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, February 23, 2011

Memo to Governor Walker

The next time one of your fundraising friends call "just to chat"; you might be better served if you take his number and call him back. It is probably a good idea to "chat on your own dime." You will get into less trouble that way. end

Thank You Tubby

The news today has it that Gopher Men's Basketball coach, Tubby Smith has sent an e-mail message to the Gopher student supporters asking them to tone down the chanting and refrain from vulgarity. Tubby, you are the MVP in my book. Keep up the good work and I hope others in positions like yours will also speak out against vulgarity in our society. end

Friday, February 11, 2011

St. Paul Antics

So much for cooperation, working together and elimination of posturing. A few days after Governor Dayton calls for toning down the posturing etc., the new leaders of the Minnesota House and Senate (Republicans) send the Governor a bill which he told them he would veto. And that is exactly what he did.

Okay, each side needs to save face. The Republicans want to show those folks who elected them that they can cut spending. The Governor wants to show the folks that elected him that he will support needed programs. Did this passage and vetoing dance have to happen? I don't think so. If they really want to work together, could not the leaders of the House and Senate had a conversation with the new Governor about cuts he could accept and could not accept? They could have crafted a bill to make them look good and then the Governor could have line item vetoed parts that he did not like which would have made him look good.

And the state of the state message had its own posturing. The Governor's reference to the hearing in the House that dealt with a possible government shut down scenario. I was appalled that Senator Amy Koch vehemently denied the shut down issue. She said, "we never discussed shutting down". Well, maybe she, personally did not, but her party is in control of House committees. Issues that get hearings do not get them without the blessing of the leadership - which in this case was Republicans.

I hope they can erase these spats, quit acting like Junior High Schoolers, and get to work! end

Monday, February 07, 2011

A Good Kind of Pork

Nicollet County ranks fourth in the state in the number of hogs marketed. We are behind Martin County (1), Blue Earth County (2), and Nobles County (3). Our hog farmers sold 667,000 market hogs in 2010.

The gross income generated in 2010 from the sale of Nicollet County hogs was $101.3 million dollars. This is the income received by farmers and - you know how farmers are - they spend money when they have it. It went for feed expense, hired labor, new equipment, seed, fertilizer, new pick ups and other farm equipment. Farmers also are quick to upgrade their farm buildings and to improve their land by adding adequate drainage. Any farm income goes right back into the community where it keeps turning and turning.

Nicollet County farmers also pay millions of dollars in property taxes which help keep our schools in the top notch category and help with county services such as safety, snow plowing, and ten ton farm to market roads.

Every dollar in gross farm income generates another $2.80 in economic activity.

Nicollet County hogs consumed 7 million bushels of corn in 2010 and were fed another 2.53 million bushels of soybeans.

A huge benefit of hogs and other livestock raised in our county is the nutrients derived from manure. Locally produced nutrients become win/win situations for everyone. They decrease hauling and resulting negatives generated and natural produced nutrients from manure mean less use of fossil fuels from the production and transportation of commercial fertilizers.

(Taken from information distributed by Nicollet County Pork Producers.)

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

What Is Osama Thinking?

Hearing the reports of how the people of Egypt got to the "tipping point" regarding their putting up with an oppressive government- the people on the streets are crediting the ability brought to them by Facebook and other social media. Another motivational part of it is that they could sit in their homes and watch the people of Tunisia do the same thing. This gave them an impetus.

This demand for freedom and democracy flys in the face of Bin Laden and his henchmen who want to keep the people of the MidEast submissive and powerless. Since Osama Bin Laden hates everything western: our knowledge, our entrepreneurship, and our abilities, I can only imagine he is sitting in his cave and seething about how our western way of life and technologies have once again done him wrong in his attempts to keep the MidEast in the Dark ages.

It is also interesting to contemplate the billions of dollars the west has spent in aid, etc. to help these countries move forward toward democracy when much more was accomplished by the dreams of schemes of a college kid named Zuckerborg who lived in a country that encourages innovation and creativity. Individual abilities again out plays governmental attempts. end