Ag News (April 20)

Governor Mark Dayton yesterday announced a number of Water Quality Town Hall meetings slated to begin late July. These meetings will offer citizens an opportunity to discuss the water quality challenges facing their communities, learn from experts and engage with policy makers.Additional information will be available.
• July 31 - Rochester
• August 16 - Marshall
• August 17 - Mankato
• September 5 - Crookston
• September 6 - St. Cloud
• September 12 - Ely
• September 13 - Bemidji
• September 26 - Minneapolis
• October 4 - Burnsville
• October 5 - Maplewood

Then as of yesterday, another two farm credit institutions have been given the green light for a merger with Ag Country Farm Credit Services and United FCS joining under the name AgCountry Farm Credit Services effective July 1st. The move will create a new organization covering 65 counties through 28 offices in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. July 1st is also the day that Badgerland Financial, AgStar Financial Services and 1st Farm Credit Services will complete its merger under the name Compeer Financial.

A number of John Deere dealers in Minnesota and South Dakota are looking to create a 17 store chain by consolidating their various locations in a proposed merger that should see completion June 5th. This includes Kibble Equipment, James River Equipment, Shuneman Equipment Company and Larson’s. 

North Dakota and Minnesota sheep producers get a chance to learn about how to produce high quality lamb meat during a webinar on April 26th. NDSU Extension Service sheep specialist Travis Hoffman, will discuss the importance of understanding the production decisions that impact lamb quality and lamb to create superior consumer satisfaction. Register at sheepusa.org.

Coming up July 18th, Iowa corn growers in Crop Reporting Districts 1, 3, 6, and 9 can vote at their local county ISU extension office for who they want to represent them on the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. Those who are elected work in market development, research into news and value-added corn uses, and education on corn and farmers who grow it. If you are an Iowa corn producer in District 1, 3, 6, or 9 and marketed at least 250 bushels of corn last year you can still get your name on the ballot. Contact the Iowa corn office for details. Of course as the reporting district 1 encompasses our neighbor counties of (Buena Vista, Clay, Cherokee, Dickinson, Emmet, Lyon, O'Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, and Sioux) we will report back to you when results from the election are made public July 21st. 

Syngenta wants to hear your story about agriculture by launching the RootedinAg contest. They ask participants to describe how someone in their live shas helped them establish their ag roots and thrive in the industry, in about 200 words, plus a photograph or video. The top five entries receive a mini touch screen tablet and are entered in the final run, where one of the finalists receives a $500 gift card and a $1,000 donation to the winner’s charity or civic organization of choice. Deadline is June 30th. To apply or get more details, visit syngentathrive.com

Do you remember the big controversy over Mercy for Animals releasing a video, which showed workers kicking and dragging cows at Chilliwack Cattle Sales that came out last year? Three workers have now been convicted of violating the BC Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, including Travis Keefer, Chris Vandyke, and Jamie Visser. They pleaded guilty and are expected to be sentenced in early May. In fact, this investigation lead to releasing of reports through FOI requests, and it was discovered that more than 1/4th of BC dairy farms had failed to comply with animal welfare practices. This has led to an overhaul and amendment of the Dairy Code of Practice, which outlines minimum guidelines for the treatment and welfare of Canada’s dairy cows.

Another reminder that if you’re interested in applying for the Nobles County 4-H Great Goat Give-away, you need to apply by April 24th. The dairy goats will be donated by Kal & Ann Schieck-Solomon of Adrian in memory of Ann's daughter, Shelby Ann Schieck. Three winners will receive a dairy goat kid, eligible for the 2017 fair. Contact Katie at 507-295-5313 for details or visit the Nobles County 4-H Extension website.

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