House Votes To Let Farmers “Mothball” Livestock Barns

pig (from ISU web site)Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa House has overwhelmingly voted to let livestock operators close barns, be rebranded as a small-scale livestock producer and no longer have to file “manure management plans” with the state. Representative Lee Hein, a Republican from Monticello, says under current law, livestock farmers have to destroy barns if they want to downsize.

(as said) “This bill allows you to notify the DNR that you will no longer have animals above the 500 animal unit that requires the manure management plan,” Hein says, “simplies it and allows those buildings to remain intact in case, say, for instance the next generation comes along in a few years and wants to enter back into the hog operation.”

Representative Chuck Isenhart, a Democrat from Dubuque, says it’s a new loophole that lets large-scale livestock producers store manure in vacant buildings.

(as said) “Those folks who have not taken care to make sure their own capacity is sufficient to take care of their own manure…they’ll seek this option as a fall-back to making the investments in their own facilities,” Isenhart says.

Isenhart argues the manure could pose an environmental hazard as it’s transferred to abandoned manure pits by the closed-down barns. Hein says those empty barns could be used to isolate animals if there’s an outbreak of disease in a swine herd. The bill passed the House on an 83-to-16 vote. A similar bill is eligible for debate in the Iowa Senate.

Story from Radio Iowa


Woman Whose Children Died In Fire Now In Custody Thanks To Osceola County Sheriff’s Office

Osceola Sheriff Car 72-2Sibley, Iowa — A Sioux Falls woman who is the mother of three children killed in a Sioux Falls fire is in custody, thanks to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that their deputies arrested 34-year-old Rhiannon Shirlene White of Sioux Falls on Thursday on eight warrants from Minnehaha County, South Dakota.

The warrants consisted of 2 counts of Possession of Controlled Substance, a Class 4 Felony, and 6 counts of Contribute to Abuse Neglect or Delinquency, a Class 1 Misdemeanor.

White was located at a rural residence west of Sibley and taken into custody by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. White was extradited back to the State of South Dakota the next day.

South Dakota authorities issued an arrest warrant after White failed to show up to court. Prosecutors say they believe White is a danger to herself and is a flight risk.

A judge set White’s bond at $30,000 and issued a bench warrant for her arrest.

The charges she faces are connected with a December 22 house fire that killed White’s three children — 16-year-old Michael Hensley, 12-year-old Savannah Coon, and 6-year-old Alivia Coon.


Last Call For Iowa Farmers To Support Local School Districts Through America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education

monsanto america's farmers grow rural education logoSt. Louis, Missouri — The deadline is fast approaching for local school districts to compete for a grant of up to $25,000 through America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. The more farmers who nominate a school district, the more it demonstrates community support and strengthens the school district’s application. Nominations will be accepted until April 15, 2013. School administrators have until April 30, 2013, to submit their applications. This year, the program expands to 26 new counties, for a total of 1,271 eligible counties across 39 states.

“We are dedicated to improving education in our farming communities,” said Deborah Patterson, Monsanto Fund president. “Working together with farmers and rural school districts, we are providing resources necessary to accelerate math and science learning – inspiring the students of today to become the leaders and innovators of tomorrow.”

Grow Rural Education grants will be awarded based on merit, need and community support. The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a group of 30 agricultural leaders from across the country, will review and select the winning grant applications. Advisory Council members were selected based on their passion for farming and education, as well as experience in rural school districts.

Eligible farmers can nominate their favorite public school district by visiting www.GrowRuralEducation.com and following the “Nominate Now” link on the top, left-hand corner of the page. Farmers may also nominate a school district by calling 1-877-267-3332. School administrators are encouraged to use the website as well, which is equipped with tools to answer specific questions about the program, assists with the application writing process and offers personalized assistance.

In 2012, the 12 Iowa school districts received a total of $165,000 to enhance math and science curricula. One of them was in our area — George-Little Rock Community Schools received $10,000.

More information from the Monsanto Fund:

One of last year’s winners, Lamoni Community School District, used the $10,000 grant to purchase lab equipment.

“Using the funds from the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education grant, we purchased new lab equipment so our students can apply science to real life,” said Shirley Kessel, 2012 grant application writer for Lamoni Schools. “Schools are at the heart of smaller communities and we greatly appreciate the support of our local nominating farmers.”

The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund to partner with farmers to strengthen rural communities. Following a successful pilot in Minnesota and Illinois, America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education debuted nationally last year, awarding $2.3 million to school districts coast to coast. Another program that is part of this effort is America’s Farmers Grow Communities℠, which gives winning farmers the opportunity to direct a $2,500 donation to a community nonprofit organization in their county.

For more information about the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program and to view the official rules, visit www.GrowRuralEducation.com. A list of eligible states, counties and CRD’s can also be found on the site.

###

About the Monsanto Fund

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the farm communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at www.monsantofund.org


Children’s World Announces Capital Campaign

children's worldSheldon, Iowa — The Children’s World daycare in Sheldon has undertaken a large fundraising effort.

The Children’s World Board of Directors of has announced that they have initiated a capital campaign named “Erase The Debt…Embrace Our Future”. Children’s World Board President, Justin Jonas tells us what sparked the idea.

For those who don’t know, Jonas tells us about the structure of Children’s World, and how it differs from some other towns’ day care centers.

He says they have considered just raising the daycare rate, but they don’t think that would work. People may have to pull their children from the program if they did that.

He says the other options, such as this capitol campaign were better for two main reasons.

At this point, they will be contacting individuals and businesses. Later there will be a more general campaign to the public. They may do some fundraisers as well, plus, the Children’s World children will host fundraisers to help contribute as well, says Jonas.

The capital campaign will be a multifaceted campaign seeking three year pledges to accomplish two primary goals. Their two goals are “Erase the Debt” and “Embrace Our Future”. The fundraising goal of the campaign has been set at $500,000.

More from The Children’s World Board Of Directors:

The first goal is to Erase The Debt. Children’s World currently has approximately $247,000 of debt that was incurred during their most recent expansion in 2006. This debt requires annual debt payments of close to $34,000 per year. These payments have proven to be challenging to Children’s World and by eliminating this debt, it would give a significant boost to the financial stability of Children’s World.

The second goal of the campaign is to Embrace Our Future. The board wants to ensure our children can continue to receive daycare services in a safe, quality environment. Children’s World Board President, Justin Jonas, said, “With the original building now being 21 years old and the 1996 addition being 17 years old, repairs and maintenance to these buildings is becoming an issue that needs to be addressed.” Therefore, the second facet of this campaign will be to raise $253,000 to provide for current and future capital expenditures that will need to be made to maintain the building and to be in compliance with current fire code and Department of Human Services requirements. Jonas commented, “by erasing the debt and embracing our future for repairs and maintenance to the building we can place Children’s World on a solid foundation and maintain affordable daycare for the 214 children and 139 families that utilize Children’s World.”

Children’s World has been providing high quality daycare in our community since 1975 and providing a safe, nurturing environment for daycare is a community asset important to working families and employers. However, providing a safe and structured learning environment for children is an expensive endeavor and Children’s World continues to face financial challenges. As a licensed daycare, Children’s World must meet many standards required by the Iowa Department of Human Services and the State Fire Marshal. As a result of the board’s discussions and recent request for assistance from the City of Sheldon, the board and interested members of the community have come together to launch this capital campaign to help provide financial support to Children’s World.

A steering committee of community members has been formed and volunteers have been recruited to begin making calls on prospective donors. The campaign will seek gifts from employers and individuals and be asking for three year pledges. The capital campaign is earmarked to be completed by June 30. Members of the steering committee are: Justin Jonas, Heidi Brown, Denny Michels, Susan Rensink, Michele DeKok, Jan and Keith Rolston, Mark Ellsworth and Barry Whitsell.


Sibley Woman, Grimes Woman Taken To Hospital After Accident In Sibley

AmbulanceSibley, Iowa — A Sibley woman and a Grimes, Iowa woman were taken to the hospital after an accident in Sibley on Saturday (3/31).

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 10:40 AM, 31-year-old Sally Forrester of Grimes was driving a 2005 Chrysler eastbound on Seventh Street. Thirty-nine-year-old Michelle Perry of Sibley was driving a 2001 Ford southbound on Fifth Avenue. The vehicles collided in the intersection.

The Osceola County Ambulance Service transported both drivers to the Osceola Community Hospital.

There was $7,000 damage to the Chrysler and $3,000 damage to the Ford.

Perry was cited for Failure to Yield to Vehicle on the Right.

The Sibley Fire Department also assisted the Sheriff’s Office at the scene.


Sibley Teen And Passenger Taken To Hospital After Accident Near State Line

Ambulance rear blue and whiteSibley, Iowa — A Sibley teen and her passenger were taken to the hospital after an accident last Sunday (3/24).

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 7:30 PM, 17-year-old Kimberly Cuadros of Sibley was driving a 2002 Suzuki SUV, owned by Amalia Rodriguez of Sibley, southbound on Highway 60, a half mile south of Bigelow, MN,

Cuadros lost control on the icy roadway. The vehicle entered the west ditch and rolled onto it’s top.

The Osceola County Ambulance Service took Cuadros and her passenger to the Osceola Community Hospital.

There was $7,000 damage to the vehicle.