Page 1

Country Friday, January 17, 2020

cres A Focusing on Today’s Rural Environment

Volume 8, Edition 1

PHOTO BY SARAH COLBURN

Just inside the door to his winter tent, Mike Leedahl starts a fire in his lightweight titanium camp stove, with the smoke escaping through a chimney.

Alive

in the wilderness

Leedahl relishes winter camping, anything nature By SARAH COLBURN Staff Writer

AVON – Mike Leedahl dons his Mukluks and straps on his snowshoes to trek across the land, taking in the elements, from the animals and sunlight to the barren trees. He breathes it in, he lives it. He relishes in the black and white of the Minnesota winters, the starkness of brush against the fresh snow, the tracks that show life continues under the blanket that covers the Midwest. “I just never feel more alive than that,” Leedahl said. Nature calls this outdoor enthusiast year-round; from fishing, hunting and canoeing to outdoor winter camping and assisting with a dog-mushing team, he does it all. And, when it comes to winter camping, as in most things, Leedahl does it the traditional way. That means a cotton canvas white tent, titanium wood-burning stove, his food and clothing packed onto a toboggan that he pulls across the land in his snowshoes.

He becomes one with the woods and as civilization melts away his senses heighten and everything becomes more vivid. The land reveals itself. “Maybe it’s just a part of me, it’s who I am,” he said. Though Leedahl has spent a lifetime enjoying the outdoors, due to life’s many commitments he only returned to winter camping as a sport a year ago – prior to that it had been nearly a decade since he winter camped. For him the season provides a comfort and a seclusion like nothing else. The trails change, the landscape changes and there’s not another human soul for miles. “It’s really hard to explain; the best way to explain it is to take someone out and experience it,” he said. He recalls a trip to the Sawbill Trail north of Tofte on the North Shore and as he tells the story his eyes smile and his face lightens as he remembers the details. “We went six or seven miles in and took another road but it wasn’t plowed … we wanted to go where we grouse hunt in the fall so we took a 45-minute trip in, we snowshoed,” he said. “It was 9 o’clock

This month in the

COUNTRY

PHOTO SUBMITTED

Mike Leedahl and his colleague took their first traditional-style winter camping trip to the BWCA on Kawishiwi Lake.

at night and it was snowing and all the sounds were just absorbed by the snow and the headlamps would barely reach.” He and his brother and his colleague set up camp. That was 2009. In the last more than 30 years Leedahl has learned from some of the best winter adventurers in the world. A science teacher by trade, he’s read books, researched and studied. He’s also attend-

ed symposiums with speakers the likes of arctic explorers Will Steger, Paul Schurke Garrett and Alexandra Conover and Lonnie Dupre. He’s learned to always go into an adventure with a back-up plan though he admits, one time it failed. He and his brother

5

Floating Cows Diane Leukam Column

10 Bessie the Baker Atwater

13 Leaving the electronics at home Richmond

7

Match made in a barn Sauk Centre

12 Country Acres According To: 16 Country Cooking Larry and Beverly Sorenson

LEEDAHL continued on page 2

17 Four-legged family Holdingford


Page 2 • Country Acres - Friday, January 17, 2020

Country Acres Published by Star Publications Copyright 2014 522 Sinclair Lewis Ave. Sauk Centre, MN 56378 Phone: 320-352-6577 Fax: 320-352-5647 NEWS STAFF Diane Leukam, Editor diane@saukherald.com Ben Sonnek, Writer ben.s@saukherald.com Herman Lensing, Writer herman@melrosebeacon.com Jennifer Coyne, Writer jenn@dairystar.com Evan Michealson, Writer evan.m@star-pub.com Carol Moorman, Writer carol@melrosebeacon.com Natasha Barber, Writer natasha@saukherald.com Sarah Colburn, Freelance Writer

Story ideas send to: diane@saukherald.com SALES STAFF Kayla Hunstiger, 320-247-2728 kayla@saukherald.com Missy Traeger, 320-291-9899 missy@saukherald.com Tim Vos, 320-845-2700 tim@albanyenterprise.com Mike Schafer, 320-894-7825 mike.s@dairystar.com Warren Stone, 320-249-9182 warren@star-pub.com Jaime Ostendorf, 320-309-1988 Jaime@star-pub.com Bob Leukam, 320-260-1248 bob.l@star-pub.com

PRODUCTION STAFF Pat Turner Amanda Thooft Nancy Powell Brian Dingmann Maddy Peterson

Deadlines: Country Acres will be published the first Fridays of April, May, June, September, October and November, and the third Friday of every month. Deadline for news and advertising is the Thursday before publication.

were six miles or less from does happen.” Leedahl has become the end of the Gunflint Trail and it was 42 degrees an expert in layering and below zero – the start of has enough winter cloththe Polar Vortex last year. ing to fill half a kitchen Their gear started freez- table and a nearby bench. ing, despite a new coating His mainstay, can’t live of Gulf Wax, the tobog- without, base layer is megans stopped sliding, the rino wool, a wool he says wood stove wasn’t able feels like cotton and won’t to heat the tent the way melt. He wears a wool they would have liked shirt, wool pants, a fleece and cooking took longer. or wool vest, a fleece anThe backpack stove they orak or blanket shirt and a nylon brought anorak if for makit’s realing tea, “I’m not afraid of ly windy. hot chocolate and the cold anymore,” His tip: wear at coffee he said. “I might least one wasn’t l a y e r working have cold fingers tucked well and eventualonce in awhile but in to retain body ly broke. ...I always have heat. He T h e y didn’t something in mind uwsru aa lpl ys make it a sash as far in if the unexpected around as they does happen.” his anwould orak to h a v e - Mike Leedahl seal out liked and the wind after two nights they decided to turn and when he gets warm back and return to civili- from activity, he removes the sash and lets in some zation. Leedahl doesn’t give of the cool air. He opts up easily and not many is- for fingerless gloves, exsues throw him off course. plaining that on the back He’s slept under the stars of the hand the blood veson a 20-degree night with sels are near the surface, only a tarp below him and so the fingerless gloves a tarp above him, wrapped allow him to get work done while staying warm. in a sleeping bag. “I’m not afraid of the Occasionally he’ll double cold anymore,” he said. “I glove and top with anothmight have cold fingers er set of wool mittens, and once in awhile but …. I in extreme situations he’ll always have something put on his Plunge Mitts. “Everything you do is in mind if the unexpected

PHOTOS BY SARAH COLBURN

A favorite pair of fingerless wool gloves are a must for Mike Leedahl to take a snowshoe hike through the woods and hills on his property.

going to decide your comfort level,” he said. He sleeps on a 2-inch Therm-a-Rest mat topped with a synthetic fill sleeping bag rated to 30 below. Generally, he said, the wood-burning stove keeps the tent warm though he doesn’t stoke the fire throughout the night. He gets it going and lets it burn out. In the morning he usually wakes to a thin layer For winter camping and other nature pursuits, Mike Leedahl relies of frost on the inside walls on this trusty knife he made using a blade from Russel Green of the tent and within half River Works and outfitted with a handmade, mountain-man-style an hour the stove steams off the frost and within an sheath.

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hour the tent is dry again. Depending on the sunrise or a strong moonlight, he said, the silhouette of his snowshoes and the stove smoke will mingle and create a picturesque pattern that dances across the white tent walls. Through the years, Leedahl has invested more in his gear. The very first winter camping trip he took was in junior high school and he ventured out with a nylon tent. He did the same when he took his first trip as an adult with a

colleague. That night they burned through a gigantic pile of wood to stay warm and Leedahl left his Mukluks outside his sleeping bag, awaking to find them frozen completely solid. Twenty years ago, he said, there wasn’t much commercially available for winter camping and what was available carried a hefty price tag. When he first began, he asked his sister-in-law, a professional seam-

LEEDAHL continued on page 3

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Friday, January 17, 2020 - Country Acres • Page 5

Floating cows by Diane Leukam Most of their feed, though, will be waste from the food industries in the area. Speaking of waste, their manure is contained in an airtight space, though I did not find out what they do with it. Each day a herd of 32 Meuse-Rhine-Issel cows, named for their origination in the area where the three rivers meet, will produce a couple hundred gallons of milk, which is pasteurized and/or made into milk products such as yogurt and eventually a soft cheese, all to be distributed and eaten locally. Floating Farm takes up 4,000 square feet, the size of a large home in Central Minnesota. Check it out online from any number of news stories or on their website, floatingfarm.nl. I hope you can read Dutch! Next, the land down under has been in world news lately with their country burning up in wildfires.

With so much destruction and loss, my heart aches for them. Back in August, though, I read a great story out of Australia about cow gas and seaweed. Research there is coming up with findings that a certain seaweed, if consumed by cows at just 2% of their DMI (dry matter intake), will eliminate their gas emissions up to 99%. My question is, how soon can they grow enough to be included in the diet of every cow in the world, and why stop at that? There are probably a few billion people who could take the seaweed in pill form someday, provided it works on humans. Why blame climate change on just cows, if you know what I mean? Closer to home but influenced again by the down-under folks, A2 milk is the craze in New Zealand and parts of the United States. The Dairy Star is our sister paper that is “All dairy, all the time.” Their Dec. 21 issue featured a front-page story by Jennifer Coyne, “Hendricksons become first Minnesota farm to make, sell A2 milk.” So, what is A2 milk? Apparently, most milk has two forms of beta casein protein. A1 is the protein that is so hard for many people to digest.

A2 is a protein that can be digested much more easily. According to the story, “Joel and Amanda Hendrickson began processing A2 whole milk Dec. 17 on their 135-cow dairy in Otter Tail County near Menahga. The Hendricksons and their 10 children – Zach, 14, Maddie, 12, Julia, 11, Lucy, 9, Lily and Maria, 8, Lane, 6, Nora, 4, Finn, 2, and Emma, 1 – are the faces behind Ten Finns Creamery.” I’m not sure about you, but I’m almost more interested in the family than the milk! Anyway, some time

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ows floating on the water, eating seaweed and producing milk that most people who can’t drink milk can drink? These sound like they are all part of the same thing, but actually they are separate projects. When it comes to agriculture, there is always new research and technology being tested and implemented. It’s fun once in a while to take a look at some of the innovative things being tried in farming and, in this case, the dairy industry. First, what about those cows on the water? This past summer, Floating Farm took to the water near Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Leave it to the Dutch, and I say that with all due respect, especially since my grandfather grew up 80 miles from there. Basically, this is an experiment in producing food in populated areas where land is not available. Picture this: Cows hang out in a greenhouse with trees and sunshine. If they feel like getting milked, they go to a robot which milks them. If they choose, they can meander over a bridge to a pasture onshore. Feed for them is grown in another greenhouse which is the top level of the self-contained farm.

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ago, the Hendricksons began selecting herd sires that carry the gene to produce A2 milk. All their cows were tested, and the 60% that produced A2 milk were kept and the others replaced by cows that were also tested to ensure they were A2-producing. Now, after years of research and work, they are beginning to pasteurize and package their Ten Finns milk in their on-farm creamery. Cartons are designed with pictures of the Finn kids, highlighting their Scandinavian heritage and educating consumers. One of the most re-

warding aspects of the project has been providing milk that many more people are able to drink. The Hendricksons are starting small and hope to someday sell all of the milk they produce as the market continues to grow. Read the whole story at Dairystar.com. Speaking of starting small, in just the last few days we have launched our own Facebook page, Country Acres Paper, and will enjoy watching it grow. Like our page and check out our fun tidbits, photos and links to stories online. We’ll see you there!

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Friday, January 17, 2020 - Country Acres • Page 7

Match made in a barn

Klaphakes’ state fair encounter sparks romance By DIANE LEUKAM Staff Writer

SAUK CENTRE – “You’re going to marry that girl someday.” That was in 2015, and a quote from a friend of Jason Klaphake’s. It was at the All Stars Sports Bar in St. Rosa and Jason had just danced with a girl he didn’t even know. Jason was there for a bachelor party and Tiffany Hulinksy was there with several of her friends. “That’s no joke,” Tiffany said. “We both had red plaid shirts on, so apparently we looked like we were meant to be together.” Jason had noticed Tiffany and saw she had her jacket on, planning to leave. “I said, ‘hey you can’t leave, we have to dance!’” Jason said. “The jacket was off like that.” They had found their first of many mutual interests. “He said he wanted to

go dancing and those were the magic words,” Tiffany said. She got his phone number that night, and they went out on a date. One date, that is. They went dancing, of course. But, Tiffany had several reasons for not pursuing a relationship at the time. “I was going on an exchange program, leaving the country for three months,” she said. “I didn’t want to start anything and I didn’t want to marry a dairy farmer.” Jason smiled. “And she didn’t want to date someone 10 years older,” he said. Jason is now 39 and Tiffany is 29. The 2015 prediction proved to be prophetic, though, and the two were married in August 2019. Jason and Tiffany Klaphake make one of those couples that are a natural fit. There is no struggle for conversation, they get along with each other’s friends and large families

and there is no pretense or changing who they are. Though they have been married only a matter of months, it seems like much longer, in a good way. It just took them a while to figure it all out. Jason has lived on the home farm south of Sauk Centre all but a year-anda-half of his life. He loves to shop local, but when it came to finding his future wife, he needed to expand his boundaries. “When we were dating, I used to tease him all the time that he had to cross the county line to find a girl,” Tiffany said. “He said he’s dated a lot of girls from the area, mostly Stearns County. He’s all about staying local, but you have to get out once in a while to find the right one.” He really didn’t go too far. On Dec. 5, the two sat in their kitchen on the farm and talked about dating, PHOTO BY DIANE LEUKAM

KLAPHAKE continued on page 8

Tiffany and Jason Klaphake are pictured Dec. 5 in the dairy barn south of Sauk Centre. The two were married in August and are looking forward to raising a family on the farm.

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Page 8 • Country Acres - Friday, January 17, 2020 KLAPHAKE continued from page 7 oats. “I thought about going to college for ag and Dad said, ‘don’t go to college for ag, I can teach you farming. Go for something else and if farming don’t work out you have something else to back you up,’” Jason said. He chose to stay on the farm. Tiffany, the daughter of David and Shirley Hulinsky of Burtrum, grew up on a dairy farm with 60 cows and 340 acres. She chose to go to college, but did not stray from agriculture. A graduate of the University of Minnesota Crookston with a degree in agricultural business, she works at Central Lakes College in Staples as the program coordinator for AgCentric (MN Ag Center of Excellence). She also works with the Minnesota FFA Alumni Association. Luckily for the Klaphakes, their story did not end with one date in 2015. Though they had both gone on with life, their paths were to cross once again. This time it PHOTO SUBMITTED was not on the dance floor Jason and Tiffany Klaphake work on the harvest last fall on the but in a barn, with a little help from Jason’s brothers. Klaphake farm south of Sauk Centre.

their engagement, getting married and life in general. Jason is the youngest of 11 children of the late Ed and Marlene Klaphake. A 1999 graduate of Sauk Centre, he has been farming since his high school

days with his brother, Dan. The two, along with Dan and wife, Jen’s, children, two hired high school students and now, Tiffany, milk 80 cows and grow 500-plus acres of corn, alfalfa, soybeans, wheat and

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Jason and Tiffany Klaphake dance at their wedding Aug. 10, 2019. Dancing, especially swing dancing, has been a favorite activity for the couple and Jason claims Tiffany still has to teach him some moves.

It was at the state fair in 2017, when Jason was there to work at the all-you-can-drink milk stand. Before his shift, he was walking around with his brothers, Charlie and Mark. Tiffany was working at the moo booth with her mother, who knew Mark. They were re-introduced but Jason needed a little additional matchmaking from Mark. “Mark said, ‘you know those good peaches, get her one of those,’ and I’m like, alright; it was like a $5 peach!” Jason and the peach made their way to Tiffany. “I was still working my shift so he knew where I was going to be,” she said. “I ate it later; it was a good peach!” The two began dating just two weeks later and the rest is history. “I figured the third time is a charm and if he

wants to go on a date after two years, apparently he really likes me and I’d give him a shot,” she said. “I told my roommate after a few months, I better be careful or I might end up working on a dairy farm again.” Eventually, these two farm kids got engaged and married. “I joke with people that I’m trying to make it as easy as possible for Jason,” Tiffany said. “We started dating Sept. 10 (2017), got engaged on Nov. 10 (2018) and married on Aug. 10 (2019). My birthday is Dec. 10, so, if it’s the fall and it’s the 10th of the month, you should be concerned; something’s up!” She is working on a dairy farm again, several nights a week and on many weekends. For fun, the two go dancing as often as they

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KLAPHAKE continued on page 9

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can, often to Rollie’s Rednecks and Longnecks in St. Cloud, where every Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights there is a live band. It is where they went on their first date in 2015. Their favorites are swing dances, and Jason is under Tiffany’s tutelage. “She’s a lot more experienced than I am; I know a few basic moves but there are certain things she would like me to learn yet,” he said, smiling. Soon, they would like to start a family. Jason’s eyes glistened with tears, pausing as he spoke of family. His mom passed away in April 2013 and his dad very recently, on Nov. 17, 2019. His life growing up on the farm with his big family is one of his greatest treasures. “I wouldn’t trade


Friday, January 17, 2020 - Country Acres • Page 9 KLAPHAKE continued from page 8 “The first time my dad and mom came to see the house before we got married, they saw the green tractors on the shelf and Dad said, ‘Don’t worry honey, we’ll fix that for you; we’ll get some red ones for you!’” Tiffany said.

As time goes on and if they are blessed with children, the Klaphakes will no doubt teach them well. They will likely drive green tractors, eat good peaches and, if they are like their parents, they will learn to dance.

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growing up on a farm for nothing,” he said. “I always tell people I don’t farm just because I like to farm; it’s also because there’s no other place I’d like to raise my family. You can teach them so much. There are people that do a really good job in town, but there are so many more things that you can teach them on the farm, and aspects of life where you realize you’re not in control. So many people live in town for a while and they think they are in control. We work every day where you step outside the door and your plans change.” They would like to have their children experience life the way they did growing up. “We want to teach them the values that come with growing up on the farm,” Tiffany said. “I always say we’ve both been raised on a heavy dose of faith, family and farming.” At Ed’s wake, people teased Jason, asking him how married life was treating him. He said they are still talking to each othter, even after a road trip to Glacier National Park. They went there and back rwith no major disagreements and figure if they can spend a week together in a car with just them, this might just work. They don’t even argue about tractors.


Page 10 • Country Acres - Friday, January 17, 2020

Bessie the baker

Klose, 83, shares extraordinary kitchen enterprise By SARAH COLBURN Staff Writer

ATWATER – Four thousand pieces of lefse a year, 30 pies a week, 24 loaves of rye and bulgur bread and eight loaves of banana bread. That’s Bessie Klose’s weekly regimen. At the age of 83, Klose has won so many ribbons and awards for her baking she shoos away those who ask just how many. She gifts pies year-round to support ben-

Bessie’s famous Rhubarb pie.

efits and fundraisers, she gives to the Atwater Area Living at Home fundraiser, the State Farmers Union benefit and the County Farmers Union spaghetti dinner and to just about anyone else who calls and is doing a fundraiser to help someone else. Her pies have sold for as much as $700 and a dozen lefse? $240. “It’s wonderful, it gives me such a sense of pride and makes you feel warm all over,” Bessie said. “They’re not just

bidding on a pie, they’re bidding on a Bessie’s pie. It’s really been a sense of accomplishment.” Bessie works out of her kitchen in Atwater. Creamy sunflower-colored cabinets surround the space and her granite-topped island serves as her main work surface. Below the island she has five-gallon buckets of bread flour and all-purpose flour and an ice cream pail of sorghum. A stand mixer sits sentry on the countertop and a second one stands on a rolling kitchen cart. Up until this year, she used a hand-held pastry blender and elbow grease to prepare the crusts for her pies. Now, she uses the stand mixer. “My recipes have been passed down from generation to generation, a lot I got from my mother,” she said. She doesn’t look at cookbooks or opt for what she calls “new fancy recipes” that use ingredients she’s never heard of. “I use the basics,” she

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Need to get your hands on some of Bessie’s baked goods?

Find her at the Kandi Mall parking lot in Willmar farmer’s market on Saturdays from June to October, health permitting. said. She adds to her collection, asking for a recipe when she tastes something good. Though Bessie remembers baking with her mom when she was little, it hasn’t always been a fulltime hobby. She retired from dairy farming in 1996 though she still has 160 acres; she used to have 900 and milked 70 cows every day, twice a day until she retired. When her kids were growing up her extra time was spent milking cows, but when her girls began 4-H they entered the open class for baking at the Kandiyohi County Fair. She decided she’d bake alongside them and enter something. Soon after, she

PHOTOS BY SARAH COLBURN

This marble rolling pin is Bessie Klose’s baking staple in her Atwater farm kitchen where she makes 30 pies a week along with 24 loaves of rye and bulgur bread and eight loaves of banana bread, not to mention 4,000 pieces of lefse each year.

was taking home sweepstakes, earning the most blue ribbons in each class. She entered breads, cakes, cookies and international foods like her famous yearround lefse. She began selling her goods at the local farmer’s market 20 years ago. She sells frozen pies, breads, banana bread and lefse. Bessie’s whole face smiles and her eyes light up as she talks about working her stand at the market. “When I first started selling it, people questioned it ‘Lefse in the sum-

mer?’” she said, “and now, they say ‘Lefse in the summer!’” On her home farm she has four chest freezers and an upright – three in the garage and two in the basement. Ordinarily, the freezers are full, though Bessie just had an order for 24 pies that wiped out a good chunk of one freezer. She has one pie freezer, stacked with apple, rhubarb, pecan, peach, blueberry and cherry pies.

KLOSE continued on page 11


Friday, January 17, 2020 - Country Acres • Page 11 KLOSE continued from page 10

She also loves to make pumpkin pie but the USDA won’t let her sell it at the farmer’s market because it’s considered a cream pie. She has another freezer filled with peeled apples and cut-up rhubarb for pies. Those are two ingredients Bessie said she usually doesn’t pay for. People donate apples and rhubarb to her, enough to allow her to make 30 pies a week. Though she can’t name off the exact measurements, Bessie can name off the ingredients for her bestknown baked goods. Over the years, she’s passed the love of baking down to her grandchildren and even her great-grandchildren – they’ve all baked with her and nearly all have competed at the fair, taking best of show and honorable mention. Her family loves her recipes. She typed up some of her favorites and made copies on the computer,

creating a three-ring binder for each of the great-grandkids. The book includes everything from snacks and baked goods from lefse and caramel corn to bon bons, flavored oyster crackers and Nut Goodie bars. She also creates Christmas stockings for each one of her six grandkids and 12 great-grandkids. The adult

grandchildren protested her generosity until they realized the stockings were filled with baked goods – applesauce doughnuts and other goodies. Last Christmas she also gave each of the great-grands a recipe and a bag of ingredients to make their favorite treat. Bessie’s great-granddaughter came to bake

with her, making a batch of white bread and dividing it into fixings for a tea ring, cloverleaf rolls and cinnamon rolls. The girl was so excited but then learned that at the age of 10 she was too young to enter the county fair. They called the officials who said younger kids could indeed enter an

older age group. “The next day there was a whole shelf of all her breads with blue ribbons, the whole shelf and she was too young to be baking,” Bessie said. It was one of Bessie’s proudest moments. She doesn’t really know what makes her

goodies and treats so delectable. She starts with a recipe and then said, it comes down to experience. “It’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that,” she said. “You just gotta have the feel for it and know what it should look like.”

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Left: Bessie Klose has freezers full of pie and other baked goods, ready for sale or as donations to charitable fundraisers, where her pies have brought up to $700 or lefse, $240 a dozen.


Page 12 • Country Acres - Friday, January 17, 2020

COUNTRY ACRES ACCORDING TO:

Fish stories!

Larry (and Beverly) Sorenson Sauk Centre | Stearns County

PHOTOS SUBMITTED

Larry and Bev Sorenson show off a walleye caught Jan. 12, 2019 in their ice-fishing house at Lake of the Woods.

What is your background? We’ve been on this farm since 1972. I am a retired school principal from Sauk Centre Public Schools. I am 80 and Beverly is 78. Our kids are Clark, Curt and Kim. We have seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Beverly and I are both from Iowa; Beverly was from Rockwell City and my hometown is Lake City, Iowa, about 20 miles apart. The Raccoon River flowed through the area. There are not many lakes in Iowa so as a kid, my brother who is two years older than me and I fished a lot together in the river. We’d use steel rods and fish for catfish, carp, bullheads, whatever. I have one brother who was nine years younger than me. He was not involved, but he went along sometimes. We lost him this September. He was fishing on the Missouri River at Mobridge, S.D. We don’t have any information on the details but somehow the wind came up and must have capsized the boat. He had

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Lake. We have a camper and stay in the state park line. He would never have been able to break the line if it hadn’t been for that because when you’re at their campgrounds. fishing you set your drags on your reels so they can’t Who do you fish with? We fish with many people break the line; they can take the line but then you but mostly our kids; they know the game. Our son, bring them back because of the drag on the reel. We Curt, fishes the most with us. A principal buddy never had him up to where you could see them. It of mine from Melrose, Jim Ricklick, he and I have had to be a sturgeon. fished a lot together. What other hobbies are you involved in? I Where do you like fishing best during the am involved in all types of hunting, with deer and winter? Wherever the fish are biting and recently waterfowl, especially. Curt and his friends, they it’s been mostly Sauk Lake for walleyes and crappies made a blind out of a pontoon. They did all the and Lake Osakis has been very good for crappies, work. We will appear with that in an episode about duck hunting on Minnesota Bound. They came out and I used to fish Reno a lot, too, for walleyes. last fall and filmed it but it will be out next fall. What ice-fishing tips or tricks can you share to help people catch more fish? Mostly dead stick, bobber in the middle and it depends on the lure and the color. Different colors are good for different lakes. For example, Lake of the Woods, the favorite color up there is gold. Down here I would say fluorescenttype colors that are brighter, like oranges. You just have to know what you’re doing and the way you know what you’re doing is you’ve got to have the electronics where you know the depth and you see the fish and you see the fish biting. Electronics are the best thing to help you catch more fish.

What kinds of fishing to do you? Here in Minnesota primarily walleye and panfish – bluegill and crappies – and walleye. I’m not a bass fisherman. I’m not a spear fisherman at all; I don’t have any interest in that. We have a boat for What is the best fish story you have, maybe summer and an ice castle for ice fishing. one that got away? Probably the biggest fish Where have you all fished throughout the that’s gotten away, we never saw it. We were ice years? Locally in Sauk Lake, Lake Osakis and Reno fishing on the Lake of the Woods and I suspect that Lake are the primary lakes we fish. We also go to it was a lake sturgeon. We battled it for a good 45 Lake Winnibigoshish, Red Lake and Lake of the minutes. Curt was fishing with us, and Jason and Woods. We used to fish in northern Canada and we Justin [twin grandsons] were there. I lasted about have also fished the lakes in South Dakota on the a 30 minutes and I handed the pole to Curt and Bev and Larry Sorenson are pictured outside Missouri River and Devil’s Lake in North Dakota. he went for a while. Finally, the fish got wrapped their fish house in January 2019 at Lake of the Woods. Every summer we take a week and go to Devil’s around some other lines and was able to break the

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Page 14 • Country Acres - Friday, January 17, 2020 HEMMESCH continued from page 13

Though he occasionally still hunts with his brother-in-law, he spends most of his hunting time with his sons. Whether it’s duck hunting or deer hunting, they go out nearly every weekend to land near Long Prairie that is owned by a friend. These days, Hemmesch chooses to hunt only on private land, not public land, hoping it keeps him and his boys safer. They most often hunt Saturday night and Sun-

day night, driving back and forth the hour or so from Richmond. Hemmesch has always preferred late-afternoon/early-evening hunting to early morning, enjoying the relaxed timing. Though Hemmesch said muzzleloading has its challenges, but considers bow hunting to be the biggest challenge. “The animal has to be a lot closer to you to provide an opportunity for a shot,” he said. With a rifle,

he said, the animal could be 500 yards away, a muzzleloader probably 200 yards if it has a scope and a bow, a short 30 yards. The excitement also comes in increments. “It goes in tiers with the distance of the animal,” he said. “The closer the animal gets to you the more your heart rate goes up.” Hemmesch has encountered all kinds of animals while waiting to take a shot. He’s also watched

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them on a trail camera that sends alerts to his phone. A number of hunters, he said, will set up a camera over a food plot so they know how many deer are coming through the site and exactly how big they are. “A lot of people out there just go for a trophy deer,” he said. “You see turkeys, pheasants, occasionally a bear, bird and squirrels, everything,” he said. “If kids are sitting inside the house playing video games, they don’t see any of that. Putting a gun in a kid’s hands, who has properly gone through training, you’re giving them responsibility.” For Hemmesch, that added responsibility has been a way for him to connect with his kids on the way to the site, the drive home and during talks about what happened out in the woods. “Putting a gun in their hands, the kid has to be very, very responsible,” he said. “You’re putting trust in them to do the right thing. At the end of the day they feel more responsible

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HEMMESCH continued on page 15

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Friday, January 17, 2020 - Country Acres • Page 15 HEMMESCH continued from page 14 and you develop a bond there and create an oppor- spend as much time as you through that trust. The big- tunity to do things with can.” gest thing is you get out your kid, an opportunity to

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Page 16 • Country Acres - Friday, January 17, 2020

COUNTRY COOKING

Taco Pie • 1 pound ground beef, browned with • 1 package crescent rolls onion • 1 1/2 cups nacho cheese Doritos • 1 package taco seasoning • 1 cup sour cream • 1/2 cup water • 1 cup shredded taco or Cheddar cheese Stir taco mix and water into browned beef and onion and simmer 5 minutes. Place rolls in glass pie pan to form crust. Sprinkle 1 cup Doritos, crushed, over crust. Place meat over Doritos. Spread sour cream over meat and sprinkle with cheese over sour cream. Crush remaining 1/2 cup Doritos on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

Recipes submitted by

KAREN AUBART Starbuck Pope County

Beer Cheese Soup • • • • •

Superb Spread • • • •

1 can tomato soup 8 ounces cream cheese 1 package lemon Jell-O 1 cup mayonnaise

• • • •

1/2 cup green onion, chopped 1 cup celery, chopped 1/3 cup green pepper, chopped Slivered almonds

Broccoli Salad • 4 cups broccoli heads and flowerettes • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (optional) • 1/2 cup sliced onion (red is nice for color) • 1/2 cup slivered almonds • 6 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled

Dressing • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk • 1/2 cup sugar • 1/2 tsp. dried mustard • 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch • 1/4 cup white vinegar • 1/4 cup water • 1/4 tsp. salt • 2 Tbsp. soft butter • 1/2 cup mayonnaise In saucepan bring vinegar, water and salt to a boil. Whisk in whole egg plus egg yolk, sugar, mustard and cornstarch. Cook 1 minute until it thickens. Whisk in the butter and mayonnaise and cool. Mix with rest of ingredients and chill for several hours. This dressing is very good on any fresh garden salad.

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2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp. cloves 1/2 tsp. ginger 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. salt

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Heat tomato soup and cream cheese together in microwave until blended and hot. Add lemon Jello and cool in refrigerator. Add mayonnaise, green onion, celery, slivered almonds. Cool to set; serve with chips and crackers of choice.

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Friday, January 17, 2020 - Country Acres • Page 17

Four-legged family Simons rescue horses, donkeys, giving them a home

standard and mammoth,” Holly said. “The mammoth breed is about 56 inches from hoof to shoulder and weighs about 950 pounds.” Each of the Simons’ By KATELYN ASFELD sinks below the horizon, donkeys has a name too – the winter wind gets coldStaff Writer Amigo, Letta, Luna, Taner, but the donkeys’ shaggy go, Ray, Esme, Rita and coats keep them warm. Hector – and their own “You can tell they HOLDINGFORD personality to boot. – Trudging through snow in don’t like the winter all Along with the eight a pasture, Holly Simon car- that much,” Holly said as donkeys, the Simons also ries a bucket of feed to give she points to a single, wellcare for 13 horses. All 21 to five of the eight donkeys worn trail through the pasanimals have been rescued. she and her husband, Scott, ture towards the barn. Most were purchased from The donkeys may not care for at their home near buyers who purchase horsHoldingford. As the sun like trudging through snow, es, donkeys and mules to be shipped either to Canada or Mexico for slaughter. Mexico, Switzerland, China and Japan are among the few nations where many people eat horse meat. “You can definitely get horses, donkeys and mules before they get to the kill buyer at an auction and buy them,” Holly said. “But not a lot of people have time to go to auctions.” Under the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service is barred from spending funds to conduct inspections of U.S. facilities that PHOTOS BY KATELYN ASFELD process horses (as well Holly Simon gives a bit of feed to the donkeys she and her husband, Scott, own and care for at their home as donkeys and mules) outside of Holdingford. intended for human conbut they do love people. “They’re like large dogs,” Holly said. “They’re so gentle and sweet.” A gray-dun color and short body are characteristics most people associate with donkeys. However, they can come in a variety of colors, including cream, shades of browns and grays, spotted, black, and light-faced roan (both red and gray), to name a few. They also come in a few different sizes. “There’s miniature,

Scott and Holly Simon with their son, Sutton, 2, spend time with one of their donkeys, Hector, Dec. 19 at their home near Holdingford. The Simon family enjoys caring for their 21 horses and donkeys, all of which were rescued.

sumption. Under this funding ban, FSIS is also not permitted to operate a fee or service program for the inspection of horses for human consumption. Only federally inspected establishments can produce products destined to enter interstate commerce or for export to foreign

countries, according to FSIS. Without the required FSIS inspection needed to conduct legal business, facilities processing equine for human consumption in the United States closed. It is legal, however, in

SIMONS continued on page 18

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Page 18 • Country Acres - Friday, January 17, 2020 SIMONS continued from page 17 Canada and Mexico to process equine. Horses purchased from kill buyers at auctions will be sent to kill pens until there are enough animals collected to be shipped across the border, Holly said. “Some people say there needs to be a slaughterhouse back in the U.S. because what do you do with all of these animals,” she said. “I understand that, however, if we focused more on ending unnecessary breeding, we wouldn’t have this problem [of excess animals]. The cycle needs to stop and people need to be more responsible.”

Originally, Holly wanted to buy a horse that needed a caring home to live out the rest of its life and could join her other horses in the pasture. What she soon learned would change her focus. “The first place I found [horses] was on Craigslist,” she said. “I initially just wanted a couple, but I found them being sold from kill pens. I knew there was such a thing, but I didn’t know they were so close to home. They’re all over the country.” Wanting to make a difference at whatever level they were able, Holly began looking for animals

mons’ son, Sutton, loves to be around the animals, too. “A lot of these horses, they had families,” Holly said. “They had little kids that tottered around them. They were 4-H horses that had families that adored them. And the families fell on bad times or the kids outgrew them. They bring them to an auction hoping a nice family is going to buy them, when in reality a man sitting up in the corner bidding on their horse could be a kill buyer and that horse is getting in a trailer with 50 other horses and will be shipped to Mexico.” Caring for their ani-

they could rescue from what she considers an unacceptable fate. Gradually, the Simons added more horses and donkeys to their family. Holly, who grew up with horses, and Scott, who grew up on a beef farm, know the responsibilities that come with animals. When the donkeys and horses arrive to their home, they may be older, or have special needs that require medications, special feed and extra attention. But this does not faze the couple. They are dedicated to their animals and give each one the care they need to live a happy life. The Si-

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mals is a team effort. Scott does the feeding and administers medication in the morning. At night, Holly and Scott do the feeding together and Holly prepares medications and feed for the next morning. Everything is scheduled in clusters. All of the horses get their hoof trimmings, vaccinations and worming medication at the same time. “We don’t get physical or financial help from anybody,” Holly said. “We do everything here.” With 21 equines to take care of, the Simons say they are at their max right now. “You need to know your limit,” Holly said. “You really do.” Euthanizing the animals when it is their time to go is difficult for the couple. This summer, they

had to say goodbye to their donkey, Frosty, who they had for over 27 years and their first rescued horse, Dolly, a draft horse who was in her 30s when she passed. “They’re like a family member,” Holly said. “It was really difficult to lose them. When you take in seniors, you know that’s going to happen sooner, rather than later. But, you’re doing something good and giving them a place to retire, rather than letting them go to slaughter or live a horrible, neglected life in somebody’s pasture.” The Simons know they cannot save every animal destined for slaughter, however, the ones they do rescue, they hope to give a comfortable home where they can live out the rest of their lives.

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Country Acres - January 17 edition  

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Country Acres - January 17 edition  

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