Ag Business Briefs

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Meat plant expected to reopen soon to process pet products

WEST POINT, Neb. (AP) – The vacant meat plant in West Point may soon be processing pet products.

The Norfolk Daily News reports that United Pet Products is taking over the former Wimmer’s and Land O’Frost plant. United Pet Products will handle treats such as dog bones, jerky and chews.

More than 100 people turned out for a hiring fair on July 30. Around 70 workers are being sought.

United Pet co-owner Troy Becker says plant operations should begin Aug. 15.

Land O’Frost bought the Wimmer’s plant in 2012 and closed it May 1, 2015, eliminating jobs for 127 employees.

Mount Vernon man accused of stealing $400,000 worth of grain

MOUNT VERNON, S.D. (AP) — A Mount Vernon man is accused of stealing $400,000 worth of grain from a Davison County farm family.

Authorities allege that 46-year-old Merle Northrup worked for the Estabrook family and sold loads of their corn and soybeans under his own name for about five years, keeping the proceeds.

The Daily Republic reports that Northrup faces a felony grand theft charge that carries a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. He’s scheduled to make his initial court appearance in about two weeks.

No one answered the phone on August 3 at a listing for Northrup.

Beef Bucks awards 2016-2017 scholarship

Beef Bucks, Inc. has awarded their 2016-2017 academic scholarship to Shelby Riggs of Mitchell, S.D. Shelby will be attending the University of Nebraska in Lincoln majoring in agricultural economics/animaI science. Her long term goal is to earn her juris doctor, specializing in agricultural and environmental law and to own her own cow-calf operation. This scholarship is awarded with funds from the Beef Bucks scholarship program as well as a memorial given in the name of board member Delina Nagel.

Beef Bucks, Inc. is a non-profit organization established for the purpose of beef promotion and consumer education. For more information on the organization, go to

— Beef Bucks, Inc.

Health officials identify harmful algae at Green Lake

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota’s Health and Agriculture Departments are cautioning people to avoid contact with the Green Lake near Wishek as tests revealed the presence of high levels of a toxin caused by blue-green algae.

Authorities on Thursday said the Health Department last week received a report of a blue-green algae bloom. Health officials then found blue-green algae in the lake, including along the swimming beach and boat ramp areas.

Hot summer weather can contribute to the production of the algae that’s also known as cyanobacteria. People and animals that ingest affected water can get sick and even die. There’s no known antidote for the toxins.

The Department of Health says blue-green algae often bloom in hot weather in bodies of water that are used by people, pets and livestock.

State issues permit for 9,000-hog farm near Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.D. (AP) — The state Department of Health has issued an approval to operate permit for a 9,000-hog farm near the southeastern North Dakota town of Buffalo.

The department on Aug. 5 said it added conditions to the permit to address concerns over odors, surface water and groundwater.

Minnesota-based Pipestone Holdings will operate the $15 million Rolling Green Family Farms hog facility.

Karl Rockeman is the director of the department’s water quality division. He says the facility’s design, management of manure and ongoing operations met state standards.

Many of the town’s 200 residents have expressed concerns about potential soil, water and air pollution.

The Health Department says it received comments from about 150 people during the public comment period.

Pilot injured after crop duster crashes into slough

VALLEY CITY, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Highway Patrol says the pilot of a crop duster was injured when his plane crashed into a slough.

The accident happened shortly before 3 p.m. on Aug. 5 about eight miles east of Valley City. The patrol says 45-year-old Brian Welken, of Valley City, experienced difficulties with the plane and attempted to put it down in an open field. The aircraft clipped a corn field and came to rest upside down in a slough.

Welken was able to free himself from the plane. He was transported to a Valley City hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

The crash is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Meet the Machines will be held Aug. 13 in Watertown

Meet the Machines will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 13 at the South Dakota National Guard Readiness Center in Watertown.

More than 20 machines from the agriculture, construction, service and military lines of work will be on exhibit for families to explore.

There is no admission. Food donations will be collected for the Salvation Army’s food pantry.

The Watertown Elks Club will be serving lunch. Proceeds will go to the Elks Children Charities.

Meet the Machines is being sponsored by the Watertown Optimist Club, the South Dakota National Guard and KXLG Radio.

— Watertown Public Opinion

Minot food processing plant dedicates $30M expansion

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — U.S. Sen. John Hoeven says an expansion has been dedicated at a food processing plant in Minot.

Hoeven says the $30 million expansion at AGT Good Foods and Ingredients adds 33,000 square feet of space and 20 more jobs.

The facility processes crops such as peas, beans and lentils.