Wednesday, November 24, 2010

KRJB Christmas With The Kids schedule

2010 Christmas with the Kids on KRJB 106.5 FM

Ada-Borup 12/1/2010—12/21/2010 8:15 a.m. & 3:15 a.m.

Fertile-Beltrami 12/2/2010—12/21/2010 11:15 A.M.

Norman Co. West 12/6/2010-12/21/2010 1:15 p.m.

Norman Co. East 12/6/2010-12/21/2010 2:15 p.m.

Hillsboro 12/2/2010-12/21/2010 10:45 a.m. & 4:15 p.m.

CDs are available upon request; please call 784-2844 or email to reserve a copy at $5 each

Monday, November 22, 2010

Camp connects Military Youth, horses

Horses will help youth from military families discover the power of the human- animal connection during a day camp Dec. 4 at the Riding on Angels' Wings facility near Felton, Minn.

The Hang Out With Horses camp also will give the military youth some ways to cope with the stresses in their lives.

"The camp will help these youth become better team players, develop effective problem-solving skills, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve their
communication skills," says Diane Hahn, the North Dakota State University Extension Service's Operation: Military Kids (OMK) program coordinator. "These are skills they can use for the rest of their lives."

OMK is a collaborative outreach effort involving the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, NDSU's Center for 4-H Youth Development and local communities to support youth from military families impacted by the stress of deployment.

Riding on Angels' Wings is a nonprofit organization that provides a therapeutic horseback riding program.

Camp participants will learn to identify horses by color and markings, work with horses safely and interpret horses' body language, as well as study the anatomy of a horse and explore general horse behavior.

Camps will be held for two age groups: 6 to 12 and 13 and older. The cost of the camp is $10 per youth.

Both groups will leave from the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Fargo. The 6- to 12-year-old campers will depart at 8:30 a.m. and be back at the center at 1 p.m. The older campers will leave the center at 11:30 a.m. and arrive back at the center at 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Hahn at To register, go to

Thursday, November 18, 2010

NDSU Publication Provides Summary of N.D. Farm Financial Performance

The publication "Financial Characteristics of North Dakota Farms, 2000-2009" summarizes the performance of more than 500 farms enrolled in the North Dakota Farm Business Management Education program The program use 16 financial measures to evaluate liquidity, solvency, repayment capacity, profitability and financial efficiency.

Farms are grouped by region, type, size, gross cash sales, land tenure, profit, debt-to-assets ratio and the age of the farmer to look at relationships between financial performance and farm characteristics.

In 2009, median and average acreage per farm was 1,995 acres and 2,516 acres, respectively. Farm gross cash revenue has doubled during the past decade. In 2009, the median and average was $430,321 and $558,305, respectively. More than 70 percent of the farms were crop farms.

"Farm financial performance in 2007 and 2008 was much superior to other years in the 2000- 2009 period," says Andy Swenson, North Dakota State University Extension Service farm management specialist. "Overall, performance was the worst in 2001. One measure of financial efficiency is the percentage of each dollar of gross revenue that is converted to profit. Median net farm income as a percent of gross revenue was the lowest of the decade in 2009 at 13.4 percent. It peaked at 30.6 percent in 2007 and ranged from 14 to 19.6 percent from 2001 to 2006."

The Red River Valley and crop farms typically had stronger profitability,
solvency and repayment capacity than other regions and farm types. Exceptions were 2007 and 2009, when the north-central region had the best regional performance, and 2005, when the south-central region and livestock farms had a better performance.

"Farms with sales of less than $250,000 were more than twice as likely to have a greater than 70 percent debt-to-asset ratio, as compared with farms with sales greater than $250,000," Swenson says. "As expected, the percent of debt-to-asset ratio decreased and the level of cropland ownership increased as farmers got older. The rate of return on equity was greater than the rate of return on assets, which indicates that debt capital was employed profitably during nine years of the past decade for farms with sales greater than $500,000, but never by the farm group with less than $100,000 in sales."

For a free copy of the publication, contact the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics, NDSU Dept. 7610, P.O. Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050, or call (701) 231-7441.

This publication also may be obtained on the Web at (search for "Financial Characteristics of North Dakota Farms, 2000-2009").

North Country Health Services and Sanford Health Announce Plans to Join Together

(Bemidji, MN) – Two long standing health care systems announced today plans to combine their strengths and expertise, which will offer greater depth and breadth of services to people in northern Minnesota. North Country Health Services (NCHS), based in Bemidji, MN, and Sanford Health, based in Fargo, ND and Sioux Falls, SD, announced the NCHS Board of Trustees has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI), meaning both organizations will begin the process of joining together to create a new, integrated health care delivery system. The Sanford Board of Trustees has approved the direction of the LOI and is expected to sign the document during the board meeting this Friday.

“North Country Health Services and Sanford Health announced today our intent to come together as one organization, better positioning us to lead in northern Minnesota by delivering innovative health care and expanding our capabilities in highly specialized areas of medicine,” said Dr. Jim Bensen, North Country board of trustees.

Coming together enhances an already solid relationship between NCHS and Sanford Health. By integrating, $75 million would be invested into the community through facilities, recruitment and technology over the next ten years. A portion of the total investment, a $5 million gift, will be given to the NCHS Foundation to begin that process. NCHS and Sanford Clinic Bemidji have worked together for many years. Both have deep roots in the Bemidji region and have a strong reputation for quality and excellence in staff, technology and service.

“Joining with Sanford in a fully integrated model of care is truly a natural progression of our long-standing relationship. With an eye toward the future, we are seeking new ways of improving health and access to care for people across the entire region, including key services like heart, cancer, orthopedics and neuroscience,” said Paul Hanson, CEO and president, NCHS.

The fully integrated clinic and hospital in Bemidji will be a not-for-profit, community-based health care system. It will combine the experience of the two health care organizations, which will increase efficiency and lead to better coordination of patient care.

“With the current emphasis on health care reform calling for change, we are humbled by the opportunity to increase efficiency and be a model for health care delivery the rest of the nation will follow,” said Kelby Krabbenhoft, CEO and President, Sanford Health. “This is the perfect time to pursue ways we can work together to grow and improve our services in northern Minnesota. We can add value for patients, be proactive in health care reform and attract talent, including doctors, nurses and other health professionals who will significantly advance the services we offer.”

Over the next several months, both organizations will work together on additional analyses, due diligence and communications to develop a final agreement and any necessary regulatory applications. They will also take this opportunity to share their vision for the future as a combined organization and answer questions from stakeholders and the community.

A Minnesota Grown Christmas tree – the only real choice

Minnesota has a fresh, fragrant crop of Christmas trees this year thanks to a great growing season. Many tree farms will open for business the day after Thanksgiving and growers say the selection will be fabulous.

“This year, the trees are exceptionally moist and fragrant because of the consistent rain we had this summer and fall,” says grower Jan Donelson of Clear Lake. “That moisture should help them hold up very well in the stand.”

Donelson is a member of the Minnesota Christmas Tree Association (MNCTA) and her farm is among 55 tree farms and lots listed in the 2010 Minnesota Grown Directory. Minnesota Grown trees can also be found at neighborhood lots; even some major retailers will carry them.

Minnesota Grown spokesman Brian Erickson says choosing a real tree has many benefits beyond its beauty.

“Of course, for the full-blown fun family experience, nothing beats a trip to a tree farm,” says Erickson. “Beyond the economic, environmental and aesthetic benefits of a real tree, the true gift is the family tradition and fun of choosing your own tree.”

At the farm, families may find a variety of activities including live reindeer and a visit from Santa. Most farms offer hot cider, coffee and cookies, and many have unique gift shops where they sell custom-order wreaths, ornaments, tree stands and crafts. Services provided at the farm may include shaking and baling. Many growers are happy to supply saws for cutting and most will help customers load the tree for an easy trip home.

Finding a locally-grown, fresh tree is easy by searching the directory at

For tips on choosing and caring for a real tree, go to the MNCTA website at

Top Ten Cyber Monday Tips for Staying Safe When Shopping Online

Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, has officially replaced Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving – as the most popular day to shop for the holidays. Shopping online means avoiding the crowds, but it also opens buyers up to attacks from scammers and hackers. In order to fight these online menaces, the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) offers 10 tips for staying safe when holiday shopping online.

Every year, more people head online – rather than to the mall – to get their holiday shopping done. Last year, 96.5 million Americans shopped online during Cyber Monday while 79 million Americans shopped at brick-and-mortar retailers on Black Friday, according to the National Retail Federation.

“The convenience and ease of shopping online has replaced the hassle of going to the store for many people, but online shopping has its own set of risks,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. “Taking precautions to avoid online fraud will result in a much happier holiday for everyone, except for scammers, of course – and hackers.”

Following are the “Top 10 Online Shopping Tips” for holiday shoppers to help fight unscrupulous online retailers, scammers and hackers:

1. Protect your computer – A computer should always have the most recent updates installed for spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a secure firewall.

2. Shop on trustworthy websites – Shoppers should start with the BBB to check on the seller’s reputation and record for customer satisfaction. Always go to first, and look for the BBB seal and other widely-recognized “trust marks” on retailer websites. Always remember to click on the seals to confirm that they are valid.

3. Protect your personal information – The BBB recommends taking the time to read the privacy policy of every website you visit and understand what personal information is being requested and how it will be used. If there isn’t one posted, it should be taken as a red flag that personal information may be sold to others without permission.

4. Beware of deals that sound too good to be true – Offers on websites and in unsolicited e-mails can often sound too good to be true – especially extremely low prices on hard-to-get items. Consumers should always go with their instincts and not be afraid to pass up a “deal” that might cost them dearly in the end.

5. Beware of phishing – Legitimate businesses do not send e-mails claiming problems with an order or an account to lure the “buyer” into revealing financial information. If a consumer receives such an e-mail, the BBB recommends picking up the phone and calling the contact number on the website where the purchase was made to confirm that there really is a problem with the transaction.

6. Confirm your online purchase is secure – Shoppers should always look in the address box for the “s” in https:// and in the lower-right corner for the “lock” symbol before paying. If there are any doubts about a site, the BBB recommends right-clicking anywhere on the page and select “Properties.” This will let you see the real URL (website address) and the dialog box will reveal if the site is not encrypted.

7. Pay with a credit card – It’s best to use a credit card, because under federal law, the shopper can dispute the charge if he or she doesn’t receive the item. Shoppers also have dispute rights if there are unauthorized charges on their credit card, and many card issuers have “zero liability” policies under which the card holder pays nothing if someone steals the credit card number and uses it. Also, never wire money if prompted to do so.

8. Keep documentation of your order - After completing the online order process, there may be a final confirmation page or the shopper might receive confirmation by e-mail. The BBB recommends saving a copy of that as well as any e-mails for future reference and as a record of the purchase.

9. Check your credit card statements often – Don’t wait for paper statements; the BBB recommends consumers check their credit card statements for suspicious activity by checking statements online regularly or by calling their credit card companies if fraud is suspected.

10. Know your rights – Federal law requires that orders made by mail, phone or online be shipped by the date promised or, if no delivery time was stated, within 30 days. If the goods aren’t shipped on time, the shopper can cancel and demand a refund. There is no general three-day cancellation right, but consumers do have the right to reject merchandise if it’s defective or was misrepresented. Otherwise, it’s the company’s policies that determine if the shopper can cancel the purchase and receive a refund or credit.

For more advice on staying safe online this holiday season, and to see reports on thousands of online retailers, go to

IDEA Competition Deadline is Just Days Away

The deadline for entering this year’s IDEA Competition is just days away. Since its inception two years ago, the competition has built a reputation for helping local innovators in bringing new products and services to market. Over $90,000 has been awarded to Northwest Minnesota innovators, helping local innovators with product engineering, patent filing costs, market feasibility studies, and website development, as well as many other development costs.

The purpose of the competition is to assist the most promising local entrepreneurs in the commercialization of innovative products, processes and deliveries by connecting them to the best resources available, along with access to the capital it takes to launch a successful venture. The competition awards as many as five $10,000 p rizes each year to winning ideas. Since its launch two years ago, the competition has awarded $90,000 to nine Northwest Minnesota entrepreneurs.

The cash awards are just one of the benefits. Nancy Fisher, from Warroad, MN, and inventor of Highway-My-Way™, was one of five 2010 winners. "Being a contestant in the IDEA competition was like working on a ‘mini-MBA,’” Fisher said. “Writing the business plan, making financial projections, and preparing a presentation were all very practical learning experiences." Ms. Fisher expects a product launch later this year.


Welcome to the R&J News Blog.

It's here that you'll find some news releases and information that's sent to the R&J News Team.