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Rick's Ag Roundup
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by Richard C. Snell, Barton County Extension Agent - Ag
Temple Grandin to speak at K-State
It is amazing what people can do with their talents and what they can overcome when they set their mind to it!
Temple Grandin, a world-renowned animal behaviorist and a person with high functioning autism, will speak at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at Kansas State University in Forum Hall at the K-State Student Union.
The lecture, which will cover Grandin’s personal and professional life, is free and open to the public. It also will be streamed live on the Web at
An HBO movie about Grandin recently won seven Emmy awards. Grandin didn’t talk until she was 3 1/2 years old. She was diagnosed with autism in 1950, and her parents were told she should be institutionalized. Instead, Grandin developed her ability to think in pictures and see situations through the perspective of animals into a successful career as a livestock-handling equipment designer. She has now designed the facilities in which half the cattle are handled in the United States.
Her first book, “Emergence: Labeled Autistic,” stunned the world. Until its publication, most professionals and parents assumed that an autism diagnosis was virtually a death sentence for achievement or productivity in life.
I first met Temple Grandin at Fort Collins in the mid 1990’s when I visited Fort Collins where she is on the faculty at Colorado State University. She is considered one of the best authorities in livestock handling and had consulted on several facilities in our county when beef producers had asked me to help design some facilities with our extension ag engineering specialists.
Grandin’s lecture is sponsored by Food for Thought, a grassroots group of K-State students who seek to bridge the gap between agriculture and consumers. The group includes undergraduate, graduate and veterinary students, as well as young alumni, and works under the guidance of faculty adviser Dan Thomson, the director of K-State’s Beef Cattle Institute. More information about Food For Thought is available at the group’s blog,, on Facebook or on Twitter at
I have to admit, I want canola to work!
Last week I told you about the Kansas Canola Tour to be held Nov. 11-12. I have listed the full schedule farther down the page below.
Truthfully, in defense of the organizers, canola can be a successful rotation with winter wheat. It has been done. We have had some tough years recently for winter canola. What I am sure they hope to do is give you some advice early enough in the game to help the crop with some good management.
I realize canola is not yet a major crop in the Golden Belt area. One of its biggest selling points is how other crops gain yield following canola. It either must improve soil tilth or not use much moisture. Although canola and other alternative crops are a hard sell with corn, wheat and soybean prices what they are, I still believe canola has a future in rotation with wheat, as we continue to improve on it.
There are a number of fields and stops and the idea is that farmers and others will go to the one closest to them. If you would like to attend more than one stop, you are welcome to do so, but this is certainly not expected.
Here is the schedule of stops for Wednesday, Nov. 10:
* 9:00 a.m. - Dean Elvin farm, Marquette. This is 1 mile west of Marquette on Kansas Highway 4. Take McPherson County Road 447 (blacktop) north 1 mile to Wells Fargo Road. Turn left (west) and drive ¾ mile; the plots are on the north side of the road. This stop features a 20-entry variety trial and wheat/canola crop rotation blocks.
* 11:15 a.m. - Ed Schultz farm, Arlington. Located about 2 miles south of the K-61/K-14 junction or ¼ mile south of the Castleton Road/K-14 junction on the west side of the road, this stop has canola/wheat rotation blocks, including four sulfonylurea soil residual tolerant winter canola varieties.
* 12:00 p.m. - Lunch on your own at Carolyn’s Essenhaus, Arlington.
* 3:00 p.m. - Clearwater. Adjacent to the Clearwater Co-op on the north side of town, a 20-entry winter canola variety trial.
* 4:00 p.m. - Tim Tureck farm, Wellington. This is 6 miles south of Wellington on U.S. Highway 81 or ¼ mile south of the E. 80th St./US-81 junction on the east side of the road. The stop features canola/wheat rotation blocks, including nine winter canola varieties.
The next day, Thursday, Nov. 11, they will be down south.
* 9:00 a.m. - Jimmy Vardy farm, Anthony. This one is 6 miles west of Anthony on K-2, turn south on 60th Ave.  Drive 2 miles south and turn right (west) on SW 20th Rd. Drive ½ mile west; the plot is on the south side of the road. This visit includes information on canola/wheat rotation blocks, including four sulfonylurea soil residual tolerant winter canola varieties.
* 10:30 a.m. - Bob Schrock farm, Kiowa. For this stop, go 3 miles south of the KS-2/KS-8 intersection, turn east on E0030 Road and drive 1½ miles. Plots are on the north side of the road. This stop provides information on the National Winter Canola Variety Trial and the DL Seeds, Inc., experimental hybrid trial.
The Wichita Farm & Ranch Show is being held March 9-11 at the Kansas Coliseum in Wichita. There will be a grain and livestock marketing forum on Tuesday evening but advanced tickets are required and must be obtained by calling 888-550-5376.... K-State Swine Day is Thursday, Nov. 18. Register by Nov. 10 for $20 and ride up with me. It will cost you $30 at the door... K-State is holding income tax schools across the state in November and December. These are designed for professional tax preparers. The first one is Nov. 8-9 in Garden City. A second identical school will be Nov. 9-10 in Colby and Nov. 10-11 in Hays.
Rick Snell is the Barton County Extension Agricultural Agent for K-State Research & Extension. He can be reached at 620-793-1910 or The Barton County Extension Office is located at 1800 12th Street in Great Bend.