KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Officials investigate wastewater discharge in Lake Panorama

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 27th, 2015 by Chris Parks

PANORA, Iowa (AP) – Officials say they’re investigating the cause of a wastewater discharge that entered Lake Panorama in central Iowa.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says it’s unclear what caused a pump to fail Saturday night at a lift station managed by the South Panorama Sanitary District. Officials reported the problem Sunday morning, around the time officials believe the discharge ended.

DNR officials say it wasn’t clear to the agency that there was a wastewater discharge until Monday night. The sanitary district believes it was likely a small discharge.

It’s unclear what caused a pump to fail, since all pumps at the lift station appear to be functional.

Officials for the sanitary district are considering the construction of a new lift station, where discharges would be less likely to reach the lake.

Cass County Extension Report 08-26-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

August 26th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson


Cumberland couple take top prize at Outlaw Truck Pull at Iowa State Fair

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 20th, 2015 by Chris Parks

Rainfall in the Des Moines area delayed the Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pulls at the Iowa State Fair Grandstand on Wednesday but a local couple are glad they waited it out.  Dean and Cheryl Christensen of Cumberland along with their son Nick travel around the Midwest competing in Outlaw events and Dean came away with a top prize this year.

Dean Christensen rode his 1988 Ford Ranger “Red Hot” to a first place prize in the Modified 4-wheel division.  He pulled a distance of 328.3 outdistancing the next place finisher at 327.27.

KJAN news spoke with Cheryl Christensen and she was thrilled with the win and talked about the history of the truck which used to belong to a driver out of Omaha.  Their son Nick also ran Dean’s old truck “Nuttin Honey” in the event.

This is the third time the Christensens have won at the state fair.

USDA Report 08-20-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

August 20th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin


Cass County Extension Report 08-19-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

August 19th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson


Montgomery County youth take static exhibits to Iowa State Fair


August 19th, 2015 by Chris Parks

Montgomery County Youth take Static Exhibits to the Iowa State Fair

The 2015 Iowa State Fair Static and Awardrobe Results are out! Additional contests and livestock results will be released throughout the State Fair Week. Congrats Exhibitors!

2015 4-H Static Exhibits
Katie Carlson, Communications Posters, Seal of Excellence
Nick Carlson, Mechanics, Blue
Savanna Clark-Moffett, Clothing & Fashion, Blue
Hannah Elwood, Photography, Blue
Hannah Elwood, Photography, Blue
Tannah Halvin, Photography, Blue
Tannah Halvin, Photography, Blue
Caleb Johnson, Visual Arts, Red
Mariah Lombard, Photography, Red
Mariah Lombard, Self-Determined, Red
Luke Mellott, Science, Engineering & Technology, Red
Delaina Olson, Photography, Blue
Isabelle Perkins, Food & Nutrition, Red
Isabelle Perkins, Home Improvement, Blue
Tyler Rines, Environment & Sustainability, Red
Kendra Top, Photography, Blue
Heidi Vanderholm, Sewing & Needle Arts, Red
Scott Vanderhoof, Home Improvement, Red
Hannah Vial, Communications Posters, Seal of Excellence
Hannah Vial, Photography, Blue
Rob Vial, Photography, Blue
Cassie Vrabel, Child Development, Blue
Cassie Vrabel, Food & Nutrition, Blue
Cassie Vrabel, Food & Nutrition, Red
Corbin Wolfe, Food & Nutrition, Blue
Corbin Wolfe, Horticulture, Blue
Corbin Wolfe, Photography, Blue
Tristan Wolfe, Other Agriculture and Natural Resources, Blue
Tristan Wolfe, Food & Nutrition, Red
Tristan Wolfe, Other Family & Consumer Science, Blue
Mallorie Wookey, Photography, Red
Mallorie Wookey, Photography, Blue
Mallorie Wookey, Photography, Blue
Anna Young, Visual Arts, White

Awardrobe Clothing Event
Cassie Vrabel, Clothing Selection, Top 10%, $25 Gift Card

Extension warns oven canning is unsafe


August 19th, 2015 by Chris Parks

Oven Canning- UNSAFE!

Preserving food by canning in the oven has been a hot topic this summer. It seems everyone is looking for a shortcut to preserve food at home.

Oven canning is NOT a safe shortcut, Barb Fuller, Nutrition and Wellness Specialist and a Master Food Safety Advisor for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, says, “Many individuals have shared they have tried, or have heard about, oven canning. Just because a jar is sealed doesn’t mean the food inside is safe to eat. I’ve had people say to me- ‘I haven’t gotten sick from it.’ I tell them they are probably very lucky! Botulism is a big concern.”

Very often, a trusted and well-meaning friend or relative has shared information about canning in the oven as a simple way to can food. Others have found information off the internet promoting it as a “quick and easy” method.
Food “processed” in the oven will not necessarily be heated hot enough or long enough to produce a safe product! Oven regulators may not be very accurate and the hot air in the oven may not circulate efficiently enough to heat the food in the jars. In addition, dry heat penetrates jars very slowly. Canning jars are not designed for dry heating either. Who would want to clean up that mess if they exploded?

In addition, think of the wasted resources when finding out your food may not be safe to eat. Fuller adds, “People spend a great deal of money, time, and energy canning food. It is disheartening to tell someone their (improperly) canned food could make someone they love very sick.”

Do not put your families’ health and the quality of your food at risk for the sake of a shortcut- like oven canning. Be sure to only use research-based methods and tested recipes for SAFE home food preservation. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is an excellent source of this information. Go to www.store.extension.iastate.edu for publications and recipes. In the Search box (upper right corner), enter the name or number of publication:
• Canning Fruits (PM 1043)
• Canning Vegetables (PM 1044)
• Canning Fruit Spreads (PM 1366)
• Canning Pickled Products (PM 1368)
• Canning and Freezing Tomatoes (PM 638)
• Canning Meats, Poultry, Wild Game, and Fish (PM 3021)
• Freezing Fruits and Vegetables (PM 1045)
• Canning Salsa (HS 0021)

For more information, contact the your County ISU Extension and Outreach Office or Barb Fuller at 641-202-1843or at bfuller@iastate.edu. You can also call ISU Extension and Outreach’s AnswerLine at (800) 262-3804 to talk directly with a Home Economist. AnswerLine hours are Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m.-noon and from 1:00-4:00 pm.

Emerald Ash Borer confirmed in Montgomery County

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 18th, 2015 by Chris Parks

DES MOINES – The emerald ash borer (EAB), a destructive and invasive insect of ash trees has been discovered in central rural Montgomery County. Iowa’s growing number of counties with confirmed detection has now reached twenty-seven. Native to Asia, EAB has spread to 25 states since first being identified in Michigan back in 2002. This exotic pest is responsible for the death of tens of millions of ash trees.

EAB is a small, metallic-green beetle that is about ½ inch long. The larvae stage of this wood-boring insect tunnel under the bark of ash trees, disrupting the flow of water and nutrients, ultimately causing the tree to die. EAB infested ash trees include thinning or dying branches in the top of a tree, evidence of woodpecker activity, S-shaped feeding galleries under dead or splitting bark, D-shaped exit holes, and water sprouts (along the trunk and main branches).

“This find marks the westernmost site that we have found EAB in Iowa to date,” said Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship EAB and gypsy moth coordinator. “This just reinforces the importance of limiting human-assisted firewood movement to reduce the spread of EAB and other injurious tree pests.”

The Iowa EAB Team provides EAB diagnostic assistance to landowners and includes officials from Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and the USDA Forest Service.

Since larvae of EAB can unknowingly be transported under the bark of a tree, the Iowa EAB Team strongly cautions Iowans not to transport firewood across county or state lines. The movement of firewood throughout Iowa or to other states poses the greatest threat to quickly spread EAB and other plant pests. A statewide quarantine remains in place, restricting the movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs, wood chips and ash tree nursery stock out of Iowa into non-quarantined areas of other states.

At this calendar date, the treatment window for soil-applied preventive treatment measures (soil injection, soil drench, or granular application) and basal trunk sprays has ended. Trunk injection remains a viable EAB management option for the next two weeks, as this method can be done when the tree has a full canopy of leaves (now through the end of August), provided there is good ground moisture. If a landowner is interested in protecting a valuable and healthy ash tree within 15 miles of a known infestation, he or she should have landscape and tree service companies bid on work, review the bids, and treat during the recommended treatment time.

Please contact Iowa EAB Team members to have suspicious looking trees checked in counties not currently known to be infested. The State of Iowa will continue to track the movement of EAB on a county-by-county basis. Before a county can be officially recognized as infested, proof of a reproducing population is needed and an EAB must be collected and verified by USDA entomologists.

Rural Atlantic Families “Super Bull” receiving lot’s of attention at the Iowa State Fair

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 17th, 2015 by Chris Parks

The “Super Bull” at the Iowa State Fair seems to be enjoying the attention. “Sampson,” a 3-year-old Red Angus, tipped the scales at a whopping 2,893 pounds and is owned by Jim and Danelle Skartvedt of rural Atlantic.  Sampson was bred by Two Oaks Red Angus of Dunlap, IA Brandon McHugh. The bull was named the winner of the annual “Super Bull” contest at the State Fair Thursday evening. Sampson was raised by Zellmer Farms Alan and Brenda Zellmer, near Atlantic, along with Gage Zellmer and maintained by A to Z Feeders.Sampson

Owners Jim and Danelle Skartvedt were asked about Sampson’s diet and stated “He eats an entire 50 pound bag of Renew Ag Supply’s “Midwest Success with Matrix” per day, with a sprinkle of VitaFerm’s Sure Champ Cattle a 1/4 of a bale, and lots and lots of water.”

Gage Zellmer, the 22-year old son of Brenda and Alan, said it was surprising to the family how big Sampson grew, and how fast.  He told KJAN News “Honestly, what happened was we had him running with some younger bulls that we were trying to bulk-up, and kind of lost track of him. All at once, we realized ‘Holy Cow!,’ he’s huge. So we decided to pull him in and really start cranking him up on feed and decided we’d try the Super Bull [contest]. We’d never done it, never been around it, but just decided we’d try it.”

Gage says it takes a lot of time and feed to make a bull that huge. You wouldn’t think it would be easy to lead around an animal that weighs more than a VW Beetle, but Gage said he was amiable enough once he got used to the idea…still, he can be determined to go where he wants.

Danelle credits her younger brother Gage for being brave enough to climb in and break the bull. “He is a mild mannered bull and seems pretty happy as long as his feeder is full and his fan is on. Sampson was a family project with many helping to get him ready for his big day!”

Sampson beat out the next nearest winner by 150 pounds. You can see Sampson at the Iowa State Fair in the barn near the Livestock Pavilion, through the last day on August 23rd. Look for the sign out front, that reads “Super Bull.” Feel free to stop by and talk to the Skartvedt family about their bull, their business, and feed as well as the Zellmer family and their farm.

Atlantic Parks and Rec Board set to meet Mon. evening

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors will meet Monday in the City Council’s Chambers at City Hall. The meeting begins at 5:15. During their session, the Parks Board will receive updates from Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring and Assistant Director Seth Staashelm, with regard to the Urban Forestry Grant and Tree Census in Atlantic, as well as the Kiddie Korral, which the City’s Street Department has agreed to demolish after Labor Day. A new shelter will be erected in its place.

Other updates include those pertaining to: The Schildberg Rec Area Fishing Dock; Schildberg Campground; the Atlantic Swimming Pool (which will close for the season on August 23rd); The Bull Creek/Schuler Trail, and Schildberg Lake #2 Trail Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant. Herring and Staashelm will also talk about “Operation ReLeaf” that takes place this fall, and the selling of trees through the Urban Forestry Grant.