agriculture

Local interest in growing and processing hemp: EDC committee will conduct feasibility study for market options

November 21, 2018

Local interest in growing and processing hemp: EDC committee will conduct feasibility study for market options
WILLMAR— With the potential for high per-acre profits there’s increasing interest in growing industrial hemp on west central Minnesota farms. But with limited processing options available, an untested market chain and federal law that still classifies industrial hemp as a controlled substance, there are a few roadblocks yet to overcome. That’s why a feasibility study that could detail the financial risks and gains of growing, processing and marketing industrial hemp is expected to be

Workshop explores industrial hemp value chain

November 8, 2018

Workshop explores industrial hemp value chain
WILLMAR—In an effort to diversify their farming operation, the Hultgren family planted 40 acres of organic industrial hemp this year on their land in northern Kandiyohi County. After making adjustments on the combine to prevent the rope-like stems from wrapping around the equipment, the hemp seeds were harvested and cleaned in September. “I thought it went OK,” said Noah Hultgren, who farms with his brother, Nate, and parents Duane and Nancy Hultgren. With a history of planting corn,

Workshop: Talent & Technology for the Progressive Farm Manager

August 9, 2018

Workshop: Talent & Technology for the Progressive Farm Manager
This two-part workshop brought to you by the EDC’s Ag and Renewable Energy Development Committee to help our progressive farm managers grow smarter and stronger. This workshop features two dynamic sessions on talent and technology. SCHEDULE: 7:30 – 9:30AM | Attracting, retaining and managing your ag labor workforce. Plus, the latest changes to the employment regulatory environment. Speakers | Mike Henke, Mike Henke Inc. and Kristie Haefner, Firm Administrator & Lead HR Consultant

Cattlemen at heart: Creativity gives next generation of farmers a boost

July 21, 2018

Cattlemen at  heart: Creativity gives next generation of farmers a boost
WILLMAR—When he looks at the herd of 100 Angus cows and their frisky spring calves grazing in a pasture of belly-high grass, Cullen Fischer still can’t believe his lifelong dream of raising cattle is coming true. “It’s kind of a pinch-me thing,” said the 31-year-old from Lake Lillian about his good fortune of taking over ownership of the well-established cow-calf operation from a retired farmer he met just a few years ago—a man who will continue to be his mentor. “I

Home on the Minnesota prairie: Yaks thrive on the pastures of the Hot Disch Farm

July 3, 2018

Home on the Minnesota prairie: Yaks thrive on the pastures of the Hot Disch Farm
RAYMOND—If you’re craving a fresh yak steak and can’t make the trip to the Everest Steak House Restaurant in Kathmandu, Nepal, take a short ride over to Raymond. That’s where you’ll find the Hot Disch Farm, home to Shawn and Craig Dischinger and their assistants, sons Jack, age 5, and Peter, age 3. They’ll happily sell you ground yak, or yak roasts, steaks, brats and sticks. Their yaks thrive on the lush grasses of the Minnesota prairie, where the harshest of winter

Lettuce Abound Farms harvest first aeroponics crop

May 4, 2018

Lettuce Abound Farms harvest first aeroponics crop
NEW LONDON — With plates heaped high with at least five varieties of lettuce picked that morning at an aeroponics farm a couple miles away, restaurant owners and volunteers working to bring a food cooperative to New London were clearly enjoying their salads. They were also talking with the farm’s owners about getting the fresh greens on the menu and on the shelves.   “Absolutely,” said Leah Michaelis, owner of Lake Affect Coffee in New London, when asked if she would consider

Aeroponics farm near New London will produce leafy greens year-round

February 13, 2018

Aeroponics farm near New London will produce leafy greens year-round
NEW LONDON—What had been a large, empty pole barn on a farm in rural New London last year is now becoming a climate-controlled maze of computer-operated, high-powered lights and a water misting system housed on a dozen massive stainless steel frames. By early spring, the building will be filled with lush, fresh lettuce and other leafy greens. Grown without soil, pesticides or herbicides, the greens will taste “like a treat,” said Kevin Ortenblad, who along with his wife, Julie, and

New angel fund ready to invest in west central Minnesota

November 6, 2017

New angel fund ready to invest in west central Minnesota
WILLMAR—After being in the works for several years, a local angel fund now has nearly $1.4 million ready to invest in private companies that have the potential for profitable growth. Based in Willmar, the West Central Angel Fund I LLC officially began accepting applications this fall from “early to middle stage” private business ventures that need a minimum of $100,000 in investment capital. “Access to capital is critical to economic strength in a community,” said Connie

IMPACT of Agriculture in Kandiyohi County 2017

October 31, 2017

IMPACT of Agriculture in Kandiyohi County 2017
The EDC thanks the West Central Tribune for bringing today’s face of agriculture and its impact on our region to the public in the 2017 IMPACT magazine.  Understanding the importance of agriculture and its contributions to our economy and quality of life is emphasized in this thorough publication.  The interviews include those of family farmers, who are still the backbone of U.S. agriculture, as well as those involved with value-added production such as the ethanol industry.  Other interviews

EDC Encourages Expansion

November 21, 2016

EDC Encourages Expansion
During 2016, the EDC has been working to assist several expansions, including the Kandi Mall Rehabilitation Project, Glacial Ridge Hospitality, and the ERC expansion. Each of these projects not only offers significant capital investment, but also involves a lot of planning and interaction with businesses. Through these projects and more, around 350 new jobs will be generated in Kandiyohi County during the next two years. The EDC is committed to working with the business community to create opportunities