Ag Briefs

Biodiesel workshop is March 6 in Marshall

The “Be Ready for B20” workshop sponsored by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council March 6 in Marshall.

The workshop is one of a dozen to be conducted throughout the state. The stated goal is to help the industry prepare for the step up to the requirement for 20-percent biodiesel content on May 1 and “understand the benefits of the fuel and how it will impact fuel providers and end users.”

“This is a good opportunity for local citizens to voice their opinions on this issue,” State Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent, said. “Industry leaders and representatives from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce Weights & Measures Division will be there, so here’s your chance to let them know what you think.”

The workshop will be 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. March 6 at AmericInn Lodge & Suites, 1406 E. Lyon St., Marshall. Additional information regarding these workshops is available at

Arndt of Echo among Minnesota National Farmers board member trustees

Joe Neaton of Watertown was re-elected state president of Minnesota National Farmers Organization at the annual reorganization meeting in Sauk Centre Feb. 17. He and his wife LuAnn operate 450 acres of alfalfa, corn, and soybeans near Watertown and raise Holstein steers.

Gregg Klinkner of Sleepy Eye, was elected vice president replacing Harold Marthaler of Sauk Centre, who declined re-election. Klinkner and his wife have farmed 270 acres for about 30 years and raise Holstein steers. He is also the Second District president.

Pam Henry Neaton of Watertown was re-elected state secretary. She and her husband, Brian, also farm near Watertown.

Bruce Zeidler of Eagle Bend was re-elected to his 21st year as state treasurer. Zeidler and his wife, Cindy, have four children and operate a dairy and crop farm.

John Zschetzsche of Mountain Lake was re-appointed public relations director and editor of the Upper Midwest Newsletter.

Other state board members are Mark Rohr of Bluffton, a national director and dairy department employee; Reed Christensen of Battle Lake, a national director; Doug Suhr of Kasson, first district president; and Steve Koering, Fort Ripley, eighth district president.

Trustees on the board are Bob Arndt, Echo; Don Koep, Clitherall; and Mark Baumann of Delano. Bauman replaces Harold Marthaler of Sauk Centre.

This year’s state convention is planned for December with a date and location yet to be determined. Next year’s national convention will be March 11-13, 2019, in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Mystery remains for South Dakota rancher’s poisoned cattle

HOWARD, S.D. (AP) — The case of an eastern South Dakota rancher whose 44 cattle were mysteriously poisoned and killed on Halloween remains unsolved.

The state Department of Criminal Investigation has not been able to track down the cattle-killer.

Bernard Donahue told KELO-TV that his family had been keeping 65 cattle on a rented pasture in Miner County when someone poisoned the water tank last October. By the next day, 44 of their cattle were dead, including a bull.

Veterinarian Tom Heirigs was called to the property near Howard. By the time he arrived, seven cattle had already died. He said the water tank’s smell burned his nose and was “almost enough to make you puke.”

Donahue said water samples were taken for testing, but there hasn’t been confirmation of what chemical was used.

“The water was definitely tainted,” said Heirigs. “If you put an ammonia source like that in the water, it’s going to dissolve and the ammonia source is going to disappear.”

It’s possible that Donahue’s landlord could have been the target of the attack because the owners received a threatening anonymous letter, which was turned over as evidence. The letter stated, “You two are the most hated two in the area…I know karma comes around…. I hope you get what you deserve.”

County Sheriff Lanny Klinkhammer said no one reported seeing anything suspicious that night, but he’s confident the killer will be caught eventually.

“The DCI has been involved. They’ve also interviewed some individuals,” Klinkhammer said. “There’s nothing that has come of that as of yet. But they’re not giving up.”

The Donahues are offering a reward of $5,000 for any information that leads to an arrest.