In search of ponies: Gadgets not limited to human

By Sharna Johnson: CMI columnist It was around the 14th century or so when some anonymous irreverent farmer took a highly prized religious implement and hung it from the neck of his best sheep — and thus the precious bell was transferred down from the upper echelons of the priesthood, literally to the herd. No […]

Blue always knew what to do

A retired Ohio farmer named Phil told me this story of the best coon dog he’d ever seen. I believe it, of course! The dog was a blue tick hound that his father had trained. His dad was such an excellent trainer that he didn’t even have to go hunting with Blue, the dog would […]

My turn: Farmer shaves head to show support

Betty Williamson Picture a farm boy, the oldest of a family of rowdy brothers who grew up on the same bumpy school bus route that I did. Always a free thinker, he decided after high school that he didn’t care too much about spending time around scissors or razors. Before long he could be recognized […]

Base construction under way

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Alisa Boswell Big construction projects have been under way at Cannon Air Force Base in 2010 and 2011 with some of them approaching their finish in the next one to 12 months and some just beginning. “The main purpose is to provide support facilities for the C-130 aircraft,” said AFSOC Chief of Programs Flight Steven […]

Herd receives harvest treatment

Denny got a call from the farmer’s widow. She had 13 head of big steers that had been hibernating in her woods since the funeral a year ago. Denny operated a hauling service in the neck of West Virginia. They did rip rap, lumber, heavy equipment and other inanimate objects. Denny agreed to help the […]

Tailgates at farmer’s disposal

Our regular goin’-to-the-pasture rig, a one-ton 4-wheel drive ‘97 GMC diesel with 256,439 miles, was in the shop. So we brought out the ol’ standby; a 1969 Ford F-250; 4-speed with split rims and a manual choke. It has a B&W turnover gooseneck ball made during the Civil War, I think. My son hooked up […]

Donkey sports take patience

I was reminiscing with a group of Dexter breeders. A Michigan farmer named Lew said when he was a boy, his grandpa hired a mule man to clear some timber. It was raining like a cow pouring hot tea on a flat rock! The mule man sat in his old Chevy coupe with his arm […]

Local farmer favors cotton

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Argen Duncan Despite the drought and wind, a cotton farmer says the crop is a good option in Roosevelt County this year. Farmer Colin Chandler said producers are planting only irrigated cotton now, compared to last year, when 30 percent to 40 percent was dryland. “I wouldn’t say our acreage is going to be down […]

Hay meant for horses, not serpents

In the southwest, the price of hay can be daunting to horse owners. I keep our ranch horses up in the corral. When hay gets above $10 a bale, I actually weigh each feeding! Clyde has a little band of broodmares on his southern California operation. His place is sandwiched by irrigated alfalfa fields to […]

Clovis farmer re-elected to dairy board

Freedom New Mexico Dairy Farmers of America Inc.’s Board of Directors has re-elected Wayne Palla, a Clovis dairy farmer, as first vice chairman of the board, according to a news release from DFA. Palla is a member of DFA’s Executive Committee and chairman of the Southwest Area Council, as well as being involved in other […]

Our people: Former farmer stays busy

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Clovis resident Don Reid is a self-declared house husband. In his retirement, he spends his time working around the house, visiting hospitals and retirement homes, spending time with his grandchildren, teaching a men’s non-denominational Bible class and going to school to receive his minister’s license. “I’m busier now than before I retired,” the 60-year-old said. […]

Commodities market risky

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Argen Duncan Speculation in agricultural commodities markets is causing greater volatility in prices than in the past, affecting everyone from the farmer to the consumer, according to farmers and grain dealers in eastern New Mexico. Agricultural commodities are certain farm products, including corn, wheat, milk, cheese and cotton, that are traded internationally, much like the […]

Traditional Christmas

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Argen Duncan Cheese fondue and Guam, Christmas trees and family. People around Portales have many Christmas traditions and memories, but they all center on family. The Robbins family Local peanut farmer Laura Robbins and her husband gather with their three grown children and the children’s families for Christmas. Robbins said they go to a Christmas […]

County farmer pleads guilty to federal drug charges

Argen Duncan In a plea agreement, Roosevelt County farmer William “Billy Joe” Watson has pleaded guilty to transporting anhydrous ammonia for methamphetamine manufacture across state lines. Under federal charges, Watson was accused of buying anhydrous ammonia in Texas and in New Mexico and giving it to federal agents he believed were members of the Aryan […]

Peanut harvest up, early

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Argen Duncan The peanut harvest this year has brought in higher-than-normal yields and good-quality nuts, farmers and processors are saying. The recent lack of rain has also put the harvest on track to finish early. Roosevelt County farmer Craig Breshears estimated he was harvesting 10 percent to 15 percent more peanuts this year. He said […]

Housing forum planned

Freedom New Mexico The Regional Growth Planning Office will hold a housing forum 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 16 at the Clovis Civic Center. The keynote speaker will be Col. Stephen Clark, commander of the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon Air Force Base. Special panel presentations will include Tim Farmer, the base’s chief […]

Their view: Candidate says he understands importance of state’s lands

Roosevelt County farmer and rancher Matt Rush is the Republican nominee for state land commissioner. What does the land commissioner do? Rush answers the question on his website (http://mattrushlandcommissioner.com/): “The simple answer is, the state of New Mexico owns 9 million acres of land and 13 million of minerals working with oil and gas industry […]

Roosevelt County farmer wins Republican seat for land commissioner

Roosevelt County farmer and cattle rancher Matthew Rush on Tuesday won the nomination in the Republican primary for land commissioner — a position among the most powerful in New Mexico state government. Rush defeated former Bernalillo County GOP executive director Bob Cornelius. Unofficial returns showed Rush with nearly 66 percent of the votes with 65 […]

Tractor parade: Ag expo tradition

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By Clarence Plank: PNT Staff Writer The antique tractor parade at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds has become a tradition for the annual New Mexico Ag Expo. The parade has been part of the expo for 17 years, according to Tom Davis of Portales who had two tractors in the parade. Herb Newberry, a retired farmer […]

Jury deliberating Watson verdict

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer Roosevelt County farmer William “Billy Joe” Watson’s fate was handed over to a jury late Monday. Watson is accused of hiring an Aryan Brotherhood gang member to kill local rancher Jimmie Bo Chunn. Attorneys finished final arguments earlier in the day and the jury had not reached a verdict […]