June 26, 2008

Natural Disaster Drives Local Family to Riverside Communities

by Toby Champion

Well, Id just finished a chunk of work for a client and needed a break, and to be honest, it all sounded pretty exciting and might just be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a real-life natural disaster in action. So I suggested we throw some stuff into our campervan and drive down the next day. Michelle was up for it, and the plan immediately evolved into an attempt, however small, to help folks out down there with sandbagging or whatever they needed. So later that afternoon I collected a bright-red, fiberglass shovel the Memphis Democrat bought for the trip, and grabbed some gardening gloves and boots to throw in with our usual trip kit.

When we arrived in Hannibal, we learnt from the Hannibal Courier-Post that work on reinforcing the levee had pretty much finished, and that our help was more likely to be appreciated in either of the much smaller towns of Canton, 12 miles north of Quincy - with an aging levee many doubted would hold - and Clarksville, 25 miles south of Hannibal, with only the makeshift levee being built right now. We were tired though, so decided to spend the night in Hannibal for now.

We walked down to the riverside to see how high the river was. There were signs all along, hanging from orange and white tape, demanding we STAY OFF LEVEE, but we thought that just meant stay off the very top, so we pushed the stroller up and peered over the side anyway. Wow. The other side of the river certainly seemed a long way away. Pretty much everything on the other side of the levee was underwater, including most of the Welcome to Hannibal sign. Dramatic, exciting, awe-inspiring, curious and downright depressing all at once.

Pretty soon a cop on a mountain bike approached us and told us we werent supposed to be there, in a firm-but-fair sort of a way. Oops. Down we came, feeling lucky that we were neither ticketed nor arrested. We couldnt figure out what the big deal was about staying away, and were only to discover just why towns are policing their levees so heavily on the last day of our trip.

Michelle took our eight-month-old son Adam back to the motel to get him to sleep, and I continued wandering. It turned out the best place to be in Hannibal to see things close up was on the road-bridge that takes route 79 over Bear Creek to the south of the town. From the top of the bridge I could see the sort of thing you always see on TV during floods: the tops of road-signs and roofs above the water. Eerie, but also, it being just after sunset and with a whopping-great moon appearing above the trees on the south side of town, quite beautiful. When a launch carrying a couple of National Guard guys motored quietly around the walls of the very-much-underwater Clemens Field ballpark, its searchlight bouncing cleanly off the mucky, murky water, it all looked very pretty indeed. It got me thinking about how theres beauty to be found in a lot of otherwise nasty situations. And this is nasty: as I write, 24 people have died in the floods.

On the bridge I met Carol, whod worked the flood with the Salvation Army back in 1993. Despite the levee protecting most of the town that year, it was still a lot of work, handing out mops, disinfectant and food to those whose homes had flooded. She seemed exhausted even by the memory of it all.

Seeing road signs underwater is always an odd sight. Even odder, though, was how Michelle and I both kept noticing road and other signs looking strange throughout our brief trip.

The next morning, after breakfast at the Mark Twain Dinette, we packed up and made a break for Clarksville the long way round, as route 79 was underwater just past the Mark Twain Caves. On the way, discovering that the Champ Clark Bridge taking the 54 across just north of the town was closed, we headed into Louisiana to find out why. We parked just this side of the bridge, and I walked onto the bridge to take a look. I ended up walking the 300-yard round-trip to the other side, and it was a pretty intense experience. Id not walked over the Mississippi before, and to do it when it was this wide, this quiet, and this threatening, was something special. The only company I had on the bridge was a biker who passed me there and back. The bridge, Ive since learnt, has become quite the tourist attraction. Im glad others will be able to have this unusual experience.

Once back on the east side, we drove downtown. This was where it starts getting real. The stuff you normally only see on TV, right in front of you. 3rd Streetthe 79was flooded as far as we could see. A trailer just up from the water, piled with a familys possessions, a king-size mattress plonked on top. Family and friends completing a wall covered in black plastic sheeting round the front of their house: those that arent standing in a green Jon boat are wearing waders. A guy in a pale-blue pick-up with mud stuck on the bottom is handing out white aluminum cans of drinking water to their tired-looking neighbours. And another bunch of family and friends are building a wall around their house, which looks like its on its very own island. To add the feeling that things are a bit rushed, theres a four-foot pile of sand ready to go in bags... the pile is in a foot of water.

When youre watching this kind of stuff on TV, sometimes you wonder how you can help. Maybe make a call, send some money. When I was down there though, I felt like a useless idiot. I wanted to offer to help, but the embarrassing truth is that I did my back in on Monday mowing the yard. I could barely lift my 13-pound baby, let alone a 75-pound sandbag. Michelle was going to have to do the actual helping, and she was hanging out with Adam back on Main Street. Rigid with worries that someone was going to ask me who I was and what I was doing here, I sloped off, past the first of many pipes I saw chucking flood-water out of basements. The arc was about eight-foot long.

At the front of a red-brick building that used to be Louisiana Plastic Inc. Warehouse No. 1, with cute fake windows painted on the sides, there was the whole flood-defence set-up: three feet of sandbags with white 4mm plastic sheet thrown over; two or three bags on top of that; a step-ladder over the whole thing; and a couple of green plastic pipes taking water pumped out. And a mug of coffee sat on top.

By this time I was glad our next and final stop would be somewhere where we knew we could actually help. Just before we left we met Kirsty, a nurse whose daily commute is south along the 79. Were just idiot flood tourists, I explained. Oh, me too. But Im going down to Clarksville next to help with sandbagging. Ooh, so are we! I explained, relieved that she could relate to my feeling a bit silly and excited that suddenly, we were all in it together, teaming up and helping out.

Back in the van, we took the 54 back to Bowling Green, the 61, then WW and W winding through Pike County into picturesque Clarksville.

No chance of being an idiot flood tourist here. Flashing red and blue lights everywhere. A cop stopped us at a roadblock. You here to help? he asked, and suggested we park up the road and wait for a shuttle bus to take us into town. Declining the bus, we walked the few blocks instead, Michelle carrying Adam and me pushing the stroller with the shovel wedged behind our daypack. We were guided by a local through alleys, and the intensity racked up as we approached downtown. National Guard trucks passed loaded with sand, one with I love the army! chalked on the drivers door. Pick-ups carrying filled sandbags and equipment edged by as we detoured onto muddy lawns, our borrowed off-road stroller proving its worth.

Once we hit Howard Street we realized this artists town of 490 residents had become the centre of attention for hundreds of volunteers, scores of National Guard personnel, and the national media. Four satellite trucks, TV cables everywhere, and the roar of three enormous pumps helping prevent the storm drain system from backing up behind the levee. We navigated the stroller through a group of twenty or so young people wearing white tees and yellow headbands, hard at work sandbagging; I later learnt they were inmates brought in to help. We signed in with the AmeriCorps team at City Hall, signed waivers, and tied orange plastic tape around our wrists. Collected some bottles of water, bought some snacks, and headed the long way round to Main Cross Street, where we were to help protect the lumberyard.

Shielded from the river on the east by a makeshift levee eight-feet high, with the water already a few feet up, around twenty folk were hard at work filling and placing bags. When we arrived, they were racking their brains for an Irish drinking song to sing. The only one I know escaped my mind in the heat of the moment, so my first real opportunity to help was dashed already. This lot had clearly been at it for hours, and had formed quite the team. Four bag-filling stations formed a square around a pile of sand, each consisting of a couple 2x4s resting on a pair of sawhorses supporting two upside-down traffic cones with their tops sawed off, acting as funnels into which people shoveled sand into bags held up by a colleague on the far side.

I handed Adam to one of the volunteers, and Michelle got on with some sandbag-holding while I joined Bob Reid on a nearby seat. He clearly deserved the break. Bob helps run the Clarksville Museum, and had been working the last five days to get all of our treasures up above the 93 level. We got five feet of concrete blocks, made a frame from 2x4s on top of them, then turned our display cases sideways and put them on top of that frame. In our office, theres a stairway to a little storage room, over the entryway. You cant walk in their sideways: weve just got it stacked clean to the ceiling... So I have a feeling that everything will Im gonna think positive. Im optimistic that everything will be alright.

Bob boasted that the plantings round the outside of the museum had been planned with the flood in mind: arborist Monica Barker chose species that would survive a flood. Yellowtwig dogwood, stuff like that. So she thought ahead of time. Those plants can resist being drowned for a while.

Charlie Meyers, an employee at the lumberyard and long-time Clarksville resident, explained that quite a few of the helpers were builders who needed the yard to stay in business. The group, I was surprised to learn, had no one in charge, and had previously been helped by some Amish, a Boy Scout group, prisoners, the National Guard and a couple of folks from St. Louis.

So, we did end up helping for an hour or so. Michelle held sandbags, and I even managed to get some action out of that shovel, as you can see in the photo. People seemed to really enjoy Adams presence, which is always nice to see.

When wed had enough, we walked back to the van along the roads wherever possible. We noticed more signs, including one under a foot of water that read ROAD CLOSED 1 MILE AHEAD. The drive on the W back to the 61 was pretty hairy. We were passed by a lot of big trucks carrying sand, and none of them were holding back.

We spent another couple of nights in Hannibalwhere the water had gone down a foot since we were first there, because of breaches upstreamand I watched Worlds Most Amazing Videos and rested my back.

On Friday, with me finally off the Tylenol, we left for home, stopping at Quincy and Canton on the way. The Memorial Bridge is closed as the west end is underwater, and the riverfront park on the Quincy side is under too. I mooched down to the riverfront. I met a tall, black pony-tailed guy with a camera round his neck hanging around a couple of boats getting ready to leave. I asked if he knew where the boats were going. Well, I dont know about that one, but this one is taking me to see my house and farmland, which is all underwater. I gulped. Im sorry. I offered. I appreciate that. Hope it works out in the end, I said. Yeh, in the end, itll be okay. We let him get on with his life and got back on the road.

Our final visit was with Canton, which over the previous week had National Guard and volunteers reinforcing its aging levee. We only spent five minutes or so there, and were struck that the town seemed deserted and that the town is very, very flat indeed. We tried to take a shortcut back onto the 61, but had to stop as the road goes through a break in the levee, and was closed by a wall of sandbags, staffed by a couple of National Guard guys.

That trailer home over there, the owners just upped and left, drove it out with their truck, at three in the morning. And the guards could explain why the levees are being so heavily policed: Some guy in Quincy in 1993 had had this big row with his girlfriend, and didnt want her to come home, so he got up onto a levee and started pulling bags out of it. It gave way in the end, and a lot got flooded. Hes still in jail. That was James Scott, who was convicted of intentionally causing a catastrophe.

As we headed northwest towards Memphis on the 61, we thought wed seen the last of the Mississippi for a while, but several miles on, we were driving with the river right next to us, above us, a mile or two from where it normally runs.

So the Memphis Democrat shovel is still in Clarksville, hopefully no longer necessary, but in a good home nevertheless. Maybe sometime, once things have dried up well pay the place another visit, see the work of some of those artists and figure out where on earth the river was supposed to be that day.

Toby Champion, originally from London, England, relocated to Scotland County a year ago. He, his wife Michelle Day, and their son Adam now call Memphis home.

Bash Trash with MDC and MoDOT Trash Bash!

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Volunteer to clean up litter through May 15 and report efforts at nomoretrash.org.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.  – Missourians from every corner of the state are asked to do spring cleaning outdoors and help fight litter through the state’s annual No MOre Trash! Bash, which runs through May 15. The Trash Bash is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) as part of their ongoing No MOre Trash! statewide, anti-litter campaign.

The annual Trash Bash encourages people to clean up litter across Missouri from roadsides, parks, neighborhoods, rivers, streams, trails, and other places. Trash Bash activities also include educational efforts in schools, community events, and Earth Day celebrations.

Each year, MoDOT spends about $6 million to remove litter from more than 385,000 acres of roadsides along 34,000 state highway miles. Annual volunteer efforts to pick up litter along Missouri highways are valued at $1 million.

Last year, more than 60,000 bags of litter and several truckloads of debris were picked up during the one-month Trash Bash. People also attended numerous educational events stressing the importance of not littering. Volunteers participated through Adopt-A-Highway and Stream Team litter cleanup events. Missouri Stream Team Program volunteers removed 581 tons of litter from waterways and dedicated over $1.8 million worth of volunteer time to litter removal statewide annually.

“Litter is a big problem because it’s unattractive, costly, and harmful to the environment,” said Stacy Armstrong, MoDOT No MOre Trash! coordinator. “If more people would keep their trash and properly dispose of it, or, better yet, recycle it, we would reduce the amount of litter we need to pick up in the first place.”

Littering isn’t just ugly, it also hurts wildlife and Missouri outdoors.

“Birds, fish, turtles, and other animals get tangled in litter, such as discarded plastic six-pack holders and plastic bags, and it can kill them,” said Conservation Department No MOre Trash! Coordinator Joe Jerek. “Litter can also poison wildlife and can cost a litterer up to $1,000 in fines and one year in jail.”

Jerek added that helium balloons released for social or celebratory reasons can also become a litter threat to fish and wildlife, which may consume or get tangled in the deflated balloons and ribbons.

Volunteers are needed across the state to participate in litter cleanup activities. Participants can report their cleanup efforts and will receive a thank you No MOre Trash! pin. For more information and to learn how to participate, visit nomoretrash.org or call 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636). 

City of Memphis Marks Earth Day With Tree Plantings

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An estimated one billion or more people in 192 countries commemorated Earth Day on Friday, April 22nd, including the City of Memphis.

Superintendent Roy Monroe reported a pair of trees were planted in Johnson Park as part of the celebration that fosters environmental awareness while promoting such activities as community clean ups, and like this year, planting trees.

This year Earth Day Network focused on the urgent need to plant new trees and forests worldwide.

“Throughout the year, EDN sponsors and takes part in tree plantings across the US and worldwide,” said Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network. “But this year we are raising the stakes. As we begin the four year count down to Earth Day’s 50th anniversary in 2020, Earth Day Network is pledging to plant 7.8 billion trees worldwide – one for every person on Earth! That’s incredibly ambitious, but we believe this down-payment must be made in order to combat climate change and keep our most vulnerable eco-systems from facing extinction.”

Recognized as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation, Memphis continues to promote tree health and expansion of the tree inventory within city limits. The city offers free tress for planting on city right-of-ways on private property.

“The City of Memphis is again giving a tree to residents who will help with its survival,” said Monroe. “The trees will be planted by city employees on city right of ways.  Species will be determined by tree ordinance with consideration given to utilities at the location of the tree.”

For more information contact City Hall at 465-7285.

According to the US Census Bureau, trees play a key role in the national economy. More than 54,000 people are employed in forestry fields. More than 2.5 million homes nationwide are heated primarily by wood-burning, which is more than 2% of all housing.

Lucas Oil MLRA Late Models Help Kickoff 2016 Scotland County Speedway Season on May 7th

Billy Moyer, Jr., of Batesville, AR, took home the $5,000 top prize with a win at the last Lucas Oil MLRA Late Model race, April 17th at State Fair Speedway in Sedalia.

Billy Moyer, Jr., of Batesville, AR, took home the $5,000 top prize with a win at the last Lucas Oil MLRA Late Model race, April 17th at State Fair Speedway in Sedalia.

After losing a pair of spring shows to Mother Nature, Scotland County Speedway is hoping to kick off its 2016 schedule of special races with a bang on Saturday, May 7th when the Lucas Oil MLRA Late Models will travel to Memphis.

Modifieds have been added to the card courtesy of J & J AG, Jon and Jardin Fuller, for a show that will also feature Stock Cars, Sport Mods, and Sport Compacts.

Gates will open at 5:30, p.m. with hot laps at 6:45 p.m. and racing at 7:15 p.m.

Grandstand prices will be adults $20, students $10 and 6 & under free.  Pit pass will be $30.  Check out Scotland County Speedway on Facebook for more information.

The stop in Memphis on Saturday will cap off a three-day run across Iowa and Missouri. The MLRA late models will hit Donnellson, IA on May 5th for a $3,000 to win race at Lee County Speedway. The following night they will be chasing a similar purse at Davenport Speedway in Davenport, IA before arriving at Scotland County Speedway for another $3,000 race.

The circuit was last in action on Sunday afternoon, April 17th at the State Fair Speedway in Sedalia. A good field of 27 competitors signed in to run for the $5,000 top prize.

Justin Asplin led the field to green from the DirtOnDirt.com pole. An opening lap pileup caused a good deal of body damage to several cars. Once back underway only two additional quick yellows slowed the pace.

Billy Moyer Jr. ventured in from Batesville, Arkansas and was fast from hot laps. Jr. won his heat early in the day and rolled from third. He quickly took the lead and pushed on to his second win of the season and first with the Lucas Oil MLRA since 2012 in La Monte, Missouri.

“We had a heck of a car,” said Moyer Jr. following the feature. “I was just glad to win the thing.”

A 22-lap scamper to the checkers had cars racing all over the track. On a couple of occasions Moyer Jr. had to exercise patience to navigate lapped cars. Terry Phillips closed nearly to his bumper, but he was able to maneuver out of the close quarters.

The runner-up finish for Phillips is his best of the season. Moving from 11th, he made a lot happen in a relatively short amount of time. Phillips also captured the Casey’s General Stores Hard Charger of the Race award.

“I always love coming here,” commented Phillips “I miss this place. I’m glad somebody got it going again here. It was a pretty good race track for a daytime race. They did all they could to get it wet early. All in all it was a good night for us.”

Rolling off just one row ahead of Phillips, Rodney Sanders worked forward into third where he finished.

“It was pretty bottom dominant,” Sanders said. “We had a good car there just a little bit too tight. I can’t say enough about Jimmy (Mars) and the guys, they’ve been working hard. I felt like we had a pretty good weekend. Just got to improve a little bit, but I think we are getting in the right direction.”

Pitch, Hit and Run Competition Being Held at Johnson Park

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The City of Memphis Parks Department is hosting a Pitch Hit and Run Competition on Saturday, May 7th starting at 9:00 a.m.  The event is being held at Johnson Park Ball Field.

The competition, a free, 1-day event for boys and girls ages 7-14, is divided into two separate divisions, baseball and softball, and participants may compete in either division.

Divided into three fundamental aspects of baseball/softball, participants are scored on pitching, hitting and running.  In pitching, the participant is tested throwing strikes to a designated “strike zone” target.  Any method of throwing is permitted.  In hitting, the participant hits a ball off a stationary tee for distance and accuracy.  In running, the participant is timed, starting from second base, touching third then touching home plate.

All of the events are individually scored and converted to a total point score through the use of conversion tables.  After competing in each of the three components, participants accumulate a total score based on his/her performance.

Champions at the Local level advance to a Sectional competition.  Those winners then become eligible to advance to the Team Championships held in June and then the final culmination occurs at the National Finals held at the 2016 MLB All-Star Week.

Complete information and rules can be found at PitchHitRun.com.  Registration forms for the Local completion being held on May 7th can be picked up at Memphis City Hall and the Memphis Democrat.  For more information, contact Memphis City Hall at 660-465-7285.

Service Day Brings Out Best In CMU

From sororities and fraternities to sports teams and service clubs, some 700 volunteers from Central Methodist University did their part on Thursday, April 7 to, in the words of the CMU mission statement, “make a difference in the world.”

The University called off classes for its annual Service Day, when students, faculty and staff are encouraged to engage in volunteer activities to support a variety of causes. Event coordinator Matt Williams, associate director for CMU’s Center for Faith and Service, estimated CMU dedicated more than 1,700 hours this year.

Lucas Howard, a Sophomore computer science major from Memphis, volunteered with the Cleanup Fayette project, where over one hundred volunteers worked to pick up trash around town.

The many Service Day projects included yard work at various homes, work at the food bank in Columbia, volunteering at Fayette Head Start, sewing colorful pillow cases for children who are battling cancer, and many more.

“As President (Roger) Drake likes to say, we’re helping to prepare students for ‘advanced citizenship’ in the world around them,” Williams added. “Even though classes were canceled for Service Day, the learning continued.”

Since its founding in 1854, CMU has evolved into a university that confers master’s, bachelor’s and associate’s degrees through programming on its main campus in Fayette, Mo., and through extension sites located across Missouri and online

Delaney Gundy Inducted Into C-SC’s Chapter of Alpha Chi National College Honor Society

Delaney Gundy, senior art education major from Gorin, MO, was among 22 students inducted into the Missouri Beta chapter of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. The ceremony was held Wednesday, April 20, in Johnson Hall Parlor on the Culver-Stockton College campus.

Faculty co-sponsors Dr. Scott Giltner and Dr. Lauren Schellenberger welcomed the new members into the society. Dr. Dell Ann Janney, Associate Dean of Instruction and Professor of Accounting, delivered this year’s charge to initiates, family, and friends.

Alpha Chi honors those juniors and seniors in the top ten percent of their class. Founded in 1922, Alpha Chi has over 300 chapters nationally and works toward the goal of “Making Scholarship Effective for Good.”

Culver-Stockton College, located in Canton, Mo., is a four-year residential institution in affiliation with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). C-SC specializes in experiential education and is one of only two colleges in the nation to offer the 12/3 semester calendar, where the typical 15 week semester is divided into two terms, a 12-week term and a 3-week term.

The C-SC Wildcats are members of the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Show Me Dog Club to Host Dog Day in the Park

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Dog parks are becoming more popular all across the United States. They are different in size and design but share the same purpose: to provide a place where dogs can run freely off-leash and socialize with other dogs. Although they’re not for everyone, dog parks can benefit both people and their pets. Once or twice a year the City of Memphis generously opens Johnson Park as a dog park. Here are some tips on why you should take your dog to the park:

Many behavior problems in dogs are caused by a lack of physical and mental activity. Dogs were born to lead active lives. They’ve worked alongside people for thousands of years, hunting game, herding and protecting livestock, and controlling vermin. Dogs’ wild relatives lead busy lives, too, hunting, scavenging, avoiding predators and complex social interaction. Most pet dogs, on the other hand, spend the majority of their time alone at home, napping on couches and eating food from bowls. Many become bored, lonely and overweight. They have excess energy and no way to expend it, so it’s not surprising that they often come up with activities on their own, like unstuffing couches, raiding trash cans and gnawing on shoes.

To keep your dog happy, healthy and out of trouble, you’ll need to find ways to exercise his/her brain and body. If she enjoys the company of her own kind, visits to your local dog park can greatly enrich her life. Benefits of going to the dog park include:

Physical and mental exercise for dogs: your dog can zoom around off-leash to her heart’s content, investigate new smells, wrestle with her dog buddies and fetch toys until she happily collapses. Many dogs are so mentally and physically exhausted by a trip to the dog park that they snooze for hours afterwards.

Opportunities to maintain social skills: dogs are like us, highly social animals, and many enjoy spending time with their own species. At the dog park, your dog gets practice reading a variety of other dogs’ body language and using his/her own communication skills, and she gets used to meeting unfamiliar dogs on a frequent basis. These valuable experiences can help guard against the development of fear and aggression problems around other dogs.

Fun for pet parents, dogs aren’t the only ones who enjoy dog parks. People do too. They can exercise their dogs without much effort, socialize with other dog lovers, bond and play with their dogs, practice their off-leash training skills, and enjoy the entertaining antics of frolicking dogs. This article was from petsWebMD.com.

Please join us for A Dog Day in the Park at Johnson Park this Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Please no female dogs in heat or unneutered males. We ask that all dogs be current on their shots. Just a fun hour or two for you and your dog to run around, socialize, and have fun. In case of rain, the event will be cancelled.

Ruby Red Hats of Rutledge

The Ruby Red Hats of Rutledge went to the Edina Nutrition Center on April 18th.  Marjorie Peterson was hostess.  She gave everyone a petunia and a packet of flower seeds.

Those attending the meeting were Celine Erickson, Marilyn Dunn, JoAnn Rood, Virginia Hustead, Joyce Bass, Ruth Ludwick, Reva Hustead, Marlene Henry, Neta Phillips and Nancy Jo Waack.

The next meeting will be Monday, May 16th at Keith’s Café in Memphis.  Hostesses will be JoAnn Rood and Marilyn Dunn.

Memphis FFA Hosting 2016 Awards Banquet

The Memphis FFA Chapter will be celebrating the successes of its FFA Chapter members on Thursday, May 5th at their annual Awards Banquet.

The Memphis FFA has had a very successful year and seen many accomplishments.  They have been awarded Proficiencies, attended Leadership Development Events and Career Development Events where they qualified and competed at top levels.  The Chapter credits their successes not only to their own hard work but also to the support received from businesses and the local community.

The Memphis FFA Banquet is being held at the Scotland County High School Gymnasium with dinner starting promptly at 6:00 p.m.  In addition to regular banquet activities, they are also holding a silent auction to raise funds to help with the cost of sending members to leadership conferences, CDE events and state and national conventions.

Is Maintenance Due On Your CRP?

Mid-Contract Management is required on CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) acreage. MCM (Mid-Contract Management) practices must be performed during the program years indicated in the participants’ Conservation Plan. For most contracts, management practices will be required to be performed one time on each contract acre during contract years 3 through 6.

CRP participants, in consultation with NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service), have the choice of one or more of the following three required MCM practices after a grass stand is considered established: strip disking, prescribed burning, and chemical application. Mowing alone is not an approved MCM practice. Each practice has a specific time-frame it may be performed. In no case will MCM be allowed during the primary nesting season of May 1 to July 15.

Spring disking ended March 31stt. The deadline to burn cool season grasses is April 30th. The spring deadline for chemical application of cool season grasses is also April 30th. There are additional times later in the year available to perform MCM practices.

CRP participants are to report to their FSA (Farm Service Agency) office when the practice is done. After the bills for the disking, burning, or chemical application are submitted, cost-share of $11 per acre may be issued.

CRP that does not have the required MCM practices applied as required will be subject to a penalty or cancellation of the CRP contract.

For more information about when you need to perform MCM, the specifications for each MCM practice, or any other questions in regards to maintaining your CRP, please contact your county FSA office. The Scotland County FSA office is open Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The phone number is (660) 465-8517.

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