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The 2024 East Pottawattamie County Fair is underway

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 17th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Avoca, Iowa) – The 2024 East Pottawattamie County Fair is underway in Avoca, now through Monday, July 22nd. On the schedule for Thursday (July 18th), is: the Poultry Show at 9-a.m.; Food truck & Family Night from 5-until 8-p.m.; 2024 Pott. County Fair Queen and Junior Queen Crowning, and a Pedal Tractor Pull at the conclusion of the stage events.


See the full schedule of events in this PDF link:


2024 Audubon County Fair Schedule of events

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 17th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Audubon, Iowa) – The Audubon County Fair is underway now, through Sunday, July 21st.  Activities at the fair began on Tuesday. Looking ahead, on the schedule for Thursday, July 18th at the Audubon County Fair, there’s a 4-H/FFA Horse Show at 10-a.m., followed at 12:30-p.m. by the Clover Kids Stuffed Animal show in the Hoop building, 4-H under the tent at 2-p.m., a Cornhole Tournament at 3-p.m., Thursday, Clover Kids Rabbit Show, and rounding out the day, Thursday, is music in the park by the Polka Police, with fireworks to follow.

Check out the rest of the schedule for the Audubon County Fair below:

7:00-8:00 AM 4-H/FFA Swine check in
8:00- 9:00 AM 4-H/FFA Sheep & Goat check in
9:00-10:00 AM 4-H/FFA Beef check in
9:00 AM-3:00 PM Commercial Exhibit set-up
9:30AM-11:00 AM 4-H/FFA/Open Class Rabbit/Poultry check in
11:00 AM 4-H/FFA Horses must be stalled
11:30 AM Farm Bureau Meal – Hoop
Agriland-Ice Cream
12:00 PM Open Class static must be entered
1:30 PM 4-H/FFA Exhibitor Meeting
3:00 PM Open Class exhibits must be in place
4:30 PM Sponsorship Dinner-Tent by Agrihall
4-H Pie Auction
Queen Coronation
9:00 AM Judging Open Class Entries
10:00 AM 4-H/FFA Horse Show
12:30 PM Clover Kids Stuffed Animal Show – Hoop
2:00 PM 4-H Under the Tent
3:00 PM Cornhole Tournament-Livestock Pavilion
4:00 PM-9:00 PM Inflatable Attractions
5:00 PM Clover Kids Rabbit Show
4-H/FFA & Open Rabbit Show
7:00 PM Polka Police – Music in the Park at the Fairgrounds under the
Tent. Fireworks to follow.
8:00 AM 4-H/FFA Swine Show
11:00 AM – 9:00 PM Inflatable Attractions
Noon Clover Kids Goat Show
Clover Kids Sheep Show
4-H/FFA Goat Show
PeeWee Goat Show
4-H/FFA Sheep Show
2:00 PM 4-H Under the Tent
3:00 PM Hay Throwing Contest followed by Adult tricycles and bounce animals
3:00 PM – 6:00PM Balloon Animal Creations
4:00 PM Richard Renner-The Vodvill Klown
5:00 PM Pork Feed – Hoop
7:30 PM Figure Eight Races
7:30 AM-Noon Farmers’ Market
8:00 AM Clover Kids Poultry Show
4-H/FFA Poultry Show, Open Class
9:00 AM Baby Contest-Hoop
10:00 AM Big Wheels Races-Hoop
10:00 AM-3:00 PM Ima Clown – Hoop
11:00 AM-2:00 PM Water Rocks! Conservation Station
11:00 AM-9:00 PM Inflatable Attractions
11:00 AM Richard Renner-The Vodvill Klown
11:30 AM Non-sanctioned Kids Pedal Pull
Noon 4-H/FFA Beef Show
Show Order:
Cow/Calf Pairs
Pen of Three
Clover Kids Bottle Bucket Calf
Bottle Bucket Calves
Feeder Calves
Breeding Heifers
Market Heifers & Steers
12:30 PM Richard Renner-The Vodvill Klown
2:00 PM 4-H under the Tent
Richard Renner-The Vodvill Klown
5:30 PM Sheep Scramble –All kids welcome
6:00 PM 4-H/FFA Parade of Champions
7:00 PM IRCA Rodeo
9:00 PM Live Music- 2 ½ Guitars
8:00 AM Tractor Drive Check in
9:00 AM Horse Fun Show Entries at Horse Arena
9:30 AM Tractor Drive
10:00 AM Horse Fun Show
11:00 AM Round Robin Showmanship-Livestock Pavillion
12:00 PM Antique Tractor Pull – Grandstand
12:00 PM Beef Feed – Audubon T-Bone
12:00 PM Bingo-Exira Lions – Agrihall
1:00 PM Quilt Show under the Tent
1:30 PM Pie Contest – Agrihall
2:30 PM Open Class Exhibits and Commercial Booths released
3:00 PM 4-H Recognition – Show Barn
4:00 PM Livestock Support Sale-poultry, rabbits, sheep, goats, swine, beef
4:00 PM 4-H exhibits released
4:45 PM 4-H Building Clean Up

Posted County Grain Prices 7/17/2024


July 17th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

  • Cass County: Corn $3.88 Beans $10.60
  • Adair County: Corn $3.85 Beans $10.63
  • Adams County: Corn $3.85 Beans $10.59
  • Audubon County: Corn $3.87 Beans $10.62
  • East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.91 Beans $10.60
  • Guthrie County: Corn $3.90 Beans $10.64
  • Montgomery County: Corn $3.90 Beans $10.62
  • Shelby County: Corn $3.91 Beans $10.60

Oats: $3.03 (same in all counties)

Guided Blooming Prairie Hike & stand-up paddleboard demo.

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 16th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Lewis, Iowa) – The Cass County Conservation Board is holding a Guided Blooming Prairie Hike! The program will start at the Outdoor Classroom shelter, located at 76977 Tucson Rd, Massena, IA on Saturday July 20th 2024, 8 PM, FREE, all ages welcome!

Come join our Naturalist for a hike in the prairie! Explore blooms throughout the numerous prairies inside the park at sunset!

“Stand Up Paddleboard” Demonstration & Kayaks Available

The Cass County Conservation Board is holding “Stand Up Paddleboard” Demonstration! The public demonstration will be held on Saturday July 20th 1PM-4PM- Cold Springs Park- Beach FREE! SUP is the fastest growing sport in the paddling community not only across the country, but especially right here in land-locked areas like Iowa. It’s fun, healthy as a total body work-out and offers a unique perspective when it comes to being on the water. After a quick demonstration try out the boards for yourself! If you do not bring a life jacket one will be provided to you. Children must be 16 years or older. Paddler must weigh LESS than 250 LBS.

Saturday July 20th

1:00pm- 5 Spots

2:30pm- 5 Spots

Cold Springs Park- Beach

Kayaks will be available for checkout at the same time. We have 4 sit in kayaks, Paddler must weigh LESS than 250 LBS. We have 4 Sit on top Kayaks, Paddler must weigh LESS than 395 LBS. If you do not bring a life jacket one will be provided to you.

July 20th

1:00pm- 4 kayaks, sit in, 4 kayaks, sit on top.

2:30pm- 4 kayaks, sit in, 4 kayaks, sit on top.

Cold Springs Park- Beach

You MUST register online to get your spot! https://www.mycountyparks.com/County/Cass/Park/Cold-Springs-Park.aspx

We hope you will join us! Program will be cancelled if there is unsafe weather conditions on the Lake.

Seven Iowa counties challenge IUC decision on carbon pipeline

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 16th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – Officials from seven Iowa counties are asking the Iowa Utilities Commission to reconsider its conditional approval of the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline project. Shelby County Board of Supervisors chairman Kevin Kenkel says the commission’s decision did not address zoning issues. “The counties also maintain that Summit is not a ‘common carrier’ and is not proposing a public use or benefit to the public and should not be granted the right of eminent domain,” Kenkel said.

Monday (yesterday) was the deadline for filing the paperwork, asking the Iowa Utilities Commission to rescind the construction permit. Landowners who oppose the project and the Sierra Club of Iowa have also filed objections. Kenkel isn’t making any predictions on how the commission might respond. “We feel we deserve a fair and impartial shot at this,” Kenkel says.

In addition to Shelby County, officials from Kossuth, Floyd, Emmet, Dickinson, Wright and Woodbury Counties signed the 16-page challenge filed with the Iowa Utilities Commission. Kenkel says it’s unrelated to the pending case in a federal appeals court over hazardous pipeline zoning ordinances in Shelby and Story Counties. “Other counties started passing ordinances and wanted to get involved in intervention at Iowa Utilities Board — Commission now — hearings, so we formed a coalition of intervenors,” Kenkel says. “We are all impacted on phase one of Summit.”

Summit recently announced plans to expand the pipeline route through Iowa by over 300 miles to connect to ethanol plants that had been part of the abandoned Navigator C-O-2 pipeline project. The commission’s ruling on Summit’s initial request says the company has to get approval for its route through South and North Dakota before construction may start in Iowa. A final option for groups that oppose the pipeline project would be filing a lawsuit asking the courts to block construction.

Fishing regulations to be relaxed at McKinley Lake in Creston

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 16th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

CRESTON – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is relaxing the fishing regulations at McKinley Lake in Creston. The city of Creston will begin to drain the lake in August as part of a lake restoration project.  McKinley Lake, constructed in the 1870s, has accumulated a lot of sediment and nutrients over time causing poor water quality that impacts outdoor recreation opportunities on the community lake.

The City of Creston’s Park and Recreation Board has made improvements to the lake’s watershed to reduce the amount of sediment and nutrients washing into the lake. In-lake work is the final step in the lake restoration process. Planned improvements include targeted dredging, improving shoreline access and adding fish habitat, a fishing pier and small boat/canoe/kayak access.

Anglers with a valid fishing license may harvest any size or number of largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, and all other fish species from McKinley Lake. Any number of fishing poles or jug fishing is allowed.  Anglers must remain in sight of these lines at all times, and follow all other fishing regulations and area rules. Trot lines will be allowed (name and address must be attached), however lines may not be set across the entire water body. It is illegal to sell fish or stock captured fish into public waters.  All navigation rules still apply.

Liberalized fishing regulations for McKinley Lake will be in effect immediately.  Specific regulation changes include:

  • Removal of bag and length limit restrictions on largemouth bass.
  • Removal of bag limit on channel catfish.
  • Removal of bag limit on crappie and bluegill.
  • Removal of the two line/two hook fishing restriction; anglers must be within visual sight of the lines.

Lawsuit claims lies and potential bribery tied to Marengo plant

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 16th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(State News) – A lawsuit alleges that a company operating an alternative fuels plant in the eastern Iowa town of Marengo, lied to and may have bribed, public officials before a massive explosion injured workers there in 2022. The Iowa Capital Dispatch reports Tali Washburn, a Pottawattamie County woman who worked for the C6-Zero company as its government relations director, is now suing the company, six of its affiliates and several company officials in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa.

In December 2022, C6-Zero’s roof-shingle recycling plant in Marengo was rocked by a massive explosion that injured more than a dozen people and resulted in a partial evacuation of the town.

An explosion in Marengo contaminated soil and water in the area. (Photo courtesy of Department of Natural Resources documents) 

As part of her lawsuit, Washburn alleges that long before the explosion, company officials told her they had purchased a house from the Marengo city official tasked with approving the plant’s emergency safety plan. The purchase was then put in someone else’s name to obscure C6-Zero’s involvement, the lawsuit claims.

In 2023, a judge ordered the company to pay a $95,700 fine for workplace safety violations that contributed to the explosion. The state has since sued the company for $1.5 million in expenses caused by the cleanup of contaminated water at the Marengo site. A trial in that case is scheduled for later this year.

According to Washburn’s lawsuit, she was hired by C6-Zero in March 2020. In mid-2021, she claims, she “blew the whistle” on corporate wrongdoing by contacting the company’s CEO, general counsel and chief operating officer. The lawsuit alleges she then hired a former federal prosecutor as her own legal counsel and “confronted” the company about what she considered to be safety issues, loan falsification, tax issues and “interference” with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. In January 2022, she claims, the company placed her on administrative leave and threatened her with a lawsuit for defamation. In July 2022, she alleges, she was fired and three months later disclosed her concerns to an unspecified “Iowa government official.”

Her lawsuit seeks damages for breach of contract, unpaid wages, fraudulent misrepresentation and civil conspiracy. C6-Zero and company officials named in have yet to file a response to the allegations.

The problems began, Washburn alleges, shortly after she was hired to help C6-Zero clear regulatory hurdles in developing recycling technology that would turn asphalt into oil. According to the lawsuit, C6-Zero’s biggest problem at that time was that it was unable to use patented technology due to various state agencies classifying the business as a recycler, a stockpiler of solid waste and a potential generator of hazardous waste. Washburn alleges she “developed a pathway” for C6-Zero to successfully obtain a “comfort letter” from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Midwest regional office to launch its business in Iowa. That letter was intended to “validate” the company’s commitment to operate, within the EPA’s own framework, as a manufacturer and not a generator of hazardous waste.

Shortly thereafter, the lawsuit claims, company officials directed Washburn to send a grant application to the state seeking a forgivable multimillion-dollar loan. State officials denied the grant request, allegedly citing issues with the company’s background. Months later, the lawsuit claims, company officials told Washburn they had “embellished” the grant application in part by stating they would hire 260 employees and have a total annual payroll of $3.7 million.

In addition, the lawsuit states, Chief Operating Officer Christopher Koehn “specifically and purposefully lied on the application” by listing a particular individual with a good reputation as C6-Zero’s chief technology officer. Koehn confessed to Washburn that the man never had any official role in the company and his name was included merely to bolster the company’s bid for the forgivable loan, the lawsuit alleges.

Summit says county pipeline ordinances overstep authority

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 15th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Des Moines, Iowa) – Official with Summit Carbon Solutions today (Monday) argued that the main components of two county ordinances in Iowa that sought to limit the placement of carbon dioxide pipelines are entirely overridden by the authority of state and federal regulators. According to the Iowa Capital Dispatch, the company reasserted those arguments in a recent brief in federal court — its response to the appeals by Shelby and Story counties of a judge’s rulings late last year that agreed with Summit. An injunction prevents the counties from enforcing the ordinances.

The filings of written arguments by both sides of the case set the stage for oral arguments before a panel of Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals judges. The oral arguments are not yet scheduled. The judges are expected to issue a decision sometime next year.

Summit Carbon Solutions wants to sequester the carbon dioxide of more than 50 ethanol producers in five states. (Courtesy of Summit Carbon Solutions)

Summit seeks to build a 2,500-mile pipeline system in five states to transport captured carbon dioxide from ethanol producers to North Dakota, where the greenhouse gas would be pumped into the ground. It received preliminary approval in Iowa last month.

The work is incentivized by generous federal tax credits with the goal of slowing climate change. But many opponents of the project worry about the safety of people and animals near the pipeline that might be suffocated if it ruptures. The county ordinances create minimum separation distances — or setbacks — between the pipelines and populated places, such as cities, homes and livestock buildings.

The federal judge who ruled against the first county ordinances said, in part, they were so restrictive that they might make it impossible for a carbon dioxide pipeline to be built at all. A handful of ordinances that were adopted by other counties — most of which are also the target of pending lawsuits by Summit — were increasingly less restrictive. The most recent one was approved in April by Dickinson County, which has not been sued. Summit has declined to comment on the matter.

Chief Judge Stephanie Rose, of the federal Southern District of Iowa, said the Shelby and Story ordinances’ placement requirements are overruled by state regulators — the Iowa Utilities Commission — and that their safety-related provisions are the jurisdiction of federal regulators — the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Rose went further and decided that the counties’ placement requirements are also a safety feature and are overridden by PHMSA, but the agency itself has contradicted the judge. However, Summit argues Rose was correct about the relationship of setbacks and safety, and its attorneys point to an early version of Story’s ordinance: “Story County started down this path solely out of concern for pipeline safety,” attorney Ryan Koopmans wrote in the recent appeal brief. “The county’s first ordinance, No. 306, focused only on setbacks because there are ‘risks in the event of a spill or rupture.’”

Summit further says county ordinance provisions that obviously pertain to safety — such as requirements to disclose certain information to local emergency officials to aid their potential response to a breach — is also PHMSA’s jurisdiction.As for determining the pipeline routes, Summit argues state law gives the Iowa Utilities Commission absolute authority: “It does not matter whether Summit or any other pipeline company could somehow thread the needle through the counties’ heavily restrictive setbacks, or whether the counties would grant variances and let the pipeline pass through anyway (and they clearly will not),” Koopmans wrote.

The American Petroleum Institute, which lobbies for the nation’s oil and natural gas industries, and the Liquid Energy Pipeline Association also recently filed a brief in support of Summit’s positions. They said pipelines are vital to the U.S. economy, are the safest way to transport energy products, and that the ordinances would have “far-reaching ramifications and unintended consequences.”

The ultimate effect of the court action on the pending lawsuits against other counties is not yet clear. They have been paused until the Shelby and Story appeals conclude. PHMSA is in the process of revamping its safety standards for carbon dioxide pipelines, and the counties have said the current rules are not adequate to protect the public. They argue that there is room for some measure of local control of the issue.

Montgomery County Fair underway now through Saturday in Red Oak

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 15th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Red Oak, Iowa) – The 2024 Montgomery County Fair is underway now (Monday, July 15) through Saturday (July 20), in Red Oak. Preparations for the Fair began last Friday, with a Pre-Fair Supper, and 4-H/FFA Clover Kid Pool Party. View the full schedule HERE.

Monday’s (Today’s) scheduled activities: 4-H/FFA Horse Show; Wardrobe judging; 4-H Table Setting display & judging; Educational presentations, and Extemporaneous Speaking & Working Exhibits

Tuesday will feature entry and judging of 4-H Ag and Natural Resources; The official Fair Welcome will be held Tuesday night, followed by a Religious Rally, and Montgomery County Youth Council Gaga Ball Tournament.

Photo from the Montgomery County (IA) Fair Facebook page

Among the other activities this week, is: the Montgomery County Farm Bureau Breakfast for exhibitors and families, Thursday morning; Amusement inflatables starting Thursday at Noon and each day thereafter, until 10-p.m.; An ATV race Thursday evening; Senior Citizens Day Bingo on Friday, from 1-until 4-p.m.; Mechanical Bull Riding Friday evening at 7, and the Free Bull Ride event at 8-p.m., Friday, followed by a free concert from Tyler Folkerts; Free ice cream and pie Saturday afternoon, following the Baked Apple Pie Contest; A livestock auction Saturday afternoon, a band concert from 7-to 10-p.m., and a Demolition Derby, beginning at 7-p.m., Saturday.

Since 1956, the Montgomery County Fair has been a celebration of family values and ethical standards. Located in Red Oak, it is the home to countless attractions and events in Southwest Iowa.

Helping IA farmers get more cover crops into the ground

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 15th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Iowa News Service) – An Iowa nonprofit group helps ag-related businesses grow to serve more farmers and get more cover crops planted in the state. Cover crops like rye and wheat are typically planted to protect the soil in winter months – and in and between row crops like corn and soybeans to control weeds in the growing season.

Practical Farmers of Iowa is making up to $10,000 available to farmers who want to commercialize their cover crop practice through the Cover Crop Business Accelerator Program. PFI’s Senior Field Crops Viability Manager Lydia English said while cover crops are good for weed control and soil health, most farmers who use them have another goal.

“Ninety percent of the time, it’s to combat erosion, either wind or water,” said English. “So, I think seeing that soil loss is really real – and that’s a lot of value that we’re washing down the drain, literally, that we don’t need to, with a practice like cover crops.” English said PFI wants to plant 12 million of Iowa’s 30 million acres of farmland with cover crops and thinks the accelerator program will encourage farmers to help reach that goal.

Iowa corn and soybean Farmer Dan Bahe owns a business that plants cover crops for its clients on about 7,000 acres.
He and his brother were already experienced farmers who have used cover crops for more than a decade, but Bahe said they used PFI’s accelerator program to scale up their operation – especially by taking advantage of a personalized business coaching program. “Helping us put a business plan together,” said Bahe. “Ideas on creating a legal entity, marketing, branding. Because we were already established, but we really didn’t have a game plan. We were just taking orders, going out and seeding cover crops.”

The 2022 Census of Agriculture reported nearly 1.3 million acres of cover crops in Iowa. That’s a 32% increase since 2017.
PFI’s accelerator program is in its fifth year.