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Country Life Section C • • Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Dairy • C3 Gardening • C3 FFA/4-H • C2-C3

Conservation District voting is next Tuesday Three vying for open board position   LYNDEN — The ­ election for a seat on the Whatcom Conservation District board of supervisors takes place on Tuesday, March 14, at the district offices, 6975 Hannegan Rd. Polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and all registered voters in the county may vote in person.    Mail-in ballots were only available upon request by Feb. 14. (Those who have a mail-in ballot must return it postmarked by March 14.)    Three are running for the open position: Heather Christianson, Roderic Perry and Suzzi (Suzanne) Snydar. The incumbent supervisor, Dan Heeringa of Sumas, chose not to run again.   Conservation districts are chartered under RCW 89.08 etseq to develop and implement programs to protect and conserve soil, water, prime and unique farmland, rangeland, woodland, wildlife, energy and other renewable resources on non-federal lands. Districts also stabilize local economies and resolve conflicts in land use.    These are profiles of the three candidates: Heather Christianson   The Ferndale High School graduate got a

degree in cultural anthropology from Western Washington University. She later added a certificate in grant- Heather m a k i n g Christianson from PhilanthropyNW.    She has been a precinct committee officer and a photographer and event volunteer in various capacities with different organizations.    Christianson lives in the farmhouse her grandfather and great-grandfather built in 1933, and where she spent many afternoons working with her grandparents on their farm. This deeply personal and historical connection to Whatcom County makes her dedicated to preserving the value of living in a beautiful, community-minded area. “The economic interests of our farmers are vital to our community’s health, as are the environmental conservation measures that help preserve what we love about our county.”    She sees herself as “a lifelong learner with an open mind and a desire to understand all perspectives.” She considers her experience in “bridgebuilding between diverse communities” to be a strong asset. See Voting on C2

13-year-old Becky Thompson keeps watch at the nursery of 17 piglets born to the sow Penelope on March 3. Thompon is in Country Partners 4H Club. (Elisa Claassen/Lynden Tribune)

Teen’s 4H pig births 17 Farmlife is training for hoped-for veterinary job By Elisa Claassen for the Lynden Tribune

   WHATCOM — Mother Penelope was pregnant for 114 days, or three months, three weeks and three days. It’s all a matter of perspective. The end result was 17 babies born last Friday, March 3 or 3/03.    Penelope, a pig that celebrated her own first birthday only on Valentines Day, is the 4-H project of Becky Thompson. The 13-year-old homeschooled

daughter of Ted and April Thompson of Lynden also attends the MP3 program of the Meridian School District. She is a member of the Country Partners 4H Club led by Helen Zylstra, with Dave Van Voorst as swine leader.    Now, after the births, life at the Thompson household is eat, drink, and constantly nurse — for the pigs. For people, it’s little sleep for the entire family, which includes Becky’s sister Abby, 10, who sets her clock to wake up and help in the hour-long feeding segments.    The night before the births, Penelope, a bit antsy, had managed to break a nearby water hose. Her

pen was flooded. When the birthing started, unlike any manuals or instructions, the labor went far beyond the expected two to three hours and the allotted 10 to 12 piglets. It went for 12 hours, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. The piglets were born in batches with an hour or two in between. When they thought the birthing process was done, more came. More came after that.    Since several of the piglets had mucus preventing them from breathing properly, Becky lifted them to her own mouth and gave a version of CPR until they were breathing. Rather than calling a vet to help, the family had gone online and talked with the swine

Loads of Choices!

support person for their 4H group.    Thompson, who started with Penelope at eight week old, set aside time daily to bond and train her. The result was gaining her trust — and better performance. By the time she got to her first showing as a novice at the Northwest Washington Fair last August, she left with a thirdplace ribbon overall across all age groups.    Becky, who has focused on learning as much as she can about swine, was required to sell Penelope at the end of her showing at the 2016 fair. When her grandfather, Dan Thompson, upped the bidding See 4H on C2

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C2 • Wednesday, March 8, 2017 •

Voting: Five supervisors form board Continued from C1 Roderic Perry   Except for four years at Wa s h i n g ton State University for a 1974 degree in wildlife Roderic management, Perry Perry has been a lifelong resident of Whatcom County. He grew up on a dairy farm and now operatea one on Van Buren Road.   Perry says he has seen many changes in agriculture so far and expects more to come.    He has been an elected official in a cemetery district and the Sumas Watershed Improvement District. He also has had roles with his church, a school ag advisory committee and a water association.    “I believe the Whatcom Conservation District has been a leader in implementing practices that have initiated pro-

4H Reports THUNDERBIRDS Reporter: Simeon Leavitt    I am the Thunderbirds reporter, Simeon Leavitt, 8 1/2 years old. You probably have read my reports before, and possibly met me. I’m going to talk about new members, what happens at a meeting, and 4H public presentations. If you have kids and you are available the second Thursday of every month, you should join. It’s fun! But that’s getting ahead of ourselves — all of the joining information will be at the end. So, now let’s get into the story.    We had two kids join recently. One was Athinian Holloway. And another boy joined just before him. His name is Joshua Kittess.    What we do in meetings is: first, the president calls the meeting to order. Then the sergeant-at-arms leads the pledges to the 4H flag and the American flag. The secretary takes roll call. The treasurer reports on our bank account. Then the leader, Vicki Strand, talks about different things and events and birds, old business and new business. We end the meeting with “for the good of the sport” where anyone can share something

gressive changes not only for the agricultural community but for the environmental community as well. The health of the environment is intertwined between the uses of the resources of the land, water and air. I feel that I can serve on the board and help balance the use of those resources for the common good.” Suzzi Snydar   For 20 years Snydar has raised heifers on the family farm and supported a c u s t o m Suzzi harvesting Snydar operation. She has retail management and administration experience, and also has been a Stewards of Children facilitator, FFA chaperone, a parent advocate and a ministry volunteer.    She is a 1983 graduate of Port Angeles High School and with her hus-

interesting they have learned about pigeon racing.    So let’s get into something more interesting —the Whatcom County 4H public presentations in February. My presentation was about pigeon food. I talked about the different types of feed and their ingredients. I got a 96 score. Gwen Berglund did her presentation on eggs. She talked about what eggs are useful for, what they are made out of, and the different layers. She got a 99 score. Maggie McCracken (our new vice president) did her presentation on Wyandotte chickens. She got a 100 score. Thomas Strand did his presentation on fatwood. He got a 96 1/2 score. The other club members did not do presentations, but Joshua, Max and David helped out and watched.    Now, as I said earlier, I will give you the information to join our club. Call Vicki Strand at 966-4796. The ages are 6-18. Thank you for reading my report. Hopefully you will read about me next month, too.

band Jeff is a mother of three.    Suzzi says she has always been an inquisitive student to learn and clearly understand agricultural practices, and she is committed to best management practices in the stewardship of natural resources in Whatcom County. She wants to ensure no more loss of farmland in Whatcom County, which in turn protects agriculture’s contribution to the local economy.    She would contine to be “a conscientious and vocal advocate for agriculture.”    Each local Conservation District in Washington State is governed by a board of five supervisors who should be interested in natural resource management. The current Whatcom board is made up of a dairy producer, a small farmer, a retired forester, a retired administrator and a retired educator.    Monthly board meetings currently are at 7 p.m.

on the second Thursday of each month in the district offices’ conference room.    All district supervisors are public officials who serve without compensation and set policy and direction for the WCD.   Separately, the Whatcom Conservation District is also seeking candidates for a board position appointed by the Washington State Conservation Commission. Applicants for the appointed position must be Washington State registered voters, but do not have to live within the district (the county) to apply and may be required to own land or operate a farm. For more information or to obtain an application form, contact WCD at 360-526-2381 or visit the state Conservation Commission website at Applications and supporting materials must be received by March 31, 2017.

meeting started at 7:10 p.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Gracie Dickinson and the 4-H Pledge by Craig Vreugdenhill. Fifteen members answered on the roll-call topic “What is your favorite ice cream?” Minutes were read by secretary Rafe Wolfisberg and a treasurer’s report was given by Caleb Bareman.    Project reports were given by Julie Dickinson, Megan

Engelsma and Elena Heeringa. Activity reports were given by Jacob Tolsma and by Abby Bareman on public demonstrations of three members.   New business was about upcoming Quiz Bowl practices and the calf sale, Hoard’s Dairyman judging due March 21, Youth Fair sign-ups and the Youth Fair

See Reports on C3

4H: Piglets grow at quick rate Continued from C1 and bought her, he turned around and gave Penelope back to Becky. As a result, Becky decided to breed Penelope with one litter before being butchered.    Experts had told her, she said, that the best factors for swine are thick legs and compact body types. She went online and found a stud that was Hampshire to go with Penelope’s breeding, which is a cross of Hampshire and Yorkshire. After ordering semen from a farm in Illinois, dad Ted helped her with the artificial insemination — after watching YouTube videos.    The birth occurred in a former milking parlor with Penelope cordoned off from the babies to protect them. While Penelope has 17 nipples, not all of them are active. The result is that the small piglets are both being rotated in for their milk from their mother and also being bottle fed by the Thompson daughters.   Mom April Thompson, who grew up on a dairy farm, hadn’t anticipated living on a farm after marriage, but admitted it is in her blood. Ted, whose family has Z Recyclers Inc. on the Guide, worked within the family business before going on staff at North County Christ the King Church.

   The small piglets, with numbers written on their backs to tell them apart, are kept under a heat lamp. Becky keeps a notebook nearby to record both what she is doing and learning with their growth.    Like Penelope before them, they will grow at a fast rate. Looking back, Penelope was 50 pounds at eight weeks old when they got her, 240 pounds at four months, and is now 500 pounds at one year. For meat farmers, that is a good investment — faster growth and less cost to feed.    Once the piglets are weaned at eight weeks, Penelope will leave their home for the butcher. Becky said she is okay with that and realizes that the meat will go to her grandparents. She explained she has already learned to help the family butcher the chickens and rabbits.    Father Ted pointed out that Becky’s 4H presentation was “Pork for Profit.” While Becky has treated Penelope with kindness and bonded, it is a farm. Between the sale of Penelope and now the piglets, she could earn $3,500 to $4,500. Deduct out the purchase of the semen and the feed and the remainder can go to help pay for Becky’s dream of attending school to become a vet technician.


BARNYARD KIDS Leader: Joanna Odens Reporter: Alexis Oostra    On March 2 the Barnyard Kids had a meeting at the Baremans’ home. The

Blue sky over a red barn on Sealund Road this week promises perhaps an end to the long persistent winter of 2016-17. (Elisa Claassen/Lynden Tribune)


Saturday, March 11th • 10am-3pm • Fencing & Feed Vendors

Small Farm Expo Saturday in Haggen Bldg. See an array of exhibitors

• Veterinary & Ag Experts • Weed & Compost Demos • Free Tarps & Soil Tests

  LYNDEN ­ — A free Small Farm Expo sponsored by the Whatcom Conservation District and Whatcom County Public Works will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 11, in the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds Haggen Expo Building.    The event is open to

Haggen Expo Building

NW Washington Fairgrounds • 360.526.2381


the public and will include indoor and outdoor exhibits of the latest in agricultural technology, products and services; seminars by local veterinarians; and an update on Whatcom County’s water quality status.

   It is designed to be an informal meet-and-greet and networking event. Visitors will find opportunities to engage with exhibitors, experts and other small farmers as well as discover new resources to facilitate








Vote for Suzzi Snydar Whatcom Conservation District Board of Supervisors

• Grading • Driveways • Potholes • Patching • Parking Lots


Office: 360-366-3303 Loren VanderYacht: 360-410-7389 Dallas VanZanten: 360-410-7986

Quality with Integrity

2380 Grandview Road • Ferndale

Locally owned and operated since 1982

Tuesday, March 14, 9 AM-6 PM 6975 Hannegan Road, Lynden, WA Supported By Whatcom County Republicans Whatcom County Cattlemen Washington State Farm Bureau Suzzi is a strong advocate of preserving agriculture in Whatcom County. It is her desire to raise awareness for landowners of the voluntary incentive-based programs available to preserve Whatcom County for future generations. SuzziSnydarBoardofSupervisors

healthy crops, animals, pastures and more.    Whether you are raising your prize horse, running 20 head of cattle, making some extra cash off duck eggs or trying to grow all your own food, this event offers something for everyone. Participants will be given the chance to connect with educational organizations, learn about the latest news affecting farmers, ask and answer questions, and network with others who share their concerns and desire to be successful.   Exhibitors include: the Whatcom Cattleman’s Association, Farm Service Agency, Ecotech Solar Allison Trimble of Coastal Realty, Laurel Baldwin of Whatcom County Noxious Weed Control, Sustainable Connections, Scratch and Peck Feeds, Whatcom County Public Works, Whatcom Conservation District, Whatcom County Farm Bureau, Kulshan Veterinary Hospital, PSE Farm Energy Program, WSU Extension, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Brim Tractor, Washington Tractor, Scholten’s Equipment, North Cascades Meat Producers Cooperative, WSU Master Gardeners, Cloud Mountain Farm Center, custom fencer Don Hrutfiord, Grow Northwest, Glacier Pacific and Solar Energy.    Free tarps and a free soil test will be available See Expo on C3

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 • • C3


MiElkE Market

March is time to bring your yard back to life Milk price up 11 cents

By David Vos

  With winter stubbornly refusing to yield to spring’s warmer, sunnier weather, life in the Pacific Northwest has lately been a game of dodge-thesnowflakes. Even with the threat of continued flurries this week, though, now is the time to begin repairing your yard, replacing dead or heavily damaged plants, and bringing new life to your garden.    First, March is the time to begin rejuvenating your yard. Typically, lawns in the Pacific Northwest stay green through our mild winters, but after this year’s snow and drying northeast winds, your grass may be brown and in need of some serious help.

Corn growers applaud repeal of Waters of the U.S. rule   WASHINGTON, DC — The National Corn ­ Growers Association on Feb. 28 applauded President Donald Trump for issuing an executive or-

   After raking up the branches, leaves and other debris in your yard, your first step in reviving your lawn should be moss control. Despite the harsh conditions this winter, moss has continued to thrive, and it’s never too early to kill it, so while other yard work like reseeding bare patches in your lawn may have to wait until the weather warms, you can kill moss. Apply a dose of fine-granule ferrous sulfate just before a rain and watch it work its magic, turning moss black in a matter of hours.    Moss grows particularly well in acidic soil, and here in the Pacific Northwest our soil is predictably acidic, in large part due to the little-known fact that rain (a familiar phenomenon in our neck of the woods) is slightly acidic. After the amount of rain we’ve received since last autumn, I’m guessing our soils have turned even more acidic. So to reduce the acidity of your soil — and thus both discourage moss growth and help grass grow better — take time this month to spread

fast-acting lime like Lilly Miller Super Sweet.    The final step in early spring lawn care is a dose of fertilizer to help your lawn recover from a long winter. Later this month, feed with Scotts Turf Builder with Moss Control, an excellent blend of nutrients to help grass “wake up” for spring, begin growing again and battle residual moss problems.    Next, March is a great time to get started with planting — and this year you might have a number of plants to replace around your yard. Even with the threat of snow still in the air, daytime temperatures are warm enough that it’s safe to start planting now.    If you’ve lost trees in your yard due to wind, ice or snow this winter, why not consider planting a fruit tree or two to replace those you lost? Early spring is a great time to plant fruit trees, and many nurseries have them available bareroot this time of year, typically cheaper than potted trees will be later in the season. One of my favorite fruit trees is “Frost” peach, a variety particularly well-

suited for our temperate climate. Since it doesn’t need a cross-pollinator to bear fruit, you can plant one tree and still enjoy a good crop of fruit each year.   Now, maybe you’d like to grow a wider variety of fruit than a single tree can offer, but don’t have the space or interest in having several trees. For small yards or first-time fruit tree growers, I recommend a combination tree, some of which will produce peaches, apricots, cherries, plums and nectarines all on one tree! Thanks to skillful grafting, each branch on these trees is a different variety of fruit, and an excellent way to enjoy a variety of fresh produce without converting your backyard into an orchard.   Winter hasn’t quite given up on us yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start with some gardening. So grab a coat, dig out your garden gloves and enjoy the start of another year!    David Vos is general manager of VanderGiessen Nursery of Lynden.

der repealing the 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule.    “We appreciate the Trump administration’s commitment to reducing regulatory burdens for America’s farmers and ranchers,” said NCGA president Wesley Spurlock. “We fully support the repeal of the WOTUS rule. Farmers and ranchers care deeply about

clean water, but this rule had significant flaws. It was arbitrarily written, legally indefensible and extremely difficult to implement.”   The WOTUS rule, issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers under the Obama Administration, was challenged in courts by more than 30 states,

environmental organizations and numerous industry groups. In October 2015, a federal appeals court issued a stay preventing the rule’s implementation.   “NCGA remains committed to work with the EPA to ensure farmers have clarity and certainty they need about the regulations affecting their operations,” said Spurlock.

Reports Continued from C2

Cystic Fibrosis annual riding event March 12

basket, which will be coffeerelated.    At the end of the meeting we practiced our judging and oral reason skills by judging milk cans. PAILS-N-TRAILS Reporter: Charlie Johnson    When I ask people to join 4H, they say they can’t because they don’t have an animal. 4H is about arts, crafts and even public speaking, which this article is about.    Last month, we did public presentations. I did a presentation on How to Make Hare’s Pawspring Vegetable Soup. Other members from my club did presentations on: How to Make Chocolate, How to Draw, Arabian Horses, Crafts, Chickens, Star Wars, Goat Care 101, Penguins, Animation, How to Make Goat Treats and How to Groom a Horse.    What is great about doing presentations is we can learn new information from each other.   Most kids (and some adults) that might be reading this article are probably scared of getting up on stage and speaking in front of people,

   The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the February Federal Order Class III benchmark milk price at $16.88 per hundredweight (cwt.), up 11 cents from January and $3.08 above February 2016.    It equates to $1.45 per gallon, up from $1.44 in January and $1.19 a year ago. It’s also $1.07 above California’s comparable 4b cheese milk price, the highest gap since September 2016, and it comes despite the temporary state-mandated whey pricing formula adjustment.   The February Class IV price is $15.59 per cwt., down 60 cents from January but $2.20 above a year ago.   California’s comparable Class 4b cheese milk price is $15.81 per cwt., down 18 cents from January, $2.76 above a year ago and at the lowest level since October 2016. The Class 4a butterpowder price is $15.40 per cwt., down 27 cents from January but $2.12 above a year ago.    Cheese prices fell for the fourth consecutive week, with the blocks closing March 3 at $1.48 per pound, down 9.5 cents on the week and 4 cents below a year ago for the lowest price since June 2016. The barrels finished at $1.4375, down 8 cents and 2.25 cents below a year ago. The blocks have plunged 26 cents since the end of January and the barrels are down 27 cents.    Milk continues to be abundant for Midwest cheese producers, according to Dairy Market News. Cheese production is steady to active while cheesemakers try to maintain production and manage increasing inventory.   Western cheese makers report cheese is moving well, but they are hopeful that softening prices may

How To Make Soup could be a demonstration in 4H — it’s not just all about animals. (Courtesy photo) but once you get up and start speaking you might find it is quite fun. Even if you mess up (like I did), the judges still encourage you to keep going and have a calm, cool and collect-


ed mind. When you practice more, the easier it becomes and the less scared you get.    My fellow 4H members and I earned blue ribbons because we practiced and tried. We can now go to state fair

By Lee Mielke

provide more export opportunities.   The resilient butter market closed at $2.1625 per pound, up 3.25 cents on the week and 12.25 cents above a year ago.    Cream is plentiful in the central United States, according to DMN. Butter demand is strengthening and spring holiday orders are in full swing.    Burger King has followed McDonald’s in announcing a reformulation of its breakfast sandwiches to include real butter.    Cash Grade A nonfat dry milk saw some ups and downs, but closed at 80.5 cents per pound, down 1.75 cents on the week but 2.5 cents above a year ago.   The Northwest Dairy Association made these price projections for the Class III price and Pacific Northwest blend price: Month Class PNW III Blend Feb. $16.88 $16.50 (current) March $15.90 $16.05 April $15.85 $15.40 May $15.90 $15.45 June $16.15 $15.70 July $16.45 $16.00 Aug. $16.65 $16.20 Sept. $16.85 $16.35    Lee Mielke, of Lynden, is editor of the Mielke Market Weekly. Whatcom County has about 100 dairy farms.    As both the Riders and CFF are nonprofit organizations, all donations are taxdeductible.

   LYNDEN — The sixth annual Melanie Ann Plagerman Memorial Games Show to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will be on Sunday, March 12, at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds.    In its first five years, the event has raised over $66,000 for support of cystic fibrosis research and care programs.    The fundraiser involves riding, a program, an auction and a barbecue.   Nooksack Valley Riders sponsor. Melanie Ann was an active member of the riding club when, at age 23, she lost her courageous battle to cystic fibrosis.

Everson plant sale April 29    EVERSON — The Everson Garden Club holds a plant sale on Saturday, April 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Everson Elementary School lawn, 216 EversonGoshen Rd.    Expect lots of colorful perennials (unusual as well as the old standards), native plants, shrubs and small trees at below retail prices. All will thrive in Whatcom County. Vendors will offer veggie starts, specialty plants and crafts.    For more information, contact Linda Burpee at 592-5456.

where we can keep trying and we might even earn a blue ribbon there.    We love our animals in 4H, but it is also a lot more than just animals!

it's a great time to plant !

Continued from C2 to qualifying farmers while supplies last.    Stay updated with the latest list of exhibitors and a schedule of the seminars by visiting the website or event Facebook Page “Free

Small Farm Expo.”    For more information, visit www.whatcomcd. org/small-farm-expo or contact Aneka Sweeney at (360) 526-2381 ext. 103 or asweeney@whatcomcd. org.

workshops have started! visit our website for details and registration

hours: monday-saturday 10-5, sunday 11-4 6906 goodwin road, everson | (360) 966-5859



• 966-3271

7 2 9 1 E v e r s o n G o s h e n R o a d • E v e r s o n , WA 9 8 2 4 7

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Whatcom County Farm Forestry Association


800.548.2699 | This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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Saturday, March 18, 2017 10:00 a.m. - noon

NW Washington Fairgrounds, in the Henry Jansen Agricultural Center

15 conifer species

$1.00 EACH Call for additional information: (360) 671-6988

NEXT FEEDER SALE Saturday, March 11th 12:30 pm Early Consignments:

22 Black Steers & Heifers 600-800 # 20 Angus Cross 900-950 # 25 Red Angus Steers & Heifers 600 # • 16 Black Steers 650 # 30 Black Heifers & Steers 650 # • 10 Black Steers 550 # 27 Black & Red Steers & Heifers 550-600 # 10 Bred Cows & Cow/Calf Pairs

Many more by sale time!


EVERY WED. 1:00pm

Cull Cattle, Small Animals & Poultry Dairy & General Livestock Sale Your Consignments Are Appreciated!

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR FOR TRUCKING CALL: Barn: 360-966-3271 Pete: 360-815-0318 • Terry: 360-815-4897

Country Life March 2017