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by WLJ
2015 August 31
As the summer here at the Noble Foundation is winding down, I have been putting together my presentation on the summer’s activities. One day I sat down and tried to make a list of all the things that I have done as a Lloyd Noble Scholar in Agriculture.


2015 August 31
The fall bull-buying season is practically upon us, which means preparation for both sellers and buyers. Most bulls sold in the fall are approximately 18 months, but a strong yearling market still exists in areas where fall is the natural calving season.


2015 August 31
Most noticeable is the change in the agricultural labor force. At the Dickinson Research Extension Center, the summer interns return to college. Usually after a short break at home, they head off to school. The workforce notices the difference.


2015 August 28
Consumer Reports used to have some credibility in my book. But after last week’s publication of their Beef Report, they lost some ground.


2015 August 21
The Animas River in Colorado is a beautiful place; my late son David was a river guide on it for a couple years. It’s a shame that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ruined it…for a while. The EPA was attempting to clean up the old Gold King Mine near Silverton and accidentally.


2015 August 21
The recent passing of a blue moon soon will be followed by the passing of summer. A blue moon is the second full moon in the same month, something that doesn’t happen that often (the next blue moon will be in January 2018). But, like life, it will happen.


2015 August 21
“Ag-gag” is the term used to describe anti-whistleblower laws that apply within the agriculture industry. About half a dozen states have passed laws to criminalize surreptitious filming of alleged abuses of animals on farms and ranches.


by WLJ
2015 August 21
This last year, I served as Chair of the checkoff’s Market Research Working Group, which oversees consumer market-research efforts. Both state and national checkoff efforts should be based on research.


by WLJ
2015 August 14
We are amid the worst fire year in documented history and it doesn’t look like there are any signs of relief in sight.


by WLJ
2015 August 14
One of the many things that I have learned since arriving at the Noble Foundation is that prescribed burns are a big thing out here in the West. In Kentucky, I had only ever seen some of the national forests burned on occasion to reduce the chance of a wildfire.


by WLJ
2015 August 14
In my search to better understand stocking rate, I obtained a better appreciation for major land resource areas (MLRA) and ecological sites. For instance, by looking up the MLRA for the Dickinson Research Extension Center (DREC) ranch in Dunn County, ND, the MLRA is 54.


2015 August 14
So we tried her method of growing with deep mulch, we layered eight inches of old straw between tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers in the springtime. All the plants turned yellow. Trying to figure out what happened; we pulled back the straw cover and found the soil surface was like mud.


by WLJ
2015 August 14
Cool, wet growing seasons may delay grain maturity, and can result in mold and mycotoxin formation in the field. Producers are faced with the decision to feed moldy feeds or forages and knowing there may be a potential risk to animal productivity.


2015 August 7
The U.S. red meat industry has achieved outstanding export growth in recent years, enhancing profitability for all members of the supply chain. In 2014, both beef exports ($7.13 billion) and pork exports ($6.67 billion) shattered previous records for export value.


2015 August 7
It is appears that the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule expanding the definition of waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) took a tumble last week. The Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has refused to be associated with the EPA’s plan. Ironically, the Corps is the agency that must implement the EPA’s new plan, and they don’t seem to agree much with EPA.


by WLJ
2015 August 7
After spring showers comes summer sun—sometimes with a vengeance. Any summer’s heat and dry weather throughout the western states will present an added challenge to producers in the region. Increased costs for management of livestock with limited resources may be seen by consumers if drought conditions arise.


2015 August 7
Gerri Badden, Public Information Officer U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Oregon Office phone: 503/727-1033 Also, Oregon Representative Greg Walden (R) has invited concerned citizens to email him regarding the Hammond case, which his office is following closely.


2015 July 31
The Livestock Publications Council (LPC) held their annual meeting in Scottsdale, AZ, to acknowledge and critique member publications and get to know colleagues who communicate to livestock producers around the nation. This group has been around for a while.


2015 July 31
Back in the early 2000s , when the battle to introduce mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) was raging, California rancher Carolyn Carey quietly took the issue into her own hands. Rather than supporting mandatory COOL, she introduced a “Born and Raised in the USA” program and label that was approved for most meat and poultry species.



2015 July 31
Every rancher needs to ask three questions: “How many acres does one need?” “What is the stocking rate or carrying capacity of those acres?” and “How many grazing months are available?” The profitability and sustainability of the ranch are embedded in understanding grazing systems and getting the answers correct.




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