Utility companies such as FairPoint are racing to install fiber-optic cable as part of Governor Peter Shumlin's "Connect VT" initiative to provide all Vermonters with high speed internet and cell phone access by 2013.  photos by Duane Beckwith One can’t help but hum a few bars of the familiar country song, "Wichita Lineman," made famous by Glen Campbell back in 1968 when reading about a most interesting fiber-optic cable project happening in New England. Today’s news takes me back to those haunting lyrics that describe a lone lineman perched high on a telephone pole along an empty highway. The inspiration…
Iowa's largest farm, covering ten square miles, was powered by mules for over 50 years. Photos courtesy of the Odebolt History Pageswww.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~iaohms/adamsranch.htmlOdebolt Historical Museum - Barb Horak & Bonnie Ekse, editors What kind of farming could 150 hired men and 200 mules do on 6,000 acres of Iowa crop ground? For a half-century between 1897 and 1950, a huge farm just outside Odebolt in west-central Iowa, operated as a showplace dedicated to answering that very question. In 1896, W. P. Adams, a 33-year-old born back east in Massachusetts, bought nine sections of western Iowa land from a pioneer Iowa settler…
If you could be granted just one wish, what would it be? Attending the Calgary Stampede was the childhood dream and wish of a shy, 11-year-old boy from the eastern coast of Canada. "Cole was an extremely appreciative, personable and insightful young man and our whole crew felt honored by the opportunity to meet and work with him," says Brian Coleman, member of the Stampede Heavy Horse Committee and driver of Jackson Fork Ranch's hitch. "We enjoyed meeting and visiting with Cole's family and hearing about his own Percheron and his draft horse experiences." —Show Champions photo Cole Allen’s wish…
“DOC, GIVE ME SOME POINTERS ON THE FRONT LEG OF THE HORSE.” The above request may sound a bit odd to an experienced horse person, but in reality it is a very common request–especially at a horse sale or show. There are many people who are interested in the draft horse and they often seek help when they are engaged in purchasing an animal. I learned an awful lot by talking with and watching several old-time horse buyers as they examined horses they were interested in owning.  These people were experts at giving a soundness exam to a horse. Often…
ORGANIZED RELIGION: SOME EFFECTS ON U.S. AGRICULTURE As we look at the practice of agriculture in 2012 there are some surprises in store. Farmers and owners of farm land are not always one and the same. On the one hand, we have the Amish as the largest, homogeneous group of farmers in the United States. Given their large families and preference for rural living we can reasonably expect their influence on American agriculture will continue to grow into the foreseeable future. They are obviously deeply influenced in how they farm by their faith in God and their religion which institutionalizes…
LEASE AGREEMENTS – WHAT SHOULD BE COVERED? Disclaimer–This article is intended as general discussion and information on the topic covered, and is not to be construed as rendering legal advice. If legal advice is needed, you should contact an attorney. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in any manner without prior written permission of the author. First and foremost, a lease should always be IN WRITING! Verbal leases are much more difficult to prove and enforce. A written lease will solve the “he said-she said” dispute and remove doubt about the parties’ intent. There are many kinds of…
Pedigreed livestock breeders have three means of achieving success. They can breed for genetic improvement. They can breed for profit. Or, they can breed for popular acclaim. While no horseman, Scotland's John Elliot, a respected livestock breeder, writes, these issues are addressed in A Racing and Breeding Tradition–The Horses in the Life of The Aga Khan, a book new off the press. The chapter on The Aga Khan's Thoroughbred breeding operations captured Elliot's attention. His editorial in The Scottish Farmer states, “It wasn't the sumptuous binding, the high quality paper or the beautiful pictures which were the attraction.” It was…

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