This week in 1971 – 50 years ago: Mrs. James (Magel) Boyd has become the first distaff member of the Alexandria Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors. She and three businessmen were elected during the annual election held at the Garden Center. The other winners – from a field of eight candidates nominated – were Norm Anderson of the Alex State Agency, Les Gaugert, president of the First National Bank, and Bill Trumm of Trumm Drug. Mrs. Boyd is women’s editor of the Lake Region Echo-Press newspapers. Her husband is general manager of the Alexandria Telephone Co.

1971, 50 years ago: Some 170 people in about 50 airplanes swooped in on the Alexandria Airport for a banquet and an overnight stay. They were members of the Minnesota Aviation Trade Association who make an air tour of the state each year. Among other things, they inspect new airport facilities and improvements. This year’s two-day tour took them to Winona, Rochester, Montevideo, Alexandria and Duluth, (in that order) before returning to St. Paul.

Fingerhut Corporation announced record sales and earnings for the fourth quarter of fiscal year ended July 2, 1971. Net revenues for the quarter totaled $39,781,535, up 14%. Net earnings for the quarter of $1,849,726, or 59 cents per share, were 26% higher than the $1,466,560, or 47 cents a share, earned in the same period a year ago.

1996, 25 years ago: Jerry Kostreba, manager of the Brandon Ag Service, said this year’s wheat crop is the best he’s ever seen in Douglas County. Even though the summer was dry, it turned out to be ideal for wheat-growing weather. Most farmers have had wheat yields of about 50 bushels per acre compared with 30 to 35 bushels in most years. So far, the Brandon Elevator has taken 140,000 bushels of wheat, which is being sold to distributors in the Twin Cities. Currently, wheat is selling for $4.20 per bushel, 40 cents less than just three weeks ago. According to Douglas County Extension Agent Larry Zilliox, variable rainfall this summer caused a range of corn and soybean quality from poor to very good. Farmers will start harvesting corn for silage, with the abundance of corn silage making up for a shortage in hay.

The preliminary tax levy for the Alexandria School District, if approved, will increase by 6.9% for taxes payable in 1997. A Truth-in-Taxation hearing is set for December, when the public will have a chance to comment on the levy.

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2011, 10 years ago: Sun-Opta in Alexandria hosted a tour of its plant and met with a Chinese trade group, hoping to build a relationship and encourage imports into China. Sun-Opta’s Alexandria plant produces organic beverages, including soymilk, under several labels like Trader Joe’s, Rice Dream, West Soy, Tazo Chai, and Kirkland. They even recently developed a new sunflower milk product. Soybeans represent Minnesota’s largest exported value crop, Minnesota Soybean Regional Communications Specialist Jessica Dornink said. “Every fourth row of Minnesota soybeans is exported,” she said.

Just for fun 1971 – 50 years ago: Dance at the Hav-A-Zweig Café in Miltona, Saturday, Sept. 18. New and old-time music by Mike and the Blueblazers from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. “AIR CONDITIONED”

Sports Trivia 1971 – 50 years ago: Ron Lanners sparked the Brandon Warriors to a 44-6 win over Tintah in a non-conference battle by running for three touchdowns, passing for one, and then put himself on the receiving end by grabbing a pass from his brother Greg and scampering 60 yards to pay dirt. He was named offensive player of the game by his coach for the tremendous effort he put forth. The Warrior offense piled up 352 yards on 52 offensive plays compared to Tintah’s 131 total yards.

Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.