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 -- There is a vicious cycle running through the agricultural industry today, and it could be months, perhaps years, before any relief is in sight. While consumers complain about the high cost of food in the grocery store and the pain at the gas pump, many have pointed fingers at the American farmer and blamed him for their troubles. What they don't realize is the American farmer is experiencing those same, higher bills. Across Minnesota and nationwide, livestock producers are in a difficult situation.
BEAVER CREEK -- Though their farm is just a mile south of Interstate 90, along a stretch of gravel road in far western Rock County, Mary and Clair Crawford have noticed a few more slow-moving vehicles drive by -- and no, they aren't all farm implements. Traffic has picked up along this rural road for one reason -- a series of 10 quilts Mary painted on the side of the Crawford farm's vacated hog barn. It was about two years ago when Mary Crawford asked her husband what his plans were for the building. Was he going to tear it down or just leave it to weather in the wind?
WORTHINGTON -- I remember well the day I learned to fear the massive four-legged beast. I was about 10 years old, teaching my goat Princess how to walk with a lead rope in the cattle pasture when, all of a sudden, I heard these thundering footsteps behind me. Just as I thought my little Princess couldn't possibly make that much noise I turned around to see Big Red, my oldest brother's Limousin steer, with his head down and charging right for me and my goat. I dove for cover in the wooden hay manger while screaming for Princess to run -- run for her life. Princess survived.
RUSHMORE -- Nine area fire departments spent the better part of Thursday afternoon battling a blaze that consumed the United Farmers Cooperative grain elevator in Rushmore and required residents from two neighboring houses to be evacuated. No injuries were reported, although at least one ambulance crew was called because of concerns of potential heat exhaustion among firefighters. Fire departments were paged just before 2:30 p.m.
WORTHINGTON -- Leroy Merkel remembers well the day he learned he had cancer. His wife, Rosemary, grabbed him by the ear and the hair to go to the doctor for a physical -- not literally, but that's how he felt at the time. He was 66 years old and hadn't had a thorough physical in years. Certainly, he didn't think he needed a check-up on what he viewed as one of the busiest days of the year for a businessman -- Dec. 31. The end-of-the-year paperwork would have to wait, though. Rosemary was insistent that he take the day off back in 2001. As Dr.
WORTHINGTON -- More than $11,000 in donations and luminary sales were turned in during the final bank night Monday for the 12th annual Nobles County Relay For Life.
WORTHINGTON -- Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday offered their assistance to Emergency Management Director Dan Anderson in contacting township officials across the county to collect damage reports from rain and flooding that have occurred in the county since June 7. Anderson needs to collect initial damage estimates on township roads and in cities and have the information submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency by Friday. If the county does not meet the $64,787.52 threshold for damages, there is no reason to apply for funding.
WORTHINGTON -- The average valuation for residential property in Nobles County rose 9.21 percent, while agricultural land noted an 11.91 percent increase for 2008, according to Byron Swart, Nobles County Assessor. Swart appeared before the Nobles County Board of Appeal and Equalization Monday morning to present information on property valuations and to provide additional information on requests from nine property owners that the valuation be lowered on their residence. "Nationally, values are going down, but in Worthington, we have not seen that," Swart said.
FAIRMONT -- It isn't a perfect bill by any means, but Congressmen Tim Walz of Minnesota's 1st District and Collin Peterson of the 5th District say the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (also known as the Farm Bill) is "pretty good." Speaking before a crowd of more than 60 farmers and agribusiness people at the Red Rock Center for the Arts in downtown Fairmont Friday, the House Agriculture Committee freshman member Walz and committee chairman Peterson say there is much more work to be done. "This is not the end -- there are many, many things ahead of us," said Walz as he referenced re
WORTHINGTON -- With food and fuel costs taking a large bite out of the family budget, Nobles-Rock Community Health Services (NRCHS) has experienced an influx in the number of requests for assistance through the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. During its monthly board meeting on Wednesday, NRCHS staff said increased demand has the agency looking at expanding hours, and possibly nurses, to address the issue. NRCHS Public Health Nurse Barb Navara said phone calls to the agency for WIC assistance are such that they are scheduling appointments up to 15 days out. "WIC hours need to exp