Archive for Nancy Dashwood

U of M Extension to host goat/sheep webinar: Connecting Producer to Consumer

WRIGHT COUNTY – The University of Minnesota Extension will host a webinar on Wednesday, Sept. 30, starting at 6:30 p.m,  focusing on the different factors and steps to connect goat and sheep producers with consumers.

Discussion will center around the different types of processing and direct marketing, animal ID and record keeping, factors affecting the marketing of sheep/goats, cuts of meat, profit calculators, outlets for direct marketing, and how to tell your story. Farmers, 4-Hers, ag business professionals who work with farmers, and those interested in goats or sheep are invited to attend.

Dr. Travis Hoffman-Extension Sheep Specialist-U of M/NDSU Extension, Rashed Ferdous-Local Meat Specialist, and a representative from the MN Dept of Ag, Dairy and Meat Inspection Division will be the featured speakers. Additional topics include: direct marketing and regulations regarding meat processing-what you can and can’t do; managing costs and customer expectations; and growing specialty meat marketing opportunities in Minnesota.

Pre-registration is required. Register at by noon Wednesday, Sept.30. The Zoom link will be emailed to you after registration closes. If you are unable to attend the live session, you will receive the recording via email. Any questions please contact: Brenda Miller at, or Colleen Carlson at

Any questions regarding livestock production or any other agricultural topics can be directed to your local Extension educator. Residents in Wright County can contact Adam Austing at 320-249-5929 or

Straight ahead . . . National 4-H Week, Oct. 4 to 10

WRIGHT COUNTY – October is a great time to share about 4-H in the community. National 4-H Week takes place Oct. 4 to 10.

Clubs and 4-H members are encouraged to create a 4-H promotional piece.  Let the judges know about your ideas and how you used it, including a photo, here

Judges will evaluate the entries and choose the winners.  Any promotion idea is eligible.  Be creative.  Prizes will be awarded to both a club and an individual 4-H member/team.  Submit your entries by Thursday, Oct. 15.  Remember the 4-H Safety Guidelines when designing your ideas.  Contact Kelly ( if you have any questions.

4-H Spirit Day will take place Wednesday, Oct. 7. Show your 4-H pride and share what opportunity means to you by wearing green or the 4-H clover on Wednesday, Oct. 7 for National 4-H Week Spirit Day.  Post a 4-H Member Lives Here sign in your front window.  Decorate an Opportunity4All sign, and share your pictures on social media using the hashtag #Opportunity4All.  These signs may be found here:

Wright County 4-H will be participating in the first virtual 4-H open house.  Invite your friends to attend this event to learn more about what 4-H has to offer.  There will be three times from which to choose: Oct. 5, 13 or 18.  You can attend one or more sessions.  Watch for more details coming soon.

Extension Services offers lilac advice

WRIGHT COUNTY – There are widespread reports of lilacs dying throughout Wright County and Minnesota this year. In many cases, affected plants were mature and never had noticeable issues in the past. The common lilac, Syringa vulgaris, seems to be the most susceptible. However, the Japanese tree lilac, Syringa reticulata, has shown susceptibility as well.

Weather has most likely played a significant role in the decline of many of these lilacs. In May we had a week of very cold temperatures without snow cover, possibly compromising root systems. Much of June and July were also very hot and wet, which likely increased plant stress and susceptibility to disease and other issues.

One disease, pseudocercospora, has been more present than usual this year. The main symptoms are yellowing leaves, eventually turning brown, and branch dieback. These symptoms are similar to many other lilac diseases and issues, so it cannot be assumed that pseudocercospora is the issue you are dealing with. Verticillium wilt (a fungal disease) and lilac borer (an insect) are two other common culprits. The best way to make sure you know what is harming your lilacs is to send a sample to the UMN Plant Disease Clinic (PDC). Instructions on collecting and submitting samples can be found at

More information on how to assess the health of your lilacs can be found at In many cases, a lack of previous care for the lilacs is a big contributing factor to the decline of health as well. Lilacs require pruning, debris cleanup, and oftentimes watering. Many of us are guilty of assuming that lilacs are tough and don’t benefit from added care and attention. Information on how to best care for your lilac shrub, hedge, or tree can be found at Of course you can always reach out to your local Extension educator as well. Residents in Wright County can contact Adam Austing at (320) 249-5929 or for more information.

By Adam Austing, University of Minnesota Extension Educator

Project update provided on CSAH 19 and 38 project

WRIGHT COUNTY – The contractor for the project closed the intersection of Hwy. 38 and MacIver Avenue to construct a roundabout Sept. 21. The intersection is expected to be reopened approximately Monday, Oct. 19 – depending on weather conditions over the next three weeks.

A detour for through traffic will be provided along Hwy. 19 to Hwy. 37 to Hwy 38.

Local residents living between MacIver Avenue and Hwy. 19 will have access utilizing city streets, such as 67th, 69th, 73rd and 80th Streets off of Hwy. 19, depending on whether they north or south of Hwy. 38.

Access for buses and emergency vehicles will be maintained on Hwy. 38 at Lambert Avenue, Large Avenue and Lasalle Circle.

For an overview of the entire project, click here:

Meeker County reminds citizens of general election information

MEEKER COUNTY – Meeker County has shared reminder information about voting in the upcoming general election. The absentee voting period for the November 3, 2020, general election began Sept. 18, and will continue through Monday, Nov. 2, 2020.

Voters may request an absentee ballot by completing an application. Applications can be found using the quick links within the Auditor’s page on the Meeker County website. Applications may also be obtained in person at the County Auditor’s Office at 325 North Sibley Avenue, Litchfield, MN 55355, or by calling the office at 320-693-5212.

In-person absentee voting will began Sept. 18, at the County Auditor’s Office.

Mailing of ballots will begin the week of Sept. 28.

Highway 12 detours in Cokato to replace city utilities Aug. 31 to Sept. 5

COKATO – Motorists who travel on Highway 12 through Cokato will encounter a detour and road
closure Monday, Aug. 31, as crews replace an underground city water main at Wright County Road
3/Broadway Avenue.
Here’s what to expect through Saturday, Sept. 5:
• The intersection of Highway 12 and Wright County Road 3/Broadway Avenue will close to all traffic.  The
road will be open east and west of the full closure.
• Highway 12 will detour in Cokato via Jackson Avenue SW, Seventh Street SE, Wright County
Road 3/Broadway Avenue S., and County Road 137/60th Street SW. Expect delays when trains are
• Highway 12 will have a truck detour around Cokato for semi-trailer or longer vehicles. The
detour in Cokato is difficult to maneuver with tight turns, and the railroad tracks on Jackson
Avenue. The truck detour uses Highway 15 at Dassel, Meeker County Road 21, Wright County
Road 35, and Wright County Road 5, back to Highway 12 east of Cokato.

Local access will be maintained to businesses, visitors, and residents, however expect changes. Pedestrians who encounter walk closures with detours should follow signs.
The work is part of a larger $3.8 million project to resurface and improve motorist and pedestrian access in
Cokato. The project is expected to be complete by mid-October.
A map of the detour appears below.