Fairgrounds hosts farming consignment auction

Auction-DSCN1495Mike Phipps had a dream.

Members of Phipps Real Estate and Auctions are making it a reality by holding the first Mike Phipps Memorial Consignment Equipment Auction on April 26, at the Morgan County Fairgrounds.

Phipps, who passed away last year following a battle with cancer, always wanted to hold a consignment auction for used farm equipment in Morgan County, says Quentin Murphy, board president for the fairgrounds.

“The rest of his team approached the fair board because we have the space,” says Murphy.

The auction will accept equipment April 23 through April 25, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. They will not accept any vehicle tires, float trays, tobacco sticks or fuel tanks.

Cash or approved check will be accepted. Anyone with an out-of-area check will need to have a letter of credit.

For more information contact Mary R. “Liz” Phipps at 606-725-4660 or 606-495-5810, Teddy “T” Creech at 606-362-7971, Robby Bradley at 606-522-4520, or Wade Cantrell at 606-495-7071.


Mike Phipps Memorial Consignment Auction


Saturday, April 26 at 9 a.m.


Morgan County Fairgrounds

Concessions will be available.


$0 – $50: 20 percent

$51 – $1,000: 10 percent

More than $1001: 7 percent

* There will be a $350 cap on commissions and a $10 No Sale fee if a seller opts not to sell an item for the auctioned price.

Get fit

Fitness opportunities abound

Jenny Bradley, a fitness instructor at Williams Karate Studio in West Liberty, is ready to help you lose weight.

Jenny Bradley, a fitness instructor at Williams Karate Studio in West Liberty, is ready to help you lose weight.

For many, fitness and weight loss were simply resolutions that have already gone by the wayside just two months into the new year. But with all the fitness classes available in the region, there is still time and plenty of opportunities to find better health in 2014.

Jenny Bradley, a fitness instructor at Williams Karate Studio in West Liberty, is an excellent role model who offers plenty of motivation.

“I am always willing to help anyone that wants to lose weight,” she says.

Bradley admits that she used to have a weight problem. It is something she has struggled with for most of her life. Tired of the losing battle and full of determination, she set out to get fit.

She began taking a cardio-kickboxing class and changing her eating habits. To look at her today, you would never know that she used to weigh almost 200 pounds.

And despite losing more than a quarter of her body weight over the course of two years, Bradley says she doesn’t believe in dieting.

“Dieting is setting yourself up for failure,” she says. “I believe in making lifestyle changes and doing it the healthy way.”Horizontal-DSCN1502

Bradley describes healthy weight loss as a lifestyle that includes exercise and healthy eating. She says that she is the poster child for sustained weight loss.

“I love exercising, and I love trying to eat healthy,” she says. “By doing it the healthy way, I’ve lost it and kept it off for more than seven years.”

Bradley began her exercise regime participating in a cardio-kickboxing class taught by Randy Williams, but after several years and fewer pounds under her belt, she asked the instructor if she could fill in for him teaching the class.

Jenny Bradley leads fitness classes in West Liberty. She is one of many instructors teaching local classes.

Jenny Bradley leads fitness classes in West Liberty. She is one of many instructors teaching local classes.

She says the move was a win-win for her because it made her accountable to exercise on a regular basis and helped her overcome her fear of getting up in front of people. She and Williams have been teaching the class for three years at Williams Karate Studio in West Liberty. She has now added a Zumba class, which is a combination of dance and aerobics. She also offers a new Pound fitness class, which Bradley describes as an aerobic class using rip-stix (weighted drumsticks) for resistance.

Cardio-kickboxing class is held every Tuesday and Thursday at 5:15 p.m. Zumba follows on the same days at 6 p.m. Bradley also teaches a Zumba class at 9:30 a.m. on Saturdays. The pound fitness class is held on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6 p.m.

“I want to be there for the community and make sure the people in West Liberty always have a place to exercise,” she says.

Finding fitness

Looking to get fit in 2014? There are multiple fitness classes in the area. 

Morgan County

Williams Karate Studio, West Liberty

Instructor: Jenny Bradley

  • Cardio-Kickboxing: Tue. and Thu. at 5:15 p.m.
  • Zumba: Tue. and Thu. at 6 p.m., Sat. at 9:30 a.m.
  • Pound Fitness: Mon. and Wed. at 6 p.m., Sat. at 10:30 a.m.

Board of Education Building

  • Pound Fitness: Mon. and Wed. at 5:15 and 6 p.m.

Menifee County

Menifee County Wellness Center

Instructor: Melissa Wells

  • Zumba: Mon. and Wed. at 6 p.m.

Elliott County

Wilson’s Fitness Gym, Sandy Hook

Instructor: Pam Hutchinson

  • Zumba: Mon. and Wed. at 5 p.m.
  • Circuit Boot Camp: Wed. at 6:30 p.m.
  • Zumba-Instructor Sarah Whitt, Thu. at 6:30  p.m.

Wolfe County

Wolfe County Community Center

Instructor: Kathy May

  • Cardio-Kickboxing: Mon. at 5:30 p.m.

Campton Elementary School

Instructor: Kathy May

  • Zumba: Thu. at 5:30 p.m.

U.S. Coal: high-tech mining

By Brian Lazenby

Harnessing advances in technology enables U.S. Coal to increase efficiency while ensuring they meet federal environmental standards.

Harnessing advances in technology enables U.S. Coal to increase efficiency while ensuring they meet federal environmental standards.

A large machine sits at the base of the highwall of a mining operation extracting coal from the seam, when suddenly a part begins to fail. Like something out of a science fiction novel, the machine recognizes the problem and sends a digital message to its manufacturer requesting a replacement part — before machine operators even know there is a problem.

Long gone are the days when men with black-stained faces tunneled underground to dig chunks of coal with pick axes and load them into mining cars. Coal mining today is a high-tech business, and one of the most important new tools of the trade is broadband Internet.

“This is far from the days of good ol’ boys moving rock,” says U.S. Coal President and Chief Executive Officer John Collins. “Virtually everything we do involves technology in some manner.”

Increased demand on coal production means mining operations like U.S. Coal in West Liberty are looking for ways to cut costs and boost output. Broadband Internet is helping them achieve this goal.

U.S. Coal controls about 80,000 acres of coal reserves in Eastern Kentucky and has divisional offices in West Liberty, Coldiron, Catlettsburg and Lexington. They have four surface mines, two coal prep plants and two highwall miners. Collins says all the offices and mining sites are linked with broadband, which enables them to operate more efficiently than ever before.

Reporting efficiency

Coal mining is a highly regulated industry, and because it is monitored so closely, companies must file countless reports regarding air and water quality. Broadband enables U.S. Coal to file the data quickly and efficiently.

U.S. Coal is using technology that allows equipment to self-diagnose mechanical problems and order its own parts for repair.

U.S. Coal is using technology that allows equipment to self-diagnose mechanical problems and order its own parts for repair.

In the past, reports were generally sent by fax or even by mail. But now, the Internet is the standard method of conveying information to regulatory agencies.

“It has gotten to where we can’t turn our reports in any other way,” says U.S. Coal Manager of Engineering Steve Blevins. “It is required to be sent via the Internet.”

U.S. Coal uses broadband for quality control as well, producing numerous internal reports to determine the efficiency of its mining operations. They closely monitor the number of loads the equipment moves each day and analyze the data frequently so managers can make on-the-spot determinations about factors that may cause the equipment to operate more efficiently. Data is collected, reports generated and information transmitted instantly via broadband to managers in the field.

“Information is key, and quick information is vital,” Blevins says. “We are in constant contact with all our operations.


There are many different types of mining methods, and the method chosen to mine a specific area is largely determined by the geology of the coal deposit. But one thing is certain: coal mining is more technologically advanced than it has ever been before.

U.S. Coal President and Chief Executive Officer John Collins (left) and Engineering Manager Steve Blevins understand the importance of embracing technology.

U.S. Coal President and Chief Executive Officer John Collins (left) and Engineering Manager Steve Blevins understand the importance of embracing technology.

Miners are highly skilled, and the equipment they use is complex and highly advanced. The productivity of a mining operation is dependent upon the equipment operating correctly and as efficiently as possible. When a piece of equipment malfunctions, it costs the company time and money.

One of the most remarkable technological advances is reducing the amount of time equipment is inoperable. In the past, mechanics would be called in to try and diagnose the problem. They would then have to determine what parts would need to be replaced, look up part numbers and order them from the manufacturer.

Now, much of the equipment reacts quicker than its operators or mechanics. Blevins says the machinery is so advanced that it reacts on its own to the slightest malfunction

“The machinery can detect problems itself,” Blevins says. “It diagnoses its own problem and notifies the manufacturer when it needs a certain part.”

This may sound like science fiction, but to U.S. Coal, it means less downtime which ultimately results in higher efficiency and better production.”

Coal communications

In addition to sending reports via high-speed Internet and having machines that can almost repair themselves, U.S. Coal is embracing broadband technology to complete the routine tasks, too.

Collins (left) and Blevins review maps of U.S. Coal’s holdings. Broadband technology keeps them all connected.

Collins (left) and Blevins review maps of U.S. Coal’s holdings. Broadband technology keeps them all connected.

The ownership structure at U.S. Coal includes both domestic investors and stakeholders that hail from abroad. Internet is a vital component that enables everyone to be present for board meetings.

Video conferencing is required to connect all the principals. It is also used for meetings involving managers from various mining sites.

All of U.S. Coal’s more than 300 employees are paid by electronic deposit directly into their bank accounts, which would not be possible without a secure broadband connection, like the one provided by Mountain Telephone.

Coal officials communicate via email and access regulations on the Internet.

“It has just about gotten to where paper is going away,” Collins says. “We are totally dependent on technology.”

2014 Mountain Telephone scholarships now available

Each year an independent committee typically selects four students from Wolfe, Morgan, Menifee and Elliott counties and one student from Bath County to receive a $3,000 four-year scholarship to offset the cost of tuition and books. The scholarships are awarded based on grade point average and a written essay.

Mountain Telephone has awarded scholarships since 1988, when it first partnered with Morehead State University. Through the partnership, students receiving scholarships must attend MSU. Mountain will pay half of the scholarship funds, and MSU will cover the remainder. Over the past 25 years, Mountain has awarded scholarships to more than 400 students.

Application forms are mailed to every high school senior in all our served counties. If anyone has not received an application, they can print one at www.mrtc.com or they can get one from their school guidance counselor. For more information call 606-743-3121.

Fiber project nears completion

Mountain Telephone is on track to complete its fiber-to-the-home project on time and under budget.

Rick Pelfrey, plant manager at Mountain Telephone, says crews are only a couple of months away from completing the project despite winter weather that delayed work to the main fiber network.

MRTC’s Jerry Hampton cuts residents over to the fiber network in the final step in Mountain’s fiber-to-the-home project.

MRTC’s Jerry Hampton cuts residents over to the fiber network in the final step in Mountain’s fiber-to-the-home project.

“We don’t allow our crews to do work on fiber when the temperature is below freezing,” Pelfrey says. “The fiber can become brittle, and it can be damaged.”

Despite delays, Pelfrey says the project’s estimated completion date has not changed. He expects it will be complete this spring.

“We hope to finish all cutover this spring,” he says. “We feel we can do this because our cutover crews are keeping up with construction crews.”

Construction is finished on the Sandy Hook Phase V contract, Pelfrey says. Crews are in the process of cutting residents over to the new network.

Fiber buildout continues for the Sandy Hook Phase IV project, which was delayed due to a Department of Transportation road-widening project. The DOT project is complete and fiber work is underway.

In the Frenchburg Phase V project, crews are about 80 percent complete.

Mountain’s fiber-to-the-home project appears to be on budget.

“We might have enough money left over to build some additional fiber,” Pelfrey says. “Our in-house crews continue building fiber, and any new customers, video (television) customers and DSL customers are all going to fiber.”

Mountain Telephone members who have been cut over to the fiber network but do not have all the voice, broadband data and HD video services Mountain offers are not getting the full benefits of fiber technology. Members are encouraged to call Mountain’s business office at 606 743-3121 to learn more and place an order today.

Connecting you to the future

Shayne Ison

General Manager

It has been almost 30 years since our imaginations were captured by the movie “Back to the Future.” One of the reasons it became the top-grossing film of 1985 is that we as humans are fascinated with the idea of seeing what the future holds.

Shayne Ison

Shayne Ison

Spend a few minutes online searching for news articles covering the recent Consumer Electronic Show (CES), and you will start to get a fairly clear picture of the future. The show is billed as “the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies.”

Josh Seidemann is director of policy for our national trade group, NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association. He attended CES and kept rural telcos informed about what he saw. “You cannot leave CES without the growing sense that beginning now we are becoming increasingly connected to machines that measure, analyze and interpret our data,” wrote Seidemann at ntca.org/new-edge. “So, if I had to describe what impressed me the most, it would not be any particular product — rather, it is the proliferation of connected devices and how normal their use will become.”

Even if we’d had a time-traveling DeLorean, it would have been difficult to predict all this connectivity. In the early days of the Internet, even the tech leaders were short-sighted. Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com and inventor of Ethernet technology, wrote in a magazine column in 1995 that “I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.”

I think it’s safe to say, 17 years later, that the Internet is here to stay.

When we first rolled out Internet service in this region, no one could have foreseen the level of connectedness we are seeing today. Already, many households have simple devices they can control with their smartphones or tablets, including security cameras and lighting controls. But change is coming fast. Think about some of these products displayed at CES, and how you might use them in your home:

  •  An infant sleep monitor that fits into a chest pocket of a baby’s clothing, tracking breathing, temperature and even how the baby is positioned, sending all this information to your mobile device
  • A simple heart monitor you can wear comfortably that will send your electrocardiogram to your smartphone and to a physician to monitor your heart remotely
  • A tiny device you can wear that will record information about your movement and activities, then display the information in an app

All this talk of the future emphasizes an important point. As your telecommunications company, we don’t know what’s coming — but through the network we are building, we are committed to equipping you to fully participate in all the future has to offer.

I think Seidemann said it best: “Sure, we could live without all the technology, but you could also hike down to the creek with a washboard to launder your old socks. Fact is, we expect electricity, we expect water, we expect broadband.” I couldn’t agree more.

Sweet potatoes get their day in the sun

Sweet potatoes — they’re not just for holiday meals anymore. With the popularity of sweet potato chips and fries, more farmers are growing them than ever before and more consumers are enjoying them year round.

Evelyn Rudd

Evelyn Rudd

Evelyn Rudd has lived her life in Benton, Ky., a town that has an affinity for the once-lowly spud. There was a time when farmers came in droves to sell their sweet potatoes on the town square. Soon, it grew into a huge community event. Now, 170 years later, the folks of Benton roll out the red carpet in honor of sweet potatoes.

“In the past, there was a huge focus on sweet potatoes and people selling them,” Evelyn recalls. Now, she says, it draws vendors selling a variety of food and wares. It’s a festival atmosphere that draws crowds from in town and out. “The whole town shuts down.”

Evelyn grew up eating sweet potatoes. Her mother had a garden, and the family ate them year round. “I’ve always loved them,” she says.

For decades, Americans mainly consumed sweet potatoes in casseroles flowing with butter and marshmallows on Thanksgiving and Christmas, resulting in dishes full of flavor, but also fat and calories. In recent years, however, this mainstay of southern agriculture has charted new territories — on restaurant menus, in healthy drinks and as frozen french fries and tater tots on grocery store aisles.

Sweet potatoes are loaded with nutrition. Just one cup of mashed sweet potatoes gives you healthy doses of vitamin A, critical for eye health, and vitamin B6, needed for heart health. So eating them with as few additives as possible is the healthiest way to go.

“Most of the time I bake them like a regular baked potato, but I top them with butter and cinnamon or nutmeg,” says Evelyn.

Just like any good cook, she has a library of cookbooks, their pages dog-eared and stained through years of use, the mark of any seasoned cook. And it’s her sweet potato recipes that get the most use.

“There’s just something about Kentucky soil that makes our sweet potatoes even sweeter,” she says.

Perfect pies, super soufflés

Sweet potato pie

Sweet Potato Pie photo1/4  cup butter
1/2  cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream together butter and sugar. Add hot potatoes and eggs. Mix well. Mix in syrup, milk, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour into a 9-inch unbaked pie crust. Bake 10 minutes at 425º F. Reduce heat to 325º F and bake until done.

Caramel sweet potato soufflé


3 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Caramel sauce:

1 1/2 cups white sugar, divided
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter

For soufflé: Mix all soufflé ingredients, pour into soufflé dish or casserole and bake at 350° F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and, while still warm, top with caramel sauce and serve.

To make caramel sauce: Caramelize 1/2 cup sugar by putting in skillet over medium heat; cook, stirring, until sugar is golden brown; set aside. In separate pan, add 1 cup sugar to milk and cook slowly until bubbly; add butter and stir until melted and combined. Mix in caramelized sugar, stirring to combine. Pour over sweet potatoes. 

Sweet Potato Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
2 eggs
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Mix together dry ingredients; add eggs, sweet potatoes, milk and olive oil; mix until thoroughly blended. Stir in nuts, then pour into a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan. Bake in preheated 350° F oven for 1 hour 15 minutes (if using a dark nonstick pan reduce oven heat to 325° F). Check for doneness by inserting toothpick in center of loaf. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Sweet Potato Cobbler

2 cups thinly sliced sweet potatoes
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
Nutmeg, to taste

Bring sweet potatoes and water to boil, cooking until tender; drain potatoes, then add 1 cup sugar and butter; set aside. In separate bowl, mix together oil, 1/2 cup sugar, flour and milk; pour into greased baking dish. Add hot sweet potatoes over batter. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake in 350° F oven for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Crust will envelope sweet potatoes as cobbler cooks. 

Tater Day

The Kiwanis Club of Benton, Ky., is gearing up for its biggest event of the year, bigstock-Fresh-Organic-Orange-Sweet-Pot-41406793the annual Tater Day, celebrating the town’s beloved relationship with sweet potatoes. It’s always held on the first Monday in April, which this year falls on April 7. Now in its 170th year, it continues to grow in popularity. Folks from near and far come for a day of old-fashioned fun. The town closes up and the festival opens with a big parade.

It all started when local farmers would bring their sweet potatoes and their potato slips to the court square to sell them. There are still a few vendors who sell sweet potatoes, but these days it’s more about having fun and enjoying horse races, mule pulls and other contests, including the always-popular barbecue cook-off. It’s a day for old-fashioned fun sponsored by the Benton Kiwanis Club. For more information or to see what’s cooking for the 2014 Tater Day, log onto www.bentonkykiwanisclub.org.

Coming around to sweet potatoes

By Anne P. Braly
Food Editor


Anne P. Braly

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with sweet potatoes for 10 years. The 40 years before that, it was mostly the latter. I never cared for them. My parents once tried to convince me that a baked sweet potato was just as good as a baked Idaho potato. Never fell for that one. But that’s my bad.

It was about a decade ago, though, that sweet potato fries became trendy in restaurants. And chefs began using them in place of white potatoes when they served roasted vegetables. And of course, there are the bags of sweet potato chips that are hard to resist. Oh, and I can never tire of Ruth’s Chris Steak House’s sweet potato casserole as a side dish or dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. They contain lots of fiber and vitamins B6, C and E. They have almost double the amount of potassium as a banana, and are loaded with beta carotene which our bodies convert into vitamin A. Those tubers appear to be health-boosting ninjas.

So if you can eat one without all the fat added through frying or with all the fattening additives used in making a casserole, more power — and good health — to you.

Email Anne Braly at apbraly@gmail.com

One piece at a time

Factory tours offer a glimpse of the hard work needed to create the products America loves 

By Patrick Smith

Headlines may say America’s manufacturing base is slowly dwindling, but across the Southeast there are thousands of businesses creating the products that people drive, play, eat and otherwise use everyday.  From the popularization of the assembly line by Henry Ford in the early 1900s to the thousands of robots that help to manufacture today’s vehicles, factories can be one of the best examples of American ingenuity — and fascinating places to visit. Not all of the factories spread throughout the South offer tours, but here are a few that are built to please visitors.

Brochure-OutsideGibson Guitar – Memphis, Tenn.

Long before a man named Les Paul revolutionized the sound of the electric guitar, Gibson was creating some of the world’s best musical instruments. Today, Gibson’s instruments are still shaping the world of music, including their signature solid-body Les Paul models. See the wood transform into a musical masterpiece as visitors to Gibson Beale Street Showcase in Memphis, Tenn., watch the skilled luthiers go through the intricate process of binding, neck-fitting, painting, buffing and tuning the classic instruments. If Memphis is too far away, Gibson’s Nashville store in Opry Mills Mall showcases craftsmen building guitars throughout the week.

More information: www2.gibson.com/Gibson/Gibson-Tours.aspx

Louisville Slugger – Louisville, Ky.

33376_Slugger Factory Tour VideoProduction StillsCelebrating America’s pastime could be difficult without the creation of Bud Hillerich. Along with his partner Frank Bradsby, Hillerich popularized the baseball bat and by 1923 they were selling more bats than any of their competitors. For most familiar with the sport, their creation – known today as the Louisville Slugger – has become as synonymous with the game of baseball as the player’s glove and a fan’s hot dog. Patrons can take a guided tour through the entire process – visitors even receive a free miniature Louisville Slugger bat – at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory in Louisville, Ky.

More information: www.sluggermuseum.com

Mayfield Dairy – Athens, Tenn.

From their humble beginnings in 1910 with 45 Jersey cows, Mayfield has grown into one of America’s treasured dairy brands — all while keeping the family-owned business based in small town Athens, Tenn. The educational, behind-the-scenes tour walks visitors through the history of the brand and the creation of their delicious milk, ice cream and many other products. Didn’t get your fill of ice cream? Just 20 minutes away, travelers can visit Sweetwater Valley Farm and see how a modern dairy farm operates.

More information: www.mayfielddairy.com and www.sweetwatervalley.com/tours.html

CTG tea fields and oak treeCharleston Tea Plantation – Wadmalaw Island, S.C.

With the beautiful setting in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, enjoying a cup of tea is practically a bonus rather than the main attraction at the Charleston Tea Plantation in Wadmalaw Island, S.C. During a factory tour, visitors can not only see how American Classic Tea is made, but they can also take a trolley ride through more than 127 acres of farmland with breathtaking Camellia Sinensis tea plants as far as the eye can see.

More information: www.charlestonteaplantation.com/tours/factory-tours.aspx

Golden Flake – Birmingham, Ala.

Once endorsed by legendary Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, Golden Flake snack foods still hold true to their Southern roots at their operation in Birmingham, Ala. Would you believe that more than 1 million pounds of chipping potatoes are processed in a normal week at their factory? Guests can follow the process as potatoes and corn sweep through conveyor belts to create and fill up to 100 bags per minute of finished snack foods, which are then ready to be shipped to convenience stores throughout their 12-state market.

More information: www.goldenflake.com/walkingtour.html

Toyota – Georgetown, Ky.

Outside of Japan, car enthusiasts can find Toyota’s largest vehicle manufacturing plant in the Bluegrass state. Employing more than 7,000 workers and producing nearly 2,000 vehicles every day, Toyota’s Georgetown, Ky., facility covers 7.5 million square feet of floor space — the equivalent of 156 football fields. Visitors can see the five different vehicles and three engine models being built during the roughly two-hour plant tour.

More information: www.toyotageorgetown.com/tour.asp

Still want to see more? Each of these factories have tours available:

  • Honda Manufacturing in Lincoln, AL
  • Hyundai Manufacturing in Montgomery, AL
  • Blue Bell Ice Cream in Sylacauga, AL
  • George Dickel Tennessee Whisky in Normandy, TN
  • Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, TN
  • Ale-8-1 soft drink in Winchester, KY
  • Rebecca-Ruth Candies in Frankfort, KY
  • General Motors Corvette Manufacturing in Bowling Green, KY
  • Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, KY


Looking for a good outdoor project this spring? Plant a tree!

bigstock-Tree-in-hands-55696661As spring arrives, homeowners start thinking about outdoor do-it-yourself projects that will add to the enjoyment of their homes while increasing its value.

One of the best investments a homeowner can make isn’t a swimming pool or a deck. Planting trees, when done correctly, will deliver pleasure — and financial rewards — for years to come.

The secret to tree-planting success, however, is two-fold: planting the right tree in the right location.

The Right Tree

There are many factors to consider when selecting a tree to plant on your property:

  • How tall will it grow?
  • How fast will it grow?
  • How much sun does it need?
  • What shape will it be at maturity?
  • What temperature extremes can it withstand?

Visit www.arborday.org/states and click on your state to learn what hardiness zone you live in and what trees grow well in your area.

The Right Location

If you select the perfect tree but plant it in the wrong spot, you could cause problems for yourself, your neighbors and even utility workers in the future.

bigstock-Isolated-Chickadee-On-A-Stump-47425411The illustration below shows what could be the most important tip in adding trees to your property. Never plant trees near a utility pole if those trees will grow more than 25 feet in height. Limbs growing into telecommunications or electricity lines can interrupt service for you and your neighbors, as well as cause additional work (sometimes dangerous work) for those who maintain the utility lines.

A pick and a shovel will be helpful, but the most important tool when planting trees is information. Your local nursery is often a great place to learn more about the varieties that grow well in your community. Every state has a forestry commission or department. And the Arbor Day Foundation (www.arborday.org) is one of the best-known resources to help homeowners make good tree-planting decisions.

Why plant a tree?*

  • Trees can add value to your home — as much as 15% by some estimates.
  • Trees can lower your heating bills by 10-20%.
  • Trees can lower your cooling bills by 15-35%.
  • Trees can provide shelter and food for songbirds and other wildlife.

*Source: www.arborday.org



Before you plant a tree:

  • Look up to make sure the tree you are planting is far enough away from utility lines.
  • Call “811” to have underground utilities located, to ensure you don’t dig into lines. You could interrupt power, broadband, phone, gas or water for you and your neighbors!