Tricounty News

Stearns County recycling empty pesticide containers

This is a notice from Stearns County Public Works to all interested individuals

For the 2013-recycling program for empty pesticide containers, please bring your containers to one of the following before the dates listed:

Farmers Union Co-op, Paynesville - Aug. 16, 2013

Centra Sota Co-op, Albany - Aug. 30, 2013

**Remember: The containers should be clean, triple rinsed, caps removed and all labels and plastic labeling removed. Container must be #2 HDPE.

The collection is open to all pesticide users including commercial applicators, farmers, government agencies, lawn care and golf courses.

If you have any questions, please call Bob Dunning, Stearns County Agricultural Inspector at (320) 656-6578.

An opportunity to grow

Farmers markets can be a real treat for the community, with locals providing a source of fresh produce and other crafts to their customers. Amy Sparks is one of the
W-DSCF0837 coordinators of the Annandale farmers market. She has been coordinating the market for six years and has been improving it each year.

Amy originally started the market because she wanted access to different fruits and vegetables that she didn’t want to grow. She also wanted to do something for
Annandale’s downtown. Her desire for these things led her to create the farmers market located in the city hall square. By doing a farmers market, she is able to have a focus every week on historic downtown Annandale.


Dairy Field Day to be held in Stearns County

University of Minnesota Extension will host a Dairy Field Day at Kerfeld Hillview Dairy from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20.

Kerfeld Hillview Farm is owned by Tim, Carrie, Art, and Rosie Kerfeld. They, along with their five children, milk 175 cows in a naturally-ventilated 4-row freestall barn with cyclone fans, mattresses and pen-pack calving area. There are also some precision technologies used on the farm. The Kerfelds use a Lely Calm Automatic calf feeder, which was installed 4 years ago. They also utilize SCR (Lely T4C) activity monitors for heat detection in both their heifers and cows. They have a monoslope heifer barn that is very labor efficient, also offering custom farming services. Kerfeld Hillview Farm operates under a Partnership and S Corporation.


Farm families impact Minnesota’s economy and rural communities

Agriculture keeps advancing, adapting new technology to meet the needs of an increasingly global economy. Challenges have intensified as well – a lengthy drought, heavy precipitation and uncertain farm policies, to mention a few.

The University of Minnesota started the Farm Family of the Year program 33 years ago to recognize successful farm families for their impact on our economy and rural communities. This year, families from 76 Minnesota counties will be recognized for their contributions to agriculture, the economy, and rural communities at an Aug. 8 ceremony at Farmfest, the state’s largest farm gathering.

I salute those selected as 2013 University of Minnesota farm families because they represent the ideals shared by all farm families. Minnesota farm families not only persist and endure, but they continually improve the way they manage the land and produce food for the world. Farm families keep pace with change and innovate, while juggling busy lives and unexpected challenges.


Enjoy the fair

With August right around the corner, county fair season begins. Fairs provide us with an opportunity to learn and relax before we begin another harvest and school year. The fair contains a plethora of events, one could easily say “something for everyone.” From carnival rides and games, tractor pulls, demo derbies, live music, and fun foods to the showing of prize livestock, garden vegetables, art or handiwork, homemade goods and more. There is much to do at the fair.

County fairs were first developed in the United States in the early nineteenth century. Agricultural reformers in Northeastern U.S. and the Agricultural Society organized these small fairs to promote modern farming. Originally, county fairs were developed as a way to educate and congregate farmers and the rural society. Fairs used this opportunity to show the newest farm equipment, the best of livestock breeds and crops; it provided valuable connections among farmers. Farming clubs and organizations such as 4-H and FFA are able to advocate their organization and teach youth about agriculture. Young girls and boys were encouraged to exhibit their arts and homemade products. New performers are introduced and farm businesses had the chance to advertise.