MILWAUKEE, WI - For many, June can be a month to take time out of busy schedules to appreciate and celebrate the men in our lives.  With Father's Day, June 19, quickly approaching, TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight loss support organization, offers hints and tips to keep dad healthy and active.  Whether you're a member of TOPS or simply a member of a family, use these ideas to encourage Dad to live a healthy lifestyle year-round.

Give Dad the Gift of Health
• Be Dad's exercise buddy. Make an effort to exercise regularly together, and schedule it on the calendar as a reminder.  Working out with a partner encourages you to motivate and hold each other accountable.

• Does he like gadgets? Give him a pedometer or heart rate monitor.  These tools will inspire Dad during his workouts and help him track progress and an ideal intensity level.

• Help him unwind. A gift certificate for a massage will give Dad the opportunity to de-stress.  Less stress is healthy for his mind and immune system.

• You're never too old to make a homemade gift. Activity coupons are a great way to inspire a healthy lifestyle.  Whether you offer him a hike, yard work help, or bike ride, an activity coupon will give you time to spend with each other and get you moving.

• Gift him with a membership to TOPS. TOPS provides weight-loss support and wellness education for only $26 annually in the U.S. and $30 in Canada.  Visit for more information or to find a chapter near you.

A Father's Day Feast

Celebrations typically include many indulgent meals.  Use Father's Day as an opportunity to make tasty, healthy food that the whole family can enjoy.  When it comes to choosing snacks and meal options, these guidelines are easy to incorporate into Father's Day festivities.

• Start his Father's Day out on a healthy note. Serving Dad breakfast in bed not only shows that you appreciate him, but it also sets the tone for a healthy day.  It may even inspire healthy breakfasts throughout the year.  Oatmeal, fruit salad, cottage cheese, and scrambled eggs are examples of some delicious, hearty breakfast foods.

• Have a heart-healthy cookout. Does your dad consider himself a "grill master?"  Get creative with food choices to make the meal healthier.  Turkey dogs, veggie burgers, buffalo burgers, and chicken are great options.  Look for packages with a higher percentage of lean meat.  If beef is more appealing, choose meat that is labeled "choice" or "select."  It also never hurts to throw some vegetables on the grill.

• Is he nuts about snacks? Almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts pack a lot of nutrition, including healthy fats, protein, Vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber.  Suggest to Dad that he might want to consider swapping a handful of nuts for the traditional bag of chips.

TOPS Club Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the original, nonprofit weight-loss support and wellness education organization, was established more than 63 years ago to champion weight-loss support and success.  Founded and headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, TOPS promotes successful, affordable weight management with a philosophy that combines healthy eating, regular exercise, wellness information, and support from others at weekly chapter meetings. TOPS has about 170,000 members in nearly 10,000 chapters throughout the United States and Canada.

Visitors are welcome to attend their first TOPS meeting free of charge. To find a local chapter, view or call (800) 932-8677.


For months, political observers and handicappers have placed Iowa in the toss-up column for the 2012 Presidential election. This week, a memo from the Republican National Committee indicates Iowa will be squarely in play for 2012. Our state is 1of 9 President Obama won in 2008 but George Bush won in 2004.
The RNC memo describes the shifting landscape in Iowa as evidence that President Obama will have his work cut out for him when he returns to campaign. One staggering statistic for the incumbent is that since he took office, 1 in 10 Iowa Democrats has fled the party. During this time, Republicans have closed the registration gap for 27 consecutive months. Independents and Democrats alike understand that this administration's policies, from the failed stimulus bill to ObamaCare, have done nothing to revive our economy.
Beyond registrations, the RNC memo cites Iowa Republicans huge electoral gains in 2010 as cause for concern for the Obama Administration. With a Republican Governor and Republican controlled House, President Obama will find a much different political atmosphere in November of 2012.

Buy Straw Poll Tickets Online!
The Ames Straw Poll is 65 days away and interest in the event continues to bubble. Party staff is working overtime to make sure this event is a success. As part of that process, we have for the first time made tickets available to purchase online. Simply click on the link below to get your tickets securely online. We look forward to seeing you in Ames.

Grassley Continues Rigorous Oversight
Senator Grassley has always taken his constitutional role of oversight very seriously. As an elected representative, he has exposed waste, fraud and abuse in a effort to protect taxpayer dollars. He was on the case again this week, shedding light on unsatisfactory audits at the Department of Defense that leave "huge sums of money vulnerable to theft and waste."

Upcoming Dates
August 11-Iowa GOP/Fox News Presidential Debate
August 13- Ames Straw Poll
Governor Branstad Working "Hand in Hand" with Iowans
Takes common-sense budget ideas to 43 cities

Last November, voters rallied around Governor Branstad's message of working to create private sector jobs and restoring common-sense budgeting after years of reckless spending. Since taking office, Governor Branstad has offered a budget proposal that restores fiscal sanity to state government and helps establish a foundation for economic growth.

Earlier this week, the Governor Started his 43 city "Working Together for a Better Future" tour. He has spent this week listening to Iowans and advocating for budget that spends less than it takes in. By taking his message on the road, our Governor is working hand in hand with Iowans to craft a brighter future for our state.
BOURBONNAIS, IL (06/09/2011)(readMedia)-- Olivet Nazarene University announces its student-athletes who recently received a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference All-Academic award.

Moline resident Erica Engelbrecht was a senior at Olivet majoring in biology during the 2010-2011 academic year and competed on Olivet's women's tennisteam.

Moline resident Nicholas Mizeur was a junior at Olivet majoring in youth ministry during the 2010-2011 academic year and competed on Olivet's men's track and field team.

Olivet's Tiger athletes earned 48 of the 218 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference All-Academic awards this spring, the highest total of any school in the 15-team conference.

Sports honored with the spring CCAC All-Academic awards include baseball, softball, men's golf, women's tennis and both men's and women's track and field. To receive the award, a student-athlete must have a 3.25 grade point average or higher and have earned at least 30 semester or 45 trimester hours. The student-athlete must also be enrolled at the institution for a minimum of one academic year.

Olivet Nazarene University is an accredited Christian, liberal arts university offering over 120 areas of study. It is centrally located in the historic village of Bourbonnais, Illinois - just 50 miles south of Chicago's loop - with additional School of Graduate and Continuing Studies locations in Oak Brook and Rolling Meadows, Ill. and throughout Chicagoland.

ONU news is also available on the web. Go to and click on "News & Events." Licensed University photos and official logos available upon request.

Volunteer Opportunities
Information June 15 and 29, 2011

Davenport, Iowa - June, 2011  - The Figge Art Museum currently has volunteer opportunities available in the areas of education programs, visitor services, community outreach and studio classes. Individuals who have an interest in community volunteerism or art and related programming may register for the June volunteer information sessions.

The information sessions for prospective volunteers will be held Wednesday June 15, 2011 from 10am-11:30am OR Wednesday June 29, 2011 from 2pm-330pm at the Figge Art Museum.  These sessions will be geared specifically to adults and students, who are interested in volunteering and community support opportunities in art education, public relations, administrative support, community outreach and visitor services.  The session will include an introduction of volunteer opportunities, a museum orientation and application procedures.  To register for this session, please call Museum Services Director Jennifer Brooke, 563-326-7804, ext. 2048.

Volunteering at the Figge is a great way to support your community by sharing your personal and professional experience with a non profit organization.  For more information, please visit the Figge Art Museum Web site,, or email  

About the Figge Art Museum

The Figge Art Museum, formerly the Davenport Museum of Art, opened August 6, 2005. The award-winning building designed by architect David Chipperfield holds a collection of approximately 3,500 works that reflect artistic styles and developments from the Renaissance to contemporary art, with particular strengths in American Regionalist, Mexican Colonial, and Haitian art.  The Figge Art Museum is located on the riverfront in downtown Davenport at 225 West Second Street. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday throughSaturday, Sundays 12-5 p.m.and Thursdays 10 a.m.- 9p.m. To contact the museum, please call 563.326.7804, or visit our website,

Susan Horan| Director of Marketing and Membership
563.326.7804 x2007

225 W. 2nd Street|Davenport, Iowa|52801

Waterviews from the Figge Collection | May 7 through Aug 21, 2011
The John Deere Collection | Through Summer 2011
Legacy for Iowa: Pollock's Mural and Modern Masterworks from the University of Iowa Museum of Art | Ongoing
Portraits: Photography from the Brent Sikkema Collection | Ongoing
Frank Lloyd Wright: The Art Living | Ongoing

When there is a serious family problem, parents often wonder whether they should talk to their children or shield them from what is happening. The fact is, children pick up on all kinds of messages.And they take most things literally. Children take your comments-even offhand ones-seriously. That's why it is best to sit down and talk with your children. If you don't, kids come to their own conclusions about how bad things are, and usually their picture of the situation is much worse than reality.

Children depend on their parents for emotional security. When parents are tense, upset and inattentive, much of this security is gone. This piece includes ways to help yourselves as parents and more specifically some tips are given for ways to help your children cope with the stresses of the disaster.Accept your children's feelings and concerns. This usually requires you to really listen to your child. For example, when a child tells you: "I hate my teacher." the problem may not be the teacher but rather that your child still feels sad about things lost in the disaster, including the pens needed to do homework. It is important for you to take the time to ask your child questions that discovers the real cause of your child's frustration.

By asking questions and listening, you give your child permission to tell you what is really wrong. When a child says: "I hate my brother," parents often say: "Oh, no you don't." Compare this response to how you talk to a spouse or a friend. If they said: "I hate my boss," you wouldn't respond by saying: "No, you don't." You would probably say: "Really? Why?" Parents can do that for children, too.

Being honest in a way that helps children understand the situation, without being unrealistically optimistic or pessimistic, will help you build a strong, trusting relationship with your children. Speak to your children simply; give them just enough information to answer their questions. Being honest sometimes means admitting that you don't know the answers to everything. When you tell your child what you don't know, also tell them what you do know to reassure them. Children who have experienced a natural disaster worry about the future. They wonder if there will be enough money for food and clothes and whether their family will have to move. When your children ask questions about the future, try to respond in a way that is truthful and makes them feel secure.

Contact: Sharon M. Danes, Family Resource Management Specialist, University of Minnesota
phone: 612-625-9273

AMES, Iowa - The USDA released the new food icon "MyPlate" on June 2, 2011. The intent of the new icon is to simplify the dietary guidance included in the Dietary Guidelines 2010 and MyPyramid. MyPlate is not intended to replace MyPyramid; instead, MyPlate simplifies the message to make it easier for Americans to make healthful food choices.

"The key message of MyPlate is the proportion each food group should contribute to your plate," said Sarah Francis, an Iowa State University assistant professor and state nutrition extension specialist. "The icon conveys that half of your plate should consist of fruits and vegetables, with vegetables comprising slightly more than the fruits. The other half of the plate consists of grains and proteins, with grains comprising slightly more than the protein. Dairy is depicted as a circle ? signifying a glass of milk ? off to the side ofthe plate."

While the new icon has many positive aspects, some people have concerns. Ruth Litchfield, an Iowa State University associate professor and state nutrition extension specialist, feels the term "protein" may be confusing or misleading. "MyPlate uses the term 'protein,' which is a nutrient rather than a food group. While many equate the term protein with meat, fish and poultry, excellentsources of protein also include dried beans, peas and lentils."
In addition to the icon, several nutrition messages accompany MyPlate. These include :

Balance Calories
· Enjoy your food, but eat less.
· Avoid oversized portions.

Foods to Increase
· Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
· Make at least half of your grains whole grains.
· Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk.

Foods to Reduce
· Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals - and choose the foods with lower numbers.
· Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

Litchfield is concerned about the message relative to sodium intake. "National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data fromthe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that a number of foods contribute more sodium to our daily diet than soup. For example, you also need to check the sodium content of prepared chicken and mixed chicken dishes, pizza, pasta and pasta dishes, coldcuts and cheese, among others. Most Americans need more guidance regarding where sodium is found and how to decrease sodium intake."

Francis emphasized, "The messages of MyPlate remain consistent with messages from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 and MyPyramid. The real benefit of MyPlate is the simple, concise message of proportionality on your plate."


AMES, Iowa – Iowa Learning Farms and Key Cooperative will co-sponsor a strip-tillage field day at the Mike Hermanson farm and at Key Co-op S14 Office strip-till plots in northern Story County on Tuesday, June 21, beginning at 10 a.m. The field day will include a complimentary lunch and information about the conservation strip-tillage practice. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

Strip-tillage marries the best aspects of conventional tillage with the benefits of no-till. Before planting (fall post-harvest or spring pre-plant), a strip-tillage implement creates strips of tilled soil. Surface residue is left undisturbed between the tilled strips. In the spring, corn or soybeans are planted into the tilled soil strips, which warm and dry faster than the rest of the field, making this system ideal for some Iowa soil types. Landowners and farmers should see better water infiltration, improved soil structure and potential for reduced fuel, machinery and other crop input costs with the implementation of strip-tillage.

Mike Hermanson completed his strip-tillage last fall and will have strip-till implements at the field day site. The field day will begin at Hermanson's strip-tilled field, located one and one-half miles west of Roland on county road E-18 on the north side of the road, just west of the turkey buildings. The field day will then move to the Key Co-op strip-tilled plots. These are located two miles east of Roland on E-18 and then one-half mile south on county road S14 (620th St). Lunchwill be at the Key Co-op site, sponsored by Monsanto.

Iowa Learning Farms are building a Culture of Conservation, encouraging adoption of residuemanagement and conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF staff are working together to encourage farmers to implement the best in-field management practices that increase water and soil quality while remaining profitable.

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AMES, Iowa -- Registration is now under way for the 2011 Crop Management Clinic to be held July 13-14 at the Field Extension Education Laboratory (FEEL) near Ames. The Crop Management Clinic is an intensive two-day training program that focuses on the latest developments in crop production and protection.

Attendees can select from 20 different topics to develop a course agenda that fits their specific interests and needs. ISU Extension specialists will be discussing the impacts of common crop problems, how to avoid them and methods to improve productivity. The curriculum is divided into four primary areas: crop management, pest management, nutrient management, and soil, water and tillage. A detailed listing of scheduled topics is available at the clinic web page

Sessions are taught by faculty and staff from the departments of agronomy, entomology, plant pathology, and agricultural and biosystems engineering, in addition to guest instructors from surrounding states. Each small-group session includes hands-on training in FEEL demonstration plots to provide instructor-student interaction.

The Crop Management Clinic is approved for up to 12 Certified Crop Adviser CEUs. Credits in each CEU category are dependent on sessions selected by the student.
Registration is required for this program and space is limited. Registration is $250 and includes lunches, breaks and course references. To register for this program, or for more details on the course, visit the FEEL website. For program questions please contact the Field Extension Education Laboratory at (515) 432-9548 or


AMES, Iowa -- The 2011 Field Diagnostic Clinic will be held July 11-12 at the Field Extension EducationLaboratory (FEEL) near Ames. This program focuses on the fundamentals of crop plant diagnostics. Sessions focus on insect, weed and crop disease identification, herbicide injury, nutrient deficiency symptoms, and understanding crop growth and development.

For those new to field diagnostics, the clinic offers fundamental training to making accurate diagnosis of crop and pest problems. The program will also challenge experienced agronomists to identify new pests and crop problems and refresh skills needed on a daily basis to provide sound agronomic advice.

Sessions are taught by ISU Extension faculty from the departments of agronomy, entomology and plant pathology. Each small-group session includes intensive hands-on training in FEEL demonstration plots, providing a setting for instructor-student interaction.

The Field Diagnostic Clinic is approved for Certified Crop Adviser CEUs: 5.0 crop management, 6.5 pest management and 1.5 nutrient management.
Registration is required for this program and space is limited. Registration is $250 and includes all meals, breaks and course references. To register for this program, or for more details on the course, visit the FEEL website at For program questions please contact the Field Extension Education Laboratory at (515) 432-9548 or

The Field Extension Education Laboratory (FEEL) is a 43-acre teaching and demonstration facility that has been training crop production professionals since 1987. FEEL is coordinated by the Iowa State University Cornand Soybean Initiative. For a full listing of educational programs available, visit


WASHINGTON - Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Tim Johnson of South Dakota today introduced legislation to cap total farm payments at $250,000, close loopholes that are being used to game the farm payment system, and target payments to actively engaged farmers who need assistance getting over the bumps that come with ensuring a safe and abundant food supply.

"This bill helps ensure that our farmers are able to provide a safe, abundant and inexpensive food supply for consumers at home and around the world, while maintaining the farm safety net that allows the small and medium sized farmers to get through the tough times," Grassley said.  "Current policies allow 10 percent of the biggest farmers to receive 70 percent of the benefits of the farm program.  This puts our safety net at risk by reducing urban support for the farm bill and creating upward pressure on land prices."

"Farm programs are going to be in for tough scrutiny as budget negotiators scour spending programs.  One certainly deserves to be and that is payments of more than $250,000 to a farming operation.  This bill caps payments at $250,000,"  said Johnson.  "Farm payments need to be targeted to those who need it, the small and mid-size family farmers in South Dakota and across the nation."

The legislation would set a limit of $250,000 for married couples for farm payments in an attempt to better target farm program payments to family farmers.  Specifically, the bill caps direct payments at $40,000; counter-cyclical payments at $60,000; and marketing loan gains (including forfeitures), loan deficiency payments, and commodity certificates at $150,000.  It also closes loopholes that people are using to maximize their take from the federal government.  The bill also improves the standard which the Department of Agriculture uses to determine farmers who are actively engaged in their operations.

In addition, the legislation would save the federal treasury more than $1 billion over 10 years.

A copy of Grassley's prepared floor statement is below, followed by a summary of the bill.  The bill text can be found by clicking here.


Prepared Floor Statement of Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa

Introduction of the Rural America Preservation Act of 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mr. President, today Senator Johnson of South Dakota and I have introduced the Rural America Preservation Act.  America's farmers produce the food that feeds our families. This bill helps ensure that our farmers are able to provide a safe, abundant and inexpensive food supply for consumers around the world, while maintaining the farm safety net that allows the small and medium sized farmers to get through the tough times.

Everybody sees tough times that are out of their control, but the importance of the farm safety net can be seen no further than the dinner we had last night.  Stop to think if you were unable to feed your children for three days.  You would do just about anything, stealing, rioting, whatever it takes, to give those kids a meal.  That's why it's vitally important that we maintain a readily available food supply.

To ensure the family farmer remains able to produce a food supply for a cohesive and stable society, we need to get the farm safety net back to its original intent-to help small and medium sized farm operators get over the ups and downs of farming that are out of their control.

The original intent of the federal farm programs was not to help the big get bigger.  But, the safety net has veered sharply off course.  We're now seeing only 10 percent of the largest farmers getting nearly 70 percent of the total farm payments.

There's no problem with a farmer growing his operation, but the taxpayer should not have to subsidize it.  There comes a point where some farms reach levels that allow them to weather the tough financial times on their own. Smaller farms do not have the same luxury, but they play a pivotal role in producing this nation's food.

I have been approached time and time again by farmers concerned about the next generation of farmers.  It is important that we keep young people on the farm, so they can take the lead in producing our food when the older generation of farmers is ready to turn over the reins.

But the current policies that allow 10 percent of the largest farmers to receive nearly 70 percent of the total farm program payments create a real barrier for beginning farmers.  The current system puts upward pressure on land prices making it more difficult for small and beginning farmers to buy ground.

This allows the big farms to get even bigger.  This is not unique to Iowa.  This upward pressure on land prices is occurring in many other states.

It is simply good policy to have a hard cap on the amount a farmer can receive in farm program payments.  We will keep in place a much needed safety net for the farmers who need it most.  And it will help reduce the negative impact farm payments have on land prices.

Our bill sets the overall cap at $250,000 for a married couple.  In my state, many people would say this is still too high.  But I recognize that agriculture can look different around the country, and so this is a compromise.

Just as important as setting the payment limits, is tightening the meaning of "actively engaged," a legal term in the farming business.  Basically, people have to be actively engaged in the farming operation in order to qualify for farm payments.

This is common sense.  A person should be a farmer in order to receive farm payments.  But too often people exploit current loopholes, and people wrongfully receive farm payments.

This bill will further refine the standard the Department of Agriculture uses to determine if a person is actively engaged in farming.  This will help make sure that farm payments only go to those who deserve them.

In light of the current budget discussions, everyone should agree that we don't want money going to those who fail to meet the criteria set for the program. This bill will help do that.

I hope my colleagues will agree this bill takes a common sense approach to improve our farm safety net, and a help to make sure the dollars spent go to those who need it most.


Grassley-Johnson (S.D.) Rural America Preservation Act of 2011

-- Summary -

Limit annual per farm commodity subsidy payments to $250,000. The bill would establish caps of $20,000 on direct (fixed) payments, $30,000 on counter cyclical payments, and $75,000 on loan deficiency payments and marketing loan gains.  The combined limit for married couples would be $250,000.[i] These limits would be reduced by varying amounts depending on the farmer's participation in ACRE, essentially setting the payment limitations at the effective caps, less the reductions in direct payments and marketing loan gains.

Ensure that payments flow to working farmers. Current law attempts to target payments to working farmers.  However, as explained in the final report of the USDA Payment Limitation Commission and as demonstrated by the 2004 Government Accountability Office Report, the lack of a defined active management test in law and regulation is a major loophole facilitating huge payments.  The amendment improves the "measurable standard" by which USDA determines who should and should not receive farm payments.  It requires that management be personally provided on a regular, substantial, and continuous basis through direct supervision and direction of farming activities and labor and on-site services.  The combined labor and management standard is 1,000 hours annually or 50 percent of the commensurate share of the required labor and management.  Landowners who share rent land to an actively-engaged producer remain exempt from the "actively engaged" rules provided their payments are commensurate to their risk in the crop produced.[ii] It also requires that the spouse be actively-engaged as was the current standard before 2008.

[i] In comparison, under current law the cap on direct payments and counter cyclical payments is $80,000 and $130,000, respectively, and there is no effective cap on loan deficiency payments and marketing loan gains, and hence no effective total limitation.

[ii] Under current law and regulation, to qualify as actively engaged with respect to labor, an individual must perform at least 1,000 hours of work on the farm.  Alternatively, an individual may contribute management rather than labor, and management is not defined in any quantifiable, measurable way in existing law or regulation.  This "management" loophole has been used creatively by many of the largest farming entities in the country as the key to creating farm partnerships with multiple "paper" partners each qualifying as active farmers eligible to collect payments, allowing a single farming operation to collect in some cases millions of dollars.  GAO has documented  instances in which such partners have qualified as active farmers by doing no more than participating in twice annual conference calls.

The amendment combines labor and management into a single combined standard.  First, the amendment requires management contributions to bepersonally provided on a regular, substantial, and continuous basis through the direction supervision and direction of activities and labor involved in the farming operation, and on-site services that are directly related and necessary to the farming operation.  Second, the amendment requires the combined labor and management to equal or exceed 1,000 hours per year, or 50% of the commensurate share of the required labor and management.  The amendment also tightens the rules under which an entity may be considered to be actively engaged in farming, ensuring that, in order to receive payments, the majority of beneficial interests must be held by persons actively engaged in farming and their family members and that no individuals may use the creation of entities to collect more than the limitation.