Bercher staff attends
BAXTER — Brent Gunsbury and Dustan Nyberg of Bercher Design & Construction recently attended the world’s largest residential building industry trade show, the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla. This is Bercher’s 28th year of attendance.
“This is the place to be for the newest building products, innovative building techniques, and latest technologies,” said Gunsbury, president of Bercher Design and Construction, in a news release.
More than 800 exhibitors presented the industry’s newest building products and more than 165 educational seminars were offered focusing on the construction industry’s best practices. The National Association of Home Builders-sponsored event ran from Feb. 8-11. Attendance was anticipated at about 50,000 building industry professionals.
Hartman earns Agent
of the Year title
For the third consecutive year, Joel Hartman of Weichert Realtors Tower Properties earned the title of Agent of the Year.
Hartman serves buyers and sellers throughout the market, specializing in the Crosby area, where he makes his home.
Coulter attends networking event
Sue Coulter attended Sell-a-bration 2011 along with more than 300 of the nation’s top residential real estate professionals.
Sell-a-bration is an annual three-day education and networking event for residential real estate agents, which was hosted at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix, Jan. 19-21.
Coulter attended education sessions led by the industry’s top speakers that focused on topics such as negotiations, investment properties, working with buyers and marketing strategies.
Top Bremer sales, service
providers earn recognition
Fifty of the top sales and service providers from Bremer will soon be leaving the Midwest winter for Arizona as recipients of the company’s annual recognition program for outstanding performers.
The company noted employee efforts also benefit the company’s major shareholder, the Otto Bremer Foundation, which distributes millions of dollars in charitable contributions each year.
The Bremer employees each are able to bring a guest on the March recognition trip.
Employees are: Mike Fraki, business banker; Veronica Jensen, personal banker; and Sharon Knopik, client services associate.
Workshop looks at how to handle shoreline stabilization, restoration
A March 7 workshop at Grand View Lodge looks a how to handle shoreline stabilization and restoration. Lunch is included.
The agenda starts with registration at 8:15 a.m.
• Shoreline Restoration using coir logs and tiering, designer and contractor perspective, Kelly Condiff, Cass County Environmental Services and Richard Ohm,Flying W Gardens. Using coir logs for bank reconstruction, sediment traps and plant establishment in shoreline restoration projects without heavy equipment.
• Ecological Strategies for Lake and Stream Stabilization: Eleanor Burkett, University of Minnesota Extension; Beth Hippert, Crow Wing County SWCD and Brad Kennedy, Joint Powers Board Engineering.
• “Solving Erosion One Plant at a Time!” Vanessa Glieden Henjum, Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District using the example of a water ski team causing intense wave action in a quiet bay on the Crow River and looking at a different bio-engineering solution to shoreline erosion. The project tested four different methods of erosion control. The session will look at what worked and what didn’t.
• How To Get Communities Involved in Shoreline Stabilization, John Smyth, Stantec. This presentation will discuss what prompts communities to complete shoreline stabilization projects and how professionals can assist with guiding the benefits, techniques and funding sources.
• Maintaining Your Shoreline Restoration, John Hiebert, Minnesota DNR. This talk will discuss how to maintain a shoreline restoration for the long term, starting with techniques for proper preparation of the site prior to planting, key things to consider in the first year of the planting, and methods that will help your restoration succeed in the long term.
• How Do Shoreline Owners Really Think? How To Get Better Restoration Results Through Social Sciences, Mark Hauck, Minnesota DNR.
• How to install X, Y & Z Shoreline Products and Bio-engineering Practices, Stacy Anderson, Earth Wizards and Carolyn Dindorf, Fortin Consulting.
• Shoreline Project Bidding, Design, Installation and Follow Up, The Contractors Perspective. Stacy Anderson, Earth Wizards, Joe Schaffer, Minnesota Native Landscapes, Josh Richardson, Prairie Restorations. This segment will be moderated by Greg Berg, MECA president and shoreline activist with a panel discussion open to the audience.
• Trade Show and Networking.
New crop of Master
Gardeners joins volunteer force
When the course wraps up in mid-February, the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener class of 2012 will be the 35th in the volunteer program’s history. This year’s cohort includes 178 people from 42 counties plus the Fond du Lac tribal nation.
This class will join a force of more than 2,200 Minnesotans who volunteer 131,000-plus hours and give $2.8 million worth of their time per year to benefit schools, community gardens, youth programs, the environment and more through a broad array of horticulture education activities.
Most stay in the program for at least 10 years, but at least three “charter members” from the first class in 1977 remain active. Julie Weisenhorn, state director for Extension’s Master Gardener program and a retired Master Gardener, knows first-hand why they do it.
The core course is required for these aspiring Master Gardeners. In addition to background on Extension and the program, they learn about the most up-to-date university research in 14 topics ranging from soils and botany to lawn care, and from plant diseases to insects.
The classes are taught by Extension educators, scientists and university professors. They are offered both face-to-face and online, and many people choose to take them as a hybrid of the two models.
After completing the core course, volunteers spend one year and at least 50 hours as Master Gardener interns. After the internship year, they must contribute a minimum of 25 hours of volunteer work each year. There is also an annual continuing education requirement for volunteers.
Some choose to help children plant school gardens, teach neighbors how to grow healthy foods or assist with university research.
What else should the graduating Master Gardener class of 2012 expect from its first years in the program? Volunteers should expect to work hard. “Even in a community garden, somebody is going to have to shovel the compost,” Weisenhorn said. “They can teach people about the benefits and practices of composting at the same time they are shoveling it. The passion to dig in and make a difference — that’s what keeps them going.”
For more information on Extension’s Master Gardener program, including how to become a Master Gardener volunteer, visit www.extension.umn.edu/master-gardener.
Foreign persons must report U.S. agricultural land holdings
BAXTER — Trisha McMonagle, Crow Wing-Cass and Aitkin-Itasca County USDA Farm Service Agency executive director, recently issued a news release reminding foreign persons with an interest in agricultural lands in the United States that they are required to report their holdings and any transactions to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
Foreign investors must file Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act reports with the FSA county office that maintains reports for the county where the land is located.
For AFIDA purposes, agricultural land is defined as any land used for farming, ranching or timber production, if the tracts total 10 acres or more.
Disclosure reports are also required when there are changes in land use. For example, reports are required when land use changes from nonagricultural to agricultural or from agricultural to nonagricultural. Foreign investors must also file a report when there is a change in the status of ownership such as owner changes from foreign to non-foreign, from non-foreign to foreign or from foreign to foreign.