Midwest Farm to School Conference: Connecting Farms, Schools and States

By Elisha Smith, elishas@cfra.org, Center for Rural Affairs 

Nearly 200 farmers, ranchers, and school food service personnel are expected to fill the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City, NE on  Wednesday, March 2, 2016 for the inaugural Midwest Farm to School Conference.


This full day event will bring together those interested in building the farm to school initiative in Midwestern states.  Those invited and encouraged to attend include farmers, ranchers, growers and food producers; school food service professionals, students, school administrators and faculty members; community members and parents; and educational and food-related organizations.


Hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs, Iowa Department of Agriculture and University of Missouri Extension, the 2016 conference will highlight methods of increasing students’ knowledge about local and healthy foods, and increase the amount of local foods served to students in schools.


Throughout the day we’ll spark connections and provide the necessary paths to bring the farm to our region’s schools. Experts will address best practices for establishing farm to school relationships. Successful local food relationships will be shared.


Ample time for networking will be provided, as well as coaching on helpful topics to address when in conversation with various stakeholders. Farm to school is not a “one size fits all” program – come share what you know and learn from others as we build a healthier future for our kids, schools, farms, and communities.


Early bird registration ends February 14, 2016. For more information, an agenda and to register:

http://www.cfra.org/midwest-farm-school or contact Sarah Smith at sarahs@cfra.org or 402-783-1183.

Bev Kai, 75, of Las Vegas NV Formerly of Pender NE

Bev (Behlers) Kai, 75, of Las Vegas, NV, formerly of Pender, NE, passed away Sunday, February 7, 2016 at Centennial Hills Hospital in Las Vegas, NV. Funeral services will be Friday, February 19, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church of Pender; Pastor Miles Ruch will be officiating. The visitation will be Thursday, February 18, 2016 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Pender. The burial will be in the St Mark’s Lutheran Church Cemetery in Pender. Memorials may be directed to the family for future designation. Arrangements are under the direction of Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Pender.

Bev was born October 16, 1940 in Walthill, NE to Irene and C. Dale Behlers. She graduated from Hubbard High School. Bev was united in marriage to Roy Kai on June 28, 1959 in Pender, NE. She was a homemaker, worked at Pender Community Hospital and First National Bankcard in Wayne, NE. She was a loving and devoted wife, mother, and grandmother.

Bev is survived by her husband, Roy of 56 years; son, Michael of Stanton, NE; daughter and son-in-law Jill Kai Lysgaard and Kent Lysgaard; daughters Mary Kay Esser of Las Vegas, NV; sister, Marlene (Pat) Nelson of Lyons, NE; grandchildren Jake and Alyse Lysgaard, Dallas and Cole Esser, Ashley Kai Kauzlarich, Sarah and Tyler Kai; three great-grandchildren, Zachary, Alleana, and Andrew; two sisters-in-law, Joanne (Bill) Burling and Geraldine (Merlin) Behlers; one brother-in -law, Bob (Shirley) Oberg, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Bev was preceded in death by her beloved son, Jay; her parents, Dale and Irene Behlers; her parents-in-law, Rudy and Mildred Kai; brothers, Merlin, Charles, Warren, Dallas and Douglas; sisters-in-law, Jackie (Bill) Gilfert and Shirley (Bob) Oberg; brother-in-law, Bill Burling; niece, Jody Oberg Callahan; and nephew, Guy Burling.

Bev Kai

Bev Kai


Teresa “Terri” M. Hansen, 56, of Bancroft NE

Teresa “Terri” M. (Wiebold) Hansen, 56, of Bancroft, Nebraska passed away Saturday, February 6, 2016 at the Pender Community Hospital in Pender, NE. Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, February 13, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.at the Bancroft-Rosalie High School Gymnasium; Father Paul Ortmeier will be officiating. The visitation will be Friday, February 12, 2016 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Bancroft with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. Burial will be in the Bancroft Cemetery in Bancroft. Memorials may be directed to the family for future designation. Arrangements are under the direction of Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Bancroft.

Terri was born June 24, 1959 to James and Sandra (Toft) Wiebold in Fremont, NE. She was baptized July 19, 1959 and confirmed March 4, 1973 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Fremont, NE. Terri graduated from Archbishop Bergan High School in 1977 and went on to attend Kearney State College. On June 20, 1981, she married Kent Hansen, and the couple had two children. After her marriage, she attended Mid America Floral Design School in Kansas City, KS and when she returned, she worked at The Floral Shop in Lyons, NE. Terri owned Bancroft Floral and Gift Shop from 1990 until 2005. She has also owned Lucky’s Bar since 2004.

Terri was the current Bancroft Village Board Chairperson, Cuming County Relay for Life, Cuming County Economic Development Committee, the John G. Neihardt Committee Board, and Holy Cross Altar Society.

She is survived by her daughters, Nicole (Drew) Smith of Sioux City, IA, Megan (Casey) Novak of Bancroft, NE; mother, Sandra Wiebold of Hooper, NE; grandmother, Rosamond McNabb of Tekamah, NE; sister, Christina (Gary) Moser of Omaha, NE, Mary (Dan) Larson of Fremont, NE; brothers, Brian Wiebold of Omaha, NE, Jamie (Jane) Wiebold of Fremont, NE, Marty (Keri) Wiebold of Omaha, NE; grandchildren, Ashlyn, Ava, and Aiden Smith, Cason and Maura Novak; nephews, Joe Wiebold, Jameson Wiebold, Eric Moser, Kaden and Kameron Wiebold; and nieces, Sara, Stephanie, and Jennifer Wiebold, Lauren and Abby Moser, Emma Larson; great nephews, Parker and Tyson Wiebold, Sean Wakefield, and Jameis Wiebold.

Terri is preceded in death by her father, James Wiebold; nephew, Jacob Wiebold, and her grandparents.

Word on the Street: Sharing Winter Storm Memories

Other than the current winter storm, what are your other winter storm memories??? What year? How much snow?? Share your memories! I remember the storm of 75….and the fun we had riding our sleds! Carefree and loving it! 

Kathy Peterson 2009 was a biggie as well …it was the first Christmas after Dad passed… Terry came from the south…I came from the north…no one left the farm until we left to go back home…even the bunker silo had drifts over the top and it has 16 foot walls.

Kathy Peterson All of our vehicles were buried….as well they had to dig them out with tractors….

Kathy Peterson The storm of 75 was my senior year… we had a boston terrier named Inky…we walked to the top of the windbreak because the snow was so hard….and she would ride down the hill on one of the round disc sleds …ears flying and a wide grin on that cute little face….that was the year that going up the hill by grandpa petersons (now Uncle Jim’s) that we have a picture of a maintainer going through snow drifts taller than it was

Donnie Dodge 1991 Halloween storm- I was at Midland University. 2 days missed and so much fun. spent days scooping local driveways with buddies.

Kathy Peterson I was in MN during the 1991 storm that is when the Metrodome fell in .Mom and Dad had come up that weekend for a show and when they got back they had no power and drove to Blair for a hotel as Dad had a DR’s appointment in Omaha the next day…..

Teresa Tobin 2009. Blizzard in KC. Of I course I had to work. Was told to pack for three days. First night slept on an army cot second night I got a hotel room courtesy of the hospital. Drove home on the third night only to remember I had to first shovel a foot of snow from the driveway to get my car in the garage. But to my surprise my awesome neighbor did it for me. Memories they last along time.

Teresa Paulson-Faust January 14 1997 when my son was born at Methodist n my parents followed a plow from Irvington exit to Blair n then got home safe. I had a c section n didn’t get to my room till midnight n I came into the hospital at 6 am. Long day it was for everyone.

Teresa Paulson-Faust My parents didn’t leave until they knew I was ok n in my room

Lauri Bundy Canarsky I’m old…too many to list details….Dec.1969. Feb 1972, Jan 1988.

Susan Penke We were married in September of 74. That winter of 75 we lived in a little farm house a mile north of Craig. It was so cold the snow would blow up through the wood floors. We had bales around the house and plastic on the windows. We had a 74 Roadrunner and the snow was up to the windows.

Kris M Feauto I lived in Sioux City the storm of 75. I remember making tunnels throughout the snow in the front yard n playing in the snow for hours. No chance of that happening now.

Linda Carlson I worked at Oakland Heights (nights) the winter of 75. It was the first winter it was open and there was no concrete yet –just heay mud under tons of snow. Pretty interesting getting to work and back home that winter.


Janet L. Hawkins, 82, of Tekamah NE

Janet L. Hawkins, 82 years, of Tekamah, Nebraska, passed away Sunday, February 7, 2016 at the Golden Living Center in Tekamah.
The Memorial Service will be held on Mon., Feb. 22nd at 10:30 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Tekamah, NE.
Burial is in the Tekamah Cemetery in Tekamah NE.
Janet Hawkins

Janet Hawkins

Keep Looking Up!

By Gary Fugman
“Distant Suns Overhead This Weekend”
Stars are distant versions of our Sun, glowing balls of gas held together by gravity.  Despite the large number of stars in our February sky, the distances between them are vast.  Look up into your sky tonight.  Hot stars appear blue.  Cool stars appear red.  Medium temperature stars appear white.  How do astronomers know about these amazing lights in our night sky?  How far away are these stars?  Of what are these stars made?
All are invited to Northeast Nebraska Astronomy Club (NENAC) Friday, February 12 at 7pm at the Lyons Library and Saturday, February 13 at 7pm at the Decatur Sears Center.  There Pastor Gary Fugman will take you on an adventure to the bright stars of the February night sky.  Distances, colors, temperatures and a realistic view of the brightness of the distant suns of the winter sky will be discussed.  Sizes of February stars will be explained.  Even more amazing, we will learn more about how stars change their size and color as they travel down the road of a star’s lifetime.  Free star charts for February will be handed out and explained.  Also, recent awards from the Astronomical League’s Lunar Program will be presented.
Then, weather permitting, all are invited to view the colorful, distant suns overhead through large astronomical telescopes.  The planet Jupiter will also be in view.  Friday observing will be south of Lyons at the Cory and Tracie Martin residence.  Saturday observing will be at the Fugman Observatory in Decatur.  You are invited to bring your telescope or binoculars to view the night sky.  Please dress warmly for our February evenings.
For more information on this and future NENAC activities, please google “nenacstars” or call Pastor Gary Fugman at 349-1953 and Keep Looking Up!

Winter is “For The Birds!”

By John Wilson, Extension Educator

This week is much better, but if you’re like me, last week wasn’t good to do much of anything outside if you didn’t have to. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the outdoors. I know my wife and I both spent time watching the bird feeders behind our house on some of those cold, snowy days.

It’s amazing at the number of birds that come to the feeders. We’ve gotten to where we even name some of the regulars. Our highlight so far this winter was 23 cardinals (that we could count at one time) that came to our feeders late one afternoon after last week’s snowstorm.

Winter provides challenges for bird feeding. It’s easy for snow or rain to get into feeders and turn the seed moldy. This become a potential sources of illness for birds. So keep feeders clean to help prevent the spread of disease to backyard birds.

You should clean and disinfect feeders on a regular basis, taking care to scrape out old moldy seed that collects in corners. Wash feeders in warm water with dish soap and rinse. Disinfect with a solution of one part liquid chlorine bleach to nine parts warm water. Make sure feeders are completely dry before refilling with seeds.

It’s important to keep feeding birds once you start so they don’t become dependent on you as a food source, only to run out of food during periods of severe weather like we had last week. You know, the kind of days you really don’t want to go outside to fill the bird feeders.

Also, if possible, provide water for birds. This is extremely important during the winter because other sources of water may not be available. It seems chilly, but birds regularly use our heated bird bath. Besides water to drink, they use it to help keep their feathers clean which makes them “fluffier,” for lack of a better term, which gives them better insulation against bitter cold temperatures.

Now if you really enjoy bird watching, there’s an event this weekend you won’t want to miss … and you can take part from the comfort of their home. The 19th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will take place later this week, February 12-15. Participants are needed to count birds in their yards, neighborhoods, or other locations. Simply tally birds for at least 15 minutes on any day of the count, then go to www.birdcount.org and enter the highest number of each species seen at any one time.

This program is conducted worldwide. Coordinated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Audubon Society, and Bird Studies Canada, the count provides an instant snapshot of birdlife around the world. Last year, organizers received almost 150,000 checklists from more than 100 countries during the event. Also, you can watch as the tallies come in at www.birdcount.org.

You might be asking yourself, “Why count birds?” Bird populations are constantly changing. No single scientist or team of scientists could hope to keep track of the complicated patterns of movement of species around the world. The information from GBBC participants, combined with other surveys, helps scientists learn how birds are affected by environmental changes.

The information submitted can provide the first sign that individual species may be increasing or declining from year to year. Data gathered over many years help highlight how a species’ range may be expanding or shrinking. A big change, noted consistently over a period of years, is an indication that something is happening in the environment that is affecting the birds and that should receive attention. GBBC information also allows scientists to look at what kinds of birds inhabit different areas, such as cities and suburbs compared to more natural habitats.

Whether you observe birds in backyards, parks, or wilderness areas, the Great Backyard Bird Count is an opportunity to share their results at www.birdcount.org. It’s fun and rewarding for people of all ages and skill levels–and it gets people outside… or you can watch from inside, too!

So, to take part in this activity “for the birds,” go to www.birdcount.org for online instructions and tally sheets… then enjoy our feathered friends.

John Wilson

John Wilson

Teresa “Terri” M. Hansen, 56, of Bancroft NE

Teresa “Terri” M. Hansen, 56, of Bancroft, Nebraska passed away Saturday, February 6, 2016 at the Pender Community Hospital in Pender, NE.

Mass of Christian Burial is pending with Munderloh – Smith Funeral Home in Bancroft, NE.

Mary Lynn Connealy, 60, of Decatur NE

Mary Lynn Connealy, 60 years, of Decatur, Nebraska, passed away Friday, February 5, 2016, as a result of failing health, at Sunrise Country Manor in Milford, Nebraska.

Mary Lynn was born May 24, 1955 in Oakland, Nebraska to Emmet and Marge (Sudbeck) Connealy. She was the 5th of seven children and grew up on a family farm southwest of Decatur. She attended Elm Creek country school, graduated from Decatur High School in 1973 and continued her education at Ricks College in Idaho by completing three years of college.

As an adult, Mary Lynn lived many years in both Omaha and Norfolk, Nebraska. She was a member of the Catholic Church and devoted her life to serving God by spreading his word and love. She had the utmost love and respect for her parents and family.
She was preceded in death by her father, Emmet; brother, John “Eddie” Connealy; nephew, Colt Penny.
Survivors include her mother, Marge of Decatur; brother, Dave (LJ) Connealy of Decatur; sisters, Jeanin (Jay) Reischle of Omaha, Jane Connealy of Denton, NE, Debbie Connealy of Milford, Peggy Connealy of Texas; Seventeen nieces and nephews.

The Memorial Service will be held Tues., Feb. 9th at 10:30 a.m. at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Decatur, NE.

Memorial Visitation will be held one hour prior to service at the church.

Burial will be at a later cate in the Hillcrest Cemetery in Decatur, NE.

Memorials suggested to the family for designation at a later time.

Pelan Funeral Services is in charge of arrangements.

Mary Lynn Connealy

Mary Lynn Connealy

Janet L. Hawkins, 82, of Tekamah NE

Janet L. Hawkins, 82 years, of Tekamah, Nebraska, passed away Sunday, February 7, 2016 at the Golden Living Center in Tekamah.

Memorial Service pending at Pelan Funeral Services Tekamah.


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