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september 2019

In this issue

SNAP-ed Fall harvest & more!

M A G A Z I N E


BitterrootEvents.net music art sports education food & Drink government youth & schools special events

A partnership between the Ravalli Republic Newspaper and the Ravalli County Fairgrounds • visit bitterrootevents.net


in this issue Local SNAP-ed..........................................5 Hunting dogs............................................6 Monarch butterflies..................................8 Agritourism part 3...................................10 Fall harvest at the market.......................13 Victor FFA................................................15 2 Poppies.................................................16 Tired iron club.........................................17 Agriculture Heritage Notebook............20 Growing a farm.......................................22

MAGAZINE How did you like this issue of Agriculture Magazine? Do you have any ideas you’d like to share with us for our next issue? Let us know. Send comments to: Ravalli Republic, 232 West Main, Hamilton, MT 59840 or editor@ravallirepublic.com Photos on this page provided by Verdue Farm, Wendy Beye & Laura Frazee. Cover photo by Perry Backus Agriculture Magazine is published by the Ravalli Republic & Missoulian Newspapers, divisions of Lee Enterprises Jim Strauss, Publisher Perry Backus, Associate Editor Kathy Kelleher, Lauren Parsons & Jodi Wright, Sales Dara Saltzman, Production & Design Agriculture Magazine is copyright 2019, Ravalli Republic.

232 W Main, Hamilton, MT 59840 ravallirepublic.com


Page 4 - Agriculture Magazine, September 2019

PHOTO courtesy of the ravalli county museum

Don’t miss the 40th Annual McIntosh Apple Day, October 5th!


Agriculture Magazine, September 2019 - Page 5

Local SNAP-ed program offers lots of useful information on healthy living MSU-Ravalli Extension

Have you crunched into some fresh and local carrots this season? How about some Swiss Chard? Have you heard of SNAP-Ed and what does one have to do with the other? Well, your local SNAP-Education program of Ravalli County’s MSU- Extension office teaches great ways to make The Healthy Choice, The Easy Choice. We teach information on how to shop for and cook healthy meals, how to make your food dollars stretch, easy meal planning according to the MyPlate, Ideas for stretching food dollars, tips for increasing physical activity, and tasty ways to eat healthy. To that end, SNAP-Ed promotes Farmers Markets as an excellent place to get fruits and veggies! SNAP-Ed helps people support their resident economy, eat healthy, delicious meals and reap the benefits of our Valley’s agriculture. Fruits and veggies cost less when they are in season and Ravalli County has a plethora of tasty

options to tantalize your taste buds. SNAP-Ed has free guides to delicious seasonal produce and your Farmers Markets are the places to buy them. Stop in MSU-Ravalli Extension 215 South 4th Street Suite G in Hamilton or call 375.6609 to access our free guides and tell us what fruits and vegetables are favorites on your table this season. Give us a call at 375.6609 and speak with Jennifer Murrillo in the SNAP-Ed program to Buy, Eat, and Live Better starting this season. A Renewable Organic Plant Food Mulch & Soil Builder A Renewable Peat Moss Replacement

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photos Courtesy Laura Frazee

Preventing sport dog injuries Teresa Peterson, DVM Associate Veterinarian Burnt Fork Vet Clinic

Fall is in the air as morning temperatures start to dip and the first signs of yellow tint the leaves in the Bitterroot Valley. Owners of sporting dogs eagerly anticipate this time of year and hopefully have been preparing their canine partners for the start of the increased activity level they will be participating in. And as the fall approaches both sled dogs and hunting dogs are impatiently awaiting their return to work. Yet weekend warrior syndrome can happen to our canine team members just as it happens to humans that overexert themselves without proper conditioning and training. This not only

leads to stiff and sore muscles but may predispose them to injuries that could have been prevented by proper strength and endurance training before engaging in the sport they participate in. By preventing injury, we hope to allow the dogs to continue at a high-performance level for many years to come. The fitness level that is required by a dog depends upon the type and intensity of the sport they will participate in and should start about 6 weeks before the events to obtain adequate fitness. Regular practice in their task will also greatly improve their performance. Dog training should be similar in agility, exertion level, and conditions that as much as possible represent the sport.


Agriculture Magazine, September 2019 - Page 7

Factors to consider are speed, endurance, flexibility, strength, and balance. Other dog activities that this article applies to are search and rescue, flyball, agility, lure coursing, weight pull, dock diving, and disk dogs. However, these sports tend to vary in the time of year they are run, and many can be done year-round, so overtraining must be avoided to prevent overuse injuries. Rest days are important for dogs and humans alike. Sled dogs and other dogpowered sports (skijor, bikejoring, canicross, and carting) need good strength and varying levels of endurance depending upon the length of the race they are running, sprint vs distance. Hunting and field trial dogs may cover a lot of distance but usually in shorter sprints. Nevertheless, they need to be agile to maneuver through changing terrain and acclimated to the temperatures that they will be out in. Hydration in both sled and hunting dogs is very important and should be addressed before, during, and after the exercise. Heatstroke can happen even in cooler temperatures if the dog is not conditioned properly. Baited water will help encourage the dogs to drink adequately. Hunting dogs that are continuously mouth breathing due to improper conditioning will lose their ability to scent the track and not be very efficient at finding birds or other game. Akin to their human teammate, dogs will benefit significantly from physical therapy exercises. Proprioception, balance, core strength, flexibility and muscle strength can be greatly improved with stability and balance workouts. A conditioning program could include wobble boards, cavaletti rails, balance disks and many other workouts to help a dog improve his overall fitness level.

With proper physical condition the tendons, ligaments and cartilage have reduced stress put on them reducing the risk for injury. This especially becomes necessary as the dogs start to age and have decreased proprioception. Physical therapy can also benefit an injured dog to help regain range of motion and strength. Contact your veterinary to help set up a program for your dog or assist you in properly teaching your dog these exercises. Equally important for the sporting dog is proper nutrition and varphotos Courtesy Laura Frazee ies depending upon the activity, they participate in. Sled dogs fed a high protein, high fat and low carbohydrate have been shown to have a significant decrease in injuries. Dogs should be maintained at an optimal body weight equivalent to that of an elite human athlete. Supplementing with omega 3 fatty acids, glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM can decrease pain and inflammation by decreasing the production of pain mediators and may decrease cartilage degradation. There have been several studies done with hunting dogs and sled dogs showing that the timing of a meal can greatly influence their performance, again depending upon the duration of the event. Most agree that only a light meal should be fed right before the event. Maltodextrin a small complex carbohydrate offered within 30 minutes of exercise has been shown to drastically improve glycogen stores that are used by the muscle and can lead to weakness when depleted. Dogs should also have a warmup period and cool-down period to also help avert injury. Get out there and enjoy the wonderful fall and winter season in Montana. Hopefully, this will help you and your canine partners enjoy a productive and injury-free season.


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photos Courtesy Maggie Hirschauer

Showy milkweed (A. speciosa) bends over the roadside in Lolo, heavy with blossoms.

Where have all the monarchs gone? Maggie Hirschauer, Bitterroot Monarch Project Coordinator, MPG Ranch

Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) are fascinating creatures for several reasons. They begin as minuscule eggs, then gain over 2,000 times their mass to emerge as beautiful butterflies. Caterpillars are boldly patterned to warn predators of toxic compounds in their bodies. Weighing only between 0.25 and 0.75 grams, their adult wings carry them across thousands of miles of North America. Research is now revealing the Bitterroot Valley to potentially be an important travel corridor for migrating monarch butterflies. Monarchs living west of the Rocky Mountains travel between breeding grounds in northern latitudes and overwintering sites along the California coast. They make these movements annually over several generations. If they are lucky, the

offspring of butterflies leaving California will reach the Bitterroot Valley, Pacific Northwest, or even southern Canada. They travel in search of milkweed (Asclepias spp.), the only group of plants monarch caterpillars eats. Monarch populations are in decline. The Xerces Society has been conducting winter surveys at monarchs’ California roosts since 1997 when the population was counted at over 1.2 million butterflies. Winter 2018 brought the most devastating count to date numbering only 28,429 individuals or 0.6% of the population’s historical size. Two organizations in the Bitterroot Valley have started to focus their attention on monarch conservation. The O’Hara Commons and Sustainability Center has been monitoring monarch habitat on their grounds in Hamilton as well as roadside patches of showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) for four years. Monarch survival to


Agriculture Magazine, September 2019 - Page 9

son. Considering adulthood in the wild is less that a single than 10 perfemale butterfly cent, so findcan lay over 600 ing eggs and eggs, the findings rearing them were striking. indoors can This trend boost the local was mirrored population across the Pacific and provide a Northwest hands-on eduwith few sightcational tool. ings in Idaho, This year Washington, and the O’Hara northern Oregon. Commons’ Unfortunately, search failed to “the overwinfind any fertile photos Courtesy Maggie Hirschauer tering populaeggs. Two eggs One of the final butterflies to be released this year on MPG Ranch, displaying its tag with unique tion this year alpha-numeric code. were found is likely to be in late July, but both failed to hatch. In past similarly poor to last year” predicts Dr. David years, the group typically found at least 20 James, a monarch researcher at Washington eggs by mid-June. The group is spending the State University, in a report published on remainder of the season creating a database MonarchWatch.org. and mapping the region’s milkweed. While monarchs were largely missed across This year MPG Ranch initiated the Bitterroot Monarch Project aimed at quantify- much of their western range, the Bitterroot Monarch Project had some success. In ing the importance of the Bitterroot Valley in monarch migration, including raising and tag- August, 13 butterflies were released on MPG Ranch after being tested for a protozoan parging monarchs. Milkweed restoration efforts asite (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, or OE) and commenced early this spring with around tagged with individually recognizable stick1,000 showy milkweed root cuttings transers. Hopefully, these Bitterroot monarchs will planted across MPG Ranch property. Milkweed from Missoula to Stevensville was make their way south to have their tags recognized in California. mapped and monitored for monarch presYou can help monarchs and all pollinators ence all summer. Several eggs and caterpillars were found on MPG Ranch and Lolo National by planting showy milkweed and other native plants on your property. It is critical to refrain Forest (Maclay Flat Nature Trail). Monarchs arrived in mid-July, much later than expected. from using pesticides on these plants. You can also join a nation-wide network of conDespite both groups’ combined efforts servationists by tending your own Monarch searching over 19,000 stalks of milkweed Waystation and register it at MonarchWatch. across 40 miles of the valley, only 22 viable eggs or caterpillars were discovered all seaorg


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Agri-tourism Part III: Happy Yondering By Tim Southwell ABC acres

Ready, set, go! Your landscape is teeming with life, on-property activities are set, and perhaps you have incorporated an overnight stay, but how best to share your new dip into the agri-tourism industry with those travelers thirsting for this nature-connect? Don’t fret, as there are many avenues to consider, most of which won’t stress your pocketbook. Social media, social media, social media. It’s free, it’s easy, takes only minutes a day to fill with content, and has over three billion active viewers. Start by crafting a unique name for your destination, and secure that across all desired channels. Learn what content attracts the most chatter, then get to posting. At ABC

acres we find pictures of the mountains, videos of animals, and unique seasonal events capture the most noise on our channels… and that’s a good thing. Whether reaching out to the local community for day outings or destination seekers from afar, a social media presence will start to lay the groundwork for building a collective following. Local and state tourism offices are an excellent way, for little expense, to get exposure to travelers actively planning a trip to Montana. With an annual membership, you are listed on destination maps and activity boards, along with lodging options showcased on their respective websites. Guest content needs may allow providing written and visual con-


Agriculture Magazine, September 2019 - Page 11

tent of your unique operation for use on these sites. For a little more expense, strategic banner ads will put your name in front of viewers on popular viewed pages or at the top of specific search results. Unlike social media, visitors to these tourism specific websites are actively looking to travel, so a presence here gets you in front of people ready to spend. To take it to the next level, a dedicated personalized website is always a good thing. It sets you apart from the competition and conveys to the consumer that you are serious about your operation and want people to take notice. Many self-build website offerings exist, and you don’t need to be a whiz to execute. However, it does need to be quality, and I for one am not a webpage designer. If you can supply the pics and narrative, then a classy single home page can be crafted for around $500. It can capture the look, feel, and energy of your offering, while conveying all the important details you wish to pass along to the consumer. If you have a multifaceted operation and wish to capture that in many pages under one website, then look to spend more for development. ABC acres has about $4,500 into our website, complete with hidden links to outside websites and our online Shopify account. Start small, lead with quality,

and call out pertinent information on what makes you different and unique. By putting yourself in the shoes of the nature-hungry consumer, you can craft an attractive website leaving consumers wanting. If you’re thinking that this is all great, but how can you possibly manage all the inquiries and bookings that result from this public presence and not interrupt your day to day farm demands, don’t give it another concern. There are specific platforms that will gladly host your property’s overnight lodgings and / or activities, market them to interested seekers, manage scheduling, and advise you when visitors are ready to book. What does it cost, you ask? Most platforms take a percentage of the fee you are charging your customers, so no monies change hands until you have earned some revenue. The trick is to align yourself and your property’s offerings with a platform that best represents and interacts with your target audience. For instance, a platform best known for rentals and activities in urban settings would not best fit your agri-tourism focus. In reality, until now, there has not been one destinationspecific online platform to represent agri-tourism properties and the consumers seeking such a nature-connect. That is until now. It was October 2017, and I was frustrated


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with ABC acre’s agri-tourism offerings being undervalued in the eyes of current online booking platforms. At the same time, I saw fellow ag operators working long days with little to show for their Herculean efforts. I thought to myself there had to be a better way‌ a way to keep doing what we love, which is hands in the dirt, while supporting a new model of income. A model that directly ties into the wave of people seeking out farms, wishing for a closer connection to nature & their food, and all the while improving their health & wellbeing as a result. It was then and there that Yonder was born. I started Yonder this past winter and come January 2020, we will be open for business connecting agriculture and nature-based properties across the world with families looking to connect with the life-enriching experiences such destinations offer. Currently, we are busy signing up rich, diverse properties, and I welcome you to visit www.yonder.com to

Now with two locatioNs Deer Lodge Store 618 Main St Deer Lodge, MT 59722

Corvallis Store 1308 Eastlede Hwy Corvallis, MT 59828

406-846-9227

406-961-4917

learn more about becoming a Yonder Host. No matter the marketing strategy you choose to implement for promoting your onproperty activities and/or overnight lodgings, you must lead with a quality offering coupled with exemplary customer service. In the end, it will be consumer reviews and word-of-mouth that start to drive your agri-tourism notoriety in the court of public opinion. Three years into the world of agri-tourism offerings at ABC acres, we have seen income increase each year while supporting the sales of from-thefarm goods. As we prepare to enter the coming fall/winter season, I know that I am committed to assisting the agriculture community in developing means to diversify their income portfolio. Pickup up the phone or drop me a line (tim@abcares.com), and let’s visit on your ideas to incorporate the same on your piece of ground. You will be happy that you did. Happy Growing!


Agriculture Magazine, September 2019 - Page 13

Fall harvests provide for winter By Erin Belmont Hamilton Farmers Market Coop

As the evenings begin to cool and early mornings require a hoodie, our minds begin to shift to heartier activities like hunting and eventually skiing and snowboarding. But, my friends, just because there is a chill to the air does not mean that farmers’ markets are over. September and October bring some of Montana’s finest fruits and vegetables and you can find them in bulk quantities at the market. The Hamilton Farmers Market continues to run every Saturday, rain or shine, through October 26th from 9-12:30. The fall harvest season is a great time to enjoy the last of the vine-ripened tomatoes and to stock up on storage crops like squash, onions, potatoes, and beets. Depending on the fruit and vegetable varieties that farmers choose to grow, some take every bit of the growing season to develop to full ripeness. Attending the fall markets is a great way to stay connected with your farmers, learn about fall crops, and continue your commitment to eating locally. Some fall crops that you will find at the Hamilton Farmers Market include parsnips, potatoes, celeriac, storage onions, storage cabbage, watermelon radish, leeks, brussel sprouts, winter squash, pumpkin, beets, storage carrots, napa cabbage, garlic, shallots, and turnips. Stocking up on storage crops and preserving food for the long winter season can be a satisfying

way to extend your local eating season. Canning, freezing, and fermenting are relatively easy methods to store vegetables long into the winter months. Canning requires some basic equipment and a bit of labor in the kitchen during the lingering heat of August or September. Freezing is quick and easy as long as you have freezer space. Fermenting is a creative and delicious way to preserve the bounty and requires very little equipment (See related article.) Not interested in the extra effort it takes to preserve food for the winter. Well, you are in luck, because many of our fall crops store just fine for many months in a cool basement, garage, or pantry. Winter squash is a favorite fall crop of many not only as a nutrient-dense and flavorful addition to our meals but also because they are just so beautiful to have around the kitchen. There are many different varieties of winter squash, each with their own characteristics. Some are sweet, some or earthy or nutty, but all are nutritious and hearty, perfect for our winter meals. Winter squash belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. They are related to melons, cucumbers, and gourds. Winter squash must be cured for 10 or more days after harvest, at which point their skins harden and their starches convert to sugars. When properly stored, some squash varieties will keep for up to six months. Table 1, from Johnny’s Seeds, provides a general guideline for storage and optimal eating periods.


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provided by earth board farms

Storage guidelines for winter squash.

Store winter squash in a cool, dark place. The best storage temperature is between 50 and 55°F. They store best when not in contact with the ground or each other. Some of the harder, thickerskinned squash can be stacked on top of each other as long as there is adequate air circulation. Check your squash every so often and remove any squash that has started to deteriorate. Do not store squash near apples, pears, or other ripening fruit as ripening fruit releases ethylene gas, which causes yellowing of the squash and shortens storage life. Winter squash is rich in Carotenoids: beta carotene (a precursor to vitamin A), lutein, zeaxanthin; Protein; Vitamin C; Vitamin B6; Fiber; Magnesium; Potassium; Vitamin E; and manganese. The beautiful orange color of many winter

squash varieties signals their high concentration of carotenoids which can be converted into active forms of vitamin A. But the color brings more than nutrition, it also brightens our dishes on long, cold, dark winter nights. A quick search will provide you with a myriad of winter squash recipes from soups and stews to roasted or mashed dishes, and even sweet desserts. Or, head to the Hamilton Farmers Market all through September and October Saturdays 9-12:30 and ask your farmers about their favorite ways to prepare these beautiful and bountiful storage crops. For more information about Hamilton Farmers Market visit www. http://hamiltonfarmersmarket. org/ and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.


Agriculture Magazine, September 2019 - Page 15

Victor FFA visits Washington DC took a train straight to Washington D.C. for the The Victor FFA Chapter leadership conference. sent three of their top The chapter members members to Washington were assigned community D.C. to participate in the groups with other FFA Washington Leadership members from around the Conference (WLC) hosted by the National FFA country and were encourOrganization. Washington aged to step out of their Leadership Conference comfort zone and make is the culmination of new friends. Throughout a three-part, cohesive the week they visited conference series called many monuments, histhe Chapter Leadership toric sights, and museums Continuum. such as the Washington Members have the Monument, the Capitol option of attending the Building, the Holocaust weeklong WLC at various Museum, and the points in June and July, Smithsonian of Natural photo provided during which they are Three Victor FFA members attended a Washington Leadership History. Conference in Washington, DC earlier this year. exposed to a curriculum WLC focused on a based on four tenants: Living to Serve Plan where ME, WE, DO and SERVE. The conference students create a service project to complete often helps attendees become engaged citiback to their home state, all of the students’ zens who have made positive differences in plans were creative and will be used to bring their communities and beyond (National FFA perspective and a positive influence to their Organization, 2019). communities, Nora Goodwin’s plan includes Washington Leadership Conference has having students write notes to patients at been held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in local hospitals and talk about issues with yearWashington D.C. for many years, this leaderround recognition for those patients, Jayden ship opportunity is open to all FFA members, and Gracie will also tie their plans into the and is organized by college students intermedical field. The workshops and opportunity ested in FFA and leadership. Going to this nationwide event has been a dream of Gracie they got to experience was life-changing, seeing a room full of 370 other FFA members willSmith, the president of Victor’s FFA Chapter. ing to follow the WLC motto of “ To Do What The three chapter members and their advisor flew to Philadelphia, once there we visited We Can, With What We Have, Where We Are” was inspiring, thank you to all who made many historic sites including the liberty bell this trip possible, it has touched more than and the National Constitution Center. just the three of them who went. After two days in Philidelphia, they By Casey Tintzman


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Get acquainted with the plants around you By Hillary Sargent, Two Poppies Apothecary

That time of year again. Abundance is just prolific. Finding myself, or shall I say, losing myself at every corner just in absolute awe of the plants. The growth. The beauty in the bounty. I am late to almost everywhere and it’s usually due to a plant. Whether harvesting, foraging, processing or making something with plants…they make me late. And I find myself not really mad about it, after all, this is how I practice my faith and how nature becomes me. When you walk into my tiny apothecary you will smell what I am talking about with the plants. They make what I do, what I practice, and what I preach all worth it, and easy. See, I harvest at the peak of life for whatever part of the plant I am after. I take care of the transport and the processing of the plant, care in the storage and the organization, pride in the entire process. I make things for people with plants. Things that make people feel good, look their best, and things that can help get people through many different moments in life. The plants do the magic, I help them along and get them into the hands of our community. I am their biggest advocate. You may be scratching your head…an advocate of the plants? You got that right. They can become a face mask, a tooth polish, herbal oil to spoil yourself with on the daily, a face

photo provided

Starting my daughter young, so excited about this very large burdock we found on a trip to Bozeman.

photo provided

Hawthorn leaf and berry from one of my favorite places in the sapphires

serum, a lip balm, a tea, a vinegar, honey, a bath soak, a tincture, food…I could go on. Not many things can become so much…take the rose for example. The buds can be harvested as garnishes, put into a fancy bath salt they unfurl, and they make a honey that is a gift from the Gods. Add them to a tea blend, powder them and turn them into a face mask, soak them in oil and they become a luxury item for your body and skincare routine and oh so good for your heart and senses. Let them produce their hips and suddenly again, magic! They are tea, jam, vinegars, tinctures, a fruit so very high in vitamin C and ready for you when you need her most! Goodness…the plants! I encourage you to get better acquainted with the plants around you. Stop into the tiny apothecary and breathe in the plant scent, take a peek at what I am processing, making and doing with the pants I know and love. Let me share my excitement about it all with you! Be on the lookout for upcoming classes and workshops where I dive further into my love of plants and teach you to be a lover and advocate for them as well, making remedies and skincare products with plant allies that grow in abundance all around you.


Agriculture Magazine, September 2019 - Page 17

Tired Iron Antique Tractor Club history recounted By Allen Biergo

In the 1990s a group of tractor and small engine collectors began meeting in Missoula and called themselves the “Antique Power Association”. Led by Marvin Troutwine, who had a Case steam tractor, which he would fire up and display at the Missoula County Fair. He also bought it to Teller Wildlife Refuge and put on threshing demonstrations. Local farmers and collectors would bring tractor and horse-drawn implements to Teller Refuge and demonstrate plowing in the spring, and then would cut enough oats with a power binder, to have bun-dles to thresh at the end of the summer. This led to the idea of having a display of old tractors at the Ravalli County Fair, at the end of the summer, and when a threshing machine, (called a “separator” by some) was revived, the group of collectors began showing how grain was threshed in the days before combines. Several suggested that there should be a club in Ravalli County. Mel Whiting of Stevensville helped start the group and it began to be called the “Tired Iron Antique Tractor Club”. The club holds monthly meetings, at the places of different members, with the host providing refresh-ments, after an hour or more of discussion, ideas, remembrances and questions. Around Thanksgiving, the club gathers for a potluck and social gathering. In June, the club joins with the local Sons of Nor-way Lodge to celebrate Midsummer Night’s Eve in Scandinavian fashion. The meetings are generally informal, in somebody’s shop, surrounded by tools and perhaps a tractor being updated. After the reading of the minutes of the previous meeting, the discussion can be about getting ready for the Fair or trying to figure out the use of some rusty tool that was dug up in some-one’s yard. Pictures are passed around, of tractors and implements, and once in a great while, a video of some unique farming operation. Usually, there is news of a tractor or implement for sale. Since most of the members are older, from time to time, a valued comrade passes away, and the club will dip into its modest treasury to provide a memorial for

the departed member. Some members are still actively farming and josh each other with the saying: “The favorite pastime of a farmer is watching other guys farm.” Stories abound, such as dealing with a bear who has set up housekeeping in a cornfield, or having an amateur hunter put a slug through a moving combine, to which the angry response was: This is a John Deere, not a whitetail deer!” Some members recall the days before electricity and most power being from horses. Some complained about the work of threshing as kids, and now cheerfully doing the same work for an audience at the Ravalli County Fair. The club welcomes new members, young or old. The president is Darrel Sperry (961-3450), secretary is Bob Thorson (961-3405). The club meets on the first Thursday of the month.


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Agriculture Heritage Notebook The Bitter Root Cultural Heritage Trust

interpretation and affirm cultural values.

works in partnership with families,

The Heritage Trust provides an article for

neighborhoods and communities to restore

each edition of Agricultural Magazine,

historic structures, bring back traditional

highlighting the Bitterroot Valley’s

events and celebrations, encourage

agricultural history and heritage.

Story & photos WENDY BEYE

Last year, when I wrote about Anna Mae Paddock’s big barn on Old Darby Road, her ranch manager, Randy Maxwell said, “Hey, you should do a story about the old barn on my place, just down the road!” I finally followed up on his invitation this fall.

Randy told me the barn was built as a dairy barn, using plans from the Louden Machinery Company of Fairfield, Iowa, the same company that provided plans and hardware for the Charlie Norman barn near Lick Creek. As I drive up the lane toward the bright red


Agriculture Magazine, June 2019 - Page 19

An old photo of the Waddell Barn.

barn, there are what I assume to be dairy cows in the pasture to my right. As I park my truck, I am greeted by what seems to be at least a half dozen black and white herding dogs in assorted sizes. Randy steps out of the log home that flanks the barn, and we stroll toward his well-kept ag buildings. First, he shows me a small milk cooling shed. It has a trough where 5-gallon milk cans could be lined up, allowing piped-in spring water fresh from the ground to cool warm milk. That same spring provides water all year round to Randy’s livestock. Though it was raining earlier in the morning, the sun peeks out just in time to light up the south side of the barn and warm the cats that await us there. A pony and several burros watch us walk around the barn, coming to the corral fence for attention. We step into the dark first floor of the barn, and I’m surprised to see just a few milking stanchions in place, and obviously, they have not been recently used. I ask Randy, “Don’t you milk those dairy cows that are out in the pasture?” He laughed. “Those are Holstein steers I bought for the 4-H kids to practice their herding and penning skills on! They’re so well-trained that when they see the horses coming, they head right for the small pen we set up out there.” So much for

my powers of observation - no udders in sight! The barn loft is used for 4-H meetings now rather than hay storage, but the hay trolley is still in place, minus the hayfork. Randy has removed all the ropes so the trolley won’t temp his grandchildren and their friends into daredevil activities. Randy tells me that John Waddell, the family patriarch, came to the Bitterroot Valley in the 1880s and settled on a homestead purchased from Granville Shook. He added to that property, and then eventually deeded portions of his ranch to three of his married daughters and his only son. Randy’s barn is on the property that was owned by Frank Waddell, the son. There is a McIntosh apple orchard on the bench above the barn, and an apple sorting shed that was used during the valley’s apple boom days. Four different water rights, including Waddell Ditch developed by John Waddell that brings water several miles from Bunkhouse Creek, keep everything well-watered and productive. Randy takes a few minutes to show me the plans, dated 1936 and sold to Frank Waddell, that he found rolled up and stashed above a floor joist in the house. He is particularly fascinated by the details showing how to layout a “jig” on the loft floor that ensured that each roof truss was identical to its brothers. It appears that the same plans


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were used to construct a barn on the property just south of Randy’s, which was where John Waddell lived until he had to move in with one of his daughters. Research at the Ravalli County Courthouse, Ravalli County Museum, and in archived newspaper available online added information to the stories told to Randy by L.M. Powell, Frank Waddell’s grandson during a visit years ago. John

Waddell barn milk cooling shed.

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A special publication by the Ravalli Republic. Look for the next issue September 2019 and the spring issue in March,2020


Agriculture Magazine, September 2019 - Page 21

Franklin Waddell traveled west from Iowa with his family and spent a year in the Beaverhead Valley. He decided it was too cold there in the winter, and moved on to the Bitterroot Valley, where he and his father William each received deeds for 160acre homesteads in 1892 and 1894. There is no record of a homestead property sale from Granville Shook that proves the validity of family lore, so perhaps Shook just sold his right and interest to Waddell before he perfected his homestead claim. In 1920, John deeded Randy’s parcel to his son, John F. Waddell, Jr. (later known as Frank Waddell), and neighboring parcels to daughters Mildred, Ruth, and Mary in the 1920s and 30s. An odd transfer occurred in 1948 between John F. Waddell, Jr. to Maud Halder (sister to John, Jr.), then on the same day, back to Frank Waddell from Maud. Perhaps that was because Frank no longer wanted to be known as John Franklin Waddell, Jr. From then on, he was always just “Frank.”

Waddell Barn loft and hay trolley

Thirteen property transfers later, Randy Maxwell became the owner of record. I later found several references to John Franklin Waddell in online newspaper archives. One article from 1905 mentioned the death of his mule, “Old Juber,” who helped pull the family wagon to Montana. Another touted his 660-pound butchered weight hog that produced smoked hams weighing 125 pounds each. An obituary said he was “a sterling citizen, fine father, a good friend and true builder in every sense of the word.” He expected to live to be 100 years old. Fate had other plans. He suffered a blast from his own double-barreled shotgun at age 91 when he tried to untangle the gun from his chair as he sat in the orchard shooting crows that were eating cherries from his favorite tree. He was living with his daughter, Mary Berge at the time, though still working his own ranch. He certainly left behind a wonderful agricultural legacy in the valley.

Waddell Barn milking stanchion


Page 22 - Agriculture Magazine, September 2019

Photo verdue farms

Growing a farm: making plans for winter by Brian Herbel Verdure Pastures

We have had a good season. We got a new tractor to go with our old tractor. We need to label things better sometimes, I need to wear gloves more often, and there is no such thing as a “nice” pair of pants anymore. We could give the orchard more love, but it is on the list—the list that grows and never shrinks. We have construction projects for the winter and

thoughts as to what niche we can fill as growers. And always thinking about how we can be more efficient at what we do. Farming, it turns out, is partly or mostly about how one can streamline a given task. Not making it easier per se, but just not having to do the same thing over and over unnecessarily. It’s about efficiency. We hope to have a farm stand soon (one of the aforementioned winter projects) if any-


Agriculture Magazine, September 2019 - Page 23

thing for our neighbors. It can start there. Getting delicious food into the hands of our neighbors, and then their neighbors, and then a restaurant their neighbor eats at. Helping people rediscover childhood smells and tastes. Good food is good. We are constantly striving for more taste and beauty. The flowers did really well this year and can also get into the hands of neighbors next season. Never underestimate the simplicity of having a nice bouquet of flowers on the table. We will plan this winter. We will keep looking towards what we can provide. We will all keep supporting each other in this farm community. Local food, locally grown flowers, local ingredients in your restaurants is how we can immediately affect the world around us. Look for a farm stand soon on Middle Bear Creek Road and all this might make more sense. Add it to the list.

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September 2019 Agriculture Magazine  

September 2019 Agriculture Magazine  

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