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Emily Kathman Earns Dean’s List Honors for Spring 2020

SAINT PAUL, MN (06/30/2020)-- Emily Kathman, of Slayton (56172), was named to Hamline University’s College of Liberal Arts Dean’s List for the Spring 2020 semester.

Kathman was among more than 688 students named to Hamline University’s College of Liberal Arts Dean’s List. To qualify, students must earn a GPA of 3.5 or higher and maintain a full course load.

Founded in 1854, Hamline was the first university in Minnesota and among the first coeducational institutions in the nation. Today, Hamline University provides a world-class education for undergraduate and graduate students. Our faculty, staff, and students cultivate an ethic of civic responsibility, social justice, and inclusive leadership.

USDA Reminds Producers to Complete Crop Acreage Reports

The County office for USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is currently open to phone and virtual appointments only but can still work with producers on timely filing crop acreage reports.  FSA staff can provide assistance over the phone, by email and through virtual meetings via Microsoft Teams.  

The deadline to complete 2020 crop acreage reports is July 15, 2020 for all crops.                               

In order to comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers must file an accurate crop acreage report by the applicable deadline. FSA staff is still able to assist producers in completing acreage reports, including providing maps.

The County FSA office provided or will provide maps to producers through mail, email or pickup at the office with instructions for completing the maps. After planting is complete, producers should return completed maps and the acreage reporting sheet as soon as possible to meet the July deadline.  

After completed maps and all acreage reporting information is received, FSA will make software updates and mail, email or pickup at the office the completed Report of Acreage form (FSA-578) to sign. Producers must return the signed form certifying their acreage report to the FSA office by July 15, 2020.  

The following exceptions apply to acreage reporting dates:

• If the crop has not been planted by the acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed. 

• If a producer acquires additional acreage after the acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 30 calendars days after purchase or acquiring the lease. Appropriate documentation must be provided to the county office.

Producers should also report crop acreage they intended to plant, but due to natural disaster, were unable to plant. Prevented planting acreage must be reported on form CCC-576, Notice of Loss, no later than 15 calendar days after the final planting date as established by FSA and USDA’s Risk Management Agency.

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy holders should note that the acreage reporting date for NAP-covered crops is the earlier of the dates listed above or 15 calendar days before grazing or harvesting of the crop begins 

If you have applied for organic certification and do not receive it before the acreage reporting deadline, you may provide the necessary documentation to FSA immediately upon receipt from the certifying agent.

For questions, please contact your local FSA office.

Contact tracing is an important step in slowing the spread of COVID-19

Contact tracing is a disease-control measure and a patient support system used by Public Health to fight against the spread of COVID-19. Asymptomatic people who don’t look or feel sick can spread the virus.

“Our goal is to slow the spread, especially to our vulnerable populations, by figuring out who has the virus and who they may have exposed during the time they were possibly infectious,” Dr. Steven Meister, Chief Medical Officer, Avera Marshall.

When a person tests positive, they can expect a call from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) or MDH representative, usually within 24 hours of being notified by their health care provider. It is extremely important for people to answer the phone when the contact tracer calls. Contact tracers will never ask for your social security number, your bank account or credit card information. Tracers work with patients to identify symptoms, provide education, and pinpoint any close contacts. Here are some things to think about prior to their call:

1. What symptoms are you experiencing? When did they begin?

2. Do you have underlying conditions? (diabetes, asthma, heart disease, etc.)

3. Do you know where you were exposed? Have you had contact with a COVID-19 case?

4. Who have you been in close contact with (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) starting two days before your symptoms started? Begin gathering their names and contact information, if possible.

A contact tracer will then inform close contacts of their potential exposure as rapidly and sensitively as possible. Close contacts are provided with information and support to understand their risk including what they should do to separate themselves from others, how to monitor themselves for illness, and explain the possibility that they could still be infectious, even if they do not feel ill.

Contacts are encouraged to isolate in their home for 14 days after their last exposure and monitor their symptoms, including taking their temperature twice daily and watching for other symptoms like cough/shortness of breath, chills and loss of taste/smell. Contacts who develop symptoms should promptly isolate themselves and notify their health care provider.

“Contact tracing is just one step in mitigating the effects of this virus. We need the communities’ help. We can do a better job notifying those who may have been exposed if we get accurate and timely information from those who are called,” said Carol Biren, Public Health Director, Southwest Health and Human Services.

For more information on contact tracing, go to:

USDA Announces Loan Maturity for Marketing Assistance Loans Now Extended to 12 Months

Agricultural producers now have more time to repay Marketing Assistance Loans (MAL) as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s implementation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. The loans now mature at 12 months rather than nine, and this flexibility is available for most commodities.

Effective immediately, producers of eligible commodities now have up to 12 months to repay their commodity loans. The maturity extension applies to nonrecourse loans for crop years 2018, 2019 and 2020. Eligible open loans must in good standing with a maturity date of March 31, 2020, or later or new crop year (2019 or 2020) loans requested by September 30, 2020. All new loans requested by September 30, 2020, will have a maturity date 12 months following the date of approval.

The maturity extension for current, active loans will be automatically extended an additional 3 months. Loans that matured March 31 have already been automatically extended by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). Producers who prefer a nine-month loan will need to contact their local FSA county office. Loans requested after September 30, 2020, will have a term of nine months. 

Eligible commodities include barley, chickpeas (small and large), corn, cotton (upland and extra-long staple), dry peas, grain sorghum, honey, lentils, mohair, oats, peanuts, rice (long and medium grain), soybeans, unshorn pelts, wheat, wool (graded and nongraded); and other oilseeds, including canola, crambe, flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, sunflower seed, and sesame seed. Seed cotton and sugar are not eligible.

MAL Repayment 

Under the new maturity provisions, producers can still repay the loan as they would have before the extension:

•repay the MAL on or before the maturity date;

•upon maturity by delivering or forfeiting the commodity to CCC as loan repayment; or 

•after maturity and before CCC acquires the farm-stored commodity by repaying the outstanding MAL principle and interest.

 For more information on MALs, contact the nearest FSA county office. USDA Service Centers, including FSA county offices, are open for business by phone appointment only, and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. More information can be found at

Gifts received by Hospice of Murray County 

Hospice of Murray County appreciates donations in June 2020. Memory of:

Albert Korthals, Marcella Fury, Jerry Halbur, Addie Clark, Alice Osland, Bob Williams, Lorraine Halbur, Alfred Jessen, Rick Nelson, June Gilb, Amanda Timmerman and Mildred Onken.

Hospice gratefully acknowledges memorials and donations received. These gifts and contributions are helping Hospice of Murray County continue to provide quality care to our patients and their families.

Naps (Second Harvest)

Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors (NAPS), sponsored by Second Harvest Heartland distribution will be held at the office of A.C.E. of Southwest Minnesota – Murray County at 2989 Maple Rd., Slayton MN.   Distribution will take place on Thursday, July 9th, from 1:30 – 2:30 pm.  In Fulda distribution is Monday, July 20th, from 1:15-1:45 pm at the Fulda Food Shelf at 305 S Lafayette Ave.  Remember if you cannot be there please, have your proxy pick your items up for you. For more information call Joyce at 507-836-8705.

Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive

United Way of Southwest Minnesota (UWSWMN) is seeking new school supplies, financial contributions, and/or disinfecting product donations to help local children start the school year off right. COVID-19 has caused a lot of worry and unknown, but one thing is certain – the need for school supplies will continue to grow. Can you help us Stuff the Bus? Look for the marked collection containers starting July 6th. Collection containers will be in place through July 28th at the following locations:

Service Area Locations:

· Bremer Bank

· Brad’s Market – Minneota

· Elysian Chiropractic Center

· Ivanhoe Foods – Ivanhoe

· First Lutheran Church

· Jim’s Market – Canby

· HyVee

· Jim’s Market – Slayton

· Lockwood Motors

· Kilowatt Community Center – Granite Falls

· Marshall Area YMCA

· Larson’s Grocery – Hendricks

· Menards

· Lyon Lincoln Electric – Tyler

· Minnwest Bank

· Minnwest Bank – Tracy 

· St. Stephen Church

· Sanford Canby Medical Center – Canby 


· Tim’s Food Pride – Dawson

· Walmart

The collected supplies and backpacks will be distributed to participating schools within the UWSWMN service area. School staff ensures the supplies reach those who need support. In 2019, nearly 4,000 students at 24 schools were helped through the initiative and a record breaking 67,560 school supplies were distributed. The community need continues to grow for this valuable effort. Supplies will be sorted and distributed on August 5th, and those in need of supplies should contact their respective school district beginning on August 6th for details regarding distribution.

If you are unable to donate supplies, but would like to contribute financially, you may mail checks to: United Way of SWMN, P.O. Box 41, Marshall, MN 56258. Please note “Stuff the Bus” on the memo line. You may also donate online by visiting Additionally, you can text “STB2020” to 313131 to make a financial contribution. Financial donations are accepted year round for this project and allow us to purchase school supplies in bulk at a low cost.

If you’re in the Marshall area on Thursday, July 23rd, make sure to stop by HyVee from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.! We will be set up with Marshall Radio for our Stuff the Bus Summer Event, sponsored by Vast Broadband. If you stop by and donate new school supplies, you’ll receive a freeze pop. You won’t even have to get out of your vehicle!

Stuff the Bus is coordinated by UWSWMN and includes public, private, and charter schools in the UWSWMN service area. Generous support from the community also makes this annual initiative successful. Multiple churches, organizations, businesses, and employee groups also collect supplies and financial donations. Thank you to everyone that helps make this a success!

School supplies most needed this year are basic headphones, disinfecting wipes, dry erase markers, and hand sanitizer. Other needed school supplies include backpacks, colored pencils, crayons, washable markers, rulers, and scissors. Please contact United Way for more information at or 507-929-2273. Those interested in volunteering for Stuff the Bus can sign up online by clicking the Volunteer Tab on the UWSWMN website at Thank you for helping us Stuff the Bus!