Tag Archives: farm

Cattle Thieves Put On Notice

31 May

Posted: May 30, 2011 6:50 PM by Associated Press

Investigators have begun alerting Missouri sale barns about stolen livestock that may turn up at their auctions in an attempt to stifle a lucrative rustling trade.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said it began sending the alerts to the sale barns in the spring, providing the businesses with descriptions of the stolen animals.

“We approached them from a networking, partnership point of view,” said Maria Furey, a criminal intelligent analyst for the Patrol’s rural crimes investigative unit. “Most of them, pretty much all of them, are accommodating because they don’t like the idea of potentially selling stolen livestock either.”

The St. Joseph News-Press reports that livestock, especially cattle, are an easy target for thieves and can be sold at reputable sale barns without the owner’s knowledge unless proper precautions are in place.

“The thing I hear about the auctions is they’re so incredibly fast-paced and they can be almost chaotic, in a rhapsody kind of way. A complete controlled chaos,” Furey said.

The alerts allow sale barn owners to identify stolen livestock before they’re put on the auction block. Jeff Windett, executive vice president of the Missouri Cattleman’s Association, said the effort has been successful so far.

Most stolen livestock are sold within 100 miles of the theft location, so emphasis in the alerts is placed on livestock stolen within their particular region. The Patrol’s rural crimes division has six regions in the state.

Not all stolen livestock are sold through sale barns, Furey said, and not all sale barns are negligent in making illegal sales.

Mark Servaes, manager of the St. Joseph Stockyards, said his business takes many measures to make sure its selling legitimate, healthy livestock. He said the company checks the identification of sellers and allows only those it is familiar with or who come with a reputable reference to sell livestock there.

“We’re pretty tough security at our place,” Servaes said. “If someone has a reputation that could be a little bit off the record, we just don’t invite them to sell at our place. So that keeps most of those doors unopened for us to get some of those stolen cattle, because they know we’re going to look for something. Other places will invite them to make a dollar off them, but we don’t do that.”

Farmers are asked to diligently keep track of their livestock so they can provide accurate descriptions for the alerts. That includes keeping regular inventory of their herds and being able to describe the color, size and tags of the animals.

“We need to have concrete, identifiable attributes,” Furey said. “That’s the best way to put out an alert, so that people who are trying to help know what to look for.”

Information from: St. Joseph News-Press, http://www.stjoenews-press.com

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10,000 Garden Challenge is headed to Springfield, Mo

25 May

The 10,000 Garden Challenge is headed to Springfield, Mo. The Missouri Department of Agriculture will visit the “A Tribute to the Red, White & Blue: A Patriotic Flower Show” event, Friday, May 27 to register gardens, share gardening advice and encourage Missourians to participate in the Challenge.

The 10,000 Garden Challenge is an initiative to register 10,000 Missouri gardens to promote agriculture, gardening, health and nutrition. Department staff will be at the Library Center in Springfield, Mo. from noon to 8:30 p.m. to add to the more than 3,100 gardens already registered at AgriMissouri.com.

On March 14, Governor Nixon, the First Lady, and Director Jon Hagler of the Missouri Department of Agriculture challenged Missourians to register 10,000 gardens in the state of Missouri and put them on a map to promote gardening, health and nutrition throughout the state.

Home Grown Festival and House Tour This Weekend – in Old North St. Louis

13 May

Be prepared to be inspired at the “Old North St. Louis Home Grown Festival and House Tour” Saturday, May 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is so much to enjoy about the redevelopment of Old North St. Louis. And AgriMissouri will be there to help celebrate every bit of it.

Just this year the community-based revitalization efforts of ONSL led to St. Louis’ first co-op grocery store, the re-opening of Crown Square, recognition by the National Historic Trust for Preservation, Habitat for Humanity’s completion of 17 new LEED platinum homes and the development of the 13th Street Garden. The self-guided tour allows visitors to visit homes and gardens and witness some of the dramatic changes of the neighborhood at their own pace. A free shuttle service will also be provided.

Tickets are available online and on the day of the event. Included in the tour booklet is a coupon for free ice cream from Crown Candy, an Old North Saint Louis landmark since 1913. For more information go www.onsl.org. To learn more about AgriMissouri, head to AgriMissouri.com.

Download Old North flyer here. pdf

Springfield Wagon Company

18 Apr

The Little Fish In A Big Pond

Years ago I was asked by Wayne Hocklander to clean out the basement of his business, Hocklander Jewelry at the corner of South and Walnut in Springfield. It was filled with boxes of misc. papers, old jewelry boxes and basically what Wayne thought was junk, He wanted it gone. I started early one morning cleaning out the boxes and loading them into a dumpster when I dropped one of the boxes and had to pick up the papers. Much to my surprise they were old documents from the Springfield Wagon Company. I showed them to him and at the time they were in pretty rough shape. He made the decision to just pitch them. They were of no value I suppose back in the early 70’s.

I decided to hang on the few decent ones, mostly correspondence to buyers and post cards. At that time I was more impressed with the elegant handwriting displayed and thought they should be saved. I’m glad I did. Below is the basic history of the Springfield Wagon Company if you’re not familiar with it.

The Springfield Wagon Company could be called the company that didn’t blink. Through nearly 80 years of business, it took on many bigger companies head on, challenging them on their own terms. Now, the Springfield Wagon Company could be called the company that wouldn’t die.

About 200 people recently gathered at Founder’s Park in Springfield, Mo. to attend a public forum in order to share their common interest in an early-day vehicle. They collected memorablia, one-of-a-kind photographs, and videotaped interviews. They also celebrated the return of a company that closed fifty years ago.

The original Springfield Wagon Company, which operated near the scene of the collectors’ meet, sold many thousands of wagons from 1872 until 1941, when the factory relocated to Fayetteville, Ark. ‘Farm and road’ type wagons were made there near the Ozark hardwood forests until 1951. The wagon was one of the last high-wheeled vehicles in production.

Springfield wagons were made from the best materials. The yellow poplar box was finished in green with yellow striping, and the brand name was printed in white-painted block type. Its oak or hickory running gear, including spoked (12 in front and 14 in the taller rear) wheels were orange, trimmed in black. This combination of distinct colors would remain trademarks of the well-known wagon for 80 years.

When Springfield entered the market for wagons, it was a little fish in a big pond. Three major wagon manufacturers looked down their proverbial noses at the fledgling company. Studebaker had one of the longest pedigrees and was probably the most successful wagon at the time, followed closely by the Bain and Schuttler wagon companies. These companies were not alone. Birch, Wilson, John Deere and others had begun to establish footholds in the market.

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Bee options for all

29 Mar

Making honey – total involvement

Beekeeping is all the rage these days, and my friend Pam is one of the many who’s become “Hooked on bees in suburbia.”  That’s my story of her first year of beekeeping, including the highs, the lows, and the enormous worries that go along with it.  I’m calling this the “total involvement” option because that’s what it seems to demand.  I say, better Pam than me!

Making honey, with help
But for people who don’t have the time or cajones to deal with bees themselves, there are people who’ll come and tend their hive for them, for a modest fee or for just the honey.  But why would you have bees if you don’t get to keep the honey?  To pollinate your garden, and for the fun of having a hive without all the responsibility.

(more)

Hillbilly Archaeologist

25 Feb

Abandoned In Stone County

Ever driven down an old country road, past a crumbling old farm house and thought to yourself “I bet that place has a million stories. I wonder who lived there?” I know I have and in most cases I am so busy going somewhere I don’t even pay attention to them. Once in a great while I get up just enough gumption to park the truck and grab the camera. This is one place I couldn’t pass up.

This home was struck down by a huge tree that uprooted and fell through most of the structure.

Sometimes you have to look beyond the current condition of things and use your imagination to see the positives to a house like this. The stonework is classic Ozarks, you don’t find work like this in many places other than the Ozarks. It’s color and size make it especially nice and the craftsmanship was excellent. It is a shame that the tree took it out. It gets better, just follow me…

At this angle you can see that the tree simply ripped it's way through.

This tree was massive and did enormous amounts of damage.

The back porch is roughly a 10′ span attached to the house and covered with clear material to let the light in. I bet they had plants. It sat on a poured concrete slab which was very cool to the touch, we’ll get into the natural air conditioning shortly. The porch actually held under the weight of the tree, amazing stuff.

Behind the house stood the family (root cellar?), a two story built into the bluff side.

The well house was something extraordinary, two stories with built in shelves upstairs and large material storage downside. It was also equipt with electricity and ran a refridgerator which was still sitting where they left it.

Built in shelves to store canned goods, and lots of them.

Standing at the well house the view to the back of the house and the spring house in the foreground.

Notice the steps leading down from the house into the spring house, a perfect set up for the milk cans.

Used for storing milk and cream cans I imagine.

However another possibility hit me like a trout takes a mayfly…it might have been used to raise trout. With a small cool water lake adjacent to the house and connected to the spring it is possible.

This spring was really putting out the water, and cold...really cold. Making the concrete cool all the way to the back porch of the house. Natural AC!

I noticed that the walls of the springhouse were brown from probably iron in the water.

It flowed out and then into the lake through a concrete whistle that was built by hand.

This is what really caught my interest. The iron bridge minus the wood walkway is still usable.

I would love to walk out in my front yard to a view like this.

The proximity of the lake to the house was just right, not more than 50 feet away from the house and access from the back and the side of the house. This was well thought out, if I had the chance to do something with this place I would simply clean it up, remove the wooden structures and rebuild as close to original as I could. Cleaned up and fresh this would make one nice place to entertain. On a sad note, the house was fully furnished including clothes still hanging in the closet, a half stocked kitchen, appliances in tact, a wood burning stove,  couches and chairs, bedding and such. It makes you think that the owners may have suffered consequences from the tree as it hit directly in a bedroom area and the fact it’s still furnished. It doesn’t look like it’s been lived in for 10 years or more.

I will mention I only take photos away from places like this. I never give out any locations and I usually am careful about property owners privacy…but I couldn’t resist. My apologies.

News From The Quail Farm

21 Feb

Good Weekend on the Farm
It was a good weekend for us on the ole quail farm. Saturday was a beautiful warm day. Our son Shaun came out and tilled a lot of ground for new blueberries, raspberries and wildflowers for the bees. The bees were very active and we noticed they were coming in with their legs loaded with red pollen. Debbie was preparing lunch for her quilt circle. Shaun’s wife Leslie, her sister, mother and another friend are making quilts to donate to the mid wife that delivered our granddaughter Cedar. She does about 50 births a year and many have lots of needs. They thought giving those babies a heritage quilt would be a great ministry of help. It does me good to see the ladies sewing together and enjoying the country life. While they sewed Shaun & I caught the remaining pheasants and one of my dog training customers came and bought them. We just have a couple hundred quail left and they are ready to deliver in a couple weeks. I took orders this week for about 1,000 more fall delivery quail. This is so rewarding to live this simple life and fellowship with those that want to take care of themselves and give to others, too. My good friend Mark and I are planning a day sometime this week to fire up the Green Egg smoker and cook some pheasant for lunch. We might even make a short trip down Route 66 for some pics to post on our; Missouri Route66 site. We have been good friends for many years and it’s always a lot of laughs we we hang out. Watch for the results of our pheasant feast, hopefully.

Rick Smith

Follow the Quail Farmer on his blog!