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COL More women are farm decision-makers

COLUMBUS JUNCTION, Iowa -- More women are becoming the decision-makers on Iowa farms, but networking and educational opportunities for them have been sparse.

That void is the niche that a new organization, Iowa Women in Agriculture, hopes to fill.

"People are starting to recognize women in farming more," said Doug Lindgren of the Iowa Soybean Association, one of the partners in promoting the new organization.

According to the 2002 Census of Agriculture, women as principal operators of Iowa farms totaled 6,186 in 2002, up from 5,101 in 1997.

Such groups as Iowa Women in Agriculture, which is being funded the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency, are already strong in New England and California.

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Environmental officials report fish kill

LIDDERDALE, Iowa -- State environmental officials have reported a fish kill in northwest Iowa.

The fish kill was discovered Nov. 2 in Elk Run Creek in Carroll County, said Alison Manz, an investigator with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

She said the fish kill was in progress when officials discovered it during an investigation into a complaint about a dead cow 4 miles northwest of Lidderdale. No cow was found, she said.

The source of the fish kill was believed to be a contamination from a nearby livestock feedlot. The number of fish couldn't be determined because of heavy rainfall, Manz said.

The DNR is continuing its investigation.

Ag Chemical Dealer Updates scheduled

PAULLINA, Iowa -- Ag Chemical Dealer Updates will be held Dec. 10 in the Paullina Legion Hall and in the Clay County Regional Events Center in Spencer.

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The Paullina update will run from 9 a.m.-3:20 p.m., and the Spencer event is from 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m.

The updates are designed to inform participants of label revisions, new products, regulatory requirements and soil nutrient recommendations.

The registration fee is $40.

DNR opens online store selling books

DES MOINES -- The Department of Natural Resources has set up an online store selling books and apparel related to the great outdoors to help the cash-strapped agency.

The Iowa Nature Store isn't expected to make much money, but it can't hurt, said project coordinator Ross Harrison.

Harrison said the store, which opened last week, would help connect people with their environmental interests.

"It will help people see the connection with their daily lives and feel good about it," much as college sports fans wearing their school colors, Harrison said.

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Authorities seek to curtail meth production

DES MOINES -- Methamphetamine production could be cut in half if state lawmakers would approve tighter controls on readily available ingredients used to make the illegal drug, an official with an Oklahoma drug fighting agency said at a national conference.

More than 300 drug agents, prosecutors, treatment providers and lawmakers were told at the National Methamphetamine Legislative and Policy Conference last week in St. Paul, Minn., that controlling the sale of nonprescription pseudoephedrine is the key to cutting meth production.

Mark Woodward, a spokesman for the Bureau of Narcotics in Oklahoma, said his state has seen a 36 percent reduction in the number of meth labs discovered since lawmakers enacted controls on the sale of pseudoephedrine, a decongestant used in cold and allergy medication.

Cow feeding to be covered at workshop

CRESCO, Iowa -- A hands-on workshop on dairy cow feeding will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Tim Huhe farm near Cresco. This workshop is for the person on the farm responsible for mixing and delivering feed to cows.

The workshop will present principles in the form of demonstrations in the barn and feeding area. The workshop is limited to 25 people. The fee is $15, and pre-registration is required. To reserve a place or for more information call (563) 547-3001.

Value-added tour for farmers offered

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University Extension's Value-added Agriculture Program is hosting a tour of central Iowa farms with special interest for beginning farmers.

The tour is scheduled from noon Nov. 19 through 7 p.m. Nov. 20 and will begin and end on the Iowa State University campus.

Tour stops include a farmer in partnership with his parents, who also grows herbs; a farmer who linked with nonrelatives to start in farming; a business marketing specialty pork; a farrow-to-finish hog hoop building system and a free-range egg operation combined with native prairie seeds.

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