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Sarah Gomez


In its 2011 CropLife 100 Report, CropLife Magazine has named West Central #40 among the nation's top 100 agronomy retailers. CropLife publishes its annual top 100 report at the close of each year, along with its annual State of the Industry Report.

"We're very excited to see our name on the top 100 list, and even in the top 50. Looking at the challenges the industry is facing, rising input prices, weather pressures and an increasingly competitive marketplace, it's an honor to be ranked among these national leaders. Streamlining and centralizing our business has been vital to West Central's success in agronomy. Improved customer service, timeliness and efficiencies help us deliver our products to our customers, at their farm or in the field, when they need them," comments J. Paul Konrad, West Central's executive vice president of agronomy.

In 2011, thanks to an unseasonably warm fall and winter, West Central's agronomy department applied a record amount of dry fertilizer and anhydrous, and posted a record number of customer applied acres. The new division also introduced a new product to the marketplace, Balanced-P, an "all-in-one-package" fertilizer that supplies nitrogen, phosphorus. sulfur in the sulfate form and zinc oxide. -Scranton Journal Read more »


Audubon County Tourism was awarded $867 from the Western Iowa Tourism Region to help provide funding for erecting a trailhead sign on the T-Bone Trail.

According to Shirley Phillips, President of the Western Iowa Tourism Region, the region works with the Iowa Tourism Office, Iowa Department of Economic Development to offer a competitive grant program to assist local events, attractions and businesses with promotion, advertising and educational programming and opportunities to increase their competitiveness in the tourism marketplace.

Volunteers from the industry evaluate and award grant dollars to deserving projects in the 36 county western Iowa tourism region. Jessica Lingren, Chairman of the Advertising Grant committee noted that "selection of grant recipients is an increasingly difficult task because the industry in western Iowa continues to grow more sophisticated and grant dollars continue to decrease. Audubon County Tourism is deserving of this grant award and is a real asset to both Audubon County and to western Iowa."

The Regional Director, Michele Walker reports that western Iowa continues to see an increase in private and public investment in tourism related projects and services and that the industry, through the Travel Federation of Iowa, continues to work on the local, sate and national levels to talk about the economic significance or tourism by sharing facts about the increases in local and state revenue and jobs.

The 200-member organization works to connect communities, attractions and businesses interested in developing and promoting travel and tourism in western Iowa. The organization is funded by the Iowa Department of Economic Development, County Boards of Supervisors in the region and private memberships.

Regional bi-monthly meeting are held throughout the 36 county area, the public is always invited to attend. -Audubon County Advocate Journal Read more »


Jefferson and Greene County will host a major new event, the "Iowa Bicycle Festival" in Saturday, May 26, according to plans that the Cyclists of Greene County bike club is announcing this weekend to riders from across the state. That is the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.

The festival is being promoted as a "celebration of the bicycle and those who ride it," according to Craig Berry, who is president of the club and it also the mayor of Jefferson. The city council approved the plans at its meeting this week. Berry said, "The council is very much in favor of this event and will be encouraging all citizens and bicyclists in Jefferson, Greene County, and Iowa to attend."

It will be family-oriented, with activities for all ages going on from about 10 am to 6 pm, all around the courthouse square and stretching east to the Jefferson Depot and Raccoon River Valley Trailhead. All events will generally be with a bicycle theme, but they will be put together with the idea of appealing to the general public as well as bicyclists.

Plans include a late-morning or midday parade, featuring RAGRBAI team buses from all over Iowa, a couple of bands, people of all ages riding decorated bicycles, some highly unusual bikes and more.

After the parade there will be a "custom bike show" around the square, just like there have been "custom car shows" there, including team buses. And the crowd at the festival will be invited to paint a RAGBRAI team bus, too.

The festival will include a juried "bicycle-themed art show" with artists from across the Midwest invited to enter work that will be for sale and also will remain on display for a few weeks after the festival.

There will also be escorted "bicycle tours of Jefferson," pedaling to see our notable landmarks. And there will be competitions and contests involving bicycles, like a "fastest tire changing contest." Another event would be a "bicycle apparel fashion show."

Local food vendors are being invited to serve on the square, but visitors will be encouraged to use all local restaurants, too. There will be no beverage garden or street dance, at least this year.

The Greene County board of supervisors has approved use of the courthouse grounds and the rotunda of the building.

One activity in the courthouse will be a series of brief "bicycle seminars," hosted by Chuck Offenberger, with such topics as the Raccoon River Valley Trail, other Iowa trails, RAGRBAI with that event's director T.J. Juskiewicz, Iowa's bicycle clubs, the Greene County conservation recreation facilities and programs, and cartoonist and cyclist Brian Duffy has tentatively doing a program on his own bicycle artwork.

For more information, visit with Berry or John or Ces Brunow at the All Ability Cycles shop on the square.

The bike club is beginning promotion of the festival at this weekend's "Iowa Bicycle Summit" being held in Des Moines, The summit ends with a large party Saturday night at which time the route for the 2012 RAGBRAI will be announced. Several thousand cyclists are expected at those events. -The Jefferson Herald Read more »


The Jefferson Does Drove No. 196 is again collecting items to send to the troops overseas. Drop boxes have been placed at Home State Bank, Peoples Trust & Savings Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, and the Jefferson Elks Lodge and will be at those locations until February 24.

They will accept food items (stay away from chocolate that may melt all over the package), health items such as lip balm, shampoo, hand sanitizer, foot powder, small or handheld games, or really anything you think they might like, small containers please. For ideas of what type of items to send, there are lists available at the above collection places.

Persons who have a relative stationed overseas who would like the Does to send him/her a box, or have questions on what to send, please contact Shelly Berger by calling her at 515-386-3201 by Friday February 24 to give her their address. Berger said We know that the men and women serving our country truly appreciate everything they receive from back home, so we hope many area residents will contribute to these care packages." -Jefferson Herald Read more »


Panora Nursing and Rehab Center, a Care Initiatives facility, recently announced that Beth (Haden) Rasmussen of Jefferson was chosen as the winner of the 2012 slogan contest. A total of 270 slogans were submitted by employees from 44 care facilities owned by Care Initiatives in Iowa. Entrants were required to utilize the keyword "dedication" in their slogan.

Rasmussen's winning slogan is "With dedication, compassion and a caring attitude, I make a difference at Care Initiatives." Every employee throughout all 44 Care Initiatives facilities will receive a shirt bearing the slogan. Rasmussen was recently presented with the first shirt bearing her slogan and a $500 check at a meeting of facility administrators in West Des Moines. She is employed as a CMA at Panora Assisted Living. -Jefferson Herald Read more »


Several organizations are joining forces to create a support group for Greene County independent small business owners. The inaugural meeting of the group will be held on Monday, February 6, at 5 pm at the Greene County Extension meeting room in Jefferson.

Any independent small business owner operating in Greene County is welcome to attend. Greene County Extension, North Central Iowa Small Business Development Center, and Midwest Partnership EDC are partnering to help initiate the program.

Organizers say the purpose of the group will be for home-based and other independent small business owners to collaborate in a grassroots effort to raise the levels of expertise of the county's small businesses. But beyond that, it will be up to the small business owners themselves as to the future of the group.

"We don't want to come in and tell these great entrepreneurs what they need to focus on," said Michael Cooley, county Extension coordinator for Greene County Extension. "We're here to help organize and get the group thinking about goals and priorities. After the first few gatherings, we'll turn the reigns over to the members to direct and manage. That ownership is what will help the group succeed in meeting the needs of its members."

Ideas for the group include collaborating on promotions, learning more about topics like bookkeeping and regulations, and guest speakers to talk about financing and social media. In the end, thought, Cooley said it's up to the group to decide what's important.

RSVPs are requested but not required. There is no cost to attend the first meeting. You can find out more information and RSVP by contacting Cooley at 515-386-2138 or emailing

FOr more information about Greene County Extension, including other community and economic development programs, visit You can also stop by the Greene County Extension Office any time Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm. -Scranton Journal. Read more »


From the local communities where the crops are grown and produced to the cities where drivers fill up with domestically produced fuels, American-made ethanol is an economic engine for both Iowa and the USA.

And Iowa leads the nation in production by creating nearly 30% of all ethanol. This has resulted in 50,000 new jobs for Iowans and accounts for $13 billion of Iowa's GDP. Increasing ethanol production means an increased demand for corn and Iowa corn growers are answering the call. Yields are growing. Today. U.S. corn farmers average 169 bushels per acre, a 15% increase from 146 bushels in 2001. And this trend will only continue, as the average Iowa yield is expected to top the 200 bushel mark by 2020.

Best of all, the value of each kernel has increased steadily since 2005. Traditionally, corn was harvested and exported from Iowa. Now it's processed into ethanol or fed to livestock right here in Iowa.

Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGS), a co-product of the ethanol production process, is a cost effective and valuable feed ingredient for livestock and poultry diets. This is a valuable source of protein, fat, and energy, which animals need. - Coon Rapids Enterprise Read more »


People want many things from their money- a house, financial security in later life, college for their children, or other financial goals. Local volunteers met with Greene County Extension staff to plan the next Money Talk program to begin February 7. The Money Talk program addresses those goals and ways to meet them. Earlier Money Talk sessions were held in 2004 and 2005.

The panning committee is comprised of past Money Talks participants and others interested in financial education including Jacque Andrew, Pam Olerich, Jill Gibson, Sarah Erickson, Pat MIller, Omega Sang, Annie Smith and Teresa Mobley.

In 2012, both men and women are encouraged to participate in the five lesson series. Topics are: February 7: Financial Basics- setting your financial goals and planning your spending;
February 14: Insurance basics;
February 21: Investing basics- Stocks, binds, mutual funds;
February 28: Retirement realities; and
March 6: When life changes- will, estates, marriage, divorce, widowhood, remarriage

Sessions will run from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Greene County Extension Office, 104 W. Washington in Jefferson.

Ruth Freeman, Iowa State University family finance program specialist, will present the sessions. A local expert will participate to help Freeman answer questions including Terry Murphy, Terry Lang, Tim Heisterkamp, Dean Dozier and Rita Pedersen.

The fee for the class is greatly reduced due to local sponsorship by Greene County Extension, Community State Bank, Home State Bank, Peoples Trust and Savings Bank, United Bank, and Wells Fargo Bank. The fee will be used to offset direct expenses and to support the families county extension program including a 192 page workbook, ISU publications and handouts.

Call the Greene County Extension office at 515-386-2138 or email by February 3 to learn more or to register. Read more »


The City of Audubon is one of the 450 Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) 545 member cities/utilities that participate in the Safety Group Insurance Program. The Safety Group Insurance Programs provides property, casualty, liability and workers' compensation insurance through Employers Mutual Companies (EMC). This 30 year old agreement between IAMU and EMD returns dividends when the losses are below industry projections. Dividends earned over the life of the Safety Group now total $38.3 million. The favorable loss ratio for the policy year ending March 31, 2011 resulted in a January 2012 distribution to member participants in the amount of $2,007,262. This represents more than 10% of the group's total premium. The City of Audubon recently received their portion of the distribution in the amount of $5,528.00 from their agent, Tim Andersen of Landmands Insurance Agency. -Audubon County Advocate Journal Read more »


Greene County Medical Center recently received $4,500, representing funds raised during the fall for breast cancer awareness. Fundraiser coordinator Kristie Hurley said "The community really supports all the efforts put forward to raise awareness and funds."

This year, the $4,500 raised included monetary donations of $1,034.15; basket silent auction of $2,900, and the Pink Pastry bake sale sponsored by the Jefferson-Scranton High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America raised $565.85. All funds raised this year are designated for the Hospice Family Room at Greene County Medical Center.

Over the past five years, Hurley has coordinated fundraising that initially had funds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and then to the Radiology Department at Greene County Medical Center (for digital mammography equipment). The last three years she has focused on funds going toward a special Hospice family room at the medical center.

Hurley has helped raise a total of $14,000 for this project. Many other individuals and organizations have contributed additional funds for this project as well. Foundation Director Hollie Roberts said "We are thankful for all the hard work Kristie has put into this over the years. We hope to make the Hospice family room a reality in the coming year." - The Scranton Journal Read more »


Bell Tower of Fame nominations for 2012 are due by 5 pm, Friday, February 10, announces Carole Custer, chair of the selection committee. The award, presented during the annual Bell Tower Festival in Jefferson, honors people who, through their outstanding international, national or state achievements in professional or personal endeavors have brought recognition to Greene County, where they have resided at some point in their lives.

Forty-three people are recipients of the Bell Tower of Fame Award. Their names are displayed on wall plaques inside the Mahanay Carillon Tower.

"Over its 32-year history, this award has honored the remarkable accomplishments of people whose lives have been impacted by their experiences of living in Greene County," said Custer. "Greene Countians should feel tremendously proud that the awardees represent many walks of life such as education, journalism, law, music, foreign service, athletics, agriculture, health and medicine, manufacturing, outer space exploration, and more," she said.

Criteria for the nomination:
1. The nominee must have been a resident of Greene County during some part of his or her life. If the nominee is no longer residing in Greene County, some on-going connection with the county needs to have been maintained.
2. The nominee must possess state, national and/or international achievements.

Custer noted that the selection committee, made up of past festival chairs, also reviews past years' submissions so nominators are encouraged to update their previously submitted documents for their candidates.

Nomination forms are available at and that the Jefferson Area Chamber of Commerce office, 220 North Chestnut, Jefferson, IA 50129.

"Our county should be proud of the number of accomplished people across the nation and the world who have Greene County roots," Custer said. -The Scranton Journal Read more »


It's time to start thinking of individuals or groups to nominate for this year's Greene County Community "Impact Award." This is the third year for the award which honors those who have volunteered their time and talents to Greene County through social, educational, or cultural activities as opposed to a business operation or work through and official position.

The award seeks to fill a gap. Communities honor individuals locally. The Bell Tower of Fame Award recognizes those who have been successful on a state or national level. The "Impact Award" honors those who have made a difference in the Greene County community.

Nomination forms will be available at local libraries after February 13. The nomination deadline is March 30. An announcement of this year's recipient will be April 20.

The award will be given in the Greene COunty Courthouse rotunda in a 3 pm ceremony on Sunday, May 6.

The "Impact" board includes: Teena Toliver of Churdan, Pat Fagen of Grand Junction, Janet Christian of Scranton, Mary Weaver of Rippey, Becky Cunningham of Paton, Jerry Roberts of Jefferson, and Lawrence Geisler of rural Jefferson who was the first recipient of the award in 2010.

The 2011 award was presented to the Churdan Town and Country Band. -The Scranton Journal

Read more »


The Perry Area Chamber of Commerce hosts the 35th Annual BRR- Bike Ride to Rippey- Saturday, February 4. This annual 24 mile round trip bike ride from Perry to Rippey and back rolls on regardless of the weather.

Known as the "Original WINTER Bike Ride", BRR riders have experienced frigid temperatures and wind chills while plowing through a foot of snow and have also enjoyed springlike temperatures at 60 degrees! Attendance has grown every year with riders and guests attending from all over Iowa and the country.

Hosted by the Perry Area Chamber of Commerce, BRR is a frozen-filled day of biking, prizes and entertainment. This year's theme- EmBRRacing the Chill- was captured brilliantly by avid bicyclist, BRR veteran of 26 years and award winning cartoonist Brian Duffy. The theme is used in promotional materials and on merchandise.

BRR registration, the official start, and other morning activities will all take place in beautiful downtown Perry.

Schedule of Events:
Breakfast- Lions Club (open to the public) Hotel Pattee 7 to 10:30 am
Registration and pickup of materials for pre-registered riders- Town Craft Building (1122 Willis) 8 am to noon
Ride Kickoff by Chuck Scheib's cannon- Second and Willis at 10 am.

East Greene Youth Fellowship will host a baked potato bar at the church. Proceeds benefit their annual mission trips.
Lion's Club will serve roast beef sundaes at the former Masonic Building in the Community Room at Third St and Main Street. Rippey Fire Department will host a beer tent.
Public safety officials have requested riders depart from Rippey no later than 3 pm to ensure a safe return to Perry before sunset.

All retail stores, restaurant and bars will be open throughout the day. Riders may pre-register for the ride at or call the Perry Area Chamber of Commerce for a registration form. The pre-registration fee and/or day of ride fee includes: 35th Annual BRR tshirt; traditional commemorative lapel pin (first 300); ticket for hot chocolate break midway to Rippey; free sag wagon; automatically entered in drawing to win $500 in Perry Bucks; admission to McCreary Center for swimming, sauna, whirlpool; plus coupons and discounts from area businesses. A Support the Ride Registration fee (day of ride only no merchandise included). For more information, or to register for the ride, please contact the Perry Area Chamber of Commerce at 515-465-4601 or via email at -The Scranton Journal
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The proposed “Herndon to Coon Rapids Trail” through northern Guthrie County has received a federal grant of $300,000 from the Federal Recreational Trails program.

This grant was among six announced January 10th by the Iowa Transportation Commission. A total of $1,239,400 in funding was awarded through the program, created in 1991 for the purpose of developing and maintaining recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both motorized and non-motorized trail users.

The new $300,000 Fed Rec Trails grant will be added to the existing $365,000 in Transportation Enhancement funds already secured for the same project. Both grants are to be used in the initial corridor acquisition phase of the project.

Match for both grants is being provided by a land donation by the private company Shippers Consortium, directed by Roger Koppen. This gift consists of over seven miles of abandoned rail corridor between Herndon and Bayard. Says Koppen, who is also CEO of Farmers Cooperative, “We are pleased to support this project due to the many benefits it will bring to Guthrie County.”

An ISU Extension economic impact study estimates that, when completed, this 17-mile trail will serve over 50,000 annual users, between snowmobilers and bike riders. These users will bring more than $1 million in annual spending, $200,000 of new income, and twelve jobs to the region.

Snowmobilers, and possibly hunters, will be some of the first to enjoy the benefit of the recreational corridor once it’s secured and opened for public use. Snowmobiles are able to use temporary bridges and operate with their own insurance. The segment between Herndon and Bayard lies on the path of a planned cross-county snowmobile route from Saylorville to Lake Okoboji.

Paving the trail will take much longer, but once surfacing is complete, the trail is expected to attract large numbers of bike riders coming from the Des Moines metro area along both branches of the Raccoon River Valley Trail. The RRVT segment through Panora has been complete for many years; and the segment through Perry is currently under construction. (map)

The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF), a Des Moines-based non-profit that plays a lead role in many land protection and trail development projects across the state (including the acclaimed High Trestle Trail Bridge) is also assisting with the project. INHF will play an intermediary role in the corridor acquisition phase, assisting with negotiations with landowners all along the route, including the BNSF railroad, the Iowa Department of Transportation, and various private landowners.

These negotiations will start in 2012, and their progress will determine the final routing and costs for the trail. Trail planners anticipate that the $665,000 grant dollars in hand will be sufficient to largely complete the corridor acquisition and stabilization phase.

Fundraising for the Herndon to Coon Rapids trail is being done free-of-charge by the non-profit Creating Great Places. CGP board president Curt Thornberry, of Panora, says, “We are thrilled to get a second grant for this project. The extension of the existing Raccoon River Valley Trail 17 miles west to Whiterock Conservancy should help pull additional trail users through Panora and Yale, and bring new users to Bagley and Bayard. The corridor has the potential to bring additional clients to restaurants, bars and convenience stores in all of these communities.”

The current public sponsor for this trail corridor project is the City of Coon Rapids. The city agreed to step forward as public sponsor in May of 2011, after the Guthrie Supervisors voted in March 2011 to cancel the initial $365,000 Transportation Enhancement grant awarded to the project. At that time, Supervisors Carney, Caraher and Dickson opposed the trail project due to concerns over future trail maintenance responsibilities.

Creating Great Places has established a dedicated “Trail Maintenance Fund” to help ally concerns from public sponsors about eventual future trail maintenance costs. According to Garst, nearly $40,000 has already been raised towards an initial $60,000 goal. She urges all trail backers to show their support by sending tax-deductible donations to: CGP, 401 Fifth Avenue South, Coon Rapids, IA 50058, with the words “Trail Maintenance Fund” on the memo line. These funds will be invested to grow over time until they are eventually needed to help maintain the future trail.
Read more »


Lyle Hansen, Jr. was named 2011 Audubon Citizen of the Year during the Community Banquet held Saturday night. Hansen, a principle at Southwest Iowa Real Estate in Audubon was presented the award by last year's recipient, Tom Nielsen, who is a former co-worker of Hansen's.

The Audubon Fire Department was given a special Community Award for their dedication and service and Audubon County Economic Development gave a presentation on various projects and successes of the past year.

The Community Banquet is sponsored by the Audubon Chamber of Commerce and Audubon County Economic Development and is a way to recognize the achievements of the community on an annual basis. Members of both boards are recognized and the outgoing Chamber President is presented with a plaque. This year's outgoing president is Pat Curtis.

A dinner with entertainment and auction was also held. Proceeds from the event benefit the Audubon Chamber of Commerce. Read more »


A good turnout of Greene County Chamber of Commerce members and guests, elected officers and board members for 2012 on Tuesday evening at the Jefferson Elks Lodge.

Elected were the following: president Ben Yoder; president-elect Pete Russell; vice-president John Brunow; treasurer Bob Allen; past president Lisa Turner; and at-large board members Angie Peterson, Luann Walsh, Rose Stoline and Bob Schultz. Russell, Brunow, Peterson and Walsh are new to the board.

Turner convened the business meeting following the dinner, thanking the city of Jefferson, the Main Street application committee, Greene County Development Corporation, the staff, the board, and retiring board members Bill McKim and Joel Williams.

She then turned the meeting over to the new president Yoder, who presented her with a plaque for her service as president. Yoder remarked on the Chamber's leadership activities, dissemination of information to the members and community at large, the challenge of halting the county's population decline, and the importance of the contributions of Chamber members, financial and otherwise.

Attendance at the meeting was 20 people greater than last year's meeting.

Executive director Ken Paxton provided a written report on activities of the organization during 2011, focusing on visibility. Among the accomplishments he highlighted were news releases, joint programs involving the county's manufacturers, bus tours, new publications, visits with other organizations, events such as the Bell Tower Festival and others, and visits with Iowa Central Community College students, to name a few. Paxton also outlined a number of projects and activities the organization plans for 2012.

The brochure distributed at the meeting also saluted 14 Chamber member businesses and individuals who have more than 50 years of membership.

The Chamber's annual Above and Beyond the Call (ABC) Award was presented to Hollie Roberts by last year's recipients, Chuck and Carla Offenburger. They listed a number of Roberts' many civic contributions, including her active participation in First Baptist Church of Jefferson; board membership on Habitat for Humanity, Greene County Development Corporation, Genesis Development and Jefferson Kiwanis Club; her new position as the first female officer of the BPO Elks as well as her participation in BPO Does; her mentoring in the Odyssey of the Mind program; and her widely published poetry.

A number of Roberts' family members from out of town surprised her by their attendance at the meeting.

Entertainment for the evening was furnished by hypnotist Dr. Jim Wand, who called a number of Chamber members and guests to the stage to undergo his hypnotism. -Jefferson Herald

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A reappraisal of all commercial and industrial properties in Guthrie County will begin soon. Guthrie County Assessor Rusty Pearson announced the door-to-door inspections will begin in early February.

The decision to perform the reappraisal was made by the Conference Board in February 2011.

The purpose of the reappraisal is to equalize property assessments so that each taxpayer is responsible for paying only his/her fair share of the property tax burden. Periodic inspections and reappraisal of properties is necessary as all types of properties do not increase or decrease in value at the same rate. Some properties physically deteriorate faster than others, noted Pearson, and in many instances similar buildings located in different areas of the county will differ greatly in value due to economic factors.

Representatives of Vanguard Appraisals, Inc. in conjunction with the Guthrie County Assessor's Office will be conducting the project.

Data collectors with photo id signed by the Assessor will make interior and exterior inspections of all commercial and industrial properties. They will be compiling information to be used to estimate the fair market value of each property. Information to be collected includes type of construction, type of interior finish, physical condition of the property, age of the structures and exterior measurements. A complete sales analysis, local construction costs and economic conditions are also considered. No estimate of value will be given at the time of the inspection.

Pearson is asking property owners to cooperate by allowing a complete inspection of their property and providing accurate information so that a fair and equitable assessment may be determined for each property.

The preliminary data collection process will begin in March. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.

Notice of final value estimates will be mailed to each property owner after January 1, 2013. The property owners will have an opportunity to meet informally with Pearson or other staff members to discuss their revaluation in the spring of 2013.

The new assessed values will be effective for January 1,2013 for taxes in fiscal 2014-2015.

All law enforcement agencies as well as the Assessor's Office will be apprised of the areas where data collectors are working. They will also have a listing of all names and license plate numbers of anyone involved in the project.

If property owners have questions regarding the reappraisal project they may contact the Guthrie County Assessor's Office at 641-747-3319 or 200 N. 5th St., Guthrie Center, IA 50115. - The News Gazette Read more »


Just before the Christmas holiday, seven China Education Delegation Members and members of the Chinese Consulate General in Chicago met with West Central CEO Jeff Stroburg to talk cooperatives.

Sponsored by the Mary Xu Foundation and U.S. Education Without Borders, the group was on a three-day visit to Iowa high schools and colleges as well as agricultural companies. According to Swallow Yan with the Chinese Association of Iowa, the group is working to build goodwill and develop relationships for future educational exchanges and internship opportunities for Chinese students in the United States, and American students in China. The group consisted of Chinese Consulate General employees, as well as representatives of Chinese educational institutions and organizations, including one gentleman who is the 76th descendant of Confucius and the founder of Confucius International Education Group.

During a stop at Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (REG) in Ames, the group of seven met with West Central CEO Jeff Stroburg, who talked about the dynamics of the cooperative business structure, how cooperatives serve their members and customers, and how cooperatives work to be profitable in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Stroburg also touched on cooperative employees and the types of individuals needed to run an organization like West Central.

"When people think about cooperatives, they often underestimate the diverse group of employees needed to run an organization such as West Central or any cooperative of its size or stature," commented Stroburg. "We're continually looking for energetic, motivated individuals with a solid education and commitment to agriculture to join the West Central team."

In addition to the group's visit at REG, the visited AIB College, Ankeny High School, Waukee High School, the US Department of Agriculture-Des Moines office, and the Iowa Department of Education office. The group arrived on December 21 and departed December 23. -Adair News Read more »


The Adair County Farm Service Agency (FSA) Office is pleased to welcome Jon Shelley as the newest member of the County Committee. The Farm Service Agency is a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and provides financial assistance through disaster assistance, conservation, commodity and price support programs, and farm loans.

The national FSA office guides sate and county offices in the implementation of farm programs legislated by Congress. Farmers who are eligible for FSA programs nominate and elect representatives in the local community to serve on the local FSA County Committee. This extensive county-based structure provides FSA a unique position from which to serve rural America.

Shelley's term begins on January 12, 2012 and represents Grand River, Grove, Harrison, Jefferson and Lincoln townships. Committee members help make decisions necessary to administer programs in the county and provide local input on price support loans and payments, conservation programs, disaster payments, emergency programs, as well as payment eligibility determinations.

Shelley will work directly with the farmers of Adair County. Adair County has approximately 1600 farms with 2200 farm operators and/or owners. There are approximately 293,569 acres in cropland.

FSA serves the public by providing all farmers and ranchers access and opportunity to participate in their farm programs. Through these activities, FSA supports the USDA mission and helps ensure a healthful, stable, assessable and affordable food supply. FSA also fosters good land stewardship, which will help preserve our agricultural prosperity for generations to come.

To learn more information about the programs and services FSA has to offer, contact the Adair County Office at 641-343-7033 or visit FSA online at Read more »


Mary Anne Murphy, BSN, MSN, ARNP-c is joining Adair County Health System's staff. She will provide emergency room coverage during the daytime hours with future plans to see same-day patients in the Adair County Medical Clinic in Greenfield.

As a registered nurse, she has worked in the areas of coronary care, intensive care, surgical intensive care, and emergency room. In 2002 she joined the Department of State as a diplomat and foreign service officer and worked as the medical officer in embassies of the States around the world.

"Since returning to the United States, I am enjoying country living in Cumming, and looking forward to beginning duties as part of the staff of ACHS. Having traveled the world and meeting a variety of people, I can honestly say I've rarely experienced the warm, kind, and friendly reception that greeted me at ACHS. I feel highly honored and fortunate to join this excellent staff and look forward to meeting the members of the community," she said. -The Stuart Herald Read more »

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