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Willing Workers tour Osage City meat processing plant

Willing Workers 4-H Club visits Custom Meats, Osage City, front from left, Clara Thielen and Ruby Stucky, middle, Leila Wilcoxson, Jaiton Bosse, Mason Newman, Reese Newman, Hadley Bosse, Kassie Thielen, and Paige Thielen, back, Bo, Emilee Burkett, Avery Thielen, Claire Newman, Lena Stucky, Kaiden Bosse, Kevin Whitmer, and Gene Roberts. Courtesy photo.

By Avery Thielen, Club Reporter

On March 1, 2023, the Willing Workers 4-H Club went to Custom Meats, in Osage City, to learn how livestock are processed. The 4-Hers were given a tour of the Custom Meats facility by Gene Roberts, Emilee Burkett and employee Bo. Gene did a great job of entertaining the group while educating them on the steps of processing animals. Many of the 4-H members show livestock at the county fair. This tour helped them understand what happens to their animals after they sell them. Even members who do not show livestock found the tour to be informative. It is important that people understand where their meat comes from. Thank you Custom Meats for the tour.

Frontier Extension: Learn more about raising backyard poultry

Frontier Extension District will host an educational meeting about raising poultry, “Backyard Poultry 101,” at 7 p.m. March 30, 2023, at Garnett Community Building, Anderson County Fairgrounds, Garnett, Kan.

Dr. Scott Beyer, Kansas State Extension Poultry Nutrition and Management Specialist, will highlight many aspects of owning and raising poultry. He will discuss having a bio-security plan to protect birds from the highly pathogenic avian flu. Other topics will include poultry housing and management, selecting the best breeds for production, getting the most eggs from your flock, molting a flock, and vaccinations and health care.

With the demand for poultry products on the rise, it is a real treat to be able to grow your own broilers or eat fresh eggs. Fresh eggs are tastier than those purchased  from the grocery store and they are also great when used for baking.

For more information about the Backyard Poultry 101 meeting, contact Rod Schaub, Frontier Extension agent, at 785-828-4438 or email

Governor announces $1.9 billion computer chip factory to be built in Coffey County

BURLINGTON, Kan. – Governor Laura Kelly announced yesterday that EMP Shield, an industry leader in protecting electronic devices from destructive magnetic pulses, plans to invest $1.9 billion in a computer chip manufacturing facility at Burlington, Kan. The facility will create more than 1,200 jobs averaging $66,000 annually.

EMP Shield will build its facility on 300 acres in a secure campus located at Silicon Prairie Industrial Park. The company will be joined by six out-of-state suppliers, resulting in an additional 1,000 jobs created in Coffey County.

“Bringing economic prosperity to every corner of the state – particularly rural Kansas – has been a priority since my very first day in office,” Kelly said. “We achieve that with this project, creating thousands of high-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, and proving that every Kansas community is ripe for investment and growth.”

EMP Shield plans to have four production lines operating in approximately 235,000 square feet of facilities in the new industrial park that will produce thousands of chips per week. Its suppliers will manufacture necessary components and prepare the final products for delivery.

Young Lyndon auctioneer wins auctioneers association newcomer scholarship

An up and coming auctioneer from Lyndon was named as the recipient of the Kansas Auctioneers Association’s New Auctioneer Scholarship. Cole Pitts, Lyndon, Kan., was presented the award at the association’s annual winter convention, held Jan. 20-22, 2023, at Salina, Kan. Pitts also competed in the association’s rookie contest, in which he took second place.

Pitts received a $175 scholarship toward auctioneer school. He is a junior at Osage City High School, and started in the auction business with Wischropp Auctions and continues to work with them.

Elvan Schrock, of Haven, Kan., was named as champion of the rookie competition. The association also held its first ringman championship competition during this year’s convention, with JB Robison Jr., Owasso, Okla., winning the championship.

The Kansas Auctioneers Association is a trade association whose members abide by its constitution and strict code of ethics. The association is dedicated to the promotion, advancement, protection of the auction profession.

Frontier Extension to host beef cattle update at Overbrook for the New Year

The Frontier Extension District will host public meeting to provide a beef cattle update, at 6 p.m. Jan. 19, 2023, at the Overbrook Livestock Commission Company, 305 First St., Overbrook, Kan. The evening will begin with a chili supper at 6 p.m. with presentations following.

Jaymelynn Farney, Southeast Area Extension beef systems specialist, will discuss making cost efficient selection of mineral for a cowherd and the importance of vitamin A, especially with droughty forages.

Cassandra Olds, K-State livestock entomologist, will update on ticks and the diseases they carry, including those that affect cattle and humans. If you like to eat red meat, knowing how to protect yourself from tick bites is important.

Bruno Pedreira, Southeast Area forage specialist, will talk about pasture management and how drought influences next year’s forage growth.

For more information, contact Rod Schaub, Frontier District Extension agent, at 785-828-4438 or

High-priced winter livestock feed cost can be managed

Big bale feeders help save hay and lower cow winter feed costs. Courtesy photo.

As cold weather continues with forecasts for increasing blizzard conditions throughout winter, livestock hay needs increase. University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist Gene Schmitz has provided thoughts for livestock producers to consider when feeding livestock.

“Test the hay,” Schmitz said. “This is the simplest, most cost-effective practice you can do,”

Sort hay supplies into quality groups and match the hay to nutritional needs of each group of livestock, he advised.

“Then feed appropriate supplement, if necessary, to each separate group based on nutritional needs and hay quality,” Schmitz continued.

“Reduce waste because poor feeding practices can result in hay wastage of more than 25 percent,” the specialist emphasized.

Cone-type hay feeders or tapered-bottom feeders greatly reduce hay waste, especially if they have a bottom skirt.

“If unrolling, limit the amount of hay being unrolled at a given time,” Schmitz recommended. “Unrolling more than one day’s feeding will substantially increase hay waste.”

It’s a bit late for this now, Schmitz said, but another substantial source of hay waste is how the hay is stored.

If covered hay storage is not a possibility, at least take measures to break soil-hay contact, the specialist urged. Building rock pads or storing bales on pallets, tires, or other surface reduces waste on the bottom of the bale.

Producers who have pasture or crop residues to graze can divide fields into smaller areas with temporary fencing, Schmitz said.

“These are easy to move and can greatly extend the number of grazing days from a given area,” he continued. “Fencing to provide one to two weeks grazing is acceptable.”

There are limit-feeding options. With adequate-quality forage, limiting cow access to hay feeders can reduce waste while achieving acceptable performance.

“Twelve-hour access seems to be a good compromise between performance and waste reduction,” Schmitz said. “Do not attempt this without a hay test.”

Cows can be limit-fed a high-grain ration to meet energy needs with less feed, he noted. “Compare the cost of grain to hay on a per-unit-of-energy basis when considering this option,” Schmitz urged.

Some producers graze standing milo as an effective, lower-cost way to feed cows through the winter.

Litch produces top corn yield in east central Kansas

An Osage County farmer produced the top corn yield in the east central district of the Kansas Corn Yield Contest. Robert Litch, Melvern, Kan., was the first place winner in dryland corn in District 8, producing 276.1 bushels per acre in a field planted with Pioneer P1464AML corn variety.

Despite drought impacting many areas of the state, the 2022 Kansas Corn and K-State yield contest remained highly competitive. Litch’s dryland crop’s yield also beat the east central district’s only irrigated entry. Brad Spencer, of Franklin County, produced a yield of 244.29 bu./acre, planting Golden Harvest G15J91-V, taking first place in the irrigated category.

Second and third place in District 8 dryland category were Brad Spencer, with a yield of 222.34 bu./acre, with Golden Harvest G17E95-3110 in a Franklin County field, and Joe Heathman, Chase County, whose crop yielded 214.38 bu./acre, planted with Taylor Seed Farms 6012.

Top yield contest entries for the Kansas Corn Yield Contest came from Ryan Jagels, of Finney County, in the irrigated division, with a yield of 323.7 bu./acre; and Jeff Koelzer, Pottawatomie County, in the dryland division with a yield of 308.96 bu./acre.

“Improvements in technology and management have produced not only record Kansas corn yields, but more importantly, allowed for relatively impressive corn yields when farmers are faced with drought conditions and high input prices,” says Josh Roe, Kansas Corn vice president of market development and policy. “The farmers that participated in this year’s yield contest exhibit the very best of the technology and management techniques available.”

Despite higher expenses, net farm income predicted to set record high

High commodity prices will propel the United States’ net farm income to a record $160.5 billion this year, despite a steep climb in expenses.

The United States Department of Agriculture has predicted farm income to be 14 percent higher than last year. That’s twice as high as three years ago.

Value of farm assets would climb 10 percent this year, following a 10 percent increase in 2021, second highest year. Farm debt will climb more slowly, USDA said. The debt-to-asset ratio will drop to 13.05 percent, its first decline since 2011.

Crops and livestock will generate $541.5 billion in cash receipts, up 24 percent or nearly $106 billion, from last year. Almost all of the increase, $96.8 billion, would be the result of higher prices, calculated USDA economists. Corn, wheat, and soybean will make an additional $37 billion this year compared to last.

Higher broiler chicken prices would boost receipts by 55 percent. Revenue from cattle, hogs, turkeys, and milk also would climb. “Cash receipts for chicken eggs are expected to more than double,” USDA said.

Commodity prices boomed with the return of China to the U.S. market in fall 2020, USDA said. They surged again after the Russian invasion of Ukraine last February.

The invasion disrupted grain and fertilizer exports from the Black Sea region. Ukraine and Russia are major wheat exporters, and Russia leads in fertilizer exports.

Mid-States Materials receives national award for mined land conservation efforts

TOPEKA, Kan. – A Topeka company was honored for sustainable mining practices and conservation efforts at Plummer Creek Quarry, near Scranton, Kan.

Nick Jackson, Mid-States Materials, with the 2022 NASLR award. Courtesy photo.

In an awards presentation Sept. 26, 2022, the National Association of State Land Reclamationists awarded Mid-States Materials, LLC, Topeka, Kan., with the association’s 2022 Outstanding Mined Land Reclamation Award (Non-Coal). The award recognized Mid-States Materials’ efforts to protect the environment and preserve Kansas’ natural landscapes with reclamation practices at the Osage County quarry.

Plummer Creek Quarry reclamation efforts included erosion control, gradual grading of slopes, and final vegetation to turn the 100-acre piece of the quarry into a productive agricultural asset. Calling it a true testament to the long-term reclamation and stewardship efforts at Plummer Creek Quarry, the NASLR Board of Officers gave special commendation to the construction of the wetland that intercepts the agricultural runoff from adjacent fields.

“We continuously strive to be the model for the industry,” said Nick Jackson, Mid-States Materials environmental specialist. “Extracting the resources for growth here in the present, to provide a thriving future when we leave.”

Highly pathogenic avian influenza confirmed in Shawnee County

KDA advises poultry owners to be vigilant

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Agriculture has identified a case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a backyard flock in Shawnee County. This is the third confirmed case of HPAI in Kansas this fall; there were six cases in March and April for a total of nine counties across the state affected so far in 2022.

“The widespread nature of the positive premises in Kansas is proof that all counties are susceptible to HPAI because the risk is from the wild birds traveling across the state,” said Dr. Justin Smith, Kansas Animal Health Commissioner. “If you have not yet taken steps to protect your backyard flocks, now is the time to take this threat seriously.”

This confirmed case is in a non-commercial mixed species flock, and KDA is working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture–Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on a joint incident response. KDA officials quarantined the affected premises, and birds on the property have been depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease.

KDA asks anyone who owns poultry in the following area on the north side of Topeka to contact the KDA phone bank at 833-765-2006 or email them at to work with state and local officials to prevent further spread of the disease. Poultry owners can also self-report birds at Reporting area: Contact KDA or report online if your home or farm sits in the area from 21st Street (to the south) to 94th Street (to the north), and Highway 4 (to the east) and Humphrey Road (to the west). The area includes the north half of Topeka and the towns of Elmont and Menoken. It does not include Silver Lake, Meriden or Hoyt.

KDA advises owners of backyard poultry flocks to be particularly vigilant in protecting their birds. Analysis of this outbreak of HPAI has shown that the spread has been primarily from wild migratory waterfowl, which makes free-range backyard flocks at high risk because of the potential of exposure to the wild birds.

Anyone involved with poultry production from the small backyard chicken owner to the large commercial producer should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds.

Scranton offers residents access to online payment and utility information

The city of Scranton has announced it now offers an online payment method for utility bills. The city will use the app FrontDesk, which gives customers the ability to access utility account information and pay utility bills online.

The new system will also allow customers to receive city utility bills electronically; enroll in autopay; and receive communications, alerts, and notices from the city via email or text. FrontDesk also works on mobile devices with internet connection.

City of Scranton residents can sign up for FrontDesk at For assistance or more information, contact Scranton City Hall at 785-793-2414.

Osage City opens up garages and yards for fall citywide sales

Osage City is opening its garage doors, driveways and yards to shoppers Friday and Saturday. The town’s citywide garage sales are this weekend, Sept. 16 and 17, 2022, hosted by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber has produced at map that lists sales all over town and designates which section of town and the types of goods for sale. Maps will be available Friday and Saturday at Casey’s, BP, Jerry’s Thriftway, Osage City Hall, and Osage City Library, and on the Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

Donations received for listing sales and for advertising on the map are used for a scholarship for a graduating senior from Osage City High School.

For more information, contact Tricia Gundy, Osage City Chamber garage sale committee chairperson, at 785-528-3301, or Peterson Assisted Living, 629 Holliday St., Osage City.

Also remember you can post your own garage sale for free on Osage County News at

Chamber to host big-top circus at Osage City

Osage City Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus, Sept. 11, 2022, at Jones Park, in Osage City, Kan., with shows at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

C&M Circus is an authentic one-ring, big top circus and features a new 2022 performance with big cats presented by Trey Key, aerialist extraordinaire Simone on the trapeze, 10th generation Loyal Bareback Horse Riders, the Perez Daredevil Duo on the tight rope and Wheel of Destiny, and Circus Clown Leo Acton.

Osage City’s citywide garage sales Sept. 16-17

Osage City’s fall citywide garage sales are Friday and Saturday, Sept. 16-17, 2022. Hosted by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce, a map is made of sales around town. For those wishing to have their sale listed on the map, now is the time to sign up. To sign up, contact Tricia Gundy, chairman of the Osage City Chamber garage sale committee, at 785-219-9727, or stop by Peterson’s Assisted Living, Osage City.

The map notes addresses of sales and provides a chart of the types of items offered at the sales.

A $5 donation fee for a spot on the map goes towards a scholarship awarded every year to two Osage City High School graduates for furthering their education. The 2022 scholarships were awarded to Jerra Butterfield and Gavin DeBaun. The deadline for adding a sale to the map is 5 p.m. Sept. 13.

Chamber Chatter: Osage City celebrates senior center, plans fall activities

Osage County Senior Center and Osage County General Public Transportation hosted a “Chamber After Hours” mixer and open house July 29. Those attending enjoyed some delicious refreshments and tasty punch. Chamber photo.

The Osage County Senior Center and Osage County General Public Transportation hosted an “After Hours” mixer and open house Friday, July 29, 2022, which was open to the public and Chamber of Commerce members.

The senior center, at 604 Market St., Osage City, is a place to enjoy many activities throughout the week. Monday includes sewing, art and painting, exercise, Mexican train dominoes and pitch. Exercise and Mexican train dominoes take place on Tuesday. Wednesday includes sewing, exercise and Mexican train dominoes. Plan to exercise or do art and painting on Thursday. Finish up the week on Friday with exercise and bingo. Visit the center for the time slots for the activities.

A potluck lunch takes place on the first Wednesday of each month. Bring a covered dish and enjoy a nice variety of food and generally there is some musical entertainment following the meal.

The center has a variety of rooms specified for the various activities. There is a sewing room, ceramic and art and painting room, library and puzzle room, board room, pool and exercise equipment room. There is also a nice dining area which is used for daily meals served at lunch time.

The building is available for rent in the evenings and weekends when there are not center activities planned. The rental fees are $25 for nights and $50 per day for the weekends. Often during the day, there are activities or meetings that are scheduled. There is no charge and the center remains open for normal business. The center sponsors community blood drives through the Community Blood Center during the year. Also several times throughout the year, Herme Healthcare from Wichita provides foot and toenail care. There are also several fund raising events throughout the year to support the Senior Center activities. Memorial donations as well as donations from individuals and organizations are always welcomed to support the activities.

Osage County General Public Transportation provides riders the opportunity to use the public transportation for doctor appointments, eye appointments, medical procedures, hair appointments, physical therapy, mental health appointments, shopping, court appointments, and eating out.

If you need to go somewhere and need a ride, OCGPT will take you. Appointments must be made between 7:05 a.m. and 5 p.m. Fares are determined by destination from Osage City.

Osage City schools celebrate start of school year with ‘back to school night’

Osage City Elementary and Middle Schools will celebrate the start of the school year with a “back to school night” 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11.

School staff will host the annual event, and vendors who have a connection with Osage City students are encouraged to set up a booth to advertise their products in the school cafeteria. To reserve a booth, call the elementary school office at 785-528-3171.

Along with gathering information about community organizations, students and parents in grades K-8 are invited to a free hot dog feed. The meal includes a hot dog, chips, cookies, and drink in the school cafeteria.

Elementary students are encouraged to bring their supplies for school to their classrooms, talk with their teachers, and tour the schools.

Everyone is invited to help OCES and OCMS celebrate the return to school.

Frontier Extension to host wheat production meeting at Ottawa

The Frontier Extension District will host a wheat production meeting 7 p.m. Aug. 2, 2022, at the Neosho County Community College-Ottawa Campus, 900 E. Logan St., Ottawa, Kan.

The speakers for the evening will be southeast area agronomist Bruno Perdreira and K-State Extension wheat and forage specialist Romulo Lollato. They will focus on fertility needed to maximize yields, foliar fungicide treatments, seeding rates, varieties, and weed control. The meeting will provide opportunity to ask questions about planting wheat and gain information from those doing wheat research.

Anyone interested in planting wheat for the first time in several years or are interested in management practices is invited to attend.

For more information, contact Ryan Schaub, Frontier Extension crop production and farm management agent, at 785-448-6826.

Osage City puts on blue jeans for annual Osage County Fair Parade

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual Osage County Fair Parade, at Osage City. All floats or other entries are welcomed in the parade, which travels from west to east on Market Street, ending downtown. The 2022 parade will be 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 8, with lineup on West Market Street. In conjunction with the fair parade this year, there will also be a parade for kids with decorated bicycles, wagons, scooters, and is open to children up to age 12.

The theme for the fair and the parade is “”Blue Jeans and Country Dreams”, and Adam Burnett, parade chairman, is creating some new and innovative concepts for the parade for this year.

Prize money for float entries will be 1st-$125,  2nd-$100,  3rd-$75, 4th-$50.  Prize money for golf carts and ATVs will be 1st-$30,  2nd-$20,  3rd-$10. Person must be 17 years old to drive either golf carts or ATVs. No water balloons will be allowed in the parade.

Judging for floats, golf carts and ATVs will begin at 5:15 and will end at 5:45 p.m. To have an entry judged, stop by the Flint Hills Beverage drive and wait to be judged. Once you have been judged, proceed to getting in line for the parade. Line up starts at the west end of Market Street.  There will be parade personnel there with clip boards and a line up sheet.

The kids parade will begin at 6:15 p.m., with line up at 6 p.m. at Lincoln Park. The kids parade will travel from Lincoln Park to Seventh and Market streets. Participants must wear a helmet, and children under 6 years must be accompanied by an adult. Prizes will be given to participants. For more information or to pre-register, call Becky Siljenberg at 785-217-7342 or email, or Jeanette Swarts at 785-249-5451 or email

A parade entry form can be found on the Osage City Chamber of Commerce website at, under the Happenings link. Submit the form to Burnett at or call him at 785-760-0621 for more information.

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