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COL Tripoli farmer files suit against cooperative

TRIPOLI, Iowa -- A Tripoli farmer has filed a lawsuit against a cooperative, claiming it sold him diseased pigs when he believed he was buying feeder pigs from a healthy herd.

William Root says in his lawsuit against Farmer's Cooperative based in Dike and New Hartford that the pigs were infected with four known diseases, including APP, which can lead to high death rates.

The lawsuit filed in Bremer County District Court says he bought 8,919 head of feeder pigs for $480,377 in April 2003, about $54 per head.

Root bought the feeder pigs through the Farmers Cooperative in Dike, which in turn purchased them from Land O'Lakes Inc.

Petitions allege that co-op officials believed the feeder pigs were in good health with proper documentation, however documents showed that the sow herd they came from had tested positive for diseases.

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Land O' Lakes said in an answer to the cross petition they sold the pigs directly to the co-op and that Land O'Lakes supplier, Tyson Pork Group, delivered those pigs directly to Root.

Private pesticide training offered Jan. 21

NORTHWOOD, Iowa -- The Extension Service is hosting a private farm pesticide recertification meeting Jan. 21 in First Lutheran Church in Northwood. The meeting begins at 1:30 p.m.

All farmers renewing their licenses without testing are required to attend the training meeting.

The day will also include the annual Worth County Corn and Soybean Clinic, which begins at 9 a.m. Several guest speakers are scheduled, including Iowa State University marketing specialist Robert Wisner, USDA NRCS Midwest Conservation Program leader Merlin Bartz, and Greg Tylka, ISU soybean rust task force coordinator.

Lunch reservations are required and can be made by calling the Worth County Extension office at (641) 324-1531.

Dairy Day program in Elma Jan. 25

ELMA, Iowa -- The Knights of Columbus Hall in Elma will be the site for the annual area Dairy Day program Jan. 25. The event will run from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

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The program is designed to bring timely information to dairy farm families and dairy professionals. Topics will include cow stressors, producing quality forages, herd health issues, dairy modernization and animal ID.

Speakers will include Iowa State University dairy specialists Leo Timms, Larry Trandel and Dale Thoreson.

Brian Lang, ISU crop specialist, will also be on hand.

Eleven farmers attend FB convention

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Eleven Iowa farmers participated in discussion and adoption of national Farm Bureau policy when delegates from throughout the nation gathered for the 2005 American Farm Bureau annual meeting last week in Charlotte, N.C.

IFBF president Craig Lang of Brooklyn led the delegates. Others are Craig Hill, IFBF vice president, Milo; Doug Gronau, Vail; Gary Elederkin, Winterset; Doug Beckman, Glenwood; Richard Merrill, Fort Dodge; Morey Hill, Madrid; Steve Jorgensen, Newell; Barbara Finch, Ames; John Mehlert, Drysart; and Jim McKnight, Afton.

State tourism dollars promised for Nashua

NASHUA, Iowa -- Officials have been promised state tourism dollars to build a Nashua welcome center but they haven't been told how much they'll get.

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"We've been approved to receive a grant," said Glenn Hatzky of Nashua, a member of the welcome center project committee. "We will go back in February to negotiate the size of the grant."

City Clerk Becky Deal said Nashua applied for a $175,000 Vision Iowa grant in the summer to remodel a boarded-up 1916 railroad depot and move it to near the off-ramp of the Avenue of the Saints.

The cost of renovating the depot has been estimated at $500,000.

Midwest Farm Show is Jan. 19-20

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.

Berland hired as watershed coordinator

DECORAH, Iowa -- Decorah native Paul Berland has been hired as a regional watershed coordinator for Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation and Development Inc.

Berland is returning to northeast Iowa after working with the Agricultural Research Service division of USDA in Charleston, S.C.

He will coordinate water quality monitoring and improvement projects in the Upper Iowa River, Yellow River and Turkey River watersheds. He will also work with agencies, organizations and landowners to facilitate water quality improvements.

Trumpeter swans released near Maquoketa

MAQUOKETA, Iowa -- Eastern Iowa's newest waterfowl ignored the blowing snow as the pair of rare trumpeter swans were released last week in a protected area near Maquoketa.

"They had been in their carriers for 24 hours and seemed very content to get into the fresh water," Ron Andrews, coordinator of trumpeter swan restoration with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Andrews, who is based in Clear Lake, said the 4-year-old swans, a male and a female, wasted no time waddling to open water, splashing in and preening themselves.

The swans will live on the grounds of the new Hurstville Interpretive Center, next to U.S. 61.

Low-interest loans for water protection

DES MOINES -- A new low-interest loan water protection program is being administered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture for water quality protection practices.

"This new initiative, titled 'Local Water Protection Program,' continues our work protecting drinking water supplies, and our lakes and streams,'' said Patty Judge, Iowa secretary of agriculture. "To date, there are pilot projects located in Decatur, Bremer, Howard and Washington counties enrolled in the program.''

Some of the water-filtering practices that are being used include buffer strips, filter strips, windbreaks, grass waterways, terraces, pasture and hayland planting, grazing systems, waste treatment lagoons and storage facilities, control basins, grade stabilization and forest buffers.

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