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Low crop prices shift meeting  menu from steak to meatballs

Low crop prices shift meeting menu from steak to meatballs
The state of the farming business was reflected at the dinner table April 16, as about 50 members of the Farmers Elevator Company-Pelican Rapids prepared to chow down at the annual meeting.
Last year: Steak.
This year: Meatballs.
Actually, it’s not quite that simple. But the fact is, elevator revenues and profits were down from 2012–which was an all time record.  And, farm incomes are generally lower than after those rich harvests of 2011-12.  read entire story. . . .

Pelican elevator boss Walker  retires after 31 years at helm

Taking the podium for his final annual meeting, general manager Bruce Walker received a round of applause from Farmers Elevator Company-Pelican Rapids membership April 16.
When he started in Pelican 31 years ago, the farm sector was struggling through its toughest years since the Great Depression. That was 1983, and the farmer-owned cooperative has been a steady, upward trajectory ever since–with a few smaller downturns along the way.
Walker isn’t the type of guy to take the credit.  The farm economy in general stabilized in the later 1980’s.  But he was no doubt a factor in the  general health of the local elevator over the past three decades.
Board President David Johnson said Walker “did an excellent job,” adding that he will be difficult to replace.
Walker’s career dates to the Carlisle area, where he worked at the Rothsay Farmers Cooperative-owned facility there from 1974 to 1981.  He worked in Rothsay from 1981-83 before joining the Pelican operation. He has lived in the Erhard area since 1977.  read entire story. . . .

Minnesota turkey growers group names Pelican’s Gorton as leader

John Gorton, Gorton Turkeys, Pelican Rapids, has been elected President of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) for 2014-15.
 “2014 is our 75th anniversary of MTGA as an organization. In order to create our future, we will need to continue to identify opportunities and meet challenges head on,” said Gorton after officially being handed the presidential gavel at the MTRPC-MTGA Annual Meeting on March 19 in Saint Paul, Minn. “The most effective way to do that is to continue our model of industry cooperation and partnerships with other agriculture organizations, the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.”
Gorton has spent his entire life in the turkey industry, including 19 active years as an adult – the early years with Jennie-O Turkey and later with this father.  Gorton Turkeys raises over 500,000 turkeys (a combination of both hens and toms) annually.  read entire story. . . .

Kids win bikes, baskets at Pelican Chamber’s Easter egg hunt

These youngsters will be riding in style this spring, with the bikes they won at the Pelican Rapids Chamber of Commerce Easter Egg Hunt.
The grand prize winners in the drawings, which followed the April 19 egg hunt, were Justin Jacobson, 7, a second grader at Viking elementary school; and Julianna Borgen won the girls bike.  She is a pre-kindergartner.  
In addition to the brand new bikes from Strand Hardware, 24 Easter baskets were also drawn.  The baskets were assembled by the Pelican Drug crew, with goodies from both Larry’s Super Market and Pelican Drug.

Death Cafe:  Cozying up to thoughts of death and dying–over a cup of coffee

Breakfast sessions encourage open discussion of tough topic at Welcome Place
Grim as it sounds, Pelican Rapids is opening  “Death Cafe.”
Actually, the concept  is springing up across the country.
Between sips of coffee and nibbles of rolls, people will share experiences, confess fears and ponder all the “whys” related to death and dying.
This isn’t therapy. This isn’t a support group. The purpose is to become comfortable talking about death. Unfortunately, society has traditionally lead people to believe that death simply isn’t a proper conversation. Thoughts on the matter are often kept secret, locked away in a place many have come to view as dark, cold and lonely– a place where there are no answers, only questions, uncertainty and oftentimes fear.  read entire story. . . .

Head-on crash seriously hurts Pelican woman

A Pelican Rapids woman was seriously injured in a head-on collision near on State Highway 59 on Saturday night.
Jacquelyn Burrows, 63, was driving a PT Cruiser southbound on Hwy. 59 near 450th Street north of Pelican Rapids at about 8:25 p.m. when she crossed the center line and hit a vehicle in the northbound lane, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.
Burrows was transported by ambulance to Lake Region Hospital in Fergus Falls.
The driver of the other vehicle, Kelsey Laugen, 18, of Elk River, was taken to a hospital in Detroit Lakes for non-life threatening injuries. Both drivers wore seat belts and their airbags deployed.
The Becker County Sheriff’s Office, Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office and Pelican Rapids Police Department also responded.
 read entire story. . . .

AG INFRASTRUCTURE OVERLOAD

Overflowing grain bins, freight bottlenecks, railcar shortage shrink farm profits
If drought, heat, cold, high water, low water, low prices, high costs or locusts don’t  hurt you–railcar shortages and shipping bottlenecks will.
That was the thrust of the message from Dan Noreen, Barnesville-based Agassiz Valley Grain manager–who spoke at the April 16 Farmers Elevator-Pelican Rapids  annual meeting, held at the VFW Post.
“The railcar shortage is a real problem,” said Noreen, describing the grainhandling dilemma– from storing to shipping –as “overbooked infrastructure.”  read entire story. . . .

Farm income by the  numbers for  2013 in Minnesota

•The average farm realized income of $41,899 in 2013.  This compares to nearly $190,000 in 2012, when crop yields and prices were near-record.
•On average, farmers lost $24 per acre on corn.  This compares to the 2012 harvest, when the average farm netted $377 per acre on corn.
•Soybean profits were also down, from a net averaging $216 in 2012; compared to $85 after the 2013 harvest.  read entire story. . . .