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Local Ag News

Fair Entries Are Due

(Le Mars) -- 4-H and FFA members intending to exhibit at the 2012 Plymouth County Fair are reminded of the upcoming entry deadline of Friday, July 13.  Members planning to enter exhibits in sheep, swine, market and breeding beef, cow-calf projects, feeder calf, horses, poultry, rabbits, dog, pet, cat and dairy, including dairy goats, are required to complete and submit an entry form.

Fair entries are also due July 13 in the communications division which includes Educational Presentations, Working Exhibits, Extemporaneous Speaking, and Share-The-Fun.

Entries should be completed by the 4-H or FFA member and then submitted to the Plymouth County Extension Office by the local club leader or FFA advisor.  The Plymouth County Extension Office is located at 251 12th Street SE in Le Mars.  The office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon and then from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  For more information on this or any other 4-H program contact the Extension Office at (712) -546-7835 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

State Fair Entries Due By July 3rd

(Des Moines) -- The 2012 Iowa State Fair is only a few months away.  This year's event, "Nothing Compares" will run from August 9 - 19 in Des Moines, Iowa.  Hundreds of 4-Hers that choose to exhibit their livestock projects at the Iowa State Fair must make an official entry.  Plymouth County 4-Hers will need to complete the necessary entry on-line within the member's 4-H Online records at www.4honline.com by July 2, 2012.  Registration fees must be mailed or taken to the Plymouth County Extension Office no later than July 3, 2012.  The Extension Office is open Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. til noon, and 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.  No late entries will be accepted.  For more information contact the Plymouth County Extension Office at (712) 546-7835 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

   

Dry Conditions Persist Across Iowa

Weekly Crop Conditions Decline 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa has received some much-needed rain but the state is still dry.
     The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday's weekly report that Iowa received an average of 1.5 inches of rain last week. That's above the normal of about 1.2 inches. Even so, more than half the topsoil and subsoil remains dry.
     The USDA says 67 percent of the corn crop, which is beginning to silk, is in good or excellent condition. That's the same as last week.
     Soybeans, which are starting to bloom, are rated 61 percent good to excellent. That's down from 62 percent a week ago.
     More than half the state's pastures and range land are in poor or fair condition. However, stress on livestock is minimal with no issues reported.

 

June 30th Deadline For Reporting Acres

(Des Moines) -- Iowa Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, John Whitaker reminds farmers and ranchers that filing an accurate acreage report for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage and prevented planting acreage, can prevent the loss of benefits for a variety of  programs.  

Acreage reports are required for many Farm Service Agency programs.  For crops enrolled in programs other than NAP (Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program) acreage reports are to be certified by the June 30, 2012 deadline on all crops.  Acreage reports on crops covered by NAP are due in the county office by the earlier of June 30, 2012, or 15 calendar days before the onset of harvest or grazing of the specific crop acreage being reported. 

Crop reports also include planting dates for each crop by field.  Failed acreage must be reported before disposition of the crop.  Prevented planting must be reported no later than 15 days after the final planting date.

Reporting forage crops and pastures is also required.  All crops on the farm, including forage crops and pasture are used to determine overall eligibility for some programs such as SURE and LFP, so accurately reporting these crops is important.  Since the make up of a forage crop's stand changes over time, the legumes and/or grass mixture may be needed or the age of the stand in order to file an accurate report.  The Iowa FSA office issued guidance regarding the percent of alfalfa or other legume/grass that is present in the stand for producers to accurately report their crops.  Another change: for 2013, perennial forage, fall wheat, and other fall seeded small grains will have a December 15th reporting date.
    

   

Plymouth County Barn Quilts

Ahlers Barn: "Windmill" 22558 K49, Le Mars.

Throughout 2012 is taking you on a tour of Plymouth County Barn Quilts.

A tribute to family history is the intention behind the barn quilt on the farm of John and Debra Ahlers. The farm became a century farm in 2008 when the quilt was raised. The quilt was part of the back drop for a large celebration including generations of family, as the farm has been in the family since 1908.
Debra says her son Daniel created the "Windmill" design after the family decided they needed to tear down their 68 foot landmark wind mill that stood on the land for years.

Listen here
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}

Ahlers shares the symbolism surrounding the details of the quilt.

Listen here

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The steel that's around the barn quilt frame came from the legs from Debra's father's windmill.  The building that the quilt hangs on is the oldest structure on the farm, now used as storage for equipment, it was once a corn crib.

Ahlers says that Plymouth County residents aren't the only people who visit their quilt.

Listen here

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If you have a barn that could use some sprucing up, let the Le Mars Arts Council walk you through the barn quilt process. Folks on the committee would be happy to help you pick out a pattern. Information including maps and a list of barn owners are available at the Le Mars Chamber, ISU Extension Office and the Arts Center.

 

Westergaurd Barn: "Pale Star" Intersection of C12 and K22

The second barn quilt to color the countryside of Plymouth County went up on the barn of Carl and Colleen Westergaurd near the intersection of C12 and K22. The quilt was put up in 2006, and the barn was originally built in 1915 by Ben and Minnie Borchers.

Colleen Westergaurd said the family chose the design called "Pale Star" to paint on their quilt.

Listen here

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Westergaurd's two oldest daughters painted the quilt as part of a 4-H Project.  
The Westergaurd's decided to participate in the Barn Quilt program after having seen other quilts driving to Ames.  At the time they put up the Pale Star, only one other quilt existed in Plymouth County.

Listen here

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There are now estimated to be 50 or more quilts in the county when you include the smaller "Welcome Quilt" designs.

 

Harrington Barn: "From There to Here" 26705 170th St, Le Mars.

In 2009 the quilt "From There to Here" was hung on Vernon and Karen Harrington's barn in rural Le Mars.  The quilt features German and American flags surrounding a heart in the center and pays tribute to Vernon's great-grandfather, Peter Reese.  Reese immigrated from Germany in 1874 and purchased the land the quilted barn stands on today.  Vernon says the barn was built sometime in the late 18 to very early 1900's.

Listen here

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Currently the barn is used for storage and is inhabited by farm cats.

Karen says that they became interested in the Barn Quilt program after traveling around Iowa and seeing the quilts on other barns.

Listen here

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The Harrington's are proud that the buildings and land has been passed down in the family, and the plan is to keep it that way.  Preserving their rural life heritage is important to them, and that's one of the reasons creating a barn quilt and supporting the program has been a priority.

Listen here

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The quilts design represents generations past, was created by current generations, and is intended to stay for the generations to come.

Plymouth County Barn Quilts Background

The celebration of agriculture through art...go for a drive and you'll see it all over Iowa.  Barn quilts starting popping up in Plymouth County beginning in 2006.  Ruth Barker has been part of the program promoted and developed in conjunction with the Le Mars Arts Center and Plymouth County ISU Extension.  She says that the idea originated in Adams County, Ohio.

Listen here

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After a tour of those barns, Ruth began working with Kathy Moore at the Arts Center, Carol Schneider of Plymouth County Extension and a committee of others to help farmers in Plymouth County find patterns, and even people to paint.  There are many quilts in the county that have been done by area 4-H Groups.  Since 2006, more than 50 have been painted and put on barns, sheds and even houses throughout the area.  Ruth says the quilt idea is meant to enhance old farm buildings that have been well taken care of.

Listen here

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Barn Quilts measure 8' by 8' and if you have a smaller space on a home or other out building that is "square" worthy there are also 4' by 4' Welcome Square patterns.  Folks on the committee would be happy to help you pick out a pattern. Information including maps and a list of barn owners are available at the Le Mars Chamber, ISU Extension Office and the Arts Center.  The Arts Center also has  information on their website.

 

   

Farmer's Best Friend

The "Farmer's Best Friend" is another new feature soon to appear.  Send us a picture of your beloved farm dog along with your contact information to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .   We'll do a special story on your precious pooch and feature it on Agri-line.

   

Barn Quilts

 

 

Stabe Barn: "Family Foundation" 29294 Lynx Ave, Hinton

To commemorate Vernon Stabe's 50th year of auctioneering, his family surprised him with a barn quilt square for the families barn on their century farm. With a cross in the center, and different colored squares placed throughout, the quilt, designed by Vernon Stabe's daughter Louann Langel, represents multiple generations.

Listen here

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The quilt came as a surprise to Vernon and his wife, after their kids spent time painting it together.

Listen here

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Vernon Stabe was born, raised and still lives on the farm where the barn isl ocated. The family has the original deed for the farm which was signed by Ulysses S. Grant. Daughter Louann tells us what the barn was used for.

Listen here

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Louann says designing the quilt was a joy not only to see how touched her parents were to have it, but also because of what it means for the county.

Listen here

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Ahlers Barn: "Windmill" 22558 K49, Le Mars


A tribute to family history is the intention behind the barn quilt on the farm of John and Debra Ahlers. The farm became a century farm in 2008 when the quilt was raised. The quilt was part of the back drop for a large celebration including generations of family, as the farm has been in the family since 1908.
Debra says her son Daniel created the "Windmill" design after the family decided they needed to tear down their 68 foot landmark wind mill that stood on the land for years.

Listen here

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Ahlers shares the symbolism surrounding the details of the quilt.

Listen here

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The steel that's around the barn quilt frame came from the legs from Debra's father's windmill. The building that the quilt hangs on is the oldest structure on the farm, now used as storage for equipment, it was once a corn crib.

Ahlers says that Plymouth County residents aren't the only people who visit their quilt.

Listen here

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Harrington Barn: "From There to Here" 26705 170th St, Le Mars


In 2009 the quilt "From There to Here" was hung on Vernon and Karen Harrington's barn in rural Le Mars. The quilt features German and American flags surrounding a heart in the center and pays tribute to Vernon's great-grandfather, Peter Reese. Reese immigrated from Germany in 1874 and purchased the land the quilted barn stands on today. Vernon says the barn was built sometime in the late 18 to very early 1900's.

Listen here

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



Currently the barn is used for storage and is inhabited by farm cats.

Karen says that they became interested in the Barn Quilt program after traveling around Iowa and seeing the quilts on other barns.

Listen here

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The Harrington's are proud that the buildings and land has been passed down in the family, and the plan is to keep it that way. Preserving their rural life heritage is important to them, and that's one of the reasons creating a barn quilt and supporting the program has been a priority.

Listen here

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The quilts design represents generations past, was created by current generations, and is intended to stay for the generations to come.

 

Westergard Barn: "Pale Star" 21915 120th St, Ireton


The second barn quilt to color the countryside of Plymouth County went up on the barn of Carl and Colleen Westergard near the intersection of C12 and K22. The quilt was put up in 2006, and the barn was originally built in 1915 by Ben and Minnie Borchers.

Colleen Westergaurd said the family chose the design called "Pale Star" to paint on their quilt.

Listen here

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Westergaurd's two oldest daughters painted the quilt as part of a 4-H Project.
The Westergaurd's decided to participate in the Barn Quilt program after having seen other quilts driving to Ames. At the time they put up the Pale Star, only one other quilt existed in Plymouth County.

Listen here

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

There are now estimated to be 50 or more quilts in the county when you include the smaller "Welcome Quilt" designs.

Hoffman Barn: "Iowa Star" 28163 200th Street, Le Mars (seen from K42)

The first Barn Quilt in Plymouth County went up on a barn on the Ted Hoffman Farm on K42 between Merril and Brunsville in 2006. Hoffman's daughter, Mary Roder, tells us a little bit about the farm.

Listen here

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Mary is the leader of the Plymouth Pros 4-H club of Merrill and owner of "The Quilt Works." Getting her 4-Hers involved in this Plymouth County project was only natural. She says she chose her quilt patter because it could be easily seen from the road, and it's Iowa connection.

Listen here

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Over 50 barn quilts have been painted and hung around Plymouth County since the Hoffman quilt went up in 2006. Roder feels that the Barn Quilt Program is important to help preserve Iowa's history.

Listen here

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

History Behind the Quilts

The celebration of agriculture through art...go for a drive and you'll see it all over Iowa. Barn quilts starting popping up in Plymouth County beginning in 2006. Ruth Barker has been part of the program promoted and developed in conjunction with the Le Mars Arts Center and Plymouth County ISU Extension. She says that the idea originated in Adams County, Ohio.

Listen here

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

After a tour of those barns, Ruth began working with Kathy Moore at the Arts Center, Carol Schneider of Plymouth County Extension and a committee of others to help farmers in Plymouth County find patterns, and even people to paint. There are many quilts in the county that have been done by area 4-H Groups. Since 2006, more than 50 have been painted and put on barns, sheds and even houses throughout the area. Ruth says the quilt idea is meant to enhance old farm buildings that have been well taken care of.

Listen here

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Barn Quilts measure 8' by 8' and if you have a smaller space on a home or other out building that is "square" worthy there are also 4' by 4' Welcome Square patterns. Folks on the committee would be happy to help you pick out a pattern. Information including maps and a list of barn owners are available at the Le Mars Chamber, ISU Extension Office and the Arts Center. The Arts Center also has information on their website. www.lemarsarts.com

If you have a barn that could use some sprucing up, let the Le Mars Arts Council walk you through the barn quilt process. Folks on the committee would be happy to help you pick out a pattern. Information including maps and a list of barn owners are available at the Le Mars Chamber, ISU Extension Office and the Arts Center.

 

   

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