NEBRASKA CITY, Neb. (AP) — A regional conference in Nebraska next month will focus on ways to encourage schools to get their food from local farmers and the benefits of that. More than 200 people are expected to attend the March 2 event in Nebraska City. The conference will attract a mix of farmers, ranchers, school food service officials and others concerned about the issue.
Throughout the day, speakers will offer advice on ways to increase the amount of local food served in schools and ways to teach students more about healthy food. The event is sponsored by the Center for Rural Affairs, Iowa Department of Agriculture and University of Missouri Extension.
More information is available online at http://www.cfra.org/midwest-farm-school .
The public is invited to attend the 25th annual meeting of the Wallace Foundation for Rural Research and Development scheduled for Wednesday, March 2, 2016, at the Learning Center located at the Armstrong Research Farm near Lewis.
This year’s program will begin at 9:45 a.m. with Steven Bradbury and Richard Hellmich, ISU environmental toxicologists, presenting “Update on the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium” followed by Lee Schulz, ISU extension agricultural economist, speaking on “Crop and Livestock Market Situation and Outlook.”
Following a complimentary lunch, the annual business meeting will be conducted.
The Armstrong Research Farm is located 12 miles southwest of Atlantic on Highway 6, half a mile south on 525th Street, and a half mile east on Hitchcock Avenue; or, 13 miles east of Oakland on Highway 6, half a mile south on 525th Street, and half a mile east on Hitchcock Avenue.
For more information contact the Wallace Foundation at 712-769-2650 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new grazing education and networking program intended for young and beginning graziers will be offered this year by the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University, in Adams County. ISU extension beef program specialist Joe Sellers said Grassroots Grazing is a three-part series that was started in 2015, with a southwest Iowa program offered in Corning, on February 22nd, 2016.
The grazing management series is designed primarily for young and beginning graziers but anyone interested in basic forage management is welcome to attend. All participants will receive a resource manual for use throughout the course and at their farms. The first session includes discussions on controlling feed costs, setting goals for your grazing system, and pros and cons of various grazing programs. The February meeting is part one of a three part series, with pasture walks and additional meetings later in the year (dates to be determined by the participants).
The series is sponsored by the ISU Extension and Outreach and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and sessions will be led by local ISU extension beef program specialists with assistance from other producers and volunteers. Local sponsors in Corning include the Southern Iowa Forage and Livestock Committee and the Adams County Cattlemen’s Association.
Joe Sellers say “There is no fee to attend, but we strongly encourage pre-registration to plan for the meal and ensure adequate materials for everyone. Please register by February 19th.”
The date, start time and address for the initial session at each location are listed below, along with the contact person for each site.
Corning, Iowa: February 22, 2016 – 6:30 pm at the St Patrick’s Church Parish Center (607 6th Street, 4 blocks west of Casey’s).
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – State officials say an invasive insect that kills ash trees has been confirmed in Iowa City. The Iowa Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that a specimen collected from trees that appeared to be under attack on the University of Iowa campus was confirmed as an emerald ash borer. With Johnson County added to the list, there are now 30 Iowa counties where the pest has been confirmed.
The insects are native to Asia and were first spotted in the U.S. in 2002, when they showed up in the Detroit area. Authorities say the insects have spread to at least 25 other states, killing millions of trees. Once infected, trees typically die within five years. University of Iowa officials estimate there are 560 ash trees on campus.
Officials with Monsanto report 12 central Iowa area farmers have directed $30,000 to area nonprofit organizations through America’s Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. The winning farmers and organizations participated in a presentation at the Iowa Power Farming Show on Feb. 4th. Each farmer directed a $2,500 Grow Communities donation to a nonprofit organization of their choice.
The farmer-directed donations will help local organizations fund a variety of projects. America’s Farmers Grow Communities has collaborated with farmers in Iowa to donate over $1.9 million to local community organizations since 2010. Donations have been used to help fight rural hunger, purchase life-saving fire and EMS equipment, support ag youth programs, purchase education classroom resources and more.
Visit www.AmericasFarmers.com to learn more. And, from now through April 1st, farmers in eligible counties can nominate their local school district to compete for an America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education grant ranging from $10,000 to as much as $25,000. This year, the program will be awarding $2.3 million for math and science curriculum enhancement. Learn more about it at www.GrowRuralEducation.com.
Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) report 88 of 99 Iowa counties notified the DNR in January that they plan to evaluate construction permit applications and proposed locations for animal confinements by using the master matrix. Animal producers in those counties must meet higher standards than other confinement producers who also need a construction permit. They must earn points on the master matrix by choosing a site and using practices that reduce impacts on air, water and the community.
With 11 exceptions, all counties will use the matrix during the next 12 months. Among the counties that will not use the matrix in 2016, is Fremont. Officials say Counties that adopt the master matrix can provide more input to producers on site selection, the proposed structures and proposed facility management. Participating counties score each master matrix submitted in their county and can also join in DNR visits to a proposed confinement site.
While all counties may submit comments to DNR during the review process for permit applications, counties that adopt the master matrix can also appeal approval of a preliminary permit to the state Environmental Protection Commission.
The deadline for enrolling in the program is Jan. 31st of each year.
Following last weekend’s deaths of two ice fishermen who fell through the ice and into a frigid lake in southern Iowa’s Decatur County, Iowans are being warned to be extremely cautious on the ice. Ed Rotert, training officer for the Mount Ayr and Midwest Regional Dive Team, says this is a particularly bad time to be risking your life by walking onto a frozen lake or pond. “Right now, the ice looks thick but it’s rotted ice,” Rotert says. “We were breaking ice out there that was close to 4″ thick and it wouldn’t even hold us up.”
Forecasters call for high temperatures across parts of southern Iowa on Sunday in the low 40s. Rotert says the ice -may- be thick enough to be considered safe in some areas of Iowa, but certainly not all of them. “It’ll be different, lake to lake, depending on the size of the lake and whether it’s spring-fed or not,” he says. “Right now, with the warm weather we’ve been having, I would suggest nobody goes out on the ice.”
Should you decide to venture onto the ice, Rotert suggests you bring along a couple of ice picks, so if you do fall in, you can use the picks to pull yourself up and out. “Ice fishermen can buy floatation coveralls,” he says. “Most importantly, if you’re going to walk out on the ice, take a one-inch pole, closet rod, anything like that, and as you walk, slam it into the ice. If it breaks through or fractures and starts to go through the ice, that ice is completely unsafe.”
Another tip, he says the darker the ice appears, the more thin it is likely to be. The bodies of the father and son were recovered at Little River Lake on Sunday after several hours of searching. Sixty-three-year-old David Adair and 33-year-old Joe Adair were both from Missouri. They were about 200 feet from the shore when the ice broke.
Officials with ISU Extension say on Thursday, February 18th, Women, Land & Legacy of Southwest Iowa will be hosting a learning experience for the tastebuds. Participants will be inspired to grow fresh herbs and garden produce to incorporate into their own recipes after learning how Sauced, Red Oak’s newest restaurant, uses locally grown goods in their dishes.
The schedule for the evening includes the option to dine at Sauced, located on the southeast corner of the square at 322 E. Coolbaugh, by purchasing your own meal off the menu at 6:00 p.m. Beginning at 7:00, Sally Stoakes, the owner of Sauced, will present information about using a farm-to-table philosophy in her business. She will also introduce participants to a variety of herbs and talk about how to grow and use them at home.
Pre-registration is encouraged by Monday, February 15th by calling Iowa State University Extension & Outreach-Mills County at (712) 527-3316, Fremont County at (712) 374-2351, or Montgomery County at (712) 623-2592. Special accommodations may be requested by contacting these offices, as well. The cost is $5 per person, payable at the door. Proceeds will be used to offset the cost of the program. Menu items are available at their listed price.
Sauced just celebrated its grand opening in mid-January. The event is sponsored through a partnership of Fremont, Mills and Montgomery counties Farm Service Agency, Soil and Water Conservation District, Iowa State University Extension & Outreach, and Women, Land & Legacy of Southwest Iowa.
Women, Land & Legacy is committed to offering learning opportunities for rural women in areas such as business, management, agriculture and family.