Ag Business Briefs

Farm Forum

Willie Nelson, Farm Aid coming to N. Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Willie Nelson and the annual Farm Aid concert and food festival are coming to North Carolina.

The concert is scheduled for Sept. 13 in the Walnut Creek Amphitheatre in Raleigh. It features performances by Nelson, who is Farm Aid president and co-founder, along with fellow board members John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Dave Matthews. Local artists will also perform.

Since 1985, Farm Aid has raised more than $45 million through the festival to help family farmers keep their land and publicize locally grown food.

Those in attendance can eat food from vendors, meet local farmers and learn about cultivating land.

Tickets for the concert go on sale in August and prices range from $49 to $175. A limited number of pre-sale tickets will be available Friday.

Farm bank donates $10 billion for rural projects

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bank that serves farmers and agribusiness is donating $10 billion to spur private investment in rural America.

The White House announced the money on July 24 as part of a rural conference it held last week. Colorado-based CoBank is part of a network of banks that provides financing to agribusiness and rural areas.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he hopes private investors will follow with additional dollars for the fund, which will be managed by private partners. The Agriculture Department will help identify needed projects such as rural health care and educational facilities, water and wastewater systems, energy projects, and broadband improvements.

Vilsack has made revitalizing rural America a priority as small towns have been losing population and political clout in recent years. He said leveraging private money is a new approach.

“USDA and other agencies invest in infrastructure through a variety of federal initiatives, but our resources are finite,” Vilsack said, adding that there was a backlog of projects in many parts of the economy.

North Dakota APUC funding 8 projects this quarter

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Eight projects are getting a total of nearly $285,000 in funding this quarter from the North Dakota Agricultural Products Utilization Commission.

The group funds developers of North Dakota farm products. It’s a program of the state Commerce Department.

The largest grant this quarter is going to North Dakota State University’s Department of Veterinary and Microbiology Sciences, which is getting about $76,000 to defray costs of a program aimed at preventing illness from the transmission of bacteria to food processing equipment.

Edmunds County Pet Show – Aug. 7

The Edmunds County Pre 4-H Pet Show will start off the Thursday night program on August 7, starting at 7:00 p.m. This show is open to all youth not old enough to be in 4-H. If you have a pet you would like to show; bring it to the 4-H Grounds on Thursday night or call the Extension Office to sign up. There will be a short form to fill out. All participants will be interviewed with questions about their pet. Ribbons will be awarded in several different categories. The pet show will be followed by the crowing of the 2014 Royalty.

New state forester named for South Dakota

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A longtime South Dakota Agriculture Department official has been named state forester.

Gregory Josten succeeds Ray Sowers, who retired last May as state forester and state director of resource conservation and forestry. The two positions are being split, and the director position remains open, department spokeswoman Jamie Crew said Friday.

Josten has worked for the state since 1983 as fire management forester, forest stewardship program coordinator and supervisor of the service forestry programs.

“Greg has intimate knowledge of forestry and our treasured Black Hills,” Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch, who appointed Josten, said in a statement Friday. “He also has a proven history of coalition building amongst stakeholders, and this makes him a clear choice to be our new state forester.”

Josten grew up in Sioux Falls.

“My interest in forestry stems from many family vacations to the Black Hills during my youth,” he said. “It was my Dad’s favorite place to go.”

Josten holds a bachelor’s degree in forest resource management and a master’s degree in forest science from the University of Montana. He also has worked as a seasonal firefighter for the state Division of Forestry and a contract forester for the Wyoming State Forestry division.

Iowa governor repeats support for renewable fuel

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad is renewing a call to maintain the amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply, after a report that the Environmental Protection Agency may scale back proposed cuts to renewable fuel production.

Branstad issued his statement on July 25. An EPA proposal for renewable fuel standards would reduce by almost 3 billion gallons the amounts of ethanol and other biofuels blended into gasoline in 2014 than the law requires.

The governor’s comments came after Minnesota Sen. Al Franken said a discussion with a White House official led him to believe the EPA will reduce the cuts. He still expects an overall drop in renewable fuel quotas.

Iowa is the nation’s leading producer of ethanol, a fuel additive primarily made from corn that produces lower carbon emissions than gasoline.

N.D. man run over by tractor

An Oakes, N.D., man sustained serious injuries when he was run over by a tractor on July 23, Dickey County Sheriff Jim Bohannon said.

Jeffrey Petersen, 49, was flown by CareFlight helicopter to Avera St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen, S.D., Bohannon said. He believes that Peterson was then transferred to an out-of-state hospital.

The incident was reported just after 11:30 a.m. on July 23 in a field about six miles north of Ellendale, Bohannon said. He said Petersen was driving a tractor that was pulling a no-till drill. The tractor started on fire, so Petersen unhitched the drill and drove the tractor away, Bohannon said. When Petersen got out of the tractor, it rolled over him, the sheriff said. Others on the scene called emergency responders, he said.

The Dickey County Sheriff’s Office, Ellendale Police Department, Ellendale ambulance, Ellendale Fire Department and CareFlight responded to the incident, Bohannon said.

RDO hosts Play Day on Aug. 2

RDO’s free Day of Play will be Aug. 2 at the Aberdeen location from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This 2014 event is a family fun-filled day with games, coloring, face painting, toys, barrel train rides and much more. Lunch (hotdogs, pop, and chips) will be served beginning at 11:00 A.M. with a free will offering. The Aberdeen Police Department will be on the scene to talk about their cars and bike safety. The Aberdeen Fire Department will be there to show off their truck. Winger, from the Aberdeen Wings, will be in attendance as well to interact with the children. There will be adult activities with the Gator and Lawn and Garden tractors.

RDO is located on the east side of Aberdeen.

S.D. man sentenced to probation for shooting cow

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A 52-year-old Pine Ridge man has been fined $2,200 and sentenced to three years of probation for shooting a pregnant cow.

The Rapid City Journal reports that George Ecoffey and another man were hunting turkeys when they shot the cow last year on a ranch near Manderson last year. Authorities say the men took some meat from the cow.

Ecoffey was indicted in January and pleaded guilty to larceny in March of this year.