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Tri-County News
Kimball, Minnesota
January 29, 2009     Tri-County News
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January 29, 2009

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Pa e t6 Thursday, January 29, 2009 Communit r ~ .................................. : ...... TdzCounty News* Kimball, MN ........ z:~ ..........., ~-- ,!~ ..... DVM Ever wonder why our poor dogs are what we use to compare some- one's foul-smelling breath? Pretty much everyone agrees that puppy breath is pleasant, then at some undefined point, things go awry and having our dogs breathe in our faces is no longer welcome. The reason for this is the most common disease we see in our pets next to obesity, which is peri- odontal disease. Periodontal disease causes foul-smelling breath in pets by the same mechanism it does in humans: odor-causing bacteria set up shop around the base of teeth, and they proliferate along with mineral deposits to form the heavy calculus we see on our pets' teeth. This bacteria/mineral deposit irritates the gums causing gingivitis. Over time, they erode the gums back and deteriorate the periodontal ligament which holds the tooth solidly in its socket until the tooth becomes overly exposed and loose. During this time it cre- ates a bad odor because of the bac- teria itself and tissue deteriora- tion. Can you imagine smelling rotting tissue coming from your own mouth 24/7? February is National Dental Health month for pets, and there are several things we as pet own- ers can do both to prevent this sit- uation from happening, and cor- recting it if it already has. We can brush our pets' teeth - definitely not something for the faint-of- heart, but you can't argue with the results ... humans tend to brush twice daily and we don't have the severity of this condition that our pets have. If pet temperament or human ambition does not permit, there are disinfectant-impreg- nated chew toys that will kill some of the bacteria that are at the core of the problem. This same dis- infectant can be found in a pet drinking-water additive. Special diets with nuggets formulated to hold their:shape and scrape up the teeth as they are bitten are avail- able, and do a good job of keeping the plaque down. When periodon- tal disease is detected on your pet's physical exam, we may rec- ommend a dental cleaning, just as we get at the dentist, except our pets get the luxury of anesthesia. We will get the teeth as clean as possible and polish them. We can also apply a sealant-type prod- uct to slow the re-accumulation of plaque following the procedure. If infected or loose teeth are found, they can be extracted so the infec- tion can resolve and a potential source of pain will be alleviated. If your dog's breath lives up to its name, consider the description of what is causing it, and think about scheduling a dental exam for your pet so we can treat this condition before it progresses to the point of painful and infected teeth. E-mail your animal questions to . 6ene Hugoson Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture Major policy issues The start of the 2009 state legis- lative session is a good time to look ahead at the major policy issues facing the agricultural commu- nity in the coming months. Nor- mally our focus is on topics relating directly to the Minnesota Depart- ment of Agriculture (MDA), but it is interesting to note that a good number of the important policy issues for 2009 are most closely associated with other agencies. As most people know, the state is facing a massive budget deficit that will be the primary focus for much of the 2009 legislative ses- sion. Like all state agencies, MDA will need to contribute to the solu- tion. However, the biggest battles will likely be fought over other, larger portions of the state's bud- get. Also, there has been plenty of talk about the "Green Acres" pro- gram, the changes made last year, and the implications for Minne- sota farmers and rural landown- ers. The Minnesota Department of Revenue has been the lead agency on this issue at the state legisla- ture, but be assured that MDA will be at the table as concerns of stakeholders are addressed and we stand ready to offer technical advice to decision-makers. There are at least two other notable issues where MDA is not the lead agency, and yet there are potentially significant implica- tions for Minnesota livestock pro- ducers. First, on April 27, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will implement a new rule prohibiting cattle over 30 months of age from being rendered into animal feed - including pet foods- without first having the brains and spinal cords removed. The rule adds further protection against bovine spongiform encephalo- pathy (BSE), but it presents poten- tial challenges for producers if it impacts the ability and willing- ness of rendering companies to accept farm-dead cattle. Recognizing the potential impact of this new rule, the MDA formed a study group that includes livestock processors, render- ing companies, farm groups, and regulators. This group is work- ing to help the state's ag commu- nity adjust as smoothly as possible to this new rule. In the meantime, I recommend that livestock pro- ducers have conversations with their rendering company, feedlot officer and extension staff to keep informed and consider the right economic and environmentally sound contingency plan for their operation by early March, well before the late April deadline. A second emerging issue for livestock producers to follow this year is the approaching 2010 dead- line for producers who signed Open Lot Agreements (OLAs) with the state backin 2000. OLAs were established by the Minnesota Pol- lution Control Agency (MPCA) to encourage producers to correct open-lot feedlot runoff issues in a time-frame that was reasonable and affordable for operations with fewer than 300 animal units. The agreements required final correc- Three Good Reasons To Open Your IRA With Us No Fees-When you open your IndMdual Retirement Account with us, there are no fees or service charges. FDIC Insurance - Your IRA is separately insured to $250,000 by the FDIC. Personal Service - We're right here to answer any IRA may have. ,~1~~ ',X4, k ,OUR NEIGHBORS\AND I-RiENDS O' STATE BANK OF KIMBALL P.O. BOX 70 "KIMBALL, MINNESOTA 55353 (320) 398-3500 www. tatebankofkimball.oom tive measures by October 2010. Many producers have already made these changes, but for those who have not, there is still time. Every producer's situation will vary, but the core message is this: if you are a livestock producer who signed up for the OLA and you think you may run into dif- ficulty vompleting the necessary environmental improvements by 2010 deadline, talk with your local feedlot officer, regional MPCA staff or a member of the MDA live- stock development team. We all know problems identified and dis- cussed in advance are much easier to solve. Meeker County PF chapter spends $1 million Meeker County Pheasants For- ever (PF) was recognized at the Minnesota PF State Convention early January for having spent $1 million on habitat and conser- vation education projects. Those chapter dollars completed 381 habitat projects benefiting almost 3,000 acres within Meeker County. The chapter will hold its 23rd annual habitat fundraising ban- quet on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Eagles Club in Litchfield. All are welcome to attend and celebrate past accomplishments and future goals. For more information on tickets, or to get involved with Meeker County PE call Gary Dun- comb at (320) 453-7465. Are we really Polish? Steve Barthel, assistant archi- vist and an accredited genealo- gist, along with June Kalla, pres- ent "Are We Really Polish?" at the Stearns History Museum's Break- fast Club at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11. Polish settlement brought the rich customs of the Slavic people to central Minnesota. Three area counties - Stearns, Benton, and Morrison, have significant Pol- ish populations. Barthel and Kalla will analyze various maps, immi- gration and emigration records, and census materials that high- light these Polish roots. They will also make connections between local communities such as Opole, Holdingford, North Prairie, and Bowlus to the European villages of Brinnitz and Falkowitz. Tra- ditions such as music and some local church histories empha- size how European Poles adapted to their new homeland in Minne- sota. In addition, the presenters will offer some genealogical tips from online resources to specific organizations that provide assis- tance in family history inquiries. Please join us at the Stearns His- tory Museum for this enlighten- ing presentation on the rich Polish heritage of central Minnesota. There is no charge for Stearns HistoryMuseum members; admis- sion for non-members is $5. For information about Breakfast Club or the Museum please call (320) 253-8424. The American Associ- ation of Museums ~ccredits the Stearns History Museum and is the only one to reach this standard in Greater Minnesota. It is located at 235 33rdAve. S. in St. Cloud.