Four Centuries in Kansas

If you are looking for a book that will introduce Kansas history to younger readers, consider this one. Four Centuries in Kansas by Bliss Isely and W. M. Richards was originally a textbook, but it was written in an animated style that makes it an interesting read.  The narrative covers state history from the Indians…

Choline

Choline was not considered a vitamin until more recently because it is not typically essential in the diet (most animals can synthesize it for themselves).  In recent years, however, choline deficiencies have appeared in swine, thus leading researchers to conclude that this nutrient is a little more critical than they thought. The main role of…

The 100th Meridian in History

To the early emigrants moving westward across America, seeking to fulfill their Manifest Destiny, the Pacific Coast was the goal. Between the frontier towns of America and the two promised lands of Oregon and California lay a number of obstacles. The Rocky Mountains were one of the most obvious difficulties to be overcome. But even…

9 Unique Agritourism Ideas

Agritourism is one of the most popular trends in small farms today.  Some producers love to share their crops and pastures with guests, often taking the opportunity to educate people about farming and ranching, both conventional and alternative. Is this an enterprise that you have considered adding to your farm?  If so, you might be…

See the Stars

Looking for a good gift for a fledgling astronomer?  This brief but interesting book may be just what you are searching for. See the Stars: Your First Guide to the Night Sky by Ken Croswell focuses on one constellation each month: Orion. Big Dipper. Leo. Boötes. Lyra. Cygnus. Scorpius. Sagittarius. Cassiopeia. Perseus. Auriga. Taurus. Observers…

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is an important nutrient for animal health because of its role in metabolizing nucleic acids (e.g., DNA) and forming proteins from amino acids.  It also helps the body process fats and carbohydrates, and is used by the liver to make glucose. Cobalamin interacts with folic acid in several interesting ways: Vitamin B12…

Controlling Pests in Stored Feed

Feed is expensive today, so there’s absolutely no reason to waste it on insects.  But if you open the bag and discover an army of hungry bugs already hard at work, what can you do? For starters, you can reassure yourself with the knowledge that the bug invasion may not be your fault.  It is…

Why Do Sheep Owners Dock Lambs’ Tails?

To some, it comes as a surprise to learn that lambs are born with tails and that the tails are docked (cut off) at a young age. What is the reason for this? For the most part, tail docking is a sanitary measure. Wool tends to collect foreign matter rather easily, and the tail is…