Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blue Hill Defeated Arapahoe 41 to 12

Blue Hill defeated Arapahoe 41 to 12 on the Arapahoe field Friday Oct. 17.   The Blue Hill team had a total of 319 yards offense in the game.  Keithen Drury had 16 carries for 170 yards and two touch downs, Jason Poe had 76 yards and 4 touch downs.  Luke Faimon, Mitch Frueger and Drury each an interceptions.   Austin Rose led the offense with 14 tackles. Trent Kort had a fumble recovery.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Stopping the Latest Federal Power Grab

Rep. Adrian Smith
While Congress has been out of session, I have spent the last few weeks traveling Nebraska’s Third District meeting with constituents and listening to your thoughts, concerns, and ideas.
One of the issues I have heard most about is the Waters of the United States (WOTUS).  This proposal would allow the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to expand federal regulatory powers over waters of the U.S. under the Clean Water Act.
The word “navigable” was included in the Clean Water Act more than 80 times in order to limit the jurisdiction of the federal government on farms, ranches, man-made conveyances, and other local water jurisdictions. Attempts to alter this interpretation without Congressional approval are a clear overreach of statutory authority and clearly defy the intent of the law.  Further, this change could severely harm Nebraska’s agriculture economy.
Common Sense Nebraska, a coalition of Nebraska organizations which have come together in response to the WOTUS proposal released a report this week detailing the many problems this rule would cause for our state.  The report was compiled by former director of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) Mike Linder and indicates the rule would increase costs and uncertainty for agriculture producers.
Linder’s analysis confirms the proposal would “impose a blanket jurisdictional determination over thousands of acres of private property” causing “unnecessary property restrictions and uncertainty as to what that actually means to a farmer or rancher.”  This finding refutes the EPA’s claims the rule would not have much effect on farmers and ranchers.
As beneficiaries of clean water, Nebraska producers take numerous steps to protect the natural resources of our state.  We all agree safeguards are necessary, but this proposed rule ignores safeguards already in place, and steps NDEQ has taken to work with producers to protect our water.
I have written the EPA and Army Corps to express my objections to this plan, and many Nebraskans are speaking out as well.  The EPA recently announced it would extend the comment period until November 14, 2014.  While this delay is a positive development, I question their motive of moving the deadline for comments on this economically disastrous rule until after the midterm elections.
I encourage all interested Nebraskans to continue making their voices heard on this rule at:  We have fought this overreach before, and we must continue to let the EPA and other agencies know where we stand.

Gov. Heineman & Ag Leaders Encourage Nebraskans to Pump E85


New Phone Apps Help Locate Pumps
(Lincoln, Neb.) Governor Dave Heineman and state ag leaders are encouraging Nebraskans to utilize E85 fuel the next time they are at the gas pump with a flex fuel vehicle. To help located E85 filling stations, new phone apps are available for Nebraskans.
The Governor was joined by Nebraska Agriculture Director Greg Ibach, Tim Scheer Chair of the Nebraska Corn Board and Todd Sneller Executive Director of the Nebraska Ethanol Board to discuss the economic impact of the ethanol industry in Nebraska.
“E85 allows consumers to utilize a quality Nebraska grown and produced product,” Gov. Heineman said. “E85 continues to gain popularity across our state and country – allowing us to continue to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”
There are currently 86 E85 filling locations in Nebraska. E85 is a blend of fuel including 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent unleaded gasoline. Flex fuel vehicles can operate on any blend of ethanol and ordinary unleaded gasoline up to 85 percent ethanol. There are approximately 180,000 flex fuel vehicles registered in Nebraska. Approximately one in ten drivers owns a flex fuel vehicle.
Nebraska is the second largest ethanol producer in the nation. Nebraska is home to 24 operating ethanol plants that produce nearly 2 billion gallons of ethanol annually. These plants employ around 3,000 people across the state. Ethanol production also provides an additional marketing opportunity for Nebraska’s 23,000 corn producers. 
“As our corn producers work to harvest their crops this year, they are met with a number of challenges including wet fields that delayed harvest. There is also a larger than anticipated domestic corn inventory from last year’s harvest, which has forced corn prices to some of the lowest levels we’ve seen recently,” Dir. Ibach said. “Nebraska’s ethanol plants are providing our corn producers with additional opportunities to sell their grain and in return Nebraska is gaining a tremendous renewable fuel source.”
Gov. Heineman encouraged the nearly 180,000 flex fuel vehicle owners in Nebraska to continue to support the ethanol industry by purchasing E85 for their vehicles, and using new phone apps to locate E85 availability. Two apps are available for android and apple operating systems. The “Flex-Fuel Station Locator” app was developed by the Renewable Fuels Association. This app allows consumers to find the most up-to-date E85 locations across Nebraska and the United States. The “Flex Finder” app assists in locating the nearest E85 pumps and allows consumers to search a database of vehicles capable of operating on different blends of ethanol.
“The number of E85 pumps across Nebraska continues to grow, and there are phone apps that make it easy for consumers to find the pumps nearest them,” Gov. Heineman said.
Nebraska is well positioned for continued success with key industries creating the “Golden Triangle.” In industry terms, the Golden Triangle refers to the interconnectedness between the corn, ethanol and cattle feeding sectors. All three work together to create increased value for the raw corn commodity, as after corn is processed into ethanol and the important byproduct, distiller grains, is a quality livestock feed used by Nebraska’s vast cattle feeding sector.
This year Nebraska became the number one cattle feeding state in the nation. According to the Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska also produced a record corn crop last year and is on pace for the second largest crop this year at an estimated 1.58 billion bushels. Ethanol production consumes approximately 32 percent of Nebraska’s corn supply annually, and livestock consuming approximately 25 percent.
“I’d like to thank Gov. Heineman and Director Ibach for their efforts in promoting renewable fuels and E85,” said Tim Scheer, a farmer from St. Paul, Nebraska and Chair of the Nebraska Corn Board. “In Nebraska, our economy is strengthened by agriculture, especially through our Golden Triangle of corn, ethanol and livestock. The synergy of these industries expands demand for Nebraska corn, provides a valuable feed product for our livestock industry and offers economical, renewable fuel choices for our consumers.”
“Nebraska’s economy is deeply interwoven with the ethanol sector,” said Todd Sneller, Nebraska Ethanol Board Executive Director. “Nebraska is currently producing 250 percent of its motor fuel needs in the form of ethanol. Recent University of Nebraska studies describe a significant economic bounce in the state’s economy when the ethanol sector is fully operational. It is in the best interests of Nebraskans and Americans to insist on wise state and federal fuel standards that support domestically produced and renewable fuel sources like E-85.”   
For more information, please visit and Omaha metro area pump location is available at


Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator
     Oh gosh, where do I start this week?  I guess perhaps with what I feel is good news for area farmers. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week approved the use of Enlist Duo which will provide a new tool to help farmers manage troublesome weeds while growing “genetically engineered” corn and soybeans. The EPA’s decision allows the use of Dow Chemical Co.’s new herbicide in six Midwestern states:  Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ohio, SD., and Wis. The agency is accepting comments until Nov. 14, 2014 on whether to register in 10 more states including Nebraska and Kansas, all subject to certain restrictions. This breakthrough technology will likely soon be approved for use with Enlist corn and soybeans right here in Nebraska. EPA’s decision is the final step in the federal regulatory process for the Enlist system. The Enlist corn and soybean traits were deregulated by the USDA on Sept. 17, 2014 and this now completes the cycle to give us a new tool.
     For you that haven’t kept up on this, “Enlist Duo” consists of a common pesticide known by the brand name Roundup plus a slight variation on another pesticide that has been used for many, many years 2,4-D. The approved formulation contains the choline salt of 2,4-D which is less prone to drift than the other forms of 2,4-D. The Agency has also put in place restrictions to avoid pesticide drift, including a 30-foot in-field “no spray” buffer zone around the application area, no pesticide application when the wind speed is over 15 mph, and only ground applications are permitted. 
     To ensure that weeds will not become resistant to 2,4-D and continue increased herbicide use, EPA is imposing a new, robust set of requirements on the registrant. These requirements include extensive surveying and reporting to EPA, grower education and remediation plans. The registration will expire in six years, allowing EPA to revisit the issue of resistance. In the future, the agency intends to apply this approach to weed resistance management for all existing and new herbicides used on herbicide tolerant crops. This action provides an additional tool for the ag community to manage resistant weeds.   
     Both Glyphosate and 2,4-D have long been in use in agriculture and around homes and are two of the most widely used herbicides to control weeds in the world. Farmers have been pushing for approval of Enlist Duo for years as an alternative to Monsanto’s Roundup system, which includes a weed killer and “Roundup Ready” crops. It was released a year ago in Canada. This release in the MidWest is welcome to most of our farmers for one particular big reason. It is a well-known fact that some weeds have developed immunity to Roundup and have become problematic and this gives us a great tool.
     There has been a big push by environmentalist groups like EarthJustice and Label Now to keep the new product off the market and in fact I addressed some misinformation on it that was being pushed by Dr. Oz.  The main talking point by these groups is that they say it has “Agent Orange” in the ingredients, which has been banned. That just is not true and yet they highlight all of their arguments with that statement along with the moniker that Dr. Oz put forward as this being a “GMO pesticide, which is also not factual because this pesticide has no DNA so obviously it cannot be genetically modified. 
     The confusion comes from the addition of 2.4-D which is a common name for the chemical 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid.  2,4-D plus another form of this chemical family 2,4, 5-T, were indeed components of Agent Orange, which was an herbicidal weapon the United States military used in the Vietnam War. As a Vietnam Era college student I can tell you that there are lots of awful stories about that chemical and it is troubling that those against this newly introduced pesticide use that as their major talking point. Maybe a little background would be in order to help you understand the controversy.
     Agent Orange is one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program, Operation Ranch Hand, during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971. It was a mixture of equal parts of the aforementioned two herbicides, 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D. It was used to eliminate forest cover for North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops, as well as crops that might be used to feed them. In 1969, it became widely known that the 2,4,5-T component of Agent Orange was contaminated with dioxin, a toxic chemical found to cause adverse health effects and birth outcomes in laboratory studies.  In April 1970, the US government restricted use of 2,4,5-T, because of the contaminant and therefore Agent Orange, in both Vietnam and the US. It was not the 2,4-D or the 2,4,5-T but rather the contaminant dioxin that was the problem. So if you study the facts, the environmentalists who call 2,4-D Agent Orange are furthering an “urban myth,” because the deadly part of Agent Orange has been banned for years and in 1985 they also banned 2,4, 5-T, the contaminated component of Agent Orange that made it dangerous. Calling this tool Agent Orange just is not correct! It is a scare tactic.
     After many years of research and scrutiny the EPA examined the potential harm to humans, the environment, wildlife, endangered species and others in its studies on Enlist Duo. It found that use of Enlist Duo would be safe for all ages and agricultural workers, as well as animals and the environment. The decision reflects sounds science and an understanding of the risks of pesticides to human health and the environment. The agency evaluated the risks to all age groups, from infants to the elderly, and took into account exposures through food, water, pesticide drift, and as a result of use around homes. The decision meets the rigorous Food Quality Protection Act standard of “reasonable certainty of no harm” to human health. The EPA even made mention that the herbicide is not related to the deadly component of Agent Orange, which is banned, which negates the arguments that the environmentalists use. I like the fact that EPA is using a balanced approach for once!

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: or go to the website at: 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fischer Sends Letter to CDC Questioning Strategy on Ebola


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) sent a letter today to Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), expressing her concern that the CDC’s efforts so far have not been sufficiently proactive in addressing instances of Ebola in the United States. Despite the excellent care provided to patients at medical facilities like the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the CDC and federal partners have failed to adequately anticipate next steps and confusion persists regarding proper protocols, screening, and the treatment of Ebola patients.
Fischer wrote, “The federal government must be vigilant in evaluating all options to help identify, better manage, and actively fight the spread of Ebola.  We need to be better prepared.  We need better coordination and leadership that ends the current pattern of being one step behind this public health crisis.”
Fischer specifically requested that Frieden further explain the administration’s rationale against imposing a travel ban on infected regions in West Africa, asking, “Is it possible to impose a ban on unnecessary travel while at the same time enacting processes that permit the flow of aid and healthcare workers to the region?”
Fischer also asked for more details about the protocols for tracing and notifying citizens who may come into contact with confirmed Ebola patients.

Johanns Supports Calls for Travel Restrictions to Help Protect Americans from Ebola


WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns  announced his support for travel restrictions to help prevent the spread of Ebola.
"The Ebola virus continues to prove just how dangerous and deadly it can be, warranting additional measures to protect Nebraskans and all Americans from its spread. I support temporary travel restrictions for those who are traveling from countries that have been the most impacted by Ebola, with an exception for those carrying out humanitarian efforts to combat the virus. We must vigorously combat the lethal virus here at home and act with compassion to offer continued medical supplies and humanitarian aid to Ebola-stricken countries abroad."

Wednesday, October 15, 2014



Oct. 29-30: Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference and Exhibition La Vista Conference Center,
Oct. 29-Nov. 1: National FFA Convention, Louisville, KY
Oct. 31: Halloween
Nov. 2: Daylight Savings Time Ends, Turn Clocks Back
Nov. 3; 2014 ELAP notice of loss and application for payment deadline, Contact local FSA Office
Nov. 4: Election Day
Nov. 4-5: The State of Beef Conference, Sandhills Convention Center, North Platte, NE Rick Funston
Nov. 11: Veteran’s Day
Nov. 17: Final acreage reporting date (2015 perennial forage and fall seeded crops) Contact your local FSA Office
Nov. 22: CSI Barn Brewski, Bladen, NE
Nov. 27: Thanksgiving Day 
Dec. 4: Webster Co. Christmas Greenery Workshop, Webster County Fairgrounds, Exhibit Hall, Bladen, NE 402-746-3417
Dec. 6: Webster Co. Christmas Greenery Workshop, Webster County Fairgrounds, Exhibit Hall, Bladen, NE 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

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hastings College Bronco's Fight Cancer

(Hastings, Neb.) – For five years, several Hastings organizations have pooled their effort to raise breast cancer awareness and money for cancer care. This year is no different as Hastings College, the YWCA of Adams County, Dr. Jerry K. Seiler Breast Care and General Surgery and Mary Lanning HealthCare sponsor a walk/kids run and  Pink Nights during various Hastings College Bronco games on October 15-16. This year’s theme is “Fight Like a Bronco.”
All proceeds from game admissions, donations and raffles will support local cancer care at Mary Lanning Healthcare’s Morrison Cancer Center in Hastings, Nebraska.
Activities consist of the following:
Pink Night shirt sales
Wednesday, October 15
Fight Like a Bronco t-shirts featuring volleyballs will be available on a first come, first served bases for $6 ($8 for XXL and larger) starting at 12 p.m. at the east concession stand of the Lynn Farrell Arena (800 E. 12th St.) A second order for volleyball shirts and an order for Fight Like a Bronco shirts featuring soccer balls will be placed only for shirts which have been paid for in advance. The second order and soccer shirts will be available for pick up on Friday, October 24 at the Barrett Alumni Center (1001 N. 6th Ave.)
Fight Like a Bronco 2 Mile Walk/1 Mile Kids Run co-sponsored by the YWCA of Adams County and Hastings College
Wednesday, October 15
Registration will take place at the Gray Center for Communication Arts (1100 N. Elm Street) at 5 p.m., with the run/walk starting at 5:45 p.m. A free will donation of $5 or more is suggested. For additional registration information, contact YWCA at (402) 462-8821.
Fight Like a Bronco Hastings College Women’s Soccer
Wednesday, October 15
Catch Bronco Women’s Soccer fever as the nationally-ranked team hosts the University of Nebraska-Kearney at 7 p.m. on Lloyd Wilson Field (1000 E. 12th St.) Order your soccer Fight Like a Bronco t-shirts at the game for delivery on Friday, October 24.
Fight Like a Bronco Hastings College Volleyball
Wednesday, October 15
At 7:30 p.m., the Hastings College Bronco Volleyball team will play Concordia University in Lynn Farrell Arena (800 E. 12th Street). During the game, raffle tickets will be available for great prizes such as a weekend getaway in Lincoln, Nebraska; a pink crockpot and a YWCA Freezer Meals gift certificate; and a pink kitchen appliance. Tickets will be $1 for one ticket; $5 for six tickets; or $10 for 15 tickets.
Fight Like a Bronco Men’s Soccer
Thursday, October 15
In a showdown of NAIA powerhouses, the Bronco Men’s Soccer team hosts Oklahoma Wesleyan at 7 p.m. on Lloyd Wilson Field. Order your soccer Fight Like a Bronco t-shirts at the game for delivery on Friday, October 24.
Founded in 1882, Hastings College is a private, four-year liberal arts institution located in Hastings, Nebraska, that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. With more than 60 majors in 32 areas of study and 13 pre-professional programs, Hastings College has been named among “America’s Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report, a “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review and a “Best Buy in College Education” by Barron’s. Visit for more.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator

     My eyes are either trained to look for these things, or they just seem to find me. I read a couple of things that have a tendency to get my undivided attention and this week is no different. A couple of weeks ago I talked about Dr. Oz attack on what he called the “GMO Pesticide” and wanted to talk some more on that, but something else caught my eye so I want to work with that in this week’s issue. It does however involve GMO’s. I had the great opportunity last week to be a part of the Hastings College “Faces of Food” Conference during their Artist Lecture Series. I would guess that everyone knows that I am not much of an artist, but this panel discussion was both challenging and a lot of fun.  One thing that came out pretty loud and clear to me was the questions on GMO’s. I could have spent hours talking about it, but we only had an hour. There were some pretty pointed questions and a lot of need for literacy when it comes to this topic. Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation, myths and fear-mongering out there that has a lot of people questioning our food. Critics of genetically modified organisms or GMOs claim that they pose health risks to the public, but without scientific proof. 
     There are a lot of agendas out there, many of which are what I would consider hostile to conventional farming and especially what a lot of people call “Big Ag”. Fanning those hostilities and misinformation are blogs and websites on the internet that have no barriers and do not have to back up their claims or charges. There was a line in a movie, whose name escapes me at the moment that was….”Just follow the money!” Unfortunately that applies to the attacks on GMO’s, conventional agriculture and the practices that most farmers conduct. I have done just that and it may surprise you where the funding comes from when it comes to a lot of websites, bloggers, etc. that are behind a lot of the misinformation. 
     There was an item that came out this last couple of days that bothered me, so I did a little research on that.  You may have seen the recent news coverage of a Consumer Reports study on GMOs. I was really disappointed that it contains misinformation and misleads consumers about the valuable role that GMOs play. You would think that a group like this would be more science-based and factual in their reporting. I think it worthwhile that I provide you with some resources if you choose to set the record straight and to give ammunition to individuals who may have face-to-face conversations concerning this topic. I have lost a lot of respect for the Consumer Reports…..maybe I just need to “follow the money!”
     First of all, contrary to what was reported by Consumer Reports, GM seeds go through strict regulatory approval process to ensure that they are safe before they come to market, including mandatory reviews by the USDA and EPA. I might point out that only Genetically Modified, or more properly “Genetically Engineered”, seeds are required to go through the regulatory process. All told, it usually takes 13 years of testing and approval processes before it can be brought to market. Here’s a place you can go that describes its journey to market:   
     What all of this comes down to for consumers, though, is a misconception of what “GMO” really means. I found it interesting that Jimmy Kimmel broached this subject on his show the other night. To get the scoop, Jimmy Kimmel sent a camera crew to a local farmers market to ask real people why they try to avoid GMOs and, more importantly, what GMO even means. The results are both hilarious and troubling: . Is it good for you? Is it bad for you? Or is it just OMG backwards? I however don’t see the attack on biotech agriculture humorous!
     Scientific communities are confident in the progress that can be made using genetically engineered crops throughout the world; drought-tolerant corn, anyone? How about the pesticides and tillage put aside because of BT and Round-up Ready? When it comes to consumer education, there really should not be language that insights fear and further mystifies definition of GMOs altogether. Rather, what is really needed is a conversation based on sound science and practicality. You can go to the internet and find some very good information that will counter the anti-GMO claims or to ease the fears that consumers and the general public has about this topic.  Simply go to:  It has a wealth of information on several topics. I suggest that you watch this video:  and then pass it on to those that you think may be misinformed and need to learn more about crop innovation! I would also encourage everyone curious about GMOs to visit or   and read up!
     If we truly want to demystify the GMO, then fear and misinformation have no place—in news articles, Facebook ads, and yes, even—and most importantly—legislation. The reason I say that is that I just found out that in Hawaii, through the legislative process, passed a bill that prohibits biotech companies from operating on the Big Island and banning farmers from growing any new genetically altered crops! Can you imagine if that happened here in Nebraska? 
     It may interest you that we just passed a major milestone on a global basis. It’s no small number – 4 billion acres of biotech crops have now been planted globally. There are, according to detractors, a lot about biotech crops that we don’t know, but what is known is that biotech crops have been rapidly adopted and grown by farmers around the world, and safely consumed by billions of consumers over and over again. There have been many studies on humans and livestock to determine any ill-effects and there are no reputable reports or results to back up the claims that the fear-mongers generate and that the bloggers and anti-ag groups proliferate the internet with. I for one will continue to eat my “Frankenfood”!!! 

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: or go to the website at: 

Friday, October 3, 2014

First Lady Sally Ganem & National Volunteer CEO Promote Hiring Volunteers Initiative


(Lincoln, Neb.)   Nebraska’s First Lady Sally Ganem is teaming up with Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) CEO Wendy Spencer to raise awareness about volunteering. First Lady Ganem and Spencer are promoting hiring volunteers when companies and organizations are looking to expand their workforce or have jobs available through the Employers of National Service initiative.
“Volunteering is a way of life for Nebraskans, because we care about our neighbors and communities,” said First Lady Ganem. “When companies are looking to hire, it make sense to give serious consideration to those who know the organization and have invested time into its mission and work.”
“National service and volunteering develops essential skills and experiences that makes service participants valuable assets for organizations seeking great employees,” said Spencer. “We are honored that companies and organizations in Nebraska and across the country are recognizing that national service alumni are strong leaders who are motivated, flexible, innovative, and outcome-oriented.”
The Employers of National Service initiative works with employers from private, public, and nonprofit sectors to create recruitment, hiring, and advancement opportunities for individuals who served in AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps. The initiative recognizes the unique and transferable skills that participants develop during service. Through this effort, employers will have new access to a dedicated, highly qualified and mission‐oriented pool of potential employees and volunteers will have additional opportunities to apply their skills in the workplace.
The First Lady serves as the honorary Chair of ServeNebraska, the Nebraska Volunteer Service Commission that coordinates and supports community involvement by Nebraskans. Additionally, every year, Gov. Heineman and First Lady Ganem serve as Champions of ServeNebraska Week.
Nebraskans have a rich tradition of volunteering. Nebraska ranks 5th in volunteerism among the 50 states and Washington, D.C. The Governor and First Lady encourage Nebraskans with the flexibility to volunteer at any time or place in all 93 counties.
In 2014, more than 2,900 people of all ages and backgrounds are helping to meet local needs, strengthen communities, and increase civic engagement through national service in Nebraska. Serving at more than  620 locations throughout the state, volunteers tutor and mentor children, support veterans and military families, provide health services, restore the environment, respond to disasters, increase economic opportunity, and recruit and manage volunteers.
Established in 1993, the CNCS is a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its core programs - Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and the Social Innovation Fund. As the nation’s largest grant maker for service and volunteering, CNCS works to strengthen America’s nonprofit sector and addressing our nation’s challenges through service. CNCS aims to harnesses America’s most powerful resource – the energy and talents of our citizens – to solve problems.


Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator

      This coming week (October 5-11) we will be celebrating National 4-H Week. This year’s theme is "Making a Lasting Impact" which is very appropriate. 4-H is a national community of more than 6 million young people, 540,000 volunteers and 3,500 professionals. We all should reflect on the great things that 4-H offers young people and highlights the incredible 4-H youth in the community who work each day to make a positive impact on the community. Research has proven that participation in 4-H has a significant positive impact on young people. As a former 10 year 4-H member I can attest to the positive influence in my life and I would bet that all of you who benefited from 4-H could name many impacts in your life.   
     About 4-H: 4-H, the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization, cultivates confident kids who tackle the issues that matter most in their communities right now. In the United States, 4-H programs empower six million young people through the 109 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension in more than 3,000 local offices serving every county and parish in the country. Outside the United States, independent, country-led 4-H organizations empower one million young people in more than 50 countries. Locally our Webster County 4-H has 203 4-H members in 13 clubs and the help of 108 volunteers. You can learn more about 4-H by going to  Please join us in celebrating 4-H!
     Seven Days of 4-H: I might suggest that 4-Hers, clubs, and all that work with 4-H observe National 4-H Week by using each day of the week to think about the impact their lives in accordance to the 4-H Pledge.  Let’s begin with Sunday (October 5th) which starts the celebration of National 4-H Week and is a day for families and for each of us to reflect on life and how to serve and help others. That is followed by Monday which I will designate as “Using Your Head” day when you link it to the 4-H Pledge statement of “I pledge my HEAD to clearer thinking.” This day is about how 4-H helps with the life skills like: Learning Decision Making, Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Service Learning, Goal Setting, Planning/Organizing, Wise Use of Resources, Keeping Records, and Resiliency. I might offer a quote from Benjamin Franklin that I think of when talking of this subject. “If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him.”
     I suggest using Tuesday as “I pledge my HEART to greater loyalty” day. This part of the 4-H Pledge demonstrates the ability of youth to relate and care for others. Loyalty is a hallmark of 4-H. Life skills that 4-H teaches is: Communication, Cooperation, Social Skills, Conflict Resolution, Accepting Differences, Concern for Others, Empathy, Sharing, and Nurturing Relationships. I might use a quote from Buddha to illustrate this point. “Teach this triple to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”
     Now let’s go to Wednesday, Tuesday (October 8). This is actually another special day for 4-H as it serves as National 4-H Youth Science Day (NYSD). This event, which takes place in urban, suburban and rural communities all across the nation, seeks to spark an early youth interest and leadership in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers in an effort keep America competitive in those fields. Currently, more than five million young people across the nation participate in 4 H programming in topics as varied as robotics, agricultural science, rocketry, wind power, environmental science and alternative energy. For more than 100 years, 4-H has been at the forefront of teaching young people about science, engineering technology and math (STEM). 4-H National Youth Science Day is the premier national rallying event for year-round 4-H STEM programming, bringing together youth, volunteers and educators from the nation’s 109 land-grant colleges and universities to simultaneously complete the National Science Experiment.
     I now suggest using Thursday as “My HANDS to larger service” day. In 4-H, youth learn by doing, and the most learning is done by getting involved and using your hands. Thursday celebrates how 4-H members are using their hands to better themselves and their communities. This day should focus on the efforts of 4-H in the community and how its members make the world a better place. Life skills related to hands include: Community Service, Volunteering, Leadership, Responsible Citizenship, Contributions to Group Efforts, Teamwork, Self-motivation. I will quote Ralph Waldo Emerson who said “I hate the giving of the hand unless the whole man accompanies it.”
     Friday is the day we should focus on the last part of the pledge – “Health”. This completes the work week of National 4-H Week with “My HEALTH to a Better Living.” The strength of any community is only as strong as the citizens that live in it. For 4-H members, they pledge their health to a better living. This includes the ability to live a healthy life for themselves, as well as helping others in the community benefit from good health. This day can include the interpretation of the following life skills: Self-esteem, Self-responsibility, Character, Managing Feelings, Healthy Lifestyle Choices, Stress Management, Disease Prevention, and Personal Safety. To close out some sayings that are appropriate let’s go to Mohandas Gandhi who said: “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold or silver.”
     Saturday is the final celebration day of a great 4-H week. We should look at it as the day of “Community Service”. 4-H clubs all should contribute to their community, state and nation. I challenge every 4-H member, club, and group to identify an issue affecting their community that they can assist with and then implement a community service project. Whatever it is, it is your day to make a difference for life. Congratulations to all of our 4-Her’s, leaders and alumni. Go 4-H!!!!

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: or go to the website at: 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Adrian Smith Weekly Newsletter

Rep. Adrian Smith
 This week, I welcomed more than 150 veterans, escorts, and volunteers with the Hall County Hero Flight to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.Washington Report: The Largest Agriculture District in AmericaThe economy, culture, and values of rural America are largely shaped by agriculture. This is especially true of Nebraska’s Third Congressional District. We are incredibly grateful for the contributions and innovations of our ag producers which not only fuel our economy, but feed the world. A new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) now confirms the Third District is the largest agriculture district in America based on total value of products sold. We are the second largest district in value of livestock and poultry, and the third in value of crops.Because of the incredible success of our agriculture producers, it is more important now than ever for federal policy to support their efforts rather than undermine them. Implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill is an important step in this process, which will provide farmers with a choice of a price or revenue-based assistance if there is a loss. The new Farm Bill eliminates direct payments, counter-cyclical payments and the ACRE program. In their place, three programs were created for covered commodities or program crops: Agriculture Risk Coverage, County Option (ARC-CO), Agriculture Risk Coverage, Individual Farm Coverage (ARC-IC), and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) with the option to buy the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) on insurance. Farmers will be able to visit their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices to learn more about these tools and make the best decision for their operation. Producers will have through early spring of 2015 to select a program. The new Farm Bill increased funding for outreach to the next generation of producers, including beginning farmers and veterans. This concept is not new in the State of Nebraska, which has been recognized nationally for its success in recruiting beginning farmers and ranchers. Recently I had the opportunity to visit a veteran participating in the “Homegrown by Heroes” marketing program which has helped start and grow a business in the heart of the Third District. Additionally, the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture offers initiatives like the “100-cow” program for beginning farmers and the “Combat Boots to Cowboy Boots” program for veterans. These are great examples of innovative ways to get young people involved in farming and support those who have served our country in uniform. As we continue to look for ways to expand production at home it is also important to open new markets for our products abroad. We are producing an abundance of affordable, nutritious food which could help feed people around the world while befitting our consumers at home. The Third District is currently the fifth largest exporter of agricultural goods. With the continued success of agriculture, we must remain vigilant and responsive to the needs of producers to foster their continued growth. Smart policy and continued innovation will help feed the world, and producers and rural America to thrive.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Gov. Heineman Promotes "Made in Nebraska"


Governor Proclaims October Nebraska Manufacturing Month
(Lincoln, Neb.)  -  Gov. Dave Heineman touted Nebraska’s manufacturing industry and previewed the 2014 Salute to Manufacturing tour to be held later this month. The Governor was joined by Barry Kennedy, President of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and 2014 Chamber Chairman Chris Roth, President and CEO of Reinke Manufacturing Company in Deshler. During the event, Gov. Heineman signed a proclamation officially declaring the month of October to be Nebraska Manufacturing Month.
“We are kicking off Nebraska Manufacturing Month, a time to reaffirm our commitment to Nebraska’s manufacturing base and to the industry which has helped our state become one of the strongest in the nation,” Gov. Heineman said. “To grow our manufacturing base, we must make the most of opportunities which will help communities attract investments that ensure long-term growth. And we must make a concerted effort to develop the workforce needed by manufacturers.”
Nebraska exports to more than 170 countries, selling manufactured goods and services totaling more than $7 billion dollars. Manufacturers employ nearly 10 percent of Nebraska’s workforce. The average manufacturing job in Nebraska pays nearly $55,000 annually.
Nebraska Chamber of Commerce President Kennedy said, “Nebraska’s manufacturing sector has played a key role in our state’s economic recovery. Today, around 100,000 Nebraskans earn their paychecks in manufacturing – and for every 100 manufacturing jobs, nearly 300 additional workers are needed to support them.  Moreover, Nebraska’s manufacturing sector is worth approximately $12.5 billion to our state economy. It deserves to be recognized, and it is my hope that young Nebraskan’s looking for meaningful, well-paying careers will explore the many options in modern manufacturing.”
Later this month, Governor Heineman and representatives from the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce will visit manufacturers in Lincoln, Deshler, Lexington, and Norfolk as part of the statewide Salute to Manufacturing.
“Manufacturing is what helped build America and its middle class. Manufacturing is incredibly important to the economy of Nebraska as Nebraska is home to over 2,700 manufacturers. As the president of one of those manufacturers, I am excited to participate in an event that highlights the importance of manufacturing to Nebraska,” said Roth.
Governor Heineman added, “Manufacturing jobs are important to America’s and Nebraska’s economies. Our goal is to make Nebraska an even better place in the future to live, to work and to raise a family and manufacturing jobs help us do that.”

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

October Birthdays

October Brthdays
Happy Birthday to Blue Hill residents, past and present.

October 1 -- Jayden Hamel, Robert Long, & Joan Classen.
October 2 -- Joseph Bell & Sharon McShane .
October 3-- Jessica Kort Alber & Kristina Hubl.
October 4-- Roy Faimon, Chad Parr, Tim Gilbert, Robert A. Piel & Kristine Barnhill
October 5--Gene Falgoine, Elizabeth Buschow , & Deborah S. Skrdlant
October 6 -- Doyle Krueger, Barbara Krueger, Dean Buschow, Todd Whipple, & Dora Danehey
October 7-- Riley Skrdlant, Ron Karmazin & Selma “Sammy” Krueger
October 8 -- Kim Henderson, Brandi Higer & Danielle Schmidt
October 9 -- Carissa Krueger Cox, Janette Hoffman
October 10 -- Adolph Niemeyer & Brandi Mohlman.
October 11 -- Jennifer Stertz, & Chris Marcello.
October 12 -- Thong DetAksone, Paul Zimmerman, Kathy Seeman , & Todd Kranau
October 13 -- Julie Zimmerman, Julie Gibert, Jessica Kort, & Alice Koertner
October 14 -- Dara Kort, Everett Underwood & Greg Brenn
October 15 -- Ida Krueger, Roxanne Wademan, & Helen Koertner
October 16 -- Savanna Alber , Neil Kort, Aric Robinson, Natalie Schulenburg Schunk & Chris Meyer
October 17 -- Agnes Karr, Keri Toepfer Catchpool, & Godfrey Strausburg
October 18 -- Julie Classen Howard, Pam Rose & Wilma Schulz.
October 19 -- Steve Krueger, Ken Kort, George Mazour, Chad Duval, & Robert Carper
October 20 -- Louis Goding.
October 21 -- Roger Hoffman & Joe Marcello
October 22 -- Lyle Bostock, Susan Johnson, Jerry Welke, & Riley Schultz
October 23 -- Leann Worley,  Kim Higer, Tom Van Boening, Jeff Wells, & Stuart Kerr
October 24 -- Steve Hubl,
October 25 -- Kathleen Bachman, Paul Krueger & Rosaleen Gianokas
October 26 -- Larry Krueger, Lisa Hubl, Wilmer Wells, & Charles Hewett, Jr. (RIP)
October 27 -- Amy Overy & Connie Mohlman(RIP)
October 28 -- Jeremy Kort, & Roger Koertner.
October 29 -- Alan Meyer (RIP) & Brad Hargis
October 30-- Mark Siebrass, Harvey Scheiding, Pam Johnson, & Wilma Frazier
October 31 -- James Meyer, Dorthey Meyer, Stephanie Frasier & Rhonda Brewster.
October 31 Parker Trumble

JoAnn Doris Grabill November 21, 1939 to September 28, 2014

Hastings resident, JoAnn Doris Grabill, 74, passed away Sunday, September 28, 2014 at The Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska.     

Services will be Thursday, October 2, 2014; 10:00 A.M. at Faith Lutheran Church, Hastings, Nebraska with Pastor Paul Dunbar officiating. 
Burial will be in Parkview Cemetery, Hastings.  Visitation will be Wednesday, October 1, 2014; 1:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. with family present 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. at the funeral home, and one hour prior to service at the church. 
Memorials may be given to Faith Lutheran Church or Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Blue Hill, Nebraska.  

JoAnn was born November 21, 1939 in Blue Hill, Nebraska to Clarence & Pauline (Kort) Hartman. She attended Trinity Lutheran School and graduated from Blue Hill High School in 1957. She worked for Credit Bureau of Hastings and Kansas Nebraska Natural Gas Company.
JoAnn was united in marriage to Robert Grabill on December 4, 1960 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Blue Hill, Nebraska.
Bob and JoAnn lived south of Roseland where she enjoyed being a farm wife, mother and grandmother.
They moved to Hastings in December 1998. JoAnn volunteered for the Mary Lanning Healthcare Auxiliary in the gift shop for over 30 years. 
She was a member of Faith Lutheran Church.  JoAnn was an active church member her entire life where she performed as an organist, pianist and sang in the choir.

JoAnn was preceded in death by her parents.  

    Robert Grabill - Hastings, NE
Children & Spouses:              
    Jeff & Julie Grabill - Roseland, NE
    Brent & Brenda Grabill - Roseland, NE
    Susan & Doug Clodfelter - McDonough, GA
    Brad & Kate Grabill - Omaha, NE
    Jordan, Jenna, Jaydn & Joslyn Grabill
    Brock Grabill
    Taylor & Sydney Clodfelter
    Gavin & Maris Grabill
Brother & Sister-in-law:        
    Ronald & Janie Hartman - Blue Hill, NE
Sisters-in-law & Spouses:     
    Wauneta & John Schiefelbein - Hastings, NE
    Marilyn & Jim Krueger - Norfolk, NE
    Diann & Roger Schmidt - Hastings, NE
Numerous nieces, nephews, extended family & friends

Johanns, Alexander, Walberg Lead Push For Administration To Suspend Rule That Could Dramatically Increase Home Care Costs To Seniors, Disabled

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mike Johanns (R- Neb) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Congressman Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) today led an effort urging the Department of Labor (DOL) to suspend a rule that could dramatically increase costs of non-medical, in-home personal care services, many of which are administered through Medicaid or other state programs. The rule, which would make changes to a long-standing exemption for these personal care services, is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2015. Numerous stakeholders have expressed concern that implementation of this sweeping new regulation could disrupt care for seniors and those with disabilities.
“At a time when approximately 76 million baby boomers are reaching retirement, the federal government has a compelling interest in containing the cost of long term services and supports and expanding the low-cost care options available to this aging demographic,” the Members wrote. “We are deeply troubled that this rule runs contradictory to those goals.  Therefore, we urge you to suspend the rule and work with state agencies and other affected programs to prevent the cost of long term services and supports from soaring.
“We are committed to protecting care options that maintain the dignity and self-determination of seniors and individuals with disabilities and allow them to receive support in the comfort of their homes at lower costs.”
In addition to Johanns, Alexander and Walberg, the bicameral letter was signed by Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Boozman (R-Ark.) , Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Tom Coburn (R-Oka.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), David Vitter (R-La.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Reps. Lee Terry (R-Neb.), Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.).
A copy of the letter can be found below:
September 30, 2014
The Honorable Thomas E. Perez
U. S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
Dear Secretary Perez:
On October 1, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division published its final rule titled “Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act to Domestic Service.”  When fully implemented, this regulation will make significant changes to the long-standing minimum wage and overtime exemption for companionship services under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by creating a new definition for what constitutes companionship services.   Since publication, we have heard from many stakeholders expressing their concerns that requiring these sweeping changes to be implemented on January 1, 2015 will significantly disrupt non-medical, in-home personal care services for seniors and individuals with disabilities.  In light of the real possibility this regulation will disrupt care, we write to request that you suspend implementation of this rule.
Many Americans rely on these personal care services through Medicaid and other state programs.  Yet, these programs are still working through numerous issues as they endeavor to implement this complicated DOL rule.  The National Association of Medicaid Directors has asked for an 18-month extension of the rule’s implementation, and the states of Oregon and Kansas have also requested a delay.   In addition, the National Council on Disability – an independent federal agency – has requested a delay due to concerns about how the rule will affect individuals living with disabilities.   These states and stakeholders believe that the current effective date does not provide sufficient time to fully understand the more technical and nuanced aspects of the rule and to implement workable solutions for affected programs and consumers.  In particular, a number of Medicaid agencies have stated they will not have time to reprogram payment systems, purchase and implement technology solutions, and educate agency staff and consumers by the rule’s effective date.  We are concerned about these outstanding issues and believe DOL should suspend the rule’s implementation to prevent its negative impact on the continuity and quality of care for vulnerable Americans.
This rule also presents numerous financial challenges for our nation’s long term care system. Entities affected by the rule are not only working to comply with the new requirements in the rule, but also to adapt to guidance materials issued by the Wage and Hour Division on June 19, 2014.   As a result, state agencies may need to receive approval from their state legislatures, as well as additional time to modify or procure contracts with outside entities.  Rushing states and other program officials to fully implement this final rule will negatively affect non-medical, in-home personal care services and result in sudden increases in institutionalized care, which is often more costly and frequently covered by taxpayer dollars.
Long term services and supports involve deeply personal arrangements often supported by valuable taxpayer dollars to ensure good, continuous care for seniors and individuals with disabilities.  Seniors and individuals with disabilities rely on personal care services for help with activities of daily living like eating, dressing, and transferring.  We are concerned that forcing state Medicaid programs and other programs to comply with this new rule will put many seniors and individuals with disabilities in danger of losing personal care workers and important intimate care relationships.  Not only could seniors and individuals with disabilities lose beloved caregivers, but those same caregivers could lose valuable paid hours and much needed income.
Financing long term services and supports is a tremendous fiscal challenge for Americans and significantly strains our health care system.  At a time when approximately 76 million baby boomers are reaching retirement, the federal government has a compelling interest in containing the cost of long term services and supports and expanding the low-cost care options available to this aging demographic.  We are deeply troubled that this rule runs contradictory to those goals.  Therefore, we urge you to suspend the rule and work with state agencies and other affected programs to prevent the cost of long term services and supports from soaring.
We are committed to protecting care options that maintain the dignity and self-determination of seniors and individuals with disabilities and allow them to receive support in the comfort of their homes at lower costs.  We appreciate your careful consideration of this request and look forward to your response by no later than October 10, 2014.  Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hastings College 2014 Melody Round-Up parade results

(Hastings, Neb.) - The 63rd annual Melody Round-Up Parade in downtown Hastings took place Saturday, September 27, at 10 a.m. The parade included several marching bands from Nebraska high schools and junior high schools and the Hastings College Marching Band. Melody Round-Up is the official Homecoming parade for Hastings College.
Three awards were presented: Outstanding Drum Major (chosen from among all bands), Outstanding Auxiliary/Flag Corps and Outstanding Band. The awards and recipients are as follows:
Outstanding Auxiliary/Flag CorpsHoldrege High School/Class B
Doniphan-Trumbull Junior and Senior High School, Class C
Axtell Community School, Class D
Outstanding Drum Major Axtell Community School
Scotus Central Catholic High School

Outstanding BandsHoldrege High School/Class B
Blue Hill Public School/Class C
Axtell Community School/Class D
Founded in 1882, Hastings College is a private, four-year liberal arts institution located in Hastings, Nebraska, that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. With more than 60 majors in 32 areas of study and 13 pre-professional programs, Hastings College has been named among “America’s Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report, a “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review and a “Best Buy in College Education” by Barron’s. Visit  for more.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator
       I don’t watch the show but I do know that a lot of people watch Dr. Oz, the highly rated talk show that covers health issues. I personally think he is nothing more than a “snake-oil salesman”, but that is immaterial to what I am going to address this week as I do know that he reaches a lot of people through his show and his “infomercials.”  This past week he aired a story  entitled “New GMO Pesticide.” .  In this three-minute video preview of the segment, he talks about Dow Agro-Science’s “Enlist” herbicide, which is awaiting approval from the Environment Protection Agency, and its use in fields with GMO crops to combat “super weeds”. A lot of producers have been waiting for this product and now here is Dr. Oz!!!
     I would like to give some counter points to his claims to level the playing field when it comes to this topic because he is at it again, prescribing fear over fact in regards to farming and food. His latest attack centers on his supposed outrage over the potential approval of this much anticipated new pesticide. My guess is that his real motives are TV ratings, money from anti-ag groups and his large ego.  Unfortunately he is ultimately trying to fan the flame of activists that are trying to eliminate our farmers’ ability to raise crops in an efficient, environmentally sound and sustainable manner.
     It was just this past Wednesday (Sept.17) that the USDA approved Dow Chemical Company’s Enlist Duo, a combination pesticide including glyphosate and 2,4-D. You can read more on this by going to a very well written blog at:   It did not take Dr. Oz very long because in a few short days they had crafted a segment on his show which I feel was designed to incite an activist movement to try to block the approval of Enlist Duo. If he succeeds you can believe that it will hinder farming practices on family farms and set us back in progress with dealing with feeding the world. This is not the first time he has done this, we’ve heard all his accusations before when he attempted to uncover the global conspiracy around GMOs. 
     Of course GMO’s is a hot topic and it amazes me how so many people do not know the science of genetic modification and jump to conclusions, or buy into the “bovine excrement” that many of these sensationalists put out there. I could write several articles on this topic alone. But let’s dissect his presentation and make some sense of it. Let’s start with the main premise of this show which included the words “GMO pesticide”. Maybe a lesson is in order here. First, a pesticide is a chemical composed of elements which make compounds. Pesticides do not have DNA, genes, chromosomes, or alleles; therefore they cannot be genetically modified. GMO pesticides simply do not exist!
     Secondly he states shrilly that there will be somewhere from 70 to 170 million pounds of additional pesticides that will be used because of Enlist Duo. Dr. Oz didn’t offer a source for this claim and one would have to conclude that somewhere he perhaps found that that many million pounds of Enlist Duo will be purchased by farmers. However, if you think about it, this is just another herbicide, another option to use for weed control, another mode of action not a stand-alone product. A farmer may still choose to apply Round-Up or will switch to Enlist Duo, but will not apply Round-Up and Enlist Duo at the same time.  It just wouldn’t make sense to spend the time, money or resources to duplicate weed control efforts.
     He also claims that GMOs have not delivered on their promise of increased yields and reduced pesticide use. Wrong in two ways! First we have to understand that genetically modified seed was never intended to increase yields. I have never heard any promise of that magnitude. We of course know that the real purpose is to protect the yield of the crop. It is also false in that we are enjoying increased yields each year; however, they are more likely the result of better hybrids developed from traditional breeding efforts, precise application of fertilizers and crop protection tools, and continued understanding of soil, fertility, plants and weather. We should be proud to point out that our farmers are growing five times more corn on 20 percent less land. We need to look at technology updates such as this new pesticide as new tools for farmers. I believe that the more tools farmers have available in the fields, the better it is for us, as consumers, and them as farmers.
     One of the most egregious of Dr. Oz’s favorite claims is that “farmers are drowning their crop in chemicals.” I suggest that you go to:  You will find the real truth to this claim. He also had an “expert” who closed out the segment by giving the impression that our farmers are careless about drift of pesticides near schools and our children. The irony is that his expert happens to be the founder of the website not a farmer, pesticide safety specialist or department of agriculture spokesman. I take offense to that one as I spend a lot of time each year working with our famers with our Private Pesticide Applicator training. This regulatory process comes to our farmers through the EPA and is issued and administrated by the state departments of agriculture. Millions of homeowners use the same chemicals without any oversight. Just exactly who is the expert? He is really stirring the pot with his “protect the child” ruse!
      Dr. Oz implores his audience to sign a petition asking the EPA and the President to deny approval of Enlist Duo. I suggest that you choose to support farmers instead of Dr. Oz and encourage the EPA to give farmers another options to control weed pressure in their fields. That would make a lot more sense to me, and will help keep us viable and sustainable!

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: or go to the website at: 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Gov. Heineman Announces Nebraska's Four Veterans Homes Receive Perfect Scores


Governor Notes Outstanding Accomplishment as Second Consecutive Year
(Lincoln, Neb.) Today, Gov. Dave Heineman announced that all four of Nebraska’s veterans homes have received perfect scores on their most recent annual Health Care System Surveys from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The four homes, administered by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), include the Eastern Nebraska Veterans Home in Bellevue, the Grand Island Veterans Home in Grand Island, the Western Nebraska Veterans Home in Scottsbluff and the Norfolk Veterans Home in Norfolk.
“Having all four homes receive perfect survey scores two consecutive years is an outstanding achievement,” said Gov. Heineman. “This accomplishment demonstrates the dedication of the employees of our Veterans Homes and the quality of care they provide to those who have served our country. We are proud of our service to our veterans.”
The facilities received top marks in several areas including life safety, resident care, environment, staff training and development, dietary-food service, banking and billing services for veterans, recreation/activities, medical staff credentialing, social work, and all areas related to quality assurance and care.
“Nebraska has a proud tradition of taking care of our veterans,” said John Hilgert, Director of the DHHS Division of Veterans Homes. “I recognize that serving those who served our country is important and the right thing to do. Achieving perfect survey scores demonstrates our commitment to providing quality care to veterans.”
Survey teams from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are typically an interdisciplinary team comprised of three registered nurses, a registered dietician and a life safety code expert from various parts of the country.
With a total capacity of 637 beds, the four veterans homes provide a variety of medical, nursing and rehabilitative services, tailored to the needs of their members. Services range from assisted living care for members able to essentially care for themselves, to skilled nursing care. The veterans’ health care services are administered by dedicated nurses, physicians, dieticians, occupational therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists and other professionally trained personnel.
The four veterans homes in Nebraska strive to serve the unique needs of each member by providing high quality services and holistic long-term care in a homelike veterans’ community.

Sophia "Jean: Krueger February 28, 1914 to September 19, 2014


Sophia "Jean" Krueger               

Centenarian Sophia "Jean" Krueger passed away Friday, September 19, 2014 in Hastings, Nebraska.

Rosary will be Wednesday, September 24, 2014; 7:30 P.M. and Mass of the Christian Burial will be held Thursday, September 25, 2014; 10:30 A.M. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Blue Hill, Nebraska with Very Rev. James Schrader and Father Val Bartek officiating.  Burial will be in Blue Hill Cemetery.  Visitation will be Wednesday, September 24, 2014; 1:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. with family present 5:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. at Merten-Butler Mortuary in Blue Hill, Nebraska.  Memorials may be given to the family to be designated at a later date.  Arrangements entrusted to Merten-Butler Mortuary in Blue Hill, Nebraska. 

Jean was born on February 28, 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio to George and Mary Karbasz.  She was raised and attended public and parochial schools in Ohio and Michigan.  On May 24, 1941 Jean was united in marriage to Wilbur Krueger in Toledo, Ohio.  The couple settled and raised their three children in Blue Hill, Nebraska.  Jean’s careers and passions in life showcased many abilities.  She worked assembly lines, and was a manager at Montgomery Wards, a linotype operator at the Blue Hill Leader, a waitress at Ash Hollow, and a co-owner of W-B Pack.  She was a meticulous meat wrapper, a volunteer bloodmobile recruiter & chairwoman, a PTA room mother, a member of extension club, a lifelong member of American Legion Auxiliary, a greyhound dog owner, a slot machine and bingo queen, and a fabulous cook with a flair for her homemade noodles, rolls, pierogi, and cakes.  She even tanked down the Republican River with her cousins when she was in her eighties.  She took much joy with her family, friends, and beloved pets.  She was known for her ready smile and great story telling.  She was a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Blue Hill, an honorary member of the Altar Society, and taught catechism for many years.  Jean and Wilbur traveled extensively throughout the states, Mexico, and Canada.  Jean had one of the best highlights of her life when this February her adult children and grandchildren celebrated her 100th birthday in Las Vegas.  Just for the record…she was a night owl.  She will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved her.

Jean was preceded in death by her parents, stepfather, husband Wilbur “W-B,” stillborn son Charles, brother Edward, grandson Jason Jarosik, sister and brother-in-law Frances & Whitey Majchszak, nephews John & Edward Majchszak, nieces Sandra Corner Latham and Patsy Corner, brother-in-law James Corner, and son-in-law Richard Jarosik.

Her loving family legacy includes:
Children & Spouses:                  
    Richard & Janice Krueger - Lincoln, NE
    Carole & Douglas Thompson - Hastings, NE
    Joyce Jarosik - Hastings, NE
Grandchildren & Spouses:          
    Brent Thompson - Redway, CA
    Jeffrey & Jayme Krueger - Waverly, NE
    Jennifer & Kelby Vorthmann - Treynor, IA
    Stephanie & Andrew Sidlo - Hastings, NE
    Ryan Krueger & Taryn Fisher - Littleton, CO
    Cally Thompson - Omaha, NE
    Baylee Thiel
    Alyscia, Lauran & Isaac Sidlo
    Ashlyn, Kiera, Shelby, Melaina, & Taiya Vorthmann
    Zoey & Joshua Krueger
    Aiden Fisher
    Alice Corner - Blue Hill, NE
Lifelong friend:                          
    Betty Celani – CA
Nieces, Nephews & Spouses:      
    Frank Majchszak - OH
    Jean Majchszak - OH
    Lois Majchszak  - OH
    Roger & Deborah Corner - Tucson, AZ
    Robert & Julie Corner - Lincoln, NE
    R. George Corner - Lincoln, NE

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator
      Have you observed that the leaves on the trees are starting to turn and even start falling? Many have noticed that the soybean fields are turning more golden every day, and leaves are dropping. Corn fields are slowly starting to turn as well. This is a good sign that autumn has officially arrived. Actually for you that need the exact time, the autumnal equinox brings the fall season to the Northern Hemisphere will be this coming September 22 at 9:29 pm. You might find it interesting that the word equinox comes from the Latin words for "equal night." The fall and spring equinoxes are the only days of the year in which the Sun crosses the celestial equator and the length of the day matches the length of the night. From here on out, the temperatures begin to drop and the days start to get shorter than the nights. This brings to mind an old poem comes to mind: “It is the summer's great last heat, It is the fall's first chill: They meet.” –Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt
     What a lot of people probably don’t know is that this coming week is also National Farm Safety and Health Week! I always correlate this National Week with the impending harvest season. Yes, our crops are nearing the ready and harvest is just around the corner.  Harvest time also brings something else – a need for safety on and off the farm! Each year since 1944, the third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety & Health Week ( This recognition has been an annual promotion initiated by the National Safety Council and has been proclaimed as such by each sitting U.S. President since Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the first document.  This year’s National Farm Safety and Health Week has been declared for September 21-27, 2014.  I think it is important that we take a few moments to think about safety as we get closer to harvest and the time that we bring our cattle home from pasture.
     The 2014 theme is “Safety Counts: Protecting What Matters.” The theme underscores the importance of us all working together to build a safer and healthier agricultural work place. In studies conducted across the nation, data shows the agricultural sector is still the most dangerous in America with 475 fatalities, which equals 21.2 deaths per 100,000 workers. Agriculture is more than seven times as hazardous as most other U.S. industries.  Unfortunately the death rate resulting from accidents on the farm or ranch was 3.2% of all deaths when you compare it to the deaths occurring in a combination of all industries. The good news is that maybe we are getting better, or are getting luckier, as I believe there were almost 600 deaths and 70,000 disabling injuries attributed to agriculture in 2010 – just four years ago. The statistics are sobering. But even more tragic is that these incidents could have been prevented if simple safety precautions had been followed. 
     It should be noted that tractor incidents were the overwhelming majority of the cause of death, with more than 40 percent of cases. And the majority of the incidents were due to a rollover event. Other causes of fatality included equipment, machinery and wagons followed by livestock and all-terrain vehicles. There is a huge increase in the number of farm fatalities for people older than 40 compared with those younger than 40. The highest number of deaths is within the age group of 61 to 70. Farming is a family business, all ages are active on farms, from seniors to children. That means that preventing injuries is a family affair. Our families not only include the farmers, but old and young.
     We all should be especially cognizant of the inherent danger to our young people.  They are not experienced and don’t realize how dangerous it can be on the farm. Fortunately there are many simple practices to keep our children safe on farms. I am sure that most of you would consider these simple practices that can make a world of difference. These practices include things like: Do not let kids play in grain wagons, carts or semi beds. Be sure to have ladders and grain elevator legs high enough that children cannot climb on them. And as tempting as it can be, because “nothing has ever happened before,” do not allow extra riders on tractors. There is one seat for a reason. This is especially true during harvest season.
     Here are some safety reminders for the coming harvest: Put fire extinguisher in every tractor, combine, and truck and make sure they are charged; Grease and check bearings to prevent sparks/fires; Remove dust and debris from radiator screens and other spots with high heat or air intake; Do not walk on grain in combine bins, auger carts, or trucks; Farmers with large machinery use hazards and turn signals when driving down roads and move over for cars to pass whenever possible; Cars – do not pass going up hills or at intersections (semis and trailers make wide turns) Be Patient!; Be cautious on narrow bridges or roads with guardrails – large machinery will take up both lanes; Do not pull out in front of trucks – heavy loads take much longer to get slowed down; Be extra cautious at unmarked intersections – Always Yield!
     We all have loved ones, and they are what matter to us.  Keep this year’s theme in your mind: “Safety Counts: Protecting What Matters.” Farmers and ranchers and all of those that work in agriculture, need to set some priorities to reduce the risk of injury to their self, their family, and their employees. Farmers put in many hours and accomplish difficult tasks.  They operate heavy machinery, handle livestock, and work under hazardous conditions. Thank you to all of our farmers, ranchers, farm workers and their families, and all of our partners for working together to reduce the number of deaths, injuries, and health issues. And to all of our farmers who will be harvesting their crops, hauling grain to market, or working their livestock – Please make safety a priority.  Make your harvest a safe one. We don’t want to lose you or anyone else! We want all of our family and friends to be safe. We do need to protect them and farm safety does count!

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: or go to the website at: 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Agnas C. Delaney Britten January 24, 1945 to September 2, 2014

Agnes Britten, 90

 Agnes C. (Tootie) Britten, 90, of Blue Hill died Sept. 2, 2014, at Blue Hill Care Center.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Blue Hill, with the Very Rev. James Schrader officiating. Private family burial will be in the Blue Hill Catholic Cemetery, Blue Hill.
There will be a rosary at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Merten-Butler Mortuary Chapel, Blue Hill. There will be no viewing or visitation. A memorial has been established to be designated at a later date.
Agnas was born Aug. 8, 1924, at Red Cloud to Joseph and Sarah (McPartland) Delaney.
Survivors include three sons and daughters-in-law, Joe and Sharon Britten and Dennis and Laurie Britten, all of Grand Island, and Francis “Fred” and Vickie Britten of Lincoln; two daughters and a son-in-law, Theresa Compton of Athens, Ga., and Cecilia and Dan Shultz of Council Bluffs, Iowa; a daughter-in-law, Pam Britten of Council Bluffs, Iowa; a brother and sister-in-law, Pat and Phyllis Delaney of Phoenix, Ariz., and a sister, Elizabeth Dispaquale of New City, N.Y.; and nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Agnes graduated from Red Cloud High School. On Jan. 24, 1945, Agnes married Raymond J. Britten at Red Cloud. They were married for 60 years.  They were the parents of  seven children and raised their family in the Red Cloud and Blue Hill communities. In 1971 they sold their farm and moved to Blue Hill. Agnes was a member of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church and Holy Trinity Altar Society, volunteered at the Blue Hill Care Center and worked at Barnason’s IGA grocery store for many years.
Agnes was preceded in death by her parents; husband; an infant son and a son, Roger; and three sisters, Anna Catherine Delaney, Mary Ellen Dimmler and Joan Shuck.