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The Ortonville Independent
Ortonville, Minnesota
July 21, 1998     The Ortonville Independent
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July 21, 1998

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Editorial comment GUEST EDITORIAL.... Farmers deserve more support from country that they feed (Edi. note: The following opinion piece appeared in the Grand Forks, ND Herald on July 4, written by a fourth generation farmer, Mac Halcrow of Drayton, ND. It was submitted to The Ortonville Independent by Mike Shannon of Clinton.) S*S* Farming is the largest industry in the United States, employs more people, produces more products andgenerates more money than any other industry. Farm produce habitually is utilized by the federal vernment as a sledgehammer in world affairs. en was the last time you heard the State Department threatening to withhold computers, software, pantyhose, soap, automobiles, etc., if a foreign country doesnt straighten up? Usually, before the armed forces are used, the threat to withdraw food supplies occur. This course of action has a negative impact on the price of commodities, resulting in a loss of revenue for the farmer. The farming community historically has been the most generous of people. This ranges from the giving of foodstuffs to the world for sharing their technology, knowledge, methods and, in essence, their 'birthrights." University researchers and extension people continually are going overseas as paid consultants exporting this "birthright" and "future" of ours. New seed developed by state universities is exported routinely. It is bad enough that we pay these salaries, pay for the development of new seed varieties and watch them being exported; we then watch the price of our own products decrease in value. The farming community generally does not ask for handouts in terms of additional subsidies, bailouts, forgiveness of loans or a guarantee of riches. What we need and ask for is an honest wage. We expect our elected leaders to preserve the heritage of our fathers and forefathers. We all knew that. the North American Free Trade Agreement was a bad. deal for the farmer. We know the Canadian government negotiates better than ours and reacts more quickly, and we suspect the Mexican government not to pay any attention at all. We also hoped, however, that our government would eventually learn and level the playing field. Unfortunately, our government has exceeded the low standard we expect of them. For most of the past decade, the state of agriculture has been stagnant. Most recently, however, a nasty downward spiral has happened that has resulted in thousands of forced sellouts. Many of these people were not bad operators or even bad business people. Years of government neglect, bad weather, disease, and overzealous grain cartels have resulted in the crisis currently hitting the news media. The next step is large out-of-state corporations and conglomerates. That eventually will erode the tax base, lose jobs and move the income out of the farm states. I do not have the answers to this dilemma, but I do have a few suggestions. Why don't we pass a law linking the floor price on commodities to the minimum wage (i.e., wheat currently would be $5.15 per bushel, barley $3.85, etc.)? In ND, the average yield on wheat is a little less than 30 bushels. Normally, the cost of production ranges between $150 and $180 per acres (This figure does not include the farmer's salary). Thirty bushels times $5.15 results in a return of only $154.50 per acre. Notice the average does not result in minimum wage. A 40-bushel yield, however, and you might just hit the jackpot called minimum wage. This plan would not cost the taxpayer one cent. The current farm program even could be scrapped and save the taxpayer a few billion dollars. Another suggestion that is worthy of consideration is the formulation of a farmer cartel (much like OPEC) with the other three countries of the world that normally are self-sufficient in food. If that s too hard for the state department to swallow., let's try a cartel of North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. What's wrong with the governors adding a value-added tax when ourproducts leave the state or an import quota/tax addedto foreign goods entering the U.S.? This is routinely done on a myriad of goods. Another avenue that could be explored is to privatize the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and/or the state department of agriculture. Whatever solutions are used will require government leadership, at least initially. Unfortunately, speed and innovation usually aren't equated with our government. In ND, we continually are told to vote for the incumbents because of their seniority, ability to get things d6ne, track record, leadership qualities, etc. It is time for them to stand up and show us, guide us, lead us, or get the heck out of the way. We do not need 2 or 3 cents a bushel more for reduced railroad shipping cores, a higher loan rate, etc. We also don t need 50 more years of failed government programs designed by the college to politics crowd.' North Dakota soon will run out of our "best" export product - our educated young. Eventually, the state will grow old, the families will die off or leave, and this may become the infamous "Buffalo Commons. The challenge has to start with the saving of agriculture, l hol:,, our ,government is up to the task, because if it isn t, we d better get a new batch quickly. ! would hate to be a politician in North Dakota wnose legacy and tombstone read: "l failed and lost agriculture and North Dakota on my watch." -Halcrow is a fourth-generation-ID farmer Gall Maxwell, Phone 839-2207 Pastor and Anita Krueger of Blue Earth were noon luncheon guests at the Jerry Jorgenson home Saturday, June 11 th. Marlowe and Betty Engebretson and Ronnie of spicer, and also their daughter Marie Harris and their son Andy both from Texas were luncheon guests at the Jerry Jorgenson home Tuesday. On Wednesday, July 15th Sally Burkett and her sons Danny, Joey, Stephen and their dog Ginger from Plymouth came to visit Tom and Phyllis Schluter. They returned to their home on Thursday, July 16th. Margie Monson's brother Marvin Block visited Margie Monson on Thursday. Jeanie Radermacher from Madison CLUES ACROSS 1. Antidrug idea 8. Novice 9. Relating to Norse poems 10. Aforementioned 11. Destroy 14. Tablet 15. Hook 17. Fine, smooth fabric 19. Expresses pleasure 23. Cigar with both ends cut flat 24. Marker 25. Seinfeld skill qt SOLUTIONS ACROSS I. Just say notion 8. Amateur 9. Eddic 10. Said i I. Decimate 14. Abacus i 5. Anchor 17. Doeskins 19. Aahs 23. Cheroot 24. Label 25. Stand-up comedy CLUES DOWN 1. Pants 2. Endurance 3. Perform an action 4. Cricket term 5. Duteous 6. Birth control means 7. Fission 12. Tree 13. Related endlessly ! 4. Forces 16. Remove obstruction 18. Excessive fluid accumu- lation in tissues 20. Vestment 21. Set out 22. Singer SOLUTIONS DOWN 1. Jeans 2. Stamina 3. Seek 4. Yorker 5. Obedient 6. IUD 7. Nuclear 12. Ash 13. Cuckooed 14. Abducts 16. Unstop 18. Edema 20. AIb 2 !. Sally 22. Alto C7 was a visitor of Ruth Van Hale. Maurice and Kathy Herberg were dinner guests of Mr. and Mrs. George Van Hal e Sunday, July 12th. Mrs. Larry Walsh's sister Alyce Caryl Burma and Alyce's husband George visited the Larry Walsh family from Monday until Thursday. Alyce and George are from Broken Arrow, OK. Alyce Caryl J3urma. played the piano and sang for a sing-along Wednesday night at the Lakes]-d-ff- Apartments. The singing and piano playing w enjoyed. Sunday, July 12th Orlend and Irene Mathison attended the celebration of the golden anniversaries of Chuck and Sylvia Croatt and Ed and Mardeile Croatt at the Legion in Madison. Last Saturday Ronald Monson visited Marvin and Joan Block. Last Saturday and Sunday overnight guests of Marvin and Joan Block were LaVay and Royal Anderson from Circle Pines. Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Sis returned home from their nine day trip to the Canadian Rockies. Recently Harlan and Patty Garb and their two daughters all from Montevideo came to visit Craig and Kippy Randleman and their daughter Emily. They all enjoyed a ride on the Eahtonka. Friends, neighbors and relatives visited Mr. and Mrs. Urban Stolpman on Tuesday to help the Stolpman's celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. High bridge players of the Friday afternoon bridge party at the Ortonville Senior Center were Jerry Jorgenson and Pearl Petersen. It was a very enjoyable afternoon. Lindahl baby shower set An open house baby shower will be held for Russell Allen Lindahl, son of Jay and Pam Lindahl of Chokio on Saturday, Aug. 1 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at their home 5 miles North of Chokio at Co. Rd. 13 and 3- 1/2 miles West at County Road 16. Everyone welcome. Kirchberg benefit dance Saturday A benefit dance will be held Saturday, July 25 for the Bernie Kirchberg family at the Checkered Flag in Bellingham. Madison Bottling, Lecher Brothers and the Checkered Flag have donated a Bud Golf Bag and Mirrors for a silent auction/raffle. R B's Rock 'N Roll will provide the music. iO Thanks a million Dear Mr. Ross: I'm 72, not working, widowed and childless, but I still have my wits about me. I quit working 11 years ago because my bones ached so from factory work that I couldn't do it anymore. All my savings have since been spent. I finally qualified for subsidized housing, so if nothing else I can pay my rent on time. Utilities, well, I manage to squeak by. My biggest problem is food. I shouldn't torture myself so, but when I do go grocery shopping I stand longingly by the fresh meats and produce. Then I accept the reality that life has dealt me and purchase macaroni and cheese and other low cost, low nutritional items. If I just had $200, I would parcel out an extra $25 every two weeks for meat and vegetables. I suppose I'm just daydreaming again. I forgive you jn advance for not responding to my letter. How much investment should one put in a woman my age and in poor condition? Mrs. S. H .... Pennysaver, Tulsa, OK Dear Mrs. H.: You're a vital woman and I'm going to prove it. I'm sending $650 which will cover 6 months of extra groceries at $25 a week. However, I want you to earn it. Promise me you'll spend 5 hours a week involved with school age children. Perhaps you could  a teacher's aide 0/" lunchro6ni monitor- something which will have you interact with children. As of today, you're officially on the Percy Ross volunteer payroll. May you find the benefits extremely rewarding. Dear Mr. Ross: I'm so sorry to bother you with this little problem, but I think you're the only solution. The father of my son (and another baby on the way) would like to get married before our second child is born. It's not that we need an elaborate wedding-we just can't seem to get enough money to get his divorce finalized from his first wife. The cheapest place I found is $500 for a divorce. Just sign us Two People In Love ... The Globe, Joplin, Me Dear Love Birds: If I were to send anything, it would be $1,000 instead of $500. That way, you'd have enough to divorce the man you want to marry should he begin another family (#3) without you. In other words, I don't place much stock in your present relationship or in your sense of timing. Dear Percy: Talk about a tease! My son wrote and asked for a $500 down payment on a $3,000 used car. He's living on his own, working and had to junk his old car. Sure, you sent him $500 (I hope he wrote you a thank you note), but he's struggling making the monthly payments. The poor boy is running himself ragged working all that overtime. Why couldn't you have just sent him the entire $3,000? It's not like he was taking food from your mouth-you can well afford it. Why do you send such paltry amounts? Mrs. K. C .... Thrifty Nickel, Birmingham, AL Dear Mrs. C,: Hard work never killed anyone. If it bothers you to see your son struggling, then you can pay off the balance on his car note. I, on the other hand, believe hard work to be an excellent Chhcterbdildiw. It's how" iTeai-n&! the value of a buck and so will your son - if you don't get in his way. Editor's note: Check your local radio station for Percy Ross' call of the day and visit his web site at www. thanksamillion, corn Write Percy Ross, P.O. Box 39000- B, Minneapolis, MN 55439. Include your phone number and the name of this publication. All letters are read Only a few are answered in this column; others may be acknowledged privately. Rongliens named 1998 outstanding conservationists Congratulations to Robert and Joan Ronglien of Bellingham who have been selected Lac qui Parle Soil & Water Conservation District's Outstanding Conservationists for 1998. Bob's first conservation practice was a waterway installed in 1976. He continued to install various practices nearly every year since, and now has 15 terraces in addition to CRP and RIM. Robert and Joan will be honored at the District's Twilight Tour, scheduled for Tuesday, August 4. This tour will show what's and why's of conserva- tion practices used in the county, and will include a stop at the Ronglien's farm. Buses will load for the tour in Bellingham beginning at 5:130. Supper will be provided later in the evening. Call the office in Madison for more information or to register for the tour - seating is limited. The Rongliens will also be invited to the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation District's State Convention in December where they will be recognized along with other Outstanding Conservationists from across the state. A MOCK JET-SKI AND BOAT COLLISION was staged on Big Stone Lake Saturday. Rescue workers simulated trying to help a back injured victim. The JEANE'r' I JAMES SUZE'R'E Ad o ROBERT Office RYAN MIKE BILL [ NANCY : gee e ' 21,199..8 contain0 Minnesota, Grant in South Dakota. counties in Min Dakota. Postmaster: Send The Ortonville Odonville, A FEBRUARY Stone, Lac qui Roberts in February .............. 2S.00 Miruh ................. 22 119 Apfn .................... 20.0t May .................... 18.75 June ................... 16.6S July. ..................... 14.tl7 February ............ 29.00 MMch .................. 26.61 April ................... 24.11) May ...................... 21.7"/ June .................... 111.$ July ..................... 16.115 AU. .A OUrSm o February .............. $1.00 March ................ 30 2S AprB ................... 27.J0 May ..................... 24.7S Juno ................... 22.00 July ..................... 19.25 The Publisher advertisement. The for other errors connection with an stdctly limited to advertisement in or the refund of any advertlaement. Church Pictures - 5 p.m News - Fdde' OFFICE t & Friday: 8 & Holidays Letters to the community issueS Letter writers should Independent and/or condense paper also publish letters that which Letters printed or address Addresses and not be published. Letter writers themselves to Pleass ADvs. The Ortonville is news is If an zation charges event, for an be considered words, "If you newspaper. would cease to paper receives product. It paper cost cost of ink and a to the dealer. Without any particular busineSS ousiness. ADS: We A News: Our as fully and staff's oplnions rom ' other stimulate our readers. editor are those of other expressed in itemS Uons may t own views, general interest. Call 320-839-3761 to laaaifled Ortonviile Tuesday, Page 4  INDEPENDENT