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Dairy Queen pledges to buy all cage-free eggs by 2025

OMAHA, Neb. — Dairy Queen is pledging to buy only cage-free eggs for its restaurants by the end of 2025.

The Minneapolis, Minn., based chain announced the goal on May 10. Dairy Queen is joining a growing list of restaurants, retailers and food producers making the change that animal rights groups demanded.

The new policy will apply to all eggs, liquid eggs and other egg products Dairy Queen uses. About 400 of the chain’s 6,600 locations currently serve breakfast, and eggs are used as ingredients in some of its treats and other menu items.

McDonalds, Target, Wal-Mart, Costco, General Mills and ConAgra Foods have all made similar cage-free egg pledges.

International Dairy Queen is owned by Warren Buffett’s Omaha, Neb., based Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate.

— Associated Press

Purdue Women in Ag

to present webinar on financial management

for small business

Purdue Extension’s Women in Agriculture committee will present a webinar addressing financial management for women who own small businesses.

The webinar will be noon to 1 p.m. EST on May 26. The speaker will be Jessica Lehman, a representative of Farm Credit Mid-America.

She will discuss planning, directing, monitoring, organizing and controlling the financial resources involved in small business and organizational management.

Anyone interested in viewing the webinar should go to http://bit.ly/1ZJ8HvH to register. For more information, contact Jenna Nees, Putnam County Extension educator, at 765-653-8411.

Registered participants will receive a confirmation email with a link to the webinar and an email reminder 24 hours before the start of the event.

City of Pierre paves way for $2M solar panel project

PIERRE, S.D. — The Pierre City Commission has paved the way for what officials say will be the biggest solar energy project in South Dakota.

It also will be the first solar energy project for Missouri River Energy Services, which provides nearly half of the city’s power.

The city will lease 5 acres of land to a Minnesota-based company that will install solar panels which will produce power for Pierre’s municipal electrical system.

The project will cost $2 million. It’s expected to be operating next year.

— Associated Press

SD leads in production of bison and sunflowers

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — South Dakota leads the nation in the production of bison and sunflowers.

The Agriculture Department said the state topped those commodity classes in 2015 and was second in honey and oats.

South Dakota ranked third in the production of flaxseed, alfalfa hay, all hay and proso millet, and fourth in navy beans and spring wheat.

The state was fourth in beef cows, sixth in corn, seventh in soybeans and ninth in winter wheat.

— Associated Press

ND leads in production of 10 commodity classes

FARGO, N.D. — North Dakota leads the nation in the production of 10 farm commodity classes.

The Agriculture Department said the state was No. 1 in 2015 in spring wheat, durum wheat, all wheat, barley, canola, flaxseed, honey, dry peas, pinto beans and all dry beans.

The state ranked second in the production of navy beans, black beans, lentils and all types of sunflowers.

North Dakota was third in sugar beets, fourth in potatoes, seventh in bison and 11th in beef cattle.

— Associated Press

Milbank business fire cause undetermined, not suspicious

MILBANK, S.D. — The South Dakota Fire Marshal’s Office said it cannot determine the source of a fire that destroyed Titan Machinery in the northeastern South Dakota town of Milbank, but the cause does not appear suspicious.

Officials said the May 4 blaze involved multiple explosions inside the building and ash from the fire traveled as far as a mile. No injuries were reported.

South Dakota Department of Public Safety spokesman Tony Mangan told KWAT-AM that the Fire Marshal’s Office completed its investigation but investigators cannot determine the source of the fire. Mangan says the cause does not appear suspicious.

West Fargo, N.D.-based Titan Machinery is a dealer of agricultural and construction equipment.

— Associated Press

Opponents of corporate farm ban exemption raise $1.1 million

BISMARCK, N.D. — A group that wants to block a law that relaxes North Dakota’s Depression-era ban against corporate farming has raised more than $1.1 million.

The North Dakota Farmers Union is leading the campaign to overturn the Legislature’s decision last year to exempt pork and dairy operations from the state’s anti-corporate farming law. The group submitted enough valid signatures last year to put the measure on the June 14 ballot.

Campaign disclosure filings show the Farmers Union has funded almost all of the campaign to overturn the law. The group has more than 40,000 members.

Supporters of the so-called ham-and-cheese law say it will revitalize dairy and swine farms after years of decline.

Opponents said the law is an invitation for big, out-of-state corporations to set up operations in North Dakota.

— Associated Press

ND Governor declares Animal Agriculture Awareness Week

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple has proclaimed this week Animal Agriculture Awareness Week in the state.

Officials say animal agriculture in North Dakota generates about $2.6 billion in revenues, with an economic impact of more than $12 billion.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says animal agriculture has an impact on everyone’s daily lives, from the food that people eat to products they use every day. He says producers in the state are stewards of the land and committed to animal welfare.

North Dakotans primarily raise beef cattle, hogs, sheep, dairy cows, honey bees and turkeys.

Other state livestock includes horses, bison, farmed elk, goats and non-traditional livestock such as white-tail and fallow deer and fur bearers.

— Associated Press