Home Columnist HORACE MCQUEEN: Odds and Ends…from the Back Roads!

HORACE MCQUEEN: Odds and Ends…from the Back Roads!


It’s interesting when talking with many of the government experts who are hired to help farmers and ranchers. Best summation of the problems comes from Rod Blum, an Iowa farmer serving in the U.S. Congress. Blum says he has been a member of the Congress for three years. “And in that time, I have yet to see a cow, a hog, a stalk of corn or a soybean plant. It seems to me the U.S. Department of Agriculture should be located in farm country — not in Washington, D.C”.

Sometimes a farm pond can harbor way too many fish — and not producing the big ones. Billy Higginbotham, Texas A & M wildlife specialist, says a simple way to grow bigger and healthier fish is to use a fish trap to thin the numbers. Traps are easy to use and available at farm supply and feed stores. Billy also suggests that excess vegetation on the pond surface can create some oxygen problems in hot weather. Several chemicals are available that will work well when directions are followed to the letter. And as for the hot days to come, Billy said an emergency pond aerator to put oxygen in the water is simply backing your boat and use the motor to stir the water and add the life-giving oxygen.

Now we know why so many citizens have left New Orleans in recent years. Lots of them fled the city after Katrina — and the exodus continues today. The illustrious mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu, blames the population loss on the statues in the city honoring Confederate leaders from the Civil War. He said people have left because the statues have created cultural, economic and spiritual loss among New Orleans residents! Doesn’t Mr. Landrieu think the high crime rate, which has made the Crescent City one of the most dangerous in the U.S., has a lot to do with U-Haul trailers leaving the city? What about the fact that the streets are terrible to drive on, or that corruption that seems to permeate New Orleans politics?  Or is the mayor too dense to face the reality that he is in over his head?

Flowers and more are being featured at the Texas A & M Overton Center on June 29th. That’s a Thursday—and offers gardening enthusiasts and professional nursery operators a look see into new developments in the plant world. Dr. Brent Pemberton says the field day will feature over 500 ornamental plant and vegetable trial varieties for public viewing. For those who want a information-packed day, make your plans to make the journey to Overton . Field tours get underway at 9 a.m. and then after lunch programs by several speakers highlight the afternoon at the Center auditorium. Pemberton says more information about the colorful event by calling the Overton Center at 903-834-6191. Have a good week!