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1 a k"2 Thursday, August 19, 2010 Kimball, MN photos, calendar, advertisers, more are available 24/7 on-line at goson Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture Core values behind farm and food system W 07 HAMMER S, BLACK/RED, VIN #7133 07 HAMMER S, BLACK/RED, VIN #7044 07 HAMMER S, BLACK/RED, VlN #5082 07 HAMMER S, BLACK/RED, VIN #6534 07 HAMMER S, BLACK/RED, VIN #6709 07 HAMMER S, BLACK/RED, VIN #7619 07 HAMMER S, BLACK/RED, VlN #4130 07 HAMMER S, BLACK/RED, VIN #6537 07 VlN #4133 07 HAMMER S, BLACK/RED, VIN #6542 07 VEGAS, aWE/WHITE, VlN #771 07 KINGPIN TOUR, BLACK, VlN #5911 07 KINGPIN TOUR, BLUE/WHITE, MIN #7054 07 KINGPIN TOUR, BLUE/WHITE, VIN #5436 MSRP $19,749 'g,999 08 ARLEN HESS JACKPOT, VIN #7389 $19,749 $g,999 08 ARLEN HESS JACKPOT, VIN #6448 $19,749 '9,999 08 ARLEN HESS JACKPOT, VlN #1304 $19,749 $9,999 08 ARLEN HESS JACKPOT, VIN #2123 $19,749 $9,999 08 GORY HESS JACKPOT, VlN #5931 $19,749 '10,399 06 GORY HESS JACKPOT, VIN #6241 $i9,749 'M,3H 08 GORY HESS JACKPOT, VIN #1850 $19,749 sm,3~ 08 VISION STREET, BLACK, VIN #7671 $19,749 $10, 08 VISION TOUR PREMIUM, BLACK, VIN #3567 $19,749 $10,999 08 VISION TOUR PREMIUM, CHERRY, VIN #1781 $15,099 '9,H9 09 VISION TOUR PREMIUM, CHERRY, VIN #3054 $16,799 '!1,999 09 VISION TOUR PREMIUM, CHERRY, VIN #3318 $17,399 '11,~ 09 VISION TOUR PREMIUM, CHERRY, VlN #3276 $17,399 $11, 9 09 VI M, CHERRY, VIN #3611 *Includes demo or military coupon MSRP SALE $23,699 '14,999 $23,699 '!4,999 $23,699 '15,499 $23,699 '15,gg9 $23,699 'f$,999 $23,699 'f$,999 $23,699 '15,999 $18,999 'f4,999 $21,499 '16,999 $22,549 '!6,999 $23,199 'f7,999 $23,199 'f7,999 $23,199 'f7,999 $23,199 s17,ggg Minnesota's agriculture com- munity has tackled a range of challenges over the years, from disease outbreaks to market dis- ruptions and natural disasters. Recently, however, I have started to think the future of agriculture in this state may rest largely on how we respond to one particu- lar challenge - our ability as farm- ers and farm business operators to reassure our non-farm neighbors about the core values behind our farm and food system. Today, about 2 percent of the U.S. population lives on a farm. Whereas many non-farmers still had relatives who farmed 20 or 30 years ago, today even that indi- rect link is fading. This leaves many Minnesotans with no ties to modern agriculture. The work- ings of a modern farm are a mys- tery to them, and what little infor- mation they get comes too often in the form of filtered media cover- age or "alert" messages from activ- ist groups. That situation is dangerous for farmers, not to mention the tens of thousands of Minnesotans who depend on agriculture for their jobs. Without a good under- standing of how our food is pro- duced and why it is produced that way, these disconnected consum- ers can be easily misled by groups seeking to misrepresent modern agriculture to advance narrow agendas. After all, it's a lot easier to fear what we dofft understand. Fortunately, there is a grow- ing interest among consumers in knowing more about the ori- gins of their food. I believe it is our responsibility as farmers to meet them at least halfway. That's why I am thankful to see the new campaign rolled out this month by a coalition of farm groups and with the support of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Called "Farmers Feed US," the campaign seeks to reconnect Minnesotans with the farm families that are feeding them. Be'ginning Aug. 9, Minne- sota residents can register for two grand prizes of "Free Groceries for a Year" courtesy of Minnesota's farmers at . When visiting the site, consumers can register to meet a farmer through a short video that demonstrates how their selected farm produces safe, nutritious and affordable food. There also will be an opportunity to register at the Minnesota State Fair for all those who drop by the MDA space in the Agricukure/Horticulture Build- ing. Farmers Feed US is a multi- state effort designed to help today's consumer understand that even as food production systems change, farmers share their values. The program puts a human face on agriculture and reminds con- sumers that their food is grown by families who share a desire for safe food, a clean, environment and a strong economy. Yes, some farms are larger or have different equip- ment than many would remember from childhood farm visits, but farmers remain deeply committed to doing what's right for their com- munity and their customers. I want to thank all those who worked on this program, espe- cially the nine highlighted farm- ers. They are excellent exam- ples of how 21st century agricul- ture works, and they are helping the rest of the state's 81,000 farm- ers reconnect with our non-farm neighbors. Please take a moment to check them out and enter the drawing for free groceries at the State Fair or online at . Apply now for organic certification rebate Minnesota organic farmers and processors can now apply for a rebate of up to $750 toward the cost of organic certification. Organic certification assures con- sumers that products are truly organic, and that they are pro- duced in compliance with federal organic regulations. The Minne- sota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is accepting applications for the Minnesota Organic Cost Share Program from now until Oct. 30. "This program provides some regulatory relief from a financial burden that is unique to organic farms-and businesses," said MDA Organic and Diversification Spe- cialist Meg Moynihan. "Organic growers and processors who sell more than $5,000 of organic agri- cultural products are legally required to obtain certification at their own expense. Depending on the farm or business size, the cost can range from hundreds to thou- sands of dollars per year." Funds for this program come from a cooperative agreement with the United States Depart- ment of Agriculture (USDA). Cer- tified operations are eligible for reimbursement of 75 percent of National Organic Program cer- tification-related costs incurred during the period between Oct. 1, 2009, and Sept. 30, 2010, up to a maximum of $750. To qualify, applicants must submit an MDA application form, proof of certification during the qualifying period, and proof of certification expenses. Additional information is detailed in the pro- "gram guidelines. All applications must be postmarked by Oct. 30, 2010. Incomplete applications cannot be processed. The MDA has already mailed application packets to more than 800 certified organic operations in the state. Any certified organic farmer or processor who did not receive a packet can obtain the necessary materials on the MDA's web site , or by calling the MDA at (651) 201-6012. www.KimballArea.com