Ag Business Briefs

Farm Forum

Man found dead under tractor in central MN

MELROSE, Minn. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of a 65-year-old man whose body was found under a tractor in central Minnesota.

A 911 caller reported the man was found trapped and unresponsive under the tractor northeast of Melrose on June 29. Deputies arrived and determined that Donald Hinnenkamp of Melrose was dead.

The Stearns County sheriff’s office says Hinnenkamp was found partially entangled in a hay merger. Authorities say Hinnenkamp may have had a medical episode and was able to put the tractor in neutral.

The Ramsey County medical examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy.

Appeal to delay $50M settlement to Northeast dairy farmers

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — An appeal of a financial settlement to be paid by a national dairy marketing cooperative to thousands of Northeast dairy farmers could delay the payments for at least a year.

Earlier this month, a federal judge in Vermont approved a $50 million settlement to be paid by Dairy Farmers of America to about 8,860 farms to settle a lawsuit that accused the marketing group of trying to drive down milk prices.

Vermont Public Radio reports a lawyer representing one group of plaintiffs in the case says a small group of farmers are unhappy with the settlement terms and have appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture says word of an appeal comes as many dairy farmers are grappling with low milk prices.

New representative Joins Farm Forum sales staff

We are excited to announce that Steph Binger has joined the Advertising Department at the Farm Forum. Steph will be responsible for the sale territories encompassing northern South Dakota and southern North Dakota.

Steph grew up on a ranch west of Tulare, S.D., and developed a passion for the outdoors at a young age. Her customer driven attitude and strong Farm Forum knowledge will be an excellent addition to the Farm Forum team.

If you would like to contact Steph for any advertising needs she may be reached at 605-460-0819 or

Dickey County toddler found in cornfield

An 18-month-old boy who was reported lost in a cornfield was found unharmed on June 30 by a search party that had been looking for about four hours.

The boy was reported missing around 11:30 a.m. Dickey County Emergency Management Director Charles Russell said the boy was found around 3:20 p.m. The toddler was wearing only a diaper.

“He’s fine. He’s just got some sunburn,” Russell said.

A search party of 75 or so people included a Brown County sheriff’s deputy and Emergency Management Director Scott Meints. Also assisting in the search were workers from the Dickey County highway and emergency management departments, Ellendale public works employees, Ellendale Fire and Ambulance and local residents, Russell said.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol Search and Rescue canine unit, two planes and two drones also aided in the search. One of the drones was from Brown County.

— American News reporter Shannon Marvel

7,000 baby turkeys die in fire

LANCASTER, Mass. (AP) — Seven thousand baby turkeys have been killed in a Massachusetts barn fire, and the farm’s owners say that means they won’t be able to meet all of their Thanksgiving orders.

The fire happened on June 30 at Bob’s Turkey Farm in Lancaster. The family that owns the farm says it’s one of the largest turkey-breeding operations in New England.

The baby turkeys ranged in age from 1 day to 3 weeks old.

No people were harmed during the fire. Authorities say the cause of the fire appeared to be accidental.

The family-run farm began in 1954.

Farmer Jennifer Miner says she believes the farm has a few thousand surviving turkeys and some eggs in incubators but they’re unlikely to be enough to fill the farm’s 8,000 Thanksgiving orders.

Brand inspection fees going up in ND

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Some brand inspection fees are going up in North Dakota, starting on July 8.

The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association says the per-head inspection fee will go from $1 to $1.50. The permanent horse permit fee will rise from $10 to $25.

The registered feedlot permit fee will go from $20 to $25, and the per-head registered feedlot fee from 10 cents to 50 cents.

The Stockmen’s Association administers the brand inspection program on behalf of the state. The rancher group says the changes came after a public hearing and comment period, and were reviewed by the Legislature’s Administrative Rules Committee.