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Sundance, Wyoming
March 18, 1999     The Sundance Times
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March 18, 1999

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!L! Pase 4- Thursday, March 18, 1999 Northeast Wyoming Governor Gerlnger has pro- claimed March 20 as Agriculture Day in Wyoming, noUng that "our history and our future are inter- twined with the ranchers and farm- ers who help nourish us and clothe US," 'The efficiency and strong work ethic of our farmers and ranchers means we spend less of our food budget, I 1.4 percent, than people in any other country in the world," Geringer said. He*added that as the people In agriculture offer us the world's safest and most diverse food supply, they also provide us with valuable open spaces, habitat for wildlife, and scenic vistas. Wyoming has 9,200 farms and ranches; cash income from the state's agriculture totaled $844 million In 1997; and nearly 77% of farm cash receipts comes from the marketing of livestock and live- stock products. Geringer also paid tribute to the educators, scientists, processors, shippers, grocers, and others who spend their days providing the ba- sics of our good life. Ron Micheli, director of Wyoming Department of Agriculture, spoke of the obstacles of harsh weather, isolaUon, meager supplies, preda- tors, and long distances that farm- ers and ranchers face. Some of these threats have eased, he says, but expanding numbers of govern- ment policies and regulaUons, frivo- lous lawsuits, industrial concen- traUons, and commodity imports are among present threats to the survival of the family ranchers and farms. "roday we have 26% fewer sheep What's The Difference? operations than we did six years ago. In that same time, 200 cattle ranchers in Wyoming have ceased operation. In every county in the state," Michell said, "you'll see farm and ranch lands being sold that have been in the same family for decades. Figures show that 83% of Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Conservation Yup, It's Time to Prune Trees and Think Spring! It's time to think about pruning overgrown trees and shrubs. Pruning units in the state have been in the is easier for you and less threatening to woody plants before they leaf same family for 25 years or more, out. Cutting out dead, small or weak branches, or those that criss-cross with ten percent held by one family each other, is beneficial for most species, especially when it is done for over a century." during the semi-dormant period when insect and disease problems are Census figures reflect that in minimal. You may wish however, to wait until after flowering trees and 1997, average age of the principal shrubs bloom to trim them. Crabapples, lilacs, hawthornes and similar operator on a Wyoming farm or trees are included in this category. It makes them stronger, more ranch was 54.4 years. In 1969 it attractive, and less subject to breakage, disease problems, etc. The was recorded as 50.5 years, and basic rules are to use sharp, clean pruners or saws. Cut the branch or back in 1940 when the quesUon stem back to the branch collar. If there has been a problem with fire was first asked, the age was 47.5 blight, sterilize the tools between cuts by dipping them in a mild bleach years. _ solution. Leave the collar so the wound can heal properly. Lastly, don't In the 1940s, some 30 percent of apply pruning paint to the exposed wound. It will heal better ffleft alone. operators worked off the opera- Uon; by the 1997 census, the fig- ure had risen to 54 percent, show- ing almost a third of all operators LOW Prices, Imports, Concentration Issues working 200 or more days offtheir Contixltte For U.S.. grlculture operation. In 1997. a total of 1.562 Trade issues and worries about the processing and distribution of food operations with less than 50 acres by a few large corporations continue as strong concerns among U.S. were counted as farms or ranches, agricultural producers. Collapsing economics in Asia coupled with The top four percent of sales ac- increased meat imports from several countries are among many factors counted for 50 percent of all agri- that result in low prices for U.S. ag. commodities. In 1998. for example. cultural sales in 1997. U.S. bee f imports increased by 13% while exports grew only 2%. So, net "Sometimes," Micheli said, "we beef imports grew from 207 million to 475 million pounds. Much of this get so wrapped up in discussions beef came from Mexico and Canada. While the imbalance is a matter of of environment policies, land ex- concern, it is well below the billion-plus pound beef trade deficits that changes, access, and other con- characterized the late 1980's and early 1990's. Anti-dumping law suits troversies that we forget the ba- have been flied against our North American neighbors. Mexico has slcs." counter-sued. Lori Sandberg, fifth grade stu- The situation is similar in the sheep and swine industries. Australia dent atAlbin, one of the winners in and New Zealand continue major impact on the U.S. lamb/mutton the Classroom Bookmark contest market. 1998 lamb imports were 29% higher than in 1997--a 112 said it best. million pound increase on a carcass weight basis. Canada sends a lot Her winning bookmark slogan of live hogs to theU.S.---(4.1 milllon head more thanin 1997), butU.S. was, "If you llke to eat, you need pork exports also grew by about 18%. Trade actions have been filed to agriculture." protect these two industries as well. U.S. poultry producUon continues to increase, but at a more modest rate than in recent years. The supply/demand shift in the beef industry also continues. U.S. cattle numbers are in their third straight year of decline and beef cow slaughter was 4% below the 1997 level in February. Slow liquidation of the cattle herd is expected to continue until there is actually some profitability in the cow-calf sector. March 5 data indicate that prices, weights and total production were down in all three (beef, pork, and lamb) sectors compared to a year ago. A marketing specialist from South Dakota published a pessimistic outlook for grain prices as well. He pointed to large harvests for three years in row and expected another bumper crop to pressure prices downward this year. He said he didn't expect any help from the demand side of the price equation. Only a major production problem or consid- erable improvement in Asian markets can help the situation, he says. Districts (CDs). Every now and then, I receive questions or comments Last week (March 4), USDA Secretary Dan Glickman met with the on the need or responsibiliUes of these two agencies. Conservation of Justice Department's Antitrust Division to see what can be dose to atur 0ur0 a partne hlp n local COs and the NRCS. We increase USDA;s power to deal wlfla concentration in U.S. agriculture. both have the same goal of conserving soft, water and related natural For years there has been concern about the fact that nearly all U.S. resources. We usually share the same office. So what is the difference? feedLng and meat processing is concentrated in a few corl.aO, rations. The NRCS is a federal agencyofthe USDA, responsible for carrying out Similar concentration is occurring with grain processors ana market- a program to conserve and develop the nation's natural resources, ers. Many producers believe that these corporate interests have the NRCS receives its funds from congress to provide technical assistance economic clout to depress ag. commodity prices long-term. Amongother to land users through Conservation Districts. Examples include, surveying and design of reservoirs, irrigation systems, stock water things, Glickman is seeking to strengthen the Packers & Stockyards Act. systems and seedings. Under terms ofawritten agreemenL NRCS helps New Bruc l is Vaedne Studied - Oklahoma State University sclen- COs carry out their long range program. NRCS also administers other programs including soft surveys, snow surveys, technical responsibility for cost-share programs and watershed planning, to mention a few. Conservation Districts are local natural resource representation created by state government. State and federal agencies provide help to private landowners and users through COs. Wyoming State statutes identify that COs are responsible for providing leadership and setting local priorities for natural resource conservation concerns within its boundaries. Conservation education, tree programs, and water quality are a few of the priorities the local CD is working on. In Wyoming, financial assistance for COs is through the support of an tists are working on a new brucellosis vaccine using components from dead bacteria. The current "llve" vaccine has some problems according to USDA. Radiation Treatment of Mot - The on-again/off-again debate over the use of radiation to reduce or eliminate bacteria problems in meat is on again. It has been known for decades that strong doses of gamma or X- rays can kill E-coli, salmonella, Listeria and camplyobacter on raw meat. Proponents say that the process is safe and could eliminate the health and marketing problems that occur when there are outbreaks of dangerous bacterial contaminaUon of hamburger, chicken, etc. Oppo- nents claim that the radiation process can alter the flavor and color of opUonal mill levy at the county level. Approximately 28 of Wyoming's 34 meat. Under USDA's proposed rule, radiation would be permitted for the CDs are funded in this method. ManyofournelghborlngstatesCDsare treatment of refrigerated or frozen uncooked meat and some meat funded at the state level. It used to be this way in Wyoming until about products. However, meat plants will not be uired to use i iation I0 years ago when the mill levy option was enacted by the Wyoming and irradiated meat products will bear the radura symbol and a Legislature. The CD is managed by a board of elected supervisors. They serve voluntarily and without pay. They are your local voice when issues concern natural resources. Without local involvement, natural re- source issues could be determined at the State or Federal level. This partnership is very unique in this county. It started at the end of the dust bowl days and has proven itself for 55+ years. It allows local influence to work directly with a federal agency. More importantly, all technical assistance provided by the COs or NRCS is voluntary and non- regulatory. Personally, I have worked in four different NRCS offices in Wyoming. There are some great results when this partnership works effectively with the county residents. For more information or ques- tions, please call the office at 283-2870 and ask for Terry. Ag Day Special- R-Calf Appeals ITC Rangelands Research Decision On Mexican Did you know that on the west Antidumping Petition sideofCheyenne, JustwestofF.E. The U.S. International Trade Warren Air Force Base, there is a Commission's decision to turn research station, where members down the Ranchers-CatflemenAc- of the Rangeland Resources Re- tlonLegaIFoundation'santi-dump- searchUnitconductbaslc research ing petiUon against Mexico is be- on rangelands and how to manage ing appealed by R-Calf. them? ITC had voted 5-I last January Known as the Agricultural Re- that they did not flnd substantial search Service, a branch of USDA evidence to show that Mexico was the group employs a mix of plant, sending live cattle into the U.S. soll and range scientists, together causing material injury to the U.S. with a support staff. Their work is cattle industry. R-Calf is asking important to ranchers interested ITC to review their decision. Ac- in how best to graze their lands to cording to R-Calf, their position is enhance animal performance whlle supported by over 25,000 ranch- sustaining the grasslands. It also ers and some 100 associations. interests land managers and policy The other two actions originally makers in Washington who deal flied by R-Calf were counterveillng with issues of how to protect and duty and anti-dumping petitions preserve federal lands, while at the against live cattle imports from same time providing an important Canada. ITC accepted these, on a resourceforgrazingandotheruses, vote of 4-2, and presently the De- Jack Morgan, research leader, and the staff at the Rangeland partmentofCommerce is engaged Resources Research Unit feel that in collecting information to sub- how well they serve the people of stantiate their claims. The actions against Canada, and Wyoming is dependent on interac- the appeal regarding Mexico, have tion with the people; they encour- no relationship, and willbe handled age interested persons to come by separately. to visit, and learn more about their work, adding that they'd like to learn more about the citizens of statement indicating that they were treated with radiation. This debate will no doubt continue. m201~ Resource Distrlct Needs Urban Member The Crook County Natural Re- source District, formerly known as Devils Tower Conservation DlstrlcL is in need of an Urban member. Any interested individuals are wel- come to contact a board member: Bill Dewey, Chairman 765-9480; Veronica Canfield, Secretary 283- 2062; Gisele Robinson, Treasurer 467-5938; Ted Mollne, Member 896-3178. March 20 egaeen sppreela to the mere and womea d ore" natlea's sa 4nndslees, For sll leq heun sad tstal dodlestJa tremondous boost to our eeonomy and l~r the quaUty produets we onioy dai~, we sMuto ~! See Us For All Your Seasonal Items! Calving Needs Gates, Panels & Feed Bunks "k Pet Foods' Lambing Needs Fencing Projects ~ Saddles & Tack ,k Order Baby Chicks-NOW ',~ ~Mmm'o~q=~ Jtmm: I~: I:00 Lm. - 6.@0 I~. ~.: 0:00 s.m.. 12:00 noon Sun.: Cl0~ 2"/19 $. llwy. 585 * Stmdance 307.283-3355 1-888-248-0604 Weed i Sackett The Crook County Weed & Pest, the Crook County Wyoming Extension Service and Team Leafy Spurge are sponsoring a Leafy Spurge Tour in Crook County on June will leave the Crook County Courthouse at 9:30 AM and sto 'T" near thejuncUon of US 14 and Wyoming 24 around up anyone that is waiting there. Lunch will be provided. Spurge will be giving away the Black flea beeries for leafy request form needs to be filled out ASAP and with request forms attached at the local banks and at other l around the county, or you can contact the Weed & Pest! Sundance (307-283-2375). There will be more gets closer. Input Requested By Natural Water sampling of the Belle becoming lnvolved in Fourche River has shown fecal con- sports project or need tamination. Crook County certified are asked to Natural Resource Board, formerly leader training known as Devils Tower Conserva- 1999 at the Fairgrounds. tion District, would llke input on ers are needed in each whether future testing and moni- toring should be done locally or at per leader. the state and federal level. Concurrent morning At this time we, the people of rifles and shotguns Crook County, have some options from 8:00 a.m. until I available; however, we need fund- For the ing to exercise these options. The will be needed. A board would like to go to the Crook munition are needed for County Commissioners to ask for somefunding.Yourinputlsneeded, own from 12:00 to I:00P There will be a series of public meetings the last week in April to pistols, muzzleloaders discuss the contaminaUon and are scheduled from opUons available. The exact dates p.m. No equipment is and times will be published at a the pistol session. later date. Comments, questions, and input session and a bow and are vital to Crook County residents the archery session. and welcome at any time. Please It is important to contact a board member. Nlco at 307-766-5027 Bill Dewey, Chairman 765-9480; office for the dlscipline Veronica Canfield, Secretary 283- interested in. R 2062; Glsele Robinson, Treasurer leaders is required 467-5938; Ted Mollne, Member The deadline is April 896-3178. 5:00 p.m. Wo stoek most popular farm ttras, flotations and rims. STORE'. Sun.-$at 6:00 s.nt - 8.@0 p.m. SHOP." 7:30 a.m.. 5.@0 p.m. Sun. - Closed W. Hwy. 14&90 COW POKES By Ace Mtp "J/www.cowpokes.com ~)AcA " After them beers Wilbur, I'm so smart I need to sell. I'll just buy yoresl" or Jake is a cartoon can get away with drinking driving ... you CAN'TII! Phone 283-1(