Friday, October 31, 2014

Farmers and Ranchers Encouraged to Make Their Voices Heard

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging farmers and ranchers to make their voices heard by voting in the upcoming Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Committee elections. FSA Administrator Val Dolcini announced that beginning Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, USDA will mail ballots for the 2014 elections to eligible producers across the country. Producers must return ballots to their local FSA offices by the Dec. 1, 2014, deadline to ensure that their vote is counted.
“The role and input of our county committee members is vital as we implement the 2014 Farm Bill,” said Dolcini. “New members provide input and make important decisions on the local administration of FSA programs. We have seen promising increases in the number of women and minority candidates willing to serve on county committees, helping to better represent the diversity of American agriculture.”
FSA County Committee members provide an important link between the local agricultural community and USDA. Farmers and ranchers elected to county committees help deliver FSA programs at the local level, applying their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on commodity support programs; conservation programs; indemnity and disaster programs; emergency programs and eligibility. County committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.
To be an eligible voter, farmers and ranchers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program. A person who is not of legal voting age, but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm may also be eligible to vote. Agricultural producers in each county submitted candidate nominations during the nomination period, which ended on Aug. 1, 2014.
Eligible voters who do not receive ballots in the coming week may pick one up at their local USDA Service Center or FSA office. The deadline to submit ballots is Dec. 1, 2014. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Dec. 1, 2014. Newly elected committee members and their alternates will take office Jan. 1, 2015.
Nearly 7,700 FSA County Committee members serve in the 2,124 FSA offices nationwide. Each committee consists of three to 11 members elected by eligible producers. Members serve 3-year terms of office. Approximately one-third of county committee seats are up for election each year.
More information on county committees, such as the new 2014 fact sheet and brochures, can be found on the FSA website at You may also contact your local USDA Service Center or FSA office. Visit to find an FSA office near you.

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).

November Birthdays

November 1,  Charles Toms IV
 November 2 Cheryl Carper , Tonna Gilbert
November 3 Zora Yoder
  November 4, 1994 Garret Sharp
November 4 Gladys Lampman
 November 5 Lori Derby
 November 6 Annette Spencer
November 6 Duane Arterburn
November 8 Kerry Whipple
November 9 Donna Rose
 November 10 Nina Garner
 November 11 Jim Hoffman
Noveber 14,  Kevin Williams
  November 13 Margaret Kuhn, Heather Skarin
  November 14 Gerry Skarin , Peggy Kerr
  November 15 Josh Henderson, Jacob Tenhoff
  November 15 Leslie Frazier, Pat Myers ,
November 15 Heath Arterburn
November 16  Molly Coffey
November 18 Sue Magrin
 November 19 Sandi Bostock
 November 21 Rocky Zimmerman , Ray Mazour
   November 22 Paul Wormuth , Adam Kort
  November 23 George Mohlman, Clayton Heinrich
  November 24, Joshua Lowe, Katie Brenn, Stephanie Curtis
  November 24 Leanne Ensign
November 26,  Donna Kort , Sonja Krueger, Eldon Kearney
 November 27 Tammy Maupin Alber , Mark Stanley Petska , Bill Zimmerman
 November 28,  Vicki Alber
November 30,  Ruby Stevens, Darren Gaede, Henry A. Seeman


Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension educator

     I am tempted to say BOO!!! It is Halloween. The last day of October is synonymous with costumes, parties and trick-or-treaters, but did you know that Halloween most likely got its start in agriculture? For ancient Celtic cultures, Oct. 31 was the last day of the year and a day to bring animals in for the winter and prep meat for the colder days. Many latter day historians believe that day was the spooky, ritualistic practice of sacrificing livestock; however, Oct. 31 was also a day the Celts believed unsettled spirits roamed the countryside playing tricks. Costumes were a way to scare them off.  There are a lot of other things that are just as scary. Let’s take a look at those things – which include some deadlines!
     November 14 Deadline for Comment on WOTUS: The proposed rule–Definition of Waters of the U.S. Under the Clean Water Act, published in the Federal Register, is open for public comment until November 14, 2014. I have written several articles on this and many, if not most, ag groups and other organizations across the nation are troubled by the very negative effects that this ruling could bring. Some more information has come to light and is interesting reading. The American Farm Bureau Federation today released a legal analysis, “Trick or Truth? What EPA and the Corps of Engineers Are Not Saying About Their Waters of the U.S. Proposal.” The seven-page paper shows how a recent Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “Q&A” misleads the public about their proposed expansion of federal jurisdiction over waters. On a thumbnail: The Trick: The EPA and Corps of Engineers claim to answer important questions about the rule. The Truth: The agencies withhold and misstate key information to hide the true impact of the rule. 
     This proposed rule would dramatically expand the reach of extremely costly federal permitting requirements to cover countless land uses, including ordinary farming and ranching activities – even mowing grass in a ditch. Even county roads are affected. Top-level EPA officials have portrayed farmers’ concerns as ‘ludicrous,’ when in fact they are perfectly valid. Farmers and other small business owners and land owners deserve better than misinformation from their government. “Trick or Truth” lays out in detail how the proposed waters rule would: Expand federal power to restrict land use; Regulate so-called “streams” that are nothing more than subtle landscape features where rainwater channels; and Establish federal permit requirements for essential farming practices like crop protection and fertilizer use. Farmers and ranchers need to read the fine print. “Trick or Truth” will help them do that. The paper is posted at:
     Pasture, Rangeland and Forage Insurance Due Nov. 15: The deadline is nearing for Pasture, Rangeland and Forage Insurance, designed to provide livestock and hay producer’s protection against acreage losses. The 2015 sign-up and acreage reporting deadline for this USDA Management Agency program is Nov. 15, and notices of premiums due will be sent by July 1, 2015 as I understand it.  I look at any insurance as a critical component in producers’ risk management portfolios during periods of drought or uncertainty. This policy benefited many cattle producers in 2011 and 2012 due to the low rainfall conditions. Even though 2014 is off to a much better start, having this insurance may still be worth considering.
     Basically, payment is not determined by individual damages, but rather area losses based on a grid system. Producers can select any portion of acres to insure, but they must also choose a minimum of two, two-month intervals or a maximum of six two-month intervals per year to insure. Coverage levels between 70 and 90 percent are available. Once coverage is selected, the producer chooses a productivity factor between 60 and 150 percent. The productivity factor is a percentage of the established county base value for forage. The base value is a standard rate published by the Risk Management Agency for each county. It is calculated based on the estimated per-acre cost of grazing in that county or region of Nebraska.
     Nebraska uses a rainfall index to determine the insurance coverage. The rainfall index is based on the rainfall experienced over an entire grid area, rather than the rainfall on an individual farm or ranch or at a specific weather station. In Nebraska, these grids measure about 13 miles from east to west, and about 17 miles from north to south. Rainfall index values are calculated by the federal government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA utilizes daily rainfall measurements from the four closest reporting weather stations to a particular grid area to determine a composite rainfall value for that grid. ( ) If you are interested in seeing if this insurance may be for you, a decision-support tool to help producers determine coverage levels and intervals can be found at: . UNL info may be found at:  
     Farm Bill Education Meeting November 24: The Webster County FSA and UNL Extension will host a Farm Bill meeting on Monday, November 24, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. at the Blue Hill Community Center. It is important that growers have information they need as decisions regarding commodity program selection are complex and will last for the duration of the farm bill. The meeting will primarily focus on the Base Reallocation and Yield Update decision, as well as the ARC and PLC programs. Topics will include: The farm bill program sign-up process, including documentation needed and deadlines; Base, yield and commodity program decisions and considerations for your operation; How to calculate farm program payments; and Online decision-aid tools to help you determine which program is best for your operation and lets you input data specific to your operation and examine various options for your decision. The meeting is free and open to the public.

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: 

Judy Grandstaff April 18, 1944 to October 30, 2014

Judy was born April 18, 1944 in Hastings, NE. She was raised an army brat and lived in Bladen, NE, California, Kansas, Washington, Virginia, Germany and Georgia during her childhood and graduated from Groveton High School, Alexandria, Virginia in 1961. She attended Hastings College and married Rolland Grandstaff on March 2, 1962 in Bladen, NE.
Judy was librarian for the Blue Hill Public Library for 46 years. She served as director of the library, implementing many programs, including the library expansion, until her illness in early 2014.
Judy is survived by her husband, Rollie, two children, daughter Jennifer and Tim Frary of Casper, WY, son Jahn and Melinda Grandstaff of Fremont, NE; Grandson Wheaton Kremke and fiancé Ashley Carswell of Torrington, WY, granddaughters Bailey and Kyle Koster of Spokane, WA, Kiley and Taylor Grandstaff of Fremont, NE and Amy and Travis Taylor of Erie, CO. One great-grandson, Jackson Taylor of Erie, CO.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Wilbur and Elaine Cox, in-laws, Laurence and Vera Grandstaff, stillborn son Mason Keith, and sister Nancy Gent.
Judy Grandstaff, 70, of Blue Hill, Nebraska died Thursday, October 30, 2014 at her home in Blue Hill.
Funeral services will be held Monday, 10:30 a.m., November 3, 2014 at the United Methodist Church in Blue Hill with Rev. Dan Albers officiating. Interment will be at the East Lawn Cemetery in Bladen.
Visitation will be held Saturday and Sunday 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. at the Williams Funeral Home in Red Cloud, and Monday, 8:0-0 a.m. to service time at the church.
Memorials are suggested to the Blue Hill Public Library Friends Foundation.
A Remebrance..........
Judy was born in a snowstorm on April 18, 1944 while her mom, Elaine, was living in Bladen with her folks. Leon, her dad, was in the service assigned to the Cannon Company, 310th Infantry. Judy’s Uncle Floyd tried to get Elaine to Hastings, but he got stuck in the snow and had to borrow a car for the rest of the trip.
The family lived in Bladen until January of 1946 when they moved to Los Angeles to rejoin Leon after the war. Leon reenlisted and the family moved to Kansas in 1950, then moved to Virginia in 1951 where he attended engineer officer candidate school. Then in 1952, they moved back to Bladen when Leon was deployed to Korea. In 1953, they resided in Olympia, Washington until moving to King City, California. In 1955, they moved to Junction City, Kansas. Later in 1955, they boarded the USS Darby and sailed to Germany where they would live for 3 years. After returning from Germany, they lived briefly in Georgia before settling in Alexandria, Virginia.
After attending numerous schools, Judy graduated from Groveton High School in Alexandria, Virginia in 1961 at the age of 17. Leon received orders to leave for Iran, so the family moved back to Bladen again. Judy attended nursing training at Mary Lanning Hospital.
She met Rollie Grandstaff, who was attending Kearney State College. They married on March 2, 1962 in Reverend Gertrude McCollum’s house in Bladen with Jerry Grandstaff and Nancy Cox serving as attendants.
They set up residence in Blue Hill, Nebraska. Jennifer Lynn was born in October of 1962 and Jahn Laurence followed in February of 1968. Mason Keith was stillborn In August of 1969.
In 1964, Kinfolk began at Judy and Rollie’s home with "Ladies Only", including Grandma Jahn and all of the aunts. Several years later, it expanded to include everyone’s family. It was held annually at Judy and Rollie’s home the Sunday before Thanksgiving for many years, until it was moved to the Blue Hill Community center. Judy loved organizing this gathering of family and friends with attendance some years surpassing 100 people.
Judy became the librarian for the Blue Hill Public Library in the fall of 1968. She spent 46 years working there and loved to tell the story of raising Jahn at the library. She served as the director of the Republican Valley Library System and also served on the board of directors of the Nebraska Library Association. She was awarded the 1997 Excalibur award which honors the career accomplishments of a public librarian. She was instrumental in the creation of the Blue Hill Public Library Friends Foundation. Judy spearheaded the fundraising for the extensive library expansion starting in 2000.
Judy was always extensively involved in the community: from helping start the Lucky 7 4-H club in the 1960’s to teaching Sunday school for many years at the United Methodist Church. She was a charter member of the Young Homemaker’s Extension Club and a long term member of the Blue Hill Chamber of Commerce. She was a member of the Rebekkah Lodge and a Weight Watcher’s lecturer for many years. Judy was inducted into the Nebraska Poll Worker Hall of Fame in 2006 and served on the Webster County Election board for more than 40 years. She was also a Census taker and supervisor for the United States Census.
In 1984, Judy and Rollie and some extended family took their first trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina which was to become a favorite destination of the family. Countless trips with various family members were always memorable times treasured by Judy.
Judy loved attending her children and grandchildren’s activities, whether it was in Nebraska or Wyoming – hot or cold, indoors or out, rain or shine. She could be counted on to be the biggest fan and very recognizable as "Grandma Judy with the rat tail!"
Judy is survived by her husband, Rollie, two children, daughter Jennifer and Tim Frary of Casper, WY, son Jahn and Melinda Grandstaff of Fremont, NE; Grandson Wheaton Kremke and fiancé Ashley Carswell of Torrington, WY, granddaughters Bailey and Kyle Koster of Spokane, WA, Kiley and Taylor Grandstaff of Fremont, NE and Amy and Travis Taylor of Erie, CO. One great-grandson, Jackson Taylor of Erie, CO.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Wilbur and Elaine Cox, in-laws, Laurence and Vera Grandstaff, stillborn son Mason Keith, and sister Nancy Gent.
We are thankful for the many shared memories of Judy who was important to so many people. She would want us to have this gathering be a celebration of our families and a time to reminisce on the happy times we have spent together. We love her and will miss her always…..
Williams Funeral Home
241 West 4th Avenue
Red Cloud, Nebraska  68970

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Appropriate Role of Government

Rep. Adrian Smith
The request I hear most often from Third District constituents is to be left alone by the federal government.  We understand there is a place for the federal government, but lately its priorities do not match the needs or wants of the American people.  To instill trust we must recalculate the appropriate role for government, and focus on the national priorities where government can actually be effective.
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) recently released his annual Wastebook, a compilation of questionable, inappropriate, and sometimes absurd examples of federal spending.  Some of the most outrageous examples of government spending have earned national headlines including massages for rabbits, synchronized swimming for sea monkeys, and mountain lions on treadmills.
While each of these programs represents only a small fraction of the U.S. budget, they highlight the enormous size of the federal government and raise serious questions about the appropriate role of government in our lives and economy.  The power of the executive branch has been expanding for some time; however, under the Obama Administration the size and scope of the federal government has reached new heights.
The federal bureaucracy is churning out new rules and regulations, many times without the consent of Congress, to govern nearly every aspect of our lives and economy.  One recent report estimated the annual cost of compliance with federal regulations at more than $2 trillion per year.
The tax code which has not been reformed since 1986 is so complicated and outdated it costs hardworking taxpayers $168 billion annually just to figure out how much they owe.  This figure is in addition to the more than $3 trillion Americans paid in federal taxes last year.
The sprawling and expanding size and role of the federal government is not only costing taxpayers, it enables mismanagement and abuse.  From the botched implementation of Obamacare, to agents at the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative political groups because of their beliefs, secret waitlists at the Department of Veterans affairs; and an unauthorized gun running operation into Mexico – federal agencies are out of control.
These and other failures have left the American people distrustful of their government.  It seems like our government cannot do anything right, and perhaps it is because it is attempting to do too much.  The government-prescribed solutions to our national challenges often make problems worse not better.
A more limited federal role would be easier to manage and to hold accountable for abuse.  A balanced budget amendment would force prioritized spending and stop adding to the debt we will leave to future generations.  Commonsense regulatory reforms would ease the burden placed on businesses and families, and prevent future overreach by the executive branch.  Tax reform would simplify the code, make compliance easier, and encourage economic growth.
These are just a few of the ideas proposed by House Republicans to restore a more appropriate role for the federal government.  However, dozens of House-passed reform bills have been blocked in the Democratic-controlled Senate – many without even a vote.  To make government more manageable, to grow our economy, and ensure freedom we must do better.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator
     There are a lot of things going on this time of year. Harvest is in full swing with most of the soybeans out and farmers making some real inroads with the corn crop. The corn is finally starting to dry down enough for the combines to roll and boy are they. The reports are starting to come in on the yields and potential yields and they are as varied as the rainfalls and other climate conditions were across the area.  All in all  I think most farmers are pretty pleased with the results. It will be interesting to see what decisions have been made or will be made concerning movement of the grain, marketing of the grain and for sure the potential for storage of the grain. With that in mind I might encourage you to visit a UNL Extension website if you have storage concerns. .   
     National FFA Convention: This time of year brings back some really good memories for me as a former Ag Ed Instructor/FFA Advisor with the anticipation of all of those people in the famous Blue and Gold jackets of National FFA Convention. I always enjoyed taking students to Kansas City and later to Louisville for this leadership based event. It wasn’t just the young FFA kids that came back motivated and inspired but their advisor. This next week (Oct. 29-Nov. 1) more than 60,000 strong will once again travel to Louisville for the 2014 National FFA Convention & Exposition.
     “Go All Out” is the theme of this year’s convention and expo. FFA members will be encouraged to give it their all and put everything they have into everything they do.  They can go all out to develop positive leadership, personal growth and career success. I really like this theme and am encouraged for our future with lessons like this in a time where I don’t believe a lot of people do “Go all Out”. To help these young people discover their potential throughout the week, students will attend more than 85 leadership and personal growth workshops. FFA members will also tour industry destinations, including Papa John’s international headquarters, Ford’s Louisville assembly plant, Churchill Downs and more.
     As I understand it there are nine general sessions will draw FFA members together at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Students will have countless opportunities to engage exhibitors from more than 450 corporations, organizations and colleges at the expo inside the center. Nick Vujicic will be the opening session’s headline motivational speaker. He is an Australian Christian evangelist and motivational speaker born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterised by the absence of all four limbs. Tyson Foods, Inc., President and CEO Donnie Smith will deliver his message to attendees during the third general session on Oct. 30. On Oct. 31, Elanco President Jeff Simmons and Southern humorist Jane Jenkins Herlong will address convention goers during the fourth and seventh general sessions, respectfully.
     Country music star Justin Moore with special guest Easton Corbin will perform exclusively for FFA members the night of Oct. 29 at KFC Yum! Center, and on Thursday, Oct. 30, Scotty McCreery, Danielle Bradbery and The Springs will take the stage. The World’s Toughest Rodeo will unfold on the nights of Oct. 30 and 31 at Broadbent Arena, inside the Kentucky Exposition Center. A late-night, lock-in dance Oct. 31 will be hosted by the National FFA Alumni Association. Gosh, with that line-up it makes me want to make that long bus trip at least one more time. My advice to the young people from this area – take it all in and take advantage of what is offered to you. You will not have that opportunity in years to come. For you that cannot attend in person you can watch it if you have RFD TV. A complete schedule can be found on the internet at: 
     Burke Teichert coming to Webster County: This time of year also brings the start of our UNL Extension Winter programming. I try to list as many as I can on the Calendar of Events that accompany my column, but there is one coming up that I would like to highlight this week. The Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition (NGLC) and Webster County UNL Extension are joining forces to host Burke Teichert, noted ranch profitability strategist and frequent contributor to BEEF Magazine, at the Blue Hill Community Center on Wednesday, November 19. The seminar will be from 10 am to 2 pm and will include a lunch. We are currently taking reservations at the Webster County UNL Extension office in Red Cloud. You can call 402-746-3417 or email me at There is a small fee for attending to offset the travel and meal.  
     Burke is a proponent of planned, time-controlled grazing for improved soil health and ranch productivity.  Since retirement, he has worked as a contract manager, consultant and speaker. He has also traveled extensively in the U.S. and in parts of Canada and Central and South America as well as England, Australia and New Zealand on company business or as a consultant or speaker. Mr. Teichert will speak to the Five Essentials of Successful Ranch Management which include: Approach should be both integrative and holistic; Strive for continuous improvement of the key resources—land, livestock and people; Use good analysis and decisions making tools; War on costs; and Emphasis on marketing. 
     One of his statements intrigued me: “The interesting thing is that it all begins with the way we manage our grazing and farming.  Good grazing improves the land, lets us control costs by using larger herds and reduce our dependence on fed feeds, helps us cut overhead costs, makes us look at calving season and the breeding program to more closely fit the natural environment, etc.”. All things that I believe we should look at as beef producers.  Please mark your calendars for this event and get your reservation in.  I think you will find it well worth your small investment and time! 

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, October 23, 2014

Tyler Evan Wieland June 29, 1979 -October 21, 2014


Omaha resident, Tyler Evan Wieland, 35, passed away Tuesday, October 21, 2014 in Omaha.

Services will be Wednesday, October 29, 2014; 10:30 A.M. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Blue Hill, Nebraska with Pastor Lawrence F. Wendelin officiating. Burial will be at the Blue Hill Cemetery, Blue Hill, Nebraska. Memorials may be given to the Tyler Evan Wieland Memorial Fund. Book signing will be one hour prior to the services at the church on Wednesday. 

Tyler was born June 29, 1979 to Stanley D. & DeAnn F. (VanBoening) Wieland in Hastings, Nebraska. Tyler moved with his family to Colorado in 1984. He returned with them to Nebraska in1989, and graduated from Papillion-La Vista High School in 1998. Tyler worked as an Iron Worker and in General Construction and attended Metro Community College in Omaha.

Tyler Evan Wieland was preceded in death by his grandparents; Dr. Donald R. Wieland, Rita L. (Rourke) Wieland and Dean VanBoening.

    DeAnn Wieland – Omaha, NE
    Stanley Wieland – Lincoln, NE
Brother & Sister-in-law:                    
    Tim & Crystal Wieland – Omaha, NE
Sister & Brother-in-law:                    
    Shanie & Sven Deepe – Omaha, NE
    Kennedy Wieland
    Zoey Wieland
    Darlene Engel – Blue Hill, NE
Aunts, Uncles and Cousins

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blue Hill Defeated Arapahoe 41 to 12

Blue Hill defeated Arapahoe 41 to 12 on the Arapahoe field Friday Oct. 17.   The Blue Hill team had a total of 319 yards offense in the game.  Keithen Drury had 16 carries for 170 yards and two touch downs, Jason Poe had 76 yards and 4 touch downs.  Luke Faimon, Mitch Frueger and Drury each an interceptions.   Austin Rose led the offense with 14 tackles. Trent Kort had a fumble recovery.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Stopping the Latest Federal Power Grab

Rep. Adrian Smith
While Congress has been out of session, I have spent the last few weeks traveling Nebraska’s Third District meeting with constituents and listening to your thoughts, concerns, and ideas.
One of the issues I have heard most about is the Waters of the United States (WOTUS).  This proposal would allow the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to expand federal regulatory powers over waters of the U.S. under the Clean Water Act.
The word “navigable” was included in the Clean Water Act more than 80 times in order to limit the jurisdiction of the federal government on farms, ranches, man-made conveyances, and other local water jurisdictions. Attempts to alter this interpretation without Congressional approval are a clear overreach of statutory authority and clearly defy the intent of the law.  Further, this change could severely harm Nebraska’s agriculture economy.
Common Sense Nebraska, a coalition of Nebraska organizations which have come together in response to the WOTUS proposal released a report this week detailing the many problems this rule would cause for our state.  The report was compiled by former director of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) Mike Linder and indicates the rule would increase costs and uncertainty for agriculture producers.
Linder’s analysis confirms the proposal would “impose a blanket jurisdictional determination over thousands of acres of private property” causing “unnecessary property restrictions and uncertainty as to what that actually means to a farmer or rancher.”  This finding refutes the EPA’s claims the rule would not have much effect on farmers and ranchers.
As beneficiaries of clean water, Nebraska producers take numerous steps to protect the natural resources of our state.  We all agree safeguards are necessary, but this proposed rule ignores safeguards already in place, and steps NDEQ has taken to work with producers to protect our water.
I have written the EPA and Army Corps to express my objections to this plan, and many Nebraskans are speaking out as well.  The EPA recently announced it would extend the comment period until November 14, 2014.  While this delay is a positive development, I question their motive of moving the deadline for comments on this economically disastrous rule until after the midterm elections.
I encourage all interested Nebraskans to continue making their voices heard on this rule at:  We have fought this overreach before, and we must continue to let the EPA and other agencies know where we stand.

Gov. Heineman & Ag Leaders Encourage Nebraskans to Pump E85


New Phone Apps Help Locate Pumps
(Lincoln, Neb.) Governor Dave Heineman and state ag leaders are encouraging Nebraskans to utilize E85 fuel the next time they are at the gas pump with a flex fuel vehicle. To help located E85 filling stations, new phone apps are available for Nebraskans.
The Governor was joined by Nebraska Agriculture Director Greg Ibach, Tim Scheer Chair of the Nebraska Corn Board and Todd Sneller Executive Director of the Nebraska Ethanol Board to discuss the economic impact of the ethanol industry in Nebraska.
“E85 allows consumers to utilize a quality Nebraska grown and produced product,” Gov. Heineman said. “E85 continues to gain popularity across our state and country – allowing us to continue to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”
There are currently 86 E85 filling locations in Nebraska. E85 is a blend of fuel including 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent unleaded gasoline. Flex fuel vehicles can operate on any blend of ethanol and ordinary unleaded gasoline up to 85 percent ethanol. There are approximately 180,000 flex fuel vehicles registered in Nebraska. Approximately one in ten drivers owns a flex fuel vehicle.
Nebraska is the second largest ethanol producer in the nation. Nebraska is home to 24 operating ethanol plants that produce nearly 2 billion gallons of ethanol annually. These plants employ around 3,000 people across the state. Ethanol production also provides an additional marketing opportunity for Nebraska’s 23,000 corn producers. 
“As our corn producers work to harvest their crops this year, they are met with a number of challenges including wet fields that delayed harvest. There is also a larger than anticipated domestic corn inventory from last year’s harvest, which has forced corn prices to some of the lowest levels we’ve seen recently,” Dir. Ibach said. “Nebraska’s ethanol plants are providing our corn producers with additional opportunities to sell their grain and in return Nebraska is gaining a tremendous renewable fuel source.”
Gov. Heineman encouraged the nearly 180,000 flex fuel vehicle owners in Nebraska to continue to support the ethanol industry by purchasing E85 for their vehicles, and using new phone apps to locate E85 availability. Two apps are available for android and apple operating systems. The “Flex-Fuel Station Locator” app was developed by the Renewable Fuels Association. This app allows consumers to find the most up-to-date E85 locations across Nebraska and the United States. The “Flex Finder” app assists in locating the nearest E85 pumps and allows consumers to search a database of vehicles capable of operating on different blends of ethanol.
“The number of E85 pumps across Nebraska continues to grow, and there are phone apps that make it easy for consumers to find the pumps nearest them,” Gov. Heineman said.
Nebraska is well positioned for continued success with key industries creating the “Golden Triangle.” In industry terms, the Golden Triangle refers to the interconnectedness between the corn, ethanol and cattle feeding sectors. All three work together to create increased value for the raw corn commodity, as after corn is processed into ethanol and the important byproduct, distiller grains, is a quality livestock feed used by Nebraska’s vast cattle feeding sector.
This year Nebraska became the number one cattle feeding state in the nation. According to the Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska also produced a record corn crop last year and is on pace for the second largest crop this year at an estimated 1.58 billion bushels. Ethanol production consumes approximately 32 percent of Nebraska’s corn supply annually, and livestock consuming approximately 25 percent.
“I’d like to thank Gov. Heineman and Director Ibach for their efforts in promoting renewable fuels and E85,” said Tim Scheer, a farmer from St. Paul, Nebraska and Chair of the Nebraska Corn Board. “In Nebraska, our economy is strengthened by agriculture, especially through our Golden Triangle of corn, ethanol and livestock. The synergy of these industries expands demand for Nebraska corn, provides a valuable feed product for our livestock industry and offers economical, renewable fuel choices for our consumers.”
“Nebraska’s economy is deeply interwoven with the ethanol sector,” said Todd Sneller, Nebraska Ethanol Board Executive Director. “Nebraska is currently producing 250 percent of its motor fuel needs in the form of ethanol. Recent University of Nebraska studies describe a significant economic bounce in the state’s economy when the ethanol sector is fully operational. It is in the best interests of Nebraskans and Americans to insist on wise state and federal fuel standards that support domestically produced and renewable fuel sources like E-85.”   
For more information, please visit and Omaha metro area pump location is available at


Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator

     Oh gosh, where do I start this week?  I guess perhaps with what I feel is good news for area farmers. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week approved the use of Enlist Duo which will provide a new tool to help farmers manage troublesome weeds while growing “genetically engineered” corn and soybeans. The EPA’s decision allows the use of Dow Chemical Co.’s new herbicide in six Midwestern states:  Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ohio, SD., and Wis. The agency is accepting comments until Nov. 14, 2014 on whether to register in 10 more states including Nebraska and Kansas, all subject to certain restrictions. This breakthrough technology will likely soon be approved for use with Enlist corn and soybeans right here in Nebraska. EPA’s decision is the final step in the federal regulatory process for the Enlist system. The Enlist corn and soybean traits were deregulated by the USDA on Sept. 17, 2014 and this now completes the cycle to give us a new tool.
     For you that haven’t kept up on this, “Enlist Duo” consists of a common pesticide known by the brand name Roundup plus a slight variation on another pesticide that has been used for many, many years 2,4-D. The approved formulation contains the choline salt of 2,4-D which is less prone to drift than the other forms of 2,4-D. The Agency has also put in place restrictions to avoid pesticide drift, including a 30-foot in-field “no spray” buffer zone around the application area, no pesticide application when the wind speed is over 15 mph, and only ground applications are permitted. 
     To ensure that weeds will not become resistant to 2,4-D and continue increased herbicide use, EPA is imposing a new, robust set of requirements on the registrant. These requirements include extensive surveying and reporting to EPA, grower education and remediation plans. The registration will expire in six years, allowing EPA to revisit the issue of resistance. In the future, the agency intends to apply this approach to weed resistance management for all existing and new herbicides used on herbicide tolerant crops. This action provides an additional tool for the ag community to manage resistant weeds.   
     Both Glyphosate and 2,4-D have long been in use in agriculture and around homes and are two of the most widely used herbicides to control weeds in the world. Farmers have been pushing for approval of Enlist Duo for years as an alternative to Monsanto’s Roundup system, which includes a weed killer and “Roundup Ready” crops. It was released a year ago in Canada. This release in the MidWest is welcome to most of our farmers for one particular big reason. It is a well-known fact that some weeds have developed immunity to Roundup and have become problematic and this gives us a great tool.
     There has been a big push by environmentalist groups like EarthJustice and Label Now to keep the new product off the market and in fact I addressed some misinformation on it that was being pushed by Dr. Oz.  The main talking point by these groups is that they say it has “Agent Orange” in the ingredients, which has been banned. That just is not true and yet they highlight all of their arguments with that statement along with the moniker that Dr. Oz put forward as this being a “GMO pesticide, which is also not factual because this pesticide has no DNA so obviously it cannot be genetically modified. 
     The confusion comes from the addition of 2.4-D which is a common name for the chemical 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid.  2,4-D plus another form of this chemical family 2,4, 5-T, were indeed components of Agent Orange, which was an herbicidal weapon the United States military used in the Vietnam War. As a Vietnam Era college student I can tell you that there are lots of awful stories about that chemical and it is troubling that those against this newly introduced pesticide use that as their major talking point. Maybe a little background would be in order to help you understand the controversy.
     Agent Orange is one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program, Operation Ranch Hand, during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971. It was a mixture of equal parts of the aforementioned two herbicides, 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D. It was used to eliminate forest cover for North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops, as well as crops that might be used to feed them. In 1969, it became widely known that the 2,4,5-T component of Agent Orange was contaminated with dioxin, a toxic chemical found to cause adverse health effects and birth outcomes in laboratory studies.  In April 1970, the US government restricted use of 2,4,5-T, because of the contaminant and therefore Agent Orange, in both Vietnam and the US. It was not the 2,4-D or the 2,4,5-T but rather the contaminant dioxin that was the problem. So if you study the facts, the environmentalists who call 2,4-D Agent Orange are furthering an “urban myth,” because the deadly part of Agent Orange has been banned for years and in 1985 they also banned 2,4, 5-T, the contaminated component of Agent Orange that made it dangerous. Calling this tool Agent Orange just is not correct! It is a scare tactic.
     After many years of research and scrutiny the EPA examined the potential harm to humans, the environment, wildlife, endangered species and others in its studies on Enlist Duo. It found that use of Enlist Duo would be safe for all ages and agricultural workers, as well as animals and the environment. The decision reflects sounds science and an understanding of the risks of pesticides to human health and the environment. The agency evaluated the risks to all age groups, from infants to the elderly, and took into account exposures through food, water, pesticide drift, and as a result of use around homes. The decision meets the rigorous Food Quality Protection Act standard of “reasonable certainty of no harm” to human health. The EPA even made mention that the herbicide is not related to the deadly component of Agent Orange, which is banned, which negates the arguments that the environmentalists use. I like the fact that EPA is using a balanced approach for once!

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, October 16, 2014

Fischer Sends Letter to CDC Questioning Strategy on Ebola


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) sent a letter today to Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), expressing her concern that the CDC’s efforts so far have not been sufficiently proactive in addressing instances of Ebola in the United States. Despite the excellent care provided to patients at medical facilities like the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the CDC and federal partners have failed to adequately anticipate next steps and confusion persists regarding proper protocols, screening, and the treatment of Ebola patients.
Fischer wrote, “The federal government must be vigilant in evaluating all options to help identify, better manage, and actively fight the spread of Ebola.  We need to be better prepared.  We need better coordination and leadership that ends the current pattern of being one step behind this public health crisis.”
Fischer specifically requested that Frieden further explain the administration’s rationale against imposing a travel ban on infected regions in West Africa, asking, “Is it possible to impose a ban on unnecessary travel while at the same time enacting processes that permit the flow of aid and healthcare workers to the region?”
Fischer also asked for more details about the protocols for tracing and notifying citizens who may come into contact with confirmed Ebola patients.

Johanns Supports Calls for Travel Restrictions to Help Protect Americans from Ebola


WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns  announced his support for travel restrictions to help prevent the spread of Ebola.
"The Ebola virus continues to prove just how dangerous and deadly it can be, warranting additional measures to protect Nebraskans and all Americans from its spread. I support temporary travel restrictions for those who are traveling from countries that have been the most impacted by Ebola, with an exception for those carrying out humanitarian efforts to combat the virus. We must vigorously combat the lethal virus here at home and act with compassion to offer continued medical supplies and humanitarian aid to Ebola-stricken countries abroad."

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hastings College Bronco's Fight Cancer

(Hastings, Neb.) – For five years, several Hastings organizations have pooled their effort to raise breast cancer awareness and money for cancer care. This year is no different as Hastings College, the YWCA of Adams County, Dr. Jerry K. Seiler Breast Care and General Surgery and Mary Lanning HealthCare sponsor a walk/kids run and  Pink Nights during various Hastings College Bronco games on October 15-16. This year’s theme is “Fight Like a Bronco.”
All proceeds from game admissions, donations and raffles will support local cancer care at Mary Lanning Healthcare’s Morrison Cancer Center in Hastings, Nebraska.
Activities consist of the following:
Pink Night shirt sales
Wednesday, October 15
Fight Like a Bronco t-shirts featuring volleyballs will be available on a first come, first served bases for $6 ($8 for XXL and larger) starting at 12 p.m. at the east concession stand of the Lynn Farrell Arena (800 E. 12th St.) A second order for volleyball shirts and an order for Fight Like a Bronco shirts featuring soccer balls will be placed only for shirts which have been paid for in advance. The second order and soccer shirts will be available for pick up on Friday, October 24 at the Barrett Alumni Center (1001 N. 6th Ave.)
Fight Like a Bronco 2 Mile Walk/1 Mile Kids Run co-sponsored by the YWCA of Adams County and Hastings College
Wednesday, October 15
Registration will take place at the Gray Center for Communication Arts (1100 N. Elm Street) at 5 p.m., with the run/walk starting at 5:45 p.m. A free will donation of $5 or more is suggested. For additional registration information, contact YWCA at (402) 462-8821.
Fight Like a Bronco Hastings College Women’s Soccer
Wednesday, October 15
Catch Bronco Women’s Soccer fever as the nationally-ranked team hosts the University of Nebraska-Kearney at 7 p.m. on Lloyd Wilson Field (1000 E. 12th St.) Order your soccer Fight Like a Bronco t-shirts at the game for delivery on Friday, October 24.
Fight Like a Bronco Hastings College Volleyball
Wednesday, October 15
At 7:30 p.m., the Hastings College Bronco Volleyball team will play Concordia University in Lynn Farrell Arena (800 E. 12th Street). During the game, raffle tickets will be available for great prizes such as a weekend getaway in Lincoln, Nebraska; a pink crockpot and a YWCA Freezer Meals gift certificate; and a pink kitchen appliance. Tickets will be $1 for one ticket; $5 for six tickets; or $10 for 15 tickets.
Fight Like a Bronco Men’s Soccer
Thursday, October 15
In a showdown of NAIA powerhouses, the Bronco Men’s Soccer team hosts Oklahoma Wesleyan at 7 p.m. on Lloyd Wilson Field. Order your soccer Fight Like a Bronco t-shirts at the game for delivery on Friday, October 24.
Founded in 1882, Hastings College is a private, four-year liberal arts institution located in Hastings, Nebraska, that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. With more than 60 majors in 32 areas of study and 13 pre-professional programs, Hastings College has been named among “America’s Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report, a “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review and a “Best Buy in College Education” by Barron’s. Visit for more.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator

     My eyes are either trained to look for these things, or they just seem to find me. I read a couple of things that have a tendency to get my undivided attention and this week is no different. A couple of weeks ago I talked about Dr. Oz attack on what he called the “GMO Pesticide” and wanted to talk some more on that, but something else caught my eye so I want to work with that in this week’s issue. It does however involve GMO’s. I had the great opportunity last week to be a part of the Hastings College “Faces of Food” Conference during their Artist Lecture Series. I would guess that everyone knows that I am not much of an artist, but this panel discussion was both challenging and a lot of fun.  One thing that came out pretty loud and clear to me was the questions on GMO’s. I could have spent hours talking about it, but we only had an hour. There were some pretty pointed questions and a lot of need for literacy when it comes to this topic. Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation, myths and fear-mongering out there that has a lot of people questioning our food. Critics of genetically modified organisms or GMOs claim that they pose health risks to the public, but without scientific proof. 
     There are a lot of agendas out there, many of which are what I would consider hostile to conventional farming and especially what a lot of people call “Big Ag”. Fanning those hostilities and misinformation are blogs and websites on the internet that have no barriers and do not have to back up their claims or charges. There was a line in a movie, whose name escapes me at the moment that was….”Just follow the money!” Unfortunately that applies to the attacks on GMO’s, conventional agriculture and the practices that most farmers conduct. I have done just that and it may surprise you where the funding comes from when it comes to a lot of websites, bloggers, etc. that are behind a lot of the misinformation. 
     There was an item that came out this last couple of days that bothered me, so I did a little research on that.  You may have seen the recent news coverage of a Consumer Reports study on GMOs. I was really disappointed that it contains misinformation and misleads consumers about the valuable role that GMOs play. You would think that a group like this would be more science-based and factual in their reporting. I think it worthwhile that I provide you with some resources if you choose to set the record straight and to give ammunition to individuals who may have face-to-face conversations concerning this topic. I have lost a lot of respect for the Consumer Reports…..maybe I just need to “follow the money!”
     First of all, contrary to what was reported by Consumer Reports, GM seeds go through strict regulatory approval process to ensure that they are safe before they come to market, including mandatory reviews by the USDA and EPA. I might point out that only Genetically Modified, or more properly “Genetically Engineered”, seeds are required to go through the regulatory process. All told, it usually takes 13 years of testing and approval processes before it can be brought to market. Here’s a place you can go that describes its journey to market:   
     What all of this comes down to for consumers, though, is a misconception of what “GMO” really means. I found it interesting that Jimmy Kimmel broached this subject on his show the other night. To get the scoop, Jimmy Kimmel sent a camera crew to a local farmers market to ask real people why they try to avoid GMOs and, more importantly, what GMO even means. The results are both hilarious and troubling: . Is it good for you? Is it bad for you? Or is it just OMG backwards? I however don’t see the attack on biotech agriculture humorous!
     Scientific communities are confident in the progress that can be made using genetically engineered crops throughout the world; drought-tolerant corn, anyone? How about the pesticides and tillage put aside because of BT and Round-up Ready? When it comes to consumer education, there really should not be language that insights fear and further mystifies definition of GMOs altogether. Rather, what is really needed is a conversation based on sound science and practicality. You can go to the internet and find some very good information that will counter the anti-GMO claims or to ease the fears that consumers and the general public has about this topic.  Simply go to:  It has a wealth of information on several topics. I suggest that you watch this video:  and then pass it on to those that you think may be misinformed and need to learn more about crop innovation! I would also encourage everyone curious about GMOs to visit or   and read up!
     If we truly want to demystify the GMO, then fear and misinformation have no place—in news articles, Facebook ads, and yes, even—and most importantly—legislation. The reason I say that is that I just found out that in Hawaii, through the legislative process, passed a bill that prohibits biotech companies from operating on the Big Island and banning farmers from growing any new genetically altered crops! Can you imagine if that happened here in Nebraska? 
     It may interest you that we just passed a major milestone on a global basis. It’s no small number – 4 billion acres of biotech crops have now been planted globally. There are, according to detractors, a lot about biotech crops that we don’t know, but what is known is that biotech crops have been rapidly adopted and grown by farmers around the world, and safely consumed by billions of consumers over and over again. There have been many studies on humans and livestock to determine any ill-effects and there are no reputable reports or results to back up the claims that the fear-mongers generate and that the bloggers and anti-ag groups proliferate the internet with. I for one will continue to eat my “Frankenfood”!!! 

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, October 3, 2014

First Lady Sally Ganem & National Volunteer CEO Promote Hiring Volunteers Initiative


(Lincoln, Neb.)   Nebraska’s First Lady Sally Ganem is teaming up with Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) CEO Wendy Spencer to raise awareness about volunteering. First Lady Ganem and Spencer are promoting hiring volunteers when companies and organizations are looking to expand their workforce or have jobs available through the Employers of National Service initiative.
“Volunteering is a way of life for Nebraskans, because we care about our neighbors and communities,” said First Lady Ganem. “When companies are looking to hire, it make sense to give serious consideration to those who know the organization and have invested time into its mission and work.”
“National service and volunteering develops essential skills and experiences that makes service participants valuable assets for organizations seeking great employees,” said Spencer. “We are honored that companies and organizations in Nebraska and across the country are recognizing that national service alumni are strong leaders who are motivated, flexible, innovative, and outcome-oriented.”
The Employers of National Service initiative works with employers from private, public, and nonprofit sectors to create recruitment, hiring, and advancement opportunities for individuals who served in AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps. The initiative recognizes the unique and transferable skills that participants develop during service. Through this effort, employers will have new access to a dedicated, highly qualified and mission‐oriented pool of potential employees and volunteers will have additional opportunities to apply their skills in the workplace.
The First Lady serves as the honorary Chair of ServeNebraska, the Nebraska Volunteer Service Commission that coordinates and supports community involvement by Nebraskans. Additionally, every year, Gov. Heineman and First Lady Ganem serve as Champions of ServeNebraska Week.
Nebraskans have a rich tradition of volunteering. Nebraska ranks 5th in volunteerism among the 50 states and Washington, D.C. The Governor and First Lady encourage Nebraskans with the flexibility to volunteer at any time or place in all 93 counties.
In 2014, more than 2,900 people of all ages and backgrounds are helping to meet local needs, strengthen communities, and increase civic engagement through national service in Nebraska. Serving at more than  620 locations throughout the state, volunteers tutor and mentor children, support veterans and military families, provide health services, restore the environment, respond to disasters, increase economic opportunity, and recruit and manage volunteers.
Established in 1993, the CNCS is a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its core programs - Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and the Social Innovation Fund. As the nation’s largest grant maker for service and volunteering, CNCS works to strengthen America’s nonprofit sector and addressing our nation’s challenges through service. CNCS aims to harnesses America’s most powerful resource – the energy and talents of our citizens – to solve problems.


Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator

      This coming week (October 5-11) we will be celebrating National 4-H Week. This year’s theme is "Making a Lasting Impact" which is very appropriate. 4-H is a national community of more than 6 million young people, 540,000 volunteers and 3,500 professionals. We all should reflect on the great things that 4-H offers young people and highlights the incredible 4-H youth in the community who work each day to make a positive impact on the community. Research has proven that participation in 4-H has a significant positive impact on young people. As a former 10 year 4-H member I can attest to the positive influence in my life and I would bet that all of you who benefited from 4-H could name many impacts in your life.   
     About 4-H: 4-H, the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization, cultivates confident kids who tackle the issues that matter most in their communities right now. In the United States, 4-H programs empower six million young people through the 109 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension in more than 3,000 local offices serving every county and parish in the country. Outside the United States, independent, country-led 4-H organizations empower one million young people in more than 50 countries. Locally our Webster County 4-H has 203 4-H members in 13 clubs and the help of 108 volunteers. You can learn more about 4-H by going to  Please join us in celebrating 4-H!
     Seven Days of 4-H: I might suggest that 4-Hers, clubs, and all that work with 4-H observe National 4-H Week by using each day of the week to think about the impact their lives in accordance to the 4-H Pledge.  Let’s begin with Sunday (October 5th) which starts the celebration of National 4-H Week and is a day for families and for each of us to reflect on life and how to serve and help others. That is followed by Monday which I will designate as “Using Your Head” day when you link it to the 4-H Pledge statement of “I pledge my HEAD to clearer thinking.” This day is about how 4-H helps with the life skills like: Learning Decision Making, Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Service Learning, Goal Setting, Planning/Organizing, Wise Use of Resources, Keeping Records, and Resiliency. I might offer a quote from Benjamin Franklin that I think of when talking of this subject. “If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him.”
     I suggest using Tuesday as “I pledge my HEART to greater loyalty” day. This part of the 4-H Pledge demonstrates the ability of youth to relate and care for others. Loyalty is a hallmark of 4-H. Life skills that 4-H teaches is: Communication, Cooperation, Social Skills, Conflict Resolution, Accepting Differences, Concern for Others, Empathy, Sharing, and Nurturing Relationships. I might use a quote from Buddha to illustrate this point. “Teach this triple to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”
     Now let’s go to Wednesday, Tuesday (October 8). This is actually another special day for 4-H as it serves as National 4-H Youth Science Day (NYSD). This event, which takes place in urban, suburban and rural communities all across the nation, seeks to spark an early youth interest and leadership in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers in an effort keep America competitive in those fields. Currently, more than five million young people across the nation participate in 4 H programming in topics as varied as robotics, agricultural science, rocketry, wind power, environmental science and alternative energy. For more than 100 years, 4-H has been at the forefront of teaching young people about science, engineering technology and math (STEM). 4-H National Youth Science Day is the premier national rallying event for year-round 4-H STEM programming, bringing together youth, volunteers and educators from the nation’s 109 land-grant colleges and universities to simultaneously complete the National Science Experiment.
     I now suggest using Thursday as “My HANDS to larger service” day. In 4-H, youth learn by doing, and the most learning is done by getting involved and using your hands. Thursday celebrates how 4-H members are using their hands to better themselves and their communities. This day should focus on the efforts of 4-H in the community and how its members make the world a better place. Life skills related to hands include: Community Service, Volunteering, Leadership, Responsible Citizenship, Contributions to Group Efforts, Teamwork, Self-motivation. I will quote Ralph Waldo Emerson who said “I hate the giving of the hand unless the whole man accompanies it.”
     Friday is the day we should focus on the last part of the pledge – “Health”. This completes the work week of National 4-H Week with “My HEALTH to a Better Living.” The strength of any community is only as strong as the citizens that live in it. For 4-H members, they pledge their health to a better living. This includes the ability to live a healthy life for themselves, as well as helping others in the community benefit from good health. This day can include the interpretation of the following life skills: Self-esteem, Self-responsibility, Character, Managing Feelings, Healthy Lifestyle Choices, Stress Management, Disease Prevention, and Personal Safety. To close out some sayings that are appropriate let’s go to Mohandas Gandhi who said: “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold or silver.”
     Saturday is the final celebration day of a great 4-H week. We should look at it as the day of “Community Service”. 4-H clubs all should contribute to their community, state and nation. I challenge every 4-H member, club, and group to identify an issue affecting their community that they can assist with and then implement a community service project. Whatever it is, it is your day to make a difference for life. Congratulations to all of our 4-Her’s, leaders and alumni. Go 4-H!!!!

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, October 2, 2014

Adrian Smith Weekly Newsletter

Rep. Adrian Smith
 This week, I welcomed more than 150 veterans, escorts, and volunteers with the Hall County Hero Flight to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.Washington Report: The Largest Agriculture District in AmericaThe economy, culture, and values of rural America are largely shaped by agriculture. This is especially true of Nebraska’s Third Congressional District. We are incredibly grateful for the contributions and innovations of our ag producers which not only fuel our economy, but feed the world. A new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) now confirms the Third District is the largest agriculture district in America based on total value of products sold. We are the second largest district in value of livestock and poultry, and the third in value of crops.Because of the incredible success of our agriculture producers, it is more important now than ever for federal policy to support their efforts rather than undermine them. Implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill is an important step in this process, which will provide farmers with a choice of a price or revenue-based assistance if there is a loss. The new Farm Bill eliminates direct payments, counter-cyclical payments and the ACRE program. In their place, three programs were created for covered commodities or program crops: Agriculture Risk Coverage, County Option (ARC-CO), Agriculture Risk Coverage, Individual Farm Coverage (ARC-IC), and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) with the option to buy the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) on insurance. Farmers will be able to visit their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices to learn more about these tools and make the best decision for their operation. Producers will have through early spring of 2015 to select a program. The new Farm Bill increased funding for outreach to the next generation of producers, including beginning farmers and veterans. This concept is not new in the State of Nebraska, which has been recognized nationally for its success in recruiting beginning farmers and ranchers. Recently I had the opportunity to visit a veteran participating in the “Homegrown by Heroes” marketing program which has helped start and grow a business in the heart of the Third District. Additionally, the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture offers initiatives like the “100-cow” program for beginning farmers and the “Combat Boots to Cowboy Boots” program for veterans. These are great examples of innovative ways to get young people involved in farming and support those who have served our country in uniform. As we continue to look for ways to expand production at home it is also important to open new markets for our products abroad. We are producing an abundance of affordable, nutritious food which could help feed people around the world while befitting our consumers at home. The Third District is currently the fifth largest exporter of agricultural goods. With the continued success of agriculture, we must remain vigilant and responsive to the needs of producers to foster their continued growth. Smart policy and continued innovation will help feed the world, and producers and rural America to thrive.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Gov. Heineman Promotes "Made in Nebraska"


Governor Proclaims October Nebraska Manufacturing Month
(Lincoln, Neb.)  -  Gov. Dave Heineman touted Nebraska’s manufacturing industry and previewed the 2014 Salute to Manufacturing tour to be held later this month. The Governor was joined by Barry Kennedy, President of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and 2014 Chamber Chairman Chris Roth, President and CEO of Reinke Manufacturing Company in Deshler. During the event, Gov. Heineman signed a proclamation officially declaring the month of October to be Nebraska Manufacturing Month.
“We are kicking off Nebraska Manufacturing Month, a time to reaffirm our commitment to Nebraska’s manufacturing base and to the industry which has helped our state become one of the strongest in the nation,” Gov. Heineman said. “To grow our manufacturing base, we must make the most of opportunities which will help communities attract investments that ensure long-term growth. And we must make a concerted effort to develop the workforce needed by manufacturers.”
Nebraska exports to more than 170 countries, selling manufactured goods and services totaling more than $7 billion dollars. Manufacturers employ nearly 10 percent of Nebraska’s workforce. The average manufacturing job in Nebraska pays nearly $55,000 annually.
Nebraska Chamber of Commerce President Kennedy said, “Nebraska’s manufacturing sector has played a key role in our state’s economic recovery. Today, around 100,000 Nebraskans earn their paychecks in manufacturing – and for every 100 manufacturing jobs, nearly 300 additional workers are needed to support them.  Moreover, Nebraska’s manufacturing sector is worth approximately $12.5 billion to our state economy. It deserves to be recognized, and it is my hope that young Nebraskan’s looking for meaningful, well-paying careers will explore the many options in modern manufacturing.”
Later this month, Governor Heineman and representatives from the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce will visit manufacturers in Lincoln, Deshler, Lexington, and Norfolk as part of the statewide Salute to Manufacturing.
“Manufacturing is what helped build America and its middle class. Manufacturing is incredibly important to the economy of Nebraska as Nebraska is home to over 2,700 manufacturers. As the president of one of those manufacturers, I am excited to participate in an event that highlights the importance of manufacturing to Nebraska,” said Roth.
Governor Heineman added, “Manufacturing jobs are important to America’s and Nebraska’s economies. Our goal is to make Nebraska an even better place in the future to live, to work and to raise a family and manufacturing jobs help us do that.”