Monday, April 22, 2013

History of Buildings on Kansas State University Campus

Note: This information was taken from the College of Agriculture - Spring 2013 AgReport Magazine.  Pictures and more information on the buildings were taken from Kansas State University's website,

My husband and I receive the AgReport from Kansas State University.  A lot of times when this magazine comes I always have the intention to read it but very rarely does that actually get accomplished.

This time I picked it up and was flipping through the pages when I stumbled onto an article found on page 6.  It is called Then and Now, A brief history of how campus buildings relate to agriculture.

I found the following information pretty neat, as I have spent some time in each of these building on campus.

Ahearn is named after Michael F. Ahearn, who was the second "winningest" football coach behind Bill Synder.  In 1911, Mr. Ahearn accepted a position as a horticulture professor, focusing primarily on ornamental horticulture.  The Scottish ivy growing on walls of some campus buildings was planted in the Ahearn era. Ahearn Field House is now used for volleyball, track, tennis and various other activities.

Anderson Hall was called the Practical Agriculture Building of the Main College Building until 1902, when it was named for John A. Anderson, university president from 1873 to 1879.

Call Hall (my favorite hall because of the amazing ice cream made there) is named for Leland Everett Call, who came to K-State in 1907 as an assistant in the Department of Agronomy.  He served as assistant and associate professor of soils, head of the department from 1913 to 1925, and dean of agriculture and director of the Agricultural Experiment Station from 1925 to 1945.

Shellenberger Hall
The Milling Technology building was completed in 1960 to replace the milling department equipment and facilities destroyed by the 1957 fire in East Waters.  The building was named Shellenberger Hall in honor of John A. Shellenberger, who was head of the Department of Milling Industry from 1945 to 1970.  According to a 1961 Manhattan Mercury article, the milling stones at the east entrance of Shellenber Hall were probably from an old mill at Lindsborg and given to the university around 1917.  Shellenberger Hall is home to the Department of Grain Science and Industry as well as the International Grains Program.

Weber Hall (I spent most of my college career in the halls of Weber)
Arthur Weber was appointed to acting president of the university in 1957, the same year that Weber Hall was completed.  The building was named for him in 1964.  Weber was often referred to as Dad Weber, a name he acquired as a senior in high school because his classmates often asked him for advice.  Weber Hall contains Weber Arena and has specialized research and teaching laboratories primarily in the meats area. There are also labs for reproductive psychology.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weather...A farmers best friend and worst enemy

Weather in Kansas can be pretty crazy.  I have heard people say, if you don't like the weather wait five minutes and it will change.  That couldn't have been more true for the weather we had on Tuesday of last week.  At one point in the day it was 75 degrees and beautiful outside.  Then a little while later it was 40 degrees and the wind was bone chilling.

As crop farmers we have a love/hate relationship with the weather.  We love it when it is dry, with just the right amount of moisture in the ground and a sky that has a few clouds and a bright shiny sun.  The hate part comes in when that combination isn't just right.  Weather can either make a farmers day extremely long (getting every kernel of corn planted before the rain comes in a few days) or extremely short (the rain visited us today instead of a few days).

We started planting corn on Monday and the weather was just right.  Then Tuesday came around and this is what we woke up to on Wednesday morning.  Guess corn planting will be held off a few more days.

Yep that is ice on everything.  We went from having pretty green fields of wheat, to wheat fields covered in ice.

The other part of weather that makes a farmers skin crawl is the threat of sever weather.  We don't like damaging winds, hail, or the threat of tornadoes.  I felt bad for the farmers of Nebraska yesterday when I saw my cousin post this picture of hail that they were getting.

When my dad was still farming we had a huge hail storm come through.  We sat inside and watched the hail knock down the entire wheat field around our house.  We were devastated because that wheat field was going to be cut in just a few short days.  No wheat crop meant no money.  I remember looking at my dad and seeing anguish in his eyes.  All his hard work and dedication gone in just a few short minutes.  We saw that same look in my dad's eyes in April of 1991 when a tornado crossed five of his fields.  We spent a good portion of that summer cleaning up tornado trash.  Months after everything was cleaned up we were still spending money to fix flat tires on the tractor.  No matter how thoroughly we cleaned the fields there were still nails everywhere.

Last fall we had damaging straight line winds come through.  The picture below shows how a pivot is supposed to look.  But the next day when we were out looking to see if any of our pivots had survived, we saw tires in the air and mangled metal on the ground.  These pivots looked like twizzlers instead of pivots.

But no matter the season, no matter the weather we keep farming.  Why you might ask...well that is because we love it.  Not even mother nature and her unruliness can keep us from farming.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A year in review

It has been a crazy and busy year.

In May of last year I ran my first 5K.  It was fun and challenging all at the same time.  I am running another one on May 4th this year.  Hopefully this will be come a yearly tradition.

In June we found out that we were pregnant with our third child.  My son was praying for a little brother as he is out numbered four to one with girls on both sides of the family.  He got his wish!

June, July, and August were full of harvest, irrigation, running meals to the field and swim lessons.

In late August my son started preschool.  I can't believe how fast time is going.
In September we went to the State Fair.  That is my favorite time of year because farming has slowed down a little.  The kids were excited to see a few celebrities while we were there!
October, November and December was filled with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and lots of family time.

In January we welcomed our third child into the world! He is such a sweet little boy.
February we welcomed some much needed the form of snow.  The kids loved it.
March we celebrated my daughters 3rd birthday.
And here we are in April again. Hopefully this year I can do better with keeping you all informed about what is happening around the farm.

Here is to another great year!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Letter to Hilda Solis and the Department of Labor

Dear Mrs. Solis,

I am writing to you because I am a concerned farm wife.  Most of my life has been about farming.  I grew up on a farm and watched my father work very hard to keep food on our table.  It wasn't always easy.  He was the only employee on his farm.  We endured hail storms and drought and even a torando that ripped through five of our fields in 1991.  We spent an entire summer cleaning up the aweful mess that torando left behind.  Sometimes we would go days without seeing my dad.  He was up and gone before we were and he came home long after we had gone to bed.  We cherished the times when we got to take dinner to the field so we could have some time with him.  We also lived through watching my dad let go of his dream of being a farmer, and handing it over to his family, because it was just too hard to survive being the only employee. 

In 2006 I married the love of my life and moved to Mount Hope, KS.  He is a fifth generation farmer.  He and his dad farm 3,000 acres together.  They have one other full time employee and a couple part time helpers.  This family farm is much different than what I grew up with.  It has been handed down and added on to as the years have passed.  It is interesting to me the similarities and differences of these two farms.  We still don't get to see my husband as much because there is always work to do, but we try every second we get to go ride the tractor with him even if it is just fifteen minutes.  We bring dinner to the fields just like when I was little.  The real difference is that if we really need my husband he can be here because his dad is there to help pick up the slack.  That is probably the nicest advantage that we have.  Being a family farm we work together to grow and build what we love the most, our livelihood.

In 2011 I quit my job to become a stay at home mom and an extra farm hand.  One of the reasons behind this is because of a conversation I had with my son.  We were coming home from day care one night and I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up.  Now mind you he could have told me anything as his day care provider was my Great Aunt and he had lots of influential cousins, that were at her house a lot, who play all sports under the sun.  He could have said any number of things but he stated to me that he wanted to be a farmer.  Right then and there I knew what I needed to do as his mother.  I wanted to create and keep this life my sons wants.  I wanted to go back to my roots of being on the farm and doing everything I could to help it succeed.

The reason for this letter you may ask is because I want these new rules that you all are trying to get passed to be stopped.  I want to be able to teach my son about farm saftey and about how it takes a lot of people to run a farm.  I know it does because my father is living proof that you can't do it alone.  I want my son to continue this dream of his and his father's and his grand father's because that is what he was born to do.  I want my son to be able to have 4-H and FFA to teach him about safety and the correct way to handle animals.  I want him to have all the opportunities I had and more.  With these new rules he may not be able to do what he wants and that makes this mom very sad.

I understand that these rules are put into place because we want to keep people safe.  People are afraid of children getting hurt working around big equipment.  But unfortunately kids get hurt every single day whether in rural america or in the big city.  That is why they are called accidents.  No one means for them to happen.  Putting more rules in place isn't going to stop every accident.  Please let parents be parents and let us continue to work with our children and show them how to be safe.  I have a strong feeling that, that is all these farm parents including myself want.  Please don't take our teaching abilities away from us.  Let us teach our kids before the age of 16, when they think they know it all and are bullet proof, about hard work, dedication, and saftey.

I appreciate your time and attention!

Concerned Farm Wife
Vickie Winter

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Catching up

Okay it is time to get caught up!  There has been quite a few things that have been happening around the farm and in our lives.  So I will try to make this short and sweet...Here we go!

March 8, 2012 was National Ag Day.  I spent most of the week trying to do things with my kids that involved Agriculture.  The first day we planted soybeans.  The kids had fun doing this activity.  We found the directions on
The second day we played the memory game on This site has lots of neat games to play.  It was built to educate people on agriculture as well as entertain.  This site is for all ages.
The next day we read Milk Comes From a Cow and The Soil Neighborhood.  These books are written by Dan Yunk and give good insight into the life of agriculture.  They can be ordered from
Then National Ag day we went to our good friend Mick Rausch's house to watch him milk cows.  This brought back lots of memories for me as I worked on a Dairy in college.  It was ran by the university and it was a great experience.  I think the kids had just as much fun as I did.
The weekend of March 24-25th we went to Hays for a Young Farmers and Ranchers commitee meeting.  We did a community project at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.  We helped clean the store and put out variouse items that had been donated to the store.  We continued to plan the 2013 annual conference.  We also had a visit from Senator Jerry Moran.  He spoke to us about things going on in Congress and the Child Labor law he is trying to put a stop to.  It was a great weekend with great people.
Then it was Easter fun.  We spent two weekends in a row hunting easter eggs.  The kids had a blast and I had fun watching them.
And probably the most amazing thing has been the addition to my extended family.  Kelsey Marie was born on April 8th at 8:38 am.  She was 10 weeks early and only weighed 3 lbs 5 ounces.  She was 15 3/4 inches long.  My sister had been on best rest in the hospital for two weeks before Kelsey decided to grace us with her presence.  Even though she is so small she is showing great signs of improvement and hopefully she will be able to join her mom, dad and sister at home, where she belongs, soon.
Love my Kelsey Marie!
And now we are all caught up!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Photos from around the farm part 2

I love sunsets.

And clouds for that matter.

The different colors here is what caught my eye.

This barn is amazing!

Local dealership.

Soybean harvest.

What a flood irrigated field looks like before it is planted.

Co-op in the back ground.

Dusting of snow.