Hens Do Crow! Aug. 7, 2020

Neither wind nor heat nor dark of night nor the coronavirus can stay a farmer from cutting wheat when it’s ready to harvest. Rodney Erickson reports that the 2020 harvest of Spring Wheat in the Rutland area began on Tuesday, July 28, when Nick McLaen hauled the first load to the Wheaton-Dumont Co-op Rutland Elevator. Both the yield and the quality of the crop were very good, Rodney said. The first wheat came in from one of Nick’s fields approximately two miles north of town. Rodney said that he expects more combines to be in the field, and more wheat to be coming in, during the first week of August. Spring wheat is not as big a crop as it once was out here on the northern plains, but it is still an important element in many crop rotation plans, and, if you want to eat good bread, you can’t beat bread made with flour that started out as North Dakota Hard Red Spring Wheat. If you don’t believe it, just ask Dennis or Nick. In addition to taking delivery of grain at the Rutland Elevator, Owner/Manager Rodney Erickson has been busy with aerial application of herbicides, fungicides and pesticides on crops throughout the region. Matt Smith is in charge at the Elevator when Rodney is absent.

Last month Darwin Brakke passed away at his home in Havana. Darwin attended Rutland high school, graduating in 1957, and he married Kathleen Bauman the same year. Together they had four children – Darby, Julie, Jesse, and Janelle. He married Pearl Parrow in 1990. Darwin was one of the original founding members of the Rutland Sportsman’s Club. Over the years, Darwin worked for Ronald Donaldson at Rutland Plumbing & Heating as a plumber and backhoe operation, he owned and operated the Lariat Bar, was a partner in J&B Excavating and was a loader operator for Bernard Mahrer Construction. A private burial for immediate family was held in Rutland and a celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

State Senator Jim Dotzenrod of Wyndmere stopped in Rutland on the evening of Wednesday, July 29, for some conversation on Bill Anderson’s front porch. The Senator had been out at the Rutland Sportsmen’s Club John Narum Memorial Trap & Rifle Range earlier in the evening, trying out a new shotgun and sharpening his shooting eye on some clay pigeons. He reports that in addition to his farming duties he has been working on issues being considered by the State Legislature’s Interim Committee on Agriculture since the end of the 2019 Legislative Session. He said the Committee expects to wrap up its work during the month of August. Senator Dotzenrod is also a candidate for re-election to the State Senate this year, having been endorsed by the 26th District Democratic-NPL Party at the District Convention in Gwinner back in February. He reports that campaign activities are beginning to ramp up, but, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it will be a very different campaign this time around, with more reliance on electronic social media and print media, and less door to door campaigning. Jim’s running mates in 2020 are two former State Legislators: Weber Township native Alan Peterson of Forman; and, Dickey County farmer/ rancher John Hokana of Oakes. Their opponents are incumbent Representatives Sebastian Ertelt & Kathy Skroch; and, Senate candidate Jason Heitkamp. Sen. Dotzenrod expects agriculture, infrastructure and healthcare to be among the issues of primary interest to voters this fall. Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, and Voting by Mail begins in Sargent County on Thursday, September 24. Sen. Dotzenrod said that he and his running mates intend to conduct a positive, issue-oriented campaign, and that they hope their opponents will do the same. Jim Dotzenrod has served in the State Senate from 1978 to 1994 and from 2008 to the present. During the 14 years from 1994 to 2008, the Senate seat was held by Jim’s friend and fellow Dem-NPLer, Joel Heitkamp of Hankinson. During the Legislative Session, Sen. Dotzenrod has served on the Senate Finance & Taxation Committee, where he is respected by Senators on both sides of the aisle for his objectivity and command of the numbers.

The census competition with the cities of Forman, Gwinner and Milnor ended on July 31. Unfortunately, Rutland was at the bottom of the pack with only 62.1% reporting and Forman took the lead with 69.4% participation. Milnor had a participation rate of 67.1% and Gwinner had 66.6%. Mayor Mahrer will be sporting a Forman Counts# T-shirt soon as will the Mayors of the other two losing towns. Rutland got close to the North Dakota response rate of 62.4% but just missed making the average rate. Census workers started visiting households on Thursday, July 30, to try to count all households. If you did not respond to the 2020 Census, be sure to do so before the end of September when the Census count concludes. Everyone needs to be counted to help provide funding for the City and County.

A large group of Rutland women gathered at the Nordland Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall on Saturday, August 1, for a bridal shower honoring Adrienne Jacobson, daughter of Calvin and Wendy Jacobson. The shower was hosted by family and friends. Attendees were able to indulge in a wonderfully prepared dessert bar. Kaci Millette oversaw the games and decorations and she did a fantastic decorating job as usual. The games kept everyone involved and all had a good time. Adrienne is a veterinarian associate in Golden Valley, Minnesota, and her fiancé is Bradley Carman, an engineer at Protrolabs in Maple Plain, Minnesota. His parents are Brad Carman of Griswold, Iowa, and Lisa Carman of Omaha, Nebraska. The wedding will be held at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge, south of Rutland, on Saturday, October 17th with a dance that evening at the Rutland City Hall.

The Rutland City Council met on Monday, August 3, with the primary focus being the adoption of the 2021 preliminary budget. The City Council discussed the public works position vacancy and approved the position for twenty-hours a week at $15.00/hour with a six-month review. The position and information on the application has been posted in various locations. The Council also approved additional hours and a similar salary increase for the City Auditor. The Council approved a 2021 preliminary budget with a 3% increase and set the public hearing for the next meeting at 5 p.m. on Monday, September 14. The preliminary budget is available for review at the City Auditor’s Office or you can request a copy by email at rutlandnd@drtel.net or calling the City Auditor at 724-3081. The City Auditor will be in the Office on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and other times as needed or by appointment.

The Rutland City Council is seeking one individual to serve on the City Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Commission. The term of Bill Anderson has expired and he is not seeking reappointment. The vacant term is through 2024 to allow for staggered terms on the Commission. The P&Z Commission meets no less than once a year and as needed to consider Zoning Variance requests and hold public hearings when needed. Other members on the P&Z are Lori McLaen, Shannon Mehrer, Richard Pherson, and Andrew Woytassek (representing the extra-territorial zone). Applicants must be city residents. Please contact any City Council member or the City Auditor if you are interested in the Planning & Zoning Commission.

The Rutland Park Board is also seeking one individual to fill a two-year vacancy as a result of the resignation of Jeff Olson. The position will be on the ballot for election in 2022 for a two-year term. The Park Board has the sole and exclusive authority to maintain, govern, and improve park land within the territorial limits of the City and levies taxes for the parks. Please consider serving your community on the Park Board. Contact Larry Christensen, Hal Nelson or Deborah Banish (724-3081) if you are interested in serving on the Park Board.

National Farmer’s Week is August 4th through 10th – perfect timing for the second Rutland Farmers Market on Sunday, August 9, starting at 5 p.m. The first Rutland Community Club sponsored Farmer’s Market held in July drew several vendors and many customers. The August and September events will be even bigger and better with more farmer’s market vendors and food. Be sure to make it to Rutland to check out the market produce and to have a meal – Diggers BBQ will be at the August 9th and September 13th events.

That’s it for this week from Rutland. Be sure to get to the Rutland Community Club Back to School party on Thursday, August 13, starting at 5:30 pm. The 1,365 water balloons should make good entertainment. Bring your lawn chair and come join the fun! Remember to be counted in the 2020 Census. Stay up to date on events on the Rutland website at http://www.rutlandnd.com.

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