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ICY TREATS for a hot summer


Modern calligraphy JUNE / JULY 2017 • FREE ISSUE

g a b l i Ma

I loved growing up on the farm. While I live in the country – I still miss the farm. Where we live now is sort of a compromise, having a few acres out in the country, yet having a short driveway off a main road with easy access to town. The two years I did live in town, even though it was a very small town, I always felt uncomfortable knowing the neighbors could see everything I was doing outside, what I hung out on the line, and every time we came and went. Not that they watched, or cared, but it still made me uncomfortable, just the idea of the possibility. Growing up, my family lived on the only farm in the section, with a half-mile-long driveway. No one knew when we came or went, and they certainly didn’t know what we were doing outside or what was put out on the line. I especially loved the fall harvest season. Bringing in the fruits of our labors from the garden we tended all summer seemed to make it all worthwhile – even if it didn’t seem that way all summer. But more than that, I enjoyed helping bring the crops in from the field. The warm days and crisp fall evenings, hauling corn to the yard, unloading it into an elevator that would take it up and dump it in the old granary. There was something special about the harvest I found very rewarding – aside from the fact that a good harvest sustained the family for the year to come. Perhaps it was that I was really contributing to the family’s welfare. Or maybe it was working alongside Dad and Mom, as we worked together to get the crop in, or perhaps that I could be outside while other siblings were “stuck” in the house cleaning. I never have enjoyed cleaning house. I’ll do the cooking and even baking, but give me the choice to be outside and I’m there – hands down. Of course working the farm has changed a great deal over the years, with all the new technology, not to mention the HUGE machinery compared to my days on the farm. Carolyn Lange introduces us to three women – of different generations – who have made farming their career. Tag along as we learn about their journey to being female farm managers alongside their male counterparts. In addition, enjoy all the tips and ideas shared in this issue. If you have a topic you’d like to see in Live it!, send your story ideas to We love to hear from our readers. You can also “like” us on Facebook or send us a tweet @Lilveitmag. Life in west central Minnesota … it really is a beautiful thing …

! t i Live

Sharon Bomstad Live it! Editor

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MAGAZINE EDITOR To contact Live it! call 320-235-1150 or email

Writing & Photography Carolyn Lange Anne Polta Jen Anfinson Briana Sanchez Kenzie Tenney

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2208 W. Trott Ave., Willmar MN 56201 Volume 6, Issue 3

Copyright © 2017 West Central Tribune Live it! magazine All rights reserved. Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained.

Cover Story Farming no longer a man’s world.


June 2017, Volume 6, Issue 3



Women help guide change in farming Q&A: Instructor talks women’s role on the farm


Find your inspiration


Companies promote health at work



READER’S MAILBAG What we hear from our readers


LIFE HAPPENS Overcoming obstacles


STYLE IT! Cool, chic and classic


HEALTH & FITNESS Employee wellness


DO-IT-YOURSELF Find your new obsession


READ IT! Summer reading is important


for all ages


FREEZE IT! Icy treats for a hot summer



SPIRITS Everything comes full circle


WHAT’S HAPPENING? Mark your calendars now


6 Live it! Magazine

FARM WOMEN Managers working alongside male counterparts BY CAROLYN LANGE


Live it! Magazine 7

Introducing 3 different generations of farm women Meet Diane



efore she married Al in 1964 and moved to his family farm in Arctander Township, Diane Christopherson was a city girl, working in downtown Minne apolis for a company with 1,000 employees. “I had no exposure to cattle whatsoever, or to planting crops or harvesting crops,” she said. “I had so much to learn.” She was a quick learner. Now 74, Diane has spent five decades as a team player working shoulder-to-shoulder alongside her husband on their 1,300-acre farm in northern Kandiyohi County. She drives a semi taking loads of corn to the grain elevator – a job that stretches from fall of one year to early summer of the next – does all the spring and fall soil tillage, hauls tanks full of water to the field to fill the sprayer, feeds the sheep, records crop yields and planting dates needed for crop insurance, keeps financial records needed for taxes and is in charge of keeping vehicle licences and insurance up to date. “You find out you can do things you never realized you could do,” said Diane, who bucked the trend for women to have an off-the-farm job and instead chose to be a working partner on the farm. She has no intention of slowing down or quitting.

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8 Live it! Magazine

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Meet Elizabeth


lizabeth Golombieck is 20 years old and a new graduate of Ridgewater College’s dairy management program – is on the other end of the spectrum. Elizabeth just launched her on-the-farm career with her family’s dairy and crop farm near Morris and will start buying her own cows this year. “It’s almost scary but really exciting that I’m here and I can do this,” she said. Elizabeth is a spirited go-getter who knows exactly what she’s getting into by choosing to be a farmer. “There was never a time when I didn’t want to be in ag,” she said. “To me it’s crazy that you wouldn’t want to.” When she was just 15, Elizabeth made the decision to go to college and then return to the family farm, where she works full time with her dad, brothers and other male relatives. “If you don’t think a woman can do this, you’re going to hear it from me,” Elizabeth said. “I won’t be very happy if you tell me this is still a man’s world.”

Meet Krista


nd then there’s Krista Willis. She grew up on a farm and raised her children on a farm. But she spent more than 20 years in a very successful retail management career that included Herberger’s and Goodwill-Easter Seals in Willmar and had a minimal role in farm work. Krista, 51, made a dramatic career change three years ago when she stepped out of retail management and climbed onto a tractor to work as a partner with her husband, Chad, on their 600-acre crop farm near Willmar. With a passion for working outdoors, Krista saw a new career in farming as an opportunity to play an important role in the family business and to have a lifestyle that would give her the freedom to volunteer in her favorite organizations, especially ones that promote agriculture. Early in the transition phase to being a farmer, Krista was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. She underwent treatment, is doing fine now and at the time of this interview was preparing to begin another season of field work. Continued on page 10

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“To be successful in farming today, you need to embrace change.”

– Krista Willis



hile still a minority, more Minnesota women are involved with production agriculture than in the recent past, said Betty Berning, an economics specialist with University of Minnesota Extension. Sometimes women are working alongside a spouse or other family member and sometimes they are the sole owners and operators of the farm. According to Betty, who helped launch the Women in Ag Network, there are 28,000 Minnesota women actively involved in production agriculture. That’s about 26 percent of the state’s farmers. “The number of women in agriculture has grown,” she said. Women are “much more involved than they have been historically” and are taking active roles in labor management and market decisions. “I see them as managers working alongside their male counterparts or running the farms themselves,” she said. Citing statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Betty said female farmers make a $400 million economic impact to the state.

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“You find out you can do things you never realized you could do.” – Diane Christopherson



o be successful in farming today, you need to embrace change,” said Krista. She did that in spades when she left her corporate career and traded it in for days spent in the tractor. “I miss the people I used to work with,” she said. “It can be a little lonely on the farm sometimes, especially when it’s just the two of us.” But Krista is glad she made the move and believes a lack of available farm labor means more women will play a bigger role in family farm operations in the future. “Labor is going to be a big issue on the farm, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m here,” she said. “I’m willing to be labor, but we are partners,” Krista said of the business relationship she has with her husband. They have an equal role in making decisions, including exploring the state water certification program for their farm and recent action to make a significant capital investment in their grain storage capacity. “We’re not the youngest farmers on the block, but we intend to farm for a while, Krista said. Diane said farming gave her an opportunity to learn new things and change course when – inevitably – something goes wrong with machinery, animals or the weather. “It’s always interesting because no matter how many times you do it, there’s always something different that happens,” said Diane. “Just when you think things will go the way you want it, you’re in the field and a piece of equipment breaks down or the field is wetter, or drier, than you

thought it would be,” she said. She said learning to drive a semi was challenging and early on she spent one Sunday afternoon driving around a commercial grain elevator in Willmar “just to get the feel of it” before the hectic harvest season started. If she would have stayed in the Cities, Diane said there would have been “so many things I never would have learned.” Commodity prices, which have remained stubbornly low for four years, a lack of health care options and some environmental regulations have raised anxiety – but hasn’t killed optimism about the future of agriculture. “After doing this for so many years, it’s not as nerve-racking as it was when we were younger,” Diane said. “We’ve seen a lot. We’ve survived a lot. We can make it.” Krista said she worries most about young farmers starting out. With her fresh college degree in hand and energy fueled by eagerness to begin her dream career, Elizabeth is no Pollyanna and knows there are risks ahead for her. “Farmers are constantly gambling the weather will be right. Gambling the prices will be right. Gambling some big diseases won’t come and wipe out everything,” she said. Elizabeth said she will continue to take classes and learn new information to stay competitive. She is unwavering in her career choice and sees job security in agriculture. “We’re always going to need food,” she said. Continued on page 13

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The Women in Ag Network was launched in 2016 in an effort to meet a need to provide “in-depth education for women farmers,” said Betty Berning, an economics specialist with University of Minnesota Extension. The program focuses on connecting womBetty Berning, en to relevant, research-based University of Minnesota Extention Educator, Ag education on Business Manager specific “nuts and bolts” issues, such as financial management or farm transition planning, that help their leadership, management and production abilities, Betty said. It also provides a format for women to create a network of support. More than 200 women who are actively working in production agriculture have participated in Women in Ag Network’s annual conferences and quarterly seminars. At the last conference this winter in Willmar, savvy farm women – who do jobs including vaccinating animals, operating large equipment, managing complex immigrant labor laws in order to hire employees for their farm and finding ways to balance high input costs with low commodity prices in order to pay off annual farm operating loans – listened to guest speakers and listened to each other. By providing access to risk management education, executive training, information on timely topics and peer networking, Betty said “women will be empowered to be confident in decision-making on their farms.” The Women in Ag Network formed to provide educational opportunities for women involved in agriculture, to enhance their leadership, management and production abilities. The goal is to connect women to relevant, research-based education and to each other. For more information on the Women in Ag Network go to: www.extension.

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“If you don’t think a woman can do this, you’re going to hear it from me. I won’t be very happy if you tell me this is still a man’s world.” – Elizabeth Golombiecki

Continued from page 11



hile women are actively learning and acquiring new skills to help their family business, teaching non-farmers about agriculture is also a role many women

champion. “I want to share my story so everyone else can see what agriculture is and why I love it so much,” said Elizabeth, who holds a national office in the Postsecondary Agriculture Students – akin to FFA at the college level – and is also beginning her third year as a dairy princess representing Stevens County. Wearing a sash and crown makes her more visible and provides a platform for talking about farming, especially to children. “I see it as a way to open doors because people are more willing to come up to you,” she said. “I love to talk, and when it’s about agriculture, I can talk for days and days.” Krista is involved with Farm

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Bureau Foundation, the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership program and speaks to Ridgewater College students about how to use positive communication to share their stories about agriculture. Diane said being a farmer “can be a great life” and the vital role farming plays in a community is a story that needs to be shared. “Agriculture touches every life no matter what they are doing.”

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14 Live it! Magazine


On four consecutive Monday nights last winter, 17 very busy women gathered in Montevideo to share a meal, share their stories about living and working on a farm, and learn new information to strengthen their role on the farm. Called “Annie’s Project,” the class was led by Kami Schoenfeld, an instructor with the Farm Business Management program at Ridgewater College in Willmar. Ranging in age from 20 to mid-60s, nearly all of these farm women also had full-time, off-the-farm jobs that provided, among other things, crucial family health insurance. Some of the women were hands-on farmers who drove tractors and combines and raised livestock on family farms. Some said they “provided support” by taking care of all the farm business bookwork, running for parts during breakdowns and maintaining websites about their farm to advocate for a positive public perception of agriculture. There were also a few – like me – who live on a farm and love the farm but aren’t heavily involved with nitty-gritty farm labor or the complex details of crop insurance, grain marketing or transitioning the farm from one generation to the next. What brought us all together was a desire to learn more about the business aspects of agriculture. We sought to find ways to expand our role on the family farm. Each night speakers and experts provided a variety of information: How to schedule farm equipment depreciation for taxes, finding the “sweet spot” for multi-peril crop insurance and how politics in Washington and weather in South America can affect markets in Minnesota. The information was very valuable. But hearing about the experiences of the women in the group, the thoughtful questions they asked and seeing the 100 percent dedication they have for doing what it takes to make their farm successful was both humbling and inspiring. I wondered when these women slept. Annie’s Project not only empowered us with solid information that could be taken back to the farm but also fueled our excitement about the future of agriculture. From what I saw by watching the women sitting around the table with me, the future of Minnesota agriculture is in good hands.

“I wondered when these women slept.”

Carolyn Lange grew up on a farm in North Dakota and lives on her husband’s family farm in Kandiyohi County. She is a reporter with the West Central Tribune

Live it! Magazine 15


Stay calm and keep farming BY CAROLYN LANGE


ami Schoenfeld grew up on a farm in Lac qui Parle County and has degrees in ag education, ag business, and marketing and animal science. She and her husband, Mark, both work in the ag industry by day and run a beef seedstock, sheep flock and custom cattle grazing operation on the nights and weekends – along with raising two young farm boys. Kami is currently a Farm Business Management instructor at Ridgewater College in Willmar, where she works with 40 to 60 family farmers to help guide the financial decision-making process for their farms. She works with a growing number of women who are involved with production agriculture. Live it! sat down with Kami to discuss women’s increasing role in ag. Live it!: How have you seen women’s role in agriculture change in the last 10 years? Kami Schoenfeld: Women are becoming more empowered in every aspect of agriculture. We are seeing more women as sole operators and have increased decision-making roles on family farms. We are seeing more women in ag sales jobs and holding higher management positions in ag companies. I am excited and proud to be a woman in agriculture and look forward to the future of women in ag.

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Live it!: How do you think those roles will change in the next 10 years? KS: Great question. I know of a few young women coming back to take over the family farm, and I see this trend increasing. We will see more women farm operators and two or three generations of male and female operators farming together. Off the farm, women are moving into management and higher levels of ag business, which is encouraging. Women will also play an increasing role in telling the story of agriculture and connecting with consumers, which is extremely important for the future of agriculture. Live it!: Many farm women have off-the-farm jobs to obtain health insurance for their families AND do field and livestock work. What can they do to create balance in their lives? KS: The first step is to make a conscious effort to find balance. Farm women need to realize they are one person and must make tough choices on where to spend their time and prioritize, what is important versus urgent. There are seasons on the farm that are harder than others such as harvesting or calving, but you cannot do everything for everyone – so make a choice and be OK with it. Live it!: What are potential emotional and communication pitfalls between spouses who operate a farm business together and how can they be avoided?

KS: You need to find the time to talk to your spouse about what is important, from farm decisions to connecting how the other person is doing. Write down questions and things you want to discuss so when you talk, you cover what you need to. Schedule time to talk with your spouse, put it on the calendar and keep the appointment. The same advice applies to siblings, parents, in-laws or other people who are farming together. Make an effort to talk about farm goals and how you are working toward those goals. Live it!: Tell us a little more about what the Farm Business Management program does. KS: The program works one-on-one with farmers to help them better understand their financial records and ultimately make their farm business more profitable. The base of the program is good financial and production records. From there, we work on individualized financial analysis, financial and agronomic benchmarking to help improve farm management and cash flows that meet long-term and short-term goals for the farm. Live it!: You also lead a program called “Annie’s Project” specifically for women involved with agriculture. What are the benefits of that program? KS: Annie’s Project is designed to empower women by increasing their understanding of risk management in a farming operation. The class creates a cohort of women who learn from local experts on topics such as financial records, communication skills, estate planning, marketing knowledge, all while being in a fun and supportive environment. The class is a based on a framework that a national nonprofit has created and is dedicated to providing educational programs designed to strengthen women in the modern farm enterprise. Annie’s Project fosters problem-solving, record-keeping, and decision-making skills in farm women. I hope to lead a class in the area this summer. Live it!: What advice do you have for women considering a career in agriculture – either on the farm or ag-related?

Carla working hard to improve your home!



Spring, a good time to create a new look just for you

KS: Agriculture is wonderful industry and there are so many options from production ag to marketing, food safety to education. Explore what your interests are and find people to shadow and mentor you. The world of agriculture is very small so make friends and make connections – it will help you in the future. There is so much variety in the ag industry so you can always find a job that fuels your passion and utilizes your talents. Live it!: How can women be advocates for agriculture? KS: It is so important for farmers to connect with the consumers. Fewer people understand where their food comes from and how it is produced. There is so much misinformation and we need to tell the story of how farmers care for the land and our animals and want to produce safe, wholesome food. Share stories, insights, experiences and perspectives on modern agriculture with friends, neighbors and relatives – especially those who do not have a direct connection with agriculture. Always be willing to answer questions even if it seems simple to you. There are many great organizations that can help you learn more about how to share your ag story, just ask people involved in agriculture or a great resource is U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. Live it!: The signature line for your email has the phrase “Stay Calm and Keep Farming.” What does that mean to you? KS: Farming is a marathon, not a sprint. As farmers, you are consistently taking in information such as markets, weather and new products. It is difficult to make decisions and prioritize what is important when it comes to how you spend time and money. It can be overwhelming at best. My thoughts are to have a plan, work the plan and make the best decisions you can at that time. With that, I say “Stay Calm and Keep Farming” as my email signature.

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How does one inspire themselves? BY CLAUDETTE LARSON, LICSW


was born and raised in New York City and came to Minnesota at 35 years old.

I was born in a small, midtown Manhattan neighborhood called “Hell’s Kitchen” where many years ago, Italian and Irish families came from overseas to make a new life for themselves in America. So, if you had told me that someday I would marry a Norwegian farmer and live in Minnesota, I would probably have told you to stop smoking those funny cigarettes. To say that farm life was new to me is no exaggeration. But I wanted to learn about my husband’s passion and it is a passion to be sure. In the past eight years, I have tried my best to help in the fields when I can and, most importantly, when my husband trusts me. I have plowed fields, racked hay and, on occasion, sat beside him in the combine. On one memorable occasion, I have risked injury (the tractor’s) sliding down into a drainage ditch. Let me tell you, climbing out of an enclosed tractor sideways is no easy feat – and pulling one out is even worse. Therefore, my current foray into agriculture is creating a yearly vegetable garden from two raised beds beside our home. Having our featured story be about women in agriculture is something that inspires me greatly.

This leads me to the idea of inspiration. How does one inspire themselves when they are feeling uninspired and bored? We all have the potential to become inspired about something. To do so, we need to look forward to a positive outcome. If we can’t imagine achieving something truly worthwhile at the end of our efforts, we certainly wouldn’t work very hard to achieve it. What is something that you would love to achieve? Weight loss? Travel? Remodeling? Now imagine achieving the results you want. How does it feel to achieve that goal? The next step is to anticipate and plan how you would handle and overcome any obstacles to achieving your outcome. Obstacles are not only concrete but can be emotional as well. Examples are often fear or laziness. How would you handle those emotions as you encounter them? The more you can anticipate and plan for handling obstacles, the more likely you will tackle them successfully and reach the inspired goals you set for yourself. It’s important to keep the desired results in mind. The more you access them in your mind, the more inspired you will be and the more likely you will work to reach them.

Claudette Larson, LICSW, RPT, is owner of Willow Creek Counseling in New London and has enjoyed working with children, teens and adults for the past 16 years.

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Style it! 5 outfits that will keep you cool while looking chic and classic

1. The classic shirtdress What’s fun about shirt dresses is that they come in an array of prints, patterns and fit. Whether your style is a bit edgier or leans more to the romantic side, you’ll never have a problem finding one that fits YOUR style.

2. Go off the shoulder Want to show some skin but you’re a little selfconscious with your upper arms? An off-the-shoulder top is a fun and flirty way to show some skin — but not too much skin.

3. Boyfriend jeans to the rescue Denim will always be a classic and a staple in many closets. For a hip, casual look, opt for a “boyfriend” fit. “Boyfriends” should fit comfortably with a looser appearance that will cover a bit more skin.

A breath of fresh air BY KENZIE TENNEY

4. High-waisted trouser Pair these breathable pants with heels and a neutral tank-top or tee and you’ll feel cool all day — work or play.

5. Wrap dress Long or short, a wrap dress will flatter any body type. For a soft, romantic feel choose a lighter fabric that will flow and breath well.

Kenzie Tenney is a freelance writer for Live it! Magazine

Live it! Magazine 19


Wellness in the workplace



bsenteeism, work production, workers compensation claims, and employee satisfaction ‌ all things companies think of on a daily basis. Due to the rise in health care costs and poor lifestyle habits, leading to poor health in individuals, companies are starting to think of ways to promote health and wellness at work. Preventative care through behavioral habits is the best way to ward off preventative diseases, such as high blood pressure and type II diabetes. The majority of the population spends the bulk of their day at work, which is why some employer groups are making the work environment more wellness friendly. Employee wellness Employee wellness is not one speciďŹ c methodology; it can be shaped however a business would like. Small changes can be made – such as adding signs by the elevators encouraging the use of stairs, encouraging walking meetings, or encouraging people to take their breaks by offering stretch breaks in the morning and afternoon. These methods do not require much cost if any, do not take up extra work time, nor do they require someone to take a lot of time to facilitate. Simple things like this can be used to help manage stress and perhaps see more productivity because more oxygen is being sent to the brain, awaking it.

20 Live it! Magazine

A larger step businesses could take to improve employee wellness is by implementing an employee wellness program. This could be implemented by a volunteer wellness committee or by a staffed wellness coordinator if the budget allows. Incentives When developing an employee wellness program, one needs to know if incentives will be given and structure the program accordingly. Incentives can be seen as a good thing and bad thing. The incentives may be good because they draw people into the programming and perhaps the person may discover or learn something new. On the other hand, some people may only be participating for the incentive and therefore may not work on improving their health and wellness because they want to, but to earn a prize, so the change may not be long-lasting since it is not seen as a lifestyle change. Lifestyle changes are the most important to aid in preventative care. Employee wellness programs should consist of a measure to evaluate each year to see if a difference is being made, and also to allow the participant to see what areas they need to improve upon. This measure could be a biometric screening (blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, BMI) and/or a

survey on behavioral habits and emotional wellbeing. The programming should also consist of some form of intervention, whether it is offering challenges, education seminars or classes. Programs may also include health coaching, which allows participants to work with someone in changing behavioral habits. More than weight loss There is no right or wrong way to implement employee wellness programming. When people think of employee wellness, most think of weight loss, when in reality wellness consists of six dimensions – physical, emotional, social, intellectual, occupational and spiritual. So, when developing an employee wellness program, it is important to consider all aspects wellness. Each component is intertwined. For example, if someone is highly stressed, they tend to not eat right or to be less physically active due to time constraints or as coping mechanisms. These poor behavioral habits for nutrition and exercise likely won’t be changed unless the stress is managed. At Rice Memorial Hospital, we have had a formal employee wellness program since 2015. Each year the program has taken a little different shape, showing that adjustments need to constantly be made to try to reach everyone in availability and interest.

Our program is incentive-based, we offer paid time off to participants based on their participation in the program. PTO was chosen as the incentive to allow people time off for their own wellness so they can be their best in their personal and professional lives. For the last two years we have offered specific programming based on four dimensions of wellness. The employee wellness program also involves a biometric screening and at least one health coaching visit to allow the participant time and support in developing their wellness plan. Besides the formal employee wellness program, Rice also does small wellness activities for employees such as offering Fresh Fruit Fridays once a month – each department gets a basket of fresh fruit one Friday a month, some departments have implemented stretch breaks in the morning and afternoon, an onsite free gym to employees, onsite chair massages and a walking path for employees to use on their breaks in the lower level of the hospital. Employee wellness programming varies based on each business. It is beneficial for the employer – but most importantly for the employee so that they can live a happy and healthy life. Amber Chevalier is the ReYou Wellness Program coordinator and Wellness Care Guide at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar.

Do-it!-yourself Modern calligraphy Get ready for your new obsession BY JEN ANFINSON


ast night I was up until 11:30 p.m.

Doodling, or what is now called, modern calligraphy. Modern calligraphy takes your normal cursive handwriting to a new level. With a few techniques, and practice, your handwriting can be weddinginvitation-envelope-worthy.

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I love when you can begin a new hobby without a lot of cost. When starting with modern calligraphy, you really don’t need any new materials. Printer paper and markers will suffice, and learning these simple techniques. Calligraphy is fancy writing that has both thick and thin parts to the letters. You can do this with a basic marker. Simply write out your word (try: hello) in a fun cursive handwriting. Now, here is the trick … go over what you have written but with every downstroke make the line thicker. Upstrokes and horizontal strokes will remain the thin writing that you have already written. But, again, downstrokes you will gradually widen to give that fun calligraphy look. Simple, right? Now, after playing around with your printer paper and markers, you can advance to the next group of supplies, which includes calligraphy paper, brush tip markers, brush tip pens with water reservoirs and watercolors.

These pens and markers allow for a thick and thin line by using a different amount of pressure in your strokes. So, when you are writing a word, your upstrokes are very light, using the very tip of your brush and creating a very thin line. Your downstrokes are very heavy, using more of the bottom width of your tip. That’s it! Simple stuff! Now it’s time to practice, practice, practice. My friend Stacy was over the other night and I was teaching her these techniques. Within about two hours, her calligraphy dramatically improved. It’s all about practice.

A few thoughts on supplies: The brush tip markers are nice because they are simple to use, but I find that they run out of ink fast.

Calligraphy paper is very white and has a very smooth finish, allowing the ink to flow along the paper best.

The brush pens with the water reservoir you use with watercolors and therefore last forever. It takes a bit of practice, like anything else, to get the hang of using the brush pens. I think it’s because they don’t have a hard marker tip, but a very soft brush tip. Because of that, you really need to use a gentle touch.

Brush tip markers and pens have an end tip on them that resembles a paintbrush tip. The pen with the water reservoir allows for easy use with watercolors. With a gentle squeeze, water escapes through the tip.

There are tons and tons of different YouTube videos on techniques and lots of different modern calligraphy fonts on Pinterest that will keep you very, very busy. I love to mix different fonts when creating a quote and that can be your next step when you have the basics down.

That’s it! I hope that this has given you a good introduction to modern calligraphy. It really is quite simple. Happy doodling! Jen Anfinson creates jewelry and other homemade items from her studio in Paynesville, and teaches DIY classes all over the state. For more information on upcoming classes, check out Jen Anfinson Studio on Facebook.

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- READ IT! -

Bingo! Summer reading program set BY SYRENA MARANELL


ummer is almost here and that can only mean one thing. It’s time for summer reading at the Willmar Public Library. The library encourages readers of all ages to participate in this fun program from June 5 through Aug. 25. So why is summer reading so important? Kids who don’t read over the summer months experience learning loss – they actually forget some of what has been learned during the school year. This is called summer slide, and one way to prevent this is by making the library part of your summer plans. The summer reading program encourages you to read whatever you want. When children select reading materials themselves and read for enjoyment, they receive the most gains in reading achievement, including better reading comprehension, writing style, vocabulary, spelling, and grammatical development. Reading just four to six books over the summer has the potential to prevent a decline in reading achievement scores, so even small steps are very beneficial. Kids and teens tend to read more when they see the adults in their life reading. The Willmar Public Library

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is encouraging adults to read this summer with a bingo challenge. Readers, ages 18 and up, may pick up their bingo card at the library or print one from the library website. Participants complete a horizontal or vertical line by writing the title of the book read in the corresponding box, and then bring the card to the Information Desk for a chance to win a prize. All non-prize winners and blackouts will be entered into the grand prize drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card. Not only are you rewarded for reading, there are also lots of awesome activities taking place at the library this summer. A show by Jack and Kitty, 4-H on Wheels, Prince and Princess Story Hour, and the Lego Guy are just a few of the fun events scheduled for the summer months. Check our website at www. for more information. Syrena Maranell is the Adult Services Librarian at the Willmar Public Library. For more information on these audiobooks, swing by the Willmar Public Library. The librarians are there to help you find your new favorite author. Check out the library’s blog at turningpages.areavoices.

Freeze it! In summer’s heat, go for the cold with icy treats hen the heat is on, go for the cold with easy-tomake frozen treats for an afternoon refresher or a finale to a summertime meal. No one knows for sure who invented ice cream, but the alluring combination of sweet and icy goes far back into history to the time of Alexander the Great, who is said to have enjoyed honey- and nectar-flavored snow and ice. What we know as ice cream today made its debut sometime in the 16th century in England and Italy. By the 1700s it had crossed the Atlantic. It remained an exotic treat for the well-to-do, however, until the development of insulated ice houses in the early 19th century, allowing ice cream to be made and sold for the masses.

America now produces 1.6 billion gallons a year of ice cream and related frozen desserts, according to the International Dairy Foods Association. The most popular flavor? Vanilla, followed by chocolate. A recent consumer survey conducted by the association also found that premium ice cream is the most popular product in the U.S. From the simplicity of the ice cream cone to the intricacy of a baked Alaska, there’s no end to ice cream’s versatility as one of the sweetest ways to celebrate summer. Anne Polta may be reached at or follow her on Twitter @AnnePolta.


Whitney Music Center 913 N. Business 71 | Willmar |1-888-51MUSIC / (320) 214.9433 Monday - Thursday 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m., Friday - Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Like us on Facebook




Affogato One of the simplest summer treats of all, affogato is Italian for “drowned” – a scoop of ice cream drowned with a shot of espresso. Have a spoon handy so you can immediately enjoy the fusion of hot and cold. 1 scoop vanilla ice cream or gelato 3 tablespoons hot espresso (or strong brewed coffee) Place ice cream in small bowl or glass and pour the espresso on top. For a more delicate version, try tea affogato. Substitute hot, freshly steeped Earl Grey or green tea for the espresso and pour over ice cream.

Makes 1 serving. Multiply for a crowd.

Fizzy float

This twist on the traditional root beer float is a refreshing pick-me-up for a hot day. Use any flavor of sherbet or a combination of flavors. 1 pint lemon sherbet 1 pint raspberry sherbet 2 12-ounces bottles ginger ale Place 1 scoop of lemon sherbet and 1 scoop of raspberry sherbet in a tall glass. Pour in 3/4 cup ginger ale and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

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Ice cream sandwiches

Oversized spicy molasses cookies pair with creamy vanilla ice cream in this make-it-yourself version of an ice cream sandwich. The cookies can be baked a day or two ahead of time and stored in an airtight container. Be generous with the ice cream if you’d like these to be hefty. Use less ice cream for a thinner sandwich. Wrap the sandwiches individually in aluminum foil and store in a zip-close bag in the freezer. 2 cups flour 2½ teaspoons ground ginger 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon cloves 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons baking soda 1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature 1/4 cup solid shortening, such as Crisco 1 cup brown sugar 1 large egg 1/4 cup molasses 1 tablespoon grated orange peel sugar 1 quart vanilla ice cream, slightly softened Sift first six ingredients into a medium bowl Combine butter, shortening and brown sugar in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg, molasses and orange peel; beat until blended. Add dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Cover and chill for one hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two baking sheets. With dampened hands, form dough into 12 equal pieces and shape into balls. Roll in sugar to coat. Transfer to baking sheets, spacing 2½ inches apart. Bake until cookies are pale gold and cracked on top, but still soft, about 15 minutes. Cool on sheets one minute, then transfer to racks and cool completely. To assemble sandwiches, spread approximately 1/3 cup of softened vanilla ice cream on underside of cookie. Top with second cookie, bottom side down, and press together gently. Repeat with remaining cookie pairs. Allow cookie sandwiches to set in the freezer for at least half an hour before serving. Makes 6 sandwiches. Live it! Magazine 27

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or many of us, we kind of blunder through life. We follow the traditional path, don’t think too much about it and life happens. But there are some of us who see things differently. I wanted to know who was starting wineries in this state and began to focus on one question: Are there any vineyards or wineries started solely by a woman?

22 Years in Busin MN Lic ess ense & Bonded d


- SPIRITS There is a plan for each of us…

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As I was searching for the answer to my question, I came across an enterprise named Buffalo Rock Winery and its website intrigued me. The “voice” on the website sounded very female (no offense to anyone!) and I contacted the winery. Thus began my online relationship with Nicole Dietman – the brains, brawn, heart and soul behind Buffalo Rock Winery, located between Buffalo and Rockford, with a Buffalo address, just north of Minnesota Highway 55.

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P.O. Box 709 · 250 28th St. SW Willmar, MN 56201 320-235-7612 Fax: 320-235-1878 Email:

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For forms and information visit our website at 001528587r1

or call Rachel at 235-4685

28 Live it! Magazine

Happy Hour Drink & Food Specials 4-6 pm Restaurant Hours: Nightly Specials: Tuesday Endless BBQ Ribs; Wednesday Create your own 8 oz. Handcrafted Burger. Or Chicken Broccoli Alfredo: Thursday Date Night: Starter for 2, 2 Entrees and Bottle of Wine. Friday & Saturday: Chef Inspiration (view at and Murder Mystery Dinners. Full menu, children’s menu, cocktails, wine and beer available.

Summer: Tues - Sun 11 am - 9 pm Reservations Encouraged Early Bird Specials 4pm-5:30pm Happy Hour 4pm-6pm

11600 Indian Beach Road Spicer MN 56288 320-796-5870

I asked Nicole to answer some questions using not only her head but, also, her heart. She blew me away with her responses. Ron: Tell us something about yourself. Nicole: I was born in Olivia and my parents and younger brother still live there. My maiden name is Woelfel, and during my senior year at BOLD High School, I attended the University of Minnesota, Post Secondary Enrollment Options, continued attending the university and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and mass communications. At the age of 21, I completed my master’s in education degree with a focus on marketing and sports management. While attending classes at the U, I worked for Gopher Sports Media Relations in the men’s athletic department, interned with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Lynx, and I was a nanny. Following my Maroon and Gold era, I was the marketing manager for Roseville Parks and Recreation and managed the Cedarholm Golf Course. I met my husband, Jeff, in 2004, and he proposed to me just south of Sonoma on California’s Shell Beach. We were married in 2005. Our son, Marcus, is 9½ and our daughter, Addilyn, is 8 years old. I volunteer a lot at my children’s school and occasionally substitute teach. R: Why did you start a vineyard and winery? N: My trip to Napa and Sonoma in 2005 sparked my interest in wanting to plant a vineyard. Jeff thought he needed to convince me to move away from the Twin Cities, and when he asked, “What if we find some land and you put in a vineyard?” I didn’t hesitate! The week after putting in the offer on our property, I ordered 320 vines – that’s over an acre’s worth of vines and I was also four months pregnant. Two years later, I asked myself, “Why not plant another quarter of an acre?” and then had not only had a 20-month old baby but a 6-week old baby, too.

R: What are you passionate about? N: I’m passionate about everything wine has to offer – from the wine tasting experience, to education about the health benefits of moderate wine consumption to finding a wine that my guests will enjoy. With over 20 wines to select from – all produced and bottled on site – there’s a little something for everyone who stops by Buffalo Rock Winery. R: What/who gives you strength? N: My strength comes from my faith, family and friends – we are only as strong as those who surround us. I love having the flexibility and ability to be fully involved in my kids’ lives on a daily basis. Operating my vineyard and winery gives me this opportunity.

I believe there’s a plan for each of us … if you work hard enough at something you’re passionate about, everything comes full circle and the perseverance will be rewarded. R: What advice will you give to your son and daughter? N: To work hard and give the things you value most your greatest effort. Never stop improving yourself. The best things in life are rarely obtained through instant gratification and in the wine industry, patience is absolutely mandatory. R: Do you have a favorite wine? N: I enjoy my dry, oaked reds – either Marcus’ Marq (a Marquette) or ‘got the nac?’ (a Frontenac).

I knew with the children I needed to work from home and that meant making the winery a reality. With support from family and friends, and when my permit from Wright County was approved in 2009, I started construction on the winery building.

This is only a portion of the interview I had with this vintner. Like her, I believe there’s a plan for each of us and I can’t wait to taste her new Marquette, Frontenac and Malbec blend named ‘Call Me...High Maintenance.’

R: Do you have any formal education in winemaking? N: Yes and no. In 2005, I completed a wine professional certificate with focus on wine sensory and presentation. I’ve attended a short course in wine chemistry at Iowa State and have attended numerous Minnesota Grape Growers Association conferences in grape growing and winemaking. However, the best education is trial and error for continual development.

She is a glowing example of what a lady can do in the field of agriculture. As always, eat and drink in moderation but laugh with reckless abandon! Cheers! Ron Skjong writes primarily about the wonderful world of wine but likes to explore various spirits and beers, too. He is married and has four grown children. While stationed in Germany, he was introduced to German wines and from that introduction, a lifelong pursuit developed to find that perfect bottle of wine.

Live it! Magazine 29


What’s happenin’ ? June – July 2017 City celebrations PAYNESVILLE June 7-10 Town and Country Days, grand parade 7 p.m. Wednesday RENVILLE June 7-11 Sugar Beet Days, grand parade 3 p.m. Saturday KANDIYOHI June 9-10 Kandi is Dandy Days, parade 11:30 a.m. Saturday MONTEVIDEO June 11-18 Fiesta Days, grand day parade 1 p.m. Sunday BIRD ISLAND June 14-17 Island Days, regatta parade 3 p.m. Saturday ATWATER June 16-18 Festival Days, grand parade 3:20 p.m. Saturday WILLMAR June 21-25 Willmar Fests, grand day parade 10:30 a.m. Saturday with fireworks at 10 p.m. DAWSON June 21-25 Riverfest, grand parade 2 p.m. Sunday GRANITE FALLS June 22-24 Western Fest, grand parade 1 p.m. Saturday STARBUCK June 28-July 2 Heritage Days, grand parade 6 p.m. Saturday with fireworks at 10 p.m. MADISON June 28-July 4 Summerfest, grand parade 2 p.m. July 4th with fireworks at dusk.

To list your event, email

SPICER July 1-4 Independence Day celebration, grand parade 10 a.m. July 4th with fireworks at dusk.

KERKHOVEN July 28-30 Town and Country Days, grand parade 3 p.m. Saturday.

PRAIRIE’S EDGE CASINO July 3 Family Fun Night, begins at 5 p.m. with food, music and fireworks show at dusk.

PENNOCK Aug. 4-5 Pennock Fun Day, parade 11 a.m. Saturday.

TERRACE July 4 Fourth of July, old-fashioned family fun, beginning at 5 p.m. BROOTEN July 5-8 Bonanza Valley Days, parade 1:30 p.m. Sunday. DANUBE July 5-9 Fun Days, grand parade 2 p.m. Saturday. CLARA CITY July 6-8 Prairie Fest Days, grand parade 4 p.m. Saturday LITCHFIELD July 6-9 Watercade, grand parade 6 p.m. Saturday. BLOMKEST July 8 Appreciation Day, parade 4:30 p.m. Saturday. NEW LONDON July 10-16 Water Days, grand parade 11 a.m. Saturday SACRED HEART July 12-16 Summerfest, grand parade 6 p.m. Friday COSMOS July 14-16 Space Festival, grand parade 2 p.m. Sunday BENSON July 15 Kid Day celebration, parade 10 a.m. Saturday

MAYNARD June 27-July 4 Fourth of July, parade at 11 a.m. July 4th with fireworks at dusk.

OLIVIA July 24-30 Corn Capital Days, grand parade 3 p.m. Saturday

PAYNESVILLE July 1 Independence Celebration, boat parade 2 p.m. Lake Koronis with fireworks at dusk.

GLENWOOD July 25-30 Waterama, lighted pontoon parade at dusk Saturday followed by fireworks, parade 1 p.m. Sunday.

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LAKE LILLIAN Aug. 4-6 Fun Days, parade 4 p.m. Saturday. NEW LONDON Aug. 9-12 31st annual New London to New Brighton Antique Car Run Saturday features cars from 1915 and earlier; country tours Wednesday, Thursday and Friday leaving from New London daily; run to New Brighton on Saturday. STARBUCK Aug. 11-12 Dragon Boat Racing, co-ed races on Lake Minnewaska; boats provided. BECHYN Aug. 13 26th annual Czech Heritage Festival with ethnic foods, music, folk dancers, children activities. FOREST CITY Aug. 19-20 Stockade Rendezvous, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. RAYMOND Aug. 26-27 Harvest Fest, parade 1 p.m. Saturday

County fairs REDWOOD FALLS July 13-16 Redwood County Fair MONTEVIDEO July 26-30 Chippewa County Fair GLENWOOD Aug. 2-5 Pope County Fair LITCHFIELD Aug. 3-6 Meeker County Fair MORRIS Aug. 8-13 Stevens County Fair

BIRD ISLAND Aug. 9-11 Renville County Fair WILLMAR Aug. 9-12 Kandiyohi County Fair APPLETON Aug. 16-20 Swift County Fair

Music concerts and more JAZZ-N-JAVA Every Thursday Willmar, 6 to 7 p.m., Jazz-n-Java, 913 Business 71 N.; free music concerts by different individuals and groups, followed by sing-along with house band. GLACIAL RIDGE WINERY Every Thursday Spicer, 6:30 to 8:30 pm., Glacial Ridge Winery, state Highway 23 between New London and Spicer; free music concerts by different individuals and groups. HINTERLAND VINEYARDS Every Friday Clara City, 7 to 9 p.m., Hinterland Vineyards and Winery, 3060 120th Ave. S.E., free music concert by different individuals and groups. CONCERTS IN THE PARK June 7, 14, 21, 28, July 5 Willmar, 7:30 p.m., Rice Park; free concert by Prairie Winds Concert Band. RIVERSIDE MARKET June 10, July 8, Aug. 12 Granite Falls, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., downtown along the Minnesota River; music, crafts, art, vintage and more. PIONEERLAND BAND FESTIVAL June 14 Benson, 6:30 p.m., 29th annual Flag Day parade with 15 high school marching bands. DANUBE HISTORICAL SOCIETY June 13, 27, July 6, 25, Aug. 8 Danube, 7 p.m., bandstand by the water tower; free music concerts, bring a lawn chair or blanket; freewill donation; sponsored by the Danube Historical Society. APPLETON ’52 WING June 19, 26, July 4, 11, 18, 25, Aug. 1 Appleton, 7 p.m., Riverview Park bandstand; free music concerts, bring a lawn chair or blanket; sponsored by the Appleton ’52 Wing Restoration Committee. MUSIC IN THE PARK July 9, 16, 23, 30, Aug. 6, 13 Spicer, 4 to 6 p.m., Pirrotta Park observation deck, free concerts by various groups. KINGERY FAMILY July 22 Willmar, 7:30 p.m., Barn Theatre; Live It Up Downtown concert; $10 general admission, in advance and at the door, if available.

MUSIC FESTIVAL Aug. 19 New London, noon to 6:30 p.m., Neer Park; family friendly day of eclectic live music, food and a kid-zone; www.

STUDIO HOP June 16-17 Local artists will have their studios open 4 to 9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in the Willmar, Spicer and New London areas;

BRADY TOOPS Aug. 26 Willmar, 7:30 p.m., Barn Theatre; Live It Up Downtown concert; $20 general admission, in advance and at the door, if available.

LITTLE THEATRE Aug. 3-5 10-13 New London, Thursday through Saturdays, 7 p.m., Aug. 13, 2 p.m., Little Theatre; performance of “Three Murders and It’s Only Monday”; tickets available at The Giving Tree Children’s Boutique in New London, Whitney Music in Willmar, and at the door, if available.

Misc. LITTLE CROW WATER SKI SHOW June through August New London, 7:30 p.m., Neer Park, June 7, 9, 16, 23, 30; July 1, 4, 7, 14, 15, 21; at 7 p.m., Aug. 4, 5, 18 and 25; 320-354-5684. MID-WEEK FARMERS MARKET Every Wednesday Willmar, noon to 5:30 p.m., Kandi Mall east side parking lot; high-quality produce available that is grown within 100 miles of Willmar. BECKER MARKET Every Thursday Willmar, 2 to 6 p.m., 415 Becker Avenue, downtown; a multicultural market of farmers, growers, producers, artisans and entertainment. NINJA WARRIOR June 10-11 Spicer, all day, Saulsbury Beach; Ninja Warrior obstacle course, registration required to compete, or come watch and enjoy food vendors and other entertainment. FARMERS MARKET July 8, 15, 22, 29, Aug. 5, 12 Willmar, 6:30 a.m. to noon, YMCA parking lot, Lakeland Avenue, Willmar; market of farmers, growers, producers and artisans. GREEN LAKE QUILTS July 21-22 Spicer, Green Lake Bible Camp, 33rd annual auction with preview Friday evening; on Saturday display and auction at 11:30 a.m. of homemade quilts, 320-796-2181.

Arts/Drama BARN THEATRE June 1-4, 8-11, 15-17 Willmar, 7:30 p.m. weekdays and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sundays, The Barn Theatre, 321 Fourth St. S.W.; performance of the musical “Big Fish”; for tickets call 320-235-9500 or visit

BARN THEATRE Aug. 16-19, 21-25 Willmar, 7:30 p.m., The Barn Theatre, 321 Fourth St. S.W.; performance of “The Game’s Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays”; for tickets call 320-235-9500 or visit thebarntheatre. com.

Dances MYRON SOMMERFELD June 11 Glenwood, 4 to 8 p.m., Lakeside Ballroom; summer dances open to all, music by Myron Sommerfeld; $15 per person, $10 ages 17-30; no jeans or shorts. POLKA FEST June 30-July 2 Bird Island, Island Ballroom; 27 hours of dancing on large wooden dance floor; 320365-9997. VELVET BRASS July 16 Glenwood, 4 to 8 p.m., Lakeside Ballroom; summer dances open to all, music by Velvet Brass; $15 per person, $10 ages 17-30; no jeans or shorts. WACIPI Aug. 4-6 Granite Falls, Upper Sioux Community Pezihutazzi Oyate Traditional Wacipi, warmup dances 7 p.m. Friday, grand entries at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. TUXEDO JUNCTION Aug. 20 Glenwood, 4 to 8 p.m., Lakeside Ballroom; summer dances open to all, music by Tuxedo Junction; $15 per person, $10 ages 17-30; no jeans or shorts.

LITTLE THEATRE June 15-17, 22-24 New London, Thursday through Saturdays, 7 p.m., Little Theatre; performance of “You Can’t Take it With You”; tickets available at The Giving Tree Children’s Boutique New London, Whitney Music in Willmar, and at the door, if available.

Live it! Magazine 31

June/July issue of Live it! Magazine  

West Central Tribune Lifestyle magazine