Friday, July 31, 2009

Straight from the Horse's Mouth

Duane A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator, Webster County July 31, 2009 Edition I was sitting in this same chair exactly one week ago experiencing a .70 inch rain which was the most significant moisture that we have had since early this spring. That was nice, but we are still very dry. It seems that there is a cap setting right on top of the bulk of Webster County, western Nuckolls County and Southeast Franklin County and a bit of southern Adams County. We are at about 50% of normal precipitation for this area and of course have varying degrees of dryness with the worst just north of the Kansas border and progressing slightly less dry as you go north. No matter what, we are dry and our crops are on the verge of a critical point of their very existence in dryland conditions. Irrigated farms have experienced an abnormally extensive season already. Some producers have told me they have made more rotations of their pivots and made more runs with gravity already this year as they do in a total irrigation year affecting input costs. As I write this, we are in a thunderstorm watch and believe me it is really needed, especially in light that the forecast for the next couple of weeks is normal temperatures in the mid to high 90’s. Why do I say normal? It is because we have been considerably below normal for most of July. I have had several people and even some news media ask me about the affect of a cooler July on our crops so I have decided to center this week’s discussion on just that very topic, and hopefully by the time I finish I will be hearing the sound of raindrops on my roof. We have been getting these little teasers of .10 or so and those actually have kept our hopes and our crops going. What we have not had is a good soaking rain. What we have had is cool weather for July. Let’s look at this a little bit and perhaps some ramifications. Earlier this week the USDA reported that temperatures in Nebraska averaged 7 degrees below normal and ranged from highs in the low 90’s to lows in the 40’s for July. We even had area county fairs that were held in 70’s-80’s degree which is unheard of. I remember more 100 degree fair days than 80 degree ones. Record lows were reported in numerous areas. I would say that hits what we have been experiencing in South Central Nebraska pretty much right on the money. The good news is that cooler weather reduces stress on humans, cows, pigs and other farm animals and saves on air-conditioning bills. Even better news for area producers living in the “abnormally dry” area is that the cool weather has probably saved our crops from an early demise. Even as the ground has dried and cracked in this dry spell this summer, there has been a savior. These cool temperatures we experienced in July have kept plants from withering away and becoming a statistic for insurance companies. It also been good for pollination, as one of the biggest enemies of pollination is extreme hot and dry weather. Now let’s look at a side that I don’t want to even think about, but with the weirdness of this year so far, I guess we better think about the potential effect of cool weather during the summer. In a normal July, corn farmers don’t even think about the date of the first killing frost in the fall. But this is not a normal year. When July mornings feel chilly, farmers begin to worry about corn growth. Below-normal temperatures dominated the July weather reports. Corn plant maturity depends on accumulated exposure to heat, unlike the soybean plant, which depends on day length to trigger maturity. Heat units in corn are called “growing degree days” or GDDs. Each corn variety has its own requirement of accumulated degree days. In a normal July, when daily average temperatures range from 85 degrees to 100 degrees, a corn plant accumulates 30 GDD’s each day. On some days this July we’ve gained only 12-20 GDDs, or less than two thirds of normal. That isn’t bad for a few days, because corn plants can make up the difference with hot August days. But if a big deficit accumulates, it would take a very hot August to average out. Heaven knows we don’t desire that. What if we have a cool August coupled with the cool July we just experienced? Actually most crops generally look healthy now, especially the irrigated fields, but some plants are behind schedule. Cool weather and lack of moisture have combined to put our crops behind in maturity. Those GDD’s I spoke of earlier determine the maturity of crops. We only have so many growing days until we are in the threat of an early frost which could happen this year, the way things have been going. Someone told me that they had already heard the locusts sing, which usually indicates a particular time until the first freeze if you take stock in folk lore. Corn hit by freezing weather before it matures will have reduced yields. The plant dies and the kernels on the cob stop filling. Corn that has just pollinated or not yet pollinated by this time is at greatest risk. As a rule, it takes 60 days from silk set to harvest. Producers will need to look at their corn and see where it is at this point. It’s not possible to know what the weather will do for the rest of the growing season. A cool July doesn’t mean an early freeze. A cool July doesn’t even mean a cool August. But it is something to ruminate about. The greatest risk is that early frosts or freezes will cut yields or reduce the quality of what is harvested. Official weather records confirm that it's as cool as you think this month. It's a mixed bag while the low temperatures may deprice corn of the heat it needs to mature, avoiding heat stress could help pollination, which is necessary to form each kernel of corn on an ear. But if slow development of the crop increases, the likelihood that farmers won't have time to harvest before sharply colder weather damages the plants becomes more real. If we get an early frost, and our plants are not mature, it could cut yields, and that of course hits the bottom line! 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

Shrine Bowl is College Prep for Karr

2009 Blue Hill Alumni, Cody Karr, made his fourth appearance on the turf of Memorial Stadium during the July 25th, 51st Annual Nebraska Shrine Bowl. Karr, a varsity member of Blue Hill's 2008 Class C-2 State Champion Football team, is only the third Blue Hill alumni ever to be invited to play in the game. Karr's south team lost the game 19-16 giving Karr only his 4th loss in his last 40 prep games but his third loss at Memorial Stadium. The Bobcats lost championship games in Karr's sophomore and junior year following undefeated regular seasons before securing the first ever State Championship for Blue Hill in his senior year. Karr will attend the University of Nebraska - Kearney this fall. He reports to football practice under the tutelage of UNK head coach Darrell Morris on August 6th. Karr enjoyed his experiences with the Shrine Bowl which began with practices at Doane College on July 16 and included a trip to the Chicago Shriner's hospital. He felt that the experience was good preparation for some of the talent he would see at the college level. Bobcat head football coach, Scott Porter, attended the game as a spectator. The Nebraska Shrine Bowl Inc. was formed May 13, 1958 to conduct an annual All-star Football Game for graduating high school seniors in the State of Nebraska. The three Nebraska Shrine Temples, Sesostris - Lincoln, Tangier - Omaha and Tehama - Hastings joined together to form the Shrine Bowl of Nebraska Inc.

Your Family Favorite Beef Recipe Could Be Worth New Kitchen Appliances

What’s nutritious, delicious and worth a set of new kitchen appliances? Your favorite beef recipe – if it wins the 2009 River City Roundup “What’s for Dinner Beef Cook-Off!” The “What’s for Dinner Beef Cook-Off” will be held in conjunction with River City Roundup in Omaha at the Qwest Center on Saturday, September 26, 2009. Amateur cooks from Nebraska will compete on the “What’s for Dinner” cooking stage sponsored by the Nebraska Beef Council. A stove, dishwasher, refrigerator and microwave will be awarded to the contest winner. Beef certificates of $300, $200, $100 and $50 will be awarded to the second through fifth place finalists as well. The basic recipe guidelines are as follows: All recipes must use beef, that is either fresh, frozen or pre-cooked. All recipes must pair one of the nutrient rich 29 lean beef cuts with other important nutrient-rich ingredients such as vegetables, whole grains or fruits to create an original beef meal that promotes health and enjoyment. The recipe preparation and cooking time must be done in 45 minutes or less. Complete contest rules are available at www.nebeef.org or by calling the Nebraska Beef Council at 800-421-5326. Only original and unpublished recipes are eligible for the contest. Entries will be judged by professionals on taste, appearance, convenient preparation and cooking and healthfulness and nutritional balance. To be eligible for the “What’s For Dinner Beef Cook-Off” contest entrants must be at least 18 years of age and residents of the state of Nebraska. Food professionals, including chefs, food writers, home economists, dietitians and food educators and employees/family members of the Nebraska Beef Council are not eligible to compete. Only one recipe per contestant may be submitted. Recipe entries should be mailed to: What’s for Dinner Beef Cook-Off, Nebraska Beef Council, PO Box 2108, Kearney, NE 68848. Recipes may also be submitted via e-mail to mailto:info@nebeef.org. All entries must be received by the end of business on Friday, August 28, 2009.

Voter Registration Deadline

Blue Hill residents who are interested in voting in the August 18, 2009 special recall election have until 6:00 p.m. on Friday, August 7, 2009 to complete their voter registration. Voter registration can be completed at the Office of the Webster County Clerk in Red Cloud, NE. The Blue Hill City Clerk may accept voter registrations until close of business today. If you have never registered to vote or are a new resident of the city of Blue Hill, you must register in order to vote. If you have changed your name by marriage or have moved, you must re-register by August 7th. Citizens of Blue Hill who are 17 and will attain the age of 18 by November 3, 2009, may register and vote in this election. For those registered voters unable to attend the polling place on the date of the election, August 18, may apply for an absentee ballot by sending such request with name, physical and mailing address, signature and date to the Webster County Clerk, PO Box 250, Red Cloud, NE 68970.

Liquor License Hearing Scheduled

The Blue Hill City Clerk's office has received at least three written protests to the automatic renewal of the liquor license for Kevin & Donna Kort DBA Klancy's Kafe and has set a hearing date of Tuesday, August 11, 2009 to determine weather the City Council should or should not recommend approval for the automatic renewal to the Nebraska State Liquor Commission. The hearing will coincide with the council's regularly scheduled August meeting which starts at 7:30 p.m. The hearing has been scheduked for 8:00 p.m. Any interested parties should plan to attend or submit their comments to the city clerk's office prior to noon on Friday, August 7, 2009.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

COUNTY BOARD PROCEEDINGS

The Webster County Board of Commissioners met at 8:30 am on Tuesday, July 21st for a regular business meeting. The following Members were present for roll call: Jeff Ord, John Soucek, Keith Buschow and Mary Delka. Commissioner Bohrer was absent. Motion was made by Buschow, second by Delka to approve the minutes of the July 7th business meeting. All Members present voted to approve the minutes. Motion was made by Delka, second by Soucek to approve the minutes of the July 13th Special Meeting. Voting to approve those minutes were Delka, Soucek and Ord. Buschow abstained and Bohrer was absent. The minutes of the Special Meeting were approved.

The Board received Notice from the Veteran’s Service Office of a vacancy on their Committee due to the loss of Dean Karsting. The Board expressed their sympathy on the passing of Mr. Karsting and acknowledged his contributions to the veterans of this County. Motion was made by Soucek, second by Buschow to appoint Keith Kort of Blue Hill to the Webster County Veterans Service Committee to complete the one year remaining on the term that is vacant. All members present voted in favor of the appointment.

Treasurer Reiher had submitted a resolution concerning pledged securities. Motion was made by Buschow, second by Delka to adopt Resolution 29-2009:

RESOLUTION 29-2009

BE IT RESOLVED, that Peoples-Webster County Bank of Red Cloud be permitted to substitute $500,000 in expired securities for $500,000 in new guaranteed securities. Upon roll call vote, all members present voted to adopt the resolution.

Joyce Terhune, Director for Webster County Historical Museum and Ron Gestring, Chairman of the Museum Board of Trustees met with the Board. Terhune submitted their Annual Report for the Museum. They discussed building repairs including past and future brick mortar replacement and painting projects. Most of the funding comes from grants, donations and memberships. Terhune informed the Board of their various activities, projects and events. The Board reviewed the Museum budget and the requirements for this year will remain the same as in previous years.

The following claims were approved for payment:

Wages for 36 salaried and 7 part-time employees - $79,607.83

GENERAL FUND

Adams Co Sheriff fees $18.50, Amer’n Red Cross certify $32.00, Ameritas Life Ins retiremt $3,833.25, AS Central Serv fees $183.73, Robert Beardslee maintnc $220.00, BlueCross BluShld health $12,158.96, Cash-Wa Candy Co supply $13.34, Social Security FICA $4,150.64, Eakes Office supply $107.23, F & S Supply supply $107.12, First Concord medical $6.00, Fleet Services fuel $410.75, Fleetpride, Inc. health $420.00, Glenwood TelecomM software $79.90, Great Plains Comm 11 phone $952.76, G.R. State Bank health $325.00, Jared Auto Expert repair $24.59, Kearney Co Clerk expense $5,068.14, Kenny’s Lumber repair $233.62, Lafayette Life insur $10.95, MB Construction concrete $420.00, McDole Law Offi rental $55.53, Nebr Labor Dept unemploy $862.00, Nebraska Telecom long dist $102.01, Nuckolls Co Sheriff fees $51.08, Quality Red D Mix concrete $407.50, Quill Corp furniture $631.35, Red Cloud Auto towing $35.00, Red Cloud Chief publish $266.97, Sam’s Club dues $35.00, County Dental Fund premium $2,642.00, Share Corp supply $362.46, South Central PPD utility $24.80, Timm’s Service towing $342.88, US Postal Serv postage $1,000.00, Village Pharmacy supply $74.87, Web Co Sheriff petty cash $481.06, Web Co Hospital medical $15.00, Web Co Transport’n handibus $686.00, Robert Willicott contract $700.00.

ROAD FUND

Ameritas Life Ins retiremt $1,588.28, BlueCross BluShld health $5,526.80, Computer Warehse supply $50.66, Diamond Engineer steel $1,050.00, Social Security FICA $1,795.68, Eiseman Auto repair $354.83, Farm Plan repair $1,137.01, Farmers Coop Assn fuel $5,493.53, Farmer Union Coop repair $181.79, Great Plains Comm 3 phone $197.75, Linda Grummert expense $147.76, Husker Steel steel $826.06, Jim’s OK Tires tires $245.00, Kenny’s Lumber supply $36.86, Kully Pipe/Steel repair $888.17, NE Labor Dept unemploy $372.00, Nebr Machinery repair $561.71, Nebraska Telecom long dist $25.57, Platte Valley Comm repair $149.00, Quill Corp supply $47.82, R & K Service fuel $64.96, R & M Disposal service $33.00, Red Cloud Chief publish $180.00, County Dental Fund premium $874.00, South Central PPD utility $46.26, Universal Hydraulc repair $304.39, Village Pharmacy supply $10.24.

COUNTY MEDICAL/RELIEF

Adams Co Dist Court hearings $928.00, Ameritas Life Ins retiremt $6.75,Social Security FICA $7.65.

NOXIOUS WEED FUND

Ameritas Life Ins retiremt $51.56,BlueCross BluShld health $552.68, Lynn Collision rental $200.00,Social Security FICA $58.44,Great Plains Comm phone $46.27,NAWMA registr $185.00,Nebraska Telecom long dist $1.86,County Dental Fund premium $31.00, Village Pharmacy supply $6.99.

AMBULANCE FUND

Bound Tree Medical supply $238.95,Cntrl Commun College training $200.00,Great Plains Comm phone $43.63.

Being no further business, Chairman Ord adjourned the meeting at 10:45 am. The next regular business meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 4th, 2009. A current agenda and complete minutes are on file in the County Clerk’s Office. Dated this 21st day of July, 2009.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Senator's Column by Mike Johanns

July 27, 2009

Why I Will Oppose Judge Sotomayor

Dear Nebraskans,

After meeting with Judge Sonia Sotomayor, watching the confirmation hearings, reading her past judicial decisions, and carefully reviewing her overall record, I have decided I cannot support her nomination for the Supreme Court of the United States. She has good reason to be proud of a long career as a public servant. However, for the reasons detailed below, she will not have my vote.

When Chief Justice John Roberts was questioned at his own confirmation hearing in 2005, he compared a judge to an umpire at a baseball game: "Umpires don't make the rules," he said. "They apply them ... they make sure everybody plays by the rules. But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire." It was a perfect analogy to describe those who embody the words inscribed on the outside of the Supreme Court building: "Equal Justice Under Law."

Judge Sotomayor has not demonstrated throughout her career or most recently before the Senate Judiciary Committee that she adheres to that approach. In fact, she has publicly acknowledged that her beliefs and experiences affect her judicial decision making. She had an opportunity during her confirmation hearing to retract those prior public statements, but she did not. Throughout her testimony Judge Sotomayor appeared more interested in avoiding all contentious issues as opposed to speaking her beliefs freely.

Further doubts arose when I examined her history as a judge. Actions do speak louder than words, and when she did act, it did not measure up to those who I personally have thought worthy of sitting on the highest court in the country. The Supreme Court has substantively reviewed ten of her decisions, and reversed or vacated eight of them. In one of them, the Supreme Court pointed out that her decision had ignored two prior Supreme Court decisions. Of the remaining two, one was upheld in a 5-4 decision, and the other, while also upheld, was disparaged for using legal reasoning that "flies in the face of the statutory language."

Lastly, I do not support Judge Sotomayor's rulings that have explicitly demonstrated her belief that the Second Amendment is something that state laws could abrogate. It is alarming to me, and I know it is alarming to many Nebraskans that Judge Sotomayor holds an extremely narrow view on the right to bear arms.

Although Judge Sotomayor has had a successful career, when her nomination comes to the Senate floor, I will not support it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Local Driver's place at Adams County Demolition Derby

Yesterday's Demolition Derby in Hastings, Nebraska wrapped up the grandstand events at the 2009 Adams County Fair. 26 full size and 7 compact cars competed for Crash for Cash points and $10,000 in prize money including Mad Dog Awards for each heat. The Mad Dog is awarded to the most aggressive driver or the driver who places the most impressive hit(s) during his heat. Compact cars ran one heat. Full size cars ran 4 heats and two consolations for a 12 car final. Results were as follows: 4 cylinders 1st -- Jodi Harpold, 2nd -- Kristina Kamler, 3rd -- Mike Kamler. Full Size Heat 1 Wes Svoboda -- Hastings and Doug Heath -- Geneva, Mad Dog: Derek Montey -- Hastings. Heat 2 Jake Tenoff -- Blue Hill and Jack Prybl -- Western, Mad Dog: Jake Tenoff -- Blue Hill. Heat 3 Elmer Harpold -- Hastings and Dan Svoboda -- Hastings, Mad Dog: Elmer Harpold -- Hastings. Heat 4 Marshall Kahler -- Fairmont and Curt Bolte -- Lawrence, Mad Dog: Dylan Monte -- Hastings. Consy 1 Cody Robinson -- Wilcox and Jon Auten -- Ayr. Consy 2 T.J. Cusatis -- Hastings and Dave Walin -- Bolivor, MO. Finals 1st -- Doug Heath, 2nd -- Jack Prybl, 3rd -- Jake Tenoff, 4th -- Cody Robinson, 5th -- Dan Svoboda, 6th -- T.J. Cusatis, 7th -- Curt Bolte, 8th -- Wes Svoboda, 9th -- Marshall Kahler, 10th -- Elmer Harpold, 11th -- Jon Auten and 12th -- Dave Wallin.

Congressman's Column by Adrian Smith

Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs Make a Difference

Our economy relies on small businesses to create jobs which will sustain our country's recovery. Small businesses and the entrepreneurs behind them create most of the nation's new jobs, and they are the source of tomorrow's ideas, innovations, and new products for the marketplace.

Small businesses comprise more than 95 percent of all employers in the United States - nearly 27 million businesses in all. They employ more than half of the total private sector workforce and are responsible for the creation of two-thirds of all new jobs each year.

In Nebraska, small businesses are just as important to our economy. In 2007, Nebraska had an estimated 158,624 small businesses, employing more than 50 percent of our state's non-farm private labor force. Small businesses accounted for $6.4 billion in income for our state.

It is essential we support entrepreneurs' efforts to grow and do what they do best - create new jobs.

Recently, Congress took up the reauthorization of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) programs which fund nearly $2.3 billion in support of innovation and technology development.

The SBIR and SBTT programs were established with the intention of attracting more forward-thinking entrepreneurs to participate in federally funded research and development.

These programs have been successful examples of public/private partnerships which have met congressional mandates of promoting the growth of cutting-edge, high-tech small business in this country.

Rural areas, such as the Third Congressional District, tend to have low participation in the SBIR and STTR, even though we are home to innovative small business owners who would benefit from increased consideration. In order to increase rural participation, I authored language in the bill requiring priority consideration be given to applicants from rural areas.

Nebraska, now more than ever, needs entrepreneurs and innovators. Unfortunately, many rural states like ours have seen a "brain drain" in recent years. As the depletion occurs, we lose our most vital economic assets to more populated areas.

As a way to draw attention to those working to stem this tide, I established the inaugural Third District Excellence in Economic Development Award. In May, I called for nominations for individuals, businesses, and organizations which - through innovation, hard work, and entrepreneurship - have helped strengthen Nebraska communities.

The response was overwhelming.

The entries I received define Nebraska's spirit. These entrepreneurs do more than just build successful businesses. They host charity events, serve on local chambers of commerce, and shape the character of our towns and cities.

The operators of these businesses - and other businesses just like them throughout our state - work tirelessly and often operate on razor thin margins just to earn a living. Nominations ranged from a teenager who started his own lawn-mowing business to a mainstay in the Nebraska business community.

I must admit I received more nominations than I was expecting. Interest was so high I even extended the deadline to allow all interested parties an opportunity to participate. It was tough to narrow down the selection, but I am proud to recognize 10 entries which not only exemplify Nebraskan's dedication to their community, but also serve as foundations on which our economic future will be built.

Some of the honorees are individuals and some are organizations; some are non-profits, some are businesses. All have shown they are striving to help their hometowns succeed into the future.

Small businesses and entrepreneurs deserve our support and recognition as they work to rebuild our economy. All too often, there is a tendency to overlook the fact that government does not create wealth and prosperity. These are created in the private sector, by risk-taking, entrepreneurial Americans with ideas, innovation and their own hard work.

Governor's Column by Dave Heineman

State Capitol Honored with Restoration Award

July 24,2009

Dear Fellow Nebraskans:

The state capitol is the seat of state government, a destination for tourists and visitors and a symbol of the ideals and the history that make our state unique. Recently, the National Park Service recognized a decade-long effort to restore both the interior and exterior of our state capitol with an award for historic preservation.

Now 85 years old, our state capitol was designed by Bertram Goodhue who created a vision for the capitol that stood apart from all others. It was the first state capitol to depart from echoing the look of our national capitol with a skyscraper as the main feature instead of the traditional dome. It was also the first to have details of native plants, animals and cultural histories woven throughout the building that help tell the story of our democratic government.

During the past 10 years, contractors and artists have been working to restore the building, including the ongoing restoration of capitol office spaces and updates to the exterior masonry scheduled for completion in 2010. In addition, every Arbor Day since 1998 fourth grade classes have raised money to help replant the grounds and complete the historic landscaping plan originally developed for the State Capitol at the time of its construction. It has also included detailed cleaning of a dozen murals and mosaics lining the foyer that leads to the rotunda, revealing their brilliant colors and textures.

One of the most significant projects was the top-to-bottom cleaning and restoration of the Norris Legislative West Chamber and Lounge. Last summer, these areas were filled with scaffolding that created a temporary floor 40 feet above the desks used by state senators when the Legislature is in session. The maze of scaffolding and platforms were brought in piece by piece for the first detailed cleaning of the walnut ceiling and limestone walls since the Capitol was built.

The project included fixing a prominent water leak and restoring the ornate gold leaf designs of the westward migration on the exposed beams of the ceiling. The chamber was finished with a new glass entrance weighing half a ton. It is a rare contemporary addition designed to provide an unobstructed view of legislative proceedings.

Today, conservators are restoring a prominent mural in the capitol’s law library and roofers are installing a new and more durable copper roof which should dramatically reduce leaks in the building in the years to come.

There have also been some behind the scene updates. Earlier this month, those who work in the capitol were invited to tour basement workshops and meet the team that maintains the surrounding landscape, gives tours, restores original furniture and finishes, and oversees the daily operation of the capitol. These skilled craftspeople and professionals include preservation architects, an archivist, a mason, a hardware conservator, furniture conservators, and specially trained personnel who preserve the historic character of this landmark building.

Their painstaking work today ensures our state capitol remains a showpiece for future generations of Nebraskans. The award presented in recent weeks is an important acknowledgment of their achievements.

If you haven’t seen the result of this extensive cleaning and restoration effort, I hope you’ll make a point of touring the capitol during your next visit to our capital city.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Senator's Coumn by Mike Johanns

July 20, 2009 Cap-and-Trade Questions Need Answers Dear Nebraskans,
As many of you know, climate change legislation, known as cap-and-trade, has passed the House of Representatives and is now ready for consideration by the Senate. Although 44 Democrats voted against it in the House and it required a considerable amount of arm-twisting by House leadership to pass, it is being heavily endorsed by the Obama Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). That's why I sent a letter earlier this month to Senate Agriculture Chairman Tom Harkin to request an Agriculture Committee hearing on the impact cap-and-trade will have on our country's farmers and ranchers. It is important that we get answers from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack so producers will know the facts.
When I requested this hearing, I outlined very specifically what I thought it should entail. USDA has publicly stated that the benefits and opportunities of cap-and-trade will outweigh the costs and risks to American agriculture. We need to know very clearly why USDA believes that. By all accounts I've read, the costs of cap-and-trade for American farmers and ranchers could be crippling. The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) charts agriculture input costs as a whole to increase by $5 billion annually through 2020. For farmers already struggling with production costs, these increases would be unacceptable. The Fertilizer Institute, after analyzing previous cap-and-trade proposals, determined that the cost of corn production could increase by as much as $79 per acre annually. Another organization, the Heritage Foundation, charts diesel fuel to increase by a whopping 90 percent by 2035. And this burden won't be limited to ag producers. Rural states like Nebraska would be hammered much harder than either the east or west coasts. This is largely due to our dependence on coal, the cost of which is expected to double in the next ten years, with electricity costs increasing by as much as one-third by 2040, according to AFBF.
I have urged USDA to provide complete cost estimates for American agricultural producers, whose very livelihood would be critically altered by this legislation. Farm families deserve to know the consequences of cap-and-trade, and USDA is very capable of such analysis. I will not stop asking for it. USDA must support with real data its assertion that benefits will outweigh costs. Anything less is nothing more than empty rhetoric.
As I write this column, I am preparing for the Agriculture Committee hearing on cap-and-trade, scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. USDA will have to provide a long list of benefits to outweigh the overwhelming costs. To stay current on new developments related to cap-and-trade as well as other legislative developments, I encourage you to visit my website, www.johanns.senate.gov, as well as my YouTube page for up-to-date information. I will report back to you next week on what transpired in the Agriculture Committee hearing.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Straight from the Horse's Mouth

Duane A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator, Webster County July 25, 2009 Edition I actually was awakened last night with the sound of thunder and rain hitting the bedroom window. Gosh I wasn’t sure what that was, so went through a moment of confusion, before I rationalized what was actually going on. It seems like ages since that has happened. We actually got about .70 of rain last night. That is the most moisture that we have had at one time since early spring. Oh we have been getting some teasers but really nothing of substance. Unfortunately we have a lot of crops and pastures in south central Nebraska that have suffered and will either not give us the yield you would hope for, or will not have the potential to go full season. Irrigators have already put more water on than usual and I know of several producers who are looking for different pastures or are supplementing their cattle in the pasture already. I know that several producers are looking at making silage out of drought stricken corn, and beans are stunted and behind schedule. Yesterday was really hard on the crops with pineappling of corn and milo and cupping of soybeans. The rain is a welcome reprieve, but one must wonder if it is too little too late. Even grain sorghum is struggling to survive. What is perplexing is that it is confined to a relatively small portion of Nebraska and of course right where I reside and work! Even then it tends to be spotty, with some areas not too far apart differing in how the crops and pasture look. It is finally even being noticed by the US Drought Monitoring system. We actually made the US Drought map and have a brown spot and a big A over us. That isn’t good by the way. That A means that we have affects on our crops and pastures. All they had to do was ask any of us in this part of the country weeks ago, we could have told them that. You certainly can tell it from my lawn! For your interest you might check out http://drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html if you have access to the internet. You would think that with this shortcoming of precipitation that we wouldn’t have any problems with insects and/or disease. Wrong! Perhaps not in the dryland fields but we are seeing some Gray Leaf Spot in irrigated corn fields. This disease has developed earlier and to a greater extent this season than in several years in Nebraska. According to CropWatch.unl.edu since last week, infected plants have been reported with as many as 30-50 gray leaf spot lesions on the leaf above the ear leaf in some parts of south central Nebraska (above is not good!). So, producers and crop advisors are strongly encouraged to scout fields frequently to monitor disease progress, particularly hybrids that may be more sensitive to the disease or fields with the greatest risk (such as continuous corn and conservation tillage systems). If you want more information on Gray Leaf Spot contact our office and we will get the latest NebGuide out to you. Since the ear leaf and those above it contribute the most to yield (approximately 70%), it is especially important to protect those leaves. It is concerning that gray leaf spot has already progressed to them in some areas this early in the season. Fungicide applications may be necessary to slow disease progression and seriously considered where the disease has reached or surpassed the ear leaf. I think that the most common fungicide being used is Headline or Bumper with some are using Stratego. I would suggest that you consider timing and necessity before spraying as it could be an extra $20-$30 per acre input cost on top of already costly year. Let’s talk insects. Quite frankly I have not seen or even heard of too much pressure from the normal run of crop insects this year ---with the exception of grasshoppers. There are there a lot of those little creatures that are showing their presence in pastures, road ditches and now field edges. I noticed them several weeks ago in some alfalfa fields and pastures. Some are now moving into the fields themselves and we are starting to see defoliation. Even the gardens on farms, acreages and even in town are starting to experience this scourge. You may want to walk through your fields and pastures and look at the defoliation to see if you should at least treat the outside edges, road ditches or staging area. It is best to control grasshoppers when they are young, so keep that in mind. I have information in our office on grasshoppers in crop and pastureland and even controlling them in gardens, if you are interested. Just give me a call or drop me an email and I will get you a copy. I have heard reports of bean leaf beetle populations building in some areas (mainly in the south). I have not personally seen too many at this point in time, but as we see bean leaf beetle populations build in some soybean fields, growers will likely begin to notice soybean defoliation and may have to made some decisions. The July 24 edition of CropWatch (http://cropwatch.unl.edu) has some information on this plus a handy defoliation guide that may be of use to you. I want to end this week’s edition with a post analysis of the Webster County Fair. All I can say is WOW! We had such beautiful weather which always makes for a better fair, and attitude of people and even livestock. I also thought the rodeo was one of the best we have had. One cannot dismiss the exhibits and the youth. My hat is off to all of the young 4-H and FFA exhibitors who once again brought outstanding exhibits. I was particularly proud of our livestock and their exhibitors as we once again got raving reviews from the judges on the showmanship / sportsmanship of the kids, and the quality of the exhibits. Kudos also to the parents, volunteers, sponsors, and buyers, who make the fair what it is each year! 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

Friday, July 24, 2009

News from Your Community College

July 23, 2009 Hastings Area Learning Centers to Offer Fall Semester Classes (Hastings, Neb.) - Registration is open for 2009 fall semester classes at learning centers in Blue Hill, Clay Center, Fairfield, Harvard, Hastings, Kenesaw, Lawrence, Nelson, Red Cloud, Roseland, Superior and Sutton. The learning centers are operated by Central Community College-Hastings for individuals who want to continue their education close to home. Students complete the courses on an individualized basis through the use of books, study packets, videotapes, CDs and other technology. Learning center managers provide any needed assistance and serve as contacts with the CCC faculty. Courses will be available in 35 program areas through the learning centers during the fall semester, which begins Aug. 24. For more information about specific courses, contact the learning center manager or visit the CCC Web site at www.cccneb.edu/learningcenter. BLUE HILL: Registration may be completed by contacting Glenda Shaw at (402) 756-4167 or by e-mail at jshaw@gtmc.net for classes at Blue Hill Elementary School or Colleen Jeffery at (402) 756-2085 or by e-mail at cjeffery@esu9.org for classes at Blue Hill High School. The learning center will be open from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Mondays in elementary school library and during school days and hours in the high school counselor’s office. General Registration for Fall Classes Aug. 21 at CCC Campuses (Grand Island, Neb.) - General registration for fall semester classes at Central Community College’s campuses in Columbus, Grand Island and Hastings will be Aug. 21. Advisers will be available to assist students with class selection, scheduling, housing, financial aid and other concerns. Registration and contact information for Hastings: Registration may be completed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Adams Administration Building. Registration also can be completed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 24. For more information, call (402) 461-2416 or e-mail sportenier@cccneb.edu. The college registration offices can be called toll-free in Nebraska at 1-877-222-0780. Use ext. 1278 for Columbus, ext. 7414 for Grand Island and ext. 2416 for Hastings. Students may also register by phone or on the Web. Phone registration may be completed between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays by calling toll-free 1-877-222-0780. When prompted, callers should press "9" for registration, then "2" for Phone Central. Web registration may be completed through "WebCentral" at www.cccneb.edu. Classes begin Aug. 24; however, the college’s open enrollment system allows students to begin classes at any time while it’s in session. Late registration can be completed at the campus registration offices. New Students Attend Orientation Sessions at CCC-Hastings (Hastings, Neb.) - About 335 individuals attended New Student Orientation this summer at Central Community College-Hastings. The one-day orientation sessions at CCC-Hastings were May 28, June 16 and July 10. Participants had the opportunity to register for classes and receive information on student activities, individualized instruction, financial aid, counseling and career planning services, housing and other areas of college life. The following new students attended one of the orientation sessions: BLUE HILL: Michelle Blakely, Tiffany Ernst and Casey VanBoening.

Letter from Congressman Adrian Smith

Knowing of your interest in issues affecting rural America, I am writing to update you on recent developments in Congress. As Co-chair of the Congressional Rural Caucus, I am dedicated to finding solutions to the unique challenges facing our state. Americans are demanding action to solve issues plaguing our nation, but we are failing to meet promises, including that of energy independence. I share those concerns and understand the need for reform. Unfortunately, instead of open debate and decisive action, congressional leadership is again moving forward with sweeping, partisan legislation that will mean higher prices and less energy security. The latest of these proposals, the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) would implement a "cap and trade" approach in an attempt to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and curtail global climate change. Under this program, regulated entities such as power plants, factories and refineries would be allocated a certain number of credits to emit GHGs, and the remaining credits would be auctioned off or distributed. Emitters using fewer of these credits than annually allotted may sell excess allowances to those which do not. We must invest more in clean, renewable energy, but it is widely believed cap and trade would do more harm than good. A recent analysis found H.R. 2454 may increase a families annual energy bill by up to $1,500. In addition, by incentivizing the relocation of manufacturing plants to countries with less stringent environmental regulations, this plan could result in a loss of as many as 7 million jobs. After hearing from constituents, small business owners and dozens of agricultural groups all opposed to this bill, I voted against implementing the cap and trade regime. As you know, Nebraska is one of the few state not facing a budget shortfall, and was recently named "America's fiscally happiest state"by Mainstreet.com. This feat was not accomplished by tax-and-spend policies or excessive government mandates, but instead was a culmination of fiscal responsibility and common sense. I think our federal government should take note. Our country is faced with the challenge of improvement and the opportunity for advancement. I am committed to promoting a safe, responsible path to national security and energy independence without higher taxes and more government intrusion. Please do not hesitate to contact me if ever I may be of service.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

BH School Board Proceedings

A regular meeting of the Blue Hill Public Schools Board of Education was held at the Elementary School Library at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 13, 2009. At the meeting, action was taken to:
  • Approve the minutes of the June 15, 2009 Board Meeting.
  • Approve the General Funds Payable as listed for July 2009.
  • Approve the Treasurer's Report as presented.
  • Approve the 2009-2010 Teacher Salary Negotiations.
  • Approve Secondary Principle Compensation for 2009-2010.
  • Approve Classified Personnel Compensation for 2009-2010.
General Funds Payable Abilitation supplies $32.49, AFLAC payroll $708.90, AmSan LLC supplies $687.79, Anstine Fire Equipment Co. inspection and repairs $211.25, Axis Capital copier lease $725.00, Blue Hill Education Association payroll $1,112.59, Blue Hill Floral flowers for S. Mousel $40.00, Blue Hill Leader advertising and legals $43.93, Blue Hill Public Library summer reading program $229.73, Blue Cross/Blue Shield payroll $31,493.10, Bright Apple supplies $217.90, Budgettext Corp. text books $105.94, Carolina Biological supplies $601.35, Carson Dellosa supplies $42.90, Century Lumber supplies $438.97, CEV Media supplies $126.50, City of Blue Hill utilities $2,971.91, Classroom Direct supplies $782.78, Cooperative Producers Inc. fertilizer $787.50, Dick Blick supplies $1,422.66, Eakes Office Plus supplies $887.10, Eiseman Automotive oil change $38.18, EMC/Pardigm textbooks $142.45, Employee Retirement Fund payroll $22,304.27, ESU #9 services $28,282.40, Evan-Moor supplies $64.98, Executive Copier copy usage $476.60, Farmer's Cooperative Assn. fuel $361.23, Finney Company supplies $1,143.29, First Nebraska Educators payroll $350.00, Flinn Scientific Inc. supplies $162.22, Follett Educational text books $950.34, Geyer supplies $177.80, Glenwood telecommunications $728.55, Guardian Life Insurance Co. payroll $883.96, Hammond & Stephens supplies $453.02, Hartford payroll $1,000.00, History Education supplies $129.70, Hoff Cleaners band uniforms $681.90, Houghton Mifflin text books $4,203.93, Ingram Library Services library books $1,897.36, JW Pepper supplies $519.35, L&M Tire tires $291.90, Larry's Pest Control exterminating $35.00, Library Video Company supplies $205.23, Linweld supplies $210.25, Loup Valley Lighting ballasts $549.79, MacMillan/McGraw Hill text books $1,791.95, McGraw-Hill Education text books $2,038.85, Mick's TV & Appliance repairs $880.71, Music Supply Closet supplies $90.48, Music in Motion supplies $106.85, Nasco supplies $549.76, National Insurance payroll $670.47, NCS Pearson Inc. power school license $3,630.00, Nebraska Land Magazine subscription $18.99, Nebraska Dept. of Revenue payroll $5,834.14, Nebraska Music supplies $68.00, Newsweek Education supplies $320.00, Nimco supplies $59.00, NRCSA dues $700.00, Pearson Education text books $3,022.87, Perfection Learning Corp. supplies $560.40, Payflex Systems USA Inc. payroll $1,828.51, Petty Cash reimbursement $372.42, $Pitney Bowes postage and supplies $488.45, Pratt Audio Visual supplies $2,349.00, Premier School Agenda supplies $513.50, Primary Concepts supplies $105.19, Qwest distance learning video $914.87, Really Good Stuff supplies $298.82, Remedia Publications supplies $45.99, Sax Arts & Crafts supplies $211.15, Scholastic Inc. summer school supplies $56.62, Source Gas building fuel $311.69, South Central State Bank payroll $37,276.14, South Central NE USD #5 insurance $5,760.32, Summit Learning supplies $94.82, Teacher Direct supplies $45.59, Teacher's Discovery supplies $537.68, Thramer's Food Center supplies $144.84, Triaco Arts & Crafts supplies $212.80, United Art & Education supplies $483.68, UPS shipping $36.53, Weekly Reader supplies $493.93, West Music supplies $640.35, Wieser Educational supplies $149.45, William McGill & Co. supplies $97.33, Yanda's Music & Pro Audio supplies $195.09, Payroll $106,613.78 for total out of the General Fund of $290,530.99. The next regular meeting will be held on Thursday, August 13, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. in the Elementary Library. The agenda, kept continuous and current is available for public inspection at the Elementary office during normal business hours.

Census Reports Adams County Growth Despite Rural Exodus

Adams County and all of its communities, Hastings, Roseland, Kenesaw, Juniata, Holstein and Ayr have consistently shown population growth over the past 10 years while more rural counties and communities in the Blue Hill area continue to show population declines according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Adams County's population growth is unique in that the growth extends to the outlying communities. Buffalo and Hall counties have also experienced population growth, but their growth is concentrated in Kearney and Grand Island respectively, with little or no growth throughout the rest of the county. More rural counties, such as Webster, Clay, Nuckolls and Franklin counties, and their communities continue to show population declines. Communities in our area have averaged a 15% decline in population, which for communites the size of Blue Hill, Red Cloud, Franklin, Harvard or Clay Center equates into the loss of 100 residents +/- for each community. What do you think rural communities can do to reverse population decline?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

COUNTY BOARD PROCEEDINGS

The Webster County Board of Commissioners met at 8:30 am on Monday, July 13th for a Special Meeting. Members present for roll call were Jeff Ord, John Soucek, Roger Bohrer and Mary Delka. Commissioner Buschow was absent. The only item of business for this meeting was to hold an informal worksession for officers and department heads to present their requests for the 2009/2010 County Budget. Officers to meet with the Board on their budgets were: Lonnie Knehans, Duane Lienemann, Troy Schmitz, Jolene Duffy, Sonja Krueger, Bob Beardslee, JoAnn Reiher, Jerry McDole, & Lynn Collison. After a recess during the lunch hour, the Board met with Linda Grummert & Ron Gestring. Knehans and Board reviewed other funds and departments. Chairman Ord adjourned the meeting at 3:10 pm. Dated this 13th day of July, 2009.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Energy Assistance Program for Low Income Residence

With utility costs increasing in Blue Hill and across Nebraska, many individuals are struggling to keep homes cool in the summer and heated in the winner. The current economic instability makes the monthly utility bill a crushing expense for many low income households, including those with young children or elderly residents. Assistance with utility expenses is available for low income Nebraskans. The Nebraska Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps people with limited incomes offset the cost of heating and cooling their homes. The program will partially pay the cost of electricity, fuel oil, gas, coal, wood, kerosene, propane, or other fuel source. Apply Online Eligibility is based on a household's resources and income. Some resources aren’t counted like your home, one car, and personal belongings such as furniture and clothing. The resource limit is $5,000. Resources that are counted include cash, checking and savings accounts, time certificates, CD's, stocks, bonds and property other than your home. Effective for the time period October 1, 2008 - September 30, 2009 the income limits are: Household Size / Maximum Income 1 $13,005 2 $17,505 3 $22,005 4 $26,505 5 $31,005 Grant amounts are based on your income, type of residence, and the type of fuel used. The minimum LIHEAP payment per fuel type is:
  • Electricity, Natural Gas and Coal/$290; Fuel Oil and Kerosene/$483;
  • Propane/$504 Wood/$395.

If you’ve been threatened with a utility shutoff, or have received a shutoff notice, you may be eligible for up to $500 in additional assistance. To be eligible for crisis assistance you must meet the resource and income guidelines, have attempted to keep your utility bills current but unforeseen circumstances have created the crisis.

In most instances the LIHEAP payment will be sent to the utility providers.

There's also a cooling program available to households in the summer. To be eligible for the cooling program, there must be someone in the household that is 70 or older or meets some specific medical condition that makes a person susceptible to heat. The household must still meet the resource and income guidelines.

For further assistance, or an application, contact the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services office in your county.

Congressman's Column by Adrian Smith

The Threats to Cybersecurity In less than two decades, the use of the Internet and networking-based technologies has exploded and is now part of our everyday lives. Ensuring a secure cyberspace will only become more important as our nation increases its reliance on communication technology. As the lead Republican on the House Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, I have had the opportunity to hear firsthand from experts on cybersecurity and the techniques and technologies used by hackers and cyber-criminals. The seriousness of this situation cannot be understated. Cyber-attacks have steadily increased over the past decade, and over the last two years alone cyber-crimes have cost Americans more than $8 billion. These crimes are as different as the criminals who perpetrate them. In December of 2007, hackers stole data from millions of credit and debit cards of shoppers from a large retail chain. Cyber-criminals also drive cars wired with laptops and other anti-security devices to steal confidential information from wireless users in their own homes. Earlier this year, it was revealed cyber-attacks on U.S. government networks climbed 40 percent in the previous year. The Pentagon reported more than 360 million attempts to break into its network in 2008. Most recently, a powerful, coordinated attack successfully disrupted or slowed public access for a limited time to U.S. and South Korean websites. Other targets included the National Security Agency, the State Department, the New York Stock Exchange, and the Washington Post. While some may see these attacks as simply headaches or isolated incidents, they are indicators of a much larger problem. Basic secure networking is imperative to our economic safety and national security. Until recently, however, our cyber-defense efforts were largely an uncoordinated hodgepodge of various programs and policies. In early 2008, President George W. Bush established the Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative (CNCI), and President Obama has committed to fully continue this effort in his administration. The CNCI aims to bring strategic planning, coordination, and additional resources to our nation's cyber-security efforts. It is a comprehensive program designed to strengthen efforts from immediate detection and prevention of network intrusions to counterintelligence, information sharing, and collaboration with the private sector. This continuity across two very different White House Administrations - as well as the increased attention to this issue by Congress - provides an indication of a small but important advantage from where we were just a few years ago. Awareness of this problem and the need for action is now nearly universal. There is broad agreement on the seriousness and magnitude of our cybersecurity vulnerabilities and the complexity of the technical and policy challenges which must be addressed to overcome them. However, while there is a consensus on the problem, we are still at the earliest stages of identifying and implementing solutions, and we are working through relatively un-chartered policy territory as we do so. It is our responsibility as a Congress - and my commitment as a member of the House Science and Technology Committee - to ensure we get this right to ensure taxpayer dollars provide a return in the form of lasting and effective security, while also protecting privacy. The Science and Technology Committee recently finished a series of four hearings in which we examined many aspects of cybersecurity. In the coming months, we will continue to look at our country's vulnerabilities to hackers, how we can secure our Internet infrastructure while protecting individual liberties, and what the role of the federal government should be in combating cyber-crime. The need is real, the threat is there, and I want to make sure our country's cybersecurity is secure now and in the future.

Melvin Koepke Services to be held Thursday Morning

Melvin Henry Koepke, 91, Blue Hill, Nebraska died Sunday, July 19, 2009 at the Blue Hill Care Center, Blue Hill, Nebraska. Services are Thursday, July 23, 2009, 11:00 A.M. at Trinity Lutheran Church, Blue Hill, NE, with Rev. Joshua Lowe officiating. Burial with military Rites by American Legion Shirley Post #176 of Blue Hill, Nebraska, will be in the Blue Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be Tuesday, July 21 from 5:00-9:00, Wednesday, July 22, 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. and one hour prior to services at the church. Memorials to Trinity Lutheran Church. Merten-Butler Mortuary of Blue Hill, Nebraska is in charge of arrangements. Melvin Koepke was born July 11, 1918 to Chris & Minnie (Kort) Koepke on a farm north of Blue Hill in Adams County. He attended Trinity Lutheran Parochial School through the eighth grade and graduated from Blue Hill High School in 1936. He worked on a farm in Iowa for a few years and then was drafted into the Army on June 9, 1941. He served with the First Infantry Regiment Company D in Hawaii, New Guinea & the Philippine Islands. He was a squad leader, Scout mortar gunner, & clerk typist. He was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre of Operations Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Ribbon, American Theatre of Operations Ribbon, Philippine Liberation Ribbon, Combat Infantry Badge, Victory Ribbon, Purple Heart & the Bronze Star. He worked for H. H. Bentz Implement Co. On June 22, 1952 he married Verna Mae Siebrass at Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Hill. He then farmed & raised Landrace Hogs & Polled Hereford cattle until his retirement. Melvin enjoyed spending time with his wife of 57 years and his family & watching his grandchildren playing ball games. He enjoyed fishing, playing cards and bingo. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church & A. L. Shirley post # 146 both of Blue Hill, Nebraska. He is survived by his wife: Verna Mae , Blue Hill, his son Eldon, of Beloit, Kansas and his daughter Elgene (Mike) Grafel of Hastings. Grandchildren Brandi (Chris) Cadams, NE, Lakey Koepke, Lincoln, NE, Stacey Grafel, Omaha, Ryan and Joel Grafel of Hastings. Step grandchildren, Ben, Klozenbucher of Fremont, NE, Angie (Jason) Runge. Sister Elsie (Ernie) Rose of Loveland, Colorado. Special friend Tara Meyer “grandchild”, Many nieces & nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his son Dale, his sister and her husband Erna & Lowell Anderson and two infant sisters.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Webster County Fair Results from the Kitchen

A complete listing of all ribbons and placings will be available at http://www.webstercountyfair.org/. Cookies Champion -- Amber Kohmetscher, Purples -- Wyatt Kyle, Chantel Pittz, Sarah Rutt, Jeremy Hinkel, Lexie Wagner, Brooke Simonton, Timothy Herbek, Gabriela Herbek, Jamie Bonifas, Jessica Plambeck, Levi Plambeck (2), Rachael VanBoening, Eli VanBoening and Alyssa Schmidt (2). Muffins Purples -- Catelyn Crowell, Lexi Wagner, Amanda Reiber and Amber Kohmetscher. Granola Snacks Purples -- Eric Wademan, Amber Kohmetscher and Jessica Plambeck. Fast Foods Purple -- Lenae Kohmetscher and Sarah Klein. Food Preservation Champion -- Amelia Petska, Purples -- Chantel Pittz and Amelia Petska (2). Tasty Tidbits Champion -- Corey Conway. You're the Chef Champion -- Desirae Kohmetscher, Purples -- Taylor lemke and Chantel Pittz (2). Foodworks Champion -- Kimberly Morris, Purples -- Traci Klein (2) and Kimberly Morris. Decorative Cake Purple -- Abbigail Lora.

More Awards from Webster County Fair

A complete listing of all ribbons and placings will be available at http://www.webstercountyfair.org/. Civics & Citizenship Champion -- Kailey Conway with a service project, Purples -- Alexandrea Nelson with family history, Amelia Petska with 4-H scrapbook and Colin brown with Citizenship essay. Speech Contest Junior Champion -- Dorie Meyers, Intermediate Champion -- Jakin Berns, Senior Champion -- Joshua Meyers, Purple -- Joshua Berns and Augustina Henderson. Ice Cream Roll Champions -- Korie Heller, Dan KInley, Erin Kinley, Christine Herrick, Christa Alber, Sara Alber, Dakota LOvett, Tara Meyer, Jamie Kirchner and Megan Woeste, Reserve Champions -- Scott Wademan, Daniel Wademan, Colin Brown, Montana Lovett and Abigail Lora. Favorite Food Revue Junior Champion -- Corey Conway, Senior Champion -- Kailey Conway. Music Contest Champion Solo or Duet Song -- Samantha Lemke, Champion Solo or Duet Instramental -- Laura Henkel, Reserve Champion Solo or Duet Instramental -- Taylor Lemke. Let's Create Purples -- Jordyn Atwater (2), Chantel Pitz (3), Amber Kohmetscher, Kylie Stoner, Traci Klein, Molly Conner (2) and Alyssa Schmidt. Photography Champions -- Mariah Parker, Taylor Lemke and Rachel Berns, Purples -- Amber Kohmetscher (3), Lenah Kohmetscher, Jared Bostock, Trevor Herrick, Katelyn Simonton, Brooke Simonton, Lance Johnson, Jake Johnson (2), Chrisine Herrick (2), Aliese Hoffman, Rachel Berns, Austin Johnson (2), Kailey Conway and Colin Brown. Child Development Champions -- Colin Brown and Lenae Kohmetscher, Purples -- Kailey Conway and Lenae Kohmetscher. Sewing for Fun Champion -- Amelia Petska, Purple -- Kailey Conway. Clothing I Champion -- Laura Henkel. Decorate Your Duds Champion -- Brooke Simonton and Christa Alber, Purples -- Brooke Simonton, Alyssa Schmidt (2), Alexandria Nelson, Kailey Conway (2) and Amelia Petska. Clothing II Champion -- Lenae Kohmetscher, Purples -- Kailey Conway and Christa Alber. Sewing for You Champion -- Alexandria Nelson, Purples -- Alexandria Nelson (3) and Traci Klein. Tailoring Champion -- Jordyn Atwater. Knitting Champion -- Alexandrea Nelson. Crochet Purples -- Alexandria Nelson and Kailey Conway (2). Quilting Champion -- Lena Kohmetscher. Clothing Champions -- Jordyn Atwater and Kailey Conway (2). Shopping in Style Champion -- Christa Alber. Attention Shoppers Champion -- Gabriela Herbek. Accessories for Room Champion -- Amelia Petska. Furnishings on a Shoestring Champion -- Lenae Kohmetscher. Design Decisions Purples -- Samantha Lemke and Kailey Conway. Sketchbook Champion -- Colin Brown, Purples -- Colin Brown, Andrianna Meyer (2), Erin Plambeck and Jessica Petsch. Portfolios Champions -- Adrianna Meyer and Desirae Kohmetscher, Purples -- Sarah Klein, Emily Lovejoy and Andrianna Meyer. Fashion Show Champions -- Alexandria Nelson, Jordyn Atwater, Gabriella Herbek, Christa Alber (3) and Brooke Simonton, Reserve Champions -- Amelia Petska, Alexandrea Nelson (2), Alyssa Schmidt, Jamie Bonifas and Jordyn Atwater, Purples -- Alexandria Nelson, Laura Hinkel (2), Kailey Conway and Brooke Simonton. Shopping in Style Champion -- Christa Alber.

A Nebraskan's View by Senator Ben Nelson

Monday, July 20, 2009 INCREASING NEBRASKA TOURISM Tourism is big business in Nebraska and I would like to help make it even bigger. According to the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, in 2007 more than 41,000 jobs were attributed to travel spending.
Tourism generated $3.6 billion in revenue for Nebraska making it the third highest revenue source behind agriculture and manufacturing. It’s especially beneficial to our economy when international tourists visit Nebraska to see America’s Bread Basket and experience our people, history and landmarks.
Increasing the Number of Foreign Tourists
A bill recently before the Senate that would help increase international tourism in Nebraska would have established the “Corporation for Travel Promotion” to encourage more international travelers to visit the United States. The Corporation’s job would have been to develop useful traveler information and promotions aimed at foreign tourists to showcase what they can see here.
One of the things I really liked about the bill is it wouldn’t have cost U.S. taxpayers a cent. Expenses were to be covered by the collection of a $10 travel authorization fee from foreign travelers collected by the Department of Homeland Security.
Nebraska Tourist Attractions to be Included
In developing attractions to promote to international tourists, Nebraska would not have been overlooked. The bill directed the Corporation for Travel Promotion that it must promote tourism in all states, rural and urban areas, equally.
Unfortunately, the bill fell victim to partisan politics from both sides and is currently in limbo. My hope is that senators will be able to put aside disagreements and revive the bill because it really is common sense legislation that would have increased travel, while generating revenue without costing taxpayers any money.
See Nebraska
If the legislation gets moving and is passed I am prepared to direct the Corporation to my Senate website to help them identify Nebraska tourist attractions. In the meantime, if you’re planning a family vacation in Nebraska, please check it out for yourself by visiting my website www.bennelson.senate.gov, and click on the tab marked “Explore Nebraska.” There’s a section marked “Tourism and Travel.” When you click on that a map pops up. The map is marked by numerous stick pins that highlight tourist attractions. Click on the stick pins and through Google Maps technology you can get directions to the attractions, read a brief description of them and even see a picture. It’s divided into two categories. Nebraska’s federally designated national parks, such as Homestead National Monument near Beatrice and attractions that are unique to Nebraska, such as the World’s Largest Porch Swing in Hebron.
The Good Life
Nebraska is a truly wonderful place to vacation whether you’re from another state and want to see the real America, or a resident who wants to learn more about your state, or a family trying to save some money this year by vacationing closer to home with a “stay-cation.” Visit Nebraska and see why it really is “the Good Life.”

Governor's Column by Dave Heineman

A Unique Partnership in Central City July 18, 2009 Dear Fellow Nebraskans: I recently attended an event in central Nebraska that was significant for the community of Central City. The new partnership between two Nebraska companies is a reminder of the opportunities that exist for our rural communities here in Nebraska. A rural development expert addressing our Governor’s Ag Conference several years ago made the case that advances in technology and communication have created opportunities for rural businesses to compete effectively with opportunities in other countries. While modern advances have expanded the playing field for companies to do business in countries around the world, the costs of doing so sometimes outweigh the benefits. More than 130 people gathered in Central City to celebrate the expansion of Covenant Doors that will produce cabinets to house a line of indoor space heaters in partnership with SunHeat Manufacturing. The two companies are locally-owned and homegrown businesses that have already created jobs for Grand Island and Central City residents. What made this partnership unique and exciting is the fact that the expansion allowed one company to do business with another located 25 miles away, instead of halfway around the world in China. Instead of planning several months ahead for changes with an overseas manufacturer, SunHeat Manufacturing can now make adjustments in couple days due to the proximity of the two companies. Plus company officials found their Nebraska partners were able to provide a better quality product. In addition to bringing job opportunities back to our state from China, the partnership is expected to create up to 30 new jobs, which are especially important given the national economic climate. It also strengthens two family-owned businesses with roots here in Nebraska. The partnership brought a new company, Covenant Doors, started in 2005 by a Central City couple, together with SunHeat Manufacturing, which had more 50 years of experience. SunHeat is now led by a third generation of family owners manufacturing portable heating units and air purifiers. Based in Grand Island, Covenant designs and builds custom doors and solid wood accents and has grown to 20 employees. Building cabinets to house the portable heaters allows the business to expand and supplement the custom projects for home and business clients. I was pleased to award a portion of Nebraska’s Community Development Block Grant funding last spring to help with this expansion. I had the opportunity to walk through the new facility where these cabinets are assembled. The results of that loan and company investment are paying off. I want to congratulate these two companies for exploring opportunities to work together, and I want to thank those at the state and local level that played a role in supporting the partnership. It is a wonderful example of how businesses can work together in building a stronger local community.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Webster County Fair Results from the Garden

A complete listing of all ribbons and placings will be available at http://www.webstercountyfair.org/. Florticulture Champion -- Megan Woeste wit a Rose, Purples -- Tanner Ruprecht with a Petunia, Rachael VanBoening with an other annual/biennial and Corey Conway with a foliage potted plant, Other State Fair qualifying entries -- Eli VanBoening with a blue ribbon Petunia. Horticulture Champion -- Jared Bostock with Yellow Summer Squash, Purples -- Shelby Bostock and Jared Bostock with Snap Beans, Brussel Sprouts and Slicing Cucumbers, Shelby Bostock with Kohlrabi and Yellow Summer Squash, Jaren Bostock with Green Summer Squash, Other State Fair qualifying entries -- Lenae Kohmetscher and Amber Kohmetscher with blue ribbon Yellow Summer Squash. Best Dressed Vegetable Purples -- Scott Wademan and Nicole Wademan. Entemology Champion -- Trevor Herrick. Tree Identity Purples -- Tanner Ruprecht and Brett Ruprecht. Range Management Champion -- Jarett Yelken, Purple -- Erin Kinley. Wildlife Champion -- Jacob VanBoening, Purple -- Zachary Duffy.

Webster County Fair Pet Show Results

A complete listing of all ribbons and placings will be available at http://www.webstercountyfair.org/. Kitten Champion -- Kailey Conway, Reserve Champion -- Timothy Herbek. Adult Cat Champion -- Laura Stitt, Reserver Champion -- Mitch Woeste, Purples -- Austin Rose and Megan Woeste. Beginning Dog Showmanship Champion -- Jaret Yelken, Reserve Champion -- Riley Flohrs. Intermediate Dog Showmanship Champion -- Dan Kinley, Reserve Champion -- Toriah Post. Advanced Dog Showmanship Champion -- Tyler Strobl, Reserve Champion -- Erin Kinley. Beginning Dog Obediance Champion -- Toriah Post, Reserve Champion -- Tyler Strobl. Dog Obedience / Agility Champion -- Toriah Post, Reserve Champion -- Jaret Yelken, Purples -- Dan KInley, Kaycie Strobl and Jenna Thayer.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Black Flags Alter Demoltion Derby Results

21 cars from York to the Sandhills journeyed to Bladen today to participate in the 2009 Webster County Fair Demolition Derby. The Fisher - Hansen Derby Officiating Team split the drivers into three heats of seven. Two drivers from each heat advanced to the finals. Two hard luck heats were also run, with an additional two drivers advancing from each consolation for a ten car final feature. Travis Bostock and Jeremy Jones, both from Western Nebraska advanced in the first heat. Second heat winners were Josh Turner of Geneva and Creighton DeMuth of York. Third heat saw Shad Turner of Geneva and Derek Hafer of Fairmont advance. Adam Kort of Blue Hill and Brian Nauert of Hastings battled their way through the first hard luck, while Terry Schunk of Blue Hill and Brandon Wessel of Clay Center advanced from the second consy. In the finals, Shad Turner was the first to drop his flag, although Derek Hafer, Brian Nauert and Josh Turner had been locked into a corner of the arena for some time prior to his submission. Jeremy Jones was the next to fall. With five cars left, we saw our third black flag of the day for driver's door hits. This one was charged against Terry Schunk, who by rule, would fall to the 10th place position. Travis Bostock then took care of Brandon Wessel, Creighton DeMuth and Adam Kort in short order to appear to be your 2009 Webster County Fair Demolition Derby Champion. However, for the first time, officials inspected the cars following the final heat. After review, Travis Bostock was disqualified for illegal front end bracing. Adam Kort, Creighton DeMuth and Brandon Wessel passed inspection to claim the top three spots. Other local drivers participating were: Mike Dack, Ben Kort and Jeff Kort of Blue Hill, Jamie Jameson, Brian Fisher and Troy Himmelberg of Bladen, Colby Hansen of Holstein, Daniel Herbek of Lawrence, and Dan Svoboda of Hastings. Many of these drivers can be seen in action again on Sunday, July 26 at the Adams County Fair in Hastings or on Sunday, August 9 at the Deweese Fall Festival.

Webster County Fair Livestock Show Results

A complete listing of all ribbons and placings will be available at http://www.webstercountyfair.org/. TUESDAY, JULY 14 Senior Poultry Showmanship Champion -- Tyler Strobl, Reserve Champion -- Erin Kinley. Junior Poultry Showmanship Champion -- Lcas Watson, Reserve Champion -- Kaycie Strobl, Purples -- Eric Wademan, Toriah Post and Timothy Herbek. Cockrels Champion -- Lucas Watson, Reserve Champion -- Gabriella Herbek. Pullets Purples -- Kaycie Strobl, Scott Wademan, Nicole Wademan, Gabriela Herbek and Lucas Watson. Breeder's Trios Purples -- Kaycie Strobl, Scott Wademan and Eric Wademan. Other Poultry Purples -- Tyler Strobl and Scott Wademan. Aged Roosters Champion -- Kaycie Strobl, Reserve Champion -- Christa Alber. Aged Hens Purples -- Kaycie Strobl, Tyler Strobl and Christa Alber. Other Aged Poultry Champion -- Tyler Strobl, Reserve Champion -- Gabriela Herbek, Purple -- Timothy Herbek. Broilers Champion -- Christa Alber, Reserve Champion -- Sara Alber. Senior Rabbit Showmanship Champion -- Brittany Lewis, Reserve Champion -- Codee Shambaugh, Purples -- Tyler Stobl and Taylor Nieman. Junior Rabbit Showmanship Champion -- Kaycie Sreobl, Reserve Champion -- Taylor Riemersma. Junior Buck Champion -- Brittany Lewis, Purples -- Shelby Bostock, Kailey Conway and Timothy Herbek. Junior Doe Champion -- Brittany Lewis, Purples -- Kailey Conway, Kailey Conway, Taylor Riemersma, Taylor Nieman and Gabriela Herbek. Senior Doe Champion -- Shelby Bostock, Reserve Champion -- Purples -- Tyler Strobl, Taylor Nieman, Kailey Conway, Kailey Conway, Timothy Herbek, Timothy Herbek and Gabriela Herbek. Senior Buck Champion -- Tyler Strobl, Reserve Champion -- Corey Conway, Purples -- Kaycie Strobl, Shelby Bostock and Taylor Nieman. Home Raised Junior Buck Purple -- Codee Shambaugh. Home Raised Senior Buck Purple -- Molly Conner. WEDNESDAY, JULY 15 Senior Swine Showmanship Champion -- Darren Bolte, Reserve Champion -- Courtney Hubl, Purple -- Rachael Rutt. Junior Swine Showmanship Champion -- Dakota Lovett, Reserve Champion -- Emma Rutt, Purples -- Joseph Kirchner, Sara Rutt and Lexi Wagner. Market Gilts Champion -- Darren Bolte, Reserve Champion -- Josh Norris, Purples -- Lexi Wagner, Amanda Reiber and Courtney Hubl. Market Barrows Champion -- Darren Bolte, Reserve Champion -- Josh Norris, Purples -- Darren Bolte, Emma Rutt, Josh Norris, Timothy Herbeck and Dakota Lovett. Pen of Three Market Swine Champion -- Darren Bolte, Reserve Champion -- Josh Norris, Purples -- Amanda Reiber. Breeding Gilt Champion -- Darren bolte, Reserve Champion -- Amber Kohmetscher, Purples -- Darren Bolte, Amber Kohmetscher, Amanda Reiber and Emma Rutt. Senior Beef Showmanship Champion -- Jay Dee Snell, Reserve Champion -- Lance Atwater, Purples -- Carli Kohmetscher, Cristopher Pohlmeirer, Jesse Wulf, Tara Meyer, ames Danehey, Kelsey Parker, Erin Plambeck, Christina Hubl and Courtney Hubl. Intermediate Beef Showmanship Champion -- Cheyenn Lovett, Reserve Champion -- Jordyn Atwater, Purples -- Dylan Rose, Kaily Conway, Katlyn Simonton, Katie Ferris, and Christa Alber. Junior Beef Showmanship Champion -- Kortney Allen, Reserve Champion -- Wyatt Kile, Purples -- Kasey Allen, Austin Rose, Jeremy Hinkel, Jamie Bonifas, Justin Shipman, and Levi Plambeck. Bucket Calf Champion -- Mark Thurston, Reserve Champion -- Hannah Kolbert, Purple -- Morgan Nibbe. Beef Fitting Contest Champion -- James Danehey & Jay Dee Snell, Reserve Champion -- Brody Wulf & Courtney Hubl. THURSDAY, JULY 16 Senior Sheep Showmanship Champion -- Cheyenn Lovett, Reserve Champion -- Christina Hubl, Purples -- Tyler Strobl and Katie Ferris. Junior Sheep Showmanship Champion -- Montana Lovett, Reserve Champion -- Chyanna Sharp. Market Lambs Champion -- Katie Ferris, Reserve Champion -- Montana Lovett, Purples -- Kortney Allen (2), Katie Ferris, Cheyann Lovett (2) and Christina Hubl (3). Bred & Fed Market Lambs Champion -- Tyler Strobl, Reserve Champion -- Kaycie Strobl, Purples -- Ethan Sharp and Sarah Klein. Ewe Lambs Champion -- Christina Hubl, Reserve Champion -- Montana Lovett, Purples -- Abigail Lara and Katie Ferris. Yearling Ewes Champion -- Chyanna Sharp Aged Ewes Champion -- Chyanna Sharp Rams Champion -- Chyanna Sharp, Reserve Champion -- Kaycie Strobl Breeder's Flock Champion -- Chyanna Sharp Sheep Rate of Gain Contest Champion -- Sarah Klein, Reserve Champion -- Kortney Allen. Senior Goat Showmanship Champion -- Philip Berger. Junior Goat Showmanship Champion -- Montana Lovett, Reserve Champion -- Dakota Lovett. Market Goat Champion -- Montana Lovett, Reserve Champion -- Philip Berger, Purple -- Philip Berger. Pen of Three Meat Goat Champion -- Phillip Berger. Meat Goat Breeding Female Champion -- Philip Berger, Reserve Champion -- Philip Berger. Best Dressed Goat Champion -- Philip Berger, Reserve Champion -- Dakota Lovett. Watch for additional beef, pet, music, home economics, fashion, and many other show results to be posted soon.

Hall to Scratch, Elvis Lives On

Due to a scheduling conflict, a previously planned performance by Elvis tribute artist and America's Got Talent Star Joseph Hall at the Lawrence Q125 Celebration on July 25 has given way to another Elvis related concert that same night. Doors for "Memories of Elvis in Concert" will open at 6:30 p.m. at the Lawrence-Nelson Elementary School gym. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets will be sold at the door only.
"Memories of Elvis in Concert" is billed as a fast paced, Las Vegas style show that crowds will remember. The artist ranked in the top 10 out of 110 Elvis impersonators from around the world in a Las Vegas showcase sponsored by the Elvis Impersonators Association in 1995. He has performed across the continental United States, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
For more information on the Q125 celebration contact Don at (402) 756 - 7056. For more information on the show got to www.memoriesofelvisinconcert.com.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Beef Rate of Gain Winners

An important aspect of raising beef in today’s industry is being able to put weight on steers fast and efficiently in order to get them to a finished market weight in a timely manner. The Webster County Fair understands the importance of rate of gain to the industry and encourages good feed management practices for its exhibitors. Any market beef that does not obtain a minimum 2.2 pounds of weight gain per day from winter weigh in to county fair is not eligible for the top prizes. The fair also sponsors a very competitive rate of gain contest each year. The top gainers this year were: HEIFERS 1. Lance Johnson – 3.712 2. Kaily Conway – 3.132 3. Erin Plambeck – 2.591 4. Kacey Allen – 2.500 STEERS 1. Jake Johnson – 4.325 2. Austin Johnson – 4.110 3. Kaily Conway – 3.977 4. Lance Johnson – 3.742 5. Corey Conway – 3.735

Man vs Machine, Beef Cutability Rankings

The Beef Show results are in and the judge has selected his Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion Market Animals at the Webster County Fair. But another judge has weighed in also. The second judge is a computer program that utilizes a mathematical formula and Beef Carcass Data gathered from ultrasound technology. Troy Anderson scanned 65 of 67 Webster County market beef entries in the voluntary competition. The ultra sound is able to determine each animal’s rib eye area, back fat, marbling, cutability, yield grade and quality grade. The computer program utilizes this information and the animals live weight to rank the carcasses. According to Anderson, marbling weighs in as the most important trait followed by rib eye area and back fat. Only two carcasses graded Choice Plus and four Choice in this year’s competition. The top ten places in the Beef Carcass Data Scan Cutability Rankings will each receive prize money. The top ten competitors were: 1. Cheyenna Lovett – Champion 2. Garrett Sharp – Reserve Champion 3. Kacey Allen, 4. Brett Rupprecht, 5. Kacey Allen, 6. Justin Shipman, 7. Austin Rose, 8. Jake Johnson, 9. Mark Thurston, 10. Garrett Sharp. Congratulations to these 8 competitors.