Northwest Iowa — Even before the recent avian influenza outbreak in Indiana, the U-S-D-A began stockpiling up to 500-million doses of a new vaccine for bird flu. Some northwest Iowa poultry producers, along with industry officials, oppose vaccinating because of export market consequences.
Randy Olson, Executive Director of the Iowa Poultry Association, says even with those concerns, it’s good to have that supply of vaccine if it’s needed.
He says the biggest concern about vaccinating is with potential trade partners.
Olson says instead of relying on vaccine, Iowa’s poultry producers are ramping up their biosecurity efforts to prevent the disease from reoccurring in the spring.
A total of 77 poultry operations statewide, including some here in our area, had bird flu outbreaks last year and more than 31-million chickens and turkeys were wiped out, making Iowa by far the worst-hit state. Losses in Iowa are estimated near one-billion dollars. Operations in 14 other states were also infected, claiming 50-million birds and more than three-billion dollars.
Northwest Iowa — Pork producers from our area are meeting with their counterparts from all across Iowa this week in Des Moines for the 44th annual Iowa Pork Congress. County delegates convened for the annual meeting Tuesday to discuss resolutions and other issues important to the pork industry.
Iowa Pork Producers Association spokesman Ron Birkenholz says the trade show along with educational seminars start today (Wednesday).
Birkenholz says the seminars will focus on many swine health issues, including the deadly disease PRRS.
He says they will have veterinarians to talk about how to control this and other swine diseases. The Pork Princess is usually chosen at the annual event, but Birkenholz says the pork producers are starting something a little bit different this year.
Sioux Center, Iowa — Two Republican presidential contenders will hold rallies at Dordt College in Sioux Center this weekend in an effort to sway northwest Iowa Republicans prior to Monday’s Iowa Caucus.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will speak at 6:45 p.m. Friday evening in the Campus Center DeJager Activity Area at Dordt College. Doors at Dordt will open for the Jeb! Countdown To Caucus Tour stop at 5:45 Friday afternoon. Tickets for Bush’s Sioux Center rally are free, and are available at eventbrite.com.
Saturday afternoon Dr. Ben Carson will hold a rally in the Campus Center at Dordt at 3:00 pm.
Dordt has extended an open invitation to all presidential candidates—both Democratic and Republican—who want to visit campus leading up to Monday’s Iowa Caucuses.
Sheldon, Iowa — Have you ever been at a restaurant and wondered if the food had been prepared safely? Or perhaps you’ve been at a hospital and wondered if your food or the food that your loved one is eating had been prepared properly.
Of course there are rules in place to ensure safe food. We talked to Iowa State University Extension nutrition and health specialist Renee Sweers, who told us about a special training that is required in food service.
She tells us about ServSafe training.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach O’Brien County is offering the food safety training for food service managers on Wednesday, February 10, at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon. Sweers says they do offer the class year-round in Sioux City and a number of times per year in Spencer and Spirit Lake. There’s another class in Sheldon on April 25th, and more may be scheduled. She says they also have ServSafe classes in Spanish available.
To register for the February class at NCC, they ask that you call by February 1st. But for registration purposes or for more information, do not call NCC. Instead call ISU Extension and Outreach- O’Brien County at 712-957-5045.