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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
March 28, 2012     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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March 28, 2012

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PAGE Wednesday, March 28, 201.2 Spirit of JEFFERSON and FARMER'S ADVOCATE Hole in our history Another Mud Season is upon fills the gaps in the town's Civ- us. As I've mentioned before, il War history. You are about to this is a good time to study the now. landscape and find its hidden As a traveling mechanic, I was treasures and secrets. With its called to Crystal Valley Ranch, drabness and fickle rains, that's a shoestring horse operation about all that it is good for and north of Romney and very near it is thus very difficult to write the site of the battle of Hanging about. So, to begin our story, Rock. I was there to fix an ailing let's go back to the beginning -- 30-year-old Kubota and, in gen- way back to Sept. 24, 1862 (1 oral, bring it back to life after a did say way back, didn't 1 ?). long period of neglect. The own- About 4 1/2 miles northwest er of the ranch had acquired the of Romney, W.Va. (then Virgin- 'necessary parts and had locked ia), the Civil,War battle of Hang- them in her personal tack room. ing Rock was ending. The vic- She had the only key and was tory strongly favored the Con- away on a horse-related matter federates who had ambushed the of some urgency. I would have Union troops from atop a high to wait for her to return before I cliff. The Union troops fled to could complete the job. the west. The Confederates, in- I was well within my rights stead of pursuing the Yanks to charge the full hourly rate for morethan a token distance, were my waiting time. In most ru- ordered to march to Frenchburg, ral communities, however, there W.Va. (then Virginia), in the op- are some circumstances that one posite direction, customarily doesn't Col.Angus McDon-charge for. Some of g.~.~.-A,~r The these include rn ~l- objective was to pro- !iiii ing up escaped live- tect and defend some stock (the first time, wagons hidden there, anyway) when even Surely, wagons were passing motorists are difficult and time con- expected to stop and suming to build and help. Other exam- thus very valuable iiii pies are fighting fire -- but how valuable? or assisting an elder- Were they so valuable ly farmer who climbs that they needed to be onto his tractor for the defended by the bulk of the Con- first time after a stroke and finds federate forces after the enemy that he can't get off again. My had retreated in the opposite di- current situation was borderline. rection? I would have to get the detail The wagons were headed for and then decide. Winchester, Va in the Shenan- That's kind of how it goes here doah Valley, nicknamed "The in West Virginia. Sometimes not Breadbasket of the Confedera- a lot of effort is given toward cy," and because they were go- punctuality. Whether you con- ing to pick up supplies, they sider it laid back or just inconsid- were presumably empty. The crate, some regional characteris- reason for Col. McDonald's or- tics are what they are. The surest der doesn't seem clear to histo- way to go broke and embarrass rians, and various theories have yourself in the process is to try to been put forth, including that he change them. Just ask the state's was simply confused. In fact, economic development people. much mystery has surrounded While I was waiting, I found Romney's significance in the myself in the company of a rath- Civil War, with gaps and contra- er attractive woman mucking dictions at every turn. stalls -- I'd never seen anyone Col. McDonald somehow make messy rubber boots look wound up fighting in the battle so good. I would like to have of Manassas. When he report- helped her just to pass the time, ed for further duty at Staunton, but I find that pitching in with he found orders from Gen. Rob- mundane chores sends a con- ert E. Lee to return at once to fusing message to the customer. Romney and "resume his duties" Even on a farm, the profession- there. To explain sending .Stone- al needs to remain at least slight- wall Jackson and a huge force to ly aloof except in the previously repel Union troops from Ram- mentioned circumstances. ney, General Lee said, "There is In my continuing effort to bo- a necessity for repelling the on- come a writer who fixes tractors emy, and'it must be done." rather than a tractor mechanic What was Gen. Lee's "neces- who writes, I had put together a sity?" What were Col. McDon- column for an emerging publi- ald's "duties?" cation largely dedicated to Civ- The "Romney mystery" would il War history. Because at home persist until the Mud Season of and in my travels, I'm constantly 2006. No, you haven't previous- ly read about the discovery that 41' See KALVlTIS Page C5 Low temperatures also slow insect population, says USDA researcher MARt.A PiSCIO~A Temperature hit 28 degrees Monday biologist with the West Virginia Department Spirit Staff night, of Agriculture. "According to our charts we read that "A late frost knocks the population way CHARLES TOWN -- Up until Monday should give us minor damage only. We pro- down. Insects are intolerant to frost and things were looking good for the fruit tree dict apples and peaches may have up to cool temperatures," Crutchfield said. "The growers in the region. Warm temperatures in February and 10 percent damage," said Katy Orr-Dove, jury is still out about how the insect popu- March caused peach blossoms to open two spokesperson, lation was affected by the freeze. We won't weeks ahead of schedule and apple blos- Dove said the winds were steady all night know for a week or so." soms were not far behind, so no frost sat on the blossoms. Crutchfield said when people think "in- "We won't know for sure until about two sect," they think "pest." However, less than But on Monday night, temperatures days from now if the buds turn brown when three percent of insects fit this category, he dropped below freezing, damaging an es- the warmth hits them again," said Dove. said i' ! timated 10 percent of the peach and apple The Orrs have around 450 acres of peach- "You have to remember that there 7are trees. Mike Glenn, the director of USDA in es and grow about 15 varieties of peaches, other insects, those that eat pest insects, that Dove said the Orr fruit trees were doing are also affected by the weather." Keameysville, said it will take a day for so well prior to the frost that hit Monday eve- One early victim of the cold temperatures to determine the damage: ning. might have been the stinkbug. He said at 5 a.m: Tuesday morning some area temperatures were between 29 and 30 "Permanent damage affects the reproduc- Tracey Leskey, research entomologist at degrees, tion parts of the plants and can effectively USDA, Kearneysville, said all the variables greatly reduce production," said Mike Har- that affect the stink bug population remain "Up until yesterday (Monday) things man, the West Virginia University Jefferson to be understood. were looking good," Glenn said. "The warm weather has caused the peaches County extension agent. Leskey said the bug moves into homes to open flower Some of our varieties of "Examining the extent of damage done and other structures, dead standing trees by the freeze will determine whether the and in rocky outcroppings during the Win- peaches were in full bloom and wide open trees and plants can come back." ter. last night." "We . Glenn said apples at the fruit station The region's early fruit crop wasn't the are just beginning to monitor their weren't damaged, only casualty of freezing temperatures activities this year," Leskey said. "Plums had already developed as a fruit overnight on Monday -- the population of The stinkbug caused $37 million in loss- and were not damaged;" said Glenn. "We insects also took a hit. es on the apple crop in 2010 in the Mid-At- don't anticipate much damage." Insectsgo dormant in the winter. When lantic region, which includes West Virginia, However that is not the case for Orr's there is a warm spell, they come out Of dor- Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylva- Farm Market and Orchard in Martinsburg. mancy, said Berry Crutchfield, a plant pest nia and New Jersey. use on fa S MATrHEWPPRRON~P the lleatment's effectiveness in humans. Healbh Wnter-AP The agency issued an order that would have WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal banned non-medical use of penicillin and tet- court judge has ordered the Food and racycline in farm animals, unless drugmak- Drug Administration to take action on ors could show the drugs were safe. But the its own 35-year-old nile that would rule was never enforced, following vigor- stop farmers from mixing popular an- ous pushback from members of Congress tibiotics into animal feed, a practice and lobbyists for farmers and drugmakers. which is widely believed to have led Farming groups have long argued the drugs to a surge in dangerous, drug-resistant are needed to keep animals healthy, though bacteria, many natural food producers dispute such In 1977, the FDA concluded that claims. In a rtfling handed down Thursday, Judge the overuse of antibiotics in livestock, poultry and other animals weakened rginia . Monthly Meeting The monthly meeting of the Jefferson County Farm Bureau will be held on TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 2012 AT 7:30 PM at the Jefferson County Public Services Building. The meeting is open to the public and JCFB members are welcome to attend. , Meetings are held the 1st Tuesday of every month. Questions may be directed to Heather Ishman at 304-876- 0611 or - people," said Avinash Kar, attomey for the Natural Resources Defense Council. The FDA has 60 days to appeal the ruling. The court ruling will not immediately halt the use of antibiotics on farms. The FDA must first give drug companies a chance to respond and schedule a public hearing. "if, at the hearing, tke drug sponsors fail to show that use of the drugs is safe, the 'FDA' commissioner must issue a withdrawal or- der" concludes Katz, a judge in the U.S. Dis- trict Court of Southern New York. Antibiotics were one the most key medical Theodore Katz said the FDA must begin discoveries of the last century, used to heal steps to withdraw approval of the two anti- biotics for routine use in animals, siding with four consumer safety groups that brought a lawsuit against the agency. "Today we take a long overdue step to- ward ensuring that we preserve these lifesav- ing medicines for those who need them most everything from infected wounds to strop throat. Since their commercial introduction in the 1930s, antibiotics have become a ubiq- uitous part of medical practice. Most medi- cal experts agree overprescribing of the drugs has played a role in bacteria's growing resis- tance to them. The FDA approved antibiotic use in ani- kitchen tables. malsin 1951,before concems about drugre- The Natural Defense Council sistance were recognized, sued the FDA in May 2011 to compel the Public health advocates have been push- agency to act on its 35-year-old order. The ing the federal government top ut more re- FDA countered that the 1977 ruling was out- strictions on antibiotics for decades. Nearly dated and that the agency had already issued 80 percent of all antibiotics Sold in the U.S. more recent proposals to curb antibiotics, are given to farm animals used in food pro- such as a 2010 recommendation that veter- duction, according to a recent estimate by inarians be consulted before antibiotics are the FDA. Farmers mostly use the drugs in given to animals. The FDA is expected to h- healthy animals to spur growth or to keep nalize those recommendations, whichwould them from getting sick in crowded, unsani- not be binding, next week. tary feedlot areas. But Katz said the more recent actions don't However, after constant use some animals overrule the agency's previous judgment that develop germs that are immune to antibiot- "the drug products are not shown to be safe," ics. These germs, often called superbugs, can for non-medical use in animals. then pass to farmworkers and their families. ',q'he FDA has not issued a single state- In other cases germs blow into neighboring ment since the issuance of the 1977" decision' communities in dust clouds, run off into lakes that undermines the original findings that the and rivers during heavy rains, or sometimes drugs have not been shown to be safe" states contaminate steaks and chops that end up on the opinion. i Agricultural Equipment Industrial Equipment Tools Trucks = Cars Lawn Mowers Four Wheelers, etc, etc, etc. May 5th @ 9:00 AM Sale Location: 340 South (Bypassl @ Cloverdale Rd Stolipher Farm, Charles Town, WV Audioneer: WesleY K. wore tic. #1oo6 Sale Manager: Steve Stolipher Please call for details: 304-728-7703 Servicing Propane & Natural Gas i Serving the Tri-St.ate Reg on.Sfnce 1972 actory Trazned Techmczans Gas Fireplaces, Heaters & Stoves Heating & Air Conditioning k Pool Heaters Generators Water Softeners Appliances Builders Services 24 HR. Gas Emergency Service To Our Customers www.shawle I