Through the generosity of their local communities, CHS Holdrege employees raised $33,669.25 during their 2017 Harvest for Hunger food, funds and grain drive held earlier this year. CHS Holdrege employees from locations in Holdrege, Alma, Loomis, Bertrand, Smithfield, Overton, Elm Creek, Minden, Bladen, Blue Hill and Roseland, as well as their location in Oberlin, KS, came up with fun and engaging activities to gather their communities together to raise money for the annual CHS Harvest for Hunger campaign. Local food pantries in each of those communities, as well as the Backpack Blessings program in Holdrege, will receive a portion of the funds raised. Community members gathered at fundraising breakfasts and lunches, purchased raffle tickets, attended a fundraising gala and participated in trap shoots and other fun events hosted by CHS Holdrege employees. The Harvest for Hunger fundraising drive, organized by the Country Operations division of CHS, has raised more than $4.7 million and 3.4 million pounds of food since the program’s launch in 2011. “Hunger is a reality for many people in our communities and we may not even be aware of it. Through CHS Harvest for Hunger, we are helping those in need. And because we work with other CHS Country Operations locations, every dollar and donation stretches even further to make an even bigger impact in the fight against hunger” says Dana Killough, CHS Holdrege Public Relations Coordinator. CHS Inc. (www.chsinc.com) is a leading global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States. Diversified in energy, grains and foods, CHS is committed to helping its customers, farmer-owners and other stakeholders grow their businesses through its domestic and global operations. CHS, a Fortune 100 company, supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain marketing services, animal feed, food and food ingredients, along with business solutions including insurance, financial and risk management services. The company operates petroleum refineries/pipelines and manufactures, markets and distributes Cenex® brand refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products.
The Calhouns will entertain in the park during Fourth of July festivities in the Bertrand park in conjunction with the Bertrand Volunteer Fire Department’s BBQ. Serving will begin at 5:00 p.m. The meal will be provided for a free will offering. The Calhouns are an award winning band out of North Platte, Nebraska. Jim Calhoun and Melanie Thompson have performed for events all across the central and southwestern states providing fun and energetic music shows. Jim was inducted into the Nebraska Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007 and was named entertainer of the year by the Rocky Mountain Association of Fairs in 2004. Mel is a trained musician with a flair for drums. She has great stage presence and energy. More recently the Calhouns performed two tours in England and Scotland. They have had one of their original songs included in a BBC movie sound track. They perform classic Country and good old Rock and Roll with a hint of Rock a Billy and Blues. The Calhouns like to consider their music “Rural American Music.” They invite you to give them a listen and enjoy their performance. The annual fireworks show will begin at 10 p.m., by the football field. Funds raised at the BBQ will help support the cost of the fireworks show. Also members Bertrand Volunteer Fire Department have been canvasing the village and rural area soliciting funds for the annual fireworks show. If you have not yet been contacted, please send your contribution to Jessica Evans - Treasurer, 307 Union Street, Bertrand, NE 68927, or you may give it to any member of the fire department.
It took five years, but the Gosper County junior livestock judging team finally won the very prestigious and competitive Nebraska Classic Livestock Judging Competition in Kearney recently. The team consisted of Rianna and Sheridan Chaney, Zach Dickau and Abby Scholz. With more than 50 of the best livestock judging kids throughout Nebraska and Colorado vying for $2,000 in prizes, it was the Junior team from Gosper County that had their best day ever. Junior competitors judged five classes of beef, two classes of hogs, two classes of sheep and one class of goats. Kids also gave three sets of orals reasons, a one-to-two minute oral presentation to a judge in a room explaining and defending their placing. Sheridan Chaney won the contest with a score of 614 out of a possible 650. She also won beef, captured the top award in sheep and was 3rd place in swine. She tied for first place overall reasons score with a score of 138, broken with a tie breaker giving her the 2nd place award in oral reasons. Rianna Chaney was 6th overall in the contest with a score of 578. She was 4th overall in sheep, 5th overall in oral reasons and 10th in beef. Zach Dickau was 11th overall in the contest with a score of 566. He was 8th overall in oral reasons, 7th overall in beef and 16th in swine. Abby Scholz was 22nd in beef and 25th in oral reasons. In addition to winning the contest, the team tied for champion reasons team, but with a tie breaker ended up reserve champion junior reasons team. They were also first place team in sheep, first in beef and 3rd place team in swine. The Gosper County Team B of Carsen Reiners, Garrett Scholz and Whitney Dickau also had a great day. They were 9th place team in swine and 10th place team overall. We are extremely proud of all of these young people. Carsen was 9th overall in swine, 16th in sheep, 27th in oral reasons and 32nd overall in the contest. Garrett was 18th in sheep, 24th in swine, 34th in oral reasons and 33rd in the contest. Whitney was 41st in swine. All seven kids had attended the South Central Livestock Judging Clinic and Contest held earlier in June in Bladen. The Dickaus and Chaneys participated in the NCTA (Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture) Livestock Judging Camp in Curtis in May. Most of the kids completed a three-day University of Nebraska-Lincoln livestock judging camp right before the Nebraska Classic Livestock competition. The Gosper County youth worked with head livestock judging coach, Brad Bennett and met most of the UNL livestock judging team members. They worked with them during the intense three-day camp, improving note taking, livestock terminology, oral reasons delivery and livestock evaluation. More importantly, the kids learned that all the UNL livestock judging members started out in two-year colleges in Nebraska, Wyoming, Kansas, and Colorado on full scholarships to be on the livestock judging team. The UNL team members inspired the kids and told them that hard work does pay off. Recently three Gosper County youth returned from judging camp at K-State in Manhattan, Kansas and worked with head livestock judging coach Chris Mullinix. “The best thing you will ever do to complement your education is livestock judging,” Mullinix told the 53 kids attending the camp from 12 states from California to Maryland. “Livestock judging will open doors and provide opportunities,” he told the kids. “Opportunities to do what you love. I've had the opportunity to judge in 40 states and out of the country.” Livestock judging teaches youth much more than livestock. More importantly it improves decision-making skills, cognitive thinking, ability to think fast, articulate your thoughts, defend your decisions and improves your public speaking skills. Mullinix encouraged kids to stick with judging and practice, practice, practice. Livestock judging will lead to great opportunities in the future. “You might wake up every morning like me and go to your dream job, but it doesn't feel like work.” Mullinix added. Going into her fifth year as head coach of the Gosper County livestock judging team, Becky Chaney said she was incredibly proud of the kids' dedication to the program. “There are about 24 kids who are judging,” Chaney explained. “Some kids have time for eight to 10 contests per year and others one or two, but any exposure to livestock judging is a real plus.” According to Chaney, the enthusiasm of the youngest 4-H youth is so contagious. “When I have eight-year-old boys asking me when the next judging practice is, it makes me so excited for the next crop of kids starting in the program,” Chaney said. “The future is looking bright for the Gosper County livestock judging program and I'm looking so forward to working with these kids.”
The Don Sjogren Community YMCA will close the YMCA at R7 Early Learning Center on August 4th. While the center currently serves 46 children, the revenue generated does not provide for long-term sustainability of the program. “We are heartbroken that we have to close this center,” YMCA CEO Ginger Cowne said. “Unfortunately, we won’t be able to continue to serve area children and families with fulltime child care due to financial constraints.” The YMCA informed staff and parents of the closure on June 21st and has provided them with a list of other day-care providers in Holdrege. The YMCA purchased the YMCA at R7 facility in early 2016 and opened the early learning center in September as part of its mission to serve children and families in the area. Fulltime child care and preschool classes were offered at the center. However, the center did not attract enough children to sustain operations. The YMCA will retain ownership of the R7 property and will continue to offer youth and adult programs there to ease over-crowding at the main location at 1415 Broadway. The early learning center employs 16 staff, including teachers and kitchen help. The Y will work to place some of the employees in other positions within the Y if possible. The YMCA is dedicated to strengthening the community through programs focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.