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COL MPCA schedules dairy facility meeting

DODGE CENTER, Minn. -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will hold an open house and public information meeting Jan. 20 to discuss the draft Environmental Assessment Worksheet and draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit for Ripley Dairy LLP.

The event will run from 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. in the Triton High School Auditorium in Dodge Center.

The proposed dairy would be located in Section 3 of Ripley Township in Dodge County.

The proposed project includes construction of three total-confinement free-stall barns to house 2,115 dairy cows. Construction would also include a holding barn and milking parlor. Manure would be collected and treated with an anaerobic digester.

The draft environmental assessment and draft permit will be on public notice from now through Feb. 18 in the MPCA office in St. Paul; in the MPCA office in Rochester; and in the Dodge Center Public Library.

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Sheep, lamb program deadline is Jan. 13

ST. PAUL -- Farm Service Agency officials says signup for the ELRRP program will end Jan. 13.

The program has $18 million available for eligible sheep and lamb producers to encourage the replacement and retention of ewe breeding and lamb breeding stock.

Applications for eligible ewe lambs must be filed at the county FSA office where the sheep operation's headquarters is located. Payments of up to $18 will be made for each eligible ewe lamb. If national application payments exceed $18 million, individual payments will be factored down from the maximum.

Pork Board's annual meeting is Jan. 18

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Pork Board's annual meeting is planned Jan. 18 at noon in the Minneapolis Convention Center.

All Minnesota pork producers who have paid dues into the mandatory Pork Checkoff can attend the meeting.

Producers will discuss and vote on resolutions that relate to the Pork Checkoff and will elect the 2005 MPB executive committee and 2006 Pork Act delegates.

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The annual meeting will also include a National Pork Board update on domestic demand enhancement programs and a presentation on pork exports by a U.S. Meat Export Federation representative.

MPB Executive Committee nominees include Duane Bakke, Lanesboro; Kim Balfe, Waseca; Lynn Becker, Fairmont; Kelly Blomgren, Butterfield; Dan Boettger, New Richland; Bill Crawford, Fairmont; Greg Fox, Rosemount; Curt Johnson, Jasper; Randall Koll, Belle Plaine; Craig Mensink, Preston; Karen Richter, Montgomery; Thomas Sammon, Faribault; Sarah Schieck, Sunburg; Dale Stevemer, Easton; and Doug Wenner, St. Peter.

Dairy producers elected as delegates

CALEDONIA, Minn. -- Several southeastern Minnesota dairy producers have been elected Accelerated Genetics delegates.

Delegates elected include Dan Schroeder, Caledonia; Michael Jetson, Spring Grove; Eric Nelson, Caledonia; Jim Solum, Spring Grove; Doug Thesing, Winona; Jeremy Byer, Utica; Eugene Meyer, Winona; Keith Johnson, Winona; Jerome Rivers, Winona; and Randy Drinkall, Rushford.

Alternates include Paul Solum, Spring Grove; Joe Welscher, Caledonia; Travis Gatzke, Preston; and Roger Aldinger, Winona.

The delegate group is the governing body of the cooperative. Accelerated Genetics is based in Baraboo, Wis.

Midwest Farm Show is Jan. 19-20

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LACROSSE, Wis. -- The 27th annual Midwest Farm Show is planned Jan. 19-20 in the LaCrosse Center.

The show features free parking, free health clinics and free entertainment.

Daily show hours are from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. More than 6,000 farmers from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa are expected to attend.

Gunderson Lutheran Health Services will provide free hearing, blood pressure and skin cancer checks. Cholesterol screening and tetanus shots will be available for a small fee.

State's population grows in different ways

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's population is growing, but in different ways than it used to.

State demographer Tom Gillaspy says that 20 years ago Minnesota was mostly a "homegrown state'' with births of people who lived here fueling population growth.

Back then, most of the population was born here and most of the remaining people had lived here for 20 years or more.

Today, most of the growth in the state's population is coming from other states and other countries. This is more like it was 100 years ago, when nearly 30 percent of Minnesota population was born in another country. While not simple, Gillaspy said the growth comes in part from the need for more workers.

By 2030, the state's population is projected to grow 27 percent, passing 6 million in 20 years.

More people, older people and more racial and ethnic diversity will mark the state's future, he said.

CSP informational meetings set

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Olmsted, Goodhue and Winona County NRCS will hold four informational sessions on the 2005 CSP sign-up for Minnesota's Root Watershed.

CSP is a volunteer program that rewards farmers who are meeting the highest standards of conservation on their lands. Counties included in the Root Watershed CSP signup include Dodge, Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Olmsted and Winona counties.

Meetings will be held Jan. 19 from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. in the Community Room, St. Charles; Jan. 21, 9 a.m.-11 a.m., Diggers Restaurant, Kasson; and Jan. 21, 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. in the Community Center, Goodhue.

Whitewater offering hunter classes

ST. CHARLES, Minn. -- Whitewater State Park has scheduled a six-part Advanced Hunter Education class, which will start Jan. 20.

The class is designed for both beginner and experienced hunters. It is for adults as well as students 14 years of age and older.

Topics that will be covered include hunter responsibility, safety, ethics, outdoor survival, laws, hunting techniques for small and big game, and wildlife and waterfowl identification.

Several guest speakers are planned.

Three-hour sessions are planned Jan. 20, 27 and Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24.

A $20 fee will be charged. For more information, call the park at (507) 932-3007, ext. 10 weekdays during business hours.

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