Julie Buntjer joined the Daily Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington and graduate of Worthington High School, then-Worthington Community College and South Dakota State University, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism.
At the Daily Globe, Julie covers the agricultural beat, as well as Nobles County government, watersheds, community news and feature stories. In her spare time, she enjoys needlework (cross-stitch and hardanger embroidery), reading, travel, fishing and spending time with family.
Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at www.farmbleat.areavoices.com.
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WORTHINGTON -- Matt and Teresa Widboom of rural Worthington were honored earlier this month as Minnesota's American Soybean Association (ASA)-DuPont Young Leader award winners. The honor makes it the third time in four years the title has been presented to a young couple involved in farming in Nobles County. The 2006 winners were Ryan and Cindy Gravenhof of Worthington, while Bill and Dawn Gordon of Brewster earned the award in 2004. As recipients of the leadership award, the Widbooms will represent Minnesota during the 2007 Commodity Classic in early March in Tampa, Fla.
PIPESTONE -- Pipestone Area High School senior Amber Schmidt is at the Fort Worth Stock Show in Texas this weekend, taking part in her first official duty as newly-crowned National Polled Hereford Queen. Schmidt was crowned from among nine state queen finalists during the National Western Stock Show Jan. 13, in Denver, Colo. In addition to her crown and sash, she received a $1,000 scholarship. During the course of the next year, Schmidt will represent the Hereford industry at shows and sales across the country and here in southwest Minnesota.
LUVERNE -- Three weeks into a year-long promotion to provide free lots in a southwest Luverne subdivision, Luverne Economic Development Authority (LEDA) Director Jill Wolf is pleased with the response. Nine of the 19 lots offered through the promotion have already been spoken for, and if interest remains strong, there won't be any lots left by the time the promotion ends Dec. 31. "I'm just really excited that the promotion took off as well as it has," Wolf said.
WORTHINGTON -- The board of directors for Greeley, Colo.-based Swift & Co. announced Monday the company is working with JPMorgan to consider future options of the world's second largest beef and pork processing company. Still feeling the effects of the Dec. 12 Immigration and Customs Enforcement sweeps on six of its processing facilities, including the plant in Worthington, Swift & Co. continues to be profitable, according to information released on its Web site. Results of its second quarter financial report released Jan. 4 showed net sales of Swift & Co.
WORTHINGTON -- On the heels of setting its 2007 budget at more than $25.1 million, Nobles County Commissioners tabled two items on Tuesday's agenda -- reclassifying a deputy within the Nobles County Sheriff's Department to that of investigator, and purchasing laptop computers and printers for each of the five commissioners. Both items will be brought back for further discussion at the board's Feb. 6 meeting. Sheriff Kent Wilkening told commissioners the pay scale for investigators is at a Grade 20, whereas patrol deputies are at a scale of Grade 19.
WORTHINGTON -- The remains of the former Central Elementary School in downtown Worthington could be coming down as early as June or July, paving the way for the Southwestern Mental Health Center (SWMH) to begin construction on a new outpatient mental health clinic, offices and residential treatment facility. SWMH Executive Director Scott Johnson told Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday that after much discussion by the agency's board of directors, it was decided to continue working with Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership -- the entity that owns the Central Elementary property -- on a
LUVERNE -- The Dakota Chamber Orchestra, with special guest David Bixler, will jazz things up during a 2 p.m. performance at Luverne's historic Palace Theatre on Sunday. A veteran New York jazz player, Bixler will join the group of 18 to 25 musicians on the Palace stage to present what is being dubbed as a classical concert with a jazz twist.
WORTHINGTON -- When rural Worthington farmer Ron Luitjens was contacted several months ago about selling a portion of his land to the Union Pacific Railroad, he was told they wanted to construct a switchyard north of town to handle the increasing number of rail cars using the line. What he wasn't told, however, was that in selling the railroad six acres, they would seek permanent closure of the Town Avenue rail crossing. Permanent closure will force Luitjens and other farmers to travel three or four miles out of the way when moving farm implements and hauling grain. "I farm both sides of Hi
MINNEAPOLIS -- Anytime there's change, implications seem destined to follow. Such is the case in the pork industry, where the animal's main feedstuff, corn, is being sold at a premium to ethanol plants and converted into fuel.
MINNEAPOLIS -- With the price of corn continuing to climb closer to $4 per bushel, the buzz among poultry and livestock producers is just how much longer they can continue to pour their golden kernels into the feed trough instead of the ethanol plant. Brian Buhr, professor of applied economics at the University of Minnesota, told attendees at Minnesota Pork Congress on Wednesday that pork production needs to drop about 8 to 10 percent to allow producers to recapture the extra money they are spending on feed. A drop in production doesn't necessarily mean fewer pork producers, although that ma