Enrollment Open For Dairy Margin Protection Program

Northwest Iowa — Dairy producers can now sign up for government help to protect their margin for next year.
Holstein Cow cattle in pasture
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency in Iowa says that enrollment is now open for dairy producers for 2017 coverage in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating dairy producers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the producer.

The USDA says the Margin Protection Program gives participating dairy producers the flexibility to select coverage levels best suited for their operation. Enrollment ends on September 30, 2016, for coverage in calendar year 2017. Participating farmers will remain in the program through 2018 and pay a minimum $100 administrative fee each year. Producers have the option of selecting a different coverage level during open enrollment each year.

USDA has a web tool to help producers determine the level of coverage under the Margin Protection Program that will provide them with the strongest safety net under a variety of conditions. The online resource, available at www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool, allows dairy farmers to quickly and easily combine unique operation data and other key variables to calculate their coverage needs based on price projections. Producers can also review historical data or estimate future coverage needs, based on data projections.

For more information, they say you can visit the FSA online at www.fsa.usda.gov/dairy or stop by a local FSA office to learn more about the Margin Protection Program. To find a local FSA office in your area, visit offices.usda.gov.

Council Disposes Of A Number Of Agenda Items

community services center 300pxSheldon, Iowa — During their Wednesday noon meeting, the Sheldon City Council adopted an ordinance that will result in a three percent rate increase for Sheldon’s Sewer and water services.   They also heard an SCDC plan to help provide housing in Sheldon.   Development Director Curt Strouth told the Council that the SCDC  has done extensive research into the idea of a spec house project with the first one to be built on Lot 11 in the Sunshine addition.  The plan is to put it out for bids by local contractors.  He said the SCDC hopes that the spec houses they build would be in the 170 to 209 thousand dollar range.  The question was raised whether those houses would be in competition with spec houses that might be built by contractors.  Strouth said that when a contractor builds a spec house they always assume some financial risk.  In this case that risk would be assumed by the SCDC.

In other business, City Manager Scott Wynja told the Council that the City has received several applications for the proposed full-time paramedic position.  However, he said there was some question on the part this person would play with the Ambulance Team and who they would report to.  It was generally agreed that the paramedic would be approved by the Mayor and Council, with the day to day operation to be overseen by the City Manager.

And the Council received a report on the naming contest for the new Events Center.  Wynja reported that the City has received 63 different suggested names.  The design committee had planned to put the top three up for a vote by the public.  However, they could not agree on three names, so the public will have their choice of four names for the new facility.  They are “The Crossroads Regional Event Center”, “1860 Regional Events Center”, “The Water’s Edge Regional Events Center”, and “Water’s Edge Pavilion”.   The public is invited to vote for the name of their choice by going to the City’s website, sheldoniowa.com.  The website is open for voting through July 31st. The name receiving the most votes will be the name for the facility.

Preliminary Hearing Is Thursday In Boyden City Clerk Case

SipmaBoyden, Iowa — The former Boyden City Clerk has another date in court this Thursday, July 7th.

According to court records, 53-year old Beth Sipma faces charges of 1st Degree Theft following an investigation into improper money disbursements that allegedly took place in Boyden while she was City Clerk.

Online court records say a Preliminary Hearing is scheduled for 1:00 PM on Thursday, July 7th.

The charges stem from an investigation that began with the Iowa State Auditor’s Office, following a request from Boyden City officials as a result of concerns regarding payments, made by Sipma, from a City bank account.  The results of that investigation were then turned over to law enforcement, whose further investigation reportedly led to the charges against Sipma.

Theft in the 1st Degree is a Class C Felony.

Hull Summerfest Offering Many Fun Activities

Hull, Iowa — It’s the season of summer festivals — and it’s now Hull’s turn. Hull’s Summerfest is more than a weekend event — in fact it’s already underway.
Hull Water Tower-400
Hull Chamber Director Shelly Van Otterloo says they’re happy they can put it on.

She says the fun starts with a car show and a bean bag tournament tonight (Wednesday, July 6th).

This Thursday they’ll have dollar days at the pool and and music at night at West Side Park.

On Friday the Fire Department burger supper is at the Safety Complex. The first showing of the Little Mermaid will be put on by Boyden Hull Little Theatre. It’s cruise night from 7 to 9 too. Then it’s an activity just for teens at 8:30.

Saturday’s the big day.

Find the full schedule here.

Check Your Sunscreen Before You Head Outside

summer sun cartoonNorthwest Iowa –Last week we told you about the need for sunscreen to help avoid the development of skin cancer when you’re outside this summer.

Iowa Department of Public Health Medical Director,  Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says you can sometimes use the same sunscreen you had last year, if it appears to still be good.

But Doctor Quinlisk says there are some cases where that date might not be the best guide.

Quinlisk says takes a look at your stock of sunblock to be sure it hasn’t expired before you head out, so you can stay protected from the sun.

The Scammers Are At It Again

Scam AlertSheldon, Iowa — Normally we only think of the IRS during April, but scammers claiming to be from the IRS are at it again here in Sheldon.

Sheldon Police Chief Lyle Bolkema says his agency received calls from nine Sheldon residents Wednesday morning in reference to callers claiming to be from the IRS.

Bolkema reminds you that the IRS does NOT make any initial contacts by telephone, ALL initial contacts are made by mail.  If you receive one of these calls, Bolkema urges you to NOT give out any personal information, such as your Social Security number, or banking information, over the phone.

Chief Bolkema says if you receive one of these calls, simply hang up, and report it to your local law enforcement agency.