazing is recognized as a way to utilize pastures and forages more efficiently. A collaboration of experts from K-State Research and Extension, Natural Resource Conservation Service and the University of Missouri are joining together to offer a two-day grazing school to present information about grazing in the classroom and in nearby pastures.

This year’s event marks the 8th annual grazing school and will be held April 24 and 25, 2019, at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Celebration Hall, 220 W. 17th St., Ottawa, Kan. The event will feature special presenters, Mark Green, Missouri NRCS, and Wesley Tucker, University of Missouri Extension Service, who will be sharing their expertise. Green will discuss fencing options and water systems and development. Tucker will present the economics of grazing and will help producers with layout and design of grazing paddocks.

In Lyndon: Weather, commodity, management advice at farm profit seminar March 20

A farm profit seminar is scheduled for Wednesday evening, March 20, 2019, at Lyndon High School, 421 E. Sixth St., Lyndon, Kan. Coordinated by the 580 WIBW Farm Department, the educational and entertaining program is planned in cooperation with the Frontier Extension District. Activities kick off with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. for attendees to visit the displays of a couple dozen event sponsors. Supper is complimentary of those sponsors, but reservations are required by calling 785-828-4438.

First speaker of the evening will be Mary Knapp, climatologist from the Department of Agronomy at Kansas State University, Manhattan. She’ll present a spring weather update and outlook for crop growing conditions.

USDA announces assistance for livestock producers impacted by extreme cold

LYNDON, Kan. – U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Executive Director Rachel Parker, in Osage County, has announced that producers who suffered livestock losses due to natural disasters, including extreme cold temperatures, may be eligible for the Livestock Indemnity Program.

“The Livestock Indemnity Program provides producers with a vital safety net to help them overcome the financial impact of extreme or abnormal weather,” Parker said. “The extremely cold temperature has really had a significant impact on some livestock producers and we encourage them to reach out to our office.”

LIP compensates livestock owners and contract growers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to an adverse weather event, including hurricanes, floods, blizzards, disease, wildfires, extreme heat and extreme cold. The payment rate is based on 75 percent of the average fair market value of the livestock.

A livestock producer must file a notice of loss within 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is first apparent.

Extension hosts meeting on landowner issues; prescribed burn workshop scheduled

The Frontier Extension District has announced two ag related meetings next week at Ottawa; one will provide information on land and leasing and the other will be workshop on prescribed burns.

The land and leasing program, scheduled for 7 p.m. March 4, 2019, at Celebration Hall, 220 W. 17th, at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, in Ottawa, will feature Mykel Taylor, KSU agricultural economist, as the evening’s featured speaker. Taylor will discuss current land values and trends she is seeing. She will also discuss rental rates and where they might be headed in 2019.

Other topics will include lease agreements, and the importance of landlord/tenant relationships and communication.

Prescribed burn workshop

The prescribed burn workshop will be 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. March 6, also at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Ottawa.

As native grass acres continue to decrease, prescribed burning activities and the use of fire remains an important maintenance tool. Prescribed burn users need to properly identify their objectives and know how to conduct a burn.

Commonly identified prescribed burn objectives range from improved animal performance, grazing distribution problems, invasive woody species, fuel loading or extensive loads, to wildlife habitat management. Those planning to conduct a prescribed burn are encouraged to attend this workshop. Registration fee is $10 per person to cover materials.

Preregistration is required by calling the Franklin County Conservation District at 785-241-7201. Lunch will be served. The workshop is hosted by Franklin County Conservation District, KSU Research & Extension, USDA, Frontier Extension District, and Franklin County Emergency Management.

For more information about these meetings, contact Rod Schaub, Frontier Extension District agent, at 785-828-4438.

FHTC offers new program opportunities for fall

Bret Pope, right, FHTC automotive instructor, assists a student with a repair during a class. Courtesy photo.

Flint Hills Technical College has a new program and extension campus available for the upcoming fall 2019 semester.

The new hospitality dietary management program will be available at the college’s main campus. The program offers a technical certificate option, and will be a combination of culinary basics and management paired with courses in healthcare including nutrition, growth and development, and gerontology.

Also new for 2019, FHTC will have an extension campus in Garnett, Kan., for automotive technology. Students taking the program at Garnett will have a technical certificate option with transferability to complete an associate of applied science degree on the Emporia campus. Bret Pope, current FHTC instructor with 20 years of educating experience, will be the instructor for the Garnett campus.

Income down 60 percent for Kansas farmers

Kansas farm income is one of the hardest hit in the nation. That’s according to David Widmar’s syndicated Agriculture Economic Insight. Those numbers were shared with House of Representative members by Majority Leader Don Hineman, Dighton cattleman serving the 118th District.

“I long for the good old days,” Hineman said.

“After peaking in 2013, U.S. net farm income has trended lower over the last five years,” Widmar said.

While national-level data are important and often cited, impacts of the farm economy slow-down have varied by commodity and geography. These data, however, are often a year behind with the most current state-level data for 2017. State-level net farm income average of 2016 and 2017 was compared to the boom era average of 2011 to 2013.

“At the national level, net farm income has declined 42 percent across these two periods,” Widmar said.

The Corn Belt and Northern Plains states have been hard-hit by falling farm income. Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana have experienced net farm income falling by nearly two-thirds. State-level farm income has fallen by more than 70 percent in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Michigan.

“Kansas farm income was down 60 percent,” Widmar’s numbers showed.

Nebraska farm income was down 64 percent, while it was off 45 percent in Missouri. However, Colorado and Oklahoma each had farm income down 37 percent.

Speaker Pro Tem Finch announces staff for 2019 session

TOPEKA, Kan. – Speaker Pro Tem of the Kansas House Blaine Finch announced his staff for the upcoming legislative session. They include a newcomer to the statehouse and a veteran of several sessions.

Emily Graves, of Franklin County, will serve as chief of staff to the Speaker Pro Tem. Graves is new to the statehouse but not to politics. She is a former city commissioner in Ottawa, Kan., and has worked professionally in health care and most recently at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Graves is a graduate of Emporia State University and holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Baker University.

“Emily is going to be an outstanding addition to the leadership team,” said Finch, “As a former elected official she understands the demands placed on our caucus to have access to good information, to communicate clearly back home, and deliver outstanding service to the people of Kansas. Her skill set and work ethic will make her an invaluable resource to help our members meet those demands.”

Finch has tapped his veteran office assistant, Jane Clouse, to serve as the office manager for the Pro Tem’s Office. Clouse is a former Federal Department of Transportation employee, who has worked with Finch for the last three years.

Limericks and posters make kids dig deep into soil conservation

Winners of the Osage County Conservation District’s poster, essay and limerick contest were honored guests at the district’s annual meeting Jan. 28, 2019, when they received their awards.

Each year the Osage County Conservation District sponsors a poster, essay and limerick contest, with a different theme each year determined by the National Association of Conservation Districts. This year’s theme was “Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper”.

“Congratulations to all the winners,” said Lori Kuykendall, Osage County Conservation District manager. “We appreciate the teachers and students taking time to enter the contest.”

Information about the competition is given to the schools in late October, with entries due before Christmas break. A total of 350 entries were received. There were no essays submitted this year.

This year’s winners are:

Osage County’s 2018 Young Farmer: Balding recognized for hard work on the farm

Jace Balding: Young farmer of the year.

By Lori Kuykendall
Osage County Conservation District

This year’s Osage County Young Farmer awardee is Jace Balding, of rural Osage City. Balding grew up near Reading with his brother and two sisters. He got an early start with farming and ranching, with his father doing custom cattle work and managing grassland. His grandfather had some row crop land that Jace also helped with.

The first job on the farm Balding remembers doing is feeding cattle. “I have fed a lot of cattle!” he said.

Balding also ran the swather and rake as a kid. His dad did all the baling, though. Once, when he was 10 years old, he was allowed to run the combine.

“It was a lot of fun until my mom found out,” Balding said.

Balding was active in 4-H as a kid. The goal of 4-H is to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills through hands on learning projects. Balding’s family had a sheep herd and bottle calves, and learned many life skills by caring for and showing these animals.

In 1999, when he was in high school, he went to work for Ron and Pat Fredrickson on the weekends and during the summer. In 2005, he earned his associate degree from Butler Community College in farm and ranch management. He went to work for the Fredricksons full time after his graduation. The Fredricksons were awarded the 1999 Banker Soil Conservation Award, 2010 Grassland Award, and the 2012 Banker Water Quality Award. Balding helped with a lot of the work that allowed them to receive those awards.

2018 Kansas Bankers Award: Pearson family dedicated to improving land, clean water

The Pearson family: 2018 Kansas Bankers Award winners for Osage County.

By Rod Schaub
Frontier Extension District Agent

Pearson Farms has been selected as the winner of the 2018 Kansas Bankers Association’s Soil Conservation Award, which recognizes farmers and ranchers that have improved their land through conservation practices that conserve their soil.

This year’s winners are Fred and Pat Pearson and their family, of Osage City. The family includes son Clark and his wife, Bobbi, and Max, their son; son Jim and his wife, Dawn, and their children, Paige and Peyton; and son Jeff, who is not involved in the farming operation.

The Pearson family has farmed in the Osage City area for more than 145 years. Fred’s great-grandfather settled northwest of Osage City in 1874. His first job after immigrating from Sweden was working in the coal mines, and soon afterwards he started farming. Paige, a senior at Kansas State University, and brother Peyton, a college freshman, plan to be the sixth generation of Pearsons to farm in Osage County.

Fred was born and raised on a farm near Miller. He attended Kansas State University from 1959 to 1963, where he studied ag education. He met Pat during college. Pat grew up on a farm near Manhattan.

“My father wanted someone in the family to farm, and he was pleased to find out that Fred and I planned to marry,” Pat said. Fred and Pat were married in 1963.

From 1963 to 1968, Fred taught vocational agriculture at Burlingame, and Pat taught grade school at Osage City. Pat retired from teaching to take care of her grandchildren and help as needed around the farm.

The first ground Fred and Pat bought was in 1966. The land was very poor and needed a lot of conservation work and trees and brush controlled. In 1966, Fred and his father, Earl, started the Miller Elevator. The elevator has grown over time and they currently have three locations, Miller, Hartford and Neosho Rapids. The young couple purchased 240 acres and moved to their current home in 1969.

The Pearson Family farm consists of crop farming, mainly corn, soybeans and wheat, the elevator business, and cattle, mainly stockers, and also a cowherd. All this takes coordination of effort and the family divides the work to get the job done. Jim and a hired man plant crops, run the combine, bale the hay, care for the cattle and repair fences. Clark works the elevator, keeps up on crop variety selections, herbicide and insecticide use, and does most of the crop scouting. Bobbi and Dawn have off the farm jobs to help supplement the family income. They both grew up on good family farms, understand farm life, and are a great help around the farm. Fred started slowing down in 2014 and now helps where needed.

Osage County producers elect Burkett to FSA county committee

LYNDON, Kan. – The Osage County USDA Farm Service Agency has announced that Frances Burkett, of Osage City, Kan., was elected to represent her local administrative area during the recent county committee election.

“County committee members are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA,” said Rachel Parker, county executive director. “They help deliver programs at the county level and work to serve the needs of local producers.”

All recently elected county committee members will take office in January 2019 and will be joining the existing committee.

Every FSA office is served to by a county committee made up of local farmers, ranchers and foresters who are elected by local producers. Nearly 7,800 FSA county committee members serve FSA offices nationwide. Each committee has three to 11 elected members, who serve three-year terms of office. County committee members impact the administration of FSA within a community by applying their knowledge and judgment to help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, emergency programs and eligibility.

County committee members impact producers through their decision making and help shape the culture of a local FSA office. They also ensure the fair and equitable administration of FSA farm programs in their counties and are accountable to the Secretary of Agriculture. Members conduct hearings and reviews as requested by the state committee, ensure underserved farmers, ranchers and foresters are fairly represented, make recommendations to the state committee on existing programs, monitor changes in farm programs, and inform farmers of the purpose and provisions of FSA programs. They also assist with outreach and inform under served producers such as beginning farmers, ranchers and foresters, about FSA opportunities.

For more information, contact the Osage County FSA office at 785-828-4631.

Agwire: Election underway for the 2018 County Committee

An election for USDA’s Farm Service Agency’s Osage County Committee is underway. Every eligible producer is encouraged to participate in these elections because FSA county committees are a link between the agricultural community and USDA. The 2018 election in Osage County will be conducted for the representative of Local Administrative Area No. 2, the northwest corner of the county west of U.S. Highway 75, and north of 237th Street.

County committee members are a critical component of FSA operations. Committees should be comprised of members who reflect the diversity of producers involved in production agriculture in Osage County. This means that producers representing under served groups or communities should be on the committee to speak on behalf of their constituency.

Under served producers are beginning, women and other minority farmers and ranchers and land owners or operators who have limited resources. Other minority groups including Native American and Alaska Natives, persons under the poverty level, and persons that have disabilities are also considered under served.

County committee election ballots were to be mailed to eligible voters on Nov. 5, 2018. The last day to return completed ballots to the Osage County USDA service center is Dec. 3, 2018.

Extension schedules beef meeting to discuss winter feeding options, livestock theft

“Options for Feeding the Cowherd” and “Livestock Thefts in Kansas” will be the topics covered at a beef meeting at 7 p.m. Nov. 27, 2018, at the Overbrook Livestock Commission Company, 305 W. First St., Overbrook, Kan.

This summer’s drought and the lateness of spring have left many producers short of hay for the winter feeding period. The hay shortage coupled with droughty pasture conditions has led to more corn being cut for silage than any time in the recent past. Questions have come up, like, “What’s the best way for me to feed my cows through the winter?” “Do I limit the time they can eat hay?” “Can I put them on grain?” and “How much silage should I feed?” Jaymelynn Farney, KSU beef systems specialist, will discuss these items and many more.

The second topic of the evening will be “Livestock Theft in Kansas.” Kendal Lothman, special agent with the Kansas Attorney General’s Office assigned to the Livestock and Brands Investigation Unit, will be on hand to discuss his role in livestock theft investigations. He will explain how he becomes involved in an investigation. He will also describe case trends, such as when most thefts are reported and how the cattle market affects his case load. Lothman will also give producers ideas of what they can do to reduce the risk of cattle theft.

Time will be allotted at the end of the presentations for questions. For more information about the meeting, call Rod Schaub, Frontier Extension District agent, at 785-828-4438, or email [email protected].

Meeting to explore potential benefits of local prescribed burn association

A meeting has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 13, 2018, at the community building in Garnett to discuss the benefits that a local prescribed burn association could have in the community. Local producers are encouraged to attend the meeting and discuss the benefits of burning, the challenges of burning, and learn how a prescribed burn association can assist in conducting a safe prescribed burn.

Grasslands constitute significant economic, biological, recreational, and aesthetic resources of statewide importance. Fire is essential to the maintenance and improvement of a large percentage of these acres. There are many benefits to conducting prescribed burns on grasslands every three to five years, including invasive species management, wildlife habitat improvement and improved grassland health. Working together as a prescribed burn association, landowners can achieve more successful and safer burns.

According to the Kansas Prescribed Fire Council, more than 95 percent of burns conducted by trained and cooperating association members stay within designated boundaries and less than 1 percent require fire department assistance.

Prescribed fire is a safe way to apply a natural process, ensure ecosystem health, and reduce wildfire risk. No other tool can so effectively remove the hazardous buildup of wild land fuels.

Land and water stewards sought for annual conservation awards

Tallgrass prairie in the Kansas Flint Hills. Photo USFWS.

The Kansas Conservation Awards Program, sponsored by the Kansas Bankers Association, will once again be held in Osage County. The KBA, K-State Research and Extension, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and Tourism have established six award categories, including energy conservation, water quality, water conservation, soil conservation, windbreaks and wildlife habitat.

The purpose of the program is to stimulate a greater interest in the conservation of agricultural and natural resources of Kansas. Each year more than 200 Kansas producers and landowners are recognized through this program. Nominations for these awards can be made by any person in the county. Information about these awards can be picked up at the local Extension office or by visiting the K-State Research and Extension website: www.agronomy.kstate.edu/extension.

Nomination forms are available at the Osage County Conservation District office or the Frontier Extension District office in Lyndon, the Bank of Burlingame or the Bank of Osage City. Or contact the Extension office at 785-828-4438 for a nomination form to be mailed to you. Nomination forms should be completed and returned to the Frontier Extension District, PO Box 400, Lyndon, KS 66451, by Oct. 31, 2018.

Upon receipt of the nomination forms, a committee chaired by Rod Schaub, Frontier Extension District agent, will select this year’s winners. Winners will be recognized at the Osage County Conservation District’s annual meeting.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas