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


JULY/AUGUST 2018 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 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. It has been a very wet growing season so far which has caused lots of farmers to get their field crops in late. Farmers that make hay are having troubles getting it made and some haven’t been able to do 1st cutting yet.

It is just amazing on how time is flying right by! Before we know it we will be up in the Kalamazoo area at the West Osthemo Grange Hall 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, winter squash and sunflowers here. I hope they grow. I think something eat my sunflower starts though. Remember that there are new classes in the Ag Department for State Session!!!

​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 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.

​Our next Myth in Agriculture is A pesticide is a pesticide is a pesticide. Pesticide is a generic term for a range of compounds. Different classes target certain types of pests: herbicides for weeds, fungicides for fungi, insecticides for insects, rodenticides for rodents. Some kill very specifically. For example, certain herbicides target only broad-leafed plants, but not grasses. Others, such as certain insecticides that can also harm larger animals at high doses, cross categories.

​Pesticides fight bugs and weeds in organic and conventional fields. The difference is that organic pesticides cannot be synthesized artificially. This does not necessarily mean they are less toxic. Toxicity depends on the specific compound and a person’s exposure to that compound. Some pesticides, especially older ones, are toxic at relatively low levels. Others are safe even at very high doses. Pesticides also differ in how quickly they break down in the environment.

​Different regulations apply to different pesticides. Permits are required to purchase some agricultural chemicals, and many farmers call on crop consultants to diagnose problems in a field and prescribe treatment.

​Well I have rambled on enough for this article. I hope the rest of your Summer is good and not too hot and not too wet or dry! See you all soon!

AGRICULTURE
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 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 21st) 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 15 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 nephew was the winner with his goat that we raised in my back yard! That makes 2 years in a row as my niece won last year! The pigs looked really well but the judge wasn’t looking for what we had in the type of pigs. 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. Our small flock of 17 chickens and one guinea hen are stilling doing well. 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 hasn’t done well this summer for some reason. The zucchini didn’t produce like they usually do and the tomatoes did poorly. The only good thing so far is the butternut squash! Let’s hope there will be plenty of squash to exhibit at State Session!! I hope everyone that has 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 West Oshtemo Grange Hall. This is the first time in a very long time that State Session has been held at a Grange Hall. I am part of the Host Region and can’t wait for everyone to see the remodeled Grange Hall thank s to Township Board who owns the Grange Hall. 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. One change for this year is we are having the Awards meal as a dinner rather than at noon for lunch.

​Ya’ll come now, ya hear!!!
See you at State Session!!