Monday, October 31, 2011

F-M Chamber Chorale Fall Concert

The Fargo-Moorhead Chamber Chorale will open its thirty-third season by presenting its fall choral concert, “Bach to Bach”, on Sunday, November 6, 2010, 3:00 p.m. at Gethsemane Episcopal Cathedral, 3600 25th Street South, Fargo, North Dakota.

The program includes music by Johann Christoph Bach; the Johann Sebastian Bach Cantata #80, Ein Feste Burg (A Mighty Fortress is our God) based upon Martin Luther’s great Reformation hymn; and the seldom performed P. D. Q. Bach Missa Hilarious. A chamber orchestra will accompany the Chamber Chorale for this performance. The program is conducted by Paul Nesheim, the Fargo-Moorhead Chamber Chorale’s artistic director.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens and $7 for students. Children under ten are admitted free of charge. All seats are general admission and are available at the door, or by calling Sheila Christensen, at 701-401 2910.

Disaster Assistance Available for Small Businesses

Sacramento, CA - Small, nonfarm businesses in 52 North Dakota counties and neighboring counties in Minnesota, Montana and South Dakota are now eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA). "These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the combined effects of spring snowstorms, frosts and freezes in late spring and early fall, excessive rain, flooding, ground saturation, landslides, high winds, hail, tornadoes, periods of unseasonably cool spring temperatures, excessive summer heat, and weather-related insects and diseases beginning January 1, 2011 in the following primary North Dakota counties," announced Alfred E. Judd, Director of SBA's Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

Primary North Dakota counties: Barnes, Benson, Billings, Bottineau, Burke, Cass, Cavalier, Dickey, Divide, Dunn, Eddy, Foster, Golden Valley, Grand Forks, Grant, Griggs, Hettinger, LaMoure, McHenry, McIntosh, McKenzie, McLean, Mercer, Mountrail, Nelson, Oliver, Pembina, Pierce, Ramsey, Ransom, Renville, Richland, Rolette, Sargent, Steele, Stutsman, Towner, Traill, Walsh, Ward, Wells and Williams;

Neighboring North Dakota counties: Adams, Burleigh, Emmons, Kidder, Logan, Morton, Sheridan, Sioux, Slope and Stark;

Neighboring Minnesota counties: Clay, Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Polk, Traverse and Wilkin;

Neighboring Montana counties: Fallon, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan and Wibaux;

Neighboring South Dakota counties: Brown, Campbell, Marshall, McPherson and Roberts.

"SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster," Judd said.

Small, nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

"Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 4% for businesses and 3% for private, nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most private, nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship," Judd said.

By law, SBA makes EIDLs available when the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. Secretary Tom Vilsack declared this disaster at the request of Governor Jack Dalrymple.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency (FSA) about the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance made available by the Secretary's declaration.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure Web site at

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA's Customer Service Center by calling SBA toll-free at (800) 659-2955, emailing, or visiting SBA's Web site at Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.

The deadline to apply for these loans is June 25, 2012.

New exhibit at Hjemkomst Center

Moorhead, Minn. (Oct. 31, 2011) – During the Great Depression, New Deal programs brought relief to America’s poor and helped stabilize its economy. Find out how at “Uncle Sam’s New Deal,” a new exhibit at the Historical & Cultural Society of Clay County at the Hjemkomst Center, November 17 through December 30, 2011.

“Uncle Sam’s New Deal” illuminates the federal government’s role in reviving Minnesota communities 70 years ago. Photography, interviews and New Deal film footage allow us to see how “Uncle Sam” has lead efforts to simulate Minnesota’s communities in the past.

This exhibit was created by Minnesota Landmarks in partnership with the Minnesota History Center. It is on temporary loan from the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul and will be traveling to venues throughout Minnesota.

On Thursday, Nov. 17 from 5 – 7 p.m. at Usher’s House (700 1st Avenue North, Moorhead), the HCSCC will offer a preview of the exhibit with light appetizers and a 6 p.m. lecture, titled “The Social Value of Work: Depression-Era Buildings, Investment & Spiritual Renewal,” by North Dakota State University professor Steve Martens. His presentation will focus on the rich variety of buildings in our region built under federal work relief programs in the 1930s, including the building now called Usher’s House. Space is limited. Cost is $12 per person (for appetizers and presentation only). Reservations for the presentation are required by Thursday, Nov. 10. Call Tim Jorgensen at 218-299-5511 Ext. 6737 for reservations.

Following the presentation, the HCSCC encourages its guests to join them for dinner in Usher’s dining room. Separate reservations are strongly encouraged. Call Usher’s at 218-287-0080 to make a dinner reservation.

In addition, the “Uncle Sam’s New Deal” exhibit opening is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 19 from 3 – 5 p.m. at the Hjemkomst Center museum. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, check them out on Facebook or visit The Hjemkomst Center is located at 202 First Avenue North in Moorhead.

Concert performed at UMC

CROOKSTON, Minn. – Songs of Temperance and Temptation is the theme of a concert to be performed on Tuesday, November 1, 2011, in the Kiehle Auditorium at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. The Rose Ensemble will bring the flavor and the music of the prohibition period to life beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets for the concert are $12 for adults and $9 for students with an ID. With the purchase of two or more regular-priced tickets an additional ticket is free.

Prohibition leaps onto the musical stage in this delightful look at the history and humor behind Minnesota’s long-standing love/hate relationship with the saloon. Semi-staged and fully costumed, this research-rich yet light-hearted performance features the songs and stories of Carrie Nation and 19th-century Temperance Union meetings, balanced by a full cup of good ol’ anti-Prohibition songs. Projections of historical photos and narration from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby complement the show, as the performers skip and prance to Victorian waltzes, croon 1920s jazz, launch into Irish reels, ragtime, and gospel, and belt out some of Irving Berlin’s best show-stoppers.

Founded in 1996 by Artistic Director Jordan Sramek, The Rose Ensemble reawakens the ancient with vocal music that stirs the emotions, challenges the mind, and lifts the spirit. The Saint Paul, Minnesota group tours internationally with repertoire spanning 1,000 years and 25 languages, including new research in Middle Eastern, European and American vocal traditions. The Ensemble has released 9 recordings. For more information, visit

The concert is sponsored in part by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board through appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Paving on Highway 71 south of Bemidji nears completion

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Paving on the newly constructed southbound lanes of Highway 71 south of Bemidji is expected to be complete Oct. 28 allowing traffic to be switched, according to Larry Randall, MnDOT project supervisor.

To accommodate the traffic switch, motorists will encounter temporary 4-way stops at the Highway 2 ramp intersections at 9 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 28 until the traffic signal for the south bound traffic is activated later that day.

Motorists will experience temporary lane closures beginning Oct. 29 as crews finish paving the new northbound lanes.. All paving is expected to be completed by Oct. 31, weather permitting.

Final pavement markings and rumble strips will be installed for both north and south bound lanes beginning the week of Oct. 31.

Motorists can expect workers and equipment in the work zone for the next 1-2 weeks and intermittent lane closures with flag persons.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation urges motorists use extreme caution in the work zone during the traffic switch and to be alert to changing traffic patterns.

For statewide travel information, visit or call 5-1-1.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Highway 75 shoulder repair from Crookston to Warren begins Oct.24

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Motorists will experience some delays on Highway 75 from Crookston to Warren in northwestern Minnesota as crews repair highway shoulders beginning Monday, Oct. 24.

Motorists are advised to slow down and prepare for lane closures and flagging operations in the work zone.

The project is expected to be completed Oct. 29, weather permitting.

For updated road condition information, call 5-1-1 or visit

Monday, October 17, 2011

Highway 10 access management public meeting set for Oct. 27 in Lake Park

DETROIT LAKES, Minn.—The city of Lake Park, the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Becker County invite the public to attend a public meeting on Thursday, Oct. 27, to discuss a transportation study currently underway in Lake Park. The meeting is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. at Lake Park City Hall, 2032 Second Street, Lake Park, Minn. A presentation will take place at 5:30 p.m.

The meeting is an opportunity to discuss public opinions, issues and concerns about improvements along Highway 10 in Lake Park and corresponding county roads and city streets. The public is invited to participate in the development of short- and long-term solutions for future access, capacity and safety improvement planning for existing and future roads and trails. A key area of the study is potential access solutions related to the new Lake Park Audubon high school, scheduled to open in fall 2012.

Officials are currently in the preliminary stages of the study and have not yet developed any designs or made any decisions. Project representatives will be available at the public meeting to respond to comments and questions.

For more information about the meeting or study, contact Chris Chromy at Bolton & Menk, or 952-890-0509, extension 2428.

To request an ASL interpreter, send a meeting notice to To request another reasonable accommodation, call 651-366-4718 or 1-800-657-3774 (Greater Minnesota); for Minnesota Relay Service dial 711 or 1-800-627-3529 (TTY, Voice or ASCII). Adequate notice is required.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

NDSU Offers 12-Month Pasture and Harvested Forage Management Planning

A 12-month pasture and harvested forage management planning workshop designed for livestock producers, land managers and natural resource students will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, January 3-5, 2012.

The workshop will be held in the Red Office Building at the North Dakota State University Dickinson Research Extension Center. The building is on the corner of State Avenue and Empire Road in Dickinson.

The workshop will run from 1 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday. Dickinson is in the Mountain time zone.

The workshop instructors are Lee Manske, DREC range scientist, and Toby Stroh, Dickinson State University assistant professor of agriculture and ArcGIS instructor.

"The workshop will scientifically address the persistent livestock problem of high production costs and low profit margins resulting from the asymmetrical
mismatch between the quantity of forage nutrients required by modern, high performance cattle and the quantity of forage nutrients provided from
traditional forage management practices," Manske says. "This mismatch causes cattle performance and land resource productivity to be at less than potential levels."

During the workshop, each participant will learn how to develop and properly operate a biologically effective management strategy with twice-over rotation grazing on summer pastures in conjunction with a complete 12-month complementary pasture and harvested forage sequence specific for his or her ranch.

"These science-based management strategies meet the nutrient requirements of livestock during each production period, meet the biological requirements of grass plants and rhizosphere microorganisms, increase the quantity of forage nutrients produced, improve the efficiency of forage nutrient capture, and improve the efficiency of conversion of forage nutrients into saleable animal weight commodities," Manske says. "These biologically effective 12-month management strategies generate greater new wealth from the land's natural resources without depleting future production."

Participants have the option to design a 12-month forage management strategy for their operation during the workshop or later. To design pasture and harvested forage management strategies specific to individual ranches during the workshop, maps with each pasture and field for the entire land holdings, including owned and leased land, need to be made and acreages of each soil type in each parcel of land need to be calculated prior to the start of the workshop. A crew of ArcGIS mapping specialists can compile this information electronically for participants. Location descriptions of land holdings will need to be provided to the specialists one month prior to the workshop to give the specialists sufficient time to develop the maps.

Information related to the workshop material is available at

Lodging, transportation and most meals are the responsibility of the participants. There is a lab fee of $25 per person to cover the costs of
supplies, refreshments each day and a working supper on the second day. A three- volume set of textbooks is available for $75. The ArcGIS map set will cost $75 for an average-sized ranch.

An option for professional development with 1 or 2 graduate credits for this continuing education course is available from NDSU at a cost of $50 per credit. Participants will supply their own calculators and notebooks.

Registration is limited. Participants requesting ArcGIS maps to be developed for their ranch must register before Dec. 7. For workshop information or to
register, call Manske at (701) 483-2348, ext. 118, or email

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

UMC Preview Day Scheduled for Saturday, October 22, 2011

CROOKSTON, Minn. – New and prospective students are invited to visit the University of Minnesota, Crookston on Saturday, October 22, 2011, to learn more about the campus during Preview Day. Students are encouraged to bring their families along for the in depth look at campus.

Students may go online to register for the Preview Day on Saturday, October 22 by visiting or by contacting the Admissions Office at 218-281-8569. The welcome and admissions presentations begin at 10 a.m.

During Preview Days, students have the opportunity to interact with current students, faculty, and staff as they learn about the U of M, Crookston. Throughout the day the students will be able to receive detailed information about the various opportunities available on the Crookston campus, participate in a question and answer session, tour the beautiful campus, and enjoy lunch in Brown Dining Hall. Preview Day is designed to help students and their families as they make decisions about college.

For more information, visit

Paving on Highway 71 south of Bemidji expected to begin next week

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Paving on the newly constructed southbound lanes of Highway 71 south of Bemidji is expected to begin early next week and should be completed Oct. 22, according to Larry Randall, MnDOT project supervisor.

Traffic will switch lanes when the paving is done. Southbound traffic will be moved from the new northbound lanes on the east side of the highway median to the new southbound lanes, at which time the final wear course will be paved on the northbound lanes.

Paving of the northbound lanes will be done under traffic with temporary lane closures. Paving is expected to be completed by Oct. 29, weather permitting.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation urges motorists to always drive with caution, slow down in work zones and plan ahead for extra travel time through work zones.

For statewide travel information, visit or call 5-1-1.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Minnesotans Encouraged to Apply for Heating Assistance

ST. PAUL, M N – It was 70 and 80 degrees in many parts of the state last week. Despite the unseasonably warm weather, Minnesotans know all too well that it won’t be long before the temperature drops and furnaces all over the state start kicking in.

With winter just around the corner, Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman and PUC Chair Ellen Anderson encourage Minnesota families who may have trouble paying their heating bills to contact their local utility company right away to set up a payment plan.

Cold Weather Rule
Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule takes effect this Saturday, October 15. The Cold Weather Rule was established to protect residential utility customers from having their heat shut off through April 15, if they contact their utility to set up a payment plan.

“The Cold Weather Rule is a critical safeguard for the elderly, disabled, and most economically vulnerable people in our state,” said Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Chair Ellen Anderson. “Keeping Minnesotans warm, safe, and healthy is essential during our state’s bitterly cold winters. Working out payment plans under the Cold Weather Rule will keep the heat on for Minnesota families who are facing real financial challenges during this difficult time.”

The Cold Weather Rule is administered by the PUC. Households who need to reconnect their heat for this winter should call their utility company now to take advantage of these payment options. Most utilities offer bill payment options that help financially-stressed household budgets balance out their utility payment amounts over several months.

Minnesota consumers using delivered fuels such as fuel oil, propane or wood to heat their homes are not covered by the Cold Weather Rule.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program & Weatherization Assistance Program
Additional heating assistance programs available to Minnesotans include the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as the Energy Assistance Program (EAP) in Minnesota, and the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).

The Minnesota Department of Commerce administers the LIHEAP program in partnership with 36 local service providers throughout the state. It is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The program helps customers earning less than 50 percent of the state’s median income ($43,050 for a family of four) obtain grant money to help pay their heating bills.

The average annual EAP grant per household is about $400. Households with seniors, disabled residents and children are especially encouraged to apply.

“Many Minnesota families struggle financially with heating costs in the winter,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “EAP provides critical assistance during the winter months to those who need it most, when they need it most.”

The Minnesota Department of Commerce also administers the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The program provides cost-effective conservation measures to save energy costs for low income households. Customers who meet the income guidelines for EAP may be eligible for Weatherization. Both homeowners and renters may apply for Weatherization.

Other forms of assistance may be available through county social service programs, community based organizations and non-profit agencies such as the Salvation Army’s Heat Share.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce Energy Information Center provides a wide range of energy saving information that every household can use to help control their heating costs. Energy saving recommendations include:

• Seal attic bypasses. The Attic Bypass Guide from the Energy Information Center will help you locate and fix leaks inside your home that allow heated air to escape into the attic.
• Turn down your thermostat to 65° while at home and 55° or 60° when away or asleep.
• Replace your old furnace with a new, efficient model. Look for the ENERGY STAR label on all new appliances.

• Replace or clean furnace filters monthly during the heating season.
• Place window film on the interior of the leakiest windows in your home.
• Install a carbon monoxide alarm.
• Call your utility about having a home energy audit and ask about a budget plan to spread out your heating costs over several months.
• Keep radiators and duct registers clean.
• Call, write or email for our Low Cost-No Cost Home Energy Guides that contain many ways to help control energy costs all year long.

For more information on staying warm this winter, visit This website provides details about heating assistance grants, gas and electric discount programs, weatherization help, and energy efficiency and safety tips. You can also contact Minnesota’s Energy Info Center at (651) 296-5175 or toll free in Minnesota at (800) 657-3710.

MnDOT asks motorists, farm equipment operators to safely share the road during harvest season

DETROIT LAKES, Minn.— Motorists traveling on Minnesota highways this fall need to be aware of large farm equipment transporting crops to markets, grain elevators and processing plants, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. This message comes following two recent crashes, including one fatal crash, involving farm equipment.

“Harvest season is in full swing and farmers in every corner of the state are out using the highways,” said Sue Groth, state traffic engineer. “Motorists need to be prepared to encounter slow-moving farm vehicles, especially on rural, two-lane roads.”

Farm equipment is large and heavy, making it hard for operators to accelerate, slow down and stop. The machines also make wide turns and sometimes cross over the center line. In addition, farm vehicles can create large blind spots, making it difficult for operators to see approaching vehicles. All of these factors can cause serious crashes.

During 2008-2010, there were 433 traffic crashes on Minnesota roads involving at least one farm vehicle, resulting in 15 fatalities and 218 injuries. Of the 15 fatalities, five were farm vehicle riders; of the 218 injuries, 65 were farm vehicle riders, according to the Department of Public Safety.

“The leading contributing crash factors in farm equipment/vehicle crashes are inattention, speeding and unsafe passing,” Groth said. “When approaching farm equipment, motorists should slow down and use extreme caution.”

Motorists are also urged to:
• Watch for debris dropped by trucks hauling sugar beets and other crops and remember, it is safer to brake or drive through debris than to veer into oncoming cars or off the road.
• Wait for a safe place to pass.
• Wear safety belts.
• Drive with headlights on at all times.

Farm equipment operators should:
• Use lights and flashers to make equipment more visible.
• Use slow-moving vehicle emblems on equipment traveling less than 30 mph.
• Consider using a follow vehicle when moving equipment, especially at night.

Friday, October 7, 2011

MnDOT to install warning systems at five rural intersections beginning Oct. 17

DETROIT LAKES, Minn.—Motorists will experience brief shoulder and lane closures on several area highways beginning Oct. 17 while crews install intersection conflict warning systems to improve safety at five rural intersections in Polk, Mahnomen, Clay, Otter Tail and Douglas counties.

Motorists should watch for crews at the following locations:

• Highway 75 at Polk County Highway 21 north of Crookston
• Highway 200 at Mahnomen County Highway 4 east of Mahnomen
• Highway 75 at Clay County Highway 2 near Comstock
• Highway 210 at Otter Tail County Highway 35 near Underwood
• Highway 29 at Douglas County Highway 5 near Miltona

Flaggers will direct traffic through work areas that require lane closures. The project is scheduled to be completed by early November.

All five locations were chosen for the project based on crash data. The intersection conflict warning systems are designed to assist traffic at rural two-way stop intersections. Flashing lights and signs warn drivers approaching an intersection of potentially conflicting vehicles at a stop sign and on the through road.

MnDOT urges motorists to always drive with caution, slow down in work zones and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones. For statewide travel information, visit, call 5-1-1 or log on to

Highway 92 near Oklee in Red Lake County re-opens to traffic Oct. 7

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Motorists may drive on Highway 92 near Oklee in Red Lake County when the Minnesota Department of Transportation removes the detour sometime late Friday afternoon, Oct. 7.

The detour was in place since Oct. 3 as crews replaced a culvert south of the junction with Highway 222.

For state highway road information, call 5-1-1 or log on to

Highway 113 culvert replacement project west of Waubun begins Oct. 10

DETROIT LAKES, Minn.— Motorists on Highway 113 will experience delays when a culvert replacement project three miles west of Waubun begins Monday, Oct. 10.

Traffic will detour to Mahnomen County Road 38, Mahnomen County Road 31, Mahnomen County Road 6 and Highway 59.

The work is scheduled to be completed Friday, Oct. 14, weather permitting.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation urges motorists to always drive with caution, slow down in work zones and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones. For statewide travel information, visit , call 5-1-1 or log on to

Thursday, October 6, 2011

UMC hosts Mid-America Collegiate Horticultural Society Annual Conference

CROOKSTON, Minn. – The University of Minnesota, Crookston Horticulture Club is hosting the Mid-America Collegiate Horticultural Society (MACHS) 39th annual conference. This event will be from Thursday, October 20 to Sunday, October 23, 2011, and the theme is “Little Campus on the Prairie.” The MACHS conference is expected to bring more than 40 horticultural students from across the Midwest to the U of M, Crookston campus. This is the first time that the U of M, Crookston Horticulture Club has hosted this event.

MACHS is comprised of horticulture clubs from universities and two-year colleges in the Midwest Region including Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. MACHS is a branch of the Association of Collegiate Branches (ACB) within the American Society for Horticultural Sciences (ASHS). ACB is a national forum comprised of undergraduate horticulture clubs within ASHS.

The objective of MACHS is to promote an awareness of the profession of horticulture, furnish a medium of communication for horticulture students, and exchange club and professional ideas. These objectives are met through a variety of activities taking place throughout the weekend conference.

Thursday night students will gather in the U of M, Crookston greenhouse classroom for registration, refreshments, and a campus welcome by Ron DelVechio, U of M, Crookston professor and head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department. Friday morning begins with a contest which includes a general knowledge exam, plant identification, and plant judging. Each school has a team of four students whose individual scores contribute to the team total. This contest is designed to challenge the horticulture students and allow them to see where they stand in relation to other universities.

Friday afternoon will include three guest speakers. Linda Kingery of the Northwest Regional and Sustainable Development Partnership will be talking to students about local foods. Kathleen Brokke, historian and horticulturalist, will be performing her interpretation of Fannie Manhood Heath, a pioneer horticulturalist in this region. Minnesota Nursery and Landscaping Association president Bert Swanson will also be sharing his industry perspective with the up and coming industry leaders. Friday evening will include a banquet meal with keynote speaker Rusty Schmidt, natural resource specialist with the Washing Conservation District. Schmidt is one of three authors of the Bluethumb Guide to Raingardens which has changed the way people think about using water in the Twin Cities area and beyond.

Saturday is a day of regional tours. Students will begin the day with naturalist Rhett Johnson leading the group through the Agassiz Dunes Scientific and Natural Area in Fertile, Minn. Traveling south to Detroit Lakes, Minn. the group will see the poinsettia growing operation of Bergen’s Greenhouse, Inc. In Park Rapids, Minn. students will visit the wholesale perennial growing operation of Bergen’s Nursery. The final stop for the group will be Itasca State Park where the group will take a tour of Minnesota’s conifers. Students will also have an opportunity to cross the headwaters of the Mississippi River which will be a first-time experience for many students who come from much farther downriver.

Sunday marks the end of the weekend conference as the MACHS students hold their annual business meeting. Awards from Friday’s team contest also will be presented. It will be a weekend of learning, networking, and growing as a horticulturalist for all students involved.

The entire event is being planned by the U of M, Crookston Horticulture Club students with support from U of M, Crookston staff and faculty. The MACHS annual conference is the largest undertaking in the history of the Horticulture Club, and they are excited to showcase their program, the campus, and the community to many other universities and technical colleges.

U of M, Crookston senior Kristine Neu currently serves as the chair of MACHS, and she works with a team of four other officers from South Dakota State University; the University of Wisconsin, River Falls; and Iowa State University. For more information about MACHS visit,

NDSU Offers Farm/Ranch Transition Planning Classes

Do you want to design an orderly and successful transition plan for your farm/ranch business? Are you uncertain about how to choose those who are best suited to continue your business into the future? Are you concerned about the financial impacts and tax consequences of your transition plan? What are the best tools and strategies available to create this plan?

These are just a few of the questions that will be answered at the Farm/Ranch Transition Planning workshop series the North Dakota State University Extension Service is hosting on Nov. 16, 30 and Dec. 7. The sessions will run from 6:15 to 9:30 p.m. (CST) or 5:15 to 8:30 p.m. (MST) at the following locations across the state.

- Ashley High School, 703 West Main St., Ashley

- Beach High School, 600 Central Ave. North, Beach

- Bismarck Public Schools Career Academy, Collaboration Room 217 A & B, 1221 College Drive, Bismarck

- EOC/Law Enforcement Center, basement, 308 Courthouse Drive, Cavalier

- Stark County Courthouse, 51 3rd St. East, Dickinson

- Grant County High School, room 103, 110 West St. N., Elgin

- NDSU E. Morrow Lebedeff Hall, 1310 Centennial Blvd., Fargo

- Langdon Research Extension Center, 9280 107th Ave. NE., Langdon

- Lisbon High School, Room 237, 502 Ash St., Lisbon

- Maddock Tech Center, 105 Central Ave., Suite 106, Maddock

- McKenzie County Courthouse Meeting Room, 201 5th St. NW., Watford City

- Williston Research Extension Center, Library, 14120 Highway 2, Williston

"Because farmers and ranchers have some very unique transition issues, these sessions are geared to their specific needs," says Willie Huot, Grand Forks County North Dakota State University Extension Service agent and state coordinator. "The major increase in asset values, especially land, in the last several years has made this topic even more critical."

The sessions will have a combination of presentations through the North Dakota Interactive Video Network and from local experts at each location.

"It is very important that people attend all three sessions," Huot says.

Topics for the first session include why people should plan an estate, who should be involved, what materials will be needed and the importance of
communications among family members. The presenter is Gary Goreham, professor of rural sociology in the NDSU Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

The second session will cover farm business arrangements, including the pros and cons of different types of business organizations for farmers and ranchers in North Dakota.

The third session will address farm succession planning, plus the tax and economic consequences of asset transfer strategies. The presenter for these
sessions is Andy Zenk, agribusiness consultant with AgCountry/Farm Credit Services in Grand Forks

The registration fee is $55 for individuals and $15 each for spouses or business associates (up to two additional) if postmarked by Nov. 9. After that date, individual registrations will increase to $75. Registration fees include materials and refreshments.

For registration information, contact the Extension Agent at the site you wish to attend. Registration forms, as well as online registration, are available at Click on Farm/Ranch Transition Planning and then the Transition Planning Registration Form at the bottom of the page. Anyone interested in attending the workshop should register as soon as possible because seating is limited at most of the sites.

Also, more information about the workshop is available by contacting Huot at (701) 780-8229 or

5 MN counties issue more than $10 million in loans to farmers

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Five Minnesota counties are responsible for providing more than $10 million dollars in loans for farmers and rural communities to implement agricultural best management practices (AgBMPs) that help prevent pollution.

Marshall, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake and Roseau counties make up the Northwestern Minnesota Joint Powers Board and this government unit has become the first in the state to achieve this milestone with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) AgBMP Loan Program. Under this program, farmers and landowners have been able to stop runoff from feedlots, prevent soil erosion, and upgrade home septic systems.

The $10 million in loans issued by the Northwestern Minnesota Joint Powers Board provided funds for a total of 319 agricultural best management projects including more than $9 million for conservation tillage equipment. The five counties are administering these loans out of their own budgets.

Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson says the Northwestern Minnesota Joint Powers Board has been an active participant in the AgBMP loan program since it began in 1995.

“The board has done a remarkable job promoting and supporting best management practices on farms in these counties,” said Frederickson. “To date, conservation tillage practices have been implemented on more than 600 square miles of farmland in the northwestern region of the state.”

Several other Minnesota counties have surpassed the $5 million mark in loan activity, including Waseca - $6,819,000, Watonwan - $5,566,000, Murray - $5,296,000, and Goodhue - $5,295,000.

The MDA’s AgBMP Loan Program was established to provide reliable funding to all counties to help individual landowners prevent pollution. Any farmer or rural landowner is eligible to apply.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

UMC to hold Horse Owner Education Program

CROOKSTON, Minn. – The University of Minnesota, Crookston will host a horse owner education program on Saturday, November 12, 2011, from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the University Teaching and Outreach Center (UTOC) on the campus. The cooperative program between the U of M, Crookston and U of M, Saint Paul is designed to assist current horse owners as well as those interested in owning a horse in the future.

The program is recommended for ages 13 and up but is open for everyone. Registration is required for this program and the deadline is Wednesday, November 9 at 11:59 p.m. The program registration fee is $25. In case of cancellation due to inclement weather, an e-mail will be sent to all participants. Mail registration(s) and check(s) made out to the U of M to: Registration Coordinator, University of Minnesota, 405 Coffey Hall, 1420 Eckles Avenue, St Paul. Minn., 55108. Online registration is also available at Registration questions can be directed to 1-800-876-8636.

The doors will open at 8:30 a.m. and light refreshments will be served throughout the day. There will be three sets of hour-long sessions. Participants are invited to select the program of their choice.

Programs running concurrently at 9 a.m. include Winter Care led by Marcia Hathaway, Ph.D., from the U of M; and Equine First Aid Away from Home led by Gemma Drees, D.V.M., from the Red Lake Falls Vet Clinic.

At 10 a.m. the concurrent programs are Selecting and Extending Your Hay Supply led by Krishona Martinson, Ph.D., from the U of M; and Body Condition Scoring and Weight Estimation with Jennifer Earing, Ph.D., and Beth Allen, both from the U of M.

The last two sessions for the day begin at 11 a.m. and include Feeding the Problem Horse led by Hathway, and Conformation: Form to Function led by ADawn Melbye instructor from the U of M, Crookston. The day concludes with an optional question and answer session with program speakers from noon to 12:30 p.m.

For more information about this event, visit

NMF Celebrates 25 Year Anniversary Excellence Award Recipients Announced

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation, in celebration of 25 years of making a difference in the region, has announced special 25th anniversary excellence award recipients, selected for their strong leadership and for continually enhancing the quality of the places where they live and work.

The foundation Board of Directors knows the important contributions individuals and nonprofit organizations make in every community and recognizes that their dedication and commitment is often unseen and rarely acknowledged. Since 1992, NMF has reinforced these efforts by identifying outstanding leaders, organizations, individuals in an organization, component funds’ philanthropy and special projects that enhance Quality of Place.

To commemorate its 25th anniversary, the Board asked all past honorees to submit questionnaires about their ongoing impact in the region. They reviewed the submissions, and from them, identified two individuals and one organization that demonstrated their continued excellence in leadership and commitment to helping Northwest Minnesota be a great place to live and work.

The recipients of the NMF 25th Anniversary Excellence Awards:
Kittson Memorial HealthCare Center, Hallock, MN - Organizational Excellence Award in 1999.

Since the early 1990’s Rick Failing has led Kittson Memorial through planning and assessments, guided in part by training received from the foundation. Over the years, Kittson Memorial also participated in other NMF programming such as training on developing a foundation, which led to the establishment of an endowment fund with NMF. Kittson Memorial’s managers have also attended leadership training programs to enhance their managerial skills. It is because of facility improvements and expanded services, combined with a staff-centered management approach and a focus on exceeding patient expectations that Kittson Memorial Healthcare Center is thriving today.

Florence Hedeen, Park Rapids, MN – Excellence in Leadership Award in 1993.
Florence Hedeen was an early participant in the foundation’s leadership training program, where she wanted to sharpen her skills on behalf of the Headwaters Intervention Center. She has remained involved with NMF in a number of ways, including with the Northwest Minnesota Women’s Fund, serving on the advisory committee for ten years and as the chair. Florence’s other interests and pursuits have evolved from efforts to foster world peace to election to the school board and work on behalf of the North Country Trail Association. She helped restart the Park Rapids League of Women Voters and was elected to the state board. Her work on increasing League membership in Minnesota resulted in her nomination to become a Ruth S. Shur Fellow in 2009 and she was among the first class of 12 national coaches serving state and local Leagues.

Sue Liedl, Tenstrike, MN – Individual Excellence in an Organization Award in 1997.
Sue Liedl has stayed in close contact with the foundation since attending one of the first leadership program sessions in 1991. When she received her award she was working as a volunteer developing and implementing a conflict management program at St. Philips’ grade school in Bemidji. This has evolved into work with STAR Teams (Students Teaching Attitudes of Respect), and the development of Peacemaker Resources, a nonprofit created to expand this work into other schools throughout northwestern Minnesota. With the support of NMF, STAR and Peacemaker has expanded to 18 other schools in 12 different communities. Starting with one school, to one community, to one nonprofit, in 12 counties, Sue and her team are now fielding requests for services from around the world.

The three will be featured at the NMF 25th Anniversary Banquet, scheduled for October 20 in Bemidji. Each recipient will select a regional nonprofit to receive a $1,000 grant from NMF’s Ruth Edevold Endowment for Excellence in honor of their award. Congratulations to these honorees for making a difference!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

MN Rural Health Cyber Conference Nov 17

CROOKSTON, Minn. – The Minnesota Rural Health Association (MRHA) will join the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) and other state/national rural stakeholders in celebrating the first-ever National Rural Health Day on Thursday, November 17, 2011. Events recognizing National Rural Health Day and “Celebrating the Power of Rural” are being planned throughout the nation.

The MRHA is planning to mark the occasion by offering at no charge a cyber conference titled the “Status of Rural Health in Minnesota” presented by Paul Jansen, program manager for Trauma System and the Rural Health Advisory Committee, MN Dept of Health Office of Rural Health and Primary Care. The conference begins at noon. Those interested in registering should visit the association’s website at to register.

NOSORH created National Rural Health Day as a way to showcase rural America; increase awareness of rural health-related issues; and promote the efforts of NOSORH, State Offices of Rural Health and others in addressing those issues. Plans call for National Rural Health Day to become an annual celebration on the third Thursday of each November.

Approximately 62 million people – nearly one in five Americans – live in rural and frontier communities throughout the United States. “These small towns, farming communities and frontier areas are wonderful places to live and work; they are places where neighbors know each other and work together,” notes Teryl Eisinger, NOSORH director. “The hospitals and providers serving these rural communities not only provide quality patient care, but they also help keep good jobs in rural America.”

These communities also face unique healthcare needs. “Today more than ever, rural communities must tackle accessibility issues, a lack of healthcare providers, the needs of an aging population suffering from a greater number of chronic conditions, and larger percentages of un- and underinsured citizens,” Eisinger says. “Meanwhile, rural hospitals are threatened with declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels that makes it challenging to serve their residents.”

State Offices of Rural Health play a key role in addressing those needs. All 50 states maintain a State Office of Rural Health, each of which shares a similar mission: to foster relationships, disseminate information and provide technical assistance that improves access to and the quality of, health care for its rural citizens. In the past year alone, State Offices of Rural Health collectively provided technical assistance to more than 28,000 rural communities.

In Minnesota, for example, the Minnesota Rural Health Association supports rural citizens by executing their mission which is to bring together diverse interests to address rural health issues and advocate for and with rural Minnesotans. Their vision is to strengthen the rural voice on health care issues through dialogue, education and advocacy, with a focus on enhancing the accessibility, affordability, and quality of healthcare in rural Minnesota.

Additional information about National Rural Health Day can be found on the Web at To learn more about NOSORH, visit; to learn more about the MN Rural Health Association, visit