Outstanding In Their Field

Outstanding in their field Stng Head-WEB

It is 8:30 at night, and once again I have delayed writing my article. Not only have I procrastinated, but I am also stumped as to what would be a relevant and educational topic about agriculture that I could inject with some humor. However, there is a topic that occurs almost every winter that makes me shake my head.

So far this winter, we have only had one serious bout with extremely cold weather. The entire winter has been quite mild, temperature wise, but we did dip below zero for several days during the middle of January. A weather tidbit I learned years ago was that the 3rd week of January is usually the most severe week of the winter. Unless we see another breakout of very cold air sometime soon, that time will indeed be the coldest week of winter once again.

During that cold wave, stories abounded about frozen water pipes in homes. I cannot understand how this is so prevalent in any home built in my lifetime. I started doing carpentry in 1983 and building new homes in 1985, and continued for 9 years. Insulation had already been invented. There is no debate about how effective it is. It is no secret that it exists, and there are building codes that require it to be used successfully to keep homes cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

How can we fly into space, put 10,000 pictures on a chip smaller than a AA battery and have cars drive themselves, but not insulate a wall in a house to keep the cold out and save thousands upon thousands of dollars in heating and repair costs?
During that cold wave, the livestock barn I built in 1999 did not even freeze, and that was even without a heat source or any livestock inside it. The cats’ water bowl did not even freeze solid, and now I feel foolish that I bothered to winterize my sprayer that I stored in it.

It baffles me that I could have a 108’-by-220’ building that is unheated not freeze, yet homes that people live in and heat to 65-70 degrees have frozen water pipes. It appears obvious to me that more than one person in the trades and home inspections is not doing their job.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the possibility of writing a book about hay. I am not sure if I should approach such a book as fiction, satire, or an instructional book. During a severe hay shortage, I am shocked whenever I see someone wasting hay when there are very few alternatives to feed hungry horses in the absence of forage in the diet. I witnessed where someone used 4 bales of hay as jack stands to support their novelty carriage while they replaced/repaired the wheels. All 4 bales had molded from sitting on the wet dirt floor. That was a lost expense of $40, figuring 4 bales of hay at $10 each.

I also notice that many horse owners overfeed their horses. Granted, there are times to feed a more generous portion of hay, like the brutally cold 3rd week of January, but it seems many owners with no restraints on finances tend to run with an all-you-can-eat meal plan for hay most of the year. I have just about given up trying to pass along to horse owners all the statistics and advice I have learned from researchers and equine nutrition experts in my lifetime.

I have a solution that may curb the wasting of hay. Perhaps I could market all my bales in the future as locally grown, non-GMO, gluten free, sustainably raised with no added hormones or antibiotics. I could charge 3x times as much and make unsubstantiated claims about how my product is superior.

They will either reduce their usage, or I will laugh myself all the way to the bank. I think I have a start to some satirical writing.

Mission accomplished.



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