News & Events

The Rooster Crows – March 10, 2017

All roads led to Rutland on the evening of Friday, March 3, as, according to the ticket count at the door, 480 diners attended the Rutland Sportsmen’s Club’s annual northern pike fish fry at the Rutland Town Hall.  Continuing their traditional rivalry, the pan fryers and the deep fryers vied for the approval of diners, even indulging in some post-event spinning that would do a modern political campaign proud.  But, when the smoke had cleared and the last filet consumed, the result was once again a virtual tie, with a slight edge to the pan fried, or possibly a slight edge to the deep fried, depending on who was spinning the story last.  The 2 camps are already preparing for next year’s contest.  Club Secretary Travis Paeper gave the following report: “We raised a net of $1,500 on the 3 cash raffles, and that money is earmarked for the trap league. The winners of the three $500 cash drawings were Josie Nelson of Forman, Dean Mairs of Lisbon and Nick Mclean of Rutland. The Trap League students raised an additional $525 with their bake sale so, all in all, the Trap League raised $2,025 for their program. I did not hear a final tally on the total people served but I estimate that the 480 is pretty accurate.”  The net proceeds of the fish fry ticket sales will be used to maintain and improve the Club’s grounds, equipment and clubhouse at The John Narum Memorial Trap & Rifle Range, 3 miles west and 1½ mile south of Rutland, just north of Silver Lake, and to support the Club’s other activities in the community, including: the Annual Youth Day each August; and, High School League Trap Shooting at the John Narum Memorial Trap & Rifle Range in the Spring, among others.  Congratulations to the Rutland Sportsmen’s Club for another successful event.  The Sportsmen’s Club’s Fish Fry is held on the first Friday in March each year, so mark Friday, March 2, 2018, on your calendar, and be ready to “sit down and eat!”

Nancy Glarum of this community retires from her position as a Vice-President at the Sargent County Bank last Friday, March 3, to accept a new position with Consolidated Abstracting Co. of Detroit Lakes MN.  She had been employed by the Bank for the past 19 years, and before that she had worked as a clerk for the U.S. Postal Service in Rutland, Forman, Cogswell, Gwinner & Wahpeton; as a legal secretary and legal assistant for Anderson Law Office in Rutland; and, as Assistant Weed Control Officer for Sargent County.  Nancy and her husband, Doug Glarum, have resided on the Glarum family farm about 7 miles southeast of Rutland since their marriage 35 years ago.  With Nancy’s new job, they intend to divide their time between the farm and their lake home at Pickerel Lake MN, states Nancy.  The Glarums have been active members of the Rutland community, of Nordland Lutheran Church and of several other community organizations, and their many friends here wish them well in their new endeavor.

In the “hometown boy does good” category, the following story was recently posted on the Coteau des Prairies Lodge internet web site.  “Joe Breker, known by our guests as a regular at morning coffee and the guy who shows folks around the farm in his pickup, received a national honor at the annual Commodity Classic convention in San Antonio TX last weekend (Saturday, March 4, 2017). For his 38 years of commitment to conservation agriculture and forward thinking innovation, Joe was presented the Good Steward Recognition Award from the National Corn Growers Association.  A pioneer in no-till farming, Joe wasn’t always lauded for his ‘soil conserving’ ideas. There was a time when he was on the kooky fringe of agriculture. Today, conservation farming methods of various types make up a large and continuously increasing percentage of American acreage.  It has become a big tent. Interest in soil health is accelerating as more and more producers are seeing the value in investing in the health of their soil, preserving their land for future generations, meanwhile seeing meaningful benefits today. And yes, even to their bottom line.  Joe’s conservation farming practices include no-till, strip till, cover crops, tiling, manure composting, and rotational cattle grazing including cover crops.  Next time you see Joe at the lodge, ask him to explain that all to you. He’ll happily oblige.  Joe is a founding member of several conservation groups in North Dakota, including the Conservation Cropping System Project located south of Forman, ND that does long term no-till rotation studies and explores new ways to use cover crops.  He is also involved with local organizations like the NDSU Extension Service to help spread the knowledge of conservation to other farmers and future farmers.  Oh, and he had this crazy idea to build a lodge on his farm where strangers from around the country and the world could come and see a modern family farm in operation.  The National Corn Growers Association said, “Joe Breker is an amazing conservationist who has dedicated his life to protecting the soil and water resources on his farm. In the process he has become an example and mentor to many others.” NCGA President Wesley Spurlock said, “Joe’s investment of time, money and energy over his farming career is staggering, and not just to farm smarter but to share what he has learned with others in such an unselfish way.  It’s my privilege to recognize his many contributions.” In reply, Joe stated, “To have an opportunity for the general public to have a reason to come to our farm – whether it be a family reunion, a wedding, a business retreat, whatever it is – and once they’re in the middle of agriculture in this country, to have that conversation about conservation, about food, about husbandry, about stewardship, all those kinds of things that have been so important to us farming all these years, we get that chance to engage the public about it.”  Joe and his efforts have been supported over the years by a large cast of family, friends and colleagues, to whom he is grateful. Most notably, his wife Patty, who would understandably rather have a lake cabin than a lodge business in a cattle pasture, but is along for the adventure nonetheless. ” As the Breker family’s many friends here know, Patty is not only “along for the adventure,” she has been a full partner in it, at times advancing the throttle and at times applying the brakes, and always looking ahead to the next challenge, and to the next opportunity.  The Rutland community extends its congratulations to Joe & patty Breker for their achievements in conservation agriculture, and on the occasion of this recent recognition of their efforts.  For additional information about the Breker farm and the Coteau des Prairies Lodge, photos and a brief video, check out the Lodge’s internet web site at

Paul Anderson of this community & Carol Fridgen of Nevis MN returned from a 2-week vacation trip to the Gulf Coast of southern Alabama and western Florida on Sunday, March 5.  They had departed Rutland back on February 22, and had made it to the “sunny south” just ahead of the major storm that ripped across much of the southeast a few days later.  They report that the weather on the Gulf Coast was sunny and warm every day.  While in Alabama, they visited friends from the Nevis MN area, where all have lake homes.  Carol departed Rutland for Nevis, where the lake is still frozen and the snow is still a couple of feet deep, on Monday, March 6.  From Winter Wonderland to Gulf Coast Paradise and back again in only 2 weeks.

Sargent County Commissioners Bill Anderson of Rutland and Jason Arth of rural Milnor, as well as Sargent County Treasurer/Recorder/Clerk of Court/Risk Manager Alison Toepke of Forman were in Bismarck from Sunday, March 5, through Tuesday, March 7, attending the North Dakota Association of Counties County Officials Academy.  All 3 Sargent County officials had been on the ballot in 2016.  Ms. Toepke had been appointed to her office after Gina Hillestad had resigned in 2015, and was elected last Fall to fill out the remaining 2 years of that term.  She will be eligible to be a candidate for a full 4-year term in 2018.  Mr. Arth was elected to the Commission for his first term in November of 2016, and Mr. Anderson was re-elected to a 4th 4-year term on the County Commission Last November as well.  The 3 County officers attended classes on the purposes, roles and functions of the various County offices; on continuing education requirements for County officials; and, on legislation impacting counties that is currently pending in the 2017 session of the North Dakota Legislature.  On Monday afternoon, they met with the Floor Leaders in the 2017 Legislature: State Sen. Joan Heckaman, Democratic-NPL Senate Leader; State Sen. Rich Wardner, GOP Senate Leader; State Rep. Corey Mauch, Dem-NPL House Leader; and, State Rep. Al Carlson, GOP House Leader.  The 4 leaders reviewed efforts to deal with the current budget revenue shortfall, and, according to the 2 GOP leaders who control super-majorities in both houses of the Legislature, there will be no effort to increase revenues, as they intend to balance the State’s budget with spending cuts, alone.  The funding for County and Township roads that had been approved by the 2013 and 2015 Legislatures will not even be considered in 2017, according to Rep. Carlson.  The Legislature will also not consider restoring any of the 2015 Legislature’s massive 23% cut in the State’s Oil Extraction Tax that provided a windfall to oil companies and helped precipitate the current budget shortfall.  Senator Wardner did suggest that there be a “Summit” meeting of Legislative leaders and local governments, including counties; townships; and, cities; to discuss and establish priorities.  According to Rep. Carlson, the goal of House Republicans is to reduce the State Budget to its 2011 level, bringing it down from the 6.2 billion budget of 2015 to a $4.2 billion budget in 2017.  On the brighter side, they did report that it appears likely that the legislature will approve the bill, proposed by former Gov. Dalrymple and supported by Gov. Burgum, that will have the State Department of Human Services take over all program and administrative expenses for the Social Services programs administered by the State’s 53 counties.  Social Service employees will remain county employees under the current plan, but all costs, including salaries, will be assumed by the State, relieving county property taxpayers of that burden.  The 12% property tax buy-down that was in the 2013 and 2015 budgets will be eliminated this time around, however.  All 3 of Sargent County’s officials returned home on the evening of Tuesday, March 7, assisted by a 40-mph tailwind out of the northwest, and equipped with some new ideaas on how to perform the duties of their offices.

The Rutland Town Hall is scheduled to be the location for the 26th District Democratic-NPL Party’s reorganization meeting on Saturday, March 11, according to District Vice Chairman Cameron Gulleson of Rutland.  Activities are slated to commence at Noon with a barbecue sandwich lunch to be followed by the business meeting at 1:00 p.m.  District Dems will select officers and an Executive Committee to govern the Party’s activities for the next 2 years, through the 2018 General Election.  The 26th District consists of all of Sargent and portions of Richland, Ransom and Dickey Counties.  It stretches from just south of Kindred, to the east side of Ellendale, a distance of more than 90 miles, and it includes within its boundaries North Dakota’s largest manufacturing plant, the Bobcat factory at Gwinner.  According to District Chairman Paul Anderson, all District 26 residents who are interested in enlightened, progressive government are invited to participate in the District’s reorganization meeting on Saturday, March 11, at the Rutland Town Hall.

The Rutland-Cayuga Rural Fire Protection District’s Annual meeting will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 16, in the meeting room of the Rutland Fire Hall, according to District Clerk Ann Erickson of Rutland.  The Fire Protection District includes the cities of Rutland and Cayuga; all of Ransom Township and Tewaukon Township; and, portions of Herman; Kingston; Marboe; Shuman; Weber; and, Rutland Townships.  Those who attend the annual meeting will receive the District’s annual financial report; will have the opportunity to elect Board members from several of the entities that comprise the District; will discuss and approve a budget for the coming year; and, will have the opportunity to vote on continuing a mill levy on property within the District for the purpose of acquiring new and replacement fire fighting equipment for the District’s volunteer firemen.

The Rutland Community Club’s Annual Supper & Play will be on the evening of Saturday, March 18, in the Rutland Town Hall, according to Marcia Brakke, a member of the Community Club’s Board of Directors.  The supper will be served at 6:30 p.m., states Marcia, and the curtain is set to open on this year’s play, “Wash Your Troubles Away…or…Dirty Deeds Come Clean,” at 7:30.  Cast members include: Kyla Temple; Kathy Wyum; Jacob Mehrer; Tom Manley; Debbie Banish; Carolyn Christensen; Jeanne Leinen; Pam Maloney; Thomas Mehrer; Brody Mahrer; Julia Mahrer; Davonte Allen; Whitney Mahrer; and, Lucy Mahrer.  The play is produced by the Rutland Community Club and directed by Diane Smith.  The price of admission for the supper and play is $15.00.  Advance tickets are available at The Lariat Bar and at Jake’s Feed & Seed in Rutland. The play only is $5.00 at the door.

The closest form of government to pure democracy that exists, the annual township meeting, will be coming to the prairies of North Dakota on Tuesday, March 21.  The 3rd Tuesday in March has been the date set for the eligible voters in every organized township in North Dakota to come together to establish budgets, elect Supervisors, levy taxes and conduct any other business that the electors wish to conduct.  The times and locations for the meeting of Sargent County’s 24 organized townships are published in The Sargent County Teller, the official newspaper of Sargent County.  Anyone who doesn’t show up to participate in the annual meeting, forfeits the privilege of complaining about what does, and doesn’t, get done.

The Volunteer Firemen of the Rutland-Cayuga Volunteer Fire Department are sponsoring a benefit for one of their own, Jesse Maly, on Saturday, April 8, in the Cayuga Town Hall, according to Cayuga Fire Chief Kurt Breker.  Jesse recently underwent open heart surgery to replace a defective heart valve, and the benefit is to assist the Maly family with the unreimbursed costs of the procedure and with the extra expenses incurred.  According to Kurt, the firemen will be serving a dinner, conducting a silent auction and holding several raffles for cash and other prizes during the benefit.  Set Saturday, April 8, aside on your calendar for the Jesse Maly Benefit at the Cayuga Hall.

There’s not going to be any comment on the national news this week.  Nothing written here could come close to being as ironic, satirical, silly, nonsensical, farcical or insane as what is going on in Washington DC right now.  Current events are certainly a good advertisement for a National Day Care program, beginning with the occupants of the Capitol and the White House.

Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week.  For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, check out the community’s internet web site at, and stop by the Rutland blog and Facebook page while you’re cruising around in cyberspace, too.  Don’t forget to patronize your local Post Office, and remember to keep the pressure on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE!  Later.

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