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COL Vorthmanns honored by Beef Breeds Council

TREYNOR, Iowa -- Roger and Ann Vorthmann of Treynor have been chosen as Iowa's Seedstock Producer of the Year. The Vorthmanns operate Vorthmann Limousin.

The award is sponsored annually by the Iowa Beef Breeds Council. The couple will receive the award Feb. 13 at the Iowa Beef Expo Kick-off Luncheon scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the cattle barn foyer on the Iowa state fairgrounds in Des Moines.

The award honors outstanding cattle producers in the seedstock industry. Each Purebred Breed Association is given the opportunity to nominate one candidate for the award.

Pro Ag Outlook event is Dec. 13

NEW HAMPTON, Iowa -- Extension and Chickasaw County Farm Bureau will offer a Pro Ag Outlook and Management Seminar at 1 p.m. Dec. 13 in Chaff's Restaurant, New Hampton.

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The seminar will provide agribusiness leaders with an evaluation of current market conditions, expected trends in crop and livestock and management implications.

Extension grain marketing specialist Robert Wisner will present highlights and market outlook information and management considerations for corn and soybean producers. Extension livestock marketing specialist John Lawrence will discuss swine and beef outlook. Extension farm management specialist Robert Tigner will cover the dairy industry supply and demand outlook.

The registration fee is $20 per person. For details and a registration form, call Chickasaw County Extension in New Hampton at (641) 394-2174.

ISU completes subsoil moisture survey

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University has completed its fall survey of subsoil moisture in the northwest corner of the state.

Subsoil moisture levels are checked each fall at several specific locations in many northwest Iowa counties. Rainfall was nearly non-existent in some northwest counties from July through late August, said Joel DeJong, ISU Extension field specialist for crops.

However, crop yields were very good partly because days of high-moisture stress were limited during the entire summer.

The amount of subsoil moisture at the measured sites in the northwest corner of Iowa on Nov. 1 ranged from 3 inches to 9.9 inches of plant-available moisture in the top five feet of soil, which is the normal rooting depth of corn and soybeans.

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Baum new chairman of ISU department

AMES, Iowa -- Thomas Baum, Iowa State University associate professor, is the new chairman of the ISU Department of Plant Pathology.

Baum was selected following an internal search to replace former chairwoman Charlotte Bronson, who was appointed associate vice provost for research in September.

Baum has been on the ISU staff since September 1995.

Farmer businesses to share stories

AMES, Iowa -- The latest research on eco-labels, niche meat marketing, and other new business planning and market discovery tools will be introduced Dec. 8 at a workshop hosted by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

The workshop will feature short presentations by leaders of more than 30 projects funded by the Center's Marketing and Food Systems Initiative and the Regional Food Systems Working Group.

The workshop will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Gateway Conference Center and Hotel in Ames.

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Headlining the workshop will be demonstrations of new web sites devoted to organic food processors and an on-line interactive mapping system that can be used to link businesses with providers of agricultural products.

Registration is required by Dec. 5 to insure a lunch ticket. For more information, contact Rich Pirog at rspirog@iastate.edu.

Organics workshop offered in northeast Iowa

CRESCO, Iowa -- Iowa State University Extension will host a workshop for farmers considering organic production from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 14 at Prairie's Edge Nature Center in Cresco.

The workshop will discuss organic grains and organic livestock. Two local farmers will speak at the meeting. A meeting on flax production will also be held.

The cost is $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

For more information, call the Chickasaw County Extension office at (641) 394-2174.

Meeting to focus on reducing heating bills

OSAGE, Iowa -- Mitchell County Extension is planning a meeting focused on reducing home heating costs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Jan. 23 in the Osage Public Library.

Dan Meyer, Iowa State University Extension ag engineer field specialist in Fayette, will discuss home tightening, ventilation, recommended insulation R values for walls and ceilings and U values for windows, and heating alternatives such as geothermal systems and wood and corn burners.

Registration is $10 per person or $15 per couple.

ISU plant scientist leading research team

AMES, Iowa -- An Iowa State University plant scientist is leading a national research team that will develop a new tool to decipher the functions of plant genes.

The National Science Foundation recently awarded $1 million to fund the project, which is led by Basil Nikolau, professor of biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology.

Nikolau and researchers from seven institutions will test the feasibility of using metabolomics to uncover the biological function of genes in Arabidopsis, a plant used as a model organism in research.

Scrapbooking class to be offered

ELKADER, Iowa -- Clayton; County Extension is hosting a scrapbook class at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Central State Bank Community Room in Elkader.

Participants are asked to bring six to eight photographs to create a scrapbook page. There is a $2 registration fee to help with material costs. Pre-registration is required. The class is open to both youth and adults. Call the Clayton County Extension office at (563) 245-1451 by Dec. 1 to register.

Garden Calendar offered by Extension

AMES, Iowa -- The 2006 Garden Calendar from Iowa State University Extension offers monthly how-to tips and plant stories in a full-color, 9-inch by 12-inch format.

The calendar also includes a list of ISU Extension horticulture publications plus county office addresses.

Calendars are available for $8 plus any postage at Extension offices across the state.

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