Livestock “The greatest homage we can pay to truth is to use it.”
OCTOBER 15, 2011 • www. aaalivestock . com
Volume 53 • No. 11
If At First ...
“SECOND VERSE, SAME AS THE FIRST.”
by Lee Pitts
“Never take to sawin' on a branch that's supporting you unless you're being hung from it.” USDA in coming up with an all new program. The request for an extension was signed by such groups as the Livestock Marketing Assn., American Angus Assn., R-CALF, NCBA, National Farmers Union, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Texas and
Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and the U.S. Cattlemen’s Assn. Wow! When have you ever seen the NCBA and R-CALF agree on anything, let alone sign their names on the same piece of paper? It must really be bad!
R-CALF’s Animal ID Committee Chair Kenny Fox told those attending R-CALF’s 12th annual convention that the government’s new mandatory animal I.D system is “a Packer’s Dream,” and called it “a thinly veiled scheme to force U.S. livestock producers to provide economically valuable, source-verification information to beef packers, at no cost to the packers.” “This deceptive rule,” said Fox, “will change the current standard that export customers now require for verifying the traceability of U.S. beef. Once a government sanctioned traceability program is implemented, our export customers will rely on that for verifying the origins of U.S. beef and the premiums continued on page two
To The Last Cowboy
NEWSPAPER PRIORITY HANDLING
Here’s how bad the new ADTF is: 49 different farm and ranch groups sent a letter to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack begging for an extended comment period on the new rules. The 49 groups called themselves The Cattle Identification Group (CIDG) and was formed after the NAIS debacle to give input to the
by LEE PITTS
Why Buy The Cow?
– JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL
was reminded of that phrase as I read the USDA’s second stab at mandatory animal identification. Except hardly anyone is singing along. The USDA’s latest inventory control program, disguised as a health program, is every bit as unpopular as the NAIS (National Animal Identification System) was. Even Congress could see what a bad idea NAIS was and cut its funding, but USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service new animal disease “traceability” system is no better than the dreaded NAIS, the only difference being in vocabulary. The NAIS is now the Animal Disease Traceability Framework (ADTF) and instead of a “premise” your ranch will be a “Unique Location Identifier.”
Hagens Berman Files Class Action Against Dairy Groups CLASS-ACTION COMPLAINT ALLEGES AN INDUSTRY-WIDE SCHEME TO RAISE THE PRICE OF MILK BY KILLING OVER 500,000 COWS agens Berman, on behalf of several dairy consumers, including Compassion Over Killing (COK) members, yesterday filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that various dairy companies and trade groups, including the National Milk Producers Federation, Dairy Farmers of America, Land O’Lakes, Inc. and Agri-Mark, Inc. combined to form Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) in order to fix the price of milk in the United States. CWT is a massive trade group representing dairy producers throughout the country who produce nearly 70 percent of the milk consumed in the United States. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on Sept. 26, 2011, alleges that between 2003 and 2010, more than 500,000 cows were slaughtered under CWT’s dairy herd retirement program in a concerted effort to reduce the supply of milk and inflate its price nationally. According to the complaint, the increased price allowed CWT members to earn more than $9
billion in additional revenue. The plaintiffs in the case are represented by leading class-action law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, LLP. The case was initially researched and developed by Compassion Over Killing, a national animal protection organization. “We believe this case serves two important causes,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “A resolution to this case will protect consumers from artificially-inflated milk prices and also will prevent the unnecessary and shameful killing of tens of thousands of cows each year.” “The dairy industry has consistently shown its lack of regard for animal welfare and the environment,” said Compassion Over Killing general counsel Cheryl Leahy. “Now it’s milking its own consumers by unlawfully jacking up prices. The dairy industry must be held accountable for these illegal profits.” The complaint further alleges that the procontinued on page five
veryone has their own theory of how we got so messed up in this country. I think you are probably, right this moment, holding the answer in your hands. The downtown of a city near us used to be a quaint collection of thriving mom and pop stores but today it is a hollowed out assortment of vacant buildings and eateries, most of which are starving because consumers are watching every penny, and many can’t find a job. I talked to one man who was going out of business and he explained that his store had become nothing more than a showroom for folks to check out the merchandise before going online to buy it cheaper. And without any sales tax! So he had to fire five people. The man I bought my last car from was forced to sell out for the same reason as his salespeople were spending their time giving free test rides to folks who had no intention of buying the car because they could get a better deal online from a dealer in the big city. And so the “too big to fail” get bigger, while mom and pop sell out. The newsstand I used to love went out of business and fired more folks because consumers are downloading the same content they used to sell. Borders went broke and many newspapers are teetering because people are reading their newspapers online and not paying for a subscription. Music stores and video stores shuttered their doors for the same reason. Hey, why buy the cow when you get your milk for free? There are two empty bank buildings in town, one of them was shut down by the Feds and the other was merged out of existence. The tellers lost their jobs because more folks are banking online or at the ATM. No need for a building or the folks who worked there. And we wonder why there is 9 percent unemcontinued on page five
Livestock Market Digest
October 15, 2011
If At First . . .
We understand how you make your living, because it’s how we make our living. And tougher times call for smarter, careful thinking. That’s why, since 1916, New Mexico’s farmers and ranchers have counted on us for solid financial services when they need them most. We’ve been there. We’ll be here.
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many U.S. producers are now receiving from export-oriented packers will evaporate.” Said Fox, “Anyone who thinks current source-verification requirements imposed by exporters will not be relaxed after USDA declares that all U.S. cattle are traceable is naïve. It is the goal of the World Trade Organization’s reference organization, the World Organization for Animal Health, which is pushing USDA and all other nations to implement a national animal identification system, to encourage all nations to rely on the one-size-fits-all minimum standards established by the OIE for the purpose of facilitating more trade among nations.” The financial windfall for packers is hidden within the proposed rule, according to Fox. He explained that during the initial period of the rule, in which only breeding-age cattle would be subject to USDA’s new identification requirements, farmers and ranchers are exempt from those official identification requirements if the cattle are being shipped directly to slaughter. But here’s the catch, “As soon as younger feeder cattle, cattle from which exportable beef is produced, are included under the identification requirements, the rule states the exemption will expire for cattle shipped directly to slaughter. That means in the very near future all cattle delivered to a packer must bear an official identification number and packers can then legitimately claim that they only sell traceable beef, without having to pay a dime for this value-added information. “USDA is giving the packers a valuable present by taking away from U.S. livestock producers an economically rewarding opportunity to add value to their cattle. I’m convinced the driving force behind this proposed rule is not disease control or prevention. Even the Ag Secretary touts the rule as an export enhancement tool, though he failed to disclose that the benefits are intended for exporting packers and not for the livestock producers who would bear the cost of the new system.” Fox concluded, “This proposed rule should be flatly rejected by every U.S. livestock producer and we should continue heeding the advice of our sister organization in Australia that has urged us to fight any government-led mandatory animal identification system to the last cowboy.”
“This Is Absurd” One would not have thought it possible to write a worse rule than the NAIS, but the USDA has defied the odds and done it. The USDA says that ADTF is a friendlier form of animal ID because it applies only to animals that move between states, it will be run by state and tribal governments and it will use lowcost technology. But you couldn’t have a lower cost tech-
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nology than branding and yet, if ADTF becomes law, the brand will no longer be recognized as an official form of animal identification. Even though it’s been recognized for such for some 5,000 YEARS, and doesn’t require any high tech equipment or expanded federal government. (Perhaps that’s why the USDA wants to get rid of it!) With the ADTF the USDA broke their promise of February 5, 2010, when they issued a fact sheet that stated the USDA “will maintain a list of official identification devices, which can be updated or expanded.” And the USDA expressly included brands as among those identification devices. When last we visited the subject of branding in this newspaper, almost a year ago, we warned that the USDA was attempting to abolish the brand as a form of ownership. This editor received several comments questioning our prediction and that the USDA would NEVER have the nerve, or the stupidity, to do that. (Even though they are part of our dysfunctional federal government.) The USDA wants to replace the brand with a “permanent form of animal ID” like the “BRITE” metal ear tags of the brucellosis variety. Ask any rancher how “permanent” those tags are! Is there a cattleman alive who hasn’t searched in vein (pun intended) for a readable tattoo because the metal tag fell out? How will the USDA trace a sick or dead animal back to its source then? Or perhaps the USDA will later improve on their “permanent” form of ID and make every animal wear four tags, like they do in Europe. One advantage, the new system should make it much easier and faster for rustlers to steal your cattle. All they’ll have to do is rip the tags out and no one can prove they didn’t raise the animal. Without a brand how could you? The problem is, the USDA didn’t ask a rancher or they would have known that no type of animal ID in the ear has ever held up in court for a conviction. Yet hot iron brands do so every day in courts around the country. According to R-CALF, “Delisting brands as a form of identification will de-emphasize brand programs operating in many states and is the first step toward the eventual elimination of hot-iron branding in the United States, which will result in the devaluation of U.S. ranchers private property, as brands are property that is bought and sold.” The USDA says ADTF is a health program that will be used to track down sick animals. If so, why are they eliminating the best tracking device ever used on livestock: the brand. “There is no justification,” says R-CALF “for continued on page three
“America’s Favorite Livestock Newspaper”
October 15, 2011
If At First . . . USDA’s attack on our nation’s oldest, most permanent, and most effective means of identifying the origin of cattle in interstate commerce.” R-CALF’s Kenny Fox brings up an important point that is not being discussed in the livestock press and further shows that ADTF is just a slicker, back door version of NAIS. He says, “The proposed rule is designed to bring the U.S. into compliance with the WTO and OIE in yet another way. By delisting the hot-iron brand as an official U.S. identification device or method, USDA is inviting Canada and Mexico to file yet another WTO complaint just as they did against our new country of origin labeling law. That’s because we currently require hot-iron brands on Mexican and Canadian imports. After the rule takes effect, both Canada and Mexico can legitimately claim we are imposing a higher standard on their imports than we require of our domestic herds and if they prevail, our ability to trace foreign animal diseases would be severely reduced. This is absurd.”
A Mess You Didn’t Make R-CALF has always maintained that mandatory identification is a “solution in search of a problem” and is nothing more than a source-verification program for packers. It will allow packers and big feeders to pay less for your cattle because there will be no more premiums for aged and sourced cattle. No where does the USDA say how
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much this whole fiasco will cost but you can bet your boots the price will be paid by ranchers. Much like the beef checkoff has turned out, ADTF will benefit the large multinational packers but be paid for by producers. If you doubt the packer bias consider this: one thing left over from the NAIS fiasco was the rule that while individual producers will have to identify every animal, no exceptions, while the packers and big feeders will be allowed to use “group identification.” Can there be any doubt the new rule was written by bureaucrats under the influence of Tyson, Cargill and JBS? Let’s cut to the chase and unveil the real reason that the USDA is pushing so hard for mandatory ID. “It is a rule designed to force U.S. cattle producers to manage other countries’ disease problems,” says R-CALF. In a strongly worded letter to Ag Secretary Vilsack, R-CALF wrote: “The Agriculture Secretary has failed miserably to maintain the health and safety of the U.S. cattle herd and hence, the safety and security of our U.S. beef supply. Rather than take any steps to strengthen our previously weakened disease protections, you remained silent after Canada detected its 10th, 11th, and 12th cases of BSE, one in each of the years 2009, 2010, and 2011, in cattle that were age-eligible for export to the U.S. under the over-30-month rule. But also, you knowingly increased our cattle herd’s risk of
e l t t a C m o t Cus s t i t a g n i Feed Finest! Johnny Trotter, President / General Mgr. Res: 806/364-1172 • Mob.: 806/346-2508 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Kevin Bunch, Assistant Manager Mike Blair, Comptroller Mike Anthony, Shipping/Receiving
PO BOX 1797 HEREFORD, TX 79045
exposure to foot and mouth disease (FMD). You did this by affirmatively opposing and subsequently finalizing a rule to allow imports of meat susceptible of harboring FMD virus from a state within Brazil, which is a country that is not free of FMD. Also, you have not acted to prevent FMD live-virus research on the mainland even after the National Academy of Science concluded that it would be more likely than not that an outbreak of FMD would occur during the 50 year life span of the proposed research facility in Manhattan, Kansas. And now we learn that you are proposing yet another rule to further increase our cattle herd’s risk of exposure by allowing the importation of fresh beef from 14 additional states in Brazil, which still is not a country free of FMD.” So how can anyone say that the USDA is pushing for ADTF for food safety reasons when their actions say otherwise? The USDA foists this mandatory ID program on ranchers in the name of food safety and yet they haven’t done a thing about the reintroduction of bovine tuberculosis from Mexico. According to R-CALF, “USDA data that show 67 percent of all bovine tuberculosis cases detected at slaughter from 2003 to 2009 were found in cattle originating in foreign countries.” Causing us to wonder: Why not shut off the spigot to the overflowing bathtub instead of handing American ranchers a sponge, in the form of a costly and highly regulatory set
Dickinson, N.D., livestock market to host 14 auctioneers battling for spot in 2012 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship
ualifying for the “Super Bowl” of their profession, the 2012 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC), is the goal of 14 livestock auctioneers competing on October 20. The Stockmen’s Livestock Exchange is hosting the auctioneers in the second qualifying contest for the 2012 WLAC, which will be held next June in Turlock, Calif. The contest here is free and open to the public. Stockmen’s is located at 815 Livestock Lane. Market president and manager Larry Schnell said the opening ceremonies will start at 9 a.m. (MT) with the contest immediately following. Following the competition here, and at the other three qualifying contests, three winners — champion, reserve and runner-up champions — will be named. Those three, along with the next five highest-scoring contestants at each contest, will move on to the June World Championship. The WLAC — next year will be the 49th annual — was created and is conducted by Livestock Marketing Association, the national trade association for progressive marketing businesses like Stockmen’s Livestock. For the contest here, Schell said he’s expecting “over 3,000 head, mainly calves, from some of this area’s top producers.” Schnell said he has two reasons for wanting to host the contest. “We want to show people who haven’t seen a livestock auction just what goes on. And for those who’ve been around an auction, it’ll be fun for them to hear so many talented auctioneers.” Schnell has spent a lifetime around cattle, auction markets and auctioneers. Asked if he thought he’d be able to pick the winners on the 20th, he laughed. “I hope to pick a couple of the top three winners, but I’ve found, after being around many of these contests, that everyone has their own opinions about who should win.” The contestants here are Justin Abell, Sigourney, Iowa; Justin Banzhaf, Cambridge, Neb.; Mitch Barthel, New York Mills, Minn.; Leon Caselman, Long Lane, Mo.; Tye Casey,
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Bar-G FEEDYARD 125,000-Head Capacity 8 MILES SOUTHWEST OF HEREFORD, TEXAS FINANCING AVAILABLE
Livestock Market Digest
Angus capital Keeling Cattle Feeders shares data and family-style connections by WYATT BECHTEL and STEVE SUTHER
ereford, Texas, is known as the “Beef Capital of the World.” It is also home to Keeling Cattle Feeders, CAB 2011 Feedlot Partner of the Year for all yards with more than 15,000-head capacity. In 2007, only about one-quarter of the feedlot’s 17,000 head were Angus type, and of those just 9.6 percent reached Certified Angus Beef® (CAB®) brand acceptance. Becoming a CAB partner that year added an Angus focus to the Keelings’ overall commitment to quality. Last year, the yard enrolled 6,200 head that made 21 percent CAB — well above the Texas average. “We changed our whole business over the last few years,” says Scott Keeling, who owns the yard with wife Karen. The couple accepted the CAB award at the brand’s annual conference in Sunriver, Oregon, in late September 2011.
Risk management has been increasingly important as the feedlot moved up from 25 percent to 50 percent cattle ownership while upgrading animal type. Oldest son Tyler has been a big help in that regard. He’s a commodity broker in Amarillo, and with wife Trudy, parents of the Keelings’ only grandchild, Reid. Second-oldest son Levi is a feedlot-operations major in a nearby junior college, and Tom, the youngest at 13, is just getting into the junior-high school years with lots of activities. The Keelings always made time to attend local sporting events for the sons who span 16 years in age, devoting time to teach life’s lessons along with golf and fly fishing. Grading effects, weather and variable lot sizes are a few of the challenges the feedlot faces. “Sometimes it’s like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall,” Keeling says. “But that’s part of what I like about our business.” He also likes the results, as real opportunities get nailed
down, herds improve and everybody from rancher to consumer wins. “There’s a circle of friends that comes with being a CAB partner,” says Keeling, who was honored in 2008 as CAB Progressive Partner of the Year. One of those friends is state and nationally prominent Angus producer Steve Olson, who started feeding with Keeling when it became a CAB-licensed yard. “The feedlot is the right size
ickets for the 106th National Western Stock Show (NWSS) January 7 through 22, 2012 went on sale in mid-September “We’ve got something for everyone.” Paul Andrews, new President and CEO of NWSS, announced, “starting with three new exciting rodeos presented for the 1st time anywhere!” “We’re very excited about our newest event for opening day,” Andrews said. “The “Colorado Vs the World
Baxter BLACK THE
to give personal attention,” Olson says. “He’s involved himself in the marketing and feeding. He knows what’s going on in his yard and that is a plus to me.” Olson was looking for a feeder who could provide carcass data on the calves he was raising. Keeling Cattle Feeders has served as a tour stop for chefs from big cities and other beef specialists who want to learn more about the products they sell, prepare and serve.
Rodeo Competition will feature our own Colorado Rodeo Champions vs Rodeo Champions of the World in three opening day rodeos known as Super Saturday.” During its 16-day run, the 2012 National Western will present 19 ProRodeos; PBR Bull Riding Denver Chute-Out Touring Pro Finale; Mexican Rodeo Extravaganzas; Martin Luther King, Jr. African-American Heritage Rodeo; An Evening of Dancing Horses®; National Western’s New Wild West Shows; $15,000 RAM Invitational Freestyle Reining; $10,000 Gamblers Choice Open Jumper Stake; 9NEWS Super Dogs; $40,000 Grand Prix and Draft Horse Performances with tickets starting at just $12.
person who is fit to that life and can do it well, has to be a no-frills kind of person. Fast-forward to the sheep business in the U.S. today. We import our lamb from Australia, we no longer subsidize the eco-friendly natural resource wool, and we have posted a mountain of regulations protecting predators, wildlife, grazing land, and the New Zealand sheepherders. Now this year the Department of Labor has taken it upon itself to write an official sheepherder job description and other requirements, with the object of restricting the hiring of “foreign shepherds.” These regulations assure that hiring foreign workers won’t deprive any of the 14 million unemployed able-bodied Americans, of a job. My question is, what able-bodied, evicted, foodstamped, credit-revoked, receiving government checks, American standing in the unemployment line today, is going to apply for an outdoor job on Blizzard Mountain, Idaho where you are on call 24 hours a day, know how to bed down 1,800 sheep, can identify Halogeton, and castrate lambs with his (or her) teeth? Maybe before we pile any more regulations on the overburdened handful of sheep men left, the Secretary of Labor should spend a night on Blizzard Mountain in a sheep camp with a box of matches, a roll of Downy and a shaker of louse powder. I think he would be assured there is no real danger of foreign workers depriving our “nanny state” privileged citizens of proper employment. Beside any Americans that would make good sheepherders are already at work on the Great Northern Gas Fields, Iraqi pipelines, and Afghanistan security patrols. Like I said, it takes a no-frills kind of person.
General Admission includes the Super Bowl of Livestock Shows; Children’s Activity Pavilion; Pony Trails™; CSU Ag Adventure; Petting Farm; Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale, and the largest Trade Show in Colorado. GA admission starts at $2 for kids 3-11, and $8 for adults. Dining is available on the grounds with everything from fast food and snacks to fine dining. More information is available online: NationalWestern.com; by phone: 1-888/551-5004; in person: National Western Box Office, 4655 Humboldt Street, Denver, Colorado 8021 For Groups of 15 and more, call 303/295-3959, or Email: email@example.com
Shannon Worrell to Join Ag 1 Source Livestock & Animal Health Team
The Sheep Camp or those of you to whom the word “sheep camp” conjures up a pastoral, nostalgic, even romantic vision of shepherds watching over their flocks by night, I suspect you’ve never slept in one! Sheep camp, in the real world of shepherding, is the wagon where you sleep, live and eat. It looks like a small covered wagon. A round top on a box. There is a built-inbed with storage underneath. There is a small stove-heater propane unit and a drop-down kitchen cabinet behind. A lantern provides light. The roof could be canvas or sometimes fitted tin. The wagon has four tires and a tongue and is usually hauled or pulled to the grazing area. In it’s heyday, the mid 1900s, sheep camps were as common and handy as Airstream motor homes! It was the best of years for the sheep business. I worked in the ION country (southern Idaho, western Oregon, northern Nevada) in the 70s near the end of good times for sheep business. I worked for an outfit that ran 20,000 sheep on the high desert sagebrush. In the summer the herd would be divided into bands of 2-3,000. One man with his sheep camp, dogs and a saddle mule or horse would watch over his band. He would keep moving them to good forage and try to protect them from predators. When it was needed, he would hook up his horse and drag his camp to a new location. The boss would drive in with the supplies, including water, at least once a week, maybe more. These were self-sufficient, hard-working immigrants, often Basques from Spain. Over the years I watched the Basque improve their lot and be replaced by South Americans. In Wyoming, I have known of white American sheepherders, but that was uncommon. So, suffice it to say the kind of
“We do a lot of things like that; we’re really transparent with what we do and I love to show it to people,” Keeling says. “They ask good questions and appreciate what you’re doing.” The feedlot is a model with its beef-industry advocacy and a commitment to quality; much of its business revolves around building bridges. “Those relationships have only gotten stronger with our CAB affiliation,” Keeling says
2012 National Western Stock Show Tickets on Sale
October 15, 2011
g 1 Source, a recruiting organization serving the needs of agricultural organizations and job seekers throughout the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Europe, announced that Shannon Worrell will join the Livestock & Animal Health/Nutrition industry practice team. “We are thrilled to have Shannon join the Ag 1 Source Recruiting Team. Shannon brings a lifetime of experience to Ag 1 Source as a fourth generation rancher,” says Rick Rupp, Partner and Livestock Industry Division Lead. “Her diversified background has allowed her to develop a tremendous network in the livestock industry. Shannon has a successful track record of providing innovative business solutions to her livestock industry clients. We are confident that she will bring that same level of value to our clients and candidates in the southern region.” “The high integrity and values first attracted me to Ag 1 Source when I was a client,” says Shannon. “Then when asked to join the Ag 1 Source team, it was a natural fit. I get to work closely with great ag companies and ag people.” Prior to joining Ag 1 Source, Shannon had a successful 15year career as a sales professional in the livestock industry. Her experience covering the US and Mexico as a National Accounts Manager for Destron Fearing and Territory Manager, covering Texas and New Mexico, for Merial, have earned her coveted top sales awards. Her vast experience in sales roles have allowed her to gain key knowledge in all segments of the industry. Shannon’s particular familiarity allows her to feel and understand the intangible qualities that make a great placement. A previous position as a loan officer in the Farm Credit system gives her the added dimension of financial knowledge and understanding that allow her to partner with her clients to develop business models and long range planning, including strategic placement of the right candidates.
“America’s Favorite Livestock Newspaper”
October 15, 2011
Class Action continued from page one
gram, which paid smaller farm owners to kill their entire dairy cow herds, unfairly increased the profits of agribusiness giants.
According to Compassion Over Killing, the most effective way consumers can safeguard animals and put an end to cruel factory farming practices is simply to choose meat, egg and dairy-free foods.
Land O’Lakes agreed to pay $25 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed against the United Egg Producers and its members. Dairy herd retirement ended in the summer of 2010, but CWT’s tactics may affect the price of milk for years, according to the lawsuit. The end of the program came shortly after Land O’Lakes agreed to pay $25 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed against the United Egg Producers and its members. That case alleged that egg producers were encouraged to reduce their flock size as part of a program disguised as an animal welfare initiative. Compassion Over Killing has released additional information about the case, which can be found at www.cok.net/camp/inv/dairyprice-fixing.
About Compassion Over Killing Compassion Over Killing (COK) is a nonprofit animal protection organization based in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Since 1995, COK has worked to end the abuse of animals in agriculture through undercover investigations, public outreach, litigation, and other advocacy programs.
About Hagens Berman Seattle-based Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, LLP is a classaction law firm with offices in 10 cities. The firm represents consumers, whistleblowers, investors and workers in complex litigation.
Riding Herd ployment? The Post Office is broke big time because everybody is emailing instead, so they’re slashing jobs and probably going to do away with Saturday delivery. The gas and electric company that provides me services just announced they were installing “smart meters.” There went the meter reader’s job. And I notice more and more self checkout lines at the grocery store, so more single moms who fed their family cashiering are now applying for unemployment. I recently saw a painter make arrangements to paint a house and he didn’t have a pen on his person. “No problem,” he said, “who needs paper and pencil? I’ll just put it on my I-Phone.” That’s why both stationery stores in town went out of business. And we wonder why people are out of work? All this modern technology is great until you realize that folks have to have jobs in order to afford it. Oh well, the unemployed will have more time to Tweet, check on their Facebook friends, and blog about the hard times. Change is necessary but
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the Internet revolution hit so hard and so fast that entire industries did not have time to adjust. And we can’t all make a living designing web pages. They say all this technology will make us more efficient but I just spent 30 minutes watching a painter, paint gun in one hand and cell phone in the other. I swear he was on the phone the entire time and barely applied any paint. The Internet has allowed hackers to disrupt our lives and perverts to prey on our kids. We’re all having our identities stolen, in more ways than one, as people on the street barely acknowledge each other because they’re too busy texting; in competition with each other to see who has the most Facebook friends. We have a childhood obesity problem in this country because our kids are all indoors, sitting on their haunches playing Madden Football, instead of being outside playing the real thing. Meanwhile, far too many of us are in a dormant trance, staring at the screens on our cell phones, looking for a job.
bulls, bulls, bulls!
February 11, 2011 200 + bull Sale
at the Ranch, NE of Estelline, Texas
Bradley 3Ranch Ltd. www.bradley3ranch.com • 940/585-6471
Auctioneering continued from page three
Plymouth, Ind.;Jake Cheechov, Eugene, Ore.; Bill Cook, Huntley, Mont.; Philip Gilstrap, Pendleton, S.C.; Brennin Jack, Regina, Sask.; Andrew McDowell, Vandalia, Ill.; Andy Mrnak, Bowman, N.D.; Travis Rogers, Westlock, Alberta; Duane Rus, Rock Valley, Iowa; and Shane Wolff, Golden Valley, N.D. The master of ceremonies for each qualifying contest will be Charly Cummings, the 2011 world champion. Contest rules prohibit the world champion from re-entering.
Contestants must be at least 18 years old, and employed and sponsored by a livestock market. Contest judges, all LMA members, score each contestant on clarity of chant and voice quality, bid-catching ability, and conduct of the sale. The judges also ask, “Would this auctioneer make a good spokesperson for the livestock industry?” and “Would I hire this auctioneer?” The champion in each qualifying contest receives a cash award and a custom-made belt buckle. A buckle is also awarded to the reserve and runner-up champion in each of these contests. The three titlists in next June’s
WLAC — the world champion, reserve and runner-up champions — win thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. The first qualifying contest was Sept. 19 in Glasgow, Ky. The remaining two are Jan. 17, in Greeley, Colo.; and March 8, in Groesbeck, Texas. There is still time to enter the remaining qualifying contests. Full rules and an entry form can be found online at www.LMAWEB.com; click on World Livestock Auctioneer Championship. The qualifying contests, and the WLAC, will be broadcast live at www.LMAAuctions.com.
If you are planning on selling bulls this fall, or next spring . . . You better be placing your ad in the Livestock Market Digest! The most likely bull buyers for fall 2011 and spring 2012 will come from where it has rained. Where is that? The West Coast and Northwest. Where does the Livestock Market Digest cover the most? The West Coast and Northwest! The Livestock Market Digest has readers across the nation, and a great number of those readers are in California, Orgeon, Washington, Montana and Wyoming!
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Livestock Market Digest
October 15, 2011
Agricultural Labor: Will there be any left? s the nation’s economy struggles with a nearly double-digit unemployment rate, devestating regulations and laws continued to be proposed in Washington, D.C. by the Administration and Congress. At a time when farmers in the Southeast are literally letting crops rot in the field because there is no labor to harvest them. At the same time www.worldhunger.org reports that “In 2010, 17.2 million households, 14.5 percent of households (approximately one in seven), were food insecure, the highest number ever recorded in the United States (Coleman-Jensen 2011). Here is a glimpse at just proposals with HUGE impact on the agriculture industry. — by Caren Cowan
Instructions for submitting comments on new Child Labor Regulations 29 CFR Parts 570 and 579 / Child Labor Regulations, Orders and Statements of Interpretation; Child Labor Violations; Civil Money Penalties; Proposed Rule
Labor proposal gets worse when details revealed by PAUL W. JACKSON
f government bureaucracies were named for their practices, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) would be called the Department of Labor Prevention, according to Craig Anderson, Agriculture Labor and Safety Services division manager at Michigan Farm Bureau.
“Here’s what the government thinks is common sense,” he said. “Eliminate work to protect workers. If you don’t work, you can’t be hurt on the job. Who can argue with that?” Such logic follows on the heels of media, social networking and blogging attention after Michigan Farm Bureau questioned, in the Sept. 15 edition of Michigan Farm News, the DOL’s proposal to expand regulations covering youth employment and make farm work safer (see ‘New labor proposals would end farm work for kids’ at Michiganfarmnews.com). Since then, Anderson has conducted an intense examination of the DOL Proposed Rules 29 CFR Parts 570 and 579, published Sept. 2. He didn’t like what he saw. “If you thought the new nonagricultural rules prohibiting virtually all employment of youth under 16 were overzealous, the details in this document are downright oppressive,” Anderson said. “The DOL assumes that youth under age 16 lack the ‘cognitive ability’ to herd animals on horseback, use battery-powered drills, put hay bales on a bale elevator or use any equipment except if powered by hand or foot.” The document betrays an attitude in government that — perhaps unconsciously — would destroy the generational family structure commonly found on farms. “In agriculture it is common for farms to be operated by two, three or even five generations of family members,” Anderson said. “The grandparents own the land, their children are buying into the farm and may have some land on their own, and the grandchildren are working to understand what it takes to be a farmer. If the parents and grandparents operate the farm, the grandchildren under 16 would be prohibited from working on the operation.”
Such restrictions and inconsistencies are why Anderson and other Michigan Farm Bureau officials are pleading with farmers to submit comments to the DOL before the Nov. 1 comment period expires. Read the entire document by googling federal register Vol. 76, No. 171 ag youth. “Don’t let the spin fool you,” Anderson said. “They’ll say there’s nothing for farm families to worry about because there is an exemption for children working on their parents’ farm. The DOL proposal says it will maintain the family exemption, but later limits the exemption for any business or multi-generation farm.” The document starts off positively enough. It states that the DOL is “committed to helping youth enjoy positive and challenging work experiences . . .” and then details in the next 49 pages its recommendations to eliminate work experience on farms until age 16. “It would prohibit contact with any powered equipment or devices,” he said. “Almost every activity on the farm involves some type of power. This document needs to be completely overhauled for the good of American youth, the American farm and the American family.” Of course, there are exemptions to the rules for youth who work on their parents’ farm, but provisions under that exemption are confusing and contradictory. Even some definitions are obtuse. For example, the document indicates the “parent or person standing in the place of the parent shall be a human being and not an institution or facility . . .” Unfortunately, Anderson said, it doesn't appear that the DOL knows what a family really is, let alone how farm businesses are structured. “If you farm with a brother or sister, an uncle or aunt, grandparents or cousins, the exception does not apply to any of the fam-
ilies’ youth under 16,” he said. “If you have a non-family business partner, the exemption would not apply even if you are the controlling partner.” Even grandparents would not qualify to offer work, unless they have become “a person standing in the place of” the parent. To do any work legally, the youth would need to live with the grandparent for at least a month. But if the child commutes to the farm (walks next door), it would be against the rules to let him or her to work on the grandparent’s farm. The reason for all these, and many more proposals, is to ensure the youth’s safety when working on the farm. But being trained in safety procedures on the farm isn’t good enough. Training through 4-H or Extension is currently OK under the existing law to allow some equipment operation (tractor training) provided the employer “obtains and retains” a copy of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division’s certificate of training. The DOL proposal would eliminate 4-H, FFA and Extension programs, already suffering from budget cuts and lack of DOL approved material, from the new student/learner exception for certain equipment operation.
No working with animals Equipment is one thing. Restrictions for handling animals, however, is where the opportunities for youth involved in fairs, auctions or proper care and well-being of animals could be taken away in the DOL proposal. In fact, youth would be “prohibited from engaging, or assisting in . . . treating sick or injured animals.” Youth also would not be allowed, under the proposal, to cut and separate cattle from a herd if riding a horse. “No youth development data exists to suggest youth younger than 16 years have the cognitive ability to handle this responsibility,” the proposal opines. Qualifying that position, the DOL states that “Riding horses continued on page eight
FEDERAL REGISTER / VOL. 76 , NO. 171 / FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2011 / PROPOSED RULES You may submit comments, identified by RIN 1235-AA06, by either one of the following methods: ■
Electronic comments: through the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
Mail: Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3502, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210.
Instructions: Please submit one copy of your comments by only one method. All submissions received must include the agency name (Wage and Hour Division) and Regulatory Information Number identified above for this rulemaking (1235AA06). All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Consequently, prior to including any individual’s personal information such as Social Security Number, home address, telephone number, email addresses and medical data in a comment, the Department urges commenters carefully to consider that their submissions are a matter of public record and will be publicly accessible on the Internet. It is the commenter’s responsibility to safeguard his or her information. Because we continue to experience delays in receiving mail in the Washington, D.C. area, commenters are strongly encouraged to transmit their comments electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov or to submit them by mail early.
Child labor laws soon to change for agriculture DAVID BENNETT, Delta Farm Press
ong in the works, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is set to release proposed updates to child labor regulations aimed at safety concerns in agriculture-related jobs. DOL officials — who claim the fatality rate for teenagers working in agriculture is four times greater than the risk for the average working teenager — say the proposals will not impact current exemptions for children of farmers working on family operations. Exemptions for such children are “legislative and nothing in (these new regulations) would disturb that particular legislative provision,” said Michael Hancock, DOL Assistant Administrator for Policy, during a recent afternoon press conference. For other farm-working youths, however, the proposed rules — which have not been updated since the 1970 Fair Labor Standards Act — would add new restrictions and flat-out bans. Among them: ■ Strengthening of current child labor regulations prohibiting agricultural work with animals and in pesticide handling, timber operations, manure pits
and storage bins. ■ Prohibition of youths at country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions. During the work-up of the new rules “It became apparent there were hazards in grain bins and other enclosed spaces where children were working both on farms and off,” said Hancock. “There have been a number of fairly high-profile incidents involving children through engulfment or other tragic injuries and accidents. So, we saw this as an opportunity to also propose rules for grain bins and other such structures.” Prompted by later questions, Hancock said the new rules “would essentially preclude kids under 18 from being on the premises of a commercial grain elevator.” While previous regulations attempted to address such situations “there was never any broad, sweeping prohibition on kids working in a grain elevator. It had to be specific — like working with an augur or lift. We’ve concluded in grain elevators there are too many hazards and kids shouldn’t be present in that continued on page seven
“America’s Favorite Livestock Newspaper”
October 15, 2011
Opposition Grows Against “Legal Workforce Act” he Liberty Coalition (www.libertycoalition.net) is mounting a strong campaign against H.R. 2885, the Legal Workforce Act, which has been introduced in the 112th Congress. The measure, which has had a full markup in the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, is sponsored by some 15 congressemen from across the United States. According to the bill, it is intended “To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to make mandatory and permanent requirements relating to use of an electronic employment eligibility verification system, and for other purposes.” The Liberty Coalition, however, believes that it “mandates the use of an electronic employment verification system by every employer in the U.S. for every person seeking employment in the U.S.” In letters to Congress, the group says the bill does the following: 1. Creates a de facto national
Child Labor Laws
I.D. System — even for citizens; 2. Violates individual civil liberties such as the right to work and free speech; 3. Mandates a costly jobkilling regulatory burden that cripples small business; 4. Requires employers to become enforcement agents of the federal government; 5. Encourages identify theft of law-abiding citizens;
National ID System This Act would require each American to ask permission from the Federal Government when hiring or being hired. The Act empowers the Department of Homeland Security to compile and monitor the personal information of every person seeking employment, and to surreptitiously transfer it to yet unspecified entities. The result is a de facto National Identification System, and the enabling language that mandates the intrusive collection of personal data could grow to
include biometrics such as fingerprints, DNA and/or iris scans. This invasion becomes tantamount an unconstitutional, warrantless search.
Violation of Civil Liberties The precedent set by the bill opens the floodgate of additional intrusive and contentious employment verification hurdles. Mission creep is the signature of all bureaucracies. After enactment of the Legal Workforce Act, employers could soon be required to verify whether employees are delinquent in the payment of federal, state, or local taxes, in compliance with child support or alimony decrees, on a terrorist watch list, or convicted or even accused of crime. . Errors in the verification process will be practically immune from timely legal redress and violate another constitutional tenet. Citizens will be loath to criticize government from fear of retaliation which
will result in the chilling of free speech.
Devastating Impact on Employers & Economy This Act is falsely portrayed as containing safe harbor provisions for employers, yet there are no protections for them against criminal prosecution if they do indeed employ an individual later proven to be in the U.S. illegally or who has successfully assumed a fake or stolen identity. While acting as de facto law enforcement officers for the federal government, employers will need armies of expensive attorneys to safeguard against criminal prosecutions at a cost that small business can ill-afford even in a good economy. The loss of jobs will be staggering as employers substitute machinery for employees or outsource employment to avoid the vexations and costs of compliance, as will the loss of tax revenues as jobs go underground. Here are some of the economic statistics according to the CBO and Bloomberg: ■ Mandatory E-Verify mandatory would increase the number of employers and workers who resort to the black market, out-
side of the tax system. This would decrease federal revenue by more than $17.3 billion over ten years. (CBO) ■ The cost to employers to fully implement E-Verify will be more than $6.1 billion for all businesses. (CBO) ■ Mandatory E-Verify will cost small businesses at least $2.6 billion in the first year. (Bloomberg) ■ One small Maryland business estimates their cost for one year will be $27,000 and decimate their ability to hire new workers. (U.S. Chamber v. Chertoff No. 08-CV-3444-AW)
Encourages Identity Theft E-Verify will create an unprecedented black market demand for fake identities coveted by those seeking employment, particularly for short-term jobs where illegal workers will be long-gone before there is any chance of detection. Law-abiding citizens will become prime targets for skyrocketing identity theft, and we can only speculate as to the anticipated nightmare this “hit-and-run” use of their identities will create in the long range for the true owners to be able to work again.
San Angelo Packing Co., Inc.
continued from page six
work place.” ■ Prohibition of those under age 16 from participating in the cultivation, harvesting and curing of tobacco. ■ Prohibition of youth in both agricultural and nonagricultural employment from using electronic, including communication, devices while operating power-driven equipment. “Distracted driving’,” said Hancock, “was becoming a major issue that the Department of Transportation and DOL were interested in trying to address. We thought this was an opportunity to propose a regulation that affects not (only) children working on farms but also children employed in non-agricultural occupations. “We thought it was worth the time and effort to pull the rule back and add additional provisions dealing with distracted driving.” ■ Prohibition of those under 16 years old from operating almost all power-driven equipment. A limited exemption would permit some student learners to operate certain farm implements and tractors, when equipped with proper rollover protection structures and seat belts, under specified conditions. Hancock: “There are a number of different changes and additions that deal with farm equipment generally — whether tractors or other power-driven machinery that we’ve concluded present an continued on page eight
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Labor Proposal Worsens and all-terrain vehicles are popular recreational activities and the federal child labor laws do not apply to such activities outside of employment.” But that last word is the sticking point, Anderson said. “The definition of employment is to suffer or permit to work,” he said. “If a youth is training a horse for a cutting competition, is that then considered work? What about removing a stone from a horse’s hoof? That’s a double-whammy because both treating injured animals and working with cattle on a horse would be prohibited. Just riding the horse for recreation would be OK, but the onfarm work of feeding and caring
If At First . . .
continued from page six
for the horse (if not castrated) would be prohibited.” While lack of direct parental supervision seems to make little difference in many other areas of a child’s life in America, at least it’s noted in the document, and that may complement the obvious concerns of both the DOL and farmers for their childrens’ safety. “Farm Bureau remains proud of its commitment to safety,” Anderson said. “We provide safety training to hundreds of farmers and farm workers every year. Through programs such as Ag in the Classroom, we seek to teach many youth what farming is and offer them opportunities for employment. We believe employ-
continued from page three
of rules, and asking them to clean up a mess they didn’t make? “Your department’s actions and inactions,” R-CALF wrote the USDA, “strongly indicate that your department’s loyalties lie elsewhere rather than with U.S. cattle farmers and ranchers; and, it is apparent that your department believes the interests of United States cattle producers must, for some reason, be sacrificed for the good of some higher calling. We are unable to arrive at any alternative conclusion. “Until and unless USDA begins to demonstrate a sincere effort to prevent the continual reintroduction of dangerous livestock diseases like bovine TB from foreign countries by implementing appropriate border restrictions, an action USDA can readily accomplish at no expense to U.S. cattle producers, ranchers and R-CALF have no reason to trust that USDA’s
ment provides many lasting benefits for youth. We strongly believe farm employers need to understand and follow safe work practices. But unlike the DOL, we don’t believe that youth lack “the cognitive ability” to separate cattle. And, unlike the DOL, we believe that the family structure — and that may include grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins — is a safe place for a youth to become well-adjusted, learn how to work and develop the work ethic that built this country.” What’s wrong with young people learning how to work? asked Ernie Birchmeier, livestock and dairy specialist with Michigan Farm Bureau. “There were many times as a child, after a day on the hay wagon, that I wished it was illegal for me to work,” he said. “But look-
loyalties lie anywhere but with international traders who want the U.S. cattle industry to shoulder the costs of foreign animal disease problems. The U.S. is no longer in charge of its own policies, rather we are obliged to follow directives of the World Trade Organization, the Food & Agricultural Organization, the World Health Organization, including the Codex Alimentarius and the International Plant Protection Convention (agencies of the U.N.).” Read it and you’ll agree that the ADTF proposed rule is designed to eliminate small producers and increase the size of Obama’s bureaucracy. You can ID every animal on the face of the earth but in the process you will not cure a single disease or prevent the outbreak of one foreign-born contagion that could wipe out our domestic cattle industry at a time when we are most needed in a hungry world. In the meantime, I wouldn’t be ordering any new branding irons if I were you.
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October 15, 2011 ing back, those days taught me some of the most important lessons in life. This DOL proposal is simply another indication of a government philosophy that it knows what’s best for you. That’s why we urge every farmer out there to read this document and submit comments to the DOL early and often.” Anderson agreed. “We need effective and available training materials to be sure
Child Labor Laws unacceptable risk to children. In the proposed rules “we’ve identified a number of very specific implements in the work place that present an unnecessary and unacceptable risk to children. In most cases, they’ll be precluded from working around those implements. “There is a small window that still exists for children in a legitimate training/student learner program. That will allow them, under close supervision and after sufficient training, to continue to work with things like tractors.” According to a DOL press release, it is also proposing to create “a new nonagricultural hazardous occupations order that would prevent children under 18 from being employed in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials.”
The right balance? During the press conference, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said she was “proud to announce that the (DOL) is proposing revisions to child labor regulations that would provide added safeguards for young workers employed in agriculture. “Our proposal has important implications for those who work in agriculture. We’re inviting the public to provide comment on its provisions.” Solis said the proposed rules are “also part of our effort to better align the rules that apply agricultural employment with those that apply to the employment of children in non-agricultural work places. “Children employed in agriculture are some of the most vulnerable workers in America. We cannot, and will not, stand by while so many of them continue to work in unsafe and unhealthy work places. “Though the number of young, hired farm workers is relatively small, they’re employed in one of the most dangerous occupations. Their job duties can range from working with animals to pesticide handling, timber operations, grain bins and complex, power-driven equipment. These are activities best left to trained adults.” In 2009, said Solis “we found egregious child labor among blueberry farms in several states across the country. We put a stop to it. We made sure employers understood the law and made sure workers understood it, too. “It is important to note that our proposed rule is designed to
youth have an understanding of the work tasks they will be doing,” he said. “Training needs to done by institutions and organizations that understand agricultural production practices just as well as farm employers. Banning people from working should not be a proper response to an injury or a fatality. If youth are expected to do calculus at this age surely they can learn most farm work.” continued from page seven
strike the right balance. (It) doesn’t change the parental exemption, which allows the child of a farmer to do anything at any age, at any time of day, on a farm owned by his or her parents.” The public comment period on the new regulations will run through Nov. 1. A public hearing will follow the comment period. The DOL says a complete list of the proposed revisions will be available in the Federal Register on September 2. Asked how the new regulations might impact Latino children working U.S. farms, Hancock said the DOL’s intention “is to protect all children working in an agricultural setting. Of course, Latino children and their families are heavily present in that industry. We expect they’ll be one of the primary beneficiaries of this. But the intent is to protect children and we think that’ll be accomplished by this.” What about restrictions based on age? All of what the DOL proposes “is within the confines of legislation,” said Hancock. “Legislation not only allows the children of farmers to work unimpeded on the (family) farm without any age restriction, (there are) a number of different exceptions that allow children even under 12 years old to work in agriculture under certain, circumscribed conditions. That’s been in the legislation since the beginning and nothing in (the new proposals) will disturb that.” So, there’s no minimum age for children working a farm 12 hours a day? “Again, the legislation is something that sets the parameters on what we can do,” replied Hancock. “Having said that, we think a number of these provisions will have a profound impact on children working in agriculture no matter their age — particularly for children of 14 and 15 years, who will now be prohibited from doing certain occupations they’ve heretofore been able to do. “In addition, we’re asking for comments on a particular issue about whether or not certain conditions may persist in the agriculture work place that we should take a closer look at. Things like when the heat reaches a certain point and presents a hazard we need to look at. Again, we think these are fairly sweeping protections we’re extending to all children in the agricultural work place without regard to age.”
October 15, 2011
“America’s Favorite Livestock Newspaper”
In Debate About Food, a Monied New Player by JULIA MOSKIN / New York Times
n mid September, a new public-relations campaign about agriculture got off to a splashy start. With full-page ads in newspapers and panel discussions live-streamed on the Internet, the newly formed U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) began what it called a bid to “reshape the dialogue” about the American food supply. “When did agriculture become a dirty word?” the Alliance asks on its Web site. Chris Galen, a founding member of the group and head of communications for the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), said, “There is a feeling across the board in agriculture that Americans have concerns about the food supply, and those are best addressed by farmers.” To assure Americans that food is safe, abundant and affordable, farmers can use their voices and faces to fight the label “Big Ag,” the organization’s leaders say. But the group’s members include the largest agriculture marketing groups in the country, with billions of dollars to spend. They include the American Egg Board (“The Incredible Edible Egg”), the National Milk Producers Federation (“Got Milk?”) and the National Pork Board (“The Other White Meat”). Its $11 million annual budget will come partly from mandatory marketing fees that the Department of Agriculture helps collect from farmers, and from corporations like Monsanto, the producer of genetically engineered seed, and DuPont, a major producer of chemical pesticides. Each company has committed to an annual contribution of $500,000. Yet Bonnie West, a spokeswoman for the American National Cattlewomen, a booster group for beef consumption, said her members felt like “small potatoes” in the national debate over food. The “big potatoes” for the group seem to be advocates and authors like Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma), and the filmmaker Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.), whose work has criticized industrial agricultural practices like huge feedlots, tight confinement of animals, the widespread use of hormones and antibiotics and the billions of dollars in federal subsidies that they say support an otherwise unsustainable system. It is a source of pride for their allies that there is now a perceived need for an organized response to their critiques. “I see the existence of this group as a triumph for the good food movement,” said Marion Nestle, the New York University professor whose criticisms of federal agriculture policy and corporate farming are numerous and well documented. (Her recent post on the Alliance drew a record volume of comments to
her blog, she said.) Words like “organic,” “sustainable” and “local” have become powerful to many American consumers. Because of popular demand, mass-market chains like
Words like “organic,” “sustainable” and “local” have become powerful to many American consumers. Wal-Mart now stock organic produce and milk; restaurant chains like Red Lobster and McDonald’s have begun to identify the sources of their raw ingredients. The battle is over more than labels. Also at stake is the $25 billion annual budget for discretionary spending by the Agriculture Department, and crop subsidies worth even more. Bob Stallman, chairman of the Alliance, is also president of the American Farm Bureau, the farmers’ main lobbying group in Washington.
Under the Farm Bill, dozens of subsidies are set to expire in 2012, which some say is the reason for the escalation of the current debate. “In this age of budget cuts, everyone in agriculture is fiercely protecting their funds,” Ms. Nestle said. “Unfortunately, Washington is running our food system as a zero-sum game.” But the battlefield itself has changed. “We wouldn’t be having this conversation if it weren’t for the rise of social media,” Mr. Galen said of the alliance. During the panel discussions, which can be watched online at fooddialogues.com, the group worked feverishly to generate comments on Twitter. The discussions, which were held across the country, included people from across the farming and food policy spectrum, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and were hosted by Claire Shipman of ABC News. (Ms. Shipman and the chef John Besh of New Orleans were among those who requested and received payment for their par-
ticipation, the group said.) Even movements like Meatless Mondays, Slow Food and the Organic Consumers Association have had big impact through online campaigns; the documentary Food, Inc. alone has almost 400,000 fans on Facebook. After it was nominated for an Academy Award and gained wide distribution, groups like the American Meat Producers Association responded with an escalation of online content, including
. . . now people are so distant from where their food comes from. sites like meatmythbusters.com. “Today, fewer than 5 percent of Americans live on farms,” the meat association said on that site. “For many people, the news media, books and movies are their sources for information about how America’s food is produced. This also means Americans are vulnerable to myths and misinformation.” The idea that Americans who
do not live in rural areas are uninformed about farming is a theme for the Alliance. “Farmers and ranchers used to have more of a voice, but now people are so distant from where their food comes from,” Ms. West said of the cattlewomen group. “People assume pesticides and antibiotics are bad, and that farmers and ranchers use them only to make a quick buck, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth.” Organic farmers are noticeably absent from the Alliance’s list of affiliates. “As a rule, we like to be for things, not against them, but this represents everything we are working against,” said Bill Deusing, head of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. Myra Goodman, a founder of the organic collective Earthbound Farms, is among the large-scale growers who have so far declined to join the Alliance. “If in practice it turns out to be a forum for honest, inclusive, productive discussions about the state of our food system, it could be good,” she said. “If it turns out to be all about protecting the status quo, then it won’t be so productive.”
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Livestock Market Digest
October 15, 2011
NMSU engineering, Extension service pair to demonstrate agricultural use of solar power or the more than 25,000 farms spread across the rural landscape in New Mexico, electrical power isn’t always readily available. Windmills have long been the traditional source of pulling water from wells at remote agricultural outposts, but now, solar panels may be popping up in place of these icons of the American West. New Mexico State University’s College of Engineering and the Cooperative Extension Service are teaming up to show New Mexico’s farmers and ranchers how they can use alternative energy in their business. Extension officers can now provide live demonstrations with a portable solar-powered water pump. “There are a lot of producers looking for alternative power options,” said Bruce Hinrichs, associate director of the Cooperative Extension Service. “It’s difficult for them to know where to start when they are considering new technologies.” Tom Jenkins, professor of engineering technology and head of the department’s renewable energy program, has been working with the extension service to produce training presentations explaining the use of renewable energy sources in agricultural applications. Taking the idea further, extension officers wanted
to be able to demonstrate to the agricultural community in the state how solar power could be used to pump well water. Jenkins, acting as a client, presented a group of mechanical engineering technology students with the problem. Three students took on the problem as their senior capstone project in the spring 2011 semester. Senior capstone design courses are the culmination of the engineering curriculum at NMSU, requiring students to utilize knowledge and skills acquired throughout their coursework. Under the tutelage of Craig Ricketts, associate engineering technology professor, Cody Anderson, Felicia Costales and Andres Galvan designed and built a portable demonstration unit that could be taken into the field. The unit consists of a rolling cart outfitted with a small solar panel that collects heat energy from sunlight and converts it to electricity. The electricity powers a high-pressure submersible pump in a 50-gallon storage vessel. The pump is equipped with a sophisticated control box that optimizes the power needed to control the speed of the pump.
Meters show the current and voltage produced by the solar panel and used by the pump. “A major engineering challenge of this project was for the students to come up with a method to simulate different
Wind and solar are cost competitive, but solar may be safer and easier to work with. depths of water in a portable unit,” said Jeff Beasley, engineering technology and surveying engineering department head. The students incorporated a valve to control water pressure so the unit can simulate pumping from depths up to 400 feet, using mathematical equations to determine the correlation between water pressure and depth. “The depth of water in the state is all over the scale, anywhere from 10 to 1,000 feet,” said Craig Runyan, associate in Extension Plant Services. “Four hundred feet is pushing the limit
for solar, but technology is catching up fast. There are a lot of wells 600-700 feet deep on the eastern side of the state. It’s not unreasonable for a conventional windmill to lift water down 700 feet, but it takes quite a while. It really depends on how much flow you need.” At the same time, fellow engineering technology students Lloyd Vigil and Christian Garces were working to develop a spreadsheet tool that could be used by potential clientele of solar water pump systems. “Users can enter information about the depth of their well, if it will be used for livestock and what type of livestock. The system will recommend a hardware layout for their given application,” said Ricketts. “The spreadsheet will recommend the volume of water needed, how much storage will be needed as reserve for cloudy days, how many panels will be needed, pump and pipe size.” The spreadsheet also has an economic component that will help estimate how much a system might cost. While the market is pretty evenly split between wind and solar used to draw water from
wells in New Mexico, said Runyan, producers are all looking for alternatives to the high cost of fuel. “It’s really a personal preference. Wind and solar are cost competitive, but solar may be safer and easier to work with — nobody likes climbing towers. And while wind mills are capable of producing more water, the sun is more consistent and you may end up with more water if you can store it,” said Runyan. These projects and the development of other engineeringbased educational materials arose after the Cooperative Extension Service surveyed their officers serving the state’s 33 counties about what kind of engineering assistance is needed by their clientele. The response was alternative sources of energy technology that would help them address the challenges associated with the availability of water. “It’s a great avenue for us to help fulfill an increasing need of our clientele,” said Jon Boren, associate dean and assistant director of the Cooperative Extension Service. “Using expertise from the College of Engineering for alternative energy technologies, extension has the network to deliver new choices to our clientele.We have an extensive network and the College of Engineering has the expertise.”
House Committee Passes Border Security Bill Legislation Finally Addresses Longstanding Problem Posed by Federal Land Policies
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he House Natural Resources Committee passed the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act [H.R. 1505] in early October. This legislation was introduced by National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee Chairman Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT) on April 13, 2011. The National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act addresses one of the prevailing factors preventing the U.S. from obtaining full operational control of the U.S./Mexico border. Currently, the United States Border Patrol is limited from fully accessing millions of acres of federally managed lands located throughout the border region. As a result, criminal drug and human smuggling organizations utilize these areas which provide them with nearly unfettered access into the United States. “As we work to gain full operational control of the border, it is essential that we examine where and why the highest levels of incursions are occurring. It’s no surprise that public lands are at the top of the list and it makes absolutely no sense that our Border Patrol agents are limited from maintaining a routine presence in these areas,” said Congressman Bishop. “I am pleased that today we are one step closer to providing them with the access they need to keep our country
safe. We can no longer turn our backs on the violence, environmental degradation and rampant criminal activity occurring on our public lands. I look forward to working with my colleagues as this bill is considered further and ultimately brought to the floor of the House for a final vote.” Specifically, the National Security and Federal Protection Act: ■ Prohibits the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture from impeding, prohibiting or restricting the U.S. Border Patrol’s efforts to gain full operational control within 100 miles of the U.S. border with Mexico and Canada ■ Allows the Border Patrol access to public lands in order to conduct the following limited activities necessary to their border security operations: • Construct and maintain roads • Construct fences • Use of vehicles for patrol • Install, maintain, and operate surveillance equipment and sensors • Use aircraft • Deploy temporary tactical infrastructure, including forward operating bases ■ Provides the Border Patrol with the same environmental waiver authority included in the Immigration Reform and Immi-
grant Responsibility Act of 1996 utilized by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff during the 2008 construction of the fence along the U.S./Mexico border. In an effort to make additional improvements to the legislation, a series of amendments were adopted during the markup. Including: ■ A provision that removes
the language that included “maritime” borders among the borders identified in the bill, therefore limiting the bill to the land borders with Mexico and Canada. ■ A clarification that protects existing legal uses of public lands, such as leases for grazing ■ An addition of a five-year sunset from the date of enactment of the bill
Michael McGarrity to pen epic Western Trilogy rian Tart, president and publisher of Dutton, announced today the acquisition of a Western epic trilogy by New York Times’ bestselling author Michael McGarrity. Barney Karpfinger of The Karpfinger Agency made the sales of North American rights and Mr. Tart will edit. The first installment in the trilogy, Hard Country, is scheduled for publication in June 2012. Three years ago, McGarrity, the award-winning author of the Kevin Kerney series, decided he wanted to take a break from his contemporary police procedurals and write a western epic that spans the history of the Southwest from
1875 to 1918. As a former deputy sheriff for Santa Fe County, an instructor at the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy, and an investigator for the New Mexico Public Defender’s office, no other writer is better suited to reviving the Western genre than McGarrity. Hard Country presents the history of the Kerney family, as they move west in the post-Civil War era to the barren plains of West Texas and eventually to New Mexico. Filled with outlaws, border wars, Comanche raids, cattle rustlers, frontier justice, redemption, and long standing revenge, it is an epic story of life and death in the American West.
“America’s Favorite Livestock Newspaper”
October 15, 2011
Summary shows 82 percent of Wisconsin soil samples test low in sulfur airy farmer Scott Stoffel never used to worry much about whether his crops got enough sulfur, an essential macro nutrient for alfalfa, corn and other crops Stoffel grows at his West Bend, Wisc., farm. Before environmental regulations restricted sulfur emissions, Mother Nature supplied farm fields with sulfur. “We got sulfur with the rain,” says Stoffel. Today, many growers like Stoffel in Wisconsin and other states are seeing signs of sulfur deficiencies in alfalfa, corn and other crops. Last year, researchers at the University of Wisconsin (UW) found that 64 percent of alfalfa plant tissue samples taken (39 total samples) were low in sulfur (.25 percent or less). In a similar study a decade ago, only 38 percent of samples were considered low. Summaries released by the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) in 2010 indicate an increase in frequency in low sulfur levels in soil tests. Overall, 13 percent of the 2.5 million samples tested in 2010 were low (3 ppm or less) in calcium phopshate (extractable) equivalent sulfur compared to only 4 percent in 2005. In Wisconsin, 82 percent of soils tested were considered low in sulfur in the IPNI study. “Sulfur is becoming an issue because of the Clean Air Act
that required lower emissions from powerplants and other sources,” says Dr. Richard Wolkowski, a senior soil scientist and Extension soil scientist (emeritus) at the UW. “There has been a substantial decrease in sulfur deposition in rainfall.”
Using gypsum for sulfur One cost-effective and high quality alternative for supplying sulfur, as well as calcium, is FGD or by-product gypsum produced at certain coal-fired utility plants that use scrubbing technology to clean emissions. “Gypsum is an excellent source of calcium and sulfur for crops,” Wolkowski says. The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 gave rise to new scrubbing systems used by coalfired utilities to remove sulfur dioxide (SO2) from their emissions. These scrubbers produce high-quality and very pure FGD gypsum or calcium sulfate dihydrate (CaSO4 ? 2H2O). According to utility industry surveys, annual production of FGD gypsum is currently approximately 18 million tons and could double in the next ten years. In addition to FGD gypsum, co-product gypsum is derived from fermenting corn for food products. FGD gypsum supplies approximately 13 to 16 percent sulfur and 17 to 20 percent calcium on a dry weight basis, according to Ron Chamberlain, chief agronomist and founder of GYPSOIL who now serves as
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Research results Dr. Warren Dick, a researcher and professor in Environmental and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH, has shown that gypsum, used as a sulfur source, raises yields of corn and alfalfa. A 2003 OSU study showed corn responded to gypsum that supplied sulfur at a rate of 30 lbs/acre. Yield was increased from 182 bu./acre to 193. Dr. Dick has conducted several studies looking at alfalfa response to gypsum. Cumulative 2000 to 2002 data from OSU
shows an 18 percent increase in alfalfa tonnage in gypsum-treated fields vs. the control fields with no gypsum. “Sulfur is important because it’s a part of protein,” Dr. Dick told the audience of 190 crop consultants, growers and others at the Midwest Soil Improvement Symposium: Research and Practical Insights into Using Gypsum, held in August 2011, at the University of Wisconsin Arlington Ag Research Station. “There are two amino acids that require sulfur for protein synthesis and that’s why crops like alfalfa, and maybe soybeans, potentially respond better to gypsum and the sulfur fertilizer inputs because they are very high protein-producing type crops. “The other thing about alfalfa and soybeans is that the nitrogen-fixing enzyme, nitrogenase, has a very high requirement for sulfur and so the two go together,” Dick said. Typically, one pound of sulfur is removed from the soil with every 10 pounds of nitrogen that are used to build protein in alfalfa, according to Chamberlain. “As a result, it’s quite critical to replace the sulfur that’s been removed since most soils no longer receive adequate sulfur deposited from the air.” Chamberlain says that FGD or byproduct gypsum is an ideal sulfur source because it is costeffective, readily available and easy to apply with bulk spreaders
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used to apply litter or lime. He says the rate for gypsum application on alfalfa ground is 300-500 lbs/acre. Growers like Stoffel often elect to apply at a higher rate in order to achieve soil amendment benefits as well. Wolkowski says there are a number of reasons to look at land application of byproduct gypsum. “Applying byproduct gypsum is a good method of recycling. What would normally be landfilled is now being used to supply plant fertility needs.” “Furthermore, there is evidence to show gypsum has a positive effect on soil properties, and that applications of gypsum may reduce soluble phosphorus losses from the soil. That could be important from an environmental standpoint.”
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director of gypsum programs for Beneficial Reuse Management. In addition to supplying soils with calcium and sulfur, gypsum is also used by many growers as a soil amendment to improve water infiltration, reduce erosion and also keep nutrients like phosphorus from leaching out of the soil. Stoffel has recently turned to gypsum to aid in fertility and improve soil quality. In March of 2010, Stoffel applied FGD gypsum at a rate of one ton/acre to a fourth-year alfalfa field. Stoffel says he couldn’t believe the difference in his alfalfa field versus other fields after a single gypsum application. The alfalfa crop was, “greener, taller, with more leaves and faster regrowth,” says Stoffel. He says sulfur levels in his feed tests have risen since he started applying gypsum.
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Livestock Market Digest
October 15, 2011
2011 New Mexico State Fair Ranch Family of the Year:
The Denetclaw Family SHIPROCK, NEW MEXICO radition, ranching heritage and family values are all words that best describe the State Fair, the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association (NMCGA) and the 2011 New Mexico State Fair (NMSF) Ranch Family of the Year. Milford and Mamie Denetclaw continue to farm and ranch on land that has been historically used by their family for generations in the Navajo Nation. Milford is a fourth generation sheep and cattle rancher.
His grandfather, Clarence Denetclaw, Sr. purchased cattle after he returned from serving in WWI and his father, Wilfred maintained the herd and moved to Shiprock, N.M. in the late 1950s and married Mae Garnenez. Milford’s maternal grandparents Natoni and Anna Garnenez established a range management unit that had been previously grazed as the family’s customary use area near the Shiprock pinnacle. Milford and Mamie enhanced their herd through networks established as members of the Foundation Beefmaster Association in 1985. They established a Beefmaster herd and became members of the NMCGA where Milford serves as a director. Through his association with NMCGA, Milford is an alumnus of the first class of the New Mexico Agriculture Leadership Program. He continues to support the program annually by providing insight into cultural customs, traditions, and tribal agriculture programs to class participants. He’s been active in organizing seminars for local ranchers since the 1990s and served in a leadership capacity for the local irrigation board. Their sons, Matthew, 17 and Myron, 12 are both active 4-H members. Matthew started with showing hogs at age 9. He expanded his interest in showing livestock to market lambs, steers, and heifers with many blue ribbons to his name. He was awarded the reserve breed champion in the 2010 New Mexico Bred Lamb Show. Matthew chal-
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lenged himself to show at the National Western Livestock and Arizona National Livestock shows and was rewarded with not only ribbons, but with camaraderie and a network of contacts who share his interests. The NMSF catch Calf Scramble program afforded him the opportunity to start his own herd and raise club calves. Matthew has accomplished himself as an outstanding 4H/FFA member and earned his FFA degree. The highlights in Matt’s 4-H career include: 2010 New Mexico State 4-H Livestock Judging Champion Team, 2010 Champion Skillathon Team, placed in top ten at 2010 NAILE 4-H Livestock Judging Contest, 2011 Ranch Camp Top Hand Award, and voted the 2011 4-H National Conference Speaker of the House in Washington, D.C. He is currently a freshman at Frank-Phillips College and a member of the FPC Livestock Judging Team. Myron started his 4H career with a poultry project. He won the champion of show his first
2011 New Mexico State Fair Ranch Family of the Year / (l to r) Caren Cowan, NMCGA; Governor Susana Martinez; Milford, Mamie, Myron & Matt Deneclaw; New Mexico Director/Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte.
year at the county fair and multiple grand champion poultry awards at local tribal fairs. Myron is following his brother’s footsteps showing hogs and market lambs. He is more right brained and expresses his creativity through drawing and painting. He earned several best of shows for his art. Milford and Mamie’s support of the 4H program extends into the community as 4-H leaders. Mamie shares her knowledge as a certified diabetes nurse educa-
Denmark Introduces Fat Tax enmark has imposed what it calls a “fat tax” on foods such as butter and oil as a way to curb unhealthy eating habits. While the country has already implemented initiatives to tax unhealthy products such as sugar and soft drinks, the breadth of the fat tax is largely unprecedented, says the Washington Post. Based not only on the presence of saturated fats in the finished product but also on the fats used to make it, the fat tax is set at approximately $2.90 per kilogram of saturated fat. It is expected to raise the price of a standard burger about 15 cents. The purpose of this new tax, says the Danish parliament, is to increase the life expectancy of the Danish population. While above the world average, the life expectancy of Danes lags behind that of their European neighbors. Placing this issue at the forefront, government officials cite the correlation between fat-heavy diets and cardiovascular disease and cancer when justifying the new tax. It bears mention that because of its twopronged structure, the tax will not only make the consumption of fat-heavy foods more expensive, but it will also increase production costs by taxing fats used in creating the products. It is estimated that simply garnering the information necessary to pay the tax, not
tor and encourages community members to live a healthy lifestyle by volunteering at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club as an indoor cycling instructor. Her encouragement to make healthier food choices does not go unnoticed at home or with the 4-H program. She supports her children’s education by serving as an officer with the Parent Advisory Committee. The Denetclaw family enjoys spending time together whether it’s vaccinating, fixing fences,
including the tax itself, will cost Danish businesses $28 million in the first year of the tax's implementation. This complicated structure has damaged its popularity and led to pressure from interest groups to simplify the tax. Source: “Denmark Introduces Fat Tax to Curb Unhealthy Habits, Improve Life Expectancy,” Washington Post, October 2, 2011.
A Short History of the Income Tax efore the modern era, the federal tax system was manifestly unfair by any reasonable standard, grossly biased in favor of the well off. Ironically, attempting to fix that unfairness is what has brought us to the present moment, with a federal tax system that is grotesquely complex, often arbitrary, and corrupted by mutual backscratching between members of Congress and influential lobbyists, says author John Steele Gordon. While America saw its first temporary income tax during the Civil War, it wasn’t until 1894 that a federal income tax on the rich became law. The 1894 law was eventually struck down by the Supreme Court, but it was later revived by progressive Republicans and others in the early 1900s. This ultimately led to ratification of the 16th Amendment just as President Taft was leaving office.
weeding, participating in school activities or livestock camps, 4-H meetings, “vacationing” at a fair, or traveling to a livestock show. The time and effort it takes to raise show stock and maintain a livelihood as ranchers many do not appreciate, has kept this family together. Together, they learn and teach responsibility, respect, honesty, integrity, citizenship, values, promote the beef industry, advocate for the 4H/FFA programs, and maintain their native customs.
The new president, Woodrow Wilson, and Congress promptly passed a personal income tax. It kicked in at 1 percent on incomes above $3,000 (a comfortable upper middle-class income at the time) and reached 7 percent on incomes over $500,000. But there were many deductions, bringing the effective tax rates down sharply from the marginal ones — a feature of the tax system ever since. Unfortunately the corporate income tax, originally intended as only a stopgap measure, was left in place unchanged. As a result, for the last 98 years we have had two completely separate and uncoordinated income taxes. This has had two deeply pernicious effects. One, it allowed the very rich to avoid taxes by playing the two systems against each other —when the top personal income tax rate soared to 75 percent in World War I, for instance, thousands of the rich simply incorporated their holdings in order to pay the much lower corporate tax rate. The other pernicious consequence of the separate corporate and personal income taxes has been a field day for demagogues and the misguided to claim that the rich are not paying their “fair share.” Source: John Steele Gordon, “A Short History of the Income Tax,” Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2011.
“America’s Favorite Livestock Newspaper”
October 15, 2011
Greens, government target Mainers by RON ARNOLD, Washington Examiner
ast year, more than 600,000 nature lovers held memberships in the National Parks Conservation Association (2010 revenue, $43.2 million), with its noble slogan, “protecting our national parks for future generations.” The group is lobbying for 130 more parks immediately, and its website extols magnificent parks and historic sites that “embody the American spirit” and deplores “the many dangers that threaten to destroy them forever.” But the National Park Service, which actually administers the places NPCA touts, is a ruthless, insatiable land-grabbing bureaucracy that has brutally dispossessed thousands of homeowners nationwide, ruining lives to expand its empire with cold-blooded efficiency. Everybody loves “America’s best idea,” as PBS filmmaker Ken Burns calls our national parks — from Acacia to Yosemite, and from Yellowstone to the Everglades. But even PBS couldn’t stomach the National Park Service’s atrocity in Ohio’s rural Cuyahoga Val-
ley. In the 1970s, they came with sweet promises that the government would take only a modest recreation area. At first, that meant the loss of 30 homes. Then 200, then 600, and finally an undisclosed master plan to depopulate a 51-square-mile swath of the valley’s farms and towns and homes. In 1983, PBS Frontline with Jessica Savitch ran an expose titled, “For the Good of All,” tracing the Cuyahogans’ hopeless struggle to keep their homes and heritage. Many viewers never forgave the parks service, but the National Parks Conservation Association cheered it on. Today, the association glorifies Cuyahoga Valley National Park — trails for the hike and bike bunch and sanitized artisan farmers who pretend to be like those who once actually lived there. Recently, the National Park Service took its Cuyahoga-like show to Millinocket, Maine’s high school auditorium, where park service Director Jon Jarvis and his boss, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, tried to sweet-talk 300 locals into a proposed 70,000-acre North Woods National Park that
NPCA wants to create. Roxanne Quimby, multimillionaire founder of Burt’s Bees products, proposed giving part of her local landholdings to the United States for a national park. The state legislature, the governor and both of Maine’s U.S. senators had already rejected the idea because it would certainly expand and consume the heart of Maine’s timberlands. Mainers also recalled that Destry Jarvis, Jon’s brother, had been a highranking NPCA official who created a monstrous eight-volume, Rockefellerfunded, national park expansion plan in 1988. Destry’s wish list included five huge national parks in Maine. Salazar denied accusations that it would expand, promising that Mainers would control the park’s size. Maine’s federal delegation and legislators would not allow it to be otherwise, he said. “We,” he reminded the audience, “are a nation of laws.” State Sen. Doug Thomas, who represents the area, suspected that the NPCA and Quimby were actually behind this visit, and asked Salazar who
invited him to Maine. “I invited myself,” Salazar said. “Nobody invited me.” If all this makes the National Parks Conservation Association sound like a private lobbyist for the National Park Service, that’s because it is. And that’s what it was meant to be. It was created in 1919 as the National Parks Association by Stephen Mather, borax millionaire and first director of the National Park Service. Mather the bureaucrat was impatient with rules. And so Mather the industrialist circumvented them by founding NPCA’s predecessor organization, for the explicit purpose of promoting the National Park Service in ways the agency could not do legally. With Salazar appearing “uninvited” in places that interest the National Parks Conservation Association, it’s a good bet that somebody is dusting off Destry’s list and checking it for easy targets. Examiner Columnist Ron Arnold is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.
THE LIVESTOCK MARKET DIGEST
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paulmcgilliard.murney.com ■ Horse Training / Boarding Facility: New, state-of-the-art, 220x60 horse facility with 20 stalls, back to back, offset with bull pen at end of the barn. Two large pipe outside paddocks. 3-4 BR, 3 BA, 2,000+ sq. ft. PAUL McGILLIARD Cell: 417/839-5096 home. All on 18+ acres. Just 5 miles north of I-44 Bois D’Arc exit. MLS #1017424. Call Paul for your private showing. 1-800/743-0336 ■ 838± Acre Ranch: Never been offered for sale before. Exceptional, MURNEY ASSOC., REALTORS highly improved, all continuous ranch, 1/2 mile off Hwy. 13 at Bollvar. SPRINGFIELD, MO 65804 Lovely ranch home and mobile home and guest entertainment house. Big shop, hay barn and possible 8-stall horse barn. 250/cow/calf graze the 700 acre m/l lush pastures serviced by 3.5 miles of water lines and 23 frost-free waterers. 3+ acres m/l spring-fed stocked lake. This ranch has it all. MLS#1109960 ■ 483 Ac., Hunter Mania: Nature at her best. Don’t miss out on this one. Live water (two creeks). 70+ acres open in bottom hayfields and upland grazing. Lots of timber (marketable and young) for the best hunting and fishing (Table Rock, Taney Como and Bull Shoals Lake) Really cute 3-bd., 1-ba stone home. Secluded yes, but easy access to Forsyth-Branson, Ozark and Springfield. Property joins Nat’l. Forest. MLS#908571
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VALLEY VIEW RANCH — Lipscomb Co., TX: 177 ac. with extraordinary 5,404± sq. ft. home overlooking the property with beautiful views of live creek, trees, wildlife (deer, quail, and turkey), covered horse training facilities, stables, excellent cattle working facilities and pens, commercial dog pens, employee housing. We can divide (10 ac. with main residence or 167± ac. with other improvements)! HWY. 1055/303 RANCH: 8-section ranch with new set of pens, concrete bunks, truck/cattle scale and commodity barn, mobile home, watered by subs, mill and pipeline, hour from Lubbock, Texas, mule deer and quail. TRAILWAY RANCH – Hall Co.: 1,215-acre ranch, excellent hunting, mule and white tail, turkey, bobwhites and dove, good grazing, good parks and wildlife trailway access, on Hwy. 86., OWNER FINANCING.
For advertising contact, MICHAEL WRIGHT Michael brings with him four generations of the range livestock industry and a keen awareness of the issues facing ranchers and rural economies today.
505/243-9515, ext. 30 firstname.lastname@example.org
W-R Ranch 29,767 Acres 20 Miles NE of Roswell, NM · 5,315 Deeded Acres, · 23,525 State Lease Acres · 927 BLM Acres · 500 Animal Units Year Long · Good water; windmill & submergible tanks · Good fences; 4-strand barbwire CALL FOR PRICE
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Livestock Market Digest
October 15, 2011
Dealing with Cold Stress in Cattle by HEATHER SMITH THOMAS
eather is always a factor in cattle health. Stressed animals are always more vulnerable to stress-related illnesses. Cattle need more care during cold or wet weather. Management to prepare cattle for winter and minimize these stresses can save or make you money, and reduce the incidence of illness or loss. As days get shorter and weather is colder, body metabolism increases. Feed intake increases and passage of feed through the digestive tract speeds up. Feed requirements for cattle may go up as much as 10 to 15 percent. All of these changes contribute to an increase in heat production so the animal can withstand winter temperatures. Body condition is extremely important during winter. Cows that get too thin during a cold or wet winter suffer more cold stress than fatter cows (since fat serves as insulation and a source of energy reserves). A thin cow must rob even more body fat in order to keep warm. It becomes a vicious cycle. Calves born to thin cows may be compromised in body condition and immune health, and more prone to disease during their first weeks of life. Calves from thin cows may be born weak, unable to get up quickly and nurse — not getting colostrum soon enough. Cold stress also hinders a calf’s ability to absorb colostral antibodies. Thin cows may not produce adequate levels of antibodies in their colostrum if they have been short on protein in their diet. Calf survivability is always lowered in thin cows, as is the cow’s
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ability to rebreed. Windbreaks and bedding should be provided during winter storms if you live in a cold climate, so cattle won’t expend so much energy just to keep warm. Without bedding, energy requirements in sub-zero weather may increase by 12 to 15 percent on a cold night, just to offset the heat lost when cattle have to lie on cold ground.
Without bedding, energy requirements in sub-zero weather may increase by 12 to 15 percent on a cold night, just to offset the heat lost when cattle have to lie on cold ground.
If weather is cold and windy, cows must eat more food to keep warm. If they stand behind windbreaks or huddle in a group to protect themselves from the wind, rather than grazing, they can’t eat enough to maintain body heat. Even if pasture is available, they may not start grazing until temperatures are warmest in midday, and they lose weight because they’re not eating enough total feed. Under these conditions you need to feed hay or a supplement early in the day to get them going, and then they’ll usually start grazing. Short days and long nights are part of the challenge in getting cattle to eat enough. Grazing time is shorter, so extra feed may be needed, to make sure the cattle eat enough to keep warm and to maintain body condition. They will often eat hay during the night but they generally won’t graze at night during cold weather. Cattle need to eat more roughage (forage) to provide the calories for heat energy. If they don’t eat enough fibrous feed (which is broken down in the rumen to produce energy, with the fermentation process creating extra heat, as well), pounds melt off as they rob body fat to create the energy needed for warmth. With more total pounds of roughage in the diet, either as pasture or some additional grass hay or good quality straw, the cow can keep warm — as long as she has enough protein to feed the rumen microbes that ferment and digest the roughage. In cold weather, high quality leafy alfalfa by itself is not the best feed. Even though it supplies plenty of protein, calcium, vitamin A and other important nutrients, it does not contain enough fiber to provide heat energy during cold weather. Cattle being fed high quality hay as their only for-
age source will lose weight in winter. Alfalfa alone is not adequate for cattle when weather is really cold; they gobble it up and stand around shivering. They must have more fiber in the rumen to create heat energy. If a cow is cold, she needs all the roughage she will clean up. You don’t dare feed that much high quality alfalfa or the cow may bloat. Alfalfa for beef cows should be lower quality (containing more stems/fiber and less leaves) or a grass/alfalfa mix if it’s being fed as the primary forage source, or should be fed in very small quantities as a protein supplement. A small amount of good alfalfa per cow per day can augment the protein and mineral/vitamin levels of poor quality roughage such as dry pasture or low quality grass hay or even straw, balancing the diet and
Cattle need to eat more roughage (forage) to provide the calories for heat energy.
enabling the cow to utilize the poorer quality forage to best advantage. When it gets really cold, cows can do fine if you feed them all the poor quality roughage they can eat — whether straw or low quality, mature grass hay — and enough alfalfa to provide the necessary protein for digesting it.
Adusting gradually to cold weather Cattle that have a chance to acclimate gradually to winter develop a thick hair coat and put on body fat if feed sources are adequate. Hair and fat both serve as good insulation against the cold. If you have cold winters, select a type of cattle with a naturally thick hair coat, that fatten easily. They’ll handle the cold much better than the breeds that were developed for hot climates. If you live in a cold climate and buy cattle from a warmer area, bring them home before cold weather starts, so they will have time to grow a good hair coat. With short summer hair, the typical beef cow may chill when temperatures drop below 40 degrees F. whereas a cow with a heavy winter coat can stay comfortable at temperatures below zero F. if there’s no wind. She can also adjust to cold weather by increasing her metabolic rate, to increase heat production. Increased metabolism will also increase her appetite and she’ll eat more, to help her keep warm. But if a cow gets too cold, heat loss and cold stress will reduce her appetite and decrease her efficiency of feed conversion. Body metabolism is adversely
affected if body temperature drops. Mammals must maintain a fairly constant body temperature to keep up the metabolic processes that enable the body to function.
Hair and fat both serve as good insulation against the cold . . . if a cow gets too cold, heat loss and cold stress will reduce her appetite and decrease her efficiency of feed conversion.
If temperatures drop below the animal’s comfort zone, there’s not only an increase in maintenance requirements, but digestibility is also reduced. This further increases the feed needs of cattle. Research has shown that there’s a decline of about 1 percent in feed digestibility for each 2 degrees of temperature drop. But cattle that are adapted to cold weather have more efficient digestion at cold temperatures than unadapted cattle and are more resistant to the depressing effects of cold on digestion.
Critical temperature If a cow has a good winter coat, she does fine until temperature drops below 20 to 30 degrees F. Below that, she must compensate for heat loss by increasing her energy intake, to increase heat production and maintain her body temperature. Healthy cows in average body condition (body score 5) or higher, acclimated to cold weather,
have a “lower critical temperature point” of about 20 degrees F. This is the point at which maintenance requirements increase and you must feed them more. This is the lower limit of the comfort zone, below which the animal must increase the rate of heat production. This is also the temperature below which an animal’s rate of performance (growth, milk production, etc.) begins to decline. A 1,100-pound pregnant cow needs about 11.2 pounds of total digestible nutrients (TDN) per day when temperatures are above freezing or even above her lower critical temperature point which may be slightly colder than freezing. If the temperature drops 20 degrees below her low-
Wind or moisture will make the effective temperature (felt by the body) lower than the temperature stated on a thermometer.
er critical temperature, she needs 20 percent more TDN (2.2 more pounds of digestible nutrients). To supply that, you can feed her 5 pounds of hay containing 50 percent TDN. Your county agent or a cattle nutritionist can help you figure out the nutrient quality of your hay. Wind or moisture will make the effective temperature (felt by the body) lower than the temperature stated on a thermometer. Always figure in the wind chill (using a standard wind chill chart) when arriving at the number of degrees below a cow’s critical temperature point. For continued on page fifteen
■ Cold Stress in Newborn Calves ewborn calves in cold weather are at much greater risk for cold stress than their mothers. Young calves don’t have a functional rumen and can’t produce as much body heat as older animals. They also don’t have as much body fat for insulation. If you calve in cold weather, make sure calves get dry quickly and are able to get up and nurse, since colostrum contains a high level of fat to give instant energy that will help keep the calf warm. It also helps to have shelters for young calves so they can get out of the wind. They don’t handle wind chill very well because of their small body mass. Young calves can handle cold weather fairly well if they are dry, and have a dry place out of the wind where they can sleep.
■ Windbreaks atural windbreaks of trees or brush make good protection for cattle, as do some variances in terrain (like hills that block the prevailing winds). In pens or pastures without natural windbreaks, boards on fences can reduce wind chill by up to 70 percent. If you live in a climate with winter snow, remember that wind curls up over a solid barrier and will deposit snowdrifts on the downwind side. A windbreak fence with a little open space between the boards can help prevent this, while still giving some wind protection to the cattle standing or lying behind it.
October 15, 2011
Cold Stress in Cattle example, a 10 mile per hour wind at 20 degrees F. has the same effect on the body as a temperature of 9 degrees with no wind. A 30 mile per hour wind at 20 degrees would be very similar to zero degrees on a calm day. If temperature drops to zero, or the equivalent of zero when figuring in the wind chill, the energy requirement of a cow increases something between 20 and 30 percent, about 1 percent for every degree of coldness below the cow’s critical temperature. Cattle can’t eat enough extra feed to compensate for heat loss at minus 50 degrees (which would be the case at 15 below zero with a 40 mph wind, for instance). In these conditions, they need windbreaks to reduce heat loss during winter storms. During severely cold weather, cattle also need bedding to insulate them from frozen ground, which will also help conserve
“America’s Favorite Livestock Newspaper”
continued from page fourteen
their body heat. Cattle of British breeds and crosses, with normal winter hair coats, need about 1/3 more feed than normal when exposed to a wind chill that brings effective temperature down to zero. Critical temperature for any individual animal, however, will vary according to age, size, hair coat, moisture conditions, fat covering, length of time exposed to adverse weather, and wind speed. Feedlot steers, for example, with extra fat and access to windbreaks, are usually less stressed by cold weather than are cows grazing out in the open. Cold stress is also less severe if a storm is brief, compared with continuous bad weather. Temperatures, wind chill charts, and any measures of cold stress are always based on 24-hour averages. If cattle have windbreak protection so they can periodically seek shelter and get out of
the wind when weather is really bad or when they are resting after eating, their exposure to cold stress is intermittent rather than continuous, and the severity of wind chill is reduced.
Wet weather Lower critical temperature changes when cattle get wet. Even though a cow with a good hair coat may be comfortable when temperature gets down to freezing, or even down to 20 degrees F, if she gets wet from rain or continuous snow her comfort zone is narrower; she may chill if the temperature is below 50 to 60 degrees. A thin cow with a poor hair coat, or any cow that gets thoroughly wet, needs more feed in these conditions. A cow that’s wet will need 40 percent more TDN at 30 degrees than the same cow with a dry hair coat. With severe wind chill and wet conditions, it is impractical or impossible to feed enough additional energy to provide the
calories needed — especially if you try to use grain as the supplemental energy source, since that much grain would cause digestive disorders in cattle that are not accustomed to eating grain. It’s much more cost effective to provide windbreaks to offset wind chill, and to have cattle in adequate body condition for winter — with enough energy stored as fat, for reserves. A wet storm is always harder on cattle than dry cold. Wet hair can’t keep out the cold and the cow will chill. If hair is dry, it stays fluffy and traps body heat in tiny air spaces between the hairs, creating a blanket of insulation between the cow’s body and the cold air. Hair will shed water for a while; the water will run off because of the natural oils that make the hair coat somewhat waterproof. But once it gets completely wet — as in an all-day rain or severe snowstorm, the hair lies flatter and its insulating quality is lost. Cattle suffer a lot more cold stress in wet
weather than in dry cold. They can be fairly comfortable at 10 below zero F. on a still, dry day, and quite miserable at 35 degrees in a storm with rain and wind. All too often stockmen tend to overlook the effects of wet weather, because the temperature isn’t really cold. Yet a cow’s nutrient requirements may be greatly increased, because she has more trouble keeping warm. Try soaking your shirt in water and see how poorly it insulates you from wind or cold. Cattle that have lost weight or are losing weight are very susceptible to cold or wet weather stress, and more apt to become sick, so keep track of body condition during fall and winter. Cold, dry weather tends to stimulate appetite, but rain or snow may create temporary reduction of feed intake by as much as 30 to 100 percent, so make sure cattle have plenty of feed after the storm is over, to make up for the deficit.
Angry federal judge rips ‘false testimony’ of federal scientists by RON ARNOLD, Washington Examiner
tough federal judge in Sacramento has become a folk hero of Central California citizens for protecting people and endangered species instead of putting the interests of either over the other. In the process, U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger made two huge splashes in mid September in what began as a water-supply war a decade ago, then grew into a convoluted endangered-fish war. Today, it’s a gigantic good science versus bad science war pitting California residents against a tiny fish and government officials diverting two years’ worth of water for a large city or agricultural region and flushing it into the San Francisco Bay. The flushing might help save the allegedly endangered 2-inchlong fish, the delta smelt. So many lawsuits sparked by the conflict have landed on Wanger’s desk, with so many plaintiffs and so many defendants, that he merged them into one and titled his rulings “The Consolidated [salmonid, delta smelt, or whatever] Cases.” In a searing opinion, Wanger ripped two Interior Department scientists for giving “false” and “incredible” testimony to support a “bad faith” delta smelt preservation plan. The two scientists are Frederick V. Feyrer of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and Jennifer M. Norris of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wanger also threw out huge chunks of the federal government’s official “biological opinion” on five different species, calling the opinion, which is a guidance document for environmental regulators, “arbitrary, capricious, and unlawful.” Wanger has become a hero to millions of Californians thanks to
his strict interpretation of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.
give us the best opportunity in a decade or more to make real NEPA’s policy of harmony
Wanger ripped two Interior Department scientists for giving "false" and "incredible" testimony Section 1 of NEPA establishes policy. Section 2 describes penalties. Environmentalists focus solely on the latter, while ignoring the former, even though both are federal law. Wanger says “the public policy underlying NEPA favors protecting the balance between humans and the environment,” by, according to the first purpose listed in the statute, establishing “a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment.” Environmentalists worship NEPA as “the environment’s bill of rights” and focus almost entirely on the penalties it provides, while Wanger looks at the whole law. In an earlier decision, for example, he excoriated the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency for its to-hell-with-people policy: “Federal defendants completely abdicated their responsibility to consider reasonable alternatives that would not only protect the species, but would also minimize the adverse impact on humans and the human environment.” Craig Manson, general counsel of the vast Westlands Water District (and a former assistant secretary of the interior for fish and wildlife and parks), said of Wanger’s ruling on the government’s biological opinion: “The court is again calling for sound science. The people who depend on water supplied by these projects, are entitled to the government’s best efforts supported by the best available science. The recent rulings by the court
between humans and their environment.” Brandon Middleton, a Pacific Legal Foundation attorney, said, “The court’s willingness to recognize NEPA’s policy of ‘protecting the balance between humans and the environment’ is refreshing. For decades, environmental groups have attempted to impose their viewpoint without any con-
sideration for the human impacts of ‘environmentalism at all costs.’” After reading Wanger’s opinion, Feyrer and Norris may need to consider new careers. In a court transcript of last week’s decision obtained by The Washington Examiner, Wanger wrote of Norris: “I find her testimony to be that of a zealot . . . The suggestion by Dr. Norris that the failure to implement [her plan], that that’s going to end the delta smelt’s existence on the face of our planet is false, it is outrageous, it is contradicted by her own testimony.” Feyrer got worse — a ruling of “agency bad faith.” Isn’t that a firing offense, even for a career civil servant? I asked
Julie McDonald, former deputy assistant secretary of interior for fish and wildlife and parks. “No, they don’t get fired, they get promoted,” McDonald said, citing the power of the federal “science cartel” to protect its rule over America’s environmental regulations from people like Wanger. Wanger, who has announced his retirement, has cut a largerthan-life figure ever since he was nominated for the federal bench in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush. He’s been called colorful, but I think red white and blue are the colors that fit him best. Examiner Columnist Ron Arnold is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.
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Livestock Market Digest
October 15, 2011
Lynne Cheney Named 2012 Citizen of the West Mrs. Cheney remembers growing up in Casper as an experience that encouraged self reliance. In her book about growing up in the West, Blue Skies, No Fences, she writes “You could see yourself creating your own future rather than having one handed to you. And it never occurred to me that my chances of doing this were diminished because I was a girl.” Mrs. Cheney’s close friend Maggie Scarlett sums it up well. “Lynne is a true Westerner who credits much of her success to her western heritage and upbringing. She epitomizes western values. Compassionate, committed and effective; she has an impressive record of scholarly achievements and service to our country.” Mrs. Cheney also has ties to Colorado having earned her B.A. degree with highest honors from Colorado College and her M.A. degree from the UC Boulder.
he National Western Stock Show has named Lynne Cheney its 2012 Citizen of the West. She will accept the prestigious award at a dinner on Monday, January 9, 2012 at the National Western Events Center Paddock and Arena. This is the first year the event is being held at the National Western Complex. The Citizen of the West, selected by a committee of community leaders, is an annual award given to individuals who embody the spirit and determination of the western pioneer, and who are committed to perpetuating the West’s agricultural heritage and ideals. Lynne Cheney, a native of Wyoming and former Second Lady of the United States, is an author and scholar. She served under presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Her Ph.D. is from the University of Wisconsin. She is also the recipient of awards and honorary degrees from dozens of colleges and universities. From 1995-1998, Mrs. Cheney served as the co-host of the Sunday edition of CNN’s Crossfire, and she has been a member of several boards of directors, including those of the Lockheed Martin Corporation, Union Pacific Resources, and American Express Mutual Funds. While she was Second Lady, Mrs. Cheney returned to a theme she had stressed while chairman of the National
Obama To Back Power Line Projects in N.M., Other States by MATTHEW DALY, AP
he Obama administration wants to speed up permitting and construction of seven proposed electric transmission lines in 12 states, including New Mexico, as it moves to create jobs and modernize the nation’s power grid. The projects are intended to serve as pilot demonstrations of streamlined federal permitting and improved cooperation among federal, state and tribal governments. The lines will provide electricity in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The projects are expected to create thousands of jobs, help avoid blackouts, restore power more quickly when outages occur and reduce the need for new power plants. “To compete in the global economy, we need a modern electricity grid,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press. “An upgraded electricity grid will give consumers choices
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Endowment for the Humanities: the importance of knowing about the leaders, events, and ideas that have shaped our nation and the world. She wrote six best-selling history books for children and their families, beginning with America: A Patriotic Primer, released in 2002, and most recently publishing We the People: The Story of Our Constitution in 2008. She has donated more than a million dollars of the proceeds from her children’s books to charity. Among her other books is Kings of the Hill, the story of historic leaders in the U.S. House
while promoting energy savings, increasing energy efficiency and fostering the growth of renewable energy resources.” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the seven power lines being expedited under the pilot program will serve as important links across the country to increase the capacity and reliability of the nation’s power grid. “This is the kind of critical infrastructure we should be working together to advance in order to create jobs and move our nation toward energy independence,” he said. David DeCampli, president of PPL Electric Utilities, and Ralph LaRossa, president of Public Service Electric and Gas. Co., who are teaming up to build a 145-mile transmission line in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, applauded the administration’s efforts. Their project and others should ensure that high-priority electric infrastructure projects are built and placed in service in a timely manner, the power executives said. Pam Eaton, deputy vice president for public lands at The Wilderness Society, also hailed
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of Representatives. She coauthored this book with her childhood sweetheart and husband, Dick Cheney, and is now at work on Founding Genius, a biography of James Madison. Hank True, a fellow native of Wyoming says that “Lynne Cheney has demonstrated and personifies the strength, the wisdom, and the leadership capabilities of a true pioneer of western heritage. It is indeed fitting that she is recognized and honored for all her accomplishments as this year’s Citizen of the West.” The True Family received the Citizen of the West award in 2004. Lynne and Dick Cheney have two daughters and seven grandchildren.
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the project. “Building responsibly sited power lines to access world-class renewable resources can put thousands of Americans to work, bring cost-effective clean power to people who need it, and help some of the rural counties in the West hardest hit by the economic downturn,” she said. The projects are: ■ A 500 kilovolt (kV), 300mile transmission line proposed by Idaho Power in Oregon and Idaho. ■ 1,150 miles of high-voltage lines across Wyoming and Idaho. ■ A 210-mile, 500 kV line near Salem, Ore. ■ Two 500 kV transmission lines in Arizona and New Mexico. ■ A 700-mile, 600 kV transmission line in Wyoming, Utah and Nevada. The project is intended to help develop new wind projects in Wyoming. ■ A 345 kV transmission line in Minnesota and Wisconsin. ■ A 145-mile, 500 kV transmission line in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A formal announcement was expected today. A copy of the plan was obtained by The Associated Press.
For advertising contact, MICHAEL WRIGHT 505/243-9515, ext. 30 email@example.com Michael brings with him four generations of the range livestock industry and a keen awareness of the issues facing ranchers and rural economies today.