People, Places & Events


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 Christmas.
“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 stores.
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 recipients.
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 winter.
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 freeze damage.
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 per animal.
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
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 toxic.
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 this?
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 year’s numbers.
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.
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Bockstruck speaks to RootSeekers
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–The recent RootSeekers Genealogical Society Seminar was a great success.
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 said.
“Before you make the trip to Dallas, know what information you need,” he recommended.
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.