Friday, November 28, 2014


Duane A. Lienemann
Unl Extension Educator

     By the time this article reaches the local newspapers, Thanksgiving will be finished and a whole lot of food will have been consumed. It seems to me that most of our Holidays do involve food and that is probably a good thing. Mankind has probably socialized around food since the beginning of mankind with food gatherers and hunters. Food is an important part of our history and of course what we need to survive. It is no wonder that we treat our food with almost a reverence.
     I found it very interesting that National Geographic aired a six-hour television series, “EAT: The Story of Food,” which played over three nights, Nov. 21-23 on the National Geographic Channel. You can find the information on the series on the web at: . I did find it well done, educational, and humorous at times, and it does take a while to watch the entire series. There was part of the series that was of concern to me which I will explain later. I first want to explore the video and a little background on the effort in this week’s edition.
     Throughout 2014 the National Geographic Channel and the National Geographic Society have been exploring the future of food and celebrating our connection to food through a major, multiyear cross-platform initiative. The mini-series episodes are designed to show how the evolution of food has defined cultures around the globe. The initiative grows out of an eight-month series in National Geographic magazine looking at how we can feed our growing world population, including the cover story of the December issue of the magazine, “The Joy of Food.” If you did not get the chance to see the series, there will also be a DVD release of the mini-series on Dec. 16 via
     If you have an iPad you might like to download a free app which features a collection of all currently published stories from the magazine’s food coverage since March. You can find the app at: . According to the press release, the app uses rich storytelling, interactive maps, and of course, stunning photography to offer a multifaceted perspective on the challenges – and solutions – to feeding a global population expected to reach nine billion by 2050. Paralleling the magazine series, each topic begins with a simple question, like: “why are people malnourished in the richest country on earth?” But the content that follows quickly explains why the answers are anything but simple. According to NGS director, “by considering a diverse set of food-related issues, National Geographic’s free “Future of Food” iPad App offers a comprehensive examination of the pitfalls -- and potential – of possible solutions.” A short companion video, “Food by the Numbers,” and a world diet interactive are all published online at .   I have to tell you I was impressed with the website . It is kind of fun to negotiate.
     As I understand it the network has intended for ‘Eat’ to be not just a television series, but part of a bigger conversation about every person's relationship with food.  They hope that by looking at both the past and the future of food, they can shine a light on the issues being faced by millions of families every day. They also offer a recipe guide, with easy-to-implement healthy eating options for families, according to their preview of their efforts. According to their news release, the signature element of the initiative is the launch of a downloadable healthy eating recipe guide, featuring “alternatives to our fast-food way of life from more than 70 actors, athletes, authors, chefs, musicians and explorers,” including Paul McCartney, Susan Sarandon and Wolfgang Puck. It also includes interviews with activists like Michael Pollan; whom I have written about before. That is fine, but I think that many of you know the cuisine leaning of several of these celebrities.
    What got my attention first was one of the episodes called “Meat – Its History and Production Methods”, which was the focus of the premiere episode called “Carnivores” which is explained at: . Among the interactive website’s tidbits: “In the U.S., a single person can care for as many as 50,000 chickens being raised for meat. Considering it takes a broiler chicken three months to reach market weight, one poultry farmer can produce as many as 200,000 chickens per year!” and “being able to afford a prime cut of meat conveys a higher socioeconomic status.” 
     In discussing lab-grown meat, chef and sustainable seafood promoter Barton Seaver tells the audience: “So much of the cult of meat consumption in this country is already so divorced from the source of that product to begin with [that] whether it comes from a Styrofoam package or from a lab, I’m not sure we’d ever know the difference.” Another nugget found in a slideshow on the website asks rhetorically: What about the future? National Geographic’s answer: “Industrial meat can't continue to go on because the land cannot continue to support it in a sustainable way. Another source of protein must be out there.”  That is right, the just had to bring up the factory farm and “Industrial meat”.  There are also references to GMO’s.
     I did a little investigating on the partnerships aligned with this effort and found that a major collaboration was with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, which, along with other organizations, provided data for articles and graphics. The FAO is the same group that put out the erroneous report that said livestock production is one of the major causes of the world's most pressing environmental problems, including global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity and that livestock are responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. It may also be of interest that another collaborator is the Grace Communications Foundation. That sounded harmless to me until I hit the website , which unfortunately pushes the traditional agenda of “No big farm is a good farm! I do encourage you to watch the series and read the articles…and then I will leave it to you to what you think!

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: 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Breaking the Gridlock

Newsletter From Sen. Deb Fischer
Despite gridlock on many of the big issues in Washington, I have made a concerted effort to find areas of agreement with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. As a result of my persistence, I have made progress on a number of issues important to Nebraskans, including regulatory relief.
A recent example is Congress’s passage of my bipartisan Enhance Labeling, Accessing, and Branding of Electronic Licenses (E-Label) Act. Behind this bill is a story worth sharing.
The chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee is Jay Rockefeller, a long-time liberal senator from West Virginia. As a member of that committee, I had an introductory meeting with Chairman Rockefeller. Based on our initial conversation, it was unclear whether we would be able to find much common ground on policy matters.
Undeterred, I made it a mission to pursue legislation we could work on together that would both help Nebraskans and prove that a liberal West Virginia senator could collaborate with a conservative senator from Nebraska. I also had a limited opening to work with Chairman Rockefeller as he is retiring at the end of this year. My E-Label Act provided an opportunity for us to come together.
The E-Label Act would ease certain regulatory requirements on manufacturers of products such as phones, computers, and other electronics, by giving them the option to meet the physical label requirement digitally. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) currently requires most device manufacturers to etch or otherwise permanently place regulatory information and symbols on the exterior of approved products.
As electronic devices in the marketplace become smaller, physical label requirements may become increasingly difficult to meet and more costly for manufacturers. The e-label option promises to lower costs for both producers and consumers.
After drafting my bill, I reached out to Chairman Rockefeller to seek his support. I was pleased that the chairman agreed to be the lead Democrat sponsor of my legislation and together, we were able to rally our Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle. As a result, the bill passed with unanimous approval on September 18, 2014.
On November 13, 2014, the House of Representatives – led by Congressman Bob Latta (Ohio-05) – unanimously passed our bill, which is now awaiting President Obama’s signature before becoming law. Sending a bill to the president is no small feat; in the past two years, only 185 bills have passed Congress and actually become law.
This commonsense legislation will provide relief for job creators, increase options for consumers, and bring outdated regulations into the 21st century. Moreover, our legislation will go a long way to increase options and lowers costs for manufacturers while also making required regulatory information more easily accessible to consumers.
I look forward to the President signing the E-Label Act into law and I am confident the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology will do a good job updating our labeling rules. Notably, FCC Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Jessica Rosenworcel were vocal supporters of our legislation.
I will continue to find opportunities to work with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle. As an Omaha World-Herald editorial recently noted, despite ideological differences with Senator Rockefeller, “a constructive relationship developed, and Rockefeller lent his support to a Fischer bill, passed by the Senate, about regulatory requirements for the manufacture of electronic devices. Lawmakers need to see if consensus on the smaller issues can help lead to sensible legislative action on the bigger ones.”
I agree. Reaching accord on smaller, yet important issues can lead to greater trust among senators, which is necessary for progress on the larger challenges facing our nation. Since taking office, I have held over 280 public meetings across the state since taking office in 2013. Nebraskans consistently tell me that they want lawmakers in Washington to step up, work together, and do their jobs. I will continue to do my part to build relationships, work with my colleagues, and advance meaningful solutions for all Nebraskans.
Thank you for taking part in the democratic process, and I will visit with you again next week.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator

     Beginning with the American pilgrims, Thanksgiving has always focused on celebrating the harvest and the abundance of food we are able to share with our friends and family. This year is no different. We can celebrate a great harvest and harvest weather this year, and what better way than with fellowship and food? When you think of it, food in reality is a part of our lives every single day. We rely on it for nourishment. We look forward to it on holidays. And we share it with those we love most. It seems that it even becomes more important this time of year. The time of year that everyone loves…..
     Yes, it is Thanksgiving, so good food and company is always near the front of our minds. You see it in newspapers starting a few weeks ahead with all the tips on making your family happy with the best turkey and classic side-dishes. It takes a lot of planning and organization: Where are we going to have it? Who’s getting the turkey (and from where)? Who’s making pie and what kind? Sweet potatoes? Are you making it with marshmallows? Please do! Stuffing: soggy or crispy, or both; with raisons or without? All those details will work out one way or another and most of us leave the Thanksgiving table satisfied with a full belly – ready to watch the token NFL football game or perhaps take a nap. But how many of us think about who made the large meal in front of us possible? Sometimes we are more worried about “Black Friday”.
     I admit I mostly spend the day over-indulging in a lot of those things I should be grateful for. And Thanksgiving encourages me personally to think about all the things I am in deed grateful for. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to collectively show our appreciation for wholesome food and especially all those who provide it.  As you sit down to enjoy dinner with your family and friends, I encourage you to take a moment and thank those who did make it all possible. While we share laughter, memories, thanks, and thoughts, we should all try to take a moment and remember the importance of those hard working America’s farm families and their hard work growing the food we all enjoy. There is no better time to honor our farmers, ranchers, and producers.  Without them, the safe, abundant and affordable food we’ll put on our tables at Thanksgiving would not have been possible.  Generation after generation, their hard work and willingness to embrace new ideas has provided our nation with the food we need. They take huge risks and work hard to provide for all of us!
     Thank a Farmer! Without farmers, we wouldn’t have food or many of the products that we use on a daily basis. Sadly, most people don’t feel like agriculture affects them directly. Every day, we are surrounded by the things that farmers provide for us – from the cotton sheets that we wake up in to the toothpaste that we use each night. Yet, how many of us actually think about the farmers that made this possible? Many people don’t understand the impact that one farmer has on today’s society. In 1960, when I was still in grade school, one farmer would feed 26 people which may seem like a lot. Today, one farmer feeds and clothes 155 people. Without farmers, we would be one hungry planet! We all need to be more aware of how agriculture impacts our modern lives and be thankful we have the resourceful people engaged in it!
     I am proud to advocate on behalf of America’s farmers as they work tirelessly to provide plentiful food, clothing and energy for our country and the world. We should take stock of the fact that Agriculture is tied to 1 in 12 jobs in this nation and one out of three jobs in this great agricultural state – Nebraska.  We all should give thanks to the incredible productivity of our nation’s farmers and ranchers. U.S. farm programs typically cost each American just pennies per meal account for less than one-half of 1 percent of the total U.S. budget.  It gives us the freedom and the flexibility to spend on our families and invest in other parts of the economy. We often forget how good we really do have it here in the USA!!
     Did you know that farmers and ranchers receive only 15.8 cents of every food dollar that consumers spend on food at home and away from home? The rest goes for costs beyond the farm gate: wages and materials for production, processing, marketing, transportation and distribution. In 1980, farmers and ranchers received 31 cents. So when you think of it, our farmers have done an incredible job of providing the safest and most bountiful food at almost half the cost of 30 years ago. Americans spend, on average, only about 6 to 7 cents out of every dollar they earn on food, far less than around the world!  
     It may interest you that there are only 2.2 million farms that dot America’s rural landscape. But regardless of what you hear about “Factory Farms”, did you know that about 97 percent of those farms are operated by families, individuals, family partnerships or family corporations? Did you know that those farm and ranch families comprise just 2 percent of the U.S. population? Today’s farmers produce 262 percent more food with 2 percent fewer inputs (labor, seeds, feed, fertilizer, etc.), compared with 1950. Plus the United States sells more food and fiber to world markets than we import, creating a positive agricultural trade balance. In fact one in three U.S. farm acres is planted for export and more than 31 percent of the U.S. gross farm income comes directly from exports with about 23 percent of raw U.S. farm products being exported each year.
     Like millions of Americans, I will sit with my family this Thanksgiving to share a meal and I’ll express my thanks to those who produced the bounty that my family is about to receive.  I will also take a moment to think about those who may not know where their next meal will come from, and those without family this Thanksgiving – particularly those men and women in uniform serving our country overseas.  This Thanksgiving, as you gather around your dinner table and give thanks to our Creator for all his divine blessings, it is fitting that we thank Him for the men and women of agriculture who use all of the resources God provides to improve the quality of our lives!  Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Johanns Statement on President’s Overreaching Immigration Proposal


WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R- Neb) issued the following statement on the President’s decision to circumvent Congress to act on immigration.
“What the President is doing is wrong. His decision to act unilaterally undermines our legal system and ignores the clear message of the American people in the recent elections, rejecting his go-it-alone strategy and his policies. Americans want us to work across party lines to find real solutions to the problems facing our nation, including this one. Instead, the President has poisoned the well, in effect destroying any opportunity for a long-term solution to our broken immigration system.”

Smith Responds to President’s Amnesty Plan


“We have already seen how the President’s youth amnesty encouraged tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors to pour across the border.  Providing amnesty to millions of additional undocumented immigrants will only encourage others to break our laws and make it more difficult to fix our broken immigration system. 
“Worse than the specific policy is the precedent President Obama continues to set by ignoring Congress and the will of the American people.  Failing to perform his Constitutional duty to enforce laws undermines our system of government and reinforces the gridlock plaguing Washington.  Solutions will require both sides to work through regular order to come to an agreement.”
President Obama has regularly admitted he does not have the authority to bypass the legislative process and change laws on his own.  The Speaker’s office has compiled a list of 22 times the President specifically said he could not ignore or create his own immigration law.  
During a 2010 speech to students at American University, the President explained why giving amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants would be “unwise and unfair.”  In the President’s own words:
“For example, there are those in the immigrants’ rights community who have argued passionately that we should simply provide those who are [here] illegally with legal status, or at least ignore the laws on the books and put an end to deportation until we have better laws.  And often this argument is framed in moral terms:  Why should we punish people who are just trying to earn a living? 
“I recognize the sense of compassion that drives this argument, but I believe such an indiscriminate approach would be both unwise and unfair.  It would suggest to those thinking about coming here illegally that there will be no repercussions for such a decision.  And this could lead to a surge in more illegal immigration.  And it would also ignore the millions of people around the world who are waiting in line to come here legally. 
“Ultimately, our nation, like all nations, has the right and obligation to control its borders and set laws for residency and citizenship.  And no matter how decent they are, no matter their reasons, the 11 million who broke these laws should be held accountable.”

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Marguerite J. Barnason August 6, 1929 to November 13, 2014

Former Blue Hill Resident, Marguerite J. Barnason 85, Passed Away Thursday November 13, 2014 at Perkins, Pavilion Good Samaritan Society -Hastings Village , Hastings, Nebraska.
Services were held Tuesday November 18, 10:30 a.m. at All Saints Chapel, at Good Samaritan Village, Hastings with Pastor Dale Phillips officiating.  Burial was at the Blue Hill Cemetery.
Marguerite was born in Blue Hill on August 6, 1929 to John R. Martin and Lillian Maud Higgins Martin.  Marguerite's childhood years were spent in Blue Hill and she graduated from Blue Hill High School in 1947.  She attended the University of Nebraska and majored in Music Education.
On August 7, 1949 she married Duane E. Barnason and they made their first home in Omaha.  Marguerite and her husband later returned to Blue Hill where this union was bless with four children, Gregory, Cathleen, Peggy and James.  In 1953 they purchased Higgins Mercantile, beginning the third generation of family ownership.  Duane, Marguerite and family operated the store as Barnason's Supermarket for 41 years.  In 1994 their daughter Peggy her husband, Marvin Price, assumed management of the family business until 2005. 
Marguerite concentrated on raising her family from 1951 to the late 1970's.
She enjoyed reading and playing classical piano music. With her youngest child approaching college age she turned to new creative endeavors as her life's work.  One of her early hobbies reflected her fascination with doll houses.  Marguerite enjoyed creating her versions of domestic scene and small town businesses. Her favorite project was a small scale scenic display of several buildings representing business on main street Blue Hill at the turn of the 20th century.
Over the next few years. Marguerite completed numerous crochet, knitting and macramé projects, and in the process she soon found her passion needlepoint.  Marguerite completed 25 museum quality tapestries during a period of 15 years.  Unfortunately macular degeneration weakened her eyesight in 1995and she was unable to sustain this  highly production period.  In later years marguerite became actively involved in her retirement community  She received the President's Volunteer Service Award in 2006.
Marguerite was preceded in death by her husband of 45 years and their youngest son, James Barnason. 
Survivors left to treasure her memory are her children and spouses Gregory and Susan Barnason of Lincoln, Kathleen and Arthur J. Soundy of Hopewell, NJ , Peggy and Marvin Price of   Bay Point, CA.  , daughter-in-law Melissa Barnason of St. Charles, Mo. Grandsons, Timothy Barnason, Patrick Soundy, John Price, Cody Price, Adam Price, Granddaughter Sidney Barnason and Great Grandson Vincent Price.  ,
Memorials may be given to the family for the establishment of the Marguerite J. Barnason Memorial Scholarship.  This Scholarship will be awarded to Blue Hill graduates. 

Friday, November 14, 2014


Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator

     A couple of weeks ago I talked about Dr. Oz and his attack on conventional farming and in particular GMOs. Modern-day quacks often cherry-pick science and use what suits them as semantic backdrop to fool unsuspecting consumers. Quacks may dazzle people with fanciful research study claims or scare them with intimidating warnings before trying to peddle products that make unreasonable promises or sell products as organic or natural alternatives to the evils that come from GMO based foods. Quite honestly I had never heard of one of these quacks until a couple of weeks ago when someone asked me about the “Food Babe”.  Now it seems I see her work everywhere and so I did some research on her and what she stands for. I was very surprised as I found the impact that this one person has had on the food and drink industry and it is not good in my opinion. Who is this “Food Babe,” anyway? Let’s investigate this supposed food “expert” this week.
     For starters, her real name is Vani Hari, and one thing is for sure, she’s got quite a following. On Twitter, she has more than 76,000 followers. On Facebook, she has a whopping 860,000 followers. Her website:  had 632,684 unique visitors in September 2014 with over 1.3 million last March. She’s been on Good Morning America, the Today Show and on her fellow alarmist’s program, The Dr .Oz show, plus a whole bunch of other programs popular with moms. She has what she calls her “Food Babe Army” who blindly follow her and her non-scientific claims and troll the internet. 
     What is remarkable to me is that she has no relevant qualifications. What the Food Babe rarely reveals is that she isn’t a scientist not even a nutritionist or dietician. Nor is she a toxicologist or a medical doctor. Yet she doles out nutrition, toxicological, and medical advice with the confidence of someone trained in all three areas. She actually only has a B.S. in Computer Science and began her career as a banking consultant which she quit to blog full time and sell herself as a food expert, author and consultant on food!! She is nothing but a quack…..and she has a very lucrative business.
     In reading her webpage, blogs and on her Facebook page it seems to me that the Food Babe has one clear mission: to scare moms so bad that they stop buying all that convenient and reasonably priced food they’ve grown to love and which makes their lives a little easier.  Because progress is your enemy, ladies! She’s not asking much…just eat only food produced by raw, whole ingredients that you cook yourself. Oh, but wait, it can’t be just any whole ingredients; they have to be organic and non-GMO. So you would think there would be studies or resources available to back it up. The evidence she provides that this strategy will lead to a healthier life? Exactly nothing!!! The trouble is that it is not science based at all!
     Instead The Food Babe relies on alarmism. She’s essentially a shock jock of the food and nutrition world, relying not on scientific evidence but on emotion and scary personal anecdotes. In short, quackery is dangerous. It promotes fear, devalues legitimate science and can destroy lives. Unfortunately, nutrition is a wonderful playground for people who want to manipulate fear. We need food to live, but according to her we can be poisoned, or worse yet poison our children by eating the wrong things!! Of course mothers will flip out and turn to her for more “things that “Big Ag” are hiding from us”!
     Learning from others which foods are safe and which are dangerous was essential to our survival in the days before grocery stores. We are primed to react to scares about food. We make 200 food-related decisions every day. Food choices are one of the few things we can control as individuals. All this misinformation is a version of the “FUD Theory” - Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt tactic that’s been recognized as a marketing tool in other contexts. It operates on a guilt-by-association model: if bread contains a chemical that’s also used in yoga mats, you claim that yoga mats are in our food, or that antifreeze and fish bladders are in our favorite beer! Never mind that antacids like Tums contain the same chemical used in gravestones and peach pits naturally contain cyanide!! Her fear-mongering detracts from the value and promise of GMO technology, and promotes the appeal to nature fallacy. In turn, Food Babe perpetuates one of the most daunting perils of modern society, far more frightening than preservatives, artificial colors or GMOs – scientific illiteracy!!!
     A lot of folks like this Food Babe aren’t simply misleading the public about food choices. They are flat-out lying! Accurate information is readily available if you care enough to look for it and apply a bit of common sense in distinguishing credible vs. bogus sources. But if you spread fear and confusion without checking facts because it fits with your worldview or increases your sales, you’re lying because you didn’t bother to find out the truth first. Food Babe has the luxury of doing just that and then profiting from her lies. She sells meal plans and endorses superfood supplements, but positions herself as an “investigator” of the dangers in foods. The tactic, it seems, is to make people feel that the world is so full of dangerous foods that they better pay for her meal plans that specify what she believes is safe to eat. Oh and she has a book, “The Food Babe Way” that is available in February 2015 on Amazon and a TV show under development. Hmmmmm!!!

     She sells ads on her site so it is in her interest to generate controversy to draw eyeballs. Hari has appeared on Good Morning America and The Dr. Oz Show. The exposure drives readers to pay $17.99 a month to download her Eating Guide, the organic living manual plus at least $15,000 speaker fee at conferences and who knows how much in consulting fees! She also has interest in companies that do home-delivered natural, organic and non-GMO foods as well as organic "superfood" such as hemp and chia seeds!  You don’t suppose that money is the real reason for her activism do you?

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: 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Louise Catherine Baker September 24, 1919 to Nobember 11, 2014

Louise Catherine Baker, 95

Blue Hill resident, Louise Catherine Baker, 95, passed away, Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at Blue Hill Care Center, Blue Hill, Nebraska.

Rosary will be Friday, November 14, 2014; 7:30 P.M. at Merten-Butler Mortuary, Blue Hill. Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, November 15, 2014; 10:30 A.M. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Blue Hill with Very Rev. James Schrader and Father Valerian Bartek officiating. Burial will be in Blue Hill Cemetery, Blue Hill. Memorials may be given to Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Visitation will be Friday, November 14, 2014; 1:00 P.M. – until rosary, with family present at 6:30 P.M. at the mortuary. Merten – Butler Mortuary is serving the family.

Louise was born on September 24, 1919 to Joseph and Cecelia (Hofstetter) Reiman at Lawrence, Nebraska. Louise attended District 38 School and Sacred Heart School, Lawrence, Nebraska. Louise married Guy E. Baker on June 17, 1942 at Red Cloud, Nebraska. They moved into Blue Hill in 1972 from a farm outside of Blue Hill. Louise lived her entire married life in the Blue Hill Community. She had worked at the Blue Hill Care Center for a number of years. While living in Blue Hill and at Westgate she belonged to the Senior Citizens Group and RSVP of Blue Hill, Nebraska. Louise was a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church and Holy Trinity Altar Society, Blue Hill, Nebraska. She was an avid quilter, gardener, loved her flowers. Louise enjoyed spending time with her family and attending her grandchildren's activities.

Louise was preceded in death by her parents; husband; and one brother, Ernest Reiman.

Sons: Eldon (Cheryl) Baker - Holmes City, MN
William (Donna) Baker - Grand Island, NE

Daughter: Sheila (Steve) Hesman - Blue Hill, NE

Grandchildren &
Great-Grandchildren: Lanette (Kevin) Selves - North Richland Hills, TX
Amanda and Andrew
Shawna (Robert) Hessler - Farmington, MN
Ashley, Alexia and Alyssa
Renae Baker (Dr. Scott Alexander) - Flower Mound, TX Dr. Tammy (Dr. Adam) Dann - Huntington, WV
Madeline, Elsa and Hazel
Ryan (JaDeen) Hesman - Blue Hill, NE
Caleb and Caden
Kristen (Daren) Ostdiek - Blue Hill, NE
Chase and Chasity

Brother-in-Law: Morris Mau - Deshler, NE

Numerous Nieces & Nephews

Monday, November 10, 2014

Remember the Veterans

Several years ago I was involved with a group that tried to show support for the soldiers in Iraq by sending regular packages and notes to the soldiers.    After some school children gave us valentines to add to our packages we received this note of thanks to share with them and others who helped us remember the soldiers.  Veteransl Day is a good time for us to reread this type of message and remember all our Soldiers who are away from their homes and loved ones and those who will never return.

Dear Supporters of the Soldiers,                                                18   Feb 2004

Thank you  2nd graders of Morton, and 6th graders of Hawthorne elementary!

I wasn’t sure how to start this letter, but what better way than to say “thank you so much for the valentines.”  I don’t know if you realize how important it is for soldiers to receive mail from the people back there in our great nation.  It reminds us that we are here for a good cause.  The valentines especially brought smiles to the soldiers of my mortar section.  We are the proud soldiers of A Company, 5th Battalion  20th  Infantry Regiment, 3rd  brigade of the 2nd  Infantry Division.  Our Unit’s name is “Sykes Regulars” and our history dates back to the civil war.   We’ve been in the civil war,  WWI,  WWII, the Korean war, and Vietnam war, now we are the brave soldiers in Iraq.   Many of us knew this day was coming since our Battalion received the first new strikers that the Army had seen.  My company did the Millennium Challenge at Ft. Irwin California’s National Training Center (Company was the first unit to ever take a Stryker over seas.   5th Battalion of the 20th Infantry Regiment has been one of the most important parts of the Stryker Brigades success, so once again, it is good to see all of my hard work has paid off.
 I personally want everyone who supports us to understand that everyone here in Iraq has their own reason for being here in the army and Iraq.  My reasons were so that my son may never have to fight in a war, so my wife Meghan will be safe at night, whether I am there to be at her side at night or not, for the freedom of America and all her citizens including you,  the reader of my thoughts.  I miss my wife and son very much, and I know they miss me.
One of the letters we received was from a young woman, age 12.  Her words found a place in my heart that I will keep with me always.  “I am sorry for the ones who won’t make it home.”
Before my deployment to Iraq two of my childhood friend became soldiers who will never make it home.  I keep them in my  heart and I know every morning that I or someone I know and love like a brother may never make it home.  My family knows it is a possibility and it is a concept that is very hard to grasp.  But we all every soldier makes a sacrifice for our great nation, and sadly, some make the ultimate one.

Most soldiers are very young, in the age range of  18 to 24.  I joined the Army when I was 17 years old.  When I went through basic training my son was just 5  months old.  I am now 19 and will turn 20 in 3 days.  My son will be 3 August 3rd  and yet again for the third time I will be away on his birthday.  I will probably cry silently, as many soldiers do .  We do not cry in front of each other as it may lower moral, but all soldiers will cry at some point we all want to come home to our loved ones.

All the soldiers send their love to you, especially the soldiers of A company mortars.

SSG. Johnson,  SGT Taylor,  CPL. Smith, CPL Lunsford, SPC Haack,   SPC Barayuga, SPC Whitely, PFC Burg, PV2 Garrett, PV2 Fritsch    and myself, SPC Richard C. Warren

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Farm Bill Education Meeting in Blue Hill on November 24

     The Webster County FSA and UNL Extension will host a Farm Bill Education meeting on Monday, November 24, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. at the Blue Hill Community Center which is located at 555 W Gage St. in Blue Hill, NE. The meeting is free and open to the public. Registration is not required; however, it is appreciated to insure a seat and materials for each attendee. The meeting should conclude by noon.

     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. 

     To register or for more information you may call the Webster County UNL Extension Office at 402-746-3417 or contact Dewey Lienemann at ; or you may call the Webster County FSA Office in Red Cloud at 402-746-2204, Deidra Werner, CED.

Grazing Strategist Burke Teichert Coming to Webster County November 19

     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 Range Management 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 Dewey Lienemann 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 gives a thumbnail highlights what Mr. Teichert will be speaking on.  “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.” 

     Please mark your calendars for this event and get your reservation in. You will find it well worth your small investment and time!

Friday, November 7, 2014


Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator

     You may remember the push for businesses like McDonalds and other restaurants to obtain their beef from producers who are “sustainable”. They then had to form a set of guidelines to just what sustainable would mean to them, their consumers, and I guess ultimately to the beef producers. Beef sector stakeholders now have a definition of what sustainable beef is after leading industry organizations came to an agreement at the Global Conference on Sustainable Beef this past week. I  have my own take on sustainability, but let’s take a look at what the experts agreed on!
     Drumroll please…. The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) announced this week that 97% of its membership has overwhelmingly approved global Principles and Criteria for defining sustainable beef and beef production practices ( ) Members of the global beef community, including representatives from every segment of the supply chain, have worked on this collaborative effort for more than a year-and-a-half to identify and define the core principles for sustainable beef production and delivery. I am surprised they actually came up with a common definition, which includes five core principles and detailed criteria for sustainable beef, and supposedly finding common ground and identifying a clear path forward to work to improve the sustainability of the global beef chain. I guess we will see.
     The five core principles include: 1) Natural Resources; 2) People and the Community; 3) Animal Health & Well-being; 4) Food; 5) Efficiency and Innovation. GRSB then goes on to define “Sustainable Beef” as “A socially responsible, environmentally sound and economically viable product that prioritizes: Planet (relevant principles: Natural Resources, Efficiency and Innovation, People and the Community); People (Relevant principles: People and the Community and Food); Animals (Relevant principle: Animal Health and Welfare, Efficiency and Innovation); and Progress (Relevant principles: Natural Resources, People and the Community, Animal Health and Welfare, Food, Efficiency and Innovation).  
     After a year and a half of negotiations, the approved ‘principles and criteria’ are supposed to deliver ‘clarity’ on sustainability. The next step is to work on local and national levels, to identify where ‘improvements and efficiencies can be achieved’. We in the beef industry know that mandated practices or a single, ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to beef production will not work for our producers not only here in Nebraska, the USA or around the globe. Instead, I would hope that this group would work with the regional and national roundtables as they identify locally-focused solutions to meet the unique challenges they face in each region. Cattle raising in Arizona is completely different than in Nebraska…. You get the point.
     Basically, McDonalds started this whole thing a couple of years ago announcing that by the year 2016 they will only purchase and serve beef that qualifies as “Sustainable Beef”.  After the announcement of the new definition McDonald’s, is ramping up efforts to reduce beef’s impact within the supply chain. They have indicated that ‘the race is on’ within McDonald’s, a GRSB member, as to who can start sourcing the first sustainable beef products. Now who could that be?
     Bob Langert, who is in charge of McDonald’s Global Sustainability effort, has indicated that all food items sold in their stores would be sustainably sourced but with “beef being priority number one, two and three.” He also indicated that sustainability efforts are based on collaborations within their respective industries. “We want to do this right and to do it right we have to collaborate and get the right measures in place. We are determined to let science lead the way, but we are also determined to start purchasing in 2016.” I would assume that he is referring to beef, and if so, is he also suggesting that we do not do it right now? That we suck? I doubt this guy has ever been out on a farm and ranch and he comes up with the assumption that our farmers and ranchers don’t do it right and do not strive for sustainability! I beg his pardon!!!
     I don’t know a beef producer who does not try to be sustainable, not only with income but in managing their resources, the land and their cattle. This not only makes me cringe, curl up my fist but bristle at the thought that this is probably more of a marketing ploy to bolster their sagging share of the restaurant business.  Once again pushing the blame and the supposed cure on the shoulders of the cattle producers…. Or is it simply a ploy to get cattle out of other countries who they assume are raising the cattle more sustainably?  I leave that up to you to make your own analysis. If the newest advertising thrust my McDonalds is indication, my guess it is a marketing ploy. Oh, they never use marketing ploys!!!!
     Oh, if you haven’t heard, McDonalds has a new advertising slogan: "Lovin' Beats Hatin”! No I am not kidding, really, that is the new motto or at least slogan.  Their advertising executives say that “Lovin' Beats Hatin' will not replace ---duh-duh-duh-duh ---“I'm Lovin' It,” but only aims to spread happiness in the face of Internet hate. Love is better than hate—now that's a sentiment we can behind, right? Who's going to say "Hatin' Beats Lovin'"? Not me or I doubt you. But I might ask…Where is the love from McDonalds to the beef producer, rancher, farmer or beef feedlot owners? Even with the perceived need to prove to folks that our beef production is “sustainable” I think that in looking ahead, beef, as well as other animal proteins, has a bright future. Amazing gains in productivity have allowed the livestock industry to considerably reduce resource use and greenhouse gas emissions over the last century. With a culture of continuous improvement and access to technologies that improve productivity, we can feed the future population using even fewer resources. 

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: 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Our True Heroes


Throughout our nation’s capital are towering reminders of our freedom and how it was secured. Memorials throughout Washington, D.C., stand as tributes to battles fought and won and men and women lost. They help us to reflect on the true cost of our independence and the ongoing effort to ensure our security today. But granite memorials and bronze statues can never tell the full story.
You don’t have to visit the National Mall to fully appreciate the work of our men and women in uniform. The best reminders of the enduring effort to defend our freedom are all around us. They go to our churches, work alongside us, and serve in our communities.
They are our veterans.
These men and women have volunteered to commit a portion of their life to a cause far greater than self. They willingly signed up to risk life and limb, often for people they’ve never even met before. Their mission to protect and defend our American way of life has taken them to places we can’t imagine in our darkest nightmare—to far-flung corners of the globe where danger lurks around every corner. In doing so, our veterans sacrificed time away from their friends and families at home. They did all this for you and for me.
Many of our veterans return from service with both the visible and unseen scars of battle. Some face new physical challenges sustained on the battlefield while others bring with them the memories of the horrors of war that will never be forgotten. That’s why it is so important that a grateful nation welcomes home our veterans with open arms, and that we uphold our pledge to care for those who have “borne the battle.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was established for just that. Unfortunately, recent failures by the VA have raised questions about our commitment as a nation to caring for our troops. This cannot be the way we thank our veterans for their service.
To help reform the VA, I supported legislation that improves healthcare access for our veterans, addresses administrative challenges at the VA and establishes greater accountability for bad actors within the agency. I also drafted legislation that would ban bonuses at the VA for poor performance. We should not reward failure and mistreatment of our nation’s heroes. More can always be done and I will continue to closely monitor the VA’s progress in implementing these needed reforms and improving its services for our veterans.
But we cannot stop there. We must also ensure that our veterans have opportunities to be successful in their careers once they return. That’s why I’ve cosponsored legislation that promotes hiring veterans in businesses that would otherwise not expand to avoid costly government mandates. Many businesses are poised to grow, but doing so would subject them to costly requirements associated with the health care law. This legislation helps businesses expand while providing greater opportunity for our veterans.
Our veterans’ legacy is why we enjoy the freedoms we have today. We can never forget the sacrifices they made to shape this great nation. To preserve our proud history of military service, my office is helping to record first-hand accounts of U.S. veterans and those who supported them during wartime. The Veterans History Project is an ongoing initiative of the Library of Congress that makes these accounts publicly available so that we all may have a greater appreciation of our veterans’ legacy. I encourage veterans who would like to share their story for future generations to contact my office.
As we approach another Veterans Day, I encourage everyone to take a moment to reflect on the importance of our freedom, and consider all those throughout our history who have stood to defend our way of life. And of course, please remember to thank our veterans for their great service. Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.
Senator Deb Fischer.