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In Brief… – for Jul. 16, 2009

Barn fire: Fire partially destroyed a chicken operation in the Rural Municipality of Hanover July 7, Steinbach RCMP report. Fire destroyed one of two attached barns and 25,000 chickens at the site located on Highway 52 one mile north of Highway 206. The estimated loss is approximately $900,000. The Office of the Fire Commissioner is investigating to determine how the fire started.

From horses to humans: A Winnipeg company is marketing a new mosquito repellent for humans it developed from a product originally made for horses as a natural, non-toxic alternative to conventional products. Citronella Spray, manufactured by Pharm-Vet, a division of Dominion Veterinary Laboratories, contains a blend of pure essential oils including lavender oil from France, eucalyptus oil from Australia and citronella oil from Sri Lanka. Not only does it ward off the skeeters for up to an hour, it smells good too.

Innovation money: Manitoba is getting $39 million to help fund new and innovative agriculture projects. The money, announced recently by Ottawa and the province, will be channelled through the Industry Innovation and Strategic Innovation suites of Growing Forward, the federal-provincial agriculture policy framework. Both support projects that create new methods, products and technology to give Manitoba a competitive edge in the agriculture sector.

Roll with the cheese: Dairy Farmers of Canada is hosting the Second Annual Cheese Rolling Festival Aug. 15 in Whistler, B. C. The contest, in which contestants chase 11-pound rolls of Canadian Cracked Pepper Verdelait cheese down the hillside, is a knockoff from the wildly popular tradition of cheese rolling in the U. K. Those who catch one get to keep the big cheese and a season skiing pass for Whistler. Anyone over 19 years of age can log on to www.canadiancheeserolling.ca to pre-register. Or enter in person Aug. 15.

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