KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Former legislator who battled Oprah Winfrey in 1996 has died

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A former state legislator who once got in a national spat with Oprah Winfrey has died. Berl Priebe of Algona served in the Iowa House for four years and in the Iowa Senate for 24 years. Priebe, who raised Angus cattle, took offense to a 1996 Oprah Winfrey show about Mad Cow Disease. Priebe blamed Winfrey for the dramatic drop in U.S. cattle prices. He demanded that Winfrey tell her viewers Mad Cow Disease had not been found in the United States.

In 1988, Priebe brought an Iowa State University nutritionist before his Senate Ag Committee to complain about her warning that there might be a link between grilled red meat and cancer. Priebe quipped that the researcher “got a taste of what it was like to be on the griddle for a while.” Priebe was one of four senators — two Democrats and two Republican — who were known as the “Montana Mafia.”

The senators were known for gathering at Montana’s — a bar near the statehouse — to plot strategy for killing bills they opposed in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Former Senator Jack Rife, a farmer from Moscow, Iowa, who later became the state Senate’s Republican Leader, was a member of the Montana Mafia.  “He was a colorful character,” Rife says. “I enjoyed him very much.” Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs, the current Democratic leader in the state senate, says Priebe had the unique ability to bring the senate to a stand-still.

“He was always quite adept and quite talented at figuring out the kind of amendment to offer that would put the place in a really uncomfortable position,” Gronstal says. Priebe then would often engage in what Priebe called “horse trading” to get something he wanted, in exchange for removing the roadblock he’d designed for another bill. “It was great when he was on your side and it was maddening when he wasn’t because he could tie the place up pretty well,” Gronstal says. This example from Gronstal illustrates Priebe’s ability to maneuver the levers of the legislature:

“Berl Priebe always passed the first bill of the session, some bill out of ag committee…every single year. Even if somebody else was ahead of him, he figured out some way to make sure that his bill was the first bill to pass in the legislature.” Priebe was also the long-time chairman of a powerful legislative committee that has the power to reject the rules and regulations state bureaucrats propose. Priebe died Sunday at the age of 96. A memorial service for Priebe will be held Friday afternoon in Algona.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Extension Report 07-23-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

July 23rd, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson


Cass County Fair begins its full run Thursday

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Preparations are underway today (Wednesday) for the nearly week-long run of the Cass County Fair, in Atlantic. Activities at the Fair begin in earnest Thursday, with the Swine weigh-in from 7:30-to 9:30-a.m., and the rabbits checked-in from 8-to 9:30. 4-H Static Exhibit judging takes place from 9-am until 2-pm, and the Clover Kids showcase runs from 9-a.m. until noon, Thursday.

Other events include: the Food Sale at the Cass County Community Center, beginning at 10-a.m.; the Horse and Dairy check-ins at 4:30-p.m.; Poultry check-in from 5-to 6pm; and the Meat Goat weight-in from 6-to 7-pm. The big evening Thursday evening is the King and Queen Contest at 8, followed by Senior Recognition at 8:30-p.m. Deb Schuler, one of the Fair Superintendents for the King and Queen contest, says preparations for the event began with preliminary interviews with the contestants on July 8th.

This year there are seven young ladies vying for the Queen title, and three young men running to become King. The Queen contestants include – Calley Klindt, Tierney Sothman, Kourtnie Stephenson, Alyssa Dean, Jackie Rush, Hannah Misner, and Valerie Watson. The King candidates include – Tyler Christensen, Wyatt Saueglin, and Dylan Ferguson.

Judges for the event include former Queens Mallory Kirchhoff and Bethany Rogers. KJAN’s Jim Field is the emcee for the King and Queen Contest. The young lady who is crowned Queen will advance to represent Cass County at the State Fair, with the coronation taking place August 9th at 7-p.m. on the Anne and Bill Riley Stage.

The Cass County Fair runs through July 29th. For a detailed PDF schedule of events, go to this link: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/cass/sites/www.extension.iastate.edu/files/cass/2014%20Schedule_Cass%20County%20Fair.pdf

Iowa Small Businesses Have Three Weeks Left to Apply for SBA Disaster Loans

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA)is reminding small, non-farm businesses in 70 Iowa counties and neighboring counties in Illinois and Missouri that they have until August 11th, 2014, to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). These loans are to offset economic losses because of reduced revenues to farmers and ranchers caused by drought that occurred from August 27 – October 28, 2013, in the following primary counties.

Primary Iowa counties in this area include: Adair, Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, Dallas, Guthrie, Madison, Sac, Shelby, and Union. Neighboring area counties eligible to apply for an EIDL include: Adams, Cass, Harrison, Pottawattamie, Ringgold and Taylor.

Small, nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred. Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance.

Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency (FSA) about the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration. However, in drought disasters nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
For owners of impacted small businesses, disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling toll-free at (800) 659-2955 or e-mailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. For more information about SBA’s disaster assistance programs, visit http://www.sba.gov/disaster.

The deadline to apply for these loans is August 11, 2014.

Local and State officials agree Bowfishing is allowed at Schildberg Quarry Rec Area

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors Monday evening received an update from Park and Rec Director Roger Herring on several matters, one of which was the legality of Bow fishing at the Schildberg Quarry Rec Area. Herring said the question came about after a couple of the Park Board’s members who were planting flowers at Schildberg and pulling weeds, saw a few people bow fishing off of the south bank. He said the question was raised, “Is that legal?”bow fishing

Herring says he spoke with law enforcement and Brian Hayes, Fisheries Biologist at Cold Springs State Park. The answer is the that bow fishing is no different than rod and reel fishing. To be legal, you must still have an adult fishing license. Herring said there are limitations on the types of fish that can be obtained by bow fishing, however. The fish must be of the “rough” variety, such as carp, river fish, and gar. Game fishing is not allowed through bowfishing. That means you cannot catch bass, perch, bluegill, crappie and catfish.

Board member Charlene Beane said she spoke with the local bow fisherman. She said they spent at least 20-minutes explaining the sport to her.  She said “It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in my life. I was so impressed with these young men and what they know and what they do. I came away absolutely enthralled and excited about it.”

Board member Erin McFadden said the bow fishing devices themselves are not dangerous, and not armed until they are cocked by having the string drawn back. Herring stressed again, that bow fishing is allowed by City Ordinance within the City limits because it’s on public water. State regulations also allow bow fishing in public waters.

Returning Iowa Veterans: Getting Armed to Farm

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa – A big weekend is approaching for military veterans across the region who are ready to take their boots from the battlefields to the farm fields. The Midwest Conference for Farmer Veterans aims to connect vets and service members considering a career in agriculture with information and resources on everything from land access to food safety.

“For example, USDA,” says Matt Russell, state food policy project coordinator of the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University. “The USDA has tremendous programs to help family farmers. “If you didn’t grow up in agriculture, you might not understand all of those resources. So, just helping them navigate that, that would be one of the services that we’re providing as well.”

The farmer veterans conference will be held this Friday and Saturday at Drake University in Des Moines, and will include a tour of a diverse farm operation. More than 40 percent of military members come from farms and small towns, so Ed Cox, chairman of the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Iowa and staff attorney of the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University, says it’s also a vital for rural development to help veterans put down roots and grow a career in agriculture.

“So, if we can get these people that have a record of service to their country back in those rural communities, not only as farmers, but as leaders in the community, it can be a very valuable asset for those rural communities,” he says.

Cox also notes that some returning veterans are looking for a continued sense of service and purpose, and with farming, they can get that by helping to feed their communities and their country.

(Iowa News Service)

Official discusses western Iowa recreation trail

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 19th, 2014 by Chris Parks

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A conservation official says a recreation trail between Council Bluffs and nearby Neola could be ready by 2017. Mark Shoemaker, executive director of Pottawattamie County’s conservation board, says design work will begin this year and construction will start next year for a trail between Council Bluffs and Weston. The Council Bluffs Nonpareil reports that work will expand to Underwood in 2016 and Neola in 2017, which is a stretch of 16 miles.

A $1.1 million grant from the Iowa West Foundation was recently announced for the design and construction of the 10-foot-wide concrete trail that would be parallel to a county road. It will require a match that county officials are already trying to fill.

National park tourism in Iowa creates $11.4 million in economic benefit

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that the 200,000 visitors to Iowa’s national parks in 2013 spent $11.4 million and supported 172 jobs in the state.NPS Patricia Trapp, acting director of NPS’s Midwest Region, which includes Iowa and 12 more states, said “The national parks of Iowa attract hundreds of thousands of visitors a year from across the country and around the world. Whether it’s a day trip of a long family vacation, they come for a great experience — and they end up spending a little money along the way, too.” Iowa’s national parks are Effigy Mounds National Monument and Herbert Hoover National Historic Site.

According to the national report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent), food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), and admissions and fees (10.3 percent). Souvenirs and other expenses accounted for the remaining 10 percent. Nationally, the largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs).

To learn more about Iowa’s national parks and how the National Park Service works with communities in the state to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/iowa.

Blast reported at northwest Iowa ethanol plant

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ARTHUR, Iowa (AP) – No injuries have been reported after an explosion at an ethanol plant in northwest Iowa. The blast occurred Thursday night at the Flint Hills Resources plant in Arthur. Flint Hills spokesman Jake Reint says the explosion occurred in a grain dryer.

The plant will remain out of operation until the explosion is investigated and damage is repaired. Reint says it’s unclear how long that will take. The plant employs about 50 people and operates 24 hours a day.

A company website says Wichita, Kansas-based Flint Hills Resources bought the plant in September 2013. The plant began operating in 2008 and produces 110 million gallons of ethanol a year.

Audubon County Fair Queen crowned

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(corrects earlier post)

The Audubon County Fair continues through Monday at the fairgrounds in Audubon. Thursday night marked the crowning of the 2014 Fair Queen, the title of which went to Cassie Irlmeier, daughter of Kenneth and Sandra Irlmeier, of Elk Horn. She received her crown from 2013 Queen Jan Asberry. Cassie is a Medic with the Iowa National Guard. She plans to study Criminology at UNI this fall.

First Runner-up for the Fair Queen title was Mary Wede, daughter of Mark and Sue Wede, of Audubon.  Mary plans to study Early Childhood Development at DMACC this fall. And, the second Runner-up was Sarah Mosinski, daughter of Donald and Jennifer Mosinski, of Audubon. Sarah plans to pursue an education in either teaching or cosmetology.

Today’s Schedule at the Fair:

8:30 AM Future 4-H’er Sheep/Goat Show
9:00 AM 4-H/FFA Sheep & Goat Show
9:00 AM Judging Open Class Static & Antiques Entries
9:00 AM 4-H/FFA Horse Show
1:30 PM Knowledge Bowl-Show Barn
2:30 PM Livestock Judging Contest Sign up
3:00 PM Livestock Judging Contest 3:30 PM-4:30 PM Open Class Rabbit Check in 4:30 PM Future 4-H’er Rabbit Show
5:00 PM 4-H/FFA & Open Rabbit Show
6:00 PM 4-H/FFA Youth Volleyball Tourney Registration – Pavillion
6:30 PM 4-H/FFA Youth Volleyball Tourney – Pavillion
7:00 PM Farm Bureau Cook Off Contest Judging