Supporting Oldham County Agriculture

The following Agriculture & Natural Resources articles originally published in the 2017 Report to the People and reprinted in the 2017 Winter edition of the Oldham County Extension Newsletter.

“If it wasn’t for 4-H I do not think I would have developed the skills that have helped me take care of my own horse, and I would not have gained the knowledge that is helping me [study pre-veterinary science.]”
– Oldham County 4-H alumni

Supporting Oldham’s #1 Ag Commodity

The 2012 Kentucky Equine Survey reported a total value of Oldham County’s equine and equine-related assets of $163 million. Oldham County ranks 4th in Kentucky in value of equine sold, 5th in equine operation income, 6th in value of equine and equine acres, and 7th in equine population.

Oldham County Extension supports farm managers and horse owners through site visits to help troubleshoot problems and improve pastures and horse health. This includes improving pastures through reseeding, fertility management, weed control, and grazing management; improving horse diets; and hay testing.

The Extension Service also provides equine programs on worming, pasture management, vaccinations, showmanship, and tack care. Between July 2016 and June 2017, the county 4-H and agriculture agents, as well as numerous community equine professionals and veterinarians, taught seven educational sessions to 4-H members and horse owners. Thirty-six repeat attendees learned valuable horse care information that improved health and safety of both horse and rider.

oc 4-h horse club

Oldham County 4-H’ers at the Kentucky State 4-H Horse Show.

Through monthly educational meetings, 4-H horse club members build social and emotional skills like accountability, empathy, leadership, and confidence.

Beef Field Day

In Oldham County, pasture makes up 32% of available farmland and provides grazing for livestock. Livestock are important to Oldham County’s economy, with cattle alone representing over 2.4 million dollars in sales in 2012, according to the Census of Agriculture.

Because of the importance and prevalence of cattle production in the area, agriculture extension agents in Oldham, Trimble, Henry, and Shelby Counties have organized and held annual Regional Beef Field Days for farmers since 2005. These field days offer farmers an opportunity to see how production practices work on other farms. Field days also promote implementation of new practices that improve production efficiency while protecting natural resources, which are goals outlined in the county plan of work.

In 2016, this event was held at an Oldham County Farm. During the field day, 250 Louisville area producers attended and learned about:

  • Heavy Use Feeding Areas and Other Conservation Practices that Protect Soil and Water
  • Proper Handling Facilities to Minimize Animal Stress
  • Good Herd Health Practices and Update on Antibiotics Use

Farms make up one-half of total land acreage in Oldham County.

“Looking at the handling facilities setup helped me decide on changes needed for my own system.”
– Oldham County farmer

Written by Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant; Traci Missun, Oldham County Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent; and Kelly Woods, Oldham County 4-H Youth Development Agent.


Backyard Chickens 101

The following Agriculture & Natural Resources article originally printed in the 2017 Winter edition of the Oldham County Extension newsletter.

Coming in March: CHICKENS 101

Keeping chickens continues to be popular for residents here. Production in Oldham County ranges from small backyard flocks to farms that raise over 500 meat chickens on pasture each year. If you’re thinking of getting chickens, make sure and take time to learn about required housing and care for them.

Oldham and Shelby County Extension Offices are offering a program in early March to provide information on caring for chickens. Space is limited, so contact us to reserve your seat for these free classes.

Breed Selection, Chick Care, Housing, & Predator Control
March 1, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Presented by Walt Reichert, Shelby County Extension Horticulture Technician, at Shelby County Extension.

Health & Nutrition
March 8, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Presented by Dr. Jacquie Jacob, UK Extension Poultry Specialist, at the John Black Community Center.

backyard chickens

UK Extension also developed a great site to provide information on raising chickens:, which includes printed information and videos. At the very least, I’ll leave you with two important pieces of advice. The first is everything loves chicken, so a secure coop is needed to put chickens up for the night to prevent predation. The second is pay extra to purchase sexed chicks so that you only get hens. If you’re raising chickens for eggs, you don’t need any roosters. My grandma had no problem killing the ‘extra’ roosters for the dinner table, but many people are reluctant to eat something that has become a backyard pet.

Written by Traci Missun, Oldham County Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent.

Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole

Yield: 12, 1/2 cup servings

Casserole Ingredients: 6 medium sweet potatoes • 1/4 cup maple syrup • 2 tablespoons brown sugar • 2 eggs • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 3/4 cup low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Topping Ingredients: 1/2 cup brown sugar • 1/2 cup ground rolled oats • 1 tablespoon maple syrup • 3 tablespoons melted butter • 1/4 teaspoon salt • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Place sweet potato cubes in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Cook over medium-high heat until tender. Drain and mash. In a large bowl, mix together mashed potatoes, maple syrup, brown sugar, eggs, salt, yogurt, vanilla and cinnamon. Blend until smooth. Pour into a 13-by-9 inch baking dish. Topping: In a medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and oats. Add in syrup, melted butter, salt and cinnamon; blend until mixture is coarse. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture. Bake 30 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned.

Nutritional Analysis: 190 calories, 7 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 190 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate, 20 g sugars, 4 g protein

Recipe from Plate It Up! Kentucky Proud. The Kentucky Proud Project is a cooperation between County Extension Agents for Family and Consumer Sciences and Dietetics and Human Nutrition Students at the University of Kentucky.

Loneliness Affects Your Health

The Following Family & Consumer Sciences article printed in the October 26, 2017 edition of the Oldham Era.

loneliness affects your health

Socialization Affects Your Health

Just as we need food and water to survive, we also need meaningful social relationships and connections. We are wired for social contact, so going without it increases the risks to jeopardize our overall health, well-being, and quality of life. While it is okay to feel lonely and to be alone on occasion, chronic loneliness can cause serious health concerns. Researchers continue to demonstrate how important meaningful relationships with others are to our mental, emotional, and physical health.

If not addressed, loneliness can lead to social isolation, physical and mental decline, and depression. Recent studies have shown that social isolation can also lead to a number of negative health impacts including poor sleeping patterns, a disrupted immune system, poor nutrition, destruction of arteries, and high blood pressure. When the need for socialization is not met, it can also negatively affect learning, memory, and motivation.

Loneliness can occur at any age and can be a normal feeling — especially after a break-up, a move to a new location, loss of a loved one, or exclusion from a group. On the other hand, chronic loneliness (feeling lonely, isolated, or lacking in close connections for an extended period of time) can bring about discomfort and distress, including feeling sad, empty, isolated, distanced from others, deprived, and filled with longing. These feelings lead to many problems. Children and teens, for example, are more likely to adopt an outcast status, have problems in or drop out of school, or even become delinquent. Lonely adults are at greater risk of alcoholism and depression. Those living alone are at greater risk of suicide.

Loneliness is particularly prevalent among older adults. As we age, our social circle shrinks, which makes it more difficult to have meaningful interactions with others. According to a 2013 AARP study, the percentage of adults who say they are lonely has doubled from 20 percent in the 1980s to 40 percent today. About 30 percent of adults older than 65 live alone. That number jumps to 50 percent in adults over 85.

loneliness negatively affects health

If you are experiencing loneliness, you are not alone, and you don’t have to be as there are many ways to increase your social interactions. Consider the following tips:

  • Find a cause to be passionate about and donate your time. There are many community organizations in Oldham County in need of volunteers: Humane Society of Oldham County, Oldham County Red Cross, Crossroads Pregnancy Center, Dare to Care Food Bank, and many more. Not only will you get to interact with others, but you will also get satisfaction from giving back.
  • Don’t miss opportunities to interact with your family. Attend family events like reunions and weddings. If you have grandkids who live close, consider attending one of their extracurricular activities, such as a ballgame or a dance recital. The socialization will positively impact your health and also encourage the child to practice and try harder.
  • Take up a hobby. Find something you are passionate about or learn more about something you already enjoy. Consider joining a group that shares your interests, such as a writing group at the Oldham County Public Library or the knitters at Friends and Fiber in La Grange.

The Oldham County Cooperative Extension Service offers many opportunities for social interaction including Extension Homemaker clubs, Master Gardener programs, Master Clothing Volunteers, Master Cattleman, 4-H volunteer opportunities, and all kinds of classes on various subjects. Find out more about local extension events by contacting us via (502) 222-9453 or You can visit or to learn more about upcoming events.

loneliness affects your health

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Written by Amy Hosier, Associate Extension Professor for Family Life Education, and Lauren State Fernandez, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.

Celebrate KY Homemakers Week

The following Family & Consumer Sciences article printed in the October 12, 2017 edition of the Oldham Era.

2017 KEHA Week

oldham county homemakers

Celebrate Extension Homemakers during KEHA Week

Kentucky Extension Homemakers Association Week is October 8 through 14, and the state’s more than 850 clubs are celebrating their accomplishments from the past year.

Extension Homemakers are firmly rooted in community service with more than 14,000 members contributing more than 300,000 volunteer hours for Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service-sponsored activities.

olsham county homemakers

KEHA members are huge supporters of higher education and youth. During the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the organization awarded more than $58,000 in college scholarships to deserving students and gave more than $14,000 in 4-H Camp scholarships. Extension Homemakers also volunteered more than 90,000 hours to support youth development activities across the state.

The organization supports several international causes including the Kentucky Academy in Ghana. During the past nine years, Extension Homemakers have helped the academy, which is a kindergarten based in Adjeikrom, Ghana, with various projects. These efforts include building upgrades, new furniture, and a new water well. Most recently, the group has raised money to fund the construction of a library in the village of Adjeikrom.

oldham county homemakers

Outreach efforts extend to local communities too. In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, Oldham County Extension Homemakers volunteered 20,866 hours to our community. Charitable projects included making lap blankets for the VA Hospital, sewing hats for cancer patients and premature babies, donating time and money to local food banks, and making and delivering holiday cards to nursing home residents. Oldham County Extension Homemakers also raise money for ovarian cancer research, Oldham County Community Scholarships, Oldham County 4-H Camp, Coins for Change, and WaterStep.

Joining Extension Homemakers is a great way to get involved with and give back to your community. If you are interested in learning more, contact the Oldham County Extension office via (502) 222-9453.

oldham county homemakers

Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Written by Kim Henken, Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships for the School of Human Environmental Sciences, and Lauren State Fernandez, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.

Kentucky Burgoo Recipe

Jonathan’s Kentucky Burgoo

Servings: 8-12

This modern burgoo recipe comes from Lexington chef Jonathan Lundy and is very much in the spirit of the original dish, while taking into account modern tastes.

1 tablespoon olive oil • 2 cups diced onion • 1 cup diced celery • 1 cup peeled, diced carrots • 1/2 cup diced green peppers • 2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic • 1/4 cup teaspoon dried sage • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme • 12-ounce bottle of Kentucky ale or dark ale • 1/2 gallon brown beef stock • 2 cups braised bison brisket, diced • 2 cups roasted pork loin, diced • 2 cups roasted beef tenderloin, diced • 1/2 cup fresh roasted corn, cut off the cob • 1/2 cup frozen soybeans or lima beans • 1/4 cup chopped canned tomatoes • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, preheat the oil on high heat and sauté the onions, celery, carrots, and peppers for 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic and dried herbs. Sauté for 3-4 minutes more. Add Kentucky ale. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes to allow alcohol to cook off. Add remainder of ingredients and simmer for about 20 minutes before serving.

Can be made 2–3 days ahead of time and reheated.

Recipe from “Burgoo, Barbecue, and Bourbon.”

Fall 2017 Ag Events

The following Agriculture & Natural Resources calendar printed in the Fall 2017 edition of the quarterly Oldham County Extension newsletter.

oldham county agriculture calendar

All activities are held at the Oldham County Extension office unless otherwise noted. Please call to RSVP for classes held at extension offices.

September Ag Calendar

1 Master Gardener classes begin
4 Office closed for Labor Day
7 Growing Daylilies, sponsored by the Oldham County Master Gardener Association, 6:30 p.m.
8 Oldham County Beekeepers Association, 7:30 p.m.
11 Green Thumbs Garden Club, carpool leaves extension office at 8:30 a.m.
16 Oldham County Master Gardener Association meeting, 9:00 a.m.
16 Indoor Tilapia, Shrimp, & Aquaponics, Kentucky State University, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., details/RSVP via
19 Extension Foundation, 9:00 a.m.
25 Regional Beef Field Day, Todd Rand Farm, Bedford
27-28 Kentucky Grazing School, Versailles, Kentucky

oldham county agriculture calendar

October Ag Calendar

5 Landscaping for All Seasons, Oldham County Arts Center, sponsored by Oldham County Community Education, 6:00 p.m.
9 Green Thumbs Garden Club, contact office for details
12 Extension Council, 9:00 a.m.
12 Extension District Board, 10:00 a.m.
13 Oldham County Beekeepers Association, 7:30 p.m.
17 Kentucky Grazing Conference, Lexington
19 Beef Quality Assurance Training/Certification, 6:00 p.m.
23 Monarchs in Mexico, Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve, sponsored by the Oldham County Master Gardener Association, 6:30 p.m.

oldham county agriculture calendar

November Ag Calendar

9 Beef Quality Assurance Training/Certification, 9:00 a.m.
10 Oldham County Beekeepers Association, 7:30 p.m.
13 Green Thumbs Garden Club, contact office for details
17 Master Gardener Graduation Celebration, 9:00 a.m.
23-24 Office closed for Thanksgiving

2017 Fair Results

The following 4-H Youth Development, Agriculture & Natural Resources, and Family & Consumer Science articles printed in the Fall 2017 edition of the quarterly Oldham County Extension newsletter.

4-H Fair Results

Congratulations 4-H Fair Winners

4-H members entered 290 projects in the 2017 Oldham County Fair, demonstrating many talents and lots of hard work. We would like to congratulate the following participants whose 58 projects advanced to the State Fair:

Maggie Anderson Kora Birchmier Katherine Carter
+* Sarah Griffin Emily Harris Rachel Harris
* Ryan Hawkins * Beth Huffman +* Ethan Jasinski
Katelynn Jasinski * Lindsay Jasinski Zach Jasinski
* Bailey Johnson +* Riely Johnson Keirstin Kennedy
* Kendall Kennedy * Molly Logsdon * Carrie Olds
* Ella Olds Hannah Santos

Congratulations to the 4-H members who received one or more blue ribbons (denoted by asterisk *) for their awesome work at the Kentucky State Fair. Special congratulations to the Oldham County 4-H’ers whose projects were selected State Fair Class Champion (marked with plus +) in their categories.

oldham county 4h fair

Ag Fair Results

Thank You, County Fair Exhibitors

Thank you to everyone who brought entries to the 2017 Oldham County Fair! The Agriculture Department had a record-setting 157 vegetable and crop entries this year.

The following individuals received blue ribbons in the Youth Division:

Thomas Blackburn Melody Hardin Sarah Hardin
Emma Lane Lauren Potts Porter Salisbury
Casey Smith

oc ag fair winners

The following Oldham Countians earned one or more blue ribbons in the Adult Division:

Alice Ashlock Buck Ashlock Bob Fishback
Ashley Haselton Christy Husband LeAnne Smith

Sarah Hardin was this year’s Youth Division Champion. Bob Fishback was the Adult Division Champion for the second year in a row. Bob Fishback’s herbs won Best in Show in the Adult Division. Lauren Potts’s pumpkin won Best of Show in the Youth Division.

Congratulations to all Agriculture Department exhibitors!

FCS Fair Results

Successful Oldham County Fair Home & Family Arts Exhibit

With great weather, excellent volunteers, and increased entries and participation, the 2017 Oldham County Fair was a grand success. Plan now to enter your culinary, artistic, and/or handwork creations next year!

fcs fair winners

Written by Chris Duncan, Oldham County Family & Consumer Science Agent; Traci Missun, Oldham County Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent; Lauren State Fernandez, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant; and Kelly Woods, Oldham County 4-H Agent.

Fall Oldham County Agriculture News

The following Agriculture articles printed in the Fall 2017 edition of the quarterly Oldham County Extension newsletter.

Weed Identification Contest


Congratulations to Barbara Rosenman, winner of last issue’s weed identification contest. Barbara correctly identified Horseweed, also known as Marestail (Conyza canadensis).

Youth Ag Incentives Program

The Youth Ag Incentives Program is a new cost-share opportunity, offered through the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund in partnership with the Oldham County Agriculture Development Council. This cost-share program was designed to benefit Oldham County youth actively engaged in agriculture.

Applicants are required to be enrolled in elementary, middle, or high school, and may also include home school students. Applicants must be at least age nine as of January 1, 2017.

We anticipate that applications for this cost-share program will be available by mid-September. Contact our office via (502) 222-9453 or for more information and program guidelines.

Hail Damage to Grain Crops

corn crop storm damage

An August 1st hail storm caused varying degrees of damage to corn, soybeans, and hemp on a farm near Goshen. Some fields sustained heavier damage, with nearly all leaves stripped from plants. Hail also damaged stems, stalks, pods, and ears. Bruising and kernel rupture on corn ears also produced rot inside the shucks, observed above.

We are monitoring these fields through the rest of the growing season to see the full extent of the damage.

Written by Traci Missun, Oldham County Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent. Edited by Lauren State Fernandez, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.

2017 Kentucky Wood Expo

ky wood expo

The Kentucky Wood Expo will take place on September 15 and 16 in Lexington at Masterson Station Park. Open to the public, attendees will enjoy a wide variety of activities, demonstrations, and educational events. University of Kentucky Forestry and Natural Resources Extension is partnering with the Kentucky Forest Industries Association (KFIA) to put on several educational programs including: Small Scale Logging Demonstration, Your Backyard Woods, and the ever-popular Critter Tent including a new mammal display with skulls and skins of native Kentucky animals. In addition, Wood Expo attendees will once again have a chance to make and take home their own cutting boards. Other planned activities include live Country and Bluegrass Music, Chainsaw Carving Demonstrations, and a competition between local police and fire departments in forestry related events.

There are also several other contests that the public can participate in and a wide variety of crafts, food, and fun for the entire family. Make sure to come out to the Kentucky Wood Expo to cheer on the UK Forestry student team as they compete in the Collegiate Lumberjack Competition against seven other universities! Mark your calendars now and plan to join us at the 2017 Kentucky Wood Expo! Learn more by visiting here.

Events include:

  • Forestry Equipment Sales & Demonstrations
  • Lumberjack Competitions & Entertainment
  • Chainsaw Carving Demonstration & Auction
  • Crafts
  • Wood Expo Tickets

    General admission to the 2017 Kentucky Wood Expo will be $7.00 at the gate. Advance tickets are available for $5.00. Tickets are $5.00 for kids ages six to twelve. Kids under age six can enter free of charge. Parking is free.

    For further information, contact the KFIA Office via (502) 695-3979 or

    ky wood exposition

    Wood Expo Competitors

    KFIA is looking for chainsaw carvers to participate in the Chainsaw Carving Competition in exchange for submitting a large carving completed during KY Wood Expo hours. Carvers will be provided wood and an outside space for carving during the show. One- to eight-foot white pine log will be supplied for the auction piece. First and second place prize money is available. The winner will be determined by the carving with the highest bid.

    Wood Expo Exhibitors

    Exhibit at the 2017 KY Wood Expo! KFIA is currently taking reservations to exhibit at the 2017 Kentucky Wood Expo, held September 15 and 16 at Masterson Station Park in Lexington, Kentucky. The Kentucky Forest Industries Association, Inc. will accommodate each exhibitor to the best of their ability while ensuring a successful show for all involved.

    For further information, contact the KFIA Office via (502) 695-3979 or