Central Minnesota prime spot for agate hunting

Hordes scour the Lake Superior shore for agates. But some of the best searching grounds lie in Central Minnesota, thanks to the glaciers that dropped them here.

HOLDING TOWNSHIP – Ed Opatz spotted the agate first.

Look for it, he encouraged. It's got purple bands. Red bands. A perfect example. Four of us stood in a tight circle, but only Opatz saw the agate.

He released it from the dried grass binding it to the moss-covered, rock-strewn ground. Admired it. Eventually dropped the thumb-sized stone into the worn camera bag with the rest of the day's finds.
We'd been exploring the concave cut of a small, privately owned gravel pit overgrown with weeds dried beige and rattling in the wind. As we headed back to the vehicles with ankles full of prickers and a couple of finds, we were wondering how many generations of kids had combed the site.
Opatz was still looking.
Opatz, 55, who runs an excavating business out of Holdingford, is always looking. On days like this one, he'll spend a few spare hours walking a farm field, inspecting a dirt pile, checking out the long-abandoned, shallow pit. Sometimes he'll arrive at a job site an hour early to hunt agates……..Read rest of the story..http://bit.ly/RXAvQB+


Getting ready to ride the Lake Wobegon Trail

“Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon” will be Saturday, May 10

The annual "Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon" will be Saturday, May 10.
The run will start at 7am at the school parking lot in Holdingford and end at the trail shelter in St. Joseph.
Please come out and cheer the runners on.
Sharon Hobbs, the director of the Marathon says they still have registration openings to participate in the run.

If you want to run this year's marathon the website is www.lakewobegontrailmarathon.org

Blattner Energy and employees Food Shelf Donation

Blattner Energy and its employees have again donated over 4,000 pounds of food, cleaning and paper supply's, plus $2,023 in cash to the Holdingford Area Food Shelf.
Blattner Energy is a great example of what it means to be a good "Corporate Citizen" and give back to the local communities.
This donation will go a long way to help the less fortunate in our community.

Natural Gas Coming to Holdingford

By October of this year, natural gas will be piped throughout the City of Holdingford and Opole.
Greater Minnesota Gas will run a pipe from Upsala to the county line, and Xcel Energy will pipe it from there to Holdingford and beyond.
The main lines will run along the streets and alleys and from the main line to the homes and businesses. Xcel Energy will bring the lines to the residents and businesses, and install the meters.
The first 75 feet and meter will be free. Anything over 75 feet will cost $3.50 per foot.
It will be up to each home owner to have a qualified person bring the line into the home and hook up furnaces, water heaters, etc.
The natural gas will be provided and billed by Xcel Energy and be included on your Xcel Energy electric statement.
We will be having sign up meetings in the near future in which everything will be explained including the amount of savings using natural gas.
There will be a mailing to let everyone know when these meetings will occur.

Farm to School grants bring local food to Holdingford students

Farm to School grants bring local food to Holdingford students

The Holdingford school district is hoping to expand its ability to incorporate food grown on Minnesota farms into student meals with new Farm to School grant funding.
The district currently serves locally grown corn and cabbage, according to Minnesota Department of Agriculture spokesperson Michael Crusan.
To begin serving more types of food, the district needed some kitchen upgrades. So they plan to purchase kitchen supplies and light processing equipment through a combination of their own money and grant funds from the MDA and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson joined Minnesota Department of Education Deputy Commissioner Jessie Montano, Blue Cross Blue Shield representative Kristi Probst, Holdingford school staff and local farmers at an award program Friday at the school. They toured the kitchen and school garden.
Holdingford was one of 15 districts in the state to receive 2014 Farm to School grant funds.
Crusan said with almost $4,000 the district will purchase sheet pans, knives, serving trays and storage equipment, among other items, to increase its capability to serve locally grown food.
Holdingford serves about 575 breakfasts and about 835 lunches each day, he said.
"They are hoping to increase the frequency of food purchased through Minnesota growers by 50 percent," Crusan said.
Grants were created with legislation that established the Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation Program.