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Columns

  • Federal report gives detailed insight on expense of raising children

    The USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion recently released the annual report of expenditures on children by families for 2013. It’s a 31-page report with lots of details.

    Child-rearing expenses vary considerably by household income. Families who have more, will pay more. The biggest jump in expenses comes with families who have more than $106,540 annual income.

    There isn’t a big difference between families who have gross income of $61,530 and those who have less than $106,540 but more than $61,530.

  • Disability or different ability? Every life is precious

    When a militant neo-atheist like Richard Dawkins spouts off one of his many Darwinian talking points, I rarely give any consideration to what has been said.

    His rhetoric is vitriolic, fueled by a hatred of religion, especially of Christianity. But when someone with over a million Twitter followers says something as acrimonious as a baby diagnosed with Down syndrome should not be allowed to be born, it causes me to sit up and take notice.

  • Robin Williams will be greatly missed

    Monday night, it was announced that Oscar-winning actor/comic Robin William, 63, was found dead in his California of an apparent suicide.

  • New UK program gives farmers tools to succeed

    UK Cooperative Extension programs in eight central Kentucky counties have joined together to offer the KyFarmStart beginning farmer program this fall. KyFarmStart is a comprehensive whole farm management education program designed for beginning farmers, defined as those who have been managing a farm for less than 10 years as a primary operator, as well as those considering a future in farming. The program will offer multiple educational opportunities, including: classroom instruction, field days, and farm demonstrations.

  • Don’t take short cuts; get your fall gardening off to a good start

    Well, the change has begun. School started today and the State Fair is close behind. To me, that marks the beginning of fall. The daylight gets shorter, too. Time to start the fall frenzy!

    We hopefully can count on more frequent rains now and that means planting new trees, shrubs, perennials and even a few fall vegetables. Extra work in the beginning means less work later. Shortcuts rarely save you anything.

  • Tips to keep stable fly population under control

    The stable fly is a blood sucker that looks like a house fly but has a piercing-type mouthpart that projects forward from the front of its head. Males and females feed on warm-blooded animals and humans, usually around the lower leg or ankles. They also will attack dogs, biting them mostly in the ears. Stable flies are not limited to barns and stables; they will rest around houses and attack people, too. Stable flies are strong fliers; they can cause problems at least two miles from their breeding sites.

  • For a delicious Kentucky summer treat, try making blackberry peach crumble

    Blackberry peach crumble takes advantage of two favorite Kentucky fruits, which are at peak season now. Both fruits are low in calories and add fiber to your meals.

    Select peaches that are soft to the touch, blemish free and have a fragrant smell. Choose fruit that has a yellow or cream color and a fresh looking appearance, not a wrinkled peel.

    Peaches may have a blush appearance depending on the variety. Peaches that are just mildly fragrant will ripen after harvest into sweet and delicious fruit.

  • A few tips for selecting ripe melons

    Do you believe this weather? I love the cool nights. Windows are opened and the AC is turned off. I really appreciate the cost savings, since everything else is going up! Our summer vegetables, however, aren’t so thrilled. It seems to have slowed down the ripening process.

    I can’t count the number of people who have asked me about their tomatoes not ripening. Don’t worry, they will. You may also see some brown freckle- like spots on the tomato skins. It’s OK. It’s the weather and it eats just fine.

  • Back-to-school shopping on a budget

    It is officially back-to-school season. Many retailers have started running back to school shopping ads and with less than two weeks before the first day of school, it’s time to start planning for your back to school needs.

  • Converting from year-round calving to breeding season

    Maintaining a controlled breeding and calving season can be one of the most important management tools for cow-calf producers. Uniform, heavier and more valuable calves are key reasons to keep the breeding season short. Plus, more efficient cow supplementation and cow herd health programs are products of a short breeding season. However, you shouldn’t convert from yearlong breeding to a shortened breeding season without a lot of planning.