By Rachel Harper
Do you remember when I wrote the other week about that $3 million study the Department of Agriculture was going to spend to try and find out why dairies are dwindling in the Southeast? Well, lo and behold, we got a survey in the mail last week from that very study. We have no intentions of filling out that survey; I am going to write what I wrote in the paper – that will tell them everything they need to know. For some unearthly reason they sent a five-page questionnaire on mastitis and mastitis management. These educated people who are sitting behind their desks in their very well-appointed offices think that too much mastitis is to blame. Did I mention mastitis? No, not once. We are not having an epidemic of mastitis cases, just an occasional flare-up every now and then, as usual. I will quote from the letter that came with the survey: “We’re concerned that overall the dairy industry in the Southeast is in jeopardy, and mastitis management is a significant part of the troubles faced by dairy farmers. So we’ve joined together – Extensional specialists and researchers from six universities in the Southeast U.S. – to take action to help dairy farmers move profitably toward production and production systems that can sustain the dairy industry in the Southeast.” The rest of the survey asks personal questions as to who you ship your milk to, how old you are, do your employees speak the same language as you, what is your highest level of education, what percentage of your total 2012 income was from off farm employment, and what veterinarian do you use? What do those questions have to do with the dwindling of dairies? These people also offer to come out to your farm and help and show you what to do about all the mastitis we are supposedly dealing with. They also sent a postcard-sized historic photo of the “bulk tank” route that farmers used to have to do when they literally had to send the metal milk cans to the processing plants. They hoped we enjoyed seeing that, the letter said! We didn’t enjoy it $3 million worth! They honestly have no clue as to what is going on, just like our government in Washington.
We are so glad that Dean Strange did get to come home last week and not only that but he along with his family were able to attend services at Antioch Baptist Church on this past Sunday! Praises be to God! We need to continue to keep Peggy Mitcham Wood in our prayers as she is at Emory still waiting on her stem cell transplant. They have delayed it several times, but presently she is taking big doses of chemo in preparation for the procedure. She will be there for a long time even after the procedure. We also need to remember Ed Bonner in our prayers as he had surgery week before last and is now at home recuperating.
Many family members, friends, and neighbors attended a beautiful memorial service for Nancy Bruce on Sunday afternoon at the home of Lynn and Rhett Goodman. It was a sweet, touching service where many shared their memories of her.
We want to send out a big “Happy Birthday” to Grayson Kilpatrick,who turned 2 years old over the weekend! On Saturday, his parents gave him a wonderful birthday party at their new home on Cochran Road. Many friends and family were on hand to wish him “Happy Birthday!” His grandmother, Necia Silvers, and her children were also able to come and spend the weekend with her son, Jason Kilpatrick and family.
Blanche and Jake Wilson, Harriette Young and myself attended Grandparents Day down at Gatewood School in Eatonton on Friday morning. The students put on a wonderful musical program and afterwards we got to go to Raegan’s classrooms and see what work they had all done. Refreshments were served under the trees for all attending.
Anna Bonner was the honoree at a baby shower on Saturday morning down at Bonner’s Restaurant hosted by her Aunt Bobbie Christian Leftwich. She received many lovely gifts for Kayla who is due around the middle of December. Everyone enjoyed delicious refreshments prepared by the hostess.
Trinity Baptist Church honored their pastor, Rev. Darrell Van Horn, and his wife on their one-year anniversary with the church, A wonderful slide show was presented which showed what all they and the church had accomplished in this past year with God as their guide. After an inspiring Sunday service, a wonderful covered-dish lunch was enjoyed by all present.
Sally Stephens, Laurie Lewis, Sandra Brown, Harriette Wade, along with Sally Thornton of Social Circle, enjoyed having lunch together on last Tuesday at the ChopHouse in Madison. Laurie is glad to be able to be up and about.
Connie Wilson enjoyed spending some days last week in Statesboro with her daughter, Karen Thigpen, and her family while Karen and the boys were on Fall Break.
Sadie Carver and her children, Jake and Mary Elizabeth, from Perry, came up and spent last Wednesday with her parents, Dan and Sally Porter, and also enjoyed visiting with her grandmother, Mary Ainslie.
Ben Bruce, David Bruce, John Bruce and Jeff Huff drove down to Perry on last Friday and enjoyed going to the Georgia National Fair. They saw all kinds of livestock and animals as well as a good many antique tractors and other machinery. Ben is really enjoying his retirement from dairying!
The Matt Wilsons also attended the Georgia National Fair this past weekend along with Eric, Tori, Braylee, and Mattelyn Atkinson.
I saw this really good quote this week: “Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on the front door forever.”