Garrison Keillor says “its been quite week in Lake Wobegon” as he gives his monologue on his radio show each week.  Well we have been so busy here the last two weeks that I have not taken due time to make an account of what has happened.  Really I have spent to much time reacting to the stupidity in Springfield, Washington DC and up the road so to speak.


It been a busy two weeks here at Robertson Farms.  I dare say from just the stand point of getting things marked off  “the list of things to do” we accomplished more in the last 10 days than we did all spring.  All things are relative so to speak so what seems like a real busy week for one might not seem so busy for others.  But we have been busy.

Some of the highlights………

Matthew got the prevented planting ground mowed with the bushhog, I opted to mow instead of spray or work the ground because I just didnt want to spray it or work it up in the middle of the summer to do it again later this fall.  While he was at it a neighbor wanted his pasture mowed, so Matthew got to make some back to school money for his efforts while he was in the neighborhood.

After mowing we hauled out the remaining 2010 corn from the bins and worked on getting the wheat bin drawn down.  Matthew got to learn how to clean out a bin and complained bitterly that it was hot in there.  Hey, as least the outside air temp was in the 80’s and not 100+ like it was a few weeks ago.  (Please save your OSHA comments on the lack of shield for another time, yes I know its missing and is needed)

In the process of cleaning out the bins we also transferred seed wheat to the seed wagon in preparation for seeding later this fall.  In our operation that means moving seed from one wagon to another as the need arises.  Here Matthew and his great grandpa Roy monitor the flow from the holding wagon to the seed tender.

We have been mowing water ways and right of ways trying to get weeds killed and make access easier for harvest.  This mowing has showed that the 50 plus inches of rain up to August has made some real washouts and gullies that will need to be fixed next summer.

Now we are getting ready for Pioneer, who will show up Friday to start hauling out the seed wheat we grew for them.  At that point its time to clean out and clean up around the bins to get ready for bin inspections before we fill them up with seed production soybeans!  And I hope that we get the drill and the combine washed up this week as well.

So its been a very busy week here at Robertson Farms, and it looks to stay that way for a while………

Two years ago, quite by accident, I found the Project Appleseed run by a group who call themselves the Revolutionary War Veterans Association or RWVA.  You can read my write-up on that experience here as a blog entry and here on the main page where I have promoted the Appleseed shoots.  I must say again that Matthew and I had one of the best times shooting at the Carmi event.  It was so professionaly run and executed and, as I have said many times over, the kids were treated with such respect and coached so well it was incredible.

A fire was lit in me for more Appleseed and I even had an interest in putting in the time to get a “hat” or be in instructor/shoot boss because I felt so highly of the program, but there is/were/are a few problems that I encountered.  First was that here in Southern Illinois there are few Appleseed shoots.  Most all are several hours north of here which for us is a problem.  Second was that the shoots close by in neighboring states were on bad weekends for us.  So I kept close tabs and monitored until in 2010 there was a shoot just down the road in Marion (my blog report here).  Problem was that I could only go for one day…again schedule conflicts.  OK, we will start 2011 afresh and make an effort to go.  Well, if your a regular follower of this site, you know what 2011 has been like for the Robertson Family.  I did attempt to get to a shoot in Boaz, KY but those dates fell through for me when I had family come in during that weekend.

OK that gets us up to today or to the last several days.  Time is now on my side so to speak and so is opportunity.  After being out of touch with Appleseed for the better part of a year I was set to get to one and take the whole family.  As luck would have it, there is a shoot in Carmi and one in Marion in the next two months.  On to the Appleseed board to get some more info, look around at discussion topics and to sign us up.  But what did I see when I got there?  I hardly know how to describe it.  Apparently there has been problems in Illinois Appleseed.  Its hard to say what, whom, why or how based on message board and social media comments from those involved and not involved.  There are two sides to every story, in reality four or five sides and somewhere in between it all is the truth.

The problem with public organizations and their public problems that air their dirty laundry, or more accurately try not to air their laundry, is that the public never really knows what the problem is or is not and is always left wondering.  Folks have strong feelings for or against the other “side” and then there are the fence sitters who try to phrase everything in such a way not to offend or come down on one side or the other.  All the while in this public age of message boards, Facebook and Twitter the public can read and wonder……..and never know what is fact from fiction, truth or half truth and if the problems is a hiccup or a heart attack for the organization.  The sides communicate with themselves and against themselves in a public forum all the while oblivious as to the message or lack of a message they are communicating to the viewing public who is not engaged in the debate.

I have read what I would call heart felt comments and wonder what happened that was so bad to cause so much hurt?   I have read comments filled with bitter feelings and finger pointing and wonder what happened to make people so mad and distrustful?  I have read a couple of rambling thesis on the not-so-specific problems, really talking all around them, that quite frankly make me think they came from a very bad Batman script for the Joker or the Riddler (meaning I am not sure what they said or how they even fit into the plot).   I read the leadership talk between the lines to those who would be “in the know” and wonder what it all said and what it all means to me as someone who wants to participate?

Well that is where I am, wondering. Wondering if I should sign my family up for Carmi and Marion?  Wondering if things are really that bad in Illinois.  Wondering if the program is really on its last legs.  Wondering if I send in my money whats it going for?  Wondering if I really want to devote the time and energy to now be involved at a “hat” level?  Wondering if I should look outside Illinois for Appleseeds to participate in?  Or wondering if I just should run my own range instruction for my family following their format minus the history and say the heck with it.

I don’t have a dog in this hunt or any skin in this game.  I am on my side in this fight, the side of the average family who wants to participate in marksmanship programs at an affordable level with quality instruction.  That being said I think making an objective opinion and decision about the health and future of a program such as this can only be done by observing the participants, not the leadership or the sides, and to do so one must attend one more event to see if its a hiccup or a heart attack.

Its a shame that it appears that an organization that has been so good in my experience at teaching marksmanship and firearms safety has gone and shot itself in the foot.

Last week was kind of a mess around here.  Trying to get several things done, then took a few days off, then back and tied up some more loose ends.  Anyway for the first time in 8 months I have something of a plan for this week that allows me to get on something of a schedule.  Lots of grain to haul, equipment to put up, I have phone calls to make as part of the search committee at church to get done, family coming in, rewiring a couple of grain bin setups and it all starts off with a seed growers meeting today for Pioneer.

I am contemplating turning off my phone as to get maximum effort on getting some stuff done.  It will be nice to see some things marked off the list for a change and just not added to it.

The kids have been selling the sweet corn the last two days.  People have been buying it at a rate of 15-30 dozen at a time………..

I got to hot today and ended up in bed for a while this afternoon. Not pleasant at all, pretty mad at my self for allowing myself to get that way, I know better.  Feel much better as of this typing, hope to be able to get up and go early tomorrow.

The kids were selling sweet corn today from the back of a pickup truck along one of the main highways here.  They hadnt got their trucked parked when they had people pulling in and taking two and three dozen at a time.  They were sold out by noon.  Good problem to have.  We already have orders for about 40 dozen for tomorrow!  A small blurb on Facebook helped promote sales!!

Got a Motorola Droid to replace my lost Blackberry.  So far, so good, I like it.  Still trying to get use to all the different features.  The first app I downloaded was the Farm Futures app.  Love it!

Sampling is progressing slowly and may get even slower the next two days as the heat intensifies.  I will be so glad when its done.  Just cant hardly stand it knowing the finish line is in sight.

And last but not least, I snarfed this cartoon from Michael Bane’s Blog.  For those who don’t know about the ATF and Operations Gun Walker/Fast and Furious, you should read up on how your government is helping to terrorize Americans on the border with Mexico, not admitting guilt or doing a thing about it.

Today was the day, Barry Richardson brought his trackhoe and we tore down the old farm house and barn.

Matthew got to run the machine for a while after a quick lesson from Barry on the joy stick controls.  Now he knows how to run the dozer, backhoe and trackhoe.  Note I said run, not operate………hes a long way from being an operator, but heck hes just 13!

A little more time behind the stick and he will learn to operate.  Good skills to have!

Anyway, things are looking much better here in the country side……..

Had a great day today at Immanuel Baptist here in Benton.  Had a great sermon this morning from Pastor Sammy and a great service tonight where we licensed two young men to preach and also had our Lords Supper service.

Then tonight when I got home in my online reading I got to read a great sermon from Frank James.  Frank is a farmer, gun writer and TV star (at least he is on TV, Davidson’s Gallery of Guns show on Sportsman Channel).  Frank has a blog that I link to as one of the sites I visit almost every time I am on line.  Please take time to read the sermon that Frank delivered at his church today at this link:  Sunday Message on Fathers Day

Two great sermons for the day……..

Big Foot the monster truck visited Benton over the weekend.  Matt and Mo got to get up close and personal with it.

As a sign that I am getting old, I remember the original Big Foot #1 when it was the only monster truck.  Saw it at the old Bush Stadium and even got the official 1983 Big Foot glossy promo picture from Midwest Four Wheel Drive Center………the highlight of that show was the bobcat driver who cleaned up after the truck pull and car smash.  That guy could operate a bobcat!

Well I haven’t posted much lately, spring break was last week for the kids so we were busy around here doing family things and then it started raining and I didn’t feel like posting much of anything. Plus with the rain there is nothing going on.

The kids on the other hand took advantage of our new lake, or what was our front yard before the 8 plus inches of rain we have had so far, to practice their fishing skills. Then they just decided it was a good reason to get wet………….



Big 70 anniversary bash tomorrow plus a 96th birthday.  Be three old people there whose ages total 279 years………not too bad.

Made the trip to Knob Creek on Saturday to see the machine guns go bang and to check out the gun show.  I didn’t exactly what to go, the weather was nice and I was itching to plant corn.  Well its good I went………first off I had a good time as always and second it kept me away from the farm and doing some thing stupid, like planting corn.

This year we went later in the day and stayed for the night shoot, or at least the beginning of the night shoot.  It was a blast, as usual.  Two thumbs up from myself and Matthew………there is just something about the smell of burnt gun power and burning targets that makes us smile.

Anyway here are some pictures of the festivities this spring………

Happy Anniversary Lori, we have made it 22 years……..28 if you count the years we dated!

I was going to post a picture of you on the site but know how much you would edit this page………..

I don t need a bunch of emails from the safety Nazis on this one. Sometimes you do what you have to do………….Just don’t do this one at home, we are what you call professionals.

Roy Lee ” Boss” Robertson, Jr

Benton, IL

Roy Lee Robertson, JR, 81, of Benton; died at 4:25 a.m. Thursday, February 24, 2011 at the Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

Funeral services will be at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, February 26, 2011 in the Immanuel Baptist Church in Benton, Il with Pastor Sammy Simmons officiating.  Burial will be in the Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery, Benton with Military Rites to be performed by the Benton American Legion Post #280, V.F.W. Post# 2671 and the Illinois National Guard.  Visitation will be from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Saturday in the Immanuel Baptist Church.

Arrangements are with the Leffler – Poulson Funeral Home of Benton.

Mr. Robertson was born on April 1, 1929 in Franklin, Missouri, the son of Roy Lee “Jim” Robertson, SR and Mable Gertrude (Quinley) Robertson.

He was a retired over the road truck driver and had various other occupations including: horse trainer, farmer, and Permit Agent for the Seismograph Exploration Company.  He was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War and a member of the First Baptist Church of West Frankfort.

Survivors include a son: Kelly Robertson and wife Lori of Benton, a daughter: Chelsea Halbin of Mt. Vernon; five grandchildren: Matthew and Morgan Robertson of Benton, T.J., Cayce and Kylee Halbin of Mt. Vernon; three sisters: Genevieve Griffin of Lyons, KS, Gertrude Odil of Gladstone, MO, Velma and husband Eddie Moore of Columbia, MO; two brothers: Howard Robertson and wife Norma of Franklin, MO, Carl Robertson of Shawnee, OK; and many nieces and nephews.

Mr. Robertson was preceded in death by his parents; and two sisters: Irene McQuitty and Helen Smith.

Memorial contributions may be made to the organization or charity of the donor’s choice.

Leffler – Poulson Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.   

Well, I have had trouble keeping my blog up to date this last week. Its been pretty tough with me having the flu and trying to be at the hospital with dad. So as I sit here in the hospital waiting for his surgery I thought I would try a mobile update.

Grain prices keep going up and have reached an area where some are starting to speculate if they are good for agriculture. All I know is that it is making all of our marketing plans seem stupid right now. At some point there is going to be a correction to levels that are lower, I would assume.

One of the things about sitting here is that I am trying to finish up at least one of the five books I am reading. All of them are good and I will do a review of them when I get them finished. Plus I need to do a review of the two I finished before Christmas as well.

A speaking engagement tomorrow and two CCA meetings Wednesday and Thursday will keep any progress on that to a minimum.

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