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Bowling Green hosts African-American writers
Black History Month @ Your Library, sponsored by Western Kentucky University Libraries, Bowling Green Public Library, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers, features some of Kentucky’s finest African American writers. Sheila Williams, author of The Shade of My Own Tree, will appear at the Bowling Green Community College February 5 at 7 p.m. and at the Bowling Green Barnes & Noble February 6 at 7 p.m. Award-winning children’s author Marie Bradby will speak at the Bowling Green Public Library February 17 at 4 p.m. Crystal Wilkinson, author of Water Street, will appear at Western Kentucky University Glasgow campus February 19 at 3 p.m. and at Western Kentucky University-Java City at 7 p.m. These events are free and open to the public. For more information, call (270) 745-5016 or e-mail: Jayne.Pelaski@wku.edu.

Farm economy up
Kentucky’s farm economy rebounded in 2003 from a disappointing 2002 thanks to improved cash receipts in livestock and crops, according to a University of Kentucky College of Agriculture economist.

Increases in 2003 were led by sharply higher sales of row crops and rebounding sales of horses following the negative effect of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome, says Larry Jones, UK agricultural economist. Sales of grains and oilseed crops increased more than $200 million while equine sales increased an estimated $110 million from a year earlier.

Other aspects of the state’s farm industry also enjoyed a healthy year, says Jones.

“Certainly the cattle picture is much rosier than in 2002, and in row crops we had better weather and some pretty good prices,” he says. “We had a sharp rebound in dairy. Sales of horticultural crops and hay also registered significant gains. So if you add it all up we had about $3.6 billion in farm receipts in 2003. You’d have to go back to about 1998 to find a comparable year.”

The forecast for 2004 is for gross cash receipts to be near 2003 levels. Equine sales are expected to continue to rebound while cattle prices will also remain strong. Poultry and hogs will see some increases.

Grain crops in the coming year are expected to decline 8 percent due to some moderation in yield levels following an excellent 2003, and tobacco is expected to decline to near $400 million.

Net farm income may not be as strong in 2004.

“One caution is we are seeing some increases in input prices, particularly for fertilizers,” Jones says. “The risk is that interest rates will be higher. We’ve enjoyed record-low interest rates when you take out the inflationary aspects, and I think the odds are very strong that we will see some interest rate increases in 2004.”

—Laura Skillman, UK Cooperative Extension Service

All “A” winners
Several readers contacted us to point out errors in listing basketball champions in the All “A” Classic story in the January issue. We apologize, and list here the winners of the past two years:
BOYS’ CHAMPION
2003—St. Henry
2002—University Heights
GIRLS’ CHAMPION
2003—Clinton County
2002—Jackson County

Ag recycling
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s free Rinse and Return program collected nearly 50,000 pounds of chemical containers in 2003, helping Kentucky farmers keep their operations safe and the environment clean. The Rinse and Return program began in 1991 and currently operates in 107 counties. At no charge the program collects properly rinsed plastic jugs from Kentucky farms and commercial crop protectant applicators. Approximately 919,000 pounds of plastic have been collected since the program’s inception. Ira Linville, executive director of KDA’s Office of Environmental Services, says, “This program keeps a lot of chemicals and used containers out of the environment while providing the opportunity to recycle used containers into other reusable products.” For more info, visit the KDA Web site, www.kyagr.com, click on Environmental Assistance, then click on Rinse and Return, or phone (800) 205-6543.

Kentucky Living,
A poetry contest is giving

Kentucky Living is holding its first poetry contest, with a deadline of March 15.

So sharpen that pencil or dust off that old notebook and send us a favorite poem you’ve written. In the July issue, we’ll plan to print at least one poem in each of the following categories: Family and Friends, Celebrating Kentucky, Seasons, Humor, Poems by Children Age 12 and Under, and Miscellaneous. However, we will publish as many poems as we have room for.

If your poem is published, we’ll send you one of our Kentucky Living beverage mugs AND a fancy Kentucky Living pen. What could be more appropriate for a published poet?

Decisions by the judges and editors on which poems to publish will be completely subject to their personal taste, judgment, and how much space we have in the magazine.

Send your poems, along with your name, address, phone number, and which electric co-op supplies your electricity, so that it is postmarked on or before March 15, to Kentucky Living, Poetry Contest, P.O. Box 32170, Louisville, KY 40232.

And try to make the poem better than the one in the headline for this announcement.

Railroad query
A reader would like to hear from anyone with information on finding photographs of railroad floodlight cars. If you have any leads please write: Kentucky Living, Floodlight Cars, P.O. Box 32170, Louisville, KY 40232, or e-mail at e-mail@KentuckyLiving.com.

Pecan & scrapbook corrections
In a list of scrapbook stores in the December issue, we inadvertently left out The Scrapyard in Maysville, phone (606) 759-0131.

In the December issue, the photo caption describing the Kentucky Bourbon Nut Cake should have referred to Georgia pecans rather than Georgia peaches.

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