COL Agro-Forestry works on conservation

ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- The Minnesota Agro-Forestry Cooperative has inked a cooperative agreement with the Central Minnesota Community Foundation of St. Cloud to establish a fund that will promote conservation in the state.

MAFC was established in 1996 to promote the production of short-rotation woody crops, such as hybrid poplar. It has developed a business strategy to meet its mission to collectively raise and market short-rotation woody crops and other agricultural fiber products.

The Legislature appropriated $200,000 during the 2000 session to establish an agro-forestry loan program. Because hybrid poplar takes five years to 15 years to reach market size, many producers need some program to provide cash flow to remain fiscally sound until harvest.

For additional information about the forestry cooperative, telephone (320) 763-3191, ext. 131.

Forest landowner tax incentives available


ST. PAUL -- A new state law provides tax incentives for forest landowners who practice long-term sustainable management on their forested land.

University of Minnesota forester Mike Kilgore says the new Sustainable Forestry Incentives Act can substantially reduce the burden of property taxes on managed forest lands.

Before applying, a landowner must complete a forest management plan on all lands to be enrolled. Someone who is recognized by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as an approved plan writer must prepare the plan.

Also, a covenant recorded against all property being considered for enrollment. The covenant must state the land isn't and won't be developed in a manner inconsistent with the requirements of the SFIA.

SFIA applications are available from the Department of Revenue and they must be completed and returned to the department by Sept. 30 to considered.

Legal Action group receives grant

MINNEAPOLIS -- Farmers' Legal Action Group, Inc. has received a $75,000 grant from the Emma B. Howe Foundation. The grant will support legal work on behalf of Minnesota farmers.

FLAG, a non-profit law center dedicated to keeping family farmers on the land, was founded in 1986. Since its inception, FLAG has provided an extensive array of legal services to financially distressed farmers and their advocates and attorneys nationwide, with a focus on Minnesota and the upper Midwest.


FLAG maintains a toll-free hot-line for Minnesota farmers at (800) 233-4534.

Conference will examine rural community

MINNEAPOLIS -- "A Rural Community Vitality In a Global Economy'' is the title of a conference planned Sept. 13-14 in the Humphrey Center on the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus.

The conference will explore issues and strategies for promoting economic prosperity in America's rural communities by showcasing research, policy and practicioner perspectives on four key topics.

The topics are the impact of globalization on the rural economy; the role of local institutions in promoting rural innovation and knowledge creation; rural knowledge of clusters and other models of dynamic rural economies; and devolution and increasing local, state and regional responsibility for governance.

For more information, telephone Karen Cook at (612) 625-2934.

Ground broken for new turf research center

ST. PAUL -- The College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences broke ground last week for its new Turf Research, Outreach and Education Center.


The center will be a living laboratory. Sample plots will simulate grass-growing conditions on residential lawns, sport fields and golf courses. It will also serve as an outdoor laboratory for students preparing for turf management careers including becoming golf course superintendents, park supervisors or sports turf managers.

Researchers are developing new grasses and studying various management techniques to make lawn care and turf management more environmentlly friendly. The facility will be a resource for homeowners and professionals managing turf in Minnesota and businesses developing turf-related products and services.

Todd County Home Council will meet

CLARISSA, Minn. -- The Todd County Home Council will meet Aug. 6 in the Clarissa City Park.

The potluck luncheon begins at 12:30 p.m. followed by a business meeting and will feature an educational topic on the Search and Rescue team.

Agenda topics include an update on the annual event tour, the 2002 county fair evaluation and plans for the coming year.

Beverages will be provided.

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