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2020 Women in Business Awards Jennifer Lohse, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

By Lynne MK Morioka – Contributing Writer

During her first week as general counsel at the newly formed Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in 2014, Jennifer Lohse was tasked with navigating the historic merger of the Hazelden Foundation in Minnesota and the California-based Betty Ford Center addiction treatment centers.

Today, Lohse not only provides expert legal counsel for the large national organization, but is also a member of its executive leadership team and a mentor in its Leadership Development Academy. She has launched and developed comprehensive risk management and compliance programs, and implemented formal complaint and grievance programs in an effort to improve conflict resolution.

She is a member of the Health Care Compliance Association and is a sought-after speaker on the topic of privacy laws and regulations associated with substance use disorder and mental health treatment records.

Lohse also serves on the lower school parent advisory committee of the Nova Classical Academy and is a member of the behavioral health task force for the American Health Lawyers Association. She volunteers with the University of St. Thomas School of Law as an alumni mentor and has served as an adviser for the Minnesota Provider Coalition.


State Wetland Regulation

The State of Minnesota protects all wetlands whether a landowner is in the farm program or not. All tiling, filling and draining activities need to be reviewed and approved by the Local Governing Unit (LGU), which in Murray County is the Murray Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).  Both the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and the LGU need to review all tiling and wetland activities.  The wetland rules apply to all wetlands.  Wetlands within towns and cities are regulated in the same fashion as wetlands outside city limits. The SWCD office is not open to the public due to the pandemic but we are available by phone 507-836-6990 ext. 3.


USDA Announces Oct. 30 Deadline to Submit Wildfire, Hurricane Disaster Assistance Applications Final Opportunity for 2018 and 2019 Disaster Recovery Assistance

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, as the deadline to submit applications for the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program – Plus (WHIP+) for 2018 and 2019 losses. USDA did not originally specify a deadline when the program was announced.

“The physical and financial loss experienced by farmers and ranchers impacted by natural disaster events in 2018 and 2019 was widespread and catastrophic,” said Richard Fordyce, Administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “Fortunately, in addition to our already extensive suite of disaster assistance programs for crop and livestock producers, we were able to provide additional support through WHIP+. If you have not yet submitted your application for assistance, please don’t miss your chance.” 

WHIP+ compensates producers for losses due to hurricanes, floods, snowstorms, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, drought, excessive moisture, and wildfires occurring in calendar years 2018 and 2019. Drought and excessive moisture were added as eligible losses for the program in March 2020.  To date, FSA has received more than 133,000 applications for WHIP+ disaster assistance and paid out nearly $1.4 billion in WHIP+ benefits.

Next week, FSA will launch a new tool on the farmers.gov WHIP+ webpage to help producers understand eligibility for the program and whether they had possible losses in 2018 and 2019.  The tool will also allow producers an opportunity to provide information for FSA staff to reach out to them 

FSA will announce soon the details for producers who experienced quality loss from 2018 and 2019 natural disaster events authorized in appropriations legislation.  There will be a separate signup period for producers reporting quality loss.

For more information or application assistance, visit farmers.gov WHIP+ webpage, or contact your local USDA Service Center. To locate your local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-center-locator.

All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in office, by phone, and using online tools. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.