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Northwest Salmon




Make sure you’re ready,

Election Day is coming

by John Suhr

This is it. Oct. 24. No, it is not the general election, but it is your last opportunity to get registered to vote for the Nov. 8 election.

You can register at the auditor’s office or through the secretary of state website. Make sure you are registered and then it is on to step two. Getting informed.

Some people might be saying they would not vote for either presidential candidate and I can see why on both sides. Yet there is more at stake than the presidential election.

The Reporter & Farmer has been and will continue to run the series of amendments and initiated measures people will be voting on in South Dakota. Also in last week’s paper were six pages of explanations for people to consider before heading to the polls.

Some might say it would be easier just not to vote. They don’t affect me. But not voting does affect you and it should bother you even more than me.

Voting is a privilege and right that we were given through blood. Today our men and women in the service of our country have made sacrifices so other people in foreign lands can enjoy what we sometimes overlook and take for granted.

So this election, even if you do not care for either candidate or think the other issues and people on the ballot do not affect you, you need to remember how we got the rights we have today and the people and things we vote on do affect us.

There have also been numerous forums and community discussions on the ballot measures, so it’s not just me wanting you to get informed. Read through last week’s paper on the AG’s explanations. But don’t just take that, try to learn as much as you can before you head behind the curtain.

Get registered, then get out and vote.



Take a deep breath, it’s going to be okay

by Amanda Fanger

Life feels like it’s been flying by me at an exponential rate again lately. I know, I know. I should know better. This isn’t the first time that harried feeling of anxiety has built up. It’s a warning sign. I need to slow down.

Taking things at an easier pace through life isn’t something that comes natural to me. I often get myself wrapped up in all the details and lose sight of the big picture. But I’ve learned the hard way that it’s much better to approach life with an attitude of, “It’s going to be alright, everything’s going to be okay. What will be will be.”

It’s about learning how to be content with where you are at any given moment, to be happy in that space.

Last week, John was gone on vacation from the office and for some reason, I felt as though I was fighting panic on the inside every step of the way; it always makes the job more of a challenge when you have a small team minus one. While everybody pitched in to get the job done (go team!), I know I internalized the anxiety of the responsibility of producing a newspaper without our leader – so much so that the tension followed me home every day. I began to concentrate so much on the physical list of things that needed done that I became paralyzed from accomplishing anything at all.

At one point, John emailed to ask how things were going and I responded, “(I’m) trying to figure out how you ever get anything accomplished with so many little things to pull your attention away from the task at hand all the time.”

He responded simply, “I always try to remember to breathe.”

A colleague rephrased that sage-like advice as, “When in doubt, breathe.”

That’s going to become my personal motto.




Dead coyotes love a prosperous harvest

by Emre K. Erku

Plenty of dust loiters behind combines this time of year in this beautiful region of Mother Earth.

Even the aimless drifters trying to hitch rides at the crossroads of Hwy. 12 and Interstate 29 know this as harvest season.

Beside the rotting and rigor mortis corpses of deer, raccoons and coyotes enjoying their final resting place along the highway, the farm hands work from dusk till dawn to meet their deadlines before money is lost.

With 148,000 acres of soybean, 130,000 acres of corn and 32,000 acres of wheat cropland in Day County (FSA figures), these guys will typically work 10-14 hour days by instrumenting such a mastered insomnia they won’t be able to sleep into our inevitable afterlife.

It goes to show, living in a state that boasts an average farm profit of more than $3 billion, this is a big business. According to county figures, of the 439 owner occupied and 161 non-occupied homes upon the 632,238.55 acres of ag land, generally more than $6.5 million will be generated annually through taxes. This is a slice of the $1.395 billion grand value of the entire county in ag land.

This affects the seed industry as well. Typically it takes 33,000 corn seeds to grow one acre. That means it takes almost 4.3 billion corn seeds to grow Day County. That’s approximately 53,625 bags of seed. Multiply that by the typical price per unit – say $325 tentatively – you need $17.4 million to sprout the rows. Per the same formula, it takes a modest $9.7 million to cover the county grid with soybeans.

Then what?

By the time an eastern South Dakota drifter has hitched to Bell Fourche, nearly 50 percent of the corn harvest has found its way to the Western seaboard, awaiting it’s exportation to China. The other portion has found itself being rendered to ethanol in area plants. They even say up to 90 percent of soybeans are exported while the rest are sometimes processed locally.

Even more interesting is the path wheat takes following harvest. Either trucked to the port of Duluth as raw material or, once rendered into flour through mills in Minneapolis and Chicago, it’ll either be used for various breads and, literally, Little Ceasars pizza dough. So the next time you get one of those $5 pies, there’s a tiny possibility Day County had something to do with it.

They say if yields and profits are good, the bone dry carcasses of the deer, raccoons and coyotes reassemble themselves alongside the highway, put cowboy hats on their skulls crawling with hungry insects, and moan eerie renditions of Hank Williams at dusk.

And the tumbleweeds roll by.


Fiksdal Funeral Home

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