The Byerly family has taken Bloomfield’s slogan to heart. After having more than 100 projects and animals at the Knox County Fair, they live in the right community — Bloomfield, “The Busy City.”
“This is a family affair,” Glenda Byerly said about their 4-H and FFA efforts. “Busy people are happy people, and we live in the busy city.”
At last month’s Knox County Fair, the Byerly family had dozens of project and more than 70 animals — 35 chickens, 19 ducks, six geese, six pigs, three goats, two horses and one cat.
Blake Byerly, Kaitlyn Byerly and Avery Gill are all in 4-H while Cohen Gill is a Clover Kid.
Blake, who is the oldest, has been in 4-H for six years and has actually stepped away from all animal events other than ducks and concentrates on the shooting sports, which is his favorite part. The rest of his time is spent helping the other kids with their projects and animals.
“I enjoy watching them succeed,” Blake said. “They teach you needed life skills, like how to take care of an animal.”
Kaitlyn Byerly, was the champion in companion goats, said goats are her favorite part of the 4-H. She started as a Clover Kid with cats and rabbits and then expanded to other animals. Kaitlyn said she’s creative with feeding them and often utilizes food from Bloomfield’s Country Market.
“We would go the grocery store and get all of the leftover vegetables that they couldn’t sell anymore. I cut the apples, pears and tomatoes up and mix it up with a bag of lettuce and distribute it to all of the animals,” she said.
But the fair brought its share of challenges for Kaitlyn, including a power outage the night before her decorated cakes were due.
“The hardest part of the fair for her was decorating the cake when the power went out,” Glenda Byerly said. “So she had to decorate the cake by lantern.”
Both Avery and Cohen Gill also are involved in 4-H. Avery said she loves chickens, especially the one named Black Widow, while Cohen’s favorite goat is Spice, even though he shared Senor Carrots this year as a Clover Kid. Cohen said a trick to loading goats onto the trailer is giving them peppermint or marshmallows as a treat.
Glenda, who was also in 4-H as a youth, said the kids learn lots of life lessons through both 4-H and FFA. Another 4-Her in their club was sick during the fair, so the family washed 16 of their pigs.
They also created a “makeshift petting zoo” during the fair when a carload of people from the Plainview Manor stopped at the fairgrounds.
“They couldn’t get out of the car, so we brought the petting zoo to them. It’s those kinds of things that mean the most to me,” she said. “Watching these kids pull animals out of the cages and sharing them with people as they go through the barns means so much to people.”
This May, Farmers Pride announced a huge project coming to their Bloomfield location. The $9 million project includes a brand new facility that will have a leg receiving capacity of 20,000 bushels an hour, bringing the total to 37,000 bushels an hour for Bloomfield’s Farmers Pride facilities.
According to Dave Spencer, head of sales and marketing, progress on the new facility has been right on schedule
“Considering the weather we have endured, construction has gone very smoothly,” he said.
Farmers Pride plans to finish the project in October, just in time for harvest.
“This year’s harvest will be a little later than normal due to the weather, so the project should be done right in time,” Spencer said.
According to Dean Thernes, Farmers Pride General Manager, the improved infrastructure is much needed here. The Bloomfield location brings in many trucks at harvest time and the increased speed and space of this new facility is necessary for the area’s farm producers.
In recent years, Farmers Pride has had to pile grain on the ground because there was not enough bin storage. There are currently eight bins at the location and in most years, that has not been enough storage. The new facility will sport three additional storage bins with 1.9 million bushel storage bringing the total storage at Bloomfield to 3.3 million bushels. There is also room to add two more bins in the future.
In addition to the increased storage, this project will add a new dump-through scale, a new dryer and generally more space to receive grain.
“The new facility is very high tech-very automated. We can basically run it from inside the office,” Thernes said.
The main goal of the expansion is to get trucks in and out quicker and bring in new customers. This new tech will speed up the process.
“The truck should be able to pull in, lay open its traps and be gone,” Bloomfield Location Manager, Jason Hames said.
“Trucks should be in and out in about 5-7 minutes,” Thernes added.
The new setup will probe the load and the driver will then pull up to be weighed. After that, they will pull out, get their ticket and be on their way.
Everyone at Farmers Pride is excited to see the project coming along so well, as the project has been in the works for some time now.
“It’s been a need for about nine years,” Hames said.
Farmer’s Pride has actually been discussing the expansion for three to four years with their board of directors.
Thernes attributes the long wait to fitting the project into the budget as well as floodplain issues.
This expansion will bring the Farmers Pride Bloomfield location up a notch, as similar Farmers Pride projects in Osmond and Neligh as well as other newer facilities recently built in the region.
“This will be a very long-term project, built to serve the area for 40-50 years,” Thernes said. “This project is a great illustration of the benefit of the cooperative system-investing in our member-owners to help them with their operation.”
Thernes stated that Farmers Pride’s mission is to bring value to our Bloomfield, and all of the member-owners, as they look forward to assisting them in their operations for many years to come.
“We are happy to produce a new facility for farmers, and glad to be a part of the Bloomfield community,” Spencer added.
Spencer invites all farmers in the region to see the new facility first hand. There will be an open house the week of October 23, with a specific date to be decided later. The open house will allow farmers to see the traffic flows, see the new facility and electric scale and witness how the new facility will speed up dump times.
A Bloomfield man is in custody as the result of an investigation by the Knox County Sheriffs Office and the Bloomfield Police Department. On August 26 an arrest warrant was issued by the Knox County Court for Patrick P. Cihlar 43, in connection with an alleged burglary in a rural Knox County residence on August 25. Cihlar was arrested in Omaha, NE on August 29 on the Knox County arrest warrant and is currently being held at Douglas County Corrections.
Lieutenant Colonel Wendi M. Sazama was honored at a promotion ceremony last Saturday at the Freedom Hall in Bloomfield.
Sazma is a legal engagements attorney at the Office of Legal Counsel for the United States Africa Command. USAFRICOM, with partners, builds defense capabilities, responds to crisis and deters and defends transnational threats in order to advance United States national interests and promote regional security, stability and prosperity. In her role as an Engagements Attorney, Sazma advances the USAFRICOM Theater Strategy by designing, implementing and managing sustained legal capacity building activities, exercises and programs with African military legal professionals and commanders in order to promote discipline military operations subject to the rule of law.
Sazama is admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals. She is also licensed to practice law in the state of South Dakota.
Sazama is a Boomfield native. She received a certificate of paralegal studies from Northeast Community College in Norfolk. She continued her education at Wayne State College, receiving a Bachelor of Science in business in 2003. She earned a master of business administration degree in 2006 from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion SD. Sazama continued her education with the US Air Force.
Captain Debra Bodenstedt posted the promotion order and gave remarks at the ceremony on Saturday. Bobenstedt is also a Nebraska native. She was born and raised in Wayne. She attended Wayne State College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Education in 1978. She taught high school for three years before joining the United States Navy.
“This is the first promotion that my sister is able to attend,” said Sazama.
Sazama’s nieces changed her rank pins, and she recited the oath under the direction of Capt. Bodenstedt. A reception followed.
The Bloomfield Music Department is very excited to announce that Jayden Hochstein has been selected to participate in the All National Honor Choir held in Orlando, Florida in November.
Hochstein is an incoming sophomore at Bloomfield High School. Last fall, she auditioned for Nebraska All-State choir as a Freshman. She was accepted as a Soprano 1 to sing with 440 of Nebraska’s finest singers.
Following her participation in the All-State Choir in November of 2018, Hochstein was provided the opportunity to audition for All National Honor Choir. She was required to sing one short song a cappella and chose to sing the solo she had prepared for District Music Contest.
Mrs. Lange and Hochstein would like to extend a special thank you to Matthew and Shelly Armstrong of Wayne State College, who took time out of their busy schedule to invite Hochstein to Wayne State to work with her, accompany her and record her audition. Those two precious hours made a significant difference according to Lange.
Hochstein has now been awarded the rare opportunity to sing with 220 singers from across the country. All singers from the East Coast to the West Coast, from Freshman to Junior, were placed on the same playing field and Jayden is one of only thirty Soprano 1s to be selected.
Hochstein would like to thank Bloomfield Community Schools for their support both financially and educationally to assist her in attending this monumental event. She would also like to thank Bloomfield Music Boosters, Bee Boosters, Community Club and Ruritan for donating money to assist with registration and travel expenses. The generous support is both appreciated and humbling.
Hochstein will fly across the country this November 7 through 10 to sing with the best high school singer from across the United States.
A ceremony for the promotion of Wendi Sazama to Lieutenant Colonel will be held at Freedom Hall in Bloomfield on Saturday, August 24, at 4PM. Major Sazama is originally from Bloomfield and is currently stationed at United States Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany. The ceremony is expected to last approximately one hour and is open to the public.
A sequence of events is as follows: Arrival of Official Party, Introduction and Welcome, National Anthem, Invocation, Remarks by CAPT Debra Bodenstedt, Posting of the Promotion Order, Pin-On, Oath, Remarks by Lt Col Wendi Sazama, Presentations, Benediction, Departure of the Official Party, Receiving Line, Reception following Ceremony.
E. Ciro St. in Bloomfield is located between the elementary school and pool. Today, workers plan to pour a section that needs repaired. The whole road needs replaced, but the city has decided to start with a small section that was in dire need of repair.
Bloomfield junior, Jaiden Johnson, was recently chosen to be a state FCCLA officer for the 2019-2020 school year. She is one of 8 throughout the state chosen for the honor.
FCCLA is a career technical student organization that stands for Family Career and Community Leaders of America.
“Our main focus career area is Family and Consumer Sciences,” Johnson said. “Basically, we train and promote people to be leaders in society and prepare for their future when they enter the workforce.”
According to her, the FCCLA mission is focusing on the multiple roles of family member, wage earner, and community leader, members develop skills for life through character development, creative and critical thinking, interpersonal communication, practical knowledge and career preparation.
FCCLA is one of the few student lead in-school organizations. The organization is beneficial to students because it provides participating youth with skills and knowledge that will last a lifetime.
“It's important since members can help build their self confidence and learn how to be a leader for today and tomorrow,” Johnson said.
The last time Bloomfield had a state officer, it was Sarah Oltjenbruns over 10 years ago.
“I knew that Bloomfield used to be an even stronger chapter back when Sarah was a state officer,” Johsnon said. “Knowing that Bloomfield hasn’t had a state officer in that long, I thought I should try to follow in her footsteps.”
Johnson’s older siblings had also had roles in the FCCLA program in Bloomfield. Her sister was President of the local chapter and her brother served as Treasurer. Johnson said they are ultimately the ones who inspired her to join FCCLA in 7th grade.
“ I never thought back then I would be where I am now,” she said, thinking back to her younger years.
She had considered applying to be a State Officer for awhile. She was nervous about applying because she was going to be a junior while most state officers are seniors. With encouragement from her family and adviser, she realized that this was something she really wanted to pursue.
“I also thought about how much I would be able to benefit my chapter if I made the team,” she said.
Johnson began the three part process and competed against students from all over the state who had applied.
The first step was filling out an application which was scored by a panel of judges. Only 20 applications submitted were selected to move onto round two. Johnson was one of the 20 and moved on to State Officer Candidate Interviews in February at the state office in Lincoln. According to Johnson, there were two different panels of judges that were interviewing.
This panels consisted of the current state officers, past state officers, and many people that help advise state officers. Along with being interviewed, that same day all of the State Officer Candidates got a test on FCCLA requirements and knowledge.
Application, test, and interview scores were combined and the students with the highest total would move on to the third and final round. Johnson was chosen for the final round was held at State Leadership Conference in April.
Candidates had to present to the entire Nebraska delegation at Opening Session. They had to prepare three sentences on what the future of FCCLA looked like to them, prepare a 3 minute speech on how FCCLA helps members believe in themselves, answer a fact and situation question and work through given a problem with all the other candidates.
“Later that night at 10:30 was the letter drop which had a congratulatory letter saying I had made the team” Johnson said.
Out of my team of 8 State Officers there is only two are juniors, the rest are seniors. Johnson said she is more than ready to take on her new role.
“Responsibilities I have are to lead all of our conferences throughout the year and help my team make all decisions on what this year will look like for Nebraska FCCLA,” she said. “Since we are a student led organization, our State Officer Team makes all the decisions on how we lead conferences, how we promote our membership, how we increase involvement, how we connect with members, how we teach people and help people become better leaders and what our theme is for this year.”
Johnson already attended State Officer Leadership Academy back in May. Her and her team networked with all the other Career and Technical Organizations and were trained and taught how to be a State Officer.
Johnson and the other state officers also have responsibilities on the National level as well. This first week of July her team visited Anaheim, Cal. for the National Leadership Conference. There she served as one of the three chosen voting delegates from Nebraska to assist in selecting the 2019-2020 National Executive Council.
“Also in California my team lead all of our three State Meetings for all the members who had qualified for Nationals,” she said.
Although this new journey has proven to be a challenging one for Johnson, she said that is what she enjoys most about it.
“I have always liked to challenge myself and try to push myself to do things outside of my comfort zone and do something different,” she said.
It has just been announced that Bloomfield School's first day for students will be Monday, August 19 due to construction delays.
On July 22, the Bloomfield Ruritan Club donated scholarship money to two recipients. Mitchell Mackeprang (right) was awarded $300 and Will Fehringer (left) was awarded $600 by Garry Young (middle).