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The Rooster Crows – February 27, 2015

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 »

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The Rooster Crows – February 20, 2015

There is no doubt about it, it is Winter on the northern plains. A cold, clear morning on Thursday, February 12, Abe Lincoln’s birthday, was followed by snow in the afternoon, the snow providing the frozen ground with a blanket of protection from the brutal, bone-chilling conditions that followed. By the morning of Wednesday, February 18, the temperature was double digits below zero, and the “wind chill” was at 30 degrees below. The good news was that us Dakotans will have a couple of more weeks to toughen up before conditions improve. Two hundred years ago, the native Dakota people who were part of this land called this time of year the “starving time,” when most supplies put up the preceding Fall had been used upand when nothing moved on the prairie, except for the wind. One hundred 25 years ago, this was the time of year when our European immigrant ancestors, homesteading on the prairie, came the closest to losing their minds, and some of them did, in the dreary depression and numbing cold of February, when Autumn’s abundance and holiday cheer had been left far behind, and the hope of Spring was not yet visible. Today, though, there is no threat of starvation or depression, with Valentine’s Day dinners, Buffalo Suppers and Great Northern Pike Fish Fries to expand the waistline, winter fishing derbies to expand horizons and the hope of winter vacations in sunny, southern climes to brighten outlooks. As our Minnesota neighbor, the nasaly toned Bob Dylan, raspily droned half a century ago, “The times, they are a’changin!” and we can all be thankful for that.

Despite Winter vistas as far as the eye can see, there are some who see beyond the horizon to the coming Spring and are preparing for it. Those folks are called farmers, and one of the farmers from this community, Joe Breker, recently received a national award for his work in soil conservation, and in developing the skills, techniques and equipment that assist other farmers conserve the nation’s soil and water resources. A report on Joe’s award was recently posted on the Coteau des Prairies Lodge web site at cdplodge.com, and is reprinted here: “If you have stayed at the lodge, it is likely you have met Joe Breker. He is sorta like the lodge mascot. He dresses up like a farmer and provides entertainment by coming to the lodge in the morning to have coffee with our guests. Wait a minute, he actually is a farmer. He even has a farming code name, No Hoe Joe. He is a no-till farmer. Get it? No Hoe Joe? Joe takes his no-tilling seriously. After all, he has been at it for over 30 years! Joe no-tilled before no-tilling was cool. What is no-tilling, you say? We dare you to ask No Hoe Joe! But until then, we’ll give it to you in a nutshell. No-till farming is a conservation practice. By eliminating or drastically reducing the use of soil tillage, no-till farmers conserve moisture, reduce wind and water erosion and reduce compaction. No-tilling also improves soil biodiversity (microorganisms and worms) which leads to more organic matter and greater soil fertility. Joe recently attended the National No-Tillage Conference in Cincinnati, OH and received the Responsible Nutrient Management Practitioners Program Award along with two other farmers, one from Maryland and one from Pennsylvania. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – February 13, 2015

This week in The Rooster Crows: Rutland Sportsmen’s Club annual meeting report and plans for the annual Great Northern Pike Fish Fry; Happenings at the North Dakota Grape and Wine Convention; 20th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament held; Bergman-Evenson Post #215 pancake & sausage breakfast/brunch held at the Rutland Town Hall; Rutland Community Club meeting notes; Ole & Lena Live performance scheduled; Free-will dinner and silent auction to benefit Launa Peterson; Rutland General Store’s St. Valentine’s Day Gourmet Dinner; and as always, the local weather report. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – February 6, 2015

The January Thaw that had been making itself at home here since the 14th of January left in a hurry, almost as fast as the plummeting price of North Dakota crude oil, on the evening of Friday, January 30, slamming the door shut on its way out.  Ground Hog’s Day on Monday, February 2, offered no respite from winter for another 6 weeks, either, as the. Local ground hog, Rutland Roscoe, a distant cousin of Punxsutawney Phil, suffered a frostbit tail and a sunburned backside during the same outing on Monday morning, and headed back to his den  until St. Patrick’s Day or April Fool’s Day or he recovers, whichever happens to be a balmy, Spring day.

If you think that all who have the ability and opportunity have taken wing to head for warmer climes, think again.  According to the North Dakota Game & Fish Department, a count taken during the first week in January revealed that approximately 119,000 Canada geese and 26,000 mallards were “toughing it out” and wintering in North Dakota.  Most of these geese and ducks, according to the Game & Fish Department, are wintering on open stretches of the Missouri River in North Dakota, taking advantage of the hot air emanating from the North Dakota State Capitol during the current Legislative session.

Wayne and Pam Maloney of this community report that they have become grandparents once again.  Miss Beckette Cathlene Jensen was born to the Maloneys’ daughter and son-in-law, Taryn and Shane Jensen of Wyndmere, on Wednesday, January 28, at St. Francis Hospital in Breckenridge MN, reports Grandma Pam.  She weighed 6 pounds 10 ounces and stood 18 inches tall in her bare feet on arrival.  Beckette Cathlene, Becky to her friends, resides with her parents and her big brother, Cohen, at their farm home near Wyndmere.  The Rutland community bids her “Welcome!”, and extends congratulations to the Jensen and Maloney families. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – January 30, 2015

The “January Thaw” that arrived back on the 14th of January has provided the people of North Dakota with a 2 week vacation from Winter without the hassle of leaving home.  While the eastern U. S. has been shivering and shaking through a tough winter, battling ice, snow and blizzards, the usually frozen center of the country, from Canada to Mexico, has been enjoying sunny days and temperatures 20 to 30 degrees above normal.  In Rutland, any snow on the streets that had been missed by Mayor Narum and the City’s snowplow has been cleared by Mother Nature.  The forecast is for a return to winter conditions on Saturday, January 31, but, with January behind us, can Spring be far ahead?  Watch the Ground Hog on February 2.  If he sees his shadow, we have 6 more weeks of winter ahead, and, if he doesn’t see his shadow, winter’s end will arrive in only 42 days.  Well, why would anyone trust a Ground Hog, anyway?

A group that included Mark Breker of Rutland, Neil Hornseth of Veblen SD, Shane Kadoun of Milnor, Alex Breker of Washburn and Abra Duval of Oakes in its number, drove up to Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Friday, January 16, for a weekend of ice fishing on Lake Winnipeg.  According to Mark, each angler could bring either 4 or 6 walleyes back with them when they returned to the USA, depending on the type of license they had purchased.  The fishing was good, Mark reported, and they caught a number of walleyes that were 28” or longer.  Shane Kadoun hauled in the largest walleye, a 32 inch lunker that weighed over 12 pounds, states Mark.  The group returned home on Monday, January 19, full of fish and fishing stories.  Mark has been ice fishing on Lake Winnipeg several times in the past few years, and reports that the fishing is always good, even when the catching isn’t.

Josh and Brianne Nelson of this community have purchased the house at 210 Gay Street, long known as “the Sjothun house,” from Kyle & Kaia Mahrer.  They expect to be moved into their new home by the beginning of March.  Previous owners of this home include: Bill & Annie Lubke; Lowell & Phyllis Sjothun; Mr. & Mrs. Leland Evenson; Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Miller; and, John Johnson.  The house was originally built by “Lumber John” Johnson, then manager of the John R. Jones Lumber Yard in Rutland, back in 1909, with the intention that it would be home for him and his fiancé after they wed.  When the intended Mrs. Johnson was killed in a carriage accident, however, Mr. Johnson could not bear to move into the new dwelling, and sold it to Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Miller, owners of the Rutland Hardware Store.  The Millers owned the house until the 1940’s, when it was purchased by the Leland Evenson family.  Lowell & Phyllis Sjothun purchased the home in 1948, and made it the Sjothun family residence for more than half a century, until 1999, when Phyllis Sjothun sold the house to Bill & Annie Lubke.  Kyle & Kaia Mahrer acquired the house in 2011.  They and their 3 children now reside at 318 First Street. Read More »

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