Tricounty News

Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference Jan. 16 & 17

Upper Midwest Regional Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference and Beginning Grower Workshops to be held

The upper Midwest Regional Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference and Trade Show will be held Jan. 16 & 17, at the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud.

The educational events will benefit all commercial fruit and vegetable growers – those who are well established, new growers and those thinking about commercial horticultural production. In addition to outstanding educational opportunities, a variety of vendors will showcase their products and the Trade Show. This conference is an educational highlight of the year for commercial fruits and vegetable producers in the Upper Midwest.


New ballots mailed for Election of Stearns County FSA Committee

New ballots were mailed by Dec. 20, 2013, for the Farm Service Agency Local Administrative Area (LAA) # 1 Election. Ballots must be postmarked or turned in at the Stearns County FSA office by Jan. 17.  Townships of Brockway, Collegeville, Fairhaven, LeSauk, Luxemburg, Lynden, Maine Prairie, Rockville, St. Augusta,
St. Cloud, St. Joseph, St. Wendel, and Wakefield will elect a new committee person to serve a three-year term. The farmer-elected committee is your voice in USDA’s programs for this area. The candidates are:


Funding is announced for rural business

USDA officials announce economic development funding to strengthen businesses and create jobs in rural communities of Minnesota

USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer today announced the selection of three organizations for grants to help rural cooperatives and small businesses expand, create jobs and strengthen their capacity to serve rural citizens and communities.

“These grants help cooperatives support projects and initiatives that create jobs and improve rural economic conditions,” Landkamer said. “USDA funding helps provide the expertise and capacity-building resources that cooperatives rely on to succeed in carrying out their missions.”

Funding is provided through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program. The grants are being awarded to non-profit groups to create and operate centers that help establish, expand or operate rural businesses, especially cooperatives and mutually-owned businesses. These competitively awarded grants may be used to conduct feasibility studies, create and implement business plans, and help businesses develop new markets for their products and services. Since fiscal year 2009, the RCDG program has awarded grants totaling over $1.2 million in Minnesota.


Dairy Expo highlights

No doubt, attendance at this year’s Midwest Dairy Expo was hampered by weather conditions. The first significant snow event and the first dose of subzero temperatures, make remaining items on the “get ready for winter do-list” more urgent.

“Take home message” summaries of most of the presentations made at the Midwest Dairy Expo are posted at Minnesota Milk Producers Association website: At the home page, click on the “Programs” tab. Then click on “Midwest Dairy Expo.” Then click on “Proceedings” and pick from the topic list. Raising healthy calves, dairy outlooks, family transitions and relationships, genetics and reproduction are some of the useful 2013 topics. I’ll share a couple key points I heard.


Workshop on land rent agreements offered

“What is a Fair and Profitable Land Rent Agreement?” Workshop to be offered in Stearns County

The meeting in Stearns County will be held from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, at American Legion Post 455 in Cold Spring (209 Main St.).

Landlords, farmers, and agri-
business professionals should make plans to attend “What is a Fair and Profitable Land Rent Agreement?” This free meeting is being provided by University of Minnesota Extension. Farm land rental rates have never been higher and determining a fair and profitable farm rent agreement is a challenge in today’s economy with recent record corn and soybean prices and record farm land values.