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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

November 15, 2013

Give #foodthanks This November — Online and Off

Tweets, pins and posts declaring #foodthanks from farms, supermarkets and dinner tables are popping up online for the fourth year in a row. This time, conversations from separate social media channels gather on the revamped and share a greater focus on giving.

The 2013 campaign features “Give a Bag. Get a Bag.” which encourages participants to help their local food bank.

“The campaign aims to bring together everyone in the food system, no matter who you are, how you fit into it, or your favorite social media channel,” says Jeff VanderWerff, a Michigan farmer and president of the AgChat Foundation. “It’s about forgetting the food fights and taking time to share thanks for safe, abundant food.”

Watch how others are already giving #foodthanks, from farm to table at

Starting Nov. 18, participants can pledge to donate a bag of food to a local food pantry via an online form at Those who take the pledge will receive a special edition #foodthanks tote. Quantities are limited.

“It’s a simple pledge, followed by a lasting reminder to be thankful every time we visit the grocery store — even when the holiday season is over,” VanderWerff says.

For more ways to get involved, please view the full release here.

PLC and NCBA Hail House Committee Passage of H.R. 3189

On Nov. 14, the Public Lands Council (PLC) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) hailed the House Committee on Natural Resources for passage of H.R. 3189 The Water Rights Protection Act (WRPA), the bill passed as bipartisan legislation with a recorded vote of 19-14. The bill was introduced in early October by Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) and co-sponsors Mark Amodei (R-Nev.), Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.). WRPA was developed to protect water rights from a recent directive and actions by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) that allow the agency to usurp water rights from private entities — despite private water development and property rights. The USFS is attempting to obtain these water rights for the federal government as a condition of issuing standard land-use permits; however, USFS has repeatedly failed to provide just compensation — a violation of the Fifth Amendment.

“This bill is commonsense legislation, which will allow western producers to stay in business,” said Brice Lee, PLC president and Colorado rancher. “The directive and actions by the Forest Service and their attempt to unjustly acquire these rights amounts to a total negligence of states’ water law, private property rights, and the Constitution. The full committee taking up H.R. 3189 is promising — we are urging the House to take the bill to the floor and stop the USFS directive in its infancy.”

Last month, the Subcommittee on Water and Power held a hearing on the bill, inviting a panel of witnesses who testified to the importance of water rights to private business. Witnesses explained the necessity of sovereign state water laws, which are long-established in the West.

NCBA President and Wyoming rancher Scott George applauded the committee for taking up and passing the bill.

“This legislation is urgent and the committee’s hearing sends an important message to the USFS — holding them accountable and ensuring they cannot abuse water-right holders any further,” George said. “Ultimately, the USFS directive and similar actions could put a lot of folks out of business. Committee passage of this legislation is a step in the right direction for Congress and serves as an opportunity for them to protect private property rights for the livestock industry.”

Both Lee and George urge the House to move H.R. 3189 to the floor for swift passage and for the Senate to take the bill up without delay.

Returning to the Ranch Workshop
in Valentine, Neb., in December

Bringing a young person into a farm or ranch operation presents challenges, but at the same time helps accomplish key goals: helping the young person get a solid start, keeping the farm or ranch in the family, and ensuring a more comfortable retirement for all involved.

Blending a variety of talents and personalities into one operation takes planning, communication and management. The Returning to the Farm program is designed to assist families and farm or ranch operations in developing a financial plan and successful working arrangements that will meet the needs of multiple families.

Returning to the Farm will be offered Dec. 16-17 in Valentine’s Niobrara Lodge. It is the first time the program has been offered outside of Lincoln in a shorter, two-day format. The workshop schedule is from 1-7 p.m. Central Time Dec. 16 and 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Dec. 17.

Sponsors are Farm Credit Services of America and University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) Extension.

Registration is due by Dec. 5 or until the workshop is full. Some easy homework will be mailed prior to the workshops for completion, so timely registration is important. For more information call UNL Extension in the Central Sandhills at 308-645-2267, or UNL Extension in Cherry County at 402-376-1850.

The workshop is intended for multiple generations, so the cost for an entire family is $75. On-site babysitting is available. Call for more information and to reserve a spot.

Returning to the Farm is for families in the early stages of transitioning, where a calm environment allows all to be heard, and a plan to be developed for multiple generations.

Participants will set a transition plan, review financial feasibility, and look at the communication process between family members. Breakout sessions will allow participants to think through different scenarios.

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


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