COL Central Minnesota Dairy Tour is March 26

FREEPORT, Minn. -- The spring 2004 Central Minnesota Dairy Tour will be held March 26. The bus will leave the Freeport Community Center at 10:30 a.m. and will return to Freeport at 3 p.m.

The cost for the tour is $5, which includes lunch. Bus reservations can be made by calling the Stearns County Extension office at (320) 968-5077.

The tour will include stops at Barry and Colleen Harren's farm and Dale and Lisa Austing's farm. Harrens have an 80-cow warm free-stall facility. Austings have a Double 8 swing parlor and converted a machine shed into free-stall housing.

Tour participants will be asked to wear clothes that have been washed and not work in their own facility or other dairy facilities. People will be asked to wear plastic boots at each farm stop.

MDA adds nine certified risk consultants


ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has added nine Certified Farm Risk Management consultants to its existing pool of 79. The financial consultants receive certification through a risk-management program designed by the MDA and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

The newly certified consultants are: Andy Wells and Chad Van Beck, Central Minnesota Federal Credit Union, Melrose; William McCue, Endurance Farms, Belle Plaine; Lois Martell and Rodney Sebastion, USDA Risk Management Agency, St. Paul; David Enger amd Wayne Triplett, Crop Revenue Management, Buffalo; Sean Ness, Centra Soya, Buffalo; and David Holman, Crop Revenue Management, Watertown.

To become certified, consultants attend a 40-hour course covering all aspects of farm risk management planning. Participants must assemble a full-risk management plan for a case study farm and pass a final exam.

For more information, call David Bullock at (651) 284-3705.

Singles in Agriculture plans weekend event

LAKEVILLE, Minn. -- The Northern Great Plains Chapter of Singles in Agriculture will host a weekend of activities in Lakeville March 26-28.

Singles in Agriculture is a national organization that promotes social, educational and recreational activities for people who are either widowed or single and are involved in farming activities with work with an agribusiness.

The group will gather at 4:30 p.m. March 26 in the Super 8 hospitality room in Lakeville. Supper will be at Harry's Sports Bar.


Saturday activities begin at 9 a.m. with bus tours planned.

Weekend participants must pay a $5 registration fee, which doesn't include the cost of meals, tours and hotel rooms. For more information on Northern Great Plains Singles in Agriculture or to pre-register call Tim at (507) 351-9910 or Sue at (507) 289-7745.

Central Plains Dairy Expo starts March 31

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The Central Plains Dairy Expo is set March 31-April 1 in the Sioux Falls Convention Center and Sheraton Hotel. The Expo showcases the latest technology and the newest ideas on how to be profitable in the dairy business in South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and North Dakota.

Keynote speakers include Monte Hemenover, president of Avenue for Change, and Mike Hutjens, University of Illinois Extension dairy specialist. Hemenover will speak March 31 at 10 a.m. and April 1 at 1:30 p.m. Hutjens' session March 31 begins at 1:30 p.m. and his April 1 session starts at 10 a.m.

The Central Plains Dairy Expo banquet is scheduled March 31 at 5 p.m. in the trade show and costs $20. Call Kathy at (218) 236-8420 to reserve a meal.

A trade show will feature more than 160 booths.

Gopher Dairy Camp scheduled June 10-12


ST. PAUL -- The second annual Gopher Dairy Camp will be held June 10-12 on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota. The Minnesota 4-H Dairy Committee and the Gopher Dairy Club at the U of M sponsor the annual event.

The camp provides participants with the opportunity to increase their dairy cattle expertise. Participants must have completed the sixth grade, but not yet started 12th. Registration will be limited to the first 100 people who apply.

"Gopher Dairy Camp will provide young persons a chance to learn grooming and fitting from the pros,'' said Kyle Sonnek, club president from Foreston.

Highlights include show ring preparation, hands-on fitting demonstrations, workshops, an auction, a St. Paul Saints baseball game and a dairy judging clinic.

Registratoin information can be obtained by calling (612) 625-9294.

Shoreland Volunteer Workshop is April 23-24

PEQUOT LAKES, Minn. -- A Shoreland Volunteer Workshop will be held April 23-24 in the Ideal Township Hall near Pequot Lakes. Friday session will run from 3 p.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

The event is designed for people who want to learn more about lakes, rivers and wetlands and take steps to protect them.

The workshop is designed for shoreland property owners, Master Gardeners, lake association leaders and others. It will feature a panel discussion with local experts.

Registration can be made by calling Eleanor Burkett at 1-888-241-0720.

AgStar plans four Women's Forums

ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- AgStar Financial Services has scheduled four Women's Forum sessions across the state. The sessions will feature motivational speaker Jolene Brown. Brown farms with her husband in iowa.

Sessions are scheduled March 29 in the Holiday Inn, Fairmont; March 30 in Kelly Inn, St. Cloud; March 31 in the TAC Entertainment Center, Amery, Wis.; April 1, and Best Western Apache, Rochester.

Registration at each session begins at 8:30 a.m. with the program following from 9:15 a.m.-11:30 a.m. The cost is $10, with no charge for AgStar clients.

Women planning to attend should call 1-888-376-7787.

Weed Control Bulletin offered by Extension

FOLEY, Minn. -- The 2004 version of the University of Minnesota Cultural and Chemical Weed Control Bulletin is now available in many county offices, including Benton, Stearns and Morrison.

The bulletin costs $5.

The bulletin is a good resource for people who want to do a little homework before selecting herbicides for their program. It also offers suggestions about cultural practices that can be important for specific crops and conditions.

It includes ratings for effectiveness, crop replant and rotation restrictions, commonly recommended rates and more.

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