Saturday, June 29, 2013


Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extention Educator
     We have just passed the first day of summer and there have been some days that definitely let you know that it is indeed –summer! The early days of summer usually signal thoughts of one of my favorite crops, wheat. How can I not talk about wheat in this week’s edition?  It is the time of the year that I have loved since first recognizing the intricacies of agriculture as a young child. The distinct smell of harvested wheat wafting in the wind is an aroma that to me comes close to rivaling the fragrance of a freshly plowed field after a rain. I have to admit I have become less tolerant for that summer heat, but that does not take away from the essence of the season. Seriously, wheat harvest in June in Nebraska? The answer is yes. In fact I have early reports of wheat harvest coming north of the Kansas border as I write this edition. 
     Wheat Harvest: It is here! I predicted early on that we would be harvesting in South Central Nebraska by the Fourth of July and I didn’t miss it too far. There have been some test runs and a couple of fields that are being cut as I write this. Unfortunately some of this early harvest is a result of stressed wheat from drought and some fields that should be a nice yellowish color has more of a brownish tint to it.  Those are the same spots that had the “blue” look just before we got some rains, which once again have forsaken us.  My guess is that we are going to see some fields that are going to be less than stellar in yield potential.  The drought that started last year has really had an effect on this year’s wheat crop.
     If you drive by some of these wheat fields you may want to notice something.  Are the heads standing up straight or are they bent over.  If they are standing erect at this stage of the game my guess is that you have either shriveled kernels or a low kernel count, or both.  I don’t think I need to tell you that this is a good foreteller of your wheat yield and test weight.  I expect to see wheat yields all over the place this year. I have seen some fields that won’t make much more than 10-15 bushels, and some that may make 30-40 bushels.  My analysis is that our average dryland wheat will be somewhere in between those ranges. I expect to find a lot of shriveled kernels and some very light heads this year in these fields.  That being said, I have also seen some fields that are still a couple of weeks away from harvest and could make 50-60 bushels. Why is that? I think it has a lot to do where those fields are located, what was planted there the year before and if and how much moisture that happened to fall on that piece of land. Unfortunately these fields are the exception rather than the rule!
     You may also want to walk through your fields and check for head scab.  I have not seen much, if any, but have heard of fields further east of us that are exhibiting theses diseased heads.  I did notice some white heads a couple of weeks ago or more and I wonder if some people are mistaking these heads for head scab.  I think what I have seen is more the result of damage to wheat early this spring with the surprise cold, ice and snow which did do some damage to many fields. Some of those white heads also are pulled easily which may suggest a stem maggot working in spots across some fields. 
     If you do suspect Fusarium head blight (scab) you can take some simple management strategies. The easiest thing to do is managing the potential at harvest. By increasing the fan speed on the harvest combine you can remove some of the heavily infected grain, which usually is lighter than healthy grain. Secondly if you think you might have the disease I suggest keeping potentially scabby grain separate from other wheat. Incidence and severity of scab varies from field to field and even within a field depending on the variety planted and local environmental conditions.
     You should go one step further should you separate any wheat. It is best to keep scabby grain stored at or below 12% moisture content. This will reduce the potential for deterioration during storage. Cool the grain by aeration soon after placement in storage and continue cooling periodically. Storing grain at or below 12% moisture prevents grain deterioration that can result from fungal activity if moisture content were higher. Unfortunately it does not reduce the amount of DON in the grain should it exist. If you plan to keep back ben run seed for planting next fall I think it prudent to prevent or reduce seedling blights next year. Potentially scabby grain should be thoroughly cleaned and treated with a systemic fungicide before being used as seed for next season’s crop. It is probably best to simply get you seed wheat from a clean source. My guess is that most fields in our part of the country will not have much, if any head scab.
     One thing is for certain, we will not have “tall straw” this year.  When the wheat started heading at 6-8 inches and using a doubling height formula that still gives us pretty short wheat and thus short stubble after harvest.  To compound this problem I have noticed a lot of fields that have differing heights of heads all in the same row.  Some are located at mid height never getting that extra burst of growth while its neighbors may be half again higher.  That means that we will have to lower the cutter bar to get all of the heads, making for even less height of residue.  For those that are looking for wheat straw to bale, etc. you may be a little disappointed as I don’t foresee much straw behind the spreaders in those drought affected wheat fields. While we are not having the best couple of years for wheat, it still is a wonderful crop.
     Pink Eye: I have been getting several reports of pink eye in mature cows, bulls and especially in calves.  You may want to check your herds as it is the time of year that it can get out of control. We had early maturing brome grass in cool season grass pastures and an influx of weeds which I think have irritated cattle eyes, which in turn attracts face flies whose populations are starting to expand and in turn spreads the causative agent of pinkeye, Moraxella bovis. Ouch!

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, June 28, 2013



Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) announced this afternoon that she voted against the final immigration reform legislation, S.744, which passed the Senate by a vote of 68-32. Senator Fischer released the following statement:
“I am grateful to the thousands of Nebraskans who made their voices heard through phone calls, letters, and e-mails to me and my offices throughout the past several weeks. Like the majority of Nebraskans, I recognize the current immigration system is broken. Despite my efforts to amend the legislation crafted by a small group of senators, I don’t believe the final legislation adopted by the Senate is the right answer, and I could not support it.
“I had a number of concerns with the final bill. I was especially disappointed in the border security provisions, which I highlighted in detail on the Senate floor. The bill ended up being weaker than previous plans offered in 2006 and 2007 – and weaker than the border security amendment I filed. Without a fully secure border, the United States will repeat the mistakes of the past and there will be no lasting solution.”
Specifically, Senator Fischer is concerned that:
  • The legislation fails to include to a biometric check system at all points of entry or exit
    • Not only is this weaker than previous proposals in 2006 and 2007, it rolls back a congressional mandate dating back nearly 20 years (found in six different statutes) requiring implementation of a biometric exit system at all land, air, and sea ports. 
    • Forty percent of illegal immigrants are the result of visa overstays; a biometric system would help to track these individuals unlawfully here in the United States.
    •  The bipartisan 9/11 Commission noted in 2004 that, “The Department of Homeland Security […] should complete, as quickly as possible, a biometric entry-exit system.” 
    • A National Security Preparedness Group report added: “As important as it is to know when foreign nationals arrive, it is also important to know when they leave. Full deployment of the biometric exit component of US-VISIT should be a high priority. Such a capability would have assisted law enforcement and intelligence officials in August and September 2001 in conducting a search for two of the 9/11 hijackers that were in the U.S. on expired visas.”
    •  Since 9/11, at least 36 individuals who overstayed their visas have been convicted of terrorism-related charges.
  • Determination of operational control is left to the discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security.
  • There is no congressional approval required to determine if the border is fully secure.
  • It fails to require full operational control of the southern border before initiating the legalization process.
  • It allocates $46.3 billion in federal funding (with taxpayers directly responsible for $38 billion) without first requiring a strategic plan for the implementation of a border security plan.
It contains a loophole that could allow illegal immigrants who have attained Registered Provisional Immigrant status to be eligible for means-tested taxpayer benefits, such as food stamps and Medicaid. The Congressional Budget Office has indicated this will likely cost hardworking taxpayers nearly $260 billion over the next decade.


Television personality Paula Dean was recently "called out" for comment's she had made 30 or so years ago.  A racial slur, according to some. My opinion, slow news day?, find something to take the attention away from the "real" news, how did this become news??
 Okay, so it started me thinking.  I know, it is dangerous when I start thinking but all too often it happens. 
 If you want my opinion,( and if you don't, now is the time to stop reading,) what she said or even who she was that long ago is of no matter.  What matters is who she is now and what she is doing now.  She spoke up recognizing that what she said might have been hurtful and now she realizes that and showed remorse for whatever harm she might have done. So let it go!!! 
My goodness, where is there one among us who hasn't said hurtful, harmful words, either intentionally or inadvertently?   We have all hurt someone else, at some time with poorly thought out statements.  Why does this matter with Paula Dean deserve another minute of attention?
My beautiful daughter came home in tears one day more than thirty years ago because another girl in her class made fun of her beautiful long blonde curls.  Were those taunts and that teasing less hurtful because they were not race based?  I don't think so.  A child can be teased because he/she is smaller/larger than other children in the class, or she/he is too "fat"/skinny, has asthma, diabetes or other physical condition, has physical scars, is shy, or whatever.  There are hundreds of "differences" for which a person can be "put down" other than race. Differences that are no more controllable than the color of ones skin. There are always those who think they can build up themselves by pulling others down.
I can do nothing about how others act, how or who they "tease", "torment" or disrespect.  What I can do is help those that I interact with to understand that such actions and words tell me about the person who is speaking, not about the person of whom they speak.  
A teacher who would tell a child "you are stupid, you will never amount to anything"  is letting us know, what kind of a teacher he/she is.  The statement reflects not on the student but on the teacher.
When we can't stop those who would behave this way from doing what they will  we need to try to focus an equal amount of energy on teaching that while we can't control "the other person"  we can control our reaction to "the other person".  
Years ago we were taught a little poem, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."   Okay, we all know words do hurt, but if we learn to process those words properly we can soften their impact.  If we tell ourselves we will not let them hurt us we CAN make it so.  We can make that choice if we are determined.  Maybe we will have to "fake it til we make it" but we can do that.  And it will not be easy, but perhaps easier than the alternative, allowing them to damage us with their words.

 If Paula Dean or anyone else uses the N word, or any other offensive word, NO ONE, needs to take it personally  No one HAS to take offence.  That is their choice!! 

No USDA Dollars for Obamacare Promotion


WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today expressed outrage with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) plan to use USDA to promote the health care law. In letters addressed to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Johanns requests details of a “special contract” between USDA and HHS. So far, USDA has announced $795,455 in grants out of USDA’s Cooperative Extension Service resources to promote the health care law. Extension funds are supposed to fund programs to educate producers about the latest ag technology and to educate the next generation of farmers.

“USDA is not responsible for helping to promote HHS’s flawed health care law—especially when it means syphoning funds away from higher education programs to keep agriculture on the cutting edge, as well as 4-H youth development programs,” Johanns said. “Secretary Vilsack has made it abundantly clear that he does not believe Congress provides USDA with enough funds to fulfill its Congressionally-mandated obligations, yet all of a sudden they find almost a million dollars to throw at promoting the work of another federal agency? It’s wrong and should be reversed.”
In a speech to the National Rural Assembly on June 25, 2013, Secretary Sebelius referenced a “special contract” between HHS and USDA. The next day, USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) posted a grants notice for up to $795,455 of cooperative extension resources to conduct outreach to promote the health care law, a purpose far outside any congressionally-authorized use.
Congress has denied HHS and Internal Revenue Service requests for increased or additional funding to implement the health care law.

Washington Report: Two Visions for America's Energy Future


Rep. Adrian Smith
Affordable energy is an essential ingredient for economic growth.  The more businesses and families have to pay for electricity and fuel, the less they will be able to grow their businesses, hire employees, purchase goods, pay their bills, or save.  Thankfully, new drilling techniques combined with oil and natural gas discoveries are quickly expanding American energy production.  This revolution has the potential to make America energy independent, and generate economic growth through lower prices.
While many have embraced the ongoing energy revolution as part of an all-of-the above strategy to lower the price of power and fuel and grow our economy, others have embraced a more cynical approach based on the assumption we cannot both develop North American energy and preserve our natural resources.  This week, bills passed by the House of Representatives and a speech by President Obama displayed two very different visions for America’s energy future and economy.
In a speech at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., President Obama announced he will use executive powers to cap carbon emissions – a plan which failed to pass through the Democrat-controlled Congress in 2009.  The President’s plan includes ordering the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement new regulations on power plants, and providing loan guarantees for energy efficiency.
The decision to impose these new energy rules could devastate an already-struggling economy by arbitrarily reducing America’s most abundant and efficient fuel sources, before adequate alternatives are available.  According to a new report from the Heritage Foundation, dramatically reducing the share of fossil fuels in America’s energy portfolio before 2030, could increase electricity prices by 20 percent.  The President himself even stated in 2008, capping carbon emissions would make “electricity rates necessarily skyrocket.”  These regressive new regulations will hardest hit the Americans who can least afford it.
The manner in which the President proposed implementing these new rules also is misguided.  The Administration cannot continue to use the regulatory process and executive orders to subvert the legislative branch and the will of the American people.  Congress should approve such changes in policy, especially given the enormous impact these regulations will have on the American economy.
We are taking a very different approach in the House of Representatives.  This week, the House passed the Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act, and the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act.  Both of these bills are part of our plan to increase American energy production from all sources to boost our economy and to keep energy affordable for American families and businesses.
After nearly five years of recession and minimal economic growth we cannot afford to attack affordable energy.  Coal, nuclear, hydro, wind, solar, geothermal, biofuels, and other forms of power can all be part of a long-term solution.  We must continue to capitalize on innovation and responsibly develop our nation’s abundant natural resources to keep our economy competitive and growing.  After all, the President and I do agree in one regard – we must enact energy policies with the next generation in mind.

Member of Congress

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Johanns Writes EPA Inspector General Seeking Investigation



WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today wrote the Inspector General of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Arthur Elkins, Jr., requesting further scrutiny of ongoing practices at the agency.
“This EPA has pursued an aggressive agenda that, to many Nebraskans, seems more focused on harming agriculture in America and driving up electricity bills than achieving reasonable environmental goals,” Johanns said. “The recent release of private information, use of secret email accounts with pseudo-names to conceal official business, and potential collaboration with outside groups to generate lawsuits fuel our legitimate concerns. The EPA IG needs to carefully and impartially review these practices to ensure this agency acts transparently and within its legal boundaries.”
Johanns singles out three key areas of concern, including the agency’s multiple releases of personal information to anti-ag groups, conducting official business through unofficial electronic accounts, and a practice known as “sue and settle,” where EPA negotiates settlements behind closed doors.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Johanns, Fischer Resolution Honoring 100th Anniversary of Highway 30 Unanimously Adopted by Senate


WASHINGTON – Late last night, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution introduced by U.S. Sens. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) to recognize the 100th anniversary of U.S. Highway 30, originally known as the Lincoln Highway. Next week, Kearney will host a centennial celebration to honor the highway.
“As the first road to stretch from coast to coast, the Lincoln Highway provided an invaluable opportunity for Nebraska to share its culture and commerce with the rest of the U.S., and vice versa,” Johanns said. “It paved the way for our current highway and interstate system that’s shaped our nation and fueled our economy. It’s fitting that the highway credited with being the great connector of our country is once again connecting Americans to each other via a great celebration of Americana in the heart of the heartland next week.”
“The Lincoln Highway paved the way for enhanced economic development, tourism, and adventure in every community it touched and revolutionized travel for Americans coast to coast,” Fischer said. “I am proud the Senate can help commemorate the important role the Lincoln Highway has played in developing our country’s heritage by celebrating the centennial of our first transcontinental highway.”
Passing through 13 states including Nebraska, the Lincoln Highway was the first transcontinental highway in the U.S. Kearney is the midpoint of Highway 30 as it stretches across the U.S., exactly 1,733 miles from both San Francisco and Boston. The centennial celebration is open to the public and includes parades, concerts, an auto show and various educational opportunities.
The resolution recognizes June 30, 2013, as the centennial of the Lincoln Highway. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is also a sponsor.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Johanns Statement on the President’s Global Warming Proposal

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today made the following statement on President Obama’s speech, which calls for action that could further delay approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and imposes costly new regulations through executive order, including plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions on existing power plants for the first time in U.S. history:

“This is more than a war on coal and energy, it’s a war on family budgets and American jobs,” Johanns said. “By imposing costly regulations, the President is in effect raising electricity costs for every home, small business and manufacturing company in America, who all depend on affordable energy.
“I’m also disappointed in the President’s announcement that he is again moving the goalposts on the Keystone XL pipeline. With so many Americans out of work and America in need of new energy supplies, it’s unfortunate the President is holding hostage a project that would bring both. There’s no reason to continue delaying construction of this important project.
“At a time when his overreach is under review by our highest court, the President stomps on the gas instead of applying the brakes. Cutting Congress out of the process in order to enact job-killing policies that will send electric bills through the roof is going to further harm both his credibility and his waning popularity.”

Fischer Statement on Obama's Climate Change Speech

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) released the following statement in response to President Obama’s speech calling for increased regulations on energy plants and a costly national tax on affordable sources of energy:

“Nearly two-thirds of all Nebraska electricity is produced from coal-fired plants, which are an integral part of our state’s public power system. The proposal outlined by the president today would increase compliance costs and jeopardize Nebraskans’ access to affordable, reliable electricity. Moreover, it is unclear what – if any – discernible impact the president’s plan would have on decreasing global greenhouse gas emissions.
“Instead of promoting a regulatory regime that decreases access to energy and increases consumer prices, the president and Congress should focus on ways to finally move toward the promised ‘all of the above’ energy strategy. It is my expectation – and the expectation of Nebraskans – that the president will work with – not around – members of Congress on bipartisan solutions that lower energy prices for Americans and bring us closer to realizing true energy independence.”

Fern A. Karr Aug 5, 1920 to June 22, 2013

Fern A. KarrHastings resident Fern A. Karr, 92, entered into eternal peace, Saturday, June 22, 2013 at Mary Lanning Memorial Health Care, Hastings, NE.
      Services will be Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 10:30 am at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Holstein, NE with Rev. Harold King officiating. Burial will be in the Kenesaw Cemetery, Kenesaw, NE. Visitation will be Wednesday, June 26, 2013 from 1 pm to 7 pm at the Jackson-Wilson Funeral Home in Kenesaw, NE. Condolences may be sent to A memorial has been established in her memory.
Fern was born August 5, 1920 to Hulgar and Iva Nelson in Holstein, NE. Fern graduated from Holstein High School.
 On February 12, 1941 she married Delvin Karr at the parsonage at Wanda.
  Fern helped Delvin on the farm and in the family business, D.E. Karr Construction by doing the finishing work.
 They raised three sons Gayle, Ron, and Marlin.
 In 2010, Fern and Delvin moved to College View Assisted Living in Hastings, NE.
      Fern will always be known as a kind and caring person who loved to bake for her family and church. She cherished every moment with her family and would attend several of her grandchildren’s events. She loved to read, dance, and fish with her husband.
Fern was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 69 years, her parents, her sister Izetta Clegg, four brother-in-laws, one sister-in-law, and one nephew and one niece.
       Fern is survived by her three sons, Gayle of Hastings, NE, Ron and wife Sheri of Holdrege, NE, and Marlin and wife Tami of Blue Hill, NE, 10 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, one sister, Faye Kral of Hastings, NE, sister-in-law Evelyn Thiesen (Roy), sister-in-law Jean Karr, brother-in-law Willard Clegg, and many nieces and nephews.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Johanns Will Vote No on Rushed Immigration Bill Rewrite


WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today announced his opposition to a rushed, nearly 1,200 page amendment that rewrites the immigration legislation before the Senate, without addressing several key concerns.
“I recognize our system is broken but the solution begins with border security so we aren’t back in this same spot a decade from now,” Johanns said. “Unfortunately, this amendment’s promise of secure borders is not airtight. Additionally, several organizations representing our border agents and related personnel say this bill weakens national security and prevents them from doing their jobs.
“I’ve always believed in a trust but verify policy. This nearly 1,200 page rewrite allows the Administration to simply verify with itself the border is secure and the backlog of those wishing to come here legally is cleared. Where’s the verify in that?
“The problems don’t end there. Illegal immigrants would be rewarded almost immediately with legal status and taxpayer benefits. Nebraska taxpayers reject the idea of allowing access to hundreds of billions of dollars in benefits to people who broke the law, while hardworking families struggle to make ends meet.”
The Corker-Hoeven amendment was introduced Friday evening as a complete substitute to the legislation the Senate has been considering for the past two weeks. The Majority Leader immediately filed a procedural motion to cut off debate and block amendments to this nearly 1,200 page piece of legislation.
Below are some of Johanns’ concerns with the amendment:
• While the amendment requires additional border security measures before green cards are issued, it contains an exception allowing the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive those measures if any are stymied due to litigation at the end of the first 10-year window.
• Illegal immigrants are almost immediately eligible for temporary legal status.
• The $46.3 billion for border security is mandatory funding, but the amendment only requires $8.3 billion of that from fees, leaving taxpayers on the hook for $38 billion.
• There is no process for Congress to approve or validate that the border security triggers have been met prior to illegal immigrants receiving green cards and, as noted above, the triggers can be waived if litigation stymies one or more of them.
• The amendment specifically says that blue card agriculture workers and illegal immigrants with temporary legal status will not be eligible for Obamacare health insurance subsidies.  However, they may be eligible for Medicaid and other benefits like tax credits, food stamps and education assistance because the bill leaves eligibility requirements up to interpretation by the Administration. The Congressional Budget Office estimated these costs at $259 billion over the next 10 years, and that they would “triple” in the following 10 years. There is no mechanism in the bill to ensure that unexpected future costs in this bill would be paid for.
• Language to make the employer verification system more robust and fight identity theft was not included in the amendment.
• The unions representing immigration and border patrol agents say the legislation makes the current immigration system worse, will damage public safety, and should be opposed.
• The bill only contains a small paragraph that indicates the Secretary of State must certify that all outstanding approved petitions for visas received prior to passage of the bill have been

Fischer Opposes Schumer-Corker-Hoeven Amendment


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) released the following statement upon voting to oppose advancing the Schumer-Corker-Hoeven amendment:
“Though I appreciate the efforts of my colleagues, the Schumer-Corker-Hoeven amendment falls short on a number of critical border security issues. Rather than simply throwing taxpayer money at the problem with promises of dramatic improvements, we need a proposal that brings about verifiable, measurable results along the southern border. I support a carefully crafted border security plan that is strategy-driven, cost effective, accountable, and responsive to the needs of law enforcement officials, who have expressed concerns with the legislation. Without a fully secure border, the United States will find itself in the same dire straits further down the road.
“This amendment also provides provisional legal status to illegal immigrants long before border security is achieved. With this legal status comes almost certain access to billions of dollars in federal benefits – all at the expense of taxpayers. I remain opposed to granting federal benefits to those who have broken our nation’s laws and come to the United States illegally. 
“In short, American taxpayers demand – and they deserve – better policy than the
Schumer-Corker-Hoeven amendment.”

Specifically, Senator Fischer has the following concerns with the Schumer-Corker-Hoeven amendment:
  • The metrics to determine operational control of the border remain vague and
  • Determination of operational control is left to the discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security;
  • There is no congressional approval required to determine if the border is fully
  • There is no biometric entry/exit system, only an electronic entry/exit system at air and seaports – not land entry-points;
  • The amendment fails to require full operational control of the southern border
    before initiating the legalization process;
  • The amendment allocates $46.3 billion in federal funding (with taxpayers directly responsible for $38 billion) without first requiring a strategic plan for the implementation of a border security plan; and
  • The amendment contains a loophole that could allow illegal immigrants who have attained Registered Provisional Immigrant status to be eligible for means-tested taxpayer benefits, such as food stamps and Medicaid. The Congressional Budget Office has indicated this will likely cost hardworking taxpayers nearly $260 billion over the next decade

100 Years of the Lincoln Highway

Sen. Mike Johanns'

A hundred years ago, citizens along a 3,389 mile long line on a map that stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific gathered to celebrate that our nation’s first-ever transcontinental highway would pass through their cities. Nebraskans gathered statewide to celebrate, including nearly 10,000 in Omaha alone, as the Lincoln Highway was born. This highway was about much more than economic opportunity; it literally united the nation just as its namesake did decades before.
U.S. Highway 30, as it is now known, passes through 11 states. It enters Nebraska in Blair along the Missouri River and Bushnell near the Wyoming border. Since its inception, the highway has provided a smoother route for our cities and townships to share commodities, culture and comradery with folks across the country. It also paved the way for our current interstate system, which today stretches nearly 50,000 miles, almost enough to circle the equator twice.
The Lincoln Highway’s profound history is entrenched in Nebraska still today. Stretches of its original brick road can still be found -and driven on - in Elkhorn. A well-known Conoco-turned-antique shop in Potter, which pumped thousands of gallons of gas for passersby during the road’s earliest days, still attracts tourists.
Next week, Kearney is hosting a centennial celebration to recognize the Lincoln Highway and its 100 years connecting a country. Kearney is particularly fitting to host the occasion because it serves as the highway’s midpoint, sitting exactly 1,733 miles from both San Francisco and Boston. Festivities, which are open to the public, include parades, historical reenactments, concerts and a car show. Hundreds of classic cars are expected to literally meet in the middle – the heart of our nation’s Heartland – for the event. The celebration will conclude July 1 with an official ceremony.
I’m also introducing a resolution to recognize the profound impact the nation’s first coast-to-coast highway has had on our state and nation over the last 100 years. The Lincoln Highway brought new goods, visitors and development to every town it touched, and continues to connect communities today. My resolution honors these economic and social impacts, including the upcoming celebration, which is expected to draw thousands of tourists to our state.
More specifically, the resolution resolves that the Senate ‘recognizes June 30, 2013, as the centennial of the Lincoln Highway; commemorates the important role that the Lincoln Highway has played in significant historical and cultural events in the United States; and recognizes the economic growth, modernization in infrastructure and rural development that resulted from the Lincoln Highway.’
Affectionately known as America’s Main Street, the Lincoln Highway will continue to serve as a symbol of American ingenuity for years to come. Called by some the single most important road to ever cross Nebraska, and perhaps our nation, it’s certainly deserving of this special recognition by the U.S. Senate. Best wishes to those celebrating its centennial in Kearney this weekend, as well as everyone who may pause to reflect upon its significance.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

South Central NE Livestock Exposition

The Webster County 4-H Junior Leaders completed the second of two major events this week sponsoring the South Central Livestock Exposition on Saturday, June 22. There was a good turnout of high quality beef, sheep and goats that came to Bladen, NE for this progress show. Congratulations to all of the winners which included Webster County youth.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Duane A. Lienemann
Unl Extention Educator

     Anyone that knows me knows that I love it when young people step up on behalf of agriculture. I am so proud of the Webster County 4-H Junior Leaders. This week they pulled off two amazing events.  Their enthusiasm, teamwork and penchant for having fun while they work is simply amazing to me. On Wednesday they sponsored, set up and ran a very successful livestock judging clinic and contest. There were over 50 youth involved in the team and individual competition in evaluating livestock and placing them through critical thinking and reasoning.  Setting up for this contest led right into the second event of the week that we just concluded – the South Central Nebraska Livestock Exposition. It too showed the resiliency of these young people in putting forth another great event.  There were beef, sheep and goats from all across the region that sampled some cool weather, a little rain, and certainly some great looking stock!
     In this edition I have decided to touch a little on something that is dear to my heart – livestock evaluation. I have always felt that livestock judging is one of the most educational endeavors that we do with young people. I was so fortunate as an ag teacher/FFA advisor and now as an Extension Educator to get to work with some of the best judging “eyes” in the country over the last 40 plus years.  I think that likely you can find several area citizens who remember some of those judging trips. It is wonderful to see the young people continuing that tradition.  There is nothing more special on the face of this earth than our children, and isn’t it our responsibility to guide and educate them in their decision making?  
     Their road map to the future may have nothing to do with livestock, but aren’t we obligated to build them a strong foundation from which they can make sound choices? Livestock judging in my mind enhances decision making capabilities and provides the opportunity to defend those decisions through oral reasons which, if you really think about it, provides the framework for public speaking skills and thus leadership skills. It actually builds a lot of good life skills for the kids. I find that this activity goes a long ways towards building character, integrity, and honesty. The other positive aspect is that the kids get the opportunity to network with other individuals and producers who share similar interests. I think that one of the best livestock judges and trainers I have met is Harlan Ritchie from Michigan State, who made a statement that I think speaks strongly towards how I feel. “Judging instills confidence in those people who may be timid and humbles those who tend to be conceited.” I can speak towards both ends of that statement.
     Unfortunately I have found that livestock judging has experienced a decrease in participation and support over the past several years. Many people do not understand that this has a major impact on the future of our livestock industry and many others, as well. Youth, especially as they get older, tell their parents that they are too busy, and many parents as well as FFA advisors and 4-H Leaders do not encourage these young people to participate in these activities.  It seems to me that sports and other extracurricular activities seem to be winning the battle of time in our youth’s lives. Please do not get the wrong idea. I was extremely involved in sports and other projects while growing up, and they too had a positive impact on my life. However, I still took the “time” to devote to numerous 4-H and FFA projects and judging teams. Now as I look back even though sports were important to me, I made a career out of the 4-H & FFA activities. It pays the bills!
     Raising and showing livestock and learning how to judge livestock offers an invaluable and irreplaceable experience to our youth.  On the surface it seems pretty simple. Livestock judging is basically placing classes of four animals to be compared to each other and placed from best on down. If you look at the real purpose or reason for its existence, it is the ability of people involved in the livestock industry to develop decision-making skills, the ability to defend their decisions, a work ethic, and understand the importance of teamwork – just like team sports!  Every day of our adult lives we make decisions that affect us, our careers, and most importantly...our families.  These young people learn how to make good decisions? Through judging, our young people need to know the parts of the animal, terminology, the money cuts, the good traits and bad traits of animals all that are exhibited in animals - in order to make a decision and to make those decisions consistently. Those consistent decisions are really based on critical thinking and then backing it up!
     When these kids get out in in the “real” world, they understand the importance of looking at something from every angle, taking into account the good and bad, find the animal that brings together the “most of the best” that an animal can exhibit. They must process all of this information, and make an educated decision. Simply put, livestock judging teaches kids to think on their own and make difficult decisions with confidence. I cannot think of any other activity that is as successful at teaching kids to make decisions, defend those decisions, and do so with confidence. These young judges must defend the way they place a class. We defend our decisions every day. Kids learn the importance of speaking clearly at the proper speed with the correct tone to have the greatest impact on the listener.  We all know the power of great speakers. Judging creates and develops great speakers. When have you ever seen a great speaker with poor confidence? It just doesn’t happen!  Judging builds confidence. Confidence builds strong citizen skills. These skills are the traits of our great leaders.  I consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity to have a small part in the development of these leaders. As we approach the county and state fair season think of all that goes into the process and be as proud as I am of our kids!

 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: 

Ryal W. Reis January 31, 1927 to June 20, 2013

Ryal W. ReisHastings resident, Ryal W. Reis, 86, passed away Thursday, June 20, 2013 at Perkins Pavilion, Good Samaritan Society, Hastings-Village. Rosary will be Sunday, June 23, 2013 at 7 pm at Brand-Wilson Chapel, Hastings, NE with Father Michael Houlihan officiating. Mass of Christian burial will be Monday, June 24, 2013 at 10 am at St. Michael’s Catholic Church with Father Michael Houlihan officiating. Burial will be in Blue Valley Cemetery, Ayr, NE. Visitation will be Sunday, June 23, 2013 from 1 pm to 7 pm with the family present from 6 pm to 7 pm at the Brand-Wilson Funeral Home, Hastings, NE. Condolences may be sent to the family from In lieu of flowers a memorial will be established.
     Royal was born January 31, 1927 to Frank C. and Minnie (Gartner) Reis at the Glasco General Hospital in Hastings, NE. He was baptized at the Immanuel Lutheran Church. He attended grade school at the Baton School south of Blue Hill, NE.
   His parents moved to Reis farm located SW of Hastings in the spring of 1939.He then went to District 5 School. He graduated from Roseland High School on May 9, 1944.
     He served in the United States Army from May 1, 1945 to July 30, 1946 during WWII stationed in Japan.
He married Virginia M. Schreiner on October 10, 1949 at the Assuption BVM Catholic Church in Topeka, KS; she passed away, July 12, 1995.
Ryal worked on the pipeline and helped his father-in-law do construction while living in Topeka until 1956.
They moved to Roseburg and then Salem, OR.
In March of 1959 they returned to Adams County where he farmed until February 1985. He also had dairy cows for a few years before switching to beef.
He sold Sentry Pac and J-1000 units to area farmers for grain bins before moving to Hastings in 2008. He was a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Juniata American Legion, Hastings V.F.W., DAV, Knights of Columbus, Eagles Aerie 592 all in Hastings, and was a member of the Liederkranz in Grand Island, NE.
 He also served as a board member for Coop Grain & Supply of Roseland and the Sirloin Club. He served on the Hastings and Adams County as a member of the area planning & zoning commission from October 1979 to July 1985.
He was a member of the VFW firing squad and burial detail for many years until he could no longer help due to his health. He was also a member of the Blue Valley Cemetery Board. He also served as post commander of the local VFW for a number of years.
    He so loved to dance that many a weekend was spent following bands in NE and KS.
    He is survived by two daughters and spouses, Linda Trausch (Edward), of Hastings, NE and Cynthia Berry (Larry) of Pisgah, IA, one son and spouse, Brian Reis (Barb) of Ortonville, MI, 6 grandchildren, Aaron Karr (Gena) of Arlington, NE, Angela Karr of Omaha, NE, Chad (Leah) Trausch of Juniata, NE, Scott (Angela) Trausch of Hastings, NE, Briahna Reis and Brandon Reis of Ortonville, MI, and 9 great grandchildren, Garris Karr and Aadra Karr of Arlington, NE, Myah Hays of Omaha, NE, Libby, Jack, Annie and Elin Trausch of Juniata, NE, and Grant and Morgan Trausch of Hastings, N, two brothers, Wilbur Reis of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Franklin Reis of Ayr, NE, one sister and spouse, Ardyce M. (Cal) Burge of Blue Hill, NE, two brother-in-law and their spouses, LeRoy (Jeanie) Schreiner of Topeka, KS, and Don (Ruth) Schreiner of Summerfield, FL and longtime friend, Lorene Buscher of Hastings, NE.
     He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife Virginia, sister-in-laws, Ruby Reis, Janet Reis and Jackie Schreiner and brother-in-law, Clarence Schreiner.

A note from the Past

My mother passed away in March and my sister and I were clearing out my mother's home getting rid of what she had saved during her life.  I found  letters that I had written to her back in 1967.  (and she had saved them) And considering how dry and hot it has been there in Blue Hill lately I thought some might be interested to remember what the weather was like back then .  Here is part of my letter to my mother written in June 1967. 
"We had half our average annual rainfall  (about 5 inches) between May 26th and June 15th.  The weather has been quite cool."
Last Saturday the high was 56 but today (June 26th)  it did get up to 76.  The forecast is for rain again today and tomorrow.   The wheat is getting rusty and the weeds are taking over everything else because the farmers can't get in the fields to cultivate.  The hay either hasn't been cut or is laying in the field rotting because it is too wet to go in after it.  The farmers in the area are all about to have nervous breakdowns because they can't do what should be done."
It was also interesting to be reminded of this turtle story again from 1967. 
"Several weeks ago  I let the kids each buy a tiny baby turtle.  A week later one of the turtles got lost.  I think it was Murtle, Touche stayed with us another week and then he took a vacation for a week before he turned up in the bedroom closet.  ( We think it was Touche we found but it may have been Murtle.)  We put him back in his cage and he stayed with us except for short strolls until we got home from swimming today.  He was gone, we looked for him everywhere.  No luck, but since he had been gone before we were still hopeful that he might turn up.  About 8 p.m. this evening the dog began having a fit outside so we went out to see what was up with  him and found that he was barking at a turtle.  It was about the size of a salad plate.  Ted (was nearly 3 then) says it is Murtle or Touche and they have eaten a lot of grass and grown.  But I have insisted that we wait and see if we find one here in the house before we start calling this one Murtle or Touche.  The turtle is presently at home in the bathtub.  Just wait til Norman gets home tonight and jumps in the tub for a refreshing dip and finds he is bathing with a turtle.  I am afraid we will have to release the turtle soon as we can't have it in the tub forever and I don't want it running loose in the house like the other two  But I did tell the kids they could keep it for a while.  I don't think the Turtle will be my friend for that, the kids don't get close however, they are just a little afraid of it yet.  They let the little ones walk on their hands but they don't even touch this one.  "
The letter also brought back memories of my little farmer.
"Ted put in a long day in the fields too, he took his tractors and machinery outside yesterday and starting plowing up a "field".  He worked until dark last night and was back at it again right after dinner today.  He was in and out all day long.  I had to go out several times to see his different "fields", he has a lot of crops to put in.  He sure came in dirty tonight, the ground is very, very, damp, you might even say wet, but that doesn't slow down this ambitious farmer.  He even plows with one hand while he is disking with another tractor in the other hand.  We have explained to him that it is dangerous for a farmer to try to operate two tractors at once but he is so anxious to get the work done while he can that he just keeps going as fast as he can.  I hope that he gets a good crop, that may be hard as he doesn't have a planter or any seeds to plant but so far he hasn't thought of that and I do hope that no one mentions it.'

Friday, June 21, 2013

Reducing Violence in the Ranks

Deb Fischer
Sen. Deb Fischer

Nowhere is trust more important than in the United States military – a unique institution built on the chain-of-command tradition. Young men and women must trust their commanders leading them into battle. They must trust the president, their Commander-in-Chief. They must trust Congress to take seriously the decision to send them into harm’s way. And they must trust their fellow service members in the foxholes.

While the sexual assault crisis in the military is alarming for a number of reasons, the breach of trust is most troubling.
It seems like almost every day, there is another story in the news about sexual violence in the ranks. From service academy dorm rooms to tight submarine quarters, the problem of sexual assault has pervaded almost every aspect of military life. The numbers are staggering. The Pentagon released a report showing that 26,000 military personnel had been the victims of unwanted sexual contact in 2012. In a disturbing twist of irony, we have also discovered that certain sexual assault prevention officers have been accused of the very crimes they are charged with preventing. Unfortunately, crimes are often not reported because victims are embarrassed, or fear retribution. This is unacceptable.
As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), I have worked with my colleagues, Republicans and Democrats, to address this scourge. Sexual assault in the military is not a gender issue; it is a violence issue. I have stressed this reality throughout all of my efforts.
In early May, I attended a bipartisan White House summit on the issue. Just two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to question top commanders at a landmark sexual assault
hearing. I am pleased to report that the product of this work by the Armed Services Committee is meaningful legislative change that will make a real difference.
On June 13, the Armed Services Committee approved, with my support, the national defense authorization bill – annual legislation that sets funding priorities for the military. This year’s legislation addresses the sexual assault crisis by requiring an independent review of any decisions by commanders not to prosecute sexual assault allegations. It also makes retaliation against victims a crime. I was pleased that two key, bipartisan amendments I cosponsored were also adopted.
The amendment I cosponsored with Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) directly bolsters the rights of victims impacted by crimes. Our amendment empowers victims of sexual assault by ensuring they are aware of their basic rights to be informed, present, and heard at critical stages throughout their ordeal. This is the least the system owes to those it failed to protect.
I also worked with Senator Shaheen (D-N.H.) to secure passage of an amendment requiring a higher standard for those appointed to all Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) offices. These SAPR officers are the very individuals charged with
ensuring our men and women in uniform are safe from predators in their own ranks. It’s clear the military is in desperate need of higher caliber individuals in these critical positions.
In addition to addressing sexual assault, the national defense bill more broadly provides our men and women in uniform with the resources they need to fulfill their many missions. Importantly, this year’s bill supports STRATCOM’s vital missions of missile defense and nuclear deterrence. Nebraskans know we live in an increasingly dangerous world, and this bill goes a long way in ensuring our military is ready to meet 21st century challenges.
Congress’s first constitutional charge is providing for the common defense. I take this responsibility very seriously, and I remain committed to ensuring our men and women are the best-equipped, best-trained fighting force in the world. This includes protecting our service members – men and women – from sexual predators. We do that with commonsense policies that promote a culture of mutual respect and accountability. We owe our defenders nothing less.
Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you
again next week.
Deb Fischer
United States Senator

Washington Report: Next Steps for the Farm Bill

Rep. Adrian Smith

Enactment of a long-term Farm Bill is among my highest priorities.  The certainty provided by a five-year bill is critical for Nebraska producers and our agriculture-based economy.  After years of deliberation, I was very disappointed the Farm Bill did not pass in the House of Representatives this week.

I thought we would have the votes this year for a bipartisan bill to establish reasonable farm policy and make reforms to reduce spending.  Unfortunately, members on both sides of the aisle allowed “the perfect to be the enemy of good,” which prevented us from moving the bill to a conference committee.

The reforms included in the House Farm Bill would have reduced spending by more than $40 billion over ten years compared with current policy.  For some this cut was too much; for others it was not enough.
Democrats opposed to the House Farm Bill argued against reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps.  SNAP spending has increased 105 percent since 2008 when Congress last passed a five-year Farm Bill, and nutrition programs make up about 80 percent of total spending in the bill.  Unfortunately, some were unwilling to accept even modest reforms to reduce spending without decreasing benefits for those in need.  Only 24 Democrats supported the Farm Bill.
Some Republicans did not think these and other reforms went far enough and joined Democrats in opposition to the bill.  I understand their concerns and I also would like to see more done to address spending.  However, recognizing the importance of farm policy to our agriculture-based economy, and the difficulty of passing spending cuts through a divided Congress and getting them signed by President Obama – I believe the House Farm Bill was a reasonable compromise.

While I am disappointed, the House acted its will and it is important we continue to use the legislative process.  We now must examine our options to get the bill to a conference committee with the Senate.  I remain committed and optimistic we will get a long-term, responsible Farm Bill done, and will continue encouraging my colleagues to do the same.
  To receive updates from my office on my website at:  

Member of Congress

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Johanns Supports Fiscally Responsible Spending Caps


Says “This was [the Senate’s] opportunity to responsibly turn off the sequester.”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today voted in the Senate Appropriations Committee to set federal spending caps consistent with current law, as set in the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011. This cap, however, was rejected along party lines with Democrats voting to spend an additional $91 billion above the legal limit in the next fiscal year alone.
“Ignoring the spending levels we all agreed to in the last Congress and the President signed into law does nothing to get a handle on our nation’s debt and deficit,” Johanns said. “In fact, all it does do is allow Senators to continue spending while setting the stage for another round of sequester cuts. This was our opportunity to responsibly turn off the sequester. The majority should remember that come this fall."

Susan M. Sund

Susan Marie Sund, 58, of Hastings, Nebraska, died Monday, June 17, 2013, at Mary Lanning Healthcare in Hastings, Nebraska. Services are Friday, June 21, 2013, at 10 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Blue Hill, Nebraska, with Rev. Steve Marsh officiating. Burial will be at the Blue Hill Cemetery in Blue Hill.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Senate Passes Johanns, Pryor Border Security Amendment

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark) today issued the following statements after the Senate adopted their amendment to encourage the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to recruit service members and veterans to serve in border security positions. It was accepted by voice vote.
“Encouraging DHS to fill border patrol agents vacancies with service members and veterans helps secure the border while also providing military personnel a way to continue serving our country,” Johanns said. “I’m pleased my colleagues agreed to our amendment and hope it is a sign that there will be support for additional amendments to finally, measurably secure our borders.”
“We’ve made great strides when it comes to strengthening our border and cracking down on corruption, but more needs to be done,” Pryor said. “Our bipartisan amendment will encourage the Department of Homeland Security to recruit highly skilled military members and veterans for border patrol agent positions so we can have a stronger, more secure border.”
The amendment requires DHS to establish a program to actively recruit National Guard and Reserve members and veterans to serve as Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. To improve retention, this provision also allows DHS to provide student loan assistance in exchange for three years of service.


Bill Provides Important Tax Relief for Farmers, Ranchers, Small Business Owners

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) announced today that she is cosponsoring the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013 (S.1183), a bill to abolish the federal estate tax, commonly known as the “death tax.”
“I believe it is wrong to tax hardworking Americans twice – once when they earn their money, and again when they give it away. Nebraskans know all too well that small business owners and family farmers and ranchers – our chief job creators – are hit hardest by the death tax,” said Senator Fischer. “These families invest time, resources, energy, and faith in growing their businesses, farms, and ranches, which many hope to pass on to the next generation. This legacy is undermined, and sometimes prevented all together, by the unfair death tax. That is why fully and permanently repealing the death tax is a top priority of mine, and this legislation accomplishes that goal.”
The Death Tax Repeal Act:
  • Repeals the federal estate tax;
  • Repeals the generation skipping transfer (GST) tax;
  • Makes permanent a maximum 35 percent gift tax and a $5 million lifetime gift exemption; and
  • Maintains stepped-up basis provisions important for family farms and businesses.
Cosponsors to the Death Tax Repeal Act include Senators Thune, McConnell, Hatch, Cornyn, Barrasso, Rubio, Johanns, Boozman, Grassley, Shelby, Crapo, Heller, Inhofe, Moran, Chambliss, Roberts, Vitter, Kirk, Enzi, Risch, Isakson, Blunt, Lee, Toomey, and Ayotte.
The Death Tax Repeal Act is supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation, Associated Builders and Contractors, National Association of Manufacturers, National Federation of Independent Business, 60 Plus Association, Americans for Tax Reform, Club for Growth, National Black Chamber of Commerce, International Franchise Association, National Taxpayers Union, American Conservative Union, Family Business Coalition, and many others

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Joke of the Day

A bartender was so sure he was the strongest man in town that he offered a standing $1,000 bet. He would squeeze all the juice out of a lemon and then hand it to someone at the bar. If that person could squeeze even one more drop out of the lemon, he'd win the money.

Many people had tried, but no one had ever won. Then one day a tiny, scrawny little man walked in and challenged the bartender. All of the patrons laughed at the man, but the bartender agreed to the challenge and squeezed the lemon as hard as he could. Then he handed the shriveled remains to the man. The crowd gasped as the little man squeeze six more drops of juice from the lemon. Flabbergasted, the bartender paid the man his $1,000 and asked, "What do you do for a living? Are you a weightlifter? A lumberjack?"

"Oh, no," the man replied. "I work for the IRS."

South Central Livestock Exposition June 22

     The 4-H Junior Leaders of Webster County will be sponsoring a South Central Nebraska Livestock Exposition that will be held at the Webster County Fairgrounds in Bladen, NE on Saturday, June 22. The Exposition is a progressive show for market and breeding beef, market and breeding sheep and for market goats. There will also be showmanship classes in each species. The show is open to all 4-H and/or FFA exhibitors who are in good standing within their respective club or chapter and state association. 

     Exhibitors can take advantage of a reduced entry fee if registrations are received by June 19. Exhibitors may however also register on the day of the show. Fees can be sent with early registration or may be paid on site on June 21 & 22. Exhibitors can make checks payable to: Webster County Junior Leaders. 

     The preparations for the show will start with early check-in on Friday evening, June 21. All beef, sheep and goat exhibits may be checked in, registration confirmed, and market beef weighed between 6:00-8:00 pm, June 21. Late arriving beef may check in from 7:00-8:00 am, June 22. Beef exhibits will be accepted until 8:00 am, Saturday morning, June 22, and must be on the grounds and checked and weighed-in prior to that time. No beef entries will be accepted after 8:00 am, Saturday morning. Late arriving sheep and goat entries will be checked in and/or weighed between 8:00 and 10:00 am, June 22. No sheep or goat entries will be accepted after 10:00 am on June 22. All entries with the exception of breeding stock must have a current FFA or 4-H tag. All does, ewes and intact goat or sheep males must also have a scrapies tag in addition to their identification tag. There is a registration fee for each animal with early registrations by June 19 receiving a discount.

     The Exposition will start with the 4-H and FFA Open Beef show at 9:00 am, with the sheep and goat shows following directly after conclusion of the beef show. Rosettes and/or ribbons will be awarded to all exhibits. Added purse is available with cash prizes to be awarded to the top exhibits in each species. Special cash premiums will be awarded to the top exhibits in each species shown by Webster County exhibitors.

     For more information and entries, please contact any of the Webster County 4-H Young Leaders or Carol Kumke (Jr. Leader director) at  Flyers, rules and entry forms are also available from the Webster County UNL Extension Office in Red Cloud at 402-746-3417 or on the web at . You may also email Dewey Lienemann (UNL Extension Educator for Webster County) at .

     The public is cordially invited to attend this multi-state South Central Nebraska Livestock Exposition progress show and see some of the best animals in the country go head-to-head.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

Johanns Sponsors Border Security Amendment

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today cosponsored an amendment to the immigration legislation before the Senate to increase border security. The amendment, the Requiring Enforcement, Security and Safety While Upgrading Lawful Trade and Travel Simultaneously (RESULTS) Amendment, was introduced by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

“Amendments like this are the reason the Senate needs to have this important debate,” Johanns said. “America should be a nation of tall fences with wide gates so we continue attracting the best and the brightest while having full control of our borders. This amendment is exactly where the conversation about immigration reform should begin.”
The RESULTS Amendment requires the Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, and the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General, in consultation with Government Accountability Office Comptroller General, to jointly certify that the United States has:
• Monitoring capability all along the Southern border,
• Full control of the border,
• A fully operational and utilized border exit system at all air and sea ports of entry, and
• A fully functioning nationwide workforce verification system.
The amendment would also increase the number of border patrol and customs officers and authorizes new grants to help local law enforcement agencies combat drug trafficking and human smuggling.
Finally, the amendment would prohibit illegal immigrants convicted of serious misdemeanors such as domestic violence, aggravated assault, child abuse, violation of a protection order and drunk driving from receiving temporary legal status.

Gov. Heineman Announces Nebraska's Veterans' Homes Receive Perfect Scores


(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today announced that all four Veterans’ homes administered by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have received perfect scores on their most recent annual Health Care System Surveys from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Included are the Eastern Nebraska Veterans’ Home in Bellevue, the Grand Island Veterans’ Home in Grand Island, the Western Nebraska Veterans’ Home in Scottsbluff and the Norfolk Veterans’ Home in Norfolk.
“This is a noteworthy achievement and shows the dedication of our veterans home employees,” said Gov. Heineman.
The facilities had no deficiencies in the areas of life safety, resident care, environment, staff training and development, dietary-food service, banking and billing services for veterans, recreation/activities, medical staff credentialing, social work, and all areas related to quality assurance and care.
“Nebraska has a proud tradition of taking care of its veterans,” said Gov. Heineman.  “I recognize that serving those who served our country is important and the right thing to do. Achieving perfect survey scores demonstrates our commitment to providing quality care to veterans.”
Survey teams from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are typically an interdisciplinary team comprised of three RNs, a Registered Dietician and a Life Safety Code expert from various parts of the country.
With a total capacity of 637 beds, the four Veterans’ Homes provide a variety of medical, nursing and rehabilitative services, tailored to the needs of their members. Services range from assisted living care for members able to essentially care for themselves, to skilled nursing care.  Members’ health care services are administered by dedicated nurses, physicians, dieticians, occupational therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists and other professionally trained personnel.
“To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time all four Veterans’ homes have achieved deficiency-free surveys in less than a year,” said John Hilgert, Director of the Division of Veterans’ Homes in DHHS. “It obviously represents extremely committed and competent staff members who live the mission of serving America’s heroes with honor and respect.”
The four Veterans’ Homes in Nebraska strive to serve the unique needs of each member by providing high quality services and holistic long-term care in a homelike veterans’ community.

Big Fish tournament Winner.

Toby Alber and the 17 pound catfish to make a total of 55 pounds of catfish for the team of
Alber and Wibben to win the tournament at Harlan County.  Nearest competition had 35 pounds of catfish.

Weekly Column Closing the Gaps of Immigration Reform


Sen. Mike Johanns


Today, more than 11 million people illegally live in America. That’s almost six times the size of Nebraska’s entire population. You can bet that number grows each day because of our porous, insecure southern border.
There’s no doubt our current immigration system is broken, and there’s no doubt that fixing it will be a monumental task. For several months now, a bipartisan group of eight senators, commonly known as the “Gang of Eight,” has worked hard to come up with a proposal to modernize our nation’s immigration system and create new policies that will have implications for virtually every community in America. So it is important for the other 92 senators to have a say in this discussion, and offer their suggestions to improve the current proposal.
Any solution to our flawed immigration system must start with border security. Unfortunately, the current proposal fails to ensure this fundamental requirement, and in fact, allows the Obama Administration to simply declare the border secure. That’s why I have supported a number of amendments to ensure we have full control over who enters our country.
One amendment, introduced by Senator John Cornyn (R-Tex.), requires measurable assurance that our border is under control. It increases the number of Border Patrol and Customs Officers by 10,000, provides for new tools to efficiently and effectively monitor border weaknesses and points of entry and prevents illegal immigrants who have committed violent crimes from obtaining legal status.
I am the lead cosponsor of another bipartisan amendment introduced by Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), which helps secure our border while creating jobs for our highly skilled military service members and returning veterans. It provides incentives, such as student loan assistance, to members of the National Guard and Reserves, as well as former members of the military who choose to bring their security expertise to the Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agencies. This amendment allows our current and former military heroes to utilize their battlefield skills to protect America right here at home.
These are just a couple of examples of how the current proposal can and should be improved, with many more likely to come. Like our current border situation, the proposal before the Senate has many weaknesses which must be addressed before our border is truly secure and our immigration system is improved. The only way to do this is an open and robust debate that allows for votes on ideas from both Republicans and Democrats. Any effort to prevent such a discussion will only result in another failed attempt to rectify the problems facing America’s immigration system. We have an opportunity now to get this right for our nation, but it’s going to require input from lawmakers from across party lines and across the country. There is no room for politics in a debate with many far-reaching consequences

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator
  Beginning in 1956 a slogan “The Beef State” was embossed on all Nebraska license plates and that recognition remained until 1965. That was right during my informative years and thus holds a special place in my memory banks.  I think I could even go to the farmstead that I grew up and find at least a couple of old vehicles that still sport those classic license plates with unique county number; vehicle number; the year split on top with Nebraska in between; and the proud proclamation on the bottom - “The Beef State”.  It was with good reason, as the beef industry is Nebraska's single largest industry, driving much of the state's economy. Let me reiterate that…beef is the most important commodity in this state, and most people don’t know how closely associated we are with it.  In plain language, beef is the first effort of the state and corn is second, which will be news to some of my friends that frequent the local co-op every morning for coffee.
     I was glad to see an effort that started last year with LB1095 which allowed for the reintroduction of the classic Beef State license plates, creating a new type of specialty license plate that in effect resurrects the Nebraska Beef State license plates used decades ago. This plate will now become available under a system similar to the Husker license plates. No, they are not going to replace the current one we now have which I believe will be used through 2017.  I find this as a unique approach to the resurrection of a part of our past and also to celebrate what we still have with our beef industry.
     Let’s look at how this all works, as it is rather interesting. The Legislature along with the State of Nebraska created a program several years ago where an organization can create a specific license plate. Currently, there are only two such active organizational plate programs: Creighton University and Union Pacific Railroad. Other groups are also in the process of creating plates recognized by the State. In order for the new plates to be produced, the law requires three things must happen. First, a qualified non-profit organization must apply and, second, be approved by Nebraska’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Third, 500 applications must be submitted, along with one check for the initial fees.
     The Nebraska Cattlemen (NC), as part of the celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the formation of the group, decided to use the opportunity to celebrate and promote the culture of Nebraska’s largest industry ‒ beef. The Board of Directors of both NC and the NC Foundation, in working with the NE Motor Vehicle Department, created three “Beef State” license plate choices. NC members are being asked to vote to select the winning design, and are right now voting on which design of the three will be used for this special project. If you are so inclined, you can snoop out the designs by going to: . I am impressed with each of the plate’s designs, and in my mind each one of them blows away what we currently have hanging on our vehicles. If you are member of the Nebraska Cattlemen, you may even want to vote while you are there.  You might also consider getting one of the specialty plates to put on your pickup truck, whenever they become available. There are of course some hoops you have to jump through.
      Of course there are requirements to get one of these specialty plates. In order to get them you must come up with a fee of $70 every year, in addition to regular car registration fees and taxes. It should be pointed out that the funds generated from the sale of the plates goes back to the State of Nebraska, $10.50 to the DMV Cash Fund and $59.50 to the Nebraska Highway Trust. You must remember that when you would get your plates would depend on how long it takes to acquire the initial 500 applications which are part of the requirements. Once those are submitted, along with the $70 fee set by statute, the DMV will enter all the applications into their system and create the plates. A letter will go out to each individual advising them when their plate will be available for pick up at the county treasurer’s office.
      According to the NC website, applicants have two choices in deciding when to put new plates on their vehicles. First, they can choose to get the plate now and put it on the vehicle immediately. It would not change the registration cycle for that vehicle. So, if the vehicle’s registration was set to expire in two months, the applicant could put the plate on the vehicle now, but they would then have to pay the $70 again in two months. Or, second, the applicant can wait and pick up “The BEEF STATE” plate at the time the vehicle’s regular plates expire, and the initial $70 fee covers the new registration cycle. Plus, each year on renewal, a sticker would be issued upon payment of the $70 specialty plate fee. If the individual chose not to pay the additional $70 fee after the first year, they would return to standard plates.  
     It is too bad that the effort to have the current license plates carry the “Beef State” moniker failed when they decided on the final design, which many of you may remember became a joke in its own right with the first results of picking a design being corrupted by a radio station gag.  As I understand it, then - State Senator and NC member, Deb Fischer (now US Senator Fischer) was backing that effort at the time to bring back the “Beef State” slogan but it was not to be. Now there is the chance to make a statement and replace those current plates with a sign of Nebraska and Nebraska Beef pride. You may soon have the opportunity to show it every day when you travel in your favorite vehicle that proudly sports brand new “Nebraska - The BEEF STATE” license plates. Come to think of it Father’s Day is a great time to have some good old Nebraska corn-fed beef.  I hope there is gas for the grill!  Bring on the Nebraska Beef!
     Fun note: There will be a Super Moon on June 23. This super moon is the closest, largest and fullest moon of the 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: 

Friday, June 14, 2013


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, voted Thursday in support of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2013. This afternoon, Senator Fischer released the following statement:
“After many months of hard work, the Senate Armed Services Committee passed an important, bipartisan defense authorization bill. This legislation ensures our men and women in uniform have the resources they need to fulfill their many missions. I was pleased to support the measure, which addresses a number of national defense funding priorities. Importantly, the bill also supports STRATCOM’s vital missions of missile defense and nuclear deterrence. Nebraskans know we live in an increasingly dangerous world, and this bill goes a long way in ensuring our military is ready to meet 21st century challenges.”
Fischer Amendments: Senator Fischer offered several amendments relating to nuclear force structure and joined Senators Ayotte, Shaheen, and Blumenthal on amendments concerning missile defense and sexual assault. All amendments were adopted by the committee with strong bipartisan support.
More information on Fischer's sexual assault amendments is available HERE.
This legislation accomplishes the following important goals:
  • Approves the next portion of funding for the new facility at STRATCOM;
  • Requires the Air Force to submit a detailed plan on the acquisition and installation of critical systems required for STRATCOM’s new facility;
  • Supports nuclear modernization to bring our strategic forces into the 21st century;
  • Enhances the Nation’s missile defense system by providing additional resources for sensors;
  • Extends critical counter-terrorism and counter-proliferation programs, and invests in advanced, next-generation technologies – all missions overseen by the Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee, on which Fischer serves as Ranking Member.
This legislation contains some problematic provisions, which Senator Fischer hopes to address when the bill reaches the Senate floor:
  • Relaxes existing restrictions on the transfer of detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the United States and foreign nations. In its markup, members of the Committee agreed to delay their debate on the matter until the bill reaches the Senate floor.
  • Fails to comply with funding limits set by the Budget Control Act. Congress needs to confront this funding reality and fix the problems brought on by decades of excessive spending, instead of ignoring it and writing legislation that is $52 billion over the legal limit.
Note: The National Defense Authorization Act is the annual defense policy bill, which authorizes defense spending for the fiscal year and sets policy priorities for the U.S. military.


Dear Fellow Nebraskans:
A few weeks ago, I signed into law one of the most important bills of the 2013 Legislative Session - Legislative Bill 561 which is aimed at improving the juvenile justice system in our state. It shifts the supervision of all juvenile offenders in the community to the state’s probation system which reduces reliance on detention and focuses on rehabilitation for youth while keeping families involved.
In addition to transferring the supervision of these youth, the legislation also places a renewed emphasis on community-based rehabilitation with a renewed focus on diversion. This forward-looking and innovative approach to dealing with youth who break the law, represents an important step forward as we continue to find ways for the state to deal with youth in juvenile justice system. The focus at the Department of Health and Human Services will be on helping children in the system who are victims of abuse and neglect.
By moving the juvenile justice youth into the probation system, the Department of Health and Human Services will be able to focus their attention more directly on assisting youth in the child welfare system, where children who are victims of abuse are cared for, instead of the youth breaking the law.
I applaud and commend the leadership of Senator Brad Ashford of Omaha on this important issue. Senator Ashford has worked tirelessly to find new ways for successful changes to help improve this system and I appreciate his hard work for the citizens of Nebraska.
   LB 561 contains several points:
  • Provides $14.5 million over the next two years for juvenile justice reform to ensure proper implantation and to encourage further development of juvenile justice services.
  • Transfers the supervision of juvenile offenders in the community from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Office of Probation Administration in the Nebraska Supreme Court. This includes all juvenile offenders who have committed crimes and who are status offenders.
  • Retains Health and Human Services control of the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers at Kearney and Geneva.
Increases the juvenile services aid grant program to counties at the Crime Commission, and allows the Crime Commission to hire a Director of Juvenile Diversion and a Director of Community-based Juvenile Services to help coordinate juvenile justice diversion and juvenile services in Nebraska. 
By providing these juvenile justice reforms, increased funding for services and the ability of the      Department of Health and Human Services to better focus on the child welfare system, LB 561 will lead to better outcomes for Nebraska youth and safer Nebraska communities.

- Dave Heineman
    Governor of Nebraska