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Category Archives: Faith

A Cowboy’s Faith: Rain slows hay harvest

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Make hay when the sun shines.”

It’s a common often repeated old time saying that is always proven true best Biblical advice.

Rain is essential for growth of grass to make hay but moisture at the wrong time deteriorates the crop.

Weather forecasts are followed closely before mowing grass to make hay. While the predictions are often inaccurate, it is still important to prevent hay spoilage as is possible.

Once grass has been mowed, time is required for it to dry before being baled into hay. Drying depends on weather conditions with bright hot sun and light wind typically being the fastest.

Cool, cloudy weather with no breeze slows the drying time sometimes to the point of requiring several days.

Worst case scenario is when the mowed grass is rained on and that extra water must dry out, too. It slows down the haying process that is always a hurry up and get it done operation.

Turning the wettened grass with a hay rake in the windrow helps speed up hay drying time. This also requires additional labor and equipment usage.

It does vary with the situation, but usually hay quality deteriorates when there is rain on the mowed grass. The hay will generally be lower in protein content and off-colored rather than the desired green.

Of course, Mother Nature has the power to control the sun and the rain. So, farmers and ranchers must do their best to work with and around her actions.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Equipment repair major ordeal

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.

“Keeping farm machinery operating in the field when work needs done is essential to profitability.”

When tractors and small line equipment were first produced, farmers could often do the repairs personally.

With rapidly increasing technology that’s often not the case nowadays. Fixing a farm machinery breakdown requires a high level of ability, often requiring a computer program to figure it out.

Then, sometimes the problem still can’t be solved, forcing technicians to call the factory or other upper-level knowhow for help.

On top of that issue, farm equipment repair businesses typically have long waiting-lists of machinery needing repaired.

Sometimes, that can be up to several weeks. Plus, most repairs must be done in the main shop, where the computers can be utilized.

Situations do arise infrequently when a repairman will come to the field to fix machinery, but not often.

Fortunately, when this ranching operation was getting started, Dad had the ability to fix most of the problems. He typically had natural ability and learned by doing, but that would not be the case today.

His son never had any mechanical ability period with “It won’t start” a frequent response to any breakdown.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Hay harvest has changed

In his greatest imagination, Dad would have never believed how ranch hay processing could change in half a century.

Back then, Dad left his grocery store butcher job about noon and headed to the hay field. A fairly-new John Deere 1020 tractor was hooked to a seven-foot sickle mower for cutting the grass field. By the next afternoon, the grass had dried enough for hay, so Dad raked it into windrows with the fairly-new side-delivery rake.

The well-used John Deere 15T twine square baler was hooked to the only tractor on the ranch. When Dad started baling the hay, something always went wrong. Either the baler knotter didn’t work, or the tying was so tight the bale twine broke; for sure something.

It was a one-man operation up to this point. There wasn’t a hay trailer, so the small bales were dropped on the ground behind the baler. At about 5 o’clock, his son arrived at the ranch from a town job and started picking up the hay bales.

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.The half-ton pickup was driven from bale to bale, and the then-younger worker got out at each bale and threw it into the truck bed. About 39 bales would make a load when properly stacked.

St. Patrick Church to present second viewing of time capsule contents

Greg Ockwood and Dennis Klump opening the time capsule in December 2023.

St. Patrick Catholic Church of Scranton will be offering a second viewing of items removed from the 106-year-old time capsule saved from the old church before it was torn down. The time capsule collection contains local area newspapers, books, letters and religious articles from this time period. The showing will be 6-8 p.m. Saturday, July 27, 2024, at St. Brigid Hall, 303 S. Sixth St., Osage City.

A few of the many items inside the time capsule.

The time capsule was placed when the congregation’s second church was built in 1917, in Scranton. The capsule was opened Dec. 16, 2023, in front of spectators at Scranton Attendance Center.

Anyone interested in history will find this collection fascinating. Everyone is welcome to come view some local history, reminisce, and share memories with others.

There will be an opportunity to participate in a 50/50 raffle and to purchase a $50 chance for the 1994 Honda Gold Wing drawing.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Kansas is nation’s breadbasket

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Known as the Wheat State and the breadbasket of the nation, Kansas typically produces more wheat than any other state.

Winter wheat, which is grown in virtually every county, is grazed by about 5.7 million cattle during the fall and spring and allowed to grow and ripen during the summer.

Green fields are turning golden as wheat harvest is just days away. With records of wheat production pre-dating statehood, there are indications that Kansas wheat production began as early as 1839.

The estimated direct impact of the wheat industry is $1.3 billion in output and 3,231 jobs. Including indirect and induced effects, the total impact of the industry on the Kansas economy reaches $2.6 billion in output and 11,087 jobs.

Eight bushels per acre in 1895 may have been the lowest per acre wheat yield in Kansas. Price then was 45 cents a bushel but was 42 cents two years earlier when the average yield was nine bushels per acre.

Kansas farmers planted 8.10 million acres of wheat for the 2023 crop year, up 11 percent from the previous year. Total production was 201.3 million bushels, down 18 percent, with yield per harvested acre at 35 bushels, down 2 bushels from 2022.

Wheat was sowed on 7.5 million acres for the 2024 crop with 7.05 million acres predicted to be harvested, up 1.30 million acres from last year. The crop is forecast at 282 million bushels, up 40 percent with average yield of 40 bushels per acre, up 5 bushels from last year.

The value of Kansas’s wheat production for 2024 is expected to be about $1.51 billion, which is a 29 percent decrease from the previous marketing year. The projected price for Kansas wheat is $7.50 per bushel, a $1.21 decrease from a year earlier.

Cost-of-production for wheat in Kansas this year, according to economists, is forecast to be approximately $416 per acre, which is down 2.3 percent.

Monument, the top-planted variety since 2019, accounts for 6.6 percent of the state’s planted wheat acres.

Kansas wheat is used to make a variety of baked goods, including breads, cereals, crackers, cookies, and pancakes.

Looking for your church home? Osage County News can help you open the right door

Visit the Churches of Osage CountyOsage County has many houses of worship in which to share your faith, meet fellow worshipers and move into your church home. Osage County News, with assistance from Help House, has published a list of churches in the Osage County area as courtesy to our readers.

For corrections or additions, contact Osage County News at 785-828-4994, email, or leave a comment below. Click here to see the Churches of Osage County.

Zion Lutheran invites all for afternoon of ice cream and fellowship

The congregation of Zion Lutheran Church is holding an ice cream social at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 6, 2024, at the church, 23167 Topeka St., Vassar, Kan. This is an opportunity to connect with members of the church and the surrounding community and to learn more about what the church has to offer.

Whether a longtime member of the congregation or someone new to the area, everyone is welcomed to join in for an afternoon of fellowship and plenty of ice cream and cookies.

Everyone is invited to come and experience the Zion Lutheran community. Bring friends and family, and come hungry for both ice cream and camaraderie.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Healthiness is most essential

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“There is nothing more important than a person’s health.”

Many want more money, a champion horse, a new mansion, a fancy car, or a worldwide vacation. While that’s fine, they are all worthless if one is not completely healthy.

However, health is a two-sided issue that includes physical health and mental health. Sadly, physical health is often taken for granted until one is stricken by a devastating ailment. Life makes a completely negative turnaround and sometimes will never be the same again.

Likewise, a person’s senses and body appendages are often not appreciated until forced to do without. Many people must wear glasses to see and aids to hear, which are not uncommon reduction of senses. Others lose their ability to smell and taste as well as other body senses.

Losing a finger or portion of one creates an initial hardship to which one generally becomes accustomed. That is much less serious than losing an arm or leg.

Artificial limbs have been developed so people can maneuver, but it is a major hardship. Personal attitude makes a difference on how individuals acclimate to such adversity.

Likely more serious than physical health is mental health. A subject often ignored in previous generations; mental health has become a publicly serious problem for all ages.

Old age often brings on memory loss in various degrees sometimes defined as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Considerable research has been done to help reduce the complications. Most of it has been unsuccessful with early detection and treatment, infrequently giving limited positive outcomes.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Tame grass for feed

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The brome is smoking which means it’s time for harvest.”

There’s a foggy haze moving across an increasing number of brome grass fields throughout Kansas. That’s nature’s alert that the tame grass has headed, is ripe, and should be harvested the sooner the better.

Time will tell, but it looks like this year’s brome crop will have an abundant yield.

Contrasting native Flint Hills pastures, brome grass requires considerably more management with weather always being a major factor in production.

According to college agronomist definition, “Brome grass is a common forage grass grown in North America. It may be used for hay, pasture, silage, or stockpiling. It is compatible with alfalfa or other adapted legumes.

“Brome grass is very palatable, high in protein, and relatively low in crude-fiber content. It has a massive root system and is a sod former, which can be used effectively for critical area planting and waterways.”

Not always the best student in crop science, knowledge about brome grass has generally come by learning from doing.

Nitrogen fertilizer is essential for brome grass production. Experience proves there is always poor yield without fertilizer. Soil testing increases fertilizer effectiveness when recommendations are followed.

Date of fertilizer application affects production, with some producers preferring fall treatment. However, more farmers fertilize brome in the spring, delaying expenses as long as possible.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Rotation increases grazing capacity

“Rain has made ample grass for the time being.”

However, that’s not all optimistic, according to a number of outlooks for months ahead as presented by several weather forecasters. Of course, it’s common knowledge weathermen and women are wrong as often as right. So, anybody’s guess is as good as the next about what the conditions will be for the next 12 weeks.

A frequent topic of conversation for the past couple of years has been pasture rotation. The idea is to stretch out grazing capacity when there are short supplies.

Rotation is a relatively new term that wasn’t related much, if any, that’s memorable from the four-hour range management class. Of course, that was more than half a century ago and likely the still teenage college student wasn’t all that attentive. However, looking back through the old, yellow report cards in the stuffed filing cabinet verifies a top passing grade.

There are different philosophies on rotational grazing and what works well for one doesn’t fit another. Weather conditions continue to always have a major impact on what needs to be done.

If it continues raining and the temperature isn’t too high, grass will generally grow. Livestock won’t need to be rotated as frequently when the pasture is not grubbed in the ground.

Fencing and water supplies are major ingredients for rotational grazing and again what fits one operation doesn’t work for others.

Barbed wire fence with gates from one pasture to another is easiest to use, but typically does not work well. Usually, a rotation program involves small pastures with clean water, so a hot electric wire fence is typically the best.

There are plenty of problems with electric fences which require consistent power. If cattle get out one time, it can become a habit that sometimes seems uncontrollable.

Zion Lutheran Church invites community families to upcoming vacation Bible school

Zion Lutheran Church, in Vassar, Kan., has announced an upcoming vacation Bible school, to be held the week of June 17-21, with school each day 9-11:30 a.m. This year’s theme, “Take a Walk on the Wild Side with Wild Life VBS,” promises a week filled with fun, learning, and spiritual growth for children ages pre-K and 12.

Daily, kids will engage in interactive Bible stories, creative crafts, uplifting music, and exciting games designed to deepen their understanding of God’s love and teachings. The church’s dedicated team of volunteers is committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment, where children can explore their faith and build lasting friendships.

Zion Lutheran Church is welcoming all community families to join in the vacation Bible school. Registration is open, and attendees are encouraged to sign up soon as spaces are limited. For more information or to register, see, call 785-828-4482, or email

Everyone is invited to be a part of the joyful journey and embark on a week of discovery and inspiration at Zion Lutheran Church, 23167 Topeka St., Vassar.

A Cowboy’s Faith: More training than miracles

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Surely all of the highly trained horses used in Western movies aren’t fed those very expensive drugs and supplements.”

No offense to the owners-management of large veterinary suppliers from which major ranch purchases are made. They are very professional, congenial, helpful, and cooperative in every regard.

However, it is interesting that their fancy four-color slick equine supplies catalogs have so many pages of horse “drugs.” The word “drug” is used loosely because the pages are all dedicated to supposedly health-improving equine medications of sort.

Remainder of the catalog offers every kind imaginable of additives, enrichments, just name it, products “to make horses better.”

Again, “better” is said cautiously, because the “costly stuff” causes customers to generalize healthier, fitter horses with these “miracle products.”

The catalogs also feature extensive equipment indicating to prospective buyers that it’ll readily enhance their horse performance, whoever the handler.

Seemingly many viewers take for granted the high caliber of acting ability that horses used in many movies must have.

The horses are trained to fall, lay down, act lame, play dead, buck, rear, and much more, all on command. Their trainers are very knowledgeable with an extreme horse sense.

Admittedly, movie stars riding the horses in general are poor horsemen. Yet, not many fell off, and that must often be credited to the horses taking care of their riders.

Today’s most elite “horse whisperers” and bigtime showring champion trainers are excellent. But what rope horses, cutting horses, reining horses, jumping horses do is incomparable to that of movie stunt horses.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cowboy Code Of Conduct, The Lone Ranger

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Today, the West continues to celebrate the “cowboy spirit” of adventure and entrepreneurial pursuits.

Some of the politest and most modest individuals have made their living horseback or in the livestock business. Their principled behavior became codes of conduct that many of America’s cowboy heroes of the past promoted and illustrated for viewers back in the early days of Western movies.

Fourth in a four-part series, the inspirational philosophies of movie cowboys, unknown to many today, are being shared.

The Lone Ranger is a fictional masked former Texas Ranger who fought outlaws in the Old West with his Native American friend, Tonto.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cowboy Code Of Conduct, Hopalong Cassidy

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Some words on behavior from four silver screen icons from long ago may be more relevant and needed now than ever before.

Today, the West continues to celebrate the “cowboy spirit” of adventure and entrepreneurial pursuits.

Still, nine times out of 10, the word “cowboy” is used as a negative or a derogatory term describing improper or distasteful behavior.

However, the principled demeanor became codes of conduct that America’s cowboy heroes promoted for viewers in early days of Western movies.

Third in a four-part series, the inspirational philosophies of movie cowboys, unknown to many today, are being shared.

William Boyd portraying Hopalong Cassidy.

Hopalong Cassidy was a fictional cowboy hero created in 1904 for a Western novel. Cassidy was shot in the leg which caused him to have a little “hop,” hence the nickname.

Portraying “Hoppy,” William Boyd, outfitted in black, rode his white horse Topper in 66 movies from the 1930s to the 1950s.

Boyd continued in children-oriented radio and television shows until 1952. He made personal appearances including one in Kansas attended by former coworkers.

At the peak of the character’s popularity in the early 1950s, enormous amounts of merchandise were developed, as well as a comic strip, additional novels, and a short-lived amusement park, “Hoppyland.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cowboy Code Of Conduct of Gene Autry

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Some words on behavior from silver screen cowboys from decades ago may be more relevant and needed than ever.

The West is associated with honor, bravery, and the pioneer spirit heading into the unknown to make a better life. Today, the West continues to celebrate that “cowboy spirit” of adventure and entrepreneurial pursuits.

Principled behavior became codes of conduct that many cowboy heroes promoted in the early day Western movies and television shows. It’s not difficult to see how it wouldn’t be better following simple rules of polite and thoughtful deportment.

Singing cowboy songs, Gene Autry rode his famous horse named Champion in at least 93 movies and 91 television shows.

A world-renowned professional rodeo contractor, often entertaining at those rodeos, Autry also made worldwide public appearances. He and Champion performed at the Tri-County Fair in Herington, which Grandma attended.

Autry made more than 640 recordings with 300 songs he wrote, including “Here Comes Santa Claus.”

War hero, rancher, baseball team owner, cowboy museum developer, radio, television, real estate proprietor, and comic book personality with signature cowboy toys, Autry was the most financially successful silver screen cowboy.

He’s the only entertainer to have five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: radio, recording, motion pictures, television, and live performance and theater.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cowboy Code of Conduct, Roy Rogers

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.The West has long been associated with honor, bravery, and the pioneer spirit of heading into the unknown to make a better life. Today, the West continues to celebrate that “cowboy spirit” of adventure and entrepreneurial pursuits.

However, it seems that to call someone a “cowboy,” in some circles, is an insult. Yet, cowboys’ principled behavior became codes of conduct that many of America’s heroes promoted for viewers of early days Western movies and television shows.

Second in a four-part series, the inspirational philosophies of movie cowboys, unknown to many today, are being shared.

Roy Rogers, nicknamed the King of the Cowboys, was an American singer, actor, and rodeo performer.

Riding his Palomino stallion Trigger, Roy appeared in more than 100 motion pictures, as well as his self-titled radio and television programs. In most of them, Roy entertained with his wife, Dale Evans, riding her buckskin horse, Buttermilk.

There were Roy Rogers action figures, cowboy adventure novels, play-sets, comic book series, and a variety of marketing successes. Roy Rogers was second only to Walt Disney in the number of items featuring his name.

Highlight of childhood memories was seeing Roy Rogers in person when he had his family show at the Mid-America Fair in Topeka.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Horses are not pets

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Every horse has different abilities with widely varied personalities.”

Once again, a reminder has been emphasized that for these differences a horse might fit one person and not another.

Watching old Westerns on television brings to light how certain horses worked well in the movies. Yet, most modern day horsemen would not like them being critical of the high heads and “cold jaws.”

Dad liked his horses with that kind of spirit, and the preference continued through his son. Generally, not speedy when racing, they’re more exciting to ride rather than a “deadhead.”

However, that preference is highly contrasting to skilled trainers who prefer low headed, easy turning horses.

Horseshow criteria might be reason for appeal of more collected horses. They present a nice image to spectators and can usually be ridden by a more diverse group of people.

Those who select lower-keyed caliber of horses contend they have their head and mind ready to work whatever requested.

It is interesting to study transitions in what increasing numbers of horse riders prefer. While horses have always been demanded to gather and doctor cattle, ranch horses are now being properly credited.

From being evaluated just for their eye appeal and calm disposition, horses are now selected for cattle working ability. Many of today’s largest horse shows feature cattle classes rather than halter showing and pleasure riding.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Pneumonia is serious illness

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Most people know the word pneumonia but do not understand how dangerous the sickness can be for animals and humans.

Pneumonia is one of the most significant diseases affecting calves causing inflammation of the lung tissue and airways. Damage may be irreversible in severe cases as it is the most common reason for death and poor performance in young cattle.

Factors that can cause calf pneumonia include the presence of bacteria and viruses, the environment, and the immune status of the animal. Symptoms of pneumonia are reduction in eating, dull demeanor, dropping of the head, increased respiratory rate, nasal discharge, cough, and raised temperature.

Strategies to reduce pneumonia should target improving cattle immunity and reducing stress, as well as treating any disease present. Fast and effective antibiotic treatment is critical for minimizing potential lung damage.

Providing treatment with long-acting antibiotics will often improve the health of a sick calf, resulting in quicker return of appetite and more rapid recovery. The lungs take 10-14 days to heal, therefore a treatment course should last this length of time, even if the animal appears clinically better after just a few days.

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