Kim Lemmon

Kim Lemmon has been a member of the Ohio's Country Journal staff since 1999. She is currently the manager editor.

Kim graduated from The Ohio State University with a major in Agricultural Communications and a minor in Equine Science. Kim and her husband, Mark, reside in Marion County.

The Lemmons currently own miniature horses. They also breed and raise a few pygmy goats each year.

Kim has owned horses since she was a child and has been involved in many aspects of the horse industry since that time. From 2002 until 2010, Kim operated her own riding lesson program that included coaching 4-H members, adults and a college equestrian program. She is also a former 4-H horse judge.

What does “LOL” mean to you?

It is not uncommon for my husband, Mark, and I to keep in contact with family and friends through text messages, e-mails and Facebook private messages. We do still talk to people on the phone, but sometimes a quick text can take the place of a lengthy conversation.

Recently, we became a little alarmed and confused by the abbreviations family members were tacking onto the end of their text messages. We do routinely use abbreviations ourselves but we know what “LOL” means (of course, Laugh Out Loud) but we couldn’t figure out why family members were laughing at the end of every text. It was especially alarming because some of the text messages had a serious tone to them.

Mark and I discussed it at length and I finally remembered a Facebook post I had seen about a person a generation older than us that thought “LOL” meant Lots of Love.… Continue reading

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Feral hogs photographed in Central Ohio

Though ODNR has yet to confirm feral swine reside in Central Ohio, a Delaware County resident has photographic evidence that hogs reside on his livestock farm.

According to ODNR, “feral swine are a combination of Eurasian wild boar and escaped or neglected domestic swine. Introduced to the United States in 1539, they are now present in at least 35 states. Feral swine cause significant damage directly to agricultural crops and property, as well as natural resources each year. “

Though this particular invasive species may taste good, it is clear the damage feral swine cause far outweighs their deliciousness. Because of the destructive nature of feral hogs, most Ohio residents do not wish to see this form of wildlife on their property.

According to ODNR, “currently, known breeding populations of feral swine have been confirmed in Adams, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Monroe, Ross, Scioto, and Vinton counties.”

Despite the fact that ODNR has yet to verify their presence in Central Ohio, the Delaware County resident that photographed feral hogs on his property has noticed signs of feral hogs for the last several years.… Continue reading

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Percheron Association’s annual Spring Plow Match

On Saturday, April 25, 2015, the Percheron Horse Association of American held their annual Spring Plow Match in Fredericktown, Ohio. Despite the rainy and cold weather, teamsters showed up to compete in the plowing match.

“We had three youth drivers as well, which is very exciting,” said Kristi Wood, executive secretary/treasurer of the Percheron Horse Association of America. “We are excited to start offering more youth programming and youth memberships in 2016.”

Winners of the classes were as follows:

Obstacle Course judged by Lynn MacVey: Dick Rook; Youth winner- Lydia Ingalls
Walking Plow-judged by Robert Sparrow: Joe Reed
Sulky Plow-judged by Robert Sparrow: Tie Joe Reed and Dick Rook; Youth winner-Lydia Ingalls
Log Skidding-judged by Ron Skinner: Dick Rook; Youth winner: Dakota Goodyear
Best Matched Team: Alan Stanley
Best Teamster: Dick Rook
Best Youth: Lydia Ingalls

Photos courtesy of The Percheron Horse Association of America.… Continue reading

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It’s like living with eight toddlers

Most livestock producers are used to large numbers of young and newborn critters roaming their barns and pastures during spring birthing season, but eight baby goats is a record for me.

Due to my smaller sized facilities and pastures, as well as time constraints, I have always kept my goat numbers low. This year I decided to be brave and breed three does to kid at one time (yes, it is a small number, but a record for me) and I was fortunate enough to have eight healthy kids born.

My barn is not overcrowded with eight kids, but they can be a challenge to keep under control. They are so fun and friendly that they insist on all “helping” with everything. Feeding and cleaning times in the barn are doubled as time is taken to make sure everyone receives their fair share of attention.

Stall cleaning is the hardest job to finish.… Continue reading

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OSU to hold Inaugural Online Horse Auction

The students enrolled in the Equine Program at The Ohio State University are gearing up to hold the program’s first online horse auction.  An annual horse sale has been part of the University’s curriculum for years, but damage to the horse facility on main campus several years ago left the program without an indoor riding arena and indoor facilities to host the sale.

“Lack of an indoor facility puts us at the mercy of the weather,” said Dr. Kimberly Cole, Ohio State University Associate Professor and Equine Extension Specialist and instructor of the Equine Facilities, Marketing and Management class.  “We wanted to relieve that pressure and hopefully increase the audience.”

The sale will be held online from April 17 to April 24, 2015.

“We have a sale preview day and open house on April 18 where students are showing their horses throughout the day,” Cole said. “We will also have face painting, a petting zoo, ground roping, hay rides and a silent auction available.”… Continue reading

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Equine Affaire: Horses for all interests and occasions

Equine Affaire will once again take place at the Ohio Expo Center on April 9-12, 2015. Breed demonstrations, clinicians, shopping and competitions are just part of what Equine Affaire can offer to horse enthusiasts.

In addition, to all the shopping and educational opportunities, Equine Affaire will once again host Fantasia, an always entertaining musical horse presentation. Tickets are selling fast for Fantasia and some performances are always sold out.

“The Fantasia is always a special opportunity to witness some truly magical performances,” said Eugenia Snyder, Equine Affaire’s President and Founder.  “After a day-long schedule of clinics and presentations on topics of a more serious nature, the Fantasia gives horse people a chance to connect with horses on a more emotional level.”

The Youth Pavilion will once again provide learning and fun activities for children of all ages. It is a great place to take a break and let the kids have some fun while learning about horses.… Continue reading

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Six steps for starting a poultry flock

I’m not much into birds except when they appear covered in honey mustard sauce on my plate, but I have many friends who raise meat chickens or keep a few laying hens around so I do know that live birds do have their merits.

Despite my aversion to birds in forms other than that presented on a platter, I recently received an interesting press release on starting a poultry flock. The release listed step-by-step procedures for starting a flock that seemed well thought out and important to me so I decided to share the press release below in case a few readers are new to poultry rearing or are thinking of starting a poultry flock.

The following is the press release:
Create a long-term flock-care plan before purchasing new chicks

Families across the country are joining the backyard flock revolution. With a coop, some chicks and a long-term plan of action, a backyard flock brings families fresh, wholesome eggs and the enjoyment of watching a baby chick grow into an egg-laying hen.Continue reading

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Creature weekend is approaching – Send me your photos

My recent blogs about coy wolves and mountain lions have garnered much attention. Some folks think these creatures only live in people’s imaginations while others believe they do indeed live in Ohio.

Since writing these blogs, I have received trail camera photos and stories from hunters. Several of the pictures and first hand accounts do tend to make me wander what is actually hiding in the woods in Ohio.

Due to the attention these blogs have received, I have been invited to attend Creature Weekend May 1-3, 2015 at Salt Fork State Park. Among a schedule packed full of other topics, one of the highlights of Saturday’s meetings is a seminar called “Mystery Mountain Lions & Panthers in the Eastern US.”

I have yet to determine my schedule during the days of Creature Weekend, but even if I cannot attend the event and share the stories and comments readers have sent me via e-mail and website comments, I would like to forward those stories and photos to the event coordinators ahead of time so they can share them with folks that attend Creature Weekend.… Continue reading

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“Expanding goat” and friends deliver unexpected numbers

We were awakened at 4 a.m. by a goat in labor on a day when the temperatures started out below zero and the high was in the single digits. When I bred the goats last fall, I never imagined that in late February the temperatures would be so brutal.

Despite the below zero temperatures, we managed to have three does give birth to a total of eight healthy kids that same morning. By 9:30 a.m., all 11 goats were snuggled up in the utility room in our basement. I know it sounds crazy, but the kids were starting to freeze before we could dry them.

One set of kids and their mother stayed inside for 24 hours. The other two sets benefited from the warmth of the house for 48. Within 50 hours, amazingly, it was like no goat had ever stepped a hoof in the house. We had everything looking and smelling like normal and we were very grateful we had a place that we could temporarily house the newborns and their mothers so that they wouldn’t freeze to death.… Continue reading

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Horsin’ around in the snow

Fred and Darlena Chettle of Wellsville don’t let snow and cold weather keep them from enjoying driving their Percheron horses in the winter.

On the occasion shown in the photos with this blog Fred is driving Ethel, an 11-year-old grey Percheron mare, and Apollo, a coming three-year-old Percheron gelding. Charlie, the farm dog, made sure he didn’t miss out on the fun as well.

“The horses love the snow, and Charlie loves the horses,” Darlena said.

In addition, to having fun with winter drives in the snow, the horses are extensively shown during the summer.

“We show them all summer,” Darlena said. “We show at a county fair about every weekend.”

The Chettles are expecting two foals this year to add to their Percheron herd.

As most of the rest of us maintain the hope that spring is near, Ethel, Apollo and Charlie are probably still hoping for some more snow so they can continue to enjoy this winter pastime.… Continue reading

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Don’t feed wildlife this winter

Looking out a window on a cold winter day to the site of hungry wildlife munching happily on food intentionally provided for them by landowners can create an image that warms the heart and soul. Home and land owners often believe they are helping these creatures during the leaner times of winter by leaving food for them, but according to ODNR the kindness meant by leaving food for wildlife does more harm than good.

“With the exception of feeding songbirds, putting out food for wildlife can hurt more than help,” Wildlife Biologist Donna Daniel said in a press release.

According to Daniel, the practice of feeding wildlife encourages interspecies interaction which can spread disease between the species. Another unintended result of feeding wildlife is that creatures often turn into nuisance animals according to Daniel. Once spring returns, many of the wildlife decide to make the land on which they received free meals during the winter their permanent home.

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Percheron stallion celebrates start of breeding season with snow romp

No matter what kind of  livestock are raised on a farm, birthing and breeding seasons are always exciting times as producers plan for the next generation of animals that will come into the world on their farms.

As it turns out, the people living on the farms aren’t always the only ones that become excited about the start of breeding season. At Windermere Farms, one of their stallions made sure he showed his joy at starting the 2015 breeding season with a joyful snow romp.

Anderson’s Bentley is a three-year-old Percheron stallion that couldn’t think of enough fun ways to express his excitement at starting the breeding season as he strutted his stuff in the snow.

“Bentley” is the current Percheron World Junior Champion Stallion and is the son of a Supreme World Champion, Windermere’s North American Maid “Moose.” “Bentley’s” premier pedigree and show record haven’t ensured a regal personality.

“He is the silliest stallion we have ever had,” said Melissa Allebach of Windermere Farms.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s state parks offer winter fun

Even during the bleak days of an Ohio winter, Ohio’s state parks can offer plenty of fun activities. Fill some of winter’s long dark days by attending events held at Ohio’s state parks this season.

Some activities are held outside while others provide indoor entertainment. No matter whether you enjoy an active lifestyle or just spending time with other Ohioans while remaining indoors, winter events held at Ohio’s state parks can fit the bill.

Below is a list of a few of the events held at state parks throughout Ohio this winter. More information is available at and a complete list of events is at

Hike to Health at Malabar Farm State Park – Enjoy a day viewing the winter sights at Malabar Farm on Saturday, Feb. 21, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Meet at the visitor center to receive maps. After hiking, refreshments will be available at the visitor center conference room.… Continue reading

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Auction buyer tries to stuff three calves in his car

Sometimes I’m really thankful for my Facebook friends, and this would be one of those times. A FB friend from Wisconsin shared the story below that was found in the police report section of one of the local papers.

There’s not much else to say, but holy cow!

“2:50 p.m. Caller in Stanley Township says there is a loose cow. It is in deep snow.

2:59 p.m. Officer advices it may belong to the sales barn.

3:14 p.m. Sales barns says it was sold to a man from Amery. The man was trying to get the cow into the trunk of his car and it go away.

3:32 p.m. Officer says the cow owner couldn’t fit the 800-pound animal in the small car because there was a 400-pound cow in the back seat and one in trunk.

4:17 p.m. Sales barn will take possession of the cow for now.”

COWS IN CARContinue reading

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Preparing for births on small-scale livestock hobby farms

Some reading this blog are probably very experienced livestock producers. For experienced producers, the process of preparing to bring new life onto the farm is nothing new.

However, as the number of new people entering the field of small-scale livestock production increases, more folks are becoming interested in raising small livestock on a small scale in an effort to produce their own food, to complete 4-H or FFA projects or just for a fun hobby. With that in mind, below is a little list of some items handy to have on hand when preparing for the birth of livestock on a hobby farm.

The list is probably far from complete and is not meant as medical advice, but it should be a good starting point for new small-scale livestock producers. Everyone has their own methods and list of most needed birthing preparation items and procedures. Preparation for births should keep in mind each individual’s unique situation on their farm.… Continue reading

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Five reasons to be thankful for winter

Most folks seem to dread winter. I can’t really blame them; as we all know, winter is a really dark, cold and dreary time. I also realize that winter can add extra difficulties when caring for livestock or working outside, and for some it can intensify existing health issues.

As for me though, although I enjoy the sunshine of summer, I do not enjoy the extreme heat that can often accompany it. My body doesn’t care for humidity or temperatures much above 80 degrees. So although I could do without temperatures below zero, I try not to complain too much about winter and focus on the positive aspects it brings to Ohio, because for me, a little snow and cooler temperatures are easier for my body to handle than temperatures above 85 degrees.

To help you beat the winter blues, here’s a list of things about winter that I enjoy.

  1. No bugs.
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The mystery of the expanding Pygmy goat

During winter, I increase the feed I offer to my livestock. As temperatures drop, their caloric needs can increase somewhat as they burn more energy to keep warm and healthy. My goal is to make sure the animals are able to maintain healthy weights during this time when their energy needs increase. I try to avoid having an animal shed its winter coat in the spring to find it has lost significant weight through the winter.

Although my intent is to maintain my livestock’s weights — not increase them — there are always one or two animals that seem to have a somewhat dramatic increase in their waistlines despite my efforts. Reasons for these individuals’ weight gains can range for aging to pregnancy to laziness or to an individual’s need for fewer calories to maintain a health weight. It is always hard to feed the masses and keep everyone on their target weights.… Continue reading

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Yield to crossing Sasquatches

Early in the bleak darkness of one winter morning of 2014, I fed my livestock by the light of the moon. The ground was snow covered and the lighting was low. There was also a bit of a wintery mist in the air.

I was half way through my chores, and in anticipation of turning my horses out for the day, I was carrying flakes of hay to the pens where they spend their days. On my first trip to those pens, I spotted a monster walking past the thicket on my property and toward me. I stopped short and stood motionless as my brain tried to process what I was seeing, because I couldn’t believe my eyes.

“THAT’S A BIGFOOT,” my vision revealed to my brain.

“There’s no such thing,” my brain calmly analyzed.

“But LOOK that creature is walking on two legs toward me,” my eyes again showed my brain.… Continue reading

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Draft horse 2015 sale dates

Here’s a list of some of the draft horse sales that will be held in 2015.  Be sure to follow the links below (when available) for more information and to verify times and dates before you make plans to attend a sale.

January 20-21, 2015: Pennsylvania Draft Horse Sale, Harrisburg, Pa.

February 2, 2015: Special Workhorse Sale, Kalona, Iowa

February 12-13, 2015: Great Lakes Draft Horse Sale, East Lansing, Michigan

February 24-27, 2015: Mid-America Draft Horse Sale, Gifford, Illinois

March 4-6, 2015: Southern Indiana Spring Draft Horse & Carriage Auction, Montgomery, Indiana

March 9-13 2015: Mid-Ohio Carrriage, Pony and Draft  Horse Spring Sale, Mt. Hope, Ohio

March 17-20, 2015: Topeka Draft Horse and Equipment Auction Topeka, Indiana

March 20-21, 2015: Dixie Draft Horse, Mule and Carriage Auction, Troutman North Carolina

March 24-27, 2015: Waverly Midwest Horse Sale, Waverly, Iowa

April 8-10, 2015: Midwest Select Draft Horse Sale, Madison, Wisconsin

April 13-14, 2015: Kalona Spring Draft Horse and Carriage Sale, Kalona, Iowa

April 23-25, 2015: National Clydesdale Sale, St.Continue reading

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Lions and Clydesdales and Sasquatch, OH MY!

2014 has been a very eventful year for all of us at Ohio’s Country Journal/Ohio Ag Net. Keeping Ohioans up-to-date on news important to agriculture is a huge job that involves daily updates to our website, daily radio reports and twice monthly publications of a newspaper.

In addition to all of these vital duties, several of us write weekly blogs for the A few years ago, I became one of those people. It is harder than most folks think to come up with a topic to write about weekly.

Some of my blogs are great, some are OK and despite my best efforts some are not very good at all.  I try to avoid making my blogs feel like a job; I try to make them more fun or entertaining. This has caused quite a controversy with my fellow OCJ/OAN bloggers because, well, they are often astonished at how well some of my more entertaining and less educational blogs are received.… Continue reading

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