"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
Online Edition
Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
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EPA putting oil industry’s agenda ahead of American farmers


Mon, Jun 29th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

By Chris Hanson

General Manager, POET biorefining, Preston, MN

It hasn’t always been easy for the average American farmer.

Farmers have had to work tirelessly to stay afloat amid fluctuating crop demand and a tumultuous environmental and political climate. Despite the chaos, hope springs from domestic biofuel production, which has bolstered rural America while simultaneously decreasing our dependency on foreign oil.

However, on May 29 the Obama administration made a ruling on Renewable Volume Obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that undermines these efforts. In its announcement, the Environmental Protection Agency stated that “real-world limitations” have prevented the U.S. from reaching its delineated goals for 2014-2016.

While the EPA is correct in recognizing the intent of Congress to continue expanding growth in biofuels, the established targets greatly fall short of rural America’s ability to produce low-cost, clean-burning ethanol, and this must be changed.

Rural America has shown incredible advancements in recent years, utilizing innovative, efficient technologies to increase yield and output. Nationally, the RFS has supported 825,000 jobs, many of these in agriculture, while the ethanol industry added 44 billion dollars to the U.S. GDP in 2013.

In Minn. alone, the ethanol industry generates $11.7 billion of total economic output annually and supports over 48,500 jobs.

As ethanol grew over the last decade, so did prosperity in rural America. As ethanol production has plateaued the last couple years, farm income and land value have plateaued or dropped. There’s no doubt that the fates of these industries are tied together. By not allowing U.S. farmers to reach their potential for renewable fuel production, we are missing an enormous opportunity for continued prosperity. It seems the government has lost sight of the initial purpose of the RFS, which was designed in 2007 to keep gas prices low, to spur domestic jobs and investment, and to set a path for a more sustainable future. The government knew that the only way to put America’s future in our own hands was to promote more fuel choices at the pump.

Thankfully, some key players in Wash. haven’t forgotten their commitment to rural America. In response to the ruling, United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that the USDA will .....
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One Moment, Please... Boots & Badges -- this is it

Mon, Jun 29th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

Last November, we began a journey. We committed to the idea of publishing a book in honor of all of our Fillmore County Veterans. This had been a thought in the back of my mind for quite a number of years, but I admittedly had a fear of commitme ..... 
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Celebrating diversity: “not your grandparents’ Greater Minnesota”

Mon, Jun 29th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

Minn. is often split into two regions - metro and rural - especially when talking state politics. Historically, this dichotomy took on the subtext of business versus agriculture and mining. However, since the farm crisis of the 1980s, Greater Minn. ..... 
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We need both insiders and outsiders in congress

By Lee Hamilton

Mon, Jun 29th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

Members of Congress get categorized in all sorts of ways. They’re liberal or conservative; Republican or Democrat; interested in domestic affairs or specialists in foreign policy. There’s one very important category, though, that I never hear ..... 
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Judging R-P decisions

By Brett Kues

Mon, Jun 29th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

In a recent rebuttal article, Mr. Linder, the chairman of the Rushford-Peterson school board addressed lingering suspicions of a “small but vocal group” of citizens that have taken issue with the district’s handling of the new school referendu ..... 
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Remembering my father

By Yvonne Nyenhuis

Mon, Jun 22nd, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

My father was born in 1897. (32 years after the death of Abraham Lincoln). As a young man he worked as a surveyor alongside his father, who was a civil engineer. He completed basic training in the Army just as the First World War came to an end. ..... 
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More observations from an old soldier

Mon, Jun 22nd, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

By Ron Scheevel Vietnam Vet As I write down these thoughts during the Memorial Day weekend I would hope that all of us will take a few minutes to remember our fallen comrades. I was a junior in high school when President Kennedy was assassinated ..... 
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The curious case of the Loony Left

Mon, Jun 15th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

So, according to a recent Gallup poll (1), more people in America self-identify as “liberal” than at any time since they have started asking that question. Granted, they have only been asking it since 1999, but a lot has happened in that time, a ..... 
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Why run for office?

By Lee Hamilton

Mon, Jun 15th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

I spend a fair amount of time talking to students and other young people about Congress and politics in general, and I’ve noticed something. It used to be that I’d regularly get asked how one runs for office. Nowadays, I rarely do. This is a y ..... 
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