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Summer is here! The kids completed their last day of school and have officially reported for summer duty as farm kids. During a recent breakfast conversation, my family sat down to identify some goals for this summer. The kids want to bake cupcakes, ride their bikes, go fishing and visit som…

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I traveled to Washington, D.C. this past week. It was really the first time I had traveled in more than a year, and it was the first time I had taken a plane since the pandemic hit us over a year ago. I have had both of my shots so I am fully vaccinated, but I must say I had a little trepida…

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You can tell a lot about people by the types of philosophical questions they like to debate. Many people ponder sports greats, classic cars, blockbuster movies or which superpowers are the best.

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The first good thunderstorm of the season swept through my area late Saturday night and early Sunday morning. It rolled in from the west with a brilliant light show and booming bass of thunder reverberating through our windows.

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Here I sit, as so many others have sat, for days waiting for a telephone reply to messages that I left on telephones after the “leave a message after the tone.” Messages to find out some information or to correct some problem or for some other important reason. Right now I am trying to get t…

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I recently received an email from a local car dealer offering to buy my truck. Normally I just delete these types of pitches, but in this instance curiosity got the best of me. I opened the email and quickly discovered my gently used vehicle was worth more than I expected — a lot more.

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Throughout our farm you can see large, metal grain storage bins scattered about. While many farmers haul their grain to the local elevator while their crop is being harvested to either sell or to pay to have the grain stored for later sales, many also store grain in their own bins.

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I often joke about the fact that I love to judge people just like on American Idol. Except I am not qualified to judge musicians — my forte is public speaking. I love judging 4-H model meetings, FFA discussion meets and any other speaking contests. I enjoy sharing my life-tested knowledge in…

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The Kansas Legislature wrapped up the first portion of the 2021 Legislative Session on Friday, April 9th. Both the House and the Senate will resume in May to address legislation that Governor Kelly decides to veto. The bills we heard and voted on cover a wide variety of issues including: men…

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It is springtime in the Flint Hills, and that means one thing: It’s pasture burning season. Those of us who are caretakers of the Flint Hills know fire is the most important tool we have to maintain the last large-scale vestige of warm-season tallgrass prairie. Without it, invasive shrubs an…

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I am again frustrated over the fact that I could not find the 475 School Board meeting, live on the internet. I know that the 475 School Board approved spending $60,000 for the “Cadillac” system of equipment and computer programs needed to broadcast the 475 School Board meetings at their Mar…

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A couple years ago I was at an event where a fellow Farm Bureau staffer from another state lamented he spent so much of his time dealing with the legislative process, there wasn’t much of a chance to really fight for agriculture.

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It’s beginning to look and feel a lot like spring around our central Kansas farm. The cattle pastures have been burned and fresh grass is now growing in preparation for summer grazing. There’s been increased talk of where we will be planting our crops that will be harvested later in the fall…

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February Jobless Rate Drops to 6.2% by Maurie Backma

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I had a weird relationship with bad weather when I was a very young child. I recall I really wanted to see a tornado up close and personal and then, when I thought I might actually have the chance, I found I really didn’t.

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When I lived in the city, spring was not my favorite season.

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I am going on a rant, and yes this is a warning. This past weekend was the fateful day that we spring our clocks ahead one hour for Daylight Saving Time. Let me be clear and not mince any words here, I really dislike the time change and, I have yet to find anyone who really likes it. Over an…

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In 2020, advocates across the country urged Congress to pass the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act. That historic legislation made 988 the future phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and paved the way for each state to fund 988 the same way as 911. With the introd…

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A perfect spring day has a bright blue sky, just the right amount of heat, a light breeze and an almost unnoticeable humidity. It’s always a welcome sight after winter, but especially after Mother Nature treats everyone to two weeks of below-freezing temperatures. All of that is on top of mo…

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I have a strange feeling March 7, 2020 for me, is going to be a little bit like Sept. 11 for me in that I will most likely always remember what I was doing on that day.

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In recent days I’ve been catching up on chores I decided to put on hold during our recent weather, which caused temperatures to plummet, the sky to appear gray and gloomy, and left many in the middle of the country to adjust energy consumption in the hopes of keeping the power on.

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This letter is to all the DV victims of Junction City and Grandview Plaza.

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Our first beef calves of the season arrived a few days into February. Each day into calving season temperatures grew colder, and our lives transitioned from normal routines to the highly vigilant survival mode required to weather the arctic storm.

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So, you want to be in animal agriculture? You get to be your own boss, but the pay is lousy. Still the life is generally good. Weeks like this past one makes us reconsider our choices in vocation and, at times, our ability to make sane, rational decisions.

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I recently cleaned out my sock drawer, an overdue task that I hadn’t reached the appropriate level of boredom to tackle in a number of years. It also served as a reminder that I’m absolutely terrible at estimating just how useful a range of items will be in the future.

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I was recently asked to help judge an FFA speech contest. I happily agreed to help as I thoroughly enjoy listening to young adults present their research and memorized written work before a panel of strangers. Besides, setting aside a few hours to judge is the least I can do to help support …

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Dreams have been on my mind lately. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of equality; our founding fathers’ dream of a government of, by, and for the people; and the dreams of little girls who want to grow up to be president of the United States of America.

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I want to thank all of you for your patience, good humor and understanding. We’ve had several bumps in the road as we’ve launched our own carrier delivery service for the Daily Union this week.

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