Brian Todd / Forum News Service
PRESTON, Minn. — When the hogs are ready, they're ready now, said Dave Mensink, a hog farmer from the Preston area. "When a hog is ready, say about 275 or 280 pounds, it can easily gain about five or 10 pounds a day," Mensink said. "Their value decreases as they get too big. Then you're faced with a real big deduction, if you can get them in at all." If farmers can't get them into a processing plant before the hog gets too big, said David Preisler, CEO of the Minnesota Pork Producers Association, then the hogs have to be euthanized.
WINONA, Minn. — She might be the oldest COVID-19 survivor in the country. Vera Mueller, a resident of Sauer Health Care in Winona, was diagnosed with the coronavirus on March 25, two days after her 104th birthday, according to her son, Bob Mueller. "We were there this morning," Bob Mueller said Thursday. "She’s smiling and waving. For being 104, you never know. We take it a day at a time." Mueller said access to the facility has been restricted, and most contact with his mother has been through the window of her room.
HOUSTON, Minn. — A farmer died Sunday, March 29, in a livestock accident at a farm in southeast Houston County. Emergency services responded to a call at a farm at about 11:35 p.m. Sunday for reports of an injury. When crews arrived, they found that the farmer, Richard Wagner, 66, had been injured while attempting to help a cow deliver her calf. Wagner was taken to the Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, but he died as a result of his injuries.
PLAINVIEW, Minn. — “People hear cows pollute the earth,” said Rita Young, shaking her head in frustration over what she calls a major misperception of how she and her family make their living. “We want to save the planet, too.” Young, along with her husband, Maurie Young, and son, Darrin Young, own and operate Emerald Spring Dairy east of Plainview and just across the line into Winona County.
WABASHA, Minn. — Each day, Meg Gammage-Tucker checks in on the birds and gazes out on the river. A week into the job, she doesn't expect it to get old anytime soon. "I love the river," Gammage-Tucker said. "I love being able to see eagles flying over it and being free, being healthy and being enjoyed. That whole experience is magical to me."
KELLOGG, Minn. — When Lloyd Timm comes home, no one who knew him will be there to greet him. His immediate family has long since passed away. But that won't stop his next of kin from laying Timm to rest along the Mississippi River, in the community where he grew up. Born in Kellogg, Timm died Dec. 7, 1941, at the age of 19 when the USS Oklahoma, the battleship on which he was stationed, was capsized in Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack that signaled the start of World War II.
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency announced Friday, Dec. 13, that from now on, any animal feedlot operators with plans to expand must include a check of greenhouse gas emissions. Katrina Kessler, assistant MPCA commissioner for water, said that as Minnesota focuses on ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the data on amounts of greenhouse gases produced in agricultural practices will help the MPCA better understand the sources of those emissions.
WINONA, Minn. — The first night, five people showed up, needing a warm place to spend the night. By February, the place will likely be full most nights. "It'll pick up as it goes along," said Lynette Johnson, Winona Community Warming Center Outreach Coordinator for Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota. "Once word gets around we're open, more people will show up."
KELLOGG, Minn. — Divers off the Florida coast can enjoy a little piece of Minnesota in the water. The new Circle of Heroes underwater memorial, located at Veterans Reef about 10 miles off the coast of Clearwater, Fla., in about 40 feet of Gulf water, features 12 statues of heroes from different wars and branches of the military. Three of those statues come from SVJ Creative Designs, the Kellogg statue company that makes everything from deer and giant frogs for the yard to statues of firemen, military members or police for memorial parks.
"Put the right program together, and you solve the whole immigration issue," Fred Wescott said. Of course, that's easier said than done. But a fix is needed. "There's no immigration or visa program that dairy farmers can turn to for workers," said Lucas Sjostrom, executive director of Minnesota Milk. "We can talk about stats. About 50% of the cows milked are milked by immigrants."