• Lon Tonneson

    Earth. Beer. Fire

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 30, 2013

    Earth. Beer. Fire. Those words in an email got my attention. Turned out the email was a press release from Rogue Farm, an Oregon operation where a craft brewer grows malting barley. Theirs was not a fancy pants, touchy feeling story about how they carefully nurture the tiny barley plants and eventually make malt. They didn’t try to make the point that they were good farmers by shooting a video cartoon of a cute-looking scarecrow picking hops out of a garden like Chipotle…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Checking Out A New Beef Barn

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 24, 2013

    Folks were in a good mood as they toured a new beef barn built built by John and Brenda Reisch and Jason Feldhoaus, Howard, S.D. The trio (Jason is John’s cousin) had just completed a 70- x 294-foot three-sided fabric covered hoop barn that they plan to finish cattle in. About 200 people were expected for open house. Some were neighbors -- who had been watching the gravel and cement trucks roll into the farm for weeks and came to see what the finished building looked…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Our Worst Blizzards

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 19, 2013

    Atlas -- the blizzard that killed tens of thousands of cattle, sheep and horses in western South Dakota -- should go down in history as one of the top 10 worst snowstorms ion the U.S. Here are some of the other monsters: The Children's Blizzard -- Jan. 12, 1888. Temperatures dropped from a relatively balmy few degrees above freezing to a wind chill of minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 40 degrees Celsius) in Dakota Territory and Nebraska. Because of the warm day, thousands were…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Stories From the Storm

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 17, 2013

    The western South Dakota blizzard that killed tens of thousands of head of livestock was truly devastating. But numbers don’t tell the whole story. I was moved most by what ranchers wrote and said about what they found on the Plains when the blizzard broke. They are alive: Jessica Bean, Summerset, S.D., wrote, “My parents found a drift that had covered who knows how many ewes and lambs. ‘You guys need to come here,’ my Mom said when she called, clearly distressed…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Ag & Oil: Which Is Bigger In North Dakota?

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 11, 2013

    Is ag or oil North Dakota’s biggest industry? It matters for a couple reasons. There are the bragging rights, of course. And the top industry will likely get more attention from lawmakers. Policies made now will affect the future the industry. Here’s the facts on the size of ag and oil, as reported recently by the Grand Forks Herald: In the 12 months ending July 30, the value of crude oil and natural gas produced in North Dakota totaled $24.9 billion, based on…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Blizzard Takes Toll On Cattle

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 8, 2013

    The loss of thousands of cattle in the blizzard that covered western South Dakota last week with as much as 4 feet of snow is a tough deal. I’ve read that some ranchers in the hardest hit area of the Black Hills lost half their animals. Out on the Plains, losses are said to be running 10-20%. The cows and calves that survived the storm aren’t completely out of the woods, either. The risk that they’ll come down with respiratory infections in the next two weeks…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Five Movies You'll Probably Hate

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 4, 2013

    Here are five movies and short films about food and farmers that you’ll probably hate. They were among a list of recommended films suggested by food activists. The Hidden Cost of Hamburgers: The Center for Investigative Reporting tallies the waht they see as the cost of conventionally-raised beef. King Corn: Two guys from the East Coast move to Iowa, plant a one-acre crop of corn, and discover how much of the American diet corn infiltrates. Our Daily Bread…

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