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Equestrian trade group presents ag experience grant to Lyndon FFA member

Ethan Kneisler with his Vermeer hay wrapping machine. Courtesy photo.

A FFA supervised agricultural experience grant has been awarded to Ethan Kneisler, of Lyndon, Kan. The $1,000 grant was sponsored by the Western and English Sales Association (WESA). WESA provides the world’s largest trade events for retailers, manufacturers and sales representatives of the equestrian industry.

Supervised agricultural experience grants are designed to help FFA members create or expand their SAE projects, a requirement that all FFA members must complete. An SAE requires FFA members to create and operate an agriculture related business, work at an agriculture-related business, or conduct an agricultural research experience. Upon completion, FFA members must submit a comprehensive report regarding their career development experience.

This year 32 sponsors made 39 different types of SAE grants available. A full list of sponsors can be found on the National FFA Organization website on the SAE grants webpage.

Ethan is a member of the Lyndon FFA Chapter. He is the son of Darby and Kristin Kneisler, and is currently a junior at Lyndon High School. The grant funds will be used to help develop his custom hay wrapping business, called Jimmy’s Custom Wrapping. He started this business in early 2021 by purchasing a Vermeer hay wrapper at a farm auction, and with the help and guidance of his father grew the business in its first year to four customers.

Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA achieves national honor

Alyssa McCurdy and Olivia Lacey, left, show the National Superior Chapter Award they accepted on behalf of the MdCV FFA Chapter, and Cole Lacey, Braden Reed, and Wyatt Lingenfelter hold their State FFA Degree certificates, all presented at the Kansas East Central FFA District banquet, held April 6, at Eudora. (Not pictured: State FFA Degree designee Akaylee Prunty.) Courtesy photo.

Members of the Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA chapter were recognized at the annual East Central District banquet Wednesday, April 6, 2022, in Eudora, Kan. MdCV FFA members Cole Lacey, Wyatt Lingenfelter, Braden Reed, and Akaylee Prunty achieved the highest honor the Kansas FFA Association can bestow on a member, the State FFA Degree. The degree is awarded annually at the State FFA Convention to those members who have met the minimum qualifications set forth by the Kansas FFA Association and National FFA Organization. The state degree recipients will also be honored at the Kansas FFA Convention late this spring in Manhattan.

MdCV FFA members Olivia Lacey and Alyssa McCurdy also attended the banquet as delegates representing the chapter in electing the newly installed 2022-23 East Central District officers. They also represented the chapter as it was recognized a National Superior Chapter Award honoree.

FFA’s National Chapter Award Program is designed to recognize FFA chapters that actively implement the mission and strategies of the organization. Chapters are rewarded for providing educational experiences for the entire membership.

Melvern Jr. Highline goes bowling for meeting with Lyndon Leaders

By Club Reporter Bella Reeser

On Sunday, March 13, 2022, the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club held its monthly club meeting at Fusion Alley, in Ottawa, Kan. This was an exchange meeting with the Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club.  At 4:06 p.m. the meeting was called to order by President Braelyn McNally. The club began their meeting with The Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge, led by Braelyn.

Secretary Amelia Arb called roll, both clubs’ members and parents were to answer with “one thing they are planning to do over spring break”. There were 20 members and 13 adults present. Amelia read the minutes from the last meeting; they were approved as read.

Treasurer Gradey McNally read the treasurer’s report; it was approved as read.

Reporter Bella Reeser stated she submitted two articles to the newspaper.

In historian report, Historian Harper Melton shared “4-H Fun Facts” about the 4-H colors.

In leader’s report, leader Caleb McNally reminded members about Blue & Gold sales coming in on March 15. Leader Lisa Reeser reminded members of filling eggs at the April meeting and the Melvern Easter Egg Hunt on April 16. There was no new business.

In program, each club member share what project they were looking forward to for the fairs. In songs, the girls of the club led everyone in singing “MILK Song”.

At 4:36 p.m. it was moved and seconded to adjourn the meeting. The Melvern Jr. Highline’s next club meeting was scheduled for 5 p.m. Sunday, April 3, 2022, with stuffing eggs at 4 p.m. Both clubs members and parents then enjoyed a taco bar provided by the clubs. Prior to the meeting, bowling was enjoyed by all for recreation.

Melvern Jr. Highline members host community Easter celebration

The afternoon of Saturday, April 16, 2022, Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club members held their annual Easter egg hunt at Melvern City Park. Members met before the April club meeting to fill the eggs, then met at noon on Saturday to clean the park of tree limbs and trash, lay out the markers for age groups, and throw out candy and eggs. Club members helping with the event Saturday included, from left, Anna Arb, Braelyn McNally, Amelia Arb, Bella Reeser, Allie Reeser (Easter Bunny), Gradey McNally, Landon Roy, Justin Brinkley, Levi Arb, and Owen Arb.

Reading schoolmates invite alumni and staff to annual banquet

The Reading alumni banquet will be held Saturday, June 4, 2022. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m., and dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Reading School gymnasium. Olpe Chicken House is serving the meal and there will be musical entertainment. Anyone who attended or worked at Reading School is invited. The cost of the meal is $18 per person. Attendees are asked to mail reservations and payment to Reading Alumni Association, PO Box 44, Reading, KS 66868-0044. Deadline for reservations is May 15, 2022.

Olivet farmer still busy with lifelong job after 50 years with highway department

Soybeans have been a major cash crop for Kathy and Glen Tyson on their farm near Olivet, in Osage County. Courtesy photo.

Working one job for half a century is a major accomplishment but Glen Tyson has been in his “second profession” even longer.

“Well, after 13,331 days, February 28, 2022, was my last day with the Osage County Highway Department,” Tyson said.

During those five decades, the Olivet man has also been what most would also consider a full-time farmer.

“I’ve had two jobs, a day job and an evening and weekend job,” Tyson admitted. “I was farming before I worked for the highway department, and I plan to keep right on farming.”

Announcing his retirement officially publicly with a Facebook post, Tyson instantly got a complimentary rebuttal. “All those hours on the official clock don’t include your overtime nights and weekends, Saturday and Sundays,” an acquaintance posted.

“It was all part of the job, which worked well with the farming,” Tyson said. “My last day was tough saying goodbye to a bunch of very good friends and employees. They’re the ones who’ve been so important in making my career much more than just a job.”

Miss Kansas Teen Volunteer gathers books and bears

Local teen Josye Hutchcroft, Miss Kansas Teen Volunteer, is conducting a teddy bear and book drive as part of a national competition for Miss Volunteer America. The drive will also benefit area children, with half of the donations going to local organizations.

Josye is collecting new teddy bears and books, with drop-off points in four locations in Osage County: Ann’s Diner and Shear Perfection, at Lyndon, and Jerry’s Thriftway and Osage Hardware, Osage City.

New teddy bears will be donated to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tenn., and a local hospital near Osage County. Half of the books will be donated to the Miss Volunteer America Book Drive, and the other half will be donated locally.

Motorists cruise into downtown Osage City for 2022 “cook’n”

Approximately 275 cars, trucks and motorcycles converged on downtown Osage City, Saturday, April 9, 2022, for the Twin Lakes Cruisers’ 18th annual Cruis’n and Cook’n Auto Show. The show included entries from Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas. The show lined Market Street from Fourth to Seventh streets and two blocks of Sixth Street, which were filled with an estimated 1,000 people during the day.

The Twin Lakes Cruisers presented the following awards during the show:

BBQ Celebration: Spring winds blow clouds of smoke into Osage City

Last Call Heroes BBQ, Travis Duffy, Emily Wickstrom and their dog, Bernie, accept this year’s grand champion award at Smoke in the Spring, Osage City. Courtesy photo.

A strong Kansas wind blew more than 94 barbecue teams into Osage City last weekend. Only one team headed home as Smoke in the Spring’s grand champion. Claiming this year’s title in the April 9, 2022, contest was Last Call Heroes BBQ, with head cook Travis Duffy, of Pierre, S.D.

Duffy described winning Smoke in the Spring as a “bucket list” contest.

“It only takes one look at the past winners of this contest, the caliber of cooks it draws to the event, the community impact the event has, the size of the check you get for winning, it makes this one of the biggest KCBS contests of the year,” Duffy said. “We’ve struggled a bit here in the past, but it takes a very technical cook and some luck to have a chance in a field of both teams and judges that are tough. But we just keep diggin’!”

The South Dakota team competed against 93 other teams from 11 states in the Osage City contest, which celebrated its 19th year this year.

Last Call Heroes BBQ won the grand champion designation with 700.0228 points, taking first place in ribs, fourth place in chicken, 28th in pork, and 37th in brisket. With the win, the team also won recognition for placing in the “700 Club”, which means they earned over 700 points in the competition.

Taking the reserve grand champion spot was a team from Gardner, Kan., High i Que BBQ, with Randy Vanslyke as head cook. The reserve champ team won by placing 43rd in chicken, fifth in ribs, fourth in pork, and 15th in brisket, totaling 699.9772 points.

Winning third place was another team from Gardner, Fergolicious BBQ, with head cook Richard Fergola, a veteran Smoke in the Spring competitor. Fegrolicious took 40th in chicken, seventh in ribs, 20th in pork, and secured their third place spot with second in brisket, totaling 699.3600 points.

Hidden History: Deaf education helps early settlers cope with silence on the prairie

Photo of the printing class from History of the Kansas Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb, 1893.

Perry Barnes and his wife Lizzie, like others anxious to take advantage of the newly opened Sac and Fox reservation lands, moved to Osage County in 1866. However, Perry and Lizzie were unlike other settlers – they were both deaf and non-speaking.

Perry and Lizzie settled south of Osage City. While they were different than other settlers, Perry and Lizzie were also not like many other deaf individuals at that time. Both had been educated at schools for the deaf, and Perry had even taught at one. Because he was given a chance at education, Perry became an avid reader and also a successful farmer and stockman.

Even though Perry and Lizzie left Osage County by 1870, evidence of his time here remains, the name of the creek adjoining their property became known as Mute Creek.

Educational possibilities for the deaf in Kansas started with the Kansas Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in 1861, which was only a small house school in Baldwin City at that time. While the founders desired to impact area deaf children, it was quite some time before their services would be made more widely available. And so, the deaf of the Kansas interior at the time were left adrift in society and few had the knowledge of how to best meet their needs.

In some cases, deaf individuals were cared for at the county poor farm or floated about. One young Burlingame boy was reported in 1883 to have been given a bottle of whiskey and a cigar as he wandered the neighborhoods.

National Deaf History Month is recognized and celebrated every year from March 13-April 15 to recognize the accomplishments of people who are deaf and hard of hearing. 

The deaf school became established in 1866 at Olathe and reached a period of growth and outreach in the 1880s, when it changed its name to the to Kansas Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb. At this time it and began working on integrating deaf students into society instead of merely separating them from it.

The school in Olathe offered free tuition to students and did not charge for board or clothes washing, which put an education within the grasp of most young deaf or hard of hearing people. Students were accepted as early as age 8, enrolled for a 10-year course of study. The school year ran from September to June, and the students would board at the school during that time. At the end of the term, the students often would be carpooled (for a fee) back to their homes across the state.

Within a decade of growth for the school after its expansion in the 1880s, the school doubled in size. There were 17 teachers in the literary departments, and trades like cabinet making, shoe making, harness making, printing, and baking were taught to the boys, and home skills or the arts to the girls.

Ads ran in Osage County newspapers promoting the school, and many families started to take advantage of the offer. Among the first students from Osage County to attend the deaf school in Olathe were Constance Morell, of Osage City, and Fred Allen, of Burlingame.

Like many at the school, Constance was not born deaf, but due to accident or illness, lost her hearing when she was about six. Her parents first sought out assistance from a doctor in Atchison to no avail. She began attending the institute in Olathe in 1887 and excelled in the art of drawing and painting under the direction of teacher Jessie Zearing, an Osage City native.

Melvern Jr. Highline makes ‘mighty’ showing at regional club days

By Bella Reeser, Club Reporter

The Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club might be small, but they are mighty. All five members that participated in District Club Days qualified for Regional Club Days, which was held Saturday, March 26, 2022, at Ottawa High School.

Braelyn McNally presented a multimedia presentation on livestock and earned a purple. Harper Melton and Bella Reeser preformed a duet dance and earned a purple. Allie Reeser presented a demonstration on cat grooming and earned a blue. Gradey McNally presented a demonstration on making fruit pizza and earned a purple.

Lyndon Lions thank local businessmen for longtime support

The Lyndon Lions recently recognized Jerry Giesy and Steve Giesy, of Jerry’s Thriftway, Osage City, Kan., for their support to the Lyndon Lions Club through the years. Club members presented a plaque to thank the Osage City grocers. Plaque presentation included, from left, Lions Gary and Barb Schattak and Bill Karr, Jerry Giesy, Steve Giesy, and Lions Ferne Tasker and Nancy Karr.

Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA gets ready for spring after busy winter

MdCV Floriculture Team members celebrate their third-place win in a district career development event at Louisburg this month; front from left, Josie Wheeler, Mason Rose, Hailey Ingle, Emma Ankerstjerne, Kelsey Rice, Haylea Bethell, Emma Marsh, and Mary Ingle; back, Corey Criss, DJ Johnson, Justin Brinkely, Madison Cormode, Alyssa McCurdy, Lindsey Johnson, and Olivia Lacey. Courtesy photo.

The Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA began its new semester with a Kansas State University intern, Hunter Smith. Smith comes from Chaparral High School and FFA program. He has done an outstanding job thus far and the members and agriculture students have welcomed him with open arms.

In January, the MdCV FFA chapter started 2022 FFA activities with a game night. Several games were going on, from board games to cards to several highly competitive games of cornhole. The natural resource management class received a presentation from Matt Peek, Kansas wildlife furbearer specialist on trapping and fur harvesting. The same students also received their Kansas trapping certification.

Beginning in February, MdCV FFA officers were asked to interview with KOFO, in Ottawa, Kan., in celebration of the upcoming National FFA Week. Smith and the agri-science classes traveled to Paola and competed in the Milk Quality Career Development Event. The group was awarded eighth in A Team and third in B Team, with Colten Woodson receiving a third-place medal and Allison Reeser receiving 11th place.

Later in the month, the MdCV FFA celebrated National FFA Week with activities including Drive a Tractor to School, Ag Olympics, Ag Career Presentation to the elementary school, staff breakfast, Mini Milk Quality Contest to the Junior High, FFA apparel day, FFA bingo, FFA scavenger, and breakfast pizza for members.

Hidden History: Kentuckians seek Kansas townsites to escape bigotry of their homeland

At the time Kansas Territory was opened for settlement in 1854, there were two prime spots on the Santa Fe Trail in what would become Osage County – the crossings at Switzler Creek and 110 Mile Creek. Both locations had been actively used for trade by the Shawnee Tribe until their removal from the area that year. These crossings were quickly snapped up by the earliest settlers in the county to be used for their access to trade.

Switzler’s crossing became the location for Council City, a predecessor to Burlingame, and was established by Northerners intent on making Kansas a state free from slavery. The crossing at 110 Mile Creek would be settled by Southerner Fry McGee. Not long after, other settlements with similar hopes sprung up nearby along the same trail corridor. These towns were established by individuals also with Free State motivations, but seeking freedoms from other discriminations as well.

When the first counties in Kansas Territory received their boundaries in 1855, the northern most part of what would be Osage County was included in Shawnee County (although the county would not be officially organized until 1858), and Burlingame had aspirations to become the county seat or even the capital of the future state. Another developing city that desired to become the county seat for Shawnee County was Prairie City (not to be confused with the Prairie City that was located in Douglas County).

Prairie City was borne out of a desire to live without fear. In August 1855, the city of Louisville, Kentucky, an election day erupted in anti-Catholic violence that became known as Bloody Monday. The riot was led by local Democrats and followers of the Know Nothing Movement, who in their proclaimed patriotism shunned those that were not like them. The Know Nothings were originally known as the Native American Party, a group that sought to organize native-born Protestants and promote traditional values. In Louisville, this manifested itself in anger and discrimination against Catholics and anti-slavery advocates, causing a series of riots and deaths of many German and Irish Catholic immigrants.

Melvern Jr. Highline members demonstrate talents, head to regional

By Bella Reeser, Club Reporter

On Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, five members of the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club competed at District 4-H Club Day, held at West Franklin High School, Pomona, Kan.

Allie Reeser presented a demonstration titled The Purrrfect Way; she earned a blue. Bella Reeser and Harper Melton preformed a duet dance; they earned a top-purple. Braelyn McNally presented a multi-media presentation titled Gelbveih, More than just a breed; she received a top-purple. Gradey McNally presented a demonstration titled Fruit Pizza; he received a top-purple.

All Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H club members who attend District Club Days qualified to participate in Regional Club Days, Saturday, March 26, 2022, at Ottawa High School, Ottawa, Kan.

All invited to Welsh tea at Lebo

It’s daffodil and tea time as the 34th annual Welsh Tea will be 1:30-3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3, 2022, at the Lebo United Methodist Church. Cousins Jean Rowley, Norma Jones, and Paula Evans host the tea with the assistance of family and friends. The Arvonia Historic Preservation Society provides Welsh cakes and assists with the event. Everyone is invited to enjoy an afternoon of camaraderie while eating warm Welsh cakes and sipping hot tea, spiced apple juice or coffee.

Frontier Extension announces new team members

Frontier Extension District has announced the addition of two new team members in the new year – Amanda Groleau, at the Ottawa office, and Jo Hetrick-Anstaett, at the Lyndon office.

Amanda Groleau

Groleau has joined Frontier Extension as the new horticulture and natural resources Extension agent. Groleau, who officially began her position Jan. 10, 2022, recently moved here from Illinois, where she had served as an instructor of horticulture at Lake Land College through the Illinois Department of Corrections. She set up a new program at Lake Land and instructed horticulture and agriculture courses. She also has experience working in commercial horticulture.

Groleau is a graduate of Iowa State University and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture and Landscape Design. Her position will consist of development, dissemination, and implementation of research-based educational programs for horticulture and natural resource issues. Programs include floriculture, woody ornamentals, food crops, water quality and quantity issues, environmental issues, wildlife habitat and management. She can be contacted at the Ottawa Extension office at 785-229-3520, or [email protected].

Jo Hetrick-Anstaett

The district also welcomed Jo Hetrick-Anstaett to Lyndon Extension office as the 4-H program Manager. She started her position Jan. 3, and is a 4-H alum and has a vast array of experiences working with youth. Most recently, Hetrick-Anstaett worked as the summer children’s ministry director at the Lyndon United Methodist Church. She also has experience working in a special education preschool and as a case manager for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Hetrick-Anstaett has been a volunteer for our Frontier Extension District 4-H Youth Development program for the past five years. She’s served as a camp counselor, Citizenship Washington Focus chaperone, and is assisting with the 4-H Ambassador program in Osage County, and she spent several summers working at Rock Springs 4-H Center. She can be contacted at the Lyndon Extension office at 785-828-4438, 128 W. 15th St., Lyndon, Kan.

Osage City resident awarded for Civil Air Patrol pandemic support

SALINA, Kan. – In January 2022, Osage City resident Brig. Gen. Regena Aye, of the Civil Air Patrol, received the State Emergency Duty Service Ribbon from the Kansas National Guard, for support of Kansas’ response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Aye was one of 75 Civil Air Patrol volunteers who supported the pandemic response by transporting personal protection equipment, medical supplies, and ventilators across the state. They contributed more than 2,200 volunteer hours in the effort.

Civil Air Patrol is the auxiliary of the United States Air Force. In addition to search and rescue of missing aircraft, and disaster relief, CAP provides transportation services to the American Red Cross and state agencies as needed. Founded in 1941 to support the Army Air Corps, it has grown to more than 60,000 unpaid volunteers.

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