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Cannon Valley Farmers Market makes an early debut
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Residents will have two extra weeks to shop for locally grown, homemade goods this year in Faribault.

The Cannon Valley Farmers Market begins two weeks earlier this year — this Saturday — and at a new time — from noon to 3 p.m. It’s got 25 vendors registered. Of those, eight are new vendors.

Organizers indicate a wide range of products are offered like apples, bread and baked goods, beef, canned goods, cheese, chicken, coffee beans, eggs, fiber products, freeze dried fruits and vegetables, granola, herbs/seasonings, honey, maple syrup, nut butters, pork, salsa, skin care products, vegetables and wool bedding.

Though it traditionally starts the Saturday before Thanksgiving, this year CVFM board member Tiffany Tripp says they looked to closed the loop from the summer market to their fall/winter/spring market. And by starting earlier, they are able to get in more produce farmers still have left to sell, one of the things she is most excited about.

Tripp, of Graise Farm, is one of seven board members. The 100% volunteer run board consists of members Emma De Schane of Lova Dora, Nancy Erickson of Broody Hen Farm, Katy Lund of First Draft Farm, Miranda Sieh of Mirabella Acres, Tripp of Graise Farm, Kathy Zeman of Simple Harvest Farm Organics and Lindsey Zemanek of First Draft Farm.

Vendors come from across Minnesota — from Cedar Crate Farm in Waldorf to Sunshine Sweetz (whose owner, Carrie Conrad, grew up in Faribault) in Shoreview and from Cannon Valley Butcher’s Block of Red Wing to Lova’s Dora in New Prague and many places in between.

The market is focused on locally grown and produced foods, and farm-derived products. There’s space for a few more vendors, and the market is looking for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community members to apply. In an effort to expand the number of vendors, CVFM is offering a Youth Booth space to any youth, 5 to 19 as of Jan. 1. The individual(s), who needs to follow all market rule and regulations, would receive a discounted vendor rate of $5 per market day.

Tripp says board members are looking to get more people involved by offering the youth booths, and that they plan to reach out to area FFAs to get those students involved in the market. The idea was cam from Simple Harvest Farm Organics’ Zeman, also a Minnesota Farmers Market Association executive director, based on what she’s seen at other farmers markets. Board members are also working on becoming a 317a nonprofit, which will allow them to grow the market in different ways.

“We really want to grow the diversity of the market, so we will also be looking for ways to do that as well,” said Tripp. “Partnering with more community organizations is hopefully one way to do that.”

They are also working on offering SNAP/EBT and setting up a token program for youth, similar to the summertime market but with their own added touch. Tripp adds they are also always looking for new vendors to help bring in a larger variety of products.

Sieh, of Hampton, starting her second year on the CVFM board, participates in the markets as a vendor. She enjoys watching local farmers get excited about the products they grow while at the market, and bringing them to people who want to buy local.

”I don’t know if anyone sells the product better than the person who creates it,” said Sieh.

She finds farmers markets a good way to get one’s name and products out to the community. Sieh adds that for small farmers, its a great way to get their foot in the door and can be a great stepping stone in building a business. They’re also are a great place to interact with and learn from not only other vendors, but with customers.

”I really encourage people if they’re kind of on the fence to become a vendor, if they produce locally grown goods, or something in more of a niche market, it’s a good time to bring those in and learn from others around you,” said Sieh. “I also encourage people to eat locally and shop locally, too.”

COURT REPORT: No seat belt leads to pair of drug charges
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An Owatonna man whose failure to buckle up attracted the attention of a Faribault police officer and landed him in the county jail, has been charged with a pair of drug crimes.

Matthew Richard Steinberg, 34, was charged Wednesday with first-degree meth sale and third-degree possession following a Tuesday traffic stop. An officer reportedly stopped the vehicle Steinberg was riding in after recognizing the driver as having a suspended license.

While speaking with the driver, the officer reported that Steinberg not only wasn’t wearing a seat belt, he had a backpack between his legs and appeared nervous; his hands shook and his eyes darted around the vehicle. A check on Steinberg revealed he was wanted in Rice County for an alleged probation violation following a 2019 DWI conviction.

The officer, about to leave the scene for a higher priority call, decided to remain and enforce the warrant. Following Steinberg’s arrest, an officer reportedly found $253 in Steinberg’s front pants pocket. His backpack, which he took out of the car reportedly contained a small amount of marijuana, an orange needle cap, a cut straw with white residue, several hypodermic needles — one filled — a broken meth pipe, a scale with a white crystals on it and a 22.28 grams (¾ of an ounce) of a white crystallized substance which tested positive for methamphetamine.

A Faribault man with four DWI-related convictions is facing a charge of felony DWI after a Rice County Sheriff’s deputy alerted police that a driver in the city’s downtown may be impaired.

Cops: Driver with 4 DWIs was driving drunk

During a Halloween night traffic stop, the Faribault officer reportedly detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from the driver — Gregory Daniel Bossmann, 37 — and noticed his eyes were bloodshot and watery, and that his speech was slurred.

The defendant performed poorly on standard sobriety tests, and his blood alcohol level was 0.191, more than twice the legal limit, according to court records.

Bossmann allegedly told the officer he’d had “a couple of drinks” at a downtown bar before being arrested and taken to the county jail. A second breathalyzer test administered the next morning showed Bossman’s blood alcohol level was 0.15, nearly double the legal limit.

According to Minnesota court records, Bossmann has three DWIs convictions: in 2016, 2013 and 2005. Bossmann also pleaded guilty in 2016 to criminal vehicular operation after the truck he was driving east of Cannon City tried to pass an ATV, but struck and injured the female ATV driver. The woman was airlifted to a metro hospital with head injuries, according to court records. Shortly after the crash, Bossmann’s reported blood alcohol was .196.

In other reports:

• Damion Maxwell Clark, 38, of Morristown, was charged Oct. 29 with felony fleeing an officer in a motor vehicle after officers tried to stop the vehicle he was driving failed to stop at a stop sign. Clark, who was in the northeast section of town, reportedly reached speeds of 93 mph on eastbound Hwy. 60. The car reportedly came to a stop after turning into an Eaton Avenue driveway and plowing into a cornfield. Clark reportedly fled into a wooded area. He later discovered with the help of with a K9 deputy.

Once in custody, officers learned Clark was wanted in Texas for violating parole: leaving the state and removing a GPS monitor following a conviction for evading detention in a motor vehicle. He also faces extradition to Texas in a separate case.

• Heber Jeffrey Briano, 18, of Faribault, was charged Oct. 26 with first-degree burglary and domestic assault after reportedly forcing his way into another person’s home and breaking pictures hanging on the wall. The resident living at the home had injuries to her face and was bleeding from the mouth, court records show.

• Anthony John Ryan, 22, of New Richland, was charged Oct. 15 with receiving stolen property, fifth-degree drug possession and driving with a revoked license after a Rice County Sheriff’s deputy attempted to stop him for speeding. Ryan was reportedly traveling 82 mph in a 55 mph zone. During a check on Ryan’s license, the deputy learned Ryan was wanted in Waseca County and had a revoked license. Following his arrest, the officer found 4.4 grams of a substance that tested positive for methamphetamine in Ryan’s front pocket, and learned that the motorcycle did not belong to Ryan and the owner had not given him permission to borrow it.

• Furqan Rashid Dagane, 18, of Faribault, was charged Oct. 14 with felony theft of a motor vehicle and driving with a suspended license after reportedly taking the keys to a car that didn’t belong to him and driving it.

• Alexander Nicholas Bruder, 21, of Faribault, was charged Oct. 13 with felony domestic assault after reportedly arguing with a female and hitting her in the face. A Northfield police officer reported that the victim had red marks and dried blood on her face and laceration inside her mouth. Bruder has two domestic assault-related convictions which enhance the current charges.

Councilor gets an answer as to why chickens are at school, but not at home
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A story in last week’s Daily News about an animal science class at Faribault High School appears to have ruffled a few feathers.

According to City Councilor Peter van Sluis, a number of questions about the class and why chickens are allowed at the school, but not in residents’ backyards were making the rounds on social media. The class, taught by an agriscience instructor, teaches students the business of raising and processing chickens, and was developed with several agencies including the University of Minnesota Extension, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Minnesota Department of Education as well as Jennie-O Turkey Store.

van Sluis, too, had questions.

The council has twice considered whether to permit backyard chickens in recent years, first in 2017 and then last year. Both times it discussed the issue and both times it nixed the idea.

In May 2017, citing concerns about enforcement and avian flu, the council decided the proposed ordinance allowing chickens within city limits just wasn’t feasible.

At that time, a Minnesota Board of Animal Health emergency planning director explained to the council that an outbreak impacting backyard chickens such as the avian flu could mean a quarantine restricting the birds coming into the Jennie-O Turkey Store and the product exiting the processing plant. That could put a serious financial damper on the plant and its employees. Jennie-O/Hormel is one of the city’s larger employers.

Last year, the issue again came before the council when a local family was discovered with a small flock of chickens in its backyard. And while there was some initial interest from three council members, including van Sluis, the councilor ultimately saw the merits of Jennie-O’s argument.

van Sluis asked about the apparent discrepancies at the end of Tuesday’s meeting, looking for the logic behind the disparity.

The school’s chickens, which are part of a workforce development course at Faribault Public Schools, are allowed in the city under the current circumstances, according to Community and Economic Development Director Deanna Kuennen and a March 4, 2021 letter from City Planner Dave Wanberg to FHS Principal Jamie Bente.

While schools must generally meet applicable zoning ordinances, the Minnesota Attorney General has said that when a school district function conflicts with zoning ordinances, a balancing test should determine if the educational opportunities outweigh the health, safety and welfare of residents.

In this case, Wanberg found

• The school has a legitimate interest in offering students educational opportunities through a “pathways” course that teaches students about agricultural careers, including raising and processing chickens.

The chickens are confined in shelters in a school courtyard, out of sight and separated from neighboring properties. Raising and processing chickens at the school does not adversely affect neighboring property owners or the general public.

Schools are allowed in that particular zoning district and the procedures and protocols established by the school in establishing the course alleviate many of the concerns associated with raising chickens.

The students care for the chickens in a controlled setting that includes safety and maintenance protocols that have been developed in association with the course’s partners, who are the state’s authorities on appropriate educational curriculum development and raising and processing chickens.

Both Wanberg in his letter, and Kuennen at the meeting Tuesday explained that other schools, including home schools, could also provide a similar experience for their students, but that they must meet the same thresholds as Faribault High School has.

Van Sluis on Thursday said the explanation from city staff and the Wanberg letter “makes complete sense.”

“Now I’m satisfied,” he said.