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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WORTHINGTON — Jake Cuperus and his fishing buddies — 4-year-old son Lawson and friend Brandon Van Westen — were ice fishing on Lake Okabena Saturday when Jake’s 6-pound test fishing line went taut, the weight tugging from a golden-colored jig feeling like a rock. “I knew right away it was a big fish — it was just the way it felt,” said the rural Wilmont farmer and ice-fishing enthusiast.
AVOCA — Tucked behind the barn on a rural Avoca acreage, Dillon and Chandra Carlson have constructed a 16-kilowatt, 64-panel solar array that will generate enough energy to power their farmhouse, with excess energy feeding into the power supply grid. While the project was completed in September, the Carlsons have yet to capture the full advantage of the system — the warm summer sun.
WORTHINGTON — Two years after the statewide launch of the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program, more than 500 landowners have completed the application process and become certified. The voluntary program seeks to encourage the implementation of conservation practices that protect and improve water quality, including the planting of cover crops, using reduced tillage or no-till and monitoring nutrient loads, among others.
READING — On a farm not far from here, pigs are sprawled out and sleeping, rooting up the frozen cap in a dirt yard and frolicking on a weathered cement slab. It’s mid-December, but these four-legged porkers are hamming it up in the final days before they leave for market. As you may already expect, these are no ordinary pigs.
WORTHINGTON — Weeks after the Nobles County Board of Commissioners voted not to accept a recommendation from the county’s planning commission that would have allowed Mike Fogelman to operate a home-extended business in Seward Township, new details discovered last week made Fogelman’s permit request moot. The planning commission overlooked one critical detail in Fogelman’s original permit request — the fact that he doesn’t actually live on the site where he wants to operate his business.
WORTHINGTON — From pickleball and racquetball to tai chi, yoga, pinochle, pool and cribbage, the Center for Active Living in Worthington continues to grow its programs. With a wide variety of ongoing and new activities, the CAL looks to expand participation. As a way promote CAL programming, the center will host a meet and greet Feb. 6. People are welcome to purchase a senior dining meal, served at 11:30 a.m., and then mingle with people who lead CAL activities.
OKOBOJI, Iowa — With more than a foot of snow landing Monday on the Iowa Great Lakes, organizers of the University of Okoboji Winter Games are ready to kick it up a notch this weekend, with a full slate of activities planned for both outdoor enthusiasts and those who prefer to be indoors.
WORTHINGTON — A grant-funded project authorized by Nobles County commissioners on Tuesday will result in address points being collected and entered into the county’s Geographic Information System (GIS) this year.
WORTHINGTON — With the largest snowstorm to hit southwest Minnesota in several years, Mother Nature packed a punch Monday with heavy snow and high winds, bringing traffic to a standstill across portions of southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa. When the storm finally moved out of the area, it had blanketed Worthington and Jackson with 11 inches of snow, Sibley, Iowa with 11.5 inches, Spirit Lake, Iowa with 12 inches and Lakefield with 12.8 inches.
LUVERNE — Artists and nonprofit arts and culture organizations in 2016 generated nearly $20 million in the 18 counties that comprise the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, according to a study by Creative Minnesota. One-tenth of that economic impact — $2 million — is generated in Rock County.