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.

Ohio Equine Affaire celebrates 20 years

By Kim Lemmon

Equine Affaire is holding its 20th show this year in Ohio April 11-14, 2013. I can remember attending one of the shows held during the early years in Dayton, Ohio, and marveling at the varying breeds of horses and disciplines of horsemanship that were showcased at the event.

“It’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed since we produced our first event at the Hara Arena Complex in Dayton, Ohio,” said Eugenia Snyder, president and founder of Equine Affaire, Inc. “I created this event with the hope of bringing horse people affiliated with all different breeds and disciplines together in an educational forum and non-competitive environment so that we could share our passion for horses and learn from one another.”

The event’s ability to not only survive but also thrive during the last 20 years of the ups and downs in the equine industry is a testament to the success of the event.… Continue reading

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An alien has landed in a local barn

By Kim Lemmon

Regular readers of my blog already realize that I’m a little crazy and also slightly superstitious. These readers also realize that my superstitions and fears both real and imagined become the most powerful each morning at the precise moment that I walk into my dark barn to feed the horses.

My fears are partly justified due to my past run-ins with skunks and raccoons in my barn; so I’m already a nervous wreck when I crack the door open to my barn and try to reach around for the distant light switch.

Additionally, my very vivid imagination seems to find that dark and spooky moment to be the ideal time to conjure up all kinds of scary images. My mind often runs wild with thoughts of a possible Bigfoot hiding in my barn among other things, and I recently met two nasty looking possums in the barn.… Continue reading

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The cradle-robbing goat

By Kim Lemmon

A friend of mine recently offered to let me watch some of her goats give birth. So, in early-March, I was on “goat call” awaiting some of her Pygmy goats to start giving birth.

One evening, she informed me that a goat was in labor so I hurried over with my camera to record the birth. As usual, the evening turned out a little differently than we had anticipated.

I was able to record the birth of a Pygmy goat doeling but what was unexpected was that another pregnant doe, Pearl, was very interested in the entire birthing process and decided to try to steal the baby and make it her own.

Pearl started by watching Maggie, the goat in labor. Then after every set of contractions, she decided she needed to actually check Maggie to make sure there wasn’t a baby waiting for her.

Pearl become so determined to find a baby that my friend had to eventually put her in “goat jail” so she could no longer reach Maggie.… Continue reading

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There is more than one kind of “March Madness”

By Kim Lemmon

I’m a huge college basketball fan. In particular, I love Ohio State’s men’s basketball team. I try to watch most of their games on TV, and I usually attend one game a year.

For me, the most exciting time of the basketball season is tournament time. I’m always one of the first to fill out my bracket; it is never a winning bracket, but I have a lot of fun with it anyway.

Every year, I look forward to sitting with my bracket and watching as many of the tournament games as possible, but usually something prohibits me from watching as many games as I would like. Often, some form of “March Madness” of the non-basketball type occurs at my home that interferes with my wish to watch the tournament.

This is the first year in nearly half a dozen that I won’t be waiting for goats to kid.… Continue reading

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Jousting knights visit Ohio

By Kim Lemmon

Besides in a movie, I’ve never watched knights compete in a joust, and I never thought I would. Actually, I never expected to spend anytime around folks in armor period, but last Saturday I spent an afternoon watching as knights and their horses performed in Ohio.

A friend invited me to attend an equine event in Sullivan, Ohio, that focused on teaching participants the basics of jousting. The clinic was followed by a jousting demonstration. I didn’t participate in the clinic, but it was obvious from watching the instructors that they were serious about promoting the sport of jousting and teaching it to others. The clinic participants learned much about the sport and practiced many of its basic maneuvers during their day with the knights.

Charlie Andrews of Eagle Mountain, Utah, was the main clinic instructor. He is the owner and captain of the Knights of Mayhem — a jousting team that was featured on the National Geographic Channel a couple of years ago. … Continue reading

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Window-shopping at the Mt. Hope Draft Horse Sale

By Kim Lemmon

I usually attend at least a couple of the draft horse sales held each year in Mt. Hope, Ohio. The sales take place in March, June and October every year, and they never fail to provide great horses to buy, but more importantly to me, plenty of colorful entertainment.

I’m a wallflower, and I like it that way. I can blend in pretty easily with crowds in almost any equine environment, and I enjoy watching the sights, smells, and sounds of all things horse while going unnoticed. One of my favorite places to enjoy my wallflower status while people watching and horse window-shopping is at a Mt. Hope Draft Horse Sale.

During the draft horse sales held three times a year Mt. Hope, harness, wagons, tack, ponies, crossbreds (any breed of light horse or grade drafts or Shires or Clydesdales or ponies), Haflingers, Belgians and Percherons are sold at auction.… Continue reading

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Raising club pigs equals sleepless nights and sore backs

By Kim Lemmon

I don’t miss the endless hours of anticipation and the days of worry that accompany raising all types of livestock, but I do miss watching and assisting as my pygmy goats gave birth to their kids. A friend of mine, Kelly Weikel, who raises club pigs, offered me the perfect solution — she invited me to attend a birth at her barn.

I was pretty excited about the invitation not only because I like baby animals of almost any species but because her farrowing barn is heated. I couldn’t image a better way to spend a few winter hours than in a warm hog barn watching the miracle of birth.

Everything was arranged and as the sow’s due date approached, I made sure to have old clothes and my camera at the ready. I was prepared to make a hasty trip out the door and to Kelly’s house when she gave the word.… Continue reading

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Meeting the “King” from “Swamp People”

By Kim Lemmon

I don’t like extreme heat or humidity, I hate bugs, and I’m not a fan of snakes either. If I ever actually visit the swamps of Louisiana and take a ride through the swamp in a boat, I will probably become motion sick so I doubt I’ll ever actually visit the swamp.

Regardless of my fears and shortcomings, every Thursday evening in February and March when I watch the “King of the Swamp” on “Swamp People” on the History Channel, I feel like I’m in the swamp as I watch my favorite alligator hunters catch gators during the month long-season in Louisiana.

When I helped Dale Minyo give a pizza party to the Logan Elm FFA chapter for winning our video contest, some members of the chapter happened to mention that some stars of “Swamp People” were coming to Ohio. They weren’t sure of the details, but a quick Internet search helped me hunt down “King of the Swamp” Troy Landry and his son Jacob as they made a brief stop on Feb.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farmpark educates non-farm folks

By Kim Lemmon

A short 30-minute drive from downtown Cleveland sets a 235-acre farm dedicated to educating Ohio’s non-farm public about agriculture. The farm has been owned and operated by Lake Metroparks since 1987. It opened to the public in 1990.

Approximately 150,000 people per year visit the Farmpark to learn about life on the farm.

“We introduce hundreds of thousands of visitors and school children from urban and rural areas to farming,” said Andy Baker, Lake Metroparks, Farmpark Administrator. “We are able to introduce visitors to all facets of agriculture.

“They can see a variety of species of farm livestock and a variety of breeds within those species. They also discover a variety of ways of growing vegetables, including hydroponics. Visitors also get a sense of how agriculture has evolved in terms of technology and management.”

With today’s growing trend of fewer farmers with larger farms, it is important to keep all those that work and live away the farm educated about how their food, fiber and energy is produced.… Continue reading

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The 411 on retail hay sales

By Kim Lemmon

A few weeks ago, I walked into one of the local feed stores only to find a fairly large display promoting the sale of small square bales of hay at the store. Three bales of hay were neatly stacked in a nice display with a sign indicating each bale sold for $9.99.

I took a deep breath to absorb my shock and then took a step back and took a quick photo of the display. I called a girlfriend who works in northern Ohio to see what she thought because for her job she visits several feed stores every week. She said she has seen bales of hay selling at retail stores for between $8.99 and $12.99.

I have never purchased hay from anyone other than my local farmer friend, but I am beginning to think that before long, I may be in the minority; so I decided it was time to investigate the increasing trend of buying hay at the local feed store.… Continue reading

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Shirtless: Calf pulling the Dr. Pol way

By Kim Lemmon

“The Incredible Dr. Pol” — A television show about a veterinarian in rural Michigan that also promotes and educates viewers about livestock farmers.

I’m not really a fan of reality TV shows but I do make a couple of exceptions. One of my favorite shows is “The Incredible Dr. Pol.” This series about a 70-something veterinarian in central Michigan is not your normal reality series. From what I’ve seen, it proves to be more realistic and often educational.
Dr. Pol and his wife own a veterinary practice that services both large and small animals. They have about 19,000 clients. Their days are long and extremely busy so Dr. Pol doesn’t have time to mess around.
From what I’ve seen, he treats his clients well and cares a great deal about the animals he treats, but he doesn’t sugar coat anything. Dr. Pol sticks to the facts whether or not the outcome is promising or grave.… Continue reading

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Coyote apocalypse?!?!?

By Kim Lemmon

The extremely cold temperatures and nasty weather this January combined with a persistent sinus infection have led me to spend a lot of time in front of the television this month. I don’t often worry about what is actually on as I just enjoy the sites and sounds as they comfort me while I enjoy a sinus medicine induced semi-coma. The semi-coma is not fun but it is a great improvement over the miseries of illness.

While enjoying one of these semi-comas that allow me the chance to at least breathe through my nose for a while, I realized I was watching a program called “Zombie Apocalypse.” I’ll never know why I didn’t change the channel, but I ended up watching the entire one-hour program that was created to help me prepare and protect myself from what these folks in the show thought of as unavoidable and inevitable — a zombie apocalypse.… Continue reading

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Newborn draft horse foals

By Kim Lemmon

As most of you know, I reached my goal of owning a draft horse a few years ago, but it is a lot more work to care for her and show her than I anticipated.  I’ll probably never do much more than watch and admire the horses and exhibitors at the big shows.

I still love the horses and all that goes with them; I’m just lazy. Recently I’ve started trying to become more involved in the draft horse industry without showing my mare by starting to make friends with folks who do breed, own and show draft horses on a larger scale so I can live through them vicariously.

Barb Watson of Eagle Creek Farm in Montpelier, Ohio, is one of folks I have recently gotten to know a bit better. She was even kind enough to share the photos, which are displayed on this page, of her newborn Percheron foals.… Continue reading

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Sleigh ride in Amish Country

By Kim Lemmon

In early January, my husband, Mark, and I were planning a quick trip to Holmes County, Ohio, to get away for the weekend. Since, at the time, there was already a large amount of snow covering the ground, a friend of mine suggested we take a sleigh ride while we were in Amish Country.

Mark and I checked around and it seemed like the best rate and longest ride for the money was at The Farm at Walnut Creek. I had already visited The Farm last summer and wrote a blog about the experience but Mark had never been to The Farm.

I tried to prepare Mark for how close the animals would be to the sleigh and how many types of animals he would see but I think he thought I was exaggerating. He knew I wanted to take a sleigh ride because of how much I like draft horses so he was just humoring me.… Continue reading

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Unicorns for sale on craigslist

Most of you know by now that I’m a big craiglister. I buy and sell through it, and generally, I just enjoy glancing through the farm and garden category.

Even if I don’t find something to buy, I’m often entertained by the advertisements. Not much of anything is off limits, but even though I look at craiglist all the time, even I was astounded by the following ad that one of my Facebook friends shared:

“2 Unicorns for Sale – $930000 (Hartford)
We are selling 2 purebred unicorns. Male is 3 years old named Pagasus. Female is 5 years old and named Daisy. Price of $930,000 USD is per unicorn.

Unicorns are hand fed from birth, and require just as much attention if you do decide to welcome a unicorn into your home.

We are the only fully licensed unicorn breeder in North America, and are NUBAA certified. Call now to be put on the waiting list, on which wait times start at 9 months out


We also offer unicorn eggs for purchase.”… Continue reading

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2013 draft horse sale dates

By Kim Lemmon

Winter is a great time to plan and dream about your horse goals for next summer. Whether or not you are planning on adding to your herd of horses or a beginner or spectator, it is always fun to attend draft horses sales.

Some sales offer harness, carts and wagons along with the horse auction. Be sure to check with each sale ahead of time to find out what they will have available. Even if you don’t buy anything, you are sure to have a fun and exciting time and you may learn a few things as well.

Here’s a list of sales for 2013 that is courtesy of the Ohio Percheron Breeders Association. Be sure and let me know if any sales in the Midwest were overlooked. (2013 draft show dates are currently being compiled and will be available soon.)

January 15-16, 2013: Pennsylvania Draft Horse Sale, Harrisburg, Penn.… Continue reading

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Surviving winter while caring for livestock

By Kim Lemmon

I can’t believe it isn’t even January yet and we have had our first major snow already. Sure snow is great if you are a kid that can skip school or you can huddle inside by a fire and read a book but it is not so great if you are trying to care for livestock amid blowing and drifting snow in freezing temperatures.

It is incredibly beautiful to see livestock romp through or stand on top of freshly fallen snow but anyone who cares for livestock knows that is merely the beginning.

Trudging through snowdrifts has never been fun to me, and I can remember icy and snowy days when barn doors would freeze shut and we would have to climb into and over stall walls to get into the barn to feed the horses.

Things are much improved with changes in techknowledgy since I was a kid and this week’s snow really didn’t cause many problems for me.… Continue reading

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Save stamps: Send a Christmas video

By Kim Lemmon

I haven’t sent traditional Christmas cards for several years. Folks may think I’m lazy and cheap but I actually think I’m pretty clever because this year I beat the system; I sent my family a Christmas video.

Check it out and see what you think. I’m a little afraid my young nieces might think Houdini can actually fly.

Of course, since I made the video it is a little unusual but I can’t help it if I have an overactive imagination.

Are Christmas videos the future replacement for the Christmas card? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

Be sure and share this blog with your family and friends who need a little Christmas Spirit.

Merry Christmas!

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Christmas cookie disasters

By Kim Lemmon

Several years ago, a very well meaning individual gave me a recipe for sugar cookies along with cookie cutouts of Christmas characters. Recently, I’ve been cleaning out my kitchen so I just rediscovered this never used recipe and the brand new cookie cutouts.

I’m not really a baker or even a very good cook. In the past, I haven’t often had the time or energy to practice baking or cooking because most of my time has been spent pounding in T-posts or cleaning stalls. But we have lived in our home for about 7 years now, so most of the major projects that I can handle on my own are coming to an end and I have a little more free time.

I haven’t really been using my free time very wisely. It gets cold and dark so early that most evenings I search craigslist for good deals or watch movies.… Continue reading

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Sometimes it pays to gamble

By Kim Lemmon

I’m not a traditional gambler. I’ve visited Vegas a few times but I rarely gamble. When I do gamble, I set a $5 limit. I hate to throw money away.

Mark doesn’t understand my logic. He likes to gamble for entertainment when he’s in Vegas, and it upsets him that I give him such a hard time about his very limited gambling sessions. He says he sees me gamble with livestock all the time.

I guess he is right. In the past, I’ve bought goats and horses not knowing whether or not they are in fact as advertised or in this case, I didn’t know whether the mare I bought as “exposed to a stallion” was actually bred.

I finally decided I couldn’t wait any longer in limbo and I had my vet visit to perform a pregnancy exam. Some folks think you can’t palpate mini mares to determine pregnancy and some vets refuse to do it.… Continue reading

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