A farmer from Adair County was selected to win $2,500 from the Monsanto Corporation as part of the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program. The winner gets to chose which non-profit organization the money is donated to, and in the case of farmer Ronald Nelson, he selected the Adair County Health Foundation as the recipient of those funds.
The Monsanto funds are given to eligible farmers across America that register for a chance to direct a $2,500 donation to a nonprofit organization in the community that they live and work in.
Cass County farmers Chris and Stephanie Witzman have directed a $2,500 donation to the Atlantic High School Journalism Department. The donation is made possible through the Monsanto Funds’ “America’s Farmers Grow Communities” program, and will help the department purchase equipment to improve the quality of production. The journalism department at the school produces a video news show, EYE of the Needle, which is broadcast weekly to the entire student body, and is available online.
Stephanie Witzman says her daughter is in the AHS Journalism Program, and knows how much they can use the funds to purchase up-to-date equipment. Thanks to the support of farmers across the country, more than $3.2 million is being directed to nonprofits in 1,289 counties in 39 states.
America’s Farmers Grow Communities works directly with farmers to support nonprofit organizations like the Atlantic High School Journalism Department, who are doing important work in their communities. The program offers farmers the chance to win $2,500, which is then donated to the farmer’s nonprofit of choice. The search for funding to sustain and enhance programs is a year-round job for nonprofit organizations across the country. Through America’s Farmers Grow Communities, farmers have been able to support a variety of groups, such as schools, fire departments, community centers and youth organizations like 4-H and FFA.
America’s Farmers Grow Communities launched in 2010, and has since donated over $13 million to more than 5,200 nonprofit organizations across the country. America’s Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, is part of the America’s Farmers initiative, which highlights and celebrates the important contributions of farmers like Chris and Stephanie Witzman.
Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources are investigating the shooting of a Golden Eagle northwest of Woodbine, in Harrison County. The DNR isn’t sure whether the federally protected bird was shot in western Iowa or eastern Nebraska, and are uncertain when the incident happened, but it’s believed the eagle was shot sometime Tuesday or early Wednesday. Authorities think an organized group of people are targeting the birds in an attempt to put them on the black market.
Any Harrison County resident with information regarding the eagle shooting, is encouraged to call the Turn in Poachers Hotline at 800-532-2020, or on the web, log-on to Iowadnr.gov/tip. You may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says the number of farms in Iowa has fallen but the total land farmed in the state has remained stable. The Census of Agriculture, a report released every five years, says the number of Iowa farms fell 4.5 percent to 88,631 in 2012 from 92,856 in 2007. The report released Thursday updates a wide range of agricultural statistics as of 2012.
The average size of a farm grew to 345 acres from 331 acres. Land farmed in the state declined by just over 130,000 acres to 30.6 million acres. The average age of an Iowa farmer increased to 57 from 56. The value of Iowa’s agricultural products rose 50 percent to $30.81 billion from $20.41 billion in 2007.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The number of deer taken by hunters in Iowa last year has fallen below 100,000 for the first time since the mid-1990s. It’s the eighth straight year the dear harvest has declined in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says hunters reported 99,406 deer for the 2013 season, a decline of 14 percent from 2012 and 34 percent from the high in 2006. The 2012 deer harvest was 115,606.
The harvest data will be considered when the DNR begins the process of discussing hunting seasons later this winter. Deer hunters purchased 359,956 licenses last year, nearly 18,500 fewer than in 2012.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The value of crops fell last year as corn and soybeans prices declined from record highs the year before. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in an annual report the value of 2013 field crops fell 9.8 percent to nearly $167 billion from $185 billion in 2012. The 2012 drought reduced the corn and soybean harvest and drove prices to record highs which resulted in increased crop value.
Friday’s report says the average price of corn for 2012 was $6.89 per bushel and the value of the crop that year was $74.3 billion. Last year’s average price was $4.50 and the overall value fell to $62.7 billion. Top crop producers last year were Illinois with crops valued at $16 billion, Iowa at $15.9 billion, and Nebraska at nearly $12 billion.
A farm auction held over the weekend in Shelby County over 700 spectators. The land auction of Edwin “Bud” Skalla was held at the St. Mary’s Parish Center in Portsmouth on Saturday morning. The 858 acres of farmland, which was separated into 5 tracts, was purchased for a total of $7.8 million. The tracts were separated between Shelby and Harrison County. Other personal items were also auctioned for a total of $17,000. The money from the auctions will be donated to 13 southwest Iowa catholic churches.
The 92 year old Skalla had bequeathed the land to the churches along with another tract of 292 that was given to St. Mary Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Portsmouth. The portion of land given to Portsmouth was not part of the auction on Saturday. Those churches benefiting in Shelby County are St. Michael’s in Harlan, St. Peter’s in Defiance, St. Joseph’s in Earling, and St. Boniface in Westphalia, St. Mary’s in Portsmouth and St. Mary’s in Panama.
In Harrison County, St. Patrick’s Church in Missouri Valley, St. Anne’s Church in Logan, St. Patrick’s in Dunlap and Sacred Heart in Woodbine. In addition, St. Patrick’s in Neola, St. Rose of Lima in Denison and St. Patrick’s in Council Bluffs are also beneficiaries.