COL Fieseler participates in leader training

EYOTA, Minn. -- Joe Fieseler, the son of Bill and Danette Fieseler of Eyota, recently participated in a two-day leadership development and educational program designed for young adults who are interested in Minnesota agriculture and the livestock industry.

Fieseler is the Olmsted County Pork Producers Association's pork ambassador.

He participated in workshops on livestock quality assurance programs, business ethics, the function of consumer research in product marketing and Ag In The Classroom presentation development. He also toured University of Minnesota animal research facilities, a farmers market, a retailer, and chain grocery store meat department, and more.

Biodiesel education grants available

WASHINGTON -- Biodiesel education grants, intended to stimulate biodiesel demand and encourage development of the industry, are available for nonprofit organizations.


The Biodiesel Fuel Education Program was included in the 2002 farm bill. It will educate citizens about the benefits of biodiesel, which is a substitute for conventional diesel. Grants will be issued on a competitive basis. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that $920,000 will be available for the program.

Grant applications must be received by Aug. 14 and should be sent to James Duffield, OEPNU/USDA, 300 7th Street S.W., Reporters Building, Room 361, Washington, D.C. 20024.

Sandager elected to National Corn Board

SHAKOPEE, Minn. -- Gene Sandager, a corn producer from Hills and current treasurer of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, has been elected to a three-year term on the National Corn Board.

Sandager joins fellow Minnesotan corn farmer Gerald Tumbleson of Sherburn on the 15-member National Board. Sandager also serves on the National Corn Growers Public Policy Action Team.

Dayton aide will hold meeting July 24

STEWARTVILLE, Minn. -- An aide to Sen. Mark Dayton will hold a meeting July 24 in Stewartville to discuss rural communities. Gary Wertish will visit with area residents from 2:30 p.m.-4 p.m. in the Stewartville American Legion.

Dayton said the current climate of budget cuts at all levels of government presents rural communities with a variety of challenges and the meeting will give people the opportunity to present possible solutions.


"Improving the farm economy, expanding access to adequate, affordable health care, and economic development and jobs are all issues central to the well-being of rural America,'' Dayton said.

AgrAbility receives USDA grant

WASHINGTON -- Minnesota and Wisconsin chapters of AgrAbility, a project that educates and helps farmers with disabilities, will receive funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

More than $3.5 million will be allocated to 24 states. USDA awarded the grants to the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

AgrAbility provides on-site technical assistance in adapting farm technologies, operations and buildings, for disabled farmers to use.

GRP enrollment deadline is Aug. 1

ST. PAUL -- The enrollment deadline for the first Grassland Reserve Program is Aug. 1.

A funding level of $628,000 has been received from the federal government for the program. Enrollment applications for the GRP are accepted on a continual basis at USDA service centers throughout Minnesota.


The National Resources Conservation Service and the Farm Service Agency are coordinating the implementation of the program, which will enable landowners to restore and protect grassland, pastureland, shrubland and certain other lands.

To participate, the land must be privately owned and include at least 40 contiguous acres, unless both the NRCS state conservationist and the state FSA executive director determine a small parcel is appropriate to achieve GRP's propose.

Minnesota harvest banquet is Aug. 4

MINNEAPOLIS -- Foods produced by local farmers using sustainable methods will be featured at a special Minnesota harvest banquet Aug. 4 from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. in the Episcopal Church of Gethsemane in Minneapolis.

The church is located at 905 Fourth Ave. S., Minneapolis.

The meal, which will be served from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m., will be held in conjunction with the National Convention of the Episcopal Church, but is open to anyone. The cost is $25 and space is limited to 200 people. Advanced registration can be made by telephoning (763) 441-5482.

Culinary event scheduled in Lanesboro

LANESBORO, Minn. -- A local flavors culinary event is planned July 26 at the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center in Lanesboro.


The event will run from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. and costs $16.95.

Chef Laura Thompson will prepare a meal using locally produced meats, dairy, produce and more.

The event will raise money to support organic producers and local farmers markets. It will also support Eagle Bluff, a nonprofit organization serving Minnesota youth.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling 1-888-800-9558.

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