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Herding school set for Dairy Center April 24

CALMAR, Iowa — The Midwest Dairy Herding School will be 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. April 24 at the Dairy Center at Calmar

Herd dog handler and trainer Bob Vest will present the school. Vest travels the world putting on clinics and teaching people to work with their dogs herding livestock.

A panel of producers who use dogs in their livestock operations is planned and there also will be an outside herding demonstration with Vest and his three Australian shepherds. The workshop will provide information on how to work livestock with a dog, how to determine if a dog has the instinct or disposition, how to teach the dog to understand what you’re asking, motivating the dog to work, training livestock to respect the dog, and common problems in using herding dogs on cattle or sheep.

Cost of the workshop is $29. To register, call 1-800-728-2256, ext. 399.

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June PFI camp to focus on growing food

AMES, Iowa — Practical Farmers of Iowa will host "Your Backyard Grocery Store" summer camp in June.

A Youth Leadership Program for young people ages 14 to 18 will be held June 4-6. Cost is $130 with a $10 discount for those registered by May 1. Scholarships are available.

Summer Camp will be June 6-9. PFI is a family camp for people of all ages. Children 6 and under can attend camp free, but must be accompanied by an adult.

Cost is $130 with a $10 discount for those registered by May 1. Scholarships are available. For more information, call Cedar Johnson at (515) 232-5661.

Swiss Valley Farms donates $50,000 to NIDF

CALMAR, Iowa — Swiss Valley Farms gave $50,000 to the Northeast Iowa Community-Based Dairy Foundation at the group’s annual meeting last month month at the Dairy Center in Calmar.

The Davenport-based dairy farmer-owned cooperative offered the funds as a symbol of their commitment to future and current dairy farm families who use the Dairy Center’s educational programs, demonstrations and research activities. A check was presented by Swiss Valley Farms co-CEO Donald Boelens to the Dairy Foundation’s board president Jed Becker in front of nearly 100 dairy farmers and industry supporters during the business meeting portion of the day.

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FSQA training set for 4-H/FFA members

OSAGE, Iowa — 4-H and FFA members who plan to show swine, beef, dairy, goats, poultry and rabbits at the 2007 Mitchell County Fair must be FSQA certified, said Neil Wubben, Mitchell County Extension education director.    

Two training sessions are planned to help exhibitors achieve FSQA status. The training sessions will be 3:30 p.m. April 5 and April 18 in the meeting room at the Mitchell County Extension office 315 Main St., Osage.

This session is for 4-H’ers and FFA exhibitors who are 9 to 11 years of age as of Jan. 1. Those older then 11 years of age on Jan. 1 have the option to be certified by exam, which is available at any time by contacting the Extension office to set up a testing time.

Renewable energy grant deadline is May 18

DES MOINES — Grants and guaranteed loans are available to help rural businesses or agricultural producers looking to produce renewable energy or make energy-saving improvements to their facilities or farms.

Grant-only applications can be submitted at any time, but the 2007 deadline is May 18. Applications for guaranteed loans and a combination grant and guaranteed loan can be submitted at any time, but must be received by July 2 to be considered for 2007 funding.

Grants can be used to cover up to 25 percent of a project cost, and can be combined with the guaranteed loan program to lower the cost of a variety of energy projects.

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In 2006, 63 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Iowa received $14.2 million in guaranteed loans or grants from USDA Rural Development.

4-H lamb field day set near Manly April 14

MANLY, Iowa — Worth County 4-H will host a 4-H lamb field day April 14 on the Mike and Sue Urbatsch farm located 4 miles east and one-half mile north of Manly beginning at 10 a.m.

4-H’ers will learn about fitting and grooming lambs, sheep selection, nutrition and showmanship. Randy Grey of Ventura will lead the workshop. All north Iowa and southern Minnesota sheep producers are welcome to attend.

Call Dennis Johnson at (641) 324-1531 for more information.

IFB contributes $25,000 to Rural Solutions

WEST DES MOINES — The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation recently contributed $25,000 to Easter Seals Rural Solutions Program.

Easter Seals launched the Rural Solutions program in 1986 to address the needs of farm family members with disabilities. Easter Seals has helped more than 1,400 farm family members with disabilities during its 20-year history.

These services make it possible for a family to continue their livelihood on the farm and remain active in their community.

Ryan Odens, Little Rock, is one farmer who knows too well the impact of disabling condition. Ryan was nearly killed in a rollover accident in his pickup truck, leaving him a quadriplegic. Less then a year after his accident, with his family, community, and Easter Seals support, Ryan was back farming.

Workshop on gourd planters scheduled

NEW HAMPTON, Iowa — To learn how to make gourd planters and take one home, join Chickasaw County Extension for a "Hanging Gourd" workshop April 9 at 6:30 p.m.

The workshop will be in the Chickasaw County Extension office. Participants will get a cured "apple gourd" wire hanger, and a certificate for plants and soil. Extension horticulturist Bob Hauer will talk about the basics of container gardens and help with construction.

The cost for this workshop is $10 and registration is required. Send a check to Chickasaw County Extension by the April 6 deadline.

4-H Lamb Weigh-Ins set at two locations

NORTHWOOD, Minn. — The Worth County 4-H Lamb Weigh-In will be held April 16 at two locations.

One weigh-in will be on the county fairgrounds and the other will be on the Mike Urbatsch farm located 4 miles east and one-half mile north of Manly.

Both weigh-ins will start at 5 p.m. and continue until 6:30 p.m.

All market and breeding lambs that will be exhibited at the Worth County Fair must be weighed.

For more information, call Dennis Johnson at (641) 324-1531.

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