April 21, 2011

Tague to Continue Hoops Career at Culver-Stockton College

Scotland County R-I standout Ashley Tague will continue her basketball career at the next level after signing a letter of intent to play hoops at Culver-Stockton College in Canton.

She will join Coach Seth Minter's program that is looking to improve on an injury-plague 6-22 season in 2010-11.

Minter, who led Canton High School to back-to-back final four appearances in the Missouri state playoffs, said he is excited about an excellent recruiting class he believes will help propel the squad to bigger and better things in his second season at the helm.

Ashley was joined by her parents, Eddie and Louella Tague, and older sister, and fellow Lady Tiger alumni Stephanie Richmond and her family as well as SCR-I head coach Jaryt Hunziker at the official signing ceremony hosted by Minter at SCR-I High School last week.

The Tri-Rivers Conference MVP said she is looking forward to working with a fellow Scotland Countian in former Gorin High School star Meleia Niemann, who serves as Minters assistant coach and also heads up the junior varsity program at C-SC.

"I'm a little nervous, since she is from Gorin too, and she has such a special career setting records at both schools," Tague said. "Still I'm looking forward to the opportunity to play for her and coach Minter."

Scotland County Commission Meeting Minutes

Thursday, October 5, 2017

PLACE OF MEETING: Scotland County Courthouse Commission Chambers

The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m.

PRESENT WERE:  Presiding Commissioner, Duane Ebeling; Eastern District Commissioner, Danette Clatt; Western District Commissioner, David Wiggins; and County Clerk, Batina Dodge.

Commissioner Wiggins moved to approve the consent agenda; seconded by Presiding Commissioner Ebeling. Motion carried 3-0.

The minutes from October 4, 2017 were presented. Commissioner Clatt moved to approve the regular session minutes; seconded by Presiding Commissioner Ebeling. Motion carried 2-0 with Commissioner Wiggins abstaining.

Commissioner Wiggins reported that he attended the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission Wednesday.

Commissioner Clatt moved to enter executive session at 8:35 a.m. pursuant to RSMo §610.021(1).  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wiggins and carried 3-0.

Commissioner Clatt moved to exit executive session at 8:45 a.m.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wiggins and carried 3-0.

The Commission audited and signed checks.

Kathy Kiddoo, Treasurer, presented a monthly settlement of funds.

Batina Dodge, County Clerk, presented budget reports.

Martin Meyer and Skip Wilson, engineers for PSBA, presented plans of rehabilitation to the county road and bridge facility for review by the Commission.  No action was taken.

Ryan Clark, Road and Bridge Supervisor, discussed current projects with the Commission.

Seeing no further business, Presiding Commissioner Ebeling adjourned the meeting at 12:05 p.m.

The Scotland County Commission adjourned to meet in regular session on Wednesday, October 11, 2017.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

PLACE OF MEETING: Scotland County Courthouse Commission Chambers

The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m.

PRESENT WERE:  Presiding Commissioner: Duane Ebeling; Eastern District Commissioner, Danette Clatt; Western District Commissioner, David Wiggins; and County Clerk, Batina Dodge.

Commissioner Wiggins moved to approve the consent agenda; seconded by Presiding Commissioner Ebeling. Motion carried 3-0.

Commissioner Clatt moved to approve the regular session minutes from October 5, 2017; seconded by Commissioner Wiggins.  Motion carried 3-0.

The Commission signed court orders 23-2017 through 45-2017.

Commissioner Wiggins reported that he attended the solid waste and TAC meetings at NEMO Regional Planning Tuesday.

The Commission approved the quarterly assessment reimbursement request to the State Tax Commission as presented by Nancy McClamroch, Deputy County Clerk.

Ryan Clark, Road and Bridge Supervisor, discussed current projects with the Commission.

The Commission reviewed the Railroad and Utility Tax Book prepared by Batina Dodge, County Clerk.

Seeing no further business, Commissioner Ebeling adjourned the meeting at 12:00 p.m.

The Scotland County Commission adjourned to meet in regular session on Thursday, October 12, 2017.

New Folks and Movie Stars

Movie stars making their grand entrance at the world premiere. Photo by Stephen.

This week held many highlights, for me anyway, so it was hard to decide what to leave out! Even the weather was exciting, with a cold snap, a few gloomy dark days, other days of unseasonable warmth and bright sun, not to mention some intense storms and a tornado watch (no actual tornado, thank goodness). And even though the time of year suggests that things should be slowing down, there’s no sign of that in my reality, at least not yet.

Here’s the news of the week, according to Tereza.

Quite a few of the week’s highlights for me relate to a new visitor group being here. They’re the last of the season, and given the rain, cold weather, and the inevitable late-season low-energy-for-new-folk many of us are having, they seem to be doing remarkably well.

My overall impression of the group is that they’re friendly, kind, and very eager to learn. I might have an extra-special soft spot in my heart for this group of folks because I already knew Robbie and Jack, who both took part in the Milkweed Mercantile’s writing workshop earlier this year. In that most excellent of workshops we participants bonded really quickly, and came to trust each other a lot in a very short time, so it’s extra great for me to have these two back again for a longer stay.

And I virtually met Jo, another visitor in this group, a few weeks ago, when a college theater professor connected us via social media. Jo and I were both greatly impacted by this professor during our college years, and the fact that our time with him was 25 or so years apart doesn’t seem to have diminished the bond that gives us. We haven’t yet had a lot of time to connect, but we’ve had some wonderful laughter and reminiscing, and I’m looking forward to more.

Perhaps the highest highlight of the week was the World Premiere Screening of “Beyond Home,” a movie made by a group of tri-community kids. For weeks they’ve been meeting with Erica (our resident film industry expert), learning about many different aspects of filmmaking. The kids came up with ideas, wrote the script, and assigned on- and off-camera roles, including location scout, clapboard clapper, goat-wrangler, and more.

Finally on Wednesday night it all came together with the first public showing of the results. It was decided to make it a gala event, so folks were invited to dress up if they wanted. Some went all out on their amazing outfits. As the kids walked up the ramp (aka red carpet) into the Casa, the paparazzi were out in force, flashbulbs (aka flashlights) popping, and the crowd going wild: so much clapping and hooting and stomping for these new movie stars! The movie itself, about five minutes long, was really entertaining, as was experiencing the kids’ reactions to our reactions. Then there was time for the audience to ask questions of the kids (and Erica).

After the Q&A we watched a bloopers reel, where we got to see some fun outtakes/mistakes found while editing. (I think my favorite was a scene happening on Main Street, and someone—I still have no idea who it was—walked across the street right behind the action.) The kids especially seemed to get a big kick out of this part of the evening.

It was interesting to me the next day to hear Aurelia say she had no idea so many people would be there. For some reason she thought only the parents would come. I was surprised she was surprised: it’s all they’d been talking about for quite a while, and most of us, parents or not, were excited to see what the kids had made.

That’s one of the things I love about living here: how encouraging we are of each other’s interests and passions, even if we don’t have a blood relationship, even if we aren’t personally very interested in the actual topic or event in question. If you’re super into it, or it feels important to you, we’ll come out for your event, we might even dress up in sparkly attire, and we’ll clap our hands ‘til they sting to encourage you in reaching for your dreams. (I wish everyone reading this the chance to feel the joy of such support!)

Let’s see, what else? Of course we had all the usual events that happen during the first week of a visitor session, like Meet and Greet, and Q&A with Rabbits, and the visitors dining with with various food co-ops and in various kitchens. On Friday the 13th Taylor had a spooky birthday dance party, which sounds like folks had fun at. I was prepping for the Q&A and was a bit under the weather, so I didn’t make it.

Saturday night, right after some pretty ferocious storms, we had a clothing swap. The weather might have led to perhaps lower attendance than otherwise, but those present had a great time. It was chaotic and fun, with three of us simultaneously holding items up, announcing size or other salient features, and then flinging them across the room to whomever said they wanted it. Not only is it fun to see people trying on different things and exploring outfits, it’s nice to know that just because I don’t want something anymore doesn’t mean it might not give someone else great joy for a while.

After the swap I went to the common house to see the visitors “non-fire”. While I was there for just a short time it was a lovely mellow scene, with lots of candlelight, drumming, ukulele, and various other percussion instruments.

In most of my updates I don’t mention what’s going on in the outside world, and I hesitate to do so now, but I want to acknowledge that even when we don’t write about it, for many of us the news often has a very big impact. (My first draft had a very long rant about a multitude of issues in this space, but I deleted it. You’re welcome.)

As just one example, on Sunday night Men’s Group hosted an open meeting, where all tri-community folk are welcome to attend. I always appreciate the opportunity to be in that space, where deep personal work and support can happen. This week I especially appreciated it, as I was able to work with what’s been up for me lately, triggered by the topic of sexual harassment that has been in the news of late. As someone who has experienced this personally, it was difficult, but powerful and healing for me to do that work with the support of some of the men in my community. I have big “hearts” for all who attended.

Reflecting on my experience the next morning, I suddenly thought of how often I’ve heard non-community folks hint (or even say outright) that they think we come to Dancing Rabbit to get away from the world. But that feels to me to be missing the point. I didn’t come here to escape from the world, I came to help create an alternative to ways of living that aren’t working in the rest of the world. Despite the challenges, I keep choosing to live here out of hope, hope that we can show the world that other ways are possible.

Peace out.

Last chance for a tour this year! We take the colder months off from our regularly scheduled public tours, so next Saturday, Oct. 28th will be our last public tour until April. Hope to see you there!

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community and educational nonprofit outside Rutledge, MO, focused on demonstrating sustainable living possibilities. We offer public tours of the village on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, April-October. Reservations not required. Tours are free, though donations to help us continue our educational and outreach efforts are gratefully accepted. For directions, call the office at 660-883-5511 or email us at dancingrabbit@ic.org. To find out more about us, you can also check out our website: www.dancingrabbit.org.

Olive Branch Petition

The Olive Branch Petition was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 5, 1775 in a final attempt to avoid a full-on war between Britain and the thirteen colonies represented in that Congress. The Congress had already authorized the invasion of Canada more than a week earlier, but the petition affirmed American loyalty to Great Britain and beseeched King George III to prevent further conflict. That the petition was followed on July 6 “The Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms” made its success in London improbable. In August 1775, the Colonies were formally declared to be in rebellion by the Proclamation of Rebellion, and the petition was rejected by Great Britain – even though King George had refused to read the Olive Branch Petition before declaring the colonists traitors. The Second Continental Congress convened in May 1775, and most delegates followed John Dickinson in his quest to reconcile with King George III of Great Britain. However, a rather small group of delegates led by John Adams believed that war was inevitable. During the course of the Second Continental Congress, Adams and his allies decided that the wisest course of action was to remain quiet and wait for the opportune time to rally the people. This decision allowed Dickinson and his followers to pursue their own course for reconciliation. Dickinson was the primary author of the petition, though Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, John Rutledge, and Thomas Johnson also served on the drafting committee. The petition was signed by John Hancock, President of the Second Congress on July 6, 1775. Again, the Kings refusal to consider the petition gave Adams and others the realization that, from this point forward, the choice was complete independence or complete submission to British rule.

From Jauflione Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

When Why Matters the Most

It’s amazing how deer are transformed from summer to fall and winter. In the hot months my trail camera’s pictures are of deer that look like they’re about ready to die. Their hide is patchy with hair, ticks cover parts of their body, and you seemingly can count every rib on their frail frame. And while some do die from various issues related to the heat, most make it to the colder, more comfortable months. As they arrive to better days, that same exterior that once looked unhealthy, thin, and weak, becomes thick with hair and fat, and as muscular -looking as if they had changed their diet and began a new exercise program.

Wait a minute. That’s exactly what they have done. They changed their diet and increased their activity. In the summer deer are filling themselves on the various salad combinations. As the days move along, fruit is added to the meal until the entrée of nuts begin to fall from the trees. These acorns come in various sizes and tastes and provide the nutritional profile the deer need to get ready for a cold winter. When there is a bumper crop of acorns deer can gain several pounds in only a couple of weeks. And in order to find other trees that are holding this favorite food of theirs, the deer must move around, more than they did in the summer.

There you have it. Eating better and exercise produces a healthier body. But we knew that all the time; didn’t we?

What goes for deer goes for you and me. But while deer are forced into their salad-eating starvation period because there is nothing healthier around, we are dependent on self-control and accountability. Especially in civilized countries, we have to learn to say no to the bad things and yes to the good ones. We have to choose what is best. The choices we make, however, become easier when our “Why” matters the most. “Why” am I doing this?

Let me put it this way. We are more willing to make changes in our lives when the alternative is dying. Let me simplify again. When the doctor tells you you’re going to die if you don’t quit drinking, you quit drinking. When the doctor tells you, you’re going to die if you don’t lose weight; you exercise and get on a diet.  When the “why” matters the most, we are more likely to make changes. And perhaps the greatest “why” is the one that says, “Because I don’t want to die!”

I do think, however, we don’t need to wait until we get the “why” of dying before we can choose correctly. I think the “Why” of living and the “Why” of purpose can work as well. For a Christian the “Why” of taking care of our bodies is because it is called the temple of God and it is the instrument that God uses to carry his message. It is God-designed with a Godly purpose, and it is the only one we will ever have. Don’t wait until the doctor gives you the “Die Why” before you do what God wants you to do anyway.

Gary Miller

Outdoor Truths Ministries


OSWALD “GENE” KRATZER (7/-/1933 – 8/27/2017)

Oswald “Gene” Kratzer, age 84, of Phoenix, passed away on Sunday, August 27, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. He was born in July of 1933 to the late Oswald and Madeline (Mathis) Kratzer in Downing, MO. He attended Downing High School graduating class of 1951. Gene worked in security and law enforcement. In April 1993, he married Ruthanne Otte in Phoenix, Arizona.  He was a member of United States Air Force. He served in the Korean War as military police officer, and received the Purple Heart and Silver Star. He enjoyed gardening, water sports, horses, walking and bicycling. He was a high school basketball star and was always committed to physical fitness.

Oswald is survived by his loving spouse of 24 years, Ruthanne Kratzer; four children: daughters, Robyn Wedelich (Hank) of Hot Springs, Arkansas, Jill Hansen (Hans) of Modesto, California, Kay Saavedra of Fort Madison, Iowa and son, Kerry (Yvonne) of Phoenix, Arizona; five grandchildren and four great grandchildren; brothers, Jack (Jean) Kratzer, Fort Madison, Iowa; Larry Kratzer, Beaumont, Texas; Chuck Kratzer, Donnellson, Iowa; Jim Kratzer, Memphis, Missouri; sister, Carolyn Huls (Marion), Copperas Cove, Texas; former spouse, Mary Kratzer, Wickenburg, Arizona and many other loving family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Oswald and Madeline Kratzer and brother, Tim Kratzer of Keokuk, Iowa.

Memorial services were held Friday, September 1, at the Shadow Mountain Mortuary in Phoenix, Arizona. A burial service with Military Honors will be held at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in November. Online condolences can be given at www.shadowmountainmortuary.com

Thanks to many considerate contributions, a memorial in Gene’s name was established at the Downing Depot Museum in Downing, Missouri. Donations to the Kratzer Memorial Fund can be made to Downing Depot Museum, 251 E. McClintic Place, Memphis, MO, 63555.

Hospital Board Learns of 30% Drop  Off in Self Pay Collections in 2017

The Scotland County Hospital Board of Directors met in regular session on September 28 in the SCH Library. Chairman Curtis Ebeling called the meeting to order at 5:38 p.m.

Those present were: Ebeling, Joe Doubet- Vice Chairman, Judy Wilson-Secretary, (arriving 5:45 p.m.) Robert Neese-Treasurer, and members Dwight DeRosear and Lori Fulk;  Dr. Randy Tobler; CEO, Dr.  Jeff Davis, CMO, Dr. Lisa Rollison, COS, Michael Brandon, Controller, Angela Schmitter, RHIT, Heather Ayer, RN, QI/RM Coordinator, Lori Nelson, RN-Clinic Supervisor, and Brenda Prather, recording secretary.

Financial Report – Michael Brandon, MBA

Brandon offered Report on Self-Pay Collections. $922,990 for 2016 compared to $598,179 in 2017.  Next month conversation on: progress and accountability, are policy changes required, success of procedures, customer service vs. customer accountability.  Hard stop for copays, etc.

Administrative Report – Randy Tobler, MD, CEO


C-arm for ortho, pain management, speech therapy purchased to replace our old one that failed suddenly.  Upgrade would not meet needs, so new one required. Cost $125,400

Stress testing equipment failed and was replaced. Cost: $18,650

Dan Culp consulted regarding utilization of funds received for roof repairs on 9/1. He recommended replacing 4 roof top units and adding a split unit. Further, he recommended budgeting and developing a plan for replacement of the EPDM roof over the next 5 years.  The metal roof damage was cosmetic, not functional, and does not require replacement.

Congratulations to Michael Brandon and the business office staff, especially Sheryl Templeton, Tammy Newland, Lynn Fincher for their participation in BKD field audit, completed timely and putting us on track for a comfortable audit timeline this year.

Day Care update: Visit from state surveyor regarding space and regulatory requirements and visit to Van Buren County Hospital Day Care Center by two nurses.  Dr. Rollison’s working group is planning on a business plan targeting the E annex space.

Pipeline RX began in September.  Basic function fine.

Medical Staff/Allied Health

Tabitha Rohr, FNP started at LMS September 3.

Dr. John Bailey, Orthopedics, started in RHC Monday afternoons 9/11/17, thrice monthly.  Staffing and EMR adjustment has gone smoothly.

Dr. Daniel Schneider, Urologist, started Wed 9/23, twice monthly.  Or readiness and clinic staff have received positive feedback.

Dr. Richard Wolkowitz, Pain Management, started 9/26, monthly.  10 cases his first day.


Cody Arnold, Informatics Supervisor and Laura Colvin, HER Educator, have resigned.  We are evaluating how to efficiently support the HER, including off-site Meditech dedicated consultant vendor.


MHA Rural Advocacy trip to D.C.  September 12 and 13. Emphasis: Preserving the 340B program.  A potential-26% savings impact has been proposed.

Keeping DSH payments whole in the wake of proposed healthcare reform

Regulatory relief.

CMO ReportDr. Davis

Quality Assurance

Attended QA and discussed results and employee satisfaction survey questions.

Reviewed dashboard details and emails of quality data from QA Director.

Currently 2 complaints regarding physician behavior in the ED

Senior Management

Met with Senior Management discussing strategic plan and management.  Focused on alignment and ACO opportunities.  Short term planning for physician staffing needs.  Including Senior Leader Forum at Tobler Residence with focus on Mission, Vision and Future of SCH.

Meetings with Dr. Tobler and Michael Brandon regarding recruitment, retention, employee satisfaction and personnel management.

Meetings with Lori Nelson, RN, Clinic work flow, Team Care personnel/staffing, scheduling and physician relations.

Clinician Relations

Ongoing communication with clinicians regarding clinical operations

Working with Kristin Hyde and Dr. Heather Martin, Secretary of Medical Staff, regarding inpatient/OB/Peds physician coverage.

Meeting with Dr. Tobler and Michael Brandon regarding clinician contract development.

Service Line Development

Recruitment and Retention

Old Business

Board Workshop 9/30/17.  Reminder to board members, administrative leadership and medical staff leadership

New Business

Annual CEO Report-  Review of 2016-2017.  Board asked to review and contact Dr. Tobler with any questions.

Highlights: *Implementation of 340B, IMG RX.  *lifted wage freeze *online p7p. *Access email on or off duty.  *QI huge advance this year (med staff leadership support and backing.)  Dashboards, monitoring.  *Financial: Business down, revenues up. Revenue cycle manager, financial navigator improved reimbursement. *Uncompensated care–$2,123,800.

Approve renewal of Malpractice Policy for physicians. $130,075 premium.  Dr. Tobler recommends continuing coverage with this group.   Motion by DeRosear to authorize CEO Tobler to enter into continued contract with HSG for is clinic physician malpractice coverage.  Second by Fulk.  Motion approved by majority vote.

Peer Review- 6 month-review completed by Dr. William Dixon.

Random Drug screen- 6 month-no inappropriate findings.

Employee Financial Assistance Request from Jennifer Clarke.  Jennifer currently works in lab as a medical technician and requests funding for Medical Technologist degree.  Motion by Fulk to approve $1,500 from SCH and she would receive $1,500 matching funds through scholarship by MHA. Second follows by DeRosear.  Motion approved by majority votes

Dates for November and December meetings.  Monday, November 27, 2017.  December remain December 28th.

Lease request for Pyxis.  Review of terms. Bank of Kirksville. 48 months capital lease, 3.6%. $4500/month.   Brief discussion resulted in Motion by Neese to approve lease agreement with BOK for Pyxis med dispensing machine, pending approval by USDA.  Second offered by Wilson.  Motion approved by majority vote.

Approve Meditech licensure amendment.  Amendment to current agreement adding addition licenses for new practitioners using Meditech. Will add 9 users.  Will add amendment to agreement. Motion to approve amendment to current agreement by Neese.  Second by DeRosear.  Motion approved by majority vote.

Renewal of Employee Health insurance.  Recommend to continue current self-insured coverage and change coverage for dental and vision from Guardian to Sun Life.  Pharmacy may see a small change in copay.  Motion by Doubet to approve administration’s recommendation to continue present coverage with modifications to vision and dental plans. Fulk offers second.  Motion approved by majority vote.

Informatics Consulting Contract.  Discussion of resignation of Cody and Laura and thoughts on not filling their positions but to utilize present personnel as a leader with oversight by consulting service “ENGAGE”. Tobler received proposal of 90 day (80 hrs./month).  Recommendation to Board was to enter into a trial period of 3-month pilot period for $10,000.  Motion by DeRosear to authorize CEO Tobler to enter into a 3-month trial period with ENGAGE. Further extended agreement pending on efficiency and effectiveness of service provided.   Second offered by Fulk.   Motion approved by majority vote.

Executive Session

Motion by DeRosear to enter Executive Session pursuant to Sunshine Law Sections 610.021 to discuss matters that pertain to: (1) Legal, (3), hiring firing and disciplinary action (13) individually identifiable personnel information.  Doubet offered second to the motion.  Motion approved by roll call vote:  Fulk yes, DeRosear yes, Doubet yes, Neese yes, Wilson yes.  Time is 8:06pm.

Those Present:    Ebeling, Fulk, DeRosear, Doubet, Neese and Wilson, Dr. Tobler, Dr. Davis, Dr. Rollison, Heather Ayer, and Brenda Prather.

Approval of Executive Session minutes of 8/24/17. Motion by Neese and DeRosear follows with second to approve.  Motion approved by roll call vote: Fulk-yes, DeRosear-yes, Doubet yes, Neese-yes, Wilson-yes.

Motion to exit executive session and adjourn regular open session by DeRosear.  Fulk seconds motion.  Motion approved by roll call vote: Fulk-yes, DeRosear-yes, Doubet yes, Neese-yes, Wilson-yes.  Time is 9:33 pm


Motion by Neese to adjourn, with second by Wilson.  Motion approved by majority vote.  Time is 9:33pm.

Deer Hunter Electrocuted, Seriously Hurt in Fall

A Fulton man was seriously injured Thursday afternoon when he was electrocuted while working on a deer stand in rural Scotland County.

According to the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office Case Simerl, 26, was installing tin on the roof of an elevated deer blind when the sheet of metal contacted an overhead power line, electrocuting Simerl and knocking him from the ladder.

The Scotland County Ambulance service was notified of the accident and responded to the scene at approximately 2:15 p.m. on Thursday, October 5th.

Simerl was transported to Scotland County Hospital in Memphis.

“Scotland County Hospital treated an electrocution victim that sustained moderate to severe injury,” according to Chief Medical Officer, Jeff Davis, DO. “We  stabilized the victim and transferred the victim.”

Simerl was transported by ambulance to University Hospital in Columbia. As of October 10th, Simerl’s condition had been upgraded to good by University Hospital.

According to investigators, Simerl and his father were working on the deer stand when the accident occurred. The elder Simerl was uninjured in the accident and was able to contact EMS.

The accident, which occurred near Brock, was believed to have involved one of the main transfer lines moving power into Memphis. A momentary power outage was reported across the town and in other parts of the county.

MU Extension to Host Farm Bill Summit October 18th

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A day of talks on issues Missourians need in the next farm bill from the U.S. Congress will be October. 18 at the University of Missouri.

MU Extension pulls together interested parties for lectures and roundtable talks. The meeting is for all farmers.

The 2018 Farm Bill Summit follows a tradition of the long-running Breimyer Conference, says Scott Brown, MU economist.

The meeting will be at the MU Bradford Farm east of Columbia. It starts at 9 a.m. and ends by 4 p.m.

The event, with lunch, is free. However, registration is needed by Oct. 13 for the lunch count. Seating is limited.

Brown has worked on six farm bills so far in his 30 years with MU Extension.

The program starts with scholars from Missouri colleges and universities. Speakers from farm commodity and natural resources interests will tell their needs.

Writing a farm bill takes time, Brown admits. Many voices will be heard in hearings by agricultural committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

The Summit offers a start to forming Missouri concerns for future discussion. “National debate on the farm bill will intensify this fall,” Brown says.

Congress currently has trouble reaching consensus to enact laws. “However, a farm bill offers bipartisan appeal,” Brown says. “It should offer both parties a path to success.”

MU economists have long been asked to analyze economic impacts of farm bills.

For this summit, Pat Westhoff will lead with policy issues for crop farmers. He heads the MU Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI).

Brown will follow with issues for livestock farmers. He has already been called to a farm bill hearing in Congress.

Panel talks will include farm bill policy scholars, and crop commodity and farm groups.

The academics are from the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; College of the Ozarks; Truman State University; and Missouri State University.

Farm groups include crop and livestock plus conservation and rural development.

At noon, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt and Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri’s 4th Congressional District will tell Washington updates.

MU administrators offering welcomes are Chancellor Alexander Cartwright and Vice Chancellor Marshall Stewart, MU Extension.

The crop panel includes Missouri Corn Growers Association, Missouri Soybean Association, Missouri Farm Bureau and FCS Financial.

Livestock groups include Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, Missouri Pork Association and Missouri Dairy Association.

Conservation interests will be Farm Bureau, Ducks Unlimited and The Nature Conservancy.

The final Summit roundtable on rural development has panelists from Farm Bureau, Missouri’s electric cooperatives and MU Extension.

The late Harold Breimyer started the popular farm policy seminars. He brought in authorities and invited farmers to bring questions.

To register, call 573-882-4349 or go to muconf.missouri.edu/MUfarmbillsummit, where an agenda is also available.

MU Bradford Farm is at 4968 Rangeline Road, south from Highway WW and 7 miles east of Columbia in Boone County.

Missouri Farm Cash Rent Rates Drop in Latest USDA Report

Cash rent rates dropped overall in many Missouri counties, according to a September 8 report from U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Rates for cropland and pastureland dropped overall from the previous year, said University of Missouri Extension agriculture business specialist Joe Koenen. Koenen leads sessions on Missouri farm leases to educate landowners and tenants on how to develop fair leases for farmland, recreational land, livestock and equipment.

“As I would expect, the northwest portion of the state had the highest average drop in crop rent, averaging $4 per acre,” Koenen said. DeKalb County’s average dropped $27 per acre while Worth County dropped $23. Koenen noted, however, that some counties in northwestern Missouri showed increases.

The statewide average for cropland in Missouri dropped $1 per acre—less than 1 percent, Koenen said. It went down 2.4 percent in northwestern Missouri and 1.5 percent in northeastern Missouri.

Scotland County followed the state average, with prices on non-irrigated farm ground dropping $1 from $133 to $132 an acre on average. Pastureland rental rates drop from $36.50 a season ago to $36 in 2017.

Pastureland rates continue to hold steady since less land is available for rent, Koenen said. The statewide average was $31. Warren County had the lowest rate at $13, and Knox County topped the list at $51.

Atchison County in northwestern Missouri topped the state’s cropland rent rate at $188 per acre. Crawford County reported the lowest rate—$16 per acre. Marion County was tops in the northeast region at $172 an acre with Pike County the lowest at $117 an acre. Clark County had the same rate as Scotland County at $132 while Knox County was at $137 and Lewis County at $138. Adair County in the North Central region had average rental rates of just $91.50 while Schuyler County was at $119. Schuyler County reported average pasture rental rates at $44.50 an acre.

Koenen said the new report follows his 2016 predictions that lower commodity prices would drive rental rates downward. He expects pressure on cropland rental rates will continue in the next year, with pasture rates holding steady.

MU Extension surveys rental rates every three years. In 2015, the survey showed dryland rent at a statewide average of $145.50 per acre. Pastureland rates ranged from $10 to $100 per acre, with an average of $38.41. The survey is available at agebb.missouri.edu/mgt/cashrent2015.pdf..

USDA Farm Safety Net and Conservation Payments to Exceed $9.6 Billion

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on October 3rd, announced that over $9.6 billion in payments will be made, beginning this week, to producers through the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC), Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Conservation Reserve (CRP) programs.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing approximately $8 billion in payments under the ARC and PLC programs for the 2016 crop year, and $1.6 billion under CRP for 2017.

“Many of these payments will be made to landowners and producers in rural communities that have recently been ravaged by drought, wildfires, and deadly hurricanes,” Perdue said.  “I am hopeful this financial assistance will help those experiencing losses with immediate cash flow needs as we head toward the end of the year.”

The ARC and PLC programs were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and offer a safety net to agricultural producers when there is a substantial drop in revenue or prices for covered commodities. Over half a million producers will receive ARC payments and over a quarter million producers will receive PLC payments for 2016 crops, starting this week and continuing over the next several months.

Payments are being made to producers who enrolled base acres of barley, corn, grain sorghum, lentils, oats, peanuts, dry peas, soybeans, wheat and canola. In the upcoming months, payments will be announced after marketing year average prices are published by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service for the remaining covered commodities. Those include long and medium grain rice (except for temperate Japonica rice), which will be announced in November; remaining oilseeds and chickpeas, which will be announced in December; and temperate Japonica rice, which will be announced in early February 2017.  The estimated payments are before application of sequestration and other reductions and limits, including adjusted gross income limits and payment limitations.

Also, as part of an ongoing effort to protect sensitive lands and improve water quality and wildlife habitat, USDA will begin issuing 2017 CRP payments this week to over 375,000 Americans.

“American farmers and ranchers are among our most committed conservationists,” said Perdue. “We all share a responsibility to leave the land in better shape than we found it for the benefit of the next generation of farmers. This program helps landowners provide responsible stewardship on land that should be taken out of production.”

Signed into law by President Reagan in 1985, CRP is one of the largest private-lands conservation program in the United States. Thanks to voluntary participation by farmers and landowners, CRP has improved water quality, reduced soil erosion and increased habitat for endangered and threatened species. In return for enrolling in CRP, USDA, through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation, provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. Participants enter into contracts that last between 10 and 15 years. CRP payments are made to participants who remove sensitive lands from production and plant certain grasses, shrubs and trees that improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and increase wildlife habitat.

For more details regarding ARC and PLC programs, go to www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc. For more information about CRP, contact your local FSA office or visit www.fsa.usda.gov/crp. To locate your local FSA office, visit https://offices.usda.gov.

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