Tag Archives: Martin County

Martin County celebrates Ag Day with Education

The Martin County FSA staff met with Kindergarten to Second Grade children at St. James Lutheran School in Northrop, Minnesota for National Agriculture Day.  The students were taught the meaning of agriculture as well as all the different things created from a variety of agricultural items: the cereal they ate for breakfast that morning and the clothes that they were wearing all came from agricultural commodities.  The students were also introduced to the faces of agriculture and their roles:  Produce Buyer, Farmer, Veterinarian, Mechanic, Pipeline Engineer, Park Ranger, and Agri-Businesswoman.   Technology was also a large topic as the staff discussed with the children how things have changed over the years in agriculture to make farming easier and more efficient.

The staff separated the children into two groups and had two different Ag Day stations prepared.  The first station was about soils and seeds.  The experiment started with three 2 liter pop bottles cut horizontally.  Each pop bottle contained different items:  the first held soil, the second held soil and debris, and the third held soil and plants.  We poured water into the pop bottles and the students were able to see how the water drained through each soil as it poured into a cup hanging over the edge of the open spout.  This also portrayed soil erosion and how plants “drink” the water in order to stay healthy.  After this the students were given a plastic food glove and the staff explained the parts of seeds, the similarities and differences of each, and how seeds grow.  The students were instructed to put a single seed into each finger of the glove and then place a wet cotton ball on the top of the seeds.   The students were instructed to hang their gloves in the sun and make sure that the cotton balls remained wet and then once the seed started growing into a seedling they could plant it in soil.  These activities made the kids feel like farmers themselves, but as the plant grows, the experiment will also demonstrate the students how a plant grows.

The second station was created to educate the students on the history of agricultural technology, teamwork, and production.  The students were taken outside to a jungle gym where apples were placed in the middle of the jungle gym.   The FSA Staff and the students discussed how things have changed over the years for agriculture and harvesting.  The students were split into two teams and the staff explained how the jungle gym represented an apple tree and how in the “old days” people handpicked all their produce. Their first activity was working together to bring the apples down and place into a designated area with proper care not to bruise them so they could be sold.  After the students completed that portion of the activity, they were given two baskets per team and again asked to “climb the apple tree” and work together to bring the apples to a designated area using the baskets (reminding the children take heed on their produce).  The final round consisted of the students working together to figure the best technique for “climbing the apple tree”, retrieving the most apples possible, placing them into a wheelbarrow/wagon and taking them to a designated area.

The staff provided the each student with a small bag  containing an  FSA notepad,  FSA pencil, and FSA temporary tattoos that were stapled to activity sheets for them to share with their families at home.  The FSA Staff also allowed the children to select their own apple from their pickings. The remaining apples were donated for a future school lunch.

FSA_kids_apples-in-wagon_PROC FSA_kids_erosion_PROC FSA_kids_erosion2_PROC FSA_kids_seed-planting_PROC FSA_kids_wheelbarrow_apples_PROC National Ag Day Pic2

Ice Bucket Challenge Supports Retiree

Recently, co-workers and friends of Gloria Laue took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  Gloria worked at the Martin County FSA Office for over 30 years, and retired after being diagnosed with ALS earlier this year. Both Gloria and current Martin County employee, Lori Janssen are interviewed in the video.

Courtesy of KEYC 12, Mankato, MN:

KEYC – Mankato News, Weather, Sports –

You’ve probably seen a fair amount of people dumping buckets of ice water on their heads for a good cause. Today, a group of coworkers and friends took the challenge in Fairmont to support their friend who’s battling ALS.

You’ve probably seen it on TV a few times, and maybe your Facebook Newsfeed is full of them.  But one thing’s for sure, the act of people dumping ice water on themselves has never been so popular, and neither has the advocacy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis known for short, as ALS.

Friend of a person battling ALS, Lori Janssen says, “Nobody really knows what ALS is. They’re taking this challenge but do they actually know?”  It’s a disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, progressively taking away one’s ability to control their muscles.  Janssen says, “So this is making everybody aware of what’s going on.”

And those diagnosed with the disease, appreciate all the attention it’s been getting.  Laue says, “I don’t think people realize it’s still a fatal disease. And they still don’t have a cure for it.”  Gloria Laue was diagnosed with ALS in April of this year. Laue says, “I thought maybe I had parkinsons. But never ALS.”

Janssen says, “Two months ago she was living at her house by herself and now she is in Ingleside here.” An assisted living center in Fairmont, where this afternoon, friends and coworkers of Gloria’s gathered outside to keep the challenge going, with a little twist of their own …along with help of the Fairmont Fire Department.

Janssen says, “I know it’s not the ice but I hear it’s just as cold is what I hear.”

Raising spirits, money and awareness so that one day the wishes of those affected by the disease will come true.  Laue says, “That they come up with a cure very soon and help a lot of people.”

As of Friday, August 22, The ALS Association has received $53.3. million dollars in donations compared to $2.2 million during the same time period last year