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October is National Pork Month: Yes I work with pigs, and darn proud of it!


Fri, Oct 10th, 2003
Posted in Features

ďI havenít woke up once and not wanted to go to work. My favorite part of the job is Life being born every day." Kim Merkel Farrowing Manager

The swine industry has taken many a hit over the centuries, beginning with those who believed pork to be unfit to eat in the biblical times. The days of the pig sty and visions of these critters being fed "swill" have long since graduated to those who favor open range production, loose housing, or larger confinement units. Rural boundaries inch back as they make way for urban sprawl and the people they help feed. Manure management battles with ecology. There is an ongoing dispute over usage of feed additives and drugs to produce more products versus those who raise pork in a more natural environment. Regardless of oneís choice of farming method, the fact remains that raising quality pork is a business. And if you peel away the many layers involved in this business, the bottom line is that without those individuals who are loyal to their work, that robust, healthy, tasty, and yes, intelligent creature known as the "pig" would not thrive as well as they have today.What is the allure of working with pigs? "Itís a personal thing, youíve accomplished something, youíve made a difference. You treat the pig right and youíll get paid back with a good product," explains Barb Lubenow, the Site Manager at Baarsch Pork Farm, (Next Generation Pork), owned by Kathy and Bob Baarsch, located on the Fillmore/Mower County line. "You have to have patience and be able to read the sows and pigs. It only comes with experience, you grow into it." Itís a numbers game for any manager when one must blend a teamís abilities with the animalsí challenges. Lubenow feels very comfortable and proud of what she does."I love the babies, when you leave at the end of the day, and everyone has a warm, soft spot," explains Kathy Carmen. Carmen, a part-time employee, is trained in all aspects of the operation. "Thereís rewards when youíve done your best taking care of the babies because they can be so helpless. I couldnít raise pigs at home, so Iím doing the next best thing." She agrees it can be a very physical job, but it is worth it."Itís an honest living. You earn every penny you make," feels Cathy Thompson. She is the siteís Breeding Manager. She and her partner, Diane Schulte, als .....
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Eagle Bluff celebrates 25th anniversary

Fri, Oct 3rd, 2003
Posted in Features

Joe Deden recalls plowing out the long drive way at Eagle Bluff one winter day more than 20 years ago, only to run out of diesel fuel midway through the task. He cross country skied down to his nearest neighbor, John Horihanís place in the valley, wi ..... 
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Judge Wieners to hear MPCA challenge December 2 in Olmsted County

Fri, Oct 3rd, 2003
Posted in Features

Olmsted County Judge Joseph Wieners will hear oral arguments on a motion for a summary judgement against the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) in Courtroom 6 of the Olmsted County Government Center in Rochester beginning December 2. Wieners w ..... 
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Age is a state of mind for Cherry Grove woman

Fri, Oct 3rd, 2003
Posted in Features

The thirst for knowledge and the possibilities of what technology can do for one is not limited by your age or your generation. Someone once said that "it is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters in the end.Ē [Read the Rest]

Morton out on bail

Fri, Oct 3rd, 2003
Posted in Features

Trevor Lee Morton, 30, of rural Spring Valley was released on $100,000 bail after completing a psychiatric evaluation at the St. Peter Security Hospital.

Judge Robert Benson ordered the evaluation to determine if Morton was abl ..... 
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Sierra Club meets with farmers

Fri, Sep 26th, 2003
Posted in Features

Sierra Club members met with local farmers Saturday, September 20 at the Root River Church of the Brethren in rural Preston to discuss issues of sustainable agriculture.   The meeting was led by Jeff Webster, a 25-year reside ..... 
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Fall Home & Garden: Heaven on the hill

Fri, Sep 26th, 2003
Posted in Features

Larry Dahl says he knew he wanted to buy the land for his new home the first time he saw it. While Dahl liked his home and neighborhood in Rushford, he was drawn to the land formerly owned by Obert Colbenson on top of the Highway 43 hill. Larry nestl ..... 
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ďEliminating MPCs will help save dairy farmsĒ

Fri, Sep 26th, 2003
Posted in Features

Editorís note: Preston area dairy farmer Delbert Mandelko participated in the National Farmers Union Fly-In in Washington, D.C. recently to lobby members of Congress to support legislation that would close trade loop-holes that allow the importation ..... 
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Board listens again to Heartland opponents

Fri, Sep 26th, 2003
Posted in Features

"An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."   Benjamin Franklin

Concerned citizens took their case for an Environmental Impact Study for the proposed Heartlandís tire burning plant to th ..... 
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