Zapf Family Farming 1,144 Acres



Published by the LEAD BELT NEWS, Flat River, St. Francois Co. MO,
Wed. December 9, 1970.

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Mr. and Mrs. John Zapf, Bismarck, are operating a growing 1,144 acre farm business. Behind that expansion has been a goal set by the young couple to expand the farm business by 10 percent a year.

In working toward that goal, the Zapfs have added 708 acres to the farm in the last seven years.

In recognition of their progress in farming, the Zapf family has been named to receive a State Farm Management Award given by the Extension Division of the University of Missouri-Columbia. The Zapfs have a daughter, Sally Jane, 7.

In expanding the farm business, the Zapfs have also diversified. They are producing high yields of corn, wheat, soybeans, milo, hay, pasture, and potatoes. They also have a beef cow herd.

Zapf, 38 years old, returned to the family farm when he got out of the service in 1955.

"Dad and grandpa had always done truck farming," Zapf said. The farm was started in 1895 when his grandfather, Traugott, bought the original 40 acres of Brookside Farm. Early production of fruit and vegetables were delivered to the Lead Belt by team and wagon.

The shortage of labor in World War II forced a cut back in truck crop production on the farm. However, following in the family tradition, Zapf continues to grow 25 acres of potatoes a year.

"John is the only commercial potato grower in our area," said Bill McCreery, Extension area farm management specialist.

Although potatoes are a good crop, Zapf plans no expansion in that area. Growing more potatoes would only result in marketing problems, he said.

Although Zapf does have a diversified operation, cash grains receive top priority and are the main source of income.

This year he produced 330 acres of corn, an increase of 30 acres over the previous year.

Last June, Zapf aerial-sprayed 360 acres of cut-over brush land in the first step to converting to grassland. Fescue, also sown from the air, is already becoming established.

Zapf figures he can spray and seed the brush land for $30 an acre which is about one-third the cost of having the land cleared with a bull-dozer. The cost includes two applications of spray to kill the brush and to windrow the dead trees with his own dozer. He has spent $7.50 per acre for one spraying and seeding.

A herd of 96 Polled Hereford cows will be doubled in size as additional grass becomes available.

Zapf does not feed out the calves. Sometimes they are sold directly from the cows and other times they are held over and carried through the next summer on grass. Last year, the steer calves were sold in the fall and the heifers held over and sold in the spring. "It all depends upon the feeder price and the cash flow in my farm business," he added.

Zapf's parents are still active in the farm business.

His father, Henry, age 70, helps with cultivating corn, harvesting potatoes, checking the cow herd, and many other chores. His mother is in charge of the farm business records, which are kept with the Production Credit Assn. computer system.

In addition to his farming operation, Zapf has the Massey-Ferguson dealership for the area.

The Zapfs are in many community activities.

Mrs. Zapf is assistant home service chairman for the American Red Cross, does volunteer work at the Mineral Area Hospital in Farmington, is a member of the W.S.C.S. in the local church, and has taught school.

THE DAILY JOURNAL, Park Hills, St. Francois Co. MO, Thurs. Oct. 6, 1994, page 2


Norma Ruth "Blue" Zapf, 64, of Bismarck died Oct. 4 [1994] at Mineral Area Regional Medical Center. She was born Jan. 5, 1930 in Bismarck. She was preceded in death by her father, Eugene Boyer.

Mrs. Zapf was a member of the Bismarck United Methodist Church where she was the music director of Children's Choir and the United Methodist Women. She was a teacher at Bismarck R-5 School since 1951. She was also a member of the Mineral Area Regional Medical Center Auxiliary.

She is survived by her husband, John Zapf of Bismarck; one daughter, Sally Jane (Mrs. Keith) Colwell of Bismarck; her mother, Dorothy G. Boyer of Park Hills; one brother, Samuel J. Boyer of North Ridge, Calif.; one sister, Myra Jean Myers of Tampa, Fla.; one grandson; one step-granddaughter; one uncle, two aunts; nieces and nephews; many close friends.

Visitation will be Thursday after 5 p.m. at the Shipman Funeral Home in Bismarck. Funeral services will be held Friday at 10:30 a.m. at the Bismarck United Methodist Church with the Rev. John Adams. Burial will be in the St. John Catholic Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Bismarck United Methodist Church Memorial Fund.

Congresswoman goes down on the farm
Daily Journal, Park Hills, MO., Thursday, Aug 12, 2004

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Area farmers listen intently as Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson makes a point during a stop near Farmington on her annual farm tour of the district. The lawmaker discussed several agricultural issues during her visit to the farm of Richard and Karen Detring.

By LEROY SIGMAN\Daily Journal Staff Writer

Making a brief stop south of Farmington Wednesday afternoon during her annual farm tour, U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-8th) told local farmers she will try to help expedite the regulated use of mine waste for agricultural lime.

Emerson said when the four-day tour through Southern Missouri is over Friday, she and her staff will try to arrange a meeting with environmental and farm agencies on the topic.

The 8th District congresswoman made the comments in response to a question from State Rep. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, and an appeal for assistance from Bismarck area farmer John Zapf. He pointed out that recent tests done on fields treated with mine tailings in place of agricultural lime showed a much lower lead content than what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had anticipated.

Zapf said the tests on soil samples from local fields were conducted by the University of Missouri, the Doe Run Company and the EPA. The lead content was much lower than shown in earlier tests conducted by the EPA before it banned the use of the mine tailings.

Negotiations appeared to have the issue resolved last year, Zapf said, when it seemed that the EPA was willing to allow the use of tailings for agricultural purposes only. The federal agency's main concern appeared to be coming up with a control method that would assure the mine waste being taken from a tailings pile in Park Hills was going only to agricultural users.

Representatives of EPA made it clear in meetings last year that it did not want the mine tailings to be used for other purposes. There appeared to be an agreement that both providers and haulers would keep records to show specifically where all shipments were going to assure the material was not being diverted to other uses.

Zapf told Emerson he thinks it would take just another meeting to get the matter worked out, but the farmers have been unable to get the meeting set up.

Emerson indicated that she and her staff would make some telephone calls to people at the federal, state and local level in an effort to get all parties together again for further discussions. She said if there is a solution so close at hand, it should be reached so that farmers are not forced to use more expensive agricultural lime for treatment of the fields.

The stop Wednesday afternoon was at the farm of Richard and Karen Detring on Route OO about eight miles south of Farmington. Also participating was Minnie Detring, at whose farm the tour had stopped on several occasions over the past 23 years.

Approximately 20 area farmers and people in agribusiness were in attendance to discuss several issues currently being dealt with in Congress. Though the tour is billed as nonpolitical, also in attendance were Engler and Steven Tilley of Perryville. Engler is the Republican candidate for the Missouri Senate in the 3rd District and Tilly is the GOP candidate for the House seat Engler currently holds.

"I try to keep politics out of the farm tour," Emerson told those present. During her discussion she only brought up one point related to politics, that being a difference in approaches taken to a specific problem. When she did that, she quickly moved away from partisan discussion and on several occasions made reference to working with House members on both sides of the aisle.

During the second day of her tour, Emerson was in Houston and then Potosi before the stop in Farmington. She concluded the day at a timber roundtable in Ellington. The tour continues in the southern part of her district today and Friday.

"This is my favorite thing," Emerson said of the annual farm tour that was initiated by her late husband, Bill Emerson. "It gives me an opportunity to learn firsthand about the issues important to our growers, ranchers, and agribusinesses, such as country of origin labeling, flood control, and new market opportunities."

One of the things Emerson said Congress has been remiss in is promoting the development of alternative fuels such as ethanol to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil. She said much more money should be spent on research, development and promotion of the alternative fuels because she believes energy independence can be achieved.

Jamey Cline of the Missouri Corn Growers Association pointed out there is a new ethanol plant being constructed in Mexico, Mo., and will soon be going into production. He said the organization would like to work with local farmers on both providing corn for the plant and to promote the use of ethanol.

Cline was driving a van which bore a sign on the side indicating it is fueled by 85 percent ethanol fuel. There has been a marketing push for ethanol fuel noting that it has been made more efficient and is now available at many places where motor fuels are sold.

Zapf told Cline and Emerson there are probably a lot of farmers in this region that would like to sell corn for use in the plant, but the distance to Mexico would make the cost of shipping prohibitive. Cline responded that this one of the issues he would like to talk with local farmers about.

Emerson announced the USDA has awarded Missouri a $433,000 grant as the first step in initiating the national identification program for food animals. She stressed this is only start up money and will not begin to cover the cost of the program that is intended to create a central database through which all cattle and other livestock produced for food can be tracked.

"There is still a lot of work to be done," Emerson said of the program, "and a lot of details have not been resolved, even the method of marking the animals."

The purpose of the program is to promote the quick detection and tracing of diseased animals. She said the USDA wants to have a system set up that would allow them to accomplish this within 48 hours.

Another issue for agribusiness is the effort of the USDA to require "country of origin" and "labeling" for all agricultural products. Emerson pointed out that while USDA has established regulations, Congress has refused to fund the money to enforce those regulations. At this point, she said, the program remains voluntary.

Engler also asked Emerson to look into the EPA's fluctuating standards on what are acceptable levels of radionuclides in water supplies. He described them as "a moving target" but noted many communities are facing costly upgrades of their water systems to meet the federal regulations.

The state representative pointed out this does not affect just those on municipal water systems, but also rural residents because their wells get the water from the same place the cities get theirs.