Pat Blank http://iowapublicradio.org en Fish Farm http://iowapublicradio.org/post/fish-farm <p>One of Iowa's only Aquaponics facilities is marketing locally grown, chemical free vegetables and fish raised in a sustainable manner and available year round. All Seasons Harvest is located just north of Cedar Falls and grows lettuce, kale, herbs and Tilapia&nbsp;fish in a six thousand square foot greenhouse.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span></p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:56:57 +0000 Pat Blank 39304 at http://iowapublicradio.org Fish Farm The Eagle has Landed (hatched) http://iowapublicradio.org/post/eagle-has-landed-hatched <p>Something happened Wednesday morning that many people thought would not. One of three eggs in an eagle's nest near the Decorah&nbsp;Fish Hatchery is no longer an egg, but an eaglet. The egg hatched in spite of brutal weather conditions including ten inches of snow and 20 degree below zero temperatures. No one is happier about the day's events than Bob Anderson who installed a web cam in the nest 6 years ago as part of the Raptor Resource Project. He talks with Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank. &nbsp;See the nest at&nbsp;http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles.</p><p></p><p></p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 20:42:58 +0000 Pat Blank 38528 at http://iowapublicradio.org The Eagle has Landed (hatched) A Taste of Iowa Summer http://iowapublicradio.org/post/taste-iowa-summer <p>A first of its kind facility&nbsp;in Marshalltown&nbsp;is bringing a taste of Iowa summer to dinner tables. &nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Iowa Choice&nbsp;Harvest frozen sweet corn and apples have been available in a few grocery stores in the central part of the state, but in April, all 107 Fareway stores will feature the products. &nbsp;Iowa Choice Harvest is a group of 30 farmers who have invested in the company to have Iowa grown fruits and vegetables available year round. Thu, 20 Mar 2014 23:48:08 +0000 Pat Blank 37878 at http://iowapublicradio.org A Taste of Iowa Summer Harsh winter kills Iowa honeybees http://iowapublicradio.org/post/harsh-winter-kills-iowa-honeybees <p>Honeybees may be among the many victims of this winter's extended stretches of extreme cold. The State Department of Agriculture's Apiarist, Andrew Joseph says annual winter losses among U.S. beekeepers run about 30 percent. Iowa's losses are likely to be 60 to 65 percent. He says bees that are in good shape can survive a very harsh winter, but those that have been weakened by pesticides or parasites&nbsp;are not likely to survive until spring. Fri, 14 Mar 2014 20:38:10 +0000 Pat Blank 37578 at http://iowapublicradio.org Harsh winter kills Iowa honeybees New Neighbors http://iowapublicradio.org/post/new-neighbors <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Since 1990, Waterloo has been a draw for refugees looking for a new start. &nbsp;Five thousand Bosnians relocated there and over the years have had a significant positive impact on the business community and school system. Since 2010, an influx of nearly 12&nbsp;hundred Burmese have made their way to Northeast Iowa. An initial federal grant has expired and now the search is on for sponsoring agencies to help foot the bills.</p><p></p> Thu, 06 Mar 2014 23:18:16 +0000 Pat Blank 37196 at http://iowapublicradio.org New Neighbors Valentine S.H.O.P. http://iowapublicradio.org/post/valentine-shop <p></p><p></p><p>S.H.O.P. (the Super Hardcore Overtone Project) is a barbershop quartet on the University of Northern Iowa campus&nbsp;established in the fall of 2011. Members include Colby Campbell, Ben Owen, Brandon Schneider, and Austin Nolan. All four are music majors at UNI, though&nbsp;the quartet is entirely extracurricular and self-standing.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 21:33:26 +0000 Pat Blank 36078 at http://iowapublicradio.org Valentine S.H.O.P. Iowa made bins provide homes around the globe http://iowapublicradio.org/post/iowa-made-bins-provide-homes-around-globe <p>Formed in 2010 to provide disaster relief to earthquake victims in Haiti, Iowa based Global Compassion Network is expanding its reach. Later this month, ten Safe T Homes built by Sukup Manufacturing in Sheffield will be used as housing for missionaries in Kenya. GCN Development Coordinator, Mary Graham says another project is under construction in Peru. She says, "it'll be a multi-purpose center and a Bible camp. We're really excited to bring the Safe T Homes around the world."&nbsp; Graham says Global Compassion Network also responds to disasters in the U.S. Fri, 03 Jan 2014 16:39:29 +0000 Pat Blank 34349 at http://iowapublicradio.org Iowa made bins provide homes around the globe Shrimp Harvest in Iowa http://iowapublicradio.org/post/shrimp-harvest-iowa <p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>A Cedar Falls man, his wife and brother have launched the state's second shrimp farm. Matt Weichers, his wife Jen and brother John Gielau are raising thousands of Pacific white shrimp in a warehouse near UNI. The building once housed the university's white rat lab used for behavioral research. Now it's filled with 30 blue "hot tubs" and thousands of the critters ready for sale this week.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Fri, 20 Dec 2013 00:50:17 +0000 Pat Blank 33791 at http://iowapublicradio.org Shrimp Harvest in Iowa Classroom Creatures http://iowapublicradio.org/post/classroom-creatures <p></p><p></p><p>A Wartburg College professor hopes to bring&nbsp;biology classrooms back to life. Michael Bechtel says students should be studying living creatures not ones that are dead and floating in formaldehyde. He's been growing a collection of snakes, frogs, tortoises and others for about 19 years. He's sharing them in his college classroom and beyond.</p><p></p> Fri, 22 Nov 2013 00:16:36 +0000 Pat Blank 32493 at http://iowapublicradio.org Classroom Creatures Bringing in the Harvest http://iowapublicradio.org/post/bringing-harvest <p>Pam Johnson has just wrapped up a term as president of the National Corn Growers Association. She and her husband and two sons farm in Floyd County in North Iowa. Johnson testified in July before a U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy about the need to continue the Renewable Fuels Standard for ethanol.</p><p></p> Mon, 28 Oct 2013 19:05:58 +0000 Pat Blank 31246 at http://iowapublicradio.org Bringing in the Harvest Ruud installed as UNI's tenth president http://iowapublicradio.org/post/ruud-installed-unis-tenth-president <p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>William N. Ruud has been officially installed as the University of Northern Iowa&#39;s&nbsp;tenth president. He replaces Ben Allen who retired earlier this&nbsp;year.&nbsp;Ruud is in the process of winning over a campus community facing declining enrollment, cuts to academic programs and the closure of a laboratory school.</p> Fri, 04 Oct 2013 19:49:57 +0000 Pat Blank 30111 at http://iowapublicradio.org Ruud installed as UNI's tenth president Rescue Ready http://iowapublicradio.org/post/rescue-ready <p>A study by Purdue University shows the overall death rate from accidents on American farms is declining, but the number of fatalities from grain bin entrapments has been stubbornly steady. The peak was 2010 in which 51 people, mostly teenagers died. Iowa&#39;s volunteer firefighters are getting updated&nbsp;training and new&nbsp;equipment in case a rescue is needed.</p><p></p> Thu, 03 Oct 2013 00:55:57 +0000 Pat Blank 30016 at http://iowapublicradio.org Rescue Ready Monster Machinery http://iowapublicradio.org/post/monster-machinery <p>The Iowa Department of Transportation is reporting 79 crashes and 5 fatalities involving farm equipment in 2013. Safety officials say drivers need to be alert especially at dusk and dawn when these huge machines tend to be more numerous. They also say farmers need to share responsibility by making sure motorists know when they&#39;re about to turn or make a sudden stop. Farmers are asked not to wave motorists by them, but instead pull off to the side of the road if possible.</p> Thu, 26 Sep 2013 23:48:47 +0000 Pat Blank 29724 at http://iowapublicradio.org Monster Machinery Run Hide Fight http://iowapublicradio.org/post/run-hide-fight <p>Nearly 400 teachers in the Cedar Falls School District spent today learning&nbsp;some new&nbsp;options&nbsp;should they&nbsp;ever have to deal with&nbsp;someone with a gun in their classroom.&nbsp; The training was provided by the Cedar Falls&nbsp;Police Department and focused on updated protocols from the Department of Homeland Security. Fri, 13 Sep 2013 20:33:19 +0000 Pat Blank 29062 at http://iowapublicradio.org Run Hide Fight Putting the I in Iowa http://iowapublicradio.org/post/putting-i-iowa <p></p> Mon, 02 Sep 2013 20:30:22 +0000 Pat Blank 28449 at http://iowapublicradio.org Putting the I in Iowa Roadside Ride-Along, Countin' Critters http://iowapublicradio.org/post/roadside-ride-along-countin-critters <p></p><p>Iowa's 15- day annual roadside survey is underway at 208 locations around the state. The 30 mile routes are driven at sunrise by Department of Natural Resources staff members along gravel roads. The surveyors watch for pheasants, cottontail and jack rabbits, quail and Hungarian partridge. The count helps gauge the well being of those species, with a focus on the pheasant population. Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank tagged&nbsp;along on a&nbsp;survey in Story County.</p> Sat, 03 Aug 2013 17:56:30 +0000 Pat Blank 26871 at http://iowapublicradio.org Roadside Ride-Along, Countin' Critters Going Going Gone http://iowapublicradio.org/post/going-going-gone <p>A new report out Tuesday shows millions of wetland acres&nbsp;and highly erodible grassland and prairie are being plowed under and planted into row crops. This in turn causes intense soil erosion especially in a wet spring like this year. The four year, multi state study was conducted by Environmental Working Group. <a href="http://www.ewg.org/research/going-going-gone">http://www.ewg.org/research/going-going-gone</a>. Tue, 30 Jul 2013 19:32:33 +0000 Pat Blank 26645 at http://iowapublicradio.org Going Going Gone Corn Crew http://iowapublicradio.org/post/corn-crew <p>A Midwest summertime tradition is in full swing: corn detasseling.&nbsp; Every summer, seed corn companies hire thousands of seasonal workers to remove the top of the corn plant to produce hybrid varieties.&nbsp; The minimum age in Iowa to do the work is 14. Those as young as 12 can detassel in Illinois and Nebraska.&nbsp; Many crew leaders who started in their teens are now in their 50s and 60s.&nbsp; Workers say even though&nbsp;it's often hot in the cornfield and the work is tedious,&nbsp;they return year after year because they are paid good money by the companies.</p> Mon, 22 Jul 2013 23:03:37 +0000 Pat Blank 24436 at http://iowapublicradio.org Corn Crew Veterinary Camp http://iowapublicradio.org/post/veterinary-camp <p>There are numerous opportunities this summer for young people to attend day camps, anything from sports to how to be Annie in a Broadway show. The Iowa Veterinary Medical Association offers hands-on opportunities for teens to see what it takes to be a vet. IPR's Pat Blank has the story from the Dallas County Fair in Adel.</p> Thu, 18 Jul 2013 00:35:12 +0000 Pat Blank 24181 at http://iowapublicradio.org Veterinary Camp PAGBRAI http://iowapublicradio.org/post/pagbrai <p>PAGBRAI, the Paddlers Annual Great Boat Rides Across Iowa makes its maiden voyage Friday. The inaugural float will shove off for three days of Winnebago River traveling&nbsp;in North Central Iowa. It will&nbsp;run from Leland to Mason City. This is part of a documentary movie production, entitled&nbsp;"River Riders&nbsp;", which will premiere at the Iowa Independent Film Festival in October. PAGBRAI organizer Gregory Schmidt talks with Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank.</p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 20:36:31 +0000 Pat Blank 24162 at http://iowapublicradio.org PAGBRAI Detasseling Delay http://iowapublicradio.org/post/detasseling-delay <p>The wet spring has delayed the growth of corn used for seed by Iowa companies including the largest, DuPont Pioneer. That, in turn, has pushed back the schedule of hundreds of part time workers who make money in the fields by removing the top of the plant known as the tassel.&nbsp; Production manager for the Reinbeck facility, Colby Entriken says ,"we're hoping to start pulling tassels next week which is about a week behind schedule. Wed, 10 Jul 2013 21:51:53 +0000 Pat Blank 23770 at http://iowapublicradio.org Detasseling Delay Whitewater Challenge http://iowapublicradio.org/post/whitewater-challenge <p>Water has been a challenge this spring for many Iowa communities as excessive rainfall sends residents heading for higher ground. This weekend, Charles City officials,&nbsp;in the north central part of the state,&nbsp;are hoping thousands will run toward the Cedar River instead of away from it. It's the site of the second Whitewater Challenge where kayakers and other paddlers play in the water for fun and sport.</p><p></p> Thu, 27 Jun 2013 23:36:26 +0000 Pat Blank 23144 at http://iowapublicradio.org Whitewater Challenge Cousins raise fish in former hog barn http://iowapublicradio.org/post/cousins-raise-fish-former-hog-barn <p>Cousins and long-time business partners Jeff and Mark Nelson have immersed&nbsp; themselves in aquaculture. They're growing fish in a part of the country where pork is king. They've converted a former hog confinement building into a farm-raised fish venture called Iowa's First.&nbsp; They have eighteen,&nbsp;ten thousand gallon tanks filled with hybrid bass which they ship to restaurants all over the country. The Nelsons are also experimenting with growing shrimp. Thu, 20 Jun 2013 23:42:18 +0000 Pat Blank 22796 at http://iowapublicradio.org Cousins raise fish in former hog barn Soybean planting slow http://iowapublicradio.org/post/soybean-planting-slow <p>Spring planting could linger into the summer for many Iowa soybean farmers. The state's trading partners and commodity markets are&nbsp;keeping a close eye on what happens here and it could impact the economy down the road. Grant Kimberley is the market development director for the Iowa Soybean Association. He tells Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank, this year has been a challenge.</p> Tue, 18 Jun 2013 21:20:17 +0000 Pat Blank 22665 at http://iowapublicradio.org Soybean planting slow Iowa National Guard Faces Staff Furloughs http://iowapublicradio.org/post/iowa-national-guard-faces-staff-furloughs <p></p><p>The Iowa National Guard will face furloughs next&nbsp; month due to the federal government sequester. Approximately 11 hundred full-time guard members, called federal technicians, will be idle one day each week without pay from July 8<sup>th</sup> through September 30<sup>th</sup>. Guard spokesman Colonel Greg Hapgood says the last time they dealt with furloughs was in the mid 1990s.</p><p>Hapgood says the furloughs will not affect active guard and reserve members. Those who will be impacted do everything from accounting to aircraft maintenance.</p><p></p><p></p> Thu, 06 Jun 2013 06:36:11 +0000 Pat Blank 21973 at http://iowapublicradio.org Iowa National Guard Faces Staff Furloughs New Hartford flooding and evacuation http://iowapublicradio.org/post/new-hartford-flooding-and-evacuation <p>Public safety officials have evacuated the Butler County town of New Hartford due to rising flood waters of Beaver Creek that runs just west of town.&nbsp; All 650 residents have been asked to voluntarily leave much as they did almost exactly five years ago. Mitch Nordmeyer is the Butler County Emergency Management Director, he talks with Iowa Public Radio’s Pat Blank</p> Mon, 27 May 2013 20:22:03 +0000 Pat Blank 21434 at http://iowapublicradio.org New Hartford flooding and evacuation Lessons Learned: Parkersburg 2013 http://iowapublicradio.org/post/lessons-learned-parkersburg-2013 <p>Residents of Parkersburg and nearby towns that were hit by an EF5 tornado five years ago are remembering the events of that day as information pours in from Moore, Oklahoma.&nbsp; Parkersburg City Clerk, Chris Luhring says he believes part of the healing process involves helping others when you can, " I think our goal for Moore, Oklahoma is to feel our love and support and our prayers for them, people here don’t do it for the credit, they’re just leaving in the middle of the night to help and to raise some funds<strong>." </strong>Seven people were killed in Parkersburg and two died in near Tue, 21 May 2013 20:40:46 +0000 Pat Blank 21134 at http://iowapublicradio.org Lessons Learned: Parkersburg 2013 Payout Reduced in Henry's Turkey Discrimination Case http://iowapublicradio.org/post/payout-reduced-henrys-turkey-discrimination-case <p>A landmark $240 million verdict against a Texas company who employed mentally disabled workers at an Iowa turkey processing plant will be reduced to about $1.6 million because of a law capping their damages. The 32 men faced decades of verbal and physical abuse at work and at home.</p><p>The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Henry's Turkey Service have agreed in legal briefs that each plaintiff can recover $50,000 - compared to the $7.5 million a jury awarded them on May 1st.</p> Tue, 14 May 2013 11:26:53 +0000 Pat Blank 20728 at http://iowapublicradio.org Payout Reduced in Henry's Turkey Discrimination Case Postville, Iowa then and now http://iowapublicradio.org/post/postville-iowa-then-and-now <p>Five years ago, on May 12, 2008, Postville's kosher meat packing plant was the site the largest immigration raid in Iowa history. Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank talks with some of those who were there then and&nbsp;who are still there now</p><p></p> Fri, 10 May 2013 00:30:02 +0000 Pat Blank 20529 at http://iowapublicradio.org Postville, Iowa then and now Hail pummels Northeast Iowa http://iowapublicradio.org/post/hail-pummels-northeast-iowa <p>It took less than an hour for a line of thunderstorms moving across Northeast Iowa Monday morning to cause thousands of dollars in damage. Hail the size of ping pong balls was the source of the devastation.</p><p></p><p></p> Mon, 29 Apr 2013 20:20:20 +0000 Pat Blank 19970 at http://iowapublicradio.org Hail pummels Northeast Iowa