Tricounty News

Program for water quality named as pilot project

Stearns County’s Middle Sauk River Watershed named pilot project area for new water quality program

The Middle Sauk River Watershed in central Stearns County has been selected as one of four pilot project areas for the new Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification program. The program is designed to accelerate voluntary adoption of agricultural practices that enhance water quality, while maintaining Minnesota’s productive agricultural economy.

The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification program is the first of its kind in the nation and is the product of a state-federal Memorandum of Understanding signed by Governor Dayton, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson in January 2012.

Under the certification program, farmers who implement and maintain approved conservation plans will be certified and in turn assured that their operations meet water quality goals and standards for a set period of time.

“A goal of this program is to offer certified farmers a 10-year exemption from regulations that would be enacted at the State and Federal level, said Chuck Uphoff, New Munich dairy farmer and board supervisor for the Stearns County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD).

“Producers will need to take a hard look at their entire operation and incorporate water quality best management practices such as buffers, grassed waterways, manure storage structures, nutrient management, and conservation tillage.”


Meeker K-9 is certified

Meeker County Sheriff Jeff Norlin announces that the Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit attended the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) Region 12 trials for patrol dogs. The certification was held in the city of St. Peter, Minn., July 1 and 2. 

The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office K-9 (Titan) with handler Deputy Reggie Sandstrom passed the certification trial. The events that K-9 Titan certified in were evidence search, agility, suspect search, obedience, criminal apprehension, criminal apprehension with gunfire, and handler protection. 

Titan is a 6-year-old German Shepard who has been in service with the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office since 2008. Titan is a dual-purpose dog which means he also certifies with the USPCA for narcotic detection.

Meeker County 4-H youth participate in Dan Patch Award competition

Since 1966, one member of the Minnesota 4-H horse project has been awarded the Dan Patch Award. This award is based on the individuals overall achievement, W-jade-kayla-tori---dan-patchleadership, and service. The winner receives a plaque bearing a picture of the famous pacer, Dan Patch, who set the world pacing record for the mile of 1:55 on Sept. 8, 1906, at the Minnesota State Fair. To apply for this award, youth complete a resume, portfolio, and all chosen finalists give a presentation. Recipients and finalists will be recognized at the Minnesota State 4-H Horse Show, which will be held Sept. 13-16. The Dan Patch award focuses on youth in 10th grade through one year past 12th grade at the start of the contest year. Grades 6 through 9 compete for Youth Leadership Trips.


Local family talents shine through at Oklahoma Pinto Horse Show

The South Haven “Brown Bunch” recently returned home from the Pinto World Championship Show in Tulsa, Okla., where Jason and Melissa’s daughters Madison and Morgan, captured the hearts of the observers while capturing ribbons and awards for their outstanding pinto horse-showing abilities. Drawing exhibitors from across the United States and Canada, the June 9-22 Championship Show was W-Madison--Morgan-8x10the largest Pinto Horse Show of the year, attracting a record 9,000-plus entrants, all vying for World and Reserve World Champion honors and prizes. 

The Pinto Horse Association began in 1956 and it is a color breed, meaning that the horse or pony must have at least four inches of consecutive white on its body in qualifying areas, and can be comprised of ponies, miniatures and horses. Many of these animals are also registered in their respective breed associations, such as the American Paint Horse Association. The Pinto horse was a favorite among American cowboys and Native Americans. Some familiar Pintos include Tonto’s Scout, Little Joe’s Cochise and Frank Hopkins’ Hidalgo. 

Madison and Morgan Brown, along with their parents Melissa and Jason, made quite a splash at the 2013 Pinto World Championship Show in Tulsa recently.
The South Haven family has been involved showing pinto horses nearly all their lives. Submitted photo.



Agricultural education: not just for farmers

Think back to when you were a high school student; what things were the most memorable for you? What lessons made an impact and helped shape who you are today? My most memorable learning experiences were in an agricultural class. Those classes I took in high school helped shape who I am today and what I learned from those classes will stay with me my whole life.