Amongst the hills of south Missouri across the road from the Mount Zion Baptist Church, one of the most innovative livestock and homestead fencing enterprises in the world, conducts business with customers and suppliers from around the world including New Zealand, Australia, and Ireland. David and Connie Krider, who formerly lived in the rural Winigan area, have been in the fencing business for over 12 years, and, along with their partner, Gary Duncan, have over 22 years combined experience. Along with all the appropriate electric fencing supplies, they offer a unique fence post and plank moulded from plastic and wood fibre, which is available from no one else in the world! Jessica and I stayed with our good friends, David and Connie at their remotely located home on Turkey Ridge Lane. Each of the two nights, we stayed up way past our bedtimes catching up with each other’s lives and happenings. They were very active members of Green Hills Farm Project when they lived in Winigan and their wit, humour, and transparent friendliness are truly missed. Their new business, Powerflex Fencing, has a web site at www.powerflexfence.com
We were staying with the Krider’s because of my speaking engagement at the 23rd Annual Southwest Missouri Spring Forage Conference held at the University Plaza Hotel in Springfield. Jessica went along and attended many of the breakout sessions. Michelle Thomas gave a very interesting session on dung beetles. Now armed with plans for a trap we can build, the children will learn how to write up a science experiment. Once the dung beetles are active (sometime in April), they will begin trapping, counting, and identifying species of beetles. Once a baseline is established on the count, they can perhaps determine if the population is affected much by the laying hens. Michelle is a good friend, so perhaps she can review their protocol so that the experiment will be viable for reporting results.
Jessica is rising to the challenge of algebra and biology. She dissected a worm the other day and it was rather lackluster actually, since we have butchered chooks (chickens) so many times, that finding and identifying internal body organs on a worm was not that big a thrill; plus she's not a real biology fan.
Dallas is really knuckling down on his lessons; he wants to be done as soon as possible and this warmer weather is quickly approaching. Nathan is nearly done with his lessons, so he has time for target practice with his BB rifle.
We have been in touch with our excellent friends John and Crystal Walkup, who have moved to western Montana recently. While it was 43° here the other day, it was 73° at their house, this will allow them to get some outside work done in setting up their new farming enterprise. They plan to continue with organic farming and have discovered a huge demand for organically raised pastured eggs. From what I understand, their primary markets will be selling to grocery stores rather than to individuals.
Tauna Powell, along with her husband and three children, raise cattle, sheep, and laying hens on their property outside Laclede, MO. Contact her at www.mastersranch.com