From the Farm - Animals are smart

By CAROL SOULE

There were clearly pig tracks in the dirt and the decorative pumpkins in front of the store had been eaten but there were no loose pigs. The empty scrap buckets stacked in front of the barn were tipped over and snout marks covered the bottoms of the containers but there was not a pig in sight.
Every night we push the pigs out of their huts, clean the floors and feed pans. Then we fill the pans with food while the pigs watch eagerly from the doorway. The rule, that most of them follow, is to wait patiently until the pans are filled. Then on the command, "OK," they pile into the pen to eat. Those that jump in too soon are shooed out and have to go to the end of the line so there is an incentive to being patient. Then when we leave the pig hut we try to remember to relatch the pen doors and put up the electric fence wire.
That night either we forgot to latch the door, or the pigs figured out how to unlatch the door, because that morning their pen door was open, wide open. Inside the pen, I counted 10 sleeping 200-pound pigs snuggled in their hay. The night before they had made their great escape, walked uphill to the house, smashed the pumpkins, rooted in the garden, then put themselves back in their pen without anyone noticing or hearing them. When I saw them they looked up lazily at me as if to say, "What pumpkins? We don't know anything about pumpkins. We don't know who opened the door? Wasn't us. We've been here all night. Must have been some other pigs."
The pigs were smart enough to put themselves away, but cows are smart too. One time I was trying to bring a working steer pair, Lou and JoJo, back from a remote pasture. I easily caught JoJo and tied him in the trailer. Lou was not so cooperative. He walked around and around the trailer, just ahead of me, never slowing down so I could put a halter on him. After 15 minutes of this low-speed chase, he walked to the back of the trailer, looked in at JoJo and jumped in the trailer to join his buddy! Exactly what I wanted him to do.
Animals are smart and sometimes seem to be mind readers. This works most of the time, until they read my mind and decide to do exactly the opposite of what I want. I think we often underestimate them. They have all day to observe humans and lots of time to watch what we do. Those of you with dogs and cats know what I'm talking about. The best we can do is acknowledge our animal's intelligence and not underestimate what they'll do. Those pigs, after a night on the farm, put themselves away and Lou, the Highlander steer, knew I wanted him in the trailer.
Maybe it's not too late to teach an old farmer new tricks. My animals sure are trying.


Carole Soule is co-owner of Miles Smith Farm, in Loudon, NH, where she raises and sells beef, pork, lamb, eggs and other local products. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Some pigs managed to escape their pens, get into everything, and then put themselves away again. (Courtesy photo)

Gilford Middle School lists honor roll

GILFORD — The following students have been named to the first-trimester honor roll at Gilford Middle School for the 2017-18 school year:

Grade 5
High Academic Honors: Hunter Bell, Clark Blackwelder, Anna Coapland, Georgia Eckhardt, Kendall Myers, Kaegan Sanville, Benjamin Wolpin.
Academic Honors: Rachel Beck, Makenna Clayton, Mallory Daley, Leah Davignon, Charlotte Dubravsky, Kyle Gandini, Carter Gelo, Michael Giovanditto, Molly Hagan, Finbar Harris, Gavin Irons, Madeline Isabelle, Micah Javalgi, Harry Jenkins, Isabelle Johnson, Olivia Keenan, Grace Kelly, Carter LaLiberte, McKenzie Leroux, Ava Lien, Sadie Lydick, Carson McGreevy, Lauren Nazer, Addison Normandin, Kaitlyn O’Brien, Lamija Pintol, Sophie Powers, Alana Sawyer, Benjamin Selfridge, Aiden Suarez, Brody Testa, Josiah Valentine.

Grade 6
High Academic Honors: Elizabeth Albert, Aiden Bondaz, Caroline Colby, Samantha Dahl, Michael Guerin, Ryan Guyer, Hauker Karlsson, Abigail Kenyon, Rosabella Lesniak, Abigail Seal, Benjamin Suranyi.
Academic Honors: Sidney Bartlett, Ean Bickford, Noah Bolduc, Evan Carey, Grace Cook, Benjamin Czerwinski, Sienna Diaz, Sydney Eastman, Carter Forest, Kassie Gard, Karson Genakos, Caleb Giovanditto, Kimberly Griffin, Caroline Guest,
Madelyn Guest, Lela Hodgkins, Hayley Jeffreys, Tanner Keenan, Scott Kulcsar, Eva Lacey, Charlotte Lehr, Alison Liakas, Vincent Marcella, Allison Marshall, Emma McBride, Andrew McDonough, Ellie Nicolas, Riley Powers, Isaiah Reese, Rylee Rizzitano, Chloe Romprey, Jaimen Sawyer, Lydia Stefan, Rylee Stefan, Henry Stow, Madison Talbot, Alden Townsend, Ryan Turmel, Benjamin Weismantel, Addy Wernig.

Grade 7
High Academic Honors: Samuel Cheek, Murphy Harris, Madison Hazelton, Sydney Irons, Michael Kitto, Riley Logan, Camryn Marshall, Madison Nash, Lauryn Nash-Boucher, Savannah Neuman, Jesse Powers, Ethan Roys, Ashley Sanderson, Lily Tierno, Taryn Wernig.
Academic Honors: John Blandford, Trey Bourgeois, Jordyn Byars, Tyler Davignon, Gabriella DeCarli, Carson DeHart, Dane DeHart, Taylor Dillon, Allison Ellis, Alexandra Fay, Vanessa Flanders, Lauren Gallant, Patrick Gandini, Nathan Griffeth, Owen Guerin, Lacey Houle, Cole Howard, Stratford Kenny, Allison Kenyon, Tyler Lafond, Samuel Leggett, Landon Lewis, Hailey McKenna, Michelangelo Mitchell, Emily Moynahan, Brenna O’Connor, Harshil Patel, Alysen Pichette, Jalen Reese, Tyler Rizzitano, Joseph Schelb, Lexi Shute, Tessa Tanner, Avery Totten, Maria Uicker, Emily Watson.

Grade 8
High Academic Honors: Shealagh Brown, Vanessa Genakos, Nicole Green, Avery Marshall, Harper Meehan, Harry Meehan, Mackenzie Roys, Mitchell Townsend.
Academic Honors: Nicole Bahder, Eva Bondaz, Jack Cennamo, Anna Cook, Caitlyn Costa, Joshua Dery, Kaleena Dyer, Tyler Hazelton, Ashley Kulcsar, Zoe Lehneman, Sophia Lehr, Riley Marsh, Aidan McBey, Riley McDonough, Bradley McIntire, Molly McLean, Owen Nelson, Ethan Nowack, Lauren Sikoski, Catherine Stow, Sarah Strickrott, Ruby Tinsley.

Meredith Rotary Club announces scholarships

MEREDITH — The Meredith Rotary Club has announced the availability of a limited number of scholarships to deserving individuals who are seeking new careers due to changes in their personal situation or are preparing to switch to careers in service oriented fields. These Scholarships are granted on a one-time basis. Scholarship and tuition reimbursement awards will range from $600 to $1,200.

Applicants must meet the following qualifications: they must live or work in the towns of Meredith, Center Harbor, Moultonborough, Center Sandwich or Sandwich;  they must be accepted to an accredited college or enrolled in a degree certification program in a recognized educational institution (or be able to demonstrate the need for the course they are taking.); they should be able to demonstrate financial need and a commitment to their chosen field;  and they must provide references to support their applications.

Applications are due no later than Jan. 19. Application forms with complete information can be downloaded from the Meredith Rotary website www.meredithrotary.com (click on the section Meredith Rotary Club, then click on Scholarships) or by mail from The Rotary Club of Meredith, PO Box 1210, Meredith, NH 03253. (ATTN: Scholarship Committee).

The Meredith Rotary Club was founded in 1928, and established the Great Meredith Rotary Ice Fishing Derby as its major fund raiser in 1978. The funds that are raised through the Ice Fishing Derby and the Golf Classic enable our club to support the local communities with donations to the Food Pantry, Senior Center, the New Hampshire Veteran's Home, scholarships to traditional and non-traditional students, and other worthy causes. Club members include men and women from the community who have experience with a wide variety of professions including finance, insurance, architecture, law, marketing and farming. For more information visit www.meredithrotary.com or www.rotary.org.

Historical signing

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Warren Huse signs a copy of "Celebrate Laconia," his popular illustrated history of the city recently published by The Laconia Daily Sun, for Fred Clausen, right, owner of Proctor's Lakehouse Cottages in Weirs Beach. John Moynihan, left, of Gilford waits his turn at Laconia Public Library yesterday afternoon. Pam Clark, center left, of the Laconia Historical and Museum Society and Celebrate Laconia, organized the book signing. (Adam Hirshan/Laconia Daily Sun)