There is an unsung hero in the agriculture world. A hero that we all rely on, but that does not get the credit they deserve. That hero is the farm store.
They come in many different shapes and sizes and most every small farming community has one. As an oasis of commerce, they serve as a vital hub of booth supplies and knowledge for local producers.
Owen County is blessed to have an excellent Southern States Coop. Located on 7 acres at the north end of Owenton sits “our” farm store. This Southern States location was established in 1949 and has been continually serving its customers for the past 75 years. For half of its existence it has been managed by John Layton, who after 39 years of service retired at the end of January. John has been a wonderful person to do business with. Besides being attentive to our ever changing needs, he has always been helpful, always kind, and always smiling. I know that his leadership and service to the agriculture community will continue to have impacts for years to come.
John is leaving the reins to a very capable team. Waiting to greet you at the “back counter” is Jeff Satchwell, Assistant Manager, and Ken Gainnes, Department Manager. These gentlemen assist the 4,000+ producers the store serves in getting products and services to your farm in a timely manner. These men provide the knowledge that ensure that producers are using the correct products and rates on everything from row crop inputs, livestock nutrition, or fertilizer recommendations for either.
Without the Owenton Southern States we would not be able to efficiently run the Eden Shale Farm. They have been serving the Eden Shale Farm since our inception in the mid 1950’s, and still today they are pivotal in our daily operations. When asked what the most rewarding part of his job has been, John replied without hesitation through his always present smile, “The people. I have always enjoyed serving our customers.”
There are 33 buildings on the property at Eden Shale. Most of these buildings remain functional and provide a service to the operation of the farm. However, there were some of these structures that had been abandoned and no longer remained safe to have around.
You may recall in an article from last spring that we had a lot of wind damage from an 80+ mph wind event in March. That event is what prompted a discussion with the folks at UK to see what could be done about the damage from the storm.
Following that wind event, we had several different groups of UK personnel visit the farm to assess the impacts of the storm. They also determined that some of the old abandoned buildings needed to be torn down. After multiple discussions and meetings the final list was agreed upon and approved. In all there were 16 buildings that needed roofing repairs and 8 structures that were slated to be torn down.
The wind damage varied drastically from barn to barn. Some just had minor damage and needed metal or a ridge cap screwed back down. Others had entire sections of roofing that had blown off and some of the roof joist needed replaced. I do have to complement UK’s contractors as they have done a very nice job on the necessary repairs and they have been neat and tidy with their workspace.
The eight structures that needed torn down included two old houses. Both houses were found to have asbestos present in the outdoor siding, the drywall, the window calk, and the linoleum glue. Because of asbestos, these structures had to have the proper abatement procedures conducted, including proper handling and disposal of the material. Once the asbestos was removed the houses could be torn down and hauled off just as the other buildings that were demoed.
I want to say Thank You to our UK/Eden Shale Farm Advisory Committee for their continued support of the work we do at the farm and for their commitment to the safety of our guests that tour the farm throughout the year. I appreciate all you do for Eden Shale Farm.