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The Rooster Crows – October 24, 2014

Rutland has been enjoying Indian Summer this past week, and, according to the TV weather forecasters, we have at least another week of sunny days and warm temperatures ahead of us.  Local farmers are taking advantage of the mild weather to get the soybean harvest wrapped up, and to get rolling on corn.  According to one local producer, the warm, sunny days and a little wind, including the 40 mph gusts that assailed the area on Tuesday, October 21, are drying the corn down about ½ of 1 percent each day, saving many thousands of dollars in drying costs.  If the Indian Summer is the good news this Fall, the price of corn is its opposite number.  With a substantial amount of the 2013 corn harvest still clogging the pipeline, the market price of corn in 2014 is less than half of what it was a year ago.  A generation back, most farms in this area still had livestock, cattle and hogs, that could convert cheap corn into beef and pork, but only a few diversified farming/ranching operations remain.  Surely not enough to consume all of the corn currently ready to be harvested.  The 2008 Farm Bill, the one that former President Bush vetoed twice before his veto was over-ridden by the Democratically controlled Congress at that time, worked magnificently to allow the market to provide good prices for America’s grain producers along with ample supplies of food for America’s consumers and customers, but the new Farm Bill, weakened by the Tea Party in the House, just doesn’t have what it takes to get grain, and grain prices, moving again.  The Congressional Tea Party wing of the GOP, including North Dakota’s Congressman Kevin Cramer, worked hard to kill the Farm Bill in the session just past, but, failing at that, they did manage to weaken the Farm Programs ability to respond to, and dampen, the grain market’s cyclical effects on commodity prices.  A matter that is also of grave concern to North Dakotans right now is the current effort by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by our supposed ally, Saudi Arabia, to flood world markets with cheap oil, thus killing the oil boom in the Bakken that has fueled a major part of this State’s prosperity for the past 6 years.  OPEC did the same thing back in 1981, plunging the entire U. S. oil production sector, from Alaska all the way to Texas, into a depression from which it did not recover for more than 2 decades.  Back in 1981, then President Reagan and the GOP dominated U. S. Senate did nothing to protect America’s energy security, and even repealed the energy policies that had been adopted by the preceding administration.  Whether OPEC succeeds, again, remains to be seen, but you can bet that the “blue eyed Arabs” of North Dakota’s oil patch, the ones who rail against any kind of government regulations to protect the State’s health, environment and natural resources, will be howling for the protection of the Federal and State governments when profits get pinched by the OPEC assault.  Due to the increase in U. S. oil production in the past 5 years, the U. S. has gone from importing a majority of its petroleum needs to importing less than 20%, so we would be foolish not to protect our own energy security, but we have no such obligation to protect the obscenely wasteful and dangerous practices currently occurring in western North Dakota.  The wasteful flaring of billions of cubic feet of natural gas has to stop; the contamination of hundreds of acres of soil with salt water spills has to stop; the destruction of the social fabric of North Dakota’s communities has to stop; and, the oil companies doing business in North Dakota have to become responsible citizens of the State whose natural resources they are exploiting and depleting.  The party may be nearing an end.  It’s time to get the hangover remedies ready.  In the 1980’s, it took former Gov. Bud Sinner and an alliance of Democratic-NPL and progressive Republican legislators nearly a decade to nurse North Dakota back to fiscal health after that era’s boom turned to bust.  Progressive Republicans are now an extinct species in the North Dakota Legislature, Democratic-NPL legislators are a distinct minority, and North Dakota’s current Governor, Attorney General and Commissioner of Agriculture have shown no incliniation to take a leadership role in advocating for North Dakota, but Election Day is only a couple of weeks down the road and the people of North Dakota will, once again, have the opportunity to grasp the wheel and guide their own destiny, or to leave the future of the State in the hands of others.  It’s our choice to make, if we have the will, the courage and the determination to make it. Read More »

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Cover Crop Tour

WRSCD Tour

The Wild Rice Soil Conservation District and NDSU Extension are providing a Cover Crop Tour on Thursday, October 23, starting at 9:30 a.m.  Click on the flyer for more information and registration information.

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The Rooster Crows – October 17, 2014

A light rain on Sunday night, more precisely described as a slight drizzle, or a heavy mist, brought the soybean harvest to a brief, almost imperceptible, pause on Monday morning, October 13.  The dust was soon flying from fast moving combines again, however, and much of the soybean harvest in the Rutland area has now been completed.  The Gulleson Brothers have begun harvesting corn, and, even though the corn is well over the moisture level at which elevators will accept it for storage, they are packing it into huge, sausage-like air-tight plastic bags and storing it to use as feed for their beef cattle feedlot operation west of Cogswell.  Grandpa never did it that way, but the times, they are a’changin’!

The Sargent County Extension Service and the Wild Rice Soil Conservation District will be conducting a cover crop tour on Thursday, October 23, at which attendees will be able to tap into the knowledge, experience and expertise of local cover crop advocates, including Roger Brekke and Joe Breker, as well as of County Agent Melissa Blawatt.  Registration for the tour is from 9:00 to 9:30 a.m. at the Soil Conservation District Office in Forman.  Contact the Sargent County Extension Office at 724-6241, Ext. 5, or the Wild Rice Soil Conservation District at 724-6226, Ext. 3, for more information.  There is also a poster on Sargent County’s web site at www.sargentnd.com and on Rutland’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com.

The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 6, in the Rutland Town Hall with Mayor Ron Narum, Auditor Deb Banish and Aldermen Brad Christensen, Rodney Erickson, Mike Mahrer and Bertha Siemieniewski present.  The financial report showed all funds to be in the black.  The Council approved charitable gaming permits for Bergman-Evenson Post #215 to conduct a cash raffle in conjunction with the Post’s Pancake & Sausage breakfast on Sunday, October 19, and to the Little Old Ladies of Sargent County Relay For Life team to conduct a series of raffles throughout the year, culminating with the County’s Relay For Life event in June of 2015.  It was noted that several property owners had responded to last month’s letter requesting that derelict vehicles and other debris be removed from the City by cleaning up their properties prior to Uff-Da Day on October 5, and Council members expressed their appreciation to those citizens for their efforts.  Mayor Narum reported that the North Dakota Department of Health had approved a waste water discharge permit for Rutland for the coming year, permitting the discharge of water from cell #3 of the City’s Sewage Stabilization Lagoon when tests show that the water is safe to be released from the lagoon.  He also reported that some repair work was needed to repair a leak in the dike between cells 1 & 3 in order to ensure that the lagoon, which puts waste water through a 3 stage purification process, operates properly.  Ms. Tenille Larson, director of the Tobacco Use Prevention Program for Sargent and Ransom Counties, met with the Council to discuss prevention of the purchase and use of electronic cigarettes by minors.  She presented a draft ordinance for consideration by the Council and, on motion by Mike Mahrer, the Council held the first reading on the new ordinance which prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, as well as their use by minors in any business or public area within the City.  The ordinance will come up for its second reading and a vote on final passage at the Council’s November meeting.  Alderman Mahrer presented an estimate from the Bargen Company to complete the sealing of cracks in the City’s paved streets of $20,434.75, and the Council directed that he have the Bargen Company complete the task as soon as possible.  The company had previously sealed cracks on Main Street and on the 100 block of Gay Street.  No comments or questions from the public on the City’s proposed 2015 Budget were received, and the Council approved a property tax levy for 2015 of $48,227.00, a 9.65% increase over 2014.  Discussion of the methods available for the collection of the cost of abating the public nuisance of a derelict mobile home removed from the lots at 114 Bagley Street last June ended with the Council deciding to assess the cost of the abatement against the real property benefited by the removal.  The Auditor reported that 14 water, sewer and garbage collection accounts were delinquent, with 7 of them being in excess of $200.00.  Bert Siemieniewski, holding that portfolio, was authorized to have the water service to delinquent accounts shut off and not turned back on until the account had been brought current and all fees paid.  Auditor Banish also discussed the possibility of establishing a direct payment system for city utility bills, in which the monthly payment would be made directly to the City by the resident’s bank, with no requirement to write, mail or deliver a check.  The Council authorized the Auditor to survey the City’s utilities customers, to find out how many might be interested in such a program.  After authorizing the payment of the City’s bills of approximately $15,600.00, the Council adjourned.  The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 3, in the Rutland City Hall. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – October 10, 2014

Uff-Da Day, Sunday, October 5, 2014, dawned cool and breezy out here on the prairie. as the Rutland community got moving for the 30th annual celebration of the event, roasters full of Rutland’s signature scalloped potatoes, made with real potatoes, real cream and real ham, were already in the ovens at the Town Hall kitchen, filling the air with the aroma of more good things to come.  Entrants in the 5th annual Uff-Da Day 5k Run/Walk took off into a stiff south-southwest breeze at 9:00 a.m.  The jackrabbits and the tortoises had sorted themselves out by the time they reached the turn around point a mile south of town.  All participants made it across the finish line, though, with times ranging from 25 minutes 55 seconds for the fastest male, Brevan Watson of Rogers MN, and 28 minutes 32 seconds for the fastest female, Yudira Garcia of Veblen SD, to 54 minutes 38 seconds for Stephanie Watson and Karin Heinecke of Rogers MN and Bill Anderson of Rutland, who walked the route.  No hypothermia or heat exhaustion were reported.  The cool morning weather encouraged visitors to head inside, where they enjoyed coffee, conversation and a lot of good things to eat, along with visits to craft booths and demonstrations of pioneer skills throughout the “downtown” area.  Once again, Dave & Pat Bladow had organized an outstanding display of antique and classic motor vehicles that included Mike Seavert’s classic Packard sedan and Harlan Klefstad’s unique Lincoln pickup.  .  By parade time at 1:00 p.m., the wind had gone down a little, the temperature had climbed into the mid-50’s and the crowd on Main Street was cheerful and enthusiastic.  The parade was a little shorter than last year, consisting of about 50 units, and the political candidates were scarce for an election year, with State Sen. George Sinner, the Democratic-NPL endorsed candidate for the U. S. House of Representatives, being the only Statewide candidate of either major political party walking the route, along with 2 candidates for the Sargent County Commission, Sherry Hosford and Steve Wyum, according to parade committee co-chair Lyle Erickson.  Lyle, assisted by Becky Morris, Ann Erickson and Richard Lysne, had the parade lined up on Dakota Street, with the American Legion Color Guard stepping off at precisely 1:00 p.m.  There were a number of interesting entries in the parade, announced on Main Street by Lowell T. Wyum, but the hit of this year’s parade was undoubtedly the Aberdeen Fire Department Bagpipe Band from Aberdeen, South Dakota.  With bagpipes wailing and drums beating, the band members wowed the crowd.  This was the Aberdeen band’s 2nd appearance in the Uff-Da Day Parade, they had also been here in 2012, and their bagpipe music actually sounds like music.  Following the parade, the pipers also performed at several locations on Main Street, in front of the Rutland Town Hall and at the Fire Hall.  The band is composed of members of the Aberdeen Fire Department.  Also making a hit in this year’s parade was Sarge, the Service Dog, and his handler, Dick Johnson of Cogswell.  After the parade, the first Annual Uff-Da Day Pedal Tractor Pull, organized and produced by Cayuga native Brian Ciesynski, had both youngsters and adults competing on Main Street.  Winners of each category of competition were: 4 year olds: 9 kids participating- Carson Smykowski, Sailor Cary, Owen Laddusaw; 5 year olds:  3 kids participating – Cruise Millette, Brayden Siemieniewski, Rayden Rahigan; 6 year olds: 9 kids participating – Gunner Illig, Kijara Rahgan, Jackson Jochim; 7 year olds: 4 kids participating – Jaylen Beiungafen, Kenadi David, Logan Boff; 8 year olds: 11 kids participating – Hunter Beil, Athan Zirnhelt, Jana Kaezyski; 9 year olds: 4 kids participating – Rily Christensen, Fletcher Willprecht, Gage Kanigan; 10 year olds: 7 kids participating – Gaven Christianson, Meadow Driver, Caden Koziol; 11 year olds: 6 kids participating – Grace Baumgarten, Karlh Zirnhelt, Bailey Gross; Adult Women: 4 participating – Shannan Kaczynski; and, Adult Men: 6 participating – Ryan Kaczynski.  The Uff-Da Day visitors enjoyed the remainder of a wonderful day with good music, good fellowship, good food, and good fun with the good folks of Rutland, the little city that can.  Congratulations to Uff-Da Day chairperson Lori McLaen and the Rutland Community Club on another successful community event.  Uff-Da Day 2015 is scheduled for the first Sunday in October, next year. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – October 3, 2014

Here it is, the 30th Annual Uff-Da Day in Rutland, coming up this Sunday, October 5.  There has been some concern expressed about the weather, but, the old saying is, “The Sun always shines in Rutland, even when it’s raining!” and this year will be no exception.   Rain or shine; warm, cold or comfortable; the show must go on!  Uff-Da Day will begin with the 5th Annual Uff-Da Day 5k Run/Walk, commencing at the intersection of First and Cooper Streets (County #10 and #3) at 9:00 a.m. followed by the opening of the craft booths by 10:00 a.m.  Demonstrations, food stands and dinner at the Rutland Town Hall are all scheduled to start at 11:00 a.m.  At 1:00 p.m. the Uff-Da Day Parade will be stepping off at its assembly area on Dakota Street with the music of the Aberdeen Pipe & Drum Bagpipe Band filling the air, and the Kids Pedal Tractor Pull is scheduled to take place on Main Street right after the parade, at about 2:00 p.m.  There will also be one of the best antique and classic car shows in the region, horse drawn wagon and buggy rides throughout the day, as well as inflatable games for the kids.  Demonstrations of pioneer crafts will be going on throughout the day, including a demonstration of how to bake bread in a wood-fired cookstove by Maudie, the cook, in the Pioneer House on Main Street.  Lefse Lena and the Rommegrot Queen will be on hand at the Senior’s Center to show folks how to create those Scandinavian staples the old-fashioned way, the way Grandma made them.  Over in the Rutland Fire Hall, the Park Board will be serving up Uff-Da Tacos, something that Grandma and Grandpa never heard of, but which they would wish that they had.  Visitors can pick up a free copy of the 2014 issue of The Rutland Leader that contains more information about Uff-Da Day activities and events, as well as local history.  Uff-Da Day chairperson Lori McLaen invites everyone who enjoys good food, good friends and a good time to come on over to Rutland on Sunday, October 5, for Uff-Da Day XXX.  Uff-Da Day XXXI is scheduled for the first Sunday in October, 2015.

Paul Anderson took in the annual “Grape Stomp” at Red Trail Vineyard and Winery in Buffalo ND on Saturday, September 27.   Paul is a past president of the North Dakota Grape & Wine Association, and is currently serving as secretary of that organization.  The Association has been working to develop winter-hardy grape varieties, and to establish grape and wine production as a viable part of North Dakota’s agricultural economy.  Prairiewood Winery of Elliot ND will be hosting a wine-tasting event featuring several varieties of wines produced from grapes grown at that enterprise’s Ransom County vineyard on the porch at The Old Parsonage on Uff-Da Day, Sunday, October 5.

Two of Rutland’s stalwarts, Dick Anderson and Andy Hoflen, have been patients in different hospitals together this week.  Dick went to St. Francis Hospital in Breckenridge on Thursday, September 25, complaining of shortness of breath and a rapid heartbeat.  The diagnosis was pneumonia, and Dick was transferred to Essentia Hospital in Fargo on Saturday. He reported on Monday that he was much improved, but that he would remain in the Hospital for a while, until the last vestiges of the pneumonia were knocked out.  Andy was taken to the Oakes Hospital on Thursday morning, September 25, with severe abdominal pain.  His condition was diagnosed at Oakes, and he was immediately transferred to Sanford Hospital in Fargo for surgery.  Andy expects to be in the Hospital for several more days, although his doctors have informed him that his recovery is already well ahead of schedule.  Dick’s and Andy’s many friends here wish them both a speedy recovery, and a quick return home. Read More »

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