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Farm Edition May 2018 Supplement to

Company hopes to keep reservoirs open By LACI SMITH

the previous 5 days by an inspection station operated by and for the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) and have in its possession written certification thereof.

Citizen correspondent

Reservoirs in Franklin County will be open to public use Memorial Day weekend. The Consolidated Irrigation Company will follow the same action taken during the previous seasons to prevent the spread and risk of infestation by the Quagga and Zebra mussel. “The board of directors, at the direction of our shareholders, have not taken this risk lightly. We have proceeded with the combined goal of protecting water resources and infrastructure for its intended agricultural uses,” states a release from the Consolidated Irrigation Company (CIC). CIC owns and operates four private reservoirs in Franklin County: Glendale, Johnson, Lamont, and Foster. Their purpose is to store water for irrigation for agricultural needs. The Idaho Department of Agriculture Boat Check Station on the Utah/ Idaho boarder in Franklin opened on March 30, and are open from daylight to dusk all season. “These facilities, along with the attendant diversion and delivery infrastructure, represent a substantial investment by the past and present shareholders of the company and are integral to the agricultural-based economy of Franklin County and Cache Valley. These reservoirs have been available to the public for fishing and other recreational uses for many years, free of charge, and with limited restrictions. The basis for free access was the minimal threat and potential impact from the public’s use to the Company’s infrastructure and operations,” states the release. “However, as the threat of infestation by Quagga Mussel and other invasive species continues it is necessary to further protect the company’s private reservoirs and important irrigation infrastructure so as to not jeopardize the company’s property and operations. “The company has both a legal duty and a fiduciary duty to protect its private reservoirs and its associated irrigation infrastructure for the benefit of its shareholders. In 2014 Consolidated Irrigation Company, along with other local irrigation companies, sought input from the public, shareholders, governmental officials, and other interested parties as to how to safeguard these essential water facilities. Since then the working group, Franklin County Reservoir Alliance,

Glendale Reservoir: Persons will be stationed at the Glendale reservoir to verify that watercraft have been inspected by Idaho Department of Agriculture (ISDA) invasive species station prior to launch. A third-party verification checkpoint will be in place at Glendale reservoir beginning May 25, 2018 and will be re-barricaded August 12, 2018. 1. All watercraft must have in their possession, written certification that the watercraft has been inspected within the previous 5 days by an inspection station operated by and for the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA). 2. Fees will be in place for the verification of watercraft at $20.00 each. 3. Fees for verification of watercraft owned by Franklin County residents has been reduced to $10.00 each from the support of Franklin County and Preston City. 4. Watercraft that are both inflatable and less than 10 feet in length are exempt from verification. 5. Idaho watercraft exiting Glendale reservoir will have the option of purchasing a security zip-tie for $1.00. If zip-ties are kept intact, watercraft may return to Glendale reservoir without undergoing Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) inspection. 6. The purchase of a security ziptie does not wave the verification fee for the returning watercraft.

Photos by NECIA P. SEAMONS

Area reservoirs, some created over a century ago to provide enough water for Franklin County farmers to be successful, are owned by local irrigation companies and are private property. Traditionally, the companies have shared the water bodies with fishermen and boaters. They are now asking users to help them keep the reservoirs free from quagga and zebra mussels. Pictured at top is Johnson Reservoir and above is Glendale Reservoir. has met frequently to formulate plans 1. Access to each reservoir is limto that end.” ited to a single designated boat ramp. CIC’s current policies regarding 2. Watercraft equipped with balaccess to and use of company reser- last compartments or bladders are voirs Glendale, Johnson, Lamont, and prohibited on all reservoirs. Foster are: 3. All watercraft using these reserAll Reservoirs: voirs must have been inspected within

Glendale Reservoir Verification Checkpoint Non-operational Hours 1. Watercraft use on Glendale reservoir will be limited to fishing vessels only during verification checkpoint non-operational hours. 2. During verification checkpoint non-operational hours, watercraft owners shall present proof of current ISDA inspection in the window of their vehicle or upon request by verification staff. 3. Watercraft launched during verification checkpoint non-operational hours will be subject to verification fees upon exiting the reservoir. Watercraft equipped with ballast compartments/bladders are prohibited. Until May 25, Glendale reservoir (See WATER on page 5)


2 – The Preston Citizen – Farm & Ranch Edition - May 2018

e” r e h t m e h t g n i v a h t s , u r J e ‘ e d e h t g and watchihneasants among p d n a y e k r tu them .....

Tree farm gives owner wild setting

By NECIA P. SEAMONS

but now, Scott said he does the planting, weeding, watering and digging himself. Those chores may not be his favorite thing to do, but watching the trees grow is very satisfying, he said. ‘Just having them there” and watching the deer, turkey and pheasants among them is what Scott enjoys. For that reason, some trees will always remain, helping to keep the wild atmosphere of Rocky Mountain Trees around his home.

Citizen editor

Photos by NECIA P. SEAMONS

(Top, left) A bagged tree waits for a buyer. (Top, right) The Bannock Range of mountain peaks rise behind a temporary forest of pine and aspen at the Rocky Mountain Tree Farm. (Above) Aspen trees can only be bagged for sale before they leaf-out. aspen are planted in threes, ensuring that if one or two of them don’t make it, there will be at least one left to sell. The spruce trees start out in a pot as protection from gophers and mice until they

have established a better root system. He can’t protect all his trees from wildlife, however. In the fall and winter, deer will often rake the aspen trees, leaving them scarred. Some people like them anyway, and enjoy taking them home

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David Scott uses a spade attachment on his tractor to dig trees up in a way that preserves their root ball.

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When a landscaping friend suggested he ought to raise trees on his Winder farm, the idea grew on David Scott. So for the last 18 years, he has enjoyed growing temporary forests around his home and the wildlife that have moved in as well. Rocky Mountain Trees offers spruce, Australian pine and aspen, so Scott’s farm resembles the native forests in the area and give him an unconventional crop to harvest in addition to the alfalfa and grain he rotates in his fields. Scott says he harvests, on average, between 225-250 trees a year, mostly aspen. Although aspen trees must be packaged for sell in the spring before they leaf-out, he can work with the spruce trees year round. However, he prefers to leave them alone during their spring growth he says. Using a huge spade attachment on the back of his tractor, he lifts the tree from its root ball up, wraps it in burlap and a wire cage. The trees are then set back into the holes where they’ll sit until buyers come for them. Some of the spruce trees will weigh up to 1,000 pounds when they are dug up for sale. Once they are replanted, he said it takes the tree a couple of years before growth can be seen, because the plant is putting all its energy into reestablishing its root system. For that reason, the trees need a lot of water during at least the first year after they’ve been transplanted. Although Scott doesn’t plant trees every year, when he does, between 800 and 1,600 are seated into holes dug across the four-acre tree farm, he said. The


May 2018 - Farm & Ranch Edition – The Preston Citizen – 3

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4 – The Preston Citizen – Farm & Ranch Edition - May 2018

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Mindy Weeks, holding her carders, sits beside her Kromski Fantasia spinning wheel, a box of uncarded wool, pair of t t socks, gloves, and shawl that she knitted from the wool that she carded and spun into yarn. q

Weeks finds satisfaction in woolly hobby By THAYA GILMORE Citizen correspondent

Mesmerized at a young age with spinning wool on a spinning wheel, Mindy Weeks, daughter of Dwain and Sandra Weeks, of Weston, gave herself a spinning wheel for Christmas in December of 2016, when she was 17 years old. “When I was 8 years old, I saw a display of pioneer relics at the Robinson Building in Preston. That was when I first saw a spinning wheel. The lady who was demonstrating on it let me do some spinning. I thought it was fun,” recalled Mindy. Then when she was a teenager, Mindy visited the Oneida Stake Academy on Heritage Day and saw her friend Melissa Draper from Smithfield, demonstrating a spinning wheel. Melissa let Mindy do some spinning, and that spurred her desire to spin.

“I bought a new, less-expensive wheel for myself for Christmas,” Mindy said. Draper gave her a fleece and Mindy just started carding and spinning. When the yarn was lumpy and things weren’t working out, she took the wheel and wool back to Melissa who, with a little instruction, helped her unravel her problems. Melissa was able to help Mindy over the phone afterwards. “I’ve basically learned how to spin by watching other people spin. It’s really not horribly complicated. You just have to bumble through it yourself to learn how to do it,” admitted Mindy. She uses wool from sheep as well as Alpaca that other spinners shared with her. After carding and spinning the wool into yarn, Mindy then knits items to wear, like socks, hats and gloves. She is currently work-

ing on a shawl. “It’s satisfying to me to take something like the wool from a sheep and then make it into something to wear,” she said. Also very rewarding to her is to give the items to family and friends. “I haven’t sold anything that I have made. After I knitted a pair of socks for me, to see how to do it and how it would turn out, I knitted a pair of socks for my little sister. I knitted a wool hat for my brother who is now on a mission in Missouri,” Mindy said. Spinning takes a long time but Mindy works on it for maybe 15 minutes a day in-between other projects. “The carding is done really fast. It’s the spinning that takes time to put it on one bobbin and then plying it with another bobbin. It takes two bobbins to make one pair of socks,” said Mindy. “But for me, it is worth the time it takes to make something use-

Benefits of wool clothing ■ Not only is wool soft but it is durable, resistant to dirt and soils, and it is springy which allows the fabric to recover from wrinkling. ■ Wool, a breathable fabric, is warm in cold weather, protects from wind and snow, and is cool in warmer temperatures. ■ Because wool is naturally hypoallergenic, doesn’t collect static or dirt and is resistant to

dust mites, can benefit allergy sufferers. ■ Alpaca Wool is also used for making knitted items such as sweaters, hats, gloves, socks, scarves, coats, and blankets.

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ful that you can wear.” Mindy returned home in March from serving an LDS Mission in Uruguay. Getting

back to spinning is soothing to her. She also spends her time painting with oils and water colors, and recording

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WATER

May 2018 - Farm & Ranch Edition – The Preston Citizen – 5

(Continued from page 1)

access ramp will be barricaded and the watercraft use limited to fishing only. Additional policy and information regarding CIC reservoirs will be posted at Franklinswcd.net or on Franklin County Reservoir Alliance page on Facebook. It will be open until Aug. 12. CIC directors recognize that Glendale reservoir is an important asset to the recreational community and appreciates their support and patience in adapting to these necessary measures. “We have heard from and recognize the strong presence of local recreational users at Glendale Reservoir. We will continue to need the support of the entire community; the threat associated with the invasive mussels has not been eliminated,” states the release. Watercraft on local reservoirs require proof of current ISDA inspection in the window of their vehicle or upon request by verification staff. Rules specific to the other reservoirs are as follows: Lamont Reservoir: 1. Watercraft use is limited to fishing only. Foster Reservoir: y 1. Hand propelled or electric trolling motors only. Johnson Reservoir: 1. Watercraft use is limited to fishing only. Persons who violate these rules may be subject to civil damages for trespassing, states the release. “We regret any inconvenience that may result from these restrictions, but they are necessary to protect the valuable resources in our community. Any inconvenience is minor when compared to the potential significant impact from Quagga Mussels,” states the CIC release. “In drafting these policies, the company has solicited and received input from as many interested individuals and groups as possible. Contamination and infestation of invasive species will be disastrous to the private reservoirs and irrigation systems, resulting in more restrictive measures for everyone. “The company trusts that everyone will cooperate in efforts to prevent the spread of these invasive species by following the policies set forth by the company. Thank you for your cooperation.”

Mohawked Dorper sheep, like these which are raised in Clifton, are raised for their meat by owners uninterested in shearing their sheep. The breed’s fleece falls off as the temperatures rise. This one accelerated the process by rubbing her sides on her pen, leaving a mohawk-like fleece remaining along her back. Photo courtesy of STACEY COMEAU

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6 – The Preston Citizen – Farm & Ranch Edition - May 2018

d e t a m i t s e w o n s i t i . l . i . m “ 8 n a h that morreestof the state lion ac gued by noxious are pla weeds,” Photos by NECIA P. SEAMONS

Bees ply the prickly blossom of a Scotch Thistle for nectar on this plant growing in the canyon west of Dayton.

Landowners expected to knock out noxious weeds By THAYA GILMORE Citizen correspondent

Idahoans are warned of the invasion of noxious weeds. Roger Batt, Statewide Coordinator for the Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign, stated in a recent press release “... the state’s generally mild winter coupled with warming temperatures means conditions are prime for an early and aggressive emergence of Idaho’s different species of invasive and damaging noxious weeds plus new prohibited genera.” “We are already getting reports that various species of noxious weeds are starting to pop up through the ground. That means now is the perfect time for landowners and residents to take action to prevent noxious weeds from getting a head

Russian Knapweed start on our native vegetation leaving us to try to catch up later in the year … Despite our best efforts it is now estimated that more than 8 million acres of the state are plagued by noxious weeds,” noted Batt. Aaron Hull, Franklin County, Weed and Abatement Supervisor, concurs with the warning. “Most residents of Franklin County are concerned with noxious weeds but sometimes the landowner is

either unaware of what noxious weeds are on their property or the best timing or control method to control the noxious weed,” Hull stated. “Some of the noxious weeds plaguing Franklin County are Dyer’s Woad, Poison Hemlock, Canada Scotch Thistle, Hounds Tongue, Leafy Spurge, Field Bindweed, Spotted and Russian Knapweed and Hoary Cress,” said Hull. These are non-native invasive plants that threaten local agricultural crops and animals. They include grasses, shrubs, trees, flowering plants and aquatic plants around lakes and rivers. With 67 weeds identified on the State of Idaho Weed List, there are very few areas of Franklin County that are free of noxious

Guidelines to prevent the spread of weeds

■ Avoid driving through noxious weed-infested areas. ■ Avoid transporting or planting seeds and plants that can’t be identified. ■ For noxious weeds in flower or with seeds on plants, pulling ‘gently’ out and placing in a secure closable bag is recommended. Disposal such as hot composting or contained burning is done when safe and practical for the specific plant. Burning poison ivy can be fatal to humans. ■ Using only certified weed-free seeds for crops or gardens.

Landowner & citizen duties

■ It is the duty and responsibility of all landowners to control noxious weeds on their land and property, in accordance with this chapter and with rules promulgated by the director. ■ The cost of controlling noxious weeds shall be the obligation of the landowner. ■ Noxious weed control must be for prevention, eradication, rehabilitation, control or containment efforts. However, areas may be modified from the eradication requirement if the landowner is a participant in a county-approved weed management plan or county-approved cooperative weed management area. ■ The landowner shall reimburse the county control authority for work done because of failure to comply with a five (5) day notice, as outlined in Section 22-24-5, Idaho Code. ■ If an article is infested with noxious weeds, it shall not be moved from designated premises until it is treated in accordance with the applicable rules, or in accordance with the written permission of a control authority.

weeds. The Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) oversees a statewide noxious weed control and management program to protect the state’s natural resources caused by invasive plants. “The State of Idaho has a Noxious Weed Law. ... it states it is the

landowners’ responsibility to control and stop the spread of noxious weeds on their property. Each county in the state has a Noxious Weed Department. County weed departments are to help educate the public about noxious weeds and if noxious weeds are not

controlled on private property, the county, according to the state weed law, may control noxious weeds on private property at the cost of the landowner,” said Hull. Some funding from the State of Idaho helps (See WEEDS on page 11)

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Great grains Last year in Franklin County, 5,500 acres were planted in barley and 4,700 acres were harvested for 379,000 bushels, or 80.6 bushels per acre. Local farmers planted 1,700 acres in spring wheat, and harvested 1,700 acres for 104,000 bushels, or 61.2 bushels per acre. Photo by NECIA P. SEAMONS


8 – The Preston Citizen – Farm & Ranch Edition - May 2018

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10 – The Preston Citizen – Farm & Ranch Edition - May 2018

y r e v e r a e "W of our proud ents stud ard, workinginhg and practic the job getting e," don

F

( Photos by NECIA P. SEAMONS

Pictured are the 2018-2019 officers of the Preston High School Chapter of the Future Farmers of America. (Top) Justin Carter, Ladd Christensen, Wes Talbot and Herman Roberts. (Front) Oakley Ransom, Cassie Moedl, Kenna Hunn and Josie Palmer.

PHS FFA chapter names leaders, award recipients

Citizen editor

The Preston FFA Chapter announced its 2018-2019 officers during its annual banquet in April. Wes Talbot will be the chapter president with Cassie Moedl being the vice president.

Josie Palmer is the secretary, Justin Carter the treasurer, Oakley Ransom as reporter, Ladd Christensen as sentinel, Kenna Hunn as historian and Herman Roberts as the District Officer candidate. Other recognition during the banquet included the following:

Honorary degrees were presented to Cory and Denise Owen for the support they have given the chapter. Eldon Jacklin presented a Bull Bonanza Scholarship to Cole Harris and Sydney Golightly. Richard Free presented the Farm Bureau

H-2A program provides legal help when locals won’t take the job

By NECIA P. SEAMONS Citizen editor

As the United States tightens its border controls, local farmers are finding additional challenges to finding reliable help. After 911 there was a slow decline in the availability of willing workers, said Yance Bosen. “The pool kept getting smaller and smaller.” To solve that problem, Bosen and others began using the H2A Worker Visa Program, which matches employers with temporary agricultural workers. “We’ve used it for a few years, said Bosen, who runs a beef and crop operation with his father Dave Bosen, in Winder. “We struggled to find Americans interested in the labor intensive work that we have. (Through this program) these people come over legally,” he said. The Bosens advertise the job in the U.S. first to give an opportunity to U.S. Citizens to fill the job, and set a be-

“We struggled to find Americans interested in the labor intensive work that we have. (Through this program) these people come over legally.” ginning date as well as an end date for the job, which they are required to abide by, said Yance, but “we are guaranteed help.” Bosens are also required to provide housing and transportation to workers who do not have drivers licenses, but “it has been a good program for us and we’ll continue to use it ...till my kids are older and can help,” he said. What keeps many people from utilizing the program is the paperwork. “The paper work is prohibitive,” he said. He utilizes his member ship in the Snake River Farmer’s Association to

handle that. “The SRFA does the paperwork and navigates the bureaucracy for us. It’s pretty intense... “ but not costly, because of that membership, said Yance. And when he and his dad penciled out the costs of using the program vs. not having help, they determined that the membership was “well worth the help.” “It’s reliable help. They have had experience,” said Yance. Farmers growing fruits and vegetable utilize the program frequently, said Yance, citing regional potato growers he knows.

Scholarship to Riley Balls. Chapter star greenhand awards were presented to Justis Crossley, who raises beef cattle for his SAE project and has participated in the following CDE's in FFA: dairy foods 1st high individual in the state, state soil and land

judging, state conduct of meetings and dairy cattle evaluation. Taran Seamons raises registered Berkshire pigs for his SAE and has participated in the following CDE's in FFA: District Creed speaking, District soil and land judging, State Conduct of Meetings and Live-

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i t a stock evaluation. r The outstanding p sophomore award was presented to Ladd m Christensen, who has e been involved in the fol- S lowing CDE's: state soil o and land-judging, state o parliamentarian exam, m state parliamentary pro- n cedure team. e


May 2018 - Farm & Ranch Edition – The Preston Citizen – 11

Dirty work With the warming temperatures, farmers have taken to the fields to prepare them for planting a wide variety of crops in Franklin County: potatoes, beans, corn, safflower, flaxseed, wheat, barley, alfalfa, grass hay, oats, mustard seed, melons, squash, pumpkins, peppers, tomatoes and sweet corn. Photo by NECIA P. SEAMONS

FFA

(Continued from page 10)

Josie Palmer was named the chapter's star and district star farmer. Palmer raises and shows lambs for her SAE and has been involved in the FFA in the state livestock evaluation and state extemporaneous speaking competitions. The Star in Ag Placement honor was awarded to Wes Talbot. His SAE involves working on his family dairy cattle operation. He was also a member of the chapter's national dairy cattle evaluation team. Kyle Atkinson received the Delkalb

WEEDS

(Continued from page 6)

Hull to work with landowners to control noxious weeds, he said. With landowners as the first line of defense against noxious weeds it is imperative they know which weeds on that list are on their land. Carriers of the noxious weeds are wind, wildlife, water, and often pet or human activities. Seeds get caught in the soles of shoes and boots, stuck on clothing or attached to vehicles and recreational tires. Pets carry seeds lodged in their coats and paws. Noxious weeds can also propagate by a fragment breaking off and taking root when a weed is disposed of improperly.

Award from Monsanto for representing agriculture and maintaining exemplary scholarship. "We are very proud of our students working hard, practicing and getting the job done," said chapter advisor Larin Crossley, who has built the program for the last 25 years. He and co-advisor, Katie Wells, guide approximately 145 chapter members in activities and events that prepared them to bring home 12 state awards and four national awards this year. The graduating class of seniors brought home 16 state awards and five national awards while they were in FFA.

Protecting grazing animals from toxic weeds in their primary feeding areas is important. Open sunlight and fields and grazing pastures with disturbed soils are often more susceptible. Some noxious weeds contain toxins that can be harmful on contact or ingested. To assist landowners, identification and detailed information on how to treat noxious weeds can be found on the Idaho Weed Awareness website at www. idahoweedawareness. com. Landowners may also call the Franklin County Office, 208-8520563, for a free booklet with color photos depicting Idaho’s noxious weeds in various stages of growth.

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12 – The Preston Citizen – Farm & Ranch Edition - May 2018

y l l a u t c a e “W ple who have peoere just come h alk to w just t I . h g u o r h t l e e f m e h t makes ter.” bet

Photos by NECIA P. SEAMONS

Lee Holingsworth inspects the plants growing under the new greenhouses she and her family erected after the heavy snows of 2017 collapsed their 62-year-old glass greenhouses last year.

New greenhouses improve Edwards Floral By NECIA P. SEAMONS

Citizen editor

When Jeff and Lee Hollingsworth took over Edward’s floral in 2012, they weren’t planning to replace the glass greenhouses built in 1955. Mother Nature made that decision for them during the winter of 2017. Layers of rainsoaked snow collapsed the center building prompting the remodel of the nursery. When the Hollingsworths were looking for a replacement greenhouse, they went with a system out of Canada that is able to withstand 80 pounds of snow and 100 mph winds, said Lee. Insurance required them to replace the side houses, and they upgraded in technology as well. The new houses automatically self-ventilate, keeping the temperature inside optimal for plants to grow. They won’t grow if it is too hot, or cold, said Lee. So when the parts to the houses arrived, the Hollingsworths had a full-scale project on their hands. Although the old glass houses were insured, the business didn’t have the funds to have a contracting service put up the new buildings. Not only did they have to cut each panel of polycarbonate sheeting to fit each frame, they had to convert all the instructions from metric to standard measurements. “So, it took us longer,” said Lee. She and Jeff enlisted their kids and began assembling parts in July and thanks

to several service groups who pitched in, they finished last December. “They really saved our bacon,” she said. The new houses are now filled with flower sand vegetables, and Lee said she has noticed that “everything is growing faster” due to the better circulation of air and the quality of light the polycarbonate lets through to the plants. It acutally filters out some harmful UV rays, she said. But the real magic is in keeping the temperature constant - near 83 degrees - the peak for photosynthesis, says the former ag teacher. The old glass houses would get up to 95 degrees, and the plants would “shut down,” said Lee. The new houses have created both the perfect atmosphere for Photos by NECIA P. SEAMONS plant health, as well as Automatic curtains keep in warmth during a relaxing atmosphere the nightime, and automatic ceiling vents al- for the people who enjoy them. low hot air to escape as the day warms up. “We actually have people who come here just to walk through. It just makes them feel better,” she said. She and Jeff decided to leave the east section of the green house empty to be used for events, eventually, she said. Already, groups of people have used the colorful, bright space for dance and wedding pictures. True to Lee’s teaching career (she taught ag in the Bear Lake School District), the Hollingsworths employ several students. She enjoys watching them learn and grow. Photos by NECIA P. SEAMONS “Its not different Succulents are growing in popularity. than school. You get

Photos by NECIA P. SEAMONS

Working with youth is rewarding, and time consuming, making sure the right plants are growing in each pot. them trained and then they are gone,” she said. The biggest problem is parents wanting us to train their kids. Training starts at home, she said. “Kids that are busiest are the best workers,” she said. Youth are hired on a two-three week trial to see if the job will work for both them and the students. ‘Everyone wants to work here. They think

its fun, but the greenhouse thing is not for wimps,” she said. “It can be tedious and hard work,” to plant seed after seed into small planters and keep them watered. Nevertheless, Lee won’t deny the beautiful sights and smells that fill greenhouses. The company is holding a grand reopening this month.


May 2018 - Farm & Ranch Edition – The Preston Citizen – 13

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14 – The Preston Citizen – Farm & Ranch Edition - May 2018

r u o t a h t w “I kno have learned childrendig deep when how to re tough, and times a es in life you sometim to do hard have if they just things brustevering then, keep pean accomplish they c ything.” an Photo by THAYA GILMORE

Brittanie and Jackson Beckstead hold a pair of kids born on their family’s farm in Weston.

Becksteads teach kids responsibility raising kids

By THAYA GILMORE Citizen correspondent

Matt and Melissa Beckstead, come home from full-time jobs to still more work ahead of them, feeding and caring for 150 goats at their farm in Weston. But the extra work is worth the effort, they said. “Basically we have the goats to make an extra income. The other reason is we have been able to teach our children how to work on the farm. We work hard as a family and it also teaches them responsibility,” said Matt. Growing up in farming families, Matt in Cub River and Melissa in Fairview, gave them experience to draw from for their own

families. “This is just an extension of it,” said Melissa. They began 12 years ago when all three children were at home. Their oldest, a son, Taylor, 21, is now away at college pursuing a degree in precision agriculture. Daughter, Brittanie, 18, will be graduating from high school in May, and son, Jackson, is 12 years old. Four years ago the Becksteads learned of an opportunity to raise Savanna goats. “The Savanna goat is a unique breed of full blooded South African goats. They are a higher-value animal than most cross meat goats. These animals are used to establish other peo-

ple’s herds. We sell goats across the U.S. as far away as New Hampshire, Georgia, Texas and even Hawaii,” Melissa said. Kidding season is usually in the spring, specifically in February or March. “Each doe has one to four kids each year. Usually a doe has twins or triplets, but every year three or four does surprise us with quads. When the doe is older, she usually produces just one kid a year but can produce kids for 10-12 years, if they are healthy,” said Melissa. With that many kids born each year, it sounds like a full-time job for the goat owners, but Melissa said that the

Savanna goat is an easygoing animal and has better mothering-abilities than other breeds exactly what the Becksteads were looking for in a goat. “We don’t have to assist with every birthing. Usually the mother handles it herself without us, but there are times we have to pull a kid that is not coming out right. We just like to make sure the kids get out of the weather so they can warm up and start eating,” Melissa said. After the does kid in an open pen the Becksteads move them to the barn to protect them from the cold. “The Savanna is a white goat and 99 percent of our kids come

out white so it is important to get them tagged so we know which kids belongs to which doe. We also take birth weights, wean weights, microchip, and DNA test our kids. Spring is a very busy time for us, but we love it.” The Becksteads wean doelings and bucklings when they are 3-4 months old. “We give them some time to adjust after they are weaned before we start sending them across the country. We retain the top 10 percent of doelings every year to keep building our own herd. We also work with other breeders across the country to bring in new blood to our herd.” They are adding new

First time farmers, females using FSA loans

By THAYA GILMORE Citizen correspondent

Interested in a farm loan but having a hard time actually securing one? In an effort to infuse rural communities with stronger businesses along with sounder agricultural economies, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced another year of high activity in its farm loan programs. FSA assisted more than 120,000 family farmers with loans totaling just over $25 billion at the 2017 year end. Dr. Robert Johansson, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for the Farm Production and Conservation mission area reported in a press release recently: “FSA loan funds have been in high demand the last few years. We provide opportunities to qualified small, beginning and underserved farmers who are unable to obtain commercial

credit, to help them get started, gain access to land and grow their operations. Family farmers across America also come to us for credit when they face challenges to stay in business. We’re proud to support rural prosperity by providing credit to those who need it most.” Benjamin J. Young, Farm Loan Manager, Franklin County USDA Farm Service Agency states: “With suppressed prices in most commodity markets for the past several years, more and more farmers and ranchers have turned to FSA for financial assistance. FSA has been able to provide credit to many of the county’s farmers and ranchers over the past year. This credit has been essential for the success of these farms and ranches.” In Johansson’s report, he outlines that FSA provides a variety of loan assistance, including direct and guaranteed farm own-

ership loans, operating loans and even direct Microloans up to $50,000 and EZ Guarantees up to $100,000 with streamlined application processes. “The Microloans have been very popular due, in part, to the simplified application process. It also provides a good transition to ag lending for those who may not have the financial history that other agricultural lenders require,” said Young. In addition, Johansson remunerates that 25,000 direct and guaranteed FSA loans went to beginning or underserved farmers and ranchers, outlining that over 4,200 beginning farmers received direct farm ownership loans from FSA to make their first land purchase. “And of the approximately 6,500 Microloans made in the last fiscal year, almost 4,900 went to beginning farmers, 1,000 went to women and 400 to veterans,” Johansson said. Locally, 45 percent

of those loans went to beginning farmers, and 19 percent were made to women as the primary applicant, said Young. A beginning farmer is defined as having farmed or ranched less than 10 years. Johansson specifies that FSA’s direct farm loans are unique in that the agency provides technical assistance in addition to credit. Consistent with efforts to continually improve technical assistance, FSA announced the publication of two booklets filled with informational tools and resources for existing and prospective farm loan borrowers The booklet, Your FSA Farm Loan Compass, was developed specifically for farmers and ranchers who have an existing farm loan with FSA. It outlines borrower responsibilities and the servicing options that FSA offers. It also addresses common questions borrowers may have as they navi-

gate through loan program requirements and the financial concepts involved. Another booklet, Your Guide to FSA Farm Loans, was designed for new loan customers. It provides information about the various types of farm loans available and guides new borrowers through the application process. It also addresses program changes and includes new loan offerings, like the popular Microloan program. Both of these booklets are available in the USDA - Farm Service Agency office, 98 East 800 North, Suite 2, Preston, 208-852-0482 x2. They are also available on the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/ dafl. Farmers and ranchers are encouraged to download and share them with others in their community who may require assistance in understanding FSA’s loans and servicing processes.

bucks every few years, said Melissa. Not only have their children learned valuable lessons of what it takes to work on a farm, what have Matt and Melissa learned from having the goats be part of their family for so many years? “For me, maybe it’s to have more patience and even though it is hard, sometimes you have to let nature take its course,” said Melissa. “I know that our children have learned how to dig deep when times are tough, and sometimes in life you have to do hard things but if they just keep persevering then, they can accomplish anything.”

Volunteers are needed to help count local bumblebees By CITIZEN STAFF

A new project has launched to harness the volunteer power of citizen scientists and help map bumble bees in the Pacific Northwest, including Frankin County, and anyone with a camera and computer can contribute. The Pacific Northwest is home to nearly 30 species of these charismatic and easily recognizable bees, and many of them face an uncertain future. The project is called the Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas, and is spearheaded by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon State University, and the Xerces Society (See SEARCH on page 15)


May 2018 - Farm & Ranch Edition – The Preston Citizen – 15

Alfalfa

Photo by NECIA P. SEAMONS

According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, last year in Franklin County, 40,000 acres of alfalfa were harvested, yielding 132,000 ton, or 3.3 tons per acre. Generations of farmers have raised alfalfa and grass on these flats along the Bear River in Riverdale.

BEES

(Continued from page 14)

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for Invertebrate Conservation. The partners are collaborating with citizen scientists to collect information on bumble bees, including Species of Greatest Conservation Need, in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. In recent years, the importance of pollinators and their essential role in keeping our environment healthy by pollinating flowers in natural areas and contributing to successful harvests on farms has been recognized, as has their vulnerability, in large part because of widespread losses of bees. Declines of pollinator populations are alarming. Much attention has been given to the plight of the introduced European honey bee. Less publicized, but no less important, is the parallel decline of native, wild bee populations, particularly bumble bees. While this project will target all species of bumble bees, there are three species whose population declines are of particular concern: the western bumble bee (Bombus occidentalis), Morrison’s bumble bee (Bombus morrisoni) and the Suckley cuckoo bumble bee (Bombus suckleyi). “Washington, Idaho and Oregon are large, and include both heavily populated and wild areas, so we need an army of trained volunteers equipped with cameras to help survey the entire region,” said Rich Hatfield, Senior Conservation Biologist at the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. “With the help of citizen scientists we can cover all three states quickly, collect high-quality data and contribute information that will aid in conservation.” To participate, see www.pnwbumblebeeatlas.org.

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16 – The Preston Citizen – Farm & Ranch Edition - May 2018

us g in ak m r fo y nt ou C n li k an r F ou y Thank ! s es in us b y il m fa g in at er op t es Preston, Idaho’s long

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