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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A federal judge in Iowa has refused to allow a biofuels promoter out of jail before his trial on fraud charges, saying he is a risk to obstruct justice. In 2016, Darrell Duane Smith was sentenced to 13 months in jail for failing to a pay employment taxes for biofuels businesses he led. Initially, he was scheduled to leave jail April 28, but federal authorities retained him to face new, more extensive fraud charges.
WOODSTOCK, Minn. — Excuse him, but Clint Magnus can only take a minute or two from his fertilizer spreading duties. The cold, damp conditions this spring have everyone hopping to get everything done. For the past three years, Magnus has operated a TerraGator fertilizer applicator for Schmitz Grain out of Slayton, Lake Wilson and Curry, Minn. During the rest of the year, he's hauling grain for the elevator. On the side, he farms with his parents, Doug and Brenda, near Slayton.
DELL RAPIDS, S.D. — Federal rules that expanded the list of medications that need veterinarian oversight to be given to animals have been in place for five months, and animal producers, veterinarians and feed mills continue to move forward on the process. The Veterinary Feed Directive was put in place as a way to strengthen the oversight of certain antibiotics that are used in both humans and animals and to prolong the life of those products. Beginning Jan. 1, the list of antibiotics that need oversight expanded and now includes many common medicated feeds.
VOLGA, S.D. — Sheep shearing is a chore, but the weather on April 1 was so balmy that the whole thing was pleasant for the sheep and the people on a Brookings County farm. Shearing is a part-time job for Ronny Parmely, assistant manager for the South Dakota State University Seed Testing Laboratory in Brookings. He shears evenings and Saturdays and lambs out about 125 head of sheep that are a combination of purebred Southdown and weather-type market lambs (the equivalent of a steer in beef animals).
Last September, in the aisles at the Big Iron farm show in West Fargo, N.D., I heard rumors of financial troubles for Ron McMartin, Jr., a famously large farmer at St. Thomas, N.D. I'd previously interviewed McMartin, founder of McM Inc. — one of the most significant farming entities in the region. In the 1990s, he and a brother gained a reputation when they peaked at 11,000 acres of sugar beets — before the era of Roundup Ready beets.
FARGO - North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum announced a $240 million soybean processing plant to be built at Spiritwood, N.D., by Minnesota Soybean Processors of Brewster, Minn., at the Northern Soybean Expo Tuesday, Feb. 7, in Fargo. Officials said the plant will bring over $1 billion in investment to the region, and will process up to 23 percent of the state's soybeans.
BISMARCK — Commodity organizations in North Dakota are mulling the implications of a bill in the North Dakota House of Representatives that would allow the governor to remove board members on the recommendation of the agriculture commissioner. HB 1282 has been introduced by Reps. Mike Brandenburg, R-Edgeley; Kevin Kempenich, R-Bowman; and Chet Pollert, R-Carrington.
STEELE, S.D. — It's a different kind of field, but this rancher keeps himself grounded during difficult times by nurturing another kind of crop: kids. Dave Wolding, 40, a rancher-farmer from New Salem, N.D., is also the coach of the New Salem High School "Holsteins" football and wrestling teams. For the football gig, he's assisted by Tim Mormon, an account manager for Pioneer Hi-Bred seeds in southwest North Dakota. New Salem brought a team of fifth and sixth graders to Steele, N.D., including his son, Ty Wolding, in late September.
Republican bests three for nomination HAZELTON, N.D. — North Dakota's anti-corporate farming policy is still at center stage in the state, with policies dating to the 1930s, during the Non-Partisan League days.
MINOT, N.D. — The recent North Dakota Stockmen's Association annual meeting displayed a level of alarm over the Dakota Access Pipeline protest that I haven't seen before. The NDSA is a grassroots community that comes up with its legislative and administrative agendas through thought and democratic vote. Wade Moser, a Bismarck, N.D., rancher and former NDSA executive vice president, offered this resolution that passed on Sept. 24. He says it has impacts beyond the incident itself: