Tricounty News

Smithsonian seeks farmers’ stories for new exhibition

Submitted farm artifacts may be featured in “American Enterprise” for world to see 

No one knows how much agriculture has evolved and transformed over time better than America’s farmers. That’s why the Smithsonian National Museum of American History is seeking farmers’ help in telling stories of the innovation and experiences of farming and ranching across the United States.

Farmers are invited to share their personal stories about the ways innovation and technology have helped to continually improve the industry at The museum is currently seeking stories, photographs and other memorabilia to feature in its upcoming “American Enterprise” exhibition, which will paint the picture of American business through agriculture, consumer finance, information technology/communication, manufacturing and retail/service.

“Agriculture continually evolves and has become extremely efficient and sustainable with the help of new technologies,” says Sharon Covert, a farmer-leader on the United Soybean Board (USB), which recently committed a $1 million investment in support of the exhibition. “Sharing your stories and artifacts of agriculture’s transformations will allow the public to see incredible strides the industry has made in order to provide food, feed, fuel and fiber for the rest of the world.”


FSA County Committee election vital

The Farm Service Agency County Office Committee is the most direct link between America’s farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA, elections for committee membership are crucial and it is important that every eligible producer take part. Elected by area farmers, the FSA county committees represent the best of government at the local level, bringing the resources and expertise of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to meet the needs of producers where they live - at home. The election for one-third of the national county committee system is approaching fast.

FSA’s county committee system bears much of the responsibility for making national agriculture programs fit the needs and situations faced by local producers. Committees make decisions on commodity price support loans and payments; establishment of allotments, yields, and marketing quotas; conservation programs; incentive, indemnity and disaster payments for some commodities, and other disaster assistance.


Stearns Extension office relocated July 30-Aug. 4 for County Fair

The Stearns County Extension office located in St. Cloud will be on the move for the week of the 2013 Stearns County Fair.

The office will temporarily be relocating to the Stearns County Fairgrounds in Sauk Centre from Tuesday, July 30, through Sunday, Aug. 4. Normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday will return on Monday Aug. 5, in the St. Cloud office located in the Midtown Square Office Building at 3400 1st St North, Suite 103, St. Cloud, MN 56303.

The Stearns County Extension Office helps people access research-based knowledge from the University of Minnesota in areas such as agriculture, horticulture, youth development/4-H,
community nutrition and food safety. The local office also offers unique services such as soil testing for your garden, lawn and field; or the testing of pressure canner gauges in preparation for the canning season. Information can be accessed through one-on-one contact with an Extension educator as well as through the extensive online resources available at


FSA encourages county committee participation

The Farm Service Agency is looking for candidates for the farmer-elected County Committee from groups that have not been active with the agency’s committee in the past.

The 2013 Stearns County FSA election will be held in Local Administrative Area (LAA) #1, which includes the following townships: Brockway, Collegeville, Fairhaven, LeSauk, Lynden, Luxemburg, Maine Prairie, Rockville, Saint Augusta, Saint Cloud, Saint Joseph, Saint Wendel, and Wakefield. 

This area is presently represented by Joe Krippner. 


Local girl promotes pork

Erin Wicker of Kimball is the Stearns County Pork Ambassador for the year of 2013. This year, she has applied for Minnesota State Pork Ambassador.DSCF0814-RGB

Raised on an independent pig farm near the town of Marty, Northwest of Kimball, Erin has grown up around farming and pork production. The Wickers keep around 2,800 pigs that they finish out before they go to market, with raising pigs they also farm about 620 acres of crops.

Erin’s passion for pigs has helped influence her decision to be a pork ambassador. “I really enjoy working with pigs,” explained Erin, “In FFA I got really involved in general livestock and went on swine tours. I learned about this opportunity from the Minnesota Pork Board.” She loves advocating for agriculture and also gaining a lot of experience.

By being a county ambassador, Erin has received a scholarship from the Pork Board. She also enjoys learning about the swine industry and helping others understand more about swine production.