KJAN Programs

11 Iowa projects to receive grants to help promote specialty crops

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship today (Thursday) announced that eleven projects in Iowa have been selected to receive grant funding to help enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.  The Department received $282,032 through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service to support the program. Iowa agricultural non-profit organizations, cooperatives, specialty crop industry associations or organizations, and producer groups were eligible to apply for funding. The maximum grant award from the Department to sub-grantees is $24,000 and administrative and indirect costs are not allowed.

Among the grant recipients in southwest Iowa, is:

Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) in Oakland, which received $23,991. The organization is working with New Tree School, local growers, and other partners, to create new markets for sales of locally-sourced and locally–propagated native oak trees.  They will first identify public and private lands with old-growth oak trees from which to harvest acorns. Project partners such as farmers and landowners with an interest in propagating oaks will be identified and trained in proper growing practices.

Southern Iowa Resource, Conservation & Development, in Creston, received a $23,968 grant  for a project aimed to draw the millennial demographic to farmers markets. Southern Iowa Resource, Conservation & Development will use text message marketing and Facebook advertising, to exclusively promote specialty crop farmers’ market vendors at area farmers’ markets, in addition to radio and newspaper ads.

Other recipients include: Lutheran Services in Iowa – $24,000; Iowa State University of Science and Technology – $23,750; Iowa State University of Science and Technology- $23,968; Allamakee New Beginnings, Inc. dba Iowa Food Hub – $21,198; The James Gang dba Iowa Valley Global Food Project – $23,331; University of Northern Iowa – $17,186; Practical Farmers of Iowa – $24,000; Iowa State University Extension and Outreach – Johnson County Extension- $20,764; and, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Local Foods Program – $24,000.

Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said “The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program has supported a wide variety of projects here in Iowa in the past several years to promote locally grown products and we are excited to get another round of funding that will support food safety, research and marketing efforts.  Specialty crops are a very important part of Iowa agriculture as they allow farmers to diversify and give customers access to local foods and other products.”

“Specialty Crops” that are eligible under the program are fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.  The funds not passed through to Iowa organizations will be used by the Department to administer the grant. Grant funds will be used for projects that benefit and enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops industry as a whole, and cannot be for projects that directly benefit a particular product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual.

Trump reportedly has told EPA to back down on RFS

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Bloomberg News is reporting that President Trump has directed the E-P-A to table proposals that would weaken the Renewable Fuels Standard. Governor Kim Reynolds spoke by phone with President Trump Wednesday morning and a few hours later she told reporters in Pella that she intends to keep lobbying on the issue. “It’s not done until it’s done and if you ever think that it is, you’re mistaken,” Reynolds said, “so you don’t stop until you get the final numbers.”

Reynolds spoke at a news conference in Pella. She was joined by leaders in the renewable fuels industry. Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, says it was “discouraging” to see a federal agency “regressing” on Trump’s 2016 campaign pledge to “protect” the Renewable Fuels Standard. “So I urge President Trump and Administrator Pruitt in the EPA not to buckle in the interests of certain oil companies and refiners, but rather stay true on promises made on the campaign trail,” Kimberley said. “…This is about ‘America First’. This is about American jobs, American energy, national security and, certainly, it’s about rural America and the American heartland.”

Iowa Renewable Fuels Association executive director Monte Shaw says E-P-A’s initial proposals weren’t “good news” and it was important that President Trump get that message. “Quite frankly, it looked like the EPA was looking for just about any and every excuse it could find to lower the numbers for both corn ethanol, biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol,” Shaw said. “It kind of felt like the EPA was saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to put up a giant sign across rural America that says: “Closed for business.”‘ And people got upset. People were disappointed and, to a certain extent, people even felt betrayed.”

On another front, Republican Joni Ernst has used her authority as a U.S. Senator to block a confirmation vote on the man Trump has nominated to run the renewable fuels program inside the E-P-A.  “Able to hold their feet to the fire on a pathway to receive those strong reassurances on these biofuel volumes and the EPA’s commitment to follow both the letter and the spirit of the RFS,” Ernst told Radio Iowa yesterday afternoon.

Chuck Grassley, Iowa’s other Republican Senator, hosted a meeting in his office earlier this week for a group of Midwestern senators who spoke face-to-face with Pruit about these concerns.

(Radio Iowa)

US agency withdraws rule aimed at protecting animal farmers

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has killed a rule designed to protect the legal rights of farmers who raise chickens and hogs for the nation’s largest meat processors. The rule would have made it easier for farmers to sue companies they contract with over unfair or deceptive practices.

It was rolled out in the final days of Barack Obama’s administration. But the USDA delayed it after President Donald Trump took office. On Tuesday, the agency withdrew it for good. Farmers who have waited years for the rule are expressing disappointment. Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa farmer, accuses the Trump administration of “pandering to big corporations.”

Poultry and pork industry trade groups say the rule would have reduced competition and driven meat prices higher.

Heartbeat Today 10-18-2017

Heartbeat Today, Podcasts

October 18th, 2017 by Jim Field

Jim Field visits with Becky Dreager about the Cass County Pheasants Forever Youth Mentored Hunt on Saturday.  Call Becky at 712-249-5130 to register your child.


Grassley threatens Trump EPA nominees over biofuels mandate

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 17th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican senator says he may seek to block President Donald Trump’s nominees for key posts at the Environmental Protection Agency unless the administration backs off a proposed reduction in the volume of biofuels blended into gasoline and diesel.

Sen. Chuck Grassley said in a phone call with Iowa reporters Tuesday he plans to speak with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt about the Renewable Fuel Standard. Pruitt has proposed targets for 2017 and 2018 set slightly below current levels following a push by oil companies to ease mandates for using ethanol from corn and soybeans.

Grassley said EPA’s proposed rollback would result in job losses in his home state. Pruitt’s position is in contrast to the staunch support for the biofuel industry Trump pledged as a presidential candidate last year.

Rule change allows bow hunters with permit to carry to have a handgun during archery season

Ag/Outdoor, Sports

October 17th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A rule change approved by the administrative rules committee during 2017 Iowa legislative session allows hunters who have a valid permit to carry to carry a handgun while hunting deer under an archery tag. The change was included as part of a gun rules package approved by the committee. Hunters may not use a handgun to shoot a deer during the Oct. 1-Dec. 1 portion of the archery season. Hunters who do not have a permit to carry may not have a handgun in their possession while hunting under an archery tag.

A handgun is a legal method of take for the late muzzleloader season.

(IA DNR Press Release)

Iowa’s youth enjoy special pheasant season Oct. 21-22

Ag/Outdoor, Sports

October 17th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s young hunters will get to experience the first cackle and flush of the year during the youth only pheasant season Oct. 21st-22nd The residents-only youth season gives Iowans age 15 and younger the opportunity to hunt for rooster pheasants without purchasing a license, habitat fee or taking hunter education. Youths must hunt under direct supervision of an adult age 18 or older that has a valid hunting license and habitat fee. Special youth only seasons allows young hunters an opportunity for success without pressure or competition from other hunters. Only the youth are allowed shoot pheasants and they may bag one rooster per day.

Tips for a Safe Hunt

  • Iowa law requires hunters to wear at least one of the following articles of visible, external apparel with at least 50 percent of its surface area solid blaze orange: hat, cap, vest, coat, jacket, sweatshirt, shirt or coveralls.
  • Hunters should stay in communication with each other and to stay in a straight line while pushing a field.
  • Discuss the hunting plan that spells out how the hunt will take place, each person’s role in the hunt and where each person will be at all times.
  • Know exactly where standers will be located, especially when hunting standing corn or tall switch grass to avoid having the standers get shot by the pushers as they near the end of the field and the birds begin to flush.
  • Make sure to unload the gun when crossing a fence or other obstacle to avoid it accidentally discharging.
  • Properly identify the target and what is beyond it especially if hunting in fields that still have standing corn.
  • If hunting with a dog, never lay a loaded gun against a fence.  Hunting dogs are usually excited to be in the field and could knock the gun over causing it to discharge.

Share the hunt. Take someone new along to help keep Iowa’s great hunting tradition alive.

DNR launches “Let’s Go Hunting” campaign

Ag/Outdoor, Sports

October 17th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa DNR is launching a new campaign this week called “Let’s Go Hunting” to encourage more people to either try hunting, to get back into hunting, or for passionate hunters to share their favorite pastime with a beginner. According to Dale Garner, division administrator of the DNR’s Conservation and Recreation Division, the number one reason someone tries hunting for the first time is because they received an invitation from an experienced hunter; often a parent, family member or adult mentor.

“Many people think of passing on hunting traditions to kids, and that’s definitely important,” said Garner. “But we are encouraging hunters to also consider inviting an adult friend, co-workers or spouse, really anyone who has an interest in the outdoors, in discovering a new organic meat source, or even just spending quality time with friends and family.”

The multi-channel campaign includes the development of new videos that showcase “why” people hunt, along with a web page and a social media photo contest, among other campaign components. The campaign will also promote hunter education, the Apprentice License, and hunting-related links and applications, including the DNR’s online license sales site.

Campaign partners include Izaak Walton League, the National Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, Raised Hunting, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Safari Club International-Iowa Chapter and Whitetails Unlimited. The campaign kicked off on October 16 and will run through mid-December.  To view videos and connect with helpful hunting information to get started, go to: www.iowadnr.gov/letsgohunting

Backyard & Beyond 10-17-2017

Backyard and Beyond, Podcasts

October 17th, 2017 by Jim Field

LaVon Eblen visits with Kenner Baxter about events in Marne.


Indianola man falls more than 20 feet from tree stand

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 17th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

WARREN COUNTY — An Indianola man was injured while climbing into his tree stand on Sunday while deer hunting. Officials with the Iowa DNR said today (Tuesday), 24-year old Bobbie Joe Stephens fell approximately 23-feet into a ravine while hunting on private land in southern Warren County. He had not been able to hook up to his harness at the time of the fall. He was able to call a hunting partner for help after falling.

Stephens was taken to a Des Moines area hospital and was treated for broken ankle. Further investigation revealed the tree stand straps were broken due to weather exposure over time. The tree stand had been left up since last season. The DNR reminds hunters if you leave your tree stand out year-round, be sure to check the straps before using the tree stand.