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November 22, 2012     Tri-County News
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Thursday, November 22, Page 14 Community 'M2i0n Thanksgiving is a time for Minnesota local foods to shine Many of the foods found on a traditional Thanksgiving dinner plate are mainstays of Minnesota farms. Minnesota leads the nation in production of turkey, red pota- toes and green peas and has con- tributed to great advancements in wheat, butter, honey, and fruit and vegetable production. University of Minnesota Exten- sion conducts innovative research and partners with businesses to keep our food industry strong. Here are a few slices of informa- tion for you to chew on while you look forward to your Thanksgiv- ing meal. TURKEY: The Minnesota tur- key industry produces 46.5 million turkeys a year and provides 26,000 jobs in the state. Extension poultry specialist Sally Noll explains that "what a young turkey-or poult- eats from hatch to two weeks of age has a big impact on future growth." Her team is research- i:ng different compositions for poult feed to help producers get the highest-performing turkeys for their feed.investment, which is 70 percent of the cost of raising a turkey. POTATOES: The heavy black soil of Minnesota's Red River Val- ley produces red potatoes with a deeper red color and more robust flavor than potatoes grown any- where else, so it's not surpris- ing this region is the nation's top red-potato producer. In the lakes regions of the state, fertile sandy soils are well-suited for pota- toes used for baking and to make snacks like flies and chips. Exten- sion potato agronomist Andy Rob- inson says the variety of the Min- nesota potato industry is note- worthy: "In addition to seed pota- toes, we grow all three potato 'types'-tablestock (including spe- cialty potatoes such as purple and fingerling), processing pota- toes and chip potatoes." Because potatoes are very sensitive to sub- stances like g|yphosate, Robin- son is researching how to min- imize potato fields' exposure to herbicides sprayed on neighbor- ing fields. ROLLS WITH HONEY AND BUTTER: Since the mid-1990s, wheat yields in northwest Min- nesota have been improving by about 1.6 bushels per acre per year, thanks in part to Extension research on high-yield varieties, protein content, straw strength and management of diseases such as scab and leaf rust. Extension's honeybees program brings to commercial and hobby beekeep- ers the latest University research, such as how to keep diseases and parasites from the hive. Exten- sion work also contributes to bet- ter butter. As Extension dairy spe- cialist Jeff Reneau explains, "The quality of raw milk has a dramatic effect on the taste and shelf life of the resulting dairy products." Extension has partnered with the dairy industry on an educational campaign resulting in marked improvement in milk quality over the past 10 years. VEGETABLES AND FRUIT: Minnesotans have more access to fresh, local fruits and vegeta- bles in recent years thanks to sea- son-extending technologies such as high tunnels. "High tunnels can add four to eight weeks to the beginning and two to five weeks to the end of a growing season in Minnesota," says Extension hor- ticulture educator Terrance Nen- nich. This means a lot more local foods available for Thanksgiv- ing. Extension conducts research and outreach in 15 University high tunnels and with 21 grower coop- erators throughout the state, on topics such as disease prevention and soil nutrient management. Extension faculty partner with farmers year-round on research and education to keep Minnesota in its position as a food leader. As you go about your busy holiday season, take a minute to be thank- ful for the agricultural research and hardworking Minnesota farmers who make your meals possible (and delicious). The 12 sites of Social Security By Jon Noyes, District Manager your future benefits at www.social One of the most popular tradi- tional holiday songs is "The Twelve Days of Christmas." It's been a holiday favorite since itwas published in 1780. Last year, we introduced our own classic: "The Twelve Sites of Social Security." It was a big hit, so we've remixed it for the new holiday season. For the first site of Social Secu- rity, we present to you: our home page, www.socialsecurity.gov. It's the place to go for all things Social Security. Everything you could want, from online services and benefit screening tools to publi- cations and press releases you can find easily from this starting place. For the second site of Social Security, we present to you: our brand new online State- ment. You'll find it at www.social securithgov/mystatement. The State- ment provides you with a personal- ized estimate of future Social Secu- rity benefits-retirement, disability, and survivors. It also provides your earnings record for your lifetime, allowing you to check to make sure your earnings are posted correctly. For the third site of Social Security, we present to you: an easy way to learn how to replace your Social Security card at www. socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber. For the fourth site of Social Secu- rity, we present to you: an online application for retirement bene- fits that you can complete and sub- mit in as little as 15 minutes at www. socialsecurity.gov/appOrtoretire. For the fifth site of Social Security, we present to you: five estimates of your future Social Security benefits! Or one, or as many estimates as you would like using different scenarios. Get instant, personalized estimates of EdeL00 YamLley-00l00_t00a!ns We are proudly keeping the communities of Eden Valley, Watkins and Kimball informed! We are your official news source for legals and Eden Vailey-Watkins & Kimball Area school districts. We keep you informed covering local people, local stories and local events. Whether you're new to community or you've lived here your whole life, You ARE the community and need to stay informed. Nominate someone you care about for a free trial! Make sure Aunt Ida in Cleveland, and Grandpa Joe in Topeka, can follow their hometown news and activities! YES, please send a two,month free trial of the Tri-County News to: Name: security.gov /estirnator. For the sixth site of Social Secu- rity, we present to you: a secure, conve- nient way to apply for disability bene- fits at www.socialsecurity.gov/apptyfor disability. For the seventh site of Social Security, we present to you: an online application for Medicare that you can complete in as lit- tle as 10 minutes, at www.social security.gov/medicareonly. For the eighth site of Social Security, we present to you: Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs. You can learn more and apply online at www.social security.gov/prescriptionhelp. For the ninth site of Social Security, we present to you: our convenient publication library with online booklets and pam- phlets on numerous subjects, at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs. For the tenth site of Social Secu- rity, we present to you: America's most popular baby names. Learn about popular baby names and trends based on Social Security card applications over the years at www. socialsecurity.gov/OACT/babynames. For the eleventh site of Social Securi, we present to you: a way to get your Social Security forms online, at www.socialsecurity.gov/online. On the twelfth site of Social Security, we present to you: ser- vices for people who are currently receivirfg benefits, like the abil- ity to replace your Medicare card, get or change a password, request a proof of income letter, or check your Social Security information or benefits. You can do these and other things at www.socialsecurity. gov/pgm/getservices-change.htm. Mailing address: *; City: State: Zip: I | Select One: Eden Valley-Watkins News Tri-County News Available to new and non-subscribers only. Use form on page 18for renewals and full subscriptions. (320) 398-5000 wwwtriountynew$.MM (320) 453-6397