Monthly Archives: June 2011

What's in your wallet?

Garrett, Spike, and Sammy
Garrett, Spike, and Sammy

I’m going to miss the 4-H fair this summer. This year Boy Scout summer camp is the same week as the Clayton County 4-H fair. The Boy Scout troop is going to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico for two weeks.  Making a choice between camping in the mountains and the local fair, camping won.   I love the fair.  We’ve had so much fun with 4H every summer.
A couple of years ago Garrett signed up for dog training classes through 4-H.  He and Spike went every week and learned to communicate and work together.  Spike loved the attention, the other dogs, and getting off the farm.  Every afternoon they practiced their obedience commands.  On the day of the dog show we packed Spike’s water bowl, snacks, leash, and collar.  He was bathed, brushed and cleaned up pretty good.  The 4-H dog show is an all day event.  On show day Just about every dog in the county gets dragged to the fair.

There wasn't much shade on the fair grounds so we kept Spike well hydrated; very, very hydrated.  When their class was announced Garrett and Spike headed into the arena.  All the dogs circled to the left, walking at their handlers side.  Over the loud speaker came the command “Reverse your dog, Reverse your dog.” All the dogs circled and walked to the right.  “Sit your dogs, sit your dogs” came the next command.  So far, so good.  After the 'down stay', Garrett picked up Spike’s leash beginning the next command, “walk your dog”.  As I looked across the arena I noticed that Spike wasn't walking, he was three legged. I realized what was happening.  Spike was relieving himself  into a woman’s purse!  Pulling on the leash,  Spike wouldn’t budge.  Being a farm dog, Spike takes care of himself; we don’t walk him. Our farm has 35 acres of timber, that's plenty of trees to accommodate him.  It never occurred to us that Spike might need to visit a tree.

Panicking, I grabbed a water bottle, paper towels, and pushed my way to the bleachers where the woman was seated.  Spewing apologies, I began dabbing and wiping the outside of her purse.  What’s correct etiquette when your dog pee’s in someones purse?  Has Miss Manners ever addressed this issue?

Dear Miss Manners,
My dog relieved himself on a woman’s purse.  What should
I have done?


Embarrassed in Iowa

At the time of the fair we'd only lived in Iowa for a few months, we didn’t know too many folks yet.  The next Sunday, during church coffee hour, a woman tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Hi, remember me?” At first I didn’t.  Then it dawned on me, “Were you at the 4-H fair?  Do you have a cloth purse with a floral pattern?”  She had, at one time, she threw it away, though.  I felt my face turned crimson.

Spike was the Reserve Grand Champion of Obedience that year (despite relieving himself ringside). This year I’ll go and watch. It won’t be the same.  The horse show and project displays will bring back a flood of memories as frantic mothers run past me dragging kids, dogs, and food. I’ll breath a nostalgic sigh of relief and enjoy this years reprieve.  Next year the chaotic joy resumes.

The boys in Clover Buds


©Glenda Plozay, Forest Hill Farm Products,LLC

Forest Hill Farm pasture raised chicken

A nation wide study by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGEN), drug resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus are present in meat and poultry from United States grocery stores at unexpectedly high rates. Nearly half of the meat and poultry samples (47 percent) were contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus, more than half of those bacteria (52 percent) were resistant to three classes of antibiotics. This is the first national assessment of antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus aureus in U.S. Food supply.  Researchers collected and analyzed 136 samples (80 brands) of beef, chicken, pork, and turkey from 26 grocery stores in five cities: LosAngeles, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Flagstaff, and Washington, D.C.Click here for more info

And now a possible solution....

Animal Feed Lawsuit
source:  Iowa Farm Today, June 4, 2011

A New York lawsuit seeks to force the government to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal feed.  The basis of the suit is evidence that antibiotics in animal feed diminished the effectiveness of the drugs to treat people.  The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan Federal Court on May 25, 2011.

The suit accuses the Federal Food and Drug Administration of failing to protect human health.  The FDA, in a 1977 study, concluded that feeding animals low doses of certain antibiotics was potentially harmful to people’s health.

Pesticide exposure Lowers I.Q.

This explains it!

When I was a kid growing up in LaGrange Park, Illinois the mosquito abatement truck would drive through our neighborhood on summer nights fogging the area with pesticide. We’d ride our bikes alongside the truck as it sprayed our lawns and yards. Our parents would run through the house shutting windows so we wouldn’t breathe in the fumes.  Eventually, realizing we were still outside, they’d call us in and force us into the tub to wash off the spray.  Kill Joys!

Researchers at the University of California, Berkley’s School of Public Health have found that prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides (widely used in food crops) is related to lower intelligence scores. Researchers found that every tenfold increase in measures of organophosphates detected during a mother’s pregnancy corresponded to a 5.5 point drop in overall IQ scores in 7 year olds.

Watch for pesticide and herbicide use to grow exponentially in the future.  A recent Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) report suggests that the rate of agricultural productivity must increase at a minimum of 25 percent per year to meet future demand and double agricultural output over the next 40 years.


©Glenda Plozay, Forest Hill Farm Products,LLC