Serving Minnesota and Northern Iowa.

A look back through pages of 2012

By Janet Kubat Willette

Date Modified: 01/02/2013 3:29 PM

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2012 offered something for everyone in the way of weather. There were floods, hail and the worst drought in 20-some years.

But the year also yielded good crops in most parts of Minnesota. The dry soil conditions that continued into fall and winter have many concerned about what next year will bring.

Looking back through the pages of 2012, there were many memorable events involving the people in agriculture. This list is but a few:

• The Mitchell County Supervisors voted unanimously not to appeal an Iowa Supreme Court decision that their road protection ordinance is unconstitutional to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Feb. 3, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled the ordinance that bans steel wheel tractors on hard surface roads violated Matthew Zimmerman's constitutional right to freely exercise his religion. Zimmerman and his family are Old Order Groffdale Conference Mennonites, and their tractors must be equipped with steel wheels. The supervisors passed the 2009 ordinance because they said steel wheels were damaging their new roads.

• The Decorah, Iowa, FFA chapter celebrated its 75th anniversary.

• Julie Tesch, who was executive director of the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council for nine years, left in April for a new job with the National FFA Alumni Association in Indianapolis.

• A Norma "Duffy" Lyon art display was unveiled at the Dairy Center in Calmar in June. Lyon sculpted the butter cow at the Iowa State Fair for more than four decades

• Chuck Casey retired June 30 from the University of Minnesota at Crookston, where he was serving as chancellor. Casey was formerly in charge of University of Minnesota Extension.

• Lloyd Lesmeister, Sarah Marketon and Matthew Welter are Minnesota's 2013 Pork Ambassadors. They were selected during Farmfest in early August.

• Logan Worden of Oelwein and Karla Hageman of Decorah were crowned Iowa Dairy Princess and Iowa Alternate Dairy Princess at the Iowa State Fair in August.

• Christine Reistma of Sauk Centre, Minn., was crowned the 59th Princess Kay of the Milky Way on Aug. 22.

• Pam Johnson of Floyd, Iowa, became the new president of the National Corn Growers Association on Oct. 1. She is the first woman to hold the post.

• Ron Eustice retired from the Minnesota Beef Council on Oct. 1. Eustice had been executive director of the council for 22 years.

• Mike Sams served 11 months in Iraq and when he returned to his Staples farm it was hard to talk to others. He found solace in working with his horses and shared his experience with draft horses at an Oct. 20 workshop geared toward veterans, especially those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.