Social Security, Medicare: Tips for navigating the system

For anybody, including farmers, approaching the traditional retirement age, social security and Medicare begin looming large on the horizon. These large government programs can seem overwhelming and confusing to navigate, leaving one wondering where to start. “Navigating is an appropriate term as it can feel like you’re a bit lost in the system,” said Jordan…

Read More

Insurance woes

Elevators across Eastern Washington are suddenly finding it hard to insure parts of their structures regardless of condition, and if they do find insurance, the price is sky high. Palouse Grain Growers Manager Mike Bagott said they were unable to renew the insurance on their wooden crib elevator through their traditional insurance company, despite recently…

Read More

Riparian buffers coming to watershed

Nine farmers in the Hangman Creek Watershed are taking part in a pilot program that, if successful, has the potential to help solve a major water quality conundrum: installing riparian buffers without breaking producers’ bottom lines. The Hangman Creek Riparian Restoration and Conservation Program is funded by the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) and…

Read More

Family ‘frustrated’ with agency actions

Shelly Haas is one of the landowners signed up for the Hangman Creek Riparian Restoration and Conservation Program, but she and her husband, Jim, aren’t very happy about it. The program is funded by the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) and managed by the Spokane Conservation District. The program is only open to tillage…

Read More

Farmer has high hopes for buffer program

Cary Janson was one of the first farmers to sign up for the Hangman Creek Riparian Restoration and Conservation Program. The Janson farm runs between Latah and Tekoa, and quite a bit of their ground is along the creek. Janson said he didn’t have any reservations about giving up farming a 65-foot strip along the…

Read More

A foundation to grow on

Washington wheat is known all over the world for its quality and keeping that quality high is due, in large part, to growers like Derek Schafer, who’s been growing registered and certified seed for more than 20 years. Schafer, who farms outside of Ritzville, Wash., said he uses approximately 20% of his acreage to grow…

Read More

Drone-based business flies high on possibilities

wheat field

Down in the Tri-Cities, Kurt and Melody Beckley are confident growers will see the possibilities their new drone-based business, Altitude Agri Services, offers. “I find I’m anticipating that moment when more growers see what the drones are capable of doing, and they want to embrace them and take advantage of the services we can provide,”…

Read More

Context is key to grower success

In agronomy, context is key. That was the message growers heard from Ted Labun at the 2023 Wheat College last month in Colfax, Wash. Labun is the owner of TLC Agronomics Inc., a consulting company based in Calgary, Alberta, that works with producers to grow successful crops by incorporating best agronomic and management practices. He…

Read More

Horse Heaven

Every year, during the second full weekend in June, Bickleton, Wash., is overrun with horses, but only some of them are real. Tucked away on the west end of the Horse Heaven Hills in eastern Klickitat County, Bickleton, population 90, features an impressive list of gems: it hosts one of the state’s oldest rodeos; is…

Read More

GIS specialist maps a 37-year career

Mapping Dwaine Schettler’s 37-year career with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is relatively straightforward; it’s the side trails that are unexpected. Schettler is a program specialist at the Washington state FSA office, focusing on geographic information systems (GIS) and compliance. He was born and raised in Waterville, Wash., and graduated from Spokane Community College with…

Read More