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Beef industry stands strong in light of general economy


Fri, May 2nd, 2003
Posted in Features

"Packers like farm raised finished cattle," notes Joe Nelson, owner of Lanesboro Sales Commission.

Nelson says the producers in the area have paid attention to their genetics, purchasing good quality bulls that help upgrade their herds.

This attention to quality by local cattle producers is what has kept nine packers coming back every Wednesday to Lanesboro, some traveling as far as Michigan and Nebraska, to fill up their trailers. And what do the producers get in return?

"Consistency," says Nelson. “Producers know that when they bring in, say, five head this week and get a good price, they know that next week won’t come with any bad surprises.”

Nelson understands that a farmer has to deal with a lot of inconsistencies in his job, with Mother Nature and the government bureaucracy affecting the bottom line. So, Nelson knows that when the local sales barn provides a steady market for cattle, that’s a big victory for the farmer.

There are four grade categories an animal can fall into: prime, choice, select, and standard. Nelson has seen a growing trend in producers bringing in cattle that fall into the select and choice categories. Current prices range from $72-76 per hundred weight for select, $78-81 for choice and $80-83 for prime beef. A 1,200-pound steer will dress out somewhere between 700 and 800 lbs. depending on its grade.

"The market is strong,” Nelson believes. Last year, more than 100,000 head ran over the scales in Lanesboro.

The sales barn has been in business for 56 years with Nelson taking on ownership six years ago. Clifford Moger has been with the barn all of those 56 years. Freddy Frickson, the auctioneer, has spent more than 30 years helping packers meet sellers. And a strong staff keeps all those bidding numbers, weights, packers, and sellers in order. Wednesday is a busy day at the office.

Though the U.S has less than 10% of the world’s cattle, America produces nearly 25% of the world’s beef supply. Japan, Mexico, Canada and the Republic of South Korea are primary U.S. beef export markets. The amount of imported beef has fallen in the last year, which is good news for local cattlemen.

Nelson said that he has been watching the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law, which was included in the 2002 Farm Bill. If implemented, consumers would .....
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3-2 split favors Heartland

Fri, May 2nd, 2003
Posted in Features

Council members Mike Gartner and Jerry Scheevel requested the special meeting of the Preston City Council held Tuesday, April 29. A large crowd again over-flowed into the entry way.   Scheevel made a motion stating that, base ..... 
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Public Hearings, but No Public

Fri, May 2nd, 2003
Posted in Features

The Rushford City Council started out their April 28 meeting with two public hearings, but there was little sign of a public to hear from.   The first hearing of the night concerned the re-adoption of the Minnesota State Buil ..... 
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Have knives will travel

Fri, May 2nd, 2003
Posted in Features

Any farmer who raises cattle for his own meat knows that there are a number of small processing plants around Fillmore County that provide the valuable service of butchering and processing the homegrown stock.

When it’s time—wh ..... 
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Heartland wins. Or did they?

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

On Monday evening, the Preston Council Chamber was literally over flowing, with people sitting on the floor and many standing in the corridor straining to hear the proceedings of the Preston City Council. The council was meeting to decide whether to ..... 
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County to reopen zoning density debate

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

At last Tuesday’s meeting of the Fillmore County Planning Commission, Commissioner Duane Bakke unveiled a new zoning ordinance amendment that would allow individual townships to select from a menu of choices that would determine how many homes are bu ..... 
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County Social Services see child protection caseload increase

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

"We would like to see a month where there is no hitting, no drug abuse, no sexual abuse, no emotional neglect, children being bathed when they smell, and children being properly fed," stated Wendy Ebner, Social Service Supervisor, as she recapped the ..... 
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Former Ostrander City Clerk sentenced to jail and home monitoring

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

Saying that he wanted to send a message to others who hold a position of trust, that abuses of power will be dealt with harshly, Judge Robert Benson sentenced former Ostrander City Clerk Tonya Michelle Burns to 15 days in jail, 130 days electric home ..... 
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Lanesboro Council responds to citizen requests, adjusts budget

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

Art promotions, a raffle, a dance, and the brush dump were on the minds of citizens as they addressed the Lanesboro City Council April 21, 2003.

Holly McDonough, Executive Director of the Cornucopia Art Center, asked the counci ..... 
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