Tricounty News

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:

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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.

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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: www.mnmilk.org. 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.

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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.

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Midwest Dairy Expo: A close-to-home learning opportunity

The Midwest Dairy Expo will be held Dec. 3-4 at the River’s Edge Center in St. Cloud. Admission is free; so you’re free to pick the pieces that are useful to you. A noon lunch can be purchased on-site.W-DanMartens

Look at the schedule with the whole family in mind, and employees too. For example, it could be the person who does most of the work of taking care of calves who gains the most from the topic, “Keys to Raising Healthy Calves” – presented by Dr. Sandra Godden (University of Minnesota) from 1:30-3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3. On Dec. 4, from 8-12,
Dr. Godden offers a lab workshop for using on-farm cultures for managing mastitis. Space is limited, so check this out early.

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