on Christmas morning
in Washington, D.C
cow Splatter remembers her bottles! Wayne is feeding
Nugget, a twin who was later adopted.
Milkshake, minutes after birth.
of four sets of
at cousin Karin's wedding.
from the Stoskopf's!
again! It doesn't seem possible that almost a year has
passed since we first began keeping a diary for the
Wheat Mania web site. It's even harder to believe that
the school year we wrote about in our last entries is
A lot has happened in that time. On the farming side,
we were blessed with an excellent milo crop. Fortunately,
we were always able to find room in a local grain elevator
and never had to store any of the milo here at home.
Others in Kansas were not so fortunate. The record breaking
milo crop came on the heels of a recordbreaking 506
million bushel Kansas wheat crop. Combined with problems
with railroad service to Kansas grain elevators, millions
of bushels of grain ended up piled on the ground or
stored in such unlikely places as the Expo III Arena
where our kids showed livestock during the Barton County
Our first large snowfall came in late October, kicking
off what would be a wet winter in our area. We didn't
have what we would consider a cold winter - just a snowstorm
or rain every 4 or 5 days. Our family actually missed
the worst blizzard in our area as we were in Washington,
D.C. Our school's spring break coincided with the National
Association of Wheat Growers Board meeting in D.C. Dean
& I have been to Washington, D.C. several times
but this was a new experience for Julie & Wayne.
They enjoyed it all, including meeting with Senator
Pat Roberts and Congressman Jerry Moran who had provided
us with tickets for the White House Tour and passes
to the House and Senate galleries. Other favorites were
lunch at the National Press Club, Arlington National
Cemetery, the National Library of Congress Jefferson
Building, the Newseum, the National Postal Museum, the
Smithsonian Castle, Planet Hollywood, riding the Metro
(subway), shopping and eating at Union Station -- we
definitely packed a lot into one week!
We were only home a couple of days before a big ice
storm hit, leaving us without electricity for 2 1/2
days (and we considered ourselves lucky!). Electricity
was restored one day and that night we had another big
snowstorm! Of course, now that we're experiencing hot,
dry, windy days, we talk about needing some rain!
Fortunately, the storms didn't make conditions for calving
too difficult. It got very deep in the corral because
we moved the first-calf heifers into the corral where
we could watch them closely. The ground didn't freeze
so the cows were in deep mud. We used up our supply
of big round wheat straw bales, trying to give the cows
& calves something dry to lay on. We had 4 sets
of twins this year - with 7 of the calves surviving.
Since the twins were born to younger first-calf heifers,
we transplanted one calf from each set onto other cows
or heifers that lost their calves. Some days were really
crazy - with 7or 9 calves being born one right after
For the first time in several years, we lost one calf
to coyotes. Wouldn't you know - it was a nice heifer
calf born to Julie's first bucket calf, Amanda, and
destined for Julie's cow herd. The ground never froze
so that the coyotes could be hunted last winter so they
have become quite bold - even coming up and chasing
our dog around her dog house (less than 10 feet from
the house, with lights on)!
Dean has been the traveler this year. As a participant
in Monsanto's Wheat Industry Leaders of Tomorrow program,
he spent several days in St. Louis in October (during
the western Kansas blizzard) and went to Washington,
D.C. in February (during calving season). He also went
to the National Association of Wheat Growers convention
in San Diego in January. Dean is serving as Vice-President
and Chairman of the Legislative Committee for the Kansas
Association of Wheat Growers. In early May, he participated
in the Kansas Wheat Quality Tour. Carloads of people
took different routes across the state, stopping every
20-30 miles to get out into a wheat field, estimating
the yield. Since many of the tour participants were
from out-of-state, Dean really enjoyed sharing Kansas
back roads with them.
Julie and Wayne have been just as busy as ever with
school, 4-H, music, and other activities. Julie was
out for track - running in the 4x200 and 4x400 relays.
She really liked the running, esp. when they bused the
kids out into the country and had them run back to town.
Track season, with practice until 5 p.m. each day after
school, really cut into Julie's time to work with her
4-H animals. This year, she has a market steer (Peaches),
a market heifer (Cream), and 2 market lambs (Kenny &
Wayne has 3 4-H animals: his bucket calf, Bessie, and
2 market lambs, Fleece & Chops. He's also collecting
Beanie Babies, in case you recognized the names! Wayne's
had a great year at school. His school just completed
a fund-raising project so that they can purchase a weatherlab
that will tie into a Wichita TV station's weatherlab
network. They sold almost $7,000 worth of flowers! Wayne
helped plant the ones we bought for here at home &
is helping Dean lay out rock paths between the flowerbeds.
Lots of rocks have worked their way to the top of the
fields over the years, and esp. after the pipeline was
taken out last summer. Rather than take rocks off the
numerous rock piles at the edge of fields, Dean's been
making the kids pick up new ones for the flowerbed paths!
Both Julie and Wayne are playing ball this summer -
on the same nights again. This year, however, Julie
is on a traveling team that will play at other towns
in the area. Wayne's team will be a lot of fun but I
groaned when I heard which team he was on. This team
has a tradition of playing their mothers before the
first "real" game. Dean & the kids think
they know where my ball glove is - guess I didn't "lose"
it good enough!
Julie has been selected to sing in the National Teachers
Hall of Fame Honor Choir when the new inductees are
honored in Emporia in late June. Volleyball camp &
band camp for Julie, tennis lessons for Wayne, a family
wedding in August . . . the summer looks busy enough
without adding in all the 4-H and fair activities, let
alone the farming!
The past few months have seen us celebrating Dean's
parents' 60th Wedding Anniversary, becoming great-aunt
& great-uncle (again!), a niece's wedding after
Christmas (Wayne was the ring bearer), my father receiving
his 60 year Masonic pin, and K-State winning the Fiesta
Bowl on New Year's Eve. My brother's death in January
and the loss of friends & other family members are
also pieces of the past year's quilt of memories.
listing by date
to the Family Farm listing