Outstanding In Their Field

Outstanding in their field Stng Head-WEB

Each year before Christmas, Kevin Daugherty, a former educator who works for the Illinois Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program, gives out recommendations for books on agricultural topics.

Since my daughter, Danielle, is a teacher, I forwarded her the list for her review. I would rather buy books to help fill her daughters’ minds with knowledge than toys to fill their toy chest.

Several days later, she informed me that they had gone to the library and checked out the book “Carl and the Meaning of Life.” She said that my granddaughter read about an earthworm named Carl and stated, “Eliza just learned that when earthworms poop it’s good for the soil.” Mission accomplished!

After Christmas, I received the book “Dry” in the mail, written by the father-son team of Neal and Jarrod Shusterman, from my daughter as a gift. It was also a book on the list. The book gives a fictional account of disastrous consequences from ignoring the escalating and dire warnings of ongoing drought in the areas that rely on the Colorado River for water.

It was a very interesting read; I was able to read it cover to cover inside while Mother Nature wreaked havoc outside with the recent polar Vortex and ice storm.

I could make a legitimate argument that the stories and scenarios from the book are far-fetched, or perhaps they are easily conceivable, given how some in society behave poorly even in times lacking a crisis. What would you do tomorrow if you and millions of people for hundreds of miles around you suddenly had to go without gas, electricity, or water, not knowing when it would be available again? Or God forbid, cellular service.

It was not long ago that “toilet paper” brought out some bad behavior in some of us.

Now I will write about a different topic, even though I have been told it is taboo to put two different subjects in an article. My phone continues to ring with people who are looking for baled forages for their livestock. Several other hay producers have contacted me to help source hay for customers who have been unsuccessful at buying the supplies they need.

There is an auction barn east of Will County in Indiana that sells various lots of hay each week. When hay is plentiful, it appears to to be an outlet for hay sold at discounted/wholesale prices. During shortages of hay, it becomes fodder, a purposeful pun, for stories of extravagant prices for hay. I heard rumors recently of $15/bale for hay at the auction.

I could draw some similarities between the current shortage of hay and the book I just read about water. One thing is for certain, it is a lot easier to open the tap and have water right now than it is to grow and bale hay. Just in case you were wondering, the book “Dry” was geared toward an older audience than the book about Carl the earthworm. It only took me a few minutes to read about the value of worm poop/castings; it also had many pictures/illustrations.

In conclusion, after reading “Dry,” it does make me wonder if I should become more like a prepper. I wonder how many bales of hay a prepper usually stockpiles?

Did you see how I managed to merge multiple subjects into one? Perhaps I have a future as a writer someday. Perhaps I will title my first book “Hay.”



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