COL Distillers grain shipped to Cuba from state

WINNEBAGO, Minn. -- The first-ever shipment of distillers dried grain with soluables has been sent from a Minnesota feed mill to Cuba.

The Sept. 5 shipment of the high-quality DDGS, called Norgold, was coordinated by the Minnesota Shippers' Association, originated from a Minnesota ethanol plant in Winnebago and was bagged at the Matawan Grain &; Feed Company in rural New Richland. About 20 metric tons of Norgold was shipped to Cuba in a 40-foot container.

Minnesota companies have completed business deals worth about $70 million with Cuba, which is about 16 percent of all goods purchased by Cuba from the United States since November 2001. Former Gov. Jesse Ventura made a well-publicized trade trip to Cuba while he was in office.

DFA makes patronage announcement

KANSAS CITY -- Dairy Farmers of America members who marketed milk through the cooperative in 2002 last week were allocated their share of $28 million in member patronage.


Cooperative officials say $7 million will be paid to 17,596 members.

The patronage -- recently approved by DFA's board of directors -- refers to the profits the cooperative returns to members each year. It is based on the amount of milk each member markets through the association.

The current payout is equal to 8 cents per hundredweight on 35 billion of milk marketed in 2002, said Joel Clark, vice president of accounting and information services. Clark said members whose equity accounts are fully capitalized at the $1.75 level or higher on Dec. 31, 2002, will receive 100 percent of their member patronage in cash. Other members, not fully capitalized, will received 20 percent in cash and 80 percent will be applied to their equity accounts.

CCC loan fraud results in prison sentence

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- A Cedar County man was sentenced to a year in federal prison last week in connection with loans illegally obtained from the Department of Agriculture.

Steven J. Wendt, 56, of Clarence, did not dispute that he fraudulently applied for and obtained more than $160,000 in Commodity Credit Corporation loans by falsely inflating the amount of grain that he and his brother, Larry R. Wendt of Lowden, were pledging as security for the loan. Steven Wendt later sold the pledged grain that he did own.

Larry Wendt has pleaded guilty to selling pledged grain and money laundering and is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 4.

Besides the prison sentence, Steven Wendt was ordered to make $160,000 in restitution. He must serve a three-year term of supervised release following the prison term. He is to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons by Dec. 1.


Stillman re-elected chairman of ISPB

URBANDALE, Iowa -- Jim Stillman of Emmetsburg last week was re-elected chairman of the Iowa Soybean Promotion Board.

Bill Talsma of Newton was elected vice chairman, Alan Karkosh of Hudson was re-elected secretary and Ed Ulch of Solon was elected treasurer.

Ray Haesser of Corning was elected member-at-large and Jim Legvold of Vincent was appointed to serve on the executive committee. Legvold is immediate past PSPB board chairman.

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