Three weeks after Ground Hog’s Day, and there may be a glimmer of Spring on the distant horizon. The mercury has been bouncing up and down like a Yo-Yo, ranging from 22 below on Sunday morning, February 22, to 31 above on the morning of Tuesday, February 24. A couple of inches of new snow were deposited on the area on the morning of Wednesday, February 25, just enough to keep the snow shovel shined up. Meteorological Spring, the time when unremitting winter eases off and springlike weather begins, usually arrives sometime between March 1 and April 1. The welcome mat is out.
Former Rutland resident Irene Anderson, now residing at Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman, reports that she has recently become a great-great-grandmother. Her first great-great-grandchild, Carl Norman Christianson IV, was born at 12:55 p.m. on Saturday, February 14, 2015, to Irene’s great-grandson-in-law and great-granddaughter, Carl & Shannon (Hawkenson) Christianson, in Whitefish, Montana. Irene reports that Carl IV weighed in at 7 pounds 11 ounces and stood 19½ inches tall in his bare feet on arrival. Young Carl resides with his parents in Whitefish, where his Dad is employed as an auto mechanic and his Mom works as a school psychologist. Carl’s Mom, Shannon, is the daughter of Irene’s granddaughter, Kelly (Anderson) Hawkenson, and the granddaughter of Irene’s oldest son, the late Harvey O. Anderson. Congratulations to Irene and to Carl Christianson Iv, the first of the fourth generation of her descendants.
Quite often these days the subject of GMO and non-GMO crops is in the news. GMO means Genetically Modified Organism, and a GMO is produced when genetic material from one organism is introduced into an organism of a different type, variety or species in order to provide the modified organism with a trait or quality that is seen as potentially desirable by producers of that organism. American agriculture has embraced GMO’s with enthusiasm, citing disease resistance, insect resistance and increased yields as some of the benefits derived. Other parts of the world, particularly some of the biggest customers for U. S. crops, are not so sure about GMO’s, however, and have been much more cautious about allowing genetically modified crops to be marketed inside their borders. A few years ago, the Syngenta Company, one of the biggest suppliers of farm seeds in the world, marketed its Agrisure Viptera and Agrisure Duracade GMO corn varieties in the U. S. before one of our biggest customers, China, had approved those particular GMO varieties for import. China slammed its doors to U. S. corn, and the price of corn plummeted, costing American farmers billions in lost sales and lost profits. Several class action lawsuits have been filed by American corn producers seeking to recover some or all of their lossess from the Syngenta Company, seen as the culprit for its early release of the 2 varieties before import approval had been obtained from China. On Thursday, February 12, a number of local corn growers attended a meeting at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge to discuss the class action lawsuit with attorney Lowell Bottrell of the Anderson & Bottrell Law Firm of Fargo, a firm widely recognized in the upper Midwest for its expertise in matters of ag-law. It is estimated that the loss of the Chinese market for U. S. corn has cost producers about 30 cents per bushel since November of 2013, when China slammed the door. A number of large law firms are currently advertising for potential clients, and local corn producers may contact them for more information about participation in the class action lawsuit. Read More