KJAN Ag/Outdoor

From County extension to conservation to grain prices, we provide lots of information every day on KJAN.  Here is some of that information on the web too!  We hope you find it useful.

Audubon FFA Chapter receives recognition

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Audubon High School FFA Advisor Brittany Elmquist says the Audubon High School Chapter of the FFA has been awarded a $1,500 “Planting a Seed” grant from the Iowa Food & Family Project. The grant will be used to conduct activities which increase agricultural awareness and interest among youth in food production and life sciences. The “Planting a Seed” program is sponsored by Pioneer Hi-Bred, in cooperation with the Iowa FFA Foundation.

The Audubon FFA and other grant recipients, will conduct programs this spring that stimulate interest among K-through 12 students in agricultural careers, and emphasize the role science and technology play in providing wholesome food, using less land and fewer inputs. The Audubon Chapter of the FFA plans to host a “Poverty Dinner” for the entire Audubon High School student body, grades 8-through 12. The goal of the event is to increase awareness about food insecurity and the important role farmers play in providing greater quantities of wholesome food for more people.

The dinner will be held during lunch on March 21st, with students randomly assigned to one of three Socio-economic levels that represent proportional global standards of living. The meal might be one of just rice and beans eaten on the floor, or, a nice four-course meal…depending on the students’ assigned socio-economic status. Prior to the dinner, FFA members will discuss scenarios which set the stage for the meal, and what the average day is like for people in the various levels around the world.

During the week leading up to the event, the Audubon FFA Chapter will post facts about agriculture and related Ag-science careers. The chapters’ members will also be recognized April 23rd at the Iowa FFA State Leadership Conference in Ames. The State Chapter determined to have conducted the most innovative and successful activity, will be presented with a $1,500 Award of Excellence, to be used for general chapter activity.

House votes to protect landowners from lawsuits filed by trespassers

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa House has endorsed the idea of new protections for property owners when trespassers get injured. It means a property owner — or the person renting the property — is not liable for injuries trespassers may suffer if the property’s in good condition. Representative Mary Wolfe, a Democrat from Clinton, supported the bill. “What we’re trying to do here makes sense,” she says. “…I think it clarifies some gray areas in the law. I think it can protect homeowners, which is what we want to do.” But critics, like Representative Kurt Swaim of Bloomfield, say the bill does not protect the accidental trespasser.

“That’s the mother that’s taking her child out on Halloween night. That’s a hunter that inadvertantly gets on the wrong land,” Swaim says. “…The person who gets on the wrong land has some fault, but we don’t bar that person from any recovery.” Recovery is another way of suing for money to cover injuries or “pain and suffering.” The bill passed on a 68 to 30 vote. Only three members of the Iowa House spoke during debate of the legislation — and all three are lawyers.

(O.Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

USDA Report 03-08-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

March 8th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Dave York


ISU to hold local food summit on April 3

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Organizers of a local food summit set for April 3 at Iowa State University want producers, distributors, educators, policymakers, and consumers to join in a conversation about how to boost production and use of locally grown food. The Iowa Legislature created the Local Food and Farm Program last year to promote lowa-grown livestock, eggs, milk, fruits, vegetables, and other products. The study that led to creation of the program indicated that Iowans spend about $8 billion a year on food, but only about 14 percent is grown in the state. The summit, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at ISU, will include discussion on business development and financial assistance, food safety, beginning and minority farmer programs, and local food incentives.

Boswell to visit Atlantic Friday (note: Time change)

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

(Please note the time of Boswell’s visit is 11-a.m. Friday, not 10:45-a.m. as previously mentioned)

Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell will be in Atlantic this Friday, to hold one of several public “Listening Posts on Agriculture.” The session are being held as Boswell, a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee, makes preparations to craft the next farm bill with his colleagues in Congress. On his website, Boswell says he wants to hear from “Farmers, producers, and rural business owners in Iowa about what is working for them in the current farm bill and what they would like to see done differently in the next one.”  Boswell’s visit to Atlantic takes place 11:-a.m. Friday, at the Atlantic Public Library.

The listening posts are also part of the Congressman’s “Spirit of Iowa” tour that focuses on how Iowans are partnering with the federal government to rebuild and reinvigorate local economies.

Cass County Extension Report 03-07-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

March 7th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olsen


USDA begins tweeting food recall alerts

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Anyone with a Twitter account can now be among the first to know about food recalls with a new service the Department of Agriculture is rolling out. The USDA says state-specific food safety alerts for meat, poultry, and processed egg products are included as well as information on how to protect food during severe weather events. Up until now recalls have been announced in news releases and on a general USDA Twitter feed. The agency’s Food Safety and Inspection Service says state feeds will better provide information directly to people affected by recalls. Food recalls often involve specific states where food was distributed. The alerts can be followed by listing your state’s two-letter designation followed by underscore then FSISAlert. Iowa for example is IA_FSISALERT and Nebraska is NE_FSISALERT.

US Ag Sec says immigration issues could result in rotting crops

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

U-S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says crops could end up rotting in the fields because of a lack of labor due to the nation’s immigration problems. Speaking before a farm group in Omaha, Vilsack says the elected leaders in Washington understand illegal immigration is a problem, but nobody wants to put aside politics and address it. “Everybody in this country knows that this immigration system is broken, everybody in this country,” Vilsack says, “every member of Congress, all 530 members of the House, all 100 members of the Senate, they know the immigration system is broken, but yet nothing happens.” Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, says politicians are too eager to use the issue as a partisan tool rather than try to find a resolution.

“Everybody knows it’s a problem,” Vilsack says. “Where are the statesmen? Where are the people that are willing to put the national interests ahead of all else?” Vilsack, the head of the U-S-D-A, says the immigration issue may very soon begin to have a significant impact on agriculture.  “Here’s the risk to farming,” he says. “We’re getting to a point where crops may rot because we simply don’t have the people in the fields to do the work that needs to be done.” Vilsack insists the problem can be resolved. “The solution is not the issue here,” Vilsack says. “The problem is, people want to play politics with this issue. They want to go into your communities and they want to scare people about immigrants. They want to divide the nation over this issue because they think there’s political advantage.” Vilsack made his comments Monday to delegates to the National Farmers Union convention.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Public meetings tonight (Tuesday) to discuss hunting/trapping changes

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

March 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowans have a chance tonight (Tuesday) to express their opinions about several proposed changes in hunting and trapping regulations for next fall. Perhaps the biggest change would apply to deer hunters. Iowa Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Bureau Chief Dale Garner says some areas of the state have too many deer, but other areas have dropped below or near department goals. “We would like to reduce the antlerless tags to stabilize the herd,” Garner said.

The proposed changes involve shortening the length of the January deer hunting season, eliminating the November antlerless season altogether and changing the early muzzleloader season to reduce the harvest in the antlerless portion of the deer herd. The proposals are meant to satisfy the concerns of hunters who believe deer reduction efforts have gone too far. The DNR estimates deer numbers in Iowa are down 30% compared to a high mark in 2006. Iowa hunters, during the recent 2011-12 deer hunting seasons, killed 121,407 deer — down 4.5% from the previous year. Changes are proposed for waterfowl hunting and trapping as well.

“We’re looking to potentially increase quotas for both otters and bobcats,” Garner said. “For migratory birds, we have an opportunity to possibly add a (third) zone to the state, which will impact us for four years, so this is a chance for people to think about what that might do.” The possible changes will be discussed during public meetings tonight from 6 to 9 p.m. at 18 locations across the state. The list of possible changes is available online at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Portals/idnr/uploads/Hunting/proposed_changes2012.pdf

In our area, the public meetings will be held in: Carroll, at the Carroll High School; in Council Bluffs, at Abraham Lincoln High School; in Creston, at the Creston High School, and in Onawa, at the Onawa-West Monona Junior/Senior High School.

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa & Ric Hanson/KJAN)

PETA may file lawsuit challenging “ag gag” law


March 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A spokesman for an animal rights organization says his group may file a lawsuit challenging a new Iowa law that establishes new penalties for trying to go undercover on a farm or in a livestock confinement. Dan Mathews, a senior vice president for PETA — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, says the law sends a message that there’s something to hide on Iowa farms. “It’s brought a lot of people to our website wanting to see the footage that we got at the Hormel farm in Iowa that everyone got so upset about and wants to keep cameras off farms as a result of that case,” Mathews says. “I think that this is going to come back to haunt Iowa agriculture more than they could ever imagine.” Mathews says Iowa has “singled itself out” as a state with something to hide.

“I don’t think that is a very strong message to send to consumers,” Mathews says. Mathews expects some of PETA’s student groups may try to keep Iowa-raised beef out of school cafeterias and while Mathews says “all options” are on the table, he’s not sure about a nationwide boycott of Iowa-raised food. Governor Branstad says if a person goes on Iowa farm property “through fraud or deception or lying”, they should be held legally accountable for trying to “disrupt agricultural operations.”

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)