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FSA County Committee Nomination Period Opens in Murray County

The nomination period for the Murray FSA county committee began on June 15, 2017. Nomination forms must be postmarked or received in the Murray County FSA Office by close of business on Aug. 1, 2017.

County Committees are unique to FSA and allow producers to have a voice on federal farm program implementation at the local level. 

To be eligible to serve on the FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in an agency administered program, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the Local Administrative Area (LAA) where they are nominated. 

This year’s election will be held in area 2 which include the townships of Dovray, Holly, Lake Sarah, Mason, Murray, Shetek and Skandia.  The area is currently being served by Joan Miller of Balaton.  

FSA is hosting an informational meeting regarding the 2017 County Committee Election process on June 26, 2017, at 10:00 am. in the north Courts Building conference room A located at 2500 28th Street in Slayton.  Producers, including minority, women and new farmers, are encouraged to attend the meeting and participate in the 2017 election.  Persons with disabilities who require accommodations to attend or participate in this meeting should contact David Schreiber at (507) 836-8567, ext. 104, or Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339, by June 23, 2017.

Producers may nominate themselves or others as candidates. Organizations representing minority and women farmers and ranchers may also nominate candidates. To become a nominee, eligible individuals must sign form FSA-669A. The form and more information about county committee elections is available online at:  www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. 

Elected county committee members serve a three-year term and are responsible for making decisions on FSA disaster, conservation, commodity and price support programs, as well as other important federal farm program issues. County committees consist of three to 11 members.

FSA will mail election ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 6. Ballots are due back in the County FSA Office by mail or in person no later than Dec. 4, 2017. All newly elected county committee members and alternates will take office January 1, 2018.  

For more information about county committees, please contact the Murray County FSA office at (507) 836-8567 or visit www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.


Amateur Radio “Field Day” June 24 – 25 Demonstrates Science, Skill, and Service

June 13, 2017- Members of the Murray County Amateur Radio Club will be participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise, June 24 – 25 at Avoca Ball Field. The MCARC was established in 2009 and covers Murray, Lyon, Lincoln, Pipestone, Cottonwood and Rock counties. Since 1933 ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio. This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend. For over 100 years, Amateur Radio — sometimes called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet. Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network. Over 35,000 people from thousands of locations participated in Field Day in 2016. “It’s easy for anyone to pick up a computer or smartphone, connect to the Internet and communicate, with no knowledge of how the devices function or connect to each other,” said Sean Kutzko of the American Radio Relay League, the national association for Amateur Radio. “But if there’s an interruption of service or you’re out of range of a cell tower, you have no way to communicate. Ham radio functions completely independent of the Internet or cell phone infrastructure, can interface with tablets or smartphones, and can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. That’s the beauty of Amateur Radio during a communications outage.” “Hams can literally throw a wire in a tree for an antenna, connect it to a battery-powered transmitter and communicate halfway around the world,” Kutzko added. “Hams do this by using a layer of Earth’s atmosphere as a sort of mirror for radio waves. In today’s electronic do-it-yourself (DIY) environment, ham radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology, and numerous other scientific disciplines, and is a huge asset to any community during disasters if the standard communication infrastructure goes down.” Anyone may become a licensed Amateur Radio operator. There are over 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 5 and as old as 100. And with clubs such as Murray County Amateur Radio Club, it’s easy for anybody to get involved right here in Southwest Minnesota. For more information about Field Day, contact murraycountyradioclub.com or visit www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio.


Celebrate the 4th and support the End O Line Park

Coming to Currie for the 4th of July Celebration? Join us at End O Line Park on Tuesday July 4th from 10 AM to 5 PM for an Independence Day Open House Fundraiser. All buildings and cabooses will be open for self-tours on a donation basis. Take a ride on the turntable and watch the Model HO train run its course.  All donations that day will go to help restore the track under the park’s Georgia Northern Engine #102. Stop in and stroll around the grounds at your own pace and help us restore a piece of Currie’s railroad history.


Prevent Blindness Works to Educate the Public on Dangers of Consumer Fireworks

Non-profit Group Provides Alternative Ideas on Ways Families Can Celebrate Independence Day safely 

CHICAGO (June 14, 2017) – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), estimated that injuries from fireworks sent 8,000 Americans to the emergency room over the Fourth of July holiday.  The latest CPSC annual report stated that forty-two percent of the estimated emergency department-treated, fireworks-related injuries were to individuals younger than 20 years of age.  Sadly, the CPSC also reported 11 non-occupational fireworks-related deaths.

The American Pyrotechnics Association states that Delaware, Massachusetts and New Jersey are the only states that ban all consumer fireworks. Fireworks laws vary from state to state and sometimes, within different counties.  

A recent study, “Effect of Fireworks Laws on Pediatric Fireworks-Related Burn Injuries,” published in the Journal of Burn Care & Research, concluded that the relaxing of fireworks laws in the United States has had a dramatic effect on the severity of the related injuries, resulting in more inpatient admissions and longer length of stay in the hospital.

Yet despite the thousands of injuries and consumer firework-related deaths, some state government representatives are moving to lift restrictions on consumer fireworks.

In fact, in Iowa, a new law enacted in April allows retail sales of consumer fireworks in permanent buildings between June 1 and July 8, and again between Dec. 10 and Jan. 3.

As a public health-based organization, Prevent Blindness supports the development and enforcement of bans on the importation, sale and use of all fireworks and sparklers, except those used in authorized public displays by competent licensed operators. The national non-profit group, including its affiliates, works with leading organizations to educate the public on the dangers of consumer fireworks and endorses legislation to help protect adults and children from needless injuries from fireworks. 

The CPSC states that burns from fireworks are the most common injury to all parts of the body, except the eyes, where contusions, lacerations, and foreign bodies in the eyes occurred more frequently. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, approximately one third of eye injuries from fireworks result in permanent blindness.

Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety organization, offers alternatives to celebrate the holiday safely:

· Make 4th of July rockets by using paper towel rolls, paint, streamers and paper cement.

· Make pinwheels or wind socks with an Independence Day theme.

· After the sun goes down, wrap flashlights in colored cellophane to provide fun shades of light.

· Purchase non-toxic glow-sticks, ropes and jewelry that can safely light the night for kids.

· Using yarn, craft sticks, paint and construction paper, families can make the United States flag.

· Have children design and decorate their own t-shirts and hats using glow in the dark paints.  Add puffy paints and glitter to make them sparkle. 

“The Fourth of July can still be fun without fireworks,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “By attending only fireworks shows run by licensed professionals, and being vigilant, we can celebrate our nation’s birthday with family and friends, not in the emergency room.”

 For more information on the dangers of fireworks, please call Prevent Blindness at (800) 331-2020, or visitpreventblindness.org/prevent-eye-injuries-fireworks. 

About Prevent Blindness

Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight.  Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs and research.  These services are made possible through the generous support of the American public.  Together with a network of affiliates, Prevent Blindness is committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America.  For more information, or to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, call 1-800-331-2020. Or, visit us on the Web at preventblindness.org or facebook.com/preventblindness.