KEVIN YOUNG, DIRECTOR
60822 Creek Road
Niles, MI 49120
269-684-3870
kevin60822@sbcglobal.net


JULY/AUGUST 2017 GRANGE NEWS

Wow where has this year gone!? We are almost half way through it as I sit here on June 20th which means the first day of Summer is tomorrow on the 21st! Crops are in full swing of growing and or producing here in Michigan. We are just about done with strawberries and rhubarb and asparagus is about done as well. The farmers hopefully by this time have gotten all their field crops in and already spraying for weeds etc. Hopefully they are getting the needed rain too!

It is just amazing on how time is flying right by! Before we know it we will be up in Owosso for our next State Session. I hope everyone has planted something to show in the new Agriculture Department classes during State Session. We planted pumpkins and sunflowers here. I hope they grow. I am not sure if something got to our pumpkin seeds or not. Time will tell.

Like many other areas across our Great State, the youth around here are getting ready for the local county fairs. My nephews and niece are working with their market and show goats and market pigs getting them ready for our county fair, Berrien County Youth Fair, which is in August. Right now they are just walking their market goats to get them used to being handled and bracing them for when the judge goes to check the muscle on their rumps and backs. They look really good right now and we still have just under two months before Fair. Good luck to all that have family and friends that exhibit at the county fairs!

I am not sure if anyone else has chickens, but we have added 6 new chicks to our flock. Right now they are around 8-10 weeks old so they are in a wooden crate in the garage until they are old enough to join the others in the coop. They are really growing! We hope to be having lots of eggs when they get to that age for laying.
I haven’t been able to keep up with all the current events going on in our Nation but we have to watch what is going on with the Farm Bill. Please let your State Senators know how important the right Farm Bill is to not just our State Agriculture but our Nation and World.
Well I have rambled on enough for this article. I hope the rest of your Summer is good and not too hot and dry! See you all soon!

AGRICULTURE
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 GRANGE NEWS

Wow! August is almost over and another County Fair season is in the books for my area. I am sitting here after finishing up a very busy week (August 23rd) at the Berrien County Youth Fair both as a volunteer and a very proud Uncle! We started out with loading the 4 market pigs in less than 5 minutes! The kids washed the pigs in the trailer and then my oldest nephew gave each pig a haircut. The pigs looked very good and all made weight on Sunday morning during weigh in at the fair. The market goats and breeding stock all made it to the fair in good condition as well. The proud Uncle was so happy with how the kids did this year with their goats. They did very well with showmanship and then came the really proud moment when 2 of the kids were in the champion drive for Grand Champion Dairy Market Goat, which my niece was the winner with her goat that we raised in my back yard! Then the oldest nephew exhibited not just the Champion but also the Reserve Champion Boer Females with 2 of his goats. On Tuesday, the winning continued when the younger nephew took numerous Champions with his Dairy Goats. He and Bombshell were chosen Sr Champion Dairy Goat which was his first ever time to win a trophy at the fair. And he continued winning through the Dairy Goat show and also received Grand Champion Dairy Goat honors with Bombshell which meant he got to sell a Quart of Milk from Bombshell. The pigs looked really well but the judge wasn’t really sure what she was looking for as she said one thing throughout the show but really went with just the opposite. With the fair week past us, that means my chores will slow way down as I do not have goats and pigs to care for any longer. They will surely be missed for the next few weeks, but I do have chores to do yet. My small flock of chickens and one rooster are stilling doing well and we added 6 young pullets to the flock at the end of July. So we will be up to a total of 15 hens and Pretty Boy to keep them all in order. They enjoy all of the things from the garden that have been there a little too long. Like zucchini that are the size of baseball bats or tomatoes that the bugs started to eat on. They expect “goodies” every time I go out to the coop!

The garden was doing very well but was neglected the last few weeks so I am afraid to see what it looks like. Tomatoes were just starting to come on and mom has harvested about ½ bushel so far to can. I haven’t been out in the garden lately with having been busy with the fair but we haven’t had much rain so things got a little dry while at the fair all week. I have been watering it again and do see I have at least 2 nice green pumpkins about the size of soccer balls right now! I hope everyone that have planted items for the Agriculture Department classes are doing well too!

​As we move in to the harvest season, please keep in mind that we will once again be sharing the roads with very large sized farm equipment. I know we are all in a hurry to get where we are going but we need to keep in mind that those big pieces of equipment help to put food on our families’ tables.

​I look forward to seeing everyone at the Michigan State Grange Convention that is being held in mid October at the Comstock Inn in Owosso. I know our host region has been working hard to make this convention very nice. Keep in mind that State Session is still on a shortened schedule so check the MGN and the website for the proposed schedule.

See you at State Session!!