Iowa Leaders Discuss Bird Flu Crisis

The avian influenza virus continues to affect states across the Midwest. Minnesota and South Dakota have both been hit with the virus, and Iowa has suffered some of the worst effects from the disease.

S.D. Poultry Exhibitions Suspended

The South Dakota Animal Industry Board (AIB) issued a Board Order suspending all South Dakota bird exhibitions effective immediately and until further notice.

Gardens and Green Thumbs Arrive At George McGovern

"Since it's my last year I think I can do a little something before I leave."An eight grader at George McGovern Middle School, Celeste Cochrane is excited for these future gardens."It's going to bring the community together and introduce teamwork to the incoming 5th graders," she explained.Ground Works, a non-profit organization, has brought gardens to communities like Dell Rapids and Lennox. Now George McGovern has their own garden that will do more than grow fruits and vegetables."If you've got a student that doesn't necessarily understand perimeter or diameter, what better way than turning around and bringing them out to the beds where you can talk about square foot gardening," said Associate Director of Ground Works - Midwest Cindy Heidelberger Larson,  "You can talk about all aspects of the life sciences, health and wellness."The gardens will build a community but not just among the students."This really brings the community and the school and the neighborhood and the city in which it surrounds all together," explained Cindy Heidelberger Larson, Associate Director of Ground Works - MidwestWhile Celeste Cochrane and Tina Hawkins, the schools guidance counselor, already have their green thumbs, others are excited to get theirs."Some of them have gardens at home, many don't," said Tina Hawkins, a guidence counselor at George McGovern Middle School, "So for many of them, it'll be their first experience with getting their hands in the dirt and growing something and knowing that feeling that comes from planting a seed, watching it grow and eating what comes of it."Soon there will be plenty of "thyme" to grow, hopefully with no weeds.

Drought Worsens, Farmers Concerned

Even with recent rain, some places are nearly 4 or 5 inches below normal for precipitation, making April the driest on record for some.  Though dry conditions are good to start the growing season, farmers are concerned about the lack of moisture.

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Categories: Agriculture