Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Legislative Newsletter

Senator Tom Carlson
District 38

The Legislature is now at the 1/3 mark of the 90 day session. Afternoon hearings were postponed last week due to the storm in western and central Nebraska and the impending storm in Lincoln. Those bills will be heard the morning of March 5th.
The Central Plains Irrigation Conference in Kearney asked me to be on the February 26th program. I talked about Senator Christensen’s bill, LB 185, which involves a loan from the cash reserve to allow construction of pipelines from Lincoln County to the Republican and Platte Rivers. The work, to begin in 2013, is needed for compliance reasons and river recovery. I also talked about LB 517, the bill I introduced to create the Water Sustainability Task Force. The task force will use the LR 314 report as a basis and, with input from groups concerned with water issues, recommend a strategic 20 year water plan for Nebraska.
LB 515, which I will introduce in front of the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee tomorrow, would expand the definition of “electors” of irrigation districts to acknowledge different types of land ownership interests that might not have been in effect when the original law was passed. Examples would be joint tenants, tenants in common, corporate interests, and life estates, among others. The bill would also allow irrigation districts to conduct elections by mail to provide cost savings and hopefully increase participation in elections.
Of interest to counties and cities is LB 363, which clarifies how the public can access government records. The bill proposes that a public agency or other political office can charge a fee for making copies of public records, but it can not exceed the actual and reasonable cost of making the copies. The bill specifies that charges will not commence until staff spends up to four hours searching, identifying, and copying the records. There was extended discussion on the measure before it advanced to the second round of debate on a vote of 35-1.
As widely publicized in the media, the Governor asked the Revenue Committee to kill his package of tax bills. I appreciate all the emails and other communications to my office concerning your anxiety about our agriculture and manufacturing segments, should any part of those bills pass.
A bill introduced by Senator Schumacher would establish the Tax Modernization Commission to review and recommend updates to Nebraska’s tax code. LB 613 was endorsed by the chair of the Revenue Committee, Senator Hadley of Kearney. Most agree that Nebraska’s tax code is in need of study and equitable reform.
I believe a study which puts all tax exemptions up for consideration is appropriate. The truth is, it is easier to give a tax exemption than it is to take it away. We live in the real world and must be aware of and consider what states around us are doing in the tax arena.
We should want to be the best. To attain that position we need a tax policy that is friendly and understanding to agriculture, our number one industry. Other segments of our economy must also be considered so our citizens can thrive and experience the “Good Life” we all desire.




Friday, February 22, 2013

Restoring Three Separate but Equal Branches of Government

Rep. Adrian Smith
The founders of our American Republic deliberately designed a federal government with three separate but equal branches; the legislative branch to pass laws, the executive branch to enforce laws, and the judicial branch to interpret and review laws. Through a system of checks and balances, the founders sought to prevent any one branch of government from having too much power.
During the past several decades, however, Congresses and administrations from both parties have expanded the power and scope of the executive branch at the expense of the legislative branch. The Obama Administration in particular has shown willingness to skew the balance of power by overreaching its authority.
Rather than respecting the constitutional separation of powers, President Obama has used selective enforcement of the law and new regulations to promote his agenda. Without the consent of Congress, the President has issued executive orders on issues ranging from immigration, environmental law, marriage, health care, gun control, and more.
The President’s executive branch agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), continue to implement thousands of new and ever-changing regulations. Moreover, the Administration is expected to announce a wide range of new regulations on health care, financial services, and the environment in the next year. Many of these and other regulations could have a significant impact on the economy, and yet Congress will not have a chance to review these proposals before they are enforced on American families and small businesses.
Speaking about new environmental restrictions during this year’s State of the Union Address, the President stated, “But if Congress won’t act soon…I will.” This blatant disregard for the role of Congress is detrimental to our founding principles, the legislative process, and to the idea of representative democracy.
To reestablish the balance of power and Congressional responsibility for the legislative process, I have worked with my House colleagues to stop overreach by the White House and to propose serious regulatory reforms.
I am an original cosponsor of the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act which was recently introduced for the 113th Congress by Congressman Todd Young (R-IN). The REINS Act would require new regulations with an annual economic impact of more than $100 million to be approved by a stand-alone vote in Congress and signed by the President before they are enforced.
This commonsense legislation would give Congress the authority to review the new regulations with the largest impact on our economy before they take effect, and would therefore ensure the executive branch is implementing law as intended by the legislative branch.
We must continue to be vigilant against abuses of power and to promote the three separate but equal branches of government as intended by our founders. Enacting the REINS Act would be a major step in restoring the balance of power in Washington.

Heinemann Column

Gov. Heinemann
February 22, 2013
Dear Fellow Nebraskans:
Water is Nebraska’s most precious natural resource and during the last few years we have experienced both extreme flooding and prolonged drought. I would like to share with you the work of the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources and their dedication to the sustainable use and proper management of our water and related land resources.
The Department’s staff of over 100 is directed by Brian Dunnigan and has major responsibilities for regulating the use of the waters of our streams (also referred to as surface water administration), directing interstate compacts and decrees, conducting a stream gaging program, implementing floodplain management programs, inspecting dams and reviewing plans for dam safety, administering state water resources funds, and general water planning activities. The Department maintains field offices in Bridgeport, Cambridge, Ord, Norfolk, and Lincoln that provide a local point of contact for many water right holders.
Nebraska has issued approximately 8,200 surface water use and reservoir storage permits. They are issued for a variety of uses, including irrigation, municipal uses, power generation, and manufacturing. The Department is responsible for administering these water rights ensuring that the oldest rights receive their water first in times of shortage.
The Departmental efforts that have been high profile in recent years have been those dealing with interstate compacts and decrees. The Department has specific responsibilities related to the Blue River Compact, the North Platte Decree, the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program, the Republican River Compact, the South Platte Compact, and Upper Niobrara Compact. The Department is committed to meeting those responsibilities.
When the Department determines that a river basin or a portion of a river basin has water uses and supplies that are not balanced, the Department works with the local natural resources district (NRD) to develop plans that address the uses of surface water and groundwater. These integrated management plans can also be voluntarily initiated by an NRD. The plans are designed to sustain a balance between water uses and supplies to maintain the economic viability and social and environmental health, safety, and welfare of the basin. The actions required in those plans are also consistent with Nebraska meeting its interstate obligations.
In support of integrated water management and other state water activities, the Department conducts various planning, engineering, water use and hydrologic studies, and modeling. The Department also maintains extensive natural resources data on its website and is developing a sophisticated, new tool called INSIGHT, an Integrated Network of Scientific Information and GeoHydrologic Tools. This tool will provide the citizens of Nebraska with a wide array of information on water supplies and water uses throughout Nebraska. INSIGHT will be a unique tool and a model to follow amongst the western states. Nebraska’s future depends on our efficient management of our water and land resources.


Duane A. Lienemann
Webster Co. UNL Extention Educator
    February 22, 2013 Edition
 Wouldn’t you know that the minute I start thinking Spring, that we get some good old Nebraska Winter weather? You won’t see me complain as at this point I will take any moisture that the good Lord will give us. Last week I started discussing the shape of our pastures and some thoughts that we many need adjust our normal grazing practices in reference to the high probability of another drought for our part of the world over the next several months. With snow on the ground it can be a little tough to visualize dry pastures and depleted grass, but we do need to face this problem and probably the earlier the better.  Let’s now continue our discussion from last week and take a look at some other considerations.
     Drought can really play havoc on pasture and hay-land, but it can also affect pasture leases. I think we need to take a look at this. All too often, pasture leases fail to include an appropriate plan to adjust to climate or environmental problems. Many pasture leases are verbal arrangements between two parties and with the generational shift occurring in Nebraska, it is much better having the lease in writing so all parties involved know where they stand. The old hand shake and a spit in the dust may not be appropriate in today’s world. Without a plan for dry weather and critical mass on pasture, it should be noted that both the landowner and the tenant are at risk. The landowner risks having the pasture become overgrazed and even damaged to the point of disastrous results to the pasture. It can also result in future weed problems, reduced long-term production, and lowered value. The tenant risks poor performance or health of the livestock due to less forage and lower quality feed as I indicated in last week’s article. This can lead to higher supplemental feed costs or being forced to sell.
     We may get to the point this year that a decision needs to be made when the effect of last year’s drought or potential drought has lowered pasture production low enough to jeopardize the pasture and/or the cows? And, what should be the adjustment in the rent payment? It is difficult to say exactly how it needs to be. I do suggest however that it is probably the time now to discuss these issues as landlord and tenant. First, I must point out that it is best to design the lease so both the landowner and tenant share in the opportunity and risk associated with drought by adding an appropriate escape clause due to drought. Be sure to list the length of the grazing period in the lease. We normally think of a five month grazing period with many utilizing a 1-2 week grace period. As I pointed out last week, we may want to shrink that this year and start our grazing period 2-6 weeks later, depending on the moisture and grass we do get, and perhaps end grazing earlier! We also want to make sure that stocking rates are specified in the lease. We normally, on an average, suggest about 4-6 acres per cow/calf pair (adjusted for cow and calf size) in a normal year. We may want to, at least this year, go to 6-8 acres per pair. 
     More than ever, I feel that it is best to get it all down in writing to avoid any misunderstandings later. Any problems I have seen over the last few years have primarily been because of verbal pasture leases. It is important to note that, as far as I know, there is no six month notice requirement on a verbal pasture lease like there is cropland, which normally is August 31st. That makes this issue rather dicey at times.  There are extenuating circumstances, but if only pasture or rangeland is involved, that seems to be the nature of the beast. Drought or a sudden notification can cause a lot of headaches. But if you’ve planned ahead, making sudden adjustments to your pasture leases won’t be one of them.
     I believe that the biggest consideration for pasture rental rates for 2013 will be the condition of the pasture. We need to take into account the significant drought conditions that persisted in much of southern Nebraska in 2012 and possible lingering effects for 2013 and particularly the extremely likelihood of an extended drought through this upcoming grazing season. Thus, if stocking rates need to be reduced in 2013 due to poor forage conditions, it would follow that pasture rental rates on a per acre basis should decrease from last year. This provides a good example why producers and landowners should focus on the rental rate per head (or per pair) as opposed to the rate per acre.  
     What is important is that landowners and producers communicate with each other to make sure stocking rates are adjusted so as to protect the long‐term productivity of the pasture. It is important that we make sure we have an appropriate stock density so we're not overgrazing the pasture, which will degrade the quality of the pasture, grass health and thus the ultimate welfare of the cattle, which is not in the interest of either party. Low-yielding and poor-quality forage means fewer livestock can graze, and the expectation of gain is going to be less. And, of course, the landowner is left with a property that is not as valuable if it's not taken care of. It takes years for pasture to recover from drought, and even longer if overgrazed!
     I know that it is tradition to go on a per acre basis in this area, but we may have to change and start with an agreement of the number of acres allowed per pair, and then base our lease on a dollar rate per head per month or even per grazing day. UNL studies suggest rental rates for Southern Nebraska in 2012 was an average of $38/Cow-Calf Pair/Month. That figures to about $1.25 per grazing day. If the insistence for per acre basis persists, then it needs to be lowered on a percentage basis for a shorter grazing season. Also, don’t forget that when it comes to making rental agreements, there are several considerations for both parties. Just like with any rental agreement, individuals are encouraged to understand that there are responsibilities that the landowner has and that the renter has. And some of these are negotiable. It's important to have a conversation about what those negotiable points are and then move toward a more firm price that is fair to both parties. 

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, February 21, 2013

73,608 PAGES

In less than a week, automatic “across-the-board” budget cuts will go into effect, dangerously slashing the defense budget as well as jeopardizing thousands of American jobs. While Nebraskans know we must cut out-of-control government spending, I believe we should sensibly target these cuts at wasteful federal programs, not critical national security priorities.
I am working with my colleagues to replace the so-called “sequester” with smarter, careful cuts that allow the government to continue fulfilling its core duties. I am disappointed, however, that some of my colleagues have focused their efforts on raising taxes rather than cutting spending – the very purpose of sequestration.
Despite the rhetoric coming out of Washington, the answer to every problem is not increasing taxes. I did not come to Washington to raise your taxes; indeed, the question of tax hikes was settled late last year – before I arrived to the Senate – when Republicans agreed to a $600 billion tax increase to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”
For many months, we’ve heard the president call for a “balanced approach” to reduce the deficit. I agree. It’s now time for both parties to make the tough choices, compromise, and cut government spending.
However, the current Senate proposal to avoid “across-the-board” cuts includes a number of new tax increases that succeed as poll-tested sound bites, but fail as good public policy. Nebraskans are tired of the gimmicks, and unfortunately, that appears to be where we’re headed – again.
While I support closing unfair tax loopholes, it is impossible to accomplish real, comprehensive tax reform with such a selective, piecemeal approach. Recently, Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) expressed concern about “cherry-picking” loopholes outside of the framework of comprehensive tax reform. His opinion is especially important as he serves as Chairman of the Finance Committee, which is tasked with rewriting the nation’s tax code.
“We owe it to the American people to do a comprehensive review of the code to ensure it works for today’s economy and is flexible enough to adapt to the changing world,” Baucus said. “Tax reform is about more than revenues. It is about simplifying peoples’ lives, encouraging businesses to invest and grow, and boosting innovation and education. We are not going to have multiple bites at this apple. I want to ensure that when we do tax reform, we do it right,” Baucus concluded.
I couldn’t agree more.
A shortsighted approach to tax reform that targets specific industries would only undermine bipartisan efforts to overhaul our century-old tax code.
The experts agree: comprehensive tax reform will lead to desperately needed economic growth, and allow businesses to expand and create more jobs. Even the Business Roundtable, which supported the president’s previous efforts to raise tax rates, now argues the current proposal would push the country in “the wrong direction.”
Hardworking taxpayers are all too familiar with the complexity of current tax laws. The New York Times recently reported, “the volume of the tax code had nearly tripled in size during the last decade – to 3.8 million words in February 2010 from 1.4 million in 2001 […] Americans spent 6.1 billion hours preparing their returns each year – the equivalent of 3 million employees working full time.”
Nebraskans shouldn’t have to waste their time, or pay for expensive accountants just to forfeit more money to Uncle Sam. It’s time for a simpler, fairer tax code. But instead of supporting gimmicks to pay for more government spending, I support comprehensive tax reform to generate real economic growth and make the lives of all Nebraskans easier.
In the coming days, I hope Republicans and Democrats will come together to identify responsible spending reductions to replace the “across-the-board” cuts – it’s not too late. Moreover, I look forward to working with Democrats like Senator Baucus, who appreciates the need to reform the tax code and regulations from page 1 all the way through page 73,608.
Thank you for participating in the democratic process, and I look forward to visiting with you again next week.

Deb Fischer
United States Senator


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) announced today that she has been named Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities for the 113th Congress.
“I am honored to begin work as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities,” Fischer said. “Each day, Nebraskans learn more about a growing array of threats around the world, including recent North Korean rocket launches, China’s ongoing cyber attacks, and Iran’s tireless quest to acquire nuclear capabilities. I look forward to working in a bipartisan manner with Subcommittee Chair Kay Hagan (D - N.C.) to counter these threats and ensure the U.S. military is the best-equipped, finest fighting force in the world.”
The Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities is responsible for overseeing policies and programs to counter emerging threats, including the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and illegal drugs; homeland defense; technology base programs; special operations programs; and emerging operational concepts.

Recipe for Today

Snow Ice Cream

8 cups snow, or shaved ice
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:  Place snow or shaved ice into a large bowl, Pour condensed milk over the snow and add the vanilla extract.  Mix just enough to combine, put into bowl and serve right away.  Delicious and fun way to "celebrate" a new fresh snow.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Johanns Thanks Nebraskans for Support, Announces 2014 Plans

OMAHA, Neb. – U.S. Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) released the following statement on his plans to not seek another Senate term in 2014 and thanking Nebraskans for their friendship over the last three decades of public service:
“After many prayers and much reflection, Stephanie and I have decided that I will not seek another term in the Senate. We are eternally grateful for the trust, support and friendship Nebraskans have offered over the last three decades of public service. The two of us have held a total of eight elected offices and we believe it is time to close this chapter of our lives so we can dedicate more time to each other, our family and our faith.
“Serving in so many ways over so many years has been one of the greatest honors of our lives and I am looking forward to continuing that service during the remainder of my Senate term. “

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Vilsack announces USDAto Conduct Sign-up for CPR

USDA Announces 45th General Sign-Up for the Conservation Reserve ProgramMINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 16, 2013-Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced at the National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will conduct a four-week general sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), beginning May 20 and ending on June 14. CRP has a 27-year legacy of protecting the nation's natural resources through voluntary participation, while providing significant economic and environmental benefits to rural communities across the United States. Under Secretary Vilsack's leadership, USDA has enrolled 11.7 million acres in various CRP efforts.
"Since the 1980s, the CRP program has established itself as a benchmark in voluntary conservation efforts, providing American producers with assets to address our most critical resource issues," said Vilsack. "Last year, during one of the worst droughts in generations, the CRP proved vital in protecting our most environmentally sensitive lands from erosion. Emergency haying and grazing on CRP lands also supplied critical feed and forage for livestock producers due to the drought. And the program continues to bring substantial returns to rural areas, attracting recreation and tourism dollars into local economies while sustaining natural and wildlife habitat for future generations."
Additional sign-ups for continuous CRP programs-such as Highly Erodible Land Initiative and Initiative to Restore Grasslands, Wetlands and Wildlife-will be announced in spring 2013.
Currently, about 27 million acres are enrolled in CRP, which is a voluntary program available to agricultural producers to help them safeguard environmentally sensitive land. Producers enrolled in CRP plant long-term, resource-conserving covers to improve the quality of water, control soil erosion and enhance wildlife habitat. Contracts on 3.3 million acres of CRP are set to expire on Sept. 30, 2013. Producers with expiring contracts or producers with environmentally sensitive land are encouraged to evaluate their options under CRP.
Producers that are accepted in the sign-up can receive cost-share assistance to plant long-term, resource-conserving covers and receive an annual rental payment for the length of the contract (10-15 years). Producers also are encouraged to look into CRP's other enrollment opportunities offered on a continuous, non-competitive, sign-up basis and that often provide additional financial assistance. Continuous sign-up dates will be announced at a later date.
Over the past 27 years, farmers, ranchers, conservationists, hunters, fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts have made CRP one of the largest and most important USDA efforts. CRP continues to make major contributions to national efforts to improve water and air quality, and to prevent soil erosion by protecting the most sensitive areas including those prone to flash flooding and runoff. CRP has also helped increase populations of pheasants, quail, ducks, and rare species, like the sage grouse, the lesser prairie chicken, and other grassland birds. Highlights of CRP include:
CRP has restored more than two million acres of wetlands and two million acres of riparian buffers; Each year, CRP keeps more than 600 million pounds of nitrogen and more than 100 million pounds of phosphorous from flowing into our nation's streams, rivers, and lakes. CRP provides $1.8 billion annually to landowners-dollars that make their way into local economies, supporting small businesses and creating jobs; and CRP is the largest private lands carbon sequestration program in the country. By placing vulnerable cropland into conservation, CRP sequesters carbon in plants and soil, and reduces both fuel and fertilizer usage. In 2012, CRP resulted in carbon sequestration equal to taking about nine million cars off the road.
The Obama Administration is leading a host of federal agencies in the America's Great Outdoors initiative to develop a 21st century conservation agenda and reconnect Americans to the outdoors. At the same time, USDA continues to enroll a record number of acres of private working lands in conservation programs, working with more than 500,000 farmers and ranchers to implement conservation practices that clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, and prevent soil erosion. Since 2009, USDA has enrolled more than 50 million acres into the Conservation Stewardship Program to incentivize the most productive, beneficial conservation practices. And USDA's work in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the Mississippi River Basin, and Gulf of Mexico are among 19 initiatives applying the most effective conservation practices to increase agricultural and environmental returns. USDA science is also helping to focus work in areas to reduce problematic nutrients making it to rivers and streams by as much as 45 percent.
For more information on CRP and other FSA programs, visit a local FSA service center or

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

Monday, February 18, 2013

Gov. Heineman Commends Senator Johanns on Exceptional Service to Nebraska & United States


(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today issued the following statement regarding U.S. Senator Mike Johanns.
“Senator Mike Johanns is a remarkably outstanding public official. His career spans decades of dedicated service at the local, state and national levels. As a mayor, a Governor, a Cabinet Secretary, and now as a U.S. Senator, Senator Johanns has always been a leader of our state and of our nation.
“We are forever thankful for his commitment to serving our citizens, in particular, our farmers and ranchers, and our veterans. Sally and I are both thankful and grateful to Senator Johanns and Stephanie for their service. Nebraskans are proud of you.”

Smith Thanks Senator Johanns for Service to Nebraska, Nation


Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) issued the following statement after Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) announced he would retire from the U.S. Senate at the end of the 113th Congress:
“I thank Senator Johanns for his outstanding service to Nebraska and the nation. I am grateful for his friendship and the leadership he has demonstrated at the local, state and federal levels, and I look forward to continuing to work with him for the next two years to represent the people of Nebraska.”

Saturday, February 16, 2013

updated Results of State Wrestling in Omaha

Results for Feb. 14th
    Champ. Round 1 - Brandon Nichols (Bridgeport) 37-2 won by pin over Lucas Paswaters (Tri County) 26-18 (Pin 5:57)
    Champ. Round 1 - Cory Rowse (O`Neill) 27-16 won by major decision over Tanner

Rupprecht (Red Cloud/Blue Hill) 38-6 (Maj 14-4)

    Champ. Round 1 - Eli Van matre (Gibbon) 31-4 won by decision over Brandon French (Scribner-Snyder/Guardian Angels Central Catholic) 30-7 (Dec 4-3)
    Champ. Round 1 - Martin Phillips (David City) 40-9 won by decision over Casey Glassgow (Gordon-Rushville) 32-13 (Dec 5-3)
    Champ. Round 1 - Blake Eisenmann (Madison) 36-2 won by pin over Kane Wetovick (Wood River) 33-17 (Pin 2:00)
    Champ. Round 1 - Tucker Bergquist (Southern Valley) 35-7 won by pin over Lance Bruner (Bishop Neumann) 35-8 (Pin 3:29)
    Champ. Round 1 - Andrew Abramson (Loomis/Bertrand) 32-5 won by major decision over Zach Miller (Arlington) 18-5 (Maj 12-2)
    Champ. Round 1 - Kyle Sutton (Central City) 31-6 won by pin over Jake Betzen (Stanton) 19-12 (Pin 1:31)


    Champ. Round 1 - Lucas Wiechman (Wisner-Pilger) 31-8 won by pin over Anthony Warta (Loomis/Bertrand) 28-13 (Pin 5:11)
    Champ. Round 1 - Dennis George (Bishop Neumann) 20-6 won by pin over Taylor Hancock (South Central Nebraska Unified District #5) 33-7 (Pin 4:47)
    Champ. Round 1 - Tyler Schmitt (Raymond Central) 32-12 won by pin over Dylan

Shannon (Red Cloud/Blue Hill) 28-14 (Pin 4:49)   
 Champ. Round 1 - Triston Eklund (Valentine) 30-8 won by major decision over Tristan Weitzenkamp (Scribner-Snyder/Guardian Angels Central Catholic) 32-16 (Maj 11-2)
    Champ. Round 1 - Jake Anderson (Central City) 30-0 won by pin over Ryan Phillips (Yutan) 27-15 (Pin 1:20)
    Champ. Round 1 - Jacob Gaudreault (Madison) 26-10 won by decision over Coby Cassidy (Sargent/Burwell) 35-9 (Dec 8-7)
    Champ. Round 1 - Dusty Staab (Ord) 34-6 won by pin over Jamison Baird (Logan View) 22-13 (Pin 5:58)
    Champ. Round 1 - Colton Kuhnel (Cross County/Osceola) 23-14 won by decision over Travis Starkey (Tri County) 27-17 (Dec 9-7)

    Champ. Round 1 - Thomas Connely (Kearney Catholic) 36-2 won by tech fall over Evan Brandt (Tri County) 24-20 (TF 16-1)
    Champ. Round 1 - Quin Rutt (Minden) 29-5 won by decision over David Huismann (Madison) 28-11 (Dec 3-2)
    Champ. Round 1 - Brandon Becker (Norfolk Catholic) 33-5 won by major decision over Adrian Banuelos (Gibbon) 32-8 (Maj 13-1)
    Champ. Round 1 - Joseph Varela (David City) 36-5 won by pin over Ken Graham (Gordon-Rushville) 25-14 (Pin 1:37)
    Champ. Round 1 - David Fox (O`Neill) 35-7 won by decision over Kelly Cliffords (Cross County/Osceola) 21-8 (Dec 9-5)
    Champ. Round 1 - Jeff Witter (Aquinas Catholic) 28-7 won by decision over Sage Gideon (Sargent/Burwell) 31-10 (Dec 6-3)
    Champ. Round 1 - Brendan Swanson (Mitchell) 21-3 won by pin over Reid Moldenhauer (Wilber-Clatonia) 22-5 (Pin 3:49)
    Champ. Round 1 - Garrett Sharp (Red Cloud/Blue Hill) 34-1 won by pin over Michael

Virka (North Bend Central) 22-14 (Pin 5:33)

In the second round Garrett Sharp (Red Cloud/Blue Hill)  lost by a 11 to 9 decision to

Brenden Swanson (21-3) Sr.( Mitchell.) 


What high school sport makes the demands on the individual that amateur wrestling does?
 When a boy walks onto the mat, he stands alone. No one will run interference, no one ...will pass him the ball when he is under the net, no one will catch a high fly if he makes a bad pitch. He stands alone. In other high school sports, where individual scores are kept, the contest is determined in time, distance, and height. But in wrestling, the score is kept on a boy's ability to overcome an opponent in a hand to hand contest, where a two second interval at anytime can mean a loss or a win. if an opponent gains an advantage, there will be no help, no substitute; there will be no time out and all can be lost in two seconds.
Yes, the boy stands alone.
There is no place on a wrestling team for the show off, the halfhearted, or the weakling. When the whistle blows, a boy puts his ability, his determination, and his courage on the line.
We who are close to the young men on our high school wrestling teams have watched the range of human emotions from elation to heartbreak.
We have seen coaches with tears running down their cheeks as they try to console a young man who has given his all . . yet lost.
Wrestling is a tough, hard sport, a life like, it is the survival of the fittest. The young men who enter and stay with the team know this. They also know that the time comes and the whistle blows
. . .


Results for Feb. 15

    Cons. Round 1 - Tanner Rupprecht (Red Cloud/Blue Hill) 40-6 won by decision over Lucas Paswaters (Tri County) 26-19 (Dec 7-0)
    Cons. Round 1 - Brandon French (Scribner-Snyder/Guardian Angels Central Catholic) 32-7 won by decision over Casey Glassgow (Gordon-Rushville) 32-14 (Dec 7-0)
    Cons. Round 1 - Kane Wetovick (Wood River) 34-18 won by major decision over Lance Bruner (Bishop Neumann) 35-9 (Maj 12-4)
    Cons. Round 1 - Zach Miller (Arlington) 19-6 won by decision over Jake Betzen (Stanton) 19-13 (Dec 6-4)

    Cons. Round 1 - Taylor Hancock (South Central Nebraska Unified District #5) 35-7 won by pin over Anthony Warta (Loomis/Bertrand) 28-14 (Pin 2:59)
    Cons. Round 1 - Dylan Shannon (Red Cloud/Blue Hill) 30-14 won by pin over Tristan Weitzenkamp (Scribner-Snyder/Guardian Angels Central Catholic) 32-17 (Pin 0:58)
    Cons. Round 1 - Coby Cassidy (Sargent/Burwell) 36-10 won by decision over Ryan Phillips (Yutan) 27-16 (Dec 5-1)
    Cons. Round 1 - Travis Starkey (Tri County) 29-17 won by pin over Jamison Baird (Logan View) 22-14 (Pin 1:37)

    Cons. Round 2 - David Huismann (Madison) 30-11 won by decision over Garrett Sharp (Red Cloud/Blue Hill) 34-3 (Dec 11-7)
    Cons. Round 2 - Adrian Banuelos (Gibbon) 34-8 won by pin over Jeff Witter (Aquinas Catholic) 28-9 (Pin 4:15)
    Cons. Round 2 - Brandon Becker (Norfolk Catholic) 34-6 won by pin over Kelly Cliffords (Cross County/Osceola) 22-9 (Pin 1:40)
    Cons. Round 2 - Quin Rutt (Minden) 30-6 won by decision over Michael Virka (North Bend Central) 23-15 (Dec 9-2)

Cons. Round 2 - Tanner Rupprecht (Red Cloud/Blue Hill) 40-6 won in sudden victory - 1 over Andrew Abramson (Loomis/Bertrand) 32-7 (SV-1 7-5)
Cons. Round 2 - Brandon French (Scribner-Snyder/Guardian Angels Central Catholic) 32-7 won by decision over Tucker Bergquist (Southern Valley) 35-9 (Dec 4-0)
Cons. Round 2 - Eli Van matre (Gibbon) 32-5 won by decision over Kane Wetovick (Wood River) 34-18 (Dec 3-2)
Cons. Round 2 - Cory Rowse (O`Neill) 28-17 won by pin over Zach Miller (Arlington) 19-6 (Pin 1:27)

Cons. Round 2 - Taylor Hancock (South Central Nebraska Unified District #5) 35-7 won by decision over Colton Kuhnel (Cross County/Osceola) 23-16 (Dec 6-2)
Cons. Round 2 - Dylan Shannon (Red Cloud/Blue Hill) 30-14 won by pin over Jacob Gaudreault (Madison) 26-12 (Pin 2:44)
Cons. Round 2 - Tyler Schmitt (Raymond Central) 33-13 won in the ultimate tie breaker over Coby Cassidy (Sargent/Burwell) 36-10 (UTB 2-1)
Cons. Round 2 - Travis Starkey (Tri County) 29-17 won by forfeit over Dennis George (Bishop Neumann) 20-8 (FF)

Cons. Round 2 - David Huismann (Madison) 30-11 won by decision over Garrett Sharp (Red Cloud/Blue Hill) 34-3 (Dec 11-7)
Cons. Round 2 - Adrian Banuelos (Gibbon) 34-8 won by pin over Jeff Witter (Aquinas Catholic) 28-9 (Pin 4:15)
Cons. Round 2 - Brandon Becker (Norfolk Catholic) 34-6 won by pin over Kelly Cliffords (Cross County/Osceola) 22-9 (Pin 1:40)
Cons. Round 2 - Quin Rutt (Minden) 30-6 won by decision over Michael Virka (North Bend Central) 23-15 (Dec 9-2)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Senator Fischer;s Column

Feb 15 2013


Like many Nebraskans, I watched the president’s State of the Union
address hoping we would hear specific policy proposals to address our nation’s
ongoing economic challenges, including our $16 trillion national debt.
I was disappointed that instead of offering realistic ideas to cut
government spending, the president focused his speech on plans to increase spending under the pretext of job creation.
While I agree we must address persistent unemployment, the answer
is not more stimulus-style “investment.” We tried that in 2009 – it didn’t work
then, and it won’t work now.
Hardworking Nebraskans know the best way to create jobs is to get
government out of the way. We can start by rolling back burdensome, unnecessary federal regulations, which cost Americans over $1.75 trillion each year. If every household across America paid an equal share of this cost, it would amount to a crushing $15,500. Instead of investing in new employees, small business owners are forced to subsidize a wasteful federal government.
Moreover, job creators require certainty to plan for the future, and Washington’s bad habit of lurching from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis undermines our ability to grow the economy.
Uncertainty has also undermined national security as the Department of Defense has been forced to maintain and modernize our military – all while operating under temporary stop-gap spending measures, rather than a long-term budget. Trying to modernize a military without a budget is like losing your paycheck in the middle of a home renovation: you might end up with a new bathtub, but you can’t afford the new pipes to bring in the water.
At the same time, the Pentagon has been compelled to absorb $500
billion in budget cuts and is likely facing another $500 billion in the coming
decade under an ill-conceived budget cutting mechanism called sequestration.
Rather than taking a scalpel to cut the waste, which I support, sequestration
cuts spending with a meat-ax, bluntly reducing expenditures equally between
defense and non-defense spending.
On February 12, I participated in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, where our top military commanders advised that drastic defense cuts would devastate our defense readiness and jeopardize our national security, as well as our economy.
Secretary Panetta cautioned lawmakers last week that these cuts
would turn the U.S. military “into a second-rate power.” The Washington Post
reported, “[Panetta] has warned that naval operations in the Pacific would
shrink by a third. All military training would slow to a crawl. And almost
every civilian employee at Defense could be furloughed, as much as one day a
week for the rest of the fiscal year.”
Another recent, successful nuclear test by the North Koreans reminds us that the world is an increasingly dangerous place. The United States cannot afford an ill-equipped, degraded fighting force. Furthermore, we have a moral duty to our young men and women in uniform to send them into battle only if they are ready and trained – and only if we have the resources to support them.
I was pleased, however, to hear the president express a willingness to avoid this “doomsday scenario.” To that end, the House of Representatives has twice passed legislation to replace these across-the-board cuts, and I believe it’s time for the Senate to pass similar legislation offering responsible spending reductions.
While I agree we must prevent drastic budget cuts, I reject the false choice between jeopardizing national security and raising taxes. Just one month ago before I arrived to the Senate, Republicans compromised, agreeing to a tax hike of $600 billion to avoid the fiscal cliff. Now it’s time for both sides to compromise and find ways to identify responsible spending cuts that are required by law to sensibly target government waste and not damage critical national security programs.
I look forward to working with the president and my colleagues – Republicans and Democrats – to cut spending, protect national security, and work toward achieving a balanced budget.
Thank you for taking part in our democratic process, and I’ll visit with you again next week.

Deb Fischer
United States Senator

Top Consumer Complaints


LINCOLN - Attorney General Jon Bruning  announced the top 5 complaints received by his Consumer Protection Division mediation center in 2012. In 2012, more than $1.1 million was recovered or saved for Nebraskans through traditional mediation. An additional $2.6 million was saved for Nebraska consumers with mortgage-related complaints. In total, the mediation center opened 3,500 complaints and fielded more than 8,000 calls.

"Nebraskans work hard for their money and deserve to be treated fairly," said Bruning. "When conflicts arise between Nebraska consumers and businesses, our mediation center works to resolve the issue and recover lost funds."
Top 5 Consumer Complaints:
1) Credit and Financial Services (banking-related complaints, mortgage issues)

2) Scams (phishing scams, fake letters and checks)

3) Professional Services (debt collection, memberships)

4) Personal and Household Products (retail and online sales)

5) Motor Vehicles (motor vehicle sales)
Since Bruning took office in 2003, an annual average of more than $1.1 million has been returned to or saved for Nebraska consumers through mediation.

The Consumer Protection Division’s mediation center is operated by Attorney General’s Office staff and highly-trained volunteers that work to resolve issues between Nebraskans and private businesses. The Division also provides timely information on scams operating in Nebraska through direct community outreach across the state.

For more information or to file a complaint, call the Attorney General’s Office Consumer complaints.

Gov. Heineman Names Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann


(Lincoln, Neb.) Photo Gallery - Gov. Dave Heineman today announced the appointment of Lavon Heidemann of Elk Creek to be the 39th Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska. Lt. Gov. Heidemann, 54, was sworn in by the Secretary of State at a news conference with Gov. Heineman this afternoon in the State Capitol.
“I’m pleased Lavon has agreed to serve the people of Nebraska as the Lieutenant Governor,” said Gov. Heineman. “He is a proven, dedicated public servant for the citizens of Nebraska. He will complete this term as Lt. Governor with integrity, and I look forward to working with him as we continue to move Nebraska forward.”
“I am excited for this opportunity to serve the people of Nebraska,” said Lt. Gov. Heidemann. “Public service is something in which I believe deeply. I am looking forward to my time traveling our state, meeting with our citizens, visiting our businesses.”
Lt. Gov. Heidemann is a farmer and livestock producer, and is a volunteer firefighter. He was elected to the University of Nebraska Board of Regents in 2012. Prior to his time as a Regent, Lt. Gov. Heidemann served as a State Senator for Legislative District 1 from 2005 to 2013. As a member of the Legislature, he served as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee for six years.
Lt. Gov. Heidemann was elected to the Elk Creek School Board in 1996 where he served for until he was elected to the Legislature. Previously he served as a general foreman for a drilling company in Anchorage, Alaska from 1983 to 1995. He has been active with a number of organizations, including the Midwest Council of State Governments, Agriculture Builders of Nebraska, Nebraska Cattlemen, Pawnee County Farm Bureau, the Southeast Nebraska Feeders and Breeders, and the Elk Creek Young Men’s Club.
Lt. Gov. Heidemann graduated from Elk Creek High School. He has attended the Midwest Council of State Governments’ Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership. He has earned a number of awards and honors including the Leadership Award for the Association of Nebraska Ethanol Producers, 2012; recognition of Service, Nebraska State Volunteer Firefighter’s Association, 2011; Harold Sieck Public Official of the Year, The Arc of Nebraska, 2009; Leadership Award in Recognition of Outstanding Leadership in Agri-Business, Omaha Agri-Business Club 2009; Award of Excellence for Meritorious Service, Nebraska Cooperative Extension Association, 2009; and the Appreciation Award for Development and Funding of Education Center, Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, 2009.
Lt. Gov. Heidemann was born in Pawnee City. He and his wife Robin have three children.










Duane A Lienemann
 UNL Extension Educator, Webster County
February 15, 2013 Edition
We are on the downhill side of February, which usually means we are not too far from the harbingers of “Spring”, if some of those indicators have not already arrived. Oh I know, we could have a lot of “Winter” yet, but if the groundhog was any indication it will not be long before we start seeing a warm-up, early flowers, and the greening up of wheat and perhaps road ditch grass and probably “cheatgrass. That means it will not be long and we will be looking at concerns with pasture for our cattle, sheep, goats and horses. We have several concerns that we might want to take a look at this week.
I don’t think anyone doesn’t know that we just came out of one of the worst drought years in recent memory, and many say worse than the early 50’s, and others harken back to the 30’s. I do remember the early 50’s but the 30’s believe it or not is really a stretch, but I do remember my parents and grandparents talking about it, and it does seem very similar in many regards. I think back to the drought conditions we had from 2000 up through about 2006 or 2007, but it didn’t come close to the total concerns we had in 2012. Heat, wind and lack of moisture really showed what it can do to crops, hay and pastures.
Unfortunately the environment, and perhaps even a little overgrazing, took a big toll on our pastures and it may alter what we may choose for management decisions concerning timing, population, longevity of grazing and as a result what those that rent range/pastures may or should have to pay. We also must be cognizant of the fact that most prognosticators are suggesting to expect more of the same as far as drought conditions area concerned. We had an advantage last spring that we started out with some subsoil moisture and had a very heavy, wet snow about this time of year. It is no secret that we are not in the same place with our subsoil - not even close - and so far, we have not had much moisture, including any much needed, heavy snow this year. I think we are really behind the eight-ball again this year. There are a lot of things we might want to consider as we approach a new grazing year. In a year that left us with dilapidated pastures, far short of hay and high grain and hay prices we may be facing more challenges than we have in many, many years.
The unique conditions leading into the spring of 2013 may be leading us into even more potential problems. A dry growing season last summer combined with poor forage growth in the fall has left almost no standing forage in many pastures. In short, as we approach spring there is not much out there, and if forecasts are correct - conditions for spring growth may not be great either. On the cow side of the pasture/ livestock equation, in many cases we are looking at some mighty hungry individuals. Hay is scarce and expensive and concentrates are higher than many of us can remember them ever being. This has led many producers to design a management program to “just get them through the winter” rather than meeting the cattle’s nutritional requirements and that may give us problems leading into my next scenario.
The first thing that I think we may want to look at is perhaps dry-lotting our livestock a little longer this year. I know, that may be difficult with the shortage of forages and the price of hay and grain. But we may not have much choice in this if we don’t see some moisture come our way. Producers who are short of hay in the spring are likely to want to turn livestock out on pasture as soon as they can. The problem with this practice is the cost to production in those pastures during the growing season. Grazing before grass plants reach the third leaf stage causes a reduction in herbage production which can reduce stocking rate and animal performance and have awful consequences for the grass plants. Grazing before that third leaf stage on native range or tame grass pastures can result in a loss of over 60% of the potential forage production and perhaps even worse. This lost potential production will translate into lost pounds of calf production and perhaps the very health and vitality of your pasture. Livestock producers need to consider this loss of calf and pasture production when they decide whether to feed hay a little longer or to turn cattle out on pasture before the grass is ready. Another downside is the fact that you are opening the pasture up for a weed infestation and the costs of control and renovation of the pasture.
It depends heavily on if, and when, we get any moisture, and what the conditions are in March and April. But my gut feeling says we need to wait at least until June 1 and perhaps June 15 to put our cows out into the pastures. That means we need to find and, at the very least, manage our forage resources to stretch them about 4-6 more weeks than normal and if you haven’t already, consider culling cows. Every cowherd has a bottom 20 to 50 percent, and they aren’t that difficult to identify. This group will consist of all open and dry cows, late-calvers, and all cows with small, poor-doing calves. It will also include your older and thinner cows, as well as all cows with bad eyes, bad udders and other structural problems. Other candidates are those that may have an attitude or are hard handling, high headed cows. If you have saved heifers back to breed for next year, you may want to consider liquidating them as well. Don’t wait until your forage resources are depleted and your cows are thin. You will lose both ways if you do that. Our best bet is to do some heavy praying for moisture!
If you don’t have the hay, low quality roughages and/or grain or distillers to mix with it, and down to the bare bones (perhaps a bad analogy) with your herd, then you may want to consider perhaps planting some early spring forages like oats, rye or other fast growing and tonnage making feeds, that you can graze early or utilize for “put-up hay. We need to really look at some alternative methods of management of supplying nutrients to our cattle. I suggest going to our website - for ideas. Next week we will continue this discussion and center on grazing rates and rental rates!
]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: