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3 President's Perspective
4 NCA - Response to Covid-19
6 NCA - USDA CFAP Details
6 DHS & USDA Move to Protect Farmers & Food Supply
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10 NBC CheckOff News - Resources 29 Covid-19 Editorial by E. Fulstone in a Challenging Time 29 Food Safety News - USDA Ends 11 NBC Ground Beef Recipes COOL Enforcement (Dec 2015) 12 Mind of a Millennial - Serving 30 UNR - The Science of Predicting Customers in a Challenging Time Economic Growth or Recession 14 Nevada CattleWomen Update
31 UNR - Snowpack Prediction Tool
15 Quick Tips for NV Foraging
33 UNR Extension - New Wildfire Resources (Speakers/Website)
15 Let’s Talk Ag - S. Emm Editorial 32 UNR - Wildfire Research 16 CDC Flu vs Pandemic Flu
17 BLM - New Fertility Control Trial for Wild Horse & Burros 18 SRM - Healthy Horses on Healthy Rangelands
34 Churchill County Cowbelles
36 Range Plants for the Rancher
37 In Memory of “Sonny” Fowler Jr. 37 RLI Awards Paul Bottari, ALC
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22 Remembering Freddie
7 Letter from the U.S. Special 25 NCBA Plant Closure Response Committee on the Climate Crisis 28 US Dept of the Interior Press 8 Eye On The Outside - Covid-19 Release on Large Solar Project
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President's perspective By Tom Barnes, President, Nevada Cattlemen's Association We are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and it is my hope that we will soon see light at the end of the tunnel. The last few weeks have been a lot different to say the least. Social distancing, businesses being closed, people trying to work from home, and telephonic and zoom meetings, not to mention the toilet paper shortage. This was the first time in my life I remember going to the grocery store and finding bare shelves. I feel bad for those businesses that have had to close, many of whom serve and promote our product. Concerns about our national and state economies seem to surround us. Many of our agricultural commodities have seen dramatic price decreases. We are in unchartered territory with this pandemic and
cannot predict the future. I wish I could offer some insight as to how long it may impact our industry or how long until our market comes back up but at this time, there is just too much uncertainty. On a positive note, agriculture has been recognized as an essential business and the public is becoming more aware of where their food actually comes from. The leadership of the NCA are working to stay informed and engaged as we navigate through this pandemic to protect our industry. The Nevada Department of Ag has assured us that they will continue to provide the services we need in order for us to continue to conduct commerce. Brand inspectors are conducting inspections, the details for upcoming scale certifications are being
worked out and other essential department services remain available with slightly modified processes. If you are having any issues or have any questions, please contact our office and we will do our best to help. Times like these force us, as an industry, to reassess all aspects of the way we do business and undoubtedly, it will make us stronger. Historically hard times have never been easy to get through but once past them, many positive outcomes have prevailed. After we work our way through this pandemic, it is my hope that the cattle industry emerges stronger and that society has a greater appreciation for agriculture and the important things in life.
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Response to COVID-19 By Kaley Chapin, Executive Director Nevada Cattlemen’s Association In the past couple of months, we have seen grocery stores scrambling to keep food on the shelves, schools shut down for the remainder of the year, restaurants struggling to maintain business, and a lot of uncertainty. By the time you read this, things will have probably significantly changed as they are changing daily. The world and our country, state and industry are in unprecedented situation with a pandemic health issue due to COVID-19, the disease caused by a novel coronavirus. Trying to understand how to move forward currently is difficult. This disease has challenged everyone with even the basics of everyday life. Looking back on the article I wrote at this time last year; it is hard to imagine how different things are now. Last year at this time, I was sharing with you about our efforts going to Washington D.C. and putting on events at our state capitol for the NV Legislators. Now, I am sharing with you how we are abiding by the stay-athome order, maintaining social distancing, working from our homes, and conducting meetings via zoom and telephone. The NCA leadership and staff have been and continue to be active in ensuring that cattle and beef production continues. We have been pushing to improve the cattle market conditions and working with NCBA to secure programs that can bring assistance to those producers that have been negatively impacted by the virus.
in part both to the COVID-19 impact on the labor force in processing plants, and to the extreme disruption the disease has caused for food-service beef demand. Four major packer/processor groups account for about 85 percent of beef sales in the United States and each of these groups have experienced some temporary plant closures due to COVID-19. As an unsubsidized commodity, the beef cattle industry relies on competitive markets for our livelihood. The beef cattle industry needs to keep the stream of commerce moving as efficiently as possible to keep store shelves stocked with beef for American consumers. To help answer some of the questions I have been receiving, here is a brief overview of what steps have been taken thus far by our Association and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA): PROCESSING FACILITIES
On April 28th, President Trump signed an Executive Order invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA) to ensure the continuity of meat processing in the United States. Using the DPA, the President authorized additional tools and resources for beef, pork, and poultry facilities to allow them to remain open, even if local governments directed the facilities to close. The action taken by President Trump will help keep the beef supply chain intact, ensure beef remains available to consumers and ultimately provide the food that American consumers will need During the COVID-19 pandemic, to reopen the nation. we have seen the beef chain and cattle markets negatively impacted. There has “While there are currently no widespread been a slowdown in cattle processing, due shortages of beef, we are seeing supply 4 MAY/JUNE 2020
chain disruptions because of plant closures and reductions in the processing speed at many, if not most, beef processing plants in the United States. We thank President Trump for his recognition of the problem and the action he has taken today to begin correcting it,” said NCBA CEO Colin Woodall. CURRENT BEEF AVAILABILITY
• There are many reports of processing plants being slowed or temporarily closed to ensure the safety of workers. These slow-downs and closures present challenges to the beef supply chain and there may be temporary limitations on the variety of beef cuts available to consumers in some part of the country, there is no widespread shortage of beef in the United States. • Currently less than 10 percent of U.S. processing capacity is offline as additional protective measures and cleaning practices are being implemented. According to USDA, U.S. processing plants are operating between 50-75 percent of their normal capacity to allow for worker protections and distancing requirements helping keep plant workers safe and on the job. • The latest USDA cold storage report states that total beef in freezers is up 2 percent from February, and up 11 percent above year-ago levels, so there is ample supply in the supply chain to keep grocery store coolers full and in freezers to ensure consumers are able to find the beef they need to feed their families. FUTURE BEEF SHORTAGES
• Unfortunately, ongoing rolling closures of packing plants due to the pandemic have led to bottlenecks in the supply chain and temporary decreases in beef supply. • It is important to note that beef is still available; however, specific cuts, packaging, and quantities may be limited in certain locations.
The Progressive Rancher
• In some instances, the closure of packing plants is forcing beef farmers and ranchers and feedyards to keep animals longer than anticipated before moving to the next step in the supply chain process. • This is putting a financial burden on many beef farmers and ranchers due to increased feed and maintenance costs and decreased returns. • Sound animal care techniques are at the heart of how farmers and ranchers raise beef, and this holds true at every step of the supply chain, regardless of changes or disruptions. • The Association is working daily with local and federal governments to support beef producers who are experiencing financial hardship. • While the beef industry is doing everything possible to increase supply, the primary concern is ensuring the health and safety of those who produce, process, and deliver beef, as well as the safety of beef. • Although the beef industry has considerable flexibility to adjust cattle flow through the supply chain, especially when compared to other animal proteins, supply chain disruptions impact production costs and the cattle markets. This creates an unstable business environment for the beef industry, which is why the Association is working with all segments of the supply chain to minimize disruptions, while taking necessary actions to help end the pandemic. • The beef community is committed to delivering safe and high-quality beef to consumers and is working diligently to return to full capacity as soon as possible. • One way consumers can help the beef industry and each other during these unprecedented times is to avoid panicbuying of beef. Buying only what you need for a week or two will help ensure www.progressiverancher.com
families across the U.S. can continue to enjoy the safe and nutritious beef they know and love.
FLEXIBILITY TO LIVESTOCK HAULERS
The NCBA and its state affiliate partners pushed for flexibility in hours of service to CATTLE WELL-BEING livestock haulers, Emphasizing how vitally The issue of cattle euthanasia continues to important it is for haulers to have flexibility be a media topic, and this should concern to get live and perishable goods to market every member of the cattle industry, as quickly and as safely as possible. because consumers don’t understand this “Hauling livestock is inherently different conversation and there is every likelihood than hauling typical consumer goods, and that ongoing conversations about the topic we continue to look for flexibilities within have the potential to turn consumers away Hours of Service to safely haul livestock from beef, something we cannot afford around this country”, said Allison Rivera, right now. The simple facts are: NCBA Government Affairs. A. We do not utilize euthanasia as a supply management tool. B. We are not euthanizing cattle during this crisis. C. We care for the health and welfare of our animals and are doing everything we need to keep them safe, healthy, and well-fed. PAYCHECK PROTECTION ACT
The Small Business Administration continues to implement the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. They are still working on the new EIDL application process to include agriculture. On April 27 we supported the NCBA in sending a conjoined letter with more than 35 different agricultural groups to leaders on Capitol Hill urging specific improvements in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). We also supported a letter sent to the USDA urging the agency to remove payment limitations for cattle producers under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
As I mentioned above, by the time you are reading this, it may already be outdated information. We are continuously interacting with virtually every relevant Government agency/elected official from the local to the federal level about the importance of maintaining the beef supply chain from our ranches to the consumer. With all the uncertainty, let us keep trying to look forward. This pandemic has brought many challenges to the industry and the nation. Everyone has had to make some modifications to their daily lives. I anticipate within May we will start seeing the restrictions lifted and the amount of COVID-19 cases decline. Governor Sisolak has announced his phase 1 which is a start to getting our state back up and running. The sooner we can safely reopen our economy, the better the outcome will be for marketing our livestock in the coming months. My thoughts are with those being negatively affected by the coronavirus. Please contact me at nca@ nevadabeef.org if you have questions or would like to know more information about the USDA relief programs.
We at the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association encourage you to stay safe, use every precaution, be productive and know that we are working hard on your behalf.
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MAY/JUNE 2020 5
USDA Announces Details of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) By Kaley Chapin, Executive Director, Nevada Cattlemen’s Association Earlier today, the USDA announced further details about the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). CFAP will provide $16 billion in direct economic relief payments to farmers and ranchers suffering the market impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, with $5.1 billion of that relief earmarked for beef producers. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) will begin accepting applications on Tuesday, May 26th.
The NCBA has shared the following with us regarding eligibility and how to apply. For more details, visit www.farmers.gov/cfap/livestock. Eligible Livestock: CFAP assistance is available to livestock producers who have an ownership interest in eligible livestock that have suffered a five percent-or-greater price decline as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and face additional significant costs in marketing their inventories due to unexpected surplus and disrupted markets. A single payment for livestock will be calculated using the sum of the producer’s number of livestock sold between January 15 and April 15, 2020, multiplied by the payment rates per head, and the highest inventory number of livestock between April 16 and May 14, 2020, multiplied by the payment rate per head.
Producer Eligibility: To be eligible for a CFAP payment, a person or legal entity must: 1) Complete a CFAP application form and provide any required documentation (as specified in this final rule); and
2) Be a producer having a share in the eligible commodity between January 15, 2020, and April 15, 2020, or April 16, 2020, through May 14, 2020.
Payment Limits: CFAP payments are subject to a per person and legal entity payment limitation of $250,000. This limitation applies to the total amount of CFAP payments made with respect to all eligible commodities. Similar to the manner in which statutory payment limitations are applied in the major commodity and disaster assistance programs administered by FSA, payments will be attributed to an individual through the direct attribution process used in those programs. The total payment amount of CFAP payments attributed to an individual will be determined by taking into account the direct and indirect ownership interests of the individual in all legal entities participating in CFAP. Unlike other FSA administered programs, special payment limitation rules will be applied to participants that are corporations, limited liability companies, and limited partnerships (corporate entities). These corporate entities may receive up to $750,000 based upon the number of shareholders (not to exceed three shareholders) who are contributing substantial labor or management with respect to the operation of the corporate entity.
Adjusted Gross Income (AGI): A person or legal entity, other than a joint venture or general partnership, is ineligible for payments if the person’s or legal entity’s average adjusted gross income (AGI), using the average of the adjusted gross incomes for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 tax years, is more than $900,000, unless at least 75 percent of that person’s or legal entity’s average AGI is derived from farming, ranching, or forestryrelated activities. The AGI cap is waived for individuals who able to certify that more 75% or greater of their income is derived from agricultural production.
How to Apply: FSA will begin taking applications on Tuesday, May 26. Producers should expect to receive payments 7-10 days after the date of submission. USDA Service Centers are currently open for business by phone appointment only. Once the application period opens, producers should call their FSA county office to schedule an appointment. FSA has streamlined the signup process and will be working with producers by phone and using email, fax, mail, and online tools like Box to accept applications. 6 MAY/JUNE 2020
DHS and USDA Move to Protect American Farmers and Ensure Continued Flow of Food Supply Avi Arditti | Associate Chief, Legislative Affairs Division Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental AffairsU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services | Desk: (202) 272-1995 | Cell: (202) 306-4523
The Department of Homeland Security, with the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has announced a temporary final rule to change certain H-2A requirements to help U.S. agricultural employers avoid disruptions in lawful agricultural-related employment, protect the nation’s food supply chain, and lessen impacts from the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. These temporary flexibilities will not weaken or eliminate protections for U.S. workers.
“This Administration has determined that continued agricultural employment, currently threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic, is vital to maintaining and securing the country’s critical food supply chain. The temporary changes announced by USCIS provide the needed stability during this unprecedented crisis,” said Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf.
“USDA welcomes these additional flexibilities provided by the Department of Homeland Security today,” said Under this temporary final rule, an Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. H-2A petitioner with a valid temporary “Providing flexibility for H-2A employers labor certification who is concerned to utilize H-2A workers that are currently that workers will be unable to enter the in the United States is critically important country due to travel restrictions can as we continue to see travel and border start employing certain foreign workers restrictions as a result of COVID-19. who are currently in H-2A status in the USDA continues to work with the United States immediately after United Department of Homeland Security, the States Citizenship and Immigration Department of Labor and the Department Services (USCIS) receives the H-2A of State to minimize disruption and petition, but no earlier than the start date make sure farmers have access to these of employment listed on the petition. critical workers necessary to maintain the To take advantage of this time-limited integrity in our food supply.” change in regulatory requirements, the H-2A worker seeking to change The temporary final rule is effective employers must already be in the United immediately upon publication in the Federal Register. If the new petition is States and in valid H-2A status. approved, the H-2A worker will be able Additionally, USCIS is temporarily to stay in the United States for a period amending its regulations to protect the of time not to exceed the validity period country’s food supply chain by allowing of the Temporary Labor Certification. H-2A workers to stay beyond the three- DHS will issue a new temporary final year maximum allowable period of stay rule in the Federal Register to amend the in the United States. These temporary termination date of these new procedures changes will encourage and facilitate the in the event DHS determines that continued lawful employment of foreign circumstances demonstrate a continued temporary and seasonal agricultural need for the temporary changes to the workers during the COVID-19 national H-2A regulations. emergency. Agricultural employers should utilize this streamlined process The H-2A nonimmigrant classification if they are concerned with their ability applies to alien workers seeking to to bring in the temporary workers who perform agricultural labor or services of a were previously authorized to work for temporary or seasonal nature in the United the employer in H-2A classification. At States, usually lasting no longer than one no point is it acceptable for employers to year, for which able, willing, and qualified U.S. workers are not available. hire illegal aliens.
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May 18, 2020 Dear Rural Leaders and Agriculture Stakeholders:
May 18, 2020
As members of the Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis and senators representing states across the country that will each be impacted by climate change in different ways, we are writing to ask for your input. We would like to hear how extreme weather and climate change have already affected you and your community and collect ideas on how we can best address these challenges at the federal level. We know that climate change poses unique challenges for rural areas and that you and your community have unique opportunities to be part of the solution to this crisis. We are interested in knowing what tools would be most useful for you as you continue to confront a changing climate and look for opportunities for solutions that work for you and your community.
and Agriculture Stakeholders:
a. What are the most promising opportunities for land managers to benefit from climate action that are based on tools, such as conservation practices, that are currently in use? b. What new tools and strategies have the most potential for improving resiliency and sequestering carbon?
c. What are the key barriers to adoption of these practices? Are there solutions you would recommend prioritizing?
Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis senators d. Whatand challenges do you see in the balance of food and fiber production with the incorporation of additional resiliency and carbon sequestration activities? Are across the country that will each be impacted by climate change in different there tools or strategies that could help reduce the difficultly of these challenges? g toTheask for your input. We would like to hear how extreme weather and work of America’s farm families and their rural economies is crucial for the e. What types of recognition, certification, compensation, or other acknowledgment wouldon be how most useful to promote the use of conservation practices that are function and prosperityyou of ourand nationyour and world. From droughtsand and wildfires e already affected community collectto ideas we can particularly effective at reducing climate change? excessive rain and delayed planting, we have already seen extreme weather impact hallenges at the federal level. We know that climate change poses unique ranchers’ and farmers’ bottom lines and know it will continue to do so. Because those 5. What technical assistance is most important for agricultural producers in your region? involved agricultural economy are caretakers of working lands, anchors of our Who is best suited deliver technical assistance? What additional tools or resources areas andin the that you and your community have unique opportunities to tobe part rural communities and the source of food and fiber for our nation and world, we would make it possible to best tailor and deploy these strategies in your area? is crisis. We arefrom interested inthreats knowing what tools would be most useful for want to hear directly you about the from climate change and extreme 6. What technical assistance is most important for rural communities in your region? that you facing today. We also wantand to know what for tools opportunities would be useful to weather confront aare changing climate look for solutions that in your communities, on farms and rangelands, and for businesses to be resilient in 7. A wide range of solutions have been proposed to slow climate change, and there are additional strategies that could be developed. What approaches to policy and our the community. face of future challenges. The vitality and stability of rural communities and businesses is critical to the economic health and stability of our nation, and we are asking for your perspective and expertise on the challenges and opportunities that you see in the agricultural sector, and in rural areas. The Committee would particularly value your input on the following questions:
action to reduce the severity of climate change and the impacts of severe weather would you be most interested in seeing put in place? What do you see as the best way to accomplish action as quickly as possible?
ca’s farm families and their rural economies is crucial for the function and As rain those most with our working lands and the communities around tion and world. From droughts and wildfires to excessive and familiar delayed them, your knowledge and input on these issues is of enormous value to us. ready seen extreme weather impact ranchers’ and farmers’ lines andas a starting point for discussion—please include Thesebottom questions are intended 1. What challenges do you face from weather extremes? What would it take for other thoughts relevant to these concerns. We request you respond in writing to e to your do community so. Because thoseforinvolved in the agricultural are to be prepared more severe storms, droughts, wildfires andeconomy firstname.lastname@example.org before June 19, 2020. Please note in your flooding? What additional tools would be valuable as you work to plan for future response if you do not want your comments posted publicly or quoted in a public ng lands, anchors of our rural communities and the source of food and fiber weather extremes and to ensure your community is prepared to make it through summary report. We look forward to hearing from you. events? to hear directly from you about the threats from climate world,disaster we want Sincerely, The Special Committee on the Climate Crisis 2. What are the most reasons today. for acting toWe improve resiliency weather that youimportant are facing also wantandtoslow know what tools would the impacts of changes to climate? How would you describe the risks and local mmunities, on farms and rangelands, and for businesses to be resilient in the impacts of inaction? nges. 3. Are there existing tools for farmers, ranchers and communities such as those at Sincerely,
the U.S. Department of Agriculture in their Natural Resources Conservation Service or Farm Service Agency that would help your area be more resilient? Are there ways those tools could be expanded or changed to address the challenges land managers face in keeping our working lands and agricultural operations productive and profitable in the face of changes in local and large-scale weather patterns and growing conditions?
_____________________________ TAMMY BALDWIN United States Senator
bility of rural communities and businesses is critical to the economic health nation, and we are asking for your perspective and expertise on the ortunities that you see in the agricultural sector, and in rural areas. The 4. The work that farmers, ranchers, and woodland owners do is crucial to protecting articularly value your input on the following questions: our water quality and keeping our environment healthy. Many of these existing practices, as well as new and expanded ones, can also provide a range of useful benefits to improve resiliency, including reducing flooding, stabilizing infrastructure, and sequestering carbon. Some of the most impactful steps to reducing climate change and reducing the impacts from weather extremes are things that farmers, ranchers and woodland owners are uniquely expert at. Your contributions could make a significant impact in the success of our country at averting the worst challenges. These contributions provide an opportunity for land managers to be compensated for their management practices. Given that, we would like to hear your perspectives on these opportunities:
______________________________ BRIAN SCHATZ United States Senator
______________________________ SHELDON WHITEHOUSE United States Senator
______________________________ JEFFERY A. MERKLEY United States Senator
______________________________ MICHAEL F. BENNET United States Senator
______________________________ MARTIN HEINRICH United States Senator
______________________________ EDWARD J. MARKEY United States Senator
______________________________ TAMMY DUCKWORTH United States Senator
______________________________ CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO United States Senator
______________________________ TINA SMITH United States Senator
s do you face from weather extremes? What would it take for your e prepared for more severe storms, droughts, wildfires and flooding? What would be valuable as you work to plan for future weather extremes and to Editors Note: I will be telling the Special Committee , I do not believe in Climate mmunity is prepared to make it through disaster events? Change but I do support the facts climate changes all the time. NO one season is the same as the last, But I tell you true, stop these horrible landscape fires you allow to be tended too, rather then put OUT. -- Leana Carey, Editor
ost important reasons for acting to improve resiliency and slow the impacts of The Progressive Rancher www.progressiverancher.com ate? How would you describe the risks and local impacts of inaction?
MAY/JUNE 2020 7
By Joseph Guild
COVID-19 & the NCBA Credit should be given where credit is due. We’ve all heard this before and it is never more true than today in this climate we are currently living in with the COVID-19 pandemic. For all of us raising cattle this is indeed an uncertain time the likes of which no person living has ever seen.
and what further effect the COVID 19 virus will have on the commodity markets let alone the whole American economy. Predictably there are many critics who seek to cast blame for perceived ineptitude or inaction in the face of this crisis.
Naturally, some of this criticism falls at the feet of the National Cattlemen’s The markets are in a turmoil; cow/calf Beef Association (NCBA) because it is raisers wonder what prices the 2020 the largest trade association representing auctions will bring their way and whether beef cattle producers across the country. to market or retain ownership. Some There are demands from some quarters ranchers have the facilities to keep their for NCBA to “force” the packers to lower calves for a while longer, even until next margins to a level that is more on a parity spring, but some do not. Feeders have a with historic levels or demand USDA backlog of ever- growing cattle and they investigate the packing sector to unearth are reducing the high- powered rations any evidence of anti-trust activity. I they would feed at this late stage to slow understand the frustration that engenders the growth somewhat. such demands, but I also think the criticism If fed cattle were sold today, as I write this, and demands are irrational and unrealistic they would likely lose around $210 per because a trade association doesn’t have head. The feeder my not have the ability to that kind of power or authority. purchase very many, if any calves this year What I can say is just like every American at that price. The spread between boxed beef producer, NCBA as the premier beef out the door of a packing plant and industry organization is up early every day the price for finished fed cattle has never working sometimes way past dark to try been higher. and get ahead of the problems caused by Furthermore, even thought the packing this virus and communicate its efforts and sector is making money right now, they are proposed solutions to legislators, policy also shutting plants for cleaning, running makers, the beef community and even reduced personnel on slower processing the President of the United States. We lines, spending money on safety features in should look at just some of what NCBA their plants to keep the plants open while did in the month of April on behalf of all creating safe working conditions because beef producers, not just members of the of the virus and paying more workers on association as evidence of that fact. sick leave than they ever have had to do before.`
There is no doubt this is an unprecedented time in the cattle business no matter what sector your operation occupies. Nothing is as it was before and no ranch, feedlot or processing plant is immune from dealing with factors never even contemplated just two months ago. There is understandably a great deal of apprehension about the future 8 MAY/JUNE 2020
for the programs. This was a bi-partisan approach with 147 members from both houses signing the letter. Following this effort, NCBA had more than ten communications with the USDA on various problems facing the beef industry because of COVID 19.
One of those was an hour long conference call between Colin Woodall and the entire officer team of NCBA and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue covering a wide range of topics including urging the Secretary to investigate the latest allegations of price manipulations by the packing industry and finishing an investigation of similar allegations as a result of the Tyson packing plant fire last year. The Secretary assured us that he was making these investigations the highest priority but hoped we understood the necessity to follow proper procedures and protocols relating to due process.
and complete a study on an economic damage assessment of the COVID 19 crisis. Such information from a credible team of economists led by Dr. Peel is an aid to NCBA’s government affairs group, senior leadership and the NCBA Officers in the discussions necessarily occurring about the damage to this industry because of this crisis. The study concluded, as of early April, the estimated total damage to the industry was $13.6 billion. As of this writing and your later reading that estimate will surely rise.
A few days before this writing Colin Woodall, the CEO of NCBA and the current President Marty Smith were invited to participate in a conference call with President Trump about issues of concern to agriculture. The president called on Smith first to explain the impacts to the beef industry as a result of the effects of the pandemic. No other An NCBA Cattle Marketing Working beef industry representatives were invited Group continued its ongoing efforts on to participate in the call. Later that day, price discovery and cash trade in light of another call was hosted by Vice- President new concerns related to the pandemic. Pence. Again, Marty Smith was asked to They had several conference calls and they provide a beef industry impact assessment urged researchers doing work funded by and no other organization was invited to NCBA to finish their inquiries as soon as represent the beef industry. Despite this possible to bring more information to bear some other organizations claim they were on the reasons for volatility in the cattle part of these conversations. Colin Woodall was called by the White House and told commodity markets. this was occurring. The Department of Labor H2A guest worker program has been impacted by I do not usually engage in tit for tat COVID 19 travel restrictions. NCBA has arguments but when other groups seek NCBA worked extensively with the been at the forefront of communication to capitalize on the credibility and Small Business Administration to ensure with this department and the Department relationships NCBA has strategically and beef producers were eligible for all the of Homeland Security to finalize the assiduously developed over a very long CARES Act programs available to rule to help US producers using these period of time, I take strong exception, other businesses in the US. There was guest workers to avoid disruptions in and believe in calling things out for what a great deal of uncertainty at first about the country’s food supply chain while they are. Do the work and take credit for it who was eligible for these programs and participating in lawful agricultural related but do not ride on someone else’s coattails. Let us therefore give credit where credit is NCBA helped clear this up. Additionally, employment. due, not where the loudest noise is. NCBA organized a letter to the USDA NCBA contracted with Dr. Derrell Peel of outlining Congressional expectations Oklahoma State University to undertake I’ll see you soon. The Progressive Rancher
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MAY/JUNE 2020 9
Resources in a Challenging Time By Nevada Beef Council Staff These last several weeks have been filled with challenges and uncertainty. But during this unprecedented time, the Beef Checkoff and State Beef Councils like ours have worked to assure consumers that beef is still what’s for dinner, and that they needn’t be concerned about the ongoing availability of this high-quality protein. The industry as a whole has stepped up to show how beef producers are committed to providing a great product, and also how consumers can easily prepare beef for their families in this new era of increased athome cooking.
• Beef Safety Information - From beef handling and storage information to preparation guidelines and additional tips, the Beef Checkoff is providing consumers with the information they need for a safe eating experience. • Batch Cooking: As families adjust to more time at home, the Beef Checkoff is also offering tips and ideas for batch cooking and leftovers to ensure meal planning is stress-free and packs a nutritious punch. Planning ahead in the kitchen saves time and money, and can also help families reach daily nutrition goals, even when they’re busy juggling a variety of needs and responsibilities.
An extensive library of content, including ads, recipes, cooking videos and educational materials about beef To ensure consumers are armed with knowledge to nutrition have been amplified to help consumers while have the best eating experiencing with beef, Beef. It’s they are home during the pandemic. What’s For Dinner. has also provided some quick tips “We know consumers are seeking preparation and on how to safely handle and prepare beef when cooking recipe tips for cooking beef at home,” said Alisa at home, including: Harrison, senior vice president of Global Marketing and Research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). “The good news is that BeefItsWhatsforDinner.com and our partners with the Federation of State Beef Councils have great recipe ideas, resources and cooking tips that can help consumers as they transition to eating at home more.” These same recipes and resources are also being provided to food influencers, supply chain partners and the news media to support their efforts to educate consumers about food preparation and healthy eating. Beef preparation and recipes tips that are being provided to consumers through Checkoff-funded content include: • Recipe Collections - While Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. has many recipe collections, current efforts are focused on sharing recipes that are easy, simple, affordable and kid friendly. • Cooking Lessons - These lessons provide stepby-step instructions and tips for a dozen different cooking methods, from grilling to pressure cooking, these cooking lessons are a great resource for all levels of home chefs. 10 MAY/JUNE 2020
STORING BEEF • Refrigerate or freeze beef as soon as possible after purchasing.
Here are some helpful resources for producers to learn more about this pandemic and the impact on industry: COVID-19 FAQS: www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/ newsroom/covid-19-faqs COVID-19 Response from the Beef Checkoff: www.beefboard.org/2020/04/06/covid-19-response/ Note: this site also includes guidance that may be helpful to beef producers during this time, including an MOU citing Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers, and a template document providing employee critical infrastructure designation. Beef Quality Assurance Certification at www.bqa.org and Masters of Beef Advocacy Training at www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/masters-of-beefadvocacy are both available online at all times.
• Account for 12 to 24 hours to defrost ground beef and steaks. • Use a plate or tray to catch any juices.
HANDLING • Wash hands well in hot, soapy water before and after handling raw meat and other fresh foods. • Keep raw meat and juices away from other foods. • Wash all utensils, cutting surfaces and counters after contact with raw meat.
• Ground beef can safely be stored in a refrigerator for one to two days before cooking or freezing. Once in the freezer, ground beef can be stored for three to four months before quality is impacted.
• Always use a meat thermometer when cooking.
• Steaks & roasts can safely be stored in a refrigerator for 3 to 5 days before cooking or freezing. Once in the freezer, steaks and roasts can be stored for 4 to 12 months before quality is impacted.
• Steaks and roasts should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F.
• If you plan on freezing, repackage your beef into the right-size portion for upcoming meals. • For longer storage, remove beef from original packaging; place into freezer bags or similar airtight packaging to remove as much air as possible.
DEFROSTING • Always defrost beef in the refrigerator, never at room temperature. The Progressive Rancher
• Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F.
• Don’t forget to refrigerate leftovers within two hours after cooking. As Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. lends consumers a hand when it comes to preparing beef at home through this time of unknowns, farmers and ranchers are urged to follow along on social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to see how Beef Checkoff dollars are helping consumers feel confident in choosing and preparing beef and can rest assured that the beef industry is committed to providing safe, healthy, wholesome beef to the food supply. www.progressiverancher.com
By Nevada Beef Council Staff
With so many consumers cooking from home lately, there’s been a surge of interest in ground beef recipes, so beefitswhatsfordinner.com is offering up some great tips and a treasure trove of delicious recipes featuring ground beef, such as this fun and spicy new take on tacos along with a comforting old favorite - classic meatloaf.
Buffalo-Style Beef Tacos Ingredients • • • • • • • • •
1 pound Ground Beef (95% lean) 1/4 cup hot pepper sauce 8 taco shells 1 cup thinly sliced lettuce 1/4 cup reduced-fat or regular prepared blue cheese dressing 1/2 cup shredded carrot 1/3 cup chopped celery 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves Carrot and celery sticks or cilantro sprigs (optional)
Courtesy of Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.
Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into small crumbles and stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon; pour off drippings. Return to skillet; stir in pepper sauce. Cook and stir 1 minute or until heated through. Meanwhile, heat taco shells according to package directions. Evenly spoon beef mixture into taco shells. Add lettuce; drizzle with dressing. Top evenly with carrot, celery and cilantro. Garnish with carrot and celery sticks or cilantro sprigs, if desired. Cook’s Tip: One quarter cup prepared ranch dressing combined with 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese may be substituted for blue cheese dressing. Courtesy of Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.
Classic Beef Meatloaf Ingredients • • • • • • • • • •
1-1/2 pounds Ground Beef (93% lean or leaner) 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs 3/4 cup ketchup, divided 1/2 cup minced onion 1 egg 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 teaspoon dried thyme 3/4 teaspoon pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 350°F. Combine Ground Beef, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup ketchup, onion, egg, Worcestershire, garlic, thyme, pepper and salt in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape beef into 8 x 4-inch loaf on rack in aluminum foil-lined broiler pan. Place on upper oven rack in 350°F oven. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 160°F; brush with remaining 1/4 cup ketchup during last 10 minutes, if desired. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into slices. Cook’s Tip: Delicious served with mashed potatoes and your favorite vegetable or salad. Leftover meatloaf slices make great sandwiches! www.progressiverancher.com
The Progressive Rancher
MAY/JUNE 2020 11
In the Mind of a Millennial Serving Consumers In A Challenging Time By Jill Scofield Director of Producer Relations, California & Nevada Beef Council What a wild ride life has been the last several weeks. As we continue to observe standing “shelter in place” restrictions, I’m once again writing this update from my home office. We’ve gotten the homeschooling down (at least somewhat) in the Scofield home, and we’ve slowly adjusted to this “new normal” we find ourselves in. But I miss my Beef Council colleagues, I miss our producers and board, and I miss my Nevada family and friends. I hope all of you reading this are staying safe and healthy! I thought I’d share an update on some of the numbers and trends we’ve seen since midMarch, as well as an update on how messaging and information from Beef Checkofffunded programs has shifted to address current challenges and consumer needs. First off, it should come as no surprise to anyone who has been to a grocery store since mid-March that meat has been flying off retailers’ shelves. According to IRI, meat has been the leading sales driver for the perimeter of the retail store since the onset of coronavirus in the U.S. During the week ending March 22, total sales were up 92 percent for meat and poultry (both fresh and processed). Ground beef in particular has been in high demand, with sales at retail increasing by 52 percent in early April year-over-year, with fresh beef growing 37 percent year-over-year. At the time of this writing, three out of four Americans are under some sort of a “stayat-home order”, which means more consumers are preparing more home-cooked meals across all meal occasions. Thus, it should also come as no surprise that these consumers are looking for tips on what to do with all the beef they’ve been purchasing. At the same time, anxiety is running high for many Americans right now, and there is a high concern across the board about day-to-day health and the availability of delicious, safe and wholesome food products, like beef. So, with all that has shifted in our world, the work of the Beef Checkoff and State Beef Councils like ours has naturally shifted, as well. We are all leveraging our extensive libraries of content, including advertisements, recipes, cooking videos and educational materials about beef nutrition to help consumers while they are home during the pandemic, with a prioritization on messaging that positions beef as a safe, nutritious food as well as promoting educational recipe content.
I know none of this changes the fact many of us are struggling in this challenging time, both producers and consumers. These past weeks, I’ve tried to seek out more positive news as reminders that life, indeed, does go on. And that sometimes, the worst circumstances can bring out the best in humanity. A few of my favorite examples from the Silver State? One has been the support for high school seniors I’ve seen from many communities, with parades and lit-up football fields to show support for these students who have had their worlds change in such a formative time of their lives. In my hometown of Fernley, where my niece is a senior this year, they’re planning such a celebration tomorrow evening. How deserving for these young people. And of course there have been many stories of producers stepping up to help their communities. Just this morning I chatted with a member of the Elko County CattleWomen who shared that they are donating a significant amount to the local community to ensure hearty, nutritious beef meals are able to be provided through the area’s Meals on Wheels program, which is experiencing a surge in demand. What a wonderful helping hand that will provide. And another reminder that I’ve seen from so many of you through social media is that life still goes on at your ranches, where you’re still providing quality care for your cattle and being responsible stewards of the land and livestock. As I said in last month’s column, your work to continue feeding all of us provides an important reassurance in this time. So thank you for continuing to work hard at what you do every day. I’m hopeful that next month, there will be even more positive stories to share, and perhaps some light at the end of this tunnel. Until then, everyone take good care and stay safe.
A focus on recipe collections with ground beef, comfort meals and batch cooking tips has been made on social media outreach and digital content. And for the millions of consumers who are searching on-line for beef recipes, they are finding an abundance of helpful information at BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com. Recipes and resources are also being provided to food influencers, supply chain partners and the news media to support their efforts to educate consumers about food preparation and healthy eating. So, there is still good, important work being done to promote our industry and reassure consumers that they can feel confident in not just providing their family with nutritious beef meals right now, but in also trusting that our food and beef supply remains safe. 12 MAY/JUNE 2020
The Progressive Rancher
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MAY/JUNE 2020 13
by Melinda Sarman, President The world has sure changed since I wrote my last article. My deepest wish is that as you’re reading this, you and your family are healthy and safe. Many people are working from home and homeschooling their children. Several people are wondering if they will even have a job when this is over. But for the American rancher and farmer, we are still working hard every day to ensure that the American people will have healthy and safe food. The children of the American ranchers and farmers knew this before but now many see the true importance of what their family does every day. Many people were caught-up with their everyday life and did not realize the importance of agriculture. When grocery stores in small towns and metropolitan areas were running low or out of food, the American farmer and rancher worked nonstop. The truckers moved product at record speed to the stores and grocers filled the shelves. But the impact of seeing empty shelves will stay with many forever.
are working hard at addressing changing needs for the safety of every employee so they can reopen quickly. Consequently, there is a need for mom and pop butcher shops across Nevada so people can buy local meat for their families. This will also give Nevada ranchers the opportunity to sell butcher ready cattle locally.
This two-day event will be led by stockmanship experts Curt Pate, Dr. Ron Gill, and Dean Fish. The program is a result of collaboration by a number of producer organizations and our friends at Merck Animal Health. The Nevada Beef Council is leading this program.
This program is an educational experience. Nevada Beef Council, National It will involve hands-on demonstrations stockmanship experts and Cattlemen’s Beef Association, American from National CattleWomen, and American participants will learn cutting-edge Farm Bureau have been hard at work operational techniques, such as how to behind the scenes ensuring that the food make the most of a cattle handling faciliyty. supply is abundant and safe during this The event will also feature low-stress cattle handling demonstrations, Beef Quality pandemic. Assurance (QBA) and industry updates, It’s vital to have youth study agriculture, and will showcase discussions of current and critical that young farmers and industry challenges, consumer driven ranchers in Nevada and across the US can trends, and realistic strategies to enhance receive training and the tools they need producer’s commitment to stockmanship to be successful. That is why educational and stewardship. based leaders are devoted to having programs so that those in production By attending a Stockmanship and Stewardship event, producers may also agricultural will have the tools they need become BQA certified. to be effective in an ever-changing market. For more information, please contact Jill One such program will be held in Nevada: Scofiled, Director Producer Relations for The Stockmanship and Stewardship the Nevada and California Beef Councils Event, a unique two-day educational at firstname.lastname@example.org. experience with hands-on cattle care.
Millions of people really never thought about how food was raised, or grown and that it was transported to their local store. Mark your calendars for The Stockmanship But they do now! and Stewardship Event, August 12 and In some places, people are limited on 13, 2020 to be held at the Elko County the amount of meat they can buy. The Fairgrounds. Registration is expected to meat processing plants across the U.S. open later this spring.
Update on Region VI Meetings
The Arizona Cowbells have been working diligently to reschedule the Region VI Meeting. They will be hosting Region VI in conjunction with the Arizona
Cattle Growers Association Summer Convention. The new dates are July 15 through July 18 at the We-Ko-Pa Resort and conference center in Fountain Hills, AZ. The web site will have more information www.Arizonacowbelles.org During these unique times, please know that The Nevada CattleWomen are meeting via Zoom and still moving forward! I have called all my presidents of the affiliates to check in with them. Understandably, all presidents have to make changes to the spring and summer calendar. But they are very optimistic and want to get back to supporting the local communities across the state. I have asked the presidents to remember their local senior center. The number of meals on wheels for Nevada seniors has increased across the state. As I come to the end of this month’s article, please remember tough times don’t last; But tough people do! We will make it to the other side and if “The New Normal” means more meals around the dinner table and family times get put at the top of the list, I am okay with that. I, too, can’t wait for Nevada to reopen. I am looking forward to shopping at small local businesses and meeting friends for dinner and lunch. Until next time, please stay healthy and safe!
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The Progressive Rancher
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Let’s Talk Ag COVID-19 Supply Chain Disruption EDITORIAL By Staci Emm A world-wide pandemic has caused chain reactions across the board in how we live our daily lives, and how we buy and sell products and services.
In my last article, I discussed what we could see coming in regard to rocky ag prices and budget shortfalls, but I don’t think anyone could have anticipated what just happened. The world as we know it has been changed drastically. Producers are seeing reduced product returns while most of their input costs remain the same. Packing plants, some owned by other countries, are temporarily closing. Producers are beginning to euthanize animals. The federal government is spending money like crazy to try and bring some stability. Store shelves are often empty. The demand for local food is increasing. I recently stopped watching the national news every day. I found the zoom meetings with my Extension job coupled with national news reports were just too much. I had to find my functional happy place between work, the ag markets, limited to no assistance for livestock producers, and a shelter in place order with no visitors where I live. I believe COVID-19 is going to change everything. We will never again be the same.
I finished writing a grant narrative three weeks ago and I used the term total market devastation. My colleague, Tom Harris, edited my version saying, “COVID has led to devastation and disruption in ranch operations. I (Harris) use disruption because we will need to change technologies like internet and etc. in production process that we did not do before. This is disruption not devastation.” I did not disagree with Harris and it definitely gave me something to think about. I reorganized my thought processes to look at this time as a disruption in our supply and distribution chains. The cattle are there, they just can’t get processed, and that creates a domino effect in the supply chain. Experts from Texas A & M and the banking industry were on a zoom meeting this morning talking about the packers and the beef industry. It does not look good for prices any time soon. One expert thought the packers would come back online and in time the market would recover, and there would be not be changes to our current system as it is functional. The other expert said that we will see the medium-sized packers start to re-emerge over time because putting 4,000 workers speaking 70 different languages in one plant in close quarters will not be the new way of doing business. Because of the packing plants closing, some are screaming that there needs to be a state meat inspection program or a market share program like Wyoming from producer to consumer.
Here are my specific thoughts and one can take them or leave them. The State of Nevada does not have enough water that converts into feed products to finish out the number of cattle in the state. Our largest ranches sell their calves in the fall, most right off the cow. This is done for a reason. I encourage them to prepare for decreased market prices, to make sure they are signed up with USDA-Farm Service Agency, and to keep the best records that they can. I am hoping that there is some type of price support options for these producers from USDA. USDA might have released their CARES Act programs by the time you are reading this article. Let us hope that these neverseen-before livestock support programs are enough.
With that said, there have always been niche markets for locally sold beef, pigs, sheep, poultry and goats in Nevada. This niche market has not been wholeheartedly supported because of the sustainability argument and the lack of local slaughter and processing plants. I believe this niche market will get stronger the longer this disruption continues. The demand for local food is increasing and the number of small farms increased under our last Census of Agriculture. This effort needs to get support, and we need to empower those that want to do local slaughter and processing. This effort has the ability to support the small operation and also enhance the larger operation. Whether it is the large or small ranch/farm, we are all in this together. What I do know is that we need to look at creative and innovative ways to reopen society that keeps people safe and revitalizes our economy. I personally don’t have all the answers, but by working together, a way forward can be shaped for a better future. www.progressiverancher.com
When it comes to local food sources, supporting local farmers and restaurants is only half the fun. Foraging is a spectacular way to get to know your region and incorporate ultra-local ingredients in your meals at home. Foraging is fun, but it’s important to know what you’re doing. When you’re in the thick of the wilderness, or even in the back yard, take the time to know what you’re looking for. Avoid inedible and poisonous plants with these quick tips for foraging in Northern Nevada:
Take only what you need. When harvesting, be realistic about how much you need. Do not rip the entire plant out of the ground, eliminating the possibility of a new plant growing in its place. Take what is above ground instead of the root so the plant can repopulate. If foraging perennials, take the plant with leaves and only one bulb attached. Here are some edibles to forage for this summer:
Beware of Plant Doppelgängers! Some edible plants look exactly like other inedible, potentially poisonous plants. Horse Nettle, for example, is a tomato imposter that causes circulatory and respiratory depression. Horse Nettle doesn’t grow in Nevada, but does in the lower 47 states. Use Your Senses. You’ve got 5 senses, and it’s helpful to use them all when foraging. Armed with your knowledge of toxic plants, your sight, smell, touch, and occasionally taste can help distinguish edible plants from poisonous, inedible plants. Say NO to Freeway Foraging. Avoid harvesting in areas close to the freeway or rivers near industrial plants, as the plants are more susceptible to toxic chemicals and car exhaust. Don’t Settle for Diseased. Once you identify an edible plant, make sure it’s healthy! Ensure your plant isn’t severely damaged by disease or pests.
www.nevadaappeal.com/news/local/survival-tips-edible-plants-of-the-tahoe-region www.liveoutdoors.com/recreation/215727-wild-edibles-in-the-sierra-nevada-mountains ediblerenotahoe.com/component/content/article/81-editorial/fall-2014/844-fall-2014-natures-garden
The Progressive Rancher
MAY/JUNE 2020 15
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16 MAY/JUNE 2020
The Progressive Rancher
BLM begins new fertility control trial as overpopulation of wild horses and burros on public lands reaches new heights
If viable, the vaccine would be a powerful new tool for humanely managing populations of wild horses on public rangelands
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The B has started testing a promising new fertility control vaccine that could help address the growing overpopulation of wild horses on public rangelands. Researchers believe the Oocyte Growth Factor (OGF) vaccine, administered to a captured wild mare through a single dose, may safely prevent pregnancy for up to three years or longer. Following an environmental analysis and final decision record issued last March, testing of the vaccine began May 12 and is taking place in Carson City, Nevada as part of a joint research project between the BLM and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s National Wildlife Research Center.
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“For decades, the BLM has sought a long-term vaccine that could help effectively and humanely control the rapid growth of wild horse and burro populations on public lands,” said BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs William Perry Pendley. “Now more than ever, an all-of-the-above approach is needed as a rapidly growing overpopulation of wild horses and burros threatens the long-term health of our public lands. With the start of this trial, the BLM has taken a big and important step forward to developing better, more effective population management tools that can help solve this growing crisis.”
“We’re excited to be a part of this research to develop cutting edge solutions to help humanely manage wild horse populations,” said Dr. Doug Eckery, Assistant Director of USDA’s National Wildlife Research Center. The mission of the NWRC is to apply scientific expertise to resolve human-wildlife conflicts while maintaining the quality of the environment shared with wildlife. The Center is a leader in fertility control research for wildlife. As part of the project, 16 previously gathered wild mares were treated with the fertility control vaccine and will be placed in a pen with a stallion once the vaccine takes effect. Researchers will monitor the mares’ response to the vaccine and compare the results to a control group. The BLM-supported project follows a previous study that safely and effectively tested a multi-dose version of the OGF vaccine in domestic horses. The BLM seeks an effective one-dose version.
WHAT IS BEEF QUALITY ASSURANCE (BQA)?
WHAT IS BEEF QUALITY ASSURANCE BQA is a nationally coordinated, state implemented TRANSPORTATION (BQAT)? program which provides science-based education to producers to enhance carcass quality and safety while also improving animal care. The program has evolved to include best practices around stockmanship, good record keeping, and herd health, which can result in increased profit for producers. BQA is designed to ensure consumers can take pride in what they purchase, and can trust and have confidence in the entire beef industry.
BEEF QUALITY ASSURANCE CERTIFICATION:
THE RIGHT WAY IS THE
ONLY WAY ONLY
• Complete your certification at www.BQA.org » Available on-demand. Start/stop as you please. Estimated training time is 2.5 hours. » Select the training most appropriate for your cattle operation: Cow-Calf, Stocker/ Backgrounder, or Feedyard. • Or attend a local, in-person training » Trainings organized by local BQA trainers and experts, contact your BQA state coordinator to learn about opportunities.
Read the new 2020 NCBA manual here: National Cattlemen’s Beef Association 9110 E. Nichols Avenue, Suite 300 Centennial, Colorado 80112 303.694.0305 • BQA.org
BQAT plays a critical role in the health and welfare of cattle. The proper handling and transport of cattle can reduce sickness, prevent bruises, and improve the quality of the meat from these animals. When a transporter participates in BQAT, they show customers and consumers they are ready to take every step possible to ensure the health and safety of the cattle in which they are transporting. The BQAT program covers many topics, including: • Cattle handling principles and guidelines • Checklists for loading/unloading • Checklists for hot/cold weather factors • Evaluation of Fitness for Transport • Checklist for traveling • Loading suggestions and worksheets • Biosecurity & Emergency Action Plans
BEEF QUALITY ASSURANCE TRANSPORTATION CERTIFICATION: • Complete your certification at www.BQA.org » Available on-demand. Start/stop as you please. Estimated training time is 2.5 hours. » Select the training most appropriate for your business: Farmer-Rancher or Professional Transporter. • Or attend a local, in-person training » Trainings organized by local BQA trainers and experts, contact your BQA state coordinator to learn about opportunities.
The Progressive Rancher
Though the research is still in its early phase, if proven viable, the OGF vaccine could help bolster existing methods used to manage wild horse populations. The most common fertility control vaccines for wild horses in use today are short-lasting and require near-annual retreatment to remain effective. A single-dose vaccine that can last multiple years, such as the OGF vaccine if proven viable, would provide a number of benefits for BLM, including requiring fewer instances of gathering animals for retreatment or permanent removal. The new fertility control trial comes as BLM releases estimated populations of approximately 95,000 wild horses and burros, the most ever estimated by the agency and compares to approximately 27,000 that roamed the land when the animals became federally protected and managed under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.
Without intervention, wild horse and burro herds on public lands increase rapidly, doubling in just 4-5 years. Constant overpopulation can stress critical ecosystems, cause severe damage to riparian and rangeland resources, and can lead to inhumane animal death from thirst or starvation.
In addition to supporting the development of better fertility control tools, the BLM has taken action to curb overpopulation and protect land health. For example, since 2018 the agency has gathered more animals from overpopulated herds than the previous 5 years combined. The BLM has also taken steps to reduce the number of unadopted and unsold animals in its off-range holding facilities. Thanks to last year’s new incentive program, the BLM hit a 15-year high for adoptions and sales of excess animals. Find more information and access Fiscal Year 2020 population estimates at BLM.gov/whb. MAY/JUNE 2020 17
Healthy Horses on Healthy Rangelands By Gary McCuin, Eureka County Extension Educator and Barry Perryman, Professor UNR, CABNR Is the phrase, “Healthy Horses on Healthy Rangelands” Scientists and managers consistently report that the amount of surface area of resource degradation are a pipe dream* or something achievable? We are often told by many folks close to the issue that increasing and the severity of the impact is worsening it is a pipe dream (an unattainable or fanciful hope or (Figure 1). In more and more instances, severity has scheme), and there is a significant amount of evidence in reached the point of no return (Figure 2). Recovery support of the pipe dream label. All we have to do here will take decades or longer to stabilize, often at a lower in Nevada is look around, there are degraded rangelands ecological potential. Research has documented these and in Horse Management Areas (HMAs) in almost every other ecological changes from sustained, season-long, BLM District, and throughout the Humboldt-Toiyabe heavy use by numerous herbivorous species. Scientists and land managers generally agree that a critical point has National Forest. been reached. The status quo cannot continue, otherwise Most HMAs in Nevada are above Appropriate it will jeopardize future management and use options for Management Level (AML) and the excess can be as many public lands. high as 1,000%. Nevada may have the most WH&Bs onrange at 47,468 head (March 2019), 34,657 head above So, is the phrase, “Healthy Horses on Healthy Rangelands” maximum AML for Nevada. In fact, maximum AML for a pipe dream or something achievable? In our opinion, the entire program is 26,690 head, therefor, Nevada alone regardless of the dire situation and consequences, emotional and polarized dialogue, and the often bizarre has almost two times the national maximum AML. political arena in which decisions and actions are made Nationally, there is a total on-range population of 88,000 nonetheless, it has to be achievable because the alternative head which is 61,000 head above AML, and there are is unconscionable to any citizen or steward. Rangelands, 50,000 head in off-range holding consuming $52 million WH&Bs, wildlife, and our western heritage are at stake. dollars (>60%) of the BLM’s $80.5 million budget in We must not falter, stumble, or fail. 2019. The scale of the challenge is immense. Have you ever heard the saying, “when the music changes, When we think about gathers, the most horses and so does the dance.” We believe the music is changing burros the BLM has ever been able to gather from through the work of many dedicated people. rangeland in a single year was approximately 18,000 head, in the mid-1980s and maximum capability today is Exciting things are happening due to the efforts of many about 11,000 head, if there were room and funding in off- people at both the local and national levels; contributing range holding(personal communication, BLM source). countless hours, personal funds, and practical knowledge. Keep in mind that in the mid-1980s they had several These folks are working hard to find practical solutions to skilled gatherer contractors, and could sell horses without achieve rangeland ecosystem sustainability, i.e., “Healthy limitation. Therefore, in 2019, with 88,000 head on-range Horses on Healthy Rangelands”. and a growth rate of ≈20% per annum, the estimated foal crop in 2020 is 17,600 head. Currently this means that BLM is incapable of suppressing growth of the WH&B Figure 1. Extensive damage caused by Wild Horses to a population at the current, overpopulated levels. riparian area in the Pine Nut mountain range near Dayton, NV. Exhibited during the 2019 Summit Tour. Eureka, NV as a result of extensive wild horse and burro use
Some of these folks are your friends and neighbors that are involved in industry and conservation organizations, county, state and federal government, Universities and professional Societies like the Society for Range Management (SRM) and The Wildlife Society, and non- governmental organizations (NGOs). The common threads are a drive to give back, serve, leadership, strong resource ethic, etc. Surprisingly, some of them do not closely ascribe to our western beliefs and way of life.
As it is said: “politics can make for strange bedfellows”. Groups such as the Humane Society of United States (HSUS), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and certain wild horse advocacy groups have also come to realize that current WH&B management is not beneficial to the horses, wildlife or our precious natural resources. While they may not always approve of animal agriculture methodologies and public lands grazing, they see the status quo will result in unacceptable consequences. In 2019 two significant things converged, the Free Roaming Equids and Ecosystem Sustainability (FREES) Summit May 29-31 in Reno Nevada and “The Path Forward”. Both have been progressing separately for several years under considerable difficulty and opposition, however, in 2019 the stars finally aligned. The impact of these two efforts achieved real and actionable WH&B management milestones. The efforts are both significant and synergistic. In the authors’ opinion, the music is changing!
Figure 2. Severe WH&B damage to riparian area south of Eureka, NV. as a result of extensive wild horse and burro use
*Pipe dream stems from the practice of smoking opium, and though many English writers turned to opiates for inspiration, the term pipe dream originated in the United States. In the mid-1800s to the late 1800s, the western United States was rife with opium dens, places where opium from China was sold and smoked. The Phrase Finder www.phrases.org.uk 18 MAY/JUNE 2020
The Progressive Rancher
There is an increasing recognition that current WH&B management is dysfunctional and the animals themselves are suffering as a consequence. Western rangeland ecosystems are further degrading and rural economies are at risk. Many wildlife species are suffering, even iconic species such as sage grouse. Efforts from the Path Forward and FREES are beginning to get through and Congress seems to be listening.
Signers of “The path forward for management of BLM’s WH&Bs” hold very divergent views, but all share common goals for rangelands: ecosystem health, the humane treatment of animals, and fiscal responsibility. The primary objective of the path forward proposal is “to develop an economically and environmentally viable, humane, non-lethal, and feasible long-term management plan for wild horses and burros in the American West”. It also concludes “the current program is unsustainable and needs redirection”. They propose a solution that will eventually release the BLM from the costly cycle of roundups and holdings, while reducing the number of horses and burros on the range and making progress toward appropriate management levels (AML): a) Conduct targeted gathers and removals at densely populated Herd Management Areas (HMAs) to reduce herd size and make progress towards AML.
b) Treat gathered horses and burros with population growth suppression tools prior to being returned to the range. Reversible methods must be administered to an appropriate percentage of mares (generally close to 90%) to control populations, with some flexibility depending on modeling of range and herd parameters.
c) Relocate horses and burros in holding facilities, and those taken off the range, to large cost-effective, humane pasture facilities funded through publicprivate partnerships. d) Promote adoptions in order to help reduce captive populations and costs. The BLM is currently spending $2,250 ($3,250 with incentive) per adopted horse to promote adoptions that ultimately provide considerable cost savings to the agency. Investing in the adoption process for each horse will reduce or eliminate the estimated $46,000 per horse expenditure in off range holding over the course of their lifetime. The Path forward document can be found at: https://tinyurl.com/WildHorseManagement Free Roaming Equids and Ecosystem Sustainability Summit Many WH&B advocacy groups opposed previous summits including the 2018 Salt Lake City summit inaccurately labeled as the “Slaughter Summit” by some. Summit organizers recognized that in order to move forward and be productive a new tactic was necessary; choosing to be more inclusive, they actively sought out moderate WH&B advocates such as HSUS and ASPCA to participate in the Reno Summit. Delegates from over 90 different organizations (+/-150 people) convened at the Free-Roaming Equids and Ecosystem Sustainability Summit, held May 29-31, 2019 in Reno, Nevada. The purpose of the Summit was “to develop a stakeholderbased comprehensive communication strategy and process to managing free-roaming equids in concert with other www.progressiverancher.com
public land multiples-uses to achieve western rangeland ecosystem sustainability.” The goal of sustaining “Healthy Herds on Healthy Rangelands” was agreed upon by all participants. Participants also agreed to seek wide public support and a vision for solutions that are agreeable to all the organizations and individuals represented by Summit delegates and society at large.
Delegates recognized that there is not one single solution, but that all solutions must be economically, biologically, ecologically, and ethically practical. It is noteworthy that a confederation of 90 organizations has political influence on Capitol Hill in D.C. The Summit agreement has, and will continue to open the doors of our political representatives.
• Outreach and Communication: Tasked with the following:
a) Develop a collaborative committee focused on public messaging/education and congressional strategy.
b) Develop organizing structure and funding strategies for working groups c) Establish forum/workshop to build trust/alignment within this group
Anyone interested in improving WH&B management is welcome to join the FREES network and participate in one of the three work groups and can find contact information at the FREES Network website https:// extension.usu.edu/freesnetwork/index. Additional Additionally, the Reno Summit fostered a “non-political” information about the Network, how to join and support grassroots movement now known as the Free-Roaming the network, along with the invited presentations to Equid and Ecosystem Sustainability Network or Congressional staffers last October can be found at this FREES. FREES seeks to enhance communication and website. engage diverse stakeholder groups in order to achieve the The 2020 FREES Summit will be in Cody, Wyoming common goal of “healthy herds on healthy rangelands.” at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, in September, Participation in FREES is open to all individuals and 2020. Participants will receive updates from the FREES organizations, regardless of perspectives, willing to work network, working group progress, new research, and policy cooperatively to find workable solutions. FREES seeks developments. We will learn more from representatives of to integrate sound science with local knowledge, human the host state of Wyoming about challenges and successes perceptions, and values into a collaborative national in their great State. All of this information will be used network of information sharing, planning, and action. to continue the development of action plans towards the FREES is committed to develop meaningful, actionable goal of Healthy Herds on Healthy Rangelands. objectives to be implemented judiciously, compassionately, The authors will discuss the “Path Forward” in a follow humanely, and expeditiously. up article. While the “Path Forward” provides a means to FREES recognizes that there is not one single solution address WH&B population management, one limitation and strives to create innovative and practical strategies in our view is the large number of excess WH&Bs that that are scientifically sound and are within the purview would have to be removed from rangelands and the and management authority of the Bureau of Land associated cost of off-range holding. The authors will Management (BLM), the USDA Forest Service, Native expand upon a novel idea to manage the influx and cost American Tribes, and the states. Four working groups of WH&B in off-range holding through a Public/Private were developed from the Summit: Partnership and Green Tax credits. • Population Management: Tasked with the following: The activities described above have made a difference a) Assess and improve gathering methods and population in what could accurately be described as an otherwise hopeless and unwinnable cause. It is easy to get growth suppression strategies. discouraged when faced with a problematic situation as b) Re-think the status quo for holding facilities and WH&B Management. distribution of horses. We hope that this article has convinced the reader that c) Identify and understand successful efforts for changing the course of WH&B Management to salvage collecting and analyzing data. our rangelands and western rural economies is not a pipe • Rangeland Conditions and Habitat: Tasked with the dream. Rather, it is a challenge worth facing and engaging following: because the alternative is unconscionable. We will not a) Identify common misperceptions regarding federally falter, stumble, or fail. defined Wild Horse and Burro habitat conditions.
b) Identify ecological and cultural “hot spots” The Progressive Rancher
MAY/JUNE 2020 19
17th Annual Nevada Farms Conference Gathering February 20-22 Fallon, Nevada by Kelli Kelly, Executive Director, Fallon Food Hub For the last 17 years Nevada farmers, ranchers, and avid home gardeners have gathered together for three days to learn about all things agriculture at the Nevada Farms Conference. This year the conference returned to its roots in Fallon, Nevada. Over 200 people participated in the conference and pre-conference workshops. The Nevada Farms Conference provided an opportunity for Nevada producers to come together, network, and learn from agricultural leaders & subject matter experts. Additionally, participants were encouraged to discuss local issues, state regulatory compliance, work with university and extension researchers, and to discover what others are doing in the unique high desert climate. Lean farming expert Ben Hartman provided the keynote and led two workshops focused on maximizing efficiency in farm systems. The 2020 conference commenced on Thursday morning with a variety of optional pre-conference workshops. These hands-on experiences included instruction on Small Animal Butchery, Cheese-making, and Fermentation. Participants could take a tour of Sand Hill Dairy, learn about the legislative process in Nevada, and receive guidance on how to start an agricultural business. In the Introduction to Small Animal Butchery workshop Colby Ingram, owner of I7 Meat and Cattle in Fallon, guided attendees through the process of breaking down a sheep and a pig. Participation was encouraged and many people stepped up to the challenge with knives in hand. Marissa Ames, homesteader and magazine editor, provided instruction on how to make a multitude of cheese at home. She used local Sand Hill Dairy milk in her ricotta, mozzarella, and cheddar curd. Two of the pre-conference workshops were offered for free. In the workshop on Agricultural Small Business Start-up, participants heard from the Small Business Development Center, the Health Department, and the Nevada Department of Agriculture. Combining all of these resources in one place was invaluable for workshop participants. Sarah Adler, former Nevada Director of Rural Development for the USDA, presented the Introduction to the Legislature workshop. Sarah, along with special guest Nevada Assembly Minority Leader Robin Titus, instructed workshop participants about the legislative process in Nevada. Topics included: how an idea becomes a bill, how a bill becomes a law, forming coalitions to advance legislation, an introduction to lobbying, making your opinion about legislation known, and how to follow a bill as it moves through the legislature. The farms conference committee offered these as free opportunities to equip participants with the resources that they need to be able to start new agricultural business and to empower them to advocate for themselves with elected leaders. The conference kicked off on Friday with three-hour intensive workshops. Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm, led a workshop on the principles of efficiency in farming. Ben describes the differences between traditional farming and lean farming as: “The traditional farmer chooses what to grow based on hunches as to what might sell. The lean farmer lines up customers first, and then grows exactly what the customer wants, in the right amount, at the right time. No effort is wasted. Rather than keep every tool, the lean farmer is selective: just a few tools get the work accomplished. The traditional farm adds capacity through constant expansion. The lean farm grows by cutting out waste. Farming is a career plagued by low wages. But the lean farmer earns a high hourly wage through smart management: efficient production and a focus on value.” 20 MAY/JUNE 2020
Ben’s system of lean farming integrates techniques that originated with rice farmers in Japan. These same techniques were key in the development of manufacturing processes that helped Toyota gain market share in the automotive industry. Now, lean systems are returning to agriculture helping farmers create efficient systems in which inputs and outputs are maximized. An intensive workshop on Soil Health exposed participants to the greatest soil experts in the state of Nevada. Presenters included Jim Komar, state soil scientist for the USDA, Gary McCuin and Maninder Walia, soil experts with the University of Reno Cooperative Extension, Charles Schembre from Desert Farming Initiative, and Craig and Cody Witt from Full Circle Compost. Every aspect of creating healthy soil was covered including testing, cover cropping, compost, and soil amendments. Agricultural Tourism was the focus of the final intensive workshop. Participants learned about ways to increase farm revenue through tourism including: school field trips, farm to table dinners, year round farmers markets, food festivals, and on farm events. Additionally, workshop attendees learned about ways that agriculture is integrated into tourism efforts by municipalities and the Nevada Department of Tourism. The remainder of the farm conference was comprised of 90-minute workshops that spanned the breadth of agriculture in Nevada. Whether they were interested in animals, hoop houses, robotics, social media & marketing, poultry processing, or tax-planning for farmers, the Nevada Farms Conference had workshops of interest for all attendees. One of the more novel workshops was a panel discussion led by Michael Moberly, beverage expert and writer for Edible Reno Tahoe. Michael facilitated a discussion between bartenders, farmers, and distributors about ways to increase the connection between Nevada farms and the growing craft cocktail industry in Reno. Michael created a signature cocktail for the Nevada Farms Conference that was featured at the conference mixer. The “Fallon Bloom Old Fashioned” featured Frey Ranch Bourbon, Cannella Amaro from Ferino Distillery in Reno, and a simple syrup flavored with chamomile grown by Stacy Fisk of Fallon. At the Nevada Farm Conference mixer, the conference committee recognized Karen and Charlie Abowd, owners of Adele’s restaurant, for a lifetime of support of Nevada Farmers with the presentation of the illustrious Silver Shovel. The Abowd’s commitment to sourcing produce and protein from local farmers is a core principle of the way they do business! The conference mixer featured a variety of amazing appetizers featuring local ingredients including Sand Hill Dairy cheddar cheese, H5 Ranch beef, and produce from Pioneer Farms, Pick’n & Grin’n & Dayton Valley Aquaponics. Steve Hernandez, chef and owner at the Slanted Porch restaurant, also sourced heavily from local farms for conference lunches. Finally, conference attendees always enjoy the annual presentation by the Nevada State FFA officers and this year was no exception! After commencing the conference with the official FFA opening ceremony, our Nevada State officers led the lunchtime crowd through a game of trivia featuring questions about agriculture in Nevada and the history of Future Farmers of America. The Nevada Farms Conference happens annually in February. For more information visit the conference website at www.nevadafarmsconference.com. The 2020 Nevada Farms Conference would not be possible without the support of the City of Fallon, Red Carpet Events & Design, the Churchill County Library, Stanislaus Farm Supply, Healthy Communities Coalition, Western Nevada College, University of Reno College of Biotechnology and Natural Resources, Wood Rodgers, Toro, Farm Bureau Bank, CCOF, the Nevada Department of Agriculture, Rail City Garden Center, Full Circle Compost, and the USDA offices of Rural Development, Farm Services Agency, Risk Management, and Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The Progressive Rancher
The Progressive Rancher
MAY/JUNE 2020 21
Remembering Freddie Reflections on the Life & Surroundings of a Dedicated Sheep Rancher by Jim Fousekis Almost 30 years ago my wife Susan and I bought a 610 acre ranch property on the Eastern Sierra of California, near Bridgeport (and its beautiful Valley), nestled under the Sierra with Green Lake and 12,378 feet Dunderberg Peak to the South. I was a nearly retired lawyer who loved fly fishing and Susan a former Sierra Club hiker who knew all the mountains around us. The spot was idyllic. We built two log houses, called our ranch the FFF Ranch, Fousekis Fly Fishing Ranch, and along the way had the great pleasure of meeting our neighboring property owner to the west, Fred Fulstone of the Fulstones of Smith Valley, Nevada. Freddie and his family, operating as the FIM Corporation, were reportedly the largest sheep ranchers in Nevada; his brother Richard had been a large cattle rancher, his operations now run by his son and Fred’s nephew Steven. Freddie died on April 2, having lived 99 good years as a dedicated sheep rancher and rancher’s advocate. He had ranching in his blood and personified the best in ranching and a life worth living. Much of the property in the Bridgeport Valley and its surroundings is owned by Smith Valley ranchers, almost all cattle other than Freddie’s sheep. The ranchers run their cattle in the Smith Valley in the winter and move them south to Bridgeport in the summer. Shortly after purchasing our property, we leased our grazing land, 600 acres, including a large irrigated meadow, to Freddie and FIM. It was a natural; Freddie’s Bridgeport property to our northwest could connect to our meadow by way of a wooden bridge over our Summers Creek which sheep could cross. Freddie explained that sheep did not like their hooves wet so they would not come onto our property until irrigation season was over, usually early September.
Government Steps In Freddie had developed his large sheep operation with few Government regulations, but all that was changing. Our FFF water and Freddie’s has been regulated since the late 1930s under the Walker River Federal Court Decree, entered after 12 years of careful litigation, adjudicating Walker River Basin water rights. Under the Decree, a Federal Water Master controls the use of Walker River water, usually allowing an irrigation season from March 15 to August 15. Some of our FFF Ranch water rights date back to the 1860s, having been 22 MAY/JUNE 2020
adjudicated in favor of the Sarios, a Basque family. We purchased the FFF from the Sarios, whose predecessor Joe Sario had participated in the Walker River Decree litigation. Fred’s predecessor had also participated in the litigation, achieving more limited water rights. However, in the early 1990s challenges were made to the Decree by certain Walker Lake interests where the Walker River flowed, including the Walker River Paiute Tribe represented by the United States. Our Government was now our adversary, attempting to upset a 100+ year stable source of farm and irrigation water and obtain more water. Neither Freddie nor I, nor all the other local ranchers were happy. As Freddie said many times: “They are trying to take our water”, and water is the lifeblood of ranching. Both FIM and our family have been thrown into a large water rights litigation which continues today, almost thirty years after the initial filing. However, the interaction with Government that upset Fred the most were the restraints put on his grazing contracts with the Federal Government. Freddie was running thousands of sheep. In order to feed those animals, he needed thousands of grazing acres, and had entered into lease agreements with the Bureau of Land Management to run his sheep on land leased from BLM. The Eastern Sierra to the South of Bridgeport is the habitat of Big Horn sheep, and arguments were made to the BLM that domestic sheep carried diseases which could be transferred to the Big Horns, and therefore no domestic sheep should graze on BLM lands anywhere near the Big Horns. Fred was very unhappy, and eventually FIM filed suit against the Secretary of interior in the Federal Court in Sacramento challenging these restraints. He did not think the science supported the claim that his domestic sheep could contaminate Big Horns. I am not sure of the details, but I don’t think Freddie won this one, and the suit eventually went away. But like many who read these pages will appreciate, changes to the farming and ranching way of life, as it had been, were threatening, and the threats were real. There were more. A Petition was filed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to designate the bi-state sage grouse as an endangered species. Freddie, like me, worried what the impact would be on grazing on his adjacent property and ours. With Freddie
and FIM as our leasee, our property was virtually a wilderness preserve, with sheep grazing only several months a year. Neither FIM nor the FFF Ranch have Conservation Easements, and our family intends to manage our property with the fullest conservation protections in mind. How could we do otherwise? My wife had been a lifetime member of the Sierra Club and worked there for David Brower, and hiked all the mountains around us; I fished in our rivers and hiked in our mountains since I was a Boy Scout. We thereafter fully cooperated when a Bi-State group of Governors took steps to protect the sage grouse, including tabbing all our FFF fences to prevent the grouse from flying into them. Just before Freddie’s death, and after years of dispute and litigation, the Fish and Wildlife Service denied endangered species protection to the sage grouse. I’m sure Freddie would have agreed with me when I state the grouse will not be in danger on FFF lands.
In addition to the controls and reporting to the Federal Water Master, Freddie and FIM have had to deal with our local California Water District, Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, and file reports and information there. The State of California State Water Resources Board has also been involved with our property; about 10 years ago a Complaint was filed with the Control Board claiming that water from our Creek, Summers Creek, was being wrongfully diverted above our property by FIM from flow into Twin Lakes to flow into our creek, Summers Creek. Fred called in the Federal Water Master who confirmed that the diversion was proper and had been in place for many, many years; the Complaint was dismissed. Occasionally I saw US Department of Agriculture personnel counting sheep on our property, presumably to determine whether there was any overgrazing. Forest Service trucks and personnel are all around. Government and regulation is everywhere and in full view. The Challenge of Sheep Ranching Farming and ranching are hard work, sheep ranching particularly so. Some City folks may have a vision of farm millionaires, or billionaires living in Jackson Hole, Sun Valley, or Montana, or corporate interests farming in the Westlands of California. Freddie is what ranching is all about; down to earth hard work. Sheep ranching involves placing herders, formerly Basque herders but now mostly Peruvian Incas, in remote locations living by themselves in a small tent or trailer with a pod of sheep nearby, maybe 800 or so, continuously grazing. A Foreman or Manager periodically comes by. The herder’s companions are their dogs, mostly Border collies, or a donkey. These intelligent dogs, by instinct, control the less intelligent sheep. But is not all peace and harmony on the meadow. Mountain lions, bears and
The Progressive Rancher
coyotes lurk nearby. A U.S. Ag Department Agent once told me that he had seen the vicious damage done to a sheep pod by a crazed mountain lion nearby, 60 or more sheep dead, blood everywhere spiking the cougar on. Be careful, even when jogging.
Here again with the herders, Government is present, increasing the government regulation of the labor conditions of the herders, who send their salaries home to their distant families. Fred’s daughter Marianne runs the office side of FIM dealing with the increasingly complex employment issues. Her son Kristofor runs the FIM field operations dealing with the logistics of thousands of sheep in many locations. FIM needs many thousands of acres either owned or leased for grazing, and transportation to move the sheep from location to location, until the sheep are sheared for wool, or lambs and mutton sold for meat. And looming off our shores are New Zealand with almost eight times as many sheep as the United States and Australia, with all that open land, and almost three times as many sheep. Quite a competitive challenge, one you will see when you order lamb at your meat market and find domestic sheep significantly more expensive. I am loyal to Freddie and our domestic ranchers, and it’s always domestic lamb for me! Finally, Freddie’s herders follow the old Native American admonition: ”Leave your campsite with no sign you were there”. After the sheep are gone when grazing season is over, there is no sign they were there. That’s Freddie’s way. Freddie’s Smith Valley California Route 182, turning into Nevada State Route 338, leads me from the small town of Bridgeport, along the East Walker River into Nevada passing by the Sweetwater Mountains and beautiful Sweetwater Ranch, eventually settling into the Smith Valley of Nevada with its lush green farms, cows and horses. I am to meet Freddie at his ranch, where he invites me in for lunch, obviously lamb. For a rancher who grazes sheep on thousands of acres, his ranch house is very modest, farm equipment and many dogs scattered about. He is his usual affable self, eyes twinkling, household help now assisting him; he is happy to see me. We always understood one another.
This great man helped me appreciate the outdoors and the ranching way of life. I once met his sister in San Francisco, and quickly concluded Freddie would not have been happy there. Ranching - sheep ranching - was in his blood. He was a deacon among Smith Valley ranchers because of his devotion to ranchers, their interests and the quiet Smith Valley where he lived his long life. He was adored by his family, his employees, and his community. It is clear his 99 years made for a worthwhile life, making Freddie someone we should imitate and certainly never forget. www.progressiverancher.com
GRAZING CORN Gra Yearl ze 1500 130 A ings on a c for 30re Pivot Days
r in Pe a G f s. o N) 3.5 lb (69% TD e* Day t. Cattl 5-7 w * Jesse Norcutt, Currant, NV
Greenway Seeds Grazing Corn (GX80) is the No. 1 grazing corn in the nation because it is 5-6 days earlier than the competition. This allows the rancher to plant 5-6 days later and still reach peak sugar content (pre tassel) before the frost shuts you down!
OVERSEED ALFALFA with Grazing Corn
Plant with a grain drill following second cutting on an older field of alfalfa. Ready to graze in early September. “We planted GX80 following second cut alfalfa. If we had to do that over we would follow third cut. We grazed 400 head for two weeks on 20 acres” Cory Veterre - Greenriver, Utah
HERE’S WHAT RANCHERS ARE SAYING Coffin Butte Farm and Ranch - New Leitzigg, ND We planted 400 acres on dryland and turned out 800 pair. We grazed it from Oct. 20 to Nov. 24. The cows ate the corn almost to the ground. The corn was 7-1/2 ft. tall. The program was a success!
Garry Hess - McBride Cattle Co. - Alderville, WA We planted two pivots and grazed mother cows. Their body index rose from 5 to 6. It was incredible feed! My recommendation is to graze calves on this product. The weight gain would be tremendous!
Bob Strahley - McCook, NE We planted 105 acres on dryland and divided it into three 35 acre parcels. Two hundred head of bred cows were grazed on each parcel for about two weeks each. The corn was about 5 ft tall on the dryland acreage.
Winecup-Gamble Ranch - Montello, NV We planted GX80 on July 4 at 4900 ft. elevation. Corn made it by the second week of September. Very successful. We’re planting more.
Alan Greenway Seedsman
Greenway Seeds Caldwell, Idaho
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MAY/JUNE 2020 23
Nevada Farm Bureau
Nevada Farm Bureau #StillFarming By Doug Busselman, Executive Vice President
I have to admit that I’m not the coolest kid on social media, seldom ever visiting the Twitter account that I’ve got on my cell phone and when I do, all I ever do is read the posts that others have typed out with the allotted number of characters.
their homes – with stern warnings and prospects of serious, almost criminal charges, for venturing out – the grocery stores seem to have regained some sense of nearly being normal. That is as long as you go down the one-way isle in the right direction and stand on the proper square of being six feet away from the I can’t honestly say that I understand all person in front of you at the checkout the dynamics of what a # tag to some stand. type of slogan means, but I guess it helps whoever is keeping track of how You also can’t help but notice that if many use that tag spread the desired anyone wanted to stage a robbery it message around the virtual sphere. would be tough to figure out which Reports that have been coming in since mask-wearing person might have been #StillFarming (perhaps if you’re able to involved. Going out in public with embed this link: www.fb.org/news/u.s.- some sort of mask has become even farmers-and-ranchers-are-stillfarming) more naked than not wearing pants first started indicating that a whole lot to the next Zoom meeting that is of people are using the hashtag and scheduled on a daily basis. spreading the word that farmers and Going back to the rightfully serious ranchers are continuing to do what they topic of #StillFarming – even do in producing food and fiber. though most agricultural operations The idea for the #StillFarming came from communications persons within Farm Bureau circles, hoping to make the rest of the world aware that any worries or discussions of food shortages were not related to farmers and ranchers not farming and ranching. When this whole Corvid-19 thing first started, toilet paper and lots of other staple supplies went flying off grocery store shelfs in a way that most of us couldn’t imagine. I remember visiting a few supermarkets in the Reno area, prior to being required to “shelter in place,” where it seemed that “going out of business” operations had more in stock and with greater variety to select from. Now that we’ve advanced past the initial stages of the emergency, which required shutting down a large swath of business and locking non-essential persons up in
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have qualified as essential business enterprises – the financial shellacking that producers have been taking makes one wonder whether the hashtag will survive the economic hit even if it does the virus? Early on the hardships seemed to have focused on cattle producers sending fats to meatpacking facilities at extremely discounted prices … all the while meat selling from supermarket meat cases were going up in price. This didn’t sit well in farm and ranch country and agricultural social media posts have been anything but “sociable.” It wasn’t too long after those issues starting boiling when attention began turning to dairy producers needing to dump oceans of milk because of not having anywhere to send their production – this all the while that at
dairy cases in the grocery stores shelves were nearly empty and limits were being placed on how much milk could be purchased by each shopper. We’ve seen numerous accounts of fields of ready for harvest vegetable and similar crops being plowed under because of either not having labor to harvest or outlets to send the produce to market/processing. Hogs and poultry for meat protein use are needing to be euthanized because the meat processing plants lack the capacity to handle the normal volume of livestock – or are struggling to stay open with sufficient healthy workers to perform the necessary harvest and processing procedures. Congress has stepped forward with various funding actions ranging from direct purchase authorization to other forms of indemnity or loan support programs. Targeted dollars have been earmarked for specific segments of agricultural commodity types and sometime over the next month or so there will be final details of how that assistance will be provided. Before a nickel finds its way to a farmer/ rancher pocket though everyone is duly recognizing that it won’t be sufficient to come anywhere near covering the loss. An oft referenced statistic notes that prior to this mess starting, 54 percent of the American food dollar was spent in out-of-the-home purchases. Producing for this market required specialized systems and preparations that don’t match the products planned for cooked at home uses. Regaining any degree of financial footing for all businesses, especially farming and ranching, is going to take time and large measures
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of faith and endurance. Blown out segments of the marketing channels will only come back into operation as food service outlets such as restaurants are back into operation. On the fly adjustments aren’t swift or easily performed on the short-notice basis of Governors declaring significant portions of the economy are hear-by closed tomorrow evening. The noble sounding public objective of “flattening the curve” resulted in a lot more being flattened than reported rates of virus infections. On a state and national basis, crashing the economy in the fashion it was carried out will have long-term consequences which will hopefully be recognized in ways that cause citizens to think differently about the everyday-of-life circumstances that were so taken for granted before the edicts by Governors were issued for closures. Considering marketing systems, perhaps opportunities will be pursued for alternatives to the commodity-based approaches of the past. Entrepreneurs may seize on ideas to work around the remnants of blown out distribution systems and links in the food chain to establish alternatives that are structured for greater resiliency. Some of those conversations are already underway. The #StillFarming idea could take on more than a symbol for convincing consumers that farmers and ranchers are doing their part to provide necessary food and fiber…it could also come to mean that adjustments have been made to deal with the issues prior ways of doing things couldn’t deal with.
Scholarship Opportunity By Brittney Money Director of Communications The Nevada Heritage Foundation is excited to announce the Continuing Education Scholarship Award. The scholarship is open to currently enrolled students in either a traditional or non-traditional post-secondary program.
CONTACT: John Robinson - firstname.lastname@example.org
NCBA Responds to News of Beef Packing Plant Closure Due to COVID-19 DENVER (April 13, 2020) – NCBA CEO Colin Woodall released the following statement regarding today’s announcement that JBS will shutter its Greeley, Colo., beef processing plant in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Nevada Heritage Foundation was founded by the Nevada Farm Bureau to promote the understanding of agriculture and its importance. This is achieved by providing financial support and encouragement for education, training, and research that relates to or benefits agriculture.
“NCBA is concerned about the closure of the JBS-owned beef packing plant in Greeley, Colo. The company reports the plant is closing for a two-week period after several employees fell ill. Beef producers mourn the loss of the two employees who died as a result of the virus and we empathize with plant workers who are being affected by the outbreak. We also support President Trump’s ongoing effort to keep America’s food supply chain operational.
This year’s scholarship application is now available on the Nevada Farm Bureau website www.nvfb.org, or by using the direct link at, https://www.nvfb.org/wpcontent/uploads/2020/03/2020-NevadaHeritageFou ndationScholarship.pdf.
“The closure of packing plants during this crisis will have an impact on cattle and beef prices. Plant closures or slow-downs have significant regional and national implications that will ripple through the marketplace at a time when cattle producers are already suffering from market uncertainty and economic hardship. Every member of the beef supply chain relies on processing plants operating daily to keep product moving. America’s cattlemen and cattlewomen are hopeful that any beef processing plants which have been slowed or closed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak return to full operation as quickly as possible.
Students wanting to submit an application must be from a Farm Bureau member family, and preference will be given to students pursuing career goals in the Agricultural or Ag-Business industry. Applications must be received by July 1, 2020 and can be mailed here: Nevada Heritage Foundation 2165 Green Vista Drive, Suite 205 Sparks, Nevada 89431
Applications may also emailed to Jill Combs at: email@example.com and she may be contacted for more information regarding this award.
“Currently, there is no shortage of beef and consumers can continue to be confident about the safety and wholesomeness of the products they are purchasing during this crisis. There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. However, it is always important to follow good hygiene practices when handling or preparing foods.”
The Heritage Foundation also has the Dave Fulstone Scholarship. This scholarship is available to any student graduating from an accredited Nevada High School and furthering their education in a course of study pertaining to agriculture.
More information about USDA’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is keeping the food supply chain intact is available on USDA’s website here: https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus. Information about food safety and proper handling practices for food products is available on the CDC website at: https:// www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/index.html.
This year’s Dave Fulstone Scholarship has already been awarded but is an annual scholarship opportunity that will be available next year.
The Progressive Rancher
MAY/JUNE 2020 25
In times of uncertainty, we remain committed to our customers’ needs. Each new challenge has better prepared us for the next one. We’re in this together.
Call 800.800.4865 today or visit AgLoan.com/covid-19 A part of the Farm Credit System. Equal Opportunity Lender.
26 MAY/JUNE 2020
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MAY/JUNE 2020 27
U.S. Department of the Interior
Contact: Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov | BLMpress@blm.gov
Interior Approves Plan for the Largest Solar Project in U.S. History Projected 8th largest solar project in the world, estimated to power 260,000 homes The Trump Administration remains committed to its America First, all of the above approach to domestic energy production as the Department of the Interior (Department) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today the approval of a proposal to construct and operate the largest solar project in United States history.
The Project will facilitate critical infrastructure investments that will create jobs and economic activity and increase renewable energy, helping to meet Federal and state energy goals. It directly advances policy objectives described in President Trump’s Executive Order 13783*, which promotes “clean and safe development of our Nation’s vast energy resources,” and Secretary’s Order 3355** prioritizing U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. infrastructure projects and streamlining Bernhardt signed the Record of Decision the environmental review process. (ROD) for Solar Partners XI, LLC to construct a 690-MW photovoltaic solar “Despite the challenges of the electric generating facility and ancillary coronavirus, we’re pleased to see that facilities about 30 miles northeast of Nevada will soon be home to one of Las Vegas. The estimated $1 billion the biggest solar projects in the world,” Gemini Solar Project (Project) could be said Abigail Ross Hopper, President and the eighth-largest solar power facility in CEO of the Solar Energy Industries the world when finished and is expected Association. “The solar industry is to generate enough electricity to power resilient and a project like this one will 260,000 homes in the Las Vegas area and bring jobs and private investment to potential energy markets in Southern the state when we need it most. We California. appreciate the work that the Trump Administration has done to make this “As our economy rebounds from the historic project a reality.” invisible enemy, President Trump is working to make the United States Significant Economic Impact stronger than ever before. Our economic resurgence will rely on getting America The on-site construction workforce back to work, and this project delivers on is anticipated to average 500 to 700 that objective,” said Secretary Bernhardt. construction workers, with a peak of up to 900 workers at any given time, “This action is about getting Americans supporting up to an additional 1,100 back to work, strengthening communities jobs in the local community and and promoting investment in American injecting an estimated $712.5 million energy,” said Casey Hammond, Principal into the economy in wages and total Deputy Assistant Secretary, Exercising output during construction. the Authority of the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. The Project is expected to be constructed “Domestic energy production on Federal in two phases. The first phase of power lands remains fundamental to our could come on-line in 2021 with final national security and the achievements completion as early as 2022. Federal revenues are expected to be more than of the Trump Administration.” $3 million annually to the U.S. Treasury. 28 MAY/JUNE 2020
Environmental Benefits and Impact Mitigation The Project is expected to generate renewable electricity that would annually offset greenhouse emissions of about 83,000 cars (384,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent). The hybrid alternative specified in the ROD also includes a mowing method that will result in fewer impacts on native vegetation and wildlife, such as the desert tortoise. Extensive long-term monitoring will be required, in addition to possible adaptation of methods used to reduce potential impacts to desert tortoise. The BLM and Solar Partners XI, LLC also developed measures to avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts to other resources including, but not limited to, visual resources, cultural and tribal resources, recreation access and air quality.
Substantial Public Comment and Tribal Consultation
government consultations over several months, traveling to and meeting with the following Tribes: Moapa Band of Paiutes, Las Vegas Paiute Tribe, Fort Mojave Tribe, Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, Bishop Paiute Tribe, Colorado River Indian Tribes and the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe.
Project Specifications The ROD approves a right-of-way grant for the Project and the associated amendment to the Las Vegas Resource Management Plan of 1998. The authorized solar facilities include 34.5 kilovolt overhead and underground collector lines, a 2-acre (0.8-hectare) operation and maintenance facility, three substations, internal access roads, access roads along generation tie-lines, a perimeter road, perimeter fencing, water storage tanks for fire protection, drainage control features, a potential on-site water well or a new water pipeline, and improvements to the existing NV Energy facilities to support interconnection. The project also includes a 380 MW solarpowered battery system able to store and deploy over 1,400 megawatt hours which can be used when the power is needed most.
The Secretary signed the ROD after the BLM facilitated a comprehensive public process that included two public meetings during a 45-day public scoping period and two additional public meetings during the 90-day public *EXECUTIVE ORDER 13783 ON 03/31/2017 comment period after the Draft Resource www.federalregister.gov/ Management Plan Amendment documents/2017/03/31/2017-06576/promoting(RMPA) and Draft Environmental energy-independence-and-economic-growth Impact Statement (EIS) were released. **SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR The BLM responded to all substantive ORDER NO. 3355 comments that it received on the Draft www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/elips/ RMPA/Draft EIS, as well as protests documents/3355_-_streamlining_national_ environmental_policy_reviews_and_implementation_ on the proposed RMPA and input it of_executive_order_13807_establishing_discipline_ received from the Governor’s office. The and_accountability_in_the_environmental_review_ BLM also conducted government-toand_permitting_process_for.pdf
The Progressive Rancher
COVID-19 and The Food Supply Chain Covid 19 is on the forefront of everyone’s mind. If you are a small business owner required to close, or a worker forced to stay home you have certainly felt the impact; even if you work in an “essential” business, life is no longer the same.
Editorial by Emily Fulstone
Farmers and Ranchers like myself would love the opportunity to sell beef directly to the consumer. The only issue is that there is a bottleneck on processing facilities. In 2019 I went to a planning commission meeting regarding the proposed Carson Valley Meats facility in Minden, NV. This facility would have processed 60 animals a week, would have been USDA certified, and was located at the historic Storke Dairy. The owner was taking every step to follow Temple Grandin’s teachings in order to provide the best welfare for all animals that came on to their property. I spoke with several ranchers in the area that were all very excited at the prospect of processing, and direct marketing their own cattle.
Working in agriculture, my day-to-day life has not changed, but Covid-19 has unmasked some serious issues in our food supply chain. Headlines such as “Dumped Milk, Smashed Eggs, Plowed Vegetables: Food Waste of the Pandemic.” (D. YaffeeBellany; M. Corkery, 2020) from New York Times April 2020 is becoming a common headline. Dairymen are being forced to dump their milk; hog farmers are being forced to euthanize their pigs. If agriculture is still “essential” and the food is still being produced, This facility was denied by the planning commission meeting. There had been a large why are we seeing these headlines? outcry of “Not In My Backyard”. What these naysayers did not realize is a year later Every farmer I know is still raising livestock and yet grocery stores are rationing the they would have a hard time buying meat for their families at the grocery stores due to amount of meat a single person can buy. If the livestock are there what is the hold Covid-19. If this facility had been approved my family, and many others I have talked up? Covid-19 is showing us that we do not have local community based food supply to, would be selling beef direct to the public. Not only that, this beef would have been systems, even when the food is raised right in our back yard. born, raised, processed, and made it to a plate all within 100 miles, and more often less. Food travels an average of 1,500 miles before making it to your dinner plate (www.attra. ncat.org , 2008). Back in the 1960’s-1970’s my grandfather used to run a beef packing plant that serviced groceries stores in northern Nevada. They would butcher 135 steers weekly and sell them in the local grocery stores. They were 1 of roughly 150 packing plants in the Western United States. This means that on average the meat being eaten by the public was being raised, processed, and consumed all within 100 miles. Today there are only a handful of major packing plants, and the meat ending up on dinner plates has traveled 1,500 miles to get there.
If Covid-19 has shown us anything, it is that we need more cries of “In My Backyard!”. Small local processing plants across the Western United States would provide stability in our food supply chain, reduce the amount of fossil fuels spent putting meat on your plate, and the money spent buying your groceries would stay within the community. Covid-19 has unmasked a flaw in our food system; don’t forget it when we can finally take our own masks off.
USDA Ends COOL Enforcement With President’s Signature on Omnibus Bill By FSN News Desk on December 21, 2015 https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2015/12/ usda-ends-cool-enforcement-with-presidents-signature-on-omnibus-bill/ Effective immediately, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, USDA will no longer enforce the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements for beef and pork products because COOL was repealed by Congress.
While many agricultural and consumer groups favored COOL, no organization fought longer and harder for it than the Billings, MT-based cattle trade association known as R-CALF USA.
Vilsack said labeling regulations will be amended “as expeditiously as possible” to bring the beef and pork provisions into line. It means an end to the January 2009 and May 2013 country of origin labeling requirements on muscle cuts of beef and pork, and on ground beef and pork.
“Section 179 of the spending bill strips U.S. citizens of their right to know the origins of the beef and pork and ground beef and ground pork that hundreds of millions of consumers purchase at retail grocery stores for themselves and their families,” R-CALF said in after the President signed the bill.
USDA will continue to subject all imported and domestic met to rigorous food safety inspections, according to the Secretary. Congress included COOL repeal in the $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill after the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled Canada and Mexico could begin imposing more than $1 billion in tariffs on U.S. products to punish it for the harm the labeling requirements were doing to them.
R-CALF said the repeal amounts to a gift by the President and Congress to 15 other nations that produce beef and pork for sale in the U.S.
“Congress did this and the President concurred without any congressional debate, let alone public debate,” it continued. “Section 179 was cemented into the massive spending bill behind closed doors.”
USDA’s regulations to implement country of origin labeling were upheld by U.S. Courts when they were challenged by North American meat producers. The WTO, however, found the labeling scheme amounted to a non-tariff trade barrier prohibited by trade agreements signed by the U.S. And to even the scales, WTO said Canada and Mexico could begin imposing retaliatory tariffs on other products the U.S. sells in those countries. Bill Bullard, chief executive of R-CALF USA, said the U.S. could have tried the diplomatic approach with Canada and Mexico to see if there were ways outside of WTO “to resolve their parochial concerns with our COOL law before any retaliatory tariffs could be implemented, but the President and his cabinet remained indifferent to the potential loss of the right of U.S. citizens to know the origins of food.”
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Philip Ellis, president of the Denver-based National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, said repeal of COOL was one of several victories for cattlemen and woman that were contained in the omnibus. Ellis said COOL was a failed program with its costs imposed on cattle producers.
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR Please remember this is how COOL was repealed. COOL was not repealed because the NCBA did not support it. Let us strive for the truth.
MAY/JUNE 2020 29
Nicole Shearer | Senior Communications Officer Office of Marketing and Communications University of Nevada, Reno 775-784-1169 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The science of predicting economic growth or recession University of Nevada, Reno researcher helped develop the Logistics Managers Index, a leading economic indicator tracking inventory, warehousing and transportation, all key indicators of economic activity The tools economists use to measure economic activity to predict economic growth or recession across the U.S. are evolving – especially with the rise of online sales. And now, as the pandemic is shifting consumer habits and straining industries nationwide, the need for a timely sense of economic activity is more vital than ever. One way for measuring service economies based on warehousing, transportation and inventory is playing an increasingly important role in providing that picture. The Logistics Managers’ Index is the result of nearly four years of work by Ron Lembke, associate professor of operations management and chair of the Marketing Department at the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Business, and his colleagues.
A monthly report tracking logistic components proves valuable in predicting economic growth or decline.
professionals each month on the movement and direction of key logistics metrics. The monthly survey asks them to report their current and future status across eight areas: inventory levels and costs; warehousing capacity, utilization and prices; and transportation capacity. The metrics from these surveys are combined into the LMI, which is released on the first Tuesday of every month. Seeing COVID-19 through the lens of the LMI According to the LMI, the current global pandemic has highlighted the disparity between the retailers who are open, and those who are not. According to Lembke:
“If Amazon, as an example, had somehow been able to escape the pandemic, they would have seen skyrocketing sales volumes, and people all over the world would have shifted to buying as much as possible online,” Lembke said. “But COVID-19 forced Amazon to significantly restrict the variety of products they can ship. While people are buying more ‘things’ from Amazon, they are buying more household staples. There is a good chance people may stay in the habit of buying these items from Amazon, even when stores return to something like normal, which could change people’s shopping habits and accelerate the trend to online shopping, away from brick and mortar stores.”
• Overall, producers of goods report rising inventory levels, as their unsold inventories build up. Retailers say More than a decade ago, Lembke and Rogers began that their inventory levels are decreasing, as those who research aimed at devising a metric to measure the relative The research group includes Lembke’s former colleague, are open struggle to replenish the goods they have sold. levels of transportation capacity across the country. This Dale Rogers from Arizona State University; Zachary research, combined with the need for a national truck Rogers, an assistant professor at Colorado State • Over the last year, warehousing capacity was increasing pricing index, eventually led to the creation of the LMI. University and University MBA alumnus; Shen Yeniyurt significantly. Companies were having no trouble from Rutgers University; and Steven Carnovale from the finding warehousing space. In the last two months, The LMI measurement was designed to complement Rochester Institute of Technology. less capacity is available. Manufacturers need space to the Purchasing Managers Index, a leading economic store their unsold products. Warehouses continue to be indicator that focuses primarily on manufacturing. Both “The goal of the LMI is to track movements in the more heavily utilized, and warehousing prices continue indexes are based on monthly surveys and use diffusion indexes to assess whether economic activity is increasing logistics industry because we believe many of the metrics to rise. or decreasing based on input from those managers. we measure function as leading economic indicators,” Lembke said. “These logistics components show changes • Transportation has seen the most dramatic changes While the PMI is focused on manufacturing, the LMI as a result of Covid-19. In March, respondents said is based on a monthly survey of logistics managers across upstream in the economy, as opposed to only at the transportation capacity was more scarce, but in April, industries to see if key logistics activities (transportation, consumer level, which is how the Gross Domestic transportation capacity increased significantly. This warehousing, and inventory) are expanding or shrinking. Product (GDP) measures economic activities. Our index reflects another change. can better indicate what’s happening with consumer Since November 2016, the team has published the spending and online sales since the shift to a servicemonthly LMI report with sponsorship from the Council “Transportation utilization had been increasing, but based economy. When companies expect their sales to of Supply Chain Management Professionals, which also is now falling,” Lembke said. “Fewer goods are being grow, they first have to contract warehousing and trucking shipped around the country, so transportation capacity is posts it to its website each month. According to an article suppliers for more capacity.” more available, as utilization has fallen. Not surprisingly, published by the research group in Rutgers Business The LMI tracks changes in the movement and storage respondents say transportation prices have fallen Review, “We realize there is value in an additional leading of goods before they reach the consumer by measuring considerably.” He added that in recent years, the LMI indicator of the global economy beyond the PMI. Both the economic shift in logistic components. The LMI has shown an overall trend to more online shopping. The the LMI and PMI reflect different aspects of the global economy in a forward-looking manner.” research team gathers responses from over 100 logistics pandemic has temporarily slowed that trend. 30 MAY/JUNE 2020
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Prediction tool shows how forest thinning may increase Sierra Nevada snowpack University researchers design water quantity tool to help with forest-thinning plans The forest of the Sierra Nevada mountains is an important resource for the surrounding communities in Nevada and California. Thinning the forest by removing trees by hand or using heavy machinery is one of the few tools available to manage forests. However, finding the best way to thin forests by removing select trees to maximize the forest’s benefits for water quantity, water quality, wildfire risk and wildlife habitat remains a challenge for resource managers. The U.S. Forest Service is leading an effort to balance all these challenges in landscape-scale forest restoration planning as part of the Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership.
Nevada forest. The team initially created a small-scale high-resolution model using data collected with 3D laser scanners, called “LiDAR.” “The LiDAR data lets us see individual trees, which we use to ‘virtually thin’ the forest by taking trees out of the model,” he said. “As such, it lets us create a thinning experiment that’s realistic. We can then represent different management actions, such as removing trees below certain heights.”
His team, including the post-doctoral scholar Sebastian Krogh, graduate student Devon Eckberg, undergraduate As part of this effort, University of Nevada, Reno’s Adrian students Makenzie Kohler and Gary Sterle, the Harpold recently led a team in developing a modeling College’s Associate Professor of Remote Sensing tool to focus on the issue of water quantity. The tool Jonathan Greenberg and University of Arizona’s Patrick predicts how different approaches to thinning the forest Broxton, tested the model’s accuracy by conducting impact snowpack accumulation in Lake Tahoe, which thinning experiments and comparing the predictions to controls how much water is available for downstream measurements in the real forest. Results were discussed in a recently published article on the proof-of-concept communities such as Reno. for using high-resolution modeling to predict the effect “The snowpack we’ve relied upon is under pressure from of forest thinning for snow, for which Harpold was the years of fire suppression that increased tree density, lead author. combined with the effects of climate change and warming temperatures,” Harpold, natural resources & Once the team determined the model was working environmental science assistant professor with the College correctly, they increased the model size to represent Lake of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources, said. Tahoe’s western shore. Results are discussed in another recently published article on using the model to predict He explained that too many trees means less snow reaches the effects of forest thinning on the northern Sierra the ground. In addition, when many trees are clumped Nevada snowpack, led by Krogh with Harpold, Broxton together, they warm up and release heat, which can melt and the Forest Service’s Patricia Manley as co-authors. the snow on the ground. However, too few trees means Their experiments showed that overall, more trees the snowpack is less protected from the sun and wind, removed means more snow maintained. which also melt snow. However, there are beneficial ways and detrimental The tool, developed with funding from the College’s ways to remove trees. The method that appeared to be Experiment Station and the U.S. Forest Service, was most effective was removing dense trees that had many built to specifically model the west shore of Lake Tahoe, leaves and branches and were shorter than about 50 feet, which the team felt was a good sample of the Sierra leaving behind taller trees. There were also differences in
effectiveness depending on the elevation, the slope and the direction the slope was facing. Harpold plans to continue expanding the model, testing to see if it will work for Lake Tahoe’s eastern shore and in the American River Basin, with the ultimate goal of providing a tool for Forest Service decision-makers and others to inform their forest-thinning plans. The water-quantity tool is one of many different modeling tools being developed with funding from the Forest Service as part of the Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative, which aims to quickly restore the forest to improve the health and resilience of Sierra Nevada mountains and maximize the benefits that the forest provides. “My decision-support tool for water quantity would be a smaller piece in a larger toolkit to help determine how and where to thin the forests,” Harpold said. Other tools being designed to predict forest-thinning impacts include a tool to predict impact on wildfire spread, a tool to predict impact on smoke, a tool to predict impact on endangered and threatened species, a tool to predict sediment flow into Lake Tahoe and a tool to predict economic impact. For more information on the water-quantity tool, see: “Increasing the efficacy of forest thinning for snow using high-resolution modeling: A proof of concept in the Lake Tahoe Basin, California, USA” in the journal Ecohydrology, and “Using Process Based Snow Modeling and Lidar to Predict the Effects of Forest Thinning on the Northern Sierra Nevada Snowpack” in the journal Frontiers in Forests and Global Change. For more information on the larger forest-thinning project, visit the Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership or TahoeCentral Sierra Initiative (TCSI) websites.
Figure 1. Upper panel: Relief map showing the modeled basins along the west shore of Lake Tahoe, California (contour interval = 100 m). The red rectangle shows the subdomain (150 × 150 m) presented in Figure 4. Lower panel: Observed snow water equivalent (SWE) climatology at the Ward #3 SNOTEL station, including the observed SWE for the three water years simulated in this study (dashed lines).
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University scientists take aim at wildfires in Nevada Research looks at how climate change, drought, land management affects forests and rangelands With wildland fires eating up the forests and rangelands of Nevada each summer, and fire season now upon us, University of Nevada, Reno scientists are examining how drought, climate change and land management will affect future fire activity and how fires can in turn influence plant, soil and hydrologic processes.
In 2016, a little over 265,000 acres statewide in Nevada burned from wildfires. In 2017, around 1.3 million acres burned, and in 2018 a little over a million acres burned, according to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. They reported, in 2019, 562 fires burned 82,282 acres in Nevada; with 318 human-caused fires burning 18,801 acres and 244 lightning fires burning 63,481 acres, according to the fire center headquartered in Boise, Idaho. “Our college faculty have for years been at the forefront of teaching, research, and Extension regarding rangeland, woodland and forest fires,” said Bill Payne, dean of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resource at the University. “In recent years we have added numerous new faculty with expertise in different aspects of fire ecology, and we seek to integrate research, teaching, and Extension with a view towards greater knowledge, better policy prescriptions and improved, adaptive management practices.
$1.25 million in extra-mural funding to fund research and Extension related to fire ecology and preparedness. We have a great many partners towards this end, including federal and state agencies, other colleges within the University, other universities, federal, state and local fire-fighters and dozens of individual communities.”
One of the College’s longstanding outreach programs, Living With Fire, is a collaborative effort among federal, state, local firefighting agencies and resource management agencies and is managed by the University of Nevada, Reno Extension. “There isn’t just one approach to protect wildlands and promote quicker recovery from fires, it’s definitely a multi-faceted approach,” Christina Restaino, director of the Living With Fire Program and an assistant professor in the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources, said.
agreement and have adopted the Nevada Cohesive Strategy as a guidepost for fire management throughout the region.
“We can’t separate humans from the landscape, so we need to be working to build resilient landscapes to fire through treatments like the BLM and USFS are doing,” Restaino said. “We need to build capacity for firefighting response and proactive fuels treatments, and we need to have communities in the Wildland Urban Interface become adapted to fire through good defensible space, safe places for firefighters to fight fire and evacuation preparedness.” Their annual fire program, Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month is May, this year during a time when everyone is trying to set health boundaries through social distancing and staying at home.
“Wildfires can and will still happen this year, even though people are all locked As a natural resource specialist in the down at home,” Restaino said. College’s Extension unit, Restaino works Erin Hanan with other entities across the state to provide education on how to prepare for Erin Hanan is a fire ecologist and assistant and mitigate the detrimental effects of professor in the Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Science. Her wildfire. research focuses on how climate change “It requires that we, at minimum, work and management affect wildfire activity together to achieve the three principles in the western U.S. and how shifting fire of the National Cohesive Strategy, which regimes affect ecosystem processes. “For example, the Experiment Station, are: Fire Adapted Communities; Safe “As the frequency of these fire disasters led by Chris Pritsos, is currently funding and Effective Response; and Resilient increases, we need strategies for managing at least five research projects on fire at the Landscapes,” she said. risk,” she said. “However, our success amount of $330,000, and our faculty have In Nevada, land management agencies will depend upon why wildfire activity been very successful at attracting more than have signed onto a shared stewardship is increasing in the first place and what factors influence fire behavior at the scales where management is implemented.” Bureau of Land Management, Nevada
firefighters burn brush to reduce fuel loads.
Hanan, who runs the Fire and Dryland Ecosystems Lab at the University and also conducts research as part of the College’s Experiment Station, has been modeling the extent to which climate change and fuel accumulation promote the spread of severe fires in western U.S. watersheds and which drivers dominate at the scale of actionable management.
“We are finding that the effects of climate change and fuels can vary at fine scales within watersheds, so potential management strategies need to be evaluated in the context of local environmental conditions,” she said.
32 MAY/JUNE 2020
There are several management activities that are designed to reduce the occurrence of catastrophic wildfires, such as controlled
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burns or forest thinning; and legislatures have appropriated a lot of funding to these activities.
“Fuel reduction activities can be very effective in areas with unnaturally high fuel loads, such as in low-elevation pine forests that have experienced extensive fire suppression,” Hanan said. “In the SW United States, for example, climate conditions are frequently conducive to fire and so fuel load is the main limiting factor. “In other regions however, fire activity is mostly driven by climate conditions and fuel aridity. In these systems, fuels grow rapidly and therefore fuel reduction is not a feasible approach for reducing wildfire risk over large areas.
“In wet systems like the Pacific Northwest, fuel loads are naturally high and fire is infrequent because the forests are usually too humid to burn. In these environments, thinning is not likely to be beneficial because extreme fires in the region are more limited by moisture and flammability than by fuel load. In these areas, climate change is increasing aridity, which in turn increases the occurrence of catastrophic fires.” Climate Change and Silviculture
Sarah Bisbing specializes in forest ecology, silviculture (the care and development of forests), forest stand dynamics, forest landscape genetics and global change ecology. She is a forest ecology assistant professor and researcher from the College’s Department Natural Resources & Environmental Science and also conducts research for the College’s Experiment Station. Leading a team of scientists and forest managers, Bisbing is conducting a longterm, Sierra Nevada-wide study, the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Experiment, known as AMEX, to identify alternative forest management treatments that will improve conifer forest resistance and resilience to climate change. It is a multi-agency project that stretches the length of the Sierra Nevada with forest research plots in varying elevations.
It will compare treatments representing fundamentally different climate change impact scenarios and a suite of potential approaches forest managers may take to mitigate impacts on the ecological, economic and social services provided by forest ecosystems. www.progressiverancher.com
Contact: Claudene Wharton Senior Marketing & Communications Specialist email@example.com
Wildfire resources available through online speaker series & new website Extension presents “Living With Fire Conversations” during Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month
“Wildfire knows no boundaries – make yours.” This is the theme for Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month this May, occurring during a time when everyone is trying to set health boundaries through social distancing and staying at home.
“Wildfires can and will still happen this year, even though people are all locked down at home,” said Natural Resources Specialist Christina Restaino, director of University of Nevada, Reno Extension’s Living With Fire Program. To help Nevadans reduce the wildfire risk, Living With Fire presents “Living With Fire Conversations,” an online speaker series that will be showing on the program’s Facebook page, facebook.com/LivingWithFire, throughout the month. Speakers include: May 11, 2:30 p.m. – Mark Regan, fire mitigation specialist with NV Energy, will discuss how residents can prepare for a power outage.
Graphic by Megan Kay, Extension.
May 14, 11 a.m. – Paul Peterson, Nevada state fire management officer with the Bureau of Land Management – Nevada, Ron Bollier, Nevada state fire management officer with the Nevada Division of Forestry, and Jennifer Diamond, forest fire prevention officer from the U.S. Forest Service Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, will discuss the fire restriction orders on federal lands in Nevada.
May 18, 1 p.m. – Janice Roberts, chapter leader of the Holbrook Highlands Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities, will discuss defensible space and reducing
“This research will help inform what forest managers will do in the long run to increase carbon sequestration, combat drought mortality and make forests more resistant and resilient to catastrophic wildfires and insect damage,” Bisbing said. “Climate change is and will be increasing the severity of ecological disturbances in forests, which will not only have devastating impacts on forest ecosystems but also turn these carbon sinks to carbon sources, leading to increases in the release of carbon into the atmosphere. This study will guide forest managers as they build resilience and resistance to those disturbances and attempt to mitigate the impacts of climate change on forest ecosystems.”
A partnership in the spring of 2019 between the Bureau of Land Management and the University of Nevada, Reno created an educational endeavor called the Rangeland Ecology and Management Program. “What’s better to teach Nevada land issues than the University of Nevada, Reno,” Paul Petersen, BLMs Nevada State Fire Management Officer, said. “It already has a large knowledge base of Great Basin and Nevada issues, climatology and range types. And it’s a great opportunity to partner with a land-grant university. We’re a land management agency.”
Professor Tamzen Stringham and rangeland ecologist Devon Snyder, both in Knowing how to care for Nevada’s land the College’s Department of Agriculture, before and after it is affected by fire and Veterinary and Rangeland Sciences other disturbances is a key to reducing who also conduct research as part of the wildland fire risk and repairing lands after Experiment Station, put the curriculum a fire. Fire operations managers, such as together for the program. They taught the those in the Bureau of Land Management program’s first course, Rangeland Resource in Nevada, work to change how fire behaves Management, at the Bureau’s office in to protect Nevada’s rangelands. They look to Carson City to wildland firefighters. science to help guide them. Teaching the Experts
the wildfire hazard around her home and community.
May 19, 1:30 p.m. – Evan LaGuardia, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Reno, will discuss the fire weather outlook and red flag warnings. May 22, 1 p.m. – Melody Hefner, urban integrated pesticide management and pesticide safety education coordinator for Extension, will discuss removing noxious weeds, such as cheatgrass.
The Living With Fire Program also launched a brand new website, LivingWithFire. com, earlier this year to help homeowners, families and communities get prepared, informed and involved. The site has many different resources, including protection plans, a calendar of events, an interactive list of fire departments and districts, and steps homeowners can take during shelter-athome restrictions. “While you’re at home, now is a great time to prepare your home and property for wildfire and work on defensible space,” Restaino said. “Try to choose one or two small projects that you can tackle.” Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month is a collaborative effort of local, state and federal firefighting agencies; Extension; and many others. Major funding partners include the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and Nevada Division of Forestry. For more information visit LivingWithFire.com or contact Restaino at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-336-0272.
Great Basin Fire Exchange
that synthesize the science to answer the questions and meet the needs,” said To keep scientists and land managers MontBlanc, who has been with the Fire connected, the Great Basin Fire Exchange, Exchange since it began in 2010 in the based at UNR, works to facilitate the flow Department of Natural Resources & of the latest science and science needs to Environmental Science. “These products the fire, fuels, and restoration science and and activities are often developed or led management community. by research and management teams, then “The main way we connect scientists and we advertise through our newsletter and land managers is through our activities partner agency channels to distribute - field workshops, webinars, in-person the information and/or bring everyone trainings and online courses,” said Génie together.” MontBlanc, manager of the Fire Exchange, “We have known for many years that fires and faculty in the College of Science. “And in the Great Basin are becoming more we receive consistent positive feedback frequent, larger, and more destructive, about our monthly newsletter that has and that the direct, rehabilitation and almost 900 researcher and manager additional miscellaneous costs are getting subscribers. People also reach out to me increasingly out of control,” Payne, dean directly to ask questions, and I connect of the College, said. “The ecological costs them to experts who can help them answer are also staggering whether reduced critical their questions. habitat, loss of biodiversity, increased Land managers need the latest information invasive species, soil degradation, or altered and tools to address the most important hydrology. issues in the Great Basin. Many economic activities vital to rural “We receive questions or stated needs from communities, including ranching, mining, our region’s land managers/practitioners, hunting, fishing and recreation, are also then we develop products or activities adversely affected.
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MAY/JUNE 2020 33
Churchill County Cowbelles Update Finding Good In A Time of Crisis
by Susan Van Patten, President
situation. Being an optimist, I choose to concentrate on the examples that showcase the best in humanity. Personally, I have found the dedication and courage displayed by the researchers and medical community We have observed examples that illustrate the best and absolutely inspiring. I have spent a considerable amount the worst of mankind. We all know why it is the worst of of time keeping up with the current developments and as times, so here I offer a silent prayer for those individuals a result of Dr. Oz’s contributions, he became one of my who have lost friends and family. May you find peace and heroes. He was working within the medical community, rediscover those parts of yourself that you have lost. You corresponding with doctors across the world, and being a reasonable voice amid the roar of the crowd. I thought the are in all our prayers. stress created because of his compassion and concern was I believe the last six weeks have created an environment apparent because of changes in his physical appearance. where entrepreneurs have demonstrated their innovative, As the pandemic worsened, I thought he looked haggard resourceful, and creative spirits. Who knew that face and exhausted. Dr Oz was one among a multitude of masks would be a fashion statement? A trip to your individuals, businesses, and industries that sacrificed to local supermarket is the runway for the current fashions secure the equipment, supplies, and medicines needed to trending in your community. combat the virus. Compared to other states, we in Nevada I have been amazed at the pace and range of the new have been fortunate. There are advantages to loving wide developments to combat this virus. The medical open spaces. community has new tests that provide rapid results, At this time working together to accomplish a common new equipment for treating the disease, and futuristic goal we are winning, but we cannot forget the lessons designs for new equipment. Most impressive to me is we have learned. This fall when flu season rolls around, the company in Colorado working on a tube that will let us remember how to wash our hands, how to sanitize be inserted into the lungs using ultraviolet light to kill counters, doorknobs, shopping carts, etc., to wear a mask the virus. Americans are at their best when faced with if infected, and to practice social distancing. I think the insurmountable odds. I am optimistic about the future. latter is my personal favorite. I have also learned that I The last six to eight weeks can best be described as “challenging times”; this is true on the national, state, and local levels. It is the best of times and the worst of times simultaneously.
We can choose to focus on the worst of what has happened and the worst that humanity does to each other, or we can choose to focus on the successes as a result of the
love virtual doctor appointments; I have always hated getting on the scale at the doctor’s office and with a virtual appointment, the scale is no longer an issue.
Churchill County Residents have many stories that demonstrate their generosity and community spirit. Early on, the Frey Ranch Distillery switched up their production line to make sanitizer and donated it to the local fire department and to the staff of local emergency medical services. Living in another community I miss most of the stories that showcase our local heroes, but I can report that Sandhill Dairy is one of the good guys. Recently when they had an excess of milk, they opened their doors to the community and handed out free milk. The last group I would like to recognize is the Churchill County Jr. Livestock Show leadership council. This group works tirelessly throughout the year to plan the show, work with community youth to prepare them for exhibiting their animals, organize, and manage the annual Jr. Livestock Show. This year they dug in to create an alternative for competitors to the live show they were anticipating. In the space of a few weeks they switched from a live show to a virtual show and are currently evaluating the possibility of some additional smaller get togethers to provide some show experience for competitors. Keep sharing stories of your local heroes, as they are some of the silver linings to these current storm clouds.
Our Favorite Beef Recipes Flank Steak with Chimichurri These days, many of us are cooking more at home, and are interested in trying new receipes while keeping costs down. This receipe accomplishes both goals. Chimichurri is a thick herb sauce from Argentina, typically served with steak. It’s quick, easy and inexpensive to make. And boy, is it delicous! Try making it tonight. We’re sure it will become a new family favorite. Note: This versatile sauce is also excellent on grilled chicken, lamb, fish or veggies. Ingredients
1-1/2 pounds trimmed flank steak 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 large garlic cloves 1-1/2 cups fresh cilantro 1-1/2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar 1/3 cup olive oil 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Preparation Preheat broiler. Pat steak dry. Stir together 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, coriander, and pepper in a small bowl and rub mixture onto both sides of steak. Broil steak on a broiler pan about 4 inches from heat 6 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile, with motor running, add garlic to a food processor and finely chop. Add cilantro, parsley, vinegar, oil, cayenne, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, then pulse until herbs are finely chopped. Holding a knife at a 45-degree angle, thinly slice steak against the grain. Serve with sauce. 34 MAY/JUNE 2020
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MAY/JUNE 2020 35
RANGE PLANTS FOR THE RANCHER COYOTE TOBACCO By Paul T. Tueller, Ph.D., CRMC
Nevada rangelands host numerous plants that can be considered to be weeds. They are simply native plants that ranchers don’t like so much. Nicotiana attenuata is one of those species. It often goes by the common name of wild tobacco or coyote tobacco. This plant is native to western North America from British Columbia to Texas and northern Mexico, where it grows in many types of habitat. Nicotiana attenuata prefers dry, disturbed areas, specifically those recently burned. It is often found on open, well-drained slopes but does occur rarely in wetlands. It can be found across a wide elevational gradient, from 500 to 9000 feet in elevation. Nicotiana attenuata is a hairy and sparsely hairy annual herb exceeding a meter in maximum height (50 to 150 centimeters high). Leaves are oval in shape near the base of the plant, becoming elongated and narrow higher on the stem. The leaf blades may be 10 centimeters long, the lower ones oval and the upper narrower in shape, and are borne on petioles. The flower cluster bears several flowers with pinkish or greenish white tubular throats 2 to 3 centimeters long, their bases enclosed in pointed sepals. The flower face has five mostly white lobes. The fruit is a capsule about a centimeter long. Fruits are elongated, dry, ovoid
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capsules about one cm in length. Inside, the capsules contain numerous irregular-to-kidney shaped brown seeds. Seeds range from .5 to 1 mm in length. This plant come with an inherent defense. The plant has high concentrations of nicotine which is poisonous to most of animal and insect species. The nicotine is produced in the roots and accumulates in the leaves. This protects the plant from voracious herbivores and insects. Nicotiana attenuata tobacco is found to contain as much as three times more nicotine concentration compared to normal tobacco plant. A number of anthropologists and other have studied this plant in relation to use by Native Americans. Notable among these are Don and Catherine Fowler who were with the anthropology/ethnology program at the University of Nevada Reno for many years. This plant has been used for a great variety of medicinal purposes by many Native American groups, and was smoked ceremonially by the Hopi, Apache, Navajo, Paiute, and other groups. Although ordinarily employed by the Indians as a smoking tobacco, the plant has a number of remedial applications. A favorite remedy is to apply the crushed leaves as a poultice to reduce swellings, especially those due to rheumatism. The poultice of the crushed leaves was
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reported to serve for eczema or similar skin infections. The chewed leaves are sometimes applied to cuts and they are bound on snakebites after the poison has been sucked out. The decoction from the boiled leaves can be administered as a healing wash for hives or other skin irritations. Aside from smoking the dried leaves for pleasure, some of the Indians believe that it also cures colds. A tea of the tobacco has been used as a drink for stomachache. Nicotiana is pretty well scattered over the country, and the source of supply seems not to have been localized. Sometimes the leaves are dried, pounded, and stored in sacks with a little deer fat added to improve flavor. Northern Paiutes have used Sagebrush leaves ground and mixed with tobacco. This is wet so it makes a paste. This is applied to children for fever or put on swellings on adults or children. They have also used this plat for a number of cold remedies. A mixture of balsam (to’˙saa) and tobacco (puhi’-pa’mo’) was smoked for bad colds, even by children. As you might have guessed this is not a useful forage species but is nevertheless interesting as part of our native Nevada rangeland flora. Look for it on disturbed areas as you ride around your allotment by horse or in your pickup or side-by-side.
After several months of declining health, Orval “Sonny” Fowler, Jr. passed peacefully in his home on April 13, 2020, with his family by his side. He was 85 years young.
Sonny was born in Muleshoe, Texas on November 6, 1934 to Orval Sr. and Dora Fowler. The youngest of 8 children, he moved to Fallon with his family at the age of 5. He shared that his dad was headed to Idaho but stopped to visit an uncle in Fallon, fell in love with the valley and made their home here. Sonny became a star football player at Churchill County High School and even stayed on an extra semester to play ball. His dedication to Churchill County sports was acknowledged recently by him being awarded a jacket for being a lifelong supporter of the Greenwave Takedown Booster Club.
He married the love of his life, Betti Ann Vaughn, on July 16, 1954, and they had their first child Vaughna 9 months later. Guy followed and both enjoyed their upbringing on the ranch homesteaded by Betti Ann’s grandfather in the early 1900s. Sonny bought the place from his father-in-law, Leon Vaughn, in 1957 and remained a hard-working farmer, rancher, and dairyman his entire life. His work ethic and desire to take care of his family was second to none.
He was one of the toughest men with the kindest, most generous heart that you would ever meet. The highlights of his life revolved around his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He never missed a rodeo, wrestling match, football, volleyball, basketball or baseball game, or any other school event with which the kids were involved.
Sonny’s other passions were cutting wood, fishing, and anything else family related. In his earlier years, he was very involved with the Cattlemen’s Association, Dairyman’s Association, Soil Conservation, Nevada Farm Bureau, and organizations where he could represent farming and ranching and better his skills. His love, influence and teaching made all of us better people and we will miss him dearly.
We wish to express a special thanks to all those who have supported our family during this difficult time. Dr. Amanda Casey, Kellie Gardner, the staff at Eden Hospice, and all our friends and family who have prayed for us, visited, brought meals, and provided unending support. Sonny was preceded in death by his wife of 31 years, Betti Ann, and his parents and siblings Luther and Beatrice Fowler, Geneva Keefer, and Edna Penola. He is survived by his sisters LNora Weaver, Nena Casper, and Bonnie Nance. Also, his children Vaughna Bendickson (Kim) and Guy Fowler (Lynette); granddaughters, Darcie Spero, Kylee Bendickson, Casie Gubler (Tim), Olie Farris ( Jim), and Savannah Lamb; great grandchildren, Teegan, Cooper, Hadlee, Callahan, and Madelyn, as well as many nieces and nephews who loved visiting the ranch over the years. Those wishing to honor Sonny’s life can donate in his memory to the Greenwave Takedown Booster Club, 4924 Rivers Edge Drive, Fallon, NV 89406. Private graveside services were held April 20, 2020 with Pastor Jim Myers, and Smith Family Funeral Home officiating.
Paul Bottari, ALC, Receives Realtors® Land Institute Leadership Award CONTACT: Jessa Friedrich, MBA Marketing Manager | REALTORS® Land Institute 430 N Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL 60611 | www.rliland.com | 1800-441-LAND (5263) Direct Phone: 312-329-8353 Paul Bottari, ALC, with Bottari & Associates Realty, Inc. in Wells, Nevada, received the Realtors® Land Institute 2019 Land Realtor® of America Award as part of their RLI Leadership Awards Program. The Land Realtor® of America Award nationally recognizes one RLI member each year for their effort and work expended in the interest of their fellow members, their profession, and their community. Paul was presented the award by 2020 National President Kyle Hansen, ALC, and RLI CEO Aubrie Kobernus, MBA, RCE, during RLI’s Virtual National Land Conference (NLC20) on Monday, March 30. Land professionals from around the country tuned-in online to attend the Virtual NLC20 where four RLI members received awards through the esteemed Realtors® www.progressiverancher.com
Land Institute Leadership Awards Program. All award recipients are nominated and selected by their peers.
“I’m certainly surprised and greatly humbled to have been selected to receive this award. Also, would like to thank my wife Lori who deals with rentals and house sales while I get to do land, farms and ranches which is a joy to me.” said Bottari upon receiving the award. Bottari is a lifelong agriculturist, being part of a ranching family who now have over 106 years of continuous ownership. After graduating with a B.S. in Ag Education from UNR, he taught VoAg for two years and worked as the CEO of the Nevada Cattlemen’s Assn. for over five years before getting into Real Estate in 1984. While getting the real estate business working, he also found time to
run an Outfitter and Guide Service; to get a Feed, Seed and Fertilizer business going; and, along with Templeton Livestock, got Superior Livestock Video sales started in Nevada. He has always been willing to work for the industries he’s been involved in, serving as the Secretary/Treasure for Nevada Outfitter & Guide Assn. for over 16 years; as a Past President of the local chamber of commerce; as a Past President of the Elko County Assn. of Realtors®, being named their Realtor® of the Year in 2008; and has been their Public Policy Committee chairman for over 20 years. He was selected as Nevada Distinguished Realtor® Award recipient by the Nevada Assn. of Realtors® and has served on the National Assn. of Realtors® Land Use, Property Rights and Environment Committee for over 10 years
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in total representing Regional, State, and RLI. Paul now serves as the Chairman of the Realtors® Land Institute’s Government Affairs Committee and represents RLI on the NAR Land Use Committee. He is also the President of the Society for Preservation of Western Heritage a local 501(c)3 organization and is a member of the newly formed Land Broker C0-OP and the Land. com network.
“The RLI Leadership Awards recognize the land professionals most dedicated to serving our organization and serving our industry. They are truly the best of the best in the business as proven by their service and contributions, and we could not be more proud to have them as a part of RLI,” said Kobernus. MAY/JUNE 2020 37
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ELKO COUNTY FAIR C E L E B R AT I N G 9 9 Y E A R S
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2019 WWW.ELKOCOUNTYFAIR.COM (775) 738-3616 www.progressiverancher.com
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6 DAYS OF LIVE HORSE RACING 4H & HOME ARTS TEAM BRANDING 4-D BARREL RACING MIDWAY/COMMERCIAL VENDORS MULEY ROPING USTRC TEAM ROPING NRCHA APPROVED SHOW WORKING COW HORSE EVENTS COWBOY COLOR CHASE 5K FAIR PARADE WESTERN DANCE BY RECKLESS ENVY CARNIVAL & FAMILY FUN STAGE BATTLE OF THE BANDS
MAY/JUNE 2020 39