Annual food drive begins
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–The 25th annual Spirit of Christmas Food Drive,
sponsored by Brookshire Grocery Co. (BGC) and the Good Samaritans, began
Monday Nov. 20.
The food drive provides food for needy families in the Mabank area at
“We have always had tremendous community response to the food drive,”
BGC director of public directions Sam Anderson said.
“This has grown into one of the largest privately sponsored charitable
efforts in the region,” he added.
Area residents may make donations by placing nonperishable food items in
designated bins located in participating Brookshire’s or Super 1 Foods
People are asked not to donate homemade goods or items in glass jars.
Bulk items such as flour, sugar and corn meal, should be donated in
smaller sizes to allow for more variety in the boxes given to the
In addition to the public food donations, each family will receive at
least one roasting hen from Brookshire Grocery Co.
Members of the participating service organization will sort, package and
distribute the food to the families before Christmas.
All food collected will be distributed in the Mabank area.
Families assisted by the Spirit of Christmas Food Drive are selected by
local relief organizations or government agencies according to need.
The Spirit of Christmas Food Drive began in 1982, when 92 families in
Tyler received assistance.
By Rick Hirsch
Henderson County Extension Agent
ATHENS–Winter pastures of small grains (wheat, rye and oats) ryegrass,
and clover should have a definite impact on cattle nutrition the latter
part of this year and early into 2007.
Hay supplies are adequate at best and many cattlemen are on the short
side of having enough stored hay – especially if we have a long, rough
A number of the pastures that were planted early are just about ready
for grazing and the others won’t be far behind as a result of all of the
recent moisture we’ve received.
Management is a key part in making our winter pastures pay for
themselves. Such practices include when to start grazing, stocking rates
and grazing length.
Grazing should begin when the cool season forages reach a height of six
to eight inches.
It is extremely important to allow small grains to reach this height
before grazing to allow for root development and to improve production
throughout the growing season.
The amount of beef that your pasture will carry or the “stocking rate”
will vary depending on the type of animal and your management decisions.
A well fertilized winter pasture can usually carry 600 pounds of beef
per acre. When winter pastures are first stocked, there will appear to
be a surplus of forage but a reserve amount is necessary to carry into
the coming cold spells when plant growth will be slow.
On the flip side, you need to be careful and not allow the winter
pasture to grow too tall before grazing and expose excess forage to
Research has indicated that forages maintained at three to four inches
allow the most production and grazing potential.
Also, green leaves should remain below the grazing height at all times.
Limit grazing is a technique that works well in stretching your forage,
protecting your pastures and reducing your cost per animal – the only
drawback is that it does take some effort and time.
Mature animals, grazing in short periods (three hours), will give almost
the same response as full time grazing with much less forage required
A cow with a calf can be satisfactorily wintered by grazing three hours
each day. One day on and one day off will also work well. A herd can be
trained to either system.
Adequate hay needs to be provided with this type of grazing.
100 years of extension
November 13, Texas Cooperative Extension will celebrate the 100-year
anniversary of the county agent and the achievements the organization
has made in bettering the lives of Texans.
A county agent is employed by the state agency and local county
commissioners courts to offer residents “practical, how-to education
based on university research”.
Currently, there are Extension agents in every Texas county, but the
first county agent was appointed in Smith County, so it’s appropriate
that the kick-off of the centennial event will be held in Tyler.
Nov. 12, 1906, Smith County businessmen, in cooperation with the U. S.
Department of Agriculture, made history by appointing William Crider
Stallings, a local farmer, corn breeder and Methodist minister, as the
first agricultural agent in the U. S. to serve a single county.
The program will be held at 3:30 p.m. at the Woman’s Building, 911 S.
Broadway Ave. in Tyler.
Participating will be Extension administrators, agricultural producers,
4-H leaders, county agents from throughout the region, USDA officials
and elected officials.
For more information, call the Extension office in Henderson County at
(903) 675-6130 or e-mail email@example.com.
Don’t spray the firewood
November has ushered in the cooler, wetter days of winter.
One of the first things we look forward to around my house on a nice
cold weekend, is firing up the fireplace and enjoying the warming flames
of the fire.
Many of you are probably using wood left over from last year. After
bringing the first load of wood to the house, often we discover the wood
is infested with bugs. Warming: don’t reach for the bug spray!
Never spray the woodpile. The chemical can remain on the surface of the
wood and can produce a toxic vapor when burned, which could be
irritating to the eyes and sinuses.
While not serious, common sense tells us not to burn something that is
Wood that has been treated with preservatives or other chemicals should
also not be burned in the fireplace.
Beetles are the most frequently found type of insect emerging from
firewood. Fortunately, these beetles are unlikely to attack seasoned or
finished wood in your home.
They normally infest green wood in newly felled or weakened trees.
Question of the week
Q.There are numerous small branches and twigs falling off of the trees
in my yard that appear to have been cut with a knife. What is causing
A. Unless you have an angry neighbor, your trees probably have been
attacked by an insect known as a Twig Girdler. In the late summer and
fall, adult girdlers emerge and girdle twigs.
They then deposit eggs in the twig which will eventually fall to the
ground. The only practical method of control is to destroy the fallen
branches and twigs which breaks the insects life cycle and reduced next
It will help if your neighbors do the same. Spraying for this insect is
of little value and is not recommended.
Rick Hirsch is the Henderson County Extension Agent – Agriculture for
Texas Cooperative Extension.
Visit our web page at
Bockstruck speaks to RootSeekers
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–The recent RootSeekers Genealogical Society Seminar was a great
Almost fifty people came to hear Lloyd Bockstruck offer tips on how to
find illusive ancestors.
Lloyd has been with the Dallas Public Library since 1973 and is
presently Head of the Genealogy Section.
He has won awards from everywhere he has studied and taught.
He is in “Who’s Who in America,” in the South and Southwest, in Library
and Information Services and in Genealogy and Heraldry.
He has authored more than 50 publications including writing a weekly
article for the Dallas Morning News.
Bockstruck spoke about church records, migration patterns, Virginia
records, and resources for research at the Dallas Public Library.
The Genealogy section contains 98,000 volumes, 59,500 rolls of microfilm
and 80,400 sheets of microfiche.
“The hardest thing to do in any research is to stay focused,” Bockstruck
“Before you make the trip to Dallas, know what information you need,” he
Volunteers are on hand to help.
Bockstruck gave out maps to show migration patterns.
The Appalachian Mountains channeled immigration routes along their north
or south, or through the Cumberland Gap.
RootSeekers learned something new and were given other places to search.
RootSeekers would like to thank the following local merchants, who
donated gifts for door prizes and refreshments.
They are: The Hydrangea House, Beans and Burger, Mom’s Kitchen, Pizza
Etc., Carol’s Place, Wal-Mart, Auto Zone, and Brookshire’s.