January 9, 2006
Kaiser, right, editor of Country Woman magazine, works
with Paula Crabtree to collect spinach breeding
selections from a nursery at the University of Arkanas
Division of Agriculture’s Vegetable Substation at
Kibler. Kaiser writes a regular feature for the magazine
about working alongside woman in agriculture-related
jobs. Kaiser said an article about her visit to the
Kibler station will likely appear in an upcoming fall or
spring issue of Country Woman.
Ann Kaiser, editor of
magazine likes digging her hands into other people’s dirt. So
she fit in smoothly with the crew collecting spinach-breeding
selections at the University of
Arkansas Division of Agriculture’s Vegetable Substation.
“I don’t mind getting my hands dirty,” Kaiser said during a
visit to the Vegetable Substation Jan. 5. “I like hard work.”
Kaiser writes a regular feature for Country Woman that she calls
a “diary report” about a day spent working alongside one of the
magazine’s subscribers. She was invited to visit the station by
Paula Crabtree, administrative assistant.
“Paula wrote me a wonderful
letter,” Kaiser said. “I was intrigued because she operates a
farm with her family, and also has this other job as an
administrative assistant at an agriculture research station who
also goes to the field to work alongside the rest of the crew.”
The day began in a greenhouse where Kaiser joined Crabtree and
the rest of the station’s crew to pot collards selected from
breeding lines by Dr. Teddy Morelock, UA vegetable breeder.
Later, the work moved outside to spinach breeding plots.
“I was impressed by the teamwork here, the way everyone works
together to get the job done.” Kaiser said.
Working alongside Crabtree and the other staff members, Kaiser
trimmed off the leaves, dug up the plants and transferred them
to pots. The potted spinach and collard selections will be grown
for seed that will be planted in test plots for continued
evaluation as possible new varieties.
Selected plants are evaluated for consistent yield, disease
resistance, processing quality and other characteristics that
may make them desirable for commercial production, Morelock
Morelock said he is growing about 400-500 different breeding
lines of spinach in nurseries at the Vegetable Substation and
the Arkansas Agricultural Research and Extension Center in
Fayetteville. His program has released 9 varieties of spinach.
The latest releases were two varieties last December named
Evergreen and F415.
“Our spinach varieties are valued throughout the South for their
resistance to white rust,” Morelock said. The fungal disease is
common in southern states and can devastate a crop.
Kaiser had no experience in agriculture before going to work for
the magazine 34 years ago, when it was known as Farm Wife. She
said she has learned a great deal about the industry since then
through her experiences working with women in agriculture.
“I didn’t know there were places like this, that do this kind of
work,” Kaiser said. “You’re developing the foods that feed the
Country Woman has a circulation of about 1.5 million and is
published by Reiman Publications of Greendale, Wisconsin.