Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | August 9.2018

August 8, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, August 9, 2018

Today:  Brent Nystrom Classification (Reese)

Next Week:  No lunch meeting-Climate Action Team presentation at the Weitz Center 6-8:30pm

Birthdays: David McKee (8/9)

Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet. 


Joel Olson, new NHS Activities Director (Hillman)
Tasha Breyer’s sister (Breyer)


  • Thanks to everyone who volunteered at the Vintage Band Festival!
  • Virginia asked everyone to take a look at the email regarding the JJ Bike tour. Subway is back for lunch, and tokens will be given out to the riders good for beer or non-alcoholic beverages at Imminent or Tanzenwald. Sign up to volunteer – see Shelley or Rick.
  • Rick Estenson invited everyone to the Rotary Social and Climate Action Event on Thursday, August 16 at 6:00pm at the Weitz Center. Here are Five Reasons why you need to be there:
  1. Get to know each other better.  Even better, bring a guest!
  2. Good food and drinks for FREE!
  3. Wonderful environment.  Check out the changes made to the building and the new, state-of-the-art auditorium!
  4. There will be a lot of sharing of great information on the Climate Action group AND you can meet the District Governor!
  5. You could be on the ground level of starting a new movement!
  • Mike Krantz says that Northfield Shares grant application opens on Sept. 1. The DJJD Run/Walk is happening on Sept. 9. Author Dan Buettner will be in Northfield on Sept. 24.

Happy News

  • Hannah Puczko is glad to be back after a great vacation in Alaska and Vancover!
  • Besty Spethmann is celebrating her 3rd Anniversary of working at the Northfield Hospital
  • Richard Maus’s son was in the paper last Saturday
  • Matt Hillmann just celebrated 21 years of marital bliss 
  • Carl K. reminded us of $6000 in Rotary dollars that are working for the community.
  • Rick Estenson will be celebrating his 30th Anniversary with a mystery vacation starting in London.
  • Richard D. – Had a great neighborhood picnic attended by over 100 people. He is hoping to make it an annual event.
  • Jayne Hager Dee reminds everyone to vote in the primary on the 14th. If you can’t make it that day, vote early!
  • Mike Kranz.had both sons competing in the state swim meet and they made 13 out of 14 points for the team.

Last Week: 

Bruce Morlan remembers going to his grandparents’ farm every weekend as a kid.  It was a great way grow up.  His family had a ¼ acre garden in Rochester.  As an adult he owned a hobby farm and still likes the idea of gardening, but it’s tough to keep up with the weeds.

Kurt Schrader grew up on his family farm in Nerstrand and wanted to be a farmer for as long as he can remember.  When he graduated from high school, his father encouraged him to learn a trade or a skill to help get through the tough times of farming.  Kurt attended Dunwoody College and became an electrician.  After college, Kurt farmed and worked for a few different electrical companies for about 10 years before becoming a master electrician himself.  He is now more flexible and able to farm full-time as well as do electrical contract work as he is able to.  

Kurt’s brother Brian, who is 10 years younger, also wanted to become a farmer.  Their father also encouraged Brian to learn a trade in addition to farming, and Brian is also a licensed heating and refrigeration contractor.  

In 2015, Kurt and his father decided to merge their farms together creating a farm of just over 3700 acres.  In 2017, Brian joined the group and after a major expansion in 2018, they have just over 4900 acres of land that they farm.  

The group owns some of the land they work with, but also rent much of it from about twenty-five different land owners.  They employ two full-time and four part-time workers who do a number of different jobs on the farm.

Kurt said that spring planting of corn is his favorite part of farming.  In the last 10 years it’s become very sophisticated with the technology that’s been developed.  They have also worked very hard to create sustainable farming practices, including using less nitrogen in the soil – and spreading that out over a number of times instead of all at once.  They are also very conscientious about erosion and use different methods of preventing erosion depending on the lay of the land.

The group also works with many trade groups including visitors from China, India and Sri Lanka, who visit their farm and learn new farming techniques.

Coming Up:

Aug 23 – Susan Brower, The Impact of Northfield’s Changing Demographics (Blaha)

Aug 30 – Greg Siems, Classification (Hanson)

Sept 6 – Jesse James Bike Tour lunch (Rich/Reese)

Sept 13 – Meredith Galdeen, Classification (Melby)