Farm and Family

  • For better lawn care, it’s all about the blades

    This year, it seems like spring really snuck up on us, and I couldn’t believe I was mowing my lawn in March.
    It occasionally seems like I put more work into just mowing my yard than enjoying it. However, mowing and maintaining a lawn takes practice, patience and time.
    Every year, I receive numerous questions about mowing yards from “how high” and “what is the best mower,” and my answer is usually, “It just depends.”
    Every yard and mower is extremely different and each situation may be different. Frankly, most lawn mowers will get the job done as long as blades are sharp.

  • Reduce your salt intake by growing herbs

    We all want to eat food that tastes good. One of the most common ways we tend to make food taste good is by adding salt.
    Unfortunately, most American diets are too high in sodium.
    Diets high in sodium can raise blood pressure, which can lead to many major health issues including heart disease.
    Herbs provide a great way for us to limit our sodium intake while still consuming flavorful foods.
    Herbs are also some of the easiest things to grow.
    The simplest way to start an herb garden is to buy plants and transfer them to a window box.

  • Are you prepared for weeds this spring?

    The grasses are starting to green up which means spring is here. However, along with the grasses, weeds will be starting to show up in fields, gardens and lawns. Weeds can play havoc from causing issues with livestock to medical issues for people, and weeds can take over crop fields.
    From dandelions to poison hemlock, weeds can come in many shapes and colors, and many times we don’t realize what we have, in many cases, certain weeds mimic harmless flowers.
    Now, you might be asking, “How do I remove weeds from my land?” My response will be, “What weed to you have?”

  • Check your tax withholding

    You may have noticed an increase in your take-home pay recently due to the tax cuts and jobs act passed by Congress in December.
    Now, you need to determine how that will affect you when it comes time to file taxes next year.
    The IRS has released a new withholding calculator to help you determine whether to change your withholding status on your W-4 to reflect these changes to the tax law.
    Everyone is encouraged to check their withholding status, but it is particularly important for the following individuals:
    • Two-income families.

  • Support each other in times of tragedy

    Events that cause negative stress are known as traumatic events. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traumatic events are “marked by a sense of horror, helplessness, serious injury or the threat of serious injury or death…and affect survivors, rescue workers, and the friends and relatives of victims who have been involved.”
    People who go through a traumatic event can experience serious emotional distress.
    Furthermore, witnesses of an event or those who watch an event unfold on television can also be affected.

  • Make a difference for our county’s youth by donating to Ag Tag

    Kentucky 4-H is one of the most important and influential youth programs in our state and our county.
    Across Kentucky over 290,000 youth ages 9 to 19 learn about leadership, citizenship and life skills in “learn-by-doing” experiences such as communications and public speaking, through agriculture projects like livestock judging, science projects with robotics, 4-H camp, Teen Conference and many other 4-H programs and activities.

  • Introducing horses to lush spring pastures

    Spring is almost here, and guess what? That means cool season grasses are starting to explode with growth.
    The spring growth provides excellent forages for horses, but the quick change in diet can cause issues in your horses.
    Horses that have been fed hay all winter have adapted their gut microbes to break down more fibrous material, and the lush pastures are low in fiber compared with cured hay.
    This means that the spring lush pastures can easily upset your horses’ stomachs because the horse was not accustomed to eating fresh pastures for months.

  • Take the bull by the horns before breeding season

    I hope everyone is having an excellent calving season, and I’m sure you are wore out from checking your mothers-to-be.
    I know many of you are focused on your calves, but remember what comes after calving season — spring breeding season.
    Every year, I will hear stories about how a majority of someone’s cows will come up open during pregnancy checks, and I will hear excuses, such as “I think this poor quality hay caused my cows to be open, or “This mineral was the problem.”
    However, in most cases, the trusty old bull is not performing as he should, and cows are coming up open.

  • What’s in your gut? It may be the key to preventing colon cancer

    March is colorectal cancer awareness month, and the first Friday in March is National Dress in Blue Day an effort to knock out one of the top cancers causing death by encouraging everyone to learn about the causes of colon cancer and raise awareness by wearing blue.
    So it’s a good time for us to raise awareness about the third-most common cancer in the United States and talk about possible ways to prevent it.
    Recently, scientists have begun to show that a healthy gut may play an important role in colorectal cancer prevention.

  • In tribute to Noel’s community leadership

    During my time as the Henry County 4-H agent, I have had the privilege of working with many fine volunteer leaders.
    This past week we have lost one of those leaders in Linda Noel. I came to know Linda through her efforts in the Jericho Homemakers Club. She was in and out of the office quite a bit. She always had a cheery disposition and a willingness to help out wherever she was needed.