Friday, December 30, 2011

Governors Make Friendly Wager over NU-SC Capital One Bowl Game

(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today announced a friendly wager with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on the outcome of the upcoming Capitol One Bowl between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the South Carolina Gamecocks college football teams.
“It will be an exciting bowl game,” Gov. Heineman said. “In a defensive struggle, the Blackshirts will prevail. I’m looking forward to sharing shrimp and grits with friends.”
If the Huskers win, Gov. Haley will send Gov. Heineman their famous Lowcountry shrimp and grits. Should the Gamecocks win, Gov. Heineman is sending Gov. Haley Nebraska’s Omaha Steaks.
“It’s been an exciting year for the Clemson Tigers and South Carolina Gamecocks,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. “As both teams prepare to represent South Carolina on college football’s biggest stage, we take pride in what they have accomplished and in the values of hard work and determination they have come to embody. We couldn’t be more confident to put Lowcountry shrimp and grits on the line because we know the Tigers and Gamecocks are going to make us proud.”

The game will be played on January 2, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. EST.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County
December 29, 2011 Edition
Can you imagine if animals could communicate their New Year’s wishes to their owner of manager? Let’s put this in the perspective as presented by the old boss cow representing the rest of her herd to the farmer/rancher or person caring for them. I have a feeling that these New Year’s wishes would probably be similar to those of most cows in herds across Nebraska and the USA. Here would be the conversation….. “I have been appointed by other cows of your herd to present our wishes to you as we enter the New Year. If you can carry out these wishes, we can produce feeder calves that would be more profitable for you and of greater value when you market them. We are here to help you.”
First; improve pasture production and management that will allow us to graze more. This would make us happier and more profitable for you. We were made to convert grass into pounds of feeder cattle. Then, staying with the forage theme, we would ask that you harvest hay at the appropriate stage so we can get the needed protein and energy to perform profitably. Poor quality feed offers little in nutrition and is more difficult to digest. Good food makes good pounds. You would also benefit from this because you would also lower your cost of winter feeding and may be able to take your wife on a well deserved vacation with the money you save. If you time it just right we shouldn’t need much of your attention.
We would wish that you would provide, and then maintain, a good set of working facilities so we won’t get hurt and your children can watch you work us, our herd mates, and our offspring without wondering what the words you keep yelling at us mean. Your wife might also be more willing to help. We don’t really understand what you are trying to say to us, but we think your wife does, and by her body language we don’t think she likes it. We really do work better with a good system.
Have you ever heard of BCS? That doesn’t relate to football rankings in our world. It is “Body Condition Scoring”. Please keep us in “good” body condition and supplement when needed. We feel better and produce better when you keep us in the BCS 4-6 range. As you know, we don’t perform well when we are “too thin” and it is not profitable for you to keep us “too fat”. One thing that would help us reach or maintain our best BCS is that you control pests, like lice and flies, so that we can graze without being constantly irritated, our calves can perform well and neither of us develop eye problems.
Please work on developing a controlled, short calving season. We don’t need to spend a lot of time with the bull. He gets rather edgy and belligerent after that long with all of us ladies. Sixty days, the most 90 days, are long enough for us. Ask your wife about that. She has her routine, just like we do, and we ladies don’t really appreciate having a male under our feet. We have our calves to worry about, both the one at our side, and the one inside. Get him out of there!
While you are selecting bulls, please mate us to a one that allows us to produce a high quality feeder calf that we can be proud of and will be profitable for you. Before you purchase a new herd bull, consider the genetics needed to get the preceding wish done. Have you ever heard of EPD’s? Again that isn’t a football quarterback rating. It is “Expected Progeny Difference”, and it can make a lot of difference in the bottom line and in how we do as a herd. Look at the herd’s performance and make a breeding plan. We don’t want to be mated with just any old bull. We don’t mean to be picky, but if we are going to go to all the work and effort wouldn’t it make more sense that you would be a little picky too?
We see that you frequently go to the doctor with your family. We just ask that you carry out a good health program that includes vaccinations for both respiratory and reproductive diseases for us as well. I think the vet calls it a “health protocol” for our herd. Do we need to remind you that a healthy cow herd means more profit for you? We would ask that you walk out amongst us once in awhile to see how we are doing. Is one of us looking ill, or not grazing or eating our winter menus? Do any of us have droopy ears, runny nose or perhaps listless eyes? How about our babies? Are you looking to their welfare and health? Please keep an eye on them too. We can’t really tell you what we see or feel. We depend on you. Please don’t wait till it’s too late! It wouldn’t even hurt to even look at our manure. It can tell you a lot about how we are doing.
We are not too far from having our new babies. We would ask that you check on us during calving to ensure that we make it “okay” and our calves are born with few problems, survives, and does well. Again we are on your side. We don’t want you to lose the investment you have in our annual cost of maintenance. While we are on the subject, be careful on the bulls you run with us. Calving ease is an important consideration when you match us to the sire you want for our calves. We really don’t like you to use those calving jacks, chains, or especially having to have a c-section. That makes having a baby next year a lot harder for us. We will probably resist you messing with our calves, but in reality it is probably best to process (castrate, implant and ear tag) our male calves at birth so that they can get off to a good start and make you more money. Doing this as they get older will cause a set-back in their performance, especially if you do it at weaning.
We are proud of our daughters. Please take better care of our daughters that you are planning for replacements. They should be fed and cared for better than us mature cows to be profitable. We suggest that you pelvic measure and then get them on a vaccination program including childhood vaccination for bangs. We think it is just fine for them to have that metal ear tag. We see a lot worse in you humans. Our wishes are really pretty basic for a successful cow-calf operation and will help us make more money for you. It seems when you are more profitable, we do better as well…Happy New 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: or go to the !website at:

AG Bruning Applauds Win for Nebraska Corn Growers and Ethanol Producers

LINCOLN – Attorney General Jon Bruning released the following statement on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California’s decision to strike down California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) as applied to ethanol.
“We applaud the District Court for recognizing that California’s standard wrongfully discriminates against Nebraska corn growers and ethanol producers under the dormant commerce clause,” said Bruning. “We will continue to fight for a level playing field for all of Nebraska’s agricultural producers.”
The LCFS assigns a higher carbon intensity score to ethanol produced in Nebraska. This results in Nebraska-produced ethanol being more expensive for fuel providers to sell. This will close the California market to ethanol produced in Nebraska in favor of chemically-identical ethanol produced within California, without any legitimate justification.
In March, Attorney General Jon Bruning drafted an amicus brief and led a coalition of 6 states arguing the unconstitutionality of California’s Low Carbon Fuel

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

State Senator Dennis Utter dead at 72

Nebraska State Senator Dennis Utter
Republican state Sen. Dennis Utter of Hastings has died.

Utter died Tuesday. He was 72.
He had been suffering from lung disease but his wife Kathy says he spent Christmas at home with family. He was hospitalized again Tuesday morning, and he died a few hours later.
Speaker Mike Flood says in a statement that Utter was likable and effective and embodied the very best of Nebraska .
Utter was elected in 2008. He was chairman of the Revenue Committee and served on the Banking Commerce and Insurance Committee.
He represented the city of Hastings, Adams County and part of Hall County. He was born in Wheatland, Wyo., in 1939. He and his wife have three grown children.
From his biography on the Unicameral website we learn more about the representative from the Nebraska 33rd District.
Some might call it being focused; 0thers might call it being rooted in what you know. Whatever one calls it, Sen. Dennis Utter is pleased to say that he has had only three jobs since finishing college, all in banking. His most recent was with the Adams County Bank in Kenesaw, from which he is semi-retired.
But Utter had his share of varied and interesting jobs while attending the University of Wyoming.
His freshman year, Utter was a grasshopper scout. He explained that grasshopper infestations were common in Wyoming at that time, so the state hired young people to map the insects’ patterns. Scouts were issued surplus army jeeps to track down the grasshoppers and direct pilots where to spray the infested areas.
He also fed lab rats in the biology department and cleaned out their cages, a job that seems to have left a lasting impression. “I hate rats to this day,” Utter laughed. “I don’t care if they’re white or not.”
One of the things Utter loved was growing up on a farm in Wyoming.
“There’s quite a bit of farm blood running through these veins,” he said. In fact, early in his career, Utter briefly considered going to back to the farm. But with a family to support, Utter said, he stuck with a career in banking instead. Still, he found ways to stay connected to farm life.
Utter volunteered to help friends with harvest and cattle feeding. “It was a chance to get back and drive a tractor again,” he said. He also fed cattle as a second job, thinking that he’d make extra money to put in his three children’s college funds. But the money he made didn’t turn out to be “extra.”
“I’m the only one who got an education from that job,” he said.
Utter said he’s always been political and, as a former city council member and mayor of McCook, felt that he had valuable experience to bring to the Legislature. But his interest in the work of the state’s lawmaking body also is personal.
Utter said he’s very concerned about economic development in rural Nebraska, especially when it comes to providing the state’s young people the opportunities they need.
“We need to make sure our kids are able to stay here,” he said.
Utter’s own three children have all left Nebraska. One son is a banker in South Sioux City, but lives in Iowa. Another son resides in rural Pennsylvania.
His daughter is in Ft. Riley, Kansas, where her husband, who recently began a second tour in Iraq, is stationed.
“I wish they were here,” Utter said. “I wish they’d stayed.”
An avid golfer, Utter said his wife likely would describe him as a “golfaholic.” When asked if he’d ever shot a hole-in-one, Utter laughed. “I’ve played enough golf that I should have, but I never said I was good at it.”
But time for golf was in short supply during the campaign, and Utter doesn’t see that changing anytime soon. The pace of the Legislature has been a little more intense than he expected, and he expressed “great admiration” for the younger members of the body.
“The young people who have full-time jobs and small children – I honestly don’t know how they do it,” Utter said.
He also appreciates the tradition that guides the legislative process in the Unicameral.
“Some might say it’s archaic, but I think it’s really important to honor those traditions,” Utter said.
And tradition is important to a man who has been married as long as he has.
Utter met his wife, Kathryn, through family when they were teenagers. Both had won trips to the United Nations in high school, he from Wyoming and she from Nebraska.
Utter worked for Kathryn’s uncle at his filling station as an after-school job, and her uncle decided the two teenagers should get to know each other better.
“And the rest, as they say, is history,” Utter said. “That was over 50 years ago.” Utter smiled warmly. “And now I’ve spilled all my family secrets.”


December 27, 2011 OMAHA – Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson made the following announcement today regarding his plans for 2012.
My Fellow Nebraskans:
I’ve had the honor of serving as your Governor and United States Senator. During this time we’ve accomplished a great deal.
As Governor I helped our state experience unprecedented economic growth, cut taxes and left state government with a surplus.
As your Senator, we’ve opened new markets for our agricultural and manufacturing products; expanded the use of ethanol; secured STRATCOM’s future; built new veterans’ clinics, a soon-to-be veterans’ hospital in Omaha, and research facilities at our universities; and kept taxes low.
There is much more that needs to be done to keep America strong. And while I relish the opportunity to undertake the work that lies ahead, I also feel it’s time for me to step away from elective office, spend more time with my family, and look for new ways to serve our state and nation. Therefore, I am announcing today that I will not seek reelection. Simply put: It is time to move on.
I encourage those who will follow in my footsteps to look for common ground and to work together in bipartisan ways to do what’s best for the country, not just one political party.
Public office is a place for public service, not personal profit. It’s about promoting the common good, not the agenda of the radical right or the radical left. It’s about fairness for all, not privileges for the few. And, it’s about protecting the rights of individuals, even if it angers the majority. I hope and believe I have fulfilled these principles to the best of my ability.
I’ll be forever grateful to the citizens of Nebraska for the great honor to serve this great country and represent our great state. Thank you and God bless.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Wayne M. Nissen April 14, 1931 to December 14, 2011

Wayne M. Nissen, 80, of Wayne, died Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011 at Careage of Wayne in Wayne.

Services with Masonic rites were held Friday, Dec. 23 at 10:30 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Wayne. The Rev. Pete Phillips  officiated. Visitation was held Thursday, Dec. 22 from 5 - 8 p.m. at Hasemann Funeral Home in Wayne with the family present.
Wayne M. Nissen was born April 4, 1931, at Roseland to Orville and Lydia (Martin) Nissen. He graduated from Roseland High School and attended the University of Nebraska, majoring in General Agriculture. He was an Electrical Apprentice in Lincoln. He served in The United States Navy from Sept. 5, 1952 to May 9, 1960, during the Korean War on the U.S.S. Sunbird where he was a diesel mechanic and received the National Defense Service Medal. Wayne married Jacqueline Bundy on July 6, 1952. The couple lived in Connecticut while Wayne finished his military service. They farmed near Gretna and then Syracuse. Later they moved to Hubbard, Iowa where Wayne was Territory Manager for Cargill for Nebraska and Iowa for 20 years. They moved to Wayne in 1973 where Wayne managed Nutrena Feeds Store for 10 years. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church and 50-year Mason and member of Wayne Masonic Lodge A.F. & A.M. #120. He was a carving instructor and an avid wood carver of ducks, birds and fish. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and camping.
Survived include his five sons, Scott Nissen of Houston, Texas, Aaron (Holly) Nissen of Delta, Utah, Alan (Tammy) Nissen of Wayne, Stuart Nissen of Sioux City, Iowa, and Kevrin Nissen of Houston, Texas; nine grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; sisters, Myrtis Alber of Blue Hill and Phyllis Stonys of Omaha; nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Jackie on Aug. 20, 2011; two brothers-in-law, Harold Alber and Ed Stonys.
Honorary pallbearers will be Jackie and Wayne’s grandchildren, Linsey Calidonio, Stefanie Nissen, Megan Nissen, Danielle Dolan, Drew Pearson, Robert Barrera and Robin Donaldson
Active pallbearers were Jackie and Wayne’s sons and grandsons, Scott, Aaron, Alan, Stuart, Kevrin, Nicholas and Christopher.
Burial with military rites was in Greenwood Cemetery in Wayne. Memorials may be made to the Wayne County Veterans Memorial and Veteran’s Flag Fund. Hasemann Funeral Home of Wayne is in charge of arrangements.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Quote of the Day

The angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. -- 2nd Chapter of Luke

Friday, December 23, 2011

Violet Marie Alberts Boettcher December 17, 2011

Blue Hill resident Violet  Marie Alberts Boettcher, 89, died Saturday, December 17, 2011, at Blue Hill Care Center in Blue Hill.
Services were 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Blue Hill with Pastor Dan Cosson officiating.  Burial will be at Blue Hill Cemetery in Blue Hill.

A Year Full of Change

Rep. Adrain Smith

Dec 23, 2011Issues: Defense, Homeland Security, Jobs, Veterans
With the holidays upon us, the season brings with it an opportunity for us to pause and reflect on the past year. Looking back over the course of the last twelve months, the pursuit of change has shaped events both here at home and across the globe. For the first time, the debate in Washington has shifted from “how much do we spend” to “how much do we cut.” We have ended our combat mission in Iraq and we have watched important world events unfold such as the Arab Spring. All of these changes have significance for our country as we head into the new year.
In January, the 112th Congress convened for the first time on the heels of a historic midterm election, bringing much-needed new leadership to Washington. Just a year ago, the agenda coming out of Congress was delivering a daily dose of damage to our economy, destroying jobs with crippling regulations, reckless spending and more tax hikes. The American people voted to change direction in order to put the nation on a sounder fiscal and economic footing.
While the culture of Washington has begun to change, our work is far from finished. Too many bipartisan pieces of legislation which would create jobs and cut spending have fallen victim to politics. As we approach the second session of the 112th Congress, it is my hope both parties – and both chambers – can finally come together to deliver for the American people.
The past year saw the culmination of our nine-year long combat mission in Iraq. The Iraq war was a difficult time for our country and cost extraordinary amounts of American sacrifice. More than 4,400 U.S. service members, including 46 Nebraskans, were killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and more than 220 Nebraskans were wounded in combat.
Going forward, we must ensure the hard won gains in Iraq were not made in vain. The United States, and the world, needs a stable, democratic Iraq. Our security is strengthened by it, and we will maintain strong military and diplomatic ties to help achieve it. An Iraq which respects the universal human rights of all of its citizens and enables a free and open society will set a powerful example for a restless region in search of a new way. We owe our deepest gratitude to our troops and their families who have sacrificed so much and whose service I will never forget.
Other international events have changed the course of history. The revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests known as the Arab Spring has swept dictators from power from Tunisia to Libya to Egypt. However, many of the fledgling governments in these countries have resorted to violence against their own people. Meanwhile, hostile groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood have sought to exploit the turmoil in order to seize power.
The question remains whether the people of these countries are ready to receive representative government. Prolonged instability in this region of the globe could create a breeding ground for terrorists and allow Iran to become the dominant power in the Middle East. Going forward, we should continue to work with our international partners to ensure the best possible outcome in these counties. Their stability, like Iraq’s, is essential for our security.
The past year was full of change. Wars have ended, dictators have fallen, and the culture of our government is in the midst of a great transformation. While the final word has yet to be written about all of these events, they should give us hope that a brighter future is in store certainly for our country and perhaps the rest of the world as well.


"I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys."  ~Charles Dickens

Thursday, December 22, 2011


 Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson released the following message for the upcoming Christmas holiday season:
“This is Senator Ben Nelson wishing my fellow Nebraskans happy holidays, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.
“This is a wonderful time of year. The warmth and joy of the season draw friends and family together to worship and celebrate. It is a time to be thankful for what we have and to be optimistic for a peaceful and prosperous future.
“I hope your holidays are full of cheer.
“It is only fitting to pause during this festive season to reflect on the sacrifice of the men and women in our military who can’t be home for the holidays, as well as those who are on their way home right now from Iraq.
“Their service is what gives all Americans the freedom to celebrate this time of year as we choose.
“I hope all will soon complete their missions and return home with the gift of Peace on Earth and good will to all.
“Have a merry Christmas and a joyous holiday season.”

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Garry L. Cornell, Sr. 3- 9, 1943-12- 13, 2011

Garry Cornell was born in Blue Hill, NE on March 09, 1943 to Gladys Hartman Cornell & Darrell H. Cornell and passed away at his home in Duvall, WA on December 13, 2011 after a long battle with cancer.
He graduated from 29 Palms High School in 29 Palms, CA and attended Riverside Community College in Riverside, CA and Hastings College in Hastings, NE.
He is survived by his wife Beverly “Bev” Seever who he married in 1963. She graduated from Hastings Sr High School in 1962. During their married life, they resided in NE, CA, AZ, & WA due to Garry’s employment as a banker for various banks. He retired officially from Bank of America in March 2008. They have lived in WA since 1978.
In addition to his wife of 48 years, he is survived by his son Garry Cornell, Jr, daughter Stephanie Cornell, grandson Kyle K Dumas, granddaughter Nicole Cornell, mother Gladys Hartman Jungert, sisters Patricia (Neil Sr) Quig, Pamela Buck and many loving relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his daughter Raquel Cornell Dumas, grandson Daniel Cornell, father Darrell Cornell, stepfather Bernard Jungert, nephew Neil Quig Jr. and other loving relatives and friends.
He will be loved, remembered, and dearly missed by all.
Private Family Services will be held.
Donations may be sent in his memory to a charity of your choice or to Evergreen Hospice Services, 12822 124th Lane NE, Kirkland, WA 98034

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Paying it Forward

At this time of year it is always nice to hear a "Christmas Story" that demonstrates our "goodwill" to one another.  This real life Christmas story was especially touching for me as I am aware of it because one of the "main characters" in the story is my niece, Brook Grant.
On a frigid Friday early this month, a woman was walking along a road in Cody Wyoming, loaded down with bags of groceries, a gallon of milk in one hand and a gallon of water in the other. Driving by, Brook Grant, my neice,   noticed the woman, whom she had seen walking frequently, but only in the summer.
Brook is a busy wife and mother of five young children, but feeling for the woman as the cold wind blew her, she stopped  and offered the woman a ride, and learned her story as they talked.
The woman is a single mother with a young son, and she couldn’t afford a vehicle. Rather than complaining, the woman just accepted the situation and looked forward to the future.
“She’s a hardworking mom who is doing her very best,” Brook said.
"She told me that they planned to camp all summer to save money and then purchase a car."
“After I dropped her off I couldn’t stop thinking about how positive she was and how polite her son was, and as I drove away, tears came to my eyes thinking about this lady.”
A few days later, after seeing the woman and her child walking again, Brook started a Facebook group called “Paying it forward.” On the page, she described the woman’s situation.
“I still think about her every time I get in my warm car or even walk out to get the mail and I am cold for the few seconds I am outside,” she wrote.
Brook and her husband, Keith, came up with a plan to buy the woman a car and invited Facebook friends to help.
“Can you imagine how happy she will be if we show up at her door with a car and the necessities she needs?” Brook wrote on her Facebook page.
Brook was surprised at  how fast the  word spread, and she soon received messages, phone calls and donations from Powell, Cody, Lovell and around the Big Horn Basin.  (in Wyoming)
Last Thursday afternoon — less than two weeks after she first offered the woman a ride — Brook handed her the keys to a car of  her own including  a full tank of gas.
“She was really shocked,” Brook said. “She asked, ‘How many thank you cards do I need to write?’”
Brook said she  was surprised by the whole situation, too.  Sne never expected things to happen so fast.
Many of the donations came from people who have financial struggles of their own, she said.  A $2 donation came from a little girl who told her mom she wanted to help.
They were able to purchase the car at cost from Midway Auto Sales in Lovell, operated by Brook’s brother-in-law, Ken Grant.
Donations also went toward insurance payments, registration and fuel.
With the whole story unfolding right before Christmas, this experience has added to Brooks holiday joy as well as others.
When she was growing up, Brook was on the receiving end of Christmas generosity.
“We always had secret Santas and people helping us, I couldn’t wait until I would have a turn to give back ...
“I just feel like we’ve had angels watching over my family my whole life, and now it’s my turn to help,”  “I always dreamt of being a part of something like this.”
A “Paying it Forward” account has been set up at First Bank of Wyoming, and Brook said the group will continue to help this woman and may expand the effort to help others, too.
We’ll see where it goes,” she said.
Recalling the woman’s joy as she received the car she needed, Brook said without hesitation, “it’s definitely been the best Christmas I’ve ever had.”


Duane A. Lienemann
 UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County
December 21, 2011 Edition
Most everyone is either in the middle of their extended family Christmases…. or done, and looking towards all of the bowl games and most likely planning New Year’s Eve. I suppose several are working on their New Year’s resolutions – overachievers! I just got used to writing 2011, so it may take a while to get that 2012 down. Where did this year go? One think is for certain, there has been a lot that has gone this past year. There has not been a shortage of items to address in this column. In fact a hot topic from the last couple of weeks is a good place to start as we draw this year to a close.
If you are involved in agriculture or have young people involved in your farm operation or business, then there is no doubt that you have been keeping up on the saga of the ill thought-out and controversial changes to child labor laws as they relate to farm youth. I think the ball is rolling on this, so thus I wanted to revisit this topic, because I think it is vitally important to agriculture and especially to our state and our region.
When I first found out about this fiasco, just after the Nebraska State Fair, I found out that a Senator from our good neighbors to the south was being vigilant on this and was holding the Department of Labor on task as they tried to sneak this change in rules affecting our youth. Kansas Senator Jerry Moran is leading the way to hold our ground and keep this group accountable as they make the decision that could have far-reaching consequences on agriculture all across the nation.
The good news is, according to Senator Moran -“We are in fight mode and we’ve got senators that we’re asking to join us to tell the Department of Labor to withdraw this regulation, and our letter that we are circulating among senators, that will go to the Department of Labor, has the American Farm Bureau, National Cattlemen, Ag Retailers, Pork Producers—those kind of groups—supporting it.” Senator Moran went on to say just exactly what yours truly and many rural Americans have been saying as this unfolded – “This is just craziness!” I once again applaud Senator Moran and all of the other Congressmen who have joined forces to stop this “craziness”. I hope you all contacted your Senator and/or Representative to add fuel to this fire. We can make a difference, but you have to take that step.
While Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the Labor Department’s proposed child labor laws will not negatively affect the sons and daughters of America’s farmers, I would simply say --“male bovine excrement!” On his blog last week, Secretary Vilsack said “there is nothing in the proposed rule that affects the ability of parents and families to assign chores and tasks to their children.” I thought he was from farm country and at the very least represents us. He knows full well that the rules would have a negative effect on extended family members who farm. I would think he would know that most family farms are in most cases extended family farms– with nephews, nieces, cousins, and grandchildren and grandparents who don’t fall under the famer exemption. As the proposal stands now, the way America farms will be changed dramatically. It goes way beyond the affect on a farmer’s children. This just smacks of political brownie points to me instead of common sense.
In his address he stated that it was to “simply protect the safety of children hired to work on a farm”. While that is good, I would think he would look a lot deeper into what the new regulations say, and the nuances that they bring, let alone the interpretations debate. Who determines what these new regs really say? Many of the concerns that I, and many other ag proponents, brought up were not even addressed. His response was almost laughable to me. You can read it for yourself at: . I would say that he would better serve his industry by really addressing the item instead of glazing over it with a political brush.
Good News for Beef Eaters: How about some good news on the ag front? It seems that ag has been taking it on the chin on all kinds of areas for the last several years. There has of course been the constant barrage on beef as meat for consumption. Detractors have come out with studies that say beef is the cause of cancer, heart disease, heart attacks, failing kidneys and/or livers, obesity, and why not add impotence and aging to the epitaph. I found out some results of a new study that probably will never make page one, but it is exciting to me. Let’s take a look at the result of a new real scientific study.
This new research shows that eating lean beef every day can be good for heart health by improving cholesterol levels, according to the study called BOLD (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet). The BOLD clinical study officially entitled “Effects on Lipids, Lipoproteins and Apolipoproteins”, conducted by Pennsylvania State University researchers, evaluated adults with moderately elevated cholesterol levels who followed four diets with varying amounts of beef, for five weeks each, to measure the impact of each diet on measures of heart health, such as total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. What is the good news? Subjects following the BOLD diet experienced a 10 percent decrease in LDL cholesterol from the start of the study. After five weeks, there were significant reductions in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in the BOLD diet. If you want to read more about the study you can go to: .
I might also add a couple of other advantages of eating beef. One 3 oz. serving of lean beef is an excellent source of protein, zinc, vitamin B12, selenium and phosphorus and a good source of niacin, vitamin B6, iron and riboflavin. All essential nutrients you need every day. Now when was the last time you heard “Eat some good beef, it is good for your cholesterol?” Maybe this will be an omen of good things to come in 2012. I certainly hope so. Steak sounds good to me!
The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the !website at:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Virginia M. Hurd 7-10-1934 to 12-13-2011

Ayr resident Virginia M. Hurd, 77, died Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at Good Samaritan Village Perkins Pavilion in Hastings.
Virginia was born July 10, 1934 in Red Cloud, Nebr., the daughter of Elmer and Helen (Rickert) Stokes. She grew up and attended school in Red Cloud. Virginia married Jo-Ed Hurd on January 19, 1952. She was a Home Maker and raised her 4 children in Ayr. She served as the Village Clerk in Ayr for several years. Virginia enjoyed gardening, cooking, and baking; everyone was always welcome to her kitchen at any time. Her pride and joy came from her family; she treasured spending time with her grandchildren and all family gatherings.
Virginia is survived by her husband of nearly 60 years, Jo-Ed; 4 children, Pat Frazier and husband Charlie of Ayr, Mike Hurd and wife Linda of Ayr, Pam Hurd of Gretna, and Joe Hurd and wife Linda of Doniphan; nine grandchildren and their spouses; 14 great grandchildren; sister, Dee Stokes of Red Cloud; and many nieces, nephews and other relatives.
She was preceded in death by her parents; 2 brothers; 1 sister; and 1 nephew.
Memorial Service was held 11:00 am, Saturday at Good Samaritan Village, All Saints Chapel with Chaplin Dale Phillips officiating.
Memorials may be given to her family.

LaVon R. Rose 2-18-1923 to 12-18-2011

Hastings resident, LaVon R. Rose, 88, died Sunday, December 18, 2011 at Perkins Pavilion Good Samaritan Society-Hastings Village, Hastings, Nebraska.
Services will be Wednesday, December 21, 2011; 1:30 P.M. at Calvary Lutheran Church, Rosemont, Nebraska with Pastor Ronald Kuehner officiating. Burial will be in Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Blue Hill, Nebraska. Visitation will be Tuesday, December 20, 2011; 7 P.M. until 9 P.M. with family present at the funeral home and one hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday. Memorials may be given to Meals on Wheels.
LaVon was born February 18, 1923 in Webster County, Nebraska to Carl & Helena (Meyer) Cornelius. She graduated from Blue Hill High School. She married Menno Rose on April 21, 1946 and he preceded her in death on April 2, 1997. She was a homemaker and a member of Calvary Lutheran Church. LaVon was a 4-H leader and taught Sunday school.
LaVon R. Rose was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Menno Rose, son, Dwayne, grandson, Adam Hemberger, great-granddaughter, Mary Terese Heikes, brothers, Henry, Clarence, Ernest and sister, Margaret Arends.
Children & Spouses: Marilyn & Russ Heikes – Berryville, VA
Rodney & June Rose – Blue Hill, NE
Diane & Roger Hemberger – Hastings, NE
Linda & Ron Hemberger – Hastings, NE
Ken & Mary Rose – Hastings, NE
Grandchildren & Spouses: Brian & Jackie Heikes – Orchard Park, NY
Lori Heikes – Lawrence, KS
Jared & Kaitlyn Hemberger – Roseland, NE
Travis Hemberger – Hastings, NE
Jessica & Jeff Getzfred – Omaha, NE
Sara & Josh Tomayer – Boise, ID
Amanda & Danny Perry – Hastings, NE
Rachel Hemberger – Hastings, NE
Jennifer Rose – Hastings, NE
Rebecca Rose – Hastings, NE
Great-Grandchildren: 11
Sisters-in-law: Evelyn Rose – Blue Hill, NE
Elsie Rose – Loveland, CO
Druella Hohnstein – Hastings, NE
Many nieces and nephews

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Benjamin Wademan Receives Engineering degree

Blue Hill High School alumni Benamin Casey Wademan was among the 1500 students who were granted degrees at commencement exercise at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Decemer 16th.   Ben received a B.S. in industrial engineering from the College of Engineering.  Ben is the son of Jim and Ranee Wademan of Blue Hill.
The graduates were from 36 states and 30 countries.
Blue Hill: Benjamin Casey Wademan, College of Engineering, B.S. in industrial engineering.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Duane A. Lienemann
 UNL Extension Educator,
 Webster County
December 15, 2011 Edition
As I write this Christmas is just around the corner. It seems to be such a blur this time of year with all of the Christmas based parties, school programs, family gatherings, and Church activities to name just a few. It seems, as I get older, time flies by faster. Didn’t we just do Christmas? I think most of us know why we celebrate Christmas, and I know I have talked about Santa and his reindeer in previous columns, but have you ever thought of some of the other Christmas traditions?
There has always been in the past an unwritten law in this country of seemingly uniform celebration of the Christmas traditions of USA. This is responsible for the world wide acceptance of a universal Christmas image which they get from the various forms of media. I do believe that the world of “political correctness” has however intruded into our traditions. I will let each of you decide for yourself what means the most to you. To me it will be Christmas! The tree will be a “Christmas Tree” – not a “Holiday Tree”. I will most likely use the phrase “Merry Christmas” over “Happy Holidays”. I will also celebrate Christmas and the traditions that I grew up with. It is after all something that we all look forward to.
One thing is certain, in today’s world of TV, internet, social media and global connections there are variations of traditions that are carried out all across the world and of course right here in the good old USA. I do know that the Christmas time celebrations are peculiar to each region and have different meanings. You will also find that the variations of the Christmas traditions of the USA pretty much equals the number of active cultures that have settled in the land. We are, after all, the melting pot of the world and past cultures usually dictate present traditions. I would like to use today’s talk about some of those traditions that I am used to, and how they came to be. Let’s look beyond Christ’s birth and Santa Claus bringing presents and at some other traditions. How about we start with the Christmas Tree?
I, like many Nebraskans, have a German background --and we all know about Tannenbaum, and in fact I am humming the song right now – and it won’t go away. History says the Christmas tree got its start in 16th-century Germany when fir trees were decorated, both indoors and out, with apples, roses, gilded candies, and colored paper. A fir tree hung with apples was used to symbolize the Paradise Tree in the Garden of Eden and was decorated during Advent season. It is held that Protestant reformer Martin Luther first adorned trees with light. While coming home one December evening, the beauty of the stars shining through the branches of a fir inspired him to recreate the effect by placing candles on the branches of a small fir tree inside his home. Evergreens seemed to be a theme in ancient traditions, let’s explore those traditions.
I have often heard that some Christmas traditions actually date back to ancient Druid rites. Well, this may be part of the reason that comes up. It seems that mistletoe was used by Druid priests 200 years before the birth of Christ in their winter celebrations. They revered the plant since it had no roots yet remained green during the cold months of winter. The ancient Celtics believed mistletoe to have magical healing powers and used it as an antidote for poison, infertility, and to ward of evil spirits. The plant was also seen as a symbol of peace, and it is said that among Romans, enemies who met under mistletoe would lay down their weapons and embrace. Scandinavians associated the plant with Frigga, their goddess of love, and it may be from this that we derive the custom of kissing under the mistletoe. Those who kissed under the mistletoe had the promise of happiness and good luck in the following year. Incidentally, my wife won’t let me hang up Mistletoe!
That leads me to holly, ivy and greenery. I understand that this got its start, again in Northern Europe. Of course, Christmas occurred during the middle of winter, and to early Europeans ghosts and demons could be heard howling in the winter winds. Boughs of holly, believed to have magical powers, since they remained green through the harsh winter, were often placed over the doors of homes to drive evil away. Greenery was also brought indoors to freshen up the air and brighten the mood during the long, dreary winter. That is something that is still a benefit of that particular tradition. Legend also has it that holly sprang from the footsteps of Christ as he walked the earth. The pointed leaves were said to represent the crown of thorns Christ wore while on the cross and the red berries symbolized the blood he shed.
We can’t leave out the stocking on the fireplace. According to legend, a kindly nobleman grew despondent over the death of his beloved wife and foolishly squandered his fortune. This left his three young daughters without dowries and thus facing a life of spinsterhood. The generous St. Nicholas, hearing of the girls' plight, set forth to help. Wishing to remain anonymous, he rode his white horse by the nobleman's house and threw three small pouches of gold coins down the chimney where they were fortuitously captured by the stockings the young women had hung by the fireplace to dry.
Last but not least the candy cane. It was not long after Europeans began using Christmas trees that special decorations were used to adorn them. Legend has it in the 17th century, white sticks of candy were made in the shape of a shepherds' crook, or some say "J" for Jesus. The red-and-white stripes represented Christ's blood and purity. The three red stripes symbolized the Holy Trinity. The hardness of the candy represented the Church's foundation on solid rock and the peppermint flavor represented the use of hyssop, an herb referred to in the Old Testament.
There you have it! You will find me under the Mistletoe by the Christmas tree, over by the holly and ivy draped fireplace mantle, looking in my stocking for candy canes, waiting for Santa! Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!
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 WebsterCounty in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the !website at:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Webster Co. Court has full Calendar

The Webster County Court in Red Cloud has a full calendar for Friday, December 16th. 
Jason P. Soden a Blue Hill resident who resides at Life Quest at Bella Amis,  is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. on charges of theft by unlawful taking and driving under the influence as well as other charges.  The charges resulted from an incident that happened in Blue Hill on November 10th when a car was taken from the country store in Blue Hill and hit another parked car before leaving Blue Hill and wrecking and destroying the car.  Drugs and alcohol are believed to have played a part in the incident.
 William C. Luvass of Hastings is scheduled to be sentenced.  Luvass had some involvement in a number of incidents in the summer of 2010.  These incidents included taking and destroying vehicles, including a pickup belonging to Blue Hill resident Zeb Weber.  The Weber pickup was taken from in front of Weber's home on Pine Street in Blue Hill. 
Scott A. Kort is scheduled to appear in court on criminal case CR11000059.
Jeffery D. Kort has an appointment with the judge at   o'clock  in for a further hearing in criminal case  #CR11000058.
Jeffery Dwayne Kort also  has an appointment for a preliminary hearing at the same  time in criminal case #CR110000091
 Scheduled to appear at  3 p.m.  is Kenneth Kort on a suppression hearing which has been postponed a number of times already.  Kenneth Kort's case is CR# 11000041.  A suppression hearing is an important opportunity to have a judge look at the evidence against a defendant and determine whether or not  it is to be allowed at trial.
In addition to these criminal cases and others the court must also deal with a number of juvenile cases and probate cases as well as civil cases.
For a look at the complete court calendar follow the link on the left side of this page.

Post Script"  William C. Luvaas was charged with Unauthorized use of a propelled vehicle, he was given 12 months probation.  on the charge of Criminal mischief he was fined $500-$1500, 12 months probation, 25 hours of community service and $500 restitution.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Following Johanns Letter, Canada Drops Proposed Tariff Impacting Nebraska-Made Products

WASHINGTON – A decision today by the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) will continue allowing U.S. made bedding products to be sold in Canada tariff-free. U.S. Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) wrote Gary Doer, Canadian Ambassador to the United States, last week requesting Canada immediately reconsider a newly proposed 14 percent tariff on certain American-made bedding.
This tariff could have hurt Pacific Coast Feather's manufacturing facility in Wayne, Neb. Johanns met with both representatives of Pacific Coast Feather and Doer.
“I’m glad the Canadian government listened to my concerns and dropped this unnecessary tariff,” Johanns said after Canada announced their decision. “Nebraska is one of the best places in the country to do business and I’m more than willing to work with anyone to make sure it stays that way.”
In his letter to Doer, Johanns wrote that, “The CBSA action will effectively close the border to more than $100 million in U.S. bedding exports and endanger jobs for 1,500 workers in California, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Washington.”


December 13, 2011 – Today, Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson and 11 other senators announced that the United States Postal Service has agreed, at their request, to a five-month delay on closing 3,700 post offices nationwide, including 90 in Nebraska, which will buy time for Congress to enact postal reform legislation.
"Closing post offices before we try to fix the system is putting the cart before the horse, so today’s decision to delay any closings until next May is good news,” said Senator Nelson. “With 90 rural post offices targeted for closure in Nebraska, we have to remember that the USPS was created to provide a public service.
“Our local post offices play a special role in our communities, keeping us connected to our friends and families, and keeping businesses connected to their customers. They are an important part of our economy, serving every city, suburb and small town in Nebraska,” Nelson added.
The Postal Service has been considering the elimination of overnight delivery and studying whether to close 3,700 mostly rural post offices to reduce expenses. Nelson and a number of colleagues have said that as the Postal Services works to turn around its tough financial condition, it should take into account the needs of rural communities.
Some of the 90 Nebraska post offices targeted for closing are the communities of Bee, Beldon, Benedict, Bladen, Brownville, Carleton, Champion, Comstock, Davey, Dixon, Elk Creek, Endicott, Ellsworth, Gresham, Hallam, Holstein, Malmo, Martell, Morse Bluff, Oakdale, Otoe, Prague, Riverton, Ruskin, St. Libory, Staplehurst, Stella, Unadilla, Waterbury, Whitman and Winslow.
Nelson has heard from community and business leaders across Nebraska raising concerns about the impact of the possible post office closings.
For example, a business owner in Lisco wrote to Nelson: “My business depends upon the US mail for daily mail, bills, payments to vendors, etc. It is my understanding we would have to pick up our mail in Oshkosh, NE, which is a huge inconvenience, not to mention expense.”
A city official in Danbury wrote that the village has to send water samples several times a month by mail to state labs on a timely basis, which would be more difficult because they’d have to be driven several dozen miles to the nearest surviving post office. She added: “Just another expense that is ridiculous because of this closing.”
A Naper Village official wrote: “I know everyone has to look out for the bottom line but I’m sure that the answer does not lay in the closing of 3,700 offices…Five years from now they’ll be in the same boat. The srmall rural areas are taking the brunt of this problem and it is not going to solve it.”
A woman in Broadwater wrote that security and climate control is imperative in many mailed items, from gifts to products to medications. “Some of these must be kept in specific temperature ranges such as kept refrigerated, protected from freezing, or not allowed to get above some temperature. Some medications are controlled substances, which must be signed for…Spoilage of medications, delays or failure to receive crucial medications could result in people’s medical conditions worsening, hospitalizations, or even death,” she wrote.
The Postal Service’s decision to delay any closings for five months was welcomed today by Nelson and Senators Dick Durbin of Illinois, John Tester of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Mark Udall of Colorado, Tom Udall of New Mexico, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
During the moratorium, scheduled to end on May 15, 2012, the Postal Service will continue to study the impact of proposed closures on service and costs and to solicit community input.
Today’s announcement follows a meeting on December 12, 2011, where several senators expressed concern to U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Thurgood Marshall that the closings could reduce service and cause the loss of thousands of jobs.
Last week, Nelson and 19 other senators sent a letter to Senate leadership requesting that Congress prevent the USPS from closing or consolidating rural post offices and mail processing facilities.
“Rural post offices, the services they provide, and the people who provide them, have great value to communities across Nebraska. Congress needs to work with the Postal Service to fix the problems before deciding to reduce services to people who need them,” said Nelson.

Gov. Heineman Announces Tougher Drunk Driving Laws Starting in January

Ignition interlock is a new option for DUI offenders
(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today discussed the new drunk driving laws that go into effect on Jan. 1, 2012. The tougher law should make Nebraskans think twice before driving under the influence.
“This law improves public safety by removing a drunk driver from the road as quickly as possible,” said Gov. Dave Heineman. “The DMV conducts 6,000 administrative hearings annually. This law will streamline the process for law enforcement, the DMV and the DUI offender. By using the ignition interlock device, offenders can continue to drive to work and go to school, but only if they are driving safe and sober.”
Part of the new law, LB 667, DUI offenders can either have an administrative license revocation hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles or request the installation of an ignition interlock device in their vehicles. The ignition interlock device is an instrument installed in a vehicle’s dashboard to monitor breath alcohol concentration. The driver of the vehicle is required to blow into a sensor and provide a clean test reading under 0.03 breath alcohol concentrations. Any reading above that level will prevent the car to start.
People arrested for first and second offense DUIs will have incentives for applying for interlocks over an administrative license revocation hearing. By installing the device, offenders are able to continue to drive to work, school, probation hearings and other specified locations.
“The goal of the Nebraska’s new administrative license revocation program is to offer an obvious choice to DUI offenders – No Interlock, No Keys. It’s that simple,” said Beverly Neth, Director of the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles. “Through LB 667, we have found a way to ensure public safety with effective monitoring of a DUI offender and to reduce the costs of the administrative program for law enforcement, the courts, and the DMV.”
In 2010, 53 people in Nebraska died in alcohol-related crashes and another 790 were injured. Research studies have shown that the use of ignition interlocks reduces repeat drunk driving offenses by an average of 64 percent. After a law that required ignition interlocks was enacted in New Mexico in 2002, preliminary results of a study showed that the devices reduced alcohol-related injury crashes by approximately 32 percent.
“This law will work to stop drivers from operating motor vehicles while impaired by allowing the state to more quickly intervene following an arrest for DUI,” said Sen. Mike Flood, speaker of the Nebraska Legislature and sponsor of LB 667.
DUI offenders arrested as of Jan. 1, 2012, may be eligible to apply for an ignition interlock permit and should contact the DMV at (402) 471-3985 to determine if they are eligible. Additional information about ignition interlocks can be found at

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Noah Joseph Shanle


Noah Joseph Shanle 
 born 12-7-11 2:16 pm,
8lbs 1oz 18.5" long,
and one full head of black hair!!
Parents Joseph and Mary Shanle. " We are so in love with him :) "
Grandparents are: John and Peggy Ylitalo of Hancock, MI
and Jerry and Dee Shanle of St. Edward, NE

Monday, December 12, 2011

David J. Cottam 9-2-1953 to 12-9-2-11

Hastings resident, David J. Cottam, 58, died Friday, December 9, 2011 at St. Francis Medical Center, Grand Island, Nebraska.
Services will be Wednesday, December 14, 2011; 2:00 P.M. at Butler Volland Chapel with Rev. Josh Davis officiating. Burial will be at Parkview Cemetery, Hastings, Nebraska. Book signing will be Tuesday, December 13, 2011; 9 A.M. until 5 P.M. and Wednesday before the services at the funeral home. Memorials may be given to the family for a memorial to be established.
David was born September 2, 1953 in Hastings, Nebraska to George & Beva (White) Cottam. He graduated from Hastings High School in 1971. David married Connie Elliott on March 22, 1974 in Hastings. He was currently employed at Thermo-King in the shipping office.
David was preceded in death by his parents and granddaughter Norah Cottam.
Survivors include:  Wife: Connie Cottam – Hastings, NE
Sons & Daughters-in-law: Jason & Christine Cottam – Hastings, NE
Craig & Macaela Cottam – Hastings, NE
Grandchildren: Rhiannon Cottam
Wesley Cottam
Sisters & Spouses: Susan & Gerald Toepfer – Blue Hill, NE
Linda & Rick Fain – Kentucky
Nieces & Nephews

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Parents night night in.

 Parents night night in. Dec 10. 6pm-11pm. St. Paul's Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall. $15 per family no matter how many children in immediate family. Snacks/entertainment. Contact Missy Canterberry 402-430-2172 or Melody Iliff 402-621-0233.

Kelly Willicot Day Care  has extended hours for daycare for the holiday season except during the  event listed above. Call  Kelly to reserve. 402-469-5543


Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County
December 8, 2011 Edition
I decided that we need to revisit a topic that has over the last couple of weeks taken on a life of its own. The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed new child labor regulations applicable to agriculture. What is really troubling that this is being done without going through the legislative process and Congressional oversight. I, of course, believe in supporting safety in agriculture and especially for our youth but sometimes things go a little too far. In their defense, the DOL says that children working in agriculture are some of the most vulnerable workers in America. I understand that we do work in a dangerous occupation. It has always been, but it also one of the most satisfying and rewarding. The people who are involved know those risks, and are willing to take them on, as well as the responsibility of the safety of their own kids.
I believe that the new changes of regulations under the child labor laws proposed in Washington could have a major impact on family farms at home. In my opinion if the proposed child labor law changes go into effect, the lives of many aspiring farmers may never be the same. The proposals have several stipulations that prohibit individuals under 16 from being hired to work with animals including the following: Working on a farm in a yard, pen, or stall occupied by an intact (not castrated) male equine, porcine, bovine, or bison older than six months, a sow with suckling pigs, or cow with new born calf (with umbilical cord present); Engaging or assisting in animal husbandry practices that inflict pain upon the animal and/or are likely to result in unpredictable animal behavior such as, but not limited to, branding, breeding, dehorning, vaccinating, castrating, and treating sick or injured animals; Handling animals with known dangerous behaviors; Poultry catching or cooping in preparation for slaughter or market; Herding animals in confined spaces such as feed lots or corrals, or on horseback, or using motorized vehicles such as trucks or all terrain vehicles. They would also not be able to have any electronic devices while at work. That would as I understand it include cell phones, and music players.
Other revisions would prohibit teens under 16 from working in places six feet above the ground such as hay lofts in barns, grain elevators or scaffolds. They also wouldn't be able to operate power driven machines, with a few exceptions and around anything with hoists. On top of that, anyone under 18 years old would not be allowed to work at places like feed lots, livestock auctions or stock yards. These new regulations would not allow young people under 16 to work in “arduous” conditions and would limit the amount of time spent under the sun, which would certainly include corn detasseling. It could eliminate detasseling jobs for kids under 16. Current laws allow kids as young as 12 to work as corn detasselers in this state. It affects thousands of young people who depend on this summer job to help their families, pay for the things that they want as young adults and more importantly for their college education. I have never heard kids complain and there certainly is no shortage of kids wanting these jobs. Think about the sale barns and detasseling and what they mean to our area.
These proposals will also have a significant negative impact on the agricultural education programs in high schools. Many high schools that have ag departments have programs like Supervised Agricultural Experience programs where students work for money on farms or ranches getting hands on experience for class credit and for income to help put them in college. Many of the "student-learner exemptions" will be taken away in the new revisions. The proposal does not give any exemption (that I know of) to organizations like FFA and 4-H. Some animal projects, as well as other projects in these clubs would literally become illegal. I see these rule changes as a huge affront on the agricultural youth of this nation.
It's going to drastically impact all of us in agriculture. It is important to remember that kids working in agriculture learn to be hard working and responsible. That is where we get that Nebraska work ethic. They also learn to be passionate about what they're doing, and they learn about an industry that truly drives our country and our world. Children working on their parent’s or guardian's farm (if it is not under a corporation, LLC or partnership) would be exempt from these rules, but these rules would apply if they were helping a neighbor or other relative. Sometimes it's the grandparents that own the farm, and the grandkids are coming out and helping on the farm. It affects all sorts of family members that get together on the farm. It's not just the kids and their parents working out there, it is cousins, neighbors and friends. The grandparents, or aunt and uncle, and even the neighbor cannot be a supervisor. And in our world, that still works the best. In the Department of Labor world the “actual biological parent” is the only one that can supervise the children. That troubles me because it takes one of the mainstays of farming education away, the contact with other family members, especially grandparents.
I believe that it should be up to the farmer or organization that is working on the farm to decide who can and can't take part in farm chores. Safety procedures are always stressed on the farm, and accidents can happen to anyone at any age. You can't really make an across-the-board generalization on everything. You cannot legislate safety! It is an educational process, best learned “hands-on”! In the end, it is really about teaching kids the common sense they will use for years to come. It would really affect the livelihood of the farm and the people living on the farm as well as mess with our traditions! Here is the real kicker, if the regulations go into effect, farmers could be fined up to $11,000 if they are found in violation!
The public comment time ended last week, but I do suggest that you call your senator and/or representative about your concerns on this topic and support any efforts they may put forward to curtail this ill-conceived change in regulations!
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 WebsterCounty in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the !website at:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Closing The Medicare “Doughnut Hole” Saved $10 Million For Nebraska Seniors

December 7, 2011 – Today, Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson highlighted new data showing more than 17,000 Nebraskans with Medicare have saved more than $10 million on their prescription drugs, as the gap in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage is shrinking.
“This good news confirms what I’ve been hearing directly from Nebraska seniors,” Senator Ben Nelson said on his weekly conference call with members of the Nebraska news media. “More and more seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare are saving money on their prescription drugs. Many of them are on a fixed income and every dollar they can save makes a difference.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported yesterday that, through the end of October, 2.65 million people with Medicare have saved more than $1.5 billion on their prescriptions.
These are people who were in the so-called Medicare Part D “doughnut hole,” which is a gap in their prescription drug coverage. The coverage gap begins once an individual’s insurer has spent $2,840 on prescription medications in any calendar year. The Medicare beneficiary then has no coverage for the next $3,600 worth of prescriptions and must pay out of his or her own pocket.
The new health care law addressed this issue by significantly reducing the costs of brand-name prescription drugs for people in the “doughnut hole.”
In Nebraska, through the end of October, this change meant 17,291 people with Medicare saved more than $10.2 million in filling 118,539 prescriptions. That averages out to each of these Nebraska seniors saving $595.19.
Additionally, the new data shows 162,707 Nebraskans with Medicare have used at least one free preventive benefit – including the new Annual Wellness Visit – added to Medicare by the health care law.
“Prevention and early detection keep seniors healthier and reduce the long-term costs for Medicare. It is a smart investment,” Nelson said.
“I often hear from Nebraskans who appreciate these benefits for Medicare beneficiaries and other important changes that have made private health insurance more valuable for Nebraskans, like preventing insurance companies from rejecting people with pre-existing conditions or allowing children to stay on their parents’ policies until their 26th birthdays,” Nelson said. “This is why I continue to work to improve the health care reform law while protecting the positive changes it has already made.”

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Weather cancellation

 From  Dewey Lienemann

Attention Webster County 4-H & FFA Beef Exhibitors: Because of the snow, and icy conditions underneath - making livestock trailer travel unsafe, I have decided to postpone the market beef weigh-in until next Sunday, December 11 at Blue Hill Sale Barn, 10:00 am - 3:30 pm. Please pass this information on. Further info at

Friday, December 2, 2011

Managing Our Money

Senator Ben Nelson
I was reading through some information recently that had some great advice for money management. Here’s how it began:
“Developing a Budget: The first step toward taking control of your financial situation is to do a realistic assessment of how much money you take in and how much money you spend.”
Those are wise words indeed written by none other than the Federal Trade Commission in a packet of information for consumers.
The Irony of it All
I found it ironic that the federal government, which is in debt to the tune of some $15 trillion, can offer such sage advice to families about how to develop a budget and manage their money.
The FTC information, which you can find on line at , is helpful for individuals who are having problems managing their household budget and I apologize for poking fun at them, but it really is ironic.
Here, a powerful branch of the federal government is offering advice on creating a budget and managing debt at a time when Congress has been unable to pass a budget and the country is dealing with record debt that is seemingly uncontrollable, despite the best efforts of all the so-called experts in Washington.
Super Committee Latest to Fail
There’ve been several attempts to get the debt under control and all have fallen short, most recently the Joint Select Committee on debt reduction, commonly referred to as the Super Committee, which recently abandoned its efforts to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion.
I voted against creating the Super Committee because, while I had hoped it would succeed in working out a bipartisan plan to cut spending and bring down the deficit, I had serious doubts that its members could find common ground because Washington is being consumed by bitter partisanship.
I’m disappointed that they failed because now who knows how much longer it will be before the extreme elements in Washington stop pointing fingers and causing gridlock and failure. Nebraskans tell me they want the nation’s lawmakers to come together for the common good, not bow to the political agendas of those on the radical right and left.
No Kicking the Can Down the Road
In that FTC information on creating a budget, they didn’t advise families to be uncooperative and not work together. It doesn’t advise them to put it off and kick the can down the road for the kids to deal with later.
They do offer helpful tips on how to balance the checkbook, save money, cut expenses and pay down debt all for the common good of the family.
It’s too bad that Congressional leadership and the Administration can’t follow the same advice put out by one of their own government agencies. It just might keep the bill collector away, raise their approval ratings in the eyes of the public, and keep the nation from drowning in a sea of red ink.


Duane A. Lienemann
 UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County
December 1, 2011 Edition
Well, it seems that Old Man Winter has found us, or at least my bones tell me that. The good news is that we made it into December before he remembered where we were. The thought of chilling weather and snow brings me to something that I thought would be a really cold day in a very hot place when Congress would actually try to do something that counteracts the cloud of continual regulations and threats of new regulations that always seemed to be aimed at small businesses and agriculture. It seems that we are always besieged with things like “cow flatulence” regulations, carbon caps, CAFA & AFO rules, even milk spill regulations. One that has been concerning me over the last several years is the so called “particulates” or “dust” regulations that really looked like it would hit us. Finally some good news and it is just in time for Christmas.
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy voted in support of H.R. 1633, the “Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011”. The legislation passed through the full committee with, believe it or not, bipartisan support and will head to the full House of Representatives for a vote. The act would do multiple things to ensure clean air while also providing regulatory certainty for farm and ranch families in that the legislation recognizes that dust from agricultural activities has never been shown to have a health impact at ambient level and would exempt farm dust from the existing Clean Air Act ---unless the administrator of the EPA can prove it is a significant problem, and that applying the standard is worth the costs. It also gives states and localities the rightful authority in regulating dust, which is and should be a local issue, not a Federal one. We all know that areas of the country are very different and local and state governments must be allowed to set policies that make sense not some environmentalist in Washington DC. The Federal Government and/or EPA’s “one-size-fits-all” mentality is neither practical nor scientific, so this is very good news in the making.
I see this as a common sense bill. Allowing federal agencies to continue regulating farmers and ranchers to the point of no return is counterproductive and this has the chance to bring some accountability to regulatory agencies. Now if H.R. 1633 passes the House, it will move to the Senate, where it was introduced by our Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns and Charles Grassley from Iowa. It will likely have a more difficult time passing in the Senate, so it is imperative that each of us contact our Congressmen in favor of this act, and then if and more likely when it passes the House, and goes to the Senate that we then contact our Senators and encourage them to do the same. While you are on the phone or computer, you might also mention a partner legislation that goes one step further.
Congress is expected to consider a bill, sometime in the very near future, which is intended to ensure that U.S. regulatory agencies do not impose unjustified costs on job creators during a time when the U.S. economy can least afford it. The Regulatory Accountability Act, H.R. 3010 as proposed will help protect farmers, ranchers, and small businesses from overzealous regulatory factions within the government. The bipartisan bill is part of an ongoing effort to limit new federal regulations that several agricultural state Congressmen feel are detrimental to growth of the economy.
Sponsoring House Representatives are concerned about new or proposed regulations that they believe will have a negative impact on the agriculture industry because of the time and cost required for compliance. One of the selling points is something I have been saying for quite some time. It has been proven in many cases that interest groups try to use regulations to interpret the law in their best interest, instead of following the intent of the law which is usually disastrous to entities like farming. The bill is designed to bring transparency and accountability to the regulatory process. That means that we, the American people, will be allowed to have a voice in these policy decisions. Some more common sense!
A recent gallop poll indicated that one in three U.S. small business owners are worried about going out of business and almost always it has to do with impending regulations or uncertainty about regulations. It is especially important that in the midst of this fragile economy that we give every chance to improve economic opportunities not saddle business or farms with more regulations. H.R. 3010 ensures that regulators do their due diligence. If you are so inclined you can read it all for yourself at  /. 
The bipartisan effort is the first of its kind in more than a decade to reform and minimize regulations that stifle economic growth. The Regulatory Accountability Act places permanent restrictions on regulatory agencies and restores accountability by requiring openness and transparency in the regulatory process. It requires agencies to assess both the costs and benefits of regulations and possible alternatives. What really stands out to me as that it also requires that agencies do a better job of determining what regulations are needed before implementing new rules. Gosh, what a novel idea! Finally some common sense is showing its face in Washington DC. Call your Congressman and thank them and then encourage them to pass it!
This is a chance to take a very big monkey off of production agriculture’s back. Never before have we had so much going on with these bills and acts, and more recently the Child Labor Law regulations that I hope many of you responded to. I hope that each of you have become known on a first name basis with your Senator or Representative office in Washington DC. The business or farm that you save may be your own!
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 WebsterCounty in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the !website at:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What's Happening in Red Cloud?

Visit Santa and enjoy a holiday movie at the Red Cloud Opera House on Saturday December 10 starting at 9 a.m. Visit for more information.

“It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” by Paul Warshauer Productions will be held at the Red Cloud Opera House on Saturday December 10 at 2 p.m. Visit  for more information.

December Birthdays

December-1-1984 Mandy Nelson
December-1-1950 Jerry McShane
December-1-1921 Mabel A. Schmidt
December-4 Ed Anderson
December-4-1962 Tammy Reiman
December-5 Diane Karr
December-7 Janie Hartman
December 7 Yvonne Krauau
December 9 Peyton Schmidt

December-10 Jerry Koepke
 December 10 Kaisha Jo Alber
 December 10 Leslie Waechter Means
December 11 Ted Alber
December-11-1985 Scott Kort
December-12 Ryan Atteberry
December-13-1969 Julie Buschow
December-13 Kristi Alber
December 15 Meggie Coffey
December 15 Markie Coffey
December-15 Don Robinson
 December 15 Sandi Schmidt
December-15-1977 Sarah Moorman
December 16 Kylee Schmidt
December-16 1960 to-4-27-2010 Tim Krueger
December 17 Terry Schunk
December 18 Jared Schmidt
December-18 Don Goodrich
December-18-1993 Taylor Lemke
December 19 Ramona Buschow
December-19-1961 Rita Petska
December-19-1991 Sidney Dawn Gannaway
December-20 Jane Rose
December-21-1930 Wendell H. Krueger
 December-21-1960 Bradley N. Gilbert
December 22 Brian Johnson
 December-22-1945 Ron Otdiek
December-22-1975 Brian Johnson
December-24-1979 Rebecca Johnson
December 27 Jill Kinley
December-27 Mary VanBoening
 December-27 Lori Berns
December-28 Jadaysa Fraiser
December 31 Donna Anderson
December 31 Jeff Rose
 December 31 Vivian Kottwitz
December-31-1946 Jerry Frazier

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Irma R. Grothen 7-2-1908 to 11-27-2011

Hastings resident, Irma Rosalee Grothen, 103, passed away Sunday, November 27, 2011 at Mary Lanning Memorial HealthCare, Hastings, NE.

Services will be Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 10:30 AM at First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Hastings, NE, with Rev. Joel Remmers officiating. Burial will be in Parkview Cemetery, Hastings; NE. Visitation will be Wednesday, November 30, 2011 from 9 AM to 9 PM with the family present from 6 PM to 8 PM at the Brand-Wilson Funeral Home, Hastings, NE. Condolences may be sent to the family from
Memorials may be given to the First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hastings, NE.
Irma was born July 2, 1908 to Frank and Sarah Wilhelmina (Brandes) Toepfer on a farm southeast of Blue Hill, NE. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Blue Hill. She attended country school and graduated from Blue Hill High School in 1925. She attended Hastings College Normal Teacher Training and first taught a one room school in the sand hills of rural Garden County, NE from 1926 to 1928. From 1928 to 1930 she taught rural school in Adams County District 51, northeast of Blue Hill.
She married George Grothen, June 3, 1930 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Blue Hill and moved to a farm southeast of Juniata. There she was a homemaker and volunteer for over 75 years. They retired from the farm in 1970 and they moved to Hastings. Her husband passed away June 30, 1991. She had resided at the Homestead of Hastings since Nov 2005.
She was actively involved in church and community affairs. Her involvement in Lutheran Church Woman’s activities started in 1937 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Hastings and continued to the present day. She served as First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church LCW vice president in 1965 and president in 1966, she helped host and served in many conventions. She was active in the Oregon Trails Juniata garden club from 1939 to 1953. She was a Sunday school teacher for many years and taught vacation Bible school in Hastings when they used the public schools.

Irma had a special love for all kinds of birds and animals, especially chickens. She had a special sense of the seasons, the time to plant and harvest and excellent weather predictions. She loved to play cards and was involved with a bridge club since moving to Hastings. She still played bridge Nov 7, 2011.
She is survived by one son Conrad and wife Joyce of Juniata, NE, nine grandchildren, Robyn Petersen of Los Alamos, NM, Scott Zwart wife LuAnn of Rio Rancho, NM, Stephen Zwart of Lexington, KY, John Bunch and wife Mary of Albuquerque, NM, Catherine (Kaeti) Stanley and husband John of Stockdale, TX, Phillip Grothen and wife Kim of Juniata, NE, Andrea Bissen and husband Scott of Overland Park, KS, Mark Grothen of Al Hambra, CA and Julia Grothen of Juniata, NE, eight great grandchildren, Brett Petersen and wife April, of Los Alamos, NM, Brad Petersen of New Orleans, LA, Eric Zwart of Lexington, KY, John Calvin Stanley III of Stockdale, TX, Rebecca Stanley of Stockdale, TX, Lauren Bissen and Alex Bissen both of Overland Park, KS, two sister-in-laws, Delores Keenan and Mary Ann Toepfer of Blue Hill, NE and one sister Loretta Arterburn of Blue Hill, NE, and many nieces and nephews and many special friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband George, infant grandson, Conrad Grothen, two daughters, Elayne Bunch, and Marnis Dietz, and six brothers, Carl, Ernest, Raymond, Edwin, Frank Jr, and Wilfred Toepfer, and one sister Esther Scholl.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jefferson Wisdom

A voice from the past to lead us in the future:John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the white House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: "This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

"When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe ." -- Thomas Jefferson

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."-- Thomas Jefferson

"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world."-- Thomas Jefferson

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." -- Thomas Jefferson

"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government." -- Thomas Jefferson

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."-- Thomas Jefferson

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

"To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."-- Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property - until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Social Security and Medicare No Place for Politics

Senator Ben Nelson

Most Americans are very thankful that we live in a country that takes care of its senior citizens and doesn’t break the promises that have been made to them about Social Security and Medicare. I intend to fight to make sure that these two wonderful programs are not dismantled by those who would do so for political reasons.
As we entered Thanksgiving week I had the opportunity to speak with thousands of Nebraskans on a telephone town hall meeting sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons.
The person who introduced me started off by saying no one should be playing politics with Social Security or Medicare benefits and she is absolutely right.
These are programs that have improved the lives of Nebraskans – and seniors throughout the country – for a long time. They work and I will fight to protect them.
We have to stay watchful. Can you imagine if the proposal several years ago to privatize Social Security had been adopted?
One look at the Stock Market’s ups and downs tells you that would have been a terrible move. More than 300,000 Nebraskans who get Social Security benefits would feel betrayed today.
Good from the Start
Back in 1966, I was a young man working for the insurance commissioner of the State of Nebraska. One of my responsibilities was to help implement a historic new program called Medicare.
I have been involved with Medicare from the beginning. For 45 years, I have heard the skeptics and the naysayers say Medicare is a bad idea … and I’ve heard a lot of plans to weaken or dismantle it.
But I’ve also seen how successful Medicare has been at providing Nebraskans with the health care they need. And I’ve seen how it … and Social Security … protect the quality of life for seniors during their retirement years.
No Privatization
As a result, I am passionate about Medicare. I am committed to protecting it from those who want to cut benefits … or to privatize Medicare by turning it into a voucher program.
A Different View
I believe that by reducing the cost of delivering benefits, we can continue this valuable program for future generations.
Preventive screenings and early detection saves lives and saves money. New technologies can reduce paperwork and reduce administrative overhead costs. We can provide incentives so doctors end the practice of defensive medicine.
And we can promote better coordination of care, so patients don’t need the same tests done over and over by different doctors … saving everyone time and preventing extra expense
These, and other steps, can add up to significant savings.
No Rationing of Health Care
I want to make clear; no one is talking about rationing health care to save money on Medicare. That would be morally wrong, and the law prohibits it.
Medicare and Social Security are promises we made to seniors, and I intend to keep them.