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News Update

October 18, 2011

Keeping the Family Ranch in the Family will
Keynote Ranchers’ Forum

Keeping the Family Ranch in the Family will Keynote Ranchers’ Forum
The Society for Range Management (SRM) has made special provisions this year to offer its annual Ranchers’ Forum nationally by webinar, announced Forum coordinator Tom Platt of Washington State University (WSU) Extension in Davenport, Wash. The Ranchers’ Forum is scheduled for Jan. 31 as part of SRM’s annual meeting in Spokane. The Forum will focus on three topics: ranch succession, crooked calf syndrome, and sage grouse.

For more details about the presenters and the topics they will cover, find the full release in API’s Virtual Library Calendar of Upcoming Events located at

Platt said that ranchers and others interested in these topics can attend on site in Spokane or participate by webinar. The Jan. 31 Forum will run from 8:45 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. Mail in registration form, flier, or online registration is available at
. Registration fee is $60 for individuals on-site or via webinar. For those wishing to participate in a group setting via webinar, for example, a cattle producers’ association or grazing association, group registration is $400 per location with unlimited audience size. There is a 25% surcharge for late registration after Dec. 18.

For more information or for accommodation of special needs, contact Tom Platt at 509-725-4171, WSU programs are offered without discrimination.

Senate and House Agriculture Committees Offer Bipartisan, Bicameral Recommendations for Deficit Reduction to the
Joint Committee

Monday, Oct. 17, the leaders of the Senate and House Agriculture committees sent a letter to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction recommending a $23 billion cut to mandatory spending within the committees’ jurisdiction. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Pat Roberts (R-KS), chair and ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Representatives Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Collin Peterson (D-MN), chair and ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, will continue working together on the details of the spending cuts in the same bipartisan fashion that has defined the process to date.

The four lawmakers issued the following joint statement:

“Agriculture has a long legacy of bipartisanship and today the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are preserving that tradition. In the coming weeks, we will continue working with our House and Senate colleagues to provide the Joint Select Committee a detailed set of policy recommendations for achieving these important savings.”

To read the letter, follow this url:

Nebraska has Key Role in Addressing Global Food Needs

Nebraska is at the epicenter of the challenge of increasing food production to meet the needs of a world population expected to reach more than 9 billion people by 2050, said the vice chancellor of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln(UNL) Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (INAR).

Ronnie Green was the keynote speaker at the Heartland Transatlantic Conference on Food and Fuels Monday morning, Oct. 17, at the State Capitol. The conference, which also included a visit to UNL’s East Campus, continued today. Diplomatic officials from countries including France, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Estonia joined Nebraska representatives at the conference, which focused on the role Nebraska agribusiness and research plays in meeting the global demands for food and fuels.

“Nebraska is truly at the epicenter of innovating food production to meet the challenges of doubling the quantity of safe and high-quality food for an anticipated global population of over 9 billion people by 2050,” Green said.

“To be successful, this production must occur while sustaining our natural resource base as well as growing alternative energy sources,” Green said.

Green noted that IANR’s work in foods, fuels and water security is central to addressing the challenges. By 2050, he said, the world’s population will grow by 40% and will require twice the food it needs now, and 70% of that additional food must come from efficiency-improvement technologies. One-third of the world’s population already suffers from water shortages; by 2025, two-thirds likely will be affected.

“Agriculture is responsible for 70% of all water withdrawals,” Green said. “We must grow more food with less water.”

Nebraska already is a leader in global agriculture, Green said. It has the largest aquifer, is first nationally in commercial red meat production, second in ethanol production capacity and fourth in value of ag products sold.

That agricultural strength, coupled with UNL’s leadership in education and research, positions the state well to address the world’s food challenges.

The new Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute will help lead the way. This research, education and policy institute is committed to helping the world efficiently use its limited fresh water resources. Sustainability is critical, Green said.

The conference is sponsored by IANR, Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale, and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

Gale said, “Nebraska is one of the leading states in America in terms of agriculture and ethanol production. Nebraska’s significant agricultural capabilities and natural resources will be called on to meet the future food and energy challenges of the world.”

EPA Will Not Regulate Rural Dust at Stricter Levels

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Monday applauded the announcement by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson that the agency would not impose stronger agricultural dust regulations on Texas ranchers.

TSCRA and other cattle industry organizations worked continuously to ensure these regulations never came to fruition.

“Regulating rural dust would have had a devastating economic impact on ranchers who are already battling an unprecedented drought and wildfires alongside a list of proposed burdensome and unnecessary government regulations,” said Joe Parker Jr., rancher and TSCRA president. “TSCRA worked hard to put an end to this proposal, and we are pleased to see that the EPA finally realized how damaging this regulation would have been.”

According to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), no science-based evidence exists that would have justified the burdensome, costly regulations that would have resulted in ranchers being fined for working in dusty environments in rural America.
Had the EPA followed through with their proposal, Texas and other states would have been classified as nonattainment areas. These areas would have been primarily located in rural parts of the country where dust naturally occurs. The potential revision of the federal dust standard could have been below naturally occurring levels of dust in many states, making it impossible to meet.

According to the EPA, the current standard will remain in place for at least five years.
Parker says that while this announcement is a big win for Texas ranchers, the EPA could propose a stricter dust standard in the future. This is why TSCRA will continue to support the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act, sponsored by Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R-S.D.). This legislation would essentially exempt ranchers from dust regulation if state and local authorities have already implemented dust control measures.


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