The Land - January 20, 2023

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1.9 and Enlist E3® Soybean Varieties in 13,201 Head-to-Head Comparisons which includes farmer plots, Beck's research, and third-party data. XtendFlex® is a trademark of Bayer Group. Enlist E3® is a trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company Beck’s Soybean Yield Advantage “Since 1976, Where Farm and Family Meet” Four-legged visitors Local farm brings animals to entertain nursing home residents (and vice versa) INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Students appreciate meat processing course; Kent Thiesse talks crop insurance; and more!


Opinion 2-4

Farm and Food File 4 Deep Roots 5 Talent in the GreenSeam 6 Green & Growing 7

Readers’ Photos: Life on the Farm 9 Calendar of Events 18 Mielke Market Weekly 20 Marketing 23 Farm Programs 24 Auctions/Classifieds 27-31 Advertiser Listing 31 Back Roads 32


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Agriculture is for all

Whether it be by nature, nurture, or a bit of both, we’re all here with our very own thought process, GPS sold separately. We use past experiences, learned knowledge, and (maybe too often) comfort levels to navigate toward a value system that makes sense to us. Opinions are formed, priorities made.

Among the agriculture updates I read, a topic often discussed is networking with those outside of the industry who are making decisions for the industry. The tones vary, but I think a fair consensus to be made from those articles is farmers believe in the value of their work, and they need support in a bigger way.



Ag meetings are held at small-town, grassroots levels as well as larger-scale state and national events to determine the most important concerns which need to be brought forward. It’s on the rural routes of the campaign trail that I see politicians wearing well-maintained flannel shirts and blue jeans as they step out to greet their potential voters and discuss said concerns. It seems obvious there’s a connection trying to be made with the chosen wardrobe; the sincerity behind it I suppose is debatable.

I follow several social media accounts which document farmers’ everyday activities; and in doing so, also defend their practices. One Instagram account that makes me pause mid-scroll is @girlseatbeeftoo, ran by Markie Hageman Jones. She is both funny and informative, and has a passion for agriculture advocacy. Among the descriptors given in her bio, she lists “gate getter.” It’s a label with a two-fold meaning: as a rancher, very literally getting the gate, and also opening the figurative gate for others to learn more about agriculture in a welcoming environment.

While writing about the industry’s desire for more political representation, outside support, and authentic connection, I stumbled upon a new post from Markie. “More CONNECTING is what we need,” she wrote. What timing! A smile spread across my face as I read on.

She wrote about how she came to connect with agriculture and the people involved. A few phrases stuck out:

“I connected because I saw the people who spent their lives caring for animals…”

“I connected because I saw people who felt misunderstood…”

“What we need is more connecting. Getting to know what people love and fear the most about life and showing them how agriculture is part of that.”

Markie was heading to Nashville, Tenn. to speak at the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association annual meeting. On a whim, I reached out to her via email. She responded, and was so kind to give me some of her time.

Markie explained she didn’t grow up directly in the ag world. “I grew up in Tulare, California, which is one of the top producers of ag commodities in the world; but never fully appreciated or knew how the food system really worked. It wasn’t until I was in my sophomore year of college that I decided to switch my major from Fashion Merchandising to Agriculture and it wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I really started my journey in agriculture advocacy. I realized that there was a lot of misinformation about agriculture once I started getting more involved in the industry and seeing how people in the industry were stewards for the land, the animals and the people. What I was seeing on social media and in the mainstream media was not what was actually happening on the ranches and farms I toured, and the way people spoke about agriculture was not at all what I experienced when I started to get more involved.”

What Markie had often heard about was the inhumane care of animals. Instead, she witnessed constant monitoring along with immediate responses to medical needs. “There is a lot of consideration for their health and nutrition because happy, healthy animals are the only way ranchers can exist,” Markie said. She became a member of local cattlemen’s and young farmers groups, which led to becoming an officer. She bought her first cattle in 2020, and continues to grow her herd and raise beef along with speaking at events throughout the United States.

“Since I didn’t grow up in the cattle industry, my goal has been to really express the need to embrace the people who aren’t traditional agriculturalists and connect with people like me who maybe seem like unlikely advocates for an industry that really

PAGE 2 — “Where Farm and Family Meet” THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023 THERE’S EVEN MORE ONLINE... @ • “Calendar of Events” — Check out The Land’s complete events listing • “E-Edition” — Archives of past issues of The Land INSIDE THIS ISSUE See LAND
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12 — Nursing home residents enjoy visits to and from the farm
14 — Brownton, Minn. meat market and locker has a long history


Letcher Farm Supply Inc (507) 549-3168

CARVER CO. Dave Richter, DSM (320) 248-1794

DODGE CO. Aaron Laumann (507) 251-7221

DOUGLAS CO. Bruce Wussow (320) 766-8548

FREEBORN CO. Nielsen Seed (507) 473-0108

GRANT CO. Bruce Wussow (320) 766-8548

HOUSTON CO. Irv Schansberg (507) 724-2445 (507) 450-9463

JACKSON CO. Ackermann Farms, Jacob (507) 840-0112

LE SUEUR CO. Howie Mack Whitewater Creek Grain & Feed Inc (507) 362-4777

Tye Scott, DSM (605) 824-0559

LINCOLN CO. Enemark Seeds (507) 828-3695

LYON CO. Enemark Seeds (507) 828-3695

MARSHALL CO. Northland Ag (218) 779-2711


Tom Maiers Seed (320) 583-4564

MOWER CO. Aaron Laumann (507) 251-7221 Nielsen Seed (507) 473-0108

NICOLLET CO. Mark Legare (507) 276-8115

Voges Seeds (507) 766-0202 Zimmerman Seeds (507) 217-7066

OLMSTED CO. Aaron Laumann (507) 251-7221

OTTER TAIL CO. Bruce Wussow (320) 766-8548

POLK CO. Northland Ag (218) 779-2711

REDWOOD CO. Hoffman Seed (320) 579-0936

Kirk Engen, DSM (507) 240-0034

Swanson Seed Center (507) 828-0698

RENVILLE CO. Dale Filzen (320) 894-7480

Hoffman Seed (320) 579-0936

RICE CO. Howie Mack Whitewater Creek Grain & Feed Inc (507) 362-4777

SIBLEY CO. Mark Legare (507) 276-8115 Merlin Schwecke (507) 276-6900

STEELE CO. Karl Steckelberg, DSM (507) 475-0365

TODD CO. Bruce Wussow (320) 766-8548

TRAVERSE CO. Chad Birchem, DSM (320) 815-8980

WASECA CO. Howie Mack Whitewater Creek Grain & Feed Inc (507) 362-4777

WILKIN CO. Minn-kota Ag Products (218) 643-6130

WRIGHT CO. Austin Benzing, DSM (763) 312-0743

YELLOW MEDICINE CO. Hoffman Seed (320) 579-0936

Data based on 2022 F.I.R.S.T. (Farmers’ Independent Research of Seed Technologies) and 2022 University of Minnesota corn grain trials. No product recommendation by F.I.R.S.T. is implied. TM ® Trademarks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. © 2022 Corteva. CHECK OUT ALL OF OUR OUTSTANDING results at IN 2022 MINNESOTA CORN TRIALS F.I.R.S.T. TRIALS: 41 TOP 5 FINISHES U-MN TRIALS: 16 TOP 5 FINISHES THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023 — “Where Farm and Family Meet” PAGE 3

Any new Farm Bill must navigate the unruly 2023 House

As expected, the 2023 Farm Bill express is not running on time. In fact, it didn’t even leave the station when its chief engineer, Pennsylvania Republican and incoming House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn Thompson, said it would.

That’s no surprise; it’s Congress, after all.



Indeed, it would have been a big surprise had it started on the date Thompson had scheduled, Jan. 7. Instead, he and his 221 Republican colleagues were still slugging it out on the House floor before finally putting Californian Kevin McCarthy — four days and 15 ballots later — into the Speaker’s office.

One Republican House Ag Committee member, Illinoisan Mary Miller, voted with other “Never Kevin” members to deny McCarthy the Speaker’s chair — even as other House members remained glued to

theirs — while the drama played out. Miller’s “never,” however, lasted only 11 of the 15 ballots before she joined other “Only Kevin” Republicans to elect McCarthy.

Ag Boss Thompson was not impressed. He later groused to Politico he had “no idea” for her “not coming on board” for McCarthy and chided her stubborn Freedom Caucus colleagues on the Republican right for “burning daylight” during the bitter, public brawl.

“Every day is a lifetime,” he said, “in a year where you start … behind on the farm bill. So they need to get on board with the team. And we need to go to work.”

All other Ag Committee Republicans stood firm with McCarthy throughout the Speaker fight and now stand firm with Chairman Thompson. They want to get to work after what seems like a long-ago House win last November.

But, as Iowan Randy Feenstra told Politico, the lack of Ag Committee news didn’t mean there was a lack of work. There is “a lot of stuff that’s happening behind the scenes,” he opined without offering one example of what, exactly, anyone had been doing.

His immediate Midwestern neighbor, South Dakotan Dusty Johnson (who was prominent in the television coverage during McCarthy’s election ordeal) took a dimmer view of the Ag Committee’s slow start. “Frankly,” he told Politico, “we’re probably months behind where we need to be.”

He blamed the committee’s former chairman, Democrat David Scott of Georgia, for the delay. “I would say we could have had leadership on the committee in the last two years be a little more aggressive in their timeline.”

Johnson’s jab at now Ranking Member Scott highlights a growing partisan split on what most ag policy experts long said was the most bipartisan committee in Congress. While that may have been true 20 years ago, the last two Farm Bill fights have highlighted deep fissures between Republican and Democratic members and House and Senate Farm Bill writers.

The sticking point on both centered on the Farm Bill’s most expensive and expansive “title,” food assistance programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children program). U.S. Department of Agriculture food programs account for

80 percent of all Farm Bill spending. Forty-one million Americans — 92 percent who live below the federal poverty line — receive, on average, $5.45 per day in aid.

Republicans, both on the ag committees and off, have tried to contain — and even cut — the spending, labeling it “out of control.” Those efforts, however, have only succeeded in delaying the last two Farm Bills.

Despite that dismal record, GOP fiscal hawks — especially the “Never Kevin” faction — are urging House Ag members to cut food aid programs in the 2023 Farm Bill. Seasoned veterans of past Farm Bill fights are publicly warning them not to take up that sure-to-lose fight again.

“Every year, people say, ‘Oh, let’s just get the nutrition [food aid] title out of the bill,” Mary Kay Thatcher, a 31-year, Capitol Hill lobbyist for the American Farm Bureau Federation, told an ag trade association in Chicago earlier this month.

“But if we want agriculture to be successful in any farm bill,” Thatcher urged her agbiz audience, “please put a stop to that…”

That’s rock-solid advice for the nowascendent boat-rockers of the Republican right. There’s no evidence, however, they will follow it.

The Farm and Food File is published weekly through the United States and Canada. Past columns, events and contact information are posted at www. v

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Doin’ time in the county jail…

“We’ve only left a couple of kids there,” joked a parent at a 4-H meeting. He was referring to the county jail. The topic of discussion was the activities the club would like to plan for the upcoming year and a tour of the county jail, which we have done in the past, was one idea. Everyone chuckled at the comment and the meeting proceeded. I, however, got caught up in the memory from a few years ago of our last club tour of the jail.

lected, get back here right now, mom gestures, I got Jonny’s attention and he quietly complied and joined the group as we continued to listen to the deputy.


At that time, three of our kids were old enough to be 4-H members; and my son Jonny, who was about three years old, got to tag along for the tour. We started out in the foyer of the jail and were then brought to the booking area. We then progressed through the different areas of the jail until we came to the cells. Up to this point, all of my kids were very intrigued — soaking in everything the deputy said. The tour stopped in a cell where the inmates bathe, toilet, lounge and sleep and Jonny decided to make himself comfortable in one of the chairs.

I would imagine that to a three year old, the jail was kind of homey. It was a brightly lit, white room complete with white amenities. There was a table and chairs, bunk beds, a television, a few board games, showers and a stainless steel toilet all conveniently located in one room! With my most col-

From there, I attempted to force Jonny to hold my hand which failed miserably. I quickly whispered to him to stay right next to me as the deputy finished talking with the group. The deputy then offered us to take a quick look around the cell before heading back to the foyer to adjourn. I took my turn peeking around as the group began filing out when I noticed that one little boy was not by my side. I quickly scanned the departing crowd and glanced around the cell …

no Jonny. Then, I looked around the only corner of the room to the area where the toilet was. There was Jonny, pants at his ankles using the toilet. With a swift movement I upped his drawers and reminded him that next time we are at someone else’s residence, he should ask before using the toilet.

Clearly, my son felt right at home in the county jail. As his mother, I am not sure how I feel about that; but I am very glad that he came home with us that evening and I hope his time in the county jail is limited to 4-H club tours.

Whitney Nesse is a sixth-generation livestock farmer who is deeply rooted in her faith and family. She writes from her central Minnesota farm. v

Compeer Financial offers scholarships

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. — The Fund for Rural America, Compeer Financial’s corporate giving program, is offering 123 scholarships to students this year. Graduating high school seniors who have an agriculture or rural background, or plan to major in an agriculture-related field at a community college, university or technical school are encouraged to apply.

Each scholarship recipient will receive $1,500 for educational tuition expenses. Qualified applicants must be graduating seniors who live in Compeer

Financial’s 144-county territory and have a 3.0 GPA or higher. Recipients will be selected based on a combination of academic achievement; agricultural, community and youth organization involvement; and essays.

Students can find more information and link to the scholarship application at

All applications must be submitted through the online platform. No paper or email copies will be accepted. The application deadline is March 15. v

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Mental health just one component of ‘State of Ag’ survey

In rural Minnesota, residents face challenges in accessing healthcare. These challenges are not unique to rural areas or Minnesota; but statistics from the National Alliance on Mental Illness are eye opening. Did you know that 34.5 percent of 195,000 adults in Minnesota did not receive needed mental health care because of cost in 2021? Even with health insurance, Minnesotans are over four times more likely to be forced out-ofnetwork for mental health care than for primary health care — making it more difficult to find care and less affordable due to higher out-of-pocket costs. Physical health is important, but mental health is an aspect of overall health and well-being.


first step to take. Organizations such as NAMI are taking the initiative to be the connection to affordable options, support groups, educational programs, mobile clinics, telehealth programs, and more.

Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline provides confidential services with trained helpline staff and volunteers. Stigma surrounding mental illness can discourage people from seeking help.

Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline understand farmers and rural communities face unique stresses and emotional situations — including financial challenges, unpredictable weather, and physically demanding work. Stress, anxiety, depression, financial burdens, and other mental and emotional challenges are common.

inclusion questions. The “State of Ag” report is a way to understand, serve and support the workforce, businesses, organizations, and the communities we call home.

If you, your business, or organization is directly or indirectly working in or near the ag, food, or natural resource industry, GreenSeam invites you to participate in the “State of Ag” survey. If you have an interest in sharing your thoughts on agriculture, food and natural resources in our region, we invite your participation. We want to hear from you.

Talent in the GreenSeam focuses on developing talent and promoting careers in agriculture and food. Michalia Cyphers can be reached via email at v

It is necessary for individuals to have access to mental health care services when needed. If you don’t have immediate access, it is hard to know the

The 2023 GreenSeam “State of Ag” survey addresses the topic with employment, benefit and

Carbon market guide helps farmers navigate carbon contracts

ST. PAUL – Minnesota Farmers Union, in partnership with Farmers Legal Action Group and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, released a Farmers’ Guide to Carbon Markets in Minnesota.

The Farmers’ Guide to Carbon Markets was developed in response to the questions and concerns raised by MFU members. With one fifth of the world’s largest companies setting net-zero emissions targets, farmers are being asked to make changes to their operations that sequester carbon and sell companies credit for that sequestered carbon. These relations between farmers, large companies and often thirdparty vendors are defined by contracts.

The 32-page guide written by attorneys Stephen Carpenter and Lindsay Kuehn is filled with information to help farmers navigate carbon contracts. There’s a handy question-and-answer section that draws on text taken from actual contracts and information to generate discussion with the representative offering the contract.

“Minnesota farmers now have greater opportunities to combat climate change by tapping into this new and evolving carbon marketplace; however, we must recognize the concerns farmers may have,” said MDA Commissioner Thom Petersen. “We’re pleased to partner with Minnesota Farmers Union and Farmers Legal Action Group to develop this guide that will ensure farmers have access to the information they need to succeed in this evolving carbon contract arena.”

“The carbon markets are really in their infancy, without a lot of regulation and common structure,” said MFU member Pat Lunemann. “Carbon markets are like the ‘Wild, Wild West’ where everyone is shooting from the hip. No entity is there to assure that contracts are fair to both parties involved. Going forward, there is much potential for farmers to capture rewards for innovative practices on their farms and the guide describes the opportunities and the obstacles that may be in front of us.”

Updated groundwater protection rule

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has issued an updated map that will help farmers across the state comply with the Groundwater Protection Rule. The rule restricts fall application of nitrogen fertilizer in areas vulnerable to contamination, and it outlines steps to reduce the severity of contamination in areas where nitrate is already elevated in public water supply wells.

The MDA has made changes to the Fall Nitrogen Fertilizer Application Restrictions map which is accessible at There have been changes to the Drinking Water Supply Management

Areas (DWSMA). One DWMSA was removed and two DWSMAs had boundary changes. Additional information on the fall application restrictions and exceptions to the restrictions can be found at www.mda.

The restriction of fall application of nitrogen fertilizer on these acres will begin Sept. 1. Farmers are encouraged to check the new map prior to the fall of 2023 to determine if their fields are subject to these restrictions.

This article was submitted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. v

“Before authoring this guide, FLAG was receiving frequent questions from many family farmers and ranchers about the legal aspects of carbon sequestration contracts, said Scott Carlson, FLAG’s Executive Director. “After looking into some of the contracts offered by various companies, it was clear that farmers and ranchers would benefit from guidance on many of the legal issues, questions, and potential risks posed by committing to carbon sequestration contracts. We knew there was a need for a Farmers’ Guide to Carbon Markets in Minnesota, and the public’s interest has been high.”

The guide is available at no cost, thanks to a grant from the McKnight Foundation. It is available online at uploads/2023/01/Farmers-Guide-Carbon-MarketContracts-in-Minnesota-First-EditionJanuary-2023.pdf.

This article was submitted by the Minnesota Farmers Union. v

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Seed and plant catalogs — filled with attractive pictures of plants that would look good in our gardens this summer — are now arriving our mailboxes. While shopping for new plants, remember to check the narrative descriptions, including symbols indicating characteristics of each plant.

The first consideration in plant selection is which growing zones are recommended for this plant. Benton County, for example, is in zone 4a. That means on average, our coldest temperature is -30 F. Zone designations also consider the latest date for the last freezing temperatures in the spring and the earliest first frost temperature in the fall. Many perennial plants need a cold period during the winter to begin growing in the spring. In contrast, annual plants come from seeds that remain dormant until warm spring temperatures; and die when subjected to frost or freezing temperatures in the fall. Annual plant seeds are stored by seed companies in cool dry locations. However, these seeds do not need to have a specific cold period before being able to germinate or begin growing.

Plan carefully for plant selection

defined is at least six hour of sunlight each day. This may be the minimum amount of sunlight for plants that prefer eight to ten hours of full sunlight each day.

Plants may be exposed to full sun in the early morning and become shaded as the sun rises and the light is blocked by a nearby tree or building. Then, in late afternoon, the sun exposure returns. There are many plants that grow best in partial sun or partial shade. Light conditions differ for spring bulbs which grow and bloom early in the season when trees are not fully leafed out. Those bulbs receive a lot of sunlight. By the time they have finished blooming and are beginning to die back, the surrounding trees or shrubs are leafed out and providing more shade.

Third, look at the expected height and width of the plant at maturity. Will the plant fit in the desired location when it has reached its full size? Most (but not all) catalogs will include these measurements. Fourth, is the plant attractive to animals such as rabbits or deer? If so, protective fenc-

ing such as chicken wire or hardware cloth will provide a physical barrier against rabbits; while deer fence should be six to seven feet high. There are also sprays and granular repellants to provide protection, but need periodic replacement.

Other considerations include checking the root system for roses and fruit trees. In the past, roses were sold with the above-ground portion grafted onto a different root system. This was done to improve plant hardiness and vigor. Recently, more roses are being grown and sold with their own roots. If a rose listed as “own root” dies down to ground level, it will return true to form in the spring. If the top of a grafted rose dies, the growth emerging from the roots is likely to be less attractive. Apple trees are also frequently grafted to root stocks of hardy but less desirable roots.

Remember, Information on many annual and perennial plants, trees and shrubs can be found at

Linda G. Tenneson is a University of Minnesota master gardener and tree care advisor. v

Second, look at the light conditions where the plant will live. Plants which do best in deep shade will die if planted in a full sun location. Full sun is

Dicamba restrictions remain for 2023

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture recently announced state-specific use restrictions for three dicamba herbicide products will remain the same for the 2023 growing season in Minnesota. The restrictions are aimed at curbing offsite movement of the products.

The affected dicamba formulations are Engenia by BASF, Tavium by Syngenta, and XtendiMax by Bayer. These are the only dicamba products labeled for use on dicamba-tolerant soybeans.

No application shall be made south of Interstate 94 after June 12. North of Interstate 94, use is prohibited after June 30.

No application shall be made if the air temperature of the field at the time of application is over 85 F or if the National Weather Service’s forecasted high temperature for the nearest available location for the day exceeds 85 F.

Users can download these restrictions from the product manufacturer’s website, and they must be in the user’s possession during application.

“These restrictions mirror what we did in 2022 when we saw a major decrease in complaints of offtarget movement from the previous year,” said Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen. “These products must be used without impacts on neighboring homes, farms, and gardens. The Minnesota-

specific restrictions are based on scientific evidence from our drift investigations and discussions with the University of Minnesota Extension and Minnesota Soybean Growers Drift Taskforce.”

During the 2022 growing season, the MDA received 25 formal complaints and eight responses to an informal survey — all alleging off-target movement. This was a major decrease from 2021 which saw a total of 304 formal complaints and survey responses.

Other federal requirements that appear on the product labels include:

Requiring an approved pH-buffering agent, also known as a volatility reducing agent, be tank mixed with dicamba products prior to all applications.

Requiring a downwind buffer of 240 feet and 310 feet in areas where listed endangered species are located; plus additional recordkeeping items

In Minnesota, Engenia, Tavium, and XtendiMax formulations of dicamba are approved for use on dicamba-tolerant soybeans only and are “Restricted Use Pesticides.” The dicamba products are only for retail sale to and use by certified applicators.

Pesticide product registrations are renewed on an annual basis in Minnesota.

This article was submitted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. v

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‘Finding Turtle Farm’ is a solid CSA primer

If you don’t know that the initials CSA stand for Community Supported Agriculture, you will after reading Angela Tedesco’s recently released book “Finding Turtle Farm.” Tedesco subtitled her University of Minnesota Press book of roughly 200 pages, “My Twenty Acre Adventure in Community Supported Agriculture.” So, there it is — right on the cover.

But what the heck does CSA mean? Tedesco spent 17 years raising organically certified vegetables on her Turtle Farm, near Granger Iowa. Having raised organic vegetables for sale for twice as long as she did, and having worked with the CSA model for nearly as long as she did, I can say with some authority that her book does a credible job of answering the above question regarding CSAs.

I generally skip a book’s introductions; but the introduction in “Finding Turtle Farm” is well worth the read. I say this because it unmasks a lie that Tedesco and I (who are roughly the same age) were told throughout our youth and early adulthood. We were told we were among a class of Americans who were destined to attend college and join the professions. Agriculture, the growing of food to sustain life, was unworthy of us. Further, we were told (not so much in words but actions) that home-grown and homemade were inferior to highly processed and heavily packaged foods. Food was just a commodity to be prepared and eaten as quickly as possible so we could get back to our boring jobs at the office or laboratory.

In her introduction, Tedesco writes nicely of her own turning toward agriculture.

“I wanted to make choices based on what would be best for the common good of people and the environment, and farming was where I could make a difference,” Tedesco writes, summing up her thinking after quitting a job as a college-educated chemist shuffling

test tubes in a lab. “Everyone eats. I wanted to grow food that was as good for people as it was for the environment.”

There it is: CSA is about growing food that is as good for people as it is for the environment. But it’s more complex than that. Keep reading! Following her description of her personal journey toward becoming a farmer, Tedesco gets to work. Naturally she titles part one of her book “Planting and the second part Harvest.”

In “A Delicious Revolution,” the first chap ter of Part I, Tedesco continues to enlarge upon what a CSA is; while at the same time, giving readers practical onion plant ing and green house management tips. I particularly liked the parts of this chapter where she honored her employ ees and the elderly gentleman who tilled her fields. Making farm workers visible and respected partners in a farm operation can easily be included in the big list of what Community Supported Agriculture is.

“That’s what the sacred is all about. It’s not a concept but an experience — an experience of awe, of wonder, of beauty. And with the sacred comes the zeal, the energy,” Tedesco writes, quoting the theologian Matthew Fox at the beginning her book’s third chapter.

The chapter is titled “Food as Sacred” and, since the sacred is not a concept but an experience, Tedesco shows the reader the awe experienced by a child

when she picks and tastes her first ever golden cherry tomato right from the vine. She shows us another child eating peas from the home freezer in February. The child has a moment when she connects the peas with harvesting, shelling and putting them up with her mother the previous summer. She connects the relationship with her mother, to the hot life-filled garden, to the equally hot summer kitchen, to the beautiful vegetables on her plate. That, indeed, was a moment of awe, of wonder, of beauty.

Part I of “Finding Turtle Farm” is made up of 10 chapters. Some other chapters are “CSA Starts With Community,” “The Wisdom of Biodiversity,” and “That Bug on Your Plate.” They all make for good reading.

Part II consists of seven chapters — each named for one of the months CSA shares were harvested on Turtle Farm. The chapters are actually a seasonal cookbook featuring recipes on how to use and enjoy the farm produce in customers CSA box for the month. August, for example, has simple ways to cook with basil and eggplant. The June chapter has a delicious-sounding recipe for Swiss chard rolls with walnuts and salsa.

I’d recommend all of this book to readers; but the “Harvest” section alone makes it well worth a trip to your local library or book store. v

Most Americans removed from the farm

LAND MINDS, from pg. 2

needs more outward support,” Markie stated.

Multiple ag organizations report most Americans are three or four generations removed from the farm. What do the more removed individuals think of farming? Is there an overall opinion or does the lack of day-to-day interaction with the industry simply result in a lukewarm thought process about it? The truth remains: we need to eat. Whether you are of the meat and potatoes variety or otherwise — agriculture is for all. The more we acquaint ourselves with the land and the people that provide for us, the closer we can get to a common ground.

Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year or choose a word of focus? I wouldn’t say I’m a steadfast resolution maker, but I do like to take some time to reflect on my life and where the next year may take me. My reading list for the year has been compiled, and is set to stretch me a few different ways. It’s important to me to listen to those who’ve walked different paths and I’ve found the one-way

street of literature allows me to absorb a person’s words instead of mostly listening but also busily forming my response back. To be heard from start to finish, able to speak your full intent — isn’t that what we’d all like?

In a world where so much is fast-paced and hot takes only, where it seems from every corner of the Internet someone’s piecing together out-of-context snippets just to holler “Gotcha!” it almost feels ... generous ... to give someone more than a few seconds to make their case. But I think that kind of courtesy is needed today, and one population among several deserving of a closer listen is our farmers.

As for my word for 2023: Maybe you’d think I went with “Connection,” but actually I chose “Shellfish.” I’ve been putting off getting tested for a likely allergy. This will be a good reminder.

Laura Cole is the staff writer of The Land. She may be reached at v

www crystalvalley coop PAGE 8 — “Where Farm and Family Meet” THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023

Farm couple retreats set for Detroit Lakes, St. Cloud, Mankato

GOODHUE, Minn. — The Minnesota Dairy Initiative will be hosting three farm couple retreats available to dairy farmers across the state of Minnesota. These farm couple retreats will also be open for other farming entity types such as beef, hog, crop, etc.

Life on the Farm: Readers’ Photos

The retreats will take place on Jan. 20-21 in Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Jan. 27-28 in St. Cloud, Minn.; and Feb. 10-11 in Mankato, Minn.

The retreat is an opportunity for couples to enjoy a mini vacation away from the farm. The focuses of the retreat will include communication with your partner, communication with family, relationship building, handling stress, managing personalities, problem solving, action planning, and learning about additional resources. The retreat will also include opportunities to network with other farming couples, short lecture, group activities, and partner exercises.

Facilitating the retreats will be Monica Kramer McConkey, Rural Mental Health Specialist with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Farm couple retreats are limited to the first 10 couples who sign up per location. All lodging, meals, refreshments, and materials are included in registration.

To register or for more information, contact Emily Mollenhauer at or (651) 764-0309.

This article was submitted by University of Minnesota Extension. v

Rose Wurtzberger of New Ulm, Minn. sent these snowy photos recently. The out buildings stand against the blue sky and white landscape.

Hawks are easy to spot in the bare trees this time of year. Al Batt of Hartland, Minn. sent this photo of a rough-legged hawk. “Rough-legged refers to the feathering that extends to the base of the toes, which conserves heat in frigid weather,” Batt writes. “ I called them Christmas hawks when I was a boy because I saw them in winter. They hover while facing into the wind as they hunt.”

Registration is free. Lunch will be provided. Meetings will also be in IL, IN, WI, IA, MO & Fort Myers, FL

Jan 20 - VIRTUAL MEETING | 9:00 AM

Jan 23 Royalton, MN | 11:30 AM

Jan. 24 Pierz, MN | 11:30 AM

Jan 26 Sauk Centre, MN | 11:30 AM

Jan 27 Greenwald, MN | 11:30 AM

Jan 30 Frost, MN | 9:00 AM

Jan 31 Austin, MN | 11:00 AM

Feb 1 Madelia, MN | 9:00 AM

Feb 2 Storden, MN | 9:00 AM

Feb. 3 Mankato, MN | 9:00 AM


Feb 16 - VIRTUAL MEETING | 6:30 PM


Your Grain Marketing & Crop Insurance Experts Agents Advisors Brokers To register and to see the full list of meetings, visit or call us at (217) 356-0046 Strategic Farm Marketing is an Equal Opportunity Insurance Provider ATTEND ONE OF OUR RISK MANAGEMENT SEMINARS TO LEARN ABOUT: How to Get 85% Coverage on Your Farm Cheaper Than Your Neighbors How to Use Your Highest Yield Ever as Your APH for NEW Boost Revenue X Product Extended Wind Coverage as Late as Dec. 31st ARC / PLC / ERP Update We work with 9 companies to give you the best wind and hail coverage at the cheapest rate Grain Marketing Outlook How to Insure up to 120% of Your APH for Wind & Hail Info on Subsidized Dairy, Hog & Cattle Insurance
Risk Management Seminar Dates:
THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023 — “Where Farm and Family Meet” PAGE 9
to register and see the full list of meetings!

AM – Optimum® AcreMax® insect protection system with YGCB, HX1, LL, RR2. Contains a single-bag integrated refuge solution for above-ground insects. In EPA-designated cotton-growing counties, a 20% separate corn borer refuge must be planted with Optimum AcreMax products.

AMT – Optimum® AcreMax® TRIsect® insect protection system with RW,YGCB,HX1,LL,RR2. Contains a single-bag refuge solution for above- and below-ground insects. The major component contains the Agrisure® RW trait, the Bt trait, and the Herculex® I gene. In EPA-designated cotton-growing counties, a 20% separate corn borer refuge must be planted with Optimum AcreMax TRIsect products.

AMX – Optimum® AcreMax® Xtra insect protection system with YGCB, HXX, LL, RR2. Contains a single-bag integrated refuge solution for above- and below-ground insects. In EPAdesignated cotton-growing counties, a 20% separate corn borer refuge must be planted with Optimum AcreMax Xtra products.

AMXT (Optimum® AcreMax® XTreme) – Contains a single-bag integrated refuge solution for above- and below-ground insects. The major component contains the Agrisure ® RW trait, the Bt trait and the Herculex® XTRA gene. In EPA-designated cotton-growing counties, a 20% separate corn borer refuge must be planted with Optimum AcreMax XTreme products.

Q (Qrome®) – Contains a single-bag integrated refuge solution for above- and below-ground insects. The major component contains the Agrisure® RW trait, the Bt trait, and the Herculex® XTRA gene. In EPA-designated cotton-growing counties, a 20% separate corn borer refuge must be planted with Qrome products. Qrome products are approved for cultivation in the U.S. and Canada. They have also received approval in a number of importing countries, most recently China. For additional information about the status of regulatory authorizations, visit

YGCB,HX1,LL,RR2 (Optimum® Intrasect®) – Contains the Bt trait and Herculex® I gene for resistance to corn borer.

RW,HX1,LL,RR2 (Optimum® TRIsect®) – Contains the Herculex® I gene for above-ground pests and the Agrisure® RW trait for resistance to corn rootworm.

AML – Optimum® AcreMax® Leptra® products with AVBL, YGCB, HX1, LL, RR2. Contains a single-bag integrated refuge solution for above-ground insects. In EPA-designated cotton-growing counties, a 20% separate corn borer refuge must be planted with Optimum AcreMax Leptra products.

AVBL,YGCB,HX1,LL,RR2 (Optimum® Leptra®) – Contains the Agrisure Viptera® trait, the Bt trait, the Herculex® I gene, the LibertyLink® gene and the Roundup Ready® Corn 2 trait.

HX1 – Contains the Herculex® insect protection gene which provides protection against European corn borer, southwestern corn borer, black cutworm, fall armyworm, lesser corn stalk borer, southern corn stalk borer, and sugarcane borer; and suppresses corn earworm.

HXX – Herculex® XTRA contains the Herculex® I and Herculex® RW gene.

YGCB – The Bt trait offers a high level of resistance to European corn borer, southwestern corn borer and southern cornstalk borer; moderate resistance to corn earworm and common stalk borer; and above average resistance to fall armyworm.

LL – Contains the LibertyLink® gene for resistance to Liberty® herbicide.

RR2 – Contains the Roundup Ready® Corn 2 trait that provides crop safety for over-the-top applications of labeled glyphosate herbicides when applied according to label directions.

Roundup Ready® is a registered trademark used under license from Monsanto Company. Liberty®, LibertyLink® and the Water Droplet Design are registered trademarks of BASF. Agrisure® and Agrisure Viptera® are registered trademarks of, and used under license from, a Syngenta Group Company. Agrisure® technology incorporated into these seeds is commercialized under a license from Syngenta Crop Protection AG.

Funding helps new farmers purchase land

ST. PAUL — Applications are now being accepted for a new grant program to support Minnesotans purchasing their first farm. The Down Payment Assistance Grant Program is managed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and offers dollar-for-dollar matching up to $15,000 for qualified small farmers to purchase farmland.

The MDA’s Rural Finance Authority is awarding this funding using a first-come, first-served application process. Applications has begun being accepted on Jan. 4.

The Minnesota Legislature appropriated $500,000 in Fiscal Year 2023 for these grants. The RFA expects to award between 30 and 40 grants in this cycle, depending on the size of requests. A second cycle of $750,000 in funding has been secured and will be made available on July 1, 2023.

Farmers must be Minnesota residents who will

earn less than $250,000 annually in gross agricultural sales and plan on providing the majority of the day-to-day physical labor on the farm for at least five years. Applicants must not have previous direct or indirect farmland ownership.

Applications will continue to be accepted until a waitlist of 100 applicants forms, or May 15, 2023, whichever comes first. Approved applications will remain valid for purchases closing within 90 days of approval or until May 15, 2023, whichever comes first.

The application and more information on the Down Payment Assistance Grant can be found at https://

This article was submitted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. v

Grazing Exchange helps partner farmers

Many farmers and land managers are thinking about ways to improve the resilience of their operations and become more nimble in responding to difficult conditions.

Pioneer ® brand products are provided subject to the terms and conditions of purchase which are part of the labeling and purchase documents. ™ ® Trademarks and service marks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. © 2023 Corteva.

Moving livestock to available grazing is one way to be nimble. Adding cover crops and livestock to row cropping systems helps improve soil health and is one way to build resiliency. Trouble is, many livestock farmers don’t own or rent land in multiple locations – and many crop farmers don’t own or manage livestock.

S:9.916" T:10.166" B:10.666"

Midwest Grazing Exchange is a matchmaking website for livestock and grazing opportunities. The website lets users search listings, including through an interactive map with filters for criteria

like season, land or livestock type. Farmers can create listings of what land or livestock they have to offer. A free account can be created to save listings of interest, add new listings, see contact details and send messages to other users. Examples of grazing lease agreements and contracts are available.

The Midwest Grazing Exchange now covers Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. State-level and multi-state grazing exchanges for more parts of the United States are linked on the website as well. Visit

This article was submitted by the Midwest Grazing Exchange. v

SowBridge registration now open

Registration is now open for SowBridge, the distance education series for people involved in managing or caring for sows, and/or their litters, and boars including operation owners, caretakers, technicians, managers and technical service providers. The series will be provided online through Zoom, although participants will be able to use a call-in option if they prefer.

Sessions are generally scheduled for the first Wednesday of the month from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The fifth session is moved up one week to May 31 to avoid conflicts with World Pork Expo.

Each registration provides a link to participate via Zoom and all program materials provided by presenters. During each session, participants can ask questions directly to the presenter.

SowBridge 2023 session dates and topics are as follows: Feb. 1. — Why the concern with feral pigs?; March 1 — Identifying ASF at barn level; April 5 —

FAD frontline response battles; May 3 — Managing heat check boars; May 31 — Antimicrobial use and resistance; July 5 — Scours management and mitigation; Aug. 2 — Managing fevers post farrowing; Sept.

6 — Sustainability of my farm: What can I do?; Oct.

4 — Identifying sick sows early; Nov. 1 — Farrowing assistance practices; Dec. 6 — Importance of record keeping; and Jan. 3, 2024 — Can we predict sow mortality?

Cost for the series is $200 for the first registration from an entity and half the amount for each subsequent registration from the same entity.

For more information on the sessions or registration, contact Sarah Schieck Boelke at schi0466@ or (320) 235-0726 ext. 2004.

This article was submitted by Sarah Schieck Boelke,University of Minnesota Extension. v

PAGE 10 — “Where Farm and Family Meet” THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023
THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023 — “Where Farm and Family Meet” PAGE 11

Nursing home residents have adopted Merrill’s animals

The therapeutic value of animals for nursing home residents is well-documented. Having animals visit nursing homes has become quite common. Yet Jessica Merrill, activities director at Avera Sunrise Manor in Tyler, Minn. has taken that idea to a new level.

Merrill and her husband, Brandon, live on a 10-acre farm site just outside of Tyler. They wanted animals. Their only experience with farming is Brandon’s visits to his grandfather’s farm when he was young. In addition to their love of animals, they had a threeyear-old and figured — correctly — it would be a great life for him.

“We started getting animals to see what we would like,” Merrill said. “We did a lot of reading, viewing on You Tube, and talking with local farmers.”

Merrill knew she wanted alpacas so she could learn to spin wool. They purchased reproducing pairs of goats, lambs, rabbits, peacocks and other fowl; but not every animal was purchased.

When people heard about the farm, they were dropping off chickens after the Tyler City Code disallowed keeping chickens in town.

“We would come home and there would be new chickens in our yard with a bag of feed and no note,” Merrill said.

She told of a woman who was moving up north and ON THE COVER: Les Sanderson holding a baby bunny

needed a home for her two pigs. The woman had sold one, only to have the people come out and butcher it. She gave the Merrills the other one with the promise they allow it to have at least one litter of pigs.

By a recent count they had 89 critters: Nigerian dwarf goats, Babydoll sheep, Yorkshire pigs, holstein/ angus cows, New Zealand rabbits, along with alpacas, peacocks, chickens, ducks and geese. They were also gifted with a barn cat.

After some volunteer work at the nursing home and getting her certification, she was hired as activities director in July of 2020. She began to bring some of their baby animals for residents to pet and hold — lambs, bunnies, pigs, goats. The nursing home also has an enclosed courtyard where residents can sit outside and watch the animals roam.

Merrill was quick to

discover that some of the best animal advice she could get came from the residents. That was not just the men who farmed or grew up doing chores on a farm.

“I have so many widows who were housewives on farms, helping out, side-byside with their husbands,” she said. “They have a wealth of knowledge.”

The Merrills castrated their first litter of pigs by following the advice of the residents.

Jessica sees the therapeutic value, such as the resident who was having a rough day that was made smoother by spending an hour-and-a-half with a little pig he loved. It goes beyond that, though, to their having an outside interest that perks up their lives. The residents feel a part of raising the animals.

“The residents know who is pregnant and what’s going on at the farm at all times,” Merrill said. “We talk about it during announcements before lunch. A lot of them keep very, very involved.”

This involvement helps them to be alert to the world outside of the nursing home. There is life beyond their room and the dining room.

“It gives them something to think about, something to look forward to, something to talk about with their family,” she said. “It gives them something exciting to talk about.” And talk they do. She runs into family members who ask her how animals are doing.

This involvement is more than visits from animals. Sunrise Manor

Saint Peter Toy Show Januar y 28th & 29th 2023 Saturday 9am - 4pm Sunday 9am - 2pm Held at the St Peter Fair Gr ounds Johnson Hall, 400 West Union Street, St Pet er MN Admission: $3.00 Fa rm to ys; ca rs; tr uck s & vari ous co llec tibles Conc es sions by Nanc y to be av ailable For More Informat ion Call: Wend y: 507- 381-8234 • Jim: 507- 381-8235 PAGE 12 — “Where Farm and Family Meet” THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023
Jessica Merrill Helen Klingler gets a visit from Jacob the sheep. Photos submitted Isabelle Merrill holds Rachel the lamb to Delores Speh. Duane Gregor watches a a little television with Oliver the pig. Coincidently, Gregor was the owner of the farm the Merrills purchased.

Residents don’t want to give up visiting animals

SUNRISE MANOR, from pg. 12

has a cart pulled by a donated UTV that is used for rides around town in pleasant weather. With permission from the home and the families, the residents are able to visit the farm. The farm has a U-shaped driveway, and her husband has it set up for animals to be along the drive. Since passengers sit facing the center, Merrill drives through one way, then turns around and goes back so everyone has a chance to see.

She parks in the shade of large black walnut trees. The residents can feed ducks and geese and hold some animals. Brandon has built a low “table” for feed; and when the animals are called, they respond and eat around the table, giving residents a close-up view without leaving the cart.

On one visit, Merrill had chased Alfie, a friendly bottle-fed goat, off the cart a couple of times during the visit. He jumped on again when she wasn’t looking and hid behind a wheelchair. All the folks knew it, but kept it as their joke. She didn’t find out until

they got back to the nursing home and the goat jumped off in the parking lot. We’re never too old for a little mischief.

“We get out to the farm twice a week when the weather is nice,” she said. “They love it.” It takes three trips each day to accommodate everyone who wants to go. (The trip includes a stop downtown for ice cream.)

Merrill said that the only thing better than animals for residents is children, so Merrill plans events to draw families.

“We had a kids carnival in July and I brought baby alpacas. The residents are outside with the families. At Easter we had bunnies and lambs.”

While the stories Merrill could tell are endless, one heartwarming experience happened this past fall. A 107-year-old resident who had always been alert had been placed on hospice. She had reached the point of being lethargic and not her usual responsive self — sleeping mostly. One of the last good days to get

Workshops on optimizing planter setup

AMES, Iowa — Specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach are teaming up with Iowa State Ag and Biosystems Engineering specialists to bring planter equipment expertise to farms across the state Feb. 6-10.

The training will be offered at five locations.

Feb. 6 — Northwest Research and Demonstration Farm, Sutherland.

Feb. 7 — Northeast Research Farm – Borlaug Learning Center, Nashua.

Feb. 8 — Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm, Crawfordsville.

Feb. 9 — Agriland FS, Woodbine.

Feb. 10 – CNH Industrial Ag Information Center, Nevada.

Each workshop will begin with check-in and refreshments at 8:30 a.m. and adjourn at approximately 2:30 p.m.

The workshops are an opportunity for farmers, agricultural service providers, equipment and precision ag dealers, and others to gain insight into how planters function, optimize settings for individual seed, field, and equipment needs, and improve understanding of planter wear and calibration.

Specialists from the Iowa State Digital Ag group will lead each workshop and focus on small-group, hands-on learning with row units representing a variety of technologies currently available for plant-

ers. The Digital Ag group is renowned for their key industry partnerships and unique expertise in equipment and precision agriculture. Meetings will also offer continuing education credits for Certified Crop Advisers.

“We are going to help attendees better understand the physics behind traditional and high-speed planters and how to evaluate planting performance,” said Levi Powell, Iowa State ag and biosystems engineering program specialist.

“Every planter, operator and operation is different; one setting doesn’t work for everyone. This event will focus on how to dial in the right settings for you and your operation,” added Ben Covington, Iowa State ag and biosystems engineering program specialist.

Attendance will be limited to maintain small group sizes and allow for hands-on activities. Registration for each location is $85 and closes seven days ahead of each meeting.

Register online at planter/. Registration includes lunch, refreshments, reference materials, seed depth tool, closing wheel hold up bracket, and CCA credits.

For questions, contact ANR Program Services at 515-294-6429, or, or contact your regional ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomist.

This article was submitted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. v

outside, Merrill leaned over to her ear and asked if she wanted to go to the farm. She said, “Sure,” and sat up. Her surprised daughter and son-in-law were present and rode along. She was holding the pigs and bunnies and had a great day.

“It was her last ‘awake’ day,” Merrill said. “After that she didn’t get out of bed, and died a few days later.”

Jessica Merrill said the hardest part of bringing in the baby animals is that residents holding them don’t want to give them up. The way Merrill has involved the residents, they probably feel like these are their animals, too. That’s fine with Merrill. When they get their first calves, she’ll be looking for all the advice they can give. v

THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023 — “Where Farm and Family Meet” PAGE 13
Joan Stuefen getting a visit from Rachel the lamb

Long-time meat market is still serving customers

When looking back at the historical photographs of Brownton, Minn., which was founded in 1877, the earliest pictures of what is considered the main street contain a storefront meat market which is still in business today. Current owner Andrew Dammann, who purchased the business from his grandfather Dale Ewald in 2009, said the building’s cornerstone reads 1904. “Brownton has always had a meat market,” said Joan Ewald, wife of Dale and grandmother of Andrew. “Good Germans had to have a meat market!”

In 1939, William (Bill) Pinske, fatherin-law of former owner Dale Ewald and great grandfather to current owner Andrew Dammann, purchased the City Meat Market and Locker on the corner of Division St. in Brownton. After World War II, Pinske added on to the building which included adding a slaughter room and smoke room. In the years prior to WWII, all slaughtering was done offsite. “They used to have to slaughter them at Rickert’s farm and bring the quarters in. They actually never slaughtered there to start with. Then [Bill] added on the sausage room and the slaughter room,” said Ewald.

During the years that Pinske ran the meat market, they were open seven days a week. “Saturday night was a big night,” explained Joan. “That’s what they did in those days. Farmers came to town on Saturday nights. That was a long time ago!” she laughed.

Ewald, who had married Pinske’s only daughter, Joan,

had worked at the 3M factory in neighboring Hutchinson for almost 20 years.

“In 1976, I quit [3M] in July. Bill didn’t have any sons. He just had one daughter and he asked if I wanted to try it. I remember taking a week’s vacation from 3M and coming over and stuffing hamburger and working up front. I ended up working for Bill for a year and took it over myself in 1977,”

recalled Dale. Although Ewald took ownership of the shop in 1977, Pinske continued to come in, teach Dale how to cut meat and help until 1990. “You just don’t quit cold. Just like this grandpa,” laughed Dale. “I still like to come in and help out!”

Andrew first started helping out at the meat market right after high school and continued working there during his college breaks. Although Dammann went to college with an intent of being a physical education teacher, the meat market was drawing him in. During his last years of college, Dammann knew that he was going to take over the meat market; so he started taking more business management classes, which ended up being his minor.

In July of 2009, after graduating from college, Dammann took over the meat market. “Right out of college I bought a house and a meat market!” he chuckled. Andrew said he learned how to cut meat by watching his grandpa and some of the other meat cutters who worked at the shop. “You can’t learn everything in a day or even a year,” said Dammann. “I’m still learning different things to do and ways to do things that are more efficient.”

“In the early years,” recalled Dale, “there was a farm every half a mile and everybody milked and had cattle, hogs and chickens. We did a lot more slaughtering. There was a period when we slaughtered two and three times a

week. In those early years, we did more custom work. The retail counter was adequate, but not like it is now,” Ewald said.

Now, Dammann said that many producers are driving a half hour or more to bring in animals for processing.

“Within the last five years there have been three meat markets that have either closed or stopped doing custom processing. That has helped us a lot.

Our split is about 70/30. 70 percent custom and 30 percent retail,” said Andrew.

During the war and the post war era, the meat locker was a very important part of business. Dale said many people did not have freezers for storing goods so they relied on the lockers.

“Every locker is still full,” said Andrew. Some of the lockers have been removed or are used for the retail goods, but every available locker is currently used.

“In the older days we had the stock truck,” Ewald shared. “We hauled in a lot of cattle. We hired guys just to haul cattle. That was a big part of the business.”

Ewald said he could remember a time when his father-in-law, Bill, who drove the stock truck during his last few working years, forgot to put the truck in gear and Dale watched it roll down a

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Photos by Whitney Nesse City Meat Market and Locker has been a fixture of the Brownton, Minn. area for over a century. Dale Ewald (left) and Andrew Dammann. Brownton’s City Meat Market is famous for its home-smoked sausage. The market still uses Bill Pinske’s recipe which earned him a prize in Kansas City.

Ridgewater meat cutting course hopes to start filling need

Even before Sophia Thommes thought about teaching, she was teaching. In the third grade, Thommes used her Show and Tell spotlight to educate her classmates about butchering chickens. “I explained the whole process. I might have traumatized a few kids,” Thommes recalled with a laugh.

Thommes is the instructor of the brand-new meat cutting course at Ridgewater College in Willmar, Minn., and certainly brings experience to the table.

“I grew up on a hobby farm in Wisconsin where we had a small beef herd, sheep, chickens, feeder hogs. My parents taught me how to butcher chickens when I was three years old,” Thommes stated.

Having a natural and early interest in animal science, Thommes became a 4-H member in second grade and later, involved in FFA. Her FFA advisor and ag teacher, Rachel Sauvola, aided Thommes and a high school classmate in presenting a request of using 20 acres of land for a school farm to area school boards and city council. They were successful. Today, the SOAR educational center continues its operation. Produce and meat from the farm go directly toward area school lunches.

After high school, Thommes majored in Animal Science at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. While attending school, she worked for RJ’s Meats — starting off as a machine cleaner and retail counter worker. She served on the UWRF Livestock and Carcass Evaluation Team, and took on an internship working in quality assurance with American Foods Group at its Long Prairie Packing location.

“After my internship I was offered a position with Long Prairie Packing as the plant’s SFQ (Safe Food Quality) Practitioner, where I oversaw all animal welfare practices and followed food safety regulations,” Thommes stated.

When she began to consider a career in teaching, she reached out to her former FFA advisor who pro-

vided encouragement. Thommes accepted a position with Pipestone Area schools as the middle school/ high school ag teacher and FFA advisor. That job “assured me that I chose the right career in teaching,” Thommes said. “I started my Ag Ed Master’s program at South Dakota State University in the summer of 2021 and will be completing the program this spring semester of ‘23.”

This December, Thommes finished her first semester as the instructor for Ridgewater’s meat cutting course.

Ridgewater College and Central Lakes College are the only Minnesota colleges offering a meat cutting course. With campuses both in Willmar, Minn. and Hutchinson, Minn., Ridgewater began this program in response to the demand for meat processing workers. “The need is everywhere,” Thommes expressed, referencing butcher shops, grocery store meat departments and processing plants.

“The program is a semester in length and is 18 credits,” Thommes explained. “All classes are in fourweek blocks, one being offered one after the other.”

Students not seeking the certificate have the option to take courses a la carte style.

“The majority of my students are non-traditional and working full-time,” Thommes remarked. In order to make attendance possible, Ridgewater developed a curriculum which can work for many situations.

“Classes are all online, and are asynchronous.”

Thommes stated. She makes the coursework available to students one week at a time. Lectures are recorded and there are corresponding assignments and lab work. Traditional grading is implemented.

10-15 hours a week of hands-on experience at a facility placement is required. Scheduling those hours is worked out with the facility.

Facility placement plays an integral part of the program. “The facility 100 percent has a role. The student has a mentor essentially with the facility,” Thommes explained. Thommes can work with students to find placement and make suggestions through the American Association of Meat Processors, but emphasized the importance of the student making the first contact with a potential facility to establish a relationship and ensure it’s a good match.

Carlson Meat in Grove City, Minn. is one of the facilities Ridgewater students have worked with.

Jesse Weseman, a mentor at the facility, sees the value in what the college provides. “Meat cutting is a dying art and so having programs like Ridgewater’s will help the interest and art live on,” he stated.

Because some of the course’s students are out of state, Thommes does utilize Zoom calls throughout the semester in order to connect with the facility and student.

In the first semester, enrollment included one student from Florida and another from Iowa. Students from Texas and Utah are set to attend the second semester beginning in January.

Thommes emphasized that this program is for any-

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Photo submitted Jesse Weseman (left) and Sophia Thommes
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Calendar of Events

Visit to view our complete calendar and enter your own events, or send an e-mail with your event’s details to

Jan. 23— Apple Tree Pruning Workshop— Preston, Minn. —These workshops will provide guidance on proper pruning methods and focus on hands-on practice pruning trees at apple orchards. Contact your local Extension office with questions/registration assistance.

Other Dates and Locations:

Jan. 26 — Montgomery, Minn.

Feb. 8 — St Joseph, Minn.

Feb. 27 — Watertown, Minn.

Feb. 28 — Buffalo, Minn.

Mar. 13 — Hinckley, Minn.

Mar. 14 — Duluth, Minn.

Jan. 24 — Renting It Out Right — Online —This is an opportunity for non-operating landowners who would like to learn about how to build soil health on their land in partnership with the farmer they rent to. Contact Robin Moore at

Jan. 25-26 — 2023 Iowa Pork Congress — Des Moines, Iowa — This will be the 50th pork congress that involves a trade show, educational sessions, and the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) annual meeting, which will be held Jan. 24. Contact IPPA at (800) 372-7675 or visit www.

Jan. 26 — Planning Your Dairy Farm Future — Little Falls, Minn. —Session

is “How Do I Get from Here to There” (Goal Setting and Business Planning). Begin thinking about your farm’s goals and plan for future farm success. Contact Dana Adams at or (320) 255-6169, ext. 3.

Jan. 26 — What is a Fair Farm Rental Agreement —Online — Attendees will receive several informative worksheets and factsheets that will help to determine what a fair 2023 farmland rental rate is. For more information, please visit

Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23, and March 2

— Annie’s Project - Education for Farm Women — St. Cloud, Minn. — Course topics will include financial reporting, human resources, legal, market risk, and production metrics. Contact Anthony A. or Dana Adams at (320) 255-6169.

Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23, and March 2

— Farm Transition Planning Course — Online — This course presented by the Land Stewardship Project provides an opportunity to dig into important topics and learn from experienced farmers and professionals. Contact Karen Stettler at or (612) 767-9885.

Jan. 27 — Hawk Creek Watershed Project’s Information and Appreciation Meeting— Renville, Minn. — Presenters include Doug Lovander, one of the original founders of Pheasants Forever, Lee Ganske with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and Heidi Rauenhorst, HCWP Coordinator. Contact or (320) 523-3666.

Jan. 31-Feb. 2 — Pollinator Habitat Webinar Series — Online — This threepart series covers how to create a pollinator-friendly garden, bee lawn & prairie planting. Contact your local Extension office with questions and/or for help with registration. Contact for residents of Stearns, Benton, Morrison and Sherburne counties: quincy@ or (320) 255-6169 x 1.

Feb. 1-2 — ASFMRA Iowa Chapter’s Annual Meeting — Ankeny, Iowa — This two-day meeting is targeted to agricultural professionals. Attendees do not need to be members of the association. For more information, visit www.asfmra. org/education-calendar.

Feb. 2 — Private Pesticide Applicator Continuing Instruction Course — Hampton, Iowa — Topics to be covered include: Personal protective equipment, Safe handling, Storage of pesticides, and Pests, pest management and pesticides. Contact Traci Kloetzer at tkloetze@ or (641) 456-4811.

Feb. 7 — Nitrogen Conference — Mankato, Minn. — Current topics in crop production and environmental stewardship will be discussed. For more information, please visit events.

Feb. 7 — Women in Ag Network Conference — Willmar, Minn. — The conference’s theme is “Building Resilience on your Farm and in your Family.” This event will be a day of learning and networking for women involved in agriculture. Contact Besty Wieland at or (612) 624-7119.

Feb. 8 — Dry Manure Applicator

Certification Workshops — Kamrar, Iowa — This workshop meets manure applicator certification requirements for both confinement site manure applicators and commercial manure applicators who primarily apply dry or solid manure. Contact 515-832-9597.

Other Dates and Locations: Feb. 9 — Clarion, Iowa Contact 515532-3453.

Feb. 10 — Greenfield, Iowa Contact 641-743-8412.

Feb. 14 — Washington, Iowa Contact 319-653-4811.

Feb. 15 — Storm Lake, Iowa Contact 712-732-5056.

Feb. 16 — Orange City, Iowa Contact 712-737-4230.

Feb. 10-11 — Farm Couple Getaways — Dubuque, Iowa — This event is aimed at farmers wanting to take advantage of activities to improve farm family communication, work on farm or family goal setting, farm transitions or looking for a weekend away to discuss farm and family issues. Contact Fred Hall at or (712) 737-4230.

Other Dates and Locations: March 3-4 — Holstein, Iowa

Feb. 21 — Nutrient Management Conference — St. Cloud, Minn. — Current topics in crop production and environmental stewardship will be discussed. For more information, please visit

Grants to improve soil health

ST. PAUL — Applications are now open for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s new Soil Health Financial Assistance Pilot Program soil health equipment grants.

These grants are available to individual producers, producer groups, and local governments to purchase or retrofit soil health equipment. Grant awards will provide up to 50 percent costshare, with a minimum award of $500 and a maximum award of $50,000. A total of $475,000 is available for the Soil Health Financial Assistance Pilot Program soil health equipment grants.

Examples of eligible new or used equipment include, but are not limited to, no-till drills, air seeders, highboys, variable-rate equipment, retrofit projects to allow no-till planting, and more. Parts and materials used to retrofit existing equipment are also eligible.

The Request for Proposals and application link can be found at www.mda.

Applications are due March 20.

This article was submitted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.v

PAGE 18 — “Where Farm and Family Meet” THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023

Covid meat shortage scare has actually helped business

hill. Andrew said he hauled cattle for a few years after he owned the shop, but has since stopped. “I need my guys working in the shop,” he said.

Sausage has been a huge part of the business for a very long time and it is what the City Meat Market and Locker is most known for. “We still use great grandpa’s recipe,” Dammann said. That recipe won Pinske a prize at a sausage convention in Kansas City. “We have cut down on the salt, but other than that it’s still the same.” Andrew offered that in terms of volume, sausage is the number-one seller with dried beef, jerky and pepperoni sticks following, which has remained much the same since Ewald took over in 1977. “In December alone, we’ll make almost 2,000 pounds of sausage,” said Dammann. “We ship [sausages] all over — Florida, Montana, California, Colorado. We can only ship the smoked and cured products,” he said.

Over the years, different aspects of the business have changed; but so have the animals. “I think we’re seeing better grades and bigger,” Ewald said. “We see much better quality now,” said Dale. Andrew agreed, “When I first started, I would say half of the beef we butchered was not choice.”

In more recent years, most of the animals brought in for custom butchering are being sold privately to consumers which has been an industry shift Dammann has seen. In years prior, most producers were butchering animals they were keeping for their own consumption. “Which makes sense — because if you’re keeping it for yourself, you might not care as much about the

dering company. The offal is then taken to another site to produce other things made from rendered products, like dog and cat food.

Andrew said that Covid-19 and the meat shortage scare was actually helpful for business. “We’re doing a lot more [custom] processing. People found out they could get 70 pounds of burger and 50 pounds of roasts and steaks at once. And when they do it once, more often than not they are going to come back and do it again.”

Dammann said that he does very little advertising. “Word of mouth is the best advertising by far,” he said. “And that goes way back!” Ewald chimed in. Neither Dammann or Ewald spent much money on advertising. Now and then, both owners have sponsored local basketball and baseball games; but never did much more than that.

When it comes to the job, both Andrew and Dale have favorites. “When it comes to processing, I would definitely rather do a beef than a quality. But if you’re selling to customers, you want to sell good beef.”

When asked what the most unique animal they have processed, Dale replied, “We butchered a few emu.” In the mid 1990’s through the early 2000’s, more people were growing emu’s as meat animals. “We had one get out one time,” laughed Dale. “We caught it in the drive-through of the bank!”

Both Andrew and Dale have also processed bison. They have never processed poultry at the meat market. The most common animals they process are cattle, hogs, sheep and goats.

Currently, the meat market is processing nine or ten beef per week and up to 12 hogs every other week. This produces 30 to 35 barrels of offal which is picked up twice per week by a ren-

hog. If you get a good beef, I know I can make all of the perfect cuts. But if I get a hog and it’s not split perfectly, it’s kind of hard to cut chops,” said Andrew. He also said, on the flip side, you can process hogs much more quickly than beef.

Dammann said that he really enjoys running the meat market. He said he specifically enjoys the variety the job offers. The favorite part of the job for Ewald has always been the people. “You never know who is going to walk in the door next,” he said.

The way to a butcher’s heart is probably through a tenderloin! Ewald and Dammann both favor the tenderloin of either pork or beef when they have the opportunity. “I always love a good ribeye, too,” said Andrew.

You can find out more about City Meat Market and Locker by stopping by the shop on the corner of Division St. and 4th Ave. North in Brownton or giving them a call at (320) 328-4411. v

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City Meat Market and Locker currently processes nine to ten beef animals per week and will do up to 12 hogs every two weeks. Dammann said most of their processing used to be for farmers’ own use; but many are now sold privately to third-party consumers.

Cheese, butter price slump could last a while

This column was written for the marketing week ending Jan. 13.

You’ll recall November milk production was up 1.3 percent from 2021. The latest Dairy Products report indicates that extra milk primarily went to the vat and the churn.

Cheese production totaled 1.149 billion pounds, down 1.9 percent from October output which was revised up 4 million pounds, but was up 1.6 percent from November 2021. Output year-todate hit 12.7 billion pounds, up 1.7 percent from a year ago.

Butter output climbed to 169.9 million pounds, up 8.1 million pounds or 5 percent from October, and up 13.9 million pounds or 8.9 percent from a year ago. Year-to-date, butter output however stands at 1.9 billion pounds, down 1.2 percent from a year ago.

million pounds or 0.2 percent from 2021.

2023 production and marketings were estimated at 229.2 and 228.2 billion pounds respectively, down 300 million pounds on both from a month ago. If realized, 2023 production would be up 2.4 billion pounds or 1.1 percent from 2022.

Wisconsin produced 284.1 million pounds of that total, down 0.7 percent from October, but 1 percent above a year ago. California produced 208.7 million pounds, up 1.1 percent from October and 2.4 percent more than a year ago. New Mexico output slipped to 80.7 million pounds, down 3.3 percent from October but 2.4 percent more than a year ago.

Idaho output dropped to 74.3 million pounds, down 12.7 percent from October, and 3.8 percent below a year ago.

Italian cheese output fell to 484.9 million pounds, down 2.4 percent from October but 1.1 percent above a year ago. Year-to-date, Italian stands at 5.4 billion pounds, up 2.7 percent.

American-type cheese slipped to 459.7 million pounds, down 2.1 percent from October, but 2.2 percent above a year ago. Year-to-date output, at 5.1 billion pounds is down 0.2 percent.

Mozzarella output, at 380.9 million pounds, was up 1.5 percent from a year ago, with year-to-date at 5.1 billion pounds, down 0.2 percent.

The Jan. 6 “Daily Dairy Report” says, “Cheesemakers consistently made big volumes of Mozzarella in 2022, a sign that Americans’ appetite for pizza and other foods replete with Italian-style cheeses continued to grow.”

Cheddar production fell to 319 million pounds, down 17.1 million pounds or 5.1 percent from October’s count, but was up 5.5 million pounds or 1.7 percent from November 2021. Year-to-date, cheddar is at 3.6 billion pounds, down 1.1 percent from a year ago.

Yogurt totaled 346.8 million pounds, down 2.4 percent from a year ago, with year-to-date output at 4.3 billion pounds, down 2.7 percent.

Less cheese meant less whey. Output slipped to 74.6 million pounds, down 2.7 million pounds or 3.5 percent from October, and 1.3 million or 1.7 percent below a year ago. Year-to-date, whey is at 875.1 million pounds, up 2 percent. Stocks climbed to 72.9 million pounds, up 4.5 million pounds or 6.5 percent from October, and 13.2 million pounds or 22.1 percent above those a year ago.

Nonfat dry milk jumped to 159.5 million pounds, up 35.5 million pounds or 28.6 percent from October, but was 1.5 million pounds or 0.9 percent below a year ago. Year-to-date, powder was at 1.8 billion pounds, down 3.2 percent. Stocks grew to 256 million pounds, up 8.2 million or 3.3 percent from October, and 29.2 million or 12.9 percent above a year ago.

Skim milk powder output fell to 39.4 million pounds, down 16.8 million pounds or 29.9 percent from October, and down 20.2 million or 33.9 percent from a year ago. Year-to-date, skim milk powder was at 486.3 million pounds, down 25.1 percent from 2021. HighGround Dairy called the report neutral on cheese and nonfat but bearish on butter and dry whey.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture lowered its 2022 and 2023 milk production forecasts in the Jan. 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. The 2022 estimate was reduced, based on lower expected milk per cow.

The 2023 forecast was lowered, due to a smaller expected herd size for the year, though output per cow was unchanged from last month. USDA’s Cattle Report, to be issued Jan. 31, will provide an indication of producer intentions for retaining dairy heifers for addition to the breeding herd, according to the WASDE.

2022 production and marketings were estimated at 226.8 and 225.8 billion pounds respectively, down 200 million pounds on production and down 100 million on marketings from last month’s estimates. If realized, 2022 production would only be up 500

Cheese was projected to average $2.1122 per pound in 2022 and compares to $1.6755 in 2021 and $1.9236 in 2020. The 2023 average was projected at $1.93, down 6.5 cents from last month’s estimate.

The 2022 butter price average was estimated at $2.8665 per pound and compares to $1.7325 in 2021 and $1.5808 in 2020. The 2023 average was projected at $2.33, down 13.5 cents from a month ago.

Nonfat dry milk will average $1.6851 per pound in 2022, says the WASDE, up from $1.2693 in 2021 and $1.0417 in 2020. The 2023 average was estimated at $1.34, down 3.5 cents from a month ago.

Dry whey will average 41.50 cents per pound in 2022, up from 57.44 cents in 2021 and 36.21 cents in 2020. The 2023 average was lowered a nickel to 41.5 cents per pound.

The 2023 price forecasts were lowered on expectations of weak domestic demand and price pressure in international markets, says the WASDE

The 2022 Class III milk price average was $21.96 per hundredweight, up from $17.08 in 2021 and $18.16 in 2020. The 2023 average was projected at $18.85, down 95 cents from last month’s estimate.

The 2022 Class IV average is $24.47 and compares to $16.09 in 2021 and $13.49 in 2020. The 2023 estimate is $19.25, down 85 cents from a month ago.

This month’s corn outlook is for reduced production, food, seed and industrial use, feed and residual use, exports, and ending stocks. Corn production was estimated at 13.73 billion bushels, down 200 million as an increase in yield was more than offset by a 1.6 million acre cut to harvested area.

Total corn use was reduced 185 million bushels to 13.915 billion. Exports were reduced 150 million bushels to 1.925 billion, reflecting the slow pace of shipments through December, and the lowest level of outstanding sales as of early January since the 2019-20 marketing year.

Food, seed and industrial use was lowered 10 million bushels. Feed and residual use was down 25 million bushels to 5.275 billion. With supply falling

PAGE 20 — “Where Farm and Family Meet” THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023 See MIELKE, pg. 21
Please read attached email ALREADY ON AD THE LAND 3.417 x2” The Land

Fire at Wisconsin plant could mean more cheddar

more than use, corn stocks were lowered 15 million bushels and the season-average corn price was unchanged at $6.70 per bushel.

Soybean production was estimated at 4.28 billion bushels, down 69 million. Harvested area was estimated at 86.3 million acres and yield was estimated at 49.5 bushels per acre, down 0.6 bushels. The soybean export forecast was reduced 55 million bushels to 2 billion, reflecting lower supplies, reduced import demand for China, and a higher export forecast for Brazil. Ending stocks were projected at 210 million bushels, down 10 million from the previous forecast. The season-average soybean price was projected at $14.20 per bushel, up 20 cents. Soybean meal was projected at $425 per short ton, up $15.

Looking backwards, 2022 corn production was estimated at 13.7 billion bushels, down 9 percent from the 2021 estimate, according to the USDA’s Crop Production Summary. The average yield was estimated at 173.3 bushels per acre, 3.4 bushels

below the 2021 record high of 176.7 bushels. Area harvested was estimated at 79.2 million acres, down 7 percent from the 2021 estimate.

Soybean production totaled 4.28 billion bushels, down 4 percent from 2021. The average yield per acre was estimated at 49.5 bushels, down 2.2 bushels, and harvested area was up slightly from 2021 to 86.3 million acres.

Dairy cow slaughter in the week ending Dec. 31 totaled 53,475 head, up 2.1 percent above a year ago. Total slaughter for 2022 was up 1.7 percent from 2021.


Cash cheese prices shot higher the week of Friday the 13th, then suffered a relapse. The cheddar blocks gained 14.25 cents Jan. 9, hitting $2.1975 per pound, highest since Nov. 22, but cooled to a Jan. 13 finish at $2.00, down 5.5 cents on the week, while 8 cents above a year ago.

The barrels, after diving 13.25 cents the previous week, gained a dime on Jan. 9, hitting $1.825, but

closed Jan. 13 at $1.7075. This is 1.75 cents lower on the week, 25.25 cents below a year ago, and 29.25 cents below the blocks. Sales totaled 10 cars of block and 24 of barrel for the week at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

HighGround Dairy’s “Monday Morning Huddle” warned that a fire at AMPI’s Portage, Wis. process cheese plant on Jan. 2 “may temporarily make more barrel cheddar available as the coop works to reopen the facility.”

Dairy Market News reported some Midwestern cheesemakers say the bullish market swings are dissimilar to what they are experiencing regarding demand. A majority of them say sales have softened in recent weeks. Not only spot interest, but contractual buyers have reduced some volumes. Milk availability has not changed much over the past three weeks. Spot prices are still being reported as low as $10 under Class. Cheese inventories are expected to grow near term.

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See MIELKE, pg. 22 MIELKE, from pg. 20

Butter saw significant declines at the end of 2022

MIELKE, from pg. 21

Food service and retail cheese demand in the west is steady to lighter but contacts report steady demand from international purchasers but there is concern that lower global prices may contribute to lighter export demand ahead. Barrel inventories are more excessive than blocks, says Dairy Market News, and plenty of milk remains for busy cheese making, although continuing delayed deliveries of supplies and labor shortages is hindering full capacity. n

Butter climbed to $2.43 per pound on Jan. 10, but finished Jan. 13 at $2.425. This is up 4.25 cents on the week but 30 cents below a year ago. Only two cars were sold.

Dairy Market News says cream remains abundant within the Central region and from Western suppliers. Butter producers have active schedules, focusing on spring holiday inventory status. Food service demand has gradually picked up, but retail buyers are reportedly buying on a necessity basis. Market tones remain somewhat firm, despite strong production and an expectation of inventory growth.

Cream remains ample in the West while demand for it is steady to lighter. Butter production continues to be strong as cream remains widely available. Some expect churns being kept busy longer into the year than usual and into the flush. Butter availability is moving closer towards balancing with demand. Butter demand is steady to higher, with some reports of limited spot availability as contracted loads are being booked for first quarter 2023. However, there is some hesitation for booking into the remaining quarters of 2023, says Dairy Market News.

Grade A nonfat dry closed Jan. 13 at $1.255 per pound. This is down 4.25 cents on the week, lowest CME price since Aug. 20, 2021, and 56 cents below a year ago. Only five sales were reported on the week.

Dry whey closed at 33.25 cents per pound. This is down 5.75 cents on the week, lowest CME price since Aug. 26, 2020, and 43.75 cents below a year ago. There were 25 sales on the week at the CME, highest since the week of June 8, 2020.

Lucas Fuess, now a senior dairy analyst with Rabo Bank, said in the Jan. 16’s “Dairy Radio Now” broadcast that cheese is the most surprising market

so far in 2023 in that prices, particularly the blocks, have been maintaining incredible strength after staying above the $2 mark in December. It’s a bit opposite of seasonal norms, he said, when prices characteristically come down in first quarter. He expects some slippage in the block market ahead, but sees barrels remaining fairly neutral around the $1.80 per pound mark.

Butter saw some significant declines toward the end of the year, as demand finished up in the holiday season, Fuess said, and it has been fairly quiet so far in 2023, supported near the $2.40 per pound mark.

Weaker global demand is the story on nonfat dry milk, according to Fuess, and that has driven prices at the CME. He cited the Dairy Products report showing powder output a bit weaker than a year ago; but that export category is down significantly and stocks climbed, indicative of weak demand at the end of the year. He looks for slow but steady price declines to continue in the powder. n

Jan. 10’s Global Dairy Trade Pulse auction was the first one of 2023 and saw 2.2 million pounds of Fonterra whole milk powder sold at $3,170 per met-

ric ton. That’s down $35 from the Dec. 27 Pulse, but unchanged from last week’s GDT auction Contract 2 March price and the first time the Pulse price did not decline since Dec. 6, according to StoneX.

HighGround Dairy points out, “whole milk powder inventories in China are speculated to be replete providing ample supply for domestic demand. With little competitive buying interest from the country there is plenty of room for other regions to procure product at these low prices.”

The Covid virus continues to spread in China, says HighGround Dairy, “amid what critics say is a lack of transparency from Beijing. China officially opened their borders and citizens have started to travel cross-border, to either Hong Kong or Russia, and flights from overseas flights started to trickle in. Authorities say they expect domestic rail and air journeys will double over the same period last year, bringing overall numbers close to those of the 2019 holiday period before the pandemic hit.”

Lee Mielke is a syndicated columnist who resides in Everson, Wash. His weekly column is featured in newspapers across the country and he may be reached at v

Women exploring meat cutting careers

RIDGEWATER, from pg. 15

one, so long as there’s an interest to learn. In the fall class, two students were retired, two were recent high school graduates, and the others were spread out within the middle-aged range.

Students must give three demonstrations throughout the semester showing knowledge of skills and use of industry terminology. Demonstrations are either recorded or Thommes makes site visits if possible.

Whitney Becker, a student from Windom, Minn., stated, “It is a nice combination of hands-on learning with a butcher at a shop and technical information that I can apply at the shop for class.”

Thommes encourages students to work part-time at the facility they are placed at if able, acknowledging that it isn’t always an option for non-traditional students. “If you want to know the industry, spending time and knowing the atmosphere will give you a better idea of what you’re getting into.”

In Thommes’s own experiences in the meat cutting industry and as an instructor, the female to male ratio isn’t exactly balanced, but she does see female representation. This past semester, Thommes instructed one woman out of the ten students, and expects two women next semester. She noted the daily on-the-job requirement to lift 50-75 pounds can be a challenge. “Once you prove yourself — that you can handle a knife, have a good head on your shoulders, you show you’re capable — you’re welcomed with open arms,” she stated.

A quick online job search proves the need within the industry. While processing plants may not require prior training upon hire for an entry level position, Thommes sees the advantage of earning the certificate. Without the certificate, Thommes stated it may be three or four years before an employee learns the skills taught at Ridgewater.

Thommes added the majority of her students have plans other than working in a processing plant. Most want to start their own businesses. Thommes explained many local shop owners are reaching retirement age and are without successors. “The local shops is what’s really hurting. They need the help.”

In fact, one of Thommes’s fall semester students has the intent to fill that exact need for a butcher shop.

“Spring semester she’ll be starting that mentorship to learn the ropes of that role.”

Ridgewater College has already begun the planning process to assist with this specific need. Courses for advanced meat processing and entrepreneurship are in their developing stages.

Thommes mentioned Ridgewater is beginning to look into the MN Pipeline and possible grant eligibility to assist with students’ tuition costs.

To learn more about the meat cutting course at Ridgewater College, visit You may also contact Thommes directly at v


Grain Outlook

WASDE report shows sharp drop in harvested acres

The following marketing analysis is for the week ending Jan. 13.

CORN — BAM! The U.S. Department of Agriculture certainly surprised traders with its changes on the January World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates and Grain Stocks reports!

Corn had traded in consolidating fashion ahead of the reports released on Jan. 12. There was little fresh news to drive the markets, leaving them to rely on the old standards of dry, hot Argentine weather, a lack of export demand, and outside macro markets. Mild support came from a friendly ethanol report and jumping energy markets.

There was light chatter about how much old crop corn Brazil has left to sell. Anec, Brazil’s ag exporter association, anticipates Brazil’s January corn exports will set a record for the month at 5.02 million metric tons — surpassing the 4.44 mmt exports in 2016. Taiwan bought U.S. corn this week with no offers out of Brazil.

Ukraine corn remains at a discount to U.S. origin. According to Argentina’s ag ministry, Argentine farmers have sold an estimated 76 percent of last year’s corn crop compared to 78 percent sold last year by this date. Board inverses widened throughout the week.

But the overwhelming headline this week was the January WASDE and Dec. 1 Grain Stocks reports. The biggest shock on the balance sheet was the slashing of the total 2022-23 harvested acres by 1.637 million acres to 79.2 million acres! This was the largest November-to-January harvested acreage decrease in history. An increase to 80.763 million acres was expected.

In Kansas alone, harvested acres were cut 710,000 acres with another 480,000 acres cut in Nebraska and 240,000 acres in South Dakota.

Adding to the surprises was an increase in yield of 1 bushel per acre to 173.3 bu./acre when a .2 bu./acre increase was anticipated and thereby lowering the 2022-23 U.S. corn crop by 200 million bushels to

Cash Grain Markets

corn/change* soybeans/change*

Stewartville $6.50 +.26 $14.56 +.29

Edgerton $7.05 +.19 $15.00 +.33

Jackson $6.81 +.19 $14.97 +.38

Hope $6.75 +.15 $14.83 +.43

Cannon Falls $6.51 -.14 $14.57 +.11

Sleepy Eye $6.80 +.15 $15.00 +.43

St. Cloud $6.61 +.15 $14.94 +.37

Madison $6.66 +.08 $15.15 +.06

Redwood Falls $6.85 +.15 $15.05 +.37

Fergus Falls $6.56 +.15 $14.86 +.34

Morris $6.65 +.15 $15.10 +.40

Tracy $6.85 +.15 $15.12 +.40

Average: $6.72 $14.93

Year Ago Average: $5.85 $13.31

Grain prices are effective cash close on Jan. 17. *Cash grain price change represents a two-week period.

13.73 billion bushels. The average traded guess was 13.933 billion bushels and last month the crop was 13.930 billion bushels. The miss by the trade for production of 203 million bushels was the second-biggest miss on record for this report.

On the demand side, the feed was cut 25 million bushels; food, seed and industry was down 10 million; and exports cut by 150 million bushels to 1.925 billion bushels.

Ending stocks at 1.242 billion bushels was a decline of 15 million bushels from last month and compared to the 1.314 billion bushels estimated. This would be the second-smallest ending stock in nine years. The stocks-to-use ratio was unchanged at 8.9 percent (second-lowest in 10 years) with the average farm price unchanged at $6.70 per bushel. The lower-than-expected ending stocks numbers coincided with the smaller than anticipated Dec. 1 corn stocks at 10.809 billion bushels vs. 11.153 billion bushels estimated. This is the smallest Dec. 1 stocks in nine years.

In the world numbers, ending stocks were 296.42 mmt which was lower than the 297.86 mmt trade estimate and 298.40 mmt last month. Argentina’s crop was cut 3 mmt to 52 mmt and Brazil down 1 mmt to 52 mmt and 125 mmt respectively. Argentina’s exports were down 3 mmt to 41 mmt and Brazil’s were unchanged at 47 mmt. Conab slightly lowered its Brazilian crop production to 125 mmt from 125.8 mmt and 113 mmt last year. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange kept Argentina’s corn production at 50 mmt while rating the crop at 7 percent good/excellent vs. 13 percent last week. China’s corn imports were steady at 18 mmt and production increased 3.2 mmt to 277.2 mmt.

The BAGE rated the Argentine corn crop at a measly 7 percent rated good/excellent.

Weekly export sales of 10.1 million bushels were the lowest in 13 weeks. Total commitments of 866 million bushels are down 47 percent from last year. Using the updated USDA export projection, year-onyear export sales are predicted to fall 22 percent.

Weekly ethanol production was increased by 99,000 barrels per day to 943,000 bpd. This is still down 6.3 percent from the same week last year and behind the 1.043 million bpd pace needed to reach the USDA outlook. Stocks were down 644,000 barrels at 23.8 million barrels. Ethanol stocks are 3.9 percent higher for the same week last year. Net margins dropped by 7 cents per gallon to 17 cents per gallon.

Gasoline demand was steady at 7.558 million bpd and was 4.4 percent below the same week last year. Over the last four weeks, it is down nearly 5 percent vs. last year.

China extended the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on U.S. distillers dried grains for another five years which were set to expire this week. They have been in place since 2016 and make any imports uncompetitive against China’s own DDGs.

Outlook: I’m not going to venture how high prices may venture, but I think the reports this week helped put in a floor. March corn closed above its 100day moving average resistance for the first time since Dec. 30. This will become short-term support with the next support near $6.62 per bushel. The December corn contract hasn’t traded to $6.00 per bushel on the board since Jan. 4, so that will be the first obstacle to overcome.

South American growing weather will continue to be in the headlines. How much corn does Brazil have left to market before its next harvest? Don’t get caught looking and hoping. Manage your risk as appropriate for your operation.

For the week, March corn surged 21 cents to close at $6.75, July jumped 15.5 cents to $6.63.75, and December corn climbed 7.5 cents higher to $5.98.5 per bushel.

SOYBEANS — March soybeans tested $15.00 per bushel every session leading up to the WASDE report but hadn’t closed above it since Dec. 30. The January reports changed that when March soybeans closed at $15.18.5 per bushel.

The USDA cut the 2022-23 U.S. soybean crop by 70 million bushels to 4.276 billion bushels which was below the lowest forecast. The average trade estimate was 4.362 billion bushels. The yield was lowered 0.7 bu./acre to 49.5 bu./acre and below the lowest guess. Harvested acres were decreased 295,000 acres to 86.3 million acres vs. 86.62 million acres estimated. Planted acres were unchanged at 87.5 million acres. The trade was expecting a crop of which would have been a 16 million bushel increase. The 86 million bushel trade miss was the biggest in history for the January report.

Information in the above columns is the writer’s opinion. It is no way guaranteed and should not be interpreted as buy/sell advice. Futures trading always involves a certain degree of risk.

THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023 — “Where Farm and Family Meet” PAGE 23

Farm program enrollment deadline is March 15

Eligible farm operators have from now until March 15 to enroll in the 2023 farm program at local U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency offices. Eligible cops include corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, barley, grain sorghum, long grain rice, medium/short grain rice, temperate japonica rice, seed cotton, dry peas, lentils, large and small chickpeas, peanuts, sunflower seed, canola, flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, crambe, and sesame seed.



Producers can choose between the price-only Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and revenue-based Ag Risk Coverage (ARC) program choices for the 2023 crop production year. The ARC program choice includes both the countyyield based ARC-CO program choice (which is most popular) and the ARCIC program, which is based on farmlevel yields. If no choice is made, the 2022 farm program choice will remain in place for 2023.

Crop base acres for 2023 will remain at the same levels as 2019-2021 for all crops on most farms. The only adjustments in base acres will be for crop acres added via land purchases; or land rental agreements; or acres no longer eligible for farm program payments. The 2023 farm program yields on individual FSA farm units, which were last updated in 2020, will be used to calculate potential PLC payments. The ARC-CO benchmark yields for 2023 are based on the “olympicaverage” Risk Management Agency (RMA) county average yields for the 2017 to 2021 crop years. The national market year average price for those same years is averaged to calculate the 2023 benchmark price for the ARC-CO and ARC-IC programs. All potential ARC-CO payments will be based on data for the county an FSA farm unit is located in.

Calculation formulas, etc. for the PLC, ARC-CO and ARC-IC programs remain the same as in previous years. PLC payments for 2023 will be made if the final market year average price for 2023 falls below the reference price for a given crop. ARC-CO payments for 2023 will be made if the

final county revenue for the year (county yield multiplied by the final 2023 market year average price) falls below the 2023 benchmark revenue for a given crop. Calculations for the ARC-IC program are the same as for ARC-CO, except ARC-IC uses farm-level yield data and considers all crops on a farm unit together for calculation of potential payments in a given year. PLC and ARC-CO payments are paid on 85 percent of crop base acres, while ARCIC payments are paid on only 65 percent of base acres.

Key points to remember about the 2023 Farm Program decision

The 2023 reference prices for the PLC program are corn, $3.70/bu.; soybeans, $8.40/bu.; wheat, $5.50/bu.

The ARC-CO and ARC-IC benchmark prices for 2023 are corn, $3.98/bu.; soybeans, $9.57/bu.; wheat, $5.50/bu.

Final 2023 market year average prices for corn and soybeans will be calculated from Sept. 1, 2023 to Aug. 31, 2024. As a result, the current upswing in crop prices may not necessarily impact final 2023 farm program payments. Final 2023 market year average prices for wheat and other small grains will be calculated from June 1, 2023 to May 31, 2024.

PLC payment per crop base acre reference price minus the 2023 market year average price multiplied by the FSA program yield times 85 percent. (If the final 2023 market year average price is higher than the reference price, there is no PLC payment.)

ARC-CO benchmark revenue guarantee per acre is the county benchmark yield multiplied by the benchmark price times

THIESSE, pg. 25

2023 Farm Program Decision Table

A Guide to aide in Farm Program Decisions for the 2023 crop year

Reasons to Choose Reasons to Choose PRICE LOSS COVERAGE (PLC) AG RISK COVERAGE (ARC-CO) CROP (Price only) (Yield and Price using County Yields)

• Think that the final market year average • Think that the final market year average corn price will be below corn price will above $3.70 per bushel for 2023-24. (*) $3.70 per bushel for 2023-24. (*) 2022-23 USDA MYA Est. = $6.80/Bu. Final MYA price was $3.70/Bu. 2021-22 Final MYA Price = $6.00/Bu. or lower from 2014-2019. 2020-21 Final MYA Price = $4.53/Bu. (MYA price will be above $3.70 for 2022-23.)

Corn • Want Price protection from $3.70 to • MYA Price where ARC-CO Payments would $2.20 per bu. (PLC has a higher max. begin at various percent of County BM Yield: payment than ARC-CO). 100% BM Yield = $3.43/bu.

• Not worried about a significant yield 90% BM Yield = $3.81/bu. drop below the County benchmark yield. 80% BM Yield = $4.28/bu.

• Want to utilize SCO insurance in 2023. 70% BM Yield = $4.89/Bu.

• Think that the final MYA soybean price • Think that the final MYA soybean price will will be below $8.40 per bu. for 2023-24 (*) be above $8.40 per bu. for 2023-24. (*) 2022-23 USDA MYA Est. = $14.00/Bu. Final MYA price was above $8.40/bu. 2021-22 Final MYA Price = $13.30/bu. from 2014 to 2021. 2020-21 Final MYA Price = $10.80/bu. (MYA price will be above $8.40 for 2022-23.) Soybeans • Want price protection from $8.40 to • MYA Price where ARC-CO Payments would $6.20 per bu. (PLC has higher max. begin at various percent of County BM Yield: payment than ARC-CO). 100% BM Yield = $8.23/bu.

• Not worried about a significant yield 90% BM Yield = $9.15/bu.

drop below the County benchmark yield. 80% BM Yield = $10.29/bu.

• Want to utilize SCO insurance in 2023. 70% BM Yield = $11.76/bu.

• Think that the final MYA wheat price will • Think that the final MYA wheat price will be below $5.50 per bushel for 2023-24. (**) be above $5.50 per bushel for 2022. (**) 2022-23 USDA MYA Est. = $9.20/bu. Final MYA price was $5.50/bu. 2021-22 Final MYA Price = $7.63/bu. or lower from 2015 to 2020. 2020-21 Final MYA Price = $5.05/bu. (MYA price will be above $5.50 for 2022-23.)

Wheat • Want price protection from $5.50 to • MYA Price where ARC-CO Payments would $3.38 per bu. (PLC has higher max. begin at various percent of County BM Yield: payment than ARC-CO). 100% BM Yield = $4.73/bu.

• Not worried about a significant yield 90% BM Yield = $5.26/bu. drop below the County benchmark yield. 80% BM Yield = $5.92/bu.

• Want to utilize SCO insurance in 2023. 70% BM Yield = $6.76/bu.

(*) 2023-24 MYA price for corn and soybeans is calculated from Sept. 1, 2023 to Aug. 31, 2024 and finalized on Sept. 30, 2024.

(**) 2023-24 MYA price for wheat and small grains is calculated from June 1, 2023 to May 31, 2024 and finalized on June 30, 2024.

Reasons to choose ARC-IC (Price and yield using farm yields)

• FSA farm units with a single crop planted in 2023 and could have very low yields in 2023 compared to five-year (2017-21) average RMA yields.

• FSA farm units with potential for low yields in 2023 in a county not likely to receive 2023 ARC-CO payments.

Remember: All crops raised on an individual FSA farm unit are factored together for ARC-IC revenue calculations.

All FSA farm units enrolled in ARC-IC in a state are calculated together for IRC-IC determination.

Table developed by Kent Thiesse, Farm Management Analyst

PAGE 24 — “Where Farm and Family Meet” THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023

Coverage differences

86 percent.

Final 2023 ARC-CO revenue per acre is determined by the final 2023 county yield multiplied by the final 2023 market year average price.

ARC-CO payment per base acre is the benchmark revenue guarantee minus 2023 final revenue times 85 percent. (If the final revenue is higher than the benchmark revenue, there is See THIESSE, pg. 26

PLC and ARC-CO Farm Program Comparison Table

Higher of the Reference Price or Corn = $3.70/bu. the five-year “Olympic” ave. price. Soybeans = $8.40/bu. (2017-2021 Final MYA Price) Wheat = $5.50/bu.

• 2023 BM Prices: Corn = $3.98/bu. Soybeans = $9.57/bu. Wheat = $5.50/bu.

Final Price • 12-month national market year • Same as for PLC. average (MYA) price for 2022-23. • 2022-23 MYA Price Est. (as of Sept. 1, 2023 to Aug. 31, 2024 Jan. 1, 2023) for corn and soybeans. Corn = $6.80/bu. June 1 to May 31 for Wheat. Soybeans = $14.00/bu. Wheat = $9.20/bu.

Payment Yield

• Farm Unit FSA program yields. • County Benchmark (BM) Yields. The FSA program yields on Five-year (2017-2021) rolling individual farm units that were “Olympic” average. County last updated in 2020. RMA yield (Trend Adj.). 2023 — No increased yields

• Harvest yield is the final county available. average yield (RMA data).

Payment Revenue N/A

Payment Acres

Payment Formula

• BM Revenue = County BM Yield times BM Price

• Revenue Guarantee = BM revenue times 86 percent (.86)

• 85 percent (.85) of Base Acres for an eligible crop. for an eligible crop.

• 85 percent (.85) of Base Acres

• PLC Payment per Base Acre = • ARC-CO Payment per Base Acre = (Ref. Price minus Final MYA Price) Revenue Guarantee minus Final times FSA Yield times .85 County Revenue (Final Co. yield times

• If the final MYA price is higher final MYA price) times .85 than the Ref. Price, there is no PLC • If the final County Revenue payment for that crop. is higher than the Revenue Guarantee, there is no ARC-CO payment for that crop.

Maximum Payment

Payment Limits

SCO Insurance

• (Ref. Price minus Nat. Loan Rate)

• County BM Revenue times .10 (Per Crop Base Acre) times FSA Yield times .85 times .85

• $125,000 per individual or entity. Same as PLC.

• $900,000 max. adjusted gross income on Federal Tax Return.

• Available up to 86% coverage. N/A

Coverage • Must sign-up by March 15.

FSA Farm Program Details on MYA prices, benchmark prices and yields, etc. are available at Data and Information

Subscribe to The Land! 2023 Subscription Form Please complete the form below. Sign and date, include your check and put it in the mail. I own or operate 80+ acres of Minnesota and/or Northern Iowa ag cropland, raise 25+ head of livestock or am actively involved in agribusiness. Full Year Voluntary Subscription:  $49  Other I do not qualify but would like a one-year subscription. Full Year Subscription:  $49   Mail to: THE LAND 418 South Second Street • Mankato, MN 56001 Important – Please check all boxes that best match your farming operation. Acres 1-99 100-249 250-499 500-999 1000+ Corn      Soybeans      Alfalfa      Wheat      Sugar Beets      TOTAL ACRES      Livestock Head Data will NOT be sold. Hogs marketed  1-99  100-249  250-499  500-999  1000+ Sheep raised  1-99  100-249  250-499  500-999  1000+ Beef Cattle marketed  1-99  100-249  250-499  500-999  1000+ Dairy Cattle milked  1-50  51-99  100-199  200+ Name Mailing Address City, State, Zip Phone # E-mail Address Signature Date This form MUST BE signed and dated to meet postal regulations. PLEASE PRINT THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023 — “Where Farm and Family Meet” PAGE 25
THIESSE, from pg. 24
Price • Crop Reference Price • Benchmark (BM) Price. • Reference
Deadline is March 15
(ARC-CO) Base
Prices for 2023:
Table developed by Kent Thiesse, Farm Management Analyst

South American weather will drive soybean price

NYSTROM, from pg. 23

Other changes on the balance sheet included exports falling by 55 million bushels to 1.99 billion bushels. The residual line was lowered by 4 million bushels resulting in a 10 million bushel drop in ending stocks to 210 million bushels. Ending stocks dropped 10 million bushels from last month to 210 million bushels, the lowest in seven years, and compared to 236 million estimated. The stocks-to-use ratio went from 5 to 4.8 percent and the average farm price rose 20 cents to $14.20 per bushel. December 1 soybean stocks were 3.022 billion bushels and 110 million lower than the 3.132 billion bushel trade guess and below the lowest outlook. The miss was the largest vs. estimates in at least 33 years.

World ending stocks were 103.52 mmt vs. 101.69 mmt estimated and 102.71 mmt last month. The USDA slashed Argentina’s soybean production by 4 mmt to 45.5 mmt. Their exports were lowered 2 mmt to 5.7 mmt. The BAGE has it at 41 mmt while the Rosario Grain Exchange has it at a dismal 37 mmt. Their soybean crop is rated just 4 percent good/excellent with 23 percent blooming, according to the BAGE.

The trade group Anec says Argentina has been buying Brazilian soybeans in what was described as “atypical” purchasing. Brazil’s production was raised

1 mmt to 153 mmt and exports were raised 1.5 mmt to 91 mmt. Conab updated Brazil’s soybean production by trimming it to 152.7 mmt, still a record and 27.2 mmt higher than last year. China’s imports were cut 2 mmt to 96 mmt and their production was raised 1.9 mmt to 20.3 mmt.

March soymeal zipped to match the contract high to begin the week before moving sideways before the report. March soyoil showed upside promise to begin the week but traded to its lowest price since Dec. 19 in pre-report trading. Soybean carries narrowed on the board throughout the week. Argentine growers have sold an estimated 80.4 percent of last year’s soybean crop compared to 81 percent sold by this date last year, according to their ag ministry.

Weekly export sales were 26.4 million bushels and within expectations. Total commitments at 1.632 million bushels are up 4.6 percent from last year. The USDA is forecasting a decline of 7.85 percent in yearon-year exports based on the updated export outlook of 1.99 billion bushels.

Outlook: November soybeans traded at $14.00 or higher every day this week but failed to close above it. This will be first resistance for this contract. The weather in Argentina and southern Brazil will be a featured focus in the coming weeks as it has been for the last few months. If the weather turns around, crop estimates may improve.

For the week, March soybeans rallied 35.25 cents to $15.27.75, July gained 23.25 cents to $15.25, and November fell 4.25 cents to $13.93 per bushel.

Weekly price changes in March wheat for the week ended Jan. 12: Chicago wheat eked out a quartercent gain to $7.43.75, Kansas City was 11.75 cents higher at $8.43.75, and Minneapolis was 10.25 cents higher at $9.12 per bushel. v

Good program information is available online

THIESSE, from pg. 25

no 2023 ARC-CO payment.)

Refer to the adjoining tables (2023 Farm Program Decision Table and PLC and ARC-CO Farm Program Comparison Table) for key points the regarding 2023 farm decision for corn, soybeans and wheat for the 2023 crop year.

For official information on PLC and ARC-CO programs, and other farm program details, go to the FSA farm program website at For a listing of 2023 benchmark yields for all crops, refer to

Some good farm program decision tools to assist producers are available from North Dakota State University ( farm-bill); Kansas State University (; University of Minnesota Extension ( business/farm-bill); and the University of Illinois FarmDoc website ( category/areas/agricultural-policy/farm-bill).

Kent Thiesse is a government farm programs analyst and a vice president at MinnStar Bank in Lake Crystal, Minn. He may be reached at (507) 726-2137 or v

Answers located in Classified Section Physicians Mutual Insurance Company For complete details, including costs and limitations, please contact us. Product not available in all states. 6294 Affordable pet INSURANCE 1-888-680-3016 PAGE 26 — “Where Farm and Family Meet” THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023

Real Estate Wanted

WANTED: Land & farms. I have clients looking for dairy, & cash grain operations, as well as bare land parcels from 40-1000 acres. Both for relocation & investments. If you have even thought about selling contact: Paul Krueger, Farm & Land Specialist, Edina Realty, 138 Main St. W., New Prague, MN 55372. (612)328-4506

Copy is 5.16” x 5”

Feed Seed Hay

FOR SALE: Large round bales baleage, fairly dry, 1st through 4th crop, feed test and delivery available. Jim Vermilya, 507-254-4807 or 507-951-3201 Dover MN.

FOR SALE: Alfalfa 60 small squares, fine stemmed, no rain. Goat Hay, also meadow grass hay. Evenings 507380-9374

HAY FOR SALE: Small squares, alfalfa & grass, $5/ ea. Taking orders, New crop rounds and squares. Carver County. 952-467-4006

Feed Seed Hay

OPEN Pollinated Seed Corn. Produces more high quality silage on less acres than hybrid. $67/bushel plus shipping. High feed value grain. 217-857-3377 or 217-343-4962

Bins & Buildings

SILO Take-down & clean up Specializing in silos in congested areas. FULLY INSURED mobile concrete crushing. 507-236-9446

Thursday, February 2nd - 11:00 am Auction held at: Fairfax Community Center 300 Park St S, Fairfax, MN This is a magnificent chance to own wooded land with Fort Ridgely Creek running through it, a farm site, and approximately 13.12 ac of tillable land. You do not want to miss this auction!

Location of property within Renville County: Camp Township, Section 13

This property will sell as one parcel: 37.32 total acres, approx. 13.12 acres tillable.

Productivity Index: 71

Farm Site Address: 45738 630th Ave, Fairfax, MN

The farm site has a driveway, utilities, and a few outbuildings. An easement is in place along an existing field road on the east side of the property for access to the land north of this parcel.

*Note: All acres are published based on Renville County Online Records & FSA records. All maps are a representation.

In case of severe weather, listen to 860 AM KNUJ & 107.3 FM SAM 8:30 the morning of the auction for postponement & rescheduling info. Blizzard Date is February 7th ~ 11:00 am

Owner: Judy Farrell

Listing Auctioneer: Matt Mages, 507-276-7002, Lic 52-22-018

Auctioneers: Matt Mages, Larry Mages, Joe Wersal, Joe Maidl, John Goelz, & Ryan Froehlich Broker/ Clerk: Mages Land Co. & Auction Service, LLC. Not responsible for accidents at auction or during inspection. Everything sold “AS IS”. Everything to be settled immediately after the auction. For all full terms and bidding go to

Bins & Buildings

Stormor Bins & EZ-Drys. 100% financing w/no liens or red tape, call Steve at Fairfax Ag for an appointment. 888-830-7757

Farm Equipment

FOR SALE: Four skid loader tires, used, size: 14x17.5 14ply, $425.00. 952-466-5538


THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023 — “Where Farm and Family Meet” PAGE 27
FAUSCH – 507-399-6062
JERRY CL ARK – 515-320-2213
GUERDET – 712-363-4799 Land
could be
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Kevin Jucht Farm Retirement Auction, Larchwood, IA, Timed Online Auction

Opening March 10 & Closing on March 14 at 12PM

Online Hay Auction - Quality Tested, Litchfield, MN, Timed Online

Opening March 14 & Closing on March 21 at 10AM

Steffes Construction Consignment Auction, Upper & Central Midwest Locations

Opening: Tuesday, Mar 14 & Closing on March 21 at 1PM

Keith & Sharon Barkema Equipment Auction, Klemme, IA, Timed Online Auction

Opening March 17 & Closing on March 22 at 10:30AM

Online Steffes Auction, Central Midwest Locations, Timed Online

Opening March 24 at 5pm & Closing March 28 at 12PM

Online Hay Auction - Quality Tested, Litchfield, MN, Timed Online Auction

Wednesday, March 29 at 10AM Live Onsite Auction

Keith P. Chisholm Farm Retirement Auction, Gary, MN

Opening March 29 & Closing on April 5 at 1PM

Goodhue County, MN Land Auction - 406± Acres, Wanamingo, MN, Timed Online Auction

Farm Equipment

FOR SALE: Walrenz 8’ snowblower, 3pt, $2,000; Cat D2 bulldozer, runs and drives, needs work, $3,000; Butler sealed buildings, approx 30’x60’, disassemble, $3,000. No Tin. 507-330-3945

NH LX665 Kubota turbo skidloader, new tires, bucket, runs great, $15,900. Gehl 2415 discbine, good working cond, $6,900. Haybuster 2800 round & big square bale shredder, $13,900. 320-543-3523

We buy Salvage Equipment Parts Available

Hammell Equip., Inc. (507)867-4910


FOR SALE: JD 8640 new cab interior, matching Goodyears all around, 2640 original hrs, 2nd owner, 3pt, PTO, very sharp tractor. $31,000. 507-451-9614

FOR SALE: 3-1961 930 Case diesel heads casting #20957, all are worked and ready to install. Wrapped in plastic, $200/each. 507-283-4736


WANTED TO BUY: John Deere 5020 for parts. 612-987-2790

Planting Equip

FOR SALE: Case IH 900 Early Riser planter 8R30” pull type. With insecticide & trash whippers, nice condition, asking $5,500. 507-227-2602

Spraying Equip

2008 John Deere 4730 sprayer, 100’ booms, Boom Trac Pro 800 gal stainless tank, chemical inductor, 20” nozzle spacing, 5 way nozzle body, 3” front fill, RH fence line nozzle, $89,900. 320-510-0468

Harvesting Equip

2014 JOHN DEERE 640FD 40 ft Flex Draper, Dual Knife Drive, Flip Over Reel $55,000 (320) 510-0468

PAGE 28 —”Where Farm and Family Meet” THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023
Auction Calendar 2023 For more info, call: 1-800-726-8609 or visit our AU C T I O N S & F O R S A L E Only registered bidders may attend January 25 January 27 February 10 February 15 For property brochures, contact Hertz at 507-345-LAND (5263) WWW.HERTZ.AG 151 St. Andrews Court #1310, Mankato MN 56001
PARTS JD 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 55, 50 Series & newer tractors, AC-all models, Large Inventory, We ship! Mark Heitman Tractor Salvage 715-673-4829 Tractors
Please recycle this magazine. Did you know you can place a classified ad online?

2 - 42’ dia. grain bins GSI, 32’ hgt., new 2001, stairs, axial fan, pwr sweep; BUTLER, 40’ hgt., wall stiffeners, cent. fan, side chute, pwr sweep; 1 ph OBO (952) 451-2315

Livestock Equipment

Calf Jackets, Heavy Duty, Waterproof, Washable, 2 Sizes, With 2” velcro in front $34; With 2” buckle in front $35. 10 or more is free shipping. Call for more information. Millers Canvas Shop 920-787-1994

FOR SALE: 100 grinder/mixer, low useage, 4 screens, always shedded. 320-583-5808


All kinds of New & Used farm equipment - disc chisels, field cults, planters, soil finishers, cornheads, feed mills, discs, balers, haybines, etc. 507438-9782

Buying and selling silver bars, silver dollars, rare coins, gold coins, gold jewelry, any gold-silver items, collector coins. Kuehl’s Coins, Fairmont, Minnesota 507-235-3886

WANTED: 365 to 750 bushel gravity boxes. JD 115 stalk chopper. All good condition. 320-266-6878

THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023 — “Where Farm and Family Meet” PAGE 29 TRACTORS NEW NH T4.75, T4.90, T4.120 w/loader On Order NEW NH Workmaster 60, 50, 35’s/loaders On Order NEW NH 25S Workmasters ...…......…. On Order NEW Massey Tractors ........................... On Order NEW Massey 4710 w/loader ….......... COMING New NH Boomer 40w/loader ….......… On Hand 3-New Massey GC1725 ……..................... Just In Bobcat CT440 w/loader ……........… Just trd’d ’09 Versatile 280 …………................…….. SOLD ’11 Massey 7475 Nice ………..........……. $99,500 ’13 NH Workmaster w/loader …… ……. $18,500 ’16 Massey 4608 rops w/loader …............. $43,900 ’17 NH T4.75 w/loader ……..................… $53,000 ’18 NH T4.75 w/loader .............................. $54,000 ’21 NH T7.260 ………........……………… Just in NH T8.390 ……………..............………… Just In NH 8970 ………………….....………… Just trd’d TILLAGE Sunflower 4610 9-24 …….........……… COMING Sunflower 4412-05 ……......................…… Just in CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT NEW NH L318/L320/L328 wheeled units ....... On Hand NEW NH C327/C337/C345 track units .......... On Order NH L228 low hours ............................................ $44,900 HAY TOOLS New Disc Mowers - 107,108,109 New Disc Mower Cond. - 10’, 13’ New Wheel Rakes - 10,12,14 New NH Hay Tools - ON HAND Frontiern WR1010 wheel rake …….............……… $5,950 ’15 NH DB313 ………………...............………… SOLD ’13 NH BR7090 ……………….........…………… $25,900 PLANTERS JD 7200 12-30 w/LF ………........................…… $21,000 White 6186 16-30 w/liq …....…...................……. $15,900 Taking 2023 New Spring Orders COMBINES NEW Geringhoff chopping cornhead Call ’02 Gleaner R62 …...............................……… $53,500 ’02 Gleaner R62 ……………...................……. $35,000 ’94 Gleaner R72 ………….......................…… $27,000 Gleaner R65 ……...............................…….. COMING Geringhoff parts & heads available MISCELLANEOUS NEW Salford RTS Units ........................................ Call NEW Unverferth Seed Tenders .............................. Call NEW Westfield Augers .......................................... Call NEW REM VRX Vacs. .......................................... Call NEW Hardi Sprayers ............................................. Call NEW Riteway Rollers ........................................... Call NEW Lorenz Snowblowers ................................... Call NEW Batco Conveyors ......................................... Call NEW Brent Wagons & Grain Carts ....................... Call NEW E-Z Trail Seed Wagons ................................ Call NEW Rock Buckets & Pallet Forks ...................... Call Pre-Owned Grain Cart .................................. On Hand New Horsch Jokers ................................................ Call (507) 234-5191 (507) 625-8649 Hwy. 14, 3 miles West of Janesville, MN Mon.-Fri. 7:30-5:00 • Sat. 7:30-Noon NOW HIRING SERVICE TECHS THANK YOU FOR YOUR BUSINESS! GREENWALD FARM CENTER Greenwald, MN • 320-987-3177 14 miles So. of Sauk Centre FOR THE BEST DEAL ORDER NOW! 12’-60’ LONG ROLLERS MANDAKO • 5/8” drum roller wall thickness • 42” drum diameter wall thickness • 4”x8” frame tubing 3/8” thick • Auto fold WANTED CALL FOR A QUOTE TODAY 1-800-828-6642 We pay top dollar for your damaged grain. We are experienced handlers of your wet, dry, burnt and mixed grains. Trucks and vacs available. Immediate response anywhere. DAMAGED GRAIN STATEWIDE PRUESS ELEV., INC. 418 S. Second Street •
Fax: • e-mail: Deadline is 8 days prior to publication. * I ndicates early deadline, 9 days prior to publication. Thank you for reading The Land. We appreciate it! Upcoming Issues of THE LAND Ask Your Auctioneer to Place Your Auction in The Land! February 3, 2023 February 17, 2023 March 3, 2023 March 17, 2023 If you’re having a Farm Auction, let other Farmers know it! Have you renewed your subscription to The Land?-Grain Handling Equipment

To submit your classified ad use one of the following options: Phone: 507-345-4523 or 1-800-657-4665

Mail to: The Land Classifieds, 418 South Second St., Mankato, MN 56002 Fax to: 507-345-1027

Email: / Online at: DEADLINE: 7 days prior to publication.

Look for your classified ad in the e-edition.

ADVERTISING NOTICE: Please check your ad the first week it runs. We make every effort to avoid errors by checking all copy, but sometimes errors are missed. Therefore, we ask that you review your ad for correctness. If you find a mistake, please call (507) 345-4523 immediately so that the error can be corrected. We regret that we cannot be responsible for more than one week’s insertion if the error is not called to our attention. We cannot be liable for an amount greater than the cost of the ad. THE LAND has the right to edit, reject or properly classify any ad. Each classified line ad is separately copyrighted to THE LAND. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

WANTED: Looking for NH 740 or 740A silage special round baler, also looking for individual bale wrapper. Must be in excellent condition. Call 952-356-7796

WANTED: Case IH 5130, 5230, 5140, or 5240 tractor. Also wanted, JD 7000 corn planter, any condition. Also JD 336 and NH 315 square baler, any condition. 320-630-8131

WANTED: JD 720D tractor w/ pony motor, in excellent shape and good rubber. 320-808-9506

WANTED: John Deere or Mustang skid loader with Joystick controls from 50 to 70HP. 320-632-3995

WANTED: No till drill 15’20’, Great Plains-JD-Tye in good condition. Reasonably priced. 507-665-2938

WANTED TO BUY: Older 4WD Tractor, 200-300HP in good condition. 507-647-2122


FOR SALE: Black Angus bulls also Hamp, York, & Hamp/ Duroc boars & gilts. Alfred (Mike) Kemen 320-598-3790


WANTED TO PURCHASE: High percentage Wagyu cattle from local producers on a regular basis. 507-383-6867


FOR SALE: Yorkshire, Hampshire, Duroc, cross bred boars, and gilts. Top quality. Excellent herd health. No PRSS. Delivery available. 320-760-0365

Spot, Duroc, Chester White, Boars & Gilts available. Monthly PRRS and PEDV. Delivery available. Steve Resler. 507-456-7746

Sell your livestock in The Land with a line ad. 507-345-4523

Pets & Supplies

FOR SALE: Blue Heeler pups, 8 weeks old. In at Noon or leave message. 507-643-6666

PAGE 30 —”Where Farm and Family Meet” THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023 Your First Choice for Classifieds! Place Your Ad Today!
will buy
Livestock, Machinery, Farmland... you name it! People
it when
see it in The Land!
THE FREE PRESS South Central Minnesota’s Daily News Source • Reach
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• Add more insertions • Get more coverage This is NOT for businesses. Please call The Land to place line ads. Now... add a photo to your classified line ad for only $10.00!! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 The ad prices listed are based on a basic classified line ad of 25 words or less. Ads running longer than 25 words will incur an added charge. * CHECK ONE:  Announcements  Employment  Real Estate  Real Estate Wanted  Farm Rentals  Auctions  Agri Business  Farm Services  Sales & Services  Merchandise  Antiques & Collectibles  Lawn & Garden  Feed Seed Hay  Fertilizer & Chemicals  Bins & Buildings  Farm Equipment  Tractors  Tillage Equipment  Planting Equipment  Spraying Equipment  Hay & Forage Equipment  Harvesting Equipment  Grain Handling Equipment  Livestock Equipment  Wanted  Free & Give Away  Livestock  Poultry  Dairy  Cattle  Swine  Sheep  Goats  Horses & Tack  Exotic Animals  Pets & Supplies  Cars & Pickups  Industrial & Construction  Trucks & Trailers  Recreational Vehicles  Miscellaneous Name Address City State Zip Phone # of times Card # Exp. Date Signature THE LAND 1 edition @ $21.99 = 2 editions @ $38.99 = 3 editions @ $48.99 = Each additional line (over 7) + $1.40 per line per issue = EXTENDED COVERAGE - must run the same number of times as The Land FARM NEWS (FN) - Serving farmers in Northwest Iowa, 21,545 circ. THE COUNTRY TODAY (CT) - Serving farmers in Wisconsin, 21,000 circ. THE FREE PRESS (FP) - Serving south central Minnesota, 19,025 circ. PAPER(S) ADDED (circle all options you want): FN CT FP $7.70 for each paper and $7.70 run each issues x $7.70 = STANDOUT OPTIONS (THE LAND only) $2.00 per run:  Bold  Italic  Underline  Web/E-mail links = oto (THE LAND only) $10.00 per run: = TOTAL = CHECK SORRY! We do not issue refunds. 
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FOR SALE: 1997 40’ Wilson Trailer, w/ new roll tarp & new brakes & like new tires, $17,000/OBO. 507-391-5127



New pumps & parts on hand. Call Minnesota’s largest distributor

HJ Olson & Company 320-974-8990 Cell - 320-212-5336


Sales & Service

New & Used

For your irrigation needs 888-830-7757 or 507-276-2073



Albert Lea Seed

Beck's Hybrids

Clark Auction Service 27

Classic Car Auction

Crystal Valley Coop 8

Dairyland Seed Co., Inc.

Freudenthal Dairy

Grain Millers 4

Greenwald Farm Center

Hertz Farm Management 28

Kerkhoff Auction


Letcher Farms 6

Mages Auction Service


Mathiowetz Construction Co. 19

Mealman Wendy


Northland Buildings 20

Pet Insurance 26


10, 11

Pruess Elevator, Inc. 29

Pumps Motor & Bearings LLC


Rush River Steel & Trim 13

Schweiss Doors 29

Smiths Mill Implement, Inc.


Snirt Stopper, LLC 14

Spanier Welding


Steffes Group 28

Strategic Farm Marketing

Wealth Enhancement Group

AKC REG. COCKER SPANIEL PUPS. Big Litters! 50% OFF. 4-M, 5-F. Shots & wormed. 920-563-3410, mornings. (#268588) (mcn)

DONATE YOUR CAR TO CHARITY. Receive maximum value of write off for your taxes. Running or not! All conditions accepted. Free pickup. Call for details. 855-752-6680 (mcn)

DONATE YOUR CAR, TRUCK TO HERITAGE FOR THE BLIND. Free 3 Day Vacation, Tax Deductible, Free Towing, All Paperwork Taken Care Of. CALL 1-855-977-7030 (mcn)

CASH FOR CARS! We buy all cars! Junk, high-end, totaled – it doesn’t matter! Get free towing and same day cash! NEWER MODELS too! Call 1-877-978-2510. (mcn)

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THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023 — “Where Farm and Family Meet” PAGE 31
............................................................ Cover Wrap
Horizon Energy
Systems/Systems West 19
1, 16, 17
for Get Fit Word
18 ADVERTISER LISTING 507-345-4523
800-657-4665 418 South Second Street, Mankato, MN 56001 Answers
Trucks & Trailers

Magic City in Minnesota

On a golden wall in the Taqueria Chavez in downtown Long Prairie is a painting of Los Viejitos (the Little Old Men) getting ready to start their traditional comic folk dance. In the background is a lake and an island with a town on it. Towering 130 feet above the town is a statue of José Maria Morelos, a hero in Mexico’s war of independence against Spain.

“We call that town Janitzlo,” says Azucena Chavez who recalls being there as a little girl. “You can only get there on a boat. You can climb the inside of the statue.”

Janitzlo is in Lake Patzcuaro which is in the Mexican State of Michoacan. Michoacan is Southwest of Mexico City in central Mexico.

“Michoacan has a number of towns that are called Magic towns,” Rosalba, Azucena’s aunt and one of the Taqueria’s cooks, says. “Many Purepecha people live there and they don’t speak Spanish. They make beautiful things out of copper, wood, glass and ceramics. Each town has its own specialty.”

She points out the Los Viejitos dance is originally from the Purepecha people.

Long Prairie, Minn.

Besides Janitzlo, the Magic towns are Angangueo, Jiquilpan, Paracho de Verduzco, Cuitzeo del Porvenir, Pátzcuaro, Santa Clara del Cobre, Tacámbaro, Tlalpujahua, Tzintzuntzan.

Rosalba says the names of the towns are hard to pronounce because they are partly in Purepecha and partly in Spanish and she speaks mostly Spanish. The beautiful paintings, ceramics and carved chairs through out Taqueria Chavez are all reminiscent of Michoacan’s Magic towns, not far from where Rosalba and Azucena were children.

A visit to Taqueria Chavez, with its dozens of colorful art works, brightly painted walls, tile floors, and authentic Mexican menu, is a little like visiting a Magic City.

If you want to expand your Magic City experience a little, you will find the Pan de Vida Mexican bakery next door, the Novedades Mexican grocery across the street, and another Mexican grocery and meat market two blocks down the street. This store also has art on the walls of a small restaurant. Scattered in between these

PAGE 32 — “Where Farm and Family Meet” THE LAND — JANUARY 20, 2023
This week’s Back Roads is the work of The Land Correspondent Tim King. Photos by Jan King. Mexican-American owned businesses are Chinese and Puerto Rican restaurants. v