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This is the second in an accidental series about forgotten farmsteads and rural homes. Many lean and crumble while they wait for their family — or any family — to return. Others, like this beauty, seem to need just a few repairs and a fresh coat of paint.

This farmstead is near Rock Springs 4-H Camp on K-157.  Someone cares for it, since the lawn looks like it was mowed last fall. The newly emerged daffodils give hope to this country scene.

Rock Springs House

Rock Springs Barn

Population Density: 4

December 4, 2011

An article I read recently mentioned population density — people per square mile. The term left my brain until the other day when I was driving into town. Our farm is on the northeast corner of a section, which is 640 acres or one square mile. Population density for that square mile: 4. Us.

Head a mile north. Population density: 0. Head a mile south: 0. East: 0. West: 0.

We do have neighbors, who live just outside the sections around us. But, “aloneness” is one of the reasons we love our rural life. And, it quiets the soul to look at land free of electric poles.

Convention or family reunion?

November 20, 2011

American Agri-Women at the 36th annual national convention.

American Agri-Women at the 36th annual national convention.

American Agri-Women (AAW) recently held its annual national convention — its 36th — in Wichita. Our convention had the framework of any other convention: keynote speakers, breakout sessions, officer elections and awards ceremony. That’s where the similarity stopped.

First, this convention was entirely coordinated by volunteers. There was not one “staffer.” Members secured the location, speakers and sponsors; arranged tours and meals; coordinated the business proceedings; devised out-of-the-ballpark themes and decorations; and attended to every last detail from registration forms to audio-visual needs to workshop signage.

Members didn’t just attend sessions in bland, sound-proof conference rooms. We broke free to venture out to see ag operations — grain elevator, wildlife preserve, ethanol plant and more.

And, perhaps most distinctively, members embraced each other as family. This family doesn’t share genetics. Instead we share a passion for agriculture. “Passion” is one of those overused marketing words. However, there is no other word that fits.

Members of other professional organizations share a loose bond, often based on occupation or industry, such as marketing, PR, etc., etc. AAW members share a lifestyle, a heritage, a legacy — producing food, fiber or fuel. We either live on family farms, go back to work on our family farms, or support family farms in our businesses.

We didn’t just listen politely during presentations. We asked questions. We challenged. And, we sometimes disagreed. Ag is serious business, after all, with major obstacles to how our legacy survives, and how we produce goods in a sustainable, responsible and profitable manner. Only a family can stand up to that kind of challenge.

There’s always room for more at the family table. So, if you eat, consider joining us: www.americanagriwomen.org.

This was tucked in with my mail. Sad news regarding our country post office that I wrote about in February: https://lynnwoolf.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/whats-so-special-about-milton-kansas-67106/

My V. says,  “That little ol’ post office never hurt anyone.”

Maybe this was the last resort of a desperate person in need. I bet the good people of Milton would have helped this person, if they only had asked.

(E. photo)

Baby goat born on National Ag Day 2011

What is more perfect than celebrating National Ag Day with a birth day? Make that two birth days. This baby goat was born today about 7:30 a.m. He looked like he had already grown when I checked on him three hours later — as well as developed a little goat attitude. He’s a cross between a Nubian (dairy breed) and a Boer (meat breed).

See him in action: http://www.youtube.com/user/lynnwoolf?feature=mhum#p/a/u/0/EbOLxpLdBbU.

We were also surprised with a new calf early this afternoon. His momma is keeping him tucked away in the pasture, so no photos to share yet.

I can’t wait for the kids to get home from school.

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