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Search for Mrs. Murray County

Applications are being accepted for the title of Mrs. Murray County! Mrs. Murray County will have the honor of representing her county at the Mrs. Minnesota pageant, which will be held at “Wellstone Center”, April 28th, 2018 in St. Paul, MN.

The woman chosen as “Mrs. Murray County” will become an ambassador from the Murray County area and will receive the official title and sash!!

The woman chosen as Mrs. Minnesota will receive a prize package worth $7,000 and the chance to represent Minnesota at the “2018 “ Mrs. International  Pageant in August in Charleston, WV. The American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” is the Official charity of the Mrs. Minnesota pageant. To learn more visit: www.goredforwomen.org

The current reigning “2017 Mrs. Minnesota” is Stephanie Welter of Shakopee, MN. Traveling all across the state, Stephanie speaks on her platform “Understanding the puzzle of Autism”, “What’s wrong with HIM?” the little girl asked as she pointed to my special needs son, Benjamin. As a parent, you never truly get used to the stares, giggles, and comments about your child, but I have chosen to use it as an opportunity to educate and inspire. As a 17-year autism advocate, I help those with autism turn their challenges into victories. Therapy, training, and community awareness help integrate these individuals so we can all start to understand the puzzle of autism. I believe everyone deserves the chance to reach their full potential! For more information go to: www.autism-society.org

Competitions in the pageant are: personal interview, fitness wear and evening gown. (There are no talent or swimsuit competitions)

For married women living in Murray County that are interested in applying; write for a bio-form: Mrs Minnesota, International Pageant, PO Box 240537, Apple Valley, MN 55124-0537. Or an online application can be filed out on our website: www.mrsminnesota.com. Or call for information: 1-800-262-0097, (952)432-6758, fax: (952)953-3896. Email: mnpageants@frontiernet.net


WANTED: Citizens Willing to Go “Behind Bars” for Kids at ECI Jail & Bail

The Murray County Early Childhood Initiative is looking for members of the community willing to spend time “in jail” for the benefit of our youngest citizens at the 12th Annual Jail and Bail event.  The fundraiser will take place during the Murray County Fair on Wednesday, August 16th.

The Murray County Early Childhood Initiative was established in 2006 and sponsors educational outreach programs for children from birth to age 5 to increase school readiness and support families.  Families Reading Every Day (FRED) events, Preschool Open Gym, Books for Businesses, children’s music concerts, the annual Family Fair, ECFE on Wheels, and other projects to benefit children in Murray County are funded with the money raised during the Jail & Bail event.

Participating community members will be charged with crimes like “conspiring with others for the betterment of the community” or “contributing to the well-being of minors” in this lighthearted fundraiser.  “Imprisoned” citizens must raise a minimum of $100 to bail themselves out of jail.

Everyone is invited to visit the jailed community members on the east lawn of the Murray County Courthouse in Slayton from 2-7 p.m. and help raise funds for Early Childhood Initiative activities in Murray County.

For more information about volunteering for the annual Jail and Bail event, contact Marilyn Carlson at 836-6552 or toll free at 1-800-348-0021.

The Minnesota Early Childhood Initiative is a network of local community coalitions, including the Murray County Early Childhood Coalition, working with the Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) to increase school readiness for children ages birth to 5 and engage citizens in advocacy for increased investments and sound public policy for young children and their families.  SWIF is an active partner to 13 coalitions, providing leadership, resources and funding to assist in implementing strategic action plans.  To learn more, visit www.swifoundation.org.


High-speed Wireless Internet Expands into Underserved Communities

Woodstock Wave Wireless Internet now expanding to the Lakes, Balaton, Dovray, Edgerton, Hatfield, Lake Wilson, Russell, Slayton, Tracy, and Westbrook regions.

RUTHTON — Woodstock Communications is expanding its high-speed wireless internet offerings with eight new towers in southwest Minnesota. The first four towers were installed nearly two years ago around The Lakes region in Murray County, and now eight new towers will expand the telecommunication company’s potential customer base by 1,500.

“There has been a lot of really positive feedback and our initial customers are very happy,” said Terry Nelson, Woodstock Communication’s Vice President & General Manager. “The best services that these areas could receive before were only 1-3 Mbps. These communities had really poor service before. Now they have access to speeds greater than 50 Mbps.”

Nelson credits the higher speeds to new technologies plus the use of fiber optic cable, as opposed to bouncing their wireless signal from tower to tower using repeaters. The benefit of using fiber and not repeaters, Nelson said, is increased bandwidth capacity.

The wireless service also offers benefits not available with DSL, other wireless providers, or cellular services commonly used in the area. As often seen with other providers, customers will not experience interrupted service during peak busy times throughout the day. This is because of the fiber optics Woodstock Communications has installed at the towers and in the communities they serve. Not only will this provide higher bandwidth capacity, there are no data usage caps—a downside to many cellular services. Another benefit is weather has a minimal effect on the signal.

“As a locally, independently owned company, part of our mission is to provide the best service to our neighbors and communities that also call southwest Minnesota home,” Nelson said. “Our homes, small businesses, schools and hospitals across the region all stand to benefit from faster, more reliable internet service.”


FSA Deadlines Approaching

Crop and acreage reporting is required for participation in many FSA programs, and it is a good way to maintain cropping history. Certified crop reports are used by the county office staff to determine compliance with certain farm programs and, perhaps, eligibility for future programs. CRP participants are required to certify their CRP acres as well.

It is recommended that you complete your acreage report with FSA to obtain the acreage information that crop insurance needs.  A copy of the needed crop insurance information will be provided to you so you can bring it to your crop insurance agent.  The deadline for submitting 2017 acreage reports to FSA is July 15 2017. Since the deadline is approaching quickly, we recommend stopping by the office very soon to certify, remember your crop insurance agent is probably looking for those acres as well.  

The second deadline that is approaching is the signup for the 2017 ARCPLC program.  We have many farms that have not completed signup yet.  The deadline to complete the 2017 ARCPLC program signup is August 1, 2017.  Failure to meet this date will result in the farm not being eligible for any 2017 ARCPLC payments if any are earned.  

“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).”


Currie State Bank Named Top Agricultural Lender by Independent Banker Magazine

Washington, D.C. (July 6, 2017)—In this month’s issue of Independent Banker®, the award-winning magazine of the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA), Currie State Bank in Currie, MN, was recognized as a top-producing Agricultural lender in the country.

“These top performers excel in today’s highly competitive and heavily-regulated market by focusing on banking fundamentals and keeping the needs of their customers and communities at the forefront,” ICBA Group Executive Vice President, Member Engagement and Strategy Chris Lorence said. “Their tenacity, dedication and commitment to service is why the community banking model has endured for more than 250 years and why community banks are essential to our nation’s financial stability.”

Independent Banker’s listing identified the top 120 commercial, consumer/mortgage and agricultural community bank lenders with the highest dollar-value percentage of loans to assets in 2016.The recognized community banks also earned solid ratings from Kroll Bond Rating Agency.

Based on that industry data, ICBA spotlighted Currie State Bank which ranked number 18 on Independent Banker’s Top 20 Agricultural lenders with less than $500 million in assets. 

“Currie State Bank is honored to be included in this prestigious listing and would like to thank our loyal customers and dedicated staff for helping us achieve this significant milestone,” said Doug Hansen, CEO/Cashier.

Visit www.independentbanker.org to learn more about Independent Banker’s top-producing lenders list. 

To find a community bank, visit www.banklocally.org


Garden Tour in Lake Wilson/Balaton Area on July 20

By David Bau, Murray County Master Gardener

SLAYTON, Minn 7/12/2017 -- Murray County Master Gardeners are hosting a Summer Garden Tour in the Lake Wilson/Balaton area on Thursday, July 20, 2017 from 3:30 to 8:00 p.m.   A rain date has been set for July 21; listen to KJOE Radio 106.1 FM for postponement announcements.

Tickets and tour guides/maps are available in advance from Lake Wilson and Slayton banks, Murray County Master Gardeners, and University of Minnesota Extension- Murray County Office.  Murray County Master Gardeners are Ardis Andert, David Bau, Karen Burch, Gaylene Chapman, Colleen Gengler, Mona Henkels, Betty Kassel, Matthew Meier, Marilyn Moger, Jan Scherbart, Kathy Schwartz,  Patty White, and Beth Ann Winter.  

The guide (which includes a Google map) is also online at http://www3.extension.umn.edu/county/murray  Tickets are $5 and can also be purchased at any of the garden sites during the tour on July 20.  Proceeds will go towards  community garden projects.  Transportation is on your own; you may start the tour at any of the host sites.  Refreshments provided by the Master Gardeners will be served at Marcie Eisfeld’s home.

If you have questions regarding the tour, contact the Extension Office at 507-836-6927.

Tour hosts, addresses, and short descriptions follow: 

Lee & Joan York, 775 State Hwy 30, Lake Wilson (Leeds Township) –  Yorks have lived on their farm for almost 43 years.  Gardens galore - flowers, rock, vegetable – will be enjoyed at their homesite. 

Dave & Linda Johnson, 310 Center Ave, Lake Wilson (City of Lake Wilson) – Linda says gardening is therapeutic for her; flowers, fruit, and vegetables are included in her therapy.  Her grandmother’s garden was her inspiration.  

Jerry & Judy Samuelson, 554 131st Street, Lake Wilson (Cameron Township) – Samuelson’s created a memorial garden in 2007 in honor of their son, Chris.  It includes a stamped patio, as well as plants, stones, and trees they received as memorial gifts.  

Kent & Twyla Carlson, 490 151st Street, Lake Wilson (Cameron Township) – Take the Path of Least Resistance, The Road Less Traveled, or The Long and Winding Road at the Carlson farm.  You can also stroll through the “Carl-boretum” at this interesting farmsite.

Marcie Eisfeld, 1694 State Hwy 91, Lake Wilson (Lowville Township) – Marcie’s home was destroyed by the 1992 tornado that hit Chandler and Lake Wilson.  Landscaping followed a new house and has expanded over the years.  She loves rock hunting and has even collected some from Montana and Missouri.  Marcie also enjoys ceramics and has added many of those creations to her gardens.

Curt & Marian Feste, 1884 50th Ave, Balaton (Ellsborough Township) – Curt’s father, Clarence, has loved inventing things his whole life.  In the late 1990’s, Clarence saw a Texas ranch sign that inspired him to design and create the Feste sign that welcomes you to their farm.

Doug & Delores Swan, 2022 90th Ave, Balaton (Skandia Township) – Gardening has been in the Swan family for many years.  Doug’s mom, Ruth, was a Balaton Flower Club member and her yard was a showplace.  Doug and Delores have cut back, but still have flowers, shrubs, ornaments, and trees for your enjoyment!


Officer Election at 4-H Federation Meeting

By Margie Anderson, 4-H Program Coordinator

SLAYTON, Minn. 7/12/2017 –  Murray County 4-H Federation will meet on Monday, July 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Courts Building meeting room, Slayton.  Recreation will be led by the Federation officers at 7:15 p.m.  2017-2018 Federation officers will be elected.  Other agenda items include: report from YELLO! and CWF delegate, county fair details and superintendent sign-up, and annual awards celebration suggestions.  Prairie Hustlers and Chandler Hilltoppers 4-H Clubs will share their community service projects.  Currie Poco-a-Poco 4-H Club will serve ice cream treats.  All 4-H members, parents, and volunteers are encouraged to attend this county-wide meeting.