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Last week we began to look at the Greek myth of Heracles. He is the quintessential masculine figure of Greek legend.

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Earlier this summer after we had finished harvesting our wheat crop and wrapped up planting the rest of our fall crops, my husband casually mentioned that fall harvest would take a while this year. At that time, we had a lot of acres of corn, soybeans and sorghum growing that would all need …

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Each Episcopal Church worship service includes a special Collect, or liturgical prayer, unique for the day. The Collect is typically one sentence in length and pulls together the themes appropriate for the day.

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It has long been a truism that the strength of the Republican party lies in its head and the strength of the Democrat party lies in its heart.

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Last week, I discussed a thought experiment regarding the Greek myth Hercules – a figure that embodies a traditional idea of masculinity.

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In a few short days we will all sit down and celebrate Thanksgiving. The holiday that is meant for us to reflect and decide what it is for which we are thankful. We have a lot to be thankful for in this great nation, not the least of which is our farms and ranches. This is so appropriate bec…

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Paid time-off for farmers is one of the intriguing ideas that caught the attention of our group during the recent Kansas Farm Bureau Casten Fellows international travel experience to the Baltics. One of the young farmers we met shared that the Replacement Farmers program provides subsidized,…

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One of the funny things about getting older is how it warps our perception of time. When we’re young and nearly every experience is new, time moves slowly. As we age, however, there are fewer and fewer things we haven’t experienced, our schedules become more predictable and the days seem to …

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Cup holders — it all began a few days ago when I was unable to put my drive-thru dollar drinks in my cup holders. It was a fiasco witnessed by the drive-thru attendant as she held my much needed drinks out the window patiently waiting for me to take them out of her hands and drive away.

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For Kansas, great public schools are our greatest asset. Our schools attract people who value education and businesses that value an educated workforce. The critical link between our community and our schools is the local school board – and your involvement and your vote make the difference …

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I never thought my journalism career would land me in Junction City, Kansas, as the new editor of The Junction City Union newspaper. But here I am, and I love it here so far.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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