Tag Archives: Ranching

Benefits of a Secure Beef Supply (SBS) Plan, managing anaplasmosis in cowherds and locust tree/yucca shrub control were among the topics discussed at the final KLA/Kansas State University Ranch Management Field Day. Nearly 100 ranchers attended the August 22 event hosted by the Lyman Nuss family near Dorrance.
Kansas Department of Agriculture Animal health Planner Emily Voris explained how producers implementing a SBS Plan on their operations can help sustain the economic viability of the industry during disease outbreak. A Secure Beef Supply Plan is a comprehensive set of biosecurity protocols that can be an efficient and effective response tool to minimize disease spread in the event of an outbreak, like foot-and-mouth. Plans are operation-specific and should encompass biosecurity measures for all inputs and outputs, she said, including employees, vehicles, feed, incoming/outgoing livestock and manure. For more information, visit www.securebeef.org.

K-State veterinarian Hans Coetzee helped ranchers learn how to identify anaplasmosis in cattle, a disease spread through injection needles, flies and ticks and is estimated to cost the industry $300 million annually. Clinical signs include yellow mucus membranes, fever, anorexia, constipation, anemia, abortion and ataxia. There are multiple control methods, he said, including vaccination use and medicated mineral, but advised ranchers to consult a veterinarian to determine the best management strategy for their operation.
Also during the field day, K-State Range Scientist Keith Harmoney explained how to reduce honey locust trees using an aminopyralid/2,4-D application. In addition, he advised to treat yucca shrubs with a triclopyr/diesel mix for individual control or metsulfuron methyl/2, 4-D for dense populations.
Old World bluestem management strategies and a CattleTrace update rounded out the sessions. More coverage of the CattleTrace pilot project will appear in the November/December Kansas Stockman magazine.
Bayer Animal Health and the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas sponsored the field day.

At a time when agricultural employers are struggling to find workers, access to quality child care can aid in worker recruitment, improve retention and boost employee morale.

A new resource, “Roadmap for delivering child care in agricultural communities,” can help ensure that children of workers are kept safely away from dangers on the farm.

“Providing adequate child care services for farm workers is beneficial to both employers and workers, as well as the children,” said Barbara Lee, Ph.D., director, National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety. “Making sure the children of workers are kept safely away from dangers on the farm can improve productivity, reduce absenteeism, and improve public relations.”

The resource, developed with input from agricultural business owners, human resources directors, insurance providers, Head Start child care specialists and farm worker parents, is part of the, “Protecting Children While Parents work in Agriculture” project, an initiative of the National Children’s Center and Migrant Clinicians Network. Funding is provided by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

“The Roadmap is designed to assist individuals and organizations in identifying challenges and assets within their local regions regarding child care services for children of agricultural workers,” said Lee, one of the Roadmap’s contributors. “This local knowledge, combined with the references and resources in the Roadmap, will pave the way for developing an action plan that can help foster access to child care.”

The Roadmap will walk stakeholders through each step on the road to accessible child care. It breaks down the processes of conducting a needs assessment, building a team of stakeholders, identifying funding sources, and implementing and marketing new child care services to those in the community.  Utilizing community resources and links to existing organizations and featured model programs, the workbook will guide businesses to implement the services needed to cultivate their growing community.

Washington, D.C. – As part of his 2019 Ag Update Tour, Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) will host August listening sessions in Alliance, York, and Auburn.

 

The Ag Update Tour provides Third District constituents an opportunity to hear from Smith and his special guests on the future of agriculture policy. In addition to Smith, officials such as Ambassador Gregg Doud, Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Director Steve Wellman of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, and Director Jim Macy of the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy, will join the discussions on selected dates.

 

“Sound agriculture policies are a crucial part of ensuring farmers and ranchers have the opportunity to succeed,” Smith said.  “I am grateful Ambassador Doud, Director Macy, and Director Wellman are taking time out of their busy schedules to join us for these conversations with Nebraska producers, and I am looking forward to constructive meetings. Getting policy right will help our producers overcome the challenges they face and ensure the Third District remains the top-producing agriculture district in the country.”

 

Alliance Ag Update Tour Session

Tuesday, August 27

West Side Event Center

2472 Co Rd 62, Alliance, NE 69301

10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (MDT)

 

York Ag Update Tour Session

Wednesday, August 28

Crossroads GPS

2711 Enterprise Ave, York, NE 68467

10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (CDT)

 

 

Auburn Ag Update Tour Session

Thursday, August 29

Auburn City Hall

1101 J St, Auburn, NE 68305

10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (CDT)

 

 

For questions about these events, please contact Smith’s Grand Island office at (308) 384-3900.

Plans for protecting sage grouse in five Western states are being changed in ways that will conserve habitat while allowing ranchers to maintain their livelihoods, federal officials said Thursday.

The U.S. Forest Service said the changes allow for greater flexibility and local control, but details of the plans involving Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado aren’t being made public until Friday.

“The Forest Service continues to promote our multiple use mission while ensuring conservation of greater sage grouse habitat,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in a statement. “We are sharing the stewardship of the lands with western state governors — their extensive participation throughout this process was the key to landscape-scale conservation that aligns our policies and practices across local, state, and federal jurisdictions.”

Environmental groups blasted the plan based on the Forest Service’s three-bullet-point summary released Thursday ahead of Friday’s final environmental impact statement, which are typically long and complex documents.

Western Watersheds Project said the plan guts protections for sage grouse created under the Obama administration in 2015.

“This is part of a broader pattern of trying to turn over control of public lands and sensitive wildlife resources to state and local governments that are often diametrically opposed to conservation,” said Erik Molvar, the group’s executive director.

Sage grouse are chicken-sized, ground-dwelling birds considered an indicator species for the health of vast sagebrush landscapes in the U.S. West that support some 350 species of wildlife.

Between 200,000 and 500,000 sage grouse remain in 11 Western states, down from a peak population of about 16 million. Experts generally attribute the decline to road construction, development and oil and gas leasing.

Researchers say sage grouse once occupied about 463,000 square miles (1.2 million square kilometers), but that’s now down to about 260,000 square miles (670,000 square kilometers).

The males are known for performing an elaborate ritual that includes making balloon-like sounds with two air sacks on their necks.

A draft of the sage grouse plans released in June covered 9,500 square miles (24,500 square kilometers) of greater sage grouse habitat in Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah and Montana. The agency clarified the following month that plans in national forests in Montana wouldn’t change.

Federal officials at the time said the objective was for the final plan to have a neutral to positive effect for sage grouse.

Molvar questioned the federal agency touting the plans before actually making them public.

“Under the Trump administration, federal agencies are trying to wage a propaganda war in which they are trying to be the only voice in the conversation,” he said.

The Obama administration in 2015 opted not to list sage grouse as needing federal protections under the Endangered Species Act and instead imposed land-use restrictions leading to multiple lawsuits from industry and environmentalists. Several states, including Idaho, also sued.

In one of those lawsuits, a U.S. court agreed with mining companies that the Forest Service created some safeguards in Nevada after failing to give the public enough information to participate in a meaningful way. In response, the Forest Service said those same safeguards existed in other states, so it decided to review plans outside of Nevada as well.

John Freemuth, a Boise State University environmental policy professor and public lands expert, said whatever the final plan released on Friday looks like, monitoring results will be key to understanding if they work.

“It’s fine to revise the plans, but we need to have the scientists out there doing the research,” he said.

Lincoln, NE —AFAN has announced the hiring of Rylee Stoltz of Bassett, Neb., as its new Livestock Programming Coordinator. Her appointment was effective July 8.

AFAN (The Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska) is a non-profit organization formed by leading agricultural membership groups in Nebraska to encourage the development of environmentally responsible and economically viable livestock production in the state.

Stoltz’s responsibilities at AFAN include creating and managing programming events for producers and communities and assisting with communications activities to enhance understanding about the importance of the agriculture industry in Nebraska.

She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness focusing on business and finance. She also holds the Associate of Science degree from Northeast Community College, Norfolk. Until joining AFAN, she was a loan administrative assistant at Sandhills State Bank in Bassett. While in Bassett, her community activities included founder of the Rock County Growth, Inc., Youth Engagement Committee and chair of the Rock County Growth, Inc. Housing Board.

“Rylee is a most welcome addition to our team,” said AFAN Executive Director Steve Martin.  “Her skills and experience will be used to expand AFAN’s outreach efforts by helping create and carry out programming services on behalf of livestock producers and by getting the word out about how critical agriculture and livestock is to Nebraska’s economy.”

WASHINGTON  Today’s farmers have to do more than just grow food; running a successful operation requires a broad range of skills, including marketing, business management, mechanical repair, and agronomy. To more effectively meet the growing needs of family farmers and ranchers, National Farmers Union Foundation (NFUF) has refocused its general farm education programs around the Farm and Ranch Business Health Assessment (BHA) and a new Farm Business Toolbox. These free resources will help farmers identify their operations’ strengths and weaknesses and offer opportunities to improve their business acumen.

 

“Whether you’re growing wheat for global markets or tomatoes and zucchini for local chefs, strong farm management skills are critical to your success,” said NFUF Director Tom Driscoll. “Family farmers can rely on the BHA, the Farm Business Toolbox, and NFU’s education programs as they work to improve their operations and address vulnerabilities.”

 

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Services (NASS), average net farm income was $43,053 in 2017, a $697 decrease since 2012. The challenges to profitability farmers face demand rigor and sophistication in farm business management. The BHA organizes management topics into the following categories: Business Formation, Land and Succession Planning, Accounting, Taxation, Labor and Contractors, Production and Marketing, Credit, and Miscellaneous, which includes Business Planning, Insurance, and Energy.

 

Looking for opportunities to hear from experts on these topics? Three of NFUF’s general farm education programs are structured around the Farm Business Toolbox model:

 

 

  • Growing for the Future(GFTF), a free, online, interactive conference focused on beginning farmer and rancher issues.

 

  • National Farmers Union’sWomen’s Conference, which focuses on the concept of agricultural community building, education, and networking.

 

These programs and the Farm Business Toolbox are modeled after the BHA, a diagnostic tool, authored by farm advisor Poppy Davis, and originally developed in 2017 by California FarmLink and Sustainable Agriculture Education (SARE), with funding from the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). The 2019 update, funded by Farm Credit Council, follows two years of field testing in partnership with training organizations around the country.

 

After using the BHA to identify farm business improvement priorities, participating farmers can consult the NFUF Farm Business Toolbox for additional information on those topics. The toolbox compiles resources from California Farmlink, Compeer Financials, Cornell University, Farm Commons, Farm Credit East, Iowa State University Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation, Land Grant University Tax Education Foundation, Inc., National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Northwest Farm Credit Services, and Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE).

A new online tool can help farmers and ranchers find information on U.S. Department of Agriculture farm loans that may best fit their operations. USDA has launched the new Farm Loan Discovery Tool as the newest feature on farmers.gov, the Department’s self-service website for farmers.

USDA undersecretary Bill Northey says the tool can “help farmers find information on USDA farm loans within minutes.” The changes are part of customer service improvements effort by USDA, and was identified through suggestions from farmers. USDA’s Farm Service Agency offers a variety of loan options to help farmers finance their operations, from buying land to financing the purchase of equipment.

Compared to this time last year, FSA has seen an 18 percent increase in the amount it has obligated for direct farm ownership loans. Through the 2018 Farm Bill, FSA has increased the limits for several loan products. USDA conducted field research in eight states, gathering input from farmers and FSA farm loan staff to better understand their needs and challenges.