Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, November 11, 2021
Please wear your mask when you enter the Methodist Church
and whenever you are not eating. 


November 11 — Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin
Re-Engineering Agriculture
Learn about the importance of regenerative agriculture and how Reginaldo ("Regi"), the owner of Salvatierra Farms, uses his land to educate and train people how to run their own agricultural businesses. The unique training platform Regi developed serves as a pathway for large-scale impact across Minnesota, the Midwest, nationally and even internationally. Regi's land-management innovations improve water quality, restore soil health, and restore native flora and fauna, all while generating a significantly higher value than traditional cropping systems. Regi will update us on the impact that this way of farming is already having and the tremendous momentum building around his system. Hosted by RCAT.


Michael Leming
Building an Orphanage in Northeast Thailand for 69 Tribal Orphans
“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” and he lives right here in Northfield. That’s right, he is Rotary’s own Mike Leming. And while he spends a fair amount of time bringing Christmas cheer to youngsters as Santa, he and Nana Claus, his wife Ann, have also spent parts of the past 32 years living and working among the Karen, Akha and Lahu people in the province of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. He and Ann have also led 15  spring semesters in  Thailand with more than 375 college students from all over the United States during those years. In addition, Santa Mike and Mrs. Claus have received three Rotary International Global grants for their work with the Karen tribal children and he is working on a new grant proposal to raise money for a school bus.
But, when he retired in 2012, after 40 years as a sociology professor at St. Olaf, Santa Mike found himself at loose ends, looking for something to do in his retirement years. His solution was service, and so he and Ann began raising money (a good deal from some successful stock market investments) to build an orphanage for 69 tribal children (not all whom are orphans) in the village of Wing Pao Pao. Much of the $200,000 needed to fund this project came from those investments, but students from his 2006 spring semester class also contributed; and Santa Mike and Ann always matched funds raised from his Santa Claus appearances and other fundraisers.
This orphanage school, for students in grades K-12, will have two dormitories housing 36 boys in one and 36 girls in the other, a dining hall and all-purpose room, a room for house parents, a soccer field, and a basketball court. Mike has promised to continue to raise money in support of the orphanage, in part through his Santa Claus appearances. Finally, our Rotary member shared some pertinent quotes from the likes of Mr. Rogers; Martin Luther King, Jr.; and Gandhi to emphasize how important the Rotary motto of “service above self” is to him. He ended his talk by sharing a quote about service from his good friend, Pastor Duane Everson: “I’m available.” And so is Santa Mike “available,” brightening the lives of many young children at Christmas time and making a difference in a far corner of the world.
Santa (AKA, Mike Leming)


Thanks to last week's Cogwheel reporter, Jim Holden.

Itty Aisyah Fitriany, Inbound student from Indonesia in 2018-19 and retired St. Peter's Church pastor, Duane Everson.
Ben Hauser
Beth Kallestad reported that Northfield is currently ahead on the Energy Challenge but there are other communities gaining on us. she encouraged us to sign up for a home energy audit if you have not done so already. 
Elizabeth Child, sponsored by Jean Wakely.
  • Janice Lehmkuhl announced that there will be a 2022 youth exchange year. 14 local  high school students have applied for the program. Interviews are scheduled for Monday, Dec. 6 at 6 PM over Zoom. If you can help, contact Janice.
  • Richard Collman invited members to attend a piano duo performance he and David Miller are giving at 50 North on Thursday, November 11th at 3 PM.
  • Jim Loe reminded members that the Turkey Trot is just 3 weeks away.  So far, 600 runners have signed up.  He asked if anyone has a trailing UTV or 4-wheeler vehicle he can borrow for the event, to let him know. Your help is needed to pull off this event. Volunteer to help in The Signup Genius and please commit sooner than later.
  • Jack Hoschauer reminded us to see him after the meeting so he can take pictures for the club directory.  
  • Vicki Dilley encouraged us to check out the Cogwheel for information and important dates and links to sign up.  This is the Go-to-Place for Information.
November 18 — Scott Haugen
Future Development of the Mills Town Trail System in Northfield
The network of multi-use trail systems in southern Minnesota has undoubtedly exploded over the last several decades. Scott Haugen from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will discuss a key cog in this vast interconnected network: the Mill Towns State Trail. Scott will touch on what the Mill Towns is and aspires to become, the process of how a state trail is planned and developed, existing segments open for use, preliminary engineering for the trail to pass through Northfield and highlight critical investments in projects and infrastructure over the years achieved largely via funding from Northfield Rotary.

Scott is an Acquisition and Development Specialist in the Parks and Trails Division of the Minnesota DNR. Hosted by John Sinning and David Detert.

November 25 — Thanksgiving
No Meeting
See you at the Turkey Trot!

December 2 —
Andrea Berube, Adam Olson & Jackie Johnson
Northfield Splash Pad
A committee of Northfield and Dundas community members have received approval from the City of Northfield to begin planning and creating a zero entry water feature, also known as a "splash pad". We will update the Rotary on our progress since meeting in 2019 as well as talk about what a splash pad is, the process to build, and type of splash pad that is planned to be built. Andrea, Adam, and Jackie have served on the Northfield Splash Pad Board since 2017, 2019, and 2021 respectively. They have been working closely with community partners and other outside organizations to make this inclusive space possible. Hosted by Mark Lancaster.
December 9 — Becky Ford
A Year of Service: How Americorps Members Contribute to Rice County's Flourishing
In 2020-21, 45 Americorps members served at 24 host sites across Rice County. Unfamiliar to many people, Americorps is quietly making a positive impact in the lives of children and families in our local community. Through strategic collaboration and leveraging of federal resources, Americorps provides an opportunity for individuals to get started, give back and make connections! A youth development professional for 20 years, Becky Ford works for Healthy Community Initiative coordinating outreach and support of Americorps members serving in Rice County schools and human service organizations. Becky also serves as Faribault Youth Investment's Director and is passionate about facilitating community collaboration. Hosted by Anika Rychner.
December 16 — David Anderson, President of St. Olaf College:  News from St. Olaf
St. Olaf College President David Anderson will present an update on activities and plans at St. Olaf. Hosted by Barry Carlson.. Hosted by Barry Carlson
December 23— Holiday Meeting and Festivities:  Be thinking about your sock and hat choice for the occasion!


Find Zoom link here.
Meeting ID: 843 1983 0113
Passcode: 264180
For times, see information below.


Todd Thompson, Club President
November 11 is Veteran’s Day! My father and older brother both served in the military. My dad, Ellis, was a radio man third class in the navy in World War II. He served in the Pacific on the USS Goshen (picture below). They transported troops (1944-46). My dad decoded radio messages. He taught my brothers and me “Morse code” and and for fun we would use it to signal each other to fool our friends. My dad didn’t talk much about the war, but occasionally told stories. My favorite was when he met his older brother, Bud, in China right after the war and how amazing it was to find him in the enormous city of Beijing and how striking his brother looked (he was 6’ 6”) amongst the Chinese folks…
Thank you veterans,
The U.S. Navy attack transport USS Goshen (APA-108) underway off the U.S. West Coast during her shakedown cruise, 15 January 1945. She had been commissioned on 13 December 1944. The ship appears to be making a smoke screen from generators mounted on her after deck. This photograph was taken from a blimp of Lighter Than Air Patrol Squadron 31 (ZP-31).
  • Erin BaileyNov 9
  • Lee Dilley Nov 10
  • Don Stager  Nov 10
  • Greg Carlson Nov 11
  • Amy Goerwitz— 2 years
  • Jim Pokorney — 24 years
  • Yogi Reppmann — 26 years
  • David Shumway — 46 years
Please be sure to watch for and welcome these new members.
Kyle Becken
Kirk Muhlenbruck
Tayler Swanson
Member picture
Bryce Beckstrand
Member picture
Sebastian Burset
Erika Campbell
Member picture
Elizabeth Child
Member picture
Tracy Giza
Member picture
Eric Johnsrud
Member picture
Kari Johnsrud
Mary Ellen North
  • November 15, 7 PM, PR and Communications Committee Meeting at Vicki Dilley's home.  All interested are welcome.
  • November 25th, Turkey Trot, see details below
  • December 7, 7 PM, DEI book-club discussion of We are not here to be bystanders: A Memoir of Love and Resistance.  For zoom link contact Dorothee Ischler at Read more information about the book here.
  • Laura Baker School is looking for volunteers to serve at their Gala.  They need coat checkers and folks to help with the silent auction.  Slots are from 4:30-9:30 pm.  Sign up here.
Do you have something club related to say to fellow members? Try posting it in The Cogwheel. Send your short blurb to
Happening on Thanksgiving morning, everyone is invited. For all the details on this year's event, visit the Northfield Rotary website
Registration is just $25 for in-person and $29 for free-range participants. To register yourself or your team CLICK HERE.
to select your pre-turkey dinner volunteering slot
ALSO, do you have a street-legal side-by-side UTV that could be used as the trailing vehicle for the Turkey Trot?  Let Jim Loe know if you do. Thanks!  
  • Limit of 4 people per table.
  • Wear masks when not eating.
  • No group singing.
  • We require attendees to be vaccinated. Rotary International is a big supporter of vaccines. 
  • If you bring a guest, make sure they are vaccinated.
  • If you are not vaccinated, we still value you and your membership, and we have hybrid meetings so you can join our Thursday meetings on ZOOM during the pandemic.



(Agreement:  >80%)
  • Recycle at home
  • Have home walls >= 6” thick
  • Have good roof insulation
  • Heat with gas
  • Purchase food locally
MANY CLUB MEMBERS (about half):
  • Belong to an environmental group
  • Frequently bike or walk
  • Compost food and/or yard waste
  • Main car has an internal combustion engine averaging 30-40 mpg
  • Intend their next vehicle to be EV
  • Own a new refrigerator <5 yrs old
  • Own a new water heater <5 yrs old
  • Completed an energy audit and implemented results
  • Subcribe to Community Solar
  • Reduce their meat consumption
  • Have contacted their legislator within the last 6 months
  • Own a hybrid or electric car
  • Own solar panels
  • Eat vegetarian
If you haven't yet responded to our RCAT survey, please do so now by CLICKING HERE.
Our Rotary Climate Action Team (RCAT) is dedicated to making climate change a strategic priority and to raising awareness, providing education and encouraging individuals and businesses to act in the interest of our planet. Read our climate action statement HERE.
For more information about our club’s Rotary Climate Action Team contact our chair, Alan Anderson, at
Meeting Times
11:45-12:10 — Opportunity to visit with fellow zoomers or check in with the people at the tech table. You don’t have to join this early if it is not convenient.
12:10 — Settle in for the meeting to begin.
12:20 — Meeting begins.
1:15 — Meeting dismissed for all.
11:45-Noon Arrive at the United Methodist Church at 1401 Maple Street. Visit with club members and guests.
Before 12:20 — Pick up your lunch.
12:20 — Meeting begins.
1:15 — Meeting dismissed for all.


The 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.