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Riverside Meats repeats as Lord of the (Sausage) Rings winner

Riverside Meats, a family-owned and operated meat processing firm in Corman Park near Warman, was crowned Lord of the (Sausage) Rings for the second year in a row at the third annual event in Osler on Thursday, November 9.

Eldon Wiebe of Riverside Meats with the Lord of the Rings championship trophy

In addition to winning the “Best Overall” championship, Riverside Meats also walked away with the awards for “Best Appearance” and Best Texture.”
The annual competition is designed to showcase the area’s Mennonite Farmers Sausage producers. A total of eight firms competed in the blind taste test, in which about 150 guests vote for their favourites.
Ideal Meats of Neuhorst won the award for “Best Flavour”, while Smokehaus Meats of Martensville won the “VIP award” for the second year in a row. The VIP Award is based on the votes of a panel of media representatives and mayors of area communities.
Firms competing in the competition also included: Carmen Corner Meats of Waldheim, J&J Sausage of Warman, Pine View Farms of Corman Park near Osler, Smokey Joe’s Meat Shop of Rheinland and Valley Meats of Gruenthal. Continue reading “Riverside Meats repeats as Lord of the (Sausage) Rings winner”

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New K-12 school to be built in Rosthern

A new K-12 school will be built to replace the existing Rosthern Elementary School (above) and also the existing Rosthern High School

A new K-12 school will be built in Rosthern to replace the existing elementary and high schools, both of which have serious structural deficiencies due to their age.
The announcement was contained in the provincial budget unveiled by Finance Minister Kevin Doherty on Wednesday, March 22.
In a phone interview following the budget speech, Education Minister Don Morgan confirmed the project is a priority for the coming year.
“As we went through the budget finalization process, it became very apparent that there is an immediate need for a new school in Rosthern,” said Morgan. “It is definitely at the top of the list.”
The government also announced a new school for the community of Weyburn. Morgan said a total of $2.1 million worth of planning dollars has been allocated for both projects. Construction funds will be allocated at a future time. He noted the planning process for the Rosthern school, which will be a “traditional build” by the Ministry of Education and not a P3 project, is likely to cost about $1.5 million. The project includes the demolition of the existing schools. It is not clear at this point where the new school will be located.
Environment Minister Scott Moe is the MLA for Rosthern constituency. He said discussions on the need for a new school have been ongoing for many years, and he’s happy to see the project get the go-ahead.
“The dollars are committed to start this project,” Moe said. “It takes about a year to go through the community consultations, design process, and tendering process. Construction will begin as soon as possible.”
Rosthern Mayor Dennis Helmuth said the new school is badly needed.
“It’s readily apparent that these facilities are at the end of their life cycle,” said Helmuth. “They’re literally crumbling. Our school population is growing considerably, and there is a lot of opportunity in our town and region. We need more capacity to accommodate that growth.”
Prairie Spirit School Division (PSSD) Board of Education Chair Larry Pavloff said the announcement is “extremely good news” for the community and the school division.
“We couldn’t be happier to hear that,” said Pavloff in an interview on March 23, the day after the budget. “We have been repairing and patching both those buildings for many years, but they’ve gotten to the point where patches don’t work anymore. A new building is needed as soon as possible.”
Rosthern town councillor Kate Kading said the community and school division have a long-standing partnership.
“A number of years ago, we had built a hall attached to the elementary school under a joint-use agreement,” said Kading. “We’re in discussions now about the possibility of that facility being incorporated and utilized in any new building.”

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Riverside Meats wins Lord of the (Sausage) Rings event in Osler

Riverside Meats won three awards, including Best Overall at the 2016 Lord of the (Sausage) Rings event in Osler. Accepting the awards for Riverside Meats are (left to right) Don Bueckert, Eldon Wiebe, Bill Wiebe and Riley Wiebe
Riverside Meats won three awards, including Best Overall at the 2016 Lord of the (Sausage) Rings event in Osler. Accepting the awards for Riverside Meats are (left to right) Don Bueckert, Eldon Wiebe, Bill Wiebe and Riley Wiebe

There’s a new champion when it comes to claiming the title for the best Mennonite Farmers Sausage in the Saskatchewan Valley region.
Riverside Meats of Warman captured three of five categories in the second annual ‘Lord of the (Sausage) Rings’ taste-testing competition in Osler on Thursday, November 3. The family-owned business won first place for Best Overall, Appearance and Taste.
The Lord of the (Sausage) Rings annual trophy is awarded for Best Overall.
Eldon Wiebe of Riverside Meats said they entered their regular fare in the competition.
“We didn’t come up with any special recipe specifically for this event,” said Wiebe. “This is the same sausage we sell over the counter every day to our customers. A lot of the people who come to our shop are local, but we get quite a few customers from communities that are further away.”

Samples of Mennonite Farmers Sausage produced by seven local companies were judged at the event in Osler November 3
Samples of Mennonite Farmers Sausage produced by seven local companies were judged at the event in Osler November 3

Another Warman family-owned firm, J&J Sausage, won the award for Texture.
Smokehaus Meats of Martensville, last year’s overall winner, won the “Media and Mayors’ Award” for getting top marks from a panel of area mayors and journalists.
The sold-out event organized by the Town of Osler highlights the large number of locally-owned and operated firms in the area that produce and sell traditional Mennonite sausage. It is also aimed at raising funds for recreational facilities in the community. This year, the funds are going toward installation of a concrete pad for the town’s outdoor rink, allowing it to be used year-round.
Over 250 people attended the sold-out event, held at the Osler Community Hall, to taste-test the wares of seven local family-owned specialty-meats operations. The competitors included: Riverside Meats, J&J Sausage, Smokehaus Meats, Carmen Corner Meats of Waldheim, Ideal Meats of Neuhorst, Pine View Farms of Osler, and Smokey Joe’s Meat Shop of Rheinland.
Blind samples of each sausage from the seven competitors were distributed, and each person in the crowd filled out a scorecard rating each sample. The votes were later tallied to determine winners in each category.
A ‘celebrity table’ included four mayors: Charlie Clark of Saskatoon, Sheryl Spence of Warman, Pat Wagner of Hague and Dennis Helmuth of Rosthern. A reporter from the Clark’s Crossing Gazette, two reporters from the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix and an announcer, Jason Lee, from CJWW Radio were also part of the celebrity table. Lee also did double-duty as Master of Ceremonies for the evening.

(Left to right) Former Osler Mayor Ben Buhler, newly-elected Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark, Warman Mayor Sheryl Spence, Rosthern Mayor Dennis Helmuth, Hague Mayor Pat Wagner and newly-acclaimed Osler Mayor Abe Quiring
(Left to right) Former Osler Mayor Ben Buhler, newly-elected Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark, Warman Mayor Sheryl Spence, Rosthern Mayor Dennis Helmuth, Hague Mayor Pat Wagner and newly-acclaimed Osler Mayor Abe Quiring

A light-hearted “Jeopardy” style quiz show, moderated by former Osler Mayor Ben Buhler that pitted the media against the mayors resulted in a narrow, hard-fought and ultimately meaningless victory for the media.
Newly-acclaimed Osler Mayor Abe Quiring, who along with the rest of the town councillors and civic staff, were busy working the tables for most of the night, presented the awards to the winners. He also noted the contributions that retiring Mayor Ben Buhler has made to the community and the province during his 15 years of service. The praise was echoed by Clark, Spence, Wagner, and Helmuth.
Clark, the newly-elected Saskatoon Mayor, has a long-standing connection with the Buhler family. His wife of 14 years, Sarah, is the daughter of Jake and Louise Buhler of Osler. Jake is Ben’s brother.
Turning down the invitation to attend the event wasn’t an option for Clark.
“It wasn’t two minutes after I was elected that I got a barrage of text messages, e-mails, and phone calls from my in-laws to make sure I come here tonight,” said Clark. “But of course, I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. Osler is a pretty special community.”

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