News Update
March 14, 2008

President Bush backs long-term farm bill extension

President Bush signed a one-month extension of the 2002 Farm Bill Thursday. In a statement posted to the White House web site afterward, he said it’s the last short-term extension he wants to sign.

The President’s statement said it’s not his desired outcome, but if Congress can’t reach agreement on a new farm bill by April 18th, he would support extending the current farm bill for “at least” one year. The statement added, “the government has a responsibility to provide America’s farmers and ranchers with a timely and predictable farm program — not multiple short-term extensions of current law.”

President Bush’s statement added that “without a predictable policy” U.S. ag producers will be “unable to make sound business decisions” on the 2008 crop. And he reiterated his desire to sign a farm bill that “provides a safety net for farmers, includes significant farm program reform similar to the Administration’s farm bill proposal, and does not include tax increases.”

President Bush’s endorsement of a long-term extension of the current farm bill is seen by political analysts as taking pressure off of Congress to reach a deal on a new farm bill. The move is also seen as greatly increasing the chances the 2002 Farm Bill will be in effect through the remainder of this crop year and much of the next.

— Release by the Brownfield Ag Network

U.S. Beef Exports to Japan Expected to Rise in 2008

A meat industry official said U.S. beef exports to Japan should rise more than 60% to 75,000 metric tons in 2008 if Tokyo eases its import restrictions.

“I can’t predict what is going to happen between the U.S. and Japan, but we are predicting that something will happen, so this (forecast) is predicated on a change from the current situation to a much more open situation,” Phil Seng, president and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), told Reuters while visiting Japan.

Japanese beef industry officials sense Tokyo is ready to roll back the age limit to allow beef from cattle aged up to 30 months. An Agriculture Ministry officials told Reuters, however, “No decision has been made, and this includes whether to relax the rules or not.”

Meanwhile, Washington has been lobbying Toyko to eliminate the age limit on U.S. cattle completely, following the World Organization for Animal Health’s blessing as a “controlled-risk” region for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

— Release provided by

Moser Announces Retirement Plans

Wade Moser broke the record as the longest-serving executive vice president for the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) in November 2007, when he began his 26th year supervising staff and activities and acting as the chief lobbyist and financial officer of the 78-year-old trade organization.

Now, the Morristown, S.D., native is stepping down from the position he dedicated his career — and nearly half of his lifetime — to in order to spend more time with his family and cow herd. Moser announced his plans to retire Dec. 31 at the NDSA Board of Directors meeting at Farm Credit Services in Mandan, N.D., yesterday afternoon.

Agriculture Council of America Hosts National Agriculture Day Events in DC

National Agriculture Day takes place on the first day of spring as a way to celebrate American agriculture and the farmers who help provide the food, fiber, shelter, energy and other materials we use on a daily basis. In honor of this special time of the year, the Agriculture Council of America (ACA) hosted events in Washington, D.C., March 11 to celebrate the importance of agriculture to America’s economy and society.

Several events kicked off National Agriculture Week in Washington. At this year’s events, various associations, corporations, universities and government agencies gathered together in our nation’s capital for a variety of activities that included a Meet-and-Mingle celebration luncheon at the Hart Senate office building. An FFA Rally was conducted after the luncheon.

Each year, the National Ag Day program gathers members of the ag industry in an effort to promote American agriculture. Focused on sharing how agriculture provides almost everything we eat, use and wear on a daily basis, the National Ag Day program helps educate millions of consumers each year. Join this effort to promote American agriculture to everyone.

— Release provided by Ag News Wire

Learn Safe, Odor-free, Economical Ways to Dispose of Dead Livestock

Ohio State University (OSU) Extension’s Livestock Mortality Composting Certification Workshop, noon-3 p.m. at the Burkettsville Firehouse, Main Street (state Route 319), will cover how composting works, how livestock operations can use the technique, the rules and regulations governing it, and more.

OSU Extension educators Stephen Foster, Darke County office, and Roger Bender, Shelby County office, will teach it.

Taking the workshop, either now or at another time and place, is one of four requirements before an Ohio farm can compost dead animals.

“Composting of dead animals is an option that is available to all livestock producers,” Foster and Bender explain. “Composting is a natural process in which the livestock carcass is biodegraded by bacteria to avoid pollution of air and water.

“When done properly,” they say, “composting destroys disease-causing bacteria or viruses and reduces the problems associated with flies, vermin and scavenging animals at the composting site.”

Registration costs $10, which includes a manual and a lunch sponsored by Werling and Sons Inc. For details and to register, contact OSU Extension’s Mercer County office, 419-586-2179, The deadline to register is March 25.

— Release provided by Ohio State University Extension Department

— compiled by Mathew Elliott, assistant editor, Angus Productions Inc.

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