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February 17, 2009     The Ortonville Independent
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February 17, 2009
 

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By JDK Will President Obama's Stimulus Plan work? Only time will tell, but we feel he's off to a bad start by rush- ing the Plan through Congress for passage! Because of that rush, we now have a split Congress again. True, President Bush and party made the first screw up by throwing about $ 700 billion into TARP all the money going to major banks that spent it like "drunken sailors," and with no accountability attached to the funds. The banks thus created a "highway robbery" of taxpayer dol- lars by refusing to say where the money went! But two wrongs do not make a right! If TARP didn't work, why will the Stimulus Plan work? Obama and Congress should have gone over the Plan "line for line," as Obama promised in his cam- paign weeding out all the "pork" items to the point where Congress, on both sides of the aisle, were in agreement. We still think friend Arlen LaCombe's idea would more immediatly solve our economic woes, doing away with all taxes for a period of time, thus putting money where it is needed most, namely in the taxpayers' pockets! ***** What a great philan- thropist is Bill Austin and wife Tani, founders of Starkey Hearing Foundation. In their 40 some years, they have developed hearing aid plants throughout the world and have helped millions of adults and children to hear again. While at their Eden Prairie headquarters last week, for a hearing check-up, we were amazed how every- one knew us and showed con- cern for us, not having seen us in over a year that we were hospitalized. We met one couple, there for a test like us, namely the Dale Eckerts of Rochester. Get this! We learned they have been quite a "girl" facto- ry having had seven girls (no boys), four granddaugh- ters (no boys), and two great granddaughters (no boys). Is that fair to Dale?! We have another idea! President Obama and Congress, instead of just calling it "shameful", should demand all major banks return the huge sum of money they took in TARP to pay their CEO's bonuses (to the tune of some $ 18 billion), then turn around and give that money to our nation's top job creaters, mainly Small Business. The money will get into the needy pockets of taxpayers a lot faster, and with more meaningT ***** Our prayers go out to all family and friends who lost loved ones in the Buffalo, NY, plane crash. They were not as lucky as those of the "Miracle on the Hudson! By the way, did you notice some of the major TV and radio folks referred to that "Miracle" plane as Flight "1529," rather than the cor- rect number of "1549." Proof we all make mistakes! From Colorado, long time reader and one of our favorite cousins, Margaret (Kaercher) Pufahl, writes: "So glad to see you are back at work again. My daughter Susan, a teacher at a Houston High, escorted a group of students to the Inauguration. She writes,"We absolutely froze, even with our thermal underwear and fur- lined boots, but warmed up at the Inaugural Ball. Enclosed cheek for my favorite newspaper. Take care of yourself!" DEPEND ON "Like night and day!" That's the contrast in which Tubby Smith's Gopher cagers have played of late. In some games, they have been brilliant. In other games, like Saturday's loss to Penn State, they were terri- ble. We know they are a young team, but to have a chance to vie for post-season play, they must start scoring, driving faster to the basket and eliminate turn-oversZ Go Tubby go Gophers! Steaks, Roasts, HamburgerPork Chops & Roasts 25 LB. BEEF BUNDLE 20 LB. PORK BUNDLE $79.95 $45.95 What an honor! In a recent dream, we interviewed the great interviewer, Larry King of CNN. You should have been there! What a ball we had, and so very interesting! We learned things we bet Larry doesn't even know about! Big Stone SWCD and NRCS held a local work group .meeting November 11 to establish a list of local priorities for resources concerns to address during this years EQIP sign up. Some of the resource concerns that the group voted on were: soil ero: sion, non-point source pollution, invasive species removal, water qual- ity and habitat conservation. EQIP provides technical assis- tance, cost share payments and incen- tive payments to assist crop, livestock and other agriculture producers with environmental and conservation improvements to their operations. In order to apply for EQIP, the applicant must be an eligible produc- Minnesota Acting State Executive director Glenn Schafer has announced that a new pilot project will permit producers in Minnesota to plant such vegetables as cucumbers, green peas, lima beans, pumpkins, snap beans, sweet corn, or tomatoes for process- ing on base acres under the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program (DCP). "This program offers producers in Minnesota opportunities to diversify their crop production and better use their base acres. It's an important step in implementing the 2008 Farm Bill, providing farmers with additional sources of revenue, and supporting the production of healthy fruits and vegetables," Schafer said. Authorized in the 200 8 Farm Bill, Pioneer Public Television will shut off its analog transmitters for KWCM-Appleton (Channel 10) and KSMN-Worthington (Channel 20) on Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 9 p.m. The shut- off is part of the national transition to digital TV broadcasting. - After Feb. 17, viewers who watch these Pioneer stations over the air (through a set-top or roof-top antenna) will need an analog-to-digital con- verter box or a TV with a built-in dig- ital tuner. Viewers who watch these Pioneer stations through cable or satellite systems should not be affect- ed. Viewers who watch Pioneer's low- power station, K49FA-Fergus Falls will also not be affected because that station will continue broadcasting in analog until sometime later in 2009. Minnesota agriculture officials are reminding cattle producers of a new rendering regulation that goes into affect this spring that could affect their ability to dispose of dead cattle. The new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation bans the use of these carcasses in live- stock feed if the cattle are over 30 months of age. This FDA regulation is intended to prevent the spread of BSE or mad cow disease and will likely result in increased disposal costs for livestock producers. Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Livestock Development Supervisor Curt Zimmerman says the feed ban regu!a- K&Z Happy 18 on the 18th er. Generally, any person or entity engaged in livestock or crop produc- tion on eligible land may apply for EQIR Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pasture and other farm or ranch lands, as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture. Eligible land must have a resource concern identi- fied by a certified conservation plan- ner. All practices are subject to NRCS technical standards. A certified conservation planner will assist you to develop a conserva- tion plan addressing the resource con- cerns on your farm. They will also assist you to complete all required information for your application. Submitted applications are ranked, with the highest priority' given to those applications with the highest score. Some of the practices that have been funded in the past in Big Stone County are sediment basins, no-till, strip-till, mulch till, pest management, nutrient management, fencing pas- ture, farmsteaLt shelterbelt, Ag waste, irrigation system, sprinkler ( low pres- sure conversion), animal mortality facility, prescribed burning. Contact your local NRCS office if you are interested in more informa- tion. In Big Stone County come into the Ortonville NRCS office or call for an appointment, 320-839-6149, extension 3. the Planting Transferability Pilot Project (PTPP) allows producers to plant approved fruits or vegetables for processing on a farm's base acres- these include cucumbers, green peas, lima beans, pumpkin, snap beans, sweet corn or tomatoes. Without the PTPP, planting these crops on base acres would be prohibited. Base acres on a farm will be tem- porarily reduced each year on an acre- for-acre basis, for each base acre planted with an approved fruit or veg- etable on that farm. Minnesota has been approved for 34,000 acres. Eligible participants must agree to produce one of the approved crops for processing and to provide the county FSA office with a copy of the contract between the producer and processing plant. Participants must agree to produce the crop as part of a program of crop rotation on the farm to achieve agro- nomic, pest and disease management benefits, and to provide disposition evidence of the crop. Participants must complete form CCC-749 (avail- able at www.fsa.usda.gov) and file it with their county FSA office. Further information is also available at the above website. The sign-up period for the PTPP began on Tuesday, Feb. 3 and will end Mar. 2. USDA will not accept appli- cations filed after that date. "Pioneer has aired more than 20 programs in the past year to educate viewers about the switch to digital television," said Pioneer General Manager Les Heen. "Our staff has been helping viewers with digital TV questions for months. We believe that many viewers have successfully made the transition and are already watch- ing our digital channels." The Feb. 17, 2009 mandatory shut- off date was set in federal law several years ago. Last week Congress acted to delay the date until June 12, with rules that would allow broadcasters to shut off earlier. Pioneer and many other broadcasters are sticking with the original date. "We have already made plans to replace and upgrade transmission equipment after we shut off the analog transmitters," said Heen. "Remaining with the Feb. 17 shut-off date will allow us to continue with those pro- jects on schedule, and allow us to pro- vide better service to our viewers. We encourage viewers who have ques- tions to contact us. We encourage peo- ple who have made the transition to assist their neighbors or friends who may need help with installing convert- er boxes." Analog-to-digital converter boxes are available at electronics stores. Viewers who have questions about receiving Pioneer's over-the-air chan- nels may contact Pioneer at 800-726- 3178. ul tion has presented challenges to the cattle industry. "We asked producers, rendering companies, livestock organizations and state livestock experts to consider the impact of this ban and what dis- posal options would be available to beef and dairy farmers," said Zimmerman. "On-farm pick-up will remain an option for producers, and we're examining other disposal meth- ods, such as composting and burial that may work for some producers." While most rendering services in Minnesota have indicated they will continue farm pick-up of dead cattle, producers will be responsible for pro- viding documentation proving the age of the cattle. If verification cannot be provided, the cattle will be considered to be over 30 months of age and producers will be charged accordingly by the rendering service. Producers are encouraged to discuss with their local feedlot experts and extension educa- tors what options are best. suited to their operation. The MDA is working with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health (BOAH) to provide producers more information about the FDA rule and carcass disposal options. To learn more, visit the Minnesota Board of Animal Health website at www.bah.state.mn.us. HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 8AM-5:30PM; Sat. 8AM-5PM ORTONVILLE, MN PHONE (320) Per Lb. DELl HAM $2.99 Looally Grown Beef - Per Lb. QUARTERS & d-,-' SIDES ~J .79 PorLb $6 RIBEYE STEAK 99 Locally Grown Pork- Per Lb. OK~ t Per Lb. HALF A HOG OY~ WHOLE SIRLOIN ~b,} nn LET US CATER YOUR EVENT/ STEAK q),~ .~ Weddings, Reunions, Anniversaries or Parties Attention parents: Here's a heaRh plan for your 20-somethings Do your 20-something Children know how important health coverage is? Simply Blue is a health plan with the benefits they need and none of what they don't. It's easy to understand, affordable and even covers office visits and annual checkups right away. Call today. Authorized Independent agent for BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota P~ Ir, d~ ~nt Ik:m~,ao of h BILq r.ro~ H~l OlL~ SSia'ld A.~ Tom Oakes Agent 40 NW 2nd St. Ortonville, MN 56278 320-839-2118 or 800-630-4978 ,ry, ng By Jim Paulson, University of Minnesota Extension Going "green" is doing what is environmentally beneficial, and part of the green discussion is carbon foot- print. A carbon footprint is a measure of environmental impact of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, mea- sured in units of carbon dioxide. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 6.3 percent of the total greenhouse gas comes from agri- culture, with 20 percent of this from production agriculture and 80 percent from processing and transporting food. In general, greenhouse gases asso- ciated with dairy farming are carbon dioxide, methane (natural gas) and nitrous oxide. The two gases of great- est concern are methane and nitrous oxide. Methane comes from rumina- tion by cows and from manure break- down. It is the methane from manure digestion that is the fuel for electrical generators in on-farm digesters. Methane is very stable and unless burned, can remain in the atmosphere for years. Nitrous oxide comes mainly from manure and nitrogen fertilizer. The EPA estimates that 21 percent of the methane comes from ruminants and 8 percent from manure. Similar amounts of methane come from land- fills (24 percent), and natural gas and petroleum systems (26 percent). Methane gets a lot of attention because it is up to 21 times more potent than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere. This has caused peo- ple to look at ruminants as contribu- tors of methane to tile atmosphere. However, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the size of the bison herd on the North American continent several hundred years ago is estimated to have been 30 to 75 mil- lion head, likely at the upper end. This compares with the current U.S. cattle inventory of all types of just fewer than 100 million head. Since bison were forage consuming ruminants like cattle, we would expect similar methane production. What is the carbon footprint in making milk? A recent Wall Street Journal article stated that Dallas- based National Dairy Holdings found the carbon footprint of a gallon of milk in a plastic jug to be either 6.19 or 7.59 pounds of carbon dioxide, depending on how it was transported to the store. This included the growing of the feed all the way to delivery of the milk to the store. Compare this to the car you drive: on the average, it produces a pound of carbon dioxide for every mile it trav- els. When doing laundry, about a pound per load (not including drying) adds 4.4 pounds. How do these issues fit your farm or household? Today's coosumers want to make a connection to what they eat and feel good about it. : thought ofyou love today, but t at is nmIang new, 1thought about you yestertlay and days before nqat too. : ankofyou nce, z of n ,e a our n me, I are memor and your p cture in a Your memory is my keepsal@, :'ll never part you in 9l s I elaug, ave you in my Power Steering Standard 14" Tires Anti-Kickback Steering Sunset Red On Any 2009 ATV or Ranger Side-by-Side for 6 months* Polaris Winch on Select 2009 Models *See Dealer for Details E. Hwy, 12 Milbank, SD Mi/bank, South Dakota Inc, Sales: Bubba 605-949-9044 Part= Jesse 605-520-4956 Service: Eric 605-949-7710 www.midwestpowersports.net Be sure to take a safety training Course, For safety and training information, call the SVIA at (800) 887-2887. You may also contact your Polaris dealer or call Polaris at (800) 342-3764. The Polaris RANGER general-purpose off-road util- ity vehicle is not intended for and may not be registered for on-road use. 2007 Polaris Sales Inc. CUSTOM BUTCHERING MON-WED-FRI. Emergency Call Dale at 320-808-1871/605-938-4389 Page 2 ~INDEPENDENT Tuesday, Feb. 17 2009