WAVERLY, Iowa — Veteran Chad Johnson quietly says that without his service dog, Bender, he probably wouldn't be here.

He got the three-year-old black lab from Retrieving Freedom, Inc., a nonprofit organization that trains service dogs for veterans and children with autism at locations in Waverly and in Senatobia, Miss. The Mississippi location also trains dogs for adults and children with diabetes.

PORTER, Minn. – Chuck Hoffman looked at more cattle barns than he can remember before erecting the hoop-style building that he uses today. He ended up with a 74 by 392-foot building that houses 500 animal units. He likes hoop barns because they can have better air quality than some other barn styles and the white roof reflects the sun, keeping the barn about 20 degrees cooler than outside temperatures during the summer. He also hasn’t had to apply any phosphorous or potassium to his crop fields since the barn went up because the manure that is collected there and spread is so rich in those nutrients.

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MASON CITY, IOWA — After nearly six hours of debate, it took attendees only several seconds — in near silence — before realizing the city's vote on a proposed hog processing plant came out as a tie, which meant one thing:

Prestage Foods of Iowa will not be building a pork processing plant in town — for now. 

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DYSART, Iowa — Trade is a top issue for pork producers, said National Pork Producers Council president John Weber.

During an interview at his Dysart farm last week, Weber, who took the helm in March, said the organization just finished its spring legislative action conference in Washington, D.C. with 130 pork producers from 27 states lobbying lawmakers on pork industry issues.

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COURTLAND, Minn. — The Reuben and Judy Bode farm near Courtland is about family in the truest sense of the word.

The farm has been in the family since the late 1800s. Reuben, son Ryan and his grandsons are the third, fourth and fifth generations involved in the farm.

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ZUMBRO FALLS, Minn. — Dori Klein draws her energy to do day camps from the children who attend the camps.

"They get so excited," she said. "Their eyes just light up around the animals."

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DES MOINES – A new website, www.BeeLaws.org,  is available to help Iowa residents learn their city’s ordinances related to beekeeping.  BeeLaws.org is believed to be the first searchable bee law website in the nation.

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Afternoon showers and thunderstorms


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Afternoon showers and thunderstorms

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MADISON, Wis. — A labor of love is how Corey Geiger, Hoard's Dairyman managing editor, describes his efforts as co-editor of “We Need a Show,” the limited edition commemorative book that reminisces about the 50-year history of World Dairy Expo. The international dairy show's 50th anniversary will be celebrated in 2016.

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