KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Iowa schools invited to serve locally grown foods on Oct. 11th as part of Local Food Day Celebration

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 9th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced today (Friday) it has received a $100,000 Farm to School Support Services Grant from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to host an Iowa Local Food Day on October 11, 2018, as part of National Farm to School month. Mike Naig, Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture said “We continue to see growing interest from both the schools and the farmers in incorporating locally grown produce in school meals. We are excited to get this additional funding to help scale-up efforts focused on increasing the amount of locally grown food served in school breakfasts and lunches. This food day celebration will help prepare growers to sell to schools and assist schools in accessing locally grown items.”

With the grant funding, the Department is working to: build a support network for schools interested in using local foods; aid food service directors in making local procurements; work with growers interested in selling produce to schools; partner with Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP) as a starting point for farmers to work with schools; and allow Farm to School activities to expand beyond fruits and vegetables.

The Department is also helping to host the 2018 Iowa Farm to School Conference on June 29th at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny.  Conference attendees will have the opportunity to share ideas, resources and successes to help grow the farm to school and farm to early care and education movement in Iowa.

Farmers or schools interested in participating in Farm to School efforts can contact Tammy Stotts with the Department at tammy.stotts@iowaagriculture.gov.

Deer killed by hunter in southern Iowa had fatal disease

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 9th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

CORYDON, Iowa (AP) — Wildlife biologists have confirmed a deer killed by a hunter in south-central Iowa suffered from chronic wasting disease, marking the first confirmation in a wild deer hunted outside of northeast Iowa. The disease attacks the brains of deer and elk and is always fatal. No human cases have ever been recorded. The deer was killed Dec. 5 in Wayne County.

Iowa wildlife biologist Terry Hainfield says the confirmation of the disease was disappointing, but not surprising. He says officials are “increasing number of CWD positive deer in northeast Iowa and from our neighboring states.” The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says it is waiting for test results from deer recently hunted in Allamakee and Clayton counties.

The fatal disease first appeared in a wild deer herd in Iowa in 2013.

Bill would mandate sale of ‘conventional’ eggs in Iowa stores

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 8th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Legislators are considering a bill that would force the state’s grocery stores to always have “conventional” eggs for sale. Republican Representative Lee Hein, of Monticello says the concern is stores may be pressured to only sell eggs that come from “cage free” operations.  “Which are $3 to $4 more expensive that the regular commodity egg that’s cheaper and more affordable,” Hein says.  Bill backers say it’s about ensuring consumer choice. Critics say it will require stores to sell a certain product. Hein admits to “struggling with” the idea of imposing a mandate. “But I also believe that we don’t need to bow down to the pressure of the animal rights groups, which are maybe growing, but are still a small segment of the population,” Hein says. “And I firmly believe that the regular Iowans wants a choice.”

The vast majority of the eggs laid in the U.S. each year come from “conventional” large-scale operations with thousands of hens. Some retailers, like Walmart, have committed to eventually buying eggs from hens that have a larger range of movement indoors — in so-called “cage free” operations. If this bill becomes STATE law, though, Walmart stores in Iowa would be required to keep selling eggs raised in large-scale conventional operations. The legislation has cleared initial review in both the House and Senate. It must pass a full committee by the end of next week to remain eligible for consideration in the 2018 Iowa legislature.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Extension Report 2-7-2018

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

February 7th, 2018 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson.

Play

DNR Hosting Listening Sessions about Fall Hunting Regulations

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 6th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa DNR invites hunters and trappers to attend listening sessions where they can share suggestions and thoughts about Iowa’s hunting regulations and seasons. The public meetings are the first step in setting rules for the fall 2018 hunting season and will take place Feb. 21 from 6 to 9 p.m. at 18 Iowa locations.

During each meeting, DNR staff will facilitate a discussion about what went well last fall, what didn’t, and what changes hunters and trappers would like to see for the upcoming seasons.

Meetings will be held locally, in Atlantic, Council Bluffs and Creston.

  • Atlantic, Iowa DNR office, 1401 Sunnyside Lane
  • Council Bluffs, Fish and Game Club, 531 Comanche Street
  • Creston, Southwestern Community College, 1501 West Townline, Room 180

Animal protection, environment groups oppose new pork rules

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 6th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Labor, public health, environment and animal protection organizations are asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reject plans to change the way hogs are slaughtered and processed for meat.

Thirty-five organizations, including Compassion Over Killing, Friends of the Earth and Waterkeeper Alliance, asked Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Tuesday to reject the rules proposed last month.

The rules allow plant employees instead of government inspectors to determine which animals are slaughtered and allow increased line speeds. The groups say the changes risk increased food contamination, worker injuries, animal abuse and water pollution.

The USDA says the rules don’t risk food safety and improve industry practices, and the National Pork Producers says they increase efficiency, inspection effectiveness and the rapid adoption of new food-safety technologies.

The USDA is taking comments until April 2.

Local 24 Hour Snowfall Totals as of 7:00 am on Tuesday, February 6

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

February 6th, 2018 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic  3″
  • Massena  3.5″
  • Audubon  4″
  • Guthrie Center  6″
  • Oakland  2.2″
  • Schleswig  5″
  • Clarinda  1″
  • Shenandoah  1″
  • Carroll  5.5″
  • Denison  4.5″
  • Corning  1″
  • Manning  4.9″
  • Underwood  3.2″
  • Woodbine  3″
  • Logan  4″
  • Bedford  1″
  • Council Bluffs  1.5″
  • Red Oak  1″
  • Sidney  1.1″

New president is named for Iowa Pork Producers Assn

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 6th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Despite many challenges in the ag industry, the new president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association says he looks forward to the opportunities ahead in 2018. Gregg Hora (HORE-uh) of Fort Dodge replaces the retiring president Curtis Meier, of Clarinda. Hora says this is an exciting era to be raising hogs in Iowa. “The pork industry has been changing with the times, modernizing our facilities, the way that we house our pigs, the efficiencies and the health status of what we do with our pigs in the barns,” Hora says. “Part of that in this structured change is worker safety and worker productivity. We have new technologies that we’re implementing on the farms.”

One of his primary objectives is making more improvements across the industry in the year ahead. “Some of our goals have to do with continued training and education of our members from the environmental perspective, what we do around our farms and what we do around our pig buildings,” Hora says. “The PQA or pork quality assurance and the trucker quality assurance or TQA are two important aspects that we do with all of our farm workers.”

Hora says it’s vital that pork producers are good neighbors in their communities, calling the pork industry the bedrock of rural Iowa. He says the state’s pork industry continues to have annual growth of two-to-three percent which he calls a job creator. We always talk about efficiencies as an important aspect but consistent improvement is another aspect,” Hora says. “Iowa Pork, along with a number of different ag organizations, continue to have leadership training programs where we’re talking about quality improvements.”

Hora is a contract grower with three finishing sites in Webster County. He finishes 25-thousand hogs per year and raises corn and soybeans on nearly 2,000 acres. He is also the president for the Webster County Pork Producers.

(Radio Iowa)

State punishes egg facility for wastewater runoff into creek

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 2nd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

EAGLE GROVE, Iowa (AP) — Iowa authorities have punished a north-central Iowa egg facility for allowing wastewater to reach a creek. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that the Department of Natural Resources said Daybreak Foods Inc. must pay an administrative penalty of $5,500.

The department says a heavy rain in August washed a recent field application of wastewater into the creek near the facility in rural Eagle Grove. The company has a permit to spread the wastewater but can’t let it run into surface waters.

Iowa governor signs voluntary water quality bill into law

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 31st, 2018 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a bill into law that redirects existing money toward voluntary water quality programs in Iowa. Reynolds signed the bill Wednesday at the state Capitol, marking her first bill signed as governor. The law is expected to redirect $282 million over 12 years from an infrastructure fund and water tax. Research shows it would cost billions of dollars to effectively clean Iowa’s waterways, in large part blamed on farm runoff.

The law doesn’t mandate comprehensive water quality metrics and excludes benchmark improvement goals. Environmental groups argue that lessens the impact. State agriculture officials counter that existing water quality programs rely on extensive research from a voluntary state-backed initiative.

Reynolds says the bill is a first step. It’s unclear if other water-related legislation will advance this session.