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ACHIEVEMENT WINNERS
The Tinjums were selected as the 2014 Burke County Soil Conservation District’s Achievement Winner because of their long history and commitment to soil conservation within the County.

The Tinjums farm in the Powers Lake area and grow durum, winter wheat, peas, mustard and canola.

They practice one pass seeding in order to reduce inputs and maintain soil health. Each crop field is soil tested annually and nutrients are applied accordingly.
Soil erosion has been eliminated, and marginal soils have been seeded to grass for wildlife and hay.
Several tree plantings have been installed for farmstead protection and wildlife.

Both Dale and Pat were employed by the Soil Conservation Service, and planted trees for the District prior to their employment with SCS.

Dale served on the Burke Soil Conservation District Board for 17 years. Dale also served on the North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts (NDASCD) Board for eight years, including as two years as President.

Dale served as a representative to the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) during his tenure on the NDASCD Board.

Pat served several years as the NDASCD Ladies Auxiliary President and a two-year term as the NACD Auxiliary Treasurer.

The Burke Soil Conservation District thanks Dale and Pat for their dedication and commitment to natural resource conservation.

The North Dakota Soil Conservation Achievement Awards program is sponsored by the ND Newspaper Association, ND State Soil Conservation Committee, NDSU Extension Service, NRCS, FSA, the NDASCD and each soil conservation district.
The ND Soil Conservation Achievement Awards Program is the only program of its kind in the nation and has continued since 1948.

LAND BOARDS
The Land Board followed the committee’s recommendations to give priority to school districts that demonstrated a need for additional assistance since the start of the current school year.

The energy impact grants awarded to schools included Powers Lake Public School District 27 - $140,000 for teacher housing and Bowbells School District #14 - $15,100 to increase in security installation system.

Other area schools included
· McKenzie Co. Public School District 1
· Divide Co. Public School District
· Stanley Public School District
· Tioga Public School District
. Alexander Public School District 2
· Nesson Public School District 2, Ray

The Land Board also awarded $3 million in energy impact grants to support a wide range of infrastructure improvement projects and equipment needs at 10 airports serving western North Dakota.
For a complete list of grants approved by the Land Board go to: www.nd.gov/energyimpact.

 






THE PRESENT

Another successful Christmas tree hunting expedition has concluded and we have a fine specimen of Black Hills spruce mounted and adjourned in front of our picture window for all the world to see. All the world that drives by our house anyway.

The hunt took place a little later than usual as we waited for our daughter, Sierra, to venture home from her first semester of college. First semester of many, we anticipate.
We’ve been venturing out into the Black Hills to hack down a Christmas tree for about 15 seasons now. Fifteen seasons go fast.

If I remember right (I seldom do anymore) the first of the 15, Sierra was about four years old and I pulled her through the woods on a pink plastic sled while she sat pondering the majesty of it all.
The pondering produced a question, as it often does, and her question was simple, thoughtful, and poignant.
She simply asked, “Dad, don’t they sell Christmas trees at the store?”

To which I replied, “Yes, they do, but isn’t this much more fun than going to the store?”
Rarely one to complain and always conscious of the feelings of those around her, she took a brief reflective pause and tactfully and gently replied, “Yeah, but they sell them at the store too.”

The traits our children carry into adulthood show themselves at a young age. I often wonder just how much sway our parental nurturing has over nature in how our children act and who they become and whether, as parents, we’re simply poorly paid tour guides.

Tour guides clunkin’ around with a half a tank of gas, bald tires, smelly exhaust, and outdated maps. Maps that lead somewhere at one time. Somewhere we thought we were headed but habitually find ourselves nowhere near for reasons we can’t identify.

Life’s distracting. With all the flashing lights, bells, whistles, hairpin turns and black ice, it’s easy to get turned around. That’s assuming you had an inclination of the direction you were headed in the first place. That’s a rather large assumption to assume.

I think it’s safe to assume that an assumption of any sort is something that should be avoided, especially if you happen to be a man married to a woman. Which, in that case, assume you’re wrong and you will be right and vice versa. So it goes.

So we have a tree.

Christmas cards and letters from near and far find their way to our mailbox most every day, and we are grateful for those our wayward winding path has crossed somewhere hither and yon.

It’s that time of year. Time to prepare for the end of one and the beginning of another.
They come and they go and so must we.

We can think back and we can look forward but the present is all we have that is of any certainty.
I hope you get all the present you wish for with all those you wish to share it with.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


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