Field day will focus on spring cover crops

AMES, Iowa — Join Practical Farmers of Iowa, the National Soil Tilth Lab and Iowa State University researchers on May 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. to learn more about the benefits of cover crops in corn and soybean systems.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and rolls at the Iowa State University Agronomy Farm west of Ames. A tour of Iowa State University research farms will begin at 9 a.m. an lunch will be served at 1 p.m.

Tour topics include manure and cover crops, self-seeding cover crops, living mulches in a corn-soybean-forage rotation, corn silage and cover crops and variety trial of various cover crop species. Participants can also learn about a winter triticale forage test, living mulches in corn for biofuel production, winter and spring canola variety trials and nitrate leaching work in relation to tile drainage and cover crop systems

For more information or to register, call Sarah Carlson at (515) 232-5661.


Silos & Smokestacks announces 2008 Golden Silo Awards

WATERLOO, Iowa — Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area honored the best in heritage development during its recent Golden Silo Awards Luncheon.

More than 85 regional partners attended the event held at the Park Place Event Centre in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Dianna and Loren Engelbrecht, Farm House Bed & Breakfast, Fredericksburg, received the Alan Hutching's Outstanding Visionary.

Hansen's Farm Fresh Dairy, Hudson, received the Outstanding Preservation in Agriculture award.

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association, West Branch, received the Outstanding Partner award.

Darold Duerr, Hardin County Farm Museum, Eldora, and Jean Stowell, Top of Iowa Welcome Center, Northwood, received Outstanding Volunteer awards.

Old grain elevator will become climbing wall


FORT DODGE, Iowa — An old grain elevator will soon be elevated from eyesore to climbing wall.

Brad Messerly, Bud Pecoy and Kyle Rogers want to transform the old Fort Dodge Grain Terminal Elevator into 110-foot tall climbing wall. He says it will be the state’s largest climbing wall.

The towering structure has been painted with graffiti and serves as a roost for turkey vultures. Messerly says the city has approved the project.

When it’s done, the old elevator will have handholds and ropes, as well as some overhangs to challenge climbers. A rappelling area also is planned.

Messerly says climbers will have to wear proper gear and be attached to safety lines at all times. A date for opening hasn’t been set.

Pasture walk planned on Dorchester beef operation

DORCHESTER, Iowa — Ryan and Kristine Jepsen will host a pasture walk on their Dorchester farm at 1 p.m. April 23.

The couple started their farming operation in 2007 and are raising grass-fed beef for direct marketing. They also have pastured pork, veal, chickens and a few dairy cows.


They will talk about how they are grazing cereal rye on old CRP ground.

To reach their farm go 5 miles west of Dorchester on A16 to the parking lot of the Waterloo Ridge Church, then south on Hoover Drive to the end of the road.

For more information, call (563) 492-3400.

Ag in the Classroom receives grant

GARNER, Iowa — North Central Iowa Ag in the Classroom has received a $5,000 grant from Prairie Meadows Race-track and Casino through its 2007 Community Betterment Program.

Grant funds help to provide education in Cerro Gordo, Franklin, Hancock, Winnebago and Worth counties.

Ennis to lead National Catholic Rural Life Conference

DES MOINES — James Ennis has been named executive director of the Des Moines-based National Catholic Rural Life Conference by Bishop Ronald Gilmore, president of the nonprofit Catholic organization.


Ennis is director of the Food Alliance Midwest, a St. Paul-based affiliate of the national Food Alliance. Food Alliances operates a sustainable agriculture certification program for farms and other food-based businesses interested in using sustainability and related claims to differentiate and add value to food products.

Meeting on landscape architecture planned

ELKADER, Iowa — A well-designed and maintained landscape can add as much as 20 percent to the value of a property, according to a recent study.

 A Landscape Design Workshop is planned from 6:30 to 8 p.m. April 24 at the Clayton County Extension office, 120 South Main, Elkader.

Bob Hauer, Iowa State University Extension horticulturist and former landscaper, will talk about the steps in planning a landscape design. While most of the time will be spent talking about plants, Hauer will also talk about "hardscaping" the paths, patios and pools that can add so much to a landscape

The cost for this workshop is $3. Register by calling the Clayton County Extension office at (563) 245-1451.

Safety days for children scheduled

MANCHESTER, Iowa — The Progressive Agriculture Safety Days for children will be held in Delaware County in late April and early May.


The camps are sponsored by the Delaware County Chapter Farm Safety 4 Just Kids, Delaware County FFA chapters, the Extension Service and Progressive Agriculture Foundation, with support from the Delaware County Farm Bureau, Operation New View, the Delaware County Dairy Council, the Delaware County Pork Producers, and a variety of area organizations and agribusinesses.

The programs are designed for children in preschool through first grade. Children will participate in a variety of stations with demonstrations to help teach basic safety rules.

The Edgewood-Colesburg program will be the morning of April 30 in Edgewood for preschoolers and on the afternoon of May 1 in Colesburg for kindergarten and first grade. The Maquoketa Valley program will be May 6. The West Delaware program will be May 8 at the Delaware County fairgrounds.

To pre-register, call the Delaware County Extension office at (563) 927-4201.

Longtime GOP activist makes 3rd District bid

DES MOINES — Veteran activist Kim Schmett last week formally announced his campaign for the Republican nomination in central Iowa’s 3rd Congressional district.

Schmett, the only Republican who has filed for the June primary, said he’s uniquely qualified for the congressional seat. Two Democrats are seeking the nomination, incumbent Rep. Leonard Boswell and former state legislator Ed Fallon.

"Everybody wants to talk about change this year," Schmett said. "Simply throwing the word change around is not enough. I’m certain my opponents on the other side talk a lot about change."

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