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Limousin breeders help launch new program

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Seven Minnesota Limousin breeders have helped launch the voluntary Limousin Inventory Management System.

The seven state breeders are Cripple Creek Cattle Co., Dakota; Cripple Creek Limousin, Dakota; Leonard Wulf and Sons, Morris; Sleiter Limousin, Morris; Lanners Limousin Farm, Pierz; Potterosa Limousin Farm, Redwood Falls; and Ross Potter, Redwood Falls.

Beginning with calves born in 2006, active North American Limousin Foundation members have the option of conducting business using the Web-based LIMS.

Participants pay an annual per-cow fee that entitles them to record, register and transfer the cow’s calf for that year.

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MDA to distribute livestock assistance money

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture will distribute drought assistance to livestock owners impacted by drought. MDA will receive a $704,980 block grant from USDA to distribute to livestock producers.

"We will be working with Governor Pawlenty’s office and USDA to deliver this assistance to affected farmers,’’ said MDA commissioner Gene Hugoson. "We appreciate USDA’s quick response in reallocating existing funds to help address the drought impacts, and we are hopeful that Congress will take action soon to bolster USDA’s efforts.’’

While program details aren’t finalized, MDA will target the USDA block grant payments to livestock owners in the 33 counties included in the federal disaster declaration.

Counties eligible include Aitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Cass, Chisago, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Douglas, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Kanabec, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Polk, Pope, Red Lake, Roseau, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wadena.

Journal focuses on rural education situation

ST. PETER, Minn. — A new journal discussing the issues of kindergarten through 12th grade education in Greater Minnesota is the latest release from the Center for Rural Policy and Development in St. Peter.

"Educating Rural Minnesota’s Children," contains a collection of articles on such topics as the changing demographics of rural school districts, both in numbers and ethnic makeup; whether Minnesota’s efforts at funding education have benefited school districts; the importance of early childhood education; charter school and new school models; and more.

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Most of the articles are based on research by authors, but some are essays, like the article by Goodhue school graduate Kathryn Peters on the value of attending a small school.

"Educating Rural Minnesota’s Children" will also be the topic of the first Rural Minnesota’s Forum, set Nov. 15 in St. Paul.

The journal is a free publication of the Center. For more information on how to receive a copy or for more about the Forum, visit the center’s web site at www.ruralmn.org.

Free scrapie testing in rams being offered

ST. PAUL — Free ram genotype testing for scrapie susceptibility in rams is available on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted or until Dec. 31, whichever comes first.

Available funds will pay for sample collections, shipping costs and laboratory fees. If producers want additional testing done, they will have to pay for it themselves.

Blood samples will be collected by USDA or Minnesota Board of Animal Health field personnel.

Private veterinarians can collect the blood samples, but they must first contact the Board of Animal Health for necessary forms and for additional instructions.

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All animals undergoing testing must have official scrapie identification ear tags in place on the day of the appointment. Test results are for management purposes only.

To schedule an appointment, call (651) 201-6829.

Township Zoning Guide offered by LSP

MONTEVIDEO, Minn. — The 2006 edition of the Minnesota Township Zoning Guide is available from the Land Stewardship Project. The guide is designed for township supervisors and residents interested in understanding township zoning powers.

The guide will help townships begin the process of creating zoning ordinances that reflect their local values and land-use needs.

The publication was developed with the help of experts on township zoning.

Copies can be purchased for $8 by calling the Land Stewardship office at (612) 722-6377.

Soybean Council hosts foreign visitors

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and the U.S. Soybean Export Council have been busy hosting four international soy trade teams this month.

The teams that have visited Minnesota and other Midwest states met farmers and soybean exporters.

The Korean Soybean Meal Buyers team was in Minnesota Sept. 18 and the Japanese Tofu Trade team visited the state Sept. 24-25.

Top 10 picked for ‘Worst Road in Minnesota’

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. — More than 3,000 Minnesotans cast their votes for the Highway Construction Industry Council’s "Worst Road in Minnesota" contest at the VOTE YES State Fair booth, sponsored by Minnesotans for Better Roads and Transit.

The contest has now been narrowed to the top 10 finalists.

Finalists for the title of "Worst Road in Minnesota" include: U.S. Highway 14 (Rochester to New Ulm); Crosstown (35W and 62); Highway 169 (Garrison to Onamia); Highway 65 (Anoka County); Highway 23 (Marshall to St. Cloud); All of Interstate 494; Highway 53 (Virginia to International Falls); Highway 61 Bridge in Hastings; Highway 8 (Chisago); and Highway 7 (Metro Area).

Minnesota Gardening Calendar now available

ST. PAUL — The award-winning Minnesota Gardening Calendar 2007 is available.

The calendar is filled with timely tips for lawn, garden and houseplant care and a two-page special feature focuses on attracting birds to your garden.

Maps of average frost-free dates and USDA Plant Hardiness Zones for Minnesota are also included.

The calendar is available from county Extension offices. The cost is $12.99, with an additional $2.75 charge for first-class shipping.

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