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.

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.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

UPCOMING EVENTS

 
 
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 rfunston2@unl.edu
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 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
 
 

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

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: http://www.regulations.gov.  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 www.nebraskacorn.org and www.ne-ethanol.org. Omaha metro area pump location is available at www.E85Omaha.com.

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH

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: dlienemann2@unl.edu or go to the website at: http://www.webster.unl.edu/home 

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."

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 Hastings.edu for more.

Friday, October 10, 2014

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH

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: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/438819557414671607/   
     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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzEr23XJwFY . 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: http://www.fooddialogues.com/foodsource/gmo.  It has a wealth of information on several topics. I suggest that you watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-urq3kVhQM  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 www.GMOAnswers.com or http://factsaboutgmos.org/   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: dlienemann2@unl.edu or go to the website at: http://www.webster.unl.edu/home