Did fall sneak up on you like it has me this year? I woke up one morning to cool weather, steaming hay bales and spider webs adorning the trees and outbuildings. This fall is beautiful, and it is also an important fall. There is a ballot initiative facing Missourians this year, which, at first glance, doesn’t seem to affect livestock producers, but I encourage you to carefully review the facts. The ballot initiative before voters Nov. 2, called Proposition B,  presented as the ‘Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act,’ I believe will only regulate law-abiding pet owners. This proposition will change the law to regulate “puppy mills” in our state but what will this type of legislation open the door to? There have been so many of you working tirelessly already to get the word out about this important issue being put to Missouri voters. Groups such as Farm Bureau and the Missouri Pet Breeders Association have uncovered that 90 percent of the funds to pass Proposition B are being donated by out-of-state animal rights groups and supporters. The Humane Society of the United States is a true enemy of agriculture, and Proposition B is a measure they are championing.  Many other states have seen this type of bill passed already, and unfortunately, it all too often opens the door to more HSUS intervention in animal practices in the state. That is the last thing Missouri agriculturists want. To me, scare tactics to sway voters is no way to get effective animal practices and welfare-minded standards put into place. For these reasons, I’ll be voting “No,” on Proposition B Nov. 2. I hope you will do your homework on this proposition, and encourage everyone you know to do the same.
In this same vein, this fall I had the pleasure of interviewing, then writing up an article on Trent Loos. Trent is a rancher from Nebraska, and speaks, writes and puts out radio shows on rural American life, livestock producers and farmers, and the widening gap both physically and ‘informationally,’ between the producer and the consumer. You can read about Trent’s thoughts on threats facing animal agriculture and on page 35.
On to other topics, I love fall festivals! I spent one recent Saturday at Republic’s “Pumpkin Daze.” This festival has pumpkins and watermelons brought in from across the state. This year’s heaviest giant pumpkin weighed 1,092.5 lbs. Can you believe that? The grower said at peak, it will grow 10 lbs a day. That amazes me.
Another fall festival favorite is my hometown’s Apple Butter Makin’ Days, the second weekend in October. Now I have pumpkin butter from Pumpkin Daze, and apple butter from Apple Butter Makin’ Days. I think I need a start off someone’s homemade bread starter to go with all these tasty spreads.
Speaking of good bread, be sure to note the zucchini bread recipe on page 5. Thanks to Sandy from Phillipsburg, Mo., for dropping some recipes off at the office. You can send in your own recipes to me here at PO Box 1319 Lebanon, MO 65536. I need your family’s favorite recipes for our Country Christmas Cookbook as soon as possible.
I always feel so blessed getting to share my thoughts and experiences with you, our reader. Thank you and God Bless,


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