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Ag and Extension Briefs

Farm transition and estate planning retreat planned for Jackson

Minnesota State College and University System’s AgCentric and Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture, in partnership with the University of Minnesota Extension, will present a two-day farm transition and estate planning retreat for farm families.

The retreat will begin at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, and conclude at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Minnesota West Community & Technical College’s multi-purpose room in Jackson. This retreat is designed to be attended together by both the entering generation and retiring generation involved in a farm. Minnesota State Farm Business Management instructor, Jim Molenaar, and UMN Extension educator, Megan Roberts, will cover important farm transition topics including goal setting, family communication, and estate planning essentials.

A past participant of this program said that the retreat format is “a wonderful opportunity for families to help start the conversation needed to transition farm operations.”

To register for the event, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/farm-business -transition-tickets-48143849550 or call 320-221-0219 to speak with Judy Barka with AgCentric. Registration is requested by Aug. 20 and the fee is $200 per farm family (up to five participants). Fees increase to $300 for individual registration. For more educational information on farm transition visit z.umn.edu/farmtransition.

Indiana dairy agrees to penalty for manure fish kill

LYNN, Ind. (AP) — An eastern Indiana dairy farm has agreed to pay a $9,600 civil penalty to settle complaints stemming from a manure spill that killed thousands of fish.

High Point Dairy has also agreed to reimburse the Indiana Department of Natural Resources $1,775 for damage to fish and wildlife that the April 2017 Wayne County spill caused.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management said the farm’s manure lagoon was filled beyond capacity when it overflowed into a field tile that led to Fountain Creek, killing more than 3,500 fish.

An IDEM agreed order says the farm failed to report the spill and failed to monitor the lagoon’s capacity, among other shortcomings.

The farm’s owner, Robert White, told The Star Press an estimated 5,000 gallons or less of manure leaked from the lagoon.

Indiana agriculture department awards $300K to 11 food banks

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Eleven Indiana food banks are sharing in $300,000 in state funding that will help them keep their shelves stocked with food.

The funding from the State Department of Agriculture was announced Monday by Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, who says food banks “are doing truly extraordinary things” by providing food assistance and services to those in need.

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry is Indiana’s food bank association. The group says that one in seven Indiana residents suffer from hunger and that more than 280,000 Indiana children don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

Executive Director Emily Weikert Bryant said the funding will help the 11 food banks purchase milk, produce and various high-demand foods.

The funding was authorized last year by the Indiana Legislature as part of the state’s biennial budget.

USDA issues alert about salads, wraps due to parasite worry

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal authorities have issued a public health alert about more than two dozen beef, pork and poultry salad and wrap products as a precaution due to possible parasite contamination.

The Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said the products, distributed by Indianapolis-based Caito Foods may be contaminated with cyclospora. The parasite causes intestinal illness.

The USDA said Caito Foods was notified from their lettuce supplier, Fresh Express, that the chopped romaine used in some of the salads was being recalled.

The products were sold by grocery stores including Trader Joe’s, Walgreens and Kroger. They have the establishment number “EST. 39985 or P-39985.” The USDA has posted a complete list online. Consumers are urged to throw them away.

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