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News Update

September 6, 2012

API My Agriculture Photo Contest

What does agriculture mean to you? Send Angus Productions Inc. (API) a picture of what it means to you, and your photo may be the cover photo of our October Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA. Please provide a brief explanation of what your picture represents and why you chose it, and that could also be included in the cover story of the Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA. The contest offers two ways to be published, by photo and photo explanation.

Send in your picture and explanation by 4 p.m. (central) October 1 to She will post the pictures in an album on the Angus Journal Facebook page. Once all photos are in, the API editorial team will pick the top five, and then the Angus Journal Facebook fans get to decide the winner. The photo in the top five with the most likes by Oct. 12 will be our October cover photo. Only fans of the Angus Journal Facebook page may cast a vote, so be sure to like the page first.

Please send a horizontal picture and one submission per person. By sending in a picture and explanation, contestants are giving API permission to use the photo and/or explanation, which will be properly attributed to the source.

We look forward to seeing some great photos!

Stockgrowers to Host 121st Annual Convention Sept. 21-23

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association will host their 121th Annual Convention and Trade Show Sept. 21-23. The South Dakota CattleWomen (SDCW) will host their Annual Meeting Friday, Sept. 21. Both events will be at the Ramkota Convention Center in Rapid City, S.D., and are open to the public.

Stockgrowers President Shane Kolb said, "This is going to be a great convention with a very interesting lineup of speakers. Our convention is open to the public and we invite everyone to join us for this event. I'm sure everyone will find something interesting."
The convention kicks off Friday, Sept. 21, with opening ceremonies and a Washington, D.C., update from R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard. Continuing throughout the day are meetings and speakers regarding recent changes at the South Dakota Brand Board, Animal ID issues, impacts of oil and gas development for landowners, discussions of the Beef Check-off Program, and a presentation by the Wall FFA Ag Issues Team regarding prairie dog management.

The SDCW will host its annual meeting at 9 a.m. Friday morning. Anyone interested in the Cattlewomen's work should plan to attend this meeting and the Friday luncheon.

For the full release, click here.

Farm Groups File Friend of the Court Brief in Forestry Case

Stormwater runoff from tree harvesting and other forestry activities, like most agricultural activities, should not be subject to federal Clean Water Act permitting requirements, according to a friend-of-the-court brief filed with the Supreme Court by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and other farm groups.

Joining AFBF, the National Pork Producers Council and the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives urged the Supreme Court to reaffirm Congress' intent to exclude stormwater runoff from forestry activities requiring CWA permits.

In 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit invalidated the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Silviculture Rule, relied on by forest landowners for 35 years. In urging the Supreme Court to reverse the decision, AFBF and the groups explained that Congress confirmed in its 1987 Clean Water Act amendments that stormwater from both agriculture and forestry — whether harvesting crops, raising livestock or harvesting trees — has always been intentionally excluded from federal permit requirements.

"Congress has never allowed EPA to be in the business of mandating particular forestry practices, any more than it allows EPA to regulate how crops are grown," said Ellen Steen, AFBF's general counsel. "Congress has always recognized that stormwater runoff from these activities, whether it flows through a ditch or not, is best left to state and local authorities. And states have been very successful in designing their own programs to protect water quality," she explained.

For the full release, click here.

Overweight Loads Allowed for Harvest Season

Gov. Terry Branstad signed a proclamation to allow the transportation of oversized and overweight loads of soybeans, corn, hay, straw, silage and stover. The proclamation took effect Sept. 4 and expires after 60 days.

"Many Iowans' livelihoods depend on a smooth, efficient harvest season," said Branstad. "I am pleased to sign this proclamation, which will allow the movement of Iowa's commodities and help Iowa farmers during harvest."

This proclamation applies to loads transported on all highways within Iowa, excluding the interstate system, and which do not exceed a maximum of 90,000 pounds (lb.) gross weight, do not exceed the maximum axle weight limit determined under the non-primary highway maximum gross weight table in Iowa Code section 321.463 paragraph "5.b" by more than 12.5%, do not exceed the legal maximum axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds, and comply with posted limits on roads and bridges.

This action is intended to allow vehicles transporting soybeans, corn, hay, straw and stover to be oversize and overweight, not exceeding 90,000 pounds gross weight, without a permit, but only for the duration of this proclamation.

The Iowa Department of Transportation is directed to monitor the operation of this proclamation to assure the public's safety and facilitate the movement of the trucks involved.

Grass-Based Farming Tour Sept. 8 Near Starbuck

How one farm has transitioned from row crops to pasture-systems will be the focus of a free Land Stewardship Project (LSP) Farm Beginnings farm tour near Starbuck, Minn., Saturday, Sept. 8, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information and to reserve a spot, contact LSP's Nick Olson at 320-269-1057 or

Hosting the tour will be May Jo and Luverne Forbord, owner-operators of Prairie Horizons Farm. Through the years, Prairie Horizons has transitioned from being a conventional dairy farm to a pasture-based beef cattle operation. The Forbords will show firsthand how they are integrating perennial plant systems such as grass and trees into their operation. They will also discuss their establishment of other perennials as well as vegetables.

For more information and the full release, click here.

UNL 'Strengthening the State of Beef' at Husker Harvest Days

"Strengthening the State of Beef" is the theme for the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources' (IANR) exhibits at this year's Husker Harvest Days show near Grand Island. The show is Sept. 11-13.

The old Nebraska saying of "More cattle than people" holds true in many ways: On average, there are 2.3 million head of cattle on feed in Nebraska and more than 5 million cattle are fed and marketed here each year. It is the state's single largest industry. "One out of every five steaks produced in the U.S. is from Nebraska, so Nebraska has a well-deserved reputation as 'The Beef State,'" said Ronnie Green, UNL vice president and IANR Harlan vice chancellor. "UNL and IANR are working to strengthen that industry both here and nationally through research and education focused on beef nutrition, breeding improvements, resource stewardship, animal care, food safety and producer profitability," he said.

For more information and the full release, click here.

R-CALF Sues WTO and Others Over COOL Ruling

R-CALF USA, Mile High Organics — a food distributor based in Denver — and the Made in the USA Foundation Inc., have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Denver against the World Trade Organization, the U.S. Trade Representative and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in an effort to keep the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) Act in place, according to court documents.

The Appellate Body of the WTO this summer ruled that COOL, which required meat from Mexico, Canada and elsewhere to be labeled as such, discriminated against imported beef. R-CALF and its fellow litigants contend that the WTO does not have the authority to override U.S. law.

"More than 90% of U.S. consumers favor the Country of Origin Labeling Act," notes Joel Joseph, general counsel of the Made in the USA Foundation, in a news release about the lawsuit. "This law does not discriminate against any country, it merely requires labeling. Consumers have a right to decide whether to buy U.S. or imported meat, and accurate labeling is a consumer right."

The lawsuit also contends that one member of the three-person appellate panel that decided the COOL case was a Mexican lawyer who has represented Mexico in trade cases, and that his participation was a clear conflict of interest.

Made in the USA Foundation and R-CALF were the primary supporters of the COOL.

Statement From Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Latest Forecast for Farm Exports

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released the following statement today, Sept. 6, on the USDA export forecast for fiscal years 2012 and 2013, which shows a level of U.S. agricultural exports unmatched in our nation's history.

Today's export forecast marks indication of a historic achievement for America's farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses. Even with tough odds due to extreme weather, U.S. agriculture is now poised for three consecutive years of record exports, smashing all previous records and putting America's agricultural sector on pace to achieve President Obama's goal under the National Export Initiative of doubling exports by the end of 2014. These exports will support more than 1 million jobs in communities across the country.
"Exports of U.S. food and agricultural products are expected to reach $143.5 billion in fiscal 2013, well above the record set in 2011. At the same time, the forecast for fiscal 2012 is revised upward to a near-record $136.5 billion. Since 2009, U.S. agricultural exports have made gains of 50%.

For the full statement, click here.


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