Home News Friday News, September 10th

Friday News, September 10th


Bob And Lisa Puetz Awarded “Good Neighbor Farmer” Award

(Le Mars) — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig was in Le Mars Thursday to present the Gary Wergin Good Neighbor Farmer Award to Bob and Lisa Peutz.  The Peutz family was the 157th recipient of the state honor since it began.  Naig says it is important to recognize those farmers, like the Puetz’s, who are doing the right things in protecting the land and water, and caring for their livestock.

Naig says too many times, the general public may have the wrong idea of farmers, and recognizing Bob and Lisa Puetz for doing the right things, helps spread the word about the good things that are happening in Iowa agriculture.

Bob and Lisa Puetz were nominated by the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee.  The nomination cited Puetz’ many conservation practices including no-till, terraces, grass waterways with rock chutes, filter strips, In addition to his many conservation efforts, Bob Puetz uses an umbilical cord to distribute manure from his 9,000 head feeder pig nursery with low disturbance application due to the proximity to the local golf course and city limits.  He has planted tree windbreaks near his hog facilities to help deflect livestock odors and to offer habitat for wildlife.  Puetz is a Commissioner on the Plymouth County Soil and Water Conservation District. He is a board member of the Deep Creek Water Quality Project, and is a past president of the local chapter of Pheasants Forever.

Bob and Lisa Puetz were able to take home a second award, as the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee awarded the farm couple with the “Outstanding Service to Agriculture honor.




Naig Comments On Livestock Pricing Discrepancy Issue

(Le Mars) — While in Le Mars on Thursday, Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig spoke with KLEM news about the discrepancies of the prices paid to livestock producers, and the prices consumers are having to pay at the grocery store or supermarket.  —  Biden Administration officials say the nation’s four major meat packers are engaging in “pandemic profiteering” and generating record or near-record profits this year.  U-S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said it’s time to hold meat packers responsible for unfair practices.  The former Iowa governor told reporters at the White House, “farmers are losing money on cattle, on hogs and poultry that they are selling at a time when consumers are seeing higher prices at the grocery store.”

Naig spoke of what the USDA and the various state agriculture departments are doing to address the controversial issue.

Vilsack and other members of the administration’s competitiveness council meet Friday to discuss ways to address consolidation in the industry.  Legislation introduced in Congress would require more disclosure of the prices meatpackers are paying private contractors.  The National Meat Institute says consumers are paying higher prices for beef, pork, chicken and eggs because of a “persistent and widespread shortage” of workers in meatpacking plants.




Sioux City Meth Dealer Draws 20-Year Federal Prison Sentence

(Sioux City, IA)  —  A Sioux City man who sold ten pounds of methamphetamine to a police informant is going to federal prison for 20 years.  Forty-year-old Hugo Torres was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute meth.  The U-S Attorney’s Office says Torres distributed at least 15 kilograms or 33 pounds of the drug in the Sioux City and Sioux Falls area between December of 2019 and August of 2020.  He has three previous felony drug convictions in South Dakota.  The undercover meth buys  happened on August 17th and 18th of last year while he was still on supervised release.




Ames Police Increasing Security For Cy-Hawk Football Game

(Ames, IA)  —  Police in Ames are stepping up security for the big Cy-Hawk football game Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium.  Around 100-thousand Iowa State and Iowa fans are expected in the area on game day.  Officers say they will be focused on traffic, parking, fights and the warm weather.  Temperatures could reach the mid-90s Saturday and police responded to several heat exhaustions last Saturday during the Northern Iowa game.  Iowa State Police say their crowd management partner will help screen fans at the gate.




Courts Asked To Block Iowa From Enforcing Ban On Mask Mandates In Schools

(Des Moines, IA)  —  Judges in state and federal court are being asked to temporarily block the state from enforcing its ban on mask mandates in schools. Fran Parr of Council Bluffs is the mother of twin boys in the first grade.  She filed a lawsuit in state court last month, arguing schools have a duty to protect students from the coronavirus. During a Thursday hearing in Polk County District Court, Parr’s attorney, Daniel McGinn, said it is unreasonable for state lawmakers to forbid local school boards from requiring masks.  He said it serves no educational, medical or scientific goal and was just enacted for political reasons.  A federal judge in Des Moines will hear legal arguments today (Friday) from a group of parents of children with disabilities who are challenging Iowa’s ban.




Reynolds Responds To President’s New COVID-19 Mandates

(Des Moines, IA) —  Governor Kim Reynolds is responding to President Joe Biden’s new COVID-19 mandates announced Thursday. The expansive rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or tested for the virus weekly, Reynolds says in a statement that “President Biden is taking dangerous and unprecedented steps to insert the federal government even further into our lives while dismissing the ability of Iowans and Americans to make healthcare decisions for themselves.  Reynolds says she trusts in Iowans to make the best health decisions for themselves and their families. It’s time for President Biden to do the same.




Deadline For Farmers To Enroll In 2 Conservation Programs Is End Of Month

(Des Moines, IA) —  Iowa farmers who want to enroll in either of the two major U-S-D-A conservation programs have until month’s end to submit their paperwork. Kate Hansen, a policy associate with the Center for Rural Affairs in Nebraska says the deadline is October 1st for both the Conservation Stewardship Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.  Farmers who are interested in signing up for these programs should contact the Natural Resources Conservation Service in their county.




Redistricting Plan To Be Delivered To Lawmakers Next Week

(Des Moines, IA) —  The Legislative Services Agency has announced that the first proposed plan for reconfiguring legislative and congressional districts will be delivered to lawmakers at 10 a-m next Thursday.  The boundaries for congressional districts and for Iowa House and Senate districts are being redrawn to account for population shifts that are shown in the 2020 Census data. Three public hearings are scheduled after the maps are released, to give Iowans a chance to weigh in on the plans, then the bipartisan Temporary Redistricting Commission must submit its report on the maps to the legislature. After all that, a Special Legislative Session will convene — probably in early October — so the Iowa House and Senate can approve or reject the proposed maps.