Jenny Schlecht / Agweek Staff Writer
EMMONS COUNTY, N.D. — Across the country, farmers and ranchers get sick. They get hurt. They die. And in most cases, someone is there to help plant or harvest or get the cows fed. Someone brings a meal and someone brings support.
I was pushing calves into the crowding tub the other day when, above the clanging gates, the drone of the hydraulic chute and the symphony of bellering calves, I could hear two little voices screaming numbers. Really, we couldn't have found a better job for two 5-year-olds than hollering out eartag numbers to their grandpa, who would type the numbers into the computer on the scale. My daughter and my nephew have voices that can cut through just about any cacophony. And, more importantly, they know their numbers well enough to be trusted to yell out each calf's new identification.
MILES CITY, Mont. — Montana cattle producers haven't had an easy go of it in 2017. More than 1 million acres burned in wildfires statewide, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and much of that was pasture. And while drought conditions continue to ease, concerns about feed supplies and next year's pastures persist.
The 90th National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis Oct. 25-28 posted a record attendance of 67,006, including large contingents from Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota FFA chapters. At the convention, North Dakota, with 653,359 members, was recognized as having the second highest percentage of growth in membership for the past year. Minnesota had 90 members receive their American Degrees at the convention, North Dakota had 48, Montana had 47, and South Dakota had 38.
DICKINSON, N.D. — The crew at Stockmen's Livestock Exchange tossed out bags of sawdust after the first few groups of calves went through the ring at the Stockmen's West barn. There was no point in spreading the sawdust around — there would be plenty of hooves to do that. By the time the Tuesday, Oct. 24, sale was over, the barn had sold 3,755 calves. Larry Schnell, managing partner of Stockmen's Livestock, expected about 5,500 calves to sell at Stockmen's East barn on Thursday, Oct. 26.
WASHINGTON — A bill introduced in Congress on Tuesday, Oct. 24, could provide guidance to fine tune a farm safety net program. In 2014, so few farmers in Logan and LaMoure counties in North Dakota filled out National Agricultural Statistics Service surveys that a county yield couldn't be determined for the purpose of the Agriculture Risk Coverage-County Level program, says Aaron Krauter, former Farm Service Agency director for North Dakota.
Lately it's been hard to read or watch the news without learning of some new, sordid, repulsive tale of sexual harassment or worse, committed by powerful men against women who, for a variety of reasons, were not in positions where they could fight back. I've been lucky throughout my career that the men I've worked with and for have been decent, respectable sorts who, I honestly believe, did not see me or my female coworkers as any different than our male counterparts.
ENGLEVALE, N.D. — As soybeans and corn have increased as crops of choice for North Dakota farmers, Craig Jarolimek said driving through the state feels a little bit like driving through Iowa. "If you didn't know where you were, you'd think you were in Iowa," Jarolimek told a crowd at a tour at the new Ransom Multiplier gilt production facility near Englevale on Oct. 12. "All we're missing is the livestock."
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp has asked Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to send additional staff members again to Farm Service Agency offices in western North Dakota. "As we approach the end of the crop year, it is essential our county FSA offices have the resources to provide producers with timely assistance to help process disaster claims and related paperwork," Heitkamp wrote in the letter dated Thursday, Oct. 19.
When I left for college, it was with the knowledge that my parents were only a phone call away. I was going 410 miles from home, a ridiculous distance for someone who tends to be a homebody and could probably count on her fingers and toes the number of nights she had spent away from her family. But there was email, and I had a cell phone, and keeping in touch was easily accomplished.