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January 2012 Archives

The agricultural economy in Minnesota is strong, and some of that strength is coming from the growth of small farms. Increased interest in local foods and products is driving that growth.

A majority of the state's residents spend their leisure time in Minnesota, and 78 percent said they plan to spend as much or more money on leisure travel in 2012 compared to 2011, a new survey by the University of Minnesota Tourism Center reveals.

How many people does it take to run your small town? How many people are available to fill that need?

Starting with these simple questions, University of Minnesota Extension conducted a study in 2010 that revealed two significant trends in rural Minnesota leadership: 1.) The number of community organizations, and thus the number of leadership positions, is increasing, and 2.) The number of people who are able and prepared to serve as leaders is declining.

High tunnelThe 2012 Minnesota Statewide High Tunnel Conference will be held Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 8 and 9, at The Lodge at Brainerd Lakes in Baxter, Minn.

A Beginning High Tunnel Grower workshop with a "Basics of High Tunnel Production" session will be held the morning of the first day, Feb. 8, from 8:30 a.m. to noon for beginning growers and those who need a review. The main conference will start at 12:45 pm.

Stall bedding materials for cows have become increasingly expensive and difficult to find. This situation has prompted many dairy producers to search for more feasible alternatives, such as sand and recycled manure solids.

Although sand can be considered the ideal bedding source for dairy cows, not all producers are willing and able to convert to sand bedding because it presents some manure-management challenges. So, what about recycled manure solids? Is anyone making it work in the Midwest?

The Upper Midwest Regional Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference and Trade Show will be held Jan. 19-20, 2012, at the River's Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud, Minn. This conference is an educational highlight of the year for commercial fruit and vegetable producers in the Upper Midwest.

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