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August 2011 Archives

Kids reaching into a basket of vegetablesSome of my earliest childhood memories stem from food grown in my family's garden. As a kid, I loved snacking from the raspberry bushes and the burst of sun-kissed tomatoes in my mouth. Minnesota farmers experience some of my fondest memories every day. Minnesota farmers know good food, but many Minnesota kids do not.

It's that time of year again, when hundreds of thousands of visitors converge on the Minnesota State Fair, running Thursday, Aug. 25, through Monday, Sept. 5. While taking in the "Great Minnesota Get Together," University of Minnesota Extension invites fairgoers to check out more than 6,000 4-H exhibits, workshops and hands-on demonstrations, and meet with Master Gardeners in the Agriculture Horticulture Building.

Field of cornThe average Minnesota farm is growing rapidly in terms of total assets and net worth, according to the 2010 FINBIN Report on Minnesota Farm Finances published by the University of Minnesota's Center for Farm Financial Management.

Frequent rainfall this spring delayed planting by at least 10 to 14 days in most of Minnesota, compared to last year; however, above-normal July temperatures caused rapid corn growth, resulting in a crop that is at a similar stage of development as last year.

Radio Transcript from Minnesota Farm Network, On the Farm radio show with Tom Rothman

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This is Bev Durgan on the Farm. State and federal funding for agricultural research and extension is declining.

The long term solution is to increase public support for the impact farming and agricultural research and extension have on our economy, our communities and our quality of life. The short term solution is to managing these declining funds to increase efficiency and reduce the impact of scarce government dollars.

Every year the University of Minnesota Alumni Association travels across the state, talking about current university issues and the university's impact on the state.

The Alumni Association's 2011-12 Statewide Speakers Tour program, "Helping Communities Make Minnesota a Better Place to Live, Work and Play," will highlight how the U of M Extension Center for Community Vitality strengthens the social, civic, economic and technological capacity of communities throughout Minnesota.

Radio Transcript from Minnesota Farm Network, On the Farm radio show with Tom Rothman

Listen to the audio:

This summer a new leader is taking of the presidency of the University of Minnesota. His name is Eric Kaler. Kaler received a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1982 and this summer he moved back to Minnesota to become the sixteenth president of our land grant university.

Editor's Note: In anticipation of the Minnesota State Fair, the Aug. 8 Ag News Wire features youth guest columnist Maria Brekke, a 4-H state ambassador from Scott County.

I arrived at the Minnesota State Fair as an 11-year-old feeling overwhelmed and apprehensive. Lugging my suitcase in one hand and clutching my pillow in the other, I stared around me at the seemingly endless crowds. By the time I dropped off my luggage at the 4-H Building, it was time to head to the barns.

Minnesota has been on high alert to watch for the emerald ash borer since it was first discovered here in 2009. But experts recently inundated with reports of emerald ash borer sightings are finding it a case of mistaken identity with the Japanese beetle, says University of Minnesota Extension entomologist Jeff Hahn.

Modern Minnesota agriculture got its start when a few courageous families moved out on the prairie. They lived in sod houses, faced fierce blizzards and struggled to survive on their newly homesteaded land.

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