KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Digital 2021 Passport released for 12 Iowa Scenic Byways

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 6th, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – The Iowa Tourism Office has created a checklist for traveling along Iowa’s 12 scenic byways and the so-called “digital passport” provides some discounts along the way. “As you travel the byways, you can check in at various locations along the way,” says Jessica O’Riley, communications manager for the Iowa Tourism Office. “There’s about 100 different locations along the 12 participating byways. Each check-in gets you entered to win a monthly prize package. Some of the participating locations also offer deals and discounts. Each time you redeem a deal or discounts, that also counts as an entry into the monthly prize package.”

The promotion will last through December 31, 2021, so each month somebody with one of these Scenic Byways Passports will win a prize package worth about two-hundred dollars, including an overnight, stay along one of the byways. The 12 scenic bylaws take travelers to national landmarks, historic sites and local attractions. The best way to see Iowa is to get off the interstates and explore the backroads and uncover those hidden gems in the small towns,” O’Riley says. “The Scenic Byways are a great way to do that.”

O’Riley says the byways also showcase the state’s topography. “A lot of people tend to stay in one corner of the state…If you’re in western Iowa and you can appreciate the Loess Hill, maybe you’ve never seen the Driftless area in northeast Iowa,” O’Riley says. “It’s a great opportunity to get out and really explore our own backyard.” This summer, the state launched a similar digital for the 100th anniversary of the state park system and O’Riley says it was so popular all the prizes were redeemed within the first two weeks. O’Riley’s theory? People like a check-list. “If you show them: ‘Here’s a list of things to do,’ people love checking things off and completing a task,” O’Riley says.

Download the Iowa Scenic Byways Passport here. January’s prize package is from the Iowa Valley Scenic Byway. It includes a one-night stay at the Hotel Millwright in Amana and gift certificates at Amana shops.

Judge: Tyson not shielded by order keeping meatpackers open

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 1st, 2021 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge has rejected Tyson Foods’ efforts to have a lawsuit over the death of an employee in Iowa moved to federal court. The family of Isidro Fernandez sued Tyson over his death April 26 from complications from COVID-19 after working at the company’s plant in Waterloo. The lawsuit was filed in state court but Tyson had sought to have it moved to federal court.

The company argued it was not liable because it was following federal guidance to stay open during the pandemic. A federal judge rejected that argument this week, sending the case back to state court.


Soiree with the Swans set for Jan. 9th in Atlantic

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 1st, 2021 by Ric Hanson

You’re invited to join Cass County Conservation (CCC) Staff at Atlantic’s Schildberg Recreation Area- Lake number 4 on Saturday, January 9th, for “Soiree with the Swans.” CCC Staff will be giving ten-minute presentations regarding the Trumpeter Swans every half-hour beginning at 11:00 a.m., with the last one being presented at 2:00 p.m. There will also be time to view the swans through spotting scopes and witness random swan feeding sessions.

Hot chocolate, cookies, and other snacks will be provided free of charge with donations being accepted (for swan care). The Schildberg Recreation Area is located on the northwest edge of Atlantic, Lake 4 is on the north side of Highway 83. Atlantic is celebrating 21 winters of the Trumpeter Swans wintering here.

IF THE WEATHER IS “BAD” OR THE SWANS ARE NOT AT THE PARK…the program will be CANCELLED. This event is being sponsored by the Cass County Conservation Board, Atlantic Parks and Recreation, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Report: Iowa is in middle of the pack in prepping for climate change

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 1st, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – Iowa has moderate vulnerability to the health impacts of climate change, according to a study from a non-profit, non-partisan health policy, research and advocacy group. Matt McKillop, senior researcher at Trust for America’s Health, says the report found many states are woefully unprepared to protect their residents. “Iowa is in the middle of the pack,” McKillop says, “both from the standpoint of its level of vulnerability and the extent to which it is prepared for the public health impacts of climate change.”

McKillop says climate change is not something looming in the distant future — it’s already here and is a current threat to the health of people in all 50 states. While Iowa is less vulnerable than many other places, he says there are still concerns here. “The impact that residents feel from flooding stood out to us as something the state has to continuously work to prioritize and prepare for,” McKillop says, “and the state has taken a number of steps related to identifying threats that will be felt most acutely in the populations and communities at highest risk.”

The report says Iowa has not laid out specifics on how any intervention methods could be put in place to keep people safe. That’s an area of improvement McKillop says state leaders should focus on. In addition to the derecho that hit Iowa with winds up to 140 miles an hour in August, he notes wide sections of the state were also suffering from drought – both of which likely stem from climate change. “Certainly the extreme heat is a major threat from climate change. That is something that Iowa needs to focus on,” McKillop says. “Other types of impacts include record-breaking storms and wildfires as well as mental illness that can come from these impacts.”

The full report, “Climate Change & Health: Assessing State Preparedness,” is online at

120 hours Outdoor Challenge!

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 31st, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Atlantic) – The Cass County Conservation Board (CCCB) is holding a 120 Hours Outdoor Challenge all year long in 2021. The program starts January 1st, 2021 and concludes Jan. 1st, 2022. Explore the natural features Cass county has to offer and more! Outside activities do not have to be done in Cass county, but participants need to be Cass county residents to sign up.

The CCCB encourages you to explore Nature by hiking, birding, walking, but also through meditation or sitting in spots outside. Everything you do outside counts! Why 120 hours? There are studies that show benefits to spending around 2-3 hours outside per week. These benefits include lowering stress levels, decreasing blood pressure, and boosting mental health.

To register, call  769-2372, email to sign up, or visit Cass County Conservation on Facebook to register via google form. Please register each person in your household individually, entering the same email for multiple individuals if needed. After you register, you will be emailed a time tracking sheet for each person you’ve registered.

Individuals who reach milestones of 30, 60, 90, and/or 120 hours will be entered into drawings for prizes over the course of the year. In order to be entered for prizes, a photo of your tracker is due on the check-in dates of May 1, September 1, and Jan 1, 2022. Photos of progress at these dates should be emailed to All three check-ins must be completed for grand prize!

Follow Cass County Conservation on social media (Facebook and Instagram @CassCCBIA) for ideas about how to get your house outside every week. You may also use #120hrsCassCoIA as a hashtag for your adventures.

Federal checks salvage otherwise dreadful 2020 for US farms

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 31st, 2020 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — U.S. farmers are expected to end the year with higher profits than last year and the best net farm income in seven years thanks to the government paying nearly 40% of their income. That’s according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest farm income forecast. Farmer challenges in 2020 included the impact of trade disputes, drought and wind damage, and low prices for corn, cotton, wheat, chicken, cattle and hogs.

Farm cash receipts are forecast to be the lowest in more than a decade. But farmers are expected to receive $46.5 billion from the U.S. government. That’s the largest direct-to-farm payment ever. It lifts net farm income to $119.6 billion. And that’s the highest profitability since 2013.


Ethics complaint against Iowa state lawmaker dismissed

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 31st, 2020 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A state House ethics committee has dismissed an ethics complaint against a Scott County lawmaker. The panel found on Tuesday that a complaint against Republican state Rep. Ross Paustian of Walcott did not meet content requirements and did not warrant further investigation. The panel voted unanimously with little discussion.

The Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund had argued that Paustian, a crop and livestock farmer, used his position as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee to block legislation to strengthen regulation of livestock confinement operations.

They alleged Paustian also promoted support for legislation that protects factory farms. Paustian called the ethics complaint a “political stunt” by a “rogue group.”


Half of Iowa farmland stays in the family


December 31st, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – The recently released Iowa State University Land Value Survey found a modest one-point-seven percent statewide increase in the value of farmland. Survey leader Wendong Zhang says one of the factors in the increase is the lack of available land.  He says when you look at ownership — half of the land is owned by the same owner for more than 20 years. “So, it stays in the family for a fairly long time,” Zhang says.

He says land that is sold often is bought by someone who lives nearby. “Even when it comes to transfer, it tends to be sold to local existing farmers, if it ever goes to the market. Another channel would be a will or gift or sale within the family,” he says.

That average price of an acre of ground in the survey this year was seven-thousand-559 dollars ($7,559).

Cass County Extension Report 12-30-2020

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

December 30th, 2020 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson.


Local 24 Hour Snowfall Totals at 7:00 am on Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

December 30th, 2020 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic  5.7″
  • 7 miles NNE of Atlantic  5.4″
  • Massena  6″
  • Corning  6.6″
  • Audubon  5″
  • Guthrie Center  5″
  • Oakland  5.7″
  • Underwood  5.7″
  • Red Oak  8.2″
  • Carroll  3″
  • Creston  7″