KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Shildberg Recreation Area progress a big topic at Atlantic Parks and Rec meeting

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 20th, 2017 by Chris Parks

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Board met on Monday evening in the council chambers at City Hall and progress at the Shildberg Recreation Area was a big topic of discussion. Atlantic Parks and Recreation Director Seth Staashelm said work is going on this week to plant trees, install fire rings, and begin sewer line installation for the campground.

Some shoreline stabilization work is being done around lake 3 at Shildberg’s and long term plans are in mind to eventually connect the lake 2 trail to a full circle.

The board also discussed the Sunnyside Pool Renovation plans and Staashelm is encouraging the public to comment on the project so the plans can be shaped by the community.

Discussion also began on forming a committee to look into improving the little league complex into a larger sports complex that other sports can take advantage of.

A summer series of Movies in the Park also starts up this Friday with some added fun activities for the kids.

Exercise held to help continue Iowa’s Animal Health Emergency planning efforts


June 19th, 2017 by Chris Parks

DES MOINES – Last week over 60 federal, state and local agency, academic and industry professionals met to participate in a mock animal disease emergency response exercise. The exercise was hosted by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship with the support of Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

“Unfortunately, Iowa saw firsthand how devastating an animal health emergency can be with the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreak that severely impacted our poultry industry in 2015.  The Department has made it a priority to take the lessons learned from that disaster and help us be better prepared should we have to deal with another event in the future.  This exercise was another step in that process and I greatly appreciate all the stakeholders from across the state that participated,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said.

The tabletop exercise was designed to help test response capabilities and review the Department’s updated Foot-and-Mouth Disease Response Plan that was completed this spring.  Foot and Mouth Disease is a highly contagious viral disease of livestock that affects cattle, swine, sheep, goats and other cloven-hoofed ruminants. This disease is not transmissible to humans and there are not food safety concerns with the disease.

This all-day exercise allowed leaders in industry, academia and government to talk through the plan and process of preventing, detecting, and responding to various scenarios involving an outbreak response.

“We greatly appreciate the leadership by the Department to develop this plan and continue the process by holding this exercise so we can continue to learn and improve,” said Pat McGonegle, CEO of the Iowa Pork Producers Association who participated in the exercise.

A Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak has the potential to be devastating to the Iowa and national economy. Iowa is the number one pork producing state in the nation and 4th in beef production.  Iowa 3rd in milk goat inventory and 9th in all sheep and lamb inventory. Our state also has over 200,000 dairy cows and is in the top 15 nationally for milk production.  Livestock feed is the top customer of both corn and soybeans, so grain farmers would also be significantly impacted if the disease is found.

The Center for Food Safety and Public Health at Iowa State coordinated the development of the updated response plan.  The exercise was organized/conducted by SES, Inc. out of Merriam, Kansas, who provided facilitators and evaluators to document discussion, resolve questions, and advise on plans, policies, and procedures.

Conservation Report 06/17/2017

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 17th, 2017 by Chris Parks

Bob Bebensee and DNR Conservation Officer Grant Gelle talk about all things outdoors, including fishing eating up with the weather.


Agri-giant: DuPont-Dow merger gets Justice Dept approval


June 16th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The U.S. Justice Department has approved the merger of DuPont and Dow Chemical, but with the condition that some crop protection products be sold off. Critics have complained the merger will increase costs for farmers by reducing competition in the seed and farm chemical markets. The Justice Department’s conditions for the merger call for the sale of DuPont’s Finesse herbicide for winter wheat and an insecticide used in fruit and vegetable crops. DuPont acquired Iowa-based Pioneer Hybrid in 1999 and there were fears last year that Pioneer facilities in Johnston might be closed.

However, DuPont shifted some jobs from Delaware to Iowa and made the Pioneer campus in Johnston a hub for crop research and its seed business. Senator Chuck Grassley had been among those raising some concerns about the DuPont and Dow Chemical merger and he’s vowing to “keep a close eye on” mergers within the agriculture industry, but Grassley says forcing the companies to sell off parts of their businesses maintains “a more fair and open marketplace” for farmers.

But Grassley adds that farmers — and consumers — are “rightly…on edge” about agribusiness mergers. The Justice Department continues to review another proposed agribusiness merger. Germany’s Bayer hopes to take over Monsanto and become one of the world’s largest agriculture conglomerates.

(Radio Iowa)

International farmers group arrives in IA for week of tours, w/stops in Anita & Bridgewater

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 16th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

An international delegation of ten farmers and ag industry leaders from as far away as Australia and New Zealand is arriving in Iowa today (Friday) to spend a week studying the Iowa way of life. Ed Kee, Delaware’s former Secretary of Agriculture, is now president of Nuffield American. “Nuffield International is a group that sponsors significant travel for young farmers from different countries to go around the world and learn about agriculture in those countries,” Kee says. “They travel 16 weeks divided over a year’s time to do that work.”

That work includes compiling an in-depth report on their experiences. Kee is no stranger to Iowa as he’s had a long working relationship with Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey. “It’s a real treat for me to help these people from these different countries to visit Iowa,” Kee says. “Secretary Northey and his department have been a big help in arranging it but as we did that, the Iowa farmers, the Iowa agribusiness people are so welcoming and encouraging.”

Members of the delegation were expected tol begin their tour meeting with Secretary Northey today. “The group is interacting with the different farm organizations and commodity leaders to really start off trying to understand Iowa agriculture,” Kee says. “The most exciting thing is just getting out on the farms, interacting with different agribusinesses, different farmers.”

The tour will include stops on farms and tours of agricultural industries in the Des Moines area as well as Ames, Anita, Bridgewater, Sigourney, Nevada and Ellsworth. They’ll also take in an Iowa Cubs game in Des Moines, the first baseball game for many of them. Ag officials participating in the tour are from Australia, Brazil, England, Ireland, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

(Radio Iowa)

Take dad fishing this Father’s Day

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 15th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Give dad something he will always treasure this Father’s Day – quality time together. Take dad fishing and create memories that you can relive every time you’re together. “Fishing is a fun way to celebrate special family events,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Bureau. “Enjoy your time together in Iowa’s great outdoors without the stress of busy schedules and interruptions from mobile devices.”

Snap a picture of you and your dad fishing and enter it in the 2017 #MissionFishin Photo Contest. Find the complete contest rules at www.iowadnr.gov/missionfishin. Visit the Iowa DNR website at www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing for tips on making the most of your fishing trip this Father’s Day including what’s biting where, fishing maps and great places to fish close to home.

Conservation Station to held July 4th in Massena

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 15th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Cass and Adair County Farm Bureaus are partnering with other ag organizations to put on Ag Adventure at the July 4th celebration in Massena. A highlight of the Ag Adventure is the Iowa State University “Conservation Station,” an engaging learning center that educates persons of all ages about the importance of clean water and healthy soil.

Visitors to the Conservation Station can partake in free, fun, hands-on activities and demonstrations. You can play the watershed game and learn how water flows in a watershed, as well as how all Iowans can make a difference for water quality. There’s a rainfall simulator, that shows how water can run off or infiltrate into surfaces, both in agriculture and urban environments. The water runoff and subsurface drainage is collected in jars to show how different land management choices can impact water and soil movement.

The Conservation Station is sponsored by the Water Rocks! and Learning Farms programs. The Station is one of just 10 stations that make up this year’s Ag Adventure, which allows attendees to meet local farmers and learn about agriculture through hands-on experiences. The event was successfully hosted last year in Greenfield, and moves to Massena this year.

The site will open immediately after the 4-p.m. 4th of July parade in Massena and remain open until 7-p.m. Many of the popular stations will feature live animals. Participants will be treated to home-made ice cream, once they’ve completed the adventure.

For more information, check out “Who’s your IA Farmer” on Facebook, or contact the Adair or Cass County Farm Bureau offices.

Cass County Extension Report 06/14/2017

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 14th, 2017 by Chris Parks

w/ Extension Program Coordinator Kate Olson


Northey encourages farmers to update information on IA Hay & Straw Directory


June 13th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today (Tuesday) encouraged Iowa hay and straw producers to register or update their listing on the Iowa Hay and Straw Directory.  The directory lists Iowa producers with hay and straw for sale, as well as organizations and businesses associated with promoting and marketing quality hay and straw.

“The directory has been a great tool for both buyers and sellers and we hope farmers will take the time to review and update their information so that it remains a valuable resource,” Northey said.  “This directory can serve as a critical link for those producing hay and those looking to buy, so we encourage Iowans to take advantage of this free directory.”

The listing is available to interested buyers throughout the nation, however only sellers from within Iowa can be included on the list. Names are gathered throughout the year with added emphasis now that hay harvest has started. Sections within the Hay and Straw Directory include “Forage for Sale,” “Forage Auctions,” “Hay Associations,” “Forage Dealers,” “Hay Grinders” and “Custom Balers.”

Farmers interested in listing should visit the Department’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov.  An application form can be found by going to the “Bureaus” link and then selecting “Agricultural Diversification and Market Development.”  Then click on “Hay & Straw Directory” on the right side of the page under “Directories.”

For those without internet access, please call the Hay/Straw Hotline at 800-383-5079.  The Department will fax or send a printed copy of the application to be filled out. The Department is also supporting the Iowa Crop Improvement Association’s “Iowa Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage and Mulch Certification Program.”  Through this program Iowa forage and mulch producers can take advantage of many emerging market opportunities for “Certified Weed Free” products.  For more specific information on this program producers should contact the Iowa Crop Improvement Association at 515-294-6921.  More information can also be found by visiting http://www.iowacrop.org/Weed_Free.htm.

Adair County Historical Society Tractor Ride is July 8

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 13th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Adair County Historical Society Eighth Annual Heritage Tractor Ride is set to take place Saturday, July 8th. Organizers say this year’s ride will be “For the Fun of it” and will start with breakfast at the Heritage Center on the west edge of Greenfield, at 7 a.m. Tractors will depart at 8 a.m., and head across country to Casey, taking in the fun of a good old-fashioned drive on little-traveled country roads.

They will arrive in Casey for a short break before driving through the Casey Fun Days Parade. From there they will travel to Adair for lunch in the Adair City Park. Riders and the public can purchase lunch at the Adair Lion’s Club Snack Shack. Folks are encouraged to join the riders on the noon break to view the tractors and support the Lions.

Riders can register in advance by picking up a form at various locations in the community, or they can register the morning of the ride. Registration fee is $10 and includes breakfast. Contact the Historical Society at 641-743-2232 for more information.