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Farm bureau picnic another great event

September 4, 2011
By ESTHER MCCOY - Staff writer , The Herald-Star

If something is successful the first time, why not try it again the next year?

That was the idea with the Jefferson County Farm Bureau's annual meeting and picnic held in the gigantic building on the Irish Ridge farm of Beverly and Bruce Riddle last Sunday.

Along with chicken barbecued by Edison FFA members, beef from Jim McConnell, side dishes by Lunches with Love and desserts by farm bureau ladies, there was a log cabin built in 1783 to visit. It was moved to another farm location by the Franciscan University of Steubenville's architect class so a dig could be conducted. Interesting old bottles, jars and artifacts were found, it was noted.

There was a petting zoo and bouncy house for children and hay wagon tours of the farm. A 1927 tractor on display caught my eye with its steel wheels. No problem with flat tires there.

"Seed, Soil and Sun ... Earth's Recipe for Food" was the theme and name of the children's books approved by the Ohio Farm Bureau used as door prizes. The education and promotion ladies bring spare change to the monthly meetings and use this to buy books for a different school district's library each year.

There were table flower arrangements done up in Velvet Ice Cream's honey caramel flavor containers as door prizes, too. Velvet and the Ohio Farm Bureau are promoting agriculture by bringing the honey caramel dessert, an idea of a young Ohio girl, to the public. Nina Clevenger of the Rosebud Garden Club made the arrangements.

Michele Specht, organization director, opened the meeting with the introduction of new members recruited in the membership campaign. She awarded each of the five advisory councils with a $25 check. These include CP Sodbusters, Friendship, Farmers and Friends, Country Cousins and New Beginnings.

College scholarships were awarded to Dakota McFadden, Allison Yanssens and Alexis Carte.

I was seated across from Rachael Cline, who raised both the grand and reserve champion market lambs at the Jefferson County Fair. I had taken her picture for the tab that came out this past Wednesday, with the overflow of photos to be in today's edition, and knew she looked familiar but my mind was on hold. I happened to glance at her name tag, and a light bulb went on over my head. Yup! I knew who she was.

We talked about raising lambs, when they were born (usually February) and when they could be purchased by 4-H members and raised for a livestock project (end of March.) To me it is amazing that a lamb can grow to adulthood in four or five months.

Another incident occurred with the raising of champion lambs by Rachel and grand and reserve rabbits and four other awards by Hannah Means. I came to know Joann Means from the Survivors and Seekers group, and she called to say that both girls were her granddaughters.

Liz Matthews and I were wearing the same color top. We talked about our kids - her son, Rick, and I share the same Dec. 3 birthday. I think of him on that day, and she said thoughts of me run through her mind then, too.

Those great honey people, Suzan and Joe Kovaleski, had their honey display at the picnic. It is always interesting to see the bees behind glass - just where I want them to be. I have been stung too many times to be friendly with the little fuzzy insects. But they do make good honey.

Ruby Haught came over and spoke to Lamont and me. I know her from the Jefferson Ruritan dinners that we both attend.

I had not seen Bart Morrison, Bev's youngest son, for years, but he was another person who looked quite familiar. I did a story on Bart and his brother, Bob, many years ago, and he recognized me. They were quite young then.

Marcus Chronister was installed as the new president by Michele. I just met him at the picnic and wished him much luck.

Mary Ellen Grafton and daughter, Ellen Swickard, led in singing "America the Beautiful" and "Home on the Range," plus some I cannot remember. If I don't write them down I just see blank spots where my memory should be.

Because I am always hunting for recipes, I asked one of the FFA members what they used to make their barbecued chicken taste so yummy. He said he couldn't tell me. "I suppose if you told me, you would have to kill me, right?" I asked. "Yup" was his reply. I decided I didn't need to know that bad after all.

But I am interested in your recipes, and the Holiday Cookbook Contest will be coming up shortly. Start going through your cookbooks and recipe boxes to find something that could be a winner. You never know!

I am slowly getting through the backlog of stuff I put aside during Jefferson County Fair week. If you haven't seen something sent to me, it will be in soon.

I enjoyed meeting all of you at the fair and dinner at the Riddle farm. You make my work pleasurable.

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