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.

Atlantic Parks & Rec Board approves Summer Rec Programs & Schildberg Improvements

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Schildberg Quarry Recreational Trails Mileage Chart

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors, Monday, approved various Summer Recreation Programs, the opening of Sunnyside Park facilities and streets, and the City Park restrooms, and Sunday concerts at the Sunnyside Bandshell. Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring said visitors to the Schildberg Quarry Recreation Area will soon notice over a dozen new benches along the trails surrounding the Schildberg Lakes. The benches were first proposed by Atlantic Eagle Scout Casey Ihnen during the board’s meeting last month. At the time, Ihnen said he would try to get sponsors for the 13 benches, who would pay $120 each. Herring said it didn’t take long for the Ihnen to meet his goal. All of the benches were sold in a matter of 48-hours. In addition, two manufactured benches which were provided by the family of Joe O’Brien, have been installed and are getting lots of use.

Herring said also, color-coded mileage charts will be published in the local paper, and eventually on the City’s Parks and Recreation website, and at the Schildberg area, indicating (depending on which end you start at and which loop you use), how far you will have walked on the trail. He said an east- and west-legend has been put together. The (1:53) green trail is one-mile, the blue trail is 1.2-miles, and the red trail is 1.5-miles, from start-to-finish. He says mileage was computed by Snyder and Associates Engineers, using G.P.S (Global Positioning System), so they are very accurate.

Herring said also, registration for the Summer Recreation Program will begin in May. Some changes this year include the running of a SWITA bus to transport kids for the Playground Program.  Children will be picked up from three different locations in Atlantic to the Washington School, between 9:15- and 9:30-a.m. At 5th and Mulberry, Cedar Park, and at the entrance to Sunnyside Park, located at 10th and Mahogany. Parents will need to pick their children up when the program ends at 11:30-a.m. each day, at the Nishna Valley YMCA. The Parks Board voted to discontinue the Special Needs Playground Program this year, after consulting with the City Attorney, who cited liability and cost in his recommendation to end the program.

Atlantic Parks & Rec Board to discuss Capital Improvement Projects and Summer Prgms.

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors will meet Monday evening in the Council’s chambers at City Hall. During their 5:15-p.m. session, the Board will receive updates on their Capital Improvement Projects, discuss Summer Recreation Programs, programming and fees at the Sunnyside Pool, adding mileage charts for the Schildberg Quarry Trails, and other matters pertaining to the Quarry Rec Area. Other topics include the opening of streets and restrooms at Sunnyside Park, and Sunday concerts at the Sunnyside park.

USDA Report 03-15-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

March 16th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Max Dirks

Paddlers Warned: Iowa Waterways Ice Cold Despite Recent Warm Spell

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

March 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The record warm temperatures in recent days have likely spurred water enthusiasts to break out their boating or canoe gear.

Todd Robertson

Todd Robertson, river programs outreach coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, is reminding paddlers to dress for the water, not the air. “Even though air temperatures are nice and warm and all cozy, the water is a completely different story,” Robertson says. “The water temperatures are in the low 40s, which mean it is ice cold.” The general rule, according to Robertson, is that if the water and air temperatures do not equal 120 degrees, anyone dumped in the water is at risk for hyperthermia.


“I have already seen quite a few people going out paddling who don’t have a lot of experience. I’ve seen people on Gray’s Lake (in Des Moines) without life jackets and in cotton sweat shirts and jeans,” Robertson says. “I mean, God forbid if they were to ever dump their boat in the water, they’d run into a lot of trouble.” He says dry suits or wet suits are recommended for all paddling until the water temperatures hit safer levels in late April or early May.

Robertson also suggests taking a bag with plenty of dry clothing. A properly fitted lifejacket is always important, regardless of the water temperatures, but Robertson notes hypothermia causes the loss of coordination and movement becomes limited – so a lifejacket is necessary to stay afloat and keep the head above water.

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)

Rural economy appears strong in 10 states

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Higher fuel prices haven’t slowed the economy much in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Plains states. A monthly survey of rural bankers showed no change in March. The overall economic index registered 59.6 again this month, and any score above 50 suggests the economy will grow. The bankers appear quite optimistic about the next six months because the confidence index rose to 63 in March from February’s 60.3. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says there is still a fair amount of uncertainty about the economy, so many farmers and businesses are reluctant to expand. The hiring index rose to 60 in March from February’s 53.7, suggesting businesses are hiring. The survey covers Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Realtors say Iowa farmland value up 11 percent

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — The value of Iowa farmland is up by nearly 11 percent over the last six months as commodity prices remain strong. A survey of real estate agents shows the value of good quality farmland jumped by 10.8 percent to an average of $9,370 an acre. The Iowa Farm and Land Chapter No. 2 of the Realtors Land Institute released its survey on Thursday. The gains varied from 9 percent in northeast Iowa to nearly 13 percent in southwest Iowa from Sept. 1 to March 1. Troy Louwagie of Hertz Farm Management says several factors are driving up values, including high commodity prices and low interest rates. He says land sales have been strong in the last six months, and the survey results are not surprising.

Cass County 4-H Pancake Supper a Great Success

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 14th, 2012 by Jim Field

Participation from community members is critical at the Pancake Supper to ensure the continual success of the Cass County Endowment and 4-H Program. Endowment Committee member Curt Behrends and Youth Action Committee chair Michelle Behrends catch their pancakes.

More than 350 people were served at the 4-H Endowment Pancake Supper, held Tuesday, March 13. The Endowment Committee wishes to thank all of the community members who came out to support this fundraiser which raised more than $2300.  “The current program development fee for each member is 30 dollars and we have more than 250 members so that takes a lot of pancake eating and support from the community,” shared Susan Oliver, Cass County Youth Coordinator.

Proceeds from the 4-H Pancake Supper will directly benefit the Cass County 4-H Program.  This money defrays the cost of the Program Development Fee each year, provides scholarships to send Cass County 4-H’ers to camps and conferences, start up dollars for new programs such as Clover Kids, as well as 4-H program materials and awards.  “With support from the community, the opportunities we can provide are limitless,” says Oliver.

The Cass County 4-H Endowment was established in 2002 as an opportunity for the community to invest in the positive youth development program.  The 4-H Endowment’s sole purpose is to receive and solicit gifts, contributions and bequests on behalf of Cass County 4-H.  The Endowment Committee will accept contributions anytime during the year.

There are a variety of ways community members can contribute to the 4-H Endowment:
*         4-H 400/1000 – A yearly pledge program of $40 to $100 per year for 10 years
*         Memorials – Gifts in memory of family members or friends
*         Tributes – Gifts to honor someone or a special occasion
*         Gifts in Kind – Products of services given to support Cass County 4-H.
*         Life Insurance – Name the 4-H Endowment Fund as a beneficiary and deduct premium costs
*         Securities or Real Estate
*         Charitable Gift Annuity – Transfers assets to the endowment and allows giver to receive continuing income from the assets through his/her lifetime

Anyone wishing to contribute to the Cass County 4-H Endowment may contact Susan M. Oliver, County Extension Youth Coordinator at the Cass County Extension Office at 243-1132.  Contributions can be made out to “Cass County 4-H Endowment” and may be sent to the Cass County Extension Office, 805 West 10th Street, Atlantic, IA 50022.

Cass County Extension Report 03-14-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

March 14th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olsen

Guthrie County Extension welcomes new Office Coordinator

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A native of Guthrie Center has returned home to become the new Office Coordinator at the Guthrie County Extension Office. Vicki Frohling (formerly Vicki Hansen) started working at the Extension office on March 5th.

Vicki Frohling

As Office Coordinator, Vicki has the responsibility of coordinating the office needs in Guthrie County, delivered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

She brings to the position a background in health care administration,  and most recently served as the Executive Director of the Russell, Kansas, Area Chamber of Commerce. Frohling graduated from Guthrie Center High School and attended Northwest Missouri State University. She and her husband Wyatt recently moved back to Iowa from Kansas, and live on an acreage three miles west of Guthrie Center.  The couple has two adult children who live in Kansas.

Frohling says she’s “Excited to be living back in Guthrie Center and working for the extension office,” and the she looks forward to becoming an active part of the community. ISU Extension invites you to stop by the Guthrie County Extension Office at 212 State Street in Guthrie Center and welcome Vicki back to Guthrie Center and to her new position.

Wiota Wind Energy to give Public Tours Monday

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with USDA Rural Development have announced Iowa’s USDA Director Bill Menner will be in Wiota Monday, March 19th, to participate in a public tour of Wiota Wind Energy’s new 1.5-megawatt hour wind turbine. The turbine, which is located at 68752 Independence Road in Wiota, will be open for public tours from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Representatives will be on hand to talk about the project and answer any questions.

Wiota Wind Energy LLC was formed in 2011 and includes several private local investors. The organization’s first commercial sized community-owned wind turbine is expected to generate as many as 5,900-Megawatt hours of energy annually, with a design life of 20 to 25 years. A power purchase agreement has been made with the local power cooperative.

USDA Rural Development participated in the project by providing a $504,733 loan guarantee through its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).