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Traci Eatherton, WLJ Correspondent

News
Mar 30, 2015
A divided House panel passed a bill March 25 that would repeal the federal estate tax—the “Death Tax.” The House Ways and Means Committee voted 22-10 to approve H.R. 1105, the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015, introduced by Representatives Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Sanford Bishop (D-GA), sending it to the full House.
News
Mar 30, 2015
A divided House panel passed a bill March 25 that would repeal the federal estate tax—the “Death Tax.” The House Ways and Means Committee voted 22-10 to approve H.R. 1105, the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015, introduced by Representatives Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Sanford Bishop (D-GA), sending it to the full House.
News
Mar 3, 2015
With negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal hanging in the balance, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) last week threw its support behind renewal of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which will enable the current administration and future ones to negotiate and close trade agreements such as the TPP.
News
Mar 3, 2015
With negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal hanging in the balance, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) last week threw its support behind renewal of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which will enable the current administration and future ones to negotiate and close trade agreements such as the TPP.
News
Mar 2, 2015
With populations spanning 11 energy- and agriculture-rich western states, the sage-grouse is considered an icon of the West. By some estimates, its population has been reduced from millions to perhaps 500,000 today. But groups encouraging habitat plans have concluded that what is good for the sage-grouse is good for the land.
News
Mar 2, 2015
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), a group of prestigious outside experts, according to USDA, submitted its recommendations to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in order to inform the 2015 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
News
Mar 2, 2015
With populations spanning 11 energy- and agriculture-rich western states, the sage-grouse is considered an icon of the West. By some estimates, its population has been reduced from millions to perhaps 500,000 today. But groups encouraging habitat plans have concluded that what is good for the sage-grouse is good for the land.
News
Mar 2, 2015
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), a group of prestigious outside experts, according to USDA, submitted its recommendations to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in order to inform the 2015 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
News
Feb 23, 2015
Last week, President Obama announced three new national monuments, adding to the 13 monuments he’s already designated during his presidency. Traveling to Illinois, Obama officially proclaimed the Pullman Historic District of Chicago, Browns Canyon in Colorado, and a former Honouliuli Internment Camp site in Hawaii to be national monuments.


News
Feb 23, 2015
Last week, President Obama announced three new national monuments, adding to the 13 monuments he’s already designated during his presidency. Traveling to Illinois, Obama officially proclaimed the Pullman Historic District of Chicago, Browns Canyon in Colorado, and a former Honouliuli Internment Camp site in Hawaii to be national monuments.
News
Feb 13, 2015
Last week, meat industry opponents of the U.S. country-of-origin labeling (COOL), dropped their 2013 lawsuit against USDA. But the debate and discussion surrounding the controversial labeling is far from over, according to the North American Meat Institute, a party in the dropped lawsuit.
News
Feb 13, 2015
Last week, meat industry opponents of the U.S. country-of-origin labeling (COOL), dropped their 2013 lawsuit against USDA. But the debate and discussion surrounding the controversial labeling is far from over, according to the North American Meat Institute, a party in the dropped lawsuit.
News
Feb 2, 2015
Last week, a federal district court in Minnesota dismissed the lawsuit seeking to block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from releasing the personal information (such as a person’s name, home address, GPS location and telephone number) of livestock and poultry farmers and ranchers in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
News
Feb 2, 2015
Last week, a federal district court in Minnesota dismissed the lawsuit seeking to block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from releasing the personal information (such as a person’s name, home address, GPS location and telephone number) of livestock and poultry farmers and ranchers in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
News
Jan 30, 2015
• HSUS spent less than 1 percent of its budget on grants to pet shelters. • Meanwhile, HSUS had fundraising-related expenses of $48.1 million, or a whopping 38 percent of its total budget. • HSUS paid $7.7 million to Quadriga Art, a fundraising consultant recently exposed by CNN that is reportedly under investigation in New York and California.
News
Jan 30, 2015
A couple of weeks ago, in the battle for wetland use, an Ohio mining company got to chalk one up for a win over the EPA—on a wetland issue—not an easy task. The 10th Ohio District Court of Appeals dismissed certain restrictions placed on coal miners operating in wetlands, ruling they are not based in law.
News
Jan 30, 2015
• HSUS spent less than 1 percent of its budget on grants to pet shelters. • Meanwhile, HSUS had fundraising-related expenses of $48.1 million, or a whopping 38 percent of its total budget. • HSUS paid $7.7 million to Quadriga Art, a fundraising consultant recently exposed by CNN that is reportedly under investigation in New York and California.
News
Jan 30, 2015
A couple of weeks ago, in the battle for wetland use, an Ohio mining company got to chalk one up for a win over the EPA—on a wetland issue—not an easy task. The 10th Ohio District Court of Appeals dismissed certain restrictions placed on coal miners operating in wetlands, ruling they are not based in law.
News
Jan 26, 2015
This one missing piece from his speech was noteworthy, considering immigration was one of the president’s strongest campaign topics. In last week’s address, Obama’s immigration mention simply warned against “refighting past battles on immigration when we’ve got a system to fix,” and called for empathy towards immigrants.
News
Jan 26, 2015
This one missing piece from his speech was noteworthy, considering immigration was one of the president’s strongest campaign topics. In last week’s address, Obama’s immigration mention simply warned against “refighting past battles on immigration when we’ve got a system to fix,” and called for empathy towards immigrants.
News
Dec 29, 2014
As 2014 draws to a close, it’s easy to look back and find a number of stories that topped the year’s biggest story list. From searching for ways to control climate change to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) breathing down producers’ backs, there weren’t many “slow weeks” for Western Livestock Journal’s.


Opinion
Dec 29, 2014
Agriculture is fighting an uphill battle with the readily assessable information highway loaded with photos that paint a thousand words. Sound science continues to lose over emotions, with photos, captions and haunting music depicting producers and even animal owners as low life, self-centered, evil creatures.
News
Dec 1, 2014
Last week, President Obama announced his plans to address the immigration issue in the U.S., and in the process, renewed the frustration many feel about Congress’ inability to come to an agreement. Obama’s plan includes three executive actions he plans to use that would keep millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.
News
Nov 28, 2014
While ag groups are typically focused on the big picture when it comes to EPA’s plans for more water control, changing emission standards, or handling climate change, there is another side to the overreach that doesn’t typically get as much coverage— the actual bottom line of EPA’s damage—the never ending fines.
News
Nov 24, 2014
In a bit of a dramatic showdown last Tuesday, a Senate bill that would have given the green light for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, got the big stop sign—again. After the final vote was read, a man reportedly with the Lakota Tribe of South Dakota began singing, followed by protesters who called out Democrats who voted in support of the pipeline.
News
Nov 10, 2014
Last week’s elections sent several Democrat senators packing, with the Republican Party taking control of the Senate and maintaining the House. Senate Republicans won seats in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia to shift the Senate to Republican majority with 53 seats.
Markets
Nov 7, 2014
Prior to Election Day, Senator Rand Paul, a potential Republican Presidential candidate, gave a foreign policy address at the Center for the National Interest dinner in New York City. He was the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Service Award, and offered some compelling arguments for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
News
Oct 31, 2014
The California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) met in Mount Shasta to make some decisions on finalizing the details of listing the gray wolf as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). The findings on the agenda included the Commission’s rationale for determin ing.
News
Oct 13, 2014
September came and went, with no final announcement on the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) dispute held up at the World Trade Organization (WTO). While there has been some speculation among stakeholders and a preliminary document shared with the governments involved, the final decision has yet to be announced.
News
Oct 10, 2014
EPA’s proposed regulations that would expand federal regulatory authority relating to the Clean Water Act, has the agency swimming in its own hot water, and once again, EPA has pushed back the final deadline for public comments to Nov. 14, after midterm elections.
News
Sep 29, 2014
President Barack Obama’s President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) issued their report, at the request of the president, on combating antibiotic resistance. On Sept. 18, he issued an executive order to implement recommendations from PCAST and create a task force and presidential advisory council to combat antibiotic resistance.
News
Sep 26, 2014
University of California Livestock & Natural Resources Advisor Glenn Nader believes two problems could add up to one win-win solution. Though it has rarely been done, Nader believes special treatment of rice straw will make it a nutritious cattle food.
News
Sep 19, 2014
In the beef production business, finding something “predictable” is kind of like finding the gold at the end of the rainbow…chances are slim. The weather is unpredictable. The markets are unpredictable. The government is unpredictable. Even the hired help can be unpredictable.
News
Sep 8, 2014
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced on Aug. 28 plans to allow importation of fresh chilled or frozen beef from northern Argentina and also plans to add Argentina’s Patagonia area to the lists of regions that are considered free of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and rinderpest.
News
Sep 5, 2014
California’s three years of drought conditions continue across the southern half of the state, with parched soils and destructive wildfires leaving thousands of acres basically void of vegetation, and according to a new study, the state may very well be in for more of the same—for several years.
News
Aug 25, 2014
Despite any signs of a green light from the current administration for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, it continues to make headlines with those opposing it planning benefit concerts and making field art in Nebraska. In addition to the art talents coming out, the project also faces a new hurdle involving South Dakota tribes.
News
Aug 18, 2014
Tyson Foods Inc. announced last week, ahead of its purchase of Hillshire Brands Co., it will close three facilities it acquired in the 2001 purchase of beef and pork processor IBP Inc. Tyson’s closures come on the heels of Cargill’s announcement to close its Milwaukee, WI, plant and L&H’s announcement to close it San Antonio, TX, plant.
News
Aug 18, 2014
Both Texas and Colorado have seen a surge in Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) cases this summer, and that has local and state official watching animal movement a little closer. The numbers have surpassed 200 in both states, with primarily horses making the list, but the two states now have added cattle to the numbers of infected.
News
Aug 8, 2014
Last Tuesday, August 5, Missouri residents headed to the polls to vote on a “right to farm” amendment that protects farmers’ every day livelihoods. The amendment, which passed by just 2,500 votes, states “the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall forever be guaranteed.
News
Jul 28, 2014
USDA’s June Acreage report doesn’t appear to give much hope for 2014 hay prices to come down much, with producers harvesting less hay compared to previous years. But Washington and Oregon, according to the report, seem to be holding their own, with a banner year expected in hay production.
News
Jul 14, 2014
The mystery behind the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) final decision regarding country of origin labeling (COOL) will hopefully be finalized by the end of the month, but coalition members asking for an indefinite suspension of the revised COOL rule believe the public announcement on the final decision probably won’t be seen until September.
News
Jul 11, 2014
The ongoing RFS debate has divided parts of the ag industry with the food vs. fuel argument. In addition, policymakers have raised concerns with compliance of the current standard, citing rising food and fuel costs and debating whether or not the standards are actually reducing greenhouse gas emissions as planned.
News
Jul 7, 2014
Nevada Association of Counties (NACO) and the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation filed the suit, claiming that overpopulation of horses was a symptom of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) negligence to follow the Wild Horse and Burro Act, resulting in damage to the range, wildlife and wild horses.
News
Jun 23, 2014
In December 2003, Hong Kong banned U.S. beef and beef products following the detection of a bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)-positive animal in the United States (one of only four cases ever discovered in America). In December 2005, Hong Kong partially reopened its market to allow imports of deboned U.
News
Jun 20, 2014
The list of dos and don’ts in a healthy diet just got a few new additions from some questionable diet “gurus.” A new review of old research co-authored by a group with strong animal rights connections includes six new dietary recommendations that supposedly will help prevent cancer, “even when evidence on certain issues are up for debate.
News
Jun 16, 2014
Truck drivers hauling livestock and poultry received a reprieve last week with the Department of Transportation (DOT) announcement that they would be exempt for one year from a government regulation requiring drivers to take a half-hour break for every eight hours of service.
News
Jun 6, 2014
CRP is a land conservation program administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). In exchange for a yearly rental payment, farmers enrolled in the program agree to remove environmentally-sensitive land from agricultural production and plant species that will improve environmental health and quality.
News
May 30, 2014
USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng said beef exports were up 11 percent in volume and 9 percent in value during the first quarter. “One of the key markets we’re enjoying at the moment is the Mexican market. The Japanese market is also performing quite well for us—we’re up about 20 percent in the first quarter,” he said.
News
May 19, 2014
Over 50 state leaders from nine states gathered earlier this month to take a stand against the ongoing long-term federal land grab and discuss plans to gain state control. The recent standoff in Nevada seems to have drawn some national attention to a topic that has been ongoing.
News
May 12, 2014
If the Senate decides to sign off on the House’s latest decision to make some changes to the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), environmental groups may be looking for a little extra cash for their legal funds. Last week, the U.S. House approved by voice vote the Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act (H.
News
Apr 14, 2014
Producers who lost livestock or crops in the 2012 drought or the 2013 blizzards are eligible for some relief with the 2014 farm bill Livestock Forage Program (LFP) and Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) that are now permanent packages and include retroactive payments for eligible losses back to Oct.
News
Apr 7, 2014
USFWS announced the final listing of the species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The agency did however add a final special rule that will limit regulatory impacts on landowners and businesses from the listing. Under the law, a “threatened” listing means the species is likely to become in danger of ex tinction.
News
Apr 7, 2014
Management of wild bison in and around Yellowstone National Park is by far one of the most heated debates of Yellowstone’s resource issues. All of the interested parties bring their own wideranging values and objectives to the debate, with some relying on common sense and science, and others bringing in history and sentiments.
News
Mar 21, 2014
Just a few weeks after the governor of Idaho signed the state’s new ag protection law, a group of journalists and organizations—claiming to be dedicated to civil liberties, animal protection, food safety, labor rights and the environment—filed a lawsuit challenging the law’s “constitutionality.
News
Mar 14, 2014
Blood testing to detect pregnancy in cows has yet to take a strong hold over the tried and true results of palpating or ultrasounding, but it is making its way into the industry. Palpating is still the main practice of most veterinarians, in part because old habits die hard, and ultrasounding still has its place in the industry.
News
Feb 28, 2014
USDA’s annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, held Feb. 20-21, 2014, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, VA, started with Chief Economist Joe Glauber issuing the department’s projections for coming year, including forecasts for corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, sugar and other farm commodities, as well as exports.
News
Feb 24, 2014
But just like the weather, change in the packing industry is obviously underway again. With drought conditions continuing, declining cattle numbers, a growing population to feed, political discourse in the industry, and an ever-growing number of regulations, the packing industry is destined to take a hit, along with producers, on the path to change.
Markets
Feb 14, 2014
While producers seem to be supporting a push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to be finalized, media outlets across the U.S. seem to be skipping the topic. It is far from an apparent “hot topic” in most areas, and skeptics are questioning the chances of it going anywhere with the discourse in the White House.
News
Feb 14, 2014
The study did, however, convince USFWS to reopen the comment period on its proposal to list the Mexican wolf as an endangered subspecies and remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List. Interested stakeholders provide information that may be helpful in making a final determination on the proposal.
News
Feb 7, 2014
Arizona’s endangered Mexican gray wolf population continued a four-year trend of reproduction, growing from 75 to 83 in 2013, state and federal officials announced in January. A subspecies of the gray wolf, the Mexican wolf was added to the federal endangered species list in 1976.
News
Feb 7, 2014
Changing consumer preferences and a production model tailored to the production of top-shelf steaks has put the U.S. cattle industry in a position of losing market share to competitive proteins, according to a new report from the Rabobank Food & Agribusiness Research (FAR) and Advisory group.
News
Jan 31, 2014
A rancher and daughter of former legislator Dick Wallis, Wallis was found dead Tuesday morning at a hotel in Gillette. The Gillette News- Record reported that Campbell County Sheriff Bill Pownall confirmed the lawmaker’s death. The cause has not been determined, but the paper quoted Coroner Tom Eekhoff as say ing.
News
Jan 31, 2014
Furthermore, 25 percent of pork consumers claimed to have eaten less pork in 2013 than they did in 2012, according to the research. In contrast, only 10 percent of beef and other red meat eaters are eating more, and only 13 percent of pork consumers are eating more.
News
Jan 4, 2014
The optimists are still voicing plans for a final farm bill signed by mid-January, but the latest extension and deadline, along with a number of controversial amendments, make the task seem a bit more daunting. Without a farm bill, laws could revert back to what was on the books in the 1940’s, wreaking havoc on today’s agriculture.
News
Dec 27, 2013
With 2013 on its way out this week, it’s out with the old and in with the new…time to make and break those New Year’s resolutions. The past year has definitely not been short on the news end, with climate change, Obamacare, the farm bill, COOL and a number of other hot topics to fill the ink pages and the world wide web.
News
Dec 16, 2013
It appears that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is jumping on the “no antibiotic” bandwagon, with its plan to implement new regulations. Citing a potential threat to public health, the FDA is hoping to phase out the use of antibiotics in meat production, using a voluntary approach.
News
Dec 13, 2013
USTR representatives shared benefits of the partnership, claiming global income benefits by 2025 are estimated at $223 billion per year and real income benefit to the United States of $77 billion per year. U.S. export benefits are expected to reach $3.3 billion for beef and $4.
News
Dec 13, 2013
With the House planned recess on Friday, Dec. 13, until after the New Year, another extension became last week’s discussion on the hotly debated topic. Despite negotiating since October, the Farm Bill Conference Committee has yet to reach an agreement, instead proposing an extension through January.
News
Nov 18, 2013
Beef and pork exports took a hit earlier this year, after Russia’s refusal to accept exports fed betaagonists, and the topic surfaced again this fall, following Tyson’s ban on the feed additive. But a new USDA certification program for livestock producers may permit them to market their products with a special “Never Fed Beta Agonists” label.
News
Nov 11, 2013
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced its final rule to complete efforts to modernize the agency’s import regulations for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), demonstrating to the international community that the United States is committed to bas ing.
News
Oct 28, 2013
The Senate passed its comprehensive farm bill in the early summer, while the House passed its farm policy and food aid proposals in two separate measures. Now the two will see if an agreement can be reached by Jan. 1, the latest deadline before parts of federal agricultural policy could revert back to 1940s-era laws and price.
News
Oct 28, 2013
On Oct. 18, 2013 Canada and the European Union (EU) came to an agreement and signing, at least in principle, on the Canada-EU: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). While negotiations and drafting of the final text will continue over the coming months, the signing indicates that all major issues between the parties have been settled.
Opinion
Sep 27, 2013
The recent weather roller coaster has me wondering when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is going to step in. With all of the Colorado flooding wreaking havoc on feedlots and oil fields, I’m sure there are countless fines to be handed out and new regulations to be made.
News
Sep 23, 2013
The damage to Colorado’s multibillion dollar agriculture economy from recent flooding is immense, with rows of crops submerged, buildings and fences destroyed, and animals lost. While officials in the state are still trying to wrap their minds around a dollar number to associate with the loss, producers are beginning the recovery process.
News
Sep 20, 2013
Many of the thousands of cattle grazing in the area where the massive fire started on Aug. 17 are still unaccounted for. While the fire threatened thousands of homes, and burned 111 structures and 11 homes, it’s the lost grazing lands that will continue to wreak havoc on producers in the coming years.
News
Sep 16, 2013
Public Lands Council (PLC) last Saturday wrapped up its 2013 Annual Meeting in Deadwood, SD. Over 100 ranchers with public lands grazing rights in states across the West gathered to discuss the challenges affecting their industry and to consider projects and policies that will guide the organization’s future activities.
News
Sep 6, 2013
A coalition of community, animal welfare and environmental organizations has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) challenging the Agency’s withdrawal of a proposed rule that would have allowed EPA to collect basic information, like locations and animal population sizes, from what they refer to as “factory farms.
News
Aug 16, 2013
In June, to the relief of producers across the Midwest, USFWS called for removing gray wolves across the Lower 48 States from the endangered species list, but the process, that is supposed to include the scientific peer review, has been full of environmental battles, with this latest one having the potential to add significant.
News
Aug 16, 2013
Tyson Foods’ announcement two weeks ago that it would no longer buy animals fed with Zilmax created the latest media frenzy surrounding agriculture, with “experts” coming out of the woodworks on both sides. Tyson cited experts, suggesting that the drug may be causing cattle to become lame.
News
Aug 9, 2013
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the finalization of its proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume requirements for 2013 for conventional biofuels, cellulosic biofuels and the total amount of Advanced Biofuels. EPA had previously finalized the 2013 volume requirements for biomass-based diesel at 1.
News
Aug 9, 2013
“Some animal-health experts have suggested that the use of the feed supplement Zilmax, also known as zilpaterol, is one possible cause” for the animals being unable to walk, according to the letter. The “interim measure” is effective Sept. 6, and the “evaluation of these problems is ongoing,” according to the letter.
News
Jul 22, 2013
The big concern—some of the beef and pork names are now the same; for example, the pork chop is now called a Porterhouse. Questions have been raised as to whether or not the industry has given away some of its best marketing tools to the pork industry, a strong beef competitor that is a less expensive product.
News
Jul 5, 2013
FWS is proposing to designate approximately 14,561 acres of critical habitat along streams within Bernalillo, Colfax, Mora, Otero, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and Socorro counties, in New Mexico; Las Animas, Archuleta, and La Plata counties in Colorado and Greenlee and Apache counties in Arizona.
News
Jun 28, 2013
The Subcommittee on Energy and Power, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-KY, continued its review of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) with a hearing that included testimony from the government agencies that play a role in implementing the statute: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Energy Information Administration (EIA), and USDA.
News
Jun 24, 2013
Dozens of farm workers and immigration reform advocates demonstrated in front of U.S. Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s office on June 18 in hopes of persuading McCarthy to oppose the Agricultural Guestworker Act (H.R. 1773), which was filed by Rep. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-VA, in April.
News
Jun 21, 2013
House Rules Committee Ranking Member Louise M. Slaughter, D-NY, sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to pay special attention to the issues of antibiotic resistance at last week’s Group of Eight (G8) summit in Northern Ireland, and to consider limiting the use of antibiotics on healthy food animals.
News
Jun 14, 2013
Canada’s Agriculture and Agri-Food department released a long list of U.S. ag products that could be affected in the ongoing dispute over U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rules. The potential retaliation list has 38 lined items, including cattle, pigs, beef, pork, cheese, pasta, some fruits and vegetables, chocolate and even maple syrup.
News
Jun 7, 2013
The House of Representatives last week passed S.622, the Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Reauthorization Act of 2013, by a huge margin—390 to 12. The legislation reauthorizes the Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA) and the Animal Generic Drug User Fee Act that expire at the end of Fiscal Year 2013.
News
Jun 7, 2013
According to the report provided by the National Research Council, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) current practice of removing free-ranging horses from public lands promotes a high population growth rate, and maintaining them in long-term holding facilities is both economically unsustainable and incongruent with public expectations.
News
May 24, 2013
USDA last Thursday issued a final rule to modify the labeling provisions for muscle cut meats covered under the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule based on complaints from Canada and Mexico. The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled in favor of Canada and Mexico and put the deadline of May 23 for U.
News
May 24, 2013
The Agriculture Workforce Coalition (AWC), the United Farm Workers, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and Western Growers applauded the Senate Judiciary Committee for approving S. 744, the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill, out of committee on a strong bi-partisan vote of 13-5.
News
May 10, 2013
“We have seen the impact that variable climate patterns have had on production agriculture for the past several years. These projects will deliver the best tools available to accurately measure and respond to the effects of climate on beef and dairy production,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
News
May 3, 2013
A settlement agreement between the California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will result in improved understanding of the ecological and agricultural benefits of retaining farmland in production, according to CFBF.
News
Apr 29, 2013
Across the Rockies and Plains areas, snowfall totals for the month have hit record highs; but, along with those much needed inches of moisture, there were record temperatures, on the bottom end of the thermometer. In fact, according to records, April temperatures were the coldest in 30 years in some areas, and snowfall totals were the highest.
Opinion
Apr 12, 2013
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), more often referred to as drones, will most likely be coming to a field near you… in the very near future. Not to date myself or anything, but I think I may be having an 80s flashback.
News
Apr 8, 2013
While National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) breathed a sigh of relief over the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) audit, opponents of the longstanding relationship were no doubt sorely disappointed with the findings.
News
Apr 5, 2013
The inspectors checked five downstream processors that tenderized meat for retail or consumers and found that FSIS didn’t test the product at any of them. According to the report, two outbreaks have been tied to tenderized meat, one of them involving 19 cases in six states and necessitating a recall of 248,000 pounds of meat.
News
Apr 1, 2013
Following 38 years of legal proceedings, Oregon state officials have made a decision on one piece of the water battle in the contentious Klamath River Basin. The Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) issued its Final Order of Determination (Order) in the Klamath River Basin Adjudication (KBA) on March 7, 2013.
News
Mar 29, 2013
Seed giants DuPont and Monsanto have been in and out of legal battles since the mid-1990s when the first glyphosate-tolerant seeds were released. The battle heated up again when Du- Pont Pioneer made plans to combine the original Roundup Ready trait with its herbicide resistance traits, which led to a lawsuit brought on by Monsanto.
News
Mar 15, 2013
Despite hopes that there may be an end to an 11-year battle, the newly proposed Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) document has created a wave of new controversy. On March 8, USDA announced its proposed new rules for labeling muscle cuts of meat, including a requirement to specify where the source animal was born, raised and slaughtered.
News
Mar 15, 2013
The notice said that before USDA decided on the suspensions, NASS reviewed its survey programs against mission- and userbased criteria as well as the amount of time remaining in the fiscal year to conduct the surveys with the goal of finding available cost savings and maintaining the strongest data in service to agriculture.
News
Feb 15, 2013
Sen. John Barrasso, R-WY, along with cosponsors Sens. Mike Crapo, R-ID, Mike Enzi, R-WY, Orrin Hatch, R-UT, Dean Heller, R-NV, Mike Lee, R-UT, and Jim Risch, R-ID, introduced the bill which seeks to improve the livestock grazing permitting processes on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.
News
Feb 8, 2013
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued new policy directives at the beginning of February that emphasize “compassion and concern” and increases “public transparency” for wild horses on federal lands. The changes come on the heels of a number of media stories sharing alleged abuse and potential flaws in the system.
Opinion
Jan 25, 2013
On one of my last days at the National Western Stock Show, I had a great visit with a longtime friend and ag educator, Pat Stanko from Steamboat Springs, CO. We spent some time discussing the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and their latest at- EATHERTON.
News
Jan 11, 2013
Phillips’ 78-page ruling dismissed a pair of lawsuits challenging the policy that allows the bison more movement. The challenge came from Park County residents and ranchers, including Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF), the Park County Stockgrowers Association (Stockgrowers) and Park County, hoping to keep the animals in the park.
Markets
Jan 4, 2013
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) finished 2012 by signing off on a massive pipeline project that will carry water from rural counties along the Nevada-Utah line to thirsty Las Vegas. The controversial 263-mile water tube will stretch from rural areas to urban Las Vegas, home to 2 million people.
Opinion
Dec 1, 2012
Discussions about the Republican party being willing to consider tax increases to avoid the fiscal cliff have been making the rounds. But, ironically, the numbers they’ve thrown out have been a bit too large for Democrats. Cuts that were on the table just last year are now being snubbed by the very same side that proposed them.
News
Nov 23, 2012
According to last week’s USDA Farm Labor report, there were 906,000 workers hired directly by farm operators on the nation’s farms and ranches during the week of July 8-14, 2012, up nearly 9 percent from the July 2011 reference week. Workers hired directly by farm operators numbered 872,000 for the reference week of Oct.
News
Nov 2, 2012
“It will take a few days to sort out the effects of the disruption but chances are that the storm will have some short term impact on meat protein demand. This is particularly the case at the foodservice level. Lost foot traffic and sales will be hard to make up, especially in the current economic environment.
Markets
Oct 12, 2012
While USDA’s October World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report had some big changes, it was in line with most analysts’ expectations. Corn yields remained declined slightly, but 2011 stocks were cut drastically and are now the lowest since 1995/96, according to analysts.
News
Oct 12, 2012
According to USDA’s latest land values report, pasture values in the Northern Plains jumped 21.9 percent over the last year. In the Corn Belt, the increase averaged 8.6 percent. Within those regions some states were strong standouts, specifically South Dakota, which registered the biggest year-over-year increase at an average of 25.
News
Oct 5, 2012
David Palmer, president and chief executive officer, said the new plant, Northern Beef Packers (NBP), is the newest, most modern beef processing plant in the country. “Using the high-quality, family-farm-raised young cattle in the Dakota region, Northern Beef Packers will provide world-class prime beef, traceable from farm to finished product.
News
Oct 5, 2012
Icahn stated in the release: “When Wayne Pacelle reached out to me as a longtime supporter of The Humane Society to advise HSUS on the possibility of seeking a board position at Tyson, I told Wayne that given the existence of A/B (low vote/high vote) stock at Tyson, it would be extremely difficult to elect him as a director through a proxy fight.
News
Oct 5, 2012
Yep, the bulls stop here! According to their website, the beer was inspired by an April Fool’s Day spoof video in which they claimed to have released a beer made with bull testicles. After sending out a press release and video link last April, beer lovers came out of the woodworks to get a sample.
News
Sep 28, 2012
By the end of 2012, alfalfa hay production will drop 16 percent compared with the previous year, the lowest level since 1953, according to USDA’s August report. Total hay production will likely total 120 million tons, an 8.4 percent drop from 131 million tons last year.
News
Sep 28, 2012
The announcement builds upon NRCS’ Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) initiative in which land owners voluntarily implement proven conservation practices to protect certain threatened wildlife species, including several species found in Colorado, such as the greater sage grouse, the Southwestern willow flycatcher, and the lesser prairie-chicken.
Markets
Sep 7, 2012
USDA has forecast agriculture exports to reach a record $143.5 billion in the 2013 fiscal year, with strong demand from Canada, Europe and Japan, according to The Outlook for US Agricultural Trade released Aug. 31 by the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) and Foreign Agricultural Service.
News
Aug 24, 2012
The American Hereford Association (AHA) is the first beef breed to develop and market its own genomic predictions. The AHA approach is the first of its kind to work with the scientific community and the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium (NBCEC) to build its own training and validation population.
News
Aug 24, 2012
Last week, the American Prairie Reserve (APR) announced the purchase of a 150,000-acre Montana ranch, which doubled the conservation group’s current land holdings, and put the group one step closer to their quest to build a privately-funded, national park-like wildlife preserve.
News
Aug 10, 2012
According to Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, this year, farmers markets saw a 9.6 percent increase. USDA’s directory, a database published online at farmersmarkets.usda. gov, lists 7,864 farmers markets operating throughout the U.S.
News
Aug 10, 2012
For example, in 2009, Obama’s Energy Department awarded $535 million to solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra, which went bankrupt last year. But despite President Barack Obama’s support for several failed solar companies, his administration continues to support new creative energy initiatives—including making energy out of manure.
News
Jul 27, 2012
USDA was under fire last week from both ranchers and politicians on Capitol Hill after encouraging employees to go vegetarian one day a week to improve both their health and the climate. While the department retracted the statement, claiming it was unauthorized, some believe the damage was already done with a little help from social media.
News
Jun 29, 2012
USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released its latest monthly Cattle on Feed (COF) report on June 22. Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the U.S. for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.1 million head on June 1, 2012.
News
Jun 22, 2012
President Barack Obama’s administration, along with eight other countries, last Monday formally invited Mexico to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations. In addition to the U.S., the current TPP countries are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
News
Jun 8, 2012
A federal judge ruled last Monday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must reconsider previously denied petitions to ban certain antibiotics used in livestock production. This comes just after FDA issued a notice that it would appeal a March ruling determining the agency had broken the law by failing to act on petitions from 1977.
News
Jun 1, 2012
“It is important that USDA continue to ensure the integrity of its report release process, particularly as global exchanges move closer to 24-hour trading,” said Glauber. “To this end, USDA is reviewing our procedures and will solicit public input to determine the needs of those who use our data.
News
May 18, 2012
USDA published in the Federal Register a comprehensive rule for BSE on March 16, 2012. NCBA voiced support for the rule last Tuesday, the day before comments on the proposed rule closed. NCBA Vice President Bob McCan said the organization has been pushing for this rule since the first case of BSE was detected in the U.
News
May 18, 2012
According to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. agricultural exporters will now receive duty-free access on more than half of the products we currently export to Colombia, and virtually all remaining tariffs will be eliminated within 15 years. Estimates show that the tariff reductions in the U.
Opinion
May 18, 2012
“We rely on animal experts to determine what is the best way to raise an animal that’s being used for food,” Domino’s spokesman Tim McIntyre said after the company’s shareholders unanimously rejected a request from HSUS for the company to stop using pork from suppliers who confine breeding pigs in gestation crates.
Opinion
May 11, 2012
But along with testing my taste buds, it was obvious that industry groups, like CAB, are working diligently with partners, be it restaurants, grocery stores, packers or consumers, to offer new and creative options to increase the bottom line for producers.
News
May 4, 2012
After an overnight delay and a few more adjustments, the Senate Ag Committee did vote, 16-5, to move it forward. The 900-page bill is expected to create $26.4 billion in savings over the next decade, largely by ending the current system of direct cash payments and reinvesting in new forms of crop insurance.
News
Apr 20, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court last month ruled that two property owners could challenge an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determination that their property contained regulated wetlands, challenge the administrative order requiring the property owners to remove fill they had placed on their property, and challenge the outrageous fines EPA had imposed.
News
Apr 20, 2012
Producers welcomed news that at long last, starting next month, the U.S. will obtain duty-free access to the Colombian market. Signed six years ago and passed by Congress last October, the agreement opens South America’s third-largest market to the U.S..
News
Mar 30, 2012
U.S. beef and pork producers opposing the COOL requirement are disappointed that the USTR has decided to appeal last November’s ruling. NCBA Vice President Bob McCann issued a statement saying the appeal “jeopardizes our strong trade relationship with Canada and Mexico, the two largest importers of U.
News
Mar 23, 2012
With no authorization from Congress, Salazar said that he won’t be able to make this month’s deadline for deciding whether to remove four dams on the Klamath River in Oregon and California that some believe will help salmon recovery and provide a better water balance between fish and farms.
News
Mar 16, 2012
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is defending the agency’s decision to close some roads in national forests, despite the growing conflicts and concerns. Intermountain Regional Forester Harv Forsgren told guests at a congressional hearing in Elko, NV, last week that the travel management plans are part of an on-going process across the West.
News
Mar 16, 2012
Last week’s media blitz was buzzing with pink slime bites after ABC News’ March 7 investigative report on the use of the beef filler. According to their report, the lowgrade beef product, dubbed pink slime, is present in 70 percent of ground beef sold at supermarkets.
News
Mar 16, 2012
If the proposed rule is finalized, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) import regulations for BSE would become more science based. As a result, commodities that are now restricted but pose no risk for BSE could be imported, according to APHIS.