Dairy Numbers Short But “Udderly” Vital To Tennessee Economy

With National Dairy Month quickly approaching in June, a major celebration is planned in the Volunteer State, and it's been that way for a...

Oh Deer! ‘Tis the Season for Deer and Autos to Collide

If you are like me, and bless your heart if you are, there is never a day that goes by when I drive on...

From The Backseat Of An Old Desoto

I have been spending a lot of time lately working in a pick-your-own berry patch located almost in the heart of one of Tennessee's...

Get Out The Butter and Biscuits

One of my mother's favorite times of the year is finally arriving! Of course, we all enjoy spring and the renewal of warm weather,...

Good Advice From Mother

During a recent visit to the local grocery store, I heard a young mother give her toddler some advice that I had not heard...

Heads and Rocks Don’t Mix

Did you know that 95 percent of all available fresh water is in the ground? With the recent winter rains and snows, water has...

Tennessee’s Farmers Keep Low Profile On Earth Day

This year marks the forty-first observation of Earth Day in this country, with numerous special events scheduled on April 22. It began in the...

It Is Hard To Break The Work Habit

  Having grown up on a dairy farm in Middle Tennessee, I was taught at an early age that work was something a person...

Fickle Weather Causes Read to Wane for ‘Maters and Berries

This spring has been one of some unusual weather in the Volunteer state, as well as the rest of the continental United States. Snow...

The Size of the Crowd Depends on the Weather

On Monday April 4, 2011, when the word was first released on the passing of the state's 46thgovernor Ned Ray McWherter, statements were released...

Media Says Economy Affecting Home Christmas Light Displays

Just a few days ago, I was riding on a shuttle bus to an event with a number of media folks from around the...

New Things Ahead For The New Year

Well, I'm finally going to do it. With the prospects of it happening, there were those who suggested it, others greeted it with happiness,...

Whatever Happened To “Hog Killin” Weather

The other day while leaving the Barnbank, another gentleman around the same age as myself, commented about how cold the north wind was coming...

Cold Day Wondering

As the final cold winds of February made their way across the cedar tree and ice covered Tennessee farmland of my Versailles homestead recently,...

Farm Ponds Did Freeze Once Upon A Time

It had been one of the coldest winters Tennessee had experienced in quite a while. It was the winter of 1964 and temperatures had...

Two Boys And A Tennessee Sinkhole

Having grown up in rural Tennessee, I have seen my share of sinkholes. Sinkholes have been in the news lately and they can become...

Buttons Was A Dog Who Cared

Buttons was a Boston terrier dog that became a favorite at our house back in my early childhood. She was very loveable and sort...

Uncle Sid’s Lesson In Time Management

It was a beautiful Tennessee spring morning when I pulled in the long gravel driveway of Uncle Sid and Aunt Sadie's farm. The hills...

Wet Paint Sign Causes Us To Touch

  Just recently, I was told by a highway official that they no longer place signs of that type on questionable curves and areas,...

Well, Here They Go Again

The group that continually advertises on TV, showing sad puppies and kittens, while asking for your monthly donation of $19 to be a humane...

New Trade Agreement Could Help Tennessee Farmers

  This year Tennessee could realize the highest production of corn on record since 1917 if forecasters are right, so says the USDA Agricultural...

Feed The Hungry As You Help Balance Nature

A very common sight these days along Tennessee's rural roadways is the sudden image of flickering bright white tails of deer as they spring...

Am I Getting Old Or Did 2010 Move Really Fast

All right, I know it was here just a little while ago, but where did 2010 go to in such a hurry? Did the...

Good Luck For The New Year

  I hope your New Year's celebration was truly a site to behold. At my house it was sort of peaceful. No, Dick Clark's...

Harmonia Axyridis are Back and I’m Not Happy

It is October once again, and once again, I despise Asian lady beetles. For those of you who are not plagued by these impostures...

Time To Get Into Sales

As the storms rolled through Tennessee on the morning of April 27, I was one of those who watched as I saw trees and...

Ernest T. Voiced His Opinion

My favorite television programs are the old reruns of the Andy Griffith Show. Not those in color but the black and white ones where...

Pearl Wants To Play Catch

The other night after attending Wednesday night prayer meeting, I returned home and parked my pickup in the garage. It was a pleasant June...

Protecting Our Groundwater Involves Us All

Having grown up on a Middle Tennessee dairy farm, I was taught early to respect the groundwater that supplied our rural area of this...

Putting Money In A Mason Jar Is Not A Bad Idea

Putting Money In A Mason Jar Is Not A Bad Idea Each day as I check out the news, I hear the continued story line...

Drought Doesn’t Put Hold On Molasses

With the drought that seemed to go on forever this past summer, questions are still being asked concerning the current and upcoming harvest of...

There Are Two Sides To Every Story

My name is Pettus Read and I'm a meat eater. No bones about it (no pun intended), but I do enjoy a good steak...

Hoping Against A Blizzard At Halloween

As the days slowly turn much warmer and the trees change to deep summer greens, farmers across Tennessee prepare for this year's cropping season....

It Comes Around Every Five Years

The Agricultural Statistics Service in Tennessee is a very important source in our state for agricultural information that keeps all of us informed on...

What’s Up The Government’s Sleeve

If you have ever watched a magic act, somewhere during the performance the magician will pull a rabbit out of a hat or maybe...

Tennessee Tradition Must Continue

Christmas is a special time of the year for most of us and especially those of us who have come from rural backgrounds one...

Taters Come From The Freezer And Not The Ground For Today’s Kids

"Trends around this country continue to indicate that we Americans are buying more expensive convenience food items for preparation at home, as well as...

Your Bumper Sticker Made Me Do It

While preparing to turn right with the green light the other evening at a fairly busy intersection, I noticed another car coming from the...

I Helped Pay For My Growing Up

In a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture news release, reporting the information from it's annual report, it states that a middle-income family with a...

What T-Shirt Should You Wear

I love my state this time of the year! You can tell you are in Tennessee when the days begin to warm and the...

Time To Warm Up Your Cockles

  I love this time of the year. October has always been special for me and one reason could be because of the fact...

Keeping Time Down On The Farm

As everyone was "springing forward" recently, our state legislature was debating whether or not to take Tennessee out of the Daylight Saving Time routine,...

They Were Farmers And Much More

In the rural country sides of this state, everyday traditions and simpler lifestyles seem to be the norm among the families I have known...

New Dairy Teaches Students About Real Life

As the weather in our state during these next few months seems to turn more like conditions you would expect more so in the...

If you don’t eat, don’t worry about farmers going out of business

I may be edging slowly into the early 60s of my age, but I'm not going to be left behind when it comes to...

Still Behind The Times

I consider myself as one who enjoys talking about the old days, but really appreciates my modern conveniences. I've lived without running water, indoor...

Why Don’t They Just Leave Things Alone

It never fails that when I find something that works the way I want it to, fits the way it should fit my body,...

A Good Stern Look Does Wonders

As I looked through a display of brightly colored packaged seeds at Kelton's store the other day, I saw some okra that reminded me...

It’s Tough Doing It By Yourself

Through the years, I have found myself to be one to not ask for help no matter what. I have built decks where you...

Time To Tell The Firestone Story

Back in the day when I held a real job instead of being retired, I remember one December evening riding on a shuttle bus...

I Am Learning To Endure

Recently, I turned 61 years of age, and after all of the cards were read and the cake eaten, I realized that this accomplishment...

John Adams Predicted We Would Have Fireworks

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,...

New Inductee Into Tennessee Agriculture Hall Of Fame

When you think of someone being inducted into a Hall of Fame, you first think of sports figures known for major league accomplishments, like...

Your Foot Will Never Get Well As Long As There Is A Horse Standing...

The late Erma Bombeck wrote a book entitled "The Grass Is Always Greener Over The Septic Tank" and in years past that may have...

September Equinox Starts It In Motion

I love this time of the year. September is slipping over the horizon and the month of October is the same as here. October...

The Closeness of a MRI

Each morning when I rise, I usually look out my bedroom window to check the day the good Lord has blessed me with. From...

Aunt Sadie has a Yard Sign

On a beautiful Tennessee fall afternoon, I pulled in the long gravel driveway of Uncle Sid and Aunt Sadie's farm. Their white frame house,...

Hold That Hog A Little Higher

It was a beautiful Tennessee spring morning when I pulled in the long gravel driveway of Uncle Sid and Aunt Sadie's farm. The hills...

By 2050 9 Billion Folks To Feed

When one starts fending for himself, it is amazing what food source a single man can retrieve from today's modern food outlets. While shopping...

Pennies In Bags of Water Make Flies Flee

The latest talk across Facebook pages these days is how to prevent flies at your next cookout. I don't mean the Fly family that...

Uncle Sid Doesn’t See Too Bad Of A Winter

With one of the wettest falls on record just occurring the past couple of months and folks wondering just what this winter is going...

Asian Lady Beetles Are Real Stinkers

 I despise Asian lady beetles. They moved into my house last fall and have taken up housekeeping like an unwanted relative. They stink,...

Don’t Touch The Brownies

It was just about the end for poor ole Farmer Brown as he lay on his deathbed barely able to breathe. Just as he...

Farming Community Calls Foul

I grew up on a family farm that relied heavily on our extended family's involvement to get the crops in, as well as the...

All I Could Say Was Yes Sir

  It had been a while since I had made the trip out to this part of the county to visit with my relatives....

Why Does The Fattest Bug Hit The Middle Of The Windshield

 It was one of those late summer nights when the humidity was finally taking a turn to the better and a full Grain...

Horses That Go Klippy Klop

Not long ago, I wrote about the selling of my family home and many of the memories that were stirred from that experience. Of...

It’s A Dirty Job But Someone Has To Do It

During the last snow adventure, I spent my time in the city of Atlanta, Georgia, where snow or ice removal is not even considered...

The Ag Census Is Coming

  Back during the past holiday season, Aunt Sadie had stopped by the local post office to buy a few stamps for her Christmas...

Getting Old Is Mandatory

Uncle Sid told me an old saying one time, which is, "Getting old is mandatory; growing up is optional." Since experiencing some major surgery...

They Keep Us Fed And Mobilized

This year marks the forty-second observation of Earth Day in this country, with numerous special events scheduled on April 22. It began in the...

Uncle Sid Discusses What It Means To “Occupy”

The other day as I pulled in the long gravel driveway of Uncle Sid and Aunt Sadie's farm, the winter wind was blowing to...

What’s Over The Horizon?

For some reason, the month of July has always been special for me to take in the observation of the moon. No, I'm not...

And You Still Can’t Make a Mater Saminch

Here we are once again in the glory days of homegrown maters and I'm still finding folks who can't make a mater saminch. I...

The Road We All Have To Travel

I've had the opportunity to live what some folks would call a "charmed life." I was born in a rural part of Tennessee on...

Slipping Off From Chores To Learn From The Best

The day after the Fourth of July, I spent the afternoon in our local theater watching a movie I had been waiting on for...

Purple Hues of Henbit Return Again to Add to Spring’s Arrival

As I have been driving the back roads of Tennessee the last few days, I have noticed an interesting purple hue forming across the...

Flood Causes Farmers To Rethink Corn Or What

As the flood waters slowly retreat around West and Middle Tennessee, farmers are taking another look at what their fields may hold in the...

President Adams Said Check Out The Firework Stands

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,...

Attic Treasures As Valuable As The Pyramid’s

I recently had the task of cleaning out the attic at my parents' farm as we prepared to turn the house over to someone...

Springtime With Uncle Sid And Aunt Sadie

It was a beautiful Tennessee early spring afternoon when I pulled in the long gravel driveway of Uncle Sid and Aunt Sadie's farm. The...

Time To Stop Gogglin

Cheese pie is an old dish our family has enjoyed for years and Aunt Sadie's is guaranteed to stop up every artery you have....

Death Tax Just Won’t Die

Over a baloney sandwich and cold drink Uncle Sid was talking to the gang down at the country store, when Billy Bithers for some...

A Tax Is A Fine For Doing Well

For the past few weeks I have spent my days and nights recovering from surgery that required me to use my time avoiding bending,...

The First Frosty Night Of The Season

A coonhound on a trail on a cold frosty night always reminds me of my father who was an avid coon hunter. Recently, while...

Cold Winter Air Brings on Clear Thinking

It was an afternoon after one of the TV news talk shows had discussed pretty negatively many of the items found in the national...

Sputnik Catches Farm Boy’s Interest

On a particularly cool, crisp fall late afternoon of 1957, my father, brother, grandfather and myself were walking from the dairy barn as we...

Colloquialisms Have Their Place

Have you ever wondered how a colloquialism ever gets started and is it really intended to mean what it expresses? We all use them...

Push 1 If You Wish To Punch Someone Out

During the recent rainy season we all have experienced lately, my phone landline service developed a leak, causing me to lose contact with the...

Get The State Fair Fever

Have you ever wondered what is the best of Tennessee? I know we have the music, the Smoky Mountains, Walking Horses, lots of great...

Walking Through The Store

Still standing near the four-way stop in the community where I live is Versailles Grocery, vacant, with rusting RC signs and a reminder of...

A Special Bottle In The Ocean

On July 1, a lot of new legislation that was passed during the last session of the Tennessee Legislature became law. I don't know...

Who’s In Charge Of The Chicken?

I enjoy watching people at airports when I'm waiting for a flight. I guess that comes from all the years I spent as a...

Pull Up Your Britches And Quit Whining

While driving to the post office to send off my donation to the government the other day after completing my income taxes, I saw...

You Never Know What You May See In A Tree

You would expect whenever you look up in a tree that you just might see a bird or a squirrel doing what they normally...

A Good Time To Be Involved

It's that time once again when all the stores are filled with patriotic supplies making red, white and blue the colors of choice for...

The Day Is What You Make It

When a person retires, I'm told many people find themselves looking for things to do and wish that they had continued at the old...

Belt Tightening And Flying

We just witnessed a major discussion over our country's debt problems and it really put all of us in a time of concern that...

Wrapped Up In Necessities

Each month I'm amazed at the new inventions that are introduced by news releases that come across my desk on a daily basis. Many...