Monday, November 30, 2009


Monday, Monday, so good to me. Only if I will let it be!

Today is the first day of gun season for deer, hope they get a bunch.

I saw a good two year old buck, maybe three years old run out of my harvested corn field down to his protective nook by Brown's and Little East Fork. I hope someone gets him.

Fear not tree huggers, the wildlife population is on the rise! Why else would you see so much road kill? Farmers have had to embrace conservation as they invented it. You cannot affor to farm long term without providing a habitat for wildlife. We have done a good job and the numbers show it.

Car deer accidents continue to rise as flushed out deer run into the paths of automobiles.

We have had 3 such accidents in our own family in the last 10 years and we are cautious. We know they are moving at sunrise and sunset

Every taxpayer pays a little towards this debacle but automobile insurance holders pay the most. $50 per auto is what my insurance man told me, more or less. Only the insurance company knows and they don't usually share that information.

I don't feel bad at all about possible of extinction of wildlife or what I have done to provide for wildlife, as most farmers have.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black Friday?

How many of you enjoy Black Friday? The one I remember is when the stock market tumbled in 1987. What a time to buy into the market! The few who did retired a long time ago.
I guess I see why retailers do it. A reported 20% of their Holiday sales are tranasacted in the wee hours!

For LuAnn, its mainly social, the thrill of hunting down bargains while kidding around with the kids.

Me, I don't function well at 3 AM. What I want to buyI hope to get tomorrow on Cyper Monday and let THEM bring it to me. Do you realize how important cyber sales are?

Cyber sales, or sales of merchandise continues to grow each year. It will be interesting to see what the totals are this year. I think they approach store sales very soon.

I thought deer hunting was the big thing here on the first Monday after Thanksgiving as gun season opens. Schools and churches are closed this week for hunting!

"Worker productivity could take a dip tomorrow in the Northeast.

Tomorrow is Cyber Monday - a phrase coined by the retail industry in 2005 for what’s hyped as Black Friday’s online equivalent - and the region is tops in the United States when it comes to those planning to use their work computers for holiday shopping.

More than 56 percent of Northeast workers with on-the-job Internet access plan to shop online for gifts this year, according to a National Retail Federation survey."

Have to do some shopping, I see some sales are already in effect!

Ed Winkle

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Another Today

Finally had a long sleep after a long weekend. It felt good.

I woke up and saw the frost on the cornstalks.

I thought I zink Zee frost is on zee cornstalks. I don't know why that pops into my mind.

After some discussion, hmm, discussion, we decided to go to the Martinsville Lions Club pancake breakfast. We got there and NO cars. Sign said Nov. 21. I looked at LuAnn and said I know I sent you that community notice that said Nov 28 and she agreed she saw it too. Oh well, I wondered why they would have it on Thanksgiving weekend but I KNOW I saw it, probably a misprint.

We then went to the Clinton County fairgrounds for an estate auction. The lady must have been Catholic. Crucifiexes and all kinds of Catholic stuff and some of the most beautiful furniture you ever saw. We bought a few things, came home and had breakfast for lunch.

I bought a typewriter and a box of junk for a buck, no one would buy it. LuAnn was just telling me how Betty had an old typewriter, a record player and a rotary dial phone in what is now LuAnn's office and craft room for her grandchildren to play with. I thought was a really neat way to connect your grandkids to your upbringing, they take technology for granted.

LuAnn looks at that typewriter and says that is going in the trash. Then she looks in the boxes and sees old wooden candle holders and she says you are redeemed, these are worth more than one dollar. One was victorian and matches three pieces of her furniture.

I tryed to type on that old Royal and the keys all stuck. Sprayed some WD-40 on the innards and voila, it works!

Breakfast for lunch. Bob Evans sausage, none finer with scrambled eggs and toast, none finer either. Then she put on a pot of turkey soup left over from Thursday with lots of celery, onions and herbs. That should be good tonight and next week.

LuAnn worked on the barn and new barn quilt with wreaths and a floodlights for the nightime tour in the county. It should look good.
Then I called Sis and wished her happy birthday. I ordered a Thanksgiving Birthday combo arrangement for her. She walks into the principal's office and there it sets. She says something like, who is the lucky one? The secretary says don't you have a birthday coming up? She doesn't catch on, like me, and sees her name on the card. Ha to you Sis!
She always uses Ha! to get you on her email. I liked it so much I started using the same thing so there, Ha! She takes it home and Fred says you got a boyfriend, knowing quite well I am sure, it came from me.

It was a pretty nice and exciting fall day.

Still farmers around here and all over are still trying to get in their harvest. Hope they get it in before the first snow but some of it is so wet they need a hard freeze to make those kernals dry down.

I hate to see next month's electric bill so I am burning lots of wood.

Ed Winkle

Friday, November 27, 2009


NewAgTalkers have this little buddy named Rolan Steinlage in West Union Iowa. His dad Loran calls him Popcorn.

We met up with his family at a steak house in Nevada, Iowa after the Farm Progress Show Two years ago. None of us knew what Rolan and his family were about to go through.

He was diagnosed with a pineoblast0ma in his brain last year. It was cancerous.

I don't see how the family did it all. I kept reading about them and thinking, could I do that?

I have followed his Care Pages daily and this is one late post:

Can you believe or deny the faith he has after brain cancer at 13?

"Thank You from Rolan

Posted 12 hours ago

I am sitting here and looking at some of the very first posts and the tears are running down my face, it is hard to read how many people cared about me and prayed for me. I am so thankful for all the people that is praying and posting on my carepages. I couldn't get through this without you all!!!

Thanks to mom, dad and sisters for always being beside me when I need them. Thank you to all my grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins, family and friends you mean so much to me!! Thanks for all the positves messages you all put on.

This is one the hardest days so far because its hard to thank everyone and I have so much to be thankful for. My church family is huge part in my life and look forward to going. Thank you for all the people down at the hospital that have helped me get through this process. I know there are so many to thank and I want to thank them all.

This past year has proved that it is more than a day on the calendar it is something you should practice everyday, give Thanks for what you have!!!



This is what I sent to my family and friends:

"Rolan is the son of farmers Loran and Brenda Steinlage of West Union, Iowa. I can't believe what they have done the past year while keeping up their farm operation.

His letter and his struggle is sure an inspiration to me.

I am thankful he is still with us and I know he will leave a big footprint. Maybe you ought to read what he said again.

We met the family at Nevada Iowa two years ago before this all happened.

Pray for Rolan and I know where he is going no matter when, where, or how.

He had a great Thanksgiving. I pray he has many more."

Ed Winkle

Too Much Turkey

I wonder how many people had too much turkey yesterday? 30 pounder was pretty well gone here, maybe enough for turkey salad. I like lots of celery and a little mayo on croissants.

A fellow posted about the heritage turkeys.

"What is a Heritage Turkey?
Prized for their rich flavor and beautiful plumage, Heritage Turkeys are the ancestors of the common Broad-breasted White industrial breed of turkey that comprises 99.99% of the supermarket turkeys sold today. But the Heritage Breeds still exist and are making a comeback. Most breeds of heritage turkey were developed in the United States and Europe over hundreds of years, and were identified in the American Poultry Association's turkey Standard of Perfection of 1874. These breeds include the Standard Bronze, Bourbon Red, Narragansett, Jersey Buff, Slate, Black Spanish, and White Holland. Later added to the standard were the Royal Palm, White Midget and Beltsville Small White.

Large corporations have dominated turkey production and breeding since the 1960's, choosing the Broad Breasted Whites because of high breast meat production in a short period. But Heritage Breeds have been quietly gaining a renewed market and respect due to their flavor and superior biological diversity.

Raising Heritage Breeds is more costly and time consuming than raising White Breasted Toms. While supermarket turkeys grow to an average of 32 pounds over 18 weeks, Heritage birds take anywhere from 24-30 to reach their market weight. But those who have tasted Heritage Breeds say the cost-and the wait-are well worth it.

The Heritage Turkey Foundation accepts the same definition of heritage turkeys as the the two organizations that inspired our work, the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and Slow Food. They are are traditional "standard" breeds of turkeys which have not been "industrialized" for efficient factory production at the expense of flavor and the well-being of the turkeys. These are the breeds of turkeys recognized by the American Poultry Association in its 1874 Standard of Perfection.

When I saw the price I got sticker shock! $200 for a turkey? It can't taste that much better unless you are really into fowl meat! Deep fry that in $50 peanut oil and you have a pretty expensive turkey! How much prime rib would that buy?

Kroger really pushed a sale on turkeys this week and you got $14 off a large one which is cheap to start with in my opinion. Probably could have bought 10 for the heritage turkey, or even more.

Frozen turkeys were so cheap a grocery was letting people knock down canned food using the turkey as a bowling ball.

The American Farmer has done it again. High quality food at a low price.

Heritage turkey?

I don't think so.

Ed Winkle

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

This feast day has evolved since the days of the Puritans.

Cape Cod has this to say about Thanksgiving:

James W. Baker, senior historian at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Mass., has some thoughts on why that is with Thanksgiving. "It is an invented tradition," he said. "It doesn't originate in any one event.

It is based on the New England Puritan Thanksgiving, which is a religious Thanksgiving, and the traditional harvest celebrations of England and New England and maybe other ideas like commemorating the Pilgrims. All of these have been gathered together and transformed into something different from the original parts."

The Pilgrims were on Cape Cod long enough to celebrate the first European birth in the place they called New England, discover the utility of corn as a regional staple, and sign the Mayflower Compact (above), a document later touted by none other than John Quincy Adams as "the earliest example of civil government established by the act of the people to be governed"...

The first ThanksgivingIn 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag tribe members shared a three-day autumn harvest feast. We know it as the first Thanksgiving. But according to the Smithsonian Museum, Thanksgiving services began at least 20 years earlier with ceremonies in the Popham Colony in Maine and in Jamestown, where colonists gave thanks for their safe arrival.

And, historically speaking, the Pilgrims would have never considered their feast 'Thanksgiving," which was a religious holiday, according to historians at Plimoth Plantation, a museum dedicated to the history of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag. That 1621 harvest celebration was anything but religious with feasting, singing, games, dancing and even drinking liquor, according to Smithsonian records... "

See how it evolved in a few years? Can you imagine the trip on those tiny wooden ships down in the hole? I don't think I could do it but Heinrich Winkle must have. He Settles in Virginia in the early 1700's. They must have had the trip down pat by then!

I woke up at 4 when I thought I heard the garbage truck go by. Must have been him so he can get home early on Thanksgiving. If I set it out at night I end up picking it again. Between Sable and the critters I have picked up some several times. They love to pry the lids off, more fun for them.

LuAnn wasn't far behind getting ready for our feast. Slicing, baking, cooking, a labor of love. Later we will watch the parades on TV and maybe some of the football game but our growing family has made it come first.

That's our tradition, what's yours?

The Civil War

It has always been a mystery to me how a fledgling young country, 100 years old could have a civil war.

Someone posted these original photos in the NewAgTalk Cafe:

(beware of some photos)

I found this piece on the cause of this war which I thought explained it somewhat, still:

"The Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865 and led to over 618,000 casualties. Its causes can be traced back to tensions that formed early in the nation's history. Following are the top five causes that led to the "War Between the States."

1. Economic and social differences between the North and the South.
With Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin in 1793, cotton became very profitable. This machine was able to reduce the time it took to separate seeds from the cotton. However, at the same time the increase in the number of plantations willing to move from other crops to cotton meant the greater need for a large amount of cheap labor, i.e. slaves. Thus, the southern economy became a one crop economy, depending on cotton and therefore on slavery. On the other hand, the northern economy was based more on industry than agriculture. In fact, the northern industries were purchasing the raw cotton and turning it into finished goods. This disparity between the two set up a major difference in economic attitudes. The South was based on the plantation system while the North was focused on city life. This change in the North meant that society evolved as people of different cultures and classes had to work together. On the other hand, the South continued to hold onto an antiquated social order.

2. States versus federal rights.
Since the time of the Revolution, two camps emerged: those arguing for greater states rights and those arguing that the federal government needed to have more control. The first organized government in the US after the American Revolution was under the Articles of Confederation. The thirteen states formed a loose confederation with a very weak federal government. However, when problems arose, the weakness of this form of government caused the leaders of the time to come together at the Constitutional Convention and create, in secret, the US Constitution. Strong proponents of states rights like Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry were not present at this meeting. Many felt that the new constitution ignored the rights of states to continue to act independently. They felt that the states should still have the right to decide if they were willing to accept certain federal acts. This resulted in the idea of nullification, whereby the states would have the right to rule federal acts unconstitutional. The federal government denied states this right. However, proponents such as John C. Calhoun fought vehemently for nullification. When nullification would not work and states felt that they were no longer respected, they moved towards secession.

3. The fight between Slave and Non-Slave State Proponents.
As America began to expand, first with the lands gained from the Louisiana Purchase and later with the Mexican War, the question of whether new states admitted to the union would be slave or free. The Missouri Compromise passed in 1820 made a rule that prohibited slavery in states from the former Louisiana Purchase the latitude 36 degrees 30 minutes north except in Missouri. During the Mexican War, conflict started about what would happen with the new territories that the US expected to gain upon victory. David Wilmot proposed the Wilmot Proviso in 1846 which would ban slavery in the new lands. However, this was shot down to much debate. The Compromise of 1850 was created by Henry Clay and others to deal with the balance between slave and free states, northern and southern interests. One of the provisions was the fugitive slave act that was discussed in number one above. Another issue that further increased tensions was the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. It created two new territories that would allow the states to use popular sovereignty to determine whether they would be free or slave. The real issue occurred in Kansas where proslavery Missourians began to pour into the state to help force it to be slave. They were called “Border Ruffians.” Problems came to a head in violence at Lawrence Kansas. The fighting that occurred caused it to be called “Bleeding Kansas.” The fight even erupted on the floor of the senate when antislavery proponent Charles Sumner was beat over the head by South Carolina’s Senator Preston Brooks.

4. Growth of the Abolition Movement.
Increasingly, the northerners became more polarized against slavery. Sympathies began to grow for abolitionists and against slavery and slaveholders. This occurred especially after some major events including: the publishing of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the Dred Scott Case, John Brown’s Raid, and the passage of the fugitive slave act that held individuals responsible for harboring fugitive slaves even if they were located in non-slave states.

5. The election of Abraham Lincoln.
Even though things were already coming to a head, when Lincoln was elected in 1860, South Carolina issued its “Declaration of the Causes of Secession.” They believed that Lincoln was anti-slavery and in favor of Northern interests. Before Lincoln was even president, seven states had seceded from the Union: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


"County ranks third in state in unemployment"

Clinton County’s unemployment rates climbed during the month of October, from a reported 13.9 percent in September to 14.8, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

That is the third highest unemployment rate in the state of Ohio, 88 counties.

For the second month in a row, Highland County came in with the highest at 15.9 percent. Piketon ranks second with a rate of 15.1. (poor young writer doesn't know Piketon from Pike County which borders Highland.)

Even worse, what is not reported are those underemployed. I imagine that could be another 10% here. LuAnn works with Highland Counties unemployed and tells me about the sad stories every day. I see them every day right here.

Still, people seem to be getting by and helping each other. I have never seen so many piles of firewood as this year with people hoping to stay warm at a cheaper price, any price. I think we can keep the food banks running but many shelves are empty.

This Thanksgiving we are so Thankful all of our family is gainfully employed. We worked hard to get there but we know we are blessed and share every chance we can.

I think LuAnn's 3 acre garden at Turning Point will be really appreciated this winter as many participants canned and froze the vegetables they helped produce.

I got bashed on NAT for citing county woes of unemployment due to DHL and many suppliers closing doors. They were eager to use our good labor pool, made the profit, shut the doors and ran.

With all the work that needs to be done I just don't think unemployment is right.

Now those who refuse to work, that is another story but they have always been here. Their growing numbers got scary.

I employed more people this year than I ever have in my life to get my work done and help them out. It's a two way street.

We aren't going to take it with us.

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Llama's and Alpaca's

I saw a NewAgTalk post about Llama's.

It got me thinking about the neighbor's herd. The children are weavers and weave the fiber into beautiful rugs and all sorts of things.

"Llamas are one of four main species of New World camelids. The other three species are the alpaca, guanaco and vicuna. These species are thought to have originated from a common ancestor that came across the Bering Strait land bridge. Camelids are thought to be related to Bactrian and Dromedary camels of Asia. The high dependence of Incan Indians of South America on llamas and alpacas for food and fiber is analogous to the Plains Indians of North America and their relationship to the bison. Incas carried their relationship with llamas a step further through domestication and controlled breeding for beasts of burden. With the collapse of Incan culture, llamas were nearly pushed into extinction and only survived in the harsh upper regions of their natural territory. The last 25 years have seen a resurgence of interest in llamas, especially in the United States.

Llamas are first and foremost pets and companions. They are ideally suited to this task because of their predictable low-key temperament, intelligence and ease of maintenance. Wilderness packing is probably the second greatest demand for llamas. Llamas make ideal pack animals for the western mountainous regions of the United States because of their inherent thriftiness in this climate, their low-cost maintenance and their durability as pack animals. Wool may represent another use for llamas, although, with a large number of natural and synthetic substitutes for wool, it seems unlikely that llama herds will be maintained for wool production.

In some instances, llamas have been used as a sheep guards against predators. The potential of this market has not yet been verified, but may hold some promise in the future. In some foreign countries, where the resident llama population is quite high, there is interest in using llamas as a food source. But, because of a relatively low population of llamas in the United States (about 35,000 animals in 1992) and a relatively high price, llamas are not likely to become a food source for Americans. "

I think I told you that one day they got out and were grazing in the neighbor's yard.

I took my hog showing cane off the wall and went over and put them back in. I never needed the cane but I think they knew what it was.

They are a nice addition to our neighborhood which is mainly grain farmers with a mix of llama's, wool, wool products, lavender and lavender products, a carpentry shop, and a wine and art outlet. I used to sell sweet corn and vegetables and bales of straw but concentrated on the grain production as I didn't have the help to get it all done.

Deer hunting and trapping of wildlife is another small enterprise here with plenty of game to go around.

Ed Winkle

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Morning

As I thought of a title for today I thought of the old song by the Mama's and the Papa's, Monday Morning. That is a little too melancholy for today so Happy Monday would be a better title.

Random thoughts:

Liam had a wonderful birthday party yesterday. We counted 17 little ones in attendance and the weather was good enough for them to play outside!

After opening his presents, I told Liam he had enough toys now to start a toy store. He looked at me quizzically. Toy Store? These are my toys!

Brynn asked me to pull a purple balloon off the ceiling, the big room was covered with them. Lots of kids love balloons, maybe all do? I said you look good with purple. She said purple is a girl's color. I said what is the colors for boys? She said red. I said I like blue, I thought that was the boys color? She said no, she likes blue!

Caoilin is such a happy baby. She just smiles at about anything you say to her. All the grandchildren were there except Tyler. He will be down from Columbus this weekend.

Still lots of corn out, everything pretty well filled up around here, great problem for local farmers and grain merchandisers.

Mr. Opie is coming to put the new front door on today. Rick's Appliances is coming tomorrow to try and fit the new dishwasher in under LuAnn's new counter tops.

Dale came and got the Agco and wagons so Les must be helping a neighbor out.

The first round of farm records is finished so we can enjoy Thanksgiving and finish the records before tax time.

Lots of good email and personal visits about this blog!

Thank You!

Found a good blog on the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles eye exam, worth reading for us older Ohioan's!

Have a Happy Monday,

Ed Winkle

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Record Keeping

Record keeping is a big part of any business and important to family budgets at tax time.

We finally got to sit down and analyze income and expenses. Our goal is to pay our fair share of taxes and not drive too much income into 2010.

We are a little short on 09 and a little heavy in 2010 but I think it is manageable.

I don't enjoy record keeping but I like to make money. Good records is a key to make good decisions finacially and in my fields.

I think the non GMO soybeans was a good idea. The premiums have been nice but we had to earn them with weed control and extra marketing steps. The Japanese market has bid well for them at the river this past two falls.

The premium is not so good so far for next year as many farmers have done the same thing, refusing to pay the huge tech fees for GMO soybeans. The Liberty Link soybean system looks like a good one for better weed control on some of our fields next year.

Crop rotation has been a key to my success. The wheat straw can be composted back into the soil and release more nutrients. My K levels actually was the highest in my tissue test when I refused to apply $1000 per ton potash last year.

I put a little more on this fall with it priced half what it was this past year.

Without good records I can't manage my business. I did the best job I have ever done this year because I knew I had so much at stake.

We have the highest gross income we have ever had in my life but like most farmers, we spent most of it.

This is where the farmer and other businesses are key to a strong economy.

Ed Winkle

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I am a Buckeye through and through.

My first choice was Purdue but I couldn't afford the out of state tuition. Ohio State was my second choice but I ended up earning two degrees there. Wilmington College was my third choice as it was closer to home so I could help dad farm but that good Quaker school was not quite my ticket.

Dad had five siblings graduate from Ohio State. Aunt Florence, Mildred, Ruby, Betty and my dear Uncle Roy.
The Ohio buckeye is the state tree of Ohio and an original term of endearment for the pioneers on the Ohio frontier, with specific association with William Henry Harrison. Capt. Daniel Davis[3] of the "Company of Ohio Associates", under Gen. Rufus Putnam, traversed the wilderness in the spring of 1788, and began the settlement of Ohio. Davis was said to be the second man ashore at Point Harmar, 7 April, 1788, and he declared later that he cut the first tree felled by a settler west of the Ohio River. That tree being a "buckeye", the incident gave the state the nickname which it still retains today. Subsequently, the word was used as the nickname of the Ohio State University sports teams and came to be applied to any graduate of the university.
The buckeye confection, made to resemble the tree's nut, is made by dipping a spoonful of peanut butter fudge in milk chocolate, leaving a circle of the peanut butter exposed. These are a popular treat in Ohio, especially during the Christmas and NCAA college football seasons[citation needed].

In addition to using the tannic acid for leatherworking, Native Americans would roast and peel the nut, and mash the contents into a nutritional meal they called "Hetuck".[4]
The buckeye nuts can also be dried, turning dark as they harden with exposure to the air, and strung onto necklaces. These are particularly popular among OSU fans.

So Ohio State became my school of choice, and the same for my sister and brother and children and nephews.

People would ask me what a buckeye was. I would tell them it was a local tree with a poisinous nut that make you really sick right before you died if you ate it. You have heard my story about the old cow that ate the buckeyes and we found her four legs up one morning.

Definitions of buckeye on the Web:

the inedible nutlike seed of the horse chestnut

horse chestnut: tree having palmate leaves and large clusters of white to red flowers followed by brown shiny inedible seeds

Ohioan: a native or resident of Ohio

The Buckeye is also a breed of chicken originating in the U.S. state of Ohio. Created in the late 19th century, Buckeyes are the only breed of American I don't know that I have ever seen one.

For me it was the land of the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Land Grant University where I could expand my education and make something out of myself.

Today it is a powerful football team that is playing rival Michigan in their "Big House."

I really like the 1954 retro uniforms they are wearing today in remembrance of another Ohio State National Champion football team.


Friday, November 20, 2009


We had a good discussion on tipping on the Cafe. The subject started when a farmer posted that a couple at a pub in Bethlehem Pa refused to pay the required gratuity. The owner called the police and they were arrested.

That was after waiting in line to wait at a table for an hour to get their food. We always like to eat where the lot is full but don't like poor service more than anyone else.

I became a better tipper when a son worked the Roadhouse and I saw he made his money on tips. Of course I got great service and tipped him a twenty many times and told him thanks for the service.

We haven't eaten there since he went on to bigger things.

There is nothing better than a pleasant waiter or waitress who gets the job done and nothing worse than one who hates their job and acts like it.

I was surprised to learn that many did not know food service personnel do not fall under Federal Minimum wage law.

"The following categories of employees are exempt from both minimum wage and overtime pay requirements of the FLSA:

"White collar exempt" employees – executive, administrative, professional, computer professional, and outside sales representative employees – Section 213(a)(1) and 213(a)(17) (the latter section, applicable to computer professionals, specifies a minimum hourly rate of $27.63 per hour, which applies if the employee is not paid a minimum salary of $455 per week)

Employees of certain amusement or recreational establishments – Section 213(a)(3)

Employees involved in cultivation, propagation, catching, harvesting, or first processing at sea of aquatic forms of animal or vegetable life – Section 213(a)(5)

Certain agricultural employees of small farms or family-owned farms – Section 213(a)(6) – does not apply to farms operating in conjunction with other establishments, the combined business volume of which exceeds $10,000,000

Employees principally engaged in the range production of livestock – Section 213(a)(6)

Employees exempt under special certificates issued under Section 214 – Section 213(a)(7)
The 213(a)(7) exemption encompasses the following categories:
Learners – under special certificates issued by the Secretary of Labor – Section 214(a)
Apprentices – under special certificates issued by the Secretary of Labor – Section 214(a)
Messengers – under special certificates issued by the Secretary of Labor – Section 214(a)
Students employed in retail or service establishments – under special certificates issued by the Secretary of Labor – significant limitations on hours - Section 214(b)(1)
Students employed in agriculture – under special certificates issued by the Secretary of Labor – in compliance with child labor laws - Section 214(b)(2)
Students in institutions of higher education who are employed by their institutions – under special certificates issued by the Secretary of Labor – significant limitations on hours - Section 214(b)(3)
Handicapped workers – under special certificates issued by the Secretary of Labor – Section 214(c)
Students of elementary or secondary schools who are employed by their schools as part of the curriculum – in compliance with child labor laws – Section 214(d)
Employees of certain small local newspapers – Section 213(a)(8)
Switchboard operators for certain independently-owned public telephone companies – Section 213(a)(10)
Seamen on vessels other than American vessels – Section 213(a)(12)
Certain babysitters or companions for the elderly – Section 213(a)(15)
Criminal investigators paid on an availability pay basis – Section 213(a)(16)
Computer software professionals – Section 213(a)(17) (also noted at the beginning of this list) [note: although this appears in the "minimum wage and overtime exemptions" part of Section 213, it is really only an overtime exemption – to get the overtime exemption, the employer must pay the employee at least $27.63 per hour, i.e., a "minimum" wage, for all hours worked.]
Food Service

Are you a good tipper?

Ed Winkle

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Gibson's

When I started teaching in this county in 1971, one of the first families I met were the Gibson's.

Their youngest boy, Gene was a senior in my first ag class. That boy and and his classmates taught me more than I ever taught them. You had Gene, Rau, John, Greg, Hurst and more. Some came to be doctors! But these were good farm boys ready to take on life. I looked younger than some of them. I went to the bathroom one day and Mr. Wilson the Janitor took me to the office saying I was skipping class. We still laugh about that.

Gene and Keith wanted to build a pulling tractor like I did. I encouraged them to bring in the their retired Massey Harris 30 tractor and they stuffed a 396 Chevy under the hood and it became Monumental Massey.

Like a fool, I let them test drive it on SR 28 in front of the high school. They had it going 60 MPH with a wobbly front end. Gene's hat blew off in under 100 feet. I said boys we better fix that front end before that thing kills somebody. Naw Mr. Winkle, it won't be going down the the track that fast with a load on it!

Gene and Keith's parents would invite me for dinner all the time. All the families did then. I ate in so many houses. They wanted a good teacher for their children. The meals were often simple but the hospitality was so warm.

Old Hooter would help me weld up something for my pulling tractor and teach me more about welding so I could teach my students. He could weld about anything together. He taught me to weld a cast iron manifold in sand with a Nickel rod on reverse polarity DC welding.

Gene and his brother are some of the best farmers in this area. One day I talked brother Keith into running for school board. He is still on the board with two of my other students. I am very proud of them. I think they have done a good job, a really good job.

Blanchester was considered the worst school in the county when I started there. Now they have the least debt and highest grades of any school in the county!

We took the state money and built the biggest new school on the smallest piece of ground at that time anywhere in the state. It was like 80% paid by state if we followed their rules. We cajoled and negotiatied with them and got it done. We took our tax money and kept our independence.

The saddest thing was burying the old Jefferson Township School. It is just an empty park now no one uses sad to say. So many good students came from that building and saw their memories buried under earth.

Blanchester made me a better person. 17 years of teaching, 12 years of bus driving and 10 years on the school board. I got to hand diplomas to four children. That is a career I am proud of.

The Gibson family and all the other good families around there made it happen.

The skylight was the brainchild of my dear teaching friend Kermit Zimmerman. He taught science and wrestling and I taught Ag and FFA. We learned how to share students to participate in events. Can't get it to upload at them moment.


I missed

I missed a day! I thought sure I posted yesterday. I try to post once everyday just to keep your interest up.

Time just goes by too quickly!

I have been talking to lots of my friends on the phone to compare notes. Randy in Williamsport has the best crop he ever raised and I am so happy for him.

Allen is finished and working fertilizing next years crop with lime and bio solids. He didn't get quite the wheat acres in he normally does due to this weather. I think that is OK as beans look to be good for 2010.

Bill from Ansonia called this morning to tell me his Tillage Radish has covered the ground in 30 inch corn planter rows! I have never seen that before! Can you imagine knee high radish covering the soil in 30 inch rows? Those have to be huge taproots and are they ever going to stink when they rot!

He is a little concerned he got too much growth. I told him not to worry, they will be decomposed by planting time. He said I dug some and left them on top of the ground and they still look the same after 3 weeks.

There will be three of us talking about cover crops at the annual Ohio NoTill conference in Plain City Ohio, December 8. David Brandt, Steve Groff and myself. I am in elite company but they tell me they are! Just a bunch of old notillers trying to make more money and help others is what we are.

I hope I don't miss that!

The picture is from September. Need a new picture Bill.

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I thought I needed to see my little guy Liam.

I called the house before they went to work and Will passed the the phone right over to Becky.
She passed the phone right over to my grandson Liam.

Here is kind of how it goes:

He sounds so grown up.

"You want to come to papaws house tonight?

Sure, YES.

What do you like to eat, do you like pizza?

Yes Papaw I love pizza.

We could have some fruit, too.

Yes, I want some fruit."

We had a grown up conversation. He just had his fourth birthday.

He was bouncing around, I could tell he was excited.

So I guess we are having pizza and fruit tonight!

I hope that is OK Grandma Lu? Those marinating chops can wait another day.

Two sillies together is dangerous in this house.
I am greedy, I want more of them. Grandchildren are such a blessing to me.
I have seven, give me three more, kids.



Glasses help me see but they are such a pain. I envy you if you don't wear glasses.

I started wearing glasses in grade school. Oh they picked on you, 4 eyes, google eyes, some of you know what I mean.

"Around 1284 in Italy, Salvino D'Armate is credited with inventing the first wearable eye glasses.[8] The earliest pictorial evidence for the use of eyeglasses, however, is Tomaso da Modena's 1352 portrait of the cardinal Hugh de Provence reading in a scriptorium. Another early example would be a depiction of eyeglasses found north of the Alps in an altarpiece of the church of Bad Wildungen, Germany, in 1403.

Many theories abound for whom should be credited for the invention of traditional eyeglasses. In 1676, Francesco Redi, a professor of medicine at the University of Pisa, wrote that he possessed a 1289 manuscript whose author complains that he would be unable to read or write were it not for the recent invention of glasses. He also produced a record of a sermon given in 1305, in which the speaker, a Dominican monk named Fra Giordano da Rivalto, remarked that glasses had been invented less than twenty years previously, and that he had met the inventor. Based on this evidence, Redi credited another Dominican monk, Fra Alessandro da Spina of Pisa, with the re-invention of glasses after their original inventor kept them a secret, a claim contained in da Spina's obituary record.[9]

Seated apostle holding lenses in position for reading. Detail from Death of the Virgin, by the Master of Heiligenkreuz, ca. 1400-30 (Getty Center).

While the exact date and inventor may be forever disputed, it is almost certain that spectacles were invented between 1280 and 1300 in Italy.

These early spectacles had convex lenses that could correct both hyperopia (farsightedness), and the presbyopia that commonly develops as a symptom of aging. Nicholas of Cusa is believed to have discovered the benefits of concave lens in the treatment of myopia (nearsightedness). However, it was not until 1604 that Johannes Kepler published in his treatise on optics and astronomy, the first correct explanation as to why convex and concave lenses could correct presbyopia and myopia."

Most of Dad's family wore glasses, Grandpa and most of the kids. Dad refused to, just walked around half blind. I really don't know how he got by not running over someone or not getting run over himself.

I remember my admiration of Ben Franklin as a child and those little round glasses.

So many "smart people" wore glasses they have become a fashion statement! Some people wear them who don't even need them!

I broke my frames again Friday and have to wait til this Friday to get them fixed, the one ear piece snapped at the hinge.

I will have to share this with Dr. Keith. He is the best optrician in the land here. I had migraines that put me under. Went to him and my unusual astigmatism had been prescribed just backward all those years. He has also helped many of my friends. Dr. Keith has studied optometry all over the world.

Vision is such a treasure, how do the blind make it?

I know someday they will see.

Ed Winkle

Monday, November 16, 2009


It sure is nice to have harvest done, a new crop growing, visit family and enjoy this beautiful weather. November has made October look really bad here!

LuAnn asked me if we were going to pay for this. I said it always averages out. Could be a long stretch and mild winter or turn into a nasty one. I have seen both happen and the models support that this winter. But it sure has been nice to enjoy the sunshine and moderate temperatures!

This week looks cloudy and Thanksgiving week looks wet. If that is true, we sure enjoyed this Indian Summer while it lasted.

Soon I have to get into the book keeping and presentations. Not quite mentally ready yet but I am close. It has to happen.

You know people seem nicer lately, too. Is it just me? Cars never tried to run us down this fall and give us the finger. Wide machinery is a problem on the road but we all like to eat.

Many people drive too fast but it seems to me like more folks around here have slowed down to "smell the roses." People seem happier to have what they have as they see others with so little. People around here have been very benevolent, too. That is very nice.
I think some struggle is good for a person, makes you stronger which is needed when things don't go right. People got awful "fat and sassy" in the Clinton years and of course that all went away.

I think most of us sense things aren't like they used to be. So many things have changed the last 10 years, particularly in my life. My life is so much better and I am thankful for it.
I could be wrong but that is my percept.
Just that feeling of nice makes you feel good.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Good Visit

We had a really good visit with my sister Linda, her husband Fred, her daughter Lisa Jo and her husband Michael and their new little guy Joshua. He is going to get into trouble real quickly! He is not far from being a toddler, always seems to be happy like his mother.

He kept crawling for the lamp cords. You pick him up and try to stand him up and he jumps like a frog. He even has frog pajamas!
We had a good time watching the Buckeyes beat the Hawkeyes in a key Big Ten game. I was so busy talking I never really got that excited about the game for once!
I felt sorry for the Hawkeyes, their mistakes kind of handed the potential Championship to the Buckeyes. I bet it was a long ride home for them. That young quarterback from Keokuk Iowa played well and played his heart out.

It was great weather and we had lunch on a picnic table at Locust Grove.

Linda and I soon have OLD people birthdays so the ribbing was thick.

Lisa said you know I have two uncle Ed's who taught agriculture and people would say to her, is that your uncle Ed who teaches ag? Which one do you mean is her reply.

We stopped by to see our 540 acres of wheat and barley on the way home and it has really grown in a week. We got home and the bins are almost full of corn, may not be enough room but they are down to 100 acres or less. That is a pretty big accomplishment compared to a month ago.

Farmers, the refuge corn was making 249 this morning and the VT3 only 213. Big difference. Do we really need the traits? Same hybrid with different inserted genes.

There is a big mound of bamboo on the farm they were harvesting. How did that ever get here?

It looks like one of the last week to pull soil samples. The weather maps look WET very soon. I do think the wheat could use a drink but not a flood.

Farmers are never happy with the weather but I have to say they sure have been around here the last two weeks. Family, that should always be happy.

We have a meeting with all the people who put up barn quilts at 5 at the fairgrounds.

I wonder what that will be like?

Ed Winkle

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Tribute to Bob Evans

I found this on his website and it is all true.

"Bob EvansCompany Founder1918 - 2007
Robert (Bob) Evans was born on May 30, 1918, in the village of Sugar Ridge, Ohio. The family moved to Gallia County in 1929, where young Bob and his two sisters could grow up in the company of their many aunts, uncles and cousins. Bob married Jewell Waters in June of 1940. They moved to Gallipolis where he bought a restaurant named the Malt Shop in the early 1940s. When Bob was inducted into the army, he sold his interest in the restaurant to a friend.
In 1945, when he returned from stateside service in World War II, Bob worked for family-operated Evans Packing Company, part of the time as a company officer. In 1946, he took the first step in what would later become Bob Evans Farms Inc. when he opened a 12-seat, 24-hour restaurant upriver from downtown Gallipolis. He still owned a farm in Bidwell and started the restaurant so he would have enough money to pay off his mortgage. As it turned out, that small restaurant would change Bob and Jewell Evan’s life.

Because it was located next to the Gallipolis Terminal truck depot, Bob called his restaurant the Terminal Steak House and later changed the name to the Bob Evans Steak House. Jewell baked the pies for the restaurant. Her kitchen would later become the test site for every product Bob sold. The restaurant became one of the most popular places in Gallipolis. The Steak House was best known for its breakfasts, especially among hungry truck drivers, who were his steadiest customers.

Bob wasn’t satisfied with the quality of the sausage he was able to purchase to serve in the Steak House, so he “set about trying to find a good recipe.” Bob remembered the quality sausage his family had made for years and he set about experimenting, with Jewell as a taster. He took the sausage to the Steak House customers and credits his truck-driving friends with “doing my research for me.”

Before long, the drivers and Gallipolis locals were asking to buy Bob’s sausage to take home to family and friends. Bob decided to take time off from the Steak House to make sausage. He put it in 5- and 10-pound tubs and sold all he could make. Bob knew he was “onto something” that could be even more successful than his restaurant business.

Starting with $1,000 ($500 of his and $500 from his father), three hogs, 40 pounds of black pepper, 50 pounds of sage and a few other ingredients, Bob started his sausage business from his farm in Bidwell in 1948. He expanded production in 1950 with a 28 X 40-foot pole barn building and one employee. Before long, Bob Evans was also selling sausage to groceries and meat markets and called it Bob Evans Farms Sausage.

Five friends and family members joined Bob as partners in 1953, incorporating as Bob Evans Farms Inc. By 1957, Bob Evans Sausage was being delivered by a fleet of 14 trucks to nearly 1,800 locations. The company opened a total of four sausage plants to keep up with demand.In 1963, Bob Evans Farms Inc. “went public,” listing on the Nasdaq with an original issue of 160,000 shares. Anyone who bought 1,000 shares at $9 per share then would have seen that stock multiply in value to more than $2 million today.

In 1964, hog prices suddenly spiked upward and had alarming effects on the company’s profits. Bob Evans Farms made the decision to try something Bob already knew a little about – the restaurant business. Even after prices came down and the sausage business was thriving again, the company wanted to avoid relying solely on that business and Bob and Jewell began working with a designer on the “look” for Bob Evans Restaurants. The well known “Steamboat Victorian” style was chosen with the now-familiar red-and-white color scheme. Chillicothe was the location of the first of the “new” Bob Evans Restaurants. By the early 1970s, expansion was entirely in Ohio, but by the late 1970s, expansion into other states was underway. By 1983, the restaurant division could count 100 units.

Bob Evans stayed in his long-time positions as a director and president of the company until his retirement on Dec. 31, 1986.

The only person in Ohio to have been honored three times by the National Wildlife Federation, Bob spent almost 40 years preserving wildlife on his farm, Hidden Valley Ranch, and on the company-owned Bob Evans Farm. Bob received numerous awards for his work in conservation. In 1981, Bob was named “Ambassador of National Resources” by the state of Ohio, recognizing him for “faithful service and unselfish contributions to the wise management of Ohio’s natural resources.” He also received the Ohio Wildlife Conservationist of the Year award in 1980.
In addition to being a strong supporter of the 4-H and FFA youth programs by supporting numerous county and state fairs, Bob was dedicated to helping young people at the university level. A former Ohio Board of Regents member, he worked with students at The Ohio State University’s College of Agriculture and Home Economics.

In 1976, Bob Evans was named to the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame. He was named to the 4-H Hall of Fame in 1982. In 1978, Bob received the Ohio Governor’s Award, the most prestigious honor bestowed on an individual by the state of Ohio. An active farmer for much of his life, Bob had long supported land and wildlife conservation, as well as promoting progressive farming practices to help save the family farm. He promoted a study of new grasses to allow year-round grazing in Ohio, so that farmers wouldn’t have to buy costly grain and silage for their livestock for the winter.

Bob called his 12-month grazing idea “one of the best things I ever did in my life.”
Bob Evans’ public concern was demonstrated by his community involvement. He served as honorary chairman of the Heart Fund Drive, fundraising chairman for the Ohio Society for the Prevention of Blindness and state chairman of Easter Seals.

Bob Evans passed away on Thursday, June 21, 2007

I have met 3 billionaires in my life. Bob, Dave Thomas at Wendy's and Mr. Stolle at Lebanon.

They were just as common as you and I to talk to but they had big dreams and made them happen.

They gave their fortunes away and were happy for it.

Ed Winkle

Bidwell Ohio

LuAnn is going to Verizon'e Blackberry school then we are heading down to my sister's place near Bidwell Ohio. I think I remember how to get there! You get off US 35 before you get to the Ohio River in a little town called Rodney, where Linda and listen both go to church and got married there.

We were there for Lisa's wedding last year and went down to Gallipolis to meet her new baby boy Joshua this summer. It sure is different down there than here, mainly pasture land and some tobacco.

My sister still teaches elementary school and now Lisa Jo does too. You how valuable good teachers are and how important they are to society. I call it our Christian mission and many days it is a challenging one.

We were like dad, loved kids and would do anything to help. You don't want to harm or impede children but today's parents need to do a little better job and a lot more discipline. The neighbor has nine beautiful kids, why can't they all be raised like that?

Rodney is also home to Bob Evan's Hidden Valley Ranch and his first big restaurant. We were passing through one day and stopped for breakfast and LuAnn said shouldn't you call your sister? I said no, she will be here. About that time her and Fred walked in and LuAnn looked at me like how do you do that?

Fred did an excellent job running Bob's 1700 ac ranch all his life, usually running 500 registered Chaolais. In 1985 Bob and I were part of a 30 person agricultural delegation to China for 30 days. I still have the slides somewhere, gave that talk over 100 times to thousands of people.

Fred is a farmaholic, worse than me. I can walk away but he rarely does. He sure built the finest ranch and cattle operation I ever saw. It wasn't a tax write off, they made money.

Can you imagine palpating hundreds of heifers by yourself? Fred did it. I think Linda married him because he was so much like dad.

He just had a successful trip taking Charolais bulls to Florida. He drove through what was left of Hurricane Ida. That thing did us a favor and sucked our moisture out of the air Tuesday so we could harvest all week. Another really good we of harvest.

Farmers could start finishing here but the bins are full, the elevators are full and there is no where to haul it. Farmers are starting their own piles and the big one in Melvin, a million bushels outside is full! I will have to get you a picture.

Speaking of which I have a big bin for sale that will fill a big machinery shed if anyone is interested.


Friday, November 13, 2009

3800 bushels off end rows!

Can you imagine that? That is what Les shelled tonight.

I walk down to the grain pit and there is my brand new corn shovel smashed flat. Brad must have ran over it with the semi.

I held it up with a sad face.. First Jonah looked at it and thought Oh My God, did I do that? Ed just bought those. He is going to be
I showed it to Les and he said they straightened it so I won't hurt my back. We all just laughed. Small potatoes in this year!

The corn is down to 16.9% moisture so we are really fortunate. All our sorted plans came together.
Darn good thing we had Bare Necessities and Rowdy Red come in here all haul the grain we did. The elevators are filling up, the bins are filling up. I don't want to be caught red handed with grain left out in the field with coming storms.

Today we test another corn plot to see if Pioneer is as good as they say it is. I think their one number will win the plot. But it is all so good this year, the numbers are close and it doesn't really matter. It is a very unusual year and the race horse corns are winning. Plenty of rain and not too much heat.

Usually my Bird Hybrids B-81D wins but not this year! It is not a workhorse hybrid year but you cannot judge a seed by one year. Then they go and drop the thing and try to sell you something new and improved!
$200 for a bag of seed corn? Grandpa and dad would shudder.
This might be the year you can throw some yield data out the window. It was a very unusual year. However, the yields are so close between hybrids and varities we learned what they are really capable of and not capable of producing.
Now I am thinking, what will next year be like?


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Short rows got shorter

Thanks to a neighbor the short rows got shorter last night. We finished soybeans after the sun went down.

That old wet farm yielded pretty well, good thing we paid attention to the nutrient needs. That is the farm where the wife said Ed you have the best crop here we have ever seen.

All of the non GMO soybeans got trucked to the Ohio River market. Those things are a challenge, I cleaned up some weeds, brought out new ones and thinking of going all Liberty Link soybeans next year.

Now we can concentrate on the last 240 acres of corn going into our home bin system. What I thought was impossible a month ago has become realty. Our poorest farms are our best and our best are not quite that good!

I know we are fortunate compared to farmers out west who are struggling with their harvest. We struggled too, maybe not as much. I am thankful for that.

I am already picturing in my head the crops in each field next year. My soil tests and tissue tests are invaluable to me to make the best decision.

The market seems to want corn, soybean and wheat. So do I follow the market or stay in rotation? I am in a good position to flex acres. I could kill the wheat and go to corn or beans if the market wants them that badly. There are not near as many wheat fields in Ohio though this year so I imagine the wheat fields will stay in wheat.

Rotation of crops and chemicals as done well for me. The soils just keep getting better and better.

The world oilseed shortage makes me lean toward soybeans but the little bit of soft red winter wheat makes me favor it on eroded hillsides.

I always need a field of corn or two. If I had the capacity I would plant the whole thing to corn. I love growing corn but we are on the margins of the great corn belt and it costs so much money to plant corn. Harvesting and hauling all that corn this year has been a good challenge.

This year I had one field of corn by my house. I could have made more money in soybeans but I do love walking and learning in corn fields. Paul Butler called me the Corn Whisperer until he heard me speak, now he calls me the Corn Yellar.

I don't know what I will do yet but I know I can flex my acres into another crop in no time.

Farmers need to be adjustable and flexible.
Honey I do know we need a grain leg and a new bin, please don't shoot me yet.

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Short Rows

Farmers around here are getting down to the "short rows." That is our term for the end of harvest. It always feels good to finish.

Farmers have had their share of breakdowns around here. The soil and the crop was just damp enough put that extra strain on machines. Actually I don't see how they hold together as well as they do sometimes.

We are in the enviable pain and trying to find a place for all this crop. It was a good year. Getting it out has been a whole different story. Last year's harvest was so smooth but this one was so challenging.

I know we set new yield records on several fields. They never did that well before. I tweaked the fertility program and the rain really made it work. It never got hot this summer, most people did not use their AC. We had just enough sunshine in southern Ohio to raise a pretty good crop.

Today we try to harvest my last 50 acres of soybeans. I was all set to go before we got the 2 inch rain a couple of weeks ago so we have been patiently waiting so we do not destroy the field with ruts. I think we should be OK.

At least today is sunny. Yesterday was cloudy all day but that Hurricane Ida sucked enough moisture off us to keep it from raining here.

I am already thinking about next year. I think I am going to plant LL soybeans and give up the non GMO soybean premium for the Japan market. I think I can gain enough in weed control to make up most of the difference. The LL beans look good around here, but that program is just getting started.

The 500 acres of wheat is starting to look like something. Now if I can just sell it for a profit. I do have bids in and they are about a dollar off the current market.

Next I will have to focus on my winter talks and come up with some good graphics and ideas.

There is always something going on around here.

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Picking Corn

Yesterday was another good day to "pick corn." That is what they call shelling corn in parts of the country, I call it shelling corn. The header picks it and the separator in the combine shells it off the cob.

Dad still picked corn the old fashioned way with a corn picker clear up into this decade. He had good corn cribs so we would fill the cribs and shovel it out just like at been done on that farm for 100 years.

We raised a record 224 bushels in 1971 after the terrible corn blight in the midwest in 1970. N cytoplasm worked, the new T cytoplasm failed. Dad had some of both.

I came home from college one weekend in April and there was dad dumping seed corn into the planter with his winter coat and hat on. We planted that field beside the loafing shed and it snowed on it. The soil was very dry.

That corn came up and made the biggest ears you ever saw. They were so big they destroyed dad's old Oliver number 4 mounted two row corn picker. That one went into the ravine near Slab Camp Creek and he got another one just like and we finished picking corn. The old picker was worn out after 20 hard years of picking.

Us kids would ride the wagon and kick the corn back so he could fill the load. You had to duck ears flying out of the elevator but every once in awhile one would hit you in the head. A one pound ear flying out at 20 MPH makes a pretty good smack.

When I got bigger I got to pull the loads from the field with the other tractor and unload it into the elevator into the crib.

The last time I picked corn there was 2002. Mom just had to have some ear corn candy for her cows. I had a heck of a time getting everything running but I filled a crib for her, even though it was one of the worst droughts I can remember. That corn was shriveled up all summer but still made corn.

That is how we harvested corn for 60 years. Before that it was the same, just husked by hand and thrown into the crib. Dad and grandpa did 100 acres each year.

Can you imagine?

Ed Winkle

The video is a good little youtube on picking corn just like we did, looks like our rusty wagon!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Let It All Hang Out!

Remember that old rock song? Let it all hang out!

Lots of people are doing it this days but the ones I respect the most are the American Farmer. Well, all farmers if you want to be more accurate. Many foreign countries read this blog and they know I believe in them, too.

When farmers get finished harvesting, they are offering combines and trucks to other farmers who are not finished.

Local farmers are letting it all hang out by trying to finish harvest. It takes a concerted effort.

Elevators are filling, Cargill turned away trucks full of grain yesterday, wow, that has to hurt.

My buyers are still taking in grain if and when we can get it there.

Machine breakage has been an issue in this mud and heavy fodder. Fortunately in notill, we have little mud but we are leaving cleat marks we will deal with next spring.

Farmers are doing their best with the weather we have this year. I must admit motorists have been courteous, no shaking fists or fingers, many pull off and let us through.

I think they realize for once what we are trying to do. Feed them, clothe them, shelter them.

Provide them with alternative fuels. Our goal is plenty of food and fuel for everyone but we must make a profit.

Sable greeted the meter reader this morning. He is afraid of her. I told him to just do your job and let her sniff you and she will see you are of no harm. He said a Chihauha bit him in the ankle and a Golden Lab bit him with two other dogs like pack dog behavior.

Expect a $1000 electric bill LuAnn, we have 5 fans running full bore!

With 40,000 bu or so in here and another 20,000 bu or so back out, we have another 40,000 bushels to fill it for winter delivery.

Now I can just walk to the old barn and see our new barn quilt and think about how blessed we are after 200 years in this county. It is beautiful!

Let it all hang out!

Ed Winkle

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Our New Barn Quilt

It happened! We got our new Clinton County Barn Quilt installed on the old barn we almost tore down when we moved here in 2004!

Here is what LuAnn wrote on Women's Talk:

Here is what Dan Liggett wrote about the county project:

"First bicentennial barn quilt to go up this weekend. (Not sure what weekend that was, maybe a year ago or two)

The first quilt of Clinton County’s barn quilt project is scheduled to go up on the horse barn at the Clinton County Fairgrounds this weekend, and the project committee is working to have more quilts completed and installed in the coming weeks.

The barn quilt project is being done in conjunction with the Clinton County Bicentennial celebration, which will be observed in 2010.

So far the committee has received commitments to place a quilt on approximately 20 barns in various locations of Clinton County, Diane Murphy, committee co-chair, said.

The quilt to be placed on the horse barn at the fairgrounds will be visible from West Main Street. The official unveiling of this barn quilt is scheduled for Saturday, July 11, the first day of the Clinton County Fair.

Murphy said the goal of the committee is to install at least one barn quilt in each township of Clinton County. Commitments have been received from barn owners in the majority of townships, but the committee is hopeful to reach agreement to display a quilt on at least one barn in each of Vernon, Adams, Washington, Marion and Jefferson townships.

"We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the positive response received so far,” Murphy said.
The barn quilt project was initiated as a way to show all who travel around the county, including visitors and tourists, the pride that Clinton County has in its agricultural history, families and land. Other counties in Ohio and other states have organized successful barn quilt projects, stirring interest among tourists to travel to those counties to view the barn art on display.

The committee seeks a business or organization sponsor for each barn quilt to help defray the cost, and commitment from barn owners to display the barn quilt through 2011. The cost of participation in the barn quilt project is $200 from the sponsor and $200 from the barn owner.
The committee will paint the barn quilts on a regular schedule for three weeks starting Wednesday, June 10, at the Clinton County Youth Council, 302 W. Sugartree St. in Wilmington. The schedule is Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon and from 6 to 9 p.m., Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon, and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m.

Volunteers are needed to assist in painting the barn quilts. No artistic skills or experience is necessary to assist in this effort, as the work will involve applying paint inside lines of the already determined quilt design. Each volunteer may commit for one or more sessions. Or, a group of friends could commit to paint together for one or more sessions.

“We invite local residents to join in the fun of painting these quilt block designs that will be seen throughout the county and enjoyed by many for years to come,” Murphy said.
All designs will be painted on 4-foot-by-8-foot sheets of plywood."

Our is called Optical Illusion and it looks different at every angle. It is a tribute my Dutch ancestors and my career in agricultural education and FFA all my life.

It is so good you want to pinch yourself!

Ed Winkle

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Turkey Fest

We went to our first turkey fest tonight at church. It was the first one they ever had too.

They had raffles, auctions, gifts and food.

Everyone had a great time.

We bought the WalMart Special Christmas Wrap box for $29 made by the third grade.

Two of my friends got to bidding on the Ohio State cooler on wheels stuffed with hats and shirts and all kinds of things. They ran it up to $210! People were cheering at every bid and they got determined not to give up! That win against Penn State didn't hurt today, either.

I think every family got a turkey for Thanksgiving. The cake raffle was busy too. There are some farmwives there who can really bake. One makes the best pineapple upside down cake you ever tasted and mom's was good! Good thing mom doesn't read this!

It was good to see our church friends and talk about our problems and successes this fall.

What a way to end the week, we really enjoyed it.

That is a very special church because of their faith.


Friday, November 6, 2009


I did not like speaking when I was a child, I was shy. But over the years I overcame that and spoke for 31 years as a public servant and now 7 years as a farmer. I have taught many FFA members how to speak publicly.
My first good chance at speaking was at my 8th grade graduation. I wrote up this good speech about the future and delivered it strongly. Dad was proud and people talked about it for weeks.
After my mission to China in '85, I was asked to talk about my experiences over 100 times. I learned to polish the speech and taylor it to the audience. Since the NoTill Innovator Award in 99 I have had many chances to improve my skills to try and help people.

I have been asked to speak on my farmer experiences at Plain City, Ohio, Minot, North Dakota, Des Moines, Iowa and Auckland New Zealand. It is a formidable schedule, one we work on all morning. I told them all you need a back up speak in winter in case I get snowed in and cannot get there on time. They all agreed.

Ohio wants me to teach fertility for cover crops, North Dakota wants to know how I increased wheat yields when I accidentally left radishes in the drill, Des Moines wants notill soybeans and has published a booklet on my work.

New Zealand is interested in how America gets the notill backing it has and how we can convince New Zealand farmers to reduce tillage when they don't need it. We helped host some of their farmers here two years ago.

I won't have to fire the woodstove for 6 weeks in winter!

I hope this is not the pinnacle of my farming and speaking career but it may well be.


Thursday, November 5, 2009


She drove me to frustation today and over the last three weeks. Somehow she got into the trash before the trashman got here.

I was ready to give her up, I am so busy. I just don't have the time or personality to teach her and give her the discipline she really needs.

She is a high maintenance dog but still a sweetheart. She wants to be beside me every hour she is not asleep.

I left the pepperoni out recently after lunch, got on the phone and there is the empty package in the doorway. LuAnn cleaned out her crate dry heaving.

I have lost focus on some discussions with others trying to see what she is into. There are nose smudges all over the house and truck windows and scratches on the trucks where she jumped in or out. Dog hair everywhere.

Some people are afraid of her and some do not want her on their farm, another problem. She is a good scouting dog when I scout fields. Probably the best scouting dog I have ever seen.

Even my grandkids say papaw, put her in her crate. She knocked a couple of them down when and they remember but she doesn't bite them. She bites and nips at me and my shoes all the time.

She wants to be the center of attention but has done pretty well around other people. She wants to play with other animals unless they get mean ,then she gets defensive.

I guess a kennel with a dog house would help, we don't have that. We just trusted her. I can see she she is developing her personality into adult doghood. I want that to be appropriate.

LuAnn loves how she barks at a stranger or anyone who comes close to the house. That is why we chose her.

I wonder if I have time to train her at my age and activity?

What do you think?

Ed Winkle

Today Les and I were talking in the combine and she chased his old German Shepherd all over and I saw her bothering the horses in their pen while we were combining.