Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I have received my first check for participating in a Carbon Credit Trading program. I am trading credits through AgraGate Climate Credits Corporation.

At this time carbon credits have been trading between $2.00 and $7.50 per credit. The average selling price for the distribution I just received was $4.63 per credit. end

Workforce Innovations in Regional Economic Development Grant

This new grant will benefit 36 counties in southern and western Minnesota. It is federal money (from Department of Labor) which was allocated to the Governor and then to DEED (Department of Employment and Economic Development). The grant will be administered by a 25 member advisory board made up of representatives from 36 counties. This group will meet in late July and set the group up legally. At this time the WIRED board is not organized as a legal entity. It is not a joint powers or a corporation or a non-profit.
The mission of the grant is to promote innovation, develop new technologies, to allow these counties to remain competitive in business and talent development. Money will go toward educational opportunities. Requests for proposals will be accepted and then dollars will be disbursed. Groups like the Three Rivers Resource Conservation and Development Council could apply or collaborations of private entities could apply.
One proposal is to improve the work force in the trades area.
Another is to develop a mature worker institute – to find ways to positively use these people. Another possibility is to replicate entreupreneural round tables that have been used in some counties. The money cannot be used for capital investment; it must ultimately affect the individuals for the broader good. Connie Ireland (DEED) is the local contact for the grant. end

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Converted CRP Acres

The media keeps bad mouthing ethanol and portraying conservation lands being destroyed so that farmers can plant more acres to corn. On Sunday, the Star Tribune said, "Minnesota might see 1 million acres of CRP land converted to corn."

What the story left out is that IF farmers wanted to convert any acres to another crop, ONE MILLION ACRES ARE ELIGIBLE to come out of CRP. How many actually will be converted is probably very small. Many of these acres are not suitable to plant a crop like corn or wheat. Why pour expensive fertilizer and use expensive seed and high priced deisel to plant on land that is not very productive?

The valid information about land coming out of CRP can be found by going to the FSA website, go to the state of Minnesota and then look under the CRP program. end

Sunday, July 06, 2008


In the aftermath of the Minnesota legislature and Governor Pawlenty patting themselves on the back for finishing the session on time with a balanced budget, we now find out how they did it. We should not be shocked to hear that the state has cut public defenders, thus causing thousands of property tax dollars to be collected in the counties to make up for the shortfall. And the most recent revelation of cutting positions at the Minnesota Security Hospital should not alarm us – because after all they did finish on time and had to balance the budget somehow. But remember, according to the Governor, we did not raise taxes. And according to state Senator Dick Day who is now running for Congress, the state leaders are not responsible for raising property taxes. After all property taxes are the bailiwick of local governments. end


I guess all it takes is $4.00 gasoline and an increase in the price of a gallon of milk for the major media folks to come to wake up and realize there is information from the agriculture sector that means something to everyone. The Neighbor to the Midwest, radio giant WCCO has reinstated the farm news segments that they pulled several years ago. They even got the same newsman, Roger Strom, back to be the voice that tells about agriculture’s connection to – Well – yah, just about EVERYTHING!!!!end