Thursday, March 31, 2011


April 2 Bertha Lamborn
April 2 Terri Golter
April 2 Ron Lampman
April 3 Mark Kumke
April 3 Dick Schmidt, Jr.
April 4 Christa Alber
April 4 Terry Jordening
April 4 Lori Toepher
April 4 Jan Wells
April 4 Nina Colburn
April 4 Shalene Medina
April 4 Wanda Wright
April 5 Patty Uden
April 6 Jordan Mack
April 7 Pat Kort
April 8 Penny Witte
April 10 Kristen Ostdiek
April 10 Jean Heinrich
April 11 Deb VanBoening
April 11 Jesse Alber
April 11 Clair Duval
April 12 Rodney E Hartman
April 13 Ruth Elaine Goodrich
April 14, Jennifer Gaede
April 15 Jill Coffey
April 15 Rodney J. Buss
April 15 Ken Skarin
April 15 Wayne Strasberg
April 18 Judy Grandstaff
April 23 Tami Kort
April 23 James W. Mackin
April 24 Peggy Meyer
April 24 Colleen Karmazin
April 24 Kristin Rose Kohmetscher
April 25 Cody Bland
April 26 Lamira Karsting
April 26 Marah Leigh Jensen
April 28 Charlene Feeley
April 29 Larry Gianokas
April 29 Marvin Harrifeld
April 29 Gary Stertz
April 29 Kevin Toepher
April 29 Beverly A. Meyer
April 30 LaMar VanBoening
April 30 Dick Schmidt, Sr.

Smith Continues Pushing Pending Trade Agreements

March 31, 2011 WASHINGTON, DC- Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) yesterday participated in a hearing about the pending trade agreement with Panama. This hearing was the second of three hosted by the Subcommittee on Trade of the Ways and Means Committee about pending trade agreements. "Opening new markets is the best way to create American jobs and boost economic growth," Smith said. "We cannot sit idly by as Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers lose opportunities while Panama actively finalizes trade agreements with our international competitors. To get back on a competitive playing field the first step is to pass all three pending trade agreements – Colombia, Panama, and South Korea." The American Farm Bureau estimates U.S. farm exports to Panama could increase by more than $195 million annually under the agreement. Earlier this week, Smith met with Mario E. Jaramillo, newly appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Panama to the U.S., to discuss the importance of this pending trade agreement. Smith serves on the Committee on Ways and Means, which has jurisdiction over trade agreements. The Committee on Ways and Means continues to press for the pending agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea to be considered by July 1, 2011.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Robert E. Ferguson 11-28-31 to 3-26-11

Blue Hill resident Robert E. Ferguson 79, died Saturday, March 26, 2011 at Mary Lanning Memorial HealthCare in Hastings.
Services are 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Merten-Butler Mortuary chapel in Blue Hill with the Rev. Joshua Lowe officiating.Burial will be at Blue Hill Cemetery. Visitation is 9 a.m. until services Wednesday at the mortuary. Memorials may be given to the donor's choice.
Robert was born November 28, 1931 to Robert L. and Katie (Boone) Ferguson in Amarillo, Texas.
He married Ella Aileen Houston on November 29, 1950 in Amarillo, Texas. He worked construction as a pipe insulator.
He moved to Blue Hill from North Glen, Colorado, six and one half years ago.
He is survived by two daughters, Patricia Fergason of Blue Hill, Nebraska and Linda (Alan) Selby of Blue Hill, Nebraska; one sister, Edna Wills of Texas, five grand children and six great grandchildren . He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; and one son, William Lowell Ferguson.

Spring Turkey Season Opens

Spring turkey season is open/opening and hunting opportnity abounds in Nebraska..
 Bird numbers are good across the state, permits are plentiful and even the weather seems to be cooperating. Add in a long season and the $5 permits for youth hunters and you have a turkey hunters paradise.
 Archery season is open now.
 Shotgun season will be open soon.
 Youth Archery is open from March 25 - May 31
 Archery: March 25 - May 31
Youth Shotgun: April 9 - May 31
 Shotgun: April 16 - May 31
Visit Nebraska game and Parks website to learn more about Nebraska's turkey regulations .

Quote of the Day

The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Danielle Rae Busboom Oct. 11, 1989 to March 23, 2011

Danielle Rae Busboom was born on October 11, 1989 to Gene B. and Margo A. (Pawloski) Busboom at Hastings, Nebraska.
She died March 23 as a result of a skiing accident in Boulder Colorado.
Services are 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Hill with Rev. Joshua Lowe officiating. Visitation is from 9 a.m. to 8. p.m. Monday at Merten Butler Mortuary in Blue Hill and one hour prior to services at the church.
 Danielle was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Hill, Nebraska. She graduated from Blue Hill High School in 2008 and was presently a junior at Hastings College where she was studying marketing and graphic design.
In high school Dani was active in volleyball and was a member of the Blue Hill dance team. She was a second baseman for the Lawrence softball team during the summer and helped to win three state championships and one runner up finish.
 Dani was an animal lover from an early age. She had a passion for the arts and was a very talented painter, had an enthustiastic taste for all types of music, and loved attending concerts whenever she could. She spent every possible moment with her friends and family. When she walked into a room she brightened it with her congagious smile and laughter.
 It was her choice to be an organ donor. Dani is survived by her Parents, Gene and Margo Busboom of Ayr, Nebraska; sisters Jamie of Colorado Springs, Colorado and McKayla of Hastings; one brother Maverick of Ayr; Maternal grandmother, Janice Hayes of Hastings, Nebraska; paternal grandparents, Lowell and Donna Busboom of Hastings, Nebraska; uncles and aunts and their families, Doug and Chelle Pawloski (Kristen, Ashtin, Kaitly and Ryan) of Hastings, Nebrska, Laurie Fredricks (Morgan, Dustin and Trace of Sacramento, California, Wayne Busboom (Chad Busboom and Tara Vrennan) of North Platte, Nebraska, Nancy and Dean Krull (Ashley and Mitch ) of Hastings, Nebraska, Lyle and Mel Busboom (Brandi, Kristen and Brooke) of Hastings, Nebraska and Mark Busboom of Vuhler, Kansas.
She was preceded in death by her paternal grandfather, Darold Valentin; and Maternal grandfather Charles Aljoe.
 Funeral Services for Danielle Rae Busboom were held Tuesday, March 29, at 10:30 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Hill. Rev. Joshua Lowe officiated. Marlys Kort was the organist. The congregation sang "The King of Love My Shepherd is", "Children of the Heavenly Father" and "I know that my Redeemer Lives." Active Pallbearers were Travis Fraser, Chase Henderson, Ryan Fjeldheim, Nate Olsen, Brian Kudron, Joe Ryan and Doug Fry.
 Honorary Pallbearers were Rachel VanBoening, Sadie Geiser, Shaina Lay, Kirsten Pawloski, Liz Lipker and Chelsea Eckhardt.
 A Public Vigil Service was held Tuesday, March 29, 2011 7:00 p.m. at French memorial Chapel at Hastings college with Chaplain David McCarthy officiating.
I'm Free
Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free
I'm following the path God laid for me
I took His hand when I heard Him call
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way
I've found that peace at the close of day.
If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remember joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah, yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow
My life's been full, I've savored much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief
Lift up your heart and share with me
God wanted me now; He set me free.


Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County March 25, 2011 Edition Gosh, where do I start? People ask me all the time about where I get my information and how do you find enough stuff to write about each week. I laugh and say that you would be surprised at where get my ideas and what direction that I will go each week. A good place of course is the local coffee shop. You get a pretty good pulse of what is going on in the agriculture world. Sometimes an article I read in a farm magazine or an email or perhaps an ag related blog sparks the flow of information into a what I hope becomes a useable product. Believe me there is never a shortage of material with so much that is going on around us concerning the agriculture industry. The problem lies in which direction do I go? I have been keeping up on the drama around Genetically Engineered (GE) crops and debates concerning organic farming, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) fears, and more recently the release of Round-up Ready (RR) alfalfa. When Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced his decision to approve genetically modified alfalfa; a modified corn to be made into ethanol; and limited approval to genetically engineered sugar beets, I expected that things would maybe get back to normal. But as sports broadcaster Lee Corso says “Not so fast my friend.” There have been more shots lobbed across the bow of the USDA. I heard about a speaker making the rounds of Winter and Spring agronomic meetings across the Midwest making claims that the widespread use of glyphosate (Round-up) is causing negative impacts on soil and plants as well as possibly animal and human health. I heard farmers talking about this at pesticide applicator meetings and at coffee. I have since been reading about it in farm magazines and on the internet, and have had a lot of fun reading blogs from both sides of the debate. It certainly has ignited some embers into blazes in the discussion of GMO’s and GE crops and whether or not they should be a part of our crop protection arsenal. Dr. Don Huber, professor emeritus at Purdue University has presented information that has portrayed devastating consequences due to the widespread use of glyphosate and glyphosate resistant crops. In particular, Huber, who is known as one of the nation’s senior soil scientists, alerted the federal government to a newly discovered organism that may have the potential to cause infertility and spontaneous abortion in farm animals, raising significant concerns about human health. Huber has based his talks on a review of data that he has obtained that says it is widespread, very serious, and is in much higher concentrations in Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans and corn, which suggests a link with the RR gene, or more likely the presence of Roundup. This organism appears to be new to science! Huber explained that the search for the new pathogen was instigated by the increase of cattle infertility and unexplained cases of spontaneous abortion in several western states in the past several years. The common denominator, he said, appears to be the prevalence of this new pathogen that can only be viewed at 36,000 times magnification. Fears were increased when this pathogen was also supposedly found in mothers who had recently miscarried. He believes the appearance and prevalence of the unnamed organism may be related to the nations’ over reliance on Roundup and/or to the genetically engineered Roundup-Ready crops. This is not a new controversy, but many statements released in recent weeks by groups opposed to the use of genetically modified (GM) crops have claimed that glyphosate use and Roundup Ready technology will be disastrous and that glyphosate has damaged crop production by decreasing nutrient availability to plants, reducing nutrient content of food and livestock feed, and increasing plant susceptibility to disease. There also are claims that glyphosate is contributing to an increase in more than 40 plant diseases that may also affect human and animal health, and that its use enhances fungal diseases and creates problems with manganese uptake and use. Dr. Huber even crafted a letter to Secretary Vilsack calling on the federal government to immediately stop deregulation of roundup ready crops, particularly roundup ready alfalfa. I have a copy of the letter if any of you want to read it. Dr. Huber believes we’ve reached the tipping point toward a potential disaster with the safety of our food supply. The abuse, or over use of Roundup, is having profoundly bad consequences in the soil. He thinks that the appearance of this new pathogen may be a signal that we’ve gone too far. I must point out however that Huber admitted that he could be wrong about this pathogen’s link to Roundup, but said that much further study is needed for that final assessment. But in the meantime, he says it’s grossly irresponsible of the government to allow Roundup Ready alfalfa, which would bring the widespread spraying of Roundup to millions of more acres and introduce far more Roundup into the food supply. It is important to recognize that there is little data published in refereed journals to support these claims. Many researchers, including at Purdue University say that the data has been taken greatly out of context to support the accusations, and evidence to support these claims has never been presented to, nor evaluated by, peer-review in the scientific community, so are being refuted. Their final statement summarizes the available evidence of the impact glyphosate and GMO crops have on plant health, “We encourage crop producers, agribusiness personnel, and the general public to speak with University Extension personnel before making changes in crop production practices that are based on sensationalist claims instead of facts.” We have learned to lean on Roundup Ready crops pretty hard. We might ask ourselves – What if Dr. Huber is right? The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Alvera V. Willison 2-21-1920 to 3-21-2011

Blue Hill, Nebraska resident, Alvera V. Willison, 91, passed away Monday, March 21, 2011, at Blue Hill Care Center in Blue Hill, Nebraska.
Graveside services will be held on Saturday, July 2, 2011; 1:00 P.M. at Evergreen Cemetery, Oconto, Wisconsin.
Alvera was born February 21, 1920 in La Branch, Michigan to Henry & Edith Toole. She was married to Roy R. Willison, Sr. Alvera was a homemaker. She moved to the area five years ago from Michigan.
Alvera was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Roy R. Willison, Sr.; son, Roy R. Willison, Jr., daughter, Deborah Lynn Willison; and all of her brothers and sisters.
Survivors include:
Sons & Spouse: Gary Willison
Charles W. Willison – OR
Dennis (Mike) & Marilyn Willison – Juniata, NE
Larry D. Willison – MI
Jeffery W. Willison - ID
Daughters & Spouses: Dale Corona – TX
Rosemary McAllister – CA
Joann & Bill Gordon – OR
Barbara J. & Jack Schank – ID
Many Grandchildren, Great-Grandchildren, and Great-Great-Grandchildren
All of the loving caregivers at Blue Hill Care Center

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Meteor creates excitement North of Blue Hill

The Adams County Sheriff's Office reported a meteorite fell from the sky near Ayr tonight around 9:30p.m.. They received a report that a plane was down three to four miles east and 2 to three miles south of Ayr.

Upon investigation it was determined that it was not a plane but a meteor. Several emergency vehicles were in the area responding to the downed aircraft report. Area farmer Rocky Zimmerman was in his field working when he noticed and then spoke to the personell looking around in the fields for a downed air craft. He had witnessed the meteor earlier from his tractor seat according to his posts on a social networking site.
Others in the area also reported the unusual activities on the social network. According to a report in the Hasting Tribune Thursday the green light in the moonless night sky Wednesday appeared to be an airplane flying too low. A firefighter called into the 911 center, concerned that the falling light could be an airplane.
 Emergency responders from Hastings rural firefighters, the Hastings Fire Department, Rural/Metro Ambulance Service and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office responded. They combed the area, searching for a possible airplane crash. Even driving out into fields. Others saw the green light, but the searchers found no sign of a crash. Responders called the Federal Aviation Administration to see if any airplanes were in the area or if any radio traffic indicated a troubled plane. No airplanes appeared to be lost in the area and no radio signal was picked up in the area.
The only remaining explanation was a meteorite, said Hastings Fire Chief Kent Gilbert. There have been no reports of anyone discovering where the meteorite landed but no doubt there will be those who will go looking.

Danielle Busboom October 11, 1989 - March 23, 2011

Hastings College student and 2008 Blue Hill High school graduate Danielle Busboom has died today in Colorado due to head injuries following a skiing accident there yesterday.
Busboom and friends were skiing on Hot Dog Alley, an intermediate run at Eldora Mountain Ski resort near Boulder Colorado about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday when she veered off into an area with trees and hit one. Rescue crews got to her within four minutes, according to Sgt. Mike Dimond of the Boulder County Sheriff's office. She was unconscious and treated on the scene before crews took her to Boulder County Hospital where she died of her injury.
 Danielle Busboom is the daughter of Gene and Margo Busboom of Ayr. Her sisters are Jamie and McKayla and brother Maverick.
 Services are 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Hill with Rev. Joshua Lowe officiating visitation is from 9 a.m. to 8. p.m. Monday at Merten Butler Mortuary in Blue Hill and one hour prior to services at the church.
 Dani’s mother, Margo, is the college’s Insurance Benefits Coordinator and Administrative Assistant to the Vice-President for Business Affairs. Dani’s sister, McKayla, is a senior at Hastings College.
 Seaton Chapel on the Hastings College campus is open for prayer and the College Chaplain can be reached at 402.461.7397.
 Hastings College counselors are available for students and can be reached at 402.461.7424.
 Employees can reach local counseling services through EAP/Family Resources at 308.381.7487 or 888.381.7487.
A vigil for the public is 7 p.m. Tuesday at French Memorial Chapel at Hastings College with Chaplin David McCarthy officiating.
 In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the family. Dani Busboom was an organ donor. Her family gave the incredible gift of life to others by donating her organs for transplants.
 She had a tremendous impact on the lives of those she touched while she was alive and now in death she continues to impact lives in the most positive way.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dobrovolny and Sell appear in Adams County Court

An 18 year old Hastings man accused of Multiple vehicle thefts in Adams County asked to have his case transferred to Juvenile court this month in Adams County District Court. Another 19 year old Hastings man, in a seperate hearing, denied accusations of multiple verhicle thefts in Adams county. Kurtis A. Dobrovolny, 19, of Hastings and Michael Sell, 18 (who was 17 at the time of the criminal events last summer) who now lives in Seward, both appeared in Adams County district court on numerous charges ranging from burgulary, to criminal mischief to aiding and abetting a felony. Both were allegedly involved in a string of thefts across several counties (including Webster) in the summer of 2010. Some of the vehicles involved appeared to have been deliberately rammed into each other. The vehicles were taken between June 29th and August 11, 2010. One vehicle that was destroyed by ramming into another belonging to Zeb Weber and was taken from in front of his house on Pine street in Blue Hill. If convicted fines could be as high as $25,000 and jail time could be up to 20 years. Dobrovolny and Sell have been charged for crimes committed in Adams County. The list of crimes they are suspected of committing covers several counties including Webster.
New information
Charges have been filed against four men for crimes related to the joyriding and vehicle damages that began around the Fourth of July, 2010.

Kurtis Dobrovolny, Matthew D. Price, William C. Luvaas, of Hastings and Michael J. Sell of Seward face multiple charges for the spree of joyriding that left numerous vehicles and farm equipment severely damaged or totaled as well as fields torn up. In the early part of July, at least 16 vehicles across Adams, Clay, Franklin, and Webster Counties had been taken, abused and abandoned.

Webster County attorney, Jerry McDole, said the individuals are scheduled to appear in court on April 15 to be formally read their charges and rights.

Look for more in the April 6 issue of the Blue Hill Leader.

Sorghum Groups Announce Industry Awards

LINCOLN, NE – The Nebraska Grain Sorghum Producers Association’s annual appreciation banquet on March 18, 2011 at Milligan, NE was the setting for presentation of the annual service awards given by the NeGSPA and the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board. The awards are presented annually to recognize an individual or organization for contributions to the development, promotion and advancement of the grain sorghum industry.
NeGSPA – Industry Service Award
Duane “Dewey” Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator, Webster County, was honored by the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Producers Association for his support and contributions to the Association, especially in the area of education and communication. He has contributed in several ways to plan and conduct the Sorghum Profitability Seminars – an annual series of meetings that focus on marketing, production and management of sorghum. Lienemann has helped to identify and contact speakers, arrange for meeting facilities and audio-video equipment, provided local and area wide publicity for the meetings, as well as the preparation and delivery of presentations that have all contributed in a large way toward the success of the events. He has also provided assistance with the Association’s hybrid demonstration plot and field day. “Dewey is widely known and respected for his expertise and service as an Extension Educator,” said Don Bloss, Pawnee City, NeGSPA President. “We are pleased that he is willing to share some of that time and talent to promote and educate producers about sorghum as a water conserving crop.”
Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board – Service to Sorghum Award
The Service Award presented by the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board was presented to Mary Schluckebier, Executive Director of the Celiac Sprue Association. CSA is a membership association serving the needs of individuals who live with celiac disease and must adhere to a gluten-free diet. Mary is cited for her spirit and enthusiasm in sharing her expertise and working with the Grain Sorghum Board to educate consumers about the nutritional value of sorghum and its virtues as a healthy, wholesome, and gluten-free grain. “Mary is passionate about her work for the celiac community,” said John Dvoracek, Farwell, Chairman, Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board. “She has brought that same passion and enthusiasm as a supporter and collaborator on projects of the Board in our efforts to promote sorghum as a food grain.”

Monday, March 21, 2011

If it weren't for Ethanol Gas Prices Would be Even Higher

BySenator Ben Nelson We’re seeing a repeat of 2008 when Americans were paying close to $4 a gallon for gasoline and the price of crude oil was around $100 per barrel. One of the few bright spots then, and now, is ethanol. Not only is ethanol less expensive at the pump, it helps reduce our reliance on foreign oil, reduces greenhouse emissions, creates jobs, and it helps hold down the cost of oil. Ethanol Holds Down Use of Foreign Oil The Renewable Fuels Association reports that last year ethanol sales in the U.S. amounted to just under 13 billion gallons. Nebraska, the second leading ethanol producer in the country, produced 13 percent of that total, or 1.7 billion gallons. The 13 billion gallons of ethanol the U.S. used meant that we needed to import 445 million fewer barrels of oil. That’s more oil than America imports every year from Saudi Arabia, our third leading supplier. By importing less oil we saved $34 billion. Next year, ethanol production is forecast to total almost 14 billion gallons and increase to 36 billion gallons by 2022 as provided for in the renewable fuels standard passed by Congress. Ethanol Restrictions Misguided This is not the time to end advances we’ve made to expand the use of ethanol. Washington definitely needs to cut spending but must do it wisely and HR 1, the House budget bill that was defeated was anything but wise. It contained two anti-ethanol amendments that would have dealt a blow to America’s efforts to expand consumer fuel choice of domestic renewable fuels by hampering the development of blender pumps and prohibiting EPA’s implementation of E-15, which is scientifically proven to be safe. Ethanol production is also contributing to our financial well-being as well as that of American households. In 2010, ethanol production contributed $53.6 billion to the national Gross Domestic Product and added $36 billion to household incomes. In the current economic climate where federal, state, and local governments are running large deficits, ethanol is also having an impact. The increased economic activity and income generated by America’s ethanol industry added some $12 billion to federal, state and local governments through increased tax revenue. Improves the Environment Besides saving money ethanol also benefits the environment. The U.S. Department of Energy says studies have shown that using corn-based ethanol instead of gasoline reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 19% to 52%. Using cellulosic ethanol provides an even greater benefit—reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 86%. Most people understand that ethanol is helping our economy and creating jobs while helping the U.S. in our battle for energy security and, just like in 2008, is again helping to hold down the price of fuel.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County March 19, 2011 Edition I think perhaps Spring may finally be here. Although I do remember the April Fools snow storm that occurred in the late 80’s. It was a big surprise especially since flurries were forecast. As I recall it was what many called a “calf-killer” blizzard. I also know that living in Nebraska dictates that you expect the unexpected when it comes to weather and I can think of some other things that would apply there too. I am not forecasting a blizzard by any means, although we could use some moisture. I however would rather see that in a more liquid form. Speaking of moisture, our wheat is certainly showing the results of a dry late summer and fall. The wheat is definitely behind normal in growth and I know that there is some concern on whether the bulk of the wheat germinated last fall and if it completed the vernalization process. I have had several questions concerning that very topic, let’s explore that. What is vernalization? The root of the word gives you a clue to its meaning. The Latin word “Vernus” means “of the spring.” Vernalization is a stage in the development of many plants, including believe it or not, bulbs, fruit trees, and nut trees. Some plants experience what is known as “obligate vernalization”, which means that the plant must be exposed to cold temperatures in order to bloom. Others have “quantitative vernalization”, using cold temperatures as a cue, but not relying on them to time blooming schedules. This stage involves exposure to cold temperatures for a set period of time, followed by a period of increased photosensitivity which allows the plant to start producing flowers. Most of us in agriculture however relate it most to hard red winter wheat. Let’s see what Jim Shroyer, KSU agronomist, has to say. Most winter wheat varieties require up to 45 days (1080 hours) accumulated exposure to temperatures of 45 F to 32 F at the growing point in order to vernalize. Vernalization begins when the seed begins the germination process, when water is absorbed by the seed. Without adequate vernalization, winter wheat plants will remain vegetative and will not produce grain. Non-vernalized wheat will exert heads much later than normal and heading is very erratic, if it occurs at all. Vernalization requirements differ by variety. The exact number of vernalization days for most wheat varieties are not known. There are, of course, differences in varieties. Generally, early maturing wheat varieties require less vernalization than later maturing varieties. You can check out a lot of varieties at . If a wheat plant has not received adequate chilling to vernalize, then the developing seed head (spikelet) and corresponding stem joints will not be present within the stem. The seed head development and jointing varies by variety and geographic location. Producers whose wheat has not yet emerged may be wondering now about whether their wheat will have enough exposure to cold temperatures to vernalize once it does emerge – and what kind of yield potential to expect. Wheat does not have to emerge as a seedling in order to be vernalized by cold temperatures. As long as the seed has received enough moisture to become physiologically active and begin the germination process, it can undergo vernalization. Winter wheat will vernalize after experiencing 3-6 weeks of soil temperatures below 48 degrees. Some varieties require a little longer period of cold to vernalize; and some require less. Jagger, and I believe Jagalene, has one of the shortest vernalization requirements. In almost all cases, winter wheat planted in the fall will vernalize. The only exception would be if the soil is so dry during the fall and winter months that the seed never becomes physiologically active until later in the spring, and it warms up very quickly in the spring. This would be rare, but could happen. If the later is the case, then you may see a reduction in yield of 40-60% if there is not good moisture or conditions in spring. Either way it probably wouldn’t hurt to go walk through your wheat field and inspect it. Wheat that emerges late typically has fewer total tillers than wheat that emerges in the fall. Late-emerging wheat is also behind in development, and typically flowers and reaches grain fill later in the spring than fall-emerged wheat. If the spring weather is dry, or if it turns hot and dry early, the yield potential of late-emerged wheat could be even less than 40 percent of normal. However, in a cool spring with adequate moisture, late-emerged wheat will have enough time to develop and fill grain, and can yield relatively well. Taking all these factors into consideration, it is likely that most wheat planted in the fall will eventually emerge and head out. My grandfather once told me that wheat is like a cat, it has 9 lives! Land Value and Rental Rates: I know that a lot of you have been waiting for the UNL Land Value and Rental Rates document. It has been released and can be found on the internet by going to and then scrolling down to "Nebraska Agricultural Land Markets Showing Strong Gains" by Dr. Bruce Johnson, and others. Or if you prefer stop in your local UNL Extension Office and we will provide you with a copy. There really is no surprise with this year’s survey, in that as predicted, the land values went up considerably which then relates into higher rental rates. This UNL survey of ag land values shows that Nebraska land values were up 22% from last year and double from 2005. The relatively recent upsurge in commodity prices, combined with other factors including rising farm income levels, have resulted in a dramatic increase over former year. Landowners and tenants alike however need to take a good look at integrity when working out leases. I suggest that you also download the accompanying document called “Cash Leasing With Integrity.” It can also be found at the Cornhusker Economics web site. The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at:

Friday, March 18, 2011


10-inch Rainbow Trout Stocked Across Nebraska The snow has melted, the weather is warming and even the birds seem to be signaling that spring is here to stay. If this isn't enough to get you outside after a long, snowy winter, here is an added incentive: Nebraska Game and Parks has been stocking catchable sized rainbow trout in many Nebraska locations this month and has some additional locations coming up. A special Saturday stocking bonanza is planned in the central and southeastern part of the state. Fishing for trout is an excellent family activity. Trout are relatively easy to catch and respond to a variety of baits, making them a popular option for beginning anglers. All you need is a basic rod and reel for tackle, and marshmallows, corn or nightcrawlers for bait. Prepared baits and small spinners can also be used. You can even break out your fly rod! The dates and locations for this year's spring trout stocking include:
March 1-2: Lake Ogallala Two Rivers State Recreation Area (Pond 5) March 11: Rock Creek Lake in Dundy County March 14: Bridgeport State Recreation Area (Northwest Lake) Terry's Pit in Terrytown Scottsbluff Zoo pond Morrill Sandpits (North and Middle ponds) March 16: Niobrara State Park Ponds
March 17: Qwest Lake at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park
Windmill State Recreation Area near Gibbon (Lake 1)
Holdrege City Park Lake (North Park)
Ord City Pond (Auble's Pond)
March 18: Auburn Rotary Club Lake Fremont State Recreation Area (Lake No. 2)
March 19: (times are plus or minus 30 minutes)
TaHaZouka Park Lake in Norfolk - 9:30 a.m.
Such's Lake in Grand Island - 10:15 a.m.
Barnett Park Pond in McCook - 11 a.m.
Pawnee Park West in Columbus - 11 a.m.
Lake Halleck in Papillion - 11 a.m.
Heartwell Park in Hastings - 11:15 a.m.
Holmes Lake in Lincoln - 11:15 a.m.
Lexington City Park Lake - 12:30 p.m.
Steinhart Park Pond in Nebraska City - 12:45 p.m.
Elm Creek near Red Cloud - 2 p.m. Late March: White River near Crawford Information on year-round fish stocking can be found in the fish stocking report on our website. Remember that anglers 16 years or older need a 2011 Nebraska Fishing permit; and if you are headed for a state park or recreation area, you'll need a 2011 Nebraska Park permit. Click here to buy your permits online.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ben Nelson "Washington Should Pass Full Year Budget To Stabilize Business, Jobs"

March 17, 2011 – Today, Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson issued this statement after voting for the latest short-term Continuing Resolution to fund the government for the next three weeks through April 8. The Senate approved the bill, 87-13. The legislation now goes to the President for his signature.
“This should be the last stopgap bill. At a time we’re engaged in two wars, with a fragile economy, Washington needs to promote continuity and stability,” said Senator Nelson. “Instead, Washington continues to kick the can down the road in this irresponsible way only because it refuses to set aside partisan politics. “I hope those pursuing partisan political agendas will see the negative impact that is having on the economy. I’m certainly ready to cut spending in responsible and real ways to pass a full year budget for this year and next, which begins on October 1. It’s time to get serious about cutting spending and reducing the debt. “Washington needs to come together, pass bipartisan year-long budgets that reduce spending, and focus on improving the economic climate in states like Nebraska, so that investment will occur and people who are unemployed will have jobs.”

Get the Facts Before Giving to Tsunami Relief

LINCOLN Attorney General Bruning today issued a warning on giving to charities after last week’s earthquake and resulting tsunami devastated the shores of Japan. With the death toll expected to top 10,000 and thousands more injured and homeless, relief workers are moving in from across the globe. Nebraskans have joined the effort by opening their hearts and wallets to generously support relief organizations. Unfortunately, this disaster may give con artists a chance to tug on your heartstrings and steal your cash. “Our hearts go out to those affected by this overwhelming disaster,” said Bruning. “Being mindful of where you give your money is the best way to ensure donations reach those who need it most.” It’s important to get the facts before making any charitable contribution. • Ask how your donation will be used. What percentage will go to actual victim relief? What percentage will be used for administrative costs or to pay professional fundraisers? What percentage will be used to fund other programs sponsored by the charity? • Give to reputable organizations, such as the American Red Cross, UNICEF or your local church. • Verify the charity you select has experience in international relief efforts. • Resist emotional appeals and take your time when making donation decisions. • Never give cash. Legitimate charities will accept checks or credit cards. A scammer does not want a paper trail. • Obtain a receipt from the organization showing the amount of the donation. It should also include the name, address and phone number of the organization and as well as tax information. For additional information, contact our Consumer Protection Division at (800) 727-6432 or visit

Gov. Heineman Proclaims Nebraska Ag Week

(Lincoln, Neb.) - Gov. Dave Heineman has declared March 13-19, Nebraska Agriculture Week. Nebraska Agriculture Week coincides with National Agriculture Week. “It’s important to acknowledge the dedication of our farmers and ranchers, and offer our appreciation for their efforts,” Gov. Heineman said. “This week provides us the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the contributions agriculture makes in our everyday lives and to recognize the significance that the agriculture industry plays in our state’s economy.” To celebrate, Gov. Heineman will be joined by representatives of Nebraska Farm Bureau and Greg Ibach, Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture for an agriculture tour. The tour stops are open to the public and will start at 9 a.m. MT in Gering at the Gering Civic Center, with an Ag Week breakfast. At 11 a.m. MT there will be a lunch in Ogallala at the Platte River Inn, and an afternoon reception at 2:30 p.m. CT in Hastings at the Hastings Prairie Loft Center. “Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers are taking care of their animals and the earth each and every day, and their 24 hour a day, 7 day a week, dedication and commitment is greatly appreciated,” said Dir. Ibach. “I encourage all Nebraskans to learn more about the farmers and ranchers that produce their food, fuel and fiber.” Farm Bureau President Keith Olsen said, “It is important to recognize agriculture week, because it gives us an opportunity to thank the hard working farmers and ranchers who provide us with the safe food we eat and the products we use. I'm happy to be a part of the celebration to say, ‘Thank you!’” Nebraska’s largest industry is agriculture. Each year, cash receipts from farm marketing contribute over $15 billion dollars to Nebraska’s economy. Nebraska is first in the nation for red meat, Great Northern Bean and popcorn production. Nebraska consistently ranks in the nation’s top five producers of corn, soybeans, hay, and dry edible beans, and Top 10 for production of hogs, grain sorghum, winter wheat and table egg layers. Additionally, Nebraska consistently ranks in the top five states in the nation in agricultural exports. According to Nebraska Farm Bureau, one of every three jobs in Nebraska exists because of Nebraska agriculture – in farming and ranching, food and fuel processing, marketing, distribution, research, and regulation. The Ag Fly-Around is Friday, March 18, 2011.

Smith Pushes U.S.-Colombia Trade Agreement

March 17, 2011: WASHINGTON, DC- Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) today participated in a hearing about the pending trade agreement with Colombia. It was the first hearing held regarding the U.S.-Colombia agreement held by the Subcommittee on Trade of the Ways and Means Committee. "With each day we delay signing the agreement with Colombia, Nebraska's farmers and ranchers lose opportunities to international competitors. The time to act on this agreement is now," Smith said following the hearing. "Opening new markets, particularly those growing as rapidly as Colombia, is the best way to create American jobs and boost economic growth." The U.S.-Colombia agreement would eliminate or substantially lower tariffs on exports to Colombia, particularly agricultural products. The American Farm Bureau estimates U.S. farm exports to Colombia could increase by more than $690 million annually with the passage of this agreement. Historically, Colombia was the largest export market in Latin America for U.S. agricultural products. It has now fallen to second because of sharp loss of market share following Colombia’s trade agreement with Argentina. Smith serves on the Committee on Ways and Means, which has jurisdiction over pending trade agreements. The Committee on Ways and Means continues to press for the agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea to be considered by July 1, 2011.

Legislative Newsletter Senator Tom Carlson- District 38

March 11, 2011 Congratulations to the boys’ basketball teams from Sutton and Holdrege for making it to Lincoln to play in the state tournament last week. District 38 had good representation in both the girls’ and boys’ tournaments. We have passed the half way mark of this 90 day legislature. Forty two bills have been passed and are awaiting the Governor’s signature. Another 39 have been approved by the Governor. Senators have designated their priority bills. Those bills have a good chance of being debated, once they are advanced by the committee to the full legislature. I will report on my priority bill next week. The Ag Committee met and voted out several bills that have been heard this session. We advanced Senator Schilz bill, LB 459, which further classifies animals as property of the owner, making no other relationship legal. LB 473, a bill by Senator Louden, was also advanced. It provides for proper management of prairie dogs in Nebraska. Senator Christensen’s bill, LB 698, will be debated by the full legislature. Under its provisions, ethanol blends of under 11% will no longer need to be identified as ethanol. Senator Council has LB 200, which addresses food deserts in the state and encourages greater access to local grown foods. It was also advanced. I appeared in front of the Transportation Committee to introduce LB 244 on behalf of constituents from Naponee. These enterprising folks collected private money and had an attractive sign produced to promote their village, located two miles south of Highway 136. That highway is a federally designated “scenic by-way.” They found out that a change of law would be necessary for them to place the sign along the highway, as it included specific businesses instead of generic services such as, “food, gas, and lodging.” This bill continues my legislative campaign promise to promote rural economic development. “Population out” continues to be a challenge to rural Nebraska, but here we have small town citizens trying to promote their town. Due to federal rules and the resulting highway funding tied to such rules, they can not display their sign on the main highway connecting to their spur. My bill would allow such signs. The committee was interested in the problem and many of the members represent small communities that have the same roadblock.
I hope to work with our state and federal officials to make some changes to allow our local businesses to be advertised for passing motorists

Monday, March 14, 2011

Deanna Karmazin named Ag in the Classroom coordinator

Deanna K. Karmazin of Lincoln is the new coordinator for Nebraska Agriculture in the class room program.
Agriculture in the classroom is a nationwide educational program to help students understand that agriculture is the source of food, clothing and shelter and other essentials of life. In Nebraska it is organized and funded by the Nebraska Foundation for Agricultural Awareness with headquarters at the Nebraska Farm Bureau office in Lincoln.
Her appointment was announced March 10th in Lincoln at the annual meeting of the foundation by Eric Brown, foundation president and General Manager of KRVN Radio in Lexington.
"Deanna brings a wealth of education and agricultural experience to this critical position and the leadership skills to move it forward." brown said "She has given dozens of presentation that help children and adults understand agriculture and its importance to them and to our state.
Karmazin has been an extension associate with UNL Extension in Lancaster County since 1996. In that position she designed and taught and evaluated 4H programs in many areas and developed education curricula to supplement 4H activities.
Karmazin grew up in Webster County with a broad background in agriculture and in both the 4-H and FFA programs. She is the daughter of Duane and Connie Lienemann of Blue Hill, where she attended high school. She is married to Steve Karmazin originally from Lawrence. Deanna and Steve reside in Lincoln, Nebraska with their twin children Christopher and Lauren (10 yr).
Karmazin earned a B.S. degree in Agricultural education from UNL in 1996 and a in agricultural leadership education and communication in 2000. She is a Nebraska certified teacher and is a certified grant writer. She is a graduate of the Nebraska LEAD program and serves on the boards of the Nebraska agricultural relations council and the Nebraska Cooperative Extension Association.
From 2000 to 2005 she was an elected member of the Lancaster Agriculture Society. (Landcaster County Fair Board.)
Karmazin will assume her responsibilities on April 11. She succeeds Ellen Hellerich of Valparaiso who is retiring at the end of March.

Quote of the Day

"Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world." --C.S. Lewis

Flags at Half Staff in Honor of American WWI Veterans

(Lincoln, Neb.) Flags across the nation will fly at Half staff Tuesday, March 15. In response to a proclamation signed by the President, Gov. Dave Heineman reminded Nebraskans to fly state and U.S. flags at half-staff tomorrow to honor and remember Army Corporal Frank Buckles, the last surviving American veteran of World War I. Frank was born on February 1, 1901. At the age of 16, he witnessed the European theatre of World War I, serving in the United States Army as an ambulance driver. In World War II, he became a Prisoner of War in the Philippines and was imprisoned for 39 months. After his return, Frank settled down in West Virginia to his humble farm, where he lived until his death on February 27, 2011, at the age of 110. .

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County March 12, 2011 Edition I had the great opportunity to join about 100 or so farmers, ranchers, educators, and agribusiness leaders to attend the Governor’s Ag Conference a few days ago. We heard our governor and several excellent speakers discuss how our state’s number one industry has fared in the past year and what we can look forward to in the coming year. The message I heard was that Nebraska’s agriculture industry is strong and the outlook for 2011 is for continued strength, with anticipated record net farm income. A number of the speakers pointed out that what’s been good for Nebraska agriculture has been good for the entire state. An economist with the Federal Reserve Bank stated that the economy of Nebraska has flourished because of the success of our farmers and ranchers, while the rest of the nation suffered through a major recession. All though our state has its own financial problems, we and other northern plains states have done well in difficult times in large part due to our farms and ranches. Speaking of the world, it was really interesting to hear Lt. Col. Lynn Heng with the Nebraska National Guard talked about their mission in Afghanistan, where 27 Nebraska soldiers, with various agriculture and farm backgrounds, are sharing farming practices and other techniques with local Afghan farmers to help their people move forward in creating a sustainable economy. I know that Jenny Rees, UNL Extension Educator in Clay County, and her husband Chris have both been very involved with this project. It was particularly interesting to me because Lt. Colonel Heng knows one of my brothers really well, and was a fraternity brother of one of our Webster County farmers. I now have some stories! We had a former chief of staff to several Secretaries of Agriculture inform us that as Congress is preparing to begin work on the next Farm Bill that we need to be active in the development of this critical policy. He indicated that this will be a whole different ballgame this time around, especially with the environment of budget cuts and good farm prices. It is going to be interesting to see what is in store for the 2012 Farm Bill. We definitely have seen an evolution over the years. The global presence of U.S. agriculture was the focus of the conference keynote address by the president of Pioneer Global Seed Genetics. He spoke about the global economic climate, currency issues, and other factors that will ultimately determine international trade. Agriculture exports are anticipated to be at or near an all-time high in 2011, maintaining agriculture’s position as one of the few industries in the United States to have a consistently positive trade balance. Another topic that really got my attention and raised my blood pressure was the concern about current and impending regulations, especially EPA regulations and their potential impact on our agriculture industry. It is unbelievable what they have on their agenda. The general consensus of the audience and the people I talked to feel that the over-regulation by entities like EPA is one of our biggest stumbling blocks in agriculture and likely to be an ongoing concern. I want to take my hat off to Senator Mike Johannes for standing up to the EPA and taking them to task on the overreach and overregulation that is and will have devastating impacts on agriculture. Thank you Senator for standing up for us! While we were talking about the EPA, a couple of people I met started talking to me about another government entity that I had never heard of - NEPA. It peaked my interest, and I have since done a little research and I think this may be as troubling as EPA. NEPA is the granddaddy of environmental statutes, signed into law on January 1, 1970. The purpose of the act was simple. It became national policy to protect the environment and NEPA required environmental impact statements (EIS's) be prepared for major federal actions having a significant effect on the environment. This simple act has now taken up hundreds of pages of regulations and thousands of pages of court cases. And, cost thousands of jobs and kept our country from using its oil and gas resources, which will contribute to $4-plus gasoline! Will NEPA do the same to agriculture? I suggest you do a little reading on this “little known about law” and I will be interested in what you think. I really enjoyed listening to South Dakota ranchers Troy and Stacy Hadrick. You may remember the YouTube video of a rancher pouring out a Yellow Tail wine bottle in his cattle lot after the company donated a lot of money to HSUS. That was Troy. The couple has a Facebook account called “Advocates for Agriculture”, which is what they said we all need to be. They echoed, what I have been saying for quite some time, that as the focus on livestock animal welfare/rights grows, it is up to everyone involved in farming, ranching and agribusiness to let consumers know about what they do every day to put food on the table for our state, our nation and the world. I was particularly pleased with our Governor Dave Heineman and his stance and comments about the Humane Society of the United States. Governor Heineman told us that he isn't buying into HSUS President Wayne Pacelle’s statement that they aren’t interesting in Nebraska and that they weren’t out to destroy animal agriculture, our number one industry in the state. He told all of us that he was prepared to stand up and fight with our farmers and ranchers against the HSUS because it's important to our economic future. He said HSUS tries to go into states and intimidate people. He stated that he won't be intimidated, nor will our citizens by the HSUS. He pointed out that HSUS is a Washington DC special interest group trying to tell us how to run our state and that we don't need their help, we don't want their help, and that Nebraskans are completely capable of making decisions about our state. Amen! Way to go Governor! Thanks for a great conference! 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:

Seminar on Holistic Range Management & Direct Marketing in Blue Hill April 4

“Like Our Grandfathers……How Managing for Healthy Landscapes and Directly Marketing to Consumers can Re-establish Agrarian Independence” is the telling title of a seminar that will be held in Blue Hill at the Community Center on Monday, April 4, 2011 from 5:00 until 9:00 pm. The featured speaker is Paul Schwennesen a noted cattleman and beef entrepreneur from Arizona. Paul Schwennesen and his wife Sarah own and manage the Double Check Ranch, a 12,000 acre holistically managed ranch located between Phoenix and Tucson, near Winkleman, AZ. The Schwennesen family believes that responsible, small-scale agriculture is a critical, and currently, largely missing key to a responsible economy. They realize that managing land well can restore the biodiversity that our landscapes are losing at a frightening rate. They have a biological plan to manage their land holistically, and all decisions are goal driven to ensure that they are socially, economically and environmentally sound. They are dedicated to improving their watershed and share the ranch with a variety of wildlife. Paul and Sarah have increased ranch profitability significantly through merchandising a natural grass fed beef product direct to the consumer. Paul is also an active Board member of the Southwest Grass-fed Livestock Alliance in conjunction with the Quivira Coalition. You will find this to be a refreshing look at beef production and profitability and a holistic method to get there. You can find more information by going on the internet to or by contacting Ron Bolze, Coordinator, Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition at 402-426-2033 (office); 402 321 0067 (cell); or by emailing Come listen and interact with Paul Schwennesen who will be discussing: Resource conservation through Holistic grazing management; Enhancing Ranch Profitability through “Direct to Consumer” sales; and Protecting Individual Liberties for Long Term Ranch Sustainability. With increasing input costs and value of our land and resources, we must look at every avenue to be profitable in the short run and continually productive in the long run. This seminar will help you discover some tools that may fit into your beef production tool box and perhaps think outside of the normal realm or “box” that we put ourselves in. This is a supper meeting so registration is required. There will be a small fee to cover some of the expenses, including the meal. The meeting is sponsored by the Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition, South Central Cattlemen Association and Webster County UNL Extension. Participants must pre-register by Friday, April 1 to reserve their meal ticket and a seat by calling the Webster County UNL Extension office at 402-756-3417 or email your intent to Dewey Lienemann at Walk-ins are welcome but will probably not get a meal.

Friday, March 11, 2011

NCBA announces winners of Public Speaking Contests

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has announced winners of the youth contests at the 2011 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Denver, Co. This is the third year for the programs aimed at young people ages nine to young adult. The contests are focused on education, leadership and teamwork. NCBA Youth contests included Team Marketing, Beef Quiz Bowl, Prepared Public Speaking and Cattle Judging. The youth contests were coordinated by NCBA and exclusively sponsored by a grant from The Farm Credit System Foundation. The Prepared Public Speaking contest stimulates interest in leadership through presentation skills. Twenty- six contestants competed in three age groups: Under 10, 11-14 and 15-19. The winners are: (10 and under) 1st Sara Gardner of Fayetteville, Ark. 2nd Bailee Schiefelbein, Kimball, Minn. 3rd Ashlynn Ochsner. Kersey, Colorado (11 to 14),DaisyRottman, littleton, Colorado, 2nd Katie Gardner of Fayetteville, Ark, 3rd Shelby Schiefelbein of Kimball, Minn. 4th abby Schiefelbein, Kimball, Minn. 5th Caitlynn Oschner, Kersey, Colorado. Ashlynn and Caitlynn Oschner of Kersey are the daughters of Kevin and Julie Classen Oschner and the granddaughters of Keith and Joan Classen of Blue Hill. Kevin and Julie Oschner both served as nationall FFA officers in 1987-1988.

Calvary Rosemont Plans Celebration

(some information for this article were taken from a Hastings Tribune Article written in 1988 by Joel Lau )
ROSEMONT-Former Rosemont Pastor Paulsen will return to give the message for a 60th anniversary celebration at Calvary Rosemont Lutheran church. The congregation is celebrating 60 years since the dedication at this location Sunday March 13. Former members and friends are encouraged to attend the Sunday morning worship service which will begin at 10:30 a.m . A Pot luck dinner will follow in the church fellowship hall. (basement)
The church was reorganized 60 years ago when Zion Lutheran church and Salem Lutheran Church consolidated at a central location to become Calvary Lutheran church in Rosemont
The small Calvary Lutheran church congregation at Rosemont is presently served by Pastor Ronald Kuehner formerly of Red Cloud, who is semi retired and now lives in Blue Hill.
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 8 miles south east of Rosemont or 6 1/2 miles south west of Lawrence had already experienced 62 years of history before it merged with Salem Lutheran Church of rural Rosemont in 1951. Salem had been founded in 1899 four miles southwest of Rosemont. Salem Lutheran Cemetery marks the spot where it once was located.
Zion’s relationship with Salem began in 1904 when Zion’s minister began serving its sister congregation.
Zion was established by seven families on August 12, 1888. It’s charter members included Friedrich, Louis, John and Carl Bangert; and Matthaeus and John Benker. Many decendents of these founding fathers, the Bangerts and the Benkers, still attend the Rosemont church.
“Not very big” said 103 year old Clara Kirchner,(in 1988) of Blue Hill, describing Zion’s first congregation. Kirchner was the oldest surviving member of Zion. Her father was John Bangert. Her son Kenneth and his family still attend the church in the Rosemont location. In 1888 the congregation built a combined church and parsonage on land donated by Friedrich Bangert. The land surrounding where the church once stood, and where the Zion Lutheran cemetery is located still belongs to decendants of Friedrich Bangert.
The building built by the congretation in 1888 was 20 by 32 feet and cost $620. The Congregation’s first minister, Rev. H Dannefeldt soon arrived and a year later the congregation joined the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. The congregation’s growth required the construction of a new church building in 1891. By the middle 1890’s the church had over 170 members. The close-knit congregation shared in each other’s lives, according to Kirchner. When someone missed church the case was quickly investigated by other members. “It was an unwritten law that everyone go to church on Sunday.” she said. “ We were trained that way. We went to church every Sunday and there was no letup. We were a strong bunch.” Kirchner was active in the church and helped found the Ladies Aid in 1927. “As long as I could manage I went to church and ladies aid.” she said.
The Walther League (Youth group) was organized seven years earlier. Physical changes experienced by the Zion congregation between 1907 and 1912 included the building of a coal house, a buggy shed, a parsonage and the schoolhouse. The biggest change for the congregation may have been the transition from German to English. For many years all services at the church were conducted in German. “I couldn’t speak a word of American. I spoke German. My father was a strong German”, she said ”We had some in-laws that couldn’t speak German and (her father) insisted they talked German at least in his presence.” The transition to speaking the english language in church services was influenced by World War I and the intermarriage of the German members with English speaking families. “At first everyone insisted they have German services. Then they married into the American family, “ Kirchner said.
In 1917 Alma Knehans became the first student at Zion to be confirmed in the English language and by 1925 the English Constitution was adopted.
In 1904 the two congregations located just over four miles apart began to share a minister. The minister was required to conduct Sunday services and teach school for both congregations. The various ministers continued to teach at Zion’s school until 1920 when full time teachers taught until the school closed in 1950. It was just like any other one-room school” said Katherine Stroh, of Blue Hill, speaking in 1988. Her father was John Benker. After her marriage Katherine and her family attended church as the Salem location. She was 14 years old when she decided to attend the parochial school at Zion. Kirchner attended school at Zion until she was 13. As the 1930’s approached, economic depression and the area’s declining population forced the congregation to consider merging with Salem. Although the consolidation with Salem was officially discussed in August 1925 it wasn’t until January 1948 that the decision to merge was made. Calvary Lutheran Church in Rosemont was dedicated in Rosemont in March 1951. “They decided that Rosemont was sort of halfway between for people to come," Stroh said. Her late husband Harvey, was a member of Salem. The couple was married at Zion in 1919. When the merger was complete the parsonage at zion was moved to Rosemont, the church was destroyed and the school was sold. The Rosemont church was moved from the Salem location into Rosemont. Lumber was salvaged from the Zion church to add on to the building. Anniversary services commemorating Zion's Centennial were held August 21, 1988 at Calvary Lutheran Church in Rosemont
Church History
taken from March 11, 1951, Dedication Book
Calvary Lutheran Church of Rosemont, Nebraska was organized in April 1950. The Rev. V. C. Frank, then Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church of Blue Hill, and vacancy pastor of Zion Lutheran Church of Guide Rock and Salem Lutheran Church at Rosemont , directed the organization. Though Calvary Lutheran Church is less than a year old, its anecedents congregations have existed for more than half a century. The members of Zion and the Salem congreatations amalgamated to form the new congregation . Thirty seven members have signed the constitution of Calvary and conprise its charter membership. The present parsonage of Calvary Lutheran Church is the former parsonage located at the site of Zion Lutheran Church near Guide Rock, from where it was moved, and has now been enlarged and completely renovated. The Church structure, which we are dedicating today, is a composite unit, part of the building being the former Salem Congregations house of worship which was moved to Rosemont, and the transverse section being added and built largely of material salvaged from the dismanteling of Zion congregations church building. The whole hearted support of the members of the Calvary congregation , their innumerable hours of labor , their love filled zeal has made this dream come true. May God bless this house and all who minister and worship here. To God alone be all the Glory.
Salem Lutheran Church was organized on June 25, 1899, under the leadership of Pastor P.P. Graf of the Iowa Synod. He was the resident Pastor of Salem Lutheran Church north of Smyrna. Charter members of Salem Lutheran Church were Carl Spilker, Fritz Hemsath, Carl Gestring, Henry Blobaum, Fred Blobaum, Henry Spilker, Minna Erfmann, Otto Myeller, and Herman Spirring.
Pastor Grael served Salem until 1902. Pastor Kiesow, also of the Smyrna Church, served Salem until January 1904 when he resigned because of the distance between congregations. Salem was served by Missouri Synod pastors after this time.
Within a year after Salem called a Missouri Synod pastor, a new Iowa Synod congregation was organiszed two miles to the south of Salelm. This new congregation, known as Emmanuel Luteran Church, was situated on four acres of land purchased in March 1905 from Carl and Loesa Scheiding. The church building was erected in 1906.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Johanns Moves to Halt Backdoor Cap-and-Trade

March 9, 2011 WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today spoke on the Senate floor in support of a bill to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from a back-door cap-and-trade regime that would drive energy cost increases. The Energy Tax Prevention Act would amend the Clean Air Act to explicitly prevent EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, thereby re-establishing Congressional control over the writing of environmental law. The bipartisan bill currently has 43 cosponsors. "Families, farms and businesses are still pulling our country out of a recession, and EPA is bent on implementing a regulatory regime to smother them with a crippling energy tax," Johanns said. "The tack EPA is taking has already been roundly rejected by Congress and far surpasses the agency's legal authority. Unless Congress reasserts its own authority, EPA will impose regulations leading to skyrocketing costs for Americans and ship jobs to our foreign competitors, all for no discernible environmental gain." Background: • The Energy Tax Prevention Act was introduced by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.). • The budget proposed by the Obama Administration last month declares that it "continues to support greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the United States in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, and 83 percent by 2050." Such reductions are similar to those outlined in the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, yet cap-and-trade was rejected by the Senate in 2009. • The Energy Tax Prevention Act would do nothing to prevent EPA from exercising its established role of ensuring a healthy environment as outlined in the Clean Air Act.

Smith Announces 2011 Congressional Art Competition Winners

March 8, 2011: First Place to Hang in U.S. Capitol, Others to Hang in Smith's Offices WASHINGTON, DC- Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) today announced the winning artists of the 2011 Congressional Art Competition: An Artistic Discovery. Smith worked with the Nebraska Art Teachers Association to coordinate the competition. The first place artwork will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Smith will display the runners-up in his Washington, D.C. and Third District offices. "The talent of Nebraska's young artists is remarkable, and I am proud of both the students and their teachers for these accomplishments. I look forward to showcasing their artwork in the U.S. Capitol and my offices during the coming year," Smith said. First Place: Michaela Schlesinger"Comfort in Chaos" - Charcoal on Stained Paper Blue Hill High School Michaela's work will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year. Michaela is the student of Christine Lockhart-Brown. Second Place: Morgan Ockinga"Joining of Souls" - Oil Pastel Blue Hill High School Morgan's work will be displayed in Smith's Washington, D.C. Office.Morgan is the student of Christine Lockhart-Brown. Third Place: Hunter Ellis"Hawaii" - Prisma color Holdrege High School Hunter's work will be displayed in Smith's Grand Island Office. Hunter is the student of Christy Kosmicki. Fourth Place: Cheyeanne Griffis"Random Thoughts" - Mixed Media Blue Hill High School Cheyeanne's work will be displayed in Smith's Scottsbluff Office. Cheyeanne is the student of Christine Lockhart-Brown. The Congressional Arts Caucus annually sponsors the Congressional Arts Competition as a competition for high school students from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. NOTE: Images of the artwork are available upon request.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Johanns Calls for Serious Budget-Cutting Work

March 9, 2011 WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today called on his Senate colleagues to set aside partisanship and work toward a long-term solution to our country’s record high debt and deficit. As expected, two bills to fund the government failed in the Senate today. Johanns expressed an interest in moving beyond messaging to the real work of balancing the budget. “We need to move forward in a bipartisan manner and find a way to reduce spending that makes sense for the country and makes real progress toward balancing our budget. It will now take the collective work of all Members of Congress and the President to prevent our debt from becoming an economic crisis. The future fiscal health of the country is on the line.” The first government funding bill, which Johanns supported, was passed in the House of Representatives last month and would have cut $57 billion from the federal budget. The second bill, which Johanns voted against, was offered by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and would have cut a mere $4.7 billion.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

USDA Reminds Landowners and Producers of CRP General Sign-up

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2011 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today reminded landowners and producers that a general sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will begin on March 14, 2011, and continue through April 15, 2011. During the sign-up period, farmers and ranchers may offer eligible land at their county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. The 2008 Farm Bill authorized USDA to maintain CRP enrollment up to 32 million acres. The Secretary announced the sign-up recently in Omaha, Neb., at Pheasant Fest. “For 25 years, CRP has generated significant environmental improvements,” said Vilsack. “Sound conservation practices encouraged through CRP enrollment preserve the soil, clean our water and restore habitat for wildlife. I encourage all interested farmers and ranchers to contact their local FSA office to learn more about this opportunity.” CRP is a voluntary program that assists farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers to use their environmentally-sensitive land for conservation benefits. Producers enrolling in CRP plant long-term, resource-conserving covers in exchange for rental payments, cost-share and technical assistance. By reducing water runoff and sedimentation, CRP also protects groundwater and helps improve the condition of lakes, rivers, ponds and streams. Acreage enrolled in the CRP is planted to resource-conserving vegetative covers, making the program a major contributor to wildlife population increases in many parts of the country. Land may be enrolled in CRP provided all eligibility requirements are met. Additionally, current CRP participants with contracts expiring this fall covering about 4.4 million acres may make new contract offers. Contracts awarded under this sign-up are scheduled to become effective Oct. 1, 2011. FSA will evaluate and rank eligible CRP offers using an Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) for environmental benefits to be gained from enrolling the land in CRP. The EBI consists of five environmental factors (wildlife, water, soil, air and enduring benefits) and cost. Decisions on the EBI cutoff will be made after the sign-up ends April 15 and after analyzing the EBI data of all the offers. In addition to general sign-up, CRP’s continuous sign-up program will be ongoing. Continuous acres represent the most environmentally desirable and sensitive land. For more information, visit

Legislative Update

Senator Tom Carlson
District 38
March 4, 2011 The past week has been the busiest as far as bill introductions. In addition, my family has joined me in Lincoln to cheer on the four girls’ basketball teams from the 38th District. Holdrege, Sandy Creek, Sutton, and Lawrence-Nelson all made the trip to Lincoln. As of today, Holdrege and Sandy Creek are moving on to the semi finals. I congratulate all the teams and coaches as well as the parents who support these student athletes. The Natural Resources Committee heard three bills introduced by me on behalf of the Natural Resources Districts as they held their annual managers meeting on March 2nd. LB 526 would change provisions relating to surface water transfers to allow a transfer of an entire amount of a surface water irrigation right for a nonconsumptive use. LB 595 would create the Water Resources Revolving Loan Fund to be partially funded with half the money remaining in the Water Contingency Cash Fund, which was created to receive deposits of loan repayment due to LB 1094, which passed in 2008. The third bill, LB 596, would allow any owner of an appropriation that relies on water from a river basin affected by an integrated management plan (IMP) to have standing to participate in any legal or administrative proceedings affecting such IMP. The hearings were informative but the committee has not had time to consider any action on the bills. I also introduced LB 693 last week. This bill, commonly called the Dram Shop Bill, has been in front of the Judiciary Committee for at least the past ten years. It would create a cause of action for damages against any bar tender or bar owner who serves alcoholic liquor by the drink to an intoxicated person when the licensee knew or should have known that the person was intoxicated and the intoxicated person then causes death or bodily harm to another person or persons. It is currently against Nebraska law to serve alcohol to an intoxicated person. The law is not frequently enforced. UNL Athletic Director Tom Osborne came to testify the bill on behalf of Michelle and Anno Jo Cowen of Omaha. Their husband and father, Joe, was killed by an intoxicated motorist, who had been drinking for several hours at an Omaha bar. The bill brings out many testifiers, both proponents and opponents, for this emotional issue. Tragedies such as for the Cowan family occur infrequently, but when they happen, they should have a course of action. The Ag Committee has completed its formal bill hearings for this session. We have advanced LB 305, the bill which creates a meat inspection program for the state of Nebraska. Senator Louden has LB 473, which requires landowners to control prairie dogs on their property. We hope to advance that bill. Senator Schilz presented LB 459, a bill that keeps animals as property and not allowing guardianship as is possible with human beings. I hope that bill advances.

How to Cut Federal Spending

Senator Ben Nelson
I was a budget hawk before budget hawks were popular and I’m happy to see the emphasis on reducing spending that is currently sweeping Washington. It’s always been popular in Nebraska. When I was governor we balanced income with outgo every year and we did it by making plenty of cuts. Nebraska’s Constitution requires a balanced budget but that doesn’t make the task any easier. Tough decisions had to be made and I always kept my veto pen handy and wasn’t afraid to use it. The best way to cut spending is to lead by example. If we expect the American people to accept cuts in programs that impact them we in Congress must do the same. As Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee I’ve introduced a bill to cut Congress’ budget 5 percent for the rest of the year. Last year, our subcommittee held Congressional spending to a zero percent increase. For the rest of this year we need to cut deeper and we’ll do it again next year. A Model for All Government My hope is the example we set reining in spending for the Legislative Branch will serve as a model for all of government. This 5 percent reduction will not go unnoticed because it covers spending for the offices of Members of Congress, the Government Accountability Office, the Government Printing Office, the Library of Congress and more. We also have to work together to make necessary cuts which we’ve shown we can do in approving a four billion dollar cut in spending over the next two weeks. Let’s hope we can come together soon to pass a budget with additional cuts. Everyone knows there will be cuts, some of them will be painful and they will be substantial. We have to bring spending down and we have to bring the national debt down because it will help our economy and lift an unfair burden we’re passing onto our children. As we work to bring down spending in Washington it will be very difficult to do so without reducing spending the states receive from the federal government. Just as states are cutting funding for local governments, federal funding to the states must be considered for cuts. It’s part of everyone pitching in and living with less. Need to Change Paths We need to lead, we need to reduce spending and we need to take the action necessary to reign in debt and deficit. The current path is a road to economic nowhere. The nation’s debt is the biggest threat to our national security according to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen. Because Washington surely needs more fiscal accountability these days, we should adapt a variation of President Harry Truman’s well-known phrase and say, “The Buck Shrinks Here.”

Monday, March 7, 2011

One last Blast of Winter for Blue Hill

Monday night weather Forecast. Cloudy with light freezing drizzle or snow or light sleet likely. Forecast: New snow and sleet accumulation up to 1 inch. Lows in the mid 20s. Northeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 60 percent. It is 10:30 p.m Monday. A complete light blanket of new snow disturbed only by a few animal tracks lies even and quiet across the lawns. It is very quiet. White, clean and pretty for now. No freezing drizzle, maybe that will be coming later. No wind. A school opening delay has appeared on the TV, Blue Hill School has scheduled a two hour delay in opening tomorrow morning. By Tuesday morning school has been cancelled for the day and the Blue Hill students were given another "SNOW DAY"!!!!!! Forecast for Tuesday morning: Snow. Snow accumulation around 7 inches. Highs in the lower 30s. Northeast winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow near 100 percent. Forecast for Tuesday afternoon & evening. Snow. Snow accumulation around 7 inches. Highs in the lower 30s. Northeast winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow near 100 percent.

Open Forum

Open Forum is your chance to comment on breaking news or ask a question -- on any issue. Any topic is fair game, although Blue Hill Today's comment policies still apply. (see bottom of left hand column.).Go ahead and sound off on anything. News, sports, weather, current events, government, social events. We are listening. A new Open Forum link may be re-posted every Monday (or there abouts) to keep it towards the top of the recent posts .Of course, your completed news article, news information, pictures, story idea, or suggestions to improve this site can still be sent to Blue Hill Today by e-mailing us at

Focus of Pheasants enrolls acres for habitat.

LINCOLN, Neb. – Through the statewide Focus on Pheasants program, the Southwest Focus on Pheasants program enrolled 5,350 acres for habitat in 2010. There were $83,338 in incentive payments in portions of northwest Hitchcock, southeast Hayes and northwest Red Willow counties – known as the Southwest Focus Area. The Focus on Pheasants program strives to enhance pheasant hunting by offering landowners incentives to produce quality habitat that will increase bird populations and to provide public hunting access. In the southwest focus area, there were 3,168 acres of tall wheat stubble and 2,028 acres of milo stubble enrolled. There were 154 acres of range deferment and 154 acres of prescribed fire. Of those habitat acres, 1,211 were under contract for allowing walk-in hunting access, including 425 acres of tall wheat stubble and 663 of milo stubble. Focus on Pheasants is a joint effort of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Pheasants Forever and resource and conservation partners to increase the pheasant population by creating and enhancing habitat in the focus areas.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bruning Warns of Payday Loan Scam and Risky Trial Offers

LINCOLN - Attorney General Jon Bruning today announced the 2011 National Consumer Protection Week begins Sunday, March 6. AG Bruning was joined by Better Business Bureau President Jim Hegarty, U.S. Postal Inspector Dave Margritz, Lincoln Postmaster Kerry Kowalski and Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Boeshart to focus on two consumer topics: an aggressive payday loan telephone scam targeting Nebraskans and the risks involved with free trial subscription and membership services."The number and variety of scams continues to grow,” said Lincoln Postmaster Kerry Kowalski. “Consumers must protect themselves and verify that offers and businesses are legitimate prior to providing any personal information or form of payment. "Payday Lender Telephone Scam" In these scams, a caller claims that the victim is delinquent in a payday loan that must be repaid immediately to avoid legal consequences. The scammers pose as representatives of the FBI, a law firm or another legitimately-named agency. The scammers claim to be collecting debts for companies such as United Cash Advance, U.S. Cash Advance, U.S. Cash Net and other Internet check cashing services. One of the most insidious aspects of this scam is the callers have accurate information about the victims, including: Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, employer information, bank account numbers, and names and telephone numbers of relatives and friends. According to the FBI, fraudsters may be obtaining the victims’ personal information from completed online applications for other loans or credit cards.The fraudsters relentlessly call the victim’s home, cell phone and place of employment. They refuse to provide to the victims any details of the alleged payday loans and become abusive when questioned. The callers threaten victims with legal actions, arrests and, in some cases, physical violence if payment is not received. In many cases, the callers resort to harassment of the victim’s relatives, friends and employers. Some fraudsters instruct victims to fax a statement agreeing to pay a certain dollar amount, on a specific date, via prepaid visa card. The scammers also require a statement declaring that the victim will never dispute the debt. Bruning warned that these telephone calls are an attempt to obtain payment by instilling fear and encouraged consumers not to follow the instructions of the callers. Instead, consumers should :• Contact the payday lender directly to verify outstanding debt .• Contact banking institutions .• Contact the three major credit bureaus request an “alert” be put on file .• File a complaint at In addition, Bruning urged consumers to contact law enforcement if they feel they are in immediate danger.Free or Fee?From magazines to weight loss products - any number of things can be offered on a planned, pre-paid basis. Solicitations for these services can come through the mail, via e-mail or over the phone. Often, trial periods are used to lure consumers into service contracts. However, trial periods can be short and cancellation policies may be difficult to understand – and even harder to activate. “Offers of free goods and trial services may be hard to pass up,” Bruning said. “Unfortunately, many free trials wind up costing consumers more than what they bargained for – in time and money.”Bruning reminds consumers to ask questions about membership terms such as billing and cancellation policies. Consumers should request all terms in writing before agreeing to a program. And, contract fine-print should be read carefully, paying attention to pre-checked boxes that may commit consumers to further charges and/or services unless specifically opted-out of. This policy is referred to as negative-option cancellation. Contract terms may be printed in small fonts in single-spaced paragraphs making reading difficult, especially for seniors. Additionally, undefined legal terms may leave consumers confused about the actual meaning of the conditions. Bruning warns consumers not to agree to trial offers, or sign contracts, if the terms and conditions are not fully understood. “Deceptive marketing practices associated with free trial memberships containing a negative option feature, are the source of thousands upon thousands of complaints to this agency,” said Better Business Bureau President, Jim Hegarty. “When these offers lack the transparency they should contain, they can trick consumers into a cycle of recurring payments for products or services they don’t want.” Hegarty also urged consumers to review credit card statements for unauthorized recurring charges. For more information on these and other consumer issues, visit , , or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-727-6432.


Successful Fight Against Unfunded Mandate Spun By Partisans March 3, 2011 – Today, Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson issued this statement in response to mistaken views by Citizens Against Government about his efforts related to the Affordable Care Act, the new health reform law: “As a U.S. senator I’ve said that I will put Nebraska first, Nebraska always, but not Nebraska only,” said Senator Nelson. “This point and key facts were overlooked by Citizens Against Government Waste’s criticism of so-called pork barrel spending and my role in health reform. “The facts show, and those who actually worked with me know, that I did not ask for a special deal only for Nebraska. “Throughout health reform debate, I’d been concerned that states would be hit with another large unfunded federal mandate--because I’d fought them as governor in the 1990s. In the Senate’s final health reform discussions I sought an opt-out for all states from the proposed Medicaid expansion. “Governors underscored my concerns and in a December 16, 2009 letter to me, Nebraska’s governor stated: ‘The state of Nebraska cannot afford an unfunded mandate…of this magnitude.’ “Unfortunately, Senate leaders didn’t accept my proposal and instead put a placeholder provision into the bill giving relief to Nebraska as a first step to help all states. I want to be clear: this provision did not win my vote. What did was making sure the bill didn’t fund abortion and that it wasn’t a government takeover of health care. “I also voted for it because it eliminates pre-existing condition exclusions and enables young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance to age 26; it gives small businesses tax breaks to insure their employees and curbs bankruptcies due to medical bills. “Even so, partisans intentionally mischaracterized the Nebraska provision by demeaning Nebraska’s proud football tradition. In a Dec. 22, 2009 Senate floor speech I fought back saying: ‘It is in fact an opportunity to get rid of an unfunded federal mandate for all the states. Let me repeat that: For all the states…’ “I went to work to get the unfunded mandate funded. And in the final bill, that’s exactly what happened: all states received additional federal Medicaid funding that sharply curtailed the unfunded mandate. Maybe it should now be called the Cornhusker Touchdown. “Anyone genuinely concerned about unfunded mandates should have fought this one that would have battered state budgets. “Citizens Against Government Waste twists the facts to call this an earmark and perpetuates a myth about the Medicaid provision in the Senate’s health reform bill,” said Senator Nelson.

Heineman calls Lincoln Newpaper Editorial Untruthful

(Lincoln, Neb.) NGA SPENDING LETTER (pdf) - Gov. Dave Heineman today said the Lincoln Journal Star’s Mar. 3 editorial is inaccurate, misleading and untruthful. Gov. Heineman has been very clear that the federal government needs to get its fiscal house in order and reduce spending, while allowing states’ the flexibility they need to continue to balance their budgets and control their own budgets. On Jan. 24 Gov. Heineman, Vice Chairman of the National Governors Association (NGA), and Gov. Christine Gregoire (D-WA), Chairwoman of the NGA, sent a letter to Congressional leadership calling on the federal government to work cooperatively with states to reduce deficits, restore fiscal discipline and promote economic growth and long-term prosperity. The letter to Congress clearly states, “Despite states’ difficult fiscal situation, governors are not calling for more one-time help from the federal treasury. In fact, we encourage the federal government to follow the lead of states and make the tough decisions necessary to get its fiscal house in order; federal stability is critical to long-term strength of states and the country.” Gov. Heineman stated, “The Lincoln Journal Star is incorrect in their assertions and it is disappointing that they didn’t even have the courtesy to call me and seek the truth before publishing false information.” The Lincoln Journal Star editorial erroneously stated that Gov. Heineman was lobbying for continued federal aid while proposing a budget balancing measure that would eliminate local aid, an amount which is absorbable as it is typically around 1% of a local entity’s budget. Gov. Heineman has stated numerous times that local, state and federal governments must tighten their belts and do more with less, as families throughout Nebraska and the United States are doing.