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Relay For Life of Murray County Awarded Community Engagement Award at the 2017 Leadership Conference in Minneapolis on January 28th

The Community Engagement Award is given to an event that successfully implements activities that positively impact participation in the Relay For Life event, and demonstrates that through leadership, initiative, and creativity in programming.

Following article submitted to nomination committee by staff partner Jennifer Evans. 

The Relay For Life of Murray County works hard to keep their event fresh and relevant to members of the community, and does so by establishing a tremendous presence throughout the entire county.  There are teams in nearly every town in Murray County who keep Relay front and center year-round by having fundraisers that encourage participation and dedication to the cause, which results in an average of over $6,000 per team!  This past year the Event Leadership Team had more than 30 active members promoting the idea of Painting Your World Purple by encouraging area businesses to decorate their store fronts with purple flowers and Relay For Life paintings in their windows.  While driving through Murray County you didn’t need to go far to see or feel the purple spirit, whether it was along main street, ribbons on mailboxes, or purple minions throughout town.  The leadership in Murray County embraces new ideas and continually inspires the community with fresh, innovative activities that keep people coming back.  They keep the energy level high at the event with a strong emphasis on impactful ceremonies and finding survivor and caregiver speakers who have benefited from the use of American Cancer Society resources and services.  These personalized stories from members of their community leave a lasting impression and renew everyone’s commitment and pledge to continue their efforts to work to free the world from pain and suffering of cancer.  It is through their creativity, exemplary leadership, and innovative thinking that Murray County continues to engage members of their community in order to meet or exceed their financial goals year after year. 

The Relay For Life Committee will hold their first committee meeting for this year on Monday Feb 13th at 5:30 PM at the Pizza Ranch.  New committee members are always welcome to attend. If you have questions don’t hesitate to contact Janet Voges at 507-227-0788 or Linda Tobias at 507-227-7195.

Mark your Calendar for Thursday, Feb 23rd and make plans to attend our Relay For Life 2017 Team Kickoff at the Slayton Pizza Ranch at 7:00 PM.   All Teams should have a representative to receive new team info present.   We welcome new teams or anyone who might have questions about what it means to be involved.  Contact Janet Voges at 507-227-0788 Or Linda Tobias at 507-227-7195 with questions. 


Court Queen of Peace met January 21, 2017 beginning with rosary led by Joann Halbur followed by light breakfast. Regent Risacher called the meeting to order, offered prayer, pledge of allegiance and thank you to Jan Bryan, Sandy Like and their committee for breakfast. The secretary’s report about the children’s fund donation was clarified to let us know that Nikki Cheskey at MCC is establishing a nonprofit foundation and when that is done the donation will go to that fund. The treasurer’s report was likewise clarified as to the ‘children’s fund’ and the donation to the ‘Josh Staple children’s fund’ will be sent when the correct address is found. Jean Eich, financial secretary, informed members of address changes for Ivy Goergen and Dorothy Homan. Yearly dues are payable now. Betty Palmer reported many new bingo players at Golden Living Center. SOS chair, Rita Lear, passed sheets for Spiritual Bouquet and prayer’s intentions for the seminarians and also the dish for loose change. The Education contest themes are ‘Whatever You Do to the Least Of My Brethren, You Do For Me’ and ‘Helping the Needy Where I Live’. Entries are due Feb. 15 on the local level and March 15 for state competition and is open to grades 4-12 and adults. Barb Surprenant reminded the daughters that we need to be vigilant about contacting state and national legislators about health care issues, transgender, trafficking, euthanasia and the supreme court appointments.

The birthday list finished by Jean Eich was distributed. Book club with about 10 members has begun and is reading Ordinary Life Extraordinary Mission . The Habitat house in Edgerton is progressing with the roof going on Jan. 14.

With the great response we received when delivering flowers to the nursing homes at Christmas, Joann Halbur made a motion to deliver to permanent nursing home and Hospice House residents at Easter time. Motion passed. The State convention is Apr. 20-22 in Crookston. We are allowed 4 voting delegates and 8 alternates. Jeaneen Nelson, Joyce R, Joann Halbur are attending. Deadline for registration is Mar 1. Meals On Wheels is Feb 6-10. A sign up sheet was passed. Motions were made and passed to donate to the Einck fundraiser and to send money to the Food Shelf. 

Lenten lunches were discussed at length. The menu will be the same as in past years.

Circle of Love forms were distributed to the chairs of those programs. They are due Mar. 15.

Dr. Muldoon gave an informative slide presentation on stress-the good and bad part of it- and what can be done about it. EXERCISE !!

USDA Announces Streamlined Guaranteed Loans and Additional Lender Category for Small-Scale Operators

Options Help More Beginning, Small and Urban Producers Gain Access to Credit

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of a streamlined version of USDA guaranteed loans, which are tailored for smaller scale farms and urban producers. The program, called EZ Guarantee Loans, uses a simplified application process to help beginning, small, underserved and family farmers and ranchers apply for loans of up to $100,000 from USDA-approved lenders to purchase farmland or finance agricultural operations. 

USDA today also unveiled a new category of lenders that will join traditional lenders, such as banks and credit unions, in offering USDA EZ Guarantee Loans. Microlenders, which include Community Development Financial Institutions and Rural Rehabilitation Corporations, will be able to offer their customers up to $50,000 of EZ Guaranteed Loans, helping to reach urban areas and underserved producers. Banks, credit unions and other traditional USDA-approved lenders, can offer customers up to $100,000 to help with agricultural operation costs.

EZ Guarantee Loans offer low interest rates and terms up to seven years for financing operating expenses and 40 years for financing the purchase of farm real estate. USDA-approved lenders can issue these loans with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) guaranteeing the loan up to 95 percent.

USDA is providing a 90-day period for the public to review and comment on program improvements. To review program details, visit, reference RIN 0560-AI34 and follow the instructions to submit comments. 

More than half of all FSA loans go to new farmers and more than a quarter to underserved borrowers. FSA also offers loans of up to $5,000 to young farmers and ranchers though the Youth Loan Program. Loans are made to eligible youth to finance agricultural projects, with almost 9,000 young people now participating. More information about the available types of FSA farm loans can be found at or by contacting your local FSA office. To find your nearest office location, visit

“USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).”