Saturday, December 6, 2014

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH

Duane A. Lienemann
UNLExtension Educator
     As I write this column we have just nineteen days until Christmas which is too early to write about the 12 days of Christmas so I will start this week talking about a new game that I think should be under every young child’s Christmas tree! Of course, anyone who knows me will tell you who passionate I am about agriculture literacy and a newly revised and revived farm game is right down that alley. Shoot, I may have to get it for myself. I will share with others though…… 
     The question is – “Can a video game help train the next generation of young farmers?” When I was still teaching in the high school venue there was a game that came out called SimFarm, I would bet some of you played that game. It was kind of addicting and was fun, but not really very realistic. I was happy later to see a Facebook game called FarmVille, when it came out, as it put people who had never lived on a farm or generations from ancestors who may have lived and worked on farms a little taste of agriculture. Exposure of any kind to me is an important inroad for those of us who are trying to bolster the literacy of agriculture and place farming and ranching in a different light than what is being portrayed by so many anti-farm activists on television, internet and even in our schools. Let’s take a look at this video game this week. 
     Farming Simulator 15, a computer game by Giants Software, was released last week and promises: "new graphics and physics engine, new visual effects, a new interface, new gameplay mechanics and, a new and vast game environment;" The first version of this game was released in 2007 and had an impressive fan base selling millions of copies.  The company has a website: http://www.farming-simulator.com/  and www.Twitter.com/farmingsim  where you can learn more about the game. What is amazing is that the worldwide video game marketplace, which includes video game console hardware and software, online, mobile and PC games, may reach $111 billion in 2015. Driven by strong mobile gaming and video game console and software sales. I had no idea that there was that much impact in the gaming world, but then I should when I see my grandsons playing all types of games on their big screen TV’s.  Could this gaming technology be adapted to help ag? 
     From what I can determine the main goal of the game is to harvest your crops/produce and sell them in order to expand your farming enterprise (e.g. machines, fields, animals and buildings). Hmmm.. sounds pretty realistic The players are free to explore, grow whatever crop they want and invest their money how they like.  Players can participate in multiplayer sessions where they farm together. One interesting feature is that there are more than 100 detailed farm machines and vehicles, including the largest New Holland combine ever introduced - the 2015 CR10.90 Elevation Combine - WOW!
     It may be hard to imagine using a game to help train young farmers in the United States. But, it is reported that 60 percent of Americans play video games, according to the Entertainment Software Association, an industry trade group. That’s more than the percentage of Americans who tuned into the last Super Bowl, pay for cable or subscribe to Netflix. As the technology becomes more realistic, there could be applications developed to help familiarize farmers to new tractors, combines and equipment before hitting the field and can be done in the off season.  Here is the intro video of several that are fun to watch:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK7NAXO-0&index=2&list=UUOmANDuJs2IHiEq8p9Ll5tw  . They even have a video created by a player who provides an overview as he plays. The graphics and operations continue to improve and become more realistic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oGj8cd-l-wo .  For all of you involved in agriculture out there that have not even started looking for Christmas presents – you are welcome!!!!
     Speaking of ag literacy and anti-farm activists. I was both sickened and elated this past week when I heard that my own University of Nebraska was the target of an anti-animal agriculture effort under the guise of climate change/global warming concerns. If you didn’t hear about this, a group of students initiated an effort to bring “Meatless Mondays” to all the residence halls and fraternities on campus.  You can find a YouTube that espouses the benefits of meatless Mondays at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpziz8cJMaI  brought to you by --- guess who?  You got it ---the Humane Society of the United States – HSUS! You don’t suppose they had something to do with this student ASUN effort do you?
     I thought first that someone was pulling my leg, but no…..it was really happening. A group called the “Environmental Sustainability Committee” proposed a bill to the Association for Students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (ASUN) senate meeting that was aimed to educate students in all of the UNL dining halls about Meatless Mondays. It did not go unnoticed by collegiate ag students and I am proud of what they did! About 100 students showed up at Wednesday’s meeting of the ASUN Senate, most who were opposed to this anti-livestock bill. During an open forum session ahead of the meeting, five leaders representing campus groups spoke out against the bill. The speakers were members of UNL Collegiate Cattlemen, UNL Block and Bridle and the UNL Collegiate Farm Bureau, several of which are former and present FFA and 4-H members from across our State. I understand that the Nebraska Beef Council, A-Fan and Nebraska Ag in the Classroom provided information to help the students prepare, in a very short time, to offset the dialogue that was presented by the individuals that were pushing this agenda. I was elated to hear that after much debate, the bill was rejected by a majority of senators. Great, we are after all a Land Grant University! You can find some of the information used at: http://factsaboutbeef.com/2012/10/12/are-meatless-mondays-better-for-me-and-the-environment . Way to go Aggies!!! 

The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: dlienemann2@unl.edu or go to the website at: http://www.webster.unl.edu/home 

Friday, November 28, 2014

UPCOMING EVENTS:

UPCOMING EVENTS

 
 
Dec. 4: Webster Co. Christmas Greenery Workshop, Webster County Fairgrounds, Exhibit Hall, Bladen, NE ckumke2@unl.edu 402-746-3417
Dec. 6: Webster Co. Christmas Greenery Workshop, Webster County Fairgrounds, Exhibit Hall, Bladen, NE ckumke2@unl.edu 402-746-3417
Dec.10-12: Nebraska Cattlemen Annual Convention, TBA, Kearney, NE
Dec. 11: Webster County Fairboard Meeting, Webster County Fairgrounds, Exhibit Hall, Bladen, NE 7:30 pm
Dec. 25: Christmas
 
 

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH

Duane A. Lienemann
Unl Extension Educator

     By the time this article reaches the local newspapers, Thanksgiving will be finished and a whole lot of food will have been consumed. It seems to me that most of our Holidays do involve food and that is probably a good thing. Mankind has probably socialized around food since the beginning of mankind with food gatherers and hunters. Food is an important part of our history and of course what we need to survive. It is no wonder that we treat our food with almost a reverence.
     I found it very interesting that National Geographic aired a six-hour television series, “EAT: The Story of Food,” which played over three nights, Nov. 21-23 on the National Geographic Channel. You can find the information on the series on the web at: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/eat-the-story-of-food/video . I did find it well done, educational, and humorous at times, and it does take a while to watch the entire series. There was part of the series that was of concern to me which I will explain later. I first want to explore the video and a little background on the effort in this week’s edition.
     Throughout 2014 the National Geographic Channel and the National Geographic Society have been exploring the future of food and celebrating our connection to food through a major, multiyear cross-platform initiative. The mini-series episodes are designed to show how the evolution of food has defined cultures around the globe. The initiative grows out of an eight-month series in National Geographic magazine looking at how we can feed our growing world population, including the cover story of the December issue of the magazine, “The Joy of Food.” If you did not get the chance to see the series, there will also be a DVD release of the mini-series on Dec. 16 via http://shop.nationalgeographic.com
     If you have an iPad you might like to download a free app which features a collection of all currently published stories from the magazine’s food coverage since March. You can find the app at: http://natgeofoodapp.com . According to the press release, the app uses rich storytelling, interactive maps, and of course, stunning photography to offer a multifaceted perspective on the challenges – and solutions – to feeding a global population expected to reach nine billion by 2050. Paralleling the magazine series, each topic begins with a simple question, like: “why are people malnourished in the richest country on earth?” But the content that follows quickly explains why the answers are anything but simple. According to NGS director, “by considering a diverse set of food-related issues, National Geographic’s free “Future of Food” iPad App offers a comprehensive examination of the pitfalls -- and potential – of possible solutions.” A short companion video, “Food by the Numbers,” and a world diet interactive are all published online at http://food.nationalgeographic.com .   I have to tell you I was impressed with the website http://www.natgeoeat.com . It is kind of fun to negotiate.
     As I understand it the network has intended for ‘Eat’ to be not just a television series, but part of a bigger conversation about every person's relationship with food.  They hope that by looking at both the past and the future of food, they can shine a light on the issues being faced by millions of families every day. They also offer a recipe guide, with easy-to-implement healthy eating options for families, according to their preview of their efforts. According to their news release, the signature element of the initiative is the launch of a downloadable healthy eating recipe guide, featuring “alternatives to our fast-food way of life from more than 70 actors, athletes, authors, chefs, musicians and explorers,” including Paul McCartney, Susan Sarandon and Wolfgang Puck. It also includes interviews with activists like Michael Pollan; whom I have written about before. That is fine, but I think that many of you know the cuisine leaning of several of these celebrities.
    What got my attention first was one of the episodes called “Meat – Its History and Production Methods”, which was the focus of the premiere episode called “Carnivores” which is explained at:  http://www.natgeoeat.com/#/meat/1 . Among the interactive website’s tidbits: “In the U.S., a single person can care for as many as 50,000 chickens being raised for meat. Considering it takes a broiler chicken three months to reach market weight, one poultry farmer can produce as many as 200,000 chickens per year!” and “being able to afford a prime cut of meat conveys a higher socioeconomic status.” 
     In discussing lab-grown meat, chef and sustainable seafood promoter Barton Seaver tells the audience: “So much of the cult of meat consumption in this country is already so divorced from the source of that product to begin with [that] whether it comes from a Styrofoam package or from a lab, I’m not sure we’d ever know the difference.” Another nugget found in a slideshow on the website asks rhetorically: What about the future? National Geographic’s answer: “Industrial meat can't continue to go on because the land cannot continue to support it in a sustainable way. Another source of protein must be out there.”  That is right, the just had to bring up the factory farm and “Industrial meat”.  There are also references to GMO’s.
     I did a little investigating on the partnerships aligned with this effort and found that a major collaboration was with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, which, along with other organizations, provided data for articles and graphics. The FAO is the same group that put out the erroneous report that said livestock production is one of the major causes of the world's most pressing environmental problems, including global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity and that livestock are responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. It may also be of interest that another collaborator is the Grace Communications Foundation. That sounded harmless to me until I hit the website http://www.gracelinks.org , which unfortunately pushes the traditional agenda of “No big farm is a good farm! I do encourage you to watch the series and read the articles…and then I will leave it to you to what you think!

The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: dlienemann2@unl.edu or go to the website at: http://www.webster.unl.edu/home 

Friday, November 21, 2014

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH

Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator

     Beginning with the American pilgrims, Thanksgiving has always focused on celebrating the harvest and the abundance of food we are able to share with our friends and family. This year is no different. We can celebrate a great harvest and harvest weather this year, and what better way than with fellowship and food? When you think of it, food in reality is a part of our lives every single day. We rely on it for nourishment. We look forward to it on holidays. And we share it with those we love most. It seems that it even becomes more important this time of year. The time of year that everyone loves…..
     Yes, it is Thanksgiving, so good food and company is always near the front of our minds. You see it in newspapers starting a few weeks ahead with all the tips on making your family happy with the best turkey and classic side-dishes. It takes a lot of planning and organization: Where are we going to have it? Who’s getting the turkey (and from where)? Who’s making pie and what kind? Sweet potatoes? Are you making it with marshmallows? Please do! Stuffing: soggy or crispy, or both; with raisons or without? All those details will work out one way or another and most of us leave the Thanksgiving table satisfied with a full belly – ready to watch the token NFL football game or perhaps take a nap. But how many of us think about who made the large meal in front of us possible? Sometimes we are more worried about “Black Friday”.
     I admit I mostly spend the day over-indulging in a lot of those things I should be grateful for. And Thanksgiving encourages me personally to think about all the things I am in deed grateful for. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to collectively show our appreciation for wholesome food and especially all those who provide it.  As you sit down to enjoy dinner with your family and friends, I encourage you to take a moment and thank those who did make it all possible. While we share laughter, memories, thanks, and thoughts, we should all try to take a moment and remember the importance of those hard working America’s farm families and their hard work growing the food we all enjoy. There is no better time to honor our farmers, ranchers, and producers.  Without them, the safe, abundant and affordable food we’ll put on our tables at Thanksgiving would not have been possible.  Generation after generation, their hard work and willingness to embrace new ideas has provided our nation with the food we need. They take huge risks and work hard to provide for all of us!
     Thank a Farmer! Without farmers, we wouldn’t have food or many of the products that we use on a daily basis. Sadly, most people don’t feel like agriculture affects them directly. Every day, we are surrounded by the things that farmers provide for us – from the cotton sheets that we wake up in to the toothpaste that we use each night. Yet, how many of us actually think about the farmers that made this possible? Many people don’t understand the impact that one farmer has on today’s society. In 1960, when I was still in grade school, one farmer would feed 26 people which may seem like a lot. Today, one farmer feeds and clothes 155 people. Without farmers, we would be one hungry planet! We all need to be more aware of how agriculture impacts our modern lives and be thankful we have the resourceful people engaged in it!
     I am proud to advocate on behalf of America’s farmers as they work tirelessly to provide plentiful food, clothing and energy for our country and the world. We should take stock of the fact that Agriculture is tied to 1 in 12 jobs in this nation and one out of three jobs in this great agricultural state – Nebraska.  We all should give thanks to the incredible productivity of our nation’s farmers and ranchers. U.S. farm programs typically cost each American just pennies per meal account for less than one-half of 1 percent of the total U.S. budget.  It gives us the freedom and the flexibility to spend on our families and invest in other parts of the economy. We often forget how good we really do have it here in the USA!!
     Did you know that farmers and ranchers receive only 15.8 cents of every food dollar that consumers spend on food at home and away from home? The rest goes for costs beyond the farm gate: wages and materials for production, processing, marketing, transportation and distribution. In 1980, farmers and ranchers received 31 cents. So when you think of it, our farmers have done an incredible job of providing the safest and most bountiful food at almost half the cost of 30 years ago. Americans spend, on average, only about 6 to 7 cents out of every dollar they earn on food, far less than around the world!  
     It may interest you that there are only 2.2 million farms that dot America’s rural landscape. But regardless of what you hear about “Factory Farms”, did you know that about 97 percent of those farms are operated by families, individuals, family partnerships or family corporations? Did you know that those farm and ranch families comprise just 2 percent of the U.S. population? Today’s farmers produce 262 percent more food with 2 percent fewer inputs (labor, seeds, feed, fertilizer, etc.), compared with 1950. Plus the United States sells more food and fiber to world markets than we import, creating a positive agricultural trade balance. In fact one in three U.S. farm acres is planted for export and more than 31 percent of the U.S. gross farm income comes directly from exports with about 23 percent of raw U.S. farm products being exported each year.
     Like millions of Americans, I will sit with my family this Thanksgiving to share a meal and I’ll express my thanks to those who produced the bounty that my family is about to receive.  I will also take a moment to think about those who may not know where their next meal will come from, and those without family this Thanksgiving – particularly those men and women in uniform serving our country overseas.  This Thanksgiving, as you gather around your dinner table and give thanks to our Creator for all his divine blessings, it is fitting that we thank Him for the men and women of agriculture who use all of the resources God provides to improve the quality of our lives!  Happy Thanksgiving!!!

The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: dlienemann2@unl.edu or go to the website at: http://www.webster.unl.edu/home 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Johanns Statement on President’s Overreaching Immigration Proposal

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R- Neb) issued the following statement on the President’s decision to circumvent Congress to act on immigration.
“What the President is doing is wrong. His decision to act unilaterally undermines our legal system and ignores the clear message of the American people in the recent elections, rejecting his go-it-alone strategy and his policies. Americans want us to work across party lines to find real solutions to the problems facing our nation, including this one. Instead, the President has poisoned the well, in effect destroying any opportunity for a long-term solution to our broken immigration system.”

Smith Responds to President’s Amnesty Plan

 

“We have already seen how the President’s youth amnesty encouraged tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors to pour across the border.  Providing amnesty to millions of additional undocumented immigrants will only encourage others to break our laws and make it more difficult to fix our broken immigration system. 
“Worse than the specific policy is the precedent President Obama continues to set by ignoring Congress and the will of the American people.  Failing to perform his Constitutional duty to enforce laws undermines our system of government and reinforces the gridlock plaguing Washington.  Solutions will require both sides to work through regular order to come to an agreement.”
Background:
President Obama has regularly admitted he does not have the authority to bypass the legislative process and change laws on his own.  The Speaker’s office has compiled a list of 22 times the President specifically said he could not ignore or create his own immigration law.  
During a 2010 speech to students at American University, the President explained why giving amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants would be “unwise and unfair.”  In the President’s own words:
“For example, there are those in the immigrants’ rights community who have argued passionately that we should simply provide those who are [here] illegally with legal status, or at least ignore the laws on the books and put an end to deportation until we have better laws.  And often this argument is framed in moral terms:  Why should we punish people who are just trying to earn a living? 
“I recognize the sense of compassion that drives this argument, but I believe such an indiscriminate approach would be both unwise and unfair.  It would suggest to those thinking about coming here illegally that there will be no repercussions for such a decision.  And this could lead to a surge in more illegal immigration.  And it would also ignore the millions of people around the world who are waiting in line to come here legally. 
“Ultimately, our nation, like all nations, has the right and obligation to control its borders and set laws for residency and citizenship.  And no matter how decent they are, no matter their reasons, the 11 million who broke these laws should be held accountable.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Marguerite J. Barnason

Marguerite J. BarnasonFormer Blue Hill resident Marguerite J. Barnason, 85, passed away Thursday, November 13, 2014, at Perkins Pavilion Good Samaritan Society-Hastings Village, Hastings, Nebraska. Services will be Tuesday, November 18, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. at All Saints Chapel - Good Samaritan Village in Hastings with Pastor Dale Phillips officiating. Burial will be Tuesday, November 18, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. at Blue Hill Cemetery in Blue Hill. No visitation, book signing will be one hour prior to the service at All Saints Chapel on Tuesday. Memorials may be given to the family for the establishment of the Marguerite J. Barnason Scholarship. This scholarship will be awarded to Blue Hill High School Graduates. Merten-Butler Mortuary is serving the family.

Friday, November 14, 2014

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH

Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator

     A couple of weeks ago I talked about Dr. Oz and his attack on conventional farming and in particular GMOs. Modern-day quacks often cherry-pick science and use what suits them as semantic backdrop to fool unsuspecting consumers. Quacks may dazzle people with fanciful research study claims or scare them with intimidating warnings before trying to peddle products that make unreasonable promises or sell products as organic or natural alternatives to the evils that come from GMO based foods. Quite honestly I had never heard of one of these quacks until a couple of weeks ago when someone asked me about the “Food Babe”.  Now it seems I see her work everywhere and so I did some research on her and what she stands for. I was very surprised as I found the impact that this one person has had on the food and drink industry and it is not good in my opinion. Who is this “Food Babe,” anyway? Let’s investigate this supposed food “expert” this week.
     For starters, her real name is Vani Hari, and one thing is for sure, she’s got quite a following. On Twitter, she has more than 76,000 followers. On Facebook, she has a whopping 860,000 followers. Her website: http://foodbabe.com  had 632,684 unique visitors in September 2014 with over 1.3 million last March. She’s been on Good Morning America, the Today Show and on her fellow alarmist’s program, The Dr .Oz show, plus a whole bunch of other programs popular with moms. She has what she calls her “Food Babe Army” who blindly follow her and her non-scientific claims and troll the internet. 
     What is remarkable to me is that she has no relevant qualifications. What the Food Babe rarely reveals is that she isn’t a scientist not even a nutritionist or dietician. Nor is she a toxicologist or a medical doctor. Yet she doles out nutrition, toxicological, and medical advice with the confidence of someone trained in all three areas. She actually only has a B.S. in Computer Science and began her career as a banking consultant which she quit to blog full time and sell herself as a food expert, author and consultant on food!! She is nothing but a quack…..and she has a very lucrative business.
     In reading her webpage, blogs and on her Facebook page it seems to me that the Food Babe has one clear mission: to scare moms so bad that they stop buying all that convenient and reasonably priced food they’ve grown to love and which makes their lives a little easier.  Because progress is your enemy, ladies! She’s not asking much…just eat only food produced by raw, whole ingredients that you cook yourself. Oh, but wait, it can’t be just any whole ingredients; they have to be organic and non-GMO. So you would think there would be studies or resources available to back it up. The evidence she provides that this strategy will lead to a healthier life? Exactly nothing!!! The trouble is that it is not science based at all!
     Instead The Food Babe relies on alarmism. She’s essentially a shock jock of the food and nutrition world, relying not on scientific evidence but on emotion and scary personal anecdotes. In short, quackery is dangerous. It promotes fear, devalues legitimate science and can destroy lives. Unfortunately, nutrition is a wonderful playground for people who want to manipulate fear. We need food to live, but according to her we can be poisoned, or worse yet poison our children by eating the wrong things!! Of course mothers will flip out and turn to her for more “things that “Big Ag” are hiding from us”!
     Learning from others which foods are safe and which are dangerous was essential to our survival in the days before grocery stores. We are primed to react to scares about food. We make 200 food-related decisions every day. Food choices are one of the few things we can control as individuals. All this misinformation is a version of the “FUD Theory” - Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt tactic that’s been recognized as a marketing tool in other contexts. It operates on a guilt-by-association model: if bread contains a chemical that’s also used in yoga mats, you claim that yoga mats are in our food, or that antifreeze and fish bladders are in our favorite beer! Never mind that antacids like Tums contain the same chemical used in gravestones and peach pits naturally contain cyanide!! Her fear-mongering detracts from the value and promise of GMO technology, and promotes the appeal to nature fallacy. In turn, Food Babe perpetuates one of the most daunting perils of modern society, far more frightening than preservatives, artificial colors or GMOs – scientific illiteracy!!!
     A lot of folks like this Food Babe aren’t simply misleading the public about food choices. They are flat-out lying! Accurate information is readily available if you care enough to look for it and apply a bit of common sense in distinguishing credible vs. bogus sources. But if you spread fear and confusion without checking facts because it fits with your worldview or increases your sales, you’re lying because you didn’t bother to find out the truth first. Food Babe has the luxury of doing just that and then profiting from her lies. She sells meal plans and endorses superfood supplements, but positions herself as an “investigator” of the dangers in foods. The tactic, it seems, is to make people feel that the world is so full of dangerous foods that they better pay for her meal plans that specify what she believes is safe to eat. Oh and she has a book, “The Food Babe Way” that is available in February 2015 on Amazon and a TV show under development. Hmmmmm!!!

     She sells ads on her site so it is in her interest to generate controversy to draw eyeballs. Hari has appeared on Good Morning America and The Dr. Oz Show. The exposure drives readers to pay $17.99 a month to download her Eating Guide, the organic living manual plus at least $15,000 speaker fee at conferences and who knows how much in consulting fees! She also has interest in companies that do home-delivered natural, organic and non-GMO foods as well as organic "superfood" such as hemp and chia seeds!  You don’t suppose that money is the real reason for her activism do you?

The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: dlienemann2@unl.edu or go to the website at: http://www.webster.unl.edu/home 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Louise Baker

Blue Hill resident Louise Catherine Baker, 95, passed away Tuesday, November 11, 2014, at Blue Hill Care Center in Blue Hill. Rosary will be Friday, November 14, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. at Merten-Butler Mortuary in Blue Hill. Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, November 15, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Blue Hill with Very Rev. James Schrader and Father Valerian Bartek officiating. Burial will be at Blue Hill Cemetery in Blue Hill. Memorials may be given to Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Visitation will be Friday, November 14, 2014, from 1 p.m. until rosary, with family present at 6:30 p.m. at the mortuary. Merten-Butler Mortuary is serving the family.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Remember the Veterans

Several years ago I was involved with a group that tried to show support for the soldiers in Iraq by sending regular packages and notes to the soldiers.    After some school children gave us valentines to add to our packages we received this note of thanks to share with them and others who helped us remember the soldiers.  Veteransl Day is a good time for us to reread this type of message and remember all our Soldiers who are away from their homes and loved ones and those who will never return.

Dear Supporters of the Soldiers,                                                18   Feb 2004

Thank you  2nd graders of Morton, and 6th graders of Hawthorne elementary!

I wasn’t sure how to start this letter, but what better way than to say “thank you so much for the valentines.”  I don’t know if you realize how important it is for soldiers to receive mail from the people back there in our great nation.  It reminds us that we are here for a good cause.  The valentines especially brought smiles to the soldiers of my mortar section.  We are the proud soldiers of A Company, 5th Battalion  20th  Infantry Regiment, 3rd  brigade of the 2nd  Infantry Division.  Our Unit’s name is “Sykes Regulars” and our history dates back to the civil war.   We’ve been in the civil war,  WWI,  WWII, the Korean war, and Vietnam war, now we are the brave soldiers in Iraq.   Many of us knew this day was coming since our Battalion received the first new strikers that the Army had seen.  My company did the Millennium Challenge at Ft. Irwin California’s National Training Center (Company was the first unit to ever take a Stryker over seas.   5th Battalion of the 20th Infantry Regiment has been one of the most important parts of the Stryker Brigades success, so once again, it is good to see all of my hard work has paid off.
 I personally want everyone who supports us to understand that everyone here in Iraq has their own reason for being here in the army and Iraq.  My reasons were so that my son may never have to fight in a war, so my wife Meghan will be safe at night, whether I am there to be at her side at night or not, for the freedom of America and all her citizens including you,  the reader of my thoughts.  I miss my wife and son very much, and I know they miss me.
One of the letters we received was from a young woman, age 12.  Her words found a place in my heart that I will keep with me always.  “I am sorry for the ones who won’t make it home.”
Before my deployment to Iraq two of my childhood friend became soldiers who will never make it home.  I keep them in my  heart and I know every morning that I or someone I know and love like a brother may never make it home.  My family knows it is a possibility and it is a concept that is very hard to grasp.  But we all every soldier makes a sacrifice for our great nation, and sadly, some make the ultimate one.

Most soldiers are very young, in the age range of  18 to 24.  I joined the Army when I was 17 years old.  When I went through basic training my son was just 5  months old.  I am now 19 and will turn 20 in 3 days.  My son will be 3 August 3rd  and yet again for the third time I will be away on his birthday.  I will probably cry silently, as many soldiers do .  We do not cry in front of each other as it may lower moral, but all soldiers will cry at some point we all want to come home to our loved ones.

All the soldiers send their love to you, especially the soldiers of A company mortars.

SSG. Johnson,  SGT Taylor,  CPL. Smith, CPL Lunsford, SPC Haack,   SPC Barayuga, SPC Whitely, PFC Burg, PV2 Garrett, PV2 Fritsch    and myself, SPC Richard C. Warren
THANK YOU

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Farm Bill Education Meeting in Blue Hill on November 24


     The Webster County FSA and UNL Extension will host a Farm Bill Education meeting on Monday, November 24, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. at the Blue Hill Community Center which is located at 555 W Gage St. in Blue Hill, NE. The meeting is free and open to the public. Registration is not required; however, it is appreciated to insure a seat and materials for each attendee. The meeting should conclude by noon.

     It is important that growers have information they need as decisions regarding commodity program selection are complex and will last for the duration of the farm bill. The meeting will primarily focus on the Base Reallocation and Yield Update decision, as well as the ARC and PLC programs. 

     Topics will include: The farm bill program sign-up process, including documentation needed and deadlines; Base, yield and commodity program decisions and considerations for your operation; How to calculate farm program payments; and Online decision-aid tools to help you determine which program is best for your operation and lets you input data specific to your operation and examine various options for your decision. 

     To register or for more information you may call the Webster County UNL Extension Office at 402-746-3417 or contact Dewey Lienemann at dlienemann2@unl.edu ; or you may call the Webster County FSA Office in Red Cloud at 402-746-2204, Deidra Werner, CED.

Grazing Strategist Burke Teichert Coming to Webster County November 19


     The Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition (NGLC) and Webster County UNL Extension are joining forces to host Burke Teichert, noted ranch profitability strategist and frequent contributor to BEEF Magazine, at the Blue Hill Community Center on Wednesday, November 19. The Range Management Seminar will be from 10 am to 2 pm and will include a lunch. We are currently taking reservations at the Webster County UNL Extension office in Red Cloud. You can call 402-746-3417 or email Dewey Lienemann at dlienemann2@unl.edu  . There is a small fee for attending to offset the travel and meal. 

     Burke is a proponent of planned, time-controlled grazing for improved soil health and ranch productivity. Since retirement, he has worked as a contract manager, consultant and speaker. He has also traveled extensively in the U.S. and in parts of Canada and Central and South America as well as England, Australia and New Zealand on company business or as a consultant or speaker. Mr. Teichert will speak to the Five Essentials of Successful Ranch Management which include: Approach should be both integrative and holistic; Strive for continuous improvement of the key resources—land, livestock and people; Use good analysis and decisions making tools; War on costs; and Emphasis on marketing. 

     One of his statements gives a thumbnail highlights what Mr. Teichert will be speaking on.  “The interesting thing is that it all begins with the way we manage our grazing and farming. Good grazing improves the land, lets us control costs by using larger herds and reduce our dependence on fed feeds, helps us cut overhead costs, makes us look at calving season and the breeding program to more closely fit the natural environment, etc.” 

     Please mark your calendars for this event and get your reservation in. You will find it well worth your small investment and time!

Friday, November 7, 2014

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH

Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator

     You may remember the push for businesses like McDonalds and other restaurants to obtain their beef from producers who are “sustainable”. They then had to form a set of guidelines to just what sustainable would mean to them, their consumers, and I guess ultimately to the beef producers. Beef sector stakeholders now have a definition of what sustainable beef is after leading industry organizations came to an agreement at the Global Conference on Sustainable Beef this past week. I  have my own take on sustainability, but let’s take a look at what the experts agreed on!
     Drumroll please…. The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) announced this week that 97% of its membership has overwhelmingly approved global Principles and Criteria for defining sustainable beef and beef production practices (http://www.grsbeef.org/ ) Members of the global beef community, including representatives from every segment of the supply chain, have worked on this collaborative effort for more than a year-and-a-half to identify and define the core principles for sustainable beef production and delivery. I am surprised they actually came up with a common definition, which includes five core principles and detailed criteria for sustainable beef, and supposedly finding common ground and identifying a clear path forward to work to improve the sustainability of the global beef chain. I guess we will see.
     The five core principles include: 1) Natural Resources; 2) People and the Community; 3) Animal Health & Well-being; 4) Food; 5) Efficiency and Innovation. GRSB then goes on to define “Sustainable Beef” as “A socially responsible, environmentally sound and economically viable product that prioritizes: Planet (relevant principles: Natural Resources, Efficiency and Innovation, People and the Community); People (Relevant principles: People and the Community and Food); Animals (Relevant principle: Animal Health and Welfare, Efficiency and Innovation); and Progress (Relevant principles: Natural Resources, People and the Community, Animal Health and Welfare, Food, Efficiency and Innovation).  
     After a year and a half of negotiations, the approved ‘principles and criteria’ are supposed to deliver ‘clarity’ on sustainability. The next step is to work on local and national levels, to identify where ‘improvements and efficiencies can be achieved’. We in the beef industry know that mandated practices or a single, ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to beef production will not work for our producers not only here in Nebraska, the USA or around the globe. Instead, I would hope that this group would work with the regional and national roundtables as they identify locally-focused solutions to meet the unique challenges they face in each region. Cattle raising in Arizona is completely different than in Nebraska…. You get the point.
     Basically, McDonalds started this whole thing a couple of years ago announcing that by the year 2016 they will only purchase and serve beef that qualifies as “Sustainable Beef”.  After the announcement of the new definition McDonald’s, is ramping up efforts to reduce beef’s impact within the supply chain. They have indicated that ‘the race is on’ within McDonald’s, a GRSB member, as to who can start sourcing the first sustainable beef products. Now who could that be? http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd/sustainability/signature_programs/beef-sustainability.html
 
     Bob Langert, who is in charge of McDonald’s Global Sustainability effort, has indicated that all food items sold in their stores would be sustainably sourced but with “beef being priority number one, two and three.” He also indicated that sustainability efforts are based on collaborations within their respective industries. “We want to do this right and to do it right we have to collaborate and get the right measures in place. We are determined to let science lead the way, but we are also determined to start purchasing in 2016.” I would assume that he is referring to beef, and if so, is he also suggesting that we do not do it right now? That we suck? I doubt this guy has ever been out on a farm and ranch and he comes up with the assumption that our farmers and ranchers don’t do it right and do not strive for sustainability! I beg his pardon!!!
     I don’t know a beef producer who does not try to be sustainable, not only with income but in managing their resources, the land and their cattle. This not only makes me cringe, curl up my fist but bristle at the thought that this is probably more of a marketing ploy to bolster their sagging share of the restaurant business.  Once again pushing the blame and the supposed cure on the shoulders of the cattle producers…. Or is it simply a ploy to get cattle out of other countries who they assume are raising the cattle more sustainably?  I leave that up to you to make your own analysis. If the newest advertising thrust my McDonalds is indication, my guess it is a marketing ploy. Oh, they never use marketing ploys!!!!
     Oh, if you haven’t heard, McDonalds has a new advertising slogan: "Lovin' Beats Hatin”! No I am not kidding, really, that is the new motto or at least slogan.  Their advertising executives say that “Lovin' Beats Hatin' will not replace ---duh-duh-duh-duh ---“I'm Lovin' It,” but only aims to spread happiness in the face of Internet hate. Love is better than hate—now that's a sentiment we can behind, right? Who's going to say "Hatin' Beats Lovin'"? Not me or I doubt you. But I might ask…Where is the love from McDonalds to the beef producer, rancher, farmer or beef feedlot owners? Even with the perceived need to prove to folks that our beef production is “sustainable” I think that in looking ahead, beef, as well as other animal proteins, has a bright future. Amazing gains in productivity have allowed the livestock industry to considerably reduce resource use and greenhouse gas emissions over the last century. With a culture of continuous improvement and access to technologies that improve productivity, we can feed the future population using even fewer resources. 


The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: dlienemann2@unl.edu or go to the website at: http://www.webster.unl.edu/home 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Our True Heroes

 

Throughout our nation’s capital are towering reminders of our freedom and how it was secured. Memorials throughout Washington, D.C., stand as tributes to battles fought and won and men and women lost. They help us to reflect on the true cost of our independence and the ongoing effort to ensure our security today. But granite memorials and bronze statues can never tell the full story.
You don’t have to visit the National Mall to fully appreciate the work of our men and women in uniform. The best reminders of the enduring effort to defend our freedom are all around us. They go to our churches, work alongside us, and serve in our communities.
They are our veterans.
These men and women have volunteered to commit a portion of their life to a cause far greater than self. They willingly signed up to risk life and limb, often for people they’ve never even met before. Their mission to protect and defend our American way of life has taken them to places we can’t imagine in our darkest nightmare—to far-flung corners of the globe where danger lurks around every corner. In doing so, our veterans sacrificed time away from their friends and families at home. They did all this for you and for me.
Many of our veterans return from service with both the visible and unseen scars of battle. Some face new physical challenges sustained on the battlefield while others bring with them the memories of the horrors of war that will never be forgotten. That’s why it is so important that a grateful nation welcomes home our veterans with open arms, and that we uphold our pledge to care for those who have “borne the battle.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was established for just that. Unfortunately, recent failures by the VA have raised questions about our commitment as a nation to caring for our troops. This cannot be the way we thank our veterans for their service.
To help reform the VA, I supported legislation that improves healthcare access for our veterans, addresses administrative challenges at the VA and establishes greater accountability for bad actors within the agency. I also drafted legislation that would ban bonuses at the VA for poor performance. We should not reward failure and mistreatment of our nation’s heroes. More can always be done and I will continue to closely monitor the VA’s progress in implementing these needed reforms and improving its services for our veterans.
But we cannot stop there. We must also ensure that our veterans have opportunities to be successful in their careers once they return. That’s why I’ve cosponsored legislation that promotes hiring veterans in businesses that would otherwise not expand to avoid costly government mandates. Many businesses are poised to grow, but doing so would subject them to costly requirements associated with the health care law. This legislation helps businesses expand while providing greater opportunity for our veterans.
Our veterans’ legacy is why we enjoy the freedoms we have today. We can never forget the sacrifices they made to shape this great nation. To preserve our proud history of military service, my office is helping to record first-hand accounts of U.S. veterans and those who supported them during wartime. The Veterans History Project is an ongoing initiative of the Library of Congress that makes these accounts publicly available so that we all may have a greater appreciation of our veterans’ legacy. I encourage veterans who would like to share their story for future generations to contact my office.
As we approach another Veterans Day, I encourage everyone to take a moment to reflect on the importance of our freedom, and consider all those throughout our history who have stood to defend our way of life. And of course, please remember to thank our veterans for their great service. Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.
Senator Deb Fischer.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Farmers and Ranchers Encouraged to Make Their Voices Heard

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging farmers and ranchers to make their voices heard by voting in the upcoming Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Committee elections. FSA Administrator Val Dolcini announced that beginning Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, USDA will mail ballots for the 2014 elections to eligible producers across the country. Producers must return ballots to their local FSA offices by the Dec. 1, 2014, deadline to ensure that their vote is counted.
“The role and input of our county committee members is vital as we implement the 2014 Farm Bill,” said Dolcini. “New members provide input and make important decisions on the local administration of FSA programs. We have seen promising increases in the number of women and minority candidates willing to serve on county committees, helping to better represent the diversity of American agriculture.”
FSA County Committee members provide an important link between the local agricultural community and USDA. Farmers and ranchers elected to county committees help deliver FSA programs at the local level, applying their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on commodity support programs; conservation programs; indemnity and disaster programs; emergency programs and eligibility. County committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.
To be an eligible voter, farmers and ranchers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program. A person who is not of legal voting age, but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm may also be eligible to vote. Agricultural producers in each county submitted candidate nominations during the nomination period, which ended on Aug. 1, 2014.
Eligible voters who do not receive ballots in the coming week may pick one up at their local USDA Service Center or FSA office. The deadline to submit ballots is Dec. 1, 2014. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Dec. 1, 2014. Newly elected committee members and their alternates will take office Jan. 1, 2015.
Nearly 7,700 FSA County Committee members serve in the 2,124 FSA offices nationwide. Each committee consists of three to 11 members elected by eligible producers. Members serve 3-year terms of office. Approximately one-third of county committee seats are up for election each year.
More information on county committees, such as the new 2014 fact sheet and brochures, can be found on the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. You may also contact your local USDA Service Center or FSA office. Visit http://go.usa.gov/pYV3 to find an FSA office near you.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

November Birthdays

November 1,  Charles Toms IV
 November 2 Cheryl Carper , Tonna Gilbert
November 3 Zora Yoder
  November 4, 1994 Garret Sharp
November 4 Gladys Lampman
 November 5 Lori Derby
 November 6 Annette Spencer
November 6 Duane Arterburn
November 8 Kerry Whipple
November 9 Donna Rose
 November 10 Nina Garner
 November 11 Jim Hoffman
Noveber 14,  Kevin Williams
  November 13 Margaret Kuhn, Heather Skarin
  November 14 Gerry Skarin , Peggy Kerr
  November 15 Josh Henderson, Jacob Tenhoff
  November 15 Leslie Frazier, Pat Myers ,
November 15 Heath Arterburn
November 16  Molly Coffey
November 18 Sue Magrin
 November 19 Sandi Bostock
 November 21 Rocky Zimmerman , Ray Mazour
   November 22 Paul Wormuth , Adam Kort
  November 23 George Mohlman, Clayton Heinrich
  November 24, Joshua Lowe, Katie Brenn, Stephanie Curtis
  November 24 Leanne Ensign
November 26,  Donna Kort , Sonja Krueger, Eldon Kearney
 November 27 Tammy Maupin Alber , Mark Stanley Petska , Bill Zimmerman
 November 28,  Vicki Alber
November 30,  Ruby Stevens, Darren Gaede, Henry A. Seeman
 

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH

Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension educator

     I am tempted to say BOO!!! It is Halloween. The last day of October is synonymous with costumes, parties and trick-or-treaters, but did you know that Halloween most likely got its start in agriculture? For ancient Celtic cultures, Oct. 31 was the last day of the year and a day to bring animals in for the winter and prep meat for the colder days. Many latter day historians believe that day was the spooky, ritualistic practice of sacrificing livestock; however, Oct. 31 was also a day the Celts believed unsettled spirits roamed the countryside playing tricks. Costumes were a way to scare them off.  There are a lot of other things that are just as scary. Let’s take a look at those things – which include some deadlines!
     November 14 Deadline for Comment on WOTUS: The proposed rule–Definition of Waters of the U.S. Under the Clean Water Act, published in the Federal Register, is open for public comment until November 14, 2014. I have written several articles on this and many, if not most, ag groups and other organizations across the nation are troubled by the very negative effects that this ruling could bring. Some more information has come to light and is interesting reading. The American Farm Bureau Federation today released a legal analysis, “Trick or Truth? What EPA and the Corps of Engineers Are Not Saying About Their Waters of the U.S. Proposal.” The seven-page paper shows how a recent Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “Q&A” misleads the public about their proposed expansion of federal jurisdiction over waters. On a thumbnail: The Trick: The EPA and Corps of Engineers claim to answer important questions about the rule. The Truth: The agencies withhold and misstate key information to hide the true impact of the rule. 
     This proposed rule would dramatically expand the reach of extremely costly federal permitting requirements to cover countless land uses, including ordinary farming and ranching activities – even mowing grass in a ditch. Even county roads are affected. Top-level EPA officials have portrayed farmers’ concerns as ‘ludicrous,’ when in fact they are perfectly valid. Farmers and other small business owners and land owners deserve better than misinformation from their government. “Trick or Truth” lays out in detail how the proposed waters rule would: Expand federal power to restrict land use; Regulate so-called “streams” that are nothing more than subtle landscape features where rainwater channels; and Establish federal permit requirements for essential farming practices like crop protection and fertilizer use. Farmers and ranchers need to read the fine print. “Trick or Truth” will help them do that. The paper is posted at: http://bit.ly/1E5Ujnb
     Pasture, Rangeland and Forage Insurance Due Nov. 15: The deadline is nearing for Pasture, Rangeland and Forage Insurance, designed to provide livestock and hay producer’s protection against acreage losses. The 2015 sign-up and acreage reporting deadline for this USDA Management Agency program is Nov. 15, and notices of premiums due will be sent by July 1, 2015 as I understand it.  I look at any insurance as a critical component in producers’ risk management portfolios during periods of drought or uncertainty. This policy benefited many cattle producers in 2011 and 2012 due to the low rainfall conditions. Even though 2014 is off to a much better start, having this insurance may still be worth considering.
     Basically, payment is not determined by individual damages, but rather area losses based on a grid system. Producers can select any portion of acres to insure, but they must also choose a minimum of two, two-month intervals or a maximum of six two-month intervals per year to insure. Coverage levels between 70 and 90 percent are available. Once coverage is selected, the producer chooses a productivity factor between 60 and 150 percent. The productivity factor is a percentage of the established county base value for forage. The base value is a standard rate published by the Risk Management Agency for each county. It is calculated based on the estimated per-acre cost of grazing in that county or region of Nebraska.
     Nebraska uses a rainfall index to determine the insurance coverage. The rainfall index is based on the rainfall experienced over an entire grid area, rather than the rainfall on an individual farm or ranch or at a specific weather station. In Nebraska, these grids measure about 13 miles from east to west, and about 17 miles from north to south. Rainfall index values are calculated by the federal government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA utilizes daily rainfall measurements from the four closest reporting weather stations to a particular grid area to determine a composite rainfall value for that grid. (http://maps.agforceusa.com/prf/ri/ ) If you are interested in seeing if this insurance may be for you, a decision-support tool to help producers determine coverage levels and intervals can be found at: http://agforceusa.com/rma/ri/prf/dst . UNL info may be found at: www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/live/g2217/build/  
     Farm Bill Education Meeting November 24: The Webster County FSA and UNL Extension will host a Farm Bill meeting on Monday, November 24, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. at the Blue Hill Community Center. It is important that growers have information they need as decisions regarding commodity program selection are complex and will last for the duration of the farm bill. The meeting will primarily focus on the Base Reallocation and Yield Update decision, as well as the ARC and PLC programs. Topics will include: The farm bill program sign-up process, including documentation needed and deadlines; Base, yield and commodity program decisions and considerations for your operation; How to calculate farm program payments; and Online decision-aid tools to help you determine which program is best for your operation and lets you input data specific to your operation and examine various options for your decision. The meeting is free and open to the public.

The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: dlienemann2@unl.edu or go to the website at: http://www.webster.unl.edu/home 

Judy Grandstaff April 18, 1944 to October 30, 2014


 
Judy was born April 18, 1944 in Hastings, NE. She was raised an army brat and lived in Bladen, NE, California, Kansas, Washington, Virginia, Germany and Georgia during her childhood and graduated from Groveton High School, Alexandria, Virginia in 1961. She attended Hastings College and married Rolland Grandstaff on March 2, 1962 in Bladen, NE.
 
Judy was librarian for the Blue Hill Public Library for 46 years. She served as director of the library, implementing many programs, including the library expansion, until her illness in early 2014.
 
Judy is survived by her husband, Rollie, two children, daughter Jennifer and Tim Frary of Casper, WY, son Jahn and Melinda Grandstaff of Fremont, NE; Grandson Wheaton Kremke and fiancé Ashley Carswell of Torrington, WY, granddaughters Bailey and Kyle Koster of Spokane, WA, Kiley and Taylor Grandstaff of Fremont, NE and Amy and Travis Taylor of Erie, CO. One great-grandson, Jackson Taylor of Erie, CO.
 
She was preceded in death by her parents, Wilbur and Elaine Cox, in-laws, Laurence and Vera Grandstaff, stillborn son Mason Keith, and sister Nancy Gent.
Judy Grandstaff, 70, of Blue Hill, Nebraska died Thursday, October 30, 2014 at her home in Blue Hill.
Funeral services will be held Monday, 10:30 a.m., November 3, 2014 at the United Methodist Church in Blue Hill with Rev. Dan Albers officiating. Interment will be at the East Lawn Cemetery in Bladen.
Visitation will be held Saturday and Sunday 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. at the Williams Funeral Home in Red Cloud, and Monday, 8:0-0 a.m. to service time at the church.
Memorials are suggested to the Blue Hill Public Library Friends Foundation.
A Remebrance..........
Judy was born in a snowstorm on April 18, 1944 while her mom, Elaine, was living in Bladen with her folks. Leon, her dad, was in the service assigned to the Cannon Company, 310th Infantry. Judy’s Uncle Floyd tried to get Elaine to Hastings, but he got stuck in the snow and had to borrow a car for the rest of the trip.
The family lived in Bladen until January of 1946 when they moved to Los Angeles to rejoin Leon after the war. Leon reenlisted and the family moved to Kansas in 1950, then moved to Virginia in 1951 where he attended engineer officer candidate school. Then in 1952, they moved back to Bladen when Leon was deployed to Korea. In 1953, they resided in Olympia, Washington until moving to King City, California. In 1955, they moved to Junction City, Kansas. Later in 1955, they boarded the USS Darby and sailed to Germany where they would live for 3 years. After returning from Germany, they lived briefly in Georgia before settling in Alexandria, Virginia.
After attending numerous schools, Judy graduated from Groveton High School in Alexandria, Virginia in 1961 at the age of 17. Leon received orders to leave for Iran, so the family moved back to Bladen again. Judy attended nursing training at Mary Lanning Hospital.
She met Rollie Grandstaff, who was attending Kearney State College. They married on March 2, 1962 in Reverend Gertrude McCollum’s house in Bladen with Jerry Grandstaff and Nancy Cox serving as attendants.
They set up residence in Blue Hill, Nebraska. Jennifer Lynn was born in October of 1962 and Jahn Laurence followed in February of 1968. Mason Keith was stillborn In August of 1969.
In 1964, Kinfolk began at Judy and Rollie’s home with "Ladies Only", including Grandma Jahn and all of the aunts. Several years later, it expanded to include everyone’s family. It was held annually at Judy and Rollie’s home the Sunday before Thanksgiving for many years, until it was moved to the Blue Hill Community center. Judy loved organizing this gathering of family and friends with attendance some years surpassing 100 people.
Judy became the librarian for the Blue Hill Public Library in the fall of 1968. She spent 46 years working there and loved to tell the story of raising Jahn at the library. She served as the director of the Republican Valley Library System and also served on the board of directors of the Nebraska Library Association. She was awarded the 1997 Excalibur award which honors the career accomplishments of a public librarian. She was instrumental in the creation of the Blue Hill Public Library Friends Foundation. Judy spearheaded the fundraising for the extensive library expansion starting in 2000.
Judy was always extensively involved in the community: from helping start the Lucky 7 4-H club in the 1960’s to teaching Sunday school for many years at the United Methodist Church. She was a charter member of the Young Homemaker’s Extension Club and a long term member of the Blue Hill Chamber of Commerce. She was a member of the Rebekkah Lodge and a Weight Watcher’s lecturer for many years. Judy was inducted into the Nebraska Poll Worker Hall of Fame in 2006 and served on the Webster County Election board for more than 40 years. She was also a Census taker and supervisor for the United States Census.
In 1984, Judy and Rollie and some extended family took their first trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina which was to become a favorite destination of the family. Countless trips with various family members were always memorable times treasured by Judy.
Judy loved attending her children and grandchildren’s activities, whether it was in Nebraska or Wyoming – hot or cold, indoors or out, rain or shine. She could be counted on to be the biggest fan and very recognizable as "Grandma Judy with the rat tail!"
Judy is survived by her husband, Rollie, two children, daughter Jennifer and Tim Frary of Casper, WY, son Jahn and Melinda Grandstaff of Fremont, NE; Grandson Wheaton Kremke and fiancé Ashley Carswell of Torrington, WY, granddaughters Bailey and Kyle Koster of Spokane, WA, Kiley and Taylor Grandstaff of Fremont, NE and Amy and Travis Taylor of Erie, CO. One great-grandson, Jackson Taylor of Erie, CO.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Wilbur and Elaine Cox, in-laws, Laurence and Vera Grandstaff, stillborn son Mason Keith, and sister Nancy Gent.
We are thankful for the many shared memories of Judy who was important to so many people. She would want us to have this gathering be a celebration of our families and a time to reminisce on the happy times we have spent together. We love her and will miss her always…..
Williams Funeral Home
241 West 4th Avenue
Red Cloud, Nebraska  68970

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Appropriate Role of Government

Rep. Adrian Smith
The request I hear most often from Third District constituents is to be left alone by the federal government.  We understand there is a place for the federal government, but lately its priorities do not match the needs or wants of the American people.  To instill trust we must recalculate the appropriate role for government, and focus on the national priorities where government can actually be effective.
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) recently released his annual Wastebook, a compilation of questionable, inappropriate, and sometimes absurd examples of federal spending.  Some of the most outrageous examples of government spending have earned national headlines including massages for rabbits, synchronized swimming for sea monkeys, and mountain lions on treadmills.
While each of these programs represents only a small fraction of the U.S. budget, they highlight the enormous size of the federal government and raise serious questions about the appropriate role of government in our lives and economy.  The power of the executive branch has been expanding for some time; however, under the Obama Administration the size and scope of the federal government has reached new heights.
The federal bureaucracy is churning out new rules and regulations, many times without the consent of Congress, to govern nearly every aspect of our lives and economy.  One recent report estimated the annual cost of compliance with federal regulations at more than $2 trillion per year.
The tax code which has not been reformed since 1986 is so complicated and outdated it costs hardworking taxpayers $168 billion annually just to figure out how much they owe.  This figure is in addition to the more than $3 trillion Americans paid in federal taxes last year.
The sprawling and expanding size and role of the federal government is not only costing taxpayers, it enables mismanagement and abuse.  From the botched implementation of Obamacare, to agents at the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative political groups because of their beliefs, secret waitlists at the Department of Veterans affairs; and an unauthorized gun running operation into Mexico – federal agencies are out of control.
These and other failures have left the American people distrustful of their government.  It seems like our government cannot do anything right, and perhaps it is because it is attempting to do too much.  The government-prescribed solutions to our national challenges often make problems worse not better.
A more limited federal role would be easier to manage and to hold accountable for abuse.  A balanced budget amendment would force prioritized spending and stop adding to the debt we will leave to future generations.  Commonsense regulatory reforms would ease the burden placed on businesses and families, and prevent future overreach by the executive branch.  Tax reform would simplify the code, make compliance easier, and encourage economic growth.
These are just a few of the ideas proposed by House Republicans to restore a more appropriate role for the federal government.  However, dozens of House-passed reform bills have been blocked in the Democratic-controlled Senate – many without even a vote.  To make government more manageable, to grow our economy, and ensure freedom we must do better.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH


Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator
     There are a lot of things going on this time of year. Harvest is in full swing with most of the soybeans out and farmers making some real inroads with the corn crop. The corn is finally starting to dry down enough for the combines to roll and boy are they. The reports are starting to come in on the yields and potential yields and they are as varied as the rainfalls and other climate conditions were across the area.  All in all  I think most farmers are pretty pleased with the results. It will be interesting to see what decisions have been made or will be made concerning movement of the grain, marketing of the grain and for sure the potential for storage of the grain. With that in mind I might encourage you to visit a UNL Extension website if you have storage concerns. http://cropwatch.unl.edu/grainstorage2 .   
     National FFA Convention: This time of year brings back some really good memories for me as a former Ag Ed Instructor/FFA Advisor with the anticipation of all of those people in the famous Blue and Gold jackets of National FFA Convention. I always enjoyed taking students to Kansas City and later to Louisville for this leadership based event. It wasn’t just the young FFA kids that came back motivated and inspired but their advisor. This next week (Oct. 29-Nov. 1) more than 60,000 strong will once again travel to Louisville for the 2014 National FFA Convention & Exposition.
     “Go All Out” is the theme of this year’s convention and expo. FFA members will be encouraged to give it their all and put everything they have into everything they do.  They can go all out to develop positive leadership, personal growth and career success. I really like this theme and am encouraged for our future with lessons like this in a time where I don’t believe a lot of people do “Go all Out”. To help these young people discover their potential throughout the week, students will attend more than 85 leadership and personal growth workshops. FFA members will also tour industry destinations, including Papa John’s international headquarters, Ford’s Louisville assembly plant, Churchill Downs and more.
     As I understand it there are nine general sessions will draw FFA members together at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Students will have countless opportunities to engage exhibitors from more than 450 corporations, organizations and colleges at the expo inside the center. Nick Vujicic will be the opening session’s headline motivational speaker. He is an Australian Christian evangelist and motivational speaker born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterised by the absence of all four limbs. Tyson Foods, Inc., President and CEO Donnie Smith will deliver his message to attendees during the third general session on Oct. 30. On Oct. 31, Elanco President Jeff Simmons and Southern humorist Jane Jenkins Herlong will address convention goers during the fourth and seventh general sessions, respectfully.
     Country music star Justin Moore with special guest Easton Corbin will perform exclusively for FFA members the night of Oct. 29 at KFC Yum! Center, and on Thursday, Oct. 30, Scotty McCreery, Danielle Bradbery and The Springs will take the stage. The World’s Toughest Rodeo will unfold on the nights of Oct. 30 and 31 at Broadbent Arena, inside the Kentucky Exposition Center. A late-night, lock-in dance Oct. 31 will be hosted by the National FFA Alumni Association. Gosh, with that line-up it makes me want to make that long bus trip at least one more time. My advice to the young people from this area – take it all in and take advantage of what is offered to you. You will not have that opportunity in years to come. For you that cannot attend in person you can watch it if you have RFD TV. A complete schedule can be found on the internet at: http://www.rfdtv.com/story/23749661/ffa-broadcast-schedule 
     Burke Teichert coming to Webster County: This time of year also brings the start of our UNL Extension Winter programming. I try to list as many as I can on the Calendar of Events that accompany my column, but there is one coming up that I would like to highlight this week. The Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition (NGLC) and Webster County UNL Extension are joining forces to host Burke Teichert, noted ranch profitability strategist and frequent contributor to BEEF Magazine, at the Blue Hill Community Center on Wednesday, November 19. The seminar will be from 10 am to 2 pm and will include a lunch. We are currently taking reservations at the Webster County UNL Extension office in Red Cloud. You can call 402-746-3417 or email me at dlienemann2@unl.edu. There is a small fee for attending to offset the travel and meal.  
     Burke is a proponent of planned, time-controlled grazing for improved soil health and ranch productivity.  Since retirement, he has worked as a contract manager, consultant and speaker. He has also traveled extensively in the U.S. and in parts of Canada and Central and South America as well as England, Australia and New Zealand on company business or as a consultant or speaker. Mr. Teichert will speak to the Five Essentials of Successful Ranch Management which include: Approach should be both integrative and holistic; Strive for continuous improvement of the key resources—land, livestock and people; Use good analysis and decisions making tools; War on costs; and Emphasis on marketing. 
     One of his statements intrigued me: “The interesting thing is that it all begins with the way we manage our grazing and farming.  Good grazing improves the land, lets us control costs by using larger herds and reduce our dependence on fed feeds, helps us cut overhead costs, makes us look at calving season and the breeding program to more closely fit the natural environment, etc.”. All things that I believe we should look at as beef producers.  Please mark your calendars for this event and get your reservation in.  I think you will find it well worth your small investment and time! 

The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: dlienemann2@unl.edu or go to the website at: http://www.webster.unl.edu/home 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tyler Evan Wieland June 29, 1979 -October 21, 2014

               


Omaha resident, Tyler Evan Wieland, 35, passed away Tuesday, October 21, 2014 in Omaha.

Services will be Wednesday, October 29, 2014; 10:30 A.M. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Blue Hill, Nebraska with Pastor Lawrence F. Wendelin officiating. Burial will be at the Blue Hill Cemetery, Blue Hill, Nebraska. Memorials may be given to the Tyler Evan Wieland Memorial Fund. Book signing will be one hour prior to the services at the church on Wednesday. 

Tyler was born June 29, 1979 to Stanley D. & DeAnn F. (VanBoening) Wieland in Hastings, Nebraska. Tyler moved with his family to Colorado in 1984. He returned with them to Nebraska in1989, and graduated from Papillion-La Vista High School in 1998. Tyler worked as an Iron Worker and in General Construction and attended Metro Community College in Omaha.

Tyler Evan Wieland was preceded in death by his grandparents; Dr. Donald R. Wieland, Rita L. (Rourke) Wieland and Dean VanBoening.

SURVIVORS:
Mother:                                              
    DeAnn Wieland – Omaha, NE
Father:                                                
    Stanley Wieland – Lincoln, NE
Brother & Sister-in-law:                    
    Tim & Crystal Wieland – Omaha, NE
Sister & Brother-in-law:                    
    Shanie & Sven Deepe – Omaha, NE
Nieces:                                                           
    Kennedy Wieland
    Zoey Wieland
Grandmother:                                     
    Darlene Engel – Blue Hill, NE
Aunts, Uncles and Cousins