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Farm Bill Reborn With Little Change

by Markie Hageman

Late in the evening of December 10, House and Senate Agriculture Committees finalized an agreement on Farm Bill provisions.

The bill, titled H.R. 2(115) is largely similar to the 2014 Agricultural Act with some notable changes. The bill is expected to cost $867 billion over ten years.

Notable changes to the bill include the expansion of funding, in the amount

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Recurring Discord Surrounds Checkoff Debate

By Kayla Sargent

In the cattle industry, differing opinions are an expected component.  However, having the ability to sit down and discuss those differences amongst others is an important step in understanding all sides of the equation.  As discussions about the beef checkoff become more volatile, Curtis Martin, past president of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association (OCA), set out to create an

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Agriculture Facing Workforce Shortages

By Markie Hageman

One of agriculture’s biggest challenges is an available supply of labor.  Several factors play a role in fluctuating labor availability. Cumbersome paperwork necessary to employ migrant workers and a lack of a willing work force due to job demands and wage levels top the list.

Sometimes local workers prove to be unreliable. Government programs aimed towards helping farmers hire

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Heartwarming Christmas Surprise

Percival watched Tuff and Relli slide down the snowy slopes leading to the pasture. They squealed with joy as their sled careened over the powdery hill and accumulated snow poofed as they swiftly crashed to a stop in the new drifts. Looking over his shoulder and pushing his spectacles up his long snoot, Percival trudged through the new fallen snow. 

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The Christmas Dilemma

When I woke up in Vegas this morning, my first thought was not, “What shall we do in this ‘Cowboy Town’ today?”, but rather, “How am I going to get a column done today?” Then, like sleigh bells from the sky, my phone jingled with an email notification.  What to my wondering eyes should appear in my inbox, but an

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I mentioned awhile back that Japan and the United States were returning to the bargaining table to work out a Trade Agreement.  Well, it looks like it is happening.  Talks were due to start on Monday December 10.  I really hope I have some very positive news to report to you following the negotiations.  But, as of press time, I

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Thoughts From The Editor

Like many mornings, as I sat down with a black cup of coffee to write my editorial, there are tons of thoughts rolling through my mind.  In our industry there are an abundance of important issues.  Just this week we have more beef checkoff discussion, the farm bill, ELD, WOTUS, changing markets, trade talk, and more seemingly ridiculous hits by

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USDA Announces 2019 Ag Trade Missions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will sponsor seven trade missions in 2019 to expand export opportunities for U.S. agriculture across the globe, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney announced.

“Agricultural trade missions offer phenomenal opportunities for U.S. exporters to explore new markets and forge relationships with potential customers,” McKinney said. “The marketing and trade experts from

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Transportation Update: ELD Delay for Livestock Haulers

The House and Senate have passed a short-term extension, keeping the government open until December 21 and the extension has been sent to the President’s desk for a signature. This means that the ELD delay for livestock haulers has been extended until that date (December 21, 2018).

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association will continue to push Congress to pass the THUD appropriations

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Secretary Perdue Names NRCS Chief

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of Matthew J. “Matt” Lohr to serve as Chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). In his role, Lohr will provide leadership for NRCS and its mission to support America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners in their voluntary conservation efforts through a network of over

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When Cowboy Shorthand Goes Awry

Shipping and branding are labor intensive events where ranchers rely on a neighbor’s help.  Haying season is equally taxing, but since it requires weeks rather than days of hard labor, it rarely utilizes neighbor reciprocity.  This fall, my friend Steve thumbed through his neighbor list soliciting cowboys to help ship his calves.  John manages a nearby ranch, if 40 miles

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Local Meat in SD School District

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is proud to call Wall Meats an Affiliate Member and wish to recognize their efforts in promoting local beef in the Wall School District. Owners Ken Charfauros and Janet Niehaus have been busy working with some great people to help bring this community outreach program to reality.

The program kicked off on December 5 with the

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Ag Organizations Call On U.S. Department of Agriculture For Livestock Loss relief

The Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) and United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) are giving kudos to Mike Foster, Montana State Executive Director, Farm Service Agency, for his hard work supporting Montana’s ranchers who have been unsuccessful in working with the FSA Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) regarding death loss of livestock from October 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018. Many ranchers

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U.S. Beef Gains New Market Access in Morocco

An estimated $80 million market for U.S. beef and beef products opened late last week when Morocco agreed to allow U.S. imports into the country.  This is the first time U.S. beef and poultry exporters have had access to the market under the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA).  Poultry gained access in August 2018.

“Finding new markets for American agricultural products

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Cattlemen Urge Action to Reduce Trade Barriers in Japan

On December 10, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Kevin Kester urged the Trump Administration to move quickly to tear down trade barriers for U.S. beef in Japan. Speaking at a public hearing on the potential economic impact of a U.S.-Japan bilateral trade agreement, Kester noted that reducing tariff and non-tariff trade barriers would benefit Japanese consumers and U.S. cattle

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GIPSA Is On The Move, The “GIPSA Rule” Is Not

GIPSA, the badly named, hard-working mule inside the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is on the move again over objections that the Trump Administration’s ongoing USDA reorganization will bury it – and other, less obscure parts of the department like the Economic Research Service – in new layers of bureaucracy so deep that none will ever be seen again.

But Larry

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