Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Guest Writer Today

The following Letter to The Editor was written by a member of the 4H club to which my kiddos belong.  It's great to see a young person take the initiative and express her concerns and ideas.
Thanks Shana!

Many kids show livestock at the county fair every year, whether they show ducks, chickens, rabbits, goats, sheep, hogs, or cattle.  After showing at the fair, some members choose to sell their animals.  Because 4-H is a program that is here to teach life-skills to the next generation, a lot of livestock exhibitors choose to sell their project animals at the sale the Monday after fair.   Every year a sale is put on by the Clayton County Extension Office and a group of local auction houses.   

The auction is a great way for us to learn how an auction works.  As we raise our market animals, we learn how to feed and care for them.  The reason market animals are raised, of course, is to go to market.  Selling our exhibits at the fair gives us an idea of how an auction really works, and all exhibitors and their families are able to meet with the buyer afterwards. 

Our problem that we face is with the buyers.  The buyers we get, we are very grateful to.  But because our buyers are so few, animals are going for regular market price or below.  Being a showman at the fair myself, it is discouraging and disappointing that my cattle can be sold for such a low price after all the work put into them.  All of the animals at the fair have been custom grown and finished to be shown; this means that very, very, special care has been given to these animals so that they can reach their full potential in both quality and quantity.

Potential buyers in the community believe they face several problems.  Many are afraid to buy an animal because they will not be able to utilize all of the meat.  Simple solutions to this problem have been found.  For the smaller animals (chickens, ducks, and rabbits) the buyer can send the animal home with the exhibitor.  Then their money will be given to the exhibitor who will use those funds for projects for next year or pay off previous animal expenses.  For the larger animals, families have been known to get together and pool their money in one animal.  Two or more families can buy a steer, hog, goat, or sheep, and split the meat. 

There is also the choice to take your animal and re-sell it at a sale barn.  This brings us to another concern .  Transportation.  This one is easy to fix.  Volunteer trailers  take your purchased livestock to the local locker or sale barn of your choice.  There they will be processed or re-sold.

Help us encourage our local youth to stay involved in agriculture.  Let this be a learning experience for both the members of Clayton County 4-H and yourself.  Join us on Monday, August 6th at 9:00 a.m. for the annual Clayton County Livestock Auction!

Monday, July 23, 2012

9 Days to The Fair!

The count down is on to The County Fair! 

#2 giving Hersey a bath.
#1 feeding his laying hens
Since big brothers are busy with 4H projects #3 decides to get in
the act with his Erector set.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sweet Corn

Just so every one is on the same page - we grow field corn.  Field corn is the corn we make our living from.  It's used as animal field and ethanol.  We do have an acre patch of sweet corn.  Some days I'm convinced that this little patch gets more attention than all of the other acres we farm.  Today was one of those days.

We have a few more days before the sweet corn is ripe for eating but the raccoons have been checking the patch just like our boys so Joe deemed it was time to put up the electric fence.  What else does one do on a hot, humid Sunday afternoon?

Pounding posts

#1 and #3 getting electric fence supplies around

Just a few more days and sweetcorn will be on the menu!