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Informatton Sewlces, Inc (402) 342-31 70









REAP ~ m a l l Business of the Year Award


On the eve of the Center for Rural Affairs' Marketplace: Opening Doors to Success conference held in North Platte, Nebraska, on February I 25, 2009, Andy Weitzel was honored for his efforts, honor, and determination. Andy re- ' ceived the Center. for Rural Affairs' Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) Small Business of the Year award. REAP is a small business development program that offers business training, technical assistance, loans, and networking across rural Nebraska. With the help of REAP Business Specialist Jerry Terwilliger, Andy Weitzel, ownerloperator of Midwest Electronics, Scottsbluff, NE, was able to get a loan for equipment and inventory and started his business in February 2007. Midwest Electronics is a mobile electronics retail store specializing in aftermarket car stereos, speakers, amplifiers, accessories and installation. Andy also does some I home electronics installation. "Not only did REAP help give me financing but also helped outline pointers for managing my business," said Andy. "Through REAP, I received backing that went a little bit above and beyond what a traditional financial institution offers. They (REAP) want to see you succeed as much as you want to succeed." Andy worked in the auto repair business before starting Midwest Electronics. Auto electronics had been a dream of his from prior experience when working at another job. "Andy has done a great job in developing the business and presently has one full-time employee and one part-time employee," said Tenvilliger. "Even with the downturn in the economy, Andy's business has f stayed fairly strong." d

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USDA Farmers Market program grants Apr1l27 is the last diy to subm~tapplications for USDA's Farmers Market Pron~otionProgram (FMPP) grants. 'I'he grants, authorized by the Farmers Market Promotion Program, are targeted to help improve and expand domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, communitysupported agriculture programs and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. Approximately $5 million is allocated for the FMPP program. The minimum award per grant is $2,500, with a maximum of $100,000 for any one proposal. Matching funds art not required. Entities eligible to apply include agricultural cooperatives, local governments, nonprofit corporations, public health corporations, ccono~nic devclopmcnt corporations, For more information on the Farmers hlarket Promotion Program Grants and how to apply, visit: Interested parties cin also contacL htike Heavrin at the at (402) 687-2 103 ext. 1008 or for assistance.

Thursday, Apr1l02,2009 MORA, MN 2,900 (15) Newspaper (W) 3 Center For Rural Affa~rs

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04101 12009


Hhlth care reform: Dependence and needs By John Crabtree

individuals covered by public plans have increased by nearly Viable health care reform leg- 122 percent since 1987. Some health care reform proislation should strengthen public programs that many rural people posals would offer tax credits to depend upon. The inclusion of a help purchase private insurance public health insurance plan in and address health insurance reform legislation would pro- cost and accessibility. Howevcr, vide needed competition to pri- research has shown that using vate plans and address many of tax credits to purchase private the health care challenges faced insurance is not cost effective. Estimates from a national model . by rural Nebraskans. , Wlth a population that is older, show tax credits cost between poorer and with less employer- $2.36 and $12.98 per dollar of based health insurance coverage, insurance provided. The cost of nearly one-third more rural than expanding public health prourban people are covered by grams ranges from $1.17 to public health care programs such $1.33 per dollar of insurance SCHIP, Medicare and value provided. Public insurance has pioG e d i c a i d . Rural, non-elderly

Genter for Rural Affairs

neered payment and qualityimprovement methods that both control costs and improve the quality of care. Medicare, for example, had about 60 percent less spending per enrollee than private insurance between 1997 and 2006. The strengths of public health insurance plans are what many rural people and businesses need - stability and controlled costs while providing health insurance access to vulnerable populations like low and moderate-income families, small business en~ployers and their employees. farmers, ranchers and other self-employed rural residents.


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$5 Million Available


For Farmers Market I Promotion Grants



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Lyons, Nebraska - April 27, 2009 is the last day to submit applications for USDA's Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) grants. The grants, authorized by the Farmers Market Promotion Program, are targeted to help improve and expand domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. Approximately $5 million is allocated for the FMPP program. The minimum award per grant is $2,500, with a maximum of $100,000 for any one proposal. Matching funds are not required. Entities eligible to apply include agricultural cooperatives, local governments, nonprofit corporations, public health corporations, economic development corporations, regional farmers' market authorities and Tribal governments. "The Farmers Market Promotion Program is a great opportunity to help producers and communities cover some of the start-up costs of establishing a local farmers market or other form of direct marketing from agricultural products from producers to consumers," said Mike Heavrin, Cooperative Development Manager at the Center for Rural Affairs. According to Heavrin, farmers markets are good for communities, bringing farmers and consumers together to create a stronger local economy and providing consumers with fresh, affordable produce. And the flexibility of the grants, absence of matching fund requirements and the additional funding provided by Congress should allow the Farmers

Market Promotion Program to potentially reach a ldt more communities, especially rural communities with markets that are smaller or just starting up. The Farmers Market Promotion Program was created through a recent amendment of the Farmer-to-Consumer Direct Marketing Act of 1976. For more information on the Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants and how to apply, visit: FMPP. Or contact Mike Heavrin, at the Center for Rural Affairs at (402) 687-2103 ext. 1008 or for assistance. For more information also visit:



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Daids Defeated a Real -

~onath (By John Crabtree, Center for Rural Affairs) JBS the Brazilian meatpacker that has quickly become a dominate player in the U.S. beef sector, announced that the company will cease efforts to acquire National Beef. In March of 2008, JBS announced its intention to acquire National Beef. Thousands of family farmers, ranchers and other concerned citizens signed the Center for Rural Affairs petition against the JBS mergers &d reached out to the Justice Department to urge them to challenge the JBS mergers. Justice responded by filing suit in federal court in October, 2008, challenging the JBS National Beef merger in court on grounds that the merger reduced competition in- cattle markets. The Center for Rural Affairs is proud of our efforts and of all our friends that stood with us on this. ah^ people have told us numerous times that nothing can be done about these mergers. Well, they were wrong. Family farmen. ranchers and rural communities won... JBS lost. . . And all those Davids aefeated a real





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---Goliath. JBS is thc ~ o r l d ' s largest beef producer and packer with a daily slaughter capacity of 65,000 head of cattle. They are the largest global exporter of processed beef' operations include 22 plants in nine Brazlllan states, six plants in Argentina, nine plants in Australia, and 10 plants in Italy. In the U.S. they boast a daily beef slaughter capacity of 28.100 cattle. Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, and

---along with three pork packing plants with a daily slaughter capacity of47,900 hogs. For more information:

--Their a--lamb slaughter plant --




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Highway 14 Association learns about wind power What is the wing span of a wind ttdirq,yhm the tip of the blade travels at 100 mph, and ttte blaQe itself makes 16 tevolutions per minute? Dan Alberts of Windpower, LLC,which has an office in Petersburg, asked members &d guests to answer that question at a Highway 14 Association Inc. meeting beld at the Steel Steed resqurant in Elgin last 'Ibu~sday,April 2. , Alberts recently returned from Loraine, TX,where he saw Third Planet's new wind farm develop. He said that there are many similarities between Texas and Nebraska, and in both situations the wind farms are placed in communities that need a boost to their economies. He is a lawyer and civil engineer, who said he is excited to represent development. Third Planet Windpower put one of their company's

Nebraska is sixth nationwide for the best wind a d has the hi&est wind energy of any state in the nation, Alberts continued. But. Nebraska is 30th in production of wind energy. The reason is that Nebraska is much more organized and careful. The state won't be the first ones participatingh wind energy, but will be the .best at it. Wmd ngime is right along Highway 14 in Nebraska, and it is one of the best in the nation. "At a recent meeting in Lincoln, C$v. B v r Hr*er??en.z ~ Lt. d Cv. Rick Sheehy both said that Nebraska is going to become the wind capital of the world," said Alberts. "This is the best thmg that will happen in the state." Traditionally, it will cost $400 million to build a wind farm, and it will produce $2million in tax revenue the first year. When counties see millions of tax dollars come in, then they will all say they want a wind farm, he said. That is a huge amount of money available for schools, counties and cities in the area. What income comes back to tbe wmmunities when they invest in the wind f m s ? C-BED law says that 33 percent of gross revenues earned must come back to Nebraska investors. The Legislature has guaranteed that the law is to protect everyone. Sales tax in C-BED projects is abated, andeach landowner has the right to invest.

oBces in pttmburg three-yutrs ago and @"mrde strident efforts to place a wind farm in the area Elgin City Clerk Vicki Miller asked if then are res o m e persons for other areas interested in pursuing a wind farm. A l h rccommendcd Ross KDon at Petersburg State Bank. Petmburg has done everything right, he saiQ and is bound to be successful. "NPPD will have all bids in by April 15,2009, and they will announce whether it will be good to go by October." said Alberts. Since some 20 Boone County representatives contacted NPPD personalIy at a h a r d meeting, Alsaid he feels it likely that NPPD will accept its next wind farm proposal from the Petersburg area and that the project will be stnrted next October. That wind farm will encompass 12,000acres, he said.

Wind Power.. .

Each turbine q u i r e s 250 yards So, it makes sense for NPPD to put decided to order 500 "Highway 14 of concrete with 30 trucks to deliver the electricity on the national grid Welcomes You" stickers for employit. This foundation is backfilled with and sell it for hisher prices ratha d e m ~ l o ~ etor suse in the c ~ m d o r dirt after the concrete is in place. The than using the electricity genemted when bus tours or events are held There are YC71 Highway turbines used in the Petersburg East in Nebraska. The mark& for e1-ch\~sociationm m h * a d those project will be "'the 4020 tractor of ity is moving back and forth every attending were .asked to remind forturbines," said Alberts. "They have a minute." nine-year history and are 1 I /2 megaThere is also the prospect that a mer members to mew- Themember' watts, They have the best history of tax will be placed on carbon ship form is on the website at: www. reliability of turbines." He added emissions. Renewable energy sourc- highway14-0q- Web hits to Over 11,000that there Will be 300 people coming es are going to be needed CornpaDon Meadows Neli@ said he in for at least eight months to put up nies are going to have to change. A the 53 turbines in this project. wind farm will generate 1120th ofthe checked the website and found that it needed updating as soon as possible. Each farmer who leases their land necessary elecaical usage. can still f m up to the wind turbine. ~ l . also b suggested ~ ~ that~ ~ and web links should be done basis. still use the land for a schools in the area sign up for a wind On a OC they Development Agency in Albion of,project. He felt that a h~b.111~on a pashat. update the W h m is the b s t place for the virtual website could show it spin- f& to A l1 geocachm found turbines?"In the corners, where the nhg and generating electricity, and crops aren't that good anyway," said could be a great to the science- theHgbway l4 g-cha in March. are now two geocaches at the Alberts. "It makes perfect sense for =laied classes. A wind turbine, like siteanyona Leasing of the land pays .in Cedar Rapids or at Elkborn ValKnow Nebraska application is the fanners directly %,6,000 for, 20 ley in Xlden, could generate eleoY-. Knowledge is that the t m b r n e ~ Wty for the schooI which w d d due May in , will run for 20 years. Operation and save on electrical costs, or conidor could be feahved in a booth ~ l contract to pathe at the Nebraska State Fair fiom Aug. maintenance and decommissioning the ~ c h o could dollars arr also m the pian." pasted on the mion- 29-Sept. 6. Also included would be the podcasts made by Sandy Patton Lois Schrunk of Barttm asked wide grid of Neligh and geocaching infonnaif Nebraska e l d c a l rates will be on ~ a & i of EI&, cody the s%g spanm of the' tion. Groups awarded a booth will be lower with the wind farms. notified the week of May 4. Albert answered, "It won't lower wind turbine at 160 feet.. A winery bus tour was disthe cost. It will probably raise your Elgin City Clerk Mcki Milla d. Jefferson of Central electrical costs in Nebraska because welcomed the 18 m e m h and c ~ ~ eKendra City suggested a tweday bus tour, of the cost to build the wind farms. guests to the meeting. NPPD will be exporting the elecn e =sociation will be ordering which could involve several winer~ ~ in mcity generated to other areas. For 10,000 bitding brochuns to be add- ies in Nebraska and 0 t h evenu example, Nebraska electric rates are ed to the grolip tour brochas and the C e n d City area. She will come six centslkilowatt, but New York to use in brochure racks. so, it was back with more information at the next meeting. It was suggested that electric prices are 20 cents~kilowatt. Universal Information Services , Inc. Profile: Ill- Center for Rural Afhirs Recipient: John Crabtree



2009 \ AU

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the tour could also coincide with the Elgin Craft Fair the first Saturday in October. A b i g bus tour w u fabled until next Jauuary. The Nebraska Furrier Association will be having a two-day event in Albion in September. Jason R e p oldsen of Albion asked if the Highway 14 Association would want to plan a craft fair in conjunction with the meeting.A list of POP IN vendors will be-sent to him. A meeting is planned on nctwocking small buiinesses with lamer busin&ies, to make small items rather than outsourcing. The Center for Rural Affairs will be hosting the meeting at several locations. One will be at the Neligh Library on April 8. Ted 'Thieman of Petersburg brought up -the idea of having a photo .contest along Highway 14. Thieman, Jim and Julie Dickemn of the Albion NewsPetersburg Ress. Sandy Patton of the Antelope County Resource in Neligh, Mitzi Fox of Albion and Denise Trine &om PraideLand RC&D in Madison will get together and formulate rules. It was suggested to check into the 4-H rules for county fairs. NETA brochure.swap will be May 13. Jefferson may be able to attend, since the swap will be held in Hastis. Upcoming events in thi Highway* 14 corridor include: April &Rightt e l i f e T m u r c Trek in Menick County; 16-mile Bader Challenge fkom High\hay 66 to Mvqume to Bader Park to Highway 14. The Challenge will be held h m April 18 to Sept. 18; April 18-19-Bargain Byway (includes comdor communities of Brunswick, Niobrara, Creighton and Verdigre); June 22-24-Elgin Vetch Days; April 4-Easter Egg Hunt in Albion; July 25--Genoa Indian School Reunion with 24 'flags on display representing tribes that sent students to the school. it was also noted that the Watamelon Seed Spitting Contest at Neligb's Bread 'N Jam Festival last year had 25 participants, and the record distance was 229 inches. Also, k installed this a mist fountain will l summer at the Antelope County Res o w Cmter~ourism Center in Neligh this summer. *

Universal Information Services , lnc. Prof le: 111 - Center for Rural Affairs Recipient: John Crabtree


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