Forty-one members of the Spencer County FFA Chapter attended the Kentucky FFA leadership Training Center in Hardinsburg the week of June 6-10. While there, members participated in a variety of leadership development classes, special interest classes, and recreational activities.


  • Beef cattle production is a year-round job. There are certain things you can do to make things more organized, whether you have a spring-calving or a fall-calving herd.

  • Beef cattle production is a year-round job. There are certain things you can do to make things more organized, whether you have a spring-calving or a fall-calving herd.

  • Green June beetle flight has begun across Kentucky. They are similar to, and at the same time different from, Japanese beetles.
    Both species are good fliers and congregate in large numbers when feeding. Also, each has one generation each year and their larval stages are white grubs that develop in soil.

  • The State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest was held on Tuesday, June 16 at the Madison County Fairgrounds in Richmond.  Connie Jeffiers, livestock leader and coach, did a great job at coaching and motivating all of the team members.  Thanks to the Connie Jeffiers and Emily Hume that helped transport and serve as chaperones for this trip.  Another big thank you to Emily and Matthew Jeffiers for working with the team.  

  • The wet summer so far has made for a great weed season and some soggy looking vegetable gardens!  Those that are part of the fungi family are having a real ball!  Gardeners are wondering about the toadstools popping up in their lawns; others are confounded by the stinky, phallic-looking things poking through their mulch, a mushroom commonly called the stinkhorn; and the slimy orange globs on cedar trees got many thinking aliens had landed in their landscape.  

  • Dear Savvy Senior,

    I plan to apply for my Social Security benefits in September. When can I expect my first check? And, is direct deposit my only option for receiving my monthly payment?

    Almost Eligible

    Dear Almost,

    Generally, Social Security retirement benefits (as well as disability and survivor benefits) are paid in the month after the month they are due. So, if you apply for your Social Security benefits in September, you will receive your September benefits in October.


    About 40 years ago a fungus was discovered in pepper crops in New York and since it has spread as far as California and Florida. It’s in our midst, as well. The fungus in question causes phytophthora blight in peppers. Some refer to the sudden wilting of peppers as damping off, phytophthora root rot, crown rot or stem and fruit rot. Clearly the fungus impacts the entire plant. I had a problem with this blight in my pepper patch and it seems as though it is back!

  • Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden recently announced that dairy farmers can now enroll in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Margin Protection Program for coverage in 2016. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating dairy operations when the margin — the difference between the price of milk and feed costs — falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer. Harden made the announcement while visiting Wolfe’s Neck Farm and dairy school in Freeport, Maine.

  • Farm transitions have been identified as one of the major upcoming structural changes in agriculture that concerns policy makers.

  • A couple of “members” of the pigweed family are causing problems for farmers locally and across the state.

    “The real problem issues are with soybeans,” said Jim Martin, a weed scientist with the University of Kentucky’s research and education center in Princeton. “It’s (pigweed) across the state. It started in western Kentucky along the river bottoms and found its way into central Kentucky as well as the rest of the state.”


  • It’s been a hot and humid last few weeks! I was hopeful that this summer was not going to be idyllic…at least we got rain just in the nick of time! These ninety degree days, however, are putting us on track for some serious heat this summer. Some vegetables will surely respond to temperatures in the 90’s…some will be good and some will be sad. I know we can’t change the ambient air temperature on a ninety degree day but we can provide some shade for our plants on the hottest days of the summer with reasonable results.

  • Millipedes are important recyclers that break down decaying plant matter as they feed. They accumulate in areas where there is moisture coupled with mulch, fallen leaves, or a significant thatch layer.

    During some times of the year, large numbers of millipedes can appear suddenly, covering sidewalks and sides of buildings. Reasons for this behavior are not clear, but the two main thoughts regarding this activity are that it may be due to:


    Jacob Barnett dreams of researching new advances in agriculture. Rachel Sibert loves animals and would like to care for them as a veterinarian. Taylor Nash believes nothing would be better than teaching future generations about the science he loves — agriculture. All three of these young people will begin following those dreams with the scholarship help of the Louisville Ag Club.

  • There is nothing like a tropical plant for bold, bright blooms in your summer outdoor living space. It is the perfect environment because most tropicals like the bright light, heat and humidity that summer brings. We baby them through the winter months, waiting for the threat of frost to past so we can bring them outdoors for a breath of fresh, warm air.


    Spencer County 4-H was well represented at the 2015 Teen Conference at the University of Kentucky June 8– 11. Owen Baxter, Ben Dippel, Becca Walker, and Liz Walker represented Spencer County. Mollie Tichenor, agent, and Emily Hume, summer intern, served as chaperones for the group.

    Congratulations to Madisyn Caudill and Lilli Hanik for getting recognized for receiving their Silver Honors Award.


    The Spencer County FFA chapter recently participated in the FFA state convention in Lexington. The chapter was awarded numerous accolades, which will appear in The Spencer Magnet this and next week.

  • If your daffodils didn’t bloom well this year ask yourself these two questions: did you allow the foliage to die back naturally last summer before you cut it off; and has it been eons since they were last divided?

    Patience is a virtue when it comes to daffodils. Often the first color to appear in early spring, their beauty is long awaited. Then we have to wait another two months before we can remove the dulling green foliage. The foliage gathers nutrients for the bulb to store over winter, allowing it to grow and bloom next spring.