Tag: 022614

Green Scene Symposium Slated for March 1

The annual Green Scene Garden Symposium will take place March 1 from 8 AM to 2:30 PM at the Waterloo Center for the Arts, 225 COmmercial St., Waterloo. The $25 registration fee includes five seminars and lunch. Pre-registration is recommended. Make checks payable to Grene Scene Symposim and mail to P.O. Box 2004, Waterloo, IA 50704. A gardener’s market will also be open featuring displays from speakers and products from local retailers.
Grene Scene is a local, nonprofit volunteer organization that thas given more that $600,000 to Black Haek County for tree plantings and county beautification since 1976.

Iowa MarketReady: How to Succeed in the Food Supply Industry

While significant opportunity exists to build on the demand for local products in local markets, many farmers are hesitant or unprepared to meet the transactional requirements required by institutional, wholesale and restaurant buyers to manage food safety, insurance, product quality and traceability risks. Iowa MarketReady, a new program from the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Value Added Agriculture Program, addresses these issues and seeks to educate food suppliers to succeed in today’s markets and continue to be profitable, while utilizing a new marketing stream. The training is based around best business practices identified by buyers in these markets that are actively seeking local suppliers. Iowa MarketReady will help farm vendors selling dairy, fruits, meats and vegetables design a better business strategy to succeed.
This two-day training will be held March 25 and March 27, from 11:30 AM 5 PM both days in Room 117 of Tama Hall at Hawkeye Community College, 1501 E. Orange Road, Waterloo. Producers need to attend both days of the workshop. The program will start with registration and lunch on both days.
Topics to be covered include communications and relationship building, packaging, labels, supply and delivery, post-harvest handling for produce, grading, insurance, regulatory and marketing. The workshop costs $55/person or $90/couple or two employees from the same farm. Fees include training materials, light lunch and refreshments.
Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, call or email Christa at 515-294-4430 or hartc@iastate.edu. Please give names of registrants, address, phone number, e-mail address and indicate whether you are a produce or livestock/poultry/egg producer.

“We Support Gracie!” Waffle Breakfast March 1

A “We Support Gracie!” waffle breakfast benefit will be held Saturday, March 1, from 7 AM – Noon at La Porte City Elementary School.
The benefit is designed to assist Gracie Stamatiades and her family with medical expenses. Gracie, a kindergarten student at La Porte City Elementary School has epilepsy and will be undergoing brain surgery at the Mayo Clinic in March.
In addition to the freewill donation collected at the breakfast, a baked goods silent auction will be conducted. A number of themed baskets will be raffled, including a special Galena Getaway package at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, valued at over $500.
In conjunction with the benefit, Tootsie’s Ice Cream and More will donate a portion of their sales receipts from the first two days of March.

Simply Put – February 26, 2014

By Mike Whittlesey
I went to a wrestling meet and couldn’t believe the twisting, turning, gyrations and body contortions I witnessed. And the wrestlers? They were pretty good too!
Last week, seven wrestlers from Union High School competed at the State Wrestling Tournament in Des Moines. Fans of the Union Knights certainly have much to be proud of, as the “magnificent seven” handled themselves like champions throughout the three day event, humble in victory and gracious in defeat. Two Union wrestlers, Max Thomsen and Jacob Holschlag achieved the ultimate prize, a state championship. Yet there were no back flips, imaginary golf tee shots or gestures to the arena that screamed, “look at me” from the Knights when their victories were secured.
One of the moments I was most impressed with came shortly after Max Thomsen earned his third consecutive state championship. For some who watched Thomsen win every match of the season and pin his first three opponents of the tournament, another state championship was a foregone conclusion. His final match at State came against Andres Gonzalez of Clear Lake, described aptly enough by Union Head Coach Pat Hogan as a “big strong kid.” In this first meeting between the two, Gonzalez more than held his own and actually had a brief lead in the match, pushing Thomsen harder than perhaps any other wrestler in the state has all year. Minutes after Max had rallied for a 5-4 decision, the top eight wrestlers at 138 lbs. in Class 2A were taking their places on the podium. As he ascended to the top step, Thomsen reached out to shake Gonzalez’ hand. At a moment when no television cameras were rolling, no photographers snapping pictures, this simple gesture of respect and sportsmanship from one fierce competitor to another made a lasting impression and speaks volumes on the character this young man possesses. There is a reason why so few athletes in the history of Iowa high school wrestling have earned four state championships. Though Max may make it look easy at times, those of us who admire his achievements have no idea the amount of work and sacrifice it has taken him to reach such an elite level.
Okay, enough of the soapbox and back to contortions and gyrations. This was my first look at the State Tournament at mat level, and like most sporting events, the view up-close is much different than watching it on television. As the tournament progressed and there was more down time between matches involving Union wrestlers, I began to take notice of the drama of a different sort playing out on the periphery of the mat. The body language of the coaches was almost more interesting to watch than the wrestlers themselves. Believe me, there were a lot of passionate wrestling coaches gathered under one roof and some of them wouldn’t have to train very much to win a professional limbo competition.
As close matches moved into the third period, the leans that went left, right, forward and back became more pronounced. While some coaches preferred the tried an true method of leaning forward and shouting instructions through cupped hands, others simply could not help themselves. It was as if they could extricate their athlete from the grasp of an opponent if they just leaned far enough. So, with extra time on my hands and an empty memory card in the camera, I did what any responsible journalist would do. I started taking pictures of coaches. The resulting video slideshow is entitled “Competitive Fire: Coaching at the Iowa State Wrestling Tournament” and I invite you to logon to www.theprogressreview.co to view it.

Are You Ready? Dodge Hunger Tourney Returns

Come one, come all for the Second Annual Community Dodge Hunger Dodgeball Tourney, sponsored by Heartland Community Church in La Porte City! This is a fun event for all ages and supports the local La Porte City Food Pantry, a community food pantry based out of the church’s basement and operated by the LPC Ministerial Association.
There are four separate divisions: grades 4-6, grades 7-8, grades 9-12, and adult. Teams must consist of no less than six people and no more than 10, though only six will play at any given time. The early bird registration fee is $25 per team and that deadline of February 28th is fast approaching. General registration is $30 per team and that goes until March 8th. Late or at door registration is $35.
The event will be on held March 15, 2014, at the Union High School gymnasium. The tourney will begin at 9 AM; doors will open at 8:00. 4th-6th grade teams should check in by 8:30, all other teams by 9:00.
Spectators not participating in the tourney are asked to bring a financial donation or a canned good for admission to watch the event. Concessions will also be available.
Contact Heartland Community Church (319) 540-5727 or Ben Lindley (319) 215-7477 for more information. This event was very exciting last year, and we expect it to be even better this year!

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