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July 30, 2009     Tri-County News
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10 Bulleti 6ene Hugoson Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture Tough times for farmers One of the real pleasures of that business failure is the result of being Agriculture Commissioner is the opportunity to get to know so many of Minnesota&apos;s energetic and talented farmers. It can really lift your spirits to meet someone who is excited about .their prospects and their profession. I can't tell you how many times I have felt my own enthusiasm boosted by a conversa tion with an innovative, optimistic producer eager to carve out a prof- itable niche in the marketplace. On the flip side is that-when times are tough, it's much more difficult to know so many of those talented, hard-working producers are facing setbacks and hardship. While there are some things a state agency like ours can do to help pro- ducers, it is beyon d any individual state's power to completely shel- ter its farmers from the economic downmrns. Right now, our pork and dairy producers are facing a particularly difficult time. There are a variety of factors at work in each case, but a common link is the global reces- sion that has slowed demand for U.S. agricultural products in other countries. For some producers, this downturn is the final straw forcing them off the farm. As a member of a multi-generation family farm, I sympathize with those who feel a deep disappointment at having to get out of the family business. At the same time, I think it's important that the agriculture community reject the old concept poor choices or personal shortcom- ings. This mindset adds to the pres- sure felt by a farmer in crisis, and it doesn't reflect the modern com- plexity of agriculture and our econ- omy. Agriculture is not the only sec- tor in which good people have had bad things happen. Look around the country at the many struggling corporations run by top business minds that didn't foresee this eco- nomic downturn. Look at the mil- lions of Americans who lost jobs or homes over the last year. Sure, some made choices that made their situ- ation worse, but many more simply got caught in the wrong spot at the wrong time. On top of that, we need to remember that at no time in the history of agriculture has a farmer needed to be more skilled at more tasks. Today's producers still face the same challenges of previous generations, including weather, disease threats, input costs and commodity prices. However, today more than ever, some of those fac- tors swing wildly from one extreme to another. As a result, our success increasingly depends on off-farm factors like exchange rates, energy policies, international trade rela- tions, fickle consumer trends, and more than a little luck. With this in mind, I encour- age financially stressed producers to be aggressive about seeking out help. The first step in many cases call or bring it in by 2 p.m. on '11 run' classified that week for free. et please. We reserve e right to limit only (not family), and to reject ads deemed unsuitable. My Name: FREE Classified Ad Request [t currently subscribe to the Tri-CountyNews, and my subscription is paid up through Aug. 31, 2009, or beyond. o or [I'd like to start a new subscription and get my free classified ads. Enclosed is the subscription coupon above. Please run my ad below for (circle one) 1 2 3 4 5 weeks Offer expires, and free ads will not run beyond Aug. 31, 2009. Board £4 Calend is to contact your lender to discuss any problems you see approaching. Sure, asking for help can be a diffi- cult thing for those of us raised on the image of the independent, self- reliant American farmer. But it is easier to address a problem before it has blown up into a real crisis. In some cases, the next stepis to reach out to one of the many orga- nizations set up to help produc- ers facing crises. A list of programs can be found on MDA's Web site at <www.mda.state.mn.us>. Most of all, if you are a producer facing financial challenges, don't blame yourself for being one of the mil- lions of Americans facing adversity in a sour economy. Saturday, Aug. 1, 8:30 a.m.- noon, Pancake breakfast at Zion UMC in South Haven; see their ad on page 3. Saturday, Aug. 8, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Kimball United Methodist Church pie & ice cream in the park (during Kimball Days). Saturday, Aug. 22, 1 p.m., Bud's Bar annual bike run to benefit Emily Sieben, a 9-year-old diag- nosed with cancer. (320) 764-2837. F_,ducation Saturday, Aug. 1, 10:30-11:30 a.m., "Scrapbooking for Kids ' with Lisa Schiefelbein,-for ages 8 & up (limit of 12 children). Monday, Aug. 3, 3:30-4:30 p.m., "Knitting with Barb Pladson" at Kimball Library; free for teens (limit 5 per week). Wednesday, Aug. 5, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Sunshine Storyhour at Kim- ball Library, for ages 3-7; free. Wednesday, Aug. 5, 3:30-4:30 p.m., "Knitting with Barb Pladson" at Kimball Library; free for teens (limit 5 per week). Friday, Aug. 7. 10:30-11:30 a.m., "Sticks Times Six" a't the Kimball Library; free for ages 8-12. Tuesday, Sept. 8, SCHOOL STARTS. Government 1 Thursday, July 30, 7:30. p.m., Maine Prairie Township Compre- hensive Growth meeting, at Kim- ball Area Fire Hall; (3201 398-2905. Monday, Aug. 3, 7 p.m., Kimball City Council meeting, Kimball City Hall. (320) 398-2725. Monday, Aug. 3, 7 p.m., Watkins Fire Dept.; 7:30 p.m., Watkins Res- cue. Monday, Aug. 3, 8 p.m., Fairhaven Township, F.H. Town Hall. (320) 251-3425. Tuesday, Aug. 4, 7 p.m., Kings- ton Township, Kingston Commu- nity Center. (320) 398-8400. Tuesday, Aug. 4, 7 p.m., Watkins City Council special meeting re: HSDA/Rural Develoiament grant; at Watkins City Hall. Wednesday, Aug. 5, 7 p.m., Eden Valley council meeting, E.V. City Hall. (320) 453-5251. Wednesday, Aug. 5, 7:30 p.m., Kimball Fire & Rescue meeting. Wednesday, Aug. 5, 8 p.m.. Wat- kins Planning Commission. Thursday, Aug. 6, 7 p.m., Joint Maine Prairie Township and City of Kimball meeting, at Kimball City Hall. Tuesday, Aug. 11, 7 p.m., Maine Prairie Township meeting at Kim- ball Area Fire Hall; (320) 398-2905. Seventh annual Expo for Sento Aug. 22 The seventh annual Expo for Seniors from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sat- urday, Aug. 22, at Whitney Senior Center, 1527 Northway Drive, is sure to be a grand slam with key- note speaker Tony Oliva, former Minnesota Twins baseball player. This free event provides seniors and adult children with information on senior resources available in Cen- tral Minnesota. The expo features health care, housing, finance, fitness and safety vendors along with free ballpark lunch, health screenings, door prizes and music. Com00uni00 Thursday, July 30, 1-7 p.m., Red Cross Bloodmobile at KAHS Cafe- torium. See story on page 3. Thursday, July 30, 4-7:30 p.m., Hilltop Care Center 30th anniver- sary celebration. Friday, July 31. 7-10 p.m., ESPN X Games will include Mike Schultz racing; friends and family may gather at Son of a Butcher to watch. Friday, July31, 3-6:30 p.m., Rain barrel ademonstration at Kimball Area Farmers Market, by KAHS Eco-Squad. (See ad on page 3.) .Friday-Saturday, July 31-Aug. 1, Watkins Kraut 'n' Wurst Festival: Little Miss Watkins pageant 7:30 p.m. [riday; Parade at 10 a.m. Sat- urday; pedal pull, motorcycle show, petting zoo, car show, "Malissa Moser Back Roads Band." Sunday, Aug. 2, 2-5 p.m., Recy- cling event at Fair Haven Town Hall (see ad on page 3.) Monday-Friday, Aug. 3-7, noon-5 p.m., Lifeguard training course at the Watkins Pool; $125 cost; regis- ter at City Hall, (320) 764-6400. Tuesday, Aug. 4.6-8 p.m., Kim- ball celebrates National Night Out, at Willow Creek Park in Kimball; Arts in the Park, karaoke, food, and more. (See story on page 4.) Tuesday, Aug. 4, 5-8 p.m., Wat- kins will celebrate National Night Out at the Watkins Fire Hall. Tuesday-Sunday, Aug. 4-9, Tri- County Beekeepers Assoc. in Heri- tage Center during Benton County Fair; honey-extracting demo at 2 p.m. Sat., Aug. 8: Susan at (320) 282-1411. Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 6-9, Minnesota Bluegrass and Old- Time Music Festival at El Ran- Cho Mafiana. (See insert in this week's Tri-County News.) <www. MinnesotaBluegrass.org> Fri.day-Sunday, Aug. 7-9, Kim- ball Days: Friday Little Miss Kim- ball coronation; Saturday games and more in the park, street dance; Sunday parade; tournaments, food. and fun throughout, The event kicks o Humana Interactive S ers Program from 8:30- about the opportuniti to enrich your life thr¢ na's Medicare health p] ing Silver Sneakers®, leading exercise progr exclusively for older adl available through Silve include health club m Curves memberships a Program. Attend this find out how you may 1 Silver Sneakers® Fitne tafive also will be pres onstrate some of their lar exercises. Tony Oliva will 10-11 a.m. about his rs is Ff with the lver Sneak- ) a.m. Learn s available ugh Huma- ans, includ- the nation's m designed fits. Options : Sneakers® mberships, ad the Steps seminar to ,e eligible. A ,s Represen- nt to dem- most popu- ;peak from laying days, what he does now wih the Twins and about his comnunity work. Pedro "Tony" Oliva culd hit for power and average, run, field and throw, and his versatility made him one of the most fearqd hitters of his day. Tony-O collected 1,917 hits and retired with a carder .304 bat- ting average. He is thd only player to win batting titles inlhis first two seasons and was th6 winner of three during his 15-ye career. He had his number 6 retired in 1991 and was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame in 2000. Oliva donates countless hours to hel Upper Mid- west charities raise mdzney through speaking engagements and auto- graphs. He also volunteers for Meals onWheels. In 2007, Oliva was awarded the Kirby Puckett Award for community servic by a former Twins player by the Twins Commu- nity Fund's Board of Directors. Born in Cuba. he has made his home in Bloomington for more than 40 years. Bring a ticket stb from the St. Cloud River Bats A Aug. 21 at Joe Faber Expo for Seniors to b win a ballpark lunch w This event is sp the Good Shepherd St. Cloud River Bats Cloud Times. For mc tion, call the Senior Lit umni Game Field to the . entered to th Tony-O. 3nsored by ommunity, and the St. re informa- kage Line at (800) 333-2433 or visit,<www.expo- forseniors.com>. a/so cart be/f00o00 at ........ r i: ............. • "11 u -County u I .......... .............................. " Always something to: read._ ! for everyone/ I Tri-Countv News Subscription Form: [3 NEW [3 RENEWALI 13S3o,yo,.ro,,,,,,,,,,ooor  s40/vear for mailing out.of- stale n 3 $20/year SENIOR rate in Minnesota [ $30/year SENIOR rate oUt-state I ' [SENIORS are age 62 and older) ' qame: __ Telephone:  _ Iddress/Citv/StatelZip: ! iethod of payment: 1 Check enclosed or [.] Please charge $ tomy: ..] VISA  MC -- I |ardnumber: - " - - exp. date: ! i Signature I P.O. Box 220, Kimball MN 55353-0220 I I Tel/Fax (320) 398-5000 L ........... j