SEGMENT: FAMILY BACKGROUND, CHILDHOOD ACTIVITIES & CHANGES IN FARMING METHODS
Ruth Hambleton>ISM Interviews A-L>ISM Interviews A-L, Segment 12
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- FAMILY BACKGROUND
- Her husband grew up on a farm and always knew that he wanted to raise his family on a farm. While her childhood farm was located just on the outskirts of town, his farm was far enough away from town that one needed to drive everywhere. Current farm is distant from city, so similar to husband's farm.
- CHILDHOOD ACTIVITIES
- Although she was in the Girl Scouts when she was a child, her children have participated in 4-H. Projects have included cats, cattle, and plants. One family tradition involving plants is that she has keep plants alive in her greenhouse from father in law's and mother's funerals. She was also a 4-H club leader for 8 years. She chose Girl Scouts since 4-H was more for boys at that time. She learned sewing, making candles from crayons and did some camping.
- Current farm has a nice house and outside buildings that support a life style they enjoy. Can lose stress at their pond when fishing for catfish. Parent's farm on the other hand, was a lot of chaos. Dogs and cats were everywhere. Now, her father has planted flower beds and cleaned up all the junk and displayed it inside the barn where the cattle stay. The Barn, itself, does not seem as large as when she was a child.
- CHANGES IN FARMING METHODS
- Inspectors are not needed now on beef/cow operations, only premise id. Dairy farms do require inspections. Currently raise angus and Simmental crossbreds. Parent's raised corn for corn silage, oats for feed and straw, and hay as food. Hay was stored in "hay mow". Term used in southern IL is "hay loft". Differences in terminology between northern and southern IL also include "pop" in northern IL and "soda" in southern IL. Remembers manure being used as fertilizer and cleaning sheds with pitch forks. She now has a different perspective about that chore since she has been away from her childhood farm. States that she now sees the need for the work. She can remember fungus in 1972 or 1973 in the form of corn blight. She can also remember the children had to chop weeds out of the crops each year. Does not recall much problem with insects. Still dislikes black widow spiders, however.
- Reproduction of the herd is the major issue with cattle producers. She and her husband had problems with beef cattle last year when several calves were lost. This was unusual since the year before reproduction levels hit 110% due to the birth of several sets of twins. She notes that there are currently no disease problems due to vaccinations, good nutrition, and a low stress environment for the cattle.