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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

October 17, 2013

Shutdown Ends, President Obama Gives Nod to Need for Farm Bill

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement today, after the end of the U.S. federal government shutdown:

“Last night’s action by Congress ended a shutdown of our government and will return agencies back to normal operating status. This is good news for family farmers, ranchers and rural residents who were left without critical services for far too long.

“It was promising to hear President Obama mention specifically the unfinished business that is the farm bill in his address to the nation last night. Now that conferees have been named, it is time for the committee to get down to business and take action to bring certainty to our family farmers, ranchers, fishermen, rural residents and hungry neighbors.

“With the support of the president, we have reached the critical time for Congress to make some real progress and pass a farm bill this year.”

Progress on Farm Bill Negotiations a Commendable Step

Congressional leaders’ moving forward on negotiations to resolve differences between the Senate and House versions of the 2013 farm bill is a commendable step but much more remains to be done, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).

Overall, both the Senate and House bills provide an adequate food and farm safety net for consumers and farmers, built around options that are consistent with AFBF policy, AFBF President Bob Stallman noted in a letter to conferees detailing Farm Bureau’s views on an array of issues related to the legislation.

“Farm Bureau’s two overarching concerns related to the Senate-House conference on the farm bill are ensuring that permanent law is not repealed and a complete, unified bill continues,” said Stallman.

“For some time, the threat of reinstatement of the long-outdated policies of the 1938 and 1949 acts has served as strong motivation for Congress to enact new farm bills,” Stallman said. “Repealing those acts and making the 2013 Farm Bill commodity title permanent law could make it difficult in the future to generate sufficient political pressure to adjust the commodity safety net provisions should conditions in production agriculture change.”

The letter noted that if the farm bill expires after five years, other important farm and rural programs covered in different titles are at risk of not being reauthorized.

“Over the last two years, leadership of both Ag Committees have demonstrated their ability to forge bipartisan compromise to achieve a new five-year farm bill that meets farmers’ and ranchers’ needs, while also contributing significant savings to reduce our federal deficit,” said Stallman. “We only see these savings if Congress gets the bill done,” he added.

For more information, please view the letter here.

AgChat Foundation, American Farm Bureau Federation and Others Partner to Help Victims of Atlas Blizzard

In an effort to bring emergency relief to ranchers affected by Winter Storm Atlas, AgChat Foundation is uniting several groups and organizations. With a goal of raising $500,000, the 501(c)3 organization is able to gather donations and provide 100% of the contributions to rancher-led organizations in South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming, including the Rancher Relief Fund established by the Black Hills Community Foundation. Funds will be equally distributed between the states.

AgChat Foundation has received the support of many agricultural organizations and agribusinesses such as American Farm Bureau Federation and Tyson Foods. Additionally, the foundation is working with rancher-run organizations in South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming.

While preliminary accounts are still limited, some officials believe that upwards of 60,000 head of cattle and sheep were affected in the storm. “Ranching families across the prairie are experiencing the trauma and loss like never before. The loss of livestock is shocking to the core. Our hearts are raw,” stated South Dakota rancher Jodene Shaw. She continues on her blog, “You don’t just simply go ‘buy new cows’ and start over. The foundation is removed. The legacy. The years. The work. The love. The faith.”

She also points to the economical impact on families but strongly voices concern over the toll on ranchers’ emotional investments. Near the end of the post, Shaw reflects, “Yesterday, as I saw live cattle, I wanted to wrap my arms around their necks and kiss their faces.” Search and rescue efforts have been widely inhibited due to the snow depths, so full-scale ramifications of the storm may not be seen for some time.

The unified campaign has been established at the AgChat Foundation’s giving site.
As a 501(c)3 organization, all donations to the Rancher Relief Fund are completely tax deductible. Additional organizations and brands are encouraged to partner in these efforts. Inquiries about partnering or giving can be directed to Executive Director Emily Zweber at 651-341-0430. For additional information, please visit

Yamaha-ACT 2013-2014 Scholarship Program Now Accepting Applications

Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., is accepting applications for its 2013-2014 scholarship program that provides financial assistance to members of the National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT).

ACT’s mission of fostering professional development is at the core of the Yamaha-ACT Scholarship Program, now in its sixth year. Since its inception, the Yamaha program has awarded more than $20,000 to agricultural communications students and ACT chapters.

In keeping with the ACT mission of professional development, applicants for the Yamaha-ACT scholarships are asked to create educational communication campaigns and materials that focus on safe, responsible use of ATV and Side-by-Side (S×S) vehicles on farming operations. Winners receive a scholarship to help defray expenses to attend the annual Agricultural Media Summit (AMS), the largest gathering of agricultural media professionals in the country and a primary career networking opportunity for ACT members.

“Yamaha’s goals for this program are to support ag students while spreading the message of safe, responsible use of farm equipment — particularly ATV and Side-by-Side vehicles,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s ATV/S×S marketing manager.

For 2013-2014, the Yamaha-ACT Scholarship Program will offer one individual student scholarship of $1,500, a top chapter scholarship of $2,500 and additional chapter scholarships of $1,000 and $500 for second and third places, respectively.

A review committee, consisting of Yamaha representatives and members of the AAEA and LPC, judges applications based on merit, need and quality of submission materials. The 2013-2014 application process will run through the end of March 2014, and winners will be announced in late April.

For more information and guidelines, please view the ACT scholarship page here.

Texas Well Owner Network to Offer Well Water Screening
Nov. 6 in Bandera, Texas

The Texas Well Owner Network will present a well water screening Nov. 6 for residents of Bandera County.

The screening is provided in cooperation with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Bandera County, the Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District and the Texas Water Resources Institute, with support from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board.

Water samples will be accepted from 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m. Nov. 6. at the Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District Office at 440 Farm-to-Market 3240 in Bandera.
He said a meeting explaining screening results will be hosted at 7 p.m. on Nov. 7, also at the Bandera County River Authority office.

“Samples from private water wells will be screened for common contaminants including fecal coliform bacteria, nitrates and high salinity,” said Sam Womble, AgriLife Extension agent, Bandera County.

The cost is $10 per sample, and sample bags and sampling instructions may be obtained from the AgriLife Extension office in Mansfield Park at 2886 Highway 16 North or Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District.

“Sample materials will be available for pick up at both locations beginning Oct. 21,” Womble said. “It’s very important that only sample bags from the local AgriLife Extension office or Bandera County River Authority are used, and all instructions for proper collection be followed to ensure accurate results.”

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


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