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Agriculture Keokuk & Mahaska County Always Fits

A Supplement to the Keota Eagle, News-Review & The Sun • Wednesday, March 26 & 27, 2014


Agriculture Always Fits Keota Eagle, News-Review & The Sun

What Types of Soil Does Iowa Have? By Dan Seitz, eHow Contributor, last updated March 12, 2014 Iowa is a farming state and thrives on its soil. However, becoming familiar with what kind of soil is available where in Iowa can be a daunting prospect. There are 22 different geological types of soils in Iowa belonging to three families. Familiarity with them is important to understanding the state’s geology and growing patterns. Loess Loess, German for “loose,” is a soil that develops from silt blown by the wind combined with sand and clay, held together with calcium carbonate. It is fine grained and dissolves quickly. Loess soils tend to be very fertile. The prevalence of loess in Iowa can be noted by the Loess Hill along

the Missouri River, which are highly fertile areas. The vast majority of Iowa is covered by loess soil, and it is at least partially present in 15 out of 22 types of soils. Glacial Till Glacial till makes up most of the rest of the soil of Iowa. It is sand, gravel, rocks and dirt deposited directly on Iowa by the glaciers that crawled across its surface thousands of years ago. There is some glacial till present in most of Iowa, but is only present in nine of the 22 soils. Soil from glacial till tends to be rockier and less fertile than loess soil. Alluvium Alluvium is very young soil, mostly made of silt and rocks from dried up riverbeds. Alluvial soil is only found on Iowa's western border, near the Missouri River and the Loess Hills. Alluvial soil tends to be very fertile and good to grow crops on, as the soil has many nutrients and necessary chemicals from the water. Read more: http://www. ehow.com/list_6742741_ types-soil-iowa-have_. html#ixzz2vsf3rrim

Harthoorn Fits Well With Sinclair Tractor By Robin Handy, NR/Sun Editor Mathematical equations are puzzles where variables are strategically placed so the equation adds up correctly. The variables or pieces need to fit well together for success in both business as well as agriculture. Bob Sinclair of Sinclair Tractor is good at selecting solid people and strategically placing them into the business equation for a successful environment within the southeast Iowa farming culture. One of the latest pieces in the Sinclair Tractor puzzle is the addition of Craig Harthoorn as Sigourney’s Store and Sales Manager. Harthoorn grew up in rural southern Jasper/northern Marion counties, attending school in the Lynnville-Sully School District and working the family farm. “I grew up on a farm and have been involved in agriculture all of my life,” said Harthoorn. “I’ve been with the ag-equipment business since I graduated college.” After earning a business/ accounting bachelor’s degree, Harthoorn put his skills to work at Kinze Manufacturing, Williamsburg, as a sales manager and then spent the last five years as the general manager of Brokaw Supply Co. in Fort Dodge. “I learned a lot from my experiences and working with Brokaw was a high point in my career, but as soon as Bob [Sinclair] called I knew

Craig Harthoorn, Store Manager/Sales Manager Sinclair Tractor - Sigourney I wanted to work with him,” said Harthoorn. While living near Williamburg the Harthoorns were neighbors to Bob’s family, so Craig has known Bob for several years, “He [Bob] is one of the reasons I’m here,” said Harthoorn. “I know he has a solid vision for Sinclair Tractor, but more importantly I know Bob has very solid core values so when he called me back in December I knew I wanted to be a part of his environment. He has three core values: God, Family and Sinclair Tractor.” Harthoorn feels that with people doing business in agriculture, their word is their bond and Bob is definitely one of those guys when he gives you his word, it’s as good as

gold. These core values and work ethic are bred into the fabric of Sinclair Tractor. “People here [in Sigourney] are great,” said Harthoorn. “This great team helps make my job that much easier; I provide key support for the Sigourney team – service, parts, precision, operations and sales. They know what to do and what needs to be done; I’m here to help them be more successful.” On a personal note, Craig says he will be married to his best friend for thirty years in May. They are in the process of selling their home in Fort Dodge to move to Sigourney. “We are empty nesters with three adult children,” said Harthoorn. “It’s one of the things we are most proud of – three great adult children, who are doing well in their own lives.” Probably the “coolest” things for Harthoorn are the grandchildren. “They are a blast!” Harthoorn said, “This was another factor in my decision; because working with Sinclair Tractor moves us to within a two-and-a-half hour drive verses a six hour drive to visit the grandsons.” Another variable in Harthoorn’s decision was the focus on customer service at Sinclair Tractor, “I’ve never been involved with a company that treats customers as well as Sinclair Tractor does and that’s not diminishing any other company.” Harthoorn is happy to be a part of a company like Sinclair Tractor that puts its company motto: “Striving to Earn Your Business Every Day” into action.


Agriculture Always Fits Keota Eagle, News-Review & The Sun

2013 Annual Report Keokuk County Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner/District IM Expenses

2013 District Activities **The regular Commissioner meetings are the second Thursday of each month. JANUARY Clinton Mikesell, Larry Striegel, J. Richard Swanson were sworn in as District Commissioners. Clinton Mikesell was elected Chairperson and Donald Millikin was elected Vice Chairperson. Sharon Fritchen was appointed Secretary. Richard Swanson and Sharon Fritchen were appointed Co-Treasurers. Larry Striegel, Richard Swanson and Gary Bates are the regular members. Assistant Commissioners appointed were Marian Yates and David Klein. FEBRUARY The Soil Loss Public Hearing was held February 7, 2013 The scholarship and poster contest information was mailed to the schools. MARCH The annual report was published in the Ag Edition on the Sigourney, Keota and What Cheer newspapers. Four scholarship applications were received. Alex Shadley of Sigourney and Sigourney High School was selected, and his application was forwarded to Regional competition. Also receiving a $100 scholarship was Sarah Striegel of What Cheer and Tri-County High School. Spring Regional meeting was attended by Larry Striegel, Donald Millikin, J. Richard Swanson and David Klein. APRIL 450 posters were completed in four divisions. The FSA and NRCS office staff judged the posters. Participants were from Tri-County, English Valleys and Pekin Community Schools. The five first place Division winners selected for Regional competition were: Cole McKay of TriCounty- Division 1 (K-1); Sabrina Reneker of Pekin - Division 2 (2-3 grade); Annabell Jennings of Tri-County - Division 3 (4-6 grade); and Desire Berstler of English Valleys – Division 5 (1012 grade). Awards were given to the first three places in each division and in each grade that participated from kindergarten to sixth grade. 105 White Oak trees were packaged and delivered to the fifth grade students at Pekin, Sigourney, Tri-County, English Valley and Keota Community Schools. Soil stewardship week was April 29 – May 6. MAY The District scholarships were presented to Alex Shadley and Sarah Striegel Ten EQIP contracts were approved. The Sixth Grade Campout was cancelled due to the weather. JUNE Alex Shadley is volunteering in the USDA office for NRCS and FSA from May through August. Fourteen CSP applications were received. JULY The IIIM FY14 initial allocation of $78,127.00 was received. The FY14 REAP Practices funding in the amount of $10,461.14 and FY14 REAPForestry Practices funding in the amount of $3,283.22 were received. AUGUST The District entered into 28E Agreement with the newly established English River Watershed Management Authority. The IM FY13 allocation of $2,000.00 was received. New Water Quality Initiative Program became available.

The KC SWCD Commissioner Board includes (left to right): David Klein, Marian Yates, Gary Bates, Larry Striegel, J. Richard Swanson, Donald Millikin and Clinton Mikesell.

Keokuk County Soil and Water Conservation Personnel The Keokuk County Soil and Water Conservation District is please to provide the 2013 annual report of conservation accomplishments. Conservation requires effort on the parts of many to improve our environment. Staff ready to assist are: District Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners Clint Mikesell, Chairperson........................................................................................ English River Twp. Donald Millikin, Vice Chairperson .......................................................................................Benton Twp. Larry Striegel, Member ................................................................................................ North Plank Twp. Richard Swanson, Member ............................................................................................... Lafayette Twp. Gary Bates, Member ............................................................................................................. Prairie Twp. Marian Yates, Assistant Commissioner .................................................................... East Lancaster Twp. David Klein, Assistant Commissioner....................................................................... East Lancaster Twp. Field Office Personnel Larry Stevens ....................................................................................................District Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service Scott Shifflett.......................................................................................... State Conservation Technician, Iowa Dept of Agriculture & Land Stewardship Lynn Crosby ........................................................................................Federal Conservation Technician, Natural Resources Conservation Service Michelle Thole (last day 9-30-2013) ............................................................. Soil Conservationist, NRCS Sharon Fritchen .............................................................................................................State Secretary, Iowa Dept of Agriculture & Land Stewardship Jason Gritsch .......................................................................... Private Lands Wildlife Technician - IDNR SEPTEMBER The annual sixth/seventh grade campout was rescheduled and held on September 13, 2013 at Belva Deer Park. There were 46 students and 16 sponsors. The MacBride Raptor Center came and gave the evening presentation on Birds of Prey. The Quad-District soil-judging contest was held September 18 and was hosted by Mahaska County. Schools participating from Keokuk County were Sigourney, English Valleys and Tri-County. The Sigourney Junior Team #1 received first place and the Sigourney. Individual honor was presented to Hannah Redlinger – first place in the junior division. Paid 2013 CDI annual dues. Fall supplemental IIIM allocation of $172,095.00 was received. One hundred twenty four general CRP seeding plans were completed on 2931.7 acres and one hundred twelve continuous CRP seeding plans were completed on 1322.5 acres. Approve the FY13 treasury audit. David Klein attended the annual conference on September 4, 2013. OCTOBER The Federal government shutdown was from October 1 to October 16, 2013. Michele Thole, Soil Conservationist, was done working October 8, 2013. NOVEMBER Gary Bates will represent the SWCD board as a member of the English River Watershed Management Authority.

The West Fork Crooked Creek was approved as a Water Quality Initiative demonstration project. Keokuk County is part of this watershed near Keota. Washington County SWCD is the lead in this project. DECEMBER 3015.9 acres of cover crops were established by 25 produc-

ers and 40 acres of nitrification inhibitor was used by one producer through the new state wide Water Quality Initiative program. 971 acres of cover crops were established by 19 producers through the IFIP Management Funds.

This IM budget allows for payment of district commissioners’ and assistant commissioners’ expenses incurred while performing their duties. The budget also provides dollars for certain office supplies used to carry out the duties of the district. The funds are appropriated by the State Legislature. IM FY13 Fund Allocation (July 1, 2012) ...........................$2,000.00 Supplemental Allocation ................................................+ 300.00 Interest Balance .................................................................+3.51 Commissioner and Assistants Expenses ......................... -750.89 State & National Association Dues Reimbursement ........ -850.00 Office Supplies and Postage ............................................ -699.11 Balance (June 30, 2013) ................................................... $3.51 Commissioners Revolving Fund: The district’s operating expenses and miscellaneous expenses come out of this account. Balance (January 1, 2013) .........................................$8,406.87 Receipts: IM Office/Dues Reimbursement ...................................$1,573.33 Interest .................................................................................7.86 Donations ...........................................................................10.00 Total for Receipts .............................................................. +1,591.19 Expenses: Poster Contest Supplies & Awards ....................................180.55 CDI Association Dues .......................................................850.00 Soil Stewardship Materials & Education ...........................106.10 Postage & Stamp ..............................................................293.20 Soil Judging Contest Supplies ..........................................318.56 Public Notice & Recording...................................................22.87 Sixth Grade Campout Supplies .........................................316.09 Fifth Grade Tree Delivery Expenses ..................................126.60 Scholarships .....................................................................200.00 Annual Report ....................................................................70.00 Subscriptions .............................................................. 75.00 Total Disbursements......................................................... (2,558.97) Balance (December 31, 2013) ....................................$7,439.09

...Annual Report Continued on Page 6


Agriculture Always Fits Keota Eagle, News-Review & The Sun

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1) Rural veterinary medicine is the epitome of diversification with a wide variety of pieces to puzzle together and Dr. Dustin Roth, owner of Keokuk County Veterinary Clinic is ready in either the Richland or Sigourney office or on-the-go with his mobile vet-clinic. 2) With a quick check in his ‘doctor’s bag’, Roth is prepared for a routine horse vaccination on two different breeds at a single farm. 3) Veterinary medicine doesn’t stop with the animal, Roth and the owner share a few stories. 4) At a single visit, Roth works with three species and five different breeds. Photos by Robin Handy.

Veterinary Medicine a Vital By Robin Handy, NR/Sun Editor Why veterinary medicine in a special feature on agriculture? After spending just a few hours with Dr. Dustin Roth, owner of Keokuk County Veterinary Clinic (Richland/Sigourney), the simple answer was three fold: profitability, animal welfare and food safety. Dr. Roth, Dr. Jeremi Wurtz and the whole Keokuk County Veterinary Clinic [KCVC] team

in both Richland and Sigourney feel it is in their best interest to do everything within their knowledge to help producers be more profitable, because the bottom line is...if a producer is profitable then the clinic is profitable.

Profitability “What some people don’t realize is animals that aren’t at their peak of health — even if they are just a little bit off, they’re going

to perform poorly; they are: • not going to gain as well; • not going to convert feed as well; • not going to produce as good of product,” said Roth. “We [KCVC] have a goal — that is to help people expand or better their operation. We’ve been doing a lot with preventative care plans; trying to get people more focused on preventative care than waiting until the animal is sick.” Roth said historically producers don’t think about healthcare for newborns, but he’s seen proven profitability when a strategic management plan is followed from conception to market. “We have hosted a few producer meetings with experts from Iowa State,” said Roth. “Following a management plan from conception to market can maximize the health of the animal and has shown real profitability. Basically, healthier calves cost less on treatments and at the end of cycle, they have more pounds to sell.” The key is for producers to view a management plan as an investment into their business rather than just another bill. KCVC’s primary focus locally in agriculture is cattle; the hog business is very consolidated and larger operations/corporations hire in-house medical ser-

vices, but Roth confirmed that they would be able to create a management plan for any species.

Diversity Roth shared a joke he heard in medical school... ‘Human doctors treat a single species and veterinarians treat the rest.’ We shared a good laugh, but there is no discounting the diversity Roth sees in a single day or morning as this experience proved. After assisting in a very rare delivery (Schistosomus reflexus - 1) in the wee-hours of the morning, Roth made our 8 a.m. appointment and then we were off to the first call; 1) Schistosomus since ‘coming reflexus is a defect to the office’ birth resulting in the isn’t practim a l f o r m ation cal in most s i t u a t i o n s , of the entire Roth is ever- body, resulting ready with in a calf that his mobile is essentially vet-clinic [the “ i n s i d e - o u t ” back of his with exposure of the abdominal pickup]. The first organs. Calves this call landed with condition are us at a small family farm commonly not where Roth able to pass through the delivered roubirth canal, tine vaccinaand must be tions to seven retrieved by animals — c-section or three species fetotomy [www. and five difcalfology.com]. ferent breeds — three farm/ house cats, a yellow lab and two breeds of horse (three horses total). Back en route to the office for a stud bull with a sore hoof, Roth shared his latest rise in clientele, a growing community of Alpaca (resembles a small llama in appearance). This just adds one more species in Roth’s growing portfolio. This growing trend in livestock for Iowa will likely be around longer than the star elephant Roth was called upon to treat when a traveling circus stopped

...Veterinary Medicine Continued on Page 5B


Agriculture Always Fits Keota Eagle, News-Review & The Sun

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Piece in Ag Puzzle ...Veterinary Medicine Continued from Page 4B

in Sigourney for a show. This increasing diversity brings the second reason for veterinary medicine to the forefront — animal welfare.

Animal Welfare Roth feels veterinarians are the front-line in animal welfare stand point — from recommending treatments or if an animal should be put down. “It’s a hard sell for some people — I know they want to re coop some dollars, but we have to do what’s right for the animal. For the most part, producers really love their livestock and when we explain the situation about how the animal is suffering, they understand and want to do what’s best,” said Roth. Animal welfare is directly correlated to food safety and the third reason.

Food Safety Healthy animals produce healthy food and veterinarians are also the front-line in food safety especially when discuss-

ing a recent hot topic - antibiotic residue. “We are the ones who help people avoid/reduce antibiotic and/or drug residue in the beef and make sure a healthy wholesome product makes it to market,” said Roth. According to Roth, regulations have really changed recently and will continue to change, but he feels these changes are justified if they help get healthier products to market. “We don’t like regulation, but there is a method to the madness,” Roth said with a smile. The medicines used on livestock often-parallel human medicine, so there are challenges with talking about antimicrobial resistance [see Vocabulary Definition] — basically the bacterium develops a resistance to the antibiotic. “We [veterinarians] know we have to be as judicious as we can in what antibiotics we use, where use and how we use them,” said Roth. Food safety, animal welfare, diversity and profitability are four key pieces to the agriculture puzzle and a solid relation-

ship with a veterinarian is vital to the success of any operation. For more details, contact KCVC at either the Richland (319.456.6321) or Sigourney (641.622.2940) location.

#4 1) Mention ‘pedicure’ to a veterinarian and he’ll laugh and say the ‘polish’ is green. On a more serious note, hoof care is very important; Dr. Roth is shaping this bull’s hoof for better mobility and stability. 2) A hydraulic table helps hold the bull safely, while Roth examines and treats his injury. The Richland office is specially outfitted for patients of all sizes; the Sigourney office focuses more on small animal medicine. 3) After a little wash, Roth is able to identify the issue. 4) Roth takes time for an emergency visit from a new calf; Roth uses his stethoscope to listen for any irregularities. Photos by Robin Handy.

According to the World Health Organization, antimicrobial resistance is defined... Q: What is antimicrobial resistance? A: Antimicrobial resistance – also known as drug resistance – occurs when microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change in ways that render the medications used to cure the infections they cause ineffective.


Agriculture Always Fits Keota Eagle, News-Review & The Sun

SWCD Continued 3M Iowa Financial Incentives Program (IFIP) Cost-Share (Provided by the State of Iowa through December 31, 2013) The Division of Soil Conservation, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) in accordance with the policies of the State Soil Conservation Committee implement the state’s financial incentive program for soil erosion from funds appropriated by State legislation. Total Allocation IFIP (2013-2014) .............................. $250,222.00 12 Obligated Projects moved from 2012-2013 funding ............... + 62,820.00 Moved to IFIP Management Funds ....... -30,000.00 28 Approved Projects ......................... -140,000.00 20 Completed paid projects ................. -90,417.22 3 Summer Incentive Acres paid ............. -3,820.00 Balance 12-31-2013 ....................... $48,804.78

Total Allocation IFIP (2012 – 2013) ........................... $144,722.47 12 Obligated Projects moved from 2011-2012 funding .................+46,996.33 12 Obligated Projects moved to 2013-2014 funding.......................... -62,820.00 27 Completed Paid Projects ............... -124,342.25 4 Summer Incentive Acres paid ............. -2,840.00 Funding returned to DSC 6-30-2013 ..... -1,716.55 Balance 12-31-2013 .................................$0.00 Total Allocation IFIP Management Funds (2013-2014)...................... $30,000.00 4 Obligated Projects ............................... -5,585.00 19 Completed Paid Projects ................. -24,050.00 Balance 12-31-2013 .............................$365.00

Funds for this new low interest loan program are provided by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources through Title VI of the Clean Water Act. The funds are administered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture, Division of Soil Conservation in partnership with the Keokuk County Soil and Water Conservation District and your local financial institution. 2013 - 5 completed loan projects ....... $ 55,793.75 2012 – 8 completed loan projects........ 162,477.91

2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005

ISU Specialist Study Group Sow Housing in Netherlands, Germany and Ireland Local Water Protection Program (LWPP – low interest loans)

Article/photo submitted ISU Iowa Pork Industry Center Specialist traveled to three European Union countries to study the transition and adoption of group sow housing. The EU adopted regulations (Welfare of Farmed Animals) to house dry sows and served gilts in groups beginning January 1st of 2013. The purpose of the ISU Specialist study was to consult with producers, industry and educators to learn how the transition is being accomplished. Sow longevity and more importantly sow lifetime performance have an underestimated impact on the profitability of a pig unit. Therefore the ultimate aim should be to put a sustainable housing system in place in which sow health, performance and therefore longevity is maximized. This means that the design and management features associated with high sow welfare standards must be given careful consideration. Pig health and welfare are two of the issues facing pork producers in the US. ISU specialist wanted to learn the problems that challenged EU producers in the transition to group housing of sows. Some of the choices EU producers had to resolve were, sow behavior and welfare; group housing buildings designs for new and retrofit, individual sow and group management. Sow behavior and welfare issues include physical (lameness, body condition, skin and vulva lesions) and social (aggression and stress). An associated consideration is aggression

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14 completed loan projects ...... 198,770.29 24 completed loan projects ..... 332,881.46 20 completed loan projects ...... 309,573.19 14 completed loan projects ...... 223,172.89 25 completed loan projects ...... 327,232.31 11 completed loan projects ...... 129,943.20 6 completed loan projects.......... 53,777.45

Total Loans Obligated and Completed since 2005 ........... $1,793,622.40

Resource Enhancement and Protection Funds (REAP) The Division of Soil Conservation, IDALS, in accordance with the policies of the State Soil Conservation Committee, implement the state’s water protection practices through Water Protection Fund appropriated by State Legislation. REAP Forestry Practices (F/NG) Cost-Share Budget: Total Allocation F/NG (2013 – 2014) ..... $3,283.22 1 Obligated Project moved from 2012-2013 funding........................... +1,500.00 1 Approved Projects ............................... -1,500.00 Balance on 12-31-2012 .....................$3,283.22 Total Allocation FP (2012 - 2013) .....$2,217.71 reduction strategies such as sub-group formation in dynamic groups. There are different feed regiments to consider (group – floor drops, long trough, trickle, free access stalls and individual feeding such as electronic sow feeders. Pen layout is important to match management style, feeding concerns and type of groups used. Managers must study a combination of these strategies to best meet management style and sow welfare issues. The ISU study trip helped the swine specialist to better understand and learn the issues EU pork producers faced in their transition to meet new EU regulations.

1 Obligated Projects moved to 2013-2014 funding........................... - 1,500.00 Returned to State of Iowa 6-30-2013 ........ -717.71 Balance 12-31-2012 ................................$ 0.00 REAP Practices (P) Cost-Share Budget: Total Allocation P (2013 - 2014) .......... $10,461.14 0 Obligated Projects ...................................... -0.00 Balance 12-31-2013 ........................ $10,461.14 Total Allocation P (2012-2013) .........$6,653.13 1 Obligated Project funding moved from 2011-2012 funding .................. +7,429.14 2 Completed Projects ........................... -14,082.27 Balance 12-31-2013 .................................$0.00

2013 Fiscal Year Accomplishments October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013 General C.R.P. plans written 124 contracts Continuous C.R.P. plans written 112 contracts Tile Outlet Terraces Water and Sediment Control Basin structures Pond (livestock water)

2931.7 ac 1322.5 ac 31,950 ft 148 no. 3 no.


Agriculture Always Fits Keota Eagle, News-Review & The Sun

EV FFA Pieces Together New Annual Event “Farmers Share of the Dollar” Breakfast, Scholarship & Auction

The Davis family - Keith, Tracy, Sydney and Sierra (center)

Agriculture Diversity – It All Fits Farming, Hauling Grain and Delivering Rock/Lime/Fertilizer By Robin Handy, NR/Sun Editor Things sure have changed for the Davis family - Keith and wife, Tracy along with their two daughters, Sydney and Sierra, since they moved back to rural Sigourney from Des Moines. The plan was to return to the family farm and raise the girls in a small, close-knit community. For the most part the plan prevailed, but after a twentyyear absence (length of CRP contract), farming and agriculture sure changed from the way Keith remembered into a big business and diversification was edging its way over the horizon. Keith readily admits he would just as soon farm the old way — “we would just go out and work at it, but still make it some how.” It’s more of a business now: keeping an eye on the markets, coordinating soil data, wading through government regulations, second guessing the weather/ climate and staying alert for an opportunity to expand. It sounds just like a puzzle, but for Keith the pieces all fit together. He ‘grew up farming’ with his father, Don just a few miles west of Sigourney. Keith remembers getting out of farming for a while when the CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) incentive was the big trend (signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1985). Now, Keith and his brother, DJ along with their father, Don farm within a few miles of the homestead. Keith noted the farm has expanded quite a bit in the

last year, but he feels it’s sitting pretty good now. Diversification “It seemed like the right thing to do” is how Keith described the diversification of his family farming operation - crop ground, hauling grain and delivering rock/lime/fertilizer. “It just kind-of all came together; some of the guys were getting older and ready to retire - it just made sense,” said Keith [Don hauls rock and grain, too; DJ also hauls rock]. These three pieces are very hands-on and demanding individually, so Keith needed some help and he hired a guy to drive the semi [contracted grain for Brooklyn Elevator] — He said, “With grain, it’s [the semi] running all of the time; it just doesn’t stop — well, unless something breaks down”. So in an effort to get some more down time for the family and farm, Keith chose to split his time between the truck and farm. He says with the truck (delivering rock/lime/fertilizer), it’s easier to flex his schedule around and he can get out of the truck at night. These three pieces fit well, but where do the contracts stem from — Keith says it’s ‘word of mouth.’ The agriculture community works well together - ‘you help us and we’ll help you type of thing,’ but it’s his reputation and relationships with companies like CPS-Gibson, Agriland FS-Hedrick and Douds Stone that help keep Keith behind the wheel.

Compiled by Robin Handy Another vital piece to agriculture is its’ future and local FFA chapters are working hard to continue the tradition of educating high school students for tomorrow’s agricultural culture. English Valleys FFA Advisor, Kristin Flander and the current EV FFA Officers: Dakota Olson (president), Paige Hester (Secretary), Tanner Icenbice (Sentinel), Davis Axmear (Reporter), Taylor Harriman (Reporter), Dillon Sanders (Parliamentarian) and Trevor Frazier (Treasurer), have decided to bring together several traditional events to help introduce a new scholarship program to the entire community. • English Valleys FFA and Iowa County Farm Bureau are teaming up for a “Farmers Share of the Dollar” breakfast on Saturday, April 19 in the high school cafeteria from 8-10 a.m. The menu consists of scrambled eggs, sausage patties, pancakes, milk and juice. This breakfast has a six-seven dollar retail cost, but the FFA is only planning to charge patrons 15 percent because that is about the percentage of the total farmers would receive for the products in the menu. According to the USDA about 15.5 cents out of a dollar goes into the farm commodities in a dollars worth of food. (Although this amount would be even less once the expenses the farmer has to pay to produce that product are removed.) Flander worked hard to get as much of the food locally as possible. Dale Faas donated a hog and Cook’s Locker, Parnell donated the processing for the sausage patties served at the breakfast. “I think it’s important to support your local economy, so that is where we first turned to when we started planning this breakfast,” said Flander. “Obviously, with the nature of the breakfast, we are relying on some donations, but hopefully we can raise awareness that these products are all grown and produced around here within a 20-30 mile radius and when people in the community think of purchasing these products for use at their homes they remember all of these great local suppliers. We are very grateful for their generosity!” So far the list of sponsors

include: Faas Feed and Grain, North English; Cooks Meat Locker, Parnell; English Valleys FFA; Iowa County Farm Bureau; New Century FS, Millersburg; Cassen’s Mill, Sigourney; Frazier Auctioneering, South English; Tyson’s, Conroy and Kalona Organics, Kalona. • Along with this breakfast, EV FFA is introducing the “Terry Harriman Memorial Scholarship” in conjunction with the annual Pie Auction and FFA Service Auction. “This is a brand new scholarship we are starting named after Terry Harriman, who was a local farmer and father of two FFA members,” said Flander. “Terry passed away last fall of cancer. He was always supportive of young people and the FFA and 4H in general. We thought a scholarship fund would be a nice way to give back to the members that share those same qualities of great leadership and hard work like Terry had. We are planning for this to become an annual event to build a fund for scholarship awards every year.” The breakfast begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 19, but if people don’t want to stick around for the auction they can leave a bid with the auctioneer for either members or pies. • Speaking of pies…Another piece for this community event is the pie auction, “Terry Harriman Memorial Scholarship Pie Auction.” The community is encouraged to submit pies for this event; pie donations may be dropped off at the high school on Friday, April 18 from 4-7 p.m. or email Flanders for other arrangements. “We have always had a pie auction at our FFA banquet every year, which is attended by members and their families. But this year since we decided to use the money for a scholarship fund we wanted to open it up to the public because we knew there would probably be a lot of people that would

love to help out and support the cause,” said Flander. “In the past we had several amazing pies donated (my favorite is Julie Harriman’s Chocolate Chip Pecan), but hopefully by inviting the community members to be involved we can add a bunch to the list!” • The final piece to this event is the Annual FFA Service Auction or labor auction. The proceeds of the auction goes toward the general FFA account and is used to send kids to various leadership activities and conferences, including National FFA Convention in Louisville, KY. Members agreed to volunteer 8-hours of their time to help with various odd jobs around the farm or house. The students will provide a list of things they enjoy or are good at. “In the past, I’ve had students do things like stain my house, baby-sit, pick up rocks in the field and help weed/till by garden,” said Flander. For more information on how to get involved, contact English Valleys FFA Advisor, Kristin Flander at 319.664-3632, kflander@english-valleys.k12.ia.us or English Valleys CSD, Attn: FFA Advisor, PO Box 490, North English, IA 52316.


Agriculture Always Fits Keota Eagle, News-Review & The Sun

Pieces of a Family Tradition By Tomisha Sprouse, KE Editor Raising sheep has been a Sprouse family tradition since before Duane Sprouse was born. One of Duane’s grandfathers raised Corriedales (white face sheep) and the other grandfather raised Suffolks (black face sheep), so I guess you can say that raising sheep in his blood. Duane and his wife, Pat, live on the northeast side of Keota. Duane can be found at the Farmers Coop in Keota where he works as the Feed Department Manager. Chances are if you are trying to track down Duane you will find him at the barn working with the sheep. As family traditions go, when the time came, Duane and Pat’s three children started helping out in the barn, showing sheep at fairs, and now have children of their own that are carrying on the tradition. The oldest son, Jeff, and his wife, Molly, have four children of their own and during the summer you can usually find Raigan, Addison, Carson, and Caden walking the sheep or feeding them at the barn. The

middle child, Deb, and husband, Corey Witzman, live in St. Louis with their three girls Ellie, Megan, and Jenna. Deb and her family may live the city life now, but when they come to visit the girls barely make it out of the car before they are changed and at the barn with Grandpa Duane. Mike and his wife, Tomisha, along with their two boys Tucker and Grayson round out the Sprouse family. Though they may be young, the two boys do whatever they can to help Grandpa with the sheep. In 1979, while Duane was the Vo-Ag teacher at Keota High School, he started his own flock of sheep. During that time he had a few students in his Ag class looking for a FFA project. “We found some crossbred ewes in the Cresco area and purchased a trailer load of ewes,” commented Duane. “Each of the boys purchased some and I, also, took part of the ewes.” Duane then rented a facility from Denny Bohrofen just south of Keota and also some pasture. The sheep were used for projects and the high school students showed them at the county fair. During this time, the Sprouses’ had a young family and Duane thought it would be a good idea to just keep the sheep for his own children to have for future 4-H projects. After several years, the flock grew and Duane built a barn just north of his home to house the sheep. This made going out lambing season and going out to chore much easier. Today, a barn still stands north of the house where the sheep can be

heard bellering when Duane pulls up with his truck. As the Vo-Ag teacher for 10 years at Keota High School, Duane became part of the Sheep Committee for the Washington County Fair and the Keokuk County Expo. He worked sheep shows for both events and he continues to work with the Washington County Sheep Show. After years of helping with the sheep shows, he became interested in the show side of sheep production. “As the kids and flock grew we became Sprouse Family Club Lambs. We all worked to produce good quality show lambs. The flock started with 15 crossbred ewes and grew to a peak of 115 head,” stated Duane. “The three kids showed lambs from 4th grade 4-H thru FFA age 21. All but two lambs were home raised. Grandchildren, Raigan, Addison and Carson, are now showing home raised lambs at the Washington County Fair and at the Iowa State Fair.” So what is life like around the Sprouse family sheep barn these days? I will let Duane take the lead on this one: “In our operation we basically dry lot the ewes for approximately 200 days. The balance of the year is spent on pasture. When the ewes are in dry lot they are feed 5# of a good legume/grass hay and 1-1½ # of a 13% crude protein grain mix. This will meet the nutritional needs of a pregnant ewe. We start our breeding in mid-August and end around October 15. This way the lambs will be born January 10 thru March 10. We keep breeding dates and then ultrasound the ewes to see when they are due

Duane Sprouse can be found, most days, whether it be early morning or evening, in the barn choring or helping his grandkids with the sheep. His wife Pat has the unique ability to summon him from the sheep barn with one yell from the house — a technique that has be master over the years [photo by Tomisha Sprouse, KE]. and how many lambs they are carrying. This helps in feed as the ewes with twins get more than the singles. We run two different types of sheep. Our Dorsets are white faced and our Hamps and Suffolks are black faced. We do quite a bit of crossing the two to make speckle faced lambs. I think the breeding and crossbreeding are the parts of raising sheep that I really like. I have my ideas and both of my sons also give their ideas. It is a challenge to see if the genetic combinations will produce what you are looking for.” After years of figuring out what works best for them, the Sprouses’ have developed their own flock to produce show lambs. “Through the years we have helped over 20 young people who have bought our lambs as projects. The ones who live in Keota have used our facilities and equipment too learn the skills of caring for sheep, training lambs and preparing lambs for the show ring. We help supervise the projects of those who live elsewhere, teaching the same skills. It has been very satisfying to help the kids and see their success in the show ring,” commented Duane. The family now sells not only to locals, but have extended their coverage to youth all around Iowa and in other states. So, how does a sheep farmer in Keota, Iowa find buyers in

other states? By participating in different sales. The sheep are sold via internet sales, a sale in Indiana, Iowa State Fair sale, barn private treaty, and also the Sprouse family has their own website to display their sheep and program. Duane and Pat are also the secretary and treasurer for the Iowa Club Lamb Association. Being part of this organization allows people to call Duane from all over the US to ask questions about sheep and show lambs. With any farming business the goal of raising sheep is to make a profit. The goal may not always be reached, but for Duane it is a time of relaxation and reflection. “When I work with the sheep I can relax and think about things other than work or problems,” commented Duane. They also raise the sheep for food, so they butcher a lamb about every year. “Lamb is very nutritional and flavorful,” stated Duane. “We try to share with friends and neighbors — at our annual neighborhood block party the lamb is always a big hit.” Final comments from Duane — “Raising club lambs has replace most of the large commercial sheep operations of the past. Research was done to see how many commercial ewes it would take to make a living comparable to others in the state of Iowa. The number of commercial ewes was between 1500 to 1600. I have benefited from many sheep producers is our area. The guidance from Pat Greiner and Nick Greiner helped me the most to continue to strive to get better and learn many new skills over the years. I look forward to many more years raising sheep and working with kids on projects or new producers wanting to get started. I hope I can share with others what has been passed on to me.”


Agriculture Always Fits Keota Eagle, News-Review & The Sun

◢ Written by Melanie Mackey, William Penn University student As family farming quickly becomes a dying culture, the values and hard work of running a family business still hold true for the Ferguson Family. Jerry and Gayle Ferguson began farming in the 1960’s after Jerry served in the army. They were high school sweethearts and married in May 1958. Together, they continued the traditions of farming that Jerry grew up with. They lived on the farm that Jerry’s parents owned, which is a Century Farm, and were able to purchase their own land over the years east

Iowa Beef Fast Facts

Beef Production in Iowa and the United States • Iowa ranks 7th in the U.S. in beef production with 3.9 million cattle and calves in the state. • More than 12,800 jobs in Iowa are linked directly to the Iowa cattle industry, with another 26,500 jobs indirectly related. Iowa beef farmers contribute $5.1 billion annually to the state economy. • Both the hamburger and the ice cream cone made their international debuts at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. • There are more than 70 different breeds of cattle in the country -- “Longhorn” was the first brought to the United States. • The Poll Hereford breed of cattle originated in Iowa, near St. Mary’s. • A 1,000 pound steer will provide almost 1,000 quarterpound burgers. • A cow’s stomach has four compartments, allowing them to digest cellulose productions such as hay, grass and cornstalks. • Beef tenderloin, often called filet mignon, is the most tender cut of beef. • The leanest cuts of beef contain the words “loin” or “round” on the label. • Beef Wellington is named for the “Iron Duke” – the Duke of Wellington who eventually defeated Napoleon. For more information about farming in Iowa, please visit www.iowafarmbureau.com

of New Sharon. They started a family, raising three boys and a girl. Jerry started crossbreeding his Angus cattle. Over the years he sold calves to 4-H and FFA youth. Jerry enjoyed traveling throughout the Midwest buying breeding stock to add to his herd. He was able to raise his family and his farm doing what he loved, carrying out his personal values of family and honesty. Their children, Mindy, Kent, Brett and Ben all grew up showing cattle, competing at both the Southern Iowa Fair and the Iowa State Fair. Kent, Brett and Ben all live

east of New Sharon with their families and farm. Mindy lives with her husband, Bruce Tokle on a farm south of Grinnell. The Ferguson family has had three Grand Champions at the Iowa State Fair with cross-bred steers, the most recent being Jerry and Gayle’s granddaughter Maggie in 2013 [top-right photo]. Nolan Ferguson was also awarded

the same honors in 2007 and 2009 [middle and bottom right photos], and Logan Ferguson took home a Grand Championship for his market hog in 2009. The Ferguson Boys are still farming together and carrying on the legacy of their family’s four generations of tradition, dedication and passion for farming.

Ferguson Family Farming Tradition

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Agriculture Always Fits Keota Eagle, News-Review & The Sun


2014 Ag Issue