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I am the fifth generation to farm one of our pieces of ground, which is quite a heritage to live up to. I have often wondered what it would be like to not be tied to a place, a way of living and a lifestyle. Those thoughts are very fleeting because who I am is very much tied to the land and …

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I have been to many 475 School Board meetings as well as many Junction City, City Commission meetings over the years. There are some unwritten rules that have come through time after time in the very clearest of ways.

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My grandparents received exactly one paycheck per year, usually in mid-August when they took calves to market. I was probably 5 or 6 years old the first time I got to go to the sale and sit in the grandstand as the cattle were auctioned off in lots.

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Happy National Cooperatives Month! As a cooperative communicator, October is full of educating people about and emphasizing the benefits of cooperative membership.

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The calendar has turned to fall, and the weather is slowly following suit. Harvest is underway with combines rolling through fields and semis hauling grain to elevators and on-farm bins. There’s more of those bins and semis now than ever before because there’s more grain.

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Poverty, which is not a lack of motivation, but a lack of money, plagues the United States, especially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Right now, 27 million children in low-income families can get the full Child Tax Credit as a monthly payment. Additionally, 5 million low-wage worke…

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In recent news, Kansas COVID-19 rates have been declining due to the abundance of vaccines. But how effective will these vaccines be when COVID-19 variants are becoming the norm and could make vaccines obsolete?

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Every so often I have the opportunity to visit a classroom full of elementary students and read a book to them. More often than not, I’ve accomplished my guest reading visits using virtual platforms that so many are now accustomed to using. Thanks to technology, and a decent internet connect…

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As a girl, I dreamed of a future family and farm life in somewhat vague terms. However, one aspect was clear: I would not want to marry a dairy farmer because they never go on vacation.

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I know most people do not get paid what they think they are worth. I know this because I have never heard anyone complain because they were being paid to much. I have never heard of anyone going to their boss and telling their boss to cut their pay by a dollar an hour or even a penny a month…

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There were no surprises in the recently released 2020 census numbers that will be used to draw new lines for congressional and state senate and house districts. Kansas grew, but at a rate slower than the nation overall. Rural areas largely saw their populations dwindle while metros swelled, …

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This is going to be my second-to-last paper with the Junction City Union.

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The past couple of weeks I had the privilege of attending several Farm Bureau events in person — Big Tent Reunions, Summer Summit and Young Farmers and Ranchers Leaders Conference — without masks, and it was awesome. This isn’t a statement about restrictions, masks or vaccinations, it is a s…

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After a few months of all that summer on the farm entails, the kids have returned to school.

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Customer reviews are a staple in the digital world. If you cannot see a product in person, the next best thing is reading about another person’s experience. The trust we instinctively place in each other’s opinions and observations are not limited to product reviews. Our everyday conversatio…

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I am commenting on the article in the Tuesday, August 10, 2021 paper regarding publishing the names of children who have been taken into custody for whatever reason. I don’t feel young people from the ages of 14-16 should be subjected to the ridicule of having their names published in the ne…

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My wife and I have had a busy summer of traveling to places both old and new, near and far. Some of the routes were committed to memory long ago while the new ones required some navigational assistance from modern mapping software.

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We have just came through the Fourth of July and the Geary County Free Fair and after thinking about it for a little while, two things came to mind.

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Let’s give the benefit of the doubt to the police chief in Junction City. Maybe he just had an immature personal reaction to a difficult situation. I’d certainly prefer to think of it that way, and not that he wants to run his department in a manner opposed to the spirit of Kansas law.

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A friend of mine recently asked when my family truly begins to enjoy summer. She asked this well-meaning question to help her figure out when we get to enjoy some rest and relaxation during the summer months. She has observed my family for many years and has recognized that while many others…

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Food insecurity, or the lack of consistent access to enough food, is not something that is top of my mind very often. It probably should be, but it just isn’t. I have enough food, actually more than enough, and given the frantic pace of my life I often neglect to give a second thought to tho…

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One of the hardest parts about making a new life in Kansas for me has been missing so much of my old life in Wisconsin. In my early years as a Kansan, I longed for things here to feel more like home. Over time my appreciation for Kansas has grown, and it has begun to feel like home to me. I …

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The big story in agriculture today is how carbon is going to be the next cash crop for farmers and ranchers. There are lots of headlines about how changing agricultural practices can remove carbon dioxide from the air and store it in the soil.

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I have been watching the news a lot lately and I have noticed that the people who are in charge in the several layers of government always say they have the best interest of the people at heart. They say that they make each decision with the interest of the public upper most in their minds. …

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It’s wheat harvest time in central Kansas! I always know harvest will arrive, but it also always seems to sneak up on me. This year it seems to have snuck up a bit more than usual as we are still catching up from dealing with our wicked weather from a month ago.

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“It is a truth universally accepted that a farmer in want of good conversation must remark on the weather.” For anyone who is not a fan of Jane Austen, I should explain that the previous statement is a bit of a play on the opening of her famous novel “Pride & Prejudice.”

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The deadline to file for local elections passed recently, and it’s worth thanking every school board hopeful and municipal candidate for their willingness to run. The past 15 months has proven what I’ve long believed — local elections have the biggest impact on the day-to-day lives of Kansans.

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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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