Slykhuis Farms has definitely slid into a dry period during these dog days of summer. July has actually brought Southern Illinois some precipitation, but most of it has bounced around our farm. The fescue has turned to a light brown and has went dormant. If we have a couple more weeks like this, we might need to start setting out some hay. The crops look pretty good so far. The heat has helped put some growth on the beans and most of the corn was probably made before we hit the drought.
This past month I was honored to sit on an Agricultural Advisory Committee that Senator Dale Fowler has put together. The purpose was to address any agriculture-related questions that we might have directly with Senator Fowler and his special guest Raymond Poe (Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture). The committee consisted of around 20 farmers within the 59th district. I will have to commend Senator Fowler and Director Poe for taking the time to hear our issues up front and personal.
In past summers I have spent the months of July and August going to local county fairs participating in rodeos. This summer Angela and I decided to do some traveling and experience some new terrain. We started our adventure in Arkansas City Kansas at Creek Stone Farms Processing Plant. They gave us a tour of the office building as well as the plant itself. Creek Stone is one of the most updated processing plants in the nation. It is small in comparison to the bigger companies, but it makes up for it in quality. We have sold several loads of cattle to the plant and it was good to put a face with a name. From there we ventured on to Dodge City and had a tour set up with U.S. Premium Beef. The size of the National Beef processing plant was enormous. It is amazing how organized and clean they can keep these facilities. I was able to discuss marketing schemes with both locations. It was definitely a learning experience for Angela and me. People really don’t know how a burger comes about. From someone artificially breeding a cow to the packaged ground beef in the meat counter, there is a lot of work in between. We ended the trip by swinging down through Waco, TX. and checking out the Magnolia Market at the Silos. As you could imagine, this was my wife’s most favorite part of the trip.