Category Archives: Business

Calving school offers profitable education for beef producers

The Marais des Cygnes Extension District, Frontier Extension District, Johnson County and Douglas County Extension will be hosting a calving school Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. The program will be held at Celebration Hall, 220 W. 17th St., Ottawa, Kan. (at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.) The meeting will kick off with a sponsored meal at 6 p.m. (RSVP) followed by presentations starting at 6:30 p.m. There is no cost to attend but interested persons are asked to RSVP for the meal by contacting the Marais des Cygnes District Paola office at 913-294-4306 or [email protected].

In anticipation of calving season, K-State’s Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, and K-State Research and Extension faculty and staff are planning a series of events to help boost producers’ chances of a successful calving season.

The program will outline overall calving management that includes stages of the normal calving process and tips to handle difficult calving situations. K-State Research and Extension beef veterinarian A.J. Tarpoff said the event will increase knowledge, practical skills and the number of live calves born.  Tarpoff will demonstrate proper use of calving equipment on a life-size cow and calf model.

Osage City designated as opportunity zone; opens tax incentives for investors

Osage City, Kan., has been designated as an opportunity zone after being one of 74 census tracts across Kansas nominated for the designation in April 2018. The opportunity zone designation by the U.S. Department of Treasury allows communities to be eligible to receive investments through Qualified Opportunity Funds to spur local economic growth.

Opportunity zones are an economic development tool enacted by the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, and offers investors preferential tax treatment for capital gains invested in designated low income communities. The program is designed to encourage long term investment in economically distressed areas and promote economic growth. The investments are to provide support to projects focused on a wide array of issues including downtown revitalizations, improvements to workforce housing, and expansions of industrial parks and innovation districts.

For the investor, the opportunity zone program offers tax incentives, including deferral and reduction of capital gains taxes when the gain is invested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund and maintained for a period of at least five years.

Osage City and its census tract was the only opportunity zone designated in Osage County, and the city’s industrial committee is working with the Kansas Department of Commerce to maximize the impact of this development tool. The committee is currently trying to identify housing and commercial projects that are well suited to take advantage of this designation.

Anyone who has a proposal for housing or commercial projects and would like to learn more about how the local opportunity zone can benefit investors is asked to contact Casey Mussatto, Osage City Industrial Committee chairman, or Rod Willis, Osage City manager.

Keep the cows grazing

Frontier Extension District and the Anderson County Conservation District will host a public meeting to “Keep the Cows Grazing.” The meeting will be Dec. 10, 2019, at the Community Building, North Lake Road, Garnett, Kan. It will begin at 10 a.m. and run through mid-afternoon. RSVPs are required for a free lunch; call Debbie at 785-448-6323 ext.101 if you plan to attend.

The goal of the meeting is to help producers improve grazing management, farm profitability, water quality, and soil health. This can be done by changing stocking rates, improved grazing management, and by changing winter feeding habits.

Dr. Bob Weaber, state Extension cow/calf specialist at Kansas State University, will present “Reducing Cow Size without Sacrificing Calf Performance” and “Stocking Rate Adjustments to Reduce Hay Costs.”

Dale Strickler, agronomist with Green Cover Seeds, will discuss “Using Cover Crops to Fill our Forage Gaps-What Should We Plant and When Should it be Grazed.” Stickler will also talk about, “Grazing and Soil Fertility.”

John Jennings, University of Arkansas Extension forage specialist and featured speaker, will talk over “Can we Graze for 300 Days a Year?” and “How Grazing Reduces Costs.” He will also bring all the discussions of the day together and get producers thinking what they can do to “Keep the Cows Grazing.”

Aspen Institute names Flint Hills Technical College as a top 150 U.S. community college

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program has named Flint Hills Technical College as one of 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. Based on strong and improving in student outcomes – including in learning, completion rates, employment rates and earnings, and equity – 15 percent of community colleges nationwide have been invited to apply for the Aspen Prize.

“We are excited to be included again on the Aspen Institute’s top 150 list. It shows the good work our programs are doing and how important our institution is for our community and the state of Kansas,” said Dean Hollenbeck, president of Flint Hills Technical College.

The 150 community colleges named Nov. 5, 2019, were selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide, using publicly available data on student outcomes. Located in 39 states in urban, rural, and suburban areas, serving as few as 500 students and as many as 75,000 students, these colleges represent the diversity and depth of the community college sector.

Data show that over the last two years, student retention, graduation rates, and degree completion have improved at the top tier of 150 Aspen Prize-eligible colleges.

AgWire: Farm Service Agency schedules information meeting for farmer relief programs

The Coffey, Douglas, Franklin, Osage and Shawnee County Farm Service Agency offices are holding an Agricultural Risk Coverage/Price Loss Coverage informational meeting on at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, at the Grace Community Church in Overbrook, Kan.

Producers in attendance will be given an explanation of the revisions to the ARC and PLC Programs and several programs available.  All producers, operators and landowners, are invited and encouraged to attend this informative meeting.

Conservation award nominations sought

The Conservation Awards Program will once again be held in Osage County. The program is sponsored by the Kansas Bankers Association, K-State Research and Extension, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and Tourism, and presents awards in six categories: Energy conservation, water quality, water conservation, soil conservation, windbreaks and wildlife habitat. This year’s local sponsoring bank is Citizens State Bank, Lyndon.

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.

Nomination forms are available at the Frontier Extension District, Osage County Conservation District, or Citizens State Bank, all in Lyndon. For more information, contact the Frontier Extension District at 785-828-4438. Nominations are due by Friday, Oct. 18.

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

Hoop dreams: Hone your skills at Reading basketball headquarters

If your young athletes are sitting around dreaming about hoops, they will be happy to know that it is now basketball season year round at Reading, Kan.

Lucas and Kate Boss had a dream of their own and have made it come true with the recent acquisition of the former school and gymnasium at Reading.

The Boss’ new company, Performance Sports, has begun its first basketball workshops at the gymnasium. Future plans of the Osage City couple, who are both teacher and coaches at Osage City, include adding volleyball and other sports clinics to help athletes work on their abilities.

“We are truly excited to help you prepare and improve your skills so you can go back to your schools and teams and perform at a high level,” Lucas said.

At the basketball academy that began Sunday, participants will receive specialized skills training and practice in small group settings. Focus will be on ball handling, shooting, scoring and free throws.

In addition to Lucas and Kate, coaching staff at the upcoming clinics includes some well-known basketball talent – serving as coaches will be Lindsay Conklin, of Division I Western Illinois and a Mid America Nazarene alum; Brittany Kramer, Emporia State Hornet women’s basketball alum; Duncan Fort, ESU basketball player; and Ryan Haskins, Ottawa Brave basketball player.

“With our experience as skill coaches, participants will love the focus we put on functional training and skill development,” Kate said.

The 10-week academies are currently open for two age groups, first through sixth grade, and seventh through 12th grade. The younger players will meet on Wednesday nights beginning Aug. 21, 2019, and the older group will meet Sunday afternoons beginning Sunday, Aug. 11.

Check the Hoops Skills Academy schedule and use the registration link at to reserve your spot.

“We are very excited about the purchase of the facility and the space it provides us,” Lucas said. “What a beautiful gym and great location for us to serve many student athletes in their quest to perform at a higher level.”

But sports aren’t the only plans in the works for the Reading school and gymnasium. The Bosses also plan to rent out the facility, which has 800 seats in the full court gymnasium, a stage, kitchen, large commons area, and playground. The facility will be available for practices, tournaments, concerts, reunions, birthday parties and other events.

For more information on the Boss’ Hoops Skills Academy, or pricing and availability for the facility, see or contact Lucas Boss at 785-633-8413.

Loyal, humble entrepreneur, Lyon County cattleman to present Prairie Talk

First impression from a distance or even passing conversation, one gets little inkling of Rich Porter’s diverse generous life. Certainly the humble cattleman from Reading won’t readily reveal all he’s done and continues to do for so many.

Yet, listeners will be all ears when always soft spoken Porter presents a Prairie Talk at Pioneer Bluffs July 6.

“We’re pleased Rich Porter will share his most unique life’s story Saturday afternoon at 1:30,” said Lynn Smith.

Gentleman cattleman Rich Porter.

Executive director of the historic ranch near Matfield Green, Kan., Smith welcomed everyone to the free educational, entertaining program.

“Rich Porter is loyal to his workers, suppliers, alliances, and especially, to the community,” Smith acknowledged.

“An ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness,” Porter said. “Do unto others better than you would have them do unto you. If they don’t respond in kind, merely walk away, but don’t retaliate.”

Porter’s education began with a 1972 bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Kansas State University, in Manhattan. He then pursued a law degree at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

While in law school, Porter worked for the Environmental Protection Agency enforcement division. After graduating from law school in 1975, he was employed by Bethlehem Steel in air pollution control four years.

With diverse career opportunities, Porter returned to his family’s cattle backgrounding and farming operations near Miller, in Lyon County.

Forever eager to learn, Porter was in the inaugural class of the K-State Agricultural Economics’ Master in Agribusiness program in 1998. His thesis on economies of scale in finishing cattle is now put to use at Porter Cattle Company.

Each year, Porter purchases about 7,000 high-risk calves, and grows them from 350 pounds to 850 pounds. The operation also includes 2,600 acres of corn and soybeans.

Successful business must be credited to Porter’s strong values of loyalty and simple lessons learned in life.

Stomach ache serious, yet common horse ailment from many causes requiring awareness

Colic in horses in simple terms means a bellyache. It is a much more complicated and serious issue, according to Dr. James Moore, University of Georgia veterinarian, Athens, Ga.

“Colic in horses is defined as abdominal pain, or most simply a stomach ache. But it is a clinical sign rather than a diagnosis,” Moore said.

The term colic encompasses all forms of gastrointestinal conditions which cause pain as well as other causes of abdominal aches.

“Most common forms of colic are gastrointestinal in nature and are most often related to colonic disturbance,” Moore clarified.

There are a variety of different causes of colic, some of which can prove fatal without surgical intervention.

“Colic surgery is usually an expensive procedure as it is major abdominal surgery, often with intensive aftercare,” the veterinarian said.

An indication of colic is when a horse frequently looks at and even nips at the flank.

Among domesticated horses, colic is the leading cause of premature death. “Incidence of colic in the general horse population is between 4 and 10 percent in their lifetime,” Moore said.

Numerous clinical signs are associated with colic. The most common include pawing repeatedly, kicking, looking at the flank, lying down, rolling, and curling the upper lip.

Other indications of colic are repeatedly raising a rear leg, kicking, sweating, arching the neck, and stretching out.

Additional apparent colic signs include straining to defecate, distention of the abdomen, loss of appetite, depression, and decreased bowel movements.

“It is uncommon for a horse with colic to exhibit all of these signs,” Moore said. “Although they are reliable indicators of pain, particular signs do not indicate which portion of the gastrointestinal tract is involved.”

A diagnosis can be made and appropriate treatment begun only after thoroughly examining the horse.

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.

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