Sauk Centre, MN 56378

One of the greatest pleasures of country living is the incomparable aroma of freshly-cut hay. Harvest of the first cutting is currently underway.

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Sunday, June 16, 2013 • Edition 6

Discussion makes farming work for Von Wahldes
Father-son partnership keeps next generation on the farm
By CAROL MOORMAN Staff writer Melrose – ­Jerome Von Wahlde and son, Mike, have had their fair share of ‘round bale discussions’ during their years of a father-son partnership at Von Wahlde Dairy. It’s those discussions that make family farming work on a farm Jerome and Elvera, his wife of almost 55 years, first homesteaded in 1960, and Mike and wife, Rachel, moved onto after they married in 2005. “I never left,” said a smiling, 31-year-old Mike the afternoon of Tuesday, June 4, when asked how long he’s lived on this farm northwest of Melrose; his parents, wife and oldest daughter, Madisyn, 5, sitting around the kitchen table with him. Mike and Rachel are also raising 3-yearold Greta and 8-month-old Luke on the farm, their children doing some of the same things Mike did growing up. In fact, Madisyn searches on the cell phone for a photo of her driving her pink 4-wheeler. “The other day I took her to see the new baby kittens,” said Mike, asking Madisyn to name the five adult cats on the farm and she does, “Mittens, Freckles, Midnight, Snickers and Flames.” Jerome and Elvera’s era Jerome, son of Henry and Colette Von Wahlde, grew up on their farm with siblings, Delores and Bob, less than a mile from Von Wahlde Dairy. Jerome married Elvera Beuning in 1958. Raised on a farm between St. Francis and St. Rosa, Elvera had farming in her blood. Jerome worked at Franklin in St. Cloud and for a short time they owned a café in Freeport before purchasing their 160-acre farm in 1960. Jerome smiles when talking about how they heeded the advice of his parents when purchasing this farm, at the time owned by Paul Mathias. His parents suggested they buy a farm that had an alley in the barn wide enough that they could drive a tractor through to make managing the manure easier. There were three buildings on the farm site at the time: a barn, granary and house. “We had two bedrooms for eight kids,” said Elvera, with Mike adding, “Now we have three kids and three or four bedrooms.” Jerome and Elver’s eight children and spouses include Dave (Cathy) of Sauk Centre, Judy (Jim) Pundsack of St. Rosa, Gail (Ken) Hommerding of Little Birch Lake, John (Sandy) of Birch Lake, Mary Beth (Kenny) Scherping of Freeport, Dan (Brenda) of Avon, Gary (Tammi) of Melrose, and Mike (Rachel) on the farm. They have 24 grandchildren and 11 greatgrandchildren. VON WAHLDES continued on page 4

ountry C cres A

Focusing on Today’s Rural Environment

Madisyn Von Wahlde enjoys playing with Freckles, one of the five farm cats. One recently had baby kittens. PHOTOS BY CAROL MOORMAN

Bringing them back
Koronis Manor Tractor Show plows open fields of memories and emotion for residents
By LIZ VOS Staff writer
Paynesville – On an overcast and breezy June morning, a flood of memories brought tears of mixed emotion for residents at Koronis Manor in Paynesville. The bittersweet feelings bubbled to the surface at the first annual Koronis Manor Tractor Show, organized by Eddie Gottwald of Paynesville. Many retired farmers are now residents at the nursing home. Farmers who plowed fields, tended their livestock and raised families along the countryside in Paynesville, Brooten, St. Martin and beyond, now live a very different life off the farm. Before they came to Koronis Manor, they built their legacy with blood, sweat and tears. Years after passing their farms along to family or to strangers, farming still runs deep through their veins and thoughts of years gone by are clear and cherished. But the years have brought on new challenges. As a volunteer during social hour at Koronis Manor, Eddie Gottwald started hearing of residents being challenged by their

KORONIS continued on page 6

Delbert Spanier proudly sits on his 1950 Farmall 350.


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Sauk Centre

Page 2 • Country Acres - June 16, 2013

Country Acres
Published by Star Publications Copyright 2013 Sales Staff Jeff Weyer 320-260-8505 Kayla Hunstiger 320-247-2728 Missy Traeger 320-291-9899 Tim Vos 320-845-2700 News Staff Bryan Zollman Editor 320-352-6577 Mark Klaphake Assistant Editor 320-352-6577 Herman Lensing Writer 320-256-3240 Carol Moorman Writer 320-256-3240 Randy Olson Writer 320-352-6577 Production Staff Pat Turner Ad Design Tara Pitschka Ad Design

Living the good life at Bakers' Acres
Lisa Baker leaves corporate America behind and reconnects with nature on her 15-acre sustainable farm
By BRYAN ZOLLMAN Staff writer Avon - After spending so many of her adult days in an office in the big city, Lisa Baker noticed something was missing in her life. Somewhere along the way she had become…disconnected. A product of Stearns County where she was a member of 4-H clubs and FFA, Baker was living the big city dream as a marketing consultant, yet she longed for the days of old. The land she once loved was calling her name, and eventually it called her back home. “We live lives surrounded by manmade things – from buildings, to systems to societies – easily disconnected from anything natural,” she said from her 15-acre sustainable farm located in Avon near St. Anna. Baker gave up her big city life and purchased 15 acres of farmland near where she grew up and came to know the rural life, where dairy and crop farm families blanketed the area in her grandparents’ generation. “I had vague ideas of returning to my childhood stomping grounds,” she said. “But it didn’t become a destination for me until I started looking for land around the metro area, looking for the purpose I was really earning an income for.” She realized if she wanted to have her own sustainable farm, she would need to be close to her parents, who share carpentry and agriculture

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Lisa Baker, owner of Bakers’ Acres, stands in “Field 1” at her produce farm outside of Avon.


Sue Sims Ad Design/Publication Layout Amanda Thooft Ad Design Janell Westerman Ad Design Nancy Middendorf Ad Design Proofreaders Andrea Borgerding Diane Schmiesing Story ideas send to: Deadlines: Country Acres will be published the third Sunday of every month and inserted to rural customers with the Mid-Minnesota Shopper. Deadline for news and advertising is the Friday before publication. Extra Copies available at the Albany Enterprise, Melrose Beacon and Sauk Centre Herald offices.

skills that would come in handy if her vision would be a reality. And then when her mother underwent a bout of health issues that led her to a diet of mostly organic products, the decision became even easier. Lisa Baker headed back to Bakers’ Acres. The 15 acres she bought is 10 miles from where she grew up, a field on which she has made gradual improvements since 2010. Bakers’ Acres has been a family slogan for generations. Where she grew up near Collegeville, there was a sign that read Bakers’ Acres at the front of their drive-

way. When her parents moved from their sevenacre lot to their current half-acre five miles away, the sign went with them. “I thought they had discarded it, but for Christmas in 2011 I opened up a big heavy gift from under the tree,” she said. “It was the sign!” The sign now sits at the end of the driveway leading to her farm. And her farm operation has created a path down to the metro area where she provides 25 customers and several restaurants with vegetables, fruit and herbs. Baker practices “Community Supported

Agriculture” (CSA), which is a distribution model for buying directly from your farmer that pays the farmer up front in the spring when operational costs are high. In return, members receive a box of farm-fresh produce each week or every other week throughout the growing season delivered to a pick-up location near their home. The CSA model is thought to have originated in Japan in the 1960s and 70s and is now used for a variety of things such as meat, art and even shared vehicles. Baker’s products shipped to members in Sartell, St. Cloud and

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the Twin Cities include: rhubarb, radishes, strawberries and arugula in the early season; broccoli, beans, cabbages mid-season; then peppers, toma-A h toes, basil, cilantro ande eggplant later on. Even-s tually potatoes, onions, squash and pumpkins come in the final boxes of the season. Succession plantings also allow Baker to provide lettuce, kale, spinach and other cold-hardy crops in September and October. “This year we are growing specialty Asian greens such as Tatsoi, Tokyo Bekana and Red Komatsuna to give our customers some fun variety to try,” she said. Baker said eating organic foods can help people feel better and live longer. “Choosing organic food is an opportunity to eliminate pesticides and herbicides from your diet. Organic growers are regulated, from the type of seeds we purchase – untreated and non-GMO – to the kinds and timings of fertilizer applications. The food grown is as natural as possible.” But Baker doesn’t point fingers at people who don’t eat healthy. She is more concerned with the social repercussions of where consumers choose to spend their food dollars. “If we continue to buy processed foods BAKER continued on page 3

June 16, 2013 - Country Acres • Page 3
BAKER continued from page 2____________________________________________________________ so in a rural community from corporations we are own food is a valued skill farms are profitable.” said the like mine.” encouraging an industri- and a noble undertaking.” Baker alized food system rather Baker winces when- standard is $10,000 to It’s a move she is than a sustainable one,” ever she hears of a small $15,000 in profit per acre. glad she made, leaving she said. “We are sending farmer selling their land She encourages people the corporate world for money out of our commu- to corporate farms and to know their farmer be- a chance to reconnect to nities to a bank account hopes that there is more cause if they know their her past in order to have a in a different state which support for smaller farms farmer, they will know better future. their food. “I wanted to change will probably never come in rural communities. back to our state, and we “If you want to grow Bakers’ Acres is still the trajectory I was on,” aren’t teaching our chil- food there is a market in its infancy, and Lisa she said. “I didn’t want dren that growing their for it,” she said. “Small has plans for improve- to still be in a cubicle anments. This year she will other 30 years and I knew be implementing a food there was a way I could safety plan to fulfill the contribute to making the Minnesota Department of world a better place.” Agriculture’s grant-fund- Abundance of wealth ing requirements. This is not a factor in Lisa will include installing Baker’s pursuit of happia bathroom, cooler and ness. washing/packing area “The good life,” she where produce can be said, “is a simple one.” cleaned, sanitized, stored Lisa Baker kneels among specialty lettuce, spinach and packaged according and arugula she grows on her 15-acre sustainable farm. to food safety standards. Baker sells the produce to individuals and restaurants in She will also be installing the Twin Cities and Central Minnesota. a hoop house so she can grow earlier in the season Field Work is a Tough Job. To Do It Right, You Need... and extend harvest later in the fall. PROPANE FOR: In the process she Home Heating Shop Use will continue to value her Crop Drying new life away from the big city and back home where her heart has been Transport deliveries Haylage, Silage, High Moisture Corn all along. She values ends available - both New and used propane & fuel! above means. fuel tanks & “It’s been the most underground Gasoline entertaining three years propane tanks Bio-Diesel of my life,” she said. for sale “Living wisely and agree22 Baggers Available: 8’, 9’ & 10’ Lubricants ably with the intention to make positive contribu*Roller Mills tions to my communities For Rent can happen anywhere, but I think it’s one of the After leaving her corporate job, Lisa Baker shifted all ~ Serving Central Minnesota ~ (320) 256-BAGS her energy to manage Bakers’ Acres. She, her parents, most rewarding accomextended family members, interns and volunteers help plishments if you can do or (320) 256-2247 Toll Free (877) 256-3680
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Page 4 • Country Acres - June 16, 2013
VON WAHLDES continued from front

races. but in reality she was “The Fuechtmann talking to Jerome’s sister. boys would come over Even after they marand play ball,” said El- ried, the New Munich At first, they had no vera. Ballroom was the hot running water, pumping Jerome and Elvera dancing spot. water from an outside enjoyed going to dances; “Remember, during pump. A big cistern in the this coming from a cou- the intermission we’d basement held rainwater ple who first met at the go into New Munich for used to wash clothes and New Munich Ballroom, hot beefs,” said Jerome. for taking baths. when the “girls would “They were really good “We put water in a stand by the bathrooms hot beefs.” wash boiler, carried it upand the guys stood be- They loved to snowstairs and heated it on the hind the booths and we mobile with friends, stove,” said Elvera. hoped they would ask us traveling to places like They talk about how to dance,” said Elvera. the Sheep Shed, near baths were not a daily ocThe Von Wahldes stand inside a building on their Melrose farm, next to cows waiting Eventually, Jerome Lake Sylvia, where currence like they are to- to be milked, just before 4:30 p.m. on June 6. Pictured are (from right) Jerome and asked her, Elvera kidday. Elvera Von Wahlde, their son Mike holding daughter Greta, his wife Rachel holding dingly saying, “I was the VON WAHLDES “Once a week, we’d son Luke and oldest daughter Madisyn standing in front of them. only one left standing,” continued on page 5 give the kids a bath,” said Elvera, asking Jerome if milk again at 2 o’clock Jerome would transport turns helping in the barn. he remembers their claw- in the afternoon. Thank- his and his parents’ milk “I’d feed the calves foot tub. fully, they only milked 10 to the creamery in Mel- before school,” said Those first years cows. rose, until milk trucks Mike. of married life, Je- Eventually, Jerome started coming to the They’d milk the rome would come home quit his job and they farms. cows, go into the house from Franklin around 2 farmed full-time, expand- Elvera still has for breakfast and then o’clock in the morning ing to a milking herd of some of those early milk head back to the barn to and Elvera would get up around 50. checks, when they were finish chores. to help with chores and At first, milk was paid $2.75 per hundred- Elvera and Jerome milking and they would stored in milk cans and weight, compared to now have fond memories of when milk checks aver- life on their farm. age around $21 per hun- “The kids would pick dred-weight. rocks like crazy, so when They built buildings they were done at night and added on to the barn, we could go to the Upsala often family projects. Café, where we’d meet “Grandma (Colette) Jerome’s sister and husand I troweled the barn band and their kids. We’d floor (cement) when we have supper for a dollar a added on,” Elvera recalls. plate,” said Elvera, add Their sons and sons- ing, “They still talk about in-law helped with build- that today.” ing projects, including At night, Elvera and building the car shed and Jerome would sit on the putting steel roofing on front steps watching their the barn. children and the neighbor Jerome and Elvera Von Wahlde feed calves every All of their children, children compete in sack morning on the family farm. Above, Jerome puts down Mike Von Wahlde places a milking unit on a cow in the including the girls, took races and three-legged hay for the calves to eat. parlor during evening milking on June 6.

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June 16, 2013 - Country Acres • Page 5
VON WAHLDES continued from page 4 they’d roast hot dogs and marshmallows. During the summer the Von Wahldes and the Kathy and Rich Hellermann family would spend a week at the Rosina Hellermann cabin, just a few miles from the farm. “We’d go to Rosina’s cabin and fish and play volleyball, and then go back to the farm for chores and go back to the cabin at night,” said Elvera. It was their week away from the farm, but not really. Jerome also took the boys pheasant hunting in their woods and duck hunting on Hartnette Lake nearby. Mike and Rachel’s era One by one the Von Wahlde children left home and started their own family. Born ten years after their second youngest child, Gary, it was a natural fit that some day Mike would help run the farm. “We were high school sweethearts,” Mike said, with a smile on his face, when asked how he met Rachel, who was raised in Freeport, the daughter of Mary and Jerry Mayers. A farm partnership was formed in 2001, which led to incorporaElvera tend to the calves each morning and Jerome helps with other odd jobs during the day, especially field work. Mike does most of the milking and mixing of feed, trading off with their three parttime employees. Elvera, who baked a fresh rhubarb cake on this day to share with their family, on a regular basis bakes homemade cookies for their employees and no doubt Mike and Jerome. “The other day Madisyn came looking for some cookies,” she said. Rachel, who is a nurse at CentraCare Health-Melrose, does the farm bookkeeping. Humor plays an important part in this partnership. Mike teases his dad about a fondness he has for the farm cats. “When he should be working, he’s playing with the cats,” said Mike, knowing that’s just fine. He pulls out his cell phone, flipping through photos, locating one that shows a recent predicament his dad got himself into. “He buried the big tractor,” said Mike, looking over at his dad, asking the question, “So, why did you drive through the water?” They worked together to get the tractor out, much like they do in all aspects of farming. Many discussions take place during the course of one day. “It might be ‘what should we do with this cow?’” said Jerome. “It’s about ‘what do you think, dad?’” said Mike, who figures he will draw on his dad’s farming experience as long as he can. “Discussion - that’s the biggest part of this whole thing,” said Jerome. At age 76, semiretired from farming, Jerome figures he’s got a few more years left in him to pitch in on the farm. Mike is thankful for that. “But, I don’t want to wear dad out,” he said. Chances are Elvera won’t let that happen. After all, they have more miles to put on dancing at ballrooms in Spring Hill and Little Falls, and with a still growing family there is always a birthday, anniversary, or this time of the year, a graduation to celebrate. Mike and Rachel treasure the memories they are making on the family farm, much like Jerome and Elvera did. “Like watching things you raise grow,” said Mike. That includes their young children. “It’s a good feeling raising our family on the farm I was raised on,” said Mike, Rachel nodding her head in agreement, adding, “And the freedom to let the kids run and explore.” Jerome and Elvera know just how they feel. No doubt, there will be plenty more ‘round bale discussions’ for this father-son duo.

Elvera Von Wahlde carries milk to the calves.

tion in 2008. In-between, Mike and Rachel married in 2005 and moved onto the farm, while Jerome and Elvera moved into a new home just down the road. Jerome and Mike said the farm operation is run more like a business today, unlike when Mike was raised on the farm. “You have to decide what kind of corn is best to put in and things like how to manage the manure,” said Jerome. “Everything has to be documented, like when you give a cow a shot for treatment or vaccination. Years ago, dad didn’t give cows shots,” said Mike. In 2010, they upgraded to a double 10 swing parlor system and cur-

rently milk around 148 head of both Holsteins and Red and White Holsteins; 20 cows go into the parlor at one time, with 10 being milked at a time. “A meter registers temperature of the animal and milk and how much milk is given per minute,” said Mike. Today, on average, one of their cows will produce 82 pounds of milk in one milking. Jerome, Elvera and Mike smile when remembering those first milkings, getting the cows used to walking into the parlor. “It took about a week for them to get used to it,” said Mike. Today, Jerome and

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Page 6 • Country Acres - June 16, 2013
KORONIS continued from front
physical inability to get to Pioneer Days in Albany to see the old tractors. “I decided I ought to bring the show to them,” Gottwald explained. He originally set a date for the show in May, but with an unusually late snowfall the date was postponed to June 1. Gottwald didn’t know how many tractors to expect for the show, but he has a few of his own, including his family’s 1949 John Deere M. “At the very least, I will be there with what I can show them,” he said a week before the event. Gottwald called a few people he knew with tractors and invited them to the show. “I let them know there would be no judging or trophies. The only rule was to leave space for wheelchair accessibility between the tractors,” he said. “This is our first year. I will be happy to get a handful of tractors out there for these folks to see,” he said, prior to the event. What he got was a parking lot filled with 13 tractors ranging from the 1930s to 2013. The tractors served as a key to unlock memories of yesteryear for all in attendance. Among the brigade of tractors was a 1950 Farmall 350. On top of the

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One day in conversa- is important for these tion, he found out the trac- folks. I am glad we could tor belonged to someone bring the show to them.” near Greenwald. “It took Gottwald wanted to me a few tries to get him to give the residents a change let it go, but his wife told of pace and some enterhim, ‘just sell it already!’ tainment when he orgaand now I have it back,” nized this special day. It is apparent that he accomKulzer said, smiling. Getting the little Ford plished this goal and then back in the family cost some. Kulzer $1,050 but its The flood of memories worth in memories and and the exchange of stories sentiment goes far beyond brought vibrancy to what would have been just an a dollar amount. Central Minnesota ordinary day. A farmer got beams with pride in ag- to get on his tractor again riculture and hard work. and feel the glory of sitting Kulzer and Gottwald were high atop his pride and joy. happy to be part of what is Silent smiles and bithoped to be a tradition at tersweet tears were proof that the emotion of a farm Koronis Manor. “People don’t always life is a powerful one, long Virgil Kulzer brought his 1938 Farmall F20 to show residents at Koronis Manor. realize what an impact ag- after the tractors leave the tractor sat its proud owner, ing at the lineup of ma- to notice Gottwald bring- riculture has on a commu- field. Delbert Spanier. A resident chinery. Remer, too, was ing a tractor to the nursing nity,” Gottwald said. “This of Koronis Manor, Spanier overcome by the emotion home on June 1. “I waived once farmed 240 acres just of memories brought on by him down to see what he west of St. Martin. He and seeing the tractors. He had was up to,” Kulzer said. his wife raised six children farmed near Brooten for “He told me what he on the farm, which is now more years than he could was doing for these folks, run by their eldest son. recall. so I ran home to bring “This sure brings back “This is quite a sight, more,” he explained. a lot,” said Spanier I tell ya,” Remer said, with Kulzer brought back After having help get- tears in his eyes. his 1938 Farmall F20 and ting down from his tractor, “If I were still farm- 1952 Ford 8N, along with Spanier took a seat nearby. ing,” Remer said as he great tractor stories to He wiped his eyes, sad- pointed across the lot to share with the residents. dened that his time in the a 2013 John Deere 4020 “That was my dad’s driver’s seat had passed. belonging to Midwest Ma- Ford,” said Kulzer. “It’s Too overcome by chinery, “that’s the one I back in the family after a emotion, he could only would have.” 32-year search.” smile and nod about hav- “That would be my After his father passed ing had good times and prize!” said Remer, with a away in 1957, the trachard times on the farm. grin. tor was auctioned off for “Those were the good Lost and found $380, Kulzer explained. old days,” he said, wiping One contributor to He spent years keeping an his eyes again. the show was Virgil Kul- eye out for the little trac Nearby, John Remer zer. Kulzer lives outside of tor, which represented a Delbert Spanier sits with his 1938 Farmall 350 sat in his wheelchair, gaz- Paynesville and happened connection to his dad.

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When you live and work at the same place, it affects everyone around you and instead of being a “job,” your work can become a way of life – for everyone. That can certainly be by Diane said for dairy Schmiesing farming. In honor of June Dairy Month, I’ll highlight a few of the ways living on a dairy farm affected the kids in my family while I was growing up. We always had access to at least one parent. Twice a day, seven days a week, if we needed mom, we knew where to find her – in the milking parlor. If we needed dad, he’d either be in the barn, out in the field or in the shop. I can only wonder how many times little bare feet beat a path to the barn. As we got older, that changed to riding bikes. There were actually a few casualties with our bikes for a while. If we left our bikes laying in front of the barn, one of our milk truck drivers would just drive over them. We learned quickly to put them off to the side, but every once in awhile we forgot. We didn’t get much sympathy and thankfully (probably for that reason)

A way of life

June 16, 2013 - Country Acres • Page 7
we never spent much on good bikes. Later on, we had access to three-wheelers – probably at too young of an age, but they were so much fun. You could become so dependent on them, sometimes you forgot you could actually walk. I laugh every time I think of one of my little sisters who did just that. Both of our showers in the house were being used one night and she had to use the bathroom – badly. She was told to go out and use the one in the barn. About fifteen minutes later she came back in the house rather frantic, dancing around and said, “I can’t get the threewheeler started!” The look on her face was priceless. The inspector was always a factor on the farm. We regularly had inspectors that came and checked to make sure everything was up to par on the dairy. You never knew exactly when he would be coming. Getting ready for the inspector on a dairy was kind of like with your house – you always try to keep it clean, but when you are expecting company, you put in a little more effort. We all helped and though it was extra work, I loved the extra sparkle on the stainless steel. It’s a good thing to regularly have company. Veterinarians didn’t come out to our farm all that often, but they were all unique and distinct in their ways. Most of the time it was an interesting situation for kids, like watching them help with a difficult calving. I’m not sure if they all liked having an audience, but

Life on our farm involved three-wheelers. Once you learned how to drive one, it just didn’t seem right to walk anymore. (Hint: this younger sister of mine, at about the age in the photo, is the subject of the bathroom story...)

they usually had one. One of my favorite vets was “old Doc Brown.” I loved it when he showed up. I was intrigued that he came from a ranch out west and knew how to rope cattle. As we got a little older, we learned to drive tractor. On our farm, there were large pole sheds with loose housing that by fall, after the harvest, would need to be cleaned out. Back then, a lot of the guys in my grade got out of school to go deer hunting while I stayed home to haul manure. I doubt that would still be an excused absence. It was one of my favorite jobs. Why? I loved being outside all day and I found it fascinating looking at the clouds while I drove. My brothers used to tease me about that. What’s wrong with having an appreciation for nature? Speaking of nature – dairy farmers are proud of the natu-

ral food they produce. We drank fresh milk right out of the tank, ate lots of ice cream and always had a large block

of American cheese on hand. To this day, I think I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve eaten margarine. Neither of my parents would have considered buying any. I have a friend whose argument for butter vs. margarine is simply, “read the ingredients.” It’s like that with most dairy substitutes. The ingredient lists can be quite interesting. My system no longer allows me to drink milk, but I do have a new dairy favorite – Greek yogurt. I could eat it every day... I salute the dairy industry today, in all the ways it affects our communities. I also salute the many farm families out there whose living not only allows them to produce a healthy food product for the masses, but also generations of children who are positively shaped by their way of life.

Here is a photo taken from our kitchen window of the yard. The farthest white building is the barn/parlor. The gray shed is one of those that we cleaned every spring and fall, and the indiscriminate object in the middle of the yard is a bike. Oops!

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Page 8 • Country Acres - June 16, 2013

Groundwater fees looming in legislature
Proposed bills would require farmers to pay to irrigate land
By RANDY OLSON Staff writer
to drill and once that’s done, farmers have to add pumping and irrigating equipment plus pay the associated government fees. “The permitting will slow things down for farmers. I know the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will use that as their mechanism to force a test hole to get preliminary data,” Peterson said. Starting this summer, farmers can use an online program to fill out an application. The DNR claims responses will be given within days granting permission to drill a well. The catch, according to Peterson, is that the DNR can use their discretion on whether a farmer is drilling in an area with water problems. Monitoring drills are then required, and beyond that, a seven-day pump test for the aquifer is also used to garner more data. “You know going into this, it will add $25,000 to $30,000 per irrigator well,” Peterson said. “We’re arguing that the costs to the environment and water supply of these added test wells will be harmful. I believe they’ll do more harm to the aquifer than an irrigator could do in a growing season.” The Irrigator Association’s suggestion is to allow farmers to gather data on existing irrigators. “Farmers already monitor the water use closely. It’s a big expense for them,” Peterson said. “I know a farmer near Mahnomen who drilled six irrigation wells. They required a 30-day pump test on two of them, and the bid to do that was $95,000. It’s totally ridiculous.” According to the DNR website for 2011 Water Use in Minnesota, agriculture irrigation accounted for less than six

Clear Lake – Because of the severe 2012 drought that gripped nearly every corner of cropland across the U.S., Alan Peterson believes farmers who irrigate in Minnesota have a very large target on their backs. “Environmental groups and some legislators keep pointing their finger at irrigation saying we’re pumping the state dry,” said Peterson, current president of the Irrigators Association of Minnesota and a Clear Lake-area farmer. “They claim that when lake levels drop, it must be farmers’ irrigators causing the problem,” Peterson said. What has Peterson and other farmers up in arms are bills introduced in the 2013 Minnesota legislative session that would have brought huge increases to annual groundwater fees farmers pay for the right to irrigate their cropland. House File 3502 and Senate File 3138, both with similar language, had proposed increases of fees up to an $8 per one-million gallon fee for water use over 500 million gallons. “Language in the bills would have nearly quadrupled what farmers currently pay, and that’s just out of line,” Peterson said. “Farmers simply cannot ‘pass along’ these burdensome costs because future market prices won’t reflect the extra expenses.” What makes it worse for farmers is that the proposed fee increases were to support a new program to study the environmental effects on non-stressed systems, even though lawmakers failed to describe or give detail on what such a system is or why it needed further study, according to Peterson.

A Valley irrigator pivot stands alongside County Road 18 near Padua. The irrigator also has a well pump and a control panel, the panel regulates water output and tracking speed. PHOTOS BY RANDY OLSON

HF 3502 was authored by Rep. Jean Wagenius (DFL-Minneapolis) and coauthored by Rep. Mary Murphy (DFLHermantown). SF 3138 was co-authored by Sen. Sandy Rummel (DFL-White Bear Lake), Sen. Ellen Anderson (DFLSt. Paul) and Sen. Satveer Chaudhary (DFL-Fridley).

Peterson was pleased to report that the bills died in conference committee in the final three days of the session, but troublesome permitting language was left in the agriculture omnibus bill. “A permit is now required before an irrigation well is drilled,” Peterson said. Just the well can cost about $25,000

IRRIGATION continued on page 9

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June 16, 2013 - Country Acres • Page 9
IRRIGATION continued from page 8___________________________________________________________________________________________________ electricity, drop nozzles that spray water closer to the crop to minimize evaporation as well as Variable-Rate Irrigation (VRI) that changes the amount of water applied over different parts of the field. “We want to be good stewards of the land and water resources, as well as keep production costs down,” he added. Variable-Rate Irrigation Mike Bushard, owner and manager of Modern Farm Equipment in Sauk Centre, echoed what Peterson said about agriculture practices. “Farmers know the resources they work with are limited, whether it’s soil, water or fuel. Everything a farmer does has a dollar sign attached to it, so they’re the first to step up and try something that helps the environment around them,” Bushard said. Modern Farm Equipment sells ReA Reinke VRI electronic board has inke Precision Management (RPM) touch-screen technology and a USB port technology with VRI that can dramatithat allows a farmer to upload data that cally lower the water usage of an irrigacan adjust the water output based on soil tor based on unique changes within each Software that operates VRI technology can dissect an irrigated field into multiple conditions across a field. field. zones that can all receive different amounts of water. percent of total water used compared to “An entire field can be mapped via 23.5 percent for public supply and in- satellite imagery or with electromagnetic Recycle Today for a Better Tomorrow! dustrial processing. survey to determine soil texture and how We are here for Corn, soybeans, alfalfa, sweet corn, it varies as the pivot makes its circle,” Stop in and say “Hi” FARM, HOMES, dy! potatoes, green beans, kidney beans and Bushard said. to Gary & Jor BUSINESSES seed corn are some of the many crops The raw data is processed to detergrown under irrigation in Minnesota. mine desired water rates, or pivot preWe take Many processing companies seek out ir- scription, which is programmed into the comp uter compo rigated acres to produce their crops, such irrigator via an electronic board with a nents Competitive Pricing as what happens with Lakeside Foods in Touch Screen panel. Call for Price Quote! Brooten. Irrigation technologies can utilize “The revenue generated from irri- both Sector (speed) and Zone VRI, with • Great for remodeling jobs We w l p gated production is vital to the health of the latter utilized by Reinke being able • Excellent for demolition jobs & shingles deliver toila Will dro up k ic location ny • Perfect for all types of scrap iron many rural areas of Minnesota,” Peter- to cut the 180 sectors of Sector VRI into off & p • Will drop off and pick up son added. much smaller, precisely-managed zones. Modern irrigation techniques have “Practically speaking, VRI technolBuyers of All Scrap Metal • Aluminum Cans • Copper • Yellow Brass • Red Brass been around since the 1950s, and ogy can save 30 to 40 percent of a farm• Stainless • Batteries • We Also Buy Autos • Prepared & Unprepared Metals through the years, farmers have continu- er’s water use. That can bring significant ously made strides in conserving water, savings to the farmer while conserving at according to Peterson. the same time,” Bushard said. Gary & Jordy Opatz, Owners He listed a few techniques, including Across central Minnesota, farmers 120 Washington West • P.O. box 151 • Holdingford, MN 56340 low-pressure irrigation systems requir- who irrigate utilize Lindsay, Valley and Phone: 320-746-2819 • Toll Free: 800-510-2819 • Fax: 320-746-3143 • email: ing lower-horsepower pumps to save Reinke irrigation equipment.



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Page 10 • Country Acres - June 16, 2013

Breakfast on the farm
By SONYA HOFFARTH AND MARK KLAPHAKE Staff writers smaller percentage of dairy farmers who are willing to host it. We knew we needed to step up,” Lisa said. From that point on, the Groetsches have been preparing their farm for hosting the event, which last year drew over 2,000 people. “We knew there were a lot of things we needed to get done and we just put it in the back of our minds,” Steve said. “[Hosting] is something big to consider, but our committee is so good to work with. The biggest thing to check is to make sure your building site is big enough,” Lisa said. The Groetsches worked with the Stearns County Breakfast on the Farm committee on promotion of the event, yard setup and organizing tours of the farm, food preparation, children’s activities, a petting zoo and countless volunteers. There were also many special guests who attended the breakfast, including Princess Kay of the Milky Way Christine Reitsma and two Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders. The hard work and countless hours all came to fruition on June 1, when a BREAKFAST continued on page 11

Albany–One of Groetsch Dairy’s goals is to help consumers learn more about dairy farming. Owners Steve and Lisa Groetsch gave over 2,500 people that opportunity on June 1, when they hosted the sixth annual Stearns County Breakfast on the Farm on their dairy near Albany. Each year the public is invited to a dairy farm in Stearns County to learn more about farming and the journey of the milk from the cow to the grocery story. There are also plenty of activities for children, along with a breakfast of pancakes, French toast, sausage, eggs, milk, juice and coffee. Over a year ago, the Groetsch family, which includes Steve and Lisa’s three children–Jennifer, Matthew and Katelyn–agreed to host this year’s event. They were able to attend last year’s breakfast to get a better understanding of what they could expect at their farm. “There are a small percentage of dairy farmers who can host and an even

Lisa and Steve Groetsch hosted more than 2,500 visitors at the 6th Annual Stearns County Breakfast On The Farm event held this year at their 240-cow dairy farm north of Albany. PHOTO BY MARK KLAPHAKE

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June 16, 2013 - Country Acres • Page 11
BREAKFAST continued from page 10__________________________________________________________________________________________________ comfortable Saturday morning brought people in droves to the Groetsches’ dairy. Among the attendees was the John and Leah Kumpula family, along with their four children, Zephera (5), Finland (almost 3), Azalee (2) and Jericho (6 months), who traveled to the event from St. Cloud to get time away from the city. “It’s always marked on our calendar. We’re regular attendees. It’s something we look forward to every spring,” John Kumpula said. This was the fourth year the Kumpulas have attended the breakfast. They like to go to the event for both fun and education. “The kids get to know the relationship between the cows and the milk. We make it into a field trip. They can learn a few things,” Kumpula said. Both of the Kumpulas, who have no farm background, said it was also a learning opportunity for them. “I didn’t know the amount of technology farms use, how the food is grown for the animals or how manure is used as natural fertilizer. It’s interesting to see the efficiency of these farms,” Kumpula said. The tour of the Groetsches’ dairy and calf barns showcased some of the latest technology in farming. Two milking robots are at work day and night. Another robot dubbed “Juno” passes up and down the feeding aisle of the dairy barn, nudging the feed back within reach of the cows’ noses. Sensors raise and lower curtains on the barn’s outer walls, letting cool air in or keeping hot air out. Sprinklers overhead mist the backs of the animals if the barn gets too warm. Scrapers keep the cows’ standing room clean and sand piled feet deep beds the stalls. These cows even have access to state-of-theart back scratchers. This year, Kumpula was especially intrigued by the four robots that milk the 240 cows on the Groetsches’ farm. “The cows can be milked when they want to be. That’s an interesting concept,” he said. Another visitor who was equally overwhelmed with the farm technology was Shane Cuperus, who attended with his wife, Sara, and their children, Claire (3) and Cora (3 months). BREAKFAST continued on page 12

Cozying up with a few German Shepherd puppies, Will Frantesl of St. Cloud loved the petting zoo at Breakfast on the Farm. PHOTO BY SONYA HOFFARTH


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Page 12 • Country Acres - June 16, 2013

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“I would recommend it to anyone to see the technology changes. It’s also a great place to see how animals are raised and where milk comes from,” said Cuperus, who now lives in Sartell, but grew up having neighbors who were dairy farmers. “I was amazed by the technology and how it has changed in 20 years. You’re not kneeling down anymore. Where was this technology 20 years ago? The robots blew my mind,” he said. Although Cuperus has no ties to farming anymore, he understands how important it is for his children to be familiar with the farm.

“We wanted our 3-year-old to experience the farm. We didn’t have a clue what we would see. We went with an open mind. It definitely was worth it to go,” said Cuperus, who was a first-time Breakfast on the Farm attendee. A main reason the Groetsches wanted to host the breakfast on the farm was for the educational aspect of it. “We’re hoping to send the message that farmers are important,” said Jennifer Groetsch, who will graduate from University of Wisconsin River Falls next year. BREAKFAST continued on page 13

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June 16, 2013 - Country Acres • Page 13
BREAKFAST continued from page 12________________________________ “The more you can expose people to what we do and where their food comes from the better … it just doesn’t show up in Cash Wise (grocery store),” Lisa said. This year over 2,300 people enjoyed breakfast and over 2,500 attended the event. “You know they want to understand or they wouldn’t be here,” Lisa said. “The magnitude of people surprised us.” The Groetsches fully enjoyed the day and their main role of acting as host and hostess. “The committee was really good about letting us just be hosts. They took care of all the little things that came up and let us walk through the tents and talk to people,” Lisa said. Steve agreed. “It makes me feel good that we were able to do this,” he said. “It was overwhelming and a blur. I hope everyone enjoyed the day.” Lisa spent much of the day visiting with attendees, giving hugs to friends and marveling at everything the day entailed. “You just feel accomplished,” Lisa said about the day. “You work on this for a year. It was worth every minute of it.”




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John and Leah Kumpula, of St. Cloud, Minn. brought their four children (from left) Azalee, Jericho, Finland and Zephera, to the sixth annual Stearns County Breakfast on the Farm at Groetsch Dairy near Albany, Minn. This is the fourth year the Kumpula family has attended the breakfast. PHOTO BY MARK KLAPHAKE

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Page 14 • Country Acres - June 16, 2013

Come to this area for baseball
how many amateur teams were based out of the Melrose Area Public School District and the Paynesville Public School District. The answer was nine. What is interesting is that almost all those teams and parks are found in the small towns and villages in the area. It is the local farmers and rural residents who make up the bulk of the teams. As one person put it, “where else can you find a ball diamond where about ten percent of the town population is sitting in a dugout on a Sunday afternoon?” To me, those diamonds are some of the best places to spend a few hours every week. They may also be one of the least promoted of the rural area’s many attractions. Listening to the call-in radio shows, one can be sure to hear the complaints that baseball games are too expensive to go to, and more frequently, cost too much for what one gets. Some of those arguments are valid. With a can of beer at $10, snacks between $2 and $7.50 (depending on location, size and type) and a hot dog and pop costing between $8 and $10, taking the family to a Major League baseball game can be pricey. In this area, however, the fans are lucky. Baseball on the amateur level is just that, baseball. There are seldom the “entertainment” interruptions that have proliferated among some minor league and collegiate summer circuits. The fans coming to the games are there to see baseball being played. For the most part, it is usually a good brand of baseball, and just as important to the game, it carries a sense of tradition. When a double play is being turned, at least one or two fans will be ready to tell you that the turn was almost–almost mind you–as good as the one turned by a different combination 20 years ago. Those fans, of course, will be reminded

While the Major Leagues are associated with large urban communities, throughout central Minnesota, it is rural areas that provide the bulk of support for amateur baseball. This area is particularly blessed with baseball fans. by Herman The attractions of Major League, minor Lensing league and collegiate summer baseball are in easy driving distance, but just as important are the good high school programs, legion teams and even youth leagues that are well established in the area. What really makes the local baseball stand out, however, is the amateur leagues. Most of them are good teams and many play in some very good and well-kept ballparks. There are a number of them. A recent trivia question asked

that it was not as good as a double playt turned by the team 40 years ago. ThisS will, of course, bring up the debate ofw whether or not any of today’s playerse would have made the team years ago. Families and memories are as muchp a part of the local games as are the pitch-a ers, batters and umpires. e More than one team has a player who can boast of being a third, or byt now fourth, generation player with thet team. Most teams have at least one set of brothers playing for it. Batteries ofh brothers and shortstop/second base com- binations of cousins are not unheard of.a Almost every team can find one time in its history when they had at least threeo brothers starting. p Sometimes, however, those ties cano be a mixed blessing. i Some years ago, a talented high school student was berating his home-


BASEBALL continued on page 15

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June 16, 2013 - Country Acres • Page 15
BASEBALL continued from page 14__________________________________________________________________________________________________
town teammates for not getting any hits. Since he wasn’t in the starting lineup he watched as the opponents’ veteran pitcher routinely struck out his teammates. “He’s got nothing, nothing,” the player said as his team could not muster a decent offensive attack against the veteran. Late in the game he was placed into the line, went to the plate, and came back to the dugout after three straight pitches. Only his brother said anything to him. “Hard to hit ‘nothing.’ Isn’t it?” asked the older brother. In a number of games each year, one of the first people to congratulate a player on good hits is someone from the opposition–often a cousin or in-law playing in infield. I once saw a game where a pitcher, throwing a no-hitter, faced his brother four times in the game (including the final out). The amateur games can be more fun to watch than the Major League Baseball brand. It is generally quicker paced. Major League Baseball seems obsessed with increasing offensive production (home runs) and revenues. The former has resulted in some small parks and a sense that nobody cares for the small ball game; the latter in mandated time periods between innings. On the amateur level, the pace of the game picked up a bit when teams returned to wood bats. While safety was the primary reason, another was that there were too many home runs and fans were getting tired of the “home run game.” It was a good choice to return to the wood bats as they brought back the need for players to be a bit more rounded as athletes. The mandated breaks between innings on the Major League level comes primarily because TV, radio and baseball wants to sell commercial airtime. Locally, players are encouraged to hustle in and out between innings. The amateur games are rarely televised, which has the attraction of not having to fit the play of the game around commercials. This tends to result in faster games so that players and officials are able to get home for jobs, farm chores or family obligations. Most games are concluded in less than three hours, leaving a bit of time for before- and after-game chat and replay of the game. With admission at about $3 per

adult, and often less for minors, games are affordable. Concessions also come in a lot cheaper. It is rare that a hot dog and pop combination is $4. There are a lot of things to do in the summer in the local area, but those who want to find baseball games, whether elementary, teenage or adult levels, really don’t have to look far to find that entertainment. Generally, the distinction between a professional and amateur is the professional is paid and the amateur is not. The root of the word amateur is the Latin word, amare, meaning to love. The players in the local game are playing because they love to play the game, and play it in their home areas. That makes the games just a bit better.

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University of Minnesota Extension calendar
June 17 Stearns County Extension Committee Meeting 9:00 a.m. Midtown Office Complex, Room 108, St. Cloud June 17 Stearns Advisory Council Meeting 7:30 p.m. Holy Family School, Albany June 25 4-H Favorite Foods Show & Demonstration Day 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Holy Family School, Albany July 15 Stearns Advisory Board Meeting (tentative)

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July 20 Todd County Breakfast on the Farm Starts at 7 a.m. and ends at 11 a.m. at June 26 Twin Eagle Dairy in 4-H Day Camp Clarissa. Cost is $1 per “Around the World” person. Menu includes 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Holdingford Elementary, pancakes, sausage, milk and coffee. Activities Holdingford include farm tours, petting zoo, children's June 27 games, machinery hill 4-H Day Camp and educational booths. “Around the World” There will be no parking 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the farm, but buses Val Smith Park, Sartell will be running from the Clarissa Ballroom to the July 2 farm, so watch for signs. 4-H Day Camp For more information, “Around the World” contact the Todd County 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Extension Office at 320Frogtown Park, Cold 732-4435. Spring July 3 4-H Day Camp “Around the World” 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Paynesville Elementary, Paynesville July 10 Dairy Advisory Committee Meeting 10:00 a.m. Charlie’s Café, Freeport July 11 4-H Fashion Revue 4:30 p.m. Melrose City Center July 20 & 21 Stearns & Benton County 4-H Dog Show Benton County Fairgrounds July 23 & 24 4-H Arts-In Rehearsal 4-H Building, Sauk Centre Fairgrounds July 31-Aug. 4 Stearns County 4-H Fair Sauk Centre Fairgrounds

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June 16, 2013 - Country Acres • Page 17

Deer proofing your garden
Alexandria - This cold, damp weather has encouraged many garden wildlife pests to be active in and around our area. At our flower farm, we face an unending battle with ravenous deer. Deer love to make a feast of the new tasty plant buds just emerging from the soil or from the tips of perennial branches. Great treat for the deer, not so great for by Robin Trott your treasured U of M Extension ornamentals and vegetables. Our dog, Jasmine, has been our deer deterrent for the past year, and she has been very effective. However, if you live in town, or have nearby neighbors, they might not appreciate the frequent night-time clamor of a dog chasing deer off the property. Fortunately there are other, less noisy solutions. • Keep deer favorite plants close to the house: That way, you can keep tabs on the plant's progress at all times, making sure it doesn't become a meal. As a general rule, deer love to dine on anything that's smooth, tender, and flavorful, including chrysanthemum, clematis, roses, azalea bushes, and various berries.

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• Plant pungent flowers and herbs as a natural barrier: Deer rely heavily on their sense of smell for feeding, so adding patches of strongly scented plants can mask the appealing aroma of nearby annuals. • Select plants with thorny, hairy, or prickly foliage: Try incorporating fuzzy lamb's ear, barberries, and cleome near the plants you want to protect—and where deer might find entrance into your garden in the first place.

• Make deer-resistant substitutions: trade tulips for daffodils, select roses that are particularly thorny. If you're looking for flowers that'll add a certain color or provide a certain function in your outdoor space, consult “The Best Plants for 30 Tough Sites” horticulture/DG8464.html • Don't underestimate the power of scare tactics: deer fear new, unfamiliar objects. Scarecrows, sundials, and whirligigs make deer skittish. (Until they get used to them.) Move your ornaments around the garden, or switch them, to keep the deer cautious. • Rotate repellents throughout the growing season: Two basic types of deer repellents are available. Contact repellents are applied to the plants, causing them to taste bad. Area repellents are placed in the problem area and repel due to their foul odor. Reapply repellents after rainfall, and use a different formula from time to time to protect plants and prevent deer adaptation. Follow label instructions for appropriate application. Hungry deer are motivated deer, and your garden is full of “deer-candy” so no method is completely deer proof. However, using a few of these strategies will minimize the damage deer cause in your garden. Good luck with those pests! Until next time, happy gardening!

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Page 18 • Country Acres - June 16, 2013

Prevented planting, late planting and crop insurance provisions
Kent Olson, professor of applied economics with U of M Extension, offered some discussion recently about looking at crop insurance prevented planting provisions. It’s always important to have a thorough discussion with your crop insurance rep to make sure that you are on the same page. Federal Crop Insurance managers evaluate by Dan Martens whether farmers U of M Extension in a given area had a reasonable opportunity to plant the crop. Livestock producers are still focused on producing feed. Here are Kent’s comments: For most of Minnesota, the final planting date for corn is May 31 for having full crop insurance coverage, including Stearns, Benton and Morrison Counties. The final planting date for soybeans in Minnesota is June 10. The late planting period extends for 25 days after the crop's final planting date. Corn: If a farmer was unable to plant corn on or before May 31 (in most of Minnesota) because of an insurable cause of loss, the farmer may: • Plant corn during the 25-day late planting period with the production guarantee being reduced one percent per day for each day planting is delayed after the final planting date. Planting corn in Minnesota after June 10 is generally not recommended for grain production due to potential frost before harvest. • Plant corn after the late planting period, that is after June 25. The insurance guarantee will be 60%--the same as the insurance guarantee provided for prevented planting coverage. • Plant soybeans on the land intended for corn before June 25 with full insurance coverage for the soybeans (but no prevented planting payment for corn). • Not plant a crop and receive a prevented planting payment, subject to Federal Crop Insurance assessment of planting opportunities. • Plant a cover crop and receive a prevented planting payment. • After the late planting period ends, plant the acreage to another crop (second crop) and receive a reduced prevented planting payment for the corn. Ask about approved crop options. Soybeans: If a farmer is unable to plant soybeans on or before June 10 in Minnesota because of an insurable loss, farmers have a similar set of options. They may: • Plant soybeans during the 25-day late planting period with the production guarantee being reduced one percent per day for each day planting is delayed after the final planting date. • Plant soybeans after the late planting period, that is after July 5. The insurance guarantee will be 60%--the same as the insurance guarantee provided for prevented planting coverage. • Not plant a crop and receive a prevented planting payment. • Plant a cover crop and receive a

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prevented planting payment. • After the late planting period ends, plant the acreage to another crop (second crop) and receive a reduced prevented planting payment for the soybean. Again, the first step for farmers is to contact their crop insurance agent to review their policy and options before making a decision. Farmers and their advisers can use a worksheet developed by Iowa State and adapted for Minnesota to evaluate options when prevented from planting. Do a website search for “Minnesota Extension Agricultural Business Management News” to find this article with a link to the worksheet. It’s a partial budget worksheet to compare costs and income for different scenarios. USDA's Risk Management Agency's (RMA) information on final planting dates and other crop insurance information can be found at www.rma. RMA defines prevented planting as a failure to plant an insured crop with the proper equipment by the final planting date designated in the insurance policy's actuarial documents or during the late planting period, if applicable, due to an insured cause of loss that is general to the surrounding area and that prevents other producers from planting acreage with similar characteristics. More information can be found on RMA's Prevented Planting fact sheet at

mn_rso/2013/2013preventedplanting. pdf. I’ll add that U of M Extension has posted a variety of articles about late planting and prevented planting at the U of M Extension Website – including planting dates related to yield and crop maturities, crop insurance considerations, grain marketing issues, weed control issues, and decision making worksheets. This can be found by doing a website search for “Minnesota Extension Late Planting” or start at and look for “Late Planting” on the home page. In Stearns, Benton, and Morrison Counties, you’re welcome to call the County Extension Office for information that might be helpful to you. In Stearns county if a local call to St. Cloud 255-6169 or 1-800-450-6171, in Benton if a local call to Foley 9685077 or 1-800-964-4929, in Morrison if a local call to Little Falls 632-0161 or 1-866-401-1111. Work closely with agronomy and livestock nutrition people you do business with regarding crop and feed strategies. With rain delays consider giving extra time for livestock care and chores, maintenance, financial records, family time, rest, and other things that usually slide to the back burner. When the crunch is on, be deliberate about safety – not taking hazardous shortcuts. Be careful on roads with soft edges and other unique hazards when wet conditions prevail.


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Ailing pines
Alexandria - The phone in the which are more cold hardy than foliExtension office has been ringing off age, will often grow and fill in areas the hook with pine questions. Photos where brown foliage was removed. If you have ruled out and branches are accumulatseasonal needle drop and ing, and worried homeownwinter injury as the cause ers are standing in line to of your pine’s problems, ask “What’s wrong with my there are several fungal pine?” If you are concerned diseases, blights and inabout reddish brown needles sects that can also cause on your pine trees, consider evergreen damage. To the following. help diagnose your spe Evergreen needles do not stay green forever! Oldby Robin Trott cific tree problem, visit the er, inner needles turn brown U of M Extension University of Minnesota Extension “What’s Wrong and drop off after a few years. Depending on the type of tree with my Plant!” website. (www.exyou have, this can happen gradually all at once. White pines (needles tics/index.html)This interactive web 2-5” long in clusters of 5) are the page is designed to help gardeners in worst of the bunch. This tree typical- Minnesota diagnose problems in the ly bears 3 years’ worth of needles at yard and garden caused by insects, any given time. Third-year white pine diseases, and nonliving factors. This needles turn yellow throughout the tool will help you narrow down the tree. The tree will appear particularly possible causes of tree damage. Phounhealthy if the yellowed needles out- tographs are included to help you betnumber the green ones of the current ter identify your disease vector. season. Scotch pine usually retains its If you are still stumped, bring a needles for three years. Red pine ordi- sample (at least 6” of branch with neenarily drops its needles in the fourth dles attached), and pictures of your year. Thus, three or four years’ green damaged trees to the Extension office growth will outnumber yellowed nee- on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Wednesday dles, even at peak periods, and neither afternoons for further diagnosis. (This of these species will appear as un- service is available free of charge and healthy as the white pine periodically is offered for all sorts of plant diagnostics, and plant and insect identifidoes. Winter injury is another very cation.) common cause of browning pine For more information, call the needles. Winter sun, wind, and cold Extension Office at (320) 762-3890. temperatures can bleach and desic- Until next time, happy gardening! cate evergreen foliage. Foliar damage *** normally occurs on the south, south- “You can live for years next door to a west, and windward sides of the plant, big pine tree, honored to have so venbut in severe cases the whole plant erable a neighbor, even when it sheds may be affected. Yew, arborvitae, and needles all over your flowers or wakes hemlock are most susceptible, but you, dropping big cones onto your winter browning can affect all ever- deck at still of night.” greens. New transplants or plants with ~ Denise Levertov succulent, late season growth are particularly sensitive. If an evergreen has *** suffered winter injury, wait until mid- Robin Trott is a Horticulture Educator spring before pruning out injured foli- with University of Minnesota Extension. age. Brown foliage is most likely dead and will not green up, but the buds,

June 16, 2013 - Country Acres • Page 19

Extension Service phone lines have been ringing off the hook this spring with people concerned over their ailing pine trees. Some are losing their needles, like the one above, but many have needles that are turning brown, to the point where the entire tree looks dead. PHOTO BY DIANE SCHMIESING 

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Page 20 • Country Acres - June 16, 2013

Though it doesn’t seem like we will ever have to worry about the heat or sunshine again here in Minnesota, we are going to talk about a serious summer threat to your pet’s health – HEAT STROKE. Hyperthermia is the general term for any time the core body temperature is elevated. This can be from an internal cause such as a bacterial infection, in which case the temperature elevation is called a fever, or from an external heat source, in by Wendy which case we have Womack, DVM heat stroke. Dogs and cats cannot sweat through their skin like people do, except for a limited amount in their feet. To cool down they rely on panting. When they pant, saliva evaporates off their tongue cooling the blood in the tongue which then circulates back to the body. There are many pets that are at increased risk for heat stroke. The very old and the very young do not regulate their body temperature as well and may fail to move to cooler locations when needed. Overweight pets and pets with dark haircoats are also at increased risk. The brachycephalic, or “short-nosed”, breeds such as Pugs and Shih Tzus have many anatomic characteristics that prevent them from panting efficiently. They tend to have narrower windpipes, smaller nostrils, and extra tissue in the back of their throats that decrease the amount of air they can move. Other pets have

In case summer comes

conditions that prevent easy breathing unable to rise, and as the process like the toy breeds (Pomeranians/ progresses, they may become Yorkies) which are more likely to have unresponsive and have spontaneous tracheal collapse, and large breeds (Labs) bleeding seen in saliva, vomit, or as tiny which are more likely to have laryngeal bruises. Immediately move your pet to a paralysis. Talk to your vet about heat cooler location and start working to management if lower their your pet seems to “Never leave a pet in a car even for temperature with have any troubles 'a few minutes.' Even on a 70 degree COOL water. with breathing. day, the interior temperature of the car Soaked towels or Heat stroke is jumps 40 degrees or more in just 60 spray should be a life threatening minutes.” applied to the - Wendy Womack, DVM armpits, emergency. A dog groin, or cats’ normal and belly where body temperature there is little hair. is 100.5 – 102.5 degrees. In heat stroke Also apply cool water to the neck, ears, the body temperature is usually greater and feet. Allowing a fan to blow on the than 105 degrees. Pets will pant wet pet will increase the cooling effect. excessively, may drool heavily, and may You DO NOT want to use ice or cold have bright red gums. They may be water as this will cause the blood vessels

in the skin to contract trapping heat in the body and decreasing the amount of cooled blood returning to circulation. Stop cooling efforts when the body temperature reaches 103 degrees. Overcooling can cause additional problems. Take your dog to the vet after initial cooling as serious complications such as brain swelling, organ failure, and bleeding abnormalities can occur even after the body temperature is lowered. To prevent heat stroke, make sure all pets have access to shade, plenty of cool, clean water, and good ventilation. Only exercise your pet in the coolest parts of the day and be aware of any factors that put your pet at increased risk. Never leave a pet in a car even for “a few minutes.” Even on a 70 degree day, the interior temperature of the car jumps 40 degrees or more in just 60 minutes. A cracked window or windshield screen will not be adequate to counteract that kind of temperature spike. Go forth and enjoy the summer and keep your pet from “losing his cool.”

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Engineered to IBC Code ■ Superior Strength Storage ■ High Performance Horse Barn ■ Exceptional Durability ■ Flexible Designs Machine Shed


113 West James Street, Paynesville, MN 56362

1-320-243-7403 • 1-320-243-7149

Brittany Frank 320-293-7412

Donna Coulter 320-243-7403

Gary Rothstein 320-290-7818

Jolene Zachmann 320-262-4550

Authorized Dealer

“Honest, Reliable, Experienced”


June 16, 2013 - Country Acres • Page 21 


Though gardens are behind schedule this year due to the late spring, these fernleaf peonies (Paeonia tenuifolia) were in fine form this week in Irene Henry’s garden north of Sauk Centre. PHOTO BY DIANE SCHMIESING

Look What’s New at the
“Remember, if you’re going to be HAULIN you need to be CALLIN, Midsota Manufacturing in Avon!” Grapples
Standing By Our Service and Serving Central MN for Over 35 Years


Cold Spring Country Store!

Roto Tillers Brush Cutters
Garden Fun!

Bale Spears Round Bale Processors
404 County Road 50 • Avon, Minnesota 56310 • South Side of I-94

Great Gift Ideas!


877-356-2407 •
“A Quality Team Selling Quality Equipment”


300 Main Street, Cold Spring • 320-685-8651

Mon.-Fri. 8:00 am - 6:30 pm Sat. 8:00 am 3:00 pm • Sun. 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Page 22 • Country Acres - June 16, 2013

Get Ready for Hay Season
Big Bale Dump Racks Tandem Bale Racks
Heavy Duty!
• Big Square and Big Round Bales • Heavy Duty • Double acting hydraulic lift • 10’x24’ Bed • 8 Bolt Hubs • Heavy Duty • All Steel Construction • Guaranteed to Trail • 10’x24’ or 10’x30’ bed

Enjoy the natural nutrient powerhouse!

20 Ton Wagons!

June is Dairy Month!
551 Railroad Ave., Albany • Located across from the Kraft plant


Dump Trailers

8-20 ton sizes
• 8-10-12-15 & 20 ton wagons • Professional welding • Proven reliability • Extended reach availble for easy connection • Steering axle has brass bushings & end thrust bearings • Single or double axle • Double acting hydraulic dump • Priced competitively

6’x8’ or 6’x12’

Log on to our website at to see video footage of the land roller in action!

Country cres A
Now Publishing Mo Monthly onthly y
Dairy Star Star • Melrose Me M elrose lrose Beacon Be con Albany Enterprise • Sauk Centre Herald

Look for the NEXT issue on July 21st!

Harms Mfg., Inc.
14451 430TH ST. • BERTHA, MN 56437

If you are a business with a rural customer base and would like to advertise in future Country Acres contact Star Publications
Contact Missy or Kayla at the Sauk Centre Herald Contact Missy at the Melrose Beacon Contact Tim at the Albany Enterprise


320-352-6577 320-256-3240 320-845-2700

ADM-Benson Quinn
44705 Zellwood Road • Sauk Centre, MN
• Competitive local cash and futures bids for corn & soybeans. Call for wheat pricing. • Check our website for current bids and sign up to receive bids via email or text.


Trucking Available

Real Estate Estate Real

Livestock Purchase

Equipment Purchase

Robotic Milking System Real Estate

Facility Upgrade/Expansion

Agricultural FSA/RFA

Serving Freeport and the surrounding area since 1908.

Right Off I-94

Need a loan for equipment, land, livestock or peace of mind? Contact our Jennifer Klaphake, ag lending team.

Gary Schmitz, Freeport

Joe Fuechtmann, Melrose

Matt Dirkes, Melrose

Alvina Van Drehle, Greenwald

“Customer Service Is Our Priority.”

Locally Owned, Freeport State Bank Offers Loans for All Your Needs.

Freeport 320-836-2126 800-252-9856 Melrose 320-256-7208 800-337-0292

New Munich 320-837-5297 320-256-7342 Greenwald 320-987-2265 800-337-0292


June 16, 2013 - Country Acres • Page 23



CC Country Cookin'

Wild Rice Soup 2 Tbsp. butter 1/4 cup chopped onion 2 carrots, sliced 2 stalks celery, sliced 1/4 cup flour 2 cups chicken broth 2 cups cooked wild rice 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. Lawry’s salt 1/2 tsp. pepper Parsley and thyme to taste 1 cup half and half 3 Tbsp. slivered almonds, optional

Sauté onion, carrots and celery in butter. Blend in flour; gradually add broth. Cook, stirring constantly with whisk until mixture thickens slightly. Stir in rice and seasonings; simmer 5 minutes. Blend in cream. Variation: Add ½ cup chopped chicken or ham. (I usually double or quadruple this recipe...)

Chocolate Chipper Bars 3/4 cup butter, melted 2 cups oatmeal 1 cup brown sugar 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk 1 cup flour 1/2 cup peanut butter 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1 cup chocolate chips or M&Ms 1/2 tsp. salt Mix together butter, sugar, flour, soda, salt, and oatmeal. Reserve 1/4 cup for topping; use rest for crust in 9 x 13” pan. Combine sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter; pour over crust. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top; cover with remaining oatmeal mixture. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.

Company is Coming Raspberry Salad 8 oz. Cool Whip 10 – 12 oz. of fresh or frozen raspberries, unsweetened 8 oz. vanilla yogurt 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows 1 (3 oz.) box raspberry Jell-O Mix together the Cool Whip and yogurt in a large bowl. Stir in the dry Jell-O. Add the raspberries and marshmallows and fold in lightly. Chill prior to serving.







Recipes Submitted by Sara Dehmer

Parmesan Chicken 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 cup melted butter 1 cup crushed croutons 2 tsp. Dijon mustard 1/2 cup parmesan cheese 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce In shallow dish, combine butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and salt. In a plastic bag, combine the croutons and cheese. Dip each piece of chicken in butter, then shake in bag. Put in 9x13” pan. Drizzle with remaining butter and croutons. Cover with foil and bake at 350° for one hour. Shrimp Fettuccine 1/4 cup butter 1/2 tsp. garlic powder 1 pkg. frozen shrimp, thawed 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced 1/2 cup milk 1 - 2 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed 1/2 cup sour cream 1/8 tsp. salt 1 pkg. (8 oz.) fettuccine, cooked and drained 1/8 tsp. pepper Cook noodles according to package. In a large skillet or saucepan, sauté shrimp, mushrooms, broccoli and spices in butter for 3-5 minutes. Stir in cheese, milk, sour cream, noodles and broccoli. Cook on medium until heated through.

Your Recipe Here!!! Do you have a collection of great recipes that you'd like to share with our readers? We'll be featuring the favorite recipe ideas of one of our readers every month, so get out your recipe box and send us the best you've got! E-mail Mark: for consideration in the upcoming issues of Country Acres... Special Thanks to Sara Dehmer for this month's recipes - Enjoy!

Page 24 • Country Acres - June 16, 2013

Sales - Service - Bodyshop Sale

Trade-In Assistance Voucher


0% Financing and up to $6,500 Cash Back
2013 F250 Reg Cab XLT 4x4
$39,580 .......MSRP -$2,440 .......Dealer Discount -$1,000 .......Special Retail Cash -$2,500 .......Retail Cash -$1,000 .......FMC Cash -$500 .......Special Retail Cash 6.2 Gas, Blue Jean Metallic

Must present prior to purchase. Voucher not valid with any other offer.



2013 F350 Crew Cab 4x4
$61,865 .......MSRP -$4,474 .......Dealer Discount -$2,500 .......Retail Cash -$1,000 .......FMC Cash -$500 .......Special Retail Cash

Dually, Lariet, 6.7 Diesel, Long Box, Sterling Gray Metallic

2013 F250 Crew Cab XLT 4x4
$44,170 .......MSRP -$2,750 .......Dealer Discount -$1,000 .......Special Retail Cash -$2,500 .......Retail Cash -$1,000 .......FMC Cash -$500 .......Special Retail Cash 6.2 Gas, Sterling Gray Metallic

Yarmon Ford PRice


Yarmon Ford PRice
Stock #31471


Yarmon Ford PRice
Stock #31372


Stock #31351

Stock #3Z600

2013 F150 Supercrew XLT 4x4
5.0 V-8, 6.5’ Box, Off Road Pkg., Rearview Camera, $42,725 .......MSRP Chrome Pkg., Tuxedo Black -$3,282 .......Dealer Discount -$500 .......5.0 Retail Cash -$2,500 .......Retail Cash -$1,000 .......FMC Cash -$500 .......XLT Bonus Cash -$1,000 .......XLT Special Cash

2012 F350 Crew Cab 4x4
6.2 Gas, 8’ Box, XL Pwr. Group, 14K miles, Oxford White

2011 F350 Crew Cab 4x4
6.7 Diesel, 6.5’ Box, 40/20/40 Seats, One Owner, 41K Miles, Oxford White

Yarmon Ford PRice

2010 Expedition EL Eddie Bauer 4x4

Stock #31407

Sale Price


Stock #2039

Sale Price


Stock #31351

Stock #3Z500C

2010 F150 Supercrew King Ranch
5.4 V-8, Navigation, Loaded, One Owner, 47K Miles, White Platinum

2010 Dodge Ram Mega Cab ST
5.7 Hemi, 4x4, 22K Miles Bright White

5.4 V-8, 8 Passenger Seating, 71K Miles, Oxford White

Sale Price


Stock #2022B

Sale Price

Pot Hole Special
Four wheel alignment check $59.95. Offer good on all makes and models.

Stock #3P100A

Sale Price


Stock #31351

Stock #2051A

$19.95 Oil Change Special
Includes Lube, Oil & Filter with up to 5 quarts of oil. Also includes multi-point inspection, top off all fluids, and vacuum.
Conditions: Not valid with any other offer. Expires: 6/30/2013

Check Your A/C for $34.95
Present this coupon for A/C checkup.
Conditions: Not valid with any other offers. Does not include any brake work that may need to be done. Expires: 6/30/2013

Conditions: Not valid with any other offer. Adjustment of alignment extra. See service advisor for details. Expires: 6/30/2013

Sale hours: M-F 8am-5pm; Sat 8am-Noon; Sun CLOSED Service Hours: M-F 7:30am-5pm; Sat 8am-Noon; Sun CLOSED Anytime by Appointment
640 West Highway 23 • Paynesville, MN 56362 • 320-243-4235

Check out our full inventory of NEW W & USED at

Sale ends June 29, 2013