Tricounty News

Minnesota livestock producers can apply for 2014 grants

Recipients have invested an estimated $75 million since 2008

Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson announced Wednesday, Jan. 15, that $1 million in grant funding is being made available to livestock producers in the state for on-farm improvements. The Livestock Investment Grants help farmers stay competitive and reinvest in their industry. The 237 grant recipients to date have invested an estimated $75 million in upgrades to their operations since the program began in 2008.

Qualifying producers would be reimbursed 10 percent of the first $500,000 of investment, with a minimum investment of $4,000. Qualifying expenditures include the purchase, construction or improvement of buildings or facilities for the production of livestock, and the purchase of fencing as well as feeding and waste management equipment. Producers who suffered a loss because of a natural disaster or unintended consequence may also apply. The grant will not pay for livestock or land purchases or for the cost of debt refinancing.


AgStar accepting apps. for scholarships

The AgStar Fund for Rural America, the corporate giving program of AgStar Financial Services, is accepting applications for its high school senior scholarship program, which awards up to 25 students with $1,000 scholarships.

The AgStar High School Scholarship Program is designed for students who have an interest in an ag-related field, are pursuing an ag-related degree or those with an ag or rural background.

“AgStar is proud to offer this program for the tenth year in a row,” said John Monson, Chair of AgStar’s Fund Board of Trustees. “We want to show our commitment to the youth of rural Minnesota and Wisconsin as they pursue their passions and help mold a strong future for agriculture.”


Pesticide applicator workshops in several locations

U of M Extension private pesticide applicator “renewal” workshops for central Minn.

New Private Pesticide Applicator Test Materials are available at County Extension Offices after Jan. 1, 2014. There are many workshops for “renewing” permits located around the state, including:

• Jan. 17, Paynesville, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at American Legion. Call Paynesville Coop to RSVP lunch afterwards.

• Jan. 23, Elrosa, 12:30-4 p.m. at Bucky’s Bar.

• Jan. 28, Little Falls, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Morrison Co. Gov. Center. Bring $5 for pizza or pack a lunch.

• Feb. 12, Albany, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Albany Bowling Center. Call CentraSota at (320)
548-3245 to RSVP for lunch break.

• Feb. 13, Buffalo, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Wright Co. Courthouse

• Feb. 21, Foley City Hall, 12:30-4 p.m.

For more information check, or call the County Extension Office.


University of Minnesota field crop trials available

With good weather, a bushel of seed corn might grow up to make 400 to 600 or more bushels of corn. A bushel of soybean seed might grow up to make 35 to 60 bushels of soybeans. As gardeners look through the winter seed catalogs, farmers are looking through variety trial data that can help identify varieties that have better odds of doing well in 2014.

The 2014 U of M Field Crop (Varietal) Trials information is now posted on the website and a complete printed booklet of this information will NOT be printed this year. Internet users should be able to find it quite easily by doing an internet search for “Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station” or “Minnesota Field Crop Trials 2014.” The URL address is The new variety trial information has been posted now for alfalfa, barley, corn grain, corn silage, oats, hard red spring wheat, hard red winter wheat, canola and soybeans.

In Stearns, Benton and Morrison Counties you’re welcome to call the County Extension Office for Specific information. In Stearns County call (320) 255-6169 if a local call to St. Cloud, or (800) 450-6171, in Benton (320) 968-5077 if a local call to Foley, or (800) 964-4929, in Morrison call (320) 632-0161 if a local call to Little Falls, or (866) 401-1111.

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.