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Fillmore County pork wagon gets new look


Fri, Oct 14th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

The Mensink family has been a big part of Fillmore County's pork production for many years. Craig Mensink of rural Preston has been farming on his land since 1977. His father raised pigs before that, and his grandfather bought the farm in 1945.

According to Mensink, he has about 3,600 pigs on his farm. He also raises crops, and his wife Pam and a hired man help out. They have three children who grew up very much involved on the farm and 4-H, but chosen other career paths.

"I told them the farm will be there if they need it," said Mensink.

Mensink's brother Dave raises around 25,000 pigs on a farm nearby. It's pretty clear the pork business is in their blood.

Mensink is currently on the Fillmore County Pork Board and the Minnesota State Pork Board.

The pork producers in Fillmore County stay busy throughout the year, not only on their farms taking care of pigs, but with events to promote their product. The pork wagon used to sell pork products at these events was recently redecorated with a wrapping from Kelly Printing and Signs in Preston.

"The other one was getting faded," explained Mensink. "We started with a new ad campaign, and wanted to get the advertising up to date. We are trying to promote our product, and that's the best way we know how to do it."

The wagon can be seen at the annual Pork-A-Que, the Fly-In Breakfast, the Fillmore County Fair, and other events, mostly during the summer. Working at the wagon are local pork producers helping to promote their product.

"We feel we are well-supported in our county," said Mensink, referring to the people who turn out at the events to support their local farmers.

Mensink pointed out that they want people to know they give back to their communities as well. The Pork Board has two ambassadors for 2011, Ann Gillespie and Kate Winslow, both of Fountain that get scholarships this year. They also participate in farm safety, bike safety, and fire safety, and have donated food. According to Mensink, they donated 6,000 meals to local food shelves last winter, something they are very proud of.

As part of the state board, Mensink is involved in dealing with Checkoff dollars that come in from the state. He explained that Checkoff is mandatory, and that pork producers pay 40 cents for every $100 when pigs are sold to the Checkoff fund. This fund must be used for promotion, research, and education of pork products.

Research .....
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Farm computer usage continues to climb

Fri, Oct 14th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

A recent report by the Agricultural Statistic Board reports that a total of 62 percent of U.S. farms now have Internet access, compared with 59 percent in 2009. Sixty-five percent of farms have access to a computer in 2011, up one percentage point f ..... 
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Mathison family to be honored as area finalist at State Soil and Water Conservation District Convention

Fri, Oct 7th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

The Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (MASWCD) has named Larry and Irene Mathison and Loren and Carrie Mathison as one of eight Area Finalists in the 2011 Outstanding Conservationist Award Program. The Mathisons will be ..... 
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Plan Your EAB Response

Fri, Oct 7th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

I believe most people in Southeast Minnesota are aware that Minnesota Department of Agriculture confirmed two new Emerald Ash Borer infestations. A beetle was found in a purple monitoring trap in Veterans Park in La Crescent, and another one was fou ..... 
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Become a Master Gardener- more than pulling weeds

Fri, Sep 30th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Master Gardeners do love digging in the soil. But you may not realize the scope of their involvement in the community. Minnesota Master Gardeners assist University of Minnesota faculty with research projects and varietal trials, advice city official ..... 
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Compare your nitrogen sources by price

Fri, Sep 30th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

This past week I came across the updated version of the Nutrient & Manure Management Tables, produced by University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. This jam-packed, one page, two-sided publication is loaded with v ..... 
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Compare your nitrogen sources by price

Fri, Sep 30th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

This past week I came across the updated version of the Nutrient & Manure Management Tables, produced by University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. This jam-packed, one page, two-sided publication is loaded with v ..... 
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Late-season drought brings soybean stress

Fri, Sep 16th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

The dry soil conditions experienced recently over much of Minnesota may limit soybean yields, according to Dave Nicolai, crops educator with University of Minnesota Extension.

"Some plants are ripening prematurely. Another symptom of moistur ..... 
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Hand protection in agricultural settings

Fri, Sep 16th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

With Farm Safety Week coming up September 18-24, I started thinking of possible farm safety topics that I haven't covered. I decide to start by looking at topics that had been covered in recent years.

Here are some of the topics from past ne ..... 
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