Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at farmbleat.areavoices.com.
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PIPESTONE -- More than 20 agricultural lenders, ag businessmen and farmers gathered at the Calumet Inn in Pipestone Wednesday for an agricultural listening session with Minnesota Department of Agriculture Deputy Commissioner Jim Boerboom. At a time when pork and dairy producers continue to struggle through economic challenges, crop farmers can't compete with the high price of land, and the food versus fuel debate remains a hot topic in places like metropolitan Minnesota, those who gathered were hoping for a little good news in agriculture. Boerboom said the state has "carved out a reputatio
WORTHINGTON -- Two words can pretty much sum up the 2009 crop year in southwest Minnesota -- weather delays. By the last week in April, 40 percent of the state's corn crop had been planted, along with 2 percent of the state's soybean acres. Then came the rains. Storms in early May dumped several inches of rain across the region, forcing farmers to pull their planters and tractors from the fields for days. "We got a couple inches of rain in the last two days," said Ron Obermoller of Brewster on May 8. He said farmers needed to be patient, which is always a difficult task in the spring.
BREWSTER -- There were no injuries, no lives lost and no mass explosions, but when a fire broke out at Minnesota Soybean Processors on May 23, more than 20 fire departments from across southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa responded to the scene with manpower, tanker trucks, aerials and turn-out gear. The call came into the Nobles County Sheriff's Office shortly before 10 p.m. on the Saturday night of Memorial Day weekend.
ADRIAN -- It was a Christmas tragedy and a Christmas miracle all rolled into one very long day for Jeff Bullerman and his family on Friday. The rural Adrian farmer awoke that morning to find much of the roof on one of his 100- by 344-foot cattle feeder barns collapsed under the weight of snow, with cattle trapped underneath. Within hours, family, friends and neighbors -- estimates are between 30 and 50 people -- had arrived on the scene to help remove sheets of metal and wooden rafters from the pole-type building and save the animals they could.
LUVERNE -- Johnnie Johnson is fondly referred to as a triple-decker by some of the staff at the Royal C. Johnson Veterans Administration Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D. The nickname refers to the collection of medals Johnson earned while serving in World War II -- the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Navy Commendation. Johnson, of Luverne, is among more than 60 World War II veterans who have already submitted applications to take part in the first ever Southwest Minnesota Honor Flight, planned in the spring of 2010.
WORTHINGTON -- In its final meeting of the year, Nobles County commissioners on Tuesday finalized the 2010 budget, setting the property tax levy at $9,568,807 for the coming year -- an increase of .71 percent over 2009.
WORTHINGTON - The Nobles County Planning Commission Wednesday night approved an updated subsurface sewage treatment ordinance that will, if approved by county commissioners, require all property owners to have a compliant septic system in operation at the point of sale or transfer to a new owner. The requirement is among several rule changes that will be recommended to the county board for approval at its Jan. 19 meeting. Once approved, the changes will take effect prior to the state-imposed deadline of Feb.
WORTHINGTON -- Students in the Partners in Prevention program at Adrian, Ellsworth, Luverne, Hills-Beaver Creek and Round Lake-Brewster gathered in Adrian Wednesday to begin a new initiative that takes a closer look at nutrition in the schools of Nobles and Rock counties. Organized by Nobles-Rock Community Health Services, the training was funded by the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) grant the agency received earlier this year to focus programming on tobacco and obesity prevention. Paula Anderson, NRCHS health educator, said looking at nutrition options in the schools is one way
LUVERNE -- They are considered the men and women of the greatest generation of Americans. They served their country during World War II and quietly returned home to their families. They desired not fame or recognition, but now that a national monument has been built in their honor, it's only fitting that they be able to see it. Since May 2005, World War II veterans from around the country have been able to see their memorial, free of charge, thanks to the Honor Flight program.
WORTHINGTON -- It was a disappointing turnout for H1N1 flu shot clinics offered to preschool through 12th grade students in Ellsworth, Hills-Beaver Creek, Adrian and Round Lake-Brewster school districts on Friday and Monday. Nobles-Rock Community Health Services Administrator Brad Meyer said just 35 percent of the students in each of the districts returned parental consent forms and received the shot during the first school-wide vaccination clinics offered for the H1N1 injectable and nasal mist.