Category Archives: Business

Stocker cattle health night set at Osage City

Frontier Extension District will host a meeting on “Stocker Cattle Health,” 6-8:30 p.m., Feb. 20, 2018, at the Osage City Community Building, 517 S. First St., Osage City.

A free brisket sandwich meal will be provided to those in attendance that have called in to RSVP. Contact the Frontier Extension office at 785-828-4438 to reserve a meal.

Topics to be covered include: “Economics of Parasite Control in Stocker Calves,” “Using Modified Live or Killed Vaccines, What to Do?” “Vaccine Handling, it May be More Important than You Thought,” and “ Wormers for Stocker Cattle.”

Emergency management cautions about burning during current dry spell

With dry conditions and little chance of measureable moisture in the near future, Osage County Emergency Management is reminding everyone to use extreme caution when conducting any type of outside burning.

“Please ensure that you have sufficient manpower, water, and equipment to control the fire, this is your responsibility,” said Bryce Romine, Osage County Emergency Management director. “You must monitor your fire until it is completely extinguished. We have had numerous out-of-control grass fires, burning without a permit, and burning on “no burn days.”

Anyone burning in Osage County is required to have a burn permit in all unincorporated areas. Unincorporated areas are those outside of city limits. Residents living inside city limits should check their city regulations regarding burning.

Burn permits can be obtained at the following locations:

  • City offices at Carbondale, Scranton, Osage City, Overbrook, Melvern, Burlingame and Quenemo.
  • Osage County Fire Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
  • Osage County Clerk’s Office, land development office, sheriff’s office, KSU Extension office at Lyndon, Osage County Emergency Management, and USDA Service Center in Lyndon.

Chamber Chatter: Christmas on Market Street proceeds distributed

Jeanette Swarts
Chamber Executive Director

Check presentation, from left, Kathy Lincoln, ECAT, Patrick Gardner, Chamber vice president, Jeff King, Warmth Fund, and Kenna Burns, ECKAN.

Funds raised during the 2017 Osage City Christmas on Market Street event were divided between the Chamber of Commerce and three local organizations.

Disbursements were awarded during the January members’ meeting to Kathy Lincoln, Ecumenical Christian Action Team, Kenna Burns, East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corporation, and Jeff King, Osage City Warmth Fund.

Cains earn wildlife habitat award for longtime conservation practices

By Lori Kuykendall
Osage County Conservation District

Gayle Cain and his son, Russell, will receive the 2017 Wildlife Habitat Award at the upcoming Osage County Conservation District annual meeting. This award recognizes individuals who have excelled in improving wildlife habitat on their land in addition to conserving soil and water resources. The award is sponsored by the Kansas Bankers Association and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.

Gayle enrolled some of his ground into the Conservation Reserve Program when it first became available in 1987. The long-term goal of CRP is to re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat. Gayle continued to reenroll his land into CRP for as long as it was eligible. Some of his land has been in CRP for 30 years.

Gayle is enrolled in a variety of CRP practices including CP25, the restoration of rare and declining habitat, CP21, filter strips, and CP33, habitat buffers for upland game birds. All his CRP acreage is planted to native grass with forbs and is managed to help improve wildlife habitat.   

Stromgren’s hard work recognized with Young Farmer Award

Young Farm Award winner Austin Stromgren.

By Lori Kuykendall
Osage County Conservation District

This year’s Osage County Young Farmer Award will be presented to Austin Stromgren, of rural Scranton. Austin has farming in his blood and in his background. He is a fourth generation farmer on both his mom’s side of the family (Bryson) and his dad’s side. Austin has worked alongside his dad for as long as he can remember.

The first job Austin remembers doing is working cattle. Austin was quick to learn and eager to help. He started raking hay when he was 8 or 9 years old, and since he could run the tractor he also did field cultivating and disking. He was driving the semi and running the combine when he was 10 years old.

Austin’s dad gave him his first cow when he was in the second grade. Austin kept back heifers from that cow and when he was 10 he purchased a couple of cows with his own money. After he graduated from high school he bought 20 cows and his first bull. Austin’s herd has grown to 40.

“I take a lot of pride in my cattle,” Austin said.

Austin began farming full-time when he was 13 years old, after his father and he were in a wreck that left his dad paralyzed. Austin’s knowledge and strong work ethic helped him take care of everything on the farm and attend high school. During his senior year he went to a half day of high school and attended Flint Hills Technical College for a half day. He graduated from high school in 2015 and vo-tech in 2016 as a certified automotive mechanic. While at Flint Hills, his team went to Pittsburg to compete in the Ford AAA state competition.

Austin now takes care of 130 head of cattle. He manages the grazing to prevent overgrazing or undergrazing. He has a tree saw and works to keep the trees out of his pastures. He also does some tree removal work for his neighbors. He also manages 600 acres of farm ground south of Burlingame. He does a corn-bean rotation with some wheat. He keeps his waterways and terraces in good shape and has started trying no-till farming practices.

Soil Conservation Award: Sturdy Farms honored as stewards of the land

Honored for preserving soil on their Osage County family farm are the Sturdys, from left, Candi, Clint, Sandy, Darrell, Lori and Rod.

By Rod Schaub
Frontier Extension District

On Jan. 22, 2018, Sturdy Farms will receive the Kansas Bankers Award for Soil Conservation at the Osage County Conservation District’s annual meeting.

The Sturdy family being honored includes Darrell and Sandy, who have owned and operated the farm for nearly 50 years, and two of their sons and their families. Their son Rod and his wife Lori have five children, Kelsey, Kandace, Megan, Shawna and Cheyenne. Son Clint and his wife Candi have two children, Teagan and Jensen. Darrell and Sandy have another son not involved in the farm, Jeff and his family, who live near Wamego.

The Sturdy homestead was founded in 1900 when Frank Wolfe brought his family to Osage County. Upon Mr. Wolfe’s death, he left the farm to his daughter Maggie and son-in-law Ray Sturdy. Today, Sturdy Farm is owned and operated by the fourth and fifth generations of that family.

The operation has evolved over the years to include a commercial cow herd, a stocker summer grazing program, fall development program for replacement heifers, haying, and growing crops, mostly corn and soybeans with a few acres of wheat.

When asked how the family divided up the work load when they have both crops and livestock, Clint responded, “For the most part we do the chores we enjoy the most.”

Rod prefers to do the field work, Clint and Darrell prefer the livestock chores, but for many of the jobs the family works together to get the job done.

“When we work cattle the whole family works together,” Darrell said.

Osage County Conservation District schedules annual meeting

The Osage County Conservation District’s annual meeting will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 22, 2018, at the Osage City school cafeteria.

The district will present the Kansas Banker Award for soil conservation to Sturdy Farms, the Wildlife Habitat Award to Gayle and Russell Cain, and the Young Farmer Award to Austin Stromgren. Also presented will be the poster, essay and limerick contest awards. There will also be a short business meeting.

Anyone who would like to attend is asked to call 785-828-3458 to make a reservation.

Frontier Extension schedules cow herd health meeting

Frontier Extension District will host a meeting on cow herd health, 6-9 p.m. Jan. 29, 2018, at Celebration Hall, 220 W. 17th St. (Franklin County Fairgrounds), Ottawa, Kan. A free brisket sandwich meal will be provided to those that RSVP.

The evening meeting will feature speakers A.J. Tarpoff DVM, KSU Extension beef cattle veterinarian; Gregg Hanzlicek DVM, Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory; and Jaymelynn Farney, KSU Extension beef systems specialist.

Several hot topics will be highlighted throughout the evening. “Anaplasmosis Prevention, Treatment and Diagnosis” may be the biggest draw. Come hear what’s new with this disease. Other topics to be discussed include “Fly Control and How to Beat Resistance” and “Ways to use Nutrition to Reduce the Incidence of Calf Scours.”

Cattle producers are encouraged to mark their calendars and plan to attend this educational evening. RSVPs are needed by Jan. 24 to reserve a meal. For meal reservations or more information, contact Rod Schaub, Frontier Extension District agent, at 785-828-4438.

Chamber Chatter: Looking back at 2017

Information from Jeanette Swarts
Osage City Chamber of Commerce

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce had a busy year in 2017, welcoming several new businesses to the community. Ribbon cuttings were held Jan. 17,  at That Other Place; Feb. 14, Eclipse Computer Solutions and Erin’s Sewing Center;  June 27, Garrett’s Fireworks; and Aug. 15, Branded Graphics.

After hours mixers

Throughout the year, several Osage City Chamber of Commerce members hosted after hours mixers showcasing their businesses. Members enjoyed the hospitality of Ecumenical Christian Action Team (ECAT) in March, the Osage City Public Library, celebrating its a new addition in September, and Designs by Diane in December.

Kansas Sampler Festival

The 28th and final annual Kansas Sampler Festival was held in Winfield on May 6-7, 2017. Dave and Tara Azwell have been loyal representatives of Osage City for a number of years as well as Wayne White and Jan Williams. Julie Carlson also went and helped out at the booth.


The Osage City Chamber of Commerce announced Tracy Wilk and Trey Tomlinson were the 2017 recipients of the $250 scholarship. Tracy, daughter of Sally and Ken Wilk, will be attending Colby Community College, and Trey, son of Paula and Robert Tomlinson, will be attending Wichita State University in the fall. The revenue from the $5 that sellers pay to be listed on the maps for the spring and fall garage sales goes directly for these two scholarships.

Osage County Fair and parade

Diane Michael was in charge of the fair parade, which was June 29. Along with the floats, band and other entries, decorated golf carts and ATVs were invited to participate in the parade this year. The theme for the parade was “Summertime Fun”.  Diane had several new entries in the parade and is hoping that the parade will continue to grow. Parade honorees were Ann Lusk as the 2017 parade marshal, and Richard and Jeanette Swarts selected as Mr. and Mrs. Osage City.

Osage City Chamber of Commerce Festival of Beer 

Sept. 30 marked the fifth annual Osage City Chamber Festival of Beer. The event was located at the 4-H pavilion. Patrons were able to enjoy beautiful weather, live music, good food and most importantly taste more than 100 beers. The funds from this event helps the Chamber with many different projects around Osage City, such as scholarships for high school seniors, the Warmth Fund, ECAT,  the Fourth of July fireworks and much more.

KSU specialists share tips for managing livestock in winter

Reducing animals’ stress during cold periods is a key goal. K-State Research and Extension photo.

By Pat Melgares

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Livestock producers are entering a time of year that, because of winter weather, can often be challenging for maintaining the health of their herds, but a host of management steps and best practices can help to get the animals through the tough times.

“Talking to a regional climatologist, we foresee a lot of fluctuation in weather,” said A.J. Tarpoff, a beef veterinarian with K-State Research and Extension. “The fluctuations from warm to cold are stressful on any animal, so you have to be ready for that fluctuation.

“If it gets cold and it stays cold, we can manage that very easily. The animals get used to the cold, dry environment. But when we start mixing warm to cold, and a little bit of moisture – in other words, we combine wind, cold and a wet animal – that leads to a little bit of trouble.”

Livestock that can be housed indoors – such as chickens, swine and dairy cattle – may be protected from severe elements, but keeping them properly ventilated can be challenging.

“It’s hard to keep the fans and the ventilation adjusted appropriately because the incoming air is still somewhat warmer during the day, but then it cools off during the night as we get the different weather fronts coming through,” said Joel DeRouchey, a livestock specialist with K-State Research and Extension.

DeRouchey notes that fluctuations in indoor temperatures can cause mortalities in herds because the animals get stressed from the roller-coaster shifts.

KSBDC offers free consulting for small businesses or startups

For small business owners or individuals wanting to start a business, Emporia State University Kansas Small Business Development Center will offer business consulting at Osage County Economic Development, 604 Market St., Osage City, Kan., on the following dates: Jan. 18, Feb. 15, and March 15, 2018. Appointments should be made in advance, with the consultant available 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

The consulting services are free and confidential. To make an appointment, call ESU KSBDC at 620-341-5308.

Winter learning: ‘Farming for the Future’ to be held at Emporia

Topics will assist farmers and ranchers in planning for upcoming years

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Historically low crop prices and slipping farmland values continue to weigh on the bottom line for farmers and ranchers. To address those challenges and support producers as they plan for what’s to come, Kansas State University will host a one-day program “Farming for the Future” this winter.

The closest program for Osage County producers will be held Jan. 11, 2018, at the Anderson Building, 2700 W. US Highway 50, Emporia, Kan.

Presentations will include an overview of the current farm financial situation; Kansas land values and rental rates; Farm Service Agency programs; grain market outlook; beef cattle market outlook; macroeconomic and interest rate outlook; and managing farm financials during challenging times.

Chamber Chatter: All Osage City Chamber of Commerce hometown Santas revealed

All of the Chamber’s hometown Santas have been revealed. The Chamber began the promotion, in which people ask other people if they are a hometown Santa, during Christmas on Market. The last Santa was revealed at the end of last week. Those who revealed the Santas received a $20 Chamber Bucks certificate to be used at the business.

Winners and the Santas were:

  • Kathy Ayers, Osage City, who revealed Santa Shawn Valentine at Marilynn’s Restaurant.
  • Kathy Isaacs, Osage City, Santa Rick Bryan at Bank of Osage City.
  • Jessie Kirkpatrick, Osage City, Santa Kevin Swindale at Salt Creek Fitness.
  • Judy Downey, Osage City, Santa Nancy Washburn at Ramblin’ Rose.
  • Heather Jones, Reading, Santa John Gill at Barber Johns.

Osage County Agwire: Producers to elect county committee members

The 2017 Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections began on Nov. 6, when ballots were mailed to eligible voters. The deadline to return the ballots to local FSA offices is Dec. 4, 2017.

County committee members are an important component of the operations of FSA and provide a link between the agricultural community and USDA. Farmers and ranchers elected to county committees help deliver FSA programs at the local level, applying their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on commodity price support programs; conservation programs; incentive indemnity and disaster programs for some commodities; emergency programs and eligibility. FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.

To be an eligible voter, farmers and ranchers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program. A person who is not of legal voting age, but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm may also be eligible to vote.

Eligible voters in local administrative area 3 who do not receive a ballot, can obtain one from their local USDA Service Center. Dec. 4, 2017, is the last day for voters to submit ballots in person to local USDA Service Centers. Ballots returned by mail must also be postmarked no later than Dec. 4. Newly elected committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2018.

The candidates in this year’s election are:

  • David Combes is nominated in LAA 3, Osage County, to serve as a committee member. Combes has been a lifetime resident of Osage County and produces wheat, soybeans and corn. He and his wife also have a cattle herd, in which they background and finish. Combes is lifetime agriculture producer. He is an active member of the Ottawa Coop board and serves as director; and is a member of the Olivet Township Board, Osage County Conservation board; the Melvern Fire Department, and Farm Bureau.
  • Nina Flax is nominated in LAA 3, Osage County, to serve as a committee member. Flax has been a lifetime resident of Osage County and produces wheat, soybeans, grain sorghum and corn. She is lifetime agriculture producer. She is an active member of the Frontier District Extension board, and Farm Bureau. Flax is a retired educator.

More information on county committees, such as the new 2017 fact sheet, can be found on the FSA website at or at the local USDA Service Center, at 785-828-4631 or 115 W. 17th St., Lyndon.

Osage City opens Christmas season with annual Market Street celebration

Sawyer Serna, daughter of Joe and Tammy Serna, was the honored guest at Osage City’s Christmas on Market Street parade on Saturday evening, Nov. 25, 2017. Sawyer, assisted by Santa Claus, switched on the downtown Christmas lights, signaling the start of the parade and Christmas season in Osage City.

Osage City Chamber of Commerce sponsored the the annual event that opens the Christmas shopping season, with numerous events and activities held downtown during the day.

Parade participants included: Color guard by Boy Scout Troop 106 Osage City; Osage City Police Department; Kansas Highway Patrol; Osage County Fire District No. 2, Osage City, with passengers on one truck including coloring contest winners; Osage County Emergency Medical Services; Twin Lakes Cruisers Car Club; Osage Family Care, second place float; Osage County Girl Scouts; Osage City High School band, cheerleaders and dance team; Flint Hills Beverage; State Farm Insurance; Osage City Public Library, fourth place; Osage City Golf Course; Osage City taxi service; Harmon Dental; Theel’s; Bunting Ranch; J.P. Tree Service, third place float; Willing Workers 4-H Club, first place float; Branded Graphics; Osage City Kiwanis Club; and Santa Claus with special reindeer.

Anonymous Melvern farmer can quit day job; claims $742,354 lottery jackpot

TOPEKA, Kan. – An anonymous Melvern resident has claimed a $742,354 jackpot from one of Kansas’ lottery games in Monday night’s drawing. Kansas Lottery announced an unnamed winner matched all numbers on a $5 quick pick ticket in the Nov. 6, 2017, Super Kansas Cash game. The winning numbers were 05, 09, 13, 15, 31 with a bonus number of 07.

“I didn’t realize I had the winning ticket until yesterday,” said the winner, who wished to remain anonymous. “I scanned the ticket myself, but the machine didn’t show the amount I won, so I asked one of the store clerks I know to check the ticket for me. When she told me I had won the Super Kansas Cash jackpot, I couldn’t believe it.”

The lucky winner said he buys lottery tickets for every drawing and will continue doing so.

“People give me a hard time for playing so much, but if you don’t play you can’t win,” the winner said. “I work hard and I try to help people as much as I can. I’m a firm believer of what comes around goes round. My wife even said she knew something good was going to happen. Maybe I’ll get lucky and win again?”

The Melvern resident said winning a jackpot prize will allow him to take time off work until the first of the year, so he can concentrate on his farm.

“I’ve got a lot of things to do on the farm,” said the winner. “Now I won’t have to worry about my day job. I have a lot of fences to build and fix, plus I’d like to buy a new tractor.”

The jackpot-winning ticket was purchased at Circle L Convenience Store, in Melvern. The store is eligible for a $1,000 selling bonus for selling the winning ticket.

Osage County Agwire: County committee election ballots to be mailed to eligible voters

Elections for the 2017 County Committee

USDA Farm Service Agency County Committee elections are underway in Osage County.  It is important that every eligible producer participate in these elections because FSA county committees are a link between the agricultural community and the USDA. The 2017 election in Osage County will be conducted for the representative Local Administrative Area (LAA) 3, located in the southern half of Osage County.

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 underserved groups or communities should be on the committee to speak on behalf of their constituency.

Underserved 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 underserved.

County committee election ballots will be mailed to eligible voters on Nov. 6, 2017.  The last day to return completed ballots to the Osage County USDA service center is Dec. 4, 2017.

Chamber Chatter: Osage City’s first fall festival celebrates local nature trail

Bikers tank up at a refreshment station set up by the Osage City Chamber during Rush the Rails. Photo by Kareen King.

By Jeanette Swarts, Executive Director
Osage City Chamber of Commerce

October 7, 2017, the Osage City Chamber of Commerce hosted the Flint Hills Nature Trail Fall Fest, which also included the Dirty Kanza Promotions Rush the Rails event. The event ran from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., with more than 100 bicycle riders and eight relay teams, traveling through Osage City during the day.

Three starting locations designated the length of the route chosen by the participants: Osawatomie, full distance, 96 miles; Vassar, 54 miles; Admire, 25 miles; finish line was at Council Grove.

Dave Azwell passes out cookies to rejuvenate bikers and hikers.

The Gilday Gas Station was the designated stopping point for the participants coming through Osage City. Nourishing refreshments, drinks and first aid were provided at the stop. The Osage City Kiwanis Club hosted the refreshment area. Dave Azwell, Kathi Webster and Kareen King were great ambassadors for Osage City as they greeted and served the participants. There were numerous activities taking place throughout the Santa Fe Park, Santa Fe Depot and Theels’s vacant lot. The day included business sidewalk sales, a bouncy house, food vendors, ice cream social, children’s activities, craft show, restorative and stretching sessions, and a fine arts display.

Dirty Kanza Promotions plans to make this an annual event, so the Chamber is looking forward to having a bigger and better event for 2018.

Photos thanks to Kareen King.

True to the word for coffee, community, conversation

Cutting the ribbon for a new Lyndon coffee house, from left, council member Darrel Finch, mayor Steve Morrison, Nathalia, Alexandria, Micah and Marla Bryant, Hailey Boland, Melissa Partain, and council members Katie Shepard and Bill Patterson.

It’s true, you can now get fine brewed coffee at Lyndon. On Oct. 7, 2017, Lyndon’s new coffee house, True Brew, opened its doors to an eager crowd of coffee lovers. Last week, Lyndon city officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony, welcoming Micah and Marla Bryant and their new espresso bar and bistro at 804 Topeka Ave.

Micah Bryant said the coffee house has been months in the making, with the family and friends transforming the former gas station building into a bistro with full espresso bar. The building has served several businesses over the years and was last a gift shop.

Bryant, who also serves as pastor at Mt. Pleasant Community Church, said his love for fine coffee and espresso bars inspired him to open the coffee house in Lyndon.

“I really enjoyed going to coffee shops and hanging out and studying,” Bryant said. “I wanted to open one here to share with my community something I liked to do.”

Now, with a motto of “community, coffee, conversation”, the family-operated business offers a welcoming spot to hang out and enjoy a variety of coffee choices, all served with Micah’s java expertise. Or if you’re not in the mood for coffee, breakfast or lunch is on the bistro’s menu along with fresh baked pastries. And for ice cream lovers, the bistro has a freezer full with a variety of flavors and treats such as shakes and smoothies.

USDA processing pending Conservation Reserve Program continuous enrollment offers

Acceptance of most 2018 offers temporarily suspended

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that it will process many pending eligible offers for land enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program, and it will temporarily suspend accepting most new offers until later in the 2018 fiscal year.

“All current, eligible CRP continuous enrollment offers made through Sept. 30, 2017 – except for those made under the Pollinator Habitat Initiative – will be approved,” said Steven J. Peterson, acting Farm Service Agency administrator. “Additionally, we are temporarily suspending acceptance of most offers going forward to provide time to review CRP allocation levels, and to avoid exceeding the statutory cap of 24 million acres.”

Chamber Chatter: Beer festival adds spirits to Chamber’s fall activities

By Jeanette Swarts, Executive Director

Osage City Chamber of Commerce Festival of Beer

Come sample dozens of craft and import beers featuring several brewed right here in Kansas. Enjoy the music of The Bryton Stoll Band while satisfying your hunger from the Saucy Lady BBQ food truck.

There will be a raffle table with drawings for some awesome craft beer related items. Every taster will get a sample glass to take home. Event will be from 3-6 p.m. Sept. 30 at the 4-H pavilion, fairgrounds. Ticket sales benefit the Osage City Chamber of Commerce, which in turn benefits the Warmth Fund, E.C.A.T., college scholarships for high school seniors and the July 4 fireworks, among others.

Advance tickets are just $25 with tickets at the door $30. Tickets are available at Jerrys Thriftway, Stark Carwash, Bank of Osage City, Mulready’s Pub in Emporia and online at All attendees must be at least 21 years of age.

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