Friday, November 30, 2012

Webster County Early Market Beef Weigh-in December 9

4-H and FFA members have undoubtedly already found or will be looking for calves for the early Webster County Market Beef Weigh-in which will be held at the sale barn in Blue Hill (Blue Hill Livestock). The early date is set for Sunday, December 9. Because there will be just one early weigh-in this year it will start about 10:00 am and will go till 3:30 pm. Incidentally the regular weigh-in date is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, January 27 - also in Blue Hill.

4-H and FFA tags must be put in before or at weigh-in to be valid for shows. The UNL Extension office will have the 4-H tags. Exhibitors and parents are reminded that the 4-H/FFA livestock ID/affidavit sheets need to be filled out, with all signatures, prior to/or at weigh-in and are not to be taken home. FFA members will need to get their tags from the FFA advisor in advance of the weigh-in, or the advisor should be in attendance at weigh-in to put them in.
Affidavits may be downloaded from the Web at   or exhibitors may pick one up from their 4-H leader or at the UNL Extension office, and have it ready to go for weigh-in. Webster County will also once again be putting Electronic Identification or EID’s in the ears of all market beef, or exhibitors may use their own farm’s EIDs. Exhibitors who plan to show at either the 2013 Nebraska State Fair and/or Ak-Sar-Ben must have a DNA sample taken and they must be sent in with the ID/affidavit sheet for each animal that may be going. All beef that will be exhibited at the Nebraska State Fair will also need to eventually be tested for BVD-PI.

If any beef exhibitor would like guidance on how to pick out the right size of calf for fair, please contact the Webster County UNL Extension office for suggestions at 402-746-3417 or email You can also find a document on this on our website as listed above.
Webster County Early Market Beef Weigh-in December 9


Duane A. Lienemann,
 UNL Extension Educator,
 Webster County
November 30, 2012 Edition

I left you dangling last week during my explanation of the fantastic opportunity that I had to learn about the importance of the beef industry at the 2012 Nebraska Beef Industry Summit. I had the opportunity to hear several top notch speakers that are involved intimately with the beef industry. In this week’s article I will describe some more of what I learned at the Summit; however, before I start I think it only proper to give a moment to two people whom I had the opportunity to learn from over the years who both passed away this past week. They had major impacts in my life.
Clyde Leland "Bud" Williams was an innovator in the handling and management of beef cattle. Bud was known world-wide as the authority on low-stress livestock handling. There is no doubt in my mind that Bud’s concepts, and methods ( made things better for the animals, but they also made things better for the people working those animals. He taught handlers how to “settle” livestock after shipping. He taught how to move herds faster and more calmly without an army of people. He developed and taught practices for working animals in corrals that didn’t rely on yelling, chasing or hot shots. He developed innovative facility designs like the “Bud Box” which a lot of cattlemen and feed yards have gone to. These are so well accepted now that it is easy to forget how controversial they were just 20 years ago. His methods worked on most every species of livestock. I remember watching a video several years ago of him herding wild reindeer. He taught me and many others how to watch livestock and see what they would do instead of reacting to our own fear about what they might do. One of the most important things I learned was to let the livestock teach you, just as he always said of stock dogs. Learn from them. Watch what they do and learn how to use that to your advantage.
The other person who passed this week who had an impact on me was Zig Ziglar. He was a devout Christian and a motivational speaker who wrote more than 30 books and focused on positivity and leading a balanced life. I had the opportunity to attend a seminar that he led on practicing what he wrote in his book “See You at the Top”. The one thing I remembered most was his love of the FFA and especially his insistence that a positive attitude makes a lot of difference in life. What I remember about him most is that his work involved wordplay. Among them: "Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street" and "You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great." Another one that stuck out was “Celebrate honeymoons, not anniversaries!” I salute these two motivating men, they will be missed.
Tidbits from the Beef Summit: We learned what a lot of us already know - there are a lot of significant issues facing the beef industry and the list is long. Many of these issues stem from misconceptions and from a regulation perspective, and unfortunately in Washington DC, misconceptions are looked at as reality. There is some light at the end of the tunnel as, after taking several beatings, the ag industry did get some wins in the election day voting. Controversial bills affecting GMOs in California and an animal rights/welfare initiative in North Dakota both failed after producers decided to become active. We will continue to have to be active, proactive and informative when agriculture is being looked at by Congress. I found it rather humorous that you can reach the Congressional switchboard by dialing 1-877-SOB-USOB (762-8762). One statement interested me. With consumers, perception becomes reality, but special interest groups are not consumer groups.
I found other things as interesting including these little tidbits: In the US we consume 100 million hamburgers every day and that 14% of beef sales is hamburger which adds about $225/beef carcass value. Not a surprise to me was that 54% of all meals in the US are eaten away from home and that 19% of meals are consumed in a car! We should be proud that Nebraska is now the number 3 agricultural state and livestock is still the engine that runs our economy. That is important because the US has a $5 billion beef trade internationally and Nebraska is in that mix. We need to cultivate our global partners, which are positioned to be even bigger customers. This includes former third world countries whose middle class is now exploding. Included in the future is likely something called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Did you know that of the ten largest shipping ports in the world, all but three are in China. The others are Los Angeles, Korea and Singapore.
We are at the lowest cow numbers since I was born (1949) but we are still producing almost as much beef as the high time for inventory because of our ability to produce more with less. The basics that beef producers will have to contend with in a consumer & global market is that beef be: grain fed/genetically managed; operated under high food safety standards; subject to quality assurance management; be a consistent and reliable supply; and that it be versatile. China has potential to be a huge consumer however we must know that we have to fix some things including: no Mexican cattle in shipments; no variety meats; we must have a traceability system; and we must allow Chinese poultry into our country.
Of course consumers and animal rights/welfare was a common theme in all the speakers and even though we in agriculture are making some strides in dealing with these groups, one thing seemed clear to me. The consumer, on the local, national and global scale are more and more demanding of where their food comes from and how it is handled, as a carcass and before harvest. One speaker narrowed the animal welfare concerns down to six items that we must educate about, and take a good, hard look at. They are: castration; branding; dehorning; pest control; long distance transportation; and environment. If you look at those things we do, without explanation, it does give an image that is hard to understand!

The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Warcat Wrestling season Opens in Kansas

The Blue Hill/Red Cloud Warcats wrestling squad will open their season Dec 1.  Their first meet will be in Osborne, KS. 
Garrett Sharp,a senior who qualified for state last year will return to the team and will be wrestling at 170 pounds.  Also returning are state qualifiers Levi Vogler at 113 pounds and Tanner Rupprecht at 145 pounds.  Vogler and Rupprecht are from Red Cloud.  Other returning wrestlers are Jared Bostock at 120, Garrett Vogler and Dalton James at 126, Hector Rodriguez at 182 , Dylan Shannon at 160.  Dylan was out last season with knee surgery. 
Coaches of the team are Dennis Riemersma and Joel Morgan. 

Johanns Statement on the UN General Assembly Vote Regarding Palestinian Status Johanns Statement on the UN General Assembly Vote Regarding Palestinian Status

WASHINGTON –U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today released the following statement on the United Nations General Assembly vote to recognize the Palestinians with non-member observer status:

"Today's vote by the United Nations General Assembly is deeply disappointing and could undermine peace efforts in the region." Johanns said. “Bypassing direct negotiations between states in the Middle East risks further destabilization in one of the most tumultuous corners of the world, and increasingly isolates Israel, our staunch ally and a beacon for freedom and democracy.“

The United States and Israel were among the nations in opposition to the UN General Assembly vote, which passed by a margin of 138-9. Another 41 nations abstained from voting.

Blue Hill Holiday Bazaar

Saturday, December 1st.
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Blue Hill Community Center
Snacks & Lunch
Lots of neat holiday items. 

Kelley and Bumgardner sing with Chorale

Austin Kelley and Kameron Bumgardner both residents of Blue Hill will be performing with the South Central Nebraska Children's  Chorale for a concert with the Hastings Sypmphony Orchestra  at the Masonic Center Auditorium.  Aproximately 60 South Central Nebraska youth lend their voices to the group.   Sydney Shesak, Krtistine  Sheppard and Andrea and Ariel Willems of Ayr are also part of the South Central Nebraska Children's Chorale.
The concert begins at 3 p.m December 9th . Tickets can be purchased in advance at several Hastings banks including Great Western, Hastings State Bank, Heritage Bank and all three Five Points Bank locations.  Tickets will also be available for sale at the ticket window the day of the concert.  Ticket window/seating for the concert will open at 2:15 p.m.  Both ticket window and advance tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students.
The chorale is an auditioned group, grades four to eight, from schools throughout South Central Nebraska.  The group was established to provide musically interested children a chance to further their musical accomplishments and share quality music with other children. 

Blue Hill Bobcats Top Team in district.

After ending a successful foobtall season with a perfect 4-0 record for district play  the Blue Hill can be proud to  have a total of 14 players on the C-2 8 All-District Team. 
Named to the first team on Offense were Garrett Sharp, a 5-11, 180 pound senior; Parker , a 6-2, 180 pound senior quarterback; Conner  Brown a 5-11, 230 pound senior and Mitchell Ruybalid, a junior receiver at  6-0  and 155 pounds.  
Named to the first team on defense were Jacob Lovejoy, a 5-10 180 pound junior, Chase Golter a 6-0 190 pound senior, and Shane Kohmetscher, a 5-10, 165 pound senior.
Making the honorable mention all-district team were seven players from Blue Hill, Chase Hofferber, Dylan Rose, Colton Bland, Brett Streff, Keithen Drury, Tristan Krueger and Mitch Krueger.

Blue Hill players named TVC All-Conference

Players from Blue Hill High school who have been selected for the Twin Valley All-Conference volleyball team are April Faimon, a senior and Maci Coffey, a junior.   Selected for the second team from Blue Hill was Kortney Allen, a  sophomore.  Honerable mention honors went to MacKenzie Willicot, a sophomore and Hannah Ockinga  a junior.  April Faimon was selected to participate in the all-star game to represent the Twin Valley conference. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Powerball Reaches Record High

The Powerball jackpot is expected to hit its highest-ever record of 425-million dollars for this Wednesday night's drawing.
Nebraska Lottery officials expect very brisk sales this week. Lottery spokesman Terry Rich says a prize this big will lure in people who've never-before spent a dollar on a Powerball ticket.  It seems a lot of people think 425 million could make them happy.
This week's projected jackpot exceeds the previous record of 365-million which was won in February of 2006 by a group of eight workers at a Lincoln, Nebraska, meat packing facility.

Monday, November 26, 2012


 Nov. 28: 2012 Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) In-service, 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon, Younes Conference Center in Kearney
 Nov. 29: LLC Directors Training, East Campus Union, UNL, 8:30 am
 Dec. 1: Western Sustainable Ag Crops and Livestock Conference, Ogallala, NE or
 Dec. 2-4: Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation 95th Annual Convention, Younes Conference Center, Kearney,
 Dec. 3: Southeast NE Grassland Association Grazing Conference, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. $75 Reg., Gage Co. Extension, Beatrice
 Dec 4-6: Nebraska Power Farming Show - Lincoln, Neb.
 Dec. 5-7: 2012 Nebraska Cattlemen/Cattlewomen Convention, Kearney Holiday Inn Convention Center, Kearney, NE
 Dec. 6 & 8: Webster County Extension Greenery Workshop, Cowles Legion Hall, Contact Carol Kumke, 402-746-3417 or
 Dec. 9: Webster County 4-H and FFA Market Beef weigh-in, Blue Hill Livestock Sale Barn, Blue Hill, NE 10:00 am-3:30 pm
 Dec. 10: Farmers and Ranchers College, Dr. David Kohl, Bruning Opera House, Bruning, NE 1:00-4:00 pm,
 Dec. 11-12: Nebraska Ag Classic, Mid-Town Holiday Inn, Grand Island, contact Ginger Jelinek, 402-450-5189
 Dec. 13: UNL Extension Beef Short Course, NET TBA
 Dec. 13: UBBNRD CropTip, 9:30-3:00 p.m. York Auditorium, York, NE
 Dec. 14: Nebraska Soybean Day and Machinery Expo, 8:30-2:30, Saunders County Fairgrounds in Wahoo,
 Dec. 20: UNL Extension Beef Short Course, NET TBA
 Jan: 8: Tri-State Beef Cow/Calf Seminar, McCook, NE TBA
 Jan. 8: Crop Production Clinic, Adams Co. Fairgrounds, Hastings
 Jan. 10: LBNRD Conference, 9:00-3:00 p.m., Fairgrounds, Hastings
 Jan. 15-16: Cover Your Acres Conference, Oberlin, KS
 Jan. 16: Crop Production Clinic, York Auditorium,
 Jan. 17: UNL Extension Beef Short Course, NET TBA
 Jan. 21: Adams-Webster Corn Growers Annual Meeting TBA
 Jan. 22: Nebraska Farmers and Ranchers - Cow Calf College, 9:30 am, Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE
Jan. 24: UNL Extension Beef Short Course, NET TBA
 Jan. 27: Webster County 4-H and FFA Market Beef weigh-in, Blue Hill Livestock Sale Barn, Blue Hill, NE 10:00 am-3:30 pm
 Jan. 29-30: No-till On The Plains Winter Conference, Salina, KS
 Jan 29-31: Lawn and Landscape School, WCREC in North Platte,
 Feb. 9: South Central Cattlemen Association Valentine Banquet, Hastings City Auditorium, Jamie Watts, 402-984-0177 or

Hastings College lights the campus

Hastings College will kick off the Christmas season tomorrow night,Nov.27, during the 2012 Lighting of the Campus. Billy Dunbar with Hastings College says the night will include songs, Christmas readings and a live nativity. The live nativity will be active on the Circle Drive from 6:30-9 p.m. while the lighting ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. in front of French Memorial Chapel. The evening’s activities, are all part of the college’s Christmas card to the community, and are free and open to the public. Children will have the opportunity to have free photos with Santa Claus in the Daugherty Center.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Letter from Hobby Lobby Stores CEO

By David Green, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn't much bigger than most people's living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God's word. From there,Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation's largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.

We're Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I've always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God's laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money. And that's what we've tried to do. We close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week's biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We believe that it is by God's grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We've not only added jobs in a weak economy, we've raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.

But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government health care mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don't pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don't cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the Biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one. If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million PER DAY in government fines.

Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy. Our government threatens to fine a company that's raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It's not right. I know people will say we ought to follow the rules; that it's the same for everybody. But that's not true. The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won't exempt them for reasons of religious belief.

So, Hobby Lobby and my family are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business. We don't like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit.

My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but the government is going to make that much more difficult. The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that's a choice no American and no American business should have to make.
The government cannot force you to follow laws that go against your fundamental religious belief. They have exempted thousands of companies but will not except Christian organizations including the Catholic church.
Since you will not see this covered in any of the liberal media, pass this on to all your contacts.
David Green, CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Duane A. Lienemann
 UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County
November 21, 2012 Edition

I felt that I had a tremendous opportunity on several occasions this weekend and early week. I guess it depends upon how you look at things, but it was right up there for me. First I got to witness the official public retirement of someone that I have admired and respected for many years, Dr. Tom Osborne. For those unlikely few who did not know about the celebration, there was a special recognition for Coach Osborne just before and during half time of the Nebraska vs Minnesota football game. Because of where I am seated, I had the opportunity to participate in a tribute using cards that spelled out, while the band was playing, Thanks Tom” and “Go Big Red”. What a rush!
It brought back some good memories of when I was at UNL in the late 60’s and early 70’s and volunteered as a student to be in the card section. As I recall, that section was close to where the band sits today. You could not help but get goose-bumps when the whole stadium erupted when the cards where held up. Then I will have to admit that I got a little emotional, as did most around me, when Coach Osborne led the Huskers out of the tunnel and onto the field just before the game. The special tribute at halftime capped off an incredible event, coupled with the fact that the game was never in question. It was amazing, and even more amazing was the fact that that game was the 500th for him as a coach or administrator. I don’t think anyone would disagree that he handled everything over the years with class and dignity. Thank you, Dr. Tom Osborne, for representing Nebraska so well and in the fashion that you did. You made us all proud.
Now to the meat and potatoes! I got to participate in two events this past week that really got me pumped up. On Monday I attended the annual meeting of AFAN. For you that have never heard of that acronym, it is short for the “Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska”. I have really come to respect the work that this organization and its director, Willow Holloubek, have done and are doing for Nebraska. I might suggest that you go to their website: to learn more about what they do. There is a literal “Who’s Who in Agriculture” who lend their talents, idea, and support to this association. It was good rubbing elbows with them, including most commodity board directors, fellow educators, agricultural association members, and even our Governor. The keynote speaker was fantastic, and I want to relate some of what he said during his talk. Dr. Chris Ashworth, who happens to be the Chairman of the Animal Agriculture Alliance, spoke on “Celebrating the Miracle of Modern Food Production”. His message drove some points home to me.
First, he relayed that we expect three basic human rights as Americans: Safe, Affordable and Abundant Food; Choices; and Sustainability. He also said that we have to be careful how we frame the word sustainable, and how important technology was to reach all of those rights. Technology will have to be part of the equation in order to reach the lofty goal to feed the world. He used a rule spelled out as 50-100-70, which basically means that by the year 2050 we will have to have 100% more food to feed the estimated 9+ billion people that will populate the world, and that 70% of that goal will come from present, emerging and new technologies,  ( We are already facing a time when 220,000 new mouths to feed are added to the global population each day, with more people dying globally from hunger than war and diseases (aids and malaria) added together. Globally 3 billion people live on the US equivalent of $2/day and 1/3 of the world’s poorest people live on less than $1/day. Even in the US we have 23% of our population at have a hard time finding enough food. We have what he called a “hidden hunger” factor, right here in America with one out of five.
We are lucky in America to have choices and we should not take that for granted as some don’t have that luxury. I found it also interesting in considering choices that only 4% of Americans insist on luxury, organic or home grown foods and that only 1% insists on a Vegan agenda or GMO free foods, leaving 95% who only want affordable and safe food. He suggested that we can expect about 20 more years of agriculture getting bashed, but at the same time we are positioned to have some of the best economic times for agriculture that we have ever seen. As far as sustainability, American agriculture is by far the leader. Every bushel of grain and pound of meat requires less water, less inputs, with a smaller carbon footprint that ever before in history and that story needs to be told. He said our success all depends on 5 decision making areas: Science, Economics, Social, Environment, and Consumers. We are at the mercy of each and we need to realize that it is time for action. We need to personalize issues, engage the food chain, and make sure we support the 95% that want affordable and safe foods. They are our bread and butter and are hungry for not only our product, but information about that product.
Tuesday brought a fantastic opportunity to learn about the importance of the beef industry at the 2012 Nebraska Beef Industry Summit. I am running out of room, so I will relay what I learned specifically in next week’s edition. It was good to hear Colin Woodall, VP or Government Affairs for the NCBA in Washington DC talk about issues confronting the beef industry; Paul Clayton, VP of Export Service for the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) who talked about the global aspects of meat production; Glyn Lacy who created Whiskey Creek and now Skeeter Barnes and was the first restaurant to feature UNL’s Flat Iron Steak; Taryn Vanderford, KOLN/KGIN personality; and Dr. Chris Ashworth, whom I described earlier, all served on a panel that was very interesting. The final speaker, Dr. Nevil Speer, animal scientist from Western Kentucky University, talked about B-E-E-F Shaping the Industry. I think you will find some interesting tidbits next week!

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:  

Nebraskans Have Much for Which to be Thankful

As Nebraskans celebrate Thanksgiving and the holiday season begins, we have much for which to be thankful. Joining with family and friends, let us focus on the many blessings we enjoy as Americans, and give thanks to all of those who have made those blessings possible.
We certainly face many challenges today including a soaring national debt, high unemployment, and new conflicts abroad which test America’s leadership. However, I am certain we will overcome these challenges and remain the world’s greatest source of freedom and prosperity.
We are thankful for the generations of Americans and Nebraskans who settled this land and built the foundation for our current way of life. It is often easy to forget how difficult life was for earlier Americans and the sacrifices they were forced to make. Pioneers to the New World and later to Nebraska risked their lives to travel great distances, leaving behind their families to build a new nation from scratch.
We owe much to these settlers who risked everything to start a new life and create a country and a government based on freedom and opportunity. We continue to benefit from their sacrifice and foresight today.
We are also grateful to the soldiers and veterans who won our freedom and have successfully defended it for more than 236 years. Their service is essential to the success and perseverance of America.
In order to show my appreciation for our troops, I am once again helping to collect cards for the American Red Cross Holiday mail for Heroes program which gives Americans the opportunity to send holiday greetings and thanks to servicemembers, veterans and their families around the world. This tradition is a wonderful opportunity for families, schools, and local communities to show their support for our troops and our veterans. I encourage all Nebraskans to join me in thanking those who have defended our nation in uniform by participating in this annual program.
My district offices in Scottsbluff and Grand Island will serve as collection points for constituents to drop off postage free cards until Monday, December 3, 2012. To ensure your cards reach their destination please use generic salutations such as “To American Hero,” and do not include your personal contact information or inserts of any kind. For more information and the official guidelines, please visit my website at:
As we celebrate the many blessings we enjoy as Nebraskans, I hope you will join me in remembering and thanking those who made them possible. However you choose to celebrate, please travel safely and have a very happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ruth Caroline Shueey Feb.3 1925 -November 16,2012

Former Hastings resident, Ruth Caroline Shueey, 87, of the Blue Hill Care Center, died Friday, November 16, 2012 at the Blue Hill Care Center.

Services will be Wednesday, November 21, 2012; 10:30 A.M. at First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Hastings with Pastor Joel Remmers officiating. Burial will be at Parkview Cemetery, Hastings. Visitation will be Tuesday, November 20, 2012; 9 A.M until 9 P.M. at the funeral home and one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorials may be given to First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

Ruth was born February 3, 1925 in Kenesaw, Nebraska to Richard & Elfrieda (Koepp) Einspahr. She moved with her family to Denver where she graduated from high school and attended nurses training for three years. She married John L. Shueey on November 4, 1945 in Hastings and he preceded her in death on June 3, 2008. She and John moved to Doniphan and back to Hastings in 1955. Ruth was a homemaker and caregiver for the last seven years of her daughter's, Susan (Shueey) Voboril, life. She was a member of First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and the YWCA.

Ruth Caroline Shueey was preceded in death by her parents, husband, John L. Shueey, daughter, Susan (Shueey) Voboril, two brothers and one sister.

Son: Ronald Shueey – Bladen, NE
Son-in-law: Donald Voboril
Grandchildren: Robert Shueey – Hastings, NE
Ryan Shueey – Hastings, NE
Sara Voboril-Porter – Lincoln, NE

Nebraska University Gymnist has Local Ties

IIla Mae McConkey of Blue Hill is the Grandmother of  Lincoln native Maddison McConkey.
 Maddie  is  a three-time Junior Olympic National Qualifier, and will be on the University of Nebraska gymnastics team this year. 
She has the potential to break into the lineup on several events for the Huskers this season.
"Maddie is a multiple JO National qualifier and is getting stronger and working harder every day,"  Dan Kendig, head coach said "She is just getting back into gymnastics and is falling back in love with the sport, which is great to see. Having another girl on our team from Lincoln is a big plus."
Before joining the UNL team McConkey trained alongside teammate Jamie Schleppenbach at the Nebraska School of Gymnastics under Tim and Rachel Garrison. A three-time Junior Olympic National qualifier, McConkey has finished second (2009), fifth (2010) and third (2011) in the Region IV all-around competition. She also competed at the Kansas City Pink Ribbon Invitational in 2011, finishing first on bars (9.575), third on floor (9.550) and fourth on beam (9.45).
A Lincoln, Neb. native, McConkey was born Sept. 16, 1994 to Mick and Cookie McConkey. She has a sister, Markie, and a brother, Mickey. She was a 2012 graduate of Pius X High School and has not yet declared a major at Nebraska.

Holiday Cards for Heros

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) is once again helping to collect cards for the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program which gives Americans the opportunity to send holiday greetings and thanks to servicemembers, veterans and their families around the world.
“As the holiday season approaches, I encourage all Nebraskans to join me in thanking those who have defended our nation in uniform by participating in the Holiday Mail for Heroes program. This tradition is a wonderful opportunity for families, schools, and local communities to show their support for our troops and our veterans.”
Smith’s district offices in Scottsbluff and Grand Island will serve as collection points for constituents to drop off postage free cards until Monday, December 3, 2012.
Each year the American Red Cross provides assistance to more than 2 million service members and many of our nation’s 24 million veterans. We support military families, military and veterans hospitals and provide emergency communications across the globe. And once a year, we get the joy of delivering holiday cards to veterans, military families and active-duty service members at hospitals and installations around the world.

The cards and personal messages, sent by tens of thousands of Americans, provide a welcome “touch of home” for our troops during the holiday season.
Visit our YouTube channel to see Red Cross volunteers distributing cards and messages in previous years: Holiday Mail for Heroes YouTube playlist.

Each year we collect cards between October and early December and then distribute them at military installations, veterans hospitals, and in other locations.
Throughout the year, you can make a difference with a monetary gift to Help Military Families through the Red Cross. Your donation can help change a military family’s life. Donate Now.
There are several ways to be part of the Holiday Mail for Heroes program. In addition to sending cards on your own, you may want to start making plans to host card signing parties or card making parties. Here are a few guidelines to help you on your way:

Card Guidelines:

Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country.
Please observe the following guidelines to ensure a quick reviewing process:

  • Ensure that all cards are signed.
  • Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program.
  • Only cards are being accepted. Do not send or include letters.
  • Do not include email or home addresses on the cards: the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
  • Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos: these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
  • Please refrain from choosing cards with glitter or using loose glitter as it can aggravate health issues of ill and injured warriors.
  • If you are mailing a large quantity of cards, please bundle them and place them in large mailing envelopes or flat rate postal shipping boxes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution.

All holiday greetings should be addressed and sent to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

The deadline for having cards to the P.O. Box is Friday, December 7th.
Holiday cards received after this date cannot be guaranteed delivery.

Calvary Rosemont Annual Soup and Pie Supper

Soup and Pie Supper

Calvary Lutheran Laymen's League of Rosemont will hold their annual soup and pie supper on Monday November 19th from 5 - 7:30 p.m. at The Calvary Church in Rosemont. A Free will offering will be appreciated. Everyone is welcome!  Proceeds will be used for the  District Mission Project. Matching funds will be supplied by Thrivent for Lutherans.  Mark your calendar.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Student with Local ties Honored

 - Seth Ostdiek has been named Crusader of the Month by  Central Catholic School in Grand Island.
 Seth is the son of Rich and Amy Ostdiek. He has a sister Olivia. His grandparents are Lee and Joyce Ostdiek and Ron and Janie Hartman all of Blue Hill
  Seth and his family attend St. Leo’s Church where Seth is an altar server. Seth enjoys the friendly environment at GICC, and his favorite class is algebra. “It’s taught by my uncle, Dick Ross,” he said.
 His extra-curricular activities include football, wrestling, track and field and baseball. Seth enjoys learning about science and pre-chem. His favorite thing to do is hang out with friends. Seth’s favorite life experience was moving to Grand Island to be closer to family.
 One day Seth hopes to become a doctor.


Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator,
 Webster County
November 16, 2012 Edition

Agriculture is the production, processing and marketing of foods and fibers. Products we use in our everyday lives like food, surgical sutures, lumber, tires, adhesives, shampoo, leather shoes, soft cotton clothes as well as hundreds of thousands of other items, all come from plant and animal products and by-products that our America's farmers and ranchers produce. They have always been a vital thread in the tapestry of our nation since its founding, contributing to our public health, safeguarding our environmental resources and standing at the forefront of our country’s path toward energy independence.
I have a little quiz for you! What would you expect from an old teacher? ….. Did you know that nearly 1 in 20 workers in our US economy plays a role in the food and fiber marketing chain? Did you also know that 1 out of 3 workers in Nebraska are actively engaged in the agriculture industry? Did you know the average grocery store stocks more than 30,000 different items? Now think…What do a truck driver, a rancher, a farmer, a butcher, a grocery store clerk, a logger, a futures broker, and a biotechnologist have in common? Food, clothes and lumber just don’t appear in stores without teamwork. A well-coordinated network of farmers, ranchers, processors, truckers and retailers are dedicated to making sure that Americans have access to a healthy, safe and abundant supply of food, fiber, and natural resources.
Agriculture is the one bright spot in our Nation’s current fiscal dilemma. Our nation’s farm and ranch families continue to feed our citizens here at home and around the globe, an accomplishment that underscores the importance of fostering robust and vibrant rural communities to support them. We should never take our plentiful and safe food supply for granted. We should never forget the sacrifice and work of our farmers and ranchers, but there are others involved in providing all of these things for us. They are our partners. Have you paused to think about those that produce these products, consume the products, and make them readily available through an efficient production and marketing chain?
In order to celebrate this partnership, a special time is allotted, starting the Friday before Thanksgiving each year and ending the Friday of Thanksgiving. This celebration is called “National Farm-City Week”, with the theme “Partners in Progress.” November 16-22 is the designated time to remind all American citizens as they gather with their families and friends to reflect on the accomplishments of those who dedicate their lives to producing our nation’s agricultural abundance and engaging in environmental stewardship. So as we celebrate Thanksgiving Day and gather with family and friends to count our blessings, let’s also give thanks for the all that we enjoy not just on this holiday, but every day.
This year’s National Farm-City Week theme describes the partnership of farm and city residents who produce, transport, process, test, market and consume the abundance of food and fiber products we enjoy. Rural and urban communities working together have made the most of our rich agricultural resources, and have made significant contributions to our health and well-being, and to the strength of our nation’s economy. Farm-City Week is a time to acknowledge and to say “thanks” to those partners. Please take a moment to thank someone who was involved in this process in getting the food you enjoy from the farm to your table. Rural and urban residents are “Partners in Progress” who produce the products, consume the products, and make them readily available through an efficient production and marketing chain.
Farmers and ranchers are just the beginning of that chain. In addition to the farmers and ranchers who grow the commodities, it takes those workers I mentioned at the beginning of this article, plus farm workers, researchers, processors, commodity brokers, shippers, inspectors, wholesalers, agribusinesses, marketers, advertisers, retailers, food processors, food safety inspectors, retail clerks and many more to get our food and fiber from the field to the store. It takes a lot of skilled people to supply us, and all of these workers, plus the consumers that utilize our commodities, all play important roles in the incredible productivity that has made our nation’s food, fiber and energy system the envy of the world.
When the Pilgrims and Indians celebrated the first Thanksgiving, they gathered to give thanks for the food that sustained them. Farms of every size and type that produce the abundance of today’s healthy food choices that grace our tables are worthy of celebration as we gather this Thanksgiving. As you prepare your meal this year, and think about the things for which you are grateful, consider those farmers and ranchers, but also urban agribusiness employees who helped get the food you will eat this holiday season to your table. This safe, plentiful food that is available to us, and the products used to produce the clothing, housing, medicines, fuel and other products we use on a daily basis, didn’t just appear in a store. Many hands are busy in making these things available to all of us every day. That helps make the connection between rural industries and urban markets stronger than ever, with Americans across the country finding ways to participate in and celebrate the importance of agriculture’s and related industries’ roles in providing healthy choices for everyone.
Please join with me in giving thanks to all those involved in getting the food from the farm to the table as we can enjoy this abundance. During National Farm-City Week, please spend some time and think about the farmers, ranchers, processors, truck drivers, retailers and many others who work so hard to supply your food, and say “Thank You”. Let’s celebrate the fruit of the labors of everyone in urban, suburban and rural America who help put food on our tables, not only on Thanksgiving Day, but every day! Happy Thanksgiving every one! May the tryptophan give you rest and relaxation!

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, November 16, 2012

Marie A,Hoffman Dec 8, 1915 - Nov, 14, 2012

Former Roseland resident, Marie A. Hoffman, 96, passed away Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at Blue Hill Care Center, Blue Hill, Nebraska.
Rosary will be Sunday, November 18, 2012; 7:00 P.M. at Butler Volland Chapel. Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday, November 19, 2012; 10:00 A.M. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Roseland, Nebraska with Father Thomas Brouillette officiating. Burial will be in Roseland Cemetery, Roseland, Nebraska. Visitation will be Saturday, November 17, 2012; 9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M., Sunday, November 18, 2012; 1:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. at the funeral home and one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorials may be given to Sacred Heart Catholic Church or Catholic Social Services.

Marie was born December 8, 1915 in Assumption, Nebraska to Charles & Elizabeth (Weber) Streff. She married Arthur “Art” N. Hoffman on May 25, 1937 at Assumption Catholic Church, Assumption, Nebraska; he preceded her in death on February 24, 1977. Marie was a homemaker, member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Altar Society, Legion of Mary, and was a volunteer for Catholic Social Services.

Marie was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Art Hoffman; sons, Bernard Hoffman and Daniel Hoffman; sister, Marge Perez; brothers, Jake Streff, Herb Streff, and Chuck Streff; and infant sister.

Survivors include:
Sons & Spouses: Roger & Sharon Hoffman – Kearney, NE
Jim & Erma Hoffman – Ayr, NE
Bob & Taren Hoffman – Lincoln, NE
Daughter & Spouse: Mary Ann & Rich Vieyra – Junction City, KS
Brothers & Spouses: James Streff – Hastings, NE
Leonard & Marcie Streff - Holdrege, NE
Nick & Wuanita Streff – Hastings, NE
Gerald & Teresa Streff – Lawrence, NE
Sisters & Spouse: Agnes & Leo Billesbach – Beatrice, NE
Bette Brockman – Hastings, NE
Grandchildren: 20
Great-Grandchildren: 27

Gov. Heineman on Federal Health Care Law: $646 Million State Exchange Too Costly


State of Nebraska to Participate in Federal Health Exchange
(Lincoln, Neb.) Health Insurance Exchange (pdf) -  Gov. Dave Heineman today announced that he has submitted Nebraska’s affirmative election to participate in the federal health insurance exchange, citing the extreme cost differential that ultimately the Nebraska taxpayer would have to incur.
“I want to share with Nebraskans that I have listened to all sides of this issue,” said Gov. Heineman. “As Governor, my focus is on implementing the federal health care law in the most efficient and cost effective manner for Nebraskans and their families.”
Whether a state runs a health exchange, or that is done by the federal government, all citizens will have the option to purchase insurance policies through an exchange. A state decision either way does not affect that access.
The Governor appreciates the input he received from a variety of perspectives throughout the course of the several years since the federal health care law was enacted in March 2010. While there were diverse and emotional opinions on this issue, the Governor stated that his decision is based on what is best for Nebraska’s hard-working, middle class taxpayers.
Fiscal analysis of budget impacts done by the Department of Insurance and the Department of Health and Human Services calculate the cost of a state insurance exchange for Fiscal Years 2013-2020 at $646 million; while the cost of a federal insurance exchange is $176 million. The cost of a state exchange to Nebraska taxpayers is $470 million more than a federal exchange.
The analysis encompasses costs associated with building, managing and maintaining a state-based exchange. These costs include, but are not limited to: website development, call center operations, an insurance premium billing system, staffing, equipment, supplies, office space, and the technology costs related to each of these functions. In addition, these costs include expenses necessary for the exchange to interface with the Medicaid program, in accordance with requirements of the federal law.
“The reality is that the federal health care law is being totally dictated and totally controlled by the federal government,” the Governor added. “On the key issues, there is no real operational difference between a federal exchange and a state exchange. A state exchange is nothing more than the state administering the Affordable Care Act with all of the important and critical decisions made by the federal government.”
The Affordable Care Act calls for the creation of health insurance exchanges, state-run or federal-run markets where households and small businesses can shop for private coverage. Governors have a Nov. 16 deadline to indicate their intent to establish a state-based exchange. If a state does not elect to run a state-based exchange, then the health exchange will be implemented by the federal government.
According to the federal law, open enrollment is scheduled to begin for health exchange plans Oct. 1, 2013. Any exchange is expected to be fully operational on Jan. 1, 2014.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Use Caution to Avoid Deer - Vehicle Accident

Deer are more active this time of year, during the rut, and drivers are reminded to be more alert on the roads.
The deer rut is when bucks become more active in searching for does with which to breed. This makes the bucks bolder and less wary. It also makes them more susceptible to collisions with vehicles. Also keeping deer on the move are changing cover patterns caused by the crop harvest. Deer movement peaks each day near dawn and just after dusk.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has some tips to help drivers avoid deer-vehicle accidents:
-- When driving near shelterbelts, woodlots, creeks or where crops are still standing, especially during evening or early morning, slow down and watch for deer.
-- When you spot a deer, assume there will be others in the same area, either ahead of or behind the one you have seen.
-- Be prepared to stop suddenly.
-- Many places where deer travel are posted with deer crossing signs. The absence of a sign does not mean a deer will not appear.
-- Deer often seem to be disoriented or confused by headlights. Some react by freezing in the light, some dart into the path of the vehicle, others bolt away in the opposite direction. Sometimes deer that have just crossed the road suddenly change direction and run back into the path of a vehicle.
-- Honk your horn and flash your headlights to frighten deer away from the side of the road. If there is other traffic on the road, you can activate your emergency flashers and tap your brakes to alert other drivers to the potential danger.
-- Anticipate the possibility of a deer unexpectedly crossing in front of you and plan ahead to avoid swerving, turning or braking the vehicle too sharply if a deer suddenly appears.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Webster County Junior Leaders selected as the 4H Club of the Month for November

 The Webster County Junior Leaders 4-H Club from Webster County has been selected as the 4-H Club of the Month for the month of November by the Nebraska 4-H Ambassadors and Nebraska 4-H Foundation. 4-H clubs from throughout the state of Nebraska nominated themselves by explaining why their club should be Club of the Month. Stories about community service projects, trips to museums and other fun activities were shared.
The Webster County Jr. Leaders are a very active group that focuses on improving their community. This year’s activities included: A toy drive for toys that they donated to the Crossroads shelter in Hastings. Also, cooking and serving a free will soup supper for the entire community, to raise funds for new wiring in the beef barns at their county fairgrounds, they sponsored a 4-H family fun night which included making and serving a meal, they also put on games for all ages and providing information about 4-H. They provided a concession stand for the Cornhusker Classic Sheep & Goat Sale. In May, they served popcorn and provided information about 4-H at the Tractor Supply store in Hastings to help promote the Paper Clover Program. The members spent an afternoon working at the Crossroads shelter in Hastings cleaning and organizing the kitchen area. Several members also helped to set up and run the South Central Livestock Expo. This year the Club’s County Extension Educator was injured and unable to be at their County Fair. The Jr. Leaders stepped up and helped in every aspect of running the fair. The members ran errands, helped with set up, also helped younger members and were available to do whatever was needed. During all three nights of their Rodeo, at their County Fair, the Jr. Leaders held a boot scramble contest for children 4 to 9 years of age and one night for an adult boot scramble.  September 5,  there was a terrible bus/semi accident in Webster county that took the life of one of their 10 year old 4-Her’s. The Jr. Leaders not only attended the funeral but made the first donation to purchase a memorial stone for her family.
The Webster County Jr. Leaders consist of 21 members who are all very hardworking and dedicated to promoting 4-H in Webster County.
The Nebraska 4-H Foundation and Nebraska 4-H Ambassadors are proud to call the Webster County Junior Leaders 4-H Club of the Month for November 2012.
The Nebraska 4-H Ambassadors together with the Nebraska 4-H Foundation provide the 4-H Club of the Month program to all Nebraska 4-H clubs throughout the state. Clubs can nominate themselves by telling why their club should be chosen as Club of the Month. A different club will be chosen each month and will be awarded with a certificate and $50 cash card. For more information go to the Nebraska 4-H Foundation website at or e-mail

Friday, November 9, 2012

Presidential Proclamation -- World Freedom Day, 2012

- - - - - - -

There are times in the course of history when the actions of ordinary citizens spark movements for change because they speak to a longing for freedom that has been building up for years. So it was in Berlin on November 9, 1989, when the German people began tearing down a wall that divided them from their loved ones and symbolized a system that denied them universal human rights. In the face of tyranny, many individuals spoke with one voice. They insisted the world could change -- and knowing that destiny is what human beings make of it, they courageously realized the change they sought.

Today, we commemorate the collapse of the Iron Curtain and celebrate the freedom that grew in its place. We also remember that for many, the walls of oppression still stand, and the human rights we honor today are still beyond reach. People around the world continue to demand fundamental liberties they are denied -- freedom to express themselves, live their faith, assemble without fear, and choose their leaders freely and fairly. The United States was founded on the belief that people should govern themselves, and as keepers of that proud history, we must stand with those who are reaching for their rights, knowing their success will bring about a world that is more peaceful, more stable, and more just.

As we pursue those goals with renewed vigor, the lessons of the 20th century will continue to remind us what is possible in the 21st. Let us never forget what happened in Berlin 23 years ago, nor the sacrifices that made it possible. And together, let us keep the light of freedom burning bright for all who live in the shadow of oppression and dream of a better future for themselves and their children.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 9, 2012, as World Freedom Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities, reaffirming our dedication to freedom and democracy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.


Proclamation 5707 -- Veterans Day, 1987

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation
For decades America has paused on the 11th of November, the anniversary of the armistice that concluded World War I, to remember and to honor our veterans of military service. We do so in proud and grateful recognition of the hardships and sacrifices demanded from and faithfully accepted by the millions of men and women who have defended our land in war and in peace.
Our observance of Veterans Day this year, the Bicentennial of the Constitution, reminds us in a special way of the service men and women who have made liberty's cause their own. Our fundamental charter lives on because through the years countless brave Americans have gladly willed to ``provide for the common defence.'' No one is more responsible for securing ``the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity'' than our veterans. That is why, this November 11 and always, we let veterans know that their service is not forgotten, that their sacrifices are appreciated, and that America salutes its defenders.
In order that we may pay fitting homage to those who have served in our Armed Forces, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor America's veterans.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Wednesday, November 11, 1987, as Veterans Day. I urge all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through appropriate public ceremonies and private prayers. I also call upon Federal, State, and local government officials to display the flag of the United States and to encourage and take part in patriotic activities throughout our country. I invite the business community, churches, schools, unions, civic and fraternal organizations, and the media to support this national observance with suitable commemorative expressions and programs.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twelfth.
Ronald Reagan

Gov. Heineman's Veterans Day Statement

(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today issued the following statement regarding Veterans Day. Nebraskans are encouraged to remember the service and sacrifice of the nation’s veterans and military personnel during Sunday’s observance of Veterans Day.
“I ask all citizens to take the time to thank the veterans in our lives. It is important to solemnly remember the sacrifices of those who have valiantly fought for our rights on the seas, in the air and on land. Veterans Day is a day to remember and recognize the sacrifices of those who preserve America’s freedoms.”


Duane A. Lienemann,
 UNL Extension Educator,
Webster County
November 9, 2012 Edition

As I write this article there is a possibility for some much needed moisture coming into our area. Let’s just pray it does! There is no doubt that we are in dire need for moisture for getting our pastures and hay-grounds ready for next year and of course the wheat that is really needing a drink to get ready for winter. I have walked through some wheat fields and there are some plants that are just holding on by the slimmest of margins. Even just a half inch would go a long ways towards helping it have a chance to making it to next spring. Right now this is eerily reminiscent of last Fall, when we just couldn’t get any moisture, and it is looking like an open Winter again. I know that sometimes I worry too much, but this is not looking good for next year. I don’t want to be an alarmist, but we might want to put on our drought goggles for next year.
Winter Drought Management Clinic: Speaking of the potential for continued drought, it may not hurt to look at attending UNL Extension's Mid-Plains BEEF Education special session on winter drought management tips for cow herds on Nov. 29 at UNL's Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead. The session will draw on the expertise of Rick Rasby, UNL Extension beef specialist, Richard Randle, DVM, UNL extension beef veterinarian, and several extension educators, to share their beef cattle expertise with participants. The program is designed for producers, veterinarians or others involved in the beef industry. This special session will deal with tips on managing the cow herd during the winter to reduce the effects of the drought. Participants will learn more about tips to manage and feed drought affected forages, stretching short forage supplies, using alternative feedstuffs, hay feeding methods and reducing feeding losses, nitrate poisoning symptoms and managing respiratory problems with dry-lot cows and calves. Time will also be allotted to visit with the speakers on an individual or small group basis. The session will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. There is a fee to attend which includes educational materials, noon meals and breaks. Registration is requested by Nov. 21. More information can be found at:  
Black Nightshade: The corn is harvested and the cattle are either out, or are ready to graze cornstalks, and now I have been hearing stories of many fields across the region with black nightshade. That worries many livestock producers that I have talked to who are grazing these fields. It seems we are finding it mostly in fields that experienced some degree of hail damage, more in some than in others. It should be pointed out that high levels of immature black nightshade, Solanum nigrum, can be a cause for concern. While nightshade poisoning is not as common as nitrate poisoning, it still merits livestock producer awareness, with these reports of black nightshade in area cornfields. Black nightshade does contain toxic glycoalkaloids in the entire plant, with the highest concentration in the green immature berries. All kinds of animals can be poisoned after ingesting nightshade, including cattle, sheep, poultry and swine. General symptoms of poisoning in livestock include: bloat, labored breathing, depressed temperature, diarrhea, constipation, incoordination and even death.
Dr. Bruce Anderson says that it’s very difficult to determine how much black nightshade is risky. “Guidelines say that a 1,000-lb animal that eats 1-3 lbs. of fresh black nightshade is at risk of being poisoned. It is common in many corn and soybean fields as well as in new alfalfa. In stalks, a few green nightshade plants might be very tempting to a grazing animal, especially if there is little grain to select. In hay, the nightshade may be sparse through most of the field but in a few areas it could be quite thick. Animals offered hay from those thick areas could be at risk. So common sense and good observation must be your guide,” says Anderson. “If they selectively graze green plants in stalk or stubble fields, pull animals out and wait for a hard freeze before trying again. Keep track of bales from heavily infested areas. Either don’t feed these bales, or grind and mix them with other feeds to dilute the problem. If still unsure, expose only a few animals at a time to risky feed.”
While black nightshade is toxic, especially immature berries, the plant is somewhat unpalatable and an animal rarely consumes enough to cause a serious or potentially lethal poisoning. However there have been reports of death from acute exposure, likely because of overgrazing stalks. Also, chronic toxicity also has been reported, where the animal eats small amounts of plants each day. Use of good management practices will reduce nightshade poisoning risk. Some of these recommendations include: Delay grazing infested fields and pastures until after hard frost. Plants will wilt, becoming less palatable and attractive and berries will drop. If hard frost is late, plants will mature reducing toxicity; Do not over graze cornstalks or pasture, as animals will consume nightshade when other forage options are limited; Make sure livestock are full when turned into invested areas, so they will be more selective, avoiding nightshade, when they begin grazing; Avoid feeding bales taken from fields heavy with the weed; If black nightshade must be fed, make sure it is less than 15% of the diet; Keep a closer watch on livestock, knowing common nightshade symptoms, when grazing area or feeding bales which have nightshade. That may also help with concerns of nitrate poisoning; It also may be advisable to fence livestock out of areas dense with nightshade; and since horses are less tolerant than other animals, it is best that they are not fed nightshade at all. A good website for information and color photos of nightshade is at: . Just remember – “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That applies to most things, like too much corn down in stalks, high nitrate levels, and now Black Nightshade. What other things are lurking out there? What a 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:

Marine Birthday

For 237 years, United States Marines have earned a privileged place in our hearts. For we know that when there is a tough job to do, we can “send in the Marines,” knowing that they will get the job done.
Marines have always been ready to respond whenever, wherever and however they have been asked,...prepared to meet any challenge or foe...from sea to shore and beyond.
Marines have always been willing to continue to fight and prevail with the high standards befitting their title...and with the spirit of the Corps that is in the DNA of every warrior privileged to wear the eagle, globe, and anchor.
To every Marine we say thank you. Thank you for your willingness to make the most profound commitment someone can make — Thank you for dedicating yourself completely to your service and your country.  We also want to extend a special thanks to Marine families as well. The Marine Corps simply couldn’t be what it is without the extraordinary love and support of our Marine Corps families.
This week, in gatherings large and small, Marines will come together to honor the rich heritage of the Corps and the proud legacy of the Marines who have gone before. On this occasion, a grateful Nation commends your service and joins you in celebration. 
On behalf of a grateful nation, Happy Birthday Marines and Semper Fidelis!

The Marines' Prayer

Almighty Father, whose command is over all and whose love never fails, make me aware of Thy presence and obedient to Thy will. Keep me true to my best self, guarding me against dishonesty in purpose in deed and helping me to live so that I can face my fellow Marines, my loved ones and Thee without shame or fear. Protect my family. Give me the will to do the work of a Marine and to accept my share of responsibilities with vigor and enthusiasm. Grant me the courage to be proficient in my daily performance. Keep me loyal and faithful to my superiors and to the duties my country and the Marine Corps have entrusted to me. Make me considerate of those committed to my leadership. Help me to wear my uniform with dignity, and let it remind me daily of the traditions which I must uphold. If I am inclined to doubt; steady my faith; if I am tempted, make me strong to resist; if I should miss the mark, give me courage to try again. Guide me with the light of truth and grant me wisdom by which I may understand the answer to my prayer. Amen.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Winter Weather Awareness Day

Thursday, November 8th, has been declared as Winter Weather Awareness Day for the state of Nebraska.Winter Weather Awareness Day is aimed at serving as a reminder to everyone to prepare for the winter season, and to get information out on how to protect your life and property.

Why talk about winter weather?

  • Each year, dozens of Americans die due to exposure to cold. Add to that number vehicle accidents and fatalities, fires due to dangerous use of heaters, and other winter weather fatalities, and you have a significant threat.
  • People can become trapped at home or in a vehicle, without utilities or any other assistance.
  • A major winter storm can last for several days and be accompanied by high winds, freezing rain, sleet, heavy snowfall and cold temperatures.
  • Threats, such as hypothermia and frostbite, can lead to loss of fingers or toes, other permanent injuries, or even death.
  • The aftermath of a winter storm can have an impact on a community or region for days, weeks, or even months.
  • Extremely cold temperatures, heavy snow and flooding caused by ice jams can create hazardous conditions and hidden problems.
It is very important to be prepared in case a winter storm strikes, and everyone should create a plan for what you and your family will do in case of a storm. Having your car fully checked and winterized, along with having supplies available if you are stranded for a period of time in your home or at work, are things that should be done before each winter season arrives.

Soldiers Denied Vote

WASHINGTON, DC – Sources confirmed today that hundreds of thousands of military absentee ballots were delivered hours after the deadline for them to be counted, with preliminary counts showing that they would have overturned the vote in several states and brought a victory for Governor Mitt Romney .
Officials say the ballots were delivered late due to problems within the military mail system. Tracking invoices show the ballots sat in a warehouse for a month, then they were accidentally labeled as ammunition and shipped to Afghanistan. At Camp Dwyer, Marine Sergeant John Davis signed for them and was surprised at the contents.
“I told Gunny we got a bunch of ballots instead of ammo,” Davis told investigators earlier today. “He told me to file a report of improper delivery and that the chain of command would take care of it. We didn’t hear anything for three weeks. While we were waiting we came under fire so we dumped a bunch of them in the Hescoes. We didn’t dig those ones back out.”
After military officials realized the initial error, the ballots were then sent back to the U.S. but suffered a series of setbacks.
Twelve boxes of ballots were dropped overboard during delivery to the USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) in the Persian Gulf, then while the ship sailed to Bahrain, postal clerks allegedly pocketed whatever ballots they wanted.
The remaining absentee ballots were loaded onto a C-130, but the flight was delayed until November 1st so the crew could get tax free pay for the month. Once the ballots arrived stateside they were promptly mailed to each state’s counting facility, reaching their final destination on November 7th.
“It’s a shame,” Rear Admiral John Dawes said when asked for comment. “I expected a delay so I ordered that everyone cast their votes eight months ago. It’s really unfortunate that our mail system failed us and directly affected the course of history.”
Upon hearing the news, angry Republicans have begun a demand for a recount, but most military absentee voters have shrugged off the news, with many wondering whether the care packages their families sent six months ago were ever going to show up.

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