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Angus Journal

The Angus Journal Daily, formerly the Angus e-List, is a compilation of Angus industry news; information about hot topics in the beef industry; and updates about upcoming shows, sales and events. Click here to subscribe.

News Update

January 16, 2014

Farm Bureau Delegates Set
Public Policy Positions for 2014

Voting delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) 95th annual meeting Jan. 14 approved resolutions that will provide the organization with authority from its grassroots members to push Congress toward the goal line on unfinished issues like the farm bill and ag labor.

“Securing victories on those issues is critical to our competitiveness as individual farmers and ranchers, and to our nation’s success as a food producer,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman, who was re-elected to his eighth two-year term as the organization’s president. “Farm Bureau made progress on our priorities this past year, more so than most other organizations, and this year, our delegates have provided us direction to work with Congress to complete this agenda.”

On the farm labor front, delegates reaffirmed their strong support for meaningful ag labor reforms that ensure farmers and ranchers have access to workers when they are needed. Delegates also voted to support flexibility that would allow the employment of workers by more than one farmer.

“Farmers and ranchers need a reliable supply of labor,” Stallman said. “That is a simple truth. It’s about availability and flexibility — neither of which have been hallmarks of the system our farmers, ranchers and growers have operated under for many years. We must have a workable ag labor program.”

With Congressional farm bill action nearing completion, delegates reaffirmed Farm Bureau’s policy, overwhelmingly determining that now is not the time to make changes.

For more information, please view the full release here.

TAHC Accepting Nominations for the
USDA Veterinary Loan Repayment Program

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) is accepting nominations until Friday, Feb. 21, for areas of the state experiencing a specific need for veterinarians to work in the areas of food animal medicine, rural private practice or public practice. The TAHC will forward nominations for selected areas to the USDA for inclusion in the national Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) for the 2014 award cycle. The VMLRP will pay up to $25,000 per year for three years toward qualified educational loans for eligible veterinarians who agree to serve in a designated shortage area.

The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture has specific criteria for nominated areas, and the state will not be able to forward a nomination unless all of these criteria have been met. Individual nominations may also be edited or combined with others from nearby communities by the TAHC when appropriate. Including your current information will help the TAHC staff contact you if there are questions or if they need clarification on your nomination. Specific details on livestock populations, changing industry demographics, gaps in specific veterinary services currently available, community support, and future outlook for veterinary services (such as sole practitioners retiring or trying to sell a practice) are all valuable criteria in defining the need in a specific area.

For more information, please view the full release here.

Drought and Extreme Temperatures May Do
Damage to Wheat in High Plains

Timely rains across much of the state have the wheat crop looking much better than last year at this time, but for some areas, drought and cold temperatures may have combined to do some damage, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist.

Clark Neely, AgriLife Extension small grains specialist in College Station, said substantial rains came during the fall, starting in September, for much of the state. In fact, wet conditions kept some acres from being planted in the Blacklands — something not seen in recent history.

Soils have been fully recharged for most of East Texas and enough moisture has fallen to give consistent stands west to San Angelo and north to Abilene and Vernon, Neely said.

“Unfortunately, the High Plains received little of these beneficial rains and wheat producers struggled to get their crop up and out of the ground this fall,” he said. “Drought-stressed wheat also had to endure frigid temperatures during the past month, which have some concerned about the possibility of winterkill on small wheat.”

Single-digit temperatures were common throughout the Panhandle; however, cool weather prior to recent cold snaps helped wheat plants acclimate and become less susceptible to extreme cold, Neely said.

“Healthy, acclimated wheat plants should be able to handle single-digit temperatures without significant damage; however, drought-stressed plants are more susceptible to cold temperatures for multiple reasons,” he said.

“Dry soil does little to buffer temperature change and makes growing points more vulnerable under the soil surface. Additionally, drought-stressed plant tissue is less able to cope with leaf damage.”

For more information, please view the full release here.

The Future of Rural Communities at Center
of 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Programs

The 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering takes place Jan. 27-Feb. 1 in Elko, Nev. Drawing on three decades of presenting the artistic traditions of ranching and cowboy culture in the American West, the Western Folklife Center will celebrate the 30th Gathering by focusing on the future of rural agricultural communities and the next generation of people who will carry on their artistic traditions and ensure the health and vitality of these communities.

The theme of the 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is Expressing the Rural West — Into the Future! Through performances of poetry and music, thought-provoking films and fruitful discourse, artists and audiences of all ages will share their art and their opinions on meeting the challenges of rural life in the modern West. The next generation of cowboy artists will present their work and discuss their brand of ranch life — with one hand on the reins and the other on the cell phone.

A new gallery exhibition brings together more than 50 talented young leather carvers, rawhide braiders, metal workers and more, all under the age of 40. Several young musicians will take the stage for the first time at the Gathering, including Jessie Veeder, who writes and sings about life on the family ranch in North Dakota, and Caleb Klauder, who taps into his family’s Tennessee roots to create music both bittersweet and irresistible. In addition to poetry, music, handcrafted gear, hands-on workshops and films, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering always offers conversations about issues affecting ranching culture and rural agricultural communities.

For more information, please view the Angus Journal’s Virtual Library calendar of upcoming events here.

Jan. 30 is Date for 2014 KSU
Ag Profitability and Stewardship Conference

K-State Research and Extension is teaming up with several sponsors to host the 2014 KSU Ag Profitability and Stewardship Conference, Thursday, Jan. 30, in Winfield, Kan., at Baden Square Community Center, 700 Gary St.

“We have an exciting lineup of speakers with a range of professional experience. They’ll be speaking on topics pertinent right now in agriculture,” said Jill Zimmerman, K-State Research and Extension agriculture and natural resources agent in Cowley County.

The day begins with registration and morning refreshments at 8:30 a.m., and the program starting at 9 a.m. There is no cost to attend, but conference organizers ask that attendees preregister by Monday, Jan. 27, online at Ag Profitability & Stewardship Conference; by emailing Zimmerman at or by calling 620-221-5450 or 620-441-4565.

The program includes

Conference sponsors will have displays available through the day. They include K-State Research and Extension, Community National Bank & Trust, Cowley County Farm Bureau, CornerBank, Union State Bank, and Citizens Bank of Kansas.

For more information, please view the Angus Journal’s Virtual Library calendar of upcoming events here.


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