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End of an era: Ag reporter heads for the fields
Posted Tuesday, May 7, at 3:39 PM
Well, they say all good things must come to an end. So it is with great sadness, I have to say goodbye to all of you as The Marshall Democrat-News agriculture writer. Although my employers have been extremely flexible in letting me take time off for planting and harvest, I am needed more on the farm than ever before. For that reason, I feel like it is time to move over and allow the paper to find someone with more time and dedication to cover our very important agriculture community...

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Samplings from Women in Ag conference
Posted Monday, April 1, at 10:50 AM

Like a fine wine, the Saline County's Women in Agriculture Regional Conference gets better with age. So it's no wonder the 10th event, held on Friday, March 15, was the best yet. The day made me proud to be from Saline County and be involved in agriculture. From the venue of the Martin Community Center, to the speakers, to the food and especially the organizers, the whole event was first-class...

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Lose weight and get healthy: Eat meat and get moving
Posted Tuesday, February 19, at 8:22 AM

If I hadn't heard it with my own ears, I might not have believed it. In a recent episode of "The View," the great and powerful Dr. Ehmet Oz said, "Meat is not the cause of obesity in America. Red meat is okay." It's the same thing those of us in production agriculture have been saying -- and living -- for many years...

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So many title possibilities, so little time ...
Posted Wednesday, February 6, at 3:44 PM

After writing my first book, "Semi View," I started fielding questions about whether or not I will write another one. After pondering the question, I started thinking perhaps I could write an agriculture remake of other popular and classic books. With that in mind, I came up with a list...

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A boy's empty room means new phase for mother
Posted Tuesday, January 22, at 3:01 PM

If I knew it would be so hard to for them to leave, I might never have invited them to stay so long. Oh, I'm not talking about a stray puppy or even a lost cat. I'm referring to my children. Now don't get me wrong, I love my sons and I begged them to stay young, forever our little boys. ...

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The ups and downs of ag news in 2012
Posted Tuesday, January 8, at 4:17 PM

Now that 2013 is upon us, and we survived the Mayan threat of Dec. 21 and found ourselves on the other side, I think it is time to look back at 2012. In agriculture headlines, it was a busy year: labor laws, parody videos, pink slime and drought. However, there were several victories along the way. The biggest one was probably the withdraw of labor department law changes which would have changed the dynamics of the family farm...

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Defending ag for the sake of future eaters
Posted Thursday, December 20, at 1:43 PM

I spend a lot of time defending agriculture. Recently (it wasn't the first time) I've been accused of defending it to protect my livelihood. It's a fair assumption I suppose. But the truth is, I'm much more worried about my children and the future generations than I am my own. It's not really about their livelihood, either. It's about what they will eat someday, especially a few generations down the line...

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If farmers had their very own Santa ...
Posted Tuesday, December 11, at 2:27 PM

As Christmas rolls around again, I've become panicked trying to find gifts for my farmers. I've realized now as they become older their wish list gets bigger -- not in the number of items they ask for -- but in the size of those items. Since real tractors and trucks don't fit under my tree or my budget limit, I am stuck pondering appropriate gifts...

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Coming to the aid of a confused cow
Posted Tuesday, December 4, at 3:23 PM

When people drive by the farm it would be natural to think everything is easy. After all, what scene doesn't look prettier from a distance? It's when you zoom in -- either with a camera lens or a critical eye -- that the cracks and wrinkles begin to show...

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Giving thanks for the wealth of farm blessings
Posted Thursday, November 29, at 9:08 AM

It may be a few days late, but I decided better late than never. As we dive into the Christmas season, where we tend to think about all we need, perhaps it's even more important to acknowledge those things we already have and appreciate. So I've decided to create a list of the many things I am thankful for:...

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Century Farms are precious, but getting there requires foresight
Posted Friday, November 16, at 12:59 PM

Every year at the annual Saline County Recognition and Celebration I feel like I am unwrapping early Christmas presents. My presents come in the form of Century Farms -- and the stories they represent. In Saline County, we have a rich tradition of farms staying in the same family for 100 years or more. To date we have more than 150 recognized Century Farms, the most of any county in the state. I've written about more than 40 of them since 2006...

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Say it again, louder: Family farms grow our food
Posted Tuesday, November 6, at 4:21 PM

When I hear about the lack of family farms in America, I find myself very frustrated. After all, I know it isn't true. Is it? Then I mentally click through my memory. Farm families in Saline County, yes there are many. Farmers we met in college? Yes, I can think of many of those still farming in other areas of Missouri...

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Lesson learned: Be careful what you wish for
Posted Tuesday, October 23, at 1:05 PM

Just like a snowflake, every year of farming is different. And each year, I find myself looking back after harvest, wondering if I learned anything. I always hope to gain some new insight about the weather, about our farm, about my fellow farmers or about the crops we raise, which I can store away in my basket of experience...

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Bird's eye view of nature from the seat of a tractor
Posted Thursday, October 18, at 9:19 AM

Many people may not realize it, but despite our many state and national parks, the truth is 85 percent of wild animals live on private land and farms. With more urban sprawl, and less open land, the acres kept in farm production provide a haven for the animals...

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What lessons will we take from the great drought of 2012?
Posted Thursday, September 27, at 11:12 AM

In the next 10 or 20 years, I hope to have a grandchild or two to balance on my knee. And when I do, I plan on starting every other sentence with, "In the drought of 2012 ..." I can picture myself and Hubby, weathered, wrinkled and, of course, very wise, sharing all the useful knowledge we've learned through this year...

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Farming with a learning curve
Posted Tuesday, September 18, at 10:26 AM

When my husband and I married many years ago, my farm veteran mother-in-law told me (her new intern) I had a lot to learn. I soon learned how much. Within just a few years, I learned to garden, till, drive a tractor, disk, field cultivate, drive a stick-shift, drive a semi-truck, feed cows and fill a tractor's fuel tank...

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If only I had their energy
Posted Tuesday, September 4, at 5:18 PM

Energy is wasted on the young. I've often thought so, but now as I quickly slide past middle age and into, uh, well more than middle aged, I realize how true it is. Watching our dog, Flash, has confirmed my suspicions. You see, Flash and I are actually about the same age, if you go in dog years (hers, not mine.)...

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Fads in farming
Posted Thursday, August 23, at 11:57 AM

I can still remember my mom's laughter. She was amused by my college roommate, Jane, who was describing a show steer her father had picked for her. "He always picks out the old-fashioned ones," she said. My friend was as exacerbated with her father's tastes as I was with mother's taste. ...

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Can you find a silver lining if there aren't any clouds?
Posted Tuesday, August 14, at 11:44 AM

Anyone who has a lawn, potted plant or garden knows this year we desperately need rain. However, as farmers start to harvest crops, it looks like 2012 is going to become one the driest years in recent history. But as the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. (On second thought, maybe talking about clouds isn't a good idea.) So with that in mind, I've been trying to find something positive about 2012 and our lack of moisture...

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The good news: In the past, drought would have been worse
Posted Tuesday, August 7, at 4:47 PM

Lately we've been bombarded with mainstream media stories about the drought of 2012. Some report on the affect it has on farmers and livestock. Others cover the rising food prices consumers will pay. But what we haven't heard is the rest of the story -- the positive part of the story...

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Semi View
MARCIA GORRELL
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