[Announcer]
This is Farm Monitor. For over 50-years, your source for agribusiness
news and features from around the southeast and across the country, focusing on one of
the nation’s top industries, Agriculture. The Farm Monitor is produced by one of the
largest general farm organizations, the Georgia Farm Bureau. Now, here are your hosts, Ray D’Alessio and
Kenny Burgamy. [RAY]
WELCOME! AS YOU CAN SEE, KENNY AND I ALL SMILES. WHY SO HAPPY YOU ASK? VERY SIMPLE. BECAUSE YOU CHOSE TO SPEND THE NEXT 30-MINUTES
WITH US AND FOR THAT WE SAY, THANK YOU. [KENNY]
AND TO SHOW OUR APPRECIATION, ONCE AGAIN WE’VE PUT TOGETHER WHAT WE THINK IS A REALLY FUN
SHOW. STRAIGHT AHEAD, THROW OUT THE OLD STEREOTYPE
OF SCHOOL CAFETERIA FOOD. Damon Jones reports from Warren County on
how school officials there are offering healthier, farm fresh options. ALSO ON THE PROGRAM, YES, THEY’RE AN ACQUIRED
TASTE, BUT EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT A FAN OF PICKLES, YOU’RE GONNA FIND IT FASCINATING HOW THESE
FAMOUS BRAND OF PICKLES GET FROM THE FARM TO A STORE NEAR YOU. [RAY]
PLUS, IT’S A SIDE OF AGRICULTURE WE RARELY GET TO SEE HERE ON THE MONITOR. SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR LOGAN BARNES TAKES US
INSIDE THE WORLD OF AERIAL APPLICATIONS. THESE STORIES AND SO MUCH MORE STARTING RIGHT
NOW ON THE FARM MONITOR. [KENNY]
When one thinks of a school cafeteria, things like square pizza and corn dogs might come
to mind. However, it’s a perception Warren County High
School is looking to change with its award-winning Farm to Table program. Damon Jones has that story. [Warrenton, GA / Damon Jones – Reporting]
Not all school gardens are created equally. And that is very apparent here at Warren County
High School, where students help build, maintain, and harvest this plot that grows a little
bit of everything. [Scott Richardson – Nutrition Director]
We grow everything from pepper, to tomatoes, to watermelons, to pumpkins, to corn. You name it, we put it in the ground. We have 24 raised beds here on the property. We also have two hydroponic programs here
as well that are doing our herbs for the kitchen. And it’s just a phenomenal program. [Damon]
It’s a curriculum that has already received numerous honors, including the prestigious
Golden Radish Award. Quite an accomplishment for a program that
didn’t even exist a just few years back. [Scott]
This started about five years ago. It was basically a dream. I became the vocational director for the school
system here. And at the time we didn’t have anybody that
was Ag certified. So, a lot of what I wanted to do is start
a small garden program to give the students the opportunity to come and learn what gardening
was. [Damon]
The work done on this farm also translates to the classroom, as students are able to
actually see firsthand some of the lessons they learn in textbooks. [Peggy Armstrong – Biology/Ag Teacher]
I mean. Between the agriculture and the biology, it
all ties together and I don’t know if you heard me, but I was asking them why we eat
corn. And they said for energy. I asked where energy comes from. And they said from the sun. Okay, you eat the corn and then what happens? And they describe cellular respiration. All that’s theory in the classroom. But out here, it’s real. Kids love it. I mean, if you can deliver instruction the
way they like it, the more power to you. You’re going to have better results. [Damon]
And this garden not only serves as an outdoor classroom, but also the main supplier of fresh
fruits and vegetables for the school cafeteria. [Scott]
What we’re growing, we can actually collaborate, and we can start eating in the cafeteria. And at the same time, Dr. Armstrong came on
board and she became the agriculture teacher. And from there it just completely blossomed
into this wonderful project you now see, which is our farm to table program. [Damon]
With the freshest produce in stock, students now have a much healthier option to choose
from in the lunchroom. And so far, they are taking full advantage
of it. [Scott]
Our students have had a higher rate of consumption of vegetables, higher rate of consumption
of fruits, and we have lower food waste because of this program. So, it has been all the way around such a
quality program for our students to be a part of. [Damon]
It’s a program that is also beneficial to the school’s bottom line, as they are able
to cut out the middleman when it comes to budgeting for groceries. [Scott]
We have saved on average between 4000-6000 dollar a year just in our produce because
we’re growing our produce out here. So, we’re saving by not having to buy produce
from outdoor vendors. We’re actually harvesting and using what we
have to about 75% now of capacity of what our standard produce budget is, we’re growing
on site. [Damon]
Reporting from Warren County, I’m Damon Jones for the Farm Monitor. [RAY]
Well meantime, there was plenty of riding, roping, and wrestling at the St. Jude Rodeo
in Ringgold recently as riders competed in hopes of taking home some cash. [KENNY]
Yes, as John Holcomb reports, it’s an event that brings rodeo fans together from
all over to watch as well as help out a great organization in the process. [Ringgold, GA/John Holcomb – Reporting]
Each and every Summer, rodeo fans from all over gather to watch cowboys and cowgirls
try to win some money at the annual St. Jude Rodeo in Ringgold. A rodeo that one hundred percent of the proceeds
go to support St. Jude Children’s research hospital. The rodeo, now in its twenty-second year is
put on by the Yates family. A family that knows tragedy all too well and
wants to prevent other families from having to go through what they did. [Kristy Yates – Marketing Coordinator]
Unfortunately, we lost my brother in a tragic accident. And my father being the most compassionate
person with the biggest heart I know wanted to give back to an organization where he could
help other families never go through the loss of a loved one like he did. So, since then we’ve put on the rodeo going
back to St. Jude. [John]
And just like the saying, “it takes a village” goes, it takes all hands-on deck to put on
each and every year. [Kristy]
I guess you can kind of say we’re kind of like our own little event production team
with my dad, Doug Yates, being the lead. You know we all have our own little parts
getting ready for it. We just have a lot of family members and loyal
volunteers that come out every single year to help us put it together and stay long nights,
sometimes until two or three o’clock in the morning, and then wake back up the next morning
super early and get right back at it. [John]
One of those volunteers is Kelly Heard, a parent that has supported St. Jude ever since
her son Cody was a patient there. [Kelly Heard – Rodeo Volunteer]
My oldest son was a St. Jude patient. He was diagnosed with neuroblastoma right
before he turned two and he passed away right before he turned five. So, the rodeo is dear to our heart. My family has made it a mission to raise money
and to raise awareness for childhood cancer. [John]
One amazing thing about St. Jude is that they take care of everything, which allows the
parents to stay focused on what’s important. [Kelly]
You don’t have to worry about anything. When my little boy was diagnosed my husband
and I had just bought our first brand new vehicle and we didn’t even know what St. Jude
was and we were met at the door with open arms and everything was taken care of. I mean we didn’t have to worry about gas,
food, lodging, anything. And for someone to be at St. Jude all they
want you to worry about is your child getting better. They don’t want you to worry about anything
outside of that and they take care of everything. [John]
Ever since her son was there, she has made it a life mission to give back to St. Jude
as much as possible. [Kelly]
Volunteering is rewarding. While our little boy was sick, we were blessed,
we did not do without anything. So, to volunteer and try to pay it forward
and give back is a life mission. [John]
As you can imagine, costs of the hospital are exponential, which is why the Yates family
is so invested in putting this rodeo on and donating every single penny. [Kristy]
It roughly takes two million a day to run the hospital. So, anyone that comes here and every single
person that attends the rodeo is helping contribute to that two million that’s needed to run the
hospital. [John]
Reporting in Ringgold for the Farm Monitor, I’m John Holcomb. [KENNY]
JOHN, THANKS SO MUCH. AFTER THE BREAK, WE’RE TAKING THE MONITOR
TO EXTREME HEIGHTS. SEE WHAT HAPPENED WHEN WE SENT SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR
LOGAN BARNES TO South Georgia TO LEARN ALL ABOUT AERIAL APPLICATIONS. [Music]
[RAY] A FEW WEEKS AGO, WE BROUGHT YOU THE STORY
OF MCLENDON ACRES AND HOW THEY’RE ONE OF ONLY 5-FARMS NATIONWIDE SUPPLYING COTTON TO WRANGLER
JEANS FOR THEIR WRANGLER ROOTED COLLECTION. DURING OUR TIME THERE, IT WAS BROUGHT TO MY
ATTENTION THAT THE MCLENDON’S ALSO OWN AN AG APPLICATION BUSINESS, OR AS IT’S COMMONLY
REFEREED TO, CROP DUSTING. [RAY]
WELL, IT GOT ME THINKING. WOULDN’T THAT MAKE FOR A GREAT
“AGVENTURES WITH LOGAN”. NEEDLESS TO SAY, I TOOK A SHOT AND
PITCHED THE IDEA TO FARM MONITOR SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR LOGAN
BARNES, AND WITHOUT HESITATION, SHE SAID “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? HECK YEAH!” THANKFULLY, THE MCLENDON FAMILY ACCOMMODATED
OUR REQUEST’S, SO! WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY, OUR LATEST EDITION
OF ADVENTURES WITH LOGAN. [Upbeat Music]
[Logan Barnes/Farm Monitor Special Contributor] What’s up everybody? It’s Logan again. If there’s one thing that I’m just as intrigued
in as agriculture, it’s flying. And today we’re in Calhoun County with Matt
Peed. How are you doing? [Matt]
Hey Logan, good to see you. [Logan]
Thanks for having us out. So, he is going to teach us a little bit about
crop dusting. Can you go in further about your operation
and just kind of give an overview of what we’re going to be doing today? [Matt Peed/Aerial Application Pilot]
Okay. Well, it’s commonly, or has been referred
to in the past, as crop dusting, but that’s technically somewhat of a misnomer these days. A more accurate … The term would be aerial
application. In this part of the world, we do a lot of
liquid application and a fair amount of dry work as well, with drop fertilizers and cover
crop, those sorts of things. [Logan]
So, by liquid application, you mean fertilizer? [Matt]
Well, we can put out liquid fertilizers, but we also do fungicides and herbicide and insecticide
work as well. As the airplane is configured now, we have…it’s
configured for liquid application. So, here we have our spray pump, which is
wind-driven, which pumps liquid out of the hopper, which is a tank, sits right in the
center of the airplane. When we’re doing liquid application, the main
concern is mitigating any kind of off-target drift. So, every year, we pattern test these aircraft
both for liquid and dry. This airplane is equipped with flow control,
so much like all of our ground rigs now and our tracker sprayers are equipped with a flow
control. So, with an airplane, you’re upwind, downwind,
so your ground speed is going to vary, so that flow controller will read ground speed
differences and make adjustments so you’re putting out the same gallons, per-acre, upwind
or downwind. Here are some of the controls. We have…for application, we have two levers
here, one operates the spray valve, to turn the spray on and off, and then we have what’s
known as the dump handle or the dry handle, and that’s for when we’re configured for dry
applications to open and close the gate at the bottom of the hopper for dispensing fertilizers
or seed. [Logan]
Well, Matt, this flying saucer looking thing caught my eye. Can you explain what this is? [Matt]
Yes, I can, this is a spreader. This what we use on the airplane to put out
dry material. So, dry material could cover anything from
seed, fertilizer or the dry pelletized fertilizer. Or, some herbicides are put out in granular
form, but around here we mainly use this for cover crop application and doing dry fertilizer
work. Out in the delta, if you like to eat rice
and gravy, most of the rice grown in the U.S. is planted and fertilized and sprayed with
an airplane. So, you can do a lot of planting with an airplane. I’ve personally planted lots of rice, soybeans,
wheat, cow pasture, rye grass, those sorts of things, I’ve planted all that stuff with
an airplane, and it does a wonderful job if your airplane is set up correctly. [Logan]
Well, Matt, thanks for having me out. I’ve got to get back to the office. [Matt]
Oh no, no, no, no, you’ve got to go for a ride. [Rock Music]
[Logan] Well, Matt, that was the best time I’ve ever
had. How did I do? [Matt]
You did great, you did great. [Logan]
Well, thanks for having us out. That was awesome. [Matt]
Glad to have you guys. [Logan]
And we’ll see you next time on “Agventures With Logan.” [Rock Music Full]
[RAY] SHE’S A TROOPER ISN’T SHE. HEY GREAT JOB LOGAN AND FOLKS AS WE ALWAYS
SAY, IF YOU MISSED ANY PART OF THIS STORY OR OTHERS ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, YOU CAN STILL
SEE THEM IN THEIR ENTIRETY AT OUR YOU TUBE CHANNEL, THE FARM MONITOR. THE LIST OF STORIES, VIRTUALLY ENDLESS. OK, MAYBE NOT ENDLESS, BUT IT DOES GO ALL
THE WAY BACK TO 2009. [KENNY]
AND IF YOU DO HAPPEN TO GET TO ALL THE VIDEOS, KEEP CLICKING AND LIKE THE FARM MONITOR FACEBOOK
PAGE. SEND US SOME FEEDBACK AS WELL. IF YOU HAVE A STORY IDEA, OR IF YOU IF YOU
JUST WANT TO LEAVE US A COMMENT OR SUGGESTION. SEND US A MESSAGE EITHER ON FACE BOOK OR AT
THE ADDRESS ON YOUR SCREEN THAT IS [email protected] [KENNY]
AFTER THE BREAK, A STORY YOU REALLY NEED TO STICK AROUND TO SEE, CAUSE WE THINK IT‚ÄôS…diIl-LICIOUS
[Music] [Music]
[Ed Wolff] Dill, kosher, bread and butter, whatever your
pickle preference, it all starts on farms like Bryan Curry’s. He’s been growing cucumbers near Hale Center
in West Texas for about 10 years. He also grows corn, wheat, and cotton, but
on his farm, pickles are a big dill. [Bryan Curry]
We started raising pickles in ’06 or ’07, and we raise them for Best Maid. We fertilize the ground, and we plow it. We get the ground ready to plant them then
Best Maid’s equipment comes in, and they plant, and they harvest, and all we have to do is
keep them irrigated during the year. [Ed Wolff]
Bryan grows every cucumber with Texas pride. Like him, Best Maid was born and raised in
the Lone Star state. It’s Texas only major pickle company. In the 1920s Mildred Dawson was selling pies
door to door. She started using the leftover egg yolks to
make mayonnaise and sandwich spread. Sandwich spread needs relish. When the relish company went up on their pickle
prices, she started growing her own cucumbers. Now 90 years and four generations later, Best
Maid is almost entirely pickles. [Stephen Goetz]
Best Maid’s unique from anybody else selling cucumbers in Texas because they are grown
in Texas. They’re a Texas product. Texas farmers are growing them. They enjoy doing it. It’s a fun crop for them. We have about 2,900 acres to 3,000 acres that
we plant every year. [Ed Wolff]
Bryan raises about 300 of those acres. He works closely with folks like Stephen to
make sure Best Maid gets the fruit they need. About 60% of the pickles in Best Maid jars
are from this area, northwest of Lubbock. The hot days, cool nights, and low humidity
of West Texas are perfect for growing these future snacks. [Bryan Curry]
My best yield’s been 386 bushels to the acre. They’ve started going to picking them a little
smaller, so you know, anywhere from 250 to 300’s probably an excellent crop now. [Ed Wolff]
Planting starts at the end of May and goes for 12 weeks, about 40 to 60 acres a day. 45 days later they’re ready. Once Bryan’s cucumbers are the right size,
Best Maid brings out two self-propelled harvesters. Each machine picks about 50,000 pounds per
hour. [Stephen Goetz]
We ship to Best Maid between one inch and two inches in diameter. They’ll grow a size a day, and a size for
us is a quarter of an inch. We’ve got about a 24-hour window to really
get these things out of the field. Tomorrow they’ll be too big. [Ed Wolff]
Once the cucumbers are picked, they are graded, sorted, and loaded into trucks bound for the
pickling plant in Fort Worth. About 15 semi-loads of cucumbers will travel
from Hale County to Tarrant County every day during harvest. That equals out to around 30 million pounds
of pickles. [Noah Bass]
Chances are if you’re eating a pickle in the state of Texas, it probably even if it’s at
a restaurant, probably came from Best Maid at one point. [Ed Wolff]
Once in the metroplex, they will either go directly to the plant in Fort Worth to be
fresh packed basically from field to jar in a few days, or they will head to the tank
yard in Mansfield to be processed. Then it’s time to put them in the jars. No matter the flavor or the type everyone
from the field to the warehouse takes pride in their part of the pickle. [Noah Bass]
We take a lot of pride in the fact that we put out the most tightly packed jar on the
shelf. You’re always going to get a full jar from
Best Maid. We have extra people on the line that make
sure that we get that last pickle in the jar. [Ed Wolff]
Best Maid pickles have a stronger dill flavor than most brands. Since they only ship to Texas and the surrounding
states, they can cater more to Texas tastes. Bryan enjoys growing crops that further the
Lone Star mystique. As a third-generation farmer, he hopes the
farming legacy continues with his sons. Maybe they will be the next generation of
pickle producers. [Bryan Curry]
I’m hoping one of these days I can pass this on to my kids. I would honestly like to switch to mostly
pickles, but it’s very finicky, and it’s a pretty high-risk crop. I hope we can raise this for a long time. I love this crop. [Ed Wolff]
For TFB news, Ed Wolff, Hale Center. [RAY]
FINALLY THIS WEEK, IT’S a combination of beautiful plant life, agricultural research and artwork. [KENNY]
Those who visit it may even describe it as an eye-popping experience. Charles Denney has more on the surprises you
might see at the UT Gardens [Knoxville, Tenn./UT Gardens]
[Charles Denney] There’s no reason creativity should clash
with science. In fact, the two blend nicely. The UT Gardens features butterflies, real
ones here and there, but also wooden paintings, a display called “Wings of Wonder.” Brought to life by twenty-five talented people
Рfrom school children to professional artists – the butterflies are mounted in such
a way that they seem to float and flutter in the wind. Sara Brobst created this piece she titled
“Radiant Being.” [Sara Brobst/Artist]
Yeah, so it started out with more like a graffiti feel and then it morphed from there, and definitely
went in this very mosaic-ey looking, you know, dot painting it turned into. And that’s not how it started, but it definitely
came together really nicely with all the different colors incorporated I feel like.” [James Newburn/UT Gardens]
We have different artists from all around the Knoxville area. They’re all given a about a two foot by two-foot
butterfly silhouette made of marine grade plywood, so it can stay outside. And then they’re asked to embellish it in
any way they feel they want to express. [Charles Denney]
Before the wooden butterflies were displayed, volunteers coated them with protective seals
against the elements, cementing the bright colors. Then the butterflies were installed in the
gardens and opened to the public with this fun reception. “Wings of Wonder” highlights the need to protect
pollinators. [James Newburn]
Ya know, Horticulture is really the science and art of growing plants. [Charles Denney/UT Institute of Agriculture]
The Gardens are part of the Plant Science department here at the UT Institute of Agriculture,
an experiment that started more than 35 years ago with just a few plants. Today, the number totals more than six thousand. There’s also research here regarding animal
and insect life. In fact, if you’re an insect, feel free to
check into the garden’s insect motel. It really comes to life when the sun sets. Here’s a description of the motel from the
human who designed it. [Brandon Ballengee/LSU Museum of Natural Science]
Large scale sculptures that are embedded with ultraviolet lights that then glow to attract
insects. The insects come, they meet more insects,
and they make more insects and I invite people to watch. [Denney]
Brandon Ballengee with the LSU Museum of Natural Science visited the UT Ag campus recently
to talk to people and install the motel. He’s both an artist and a biologist. [Brandon Ballengee]
Not just as artists or scientists, but just as human beings we’re both scientific and
we’re artistic. We respond to the world around us and each
other and other species in the environment analytically, but we also do this poetically
and emotionally. [Denney]
Ballengee says combining science with public art is as natural as the plants and bugs who
live here. It’s a sight to see what the gardens have
to offer these days – exhibits that draw attention to the beauty that man creates,
and the beauty that nature creates. This is Charles Denney reporting. [RAY]
CHARLES THANK YOU VERY MUCH, BUT! AN EVEN BIGGER THANKS TO YOU FOR CHECKING
OUT THE FARM MONITOR. [KENNY]
THAT’S GONNA DO IT FOR THIS WEEK, BUT, A REMINDER BEFORE WE GO. FOR ALL THE LATEST AG INFO REGARDING FOOD,
GREAT RECIPES AND WHAT’S HAPPENING DOWN ON THE FARM. BE SURE YOU CHECK OUT OUR TWITTER, FACEBOOK
AND PINTEREST PAGES. YOU‚ÄôLL STAY INFORMED AND SEE WHAT’S
UP IN THE WORLD OF FARMING AND WITH US HERE ON THE SHOW. [RAY]
WE LEAVE YOU TODAY WITH ANOTHER LOOK AT OUR FEARLESS AND ADVENTUROUS LOGAN BARNES AS SHE
TOOK TO THE SKY’S ABOVE LEARY, GEORGIA [KENNY]
HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYBODY. [Music]