AgriCulture: Equine Dentistry, Elk Creeks drive thru apple butter, Rees wins photo contest | Agriculture

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Michael Mullin has moved his equine dentistry practice to North East and has quickly fallen in love with Cecil County.

“I think this is the area to be,” Mullin said from the stables on Wade Lane, where he relocated from New Jersey over a year ago. “I love the horse community down here.”

Mullin is not a medical doctor. Instead he has been trained and certified to file down, or “float” a horse’s teeth to make it comfortable and in proper alignment to graze and chew. He said in their domesticated state many horses are not given the proper diet to allow the 36 teeth in their skulls to wear down naturally.

“It should be done at least once a year,” he said. “They need human intervention because of what we do to them.”

Floating is accomplished through a series of long metal rods, each with a different grade of abrasive to take the peaks off the tooth surface. Mullin said that horses allowed to graze do more biting and chewing, which naturally smoothes the tooth surfaces. Horses that eat other foods, including apples and sugar cubes for example, get fewer opportunities to accomplish this naturally.

“Teeth are self correcting as long as they are chewing. If you keep the mouth balanced they will live longer,” Mullin said of the service he’s been providing for 20 years. “Teeth are kind of the story of their life.”

Mullin has been around horses most of his 55 years, including a career as a jockey. While he is considered a dentist he does not perform extractions or other more invasive procedures, which would need to be done under anesthesia by a veterinarian.

To demonstrate floating he called on Warrior. The retired racehorse seemed to appreciate that Mullin was reaching deep into its mouth to work on back teeth.

“He knows it feels better,” Mullin said as Warrior ran his tongue over the teeth.

Courtney Schrader from Earleville is the recipient of the Marlin K. Hoff Scholarship from the Maryland State Fair. The $2,000 award is named in memory of Hoff, a former member of the Maryland State Fair Board of Directors. By winning the scholarship Schrader has been recognized for her work in Cecil County 4-H, Future Farmers of America and her participation in the Cecil County and Maryland State Fairs.

Schrader was one of several young people — and the only Cecil County representative — to receive scholarships worth $18,000.

Calvert Grange is hosting a Craft Show Saturday from the grange hall on Telegraph Road near Rising Sun. Come shop for Christmas gift giving or holiday decor from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The money raised by the sale of vendor spaces and refreshments will go toward the Grange’s scholarship program.

Cecil County Farm Bureau will hold its annual meeting Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. at Calvert Grange. All members are encouraged to attend. The grange is located at 2537 Telegraph Road near Rising Sun.

Not letting the pandemic totally stop them, Elk Creeks Preservation Society is holding a drive-thru Apple Butter Sale Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Bee Hive, 3927 Telegraph Road in Fair Hill. October 10th was supposed to be the date for the annual festival with food, music, history, demonstrations and crafts. Members of Elk Creeks have decided that the tradition of apple butter would continue in spite of the need to social distance.

A Rising Sun woman placed second in the Maryland Department of Natural Resources 2020 Photo Contest.

Called “Dance of the Yellow Jacket,” Heather Rees was honored for her photo in the summer category of the contest, which sought photos for each season. The photo shows a yellow jacket on the surface of a pool of water.

Rees’ photo will be used in the DNR calendar for 2021.

The grand prize photo was shot by Zaphir Shamma of Gunpowder, Md. It shows an eastern screech owl nestled inside a tree cavity. He received a $500 cash prize, a Maryland State Parks Passport and five copies of the calendar, on which his photo will be the cover.

As the second place winner Rees receives five free copies of the calendar and a one-year Maryland Natural Resource Magazine subscription. About 2,500 photos from 475 photographers were submitted.

If you have a farm related event, idea or story you’d like to share in AgriCulture contact Jane Bellmyer at [email protected] or 443-245-5007

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