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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Raymond-Prinsburg News

Viewpoints
The New Girl in Town
By Laura Prosser Conventional farming has never been easy for anyone though, not many farmers would say conventional farming is boring. Then again Marv Boike of Maynard isn't a conventional farmer. "I guess I would say I'm an environmentalist," Boike said. Boike, his son and his sonin-law, run the organic farm in Maynard called Little Big Man Organic farms. With eight fields and an entire family to help farm, Boike turned his conventional farm into an organic farm in 1998. "For me it's about trying to have the smallest footprint on the environment that I can and still make a living," Boike said. As an organic farm they use no pesticides or fertilizers, they don't do seed treatment or commercial sprays. They rely on nature's way of sorting itself out. "Organic farming is about using only nature's way to replenish the soil," Boike said. Boike got involved in organic farming when he was in Aberdeen and attended a meeting. Northern Plains was starting a co-op and with Boike's interest the switch was a done deal. "I was a little bored with conventional farming, it wasn't that challenging," Boike said. "Believe me Organic Farming is a big challenge." For the first few years Boike had to figure out the many rules and regulations that come with owning an organic farm and navigate the trials of finding buyers. "We had to ship overseas, sometimes we got paid and other times we didn't," Boike said. Now he has buyers picking up and paying three times as much for the cargo. "Right now it's not complicated. Everything is right where I want it. We have big companies buying organic foods," Boike said, "because people are demanding it." According to Boike the reason he has no trouble getting rid of crops is because people are becoming more concerned about genetically modified products. "We don't know the long term effects of the chemicals. Maybe it is and maybe it isn't harmful but why risk it if you don't have to," Boike said. With the organic farm industry growing, Boike seemed to step in just as the pot was getting hot and profitable. "We don't have as many things we have to invest into farming and so we can farm with lower costs," Boike said. He spends no money on

MACCRAY Honor Roll students
The first quarter honor roll for MACCRAY Senior/Junior High was announced recently. All students who are on the ‘A’ and ‘B’ honor roll are congratulated for their efforts. Grade 7 Riley Cronen * Kendra Hammerschmidt Brett Harguth Samuel Hilbrands Kaylee Kleene * Carly Orwick Olivia Ruiter Brianna Schoolmeester Drue Schwitters * Sydney Schwitters * Ellie Thein Benjamin Ulferts Kirsten VanDerPol Madison Zurn Grade 9 Jennifer Aviles Deven Benson Kyle Bloomquist Brian Bratsch Braden Bristle Hailey Brynjulfson Tiffany Butler Heather Hinrichs Daniel Johnson April Klimek Shelby Klimek Cory Kruger Timothy Larson William Marcus Megan Mikkelson Emily Orwick Tyler Plowman Kennedy Raap Cole Rhode Courtney Schmidt Derick Sommers Kimberly Trulock Andrew VanDerPol Austin Villarreal Conner Wogan Nathan Wolf Lauren Wubben Grade 8 Madison Asche Drew Bratts Elizabeth Brynjulfson Benjamin Burner Hunter Burns Dylan Dirksen Thomas Duran Jackson Grussing Isaac Hauser Benjamin Henker Gina Hultgren Tenille Jacobson Noah Johnson Thomas Krueger Brady Madsen Austin Niemeyer Madisyn Niemeyer Nathan Plowman Christopher Preuss Tyler Rothmeier Andy Schoep Dalton Struxness Colton Swart Abigail Tello Colton Tuve Camryn Wogan Grade 7 Jade Bedel Alexis Blokzyl Dominick Dieken Dakota Fischer Braden Hoekstra Seth Melin Olivia Pankratz Elizabeth Preuss Maria Quilantan Alexandra Rud Levi Sparks Mercedes Wiler Courtney Wolf

A Honor Roll
*Denotes 4.0 GPA Grade 12 Jordan Boonstra Whitney Buchan Joseph Burner Andrew DuHoux Baillee Hauser Amber Harguth Ashley Jobgen Rylee Miller Karen Petersen Brooke Rambow Travis Sparks Brandon Wieberdink Cameron Zetah Dalen Zuidema Grade 11 Bailey Boike Kaylee Christenson Ransom Dykema Isaac Koenen Shyanne LeBeau Kimberly Lohse Jenna Mersbergen Haylee Sandry Aleah Schwitters Amy Speiser Nichole Speiser Grade 10 Ashley Dirksen Connor Hagemeyer Cheyton Homan Felizitas Kaiser Amber Listerud Taylor Post Emma Schafer Mallory VanKlompenburg Nathan Zuidema Grade 9 Chase Christenson Connor Cronen Jack Dykema Alicia Ervin Kourtney Hammerschmidt Brianna Harguth Alexandra Kirking Allison Kneisl Annie Sandry Lily Sombke Ethan Thein * Amber Wieberdink Emily Wrede Grade 8 Jordan Aker Renick Homan * Elise Hultgren Justine Jaenisch Meghan Listerud Heather Marcus Jennifer Marcus * Kenidee Miller Nicholas Pieper Jessaca Zuidema

B Honor Roll
Grade 12 Stefen Bedel Erica Bonnema Cody Boonstra Brandon Bratsch Colten Bristle, Rachel Davids Tyler Donner Shane Erickson, Andrew Gerdes Taylor Grussing Kelby Henkel Austin Hilbrands Kin Hang “Jester” Lau Luke Pieper Juan Ruiz Elliot Stalnaker Taylor Thissen Bryce Young Nicholas Zimmer Nathan Zurn Grade 11 Dylan Abraham Faith Ammermann Rachel Bloomquist Hailey Boonstra Tyler Boraas Jaden Bratts Molly Friese Andrew Gosseling Brooklyn Gould Kaylee Hammerschmidt Aaron Jaenisch Baylee Kruger Tylor Miller Charles Rothwell Benjamin Schoep Dean Schroeder Katrin Schurr Jennifer Sommers Evan Suter Kourtaney Waldroff Grade 10 Carter Asche Jasmine Bonnema Braxton Burns Jennifer Call Sean Cheatwood Nathan Eisenmenger Laura Hauser Nicole Kleene Nitsiree “Wam” Mahathanaphanij Lonnie Petersen Hillary Rethlake Dalton Ruiter, Joseph Schipnewski Ali Siverhus Austin Stager Maria Villegas-Rodriguez, Brittany Wernisch

herbicides or pesticides or fertilizers and still he makes the same as conventional farmers without the same input. "I couldn't support three families on a conventional farm with only 600 acres," Boike said. Instead he supports three families with an organic farm on 600 acres easily because of the demand and societies' consciousness of organic food. "When something is scarce we have been known to be able to get one heck of a price for selling it organic," Boike said. With less stress in the entire production of farming and more time to pamper his 600 acres, Boike knows his fields like the back of his hand. "I know where there is a big rock and I know where there's a low spot we are going to have to work," Boike said. "With 600 acres we aren't pushed or rushed," though he does have a lot to remember in order to make sure something is classified as organic. "Everything has to be labeled with year, field number, bin number and code number for our farm," Boike said. If he does have to spray, then the acres he sprays have to be sold in conventional farming markets and it takes any crop produced from those acres three years to be able to be classified as organic. Boike has to have separate bins, separate machinery and separate binary for any crop that isn't organic in order to keep the organic crop from being contaminated. Right now one of his eight fields is conventional farming

due to Canada thistle though this doesn't faze Boike, the Environmentalist Organic Farmer. "Seeing what I can do to make it grow better and trying different crops to see which will enrich the soil is the best part," Boike said. "It's just something I like to do." He is also quite proud of the amount of angleworms he has and the fact that the organic corn he produces is sold to an ethanol plant in Benson and turned into Prairie Organic Vodka. "Everything is second nature to me now. I know all the rules and all the ropes," Boike said. And because of that he has been a success as an organic farmer. "Without expanding it's kept my family farming together," Boike said, farming in a lot more pleasurable way with no cultivating, no weeding and more time to enjoy the field as a whole. "It's not for everybody," Boike admitted. But it fits him just fine.

Send us your letters to the editor at
RPNews@ frontier. com

The postal service has scheduled a public meeting on Tuesday, November 27th at 5 PM at the Community Center to discuss possible changes of service at the Raymond Post Office. I

would encourage everyone in the community to attend the meeting and voice your concerns with service levels and about possible changes to the window hours. This is a chance to be heard

and be a part of the decision that will be made by the postal service. Hope to see you there. Larry Macht

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