Monday, February 28, 2011

Water fights the topic of radio show

Scott Valley, Calif., rancher Craig Chenoweth and Mark Baird, president of Scott Valley Protect Our Water, were guests on the Sunday morning radio program "We The People" on Redding's KCNR 1460 AM.

They discussed the California Department of Fish and Game's requirement of special incidental take and streambed alteration permits for irrigators in the Scott and Shasta valleys, which the Capital Press has covered extensively.

According to the show's Web site, Chenoweth will be a guest again next Sunday, starting at 8 a.m.

The site is here, where you can listen to archives as well as a live stream when the show is on.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Vilsack pressed on GIPSA rule

From the California Cattlemen's Association:

Last week, during a House Agriculture Committee hearing about the state of the U.S. farm economy, Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA) and Rep. Larry Kissell (D-NC) questioned United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack about a timeline for completion of an economic analysis regarding the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule.

Vilsack responded by saying that he did not have a definite timeframe in place for completion of the economic analysis of the proposed rule, being conducted by USDA Chief Economist Joseph Glauber, Ph.D., and that the more than 60,000 public comments submitted were still being "categorized and reviewed" by the department which is "interested in getting this process completed as appropriately and quickly as possible."

Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) also asked Vilsack if the department would go through a notice and comment period on a completed economic analysis before moving forward on a final rule. Vilsack replied that he would need to consider the request internally before responding.

CCA was among a number of industry groups and more than 100 members of Congress who asked USDA to conduct a more thorough economic analysis prior to considering advancement of the proposed rule and will continue to monitor the situation closely to support CCA’s position opposing the insertion of additional government intervention between willing buyers and willing sellers in the cattle market.

Friday, February 25, 2011

CCA: Speak out on Williamson Act

From the California Cattlemen's Association:

Last Friday, both Assembly and Senate Budget Committees voted to overturn the recommendations of their budget subcommittees and approve the Governor’s budget proposal to delete the $10 million state General Fund appropriation and repeal the local option adopted last year in Senate Bill 863 whereby counties could receive additional revenue from a 10 percent reduction in the Williamson Act landowner’s contract benefit.

CCA is requesting that legislators revisit this decision. While deletion of the funding would result in a general fund savings for the current year, rolling back SB 863 provides no general fund savings and hinders the ability of many counties to continue to provide 90 percent of current Williamson Act savings to contracting landowners. Thus far, eight counties that participate in the Williamson Act have implemented this program and it is estimated that another eight to 12 counties are considering implementation this year.

The repeal of the SB 863 program undermines the eight participating counties (Tulare, Kings, Merced, Madera, Mendocino, Stanislaus, Yolo and Shasta) and prevents others from considering its use. The ultimate result would very likely be mass county nonrenewals this fall.

If you have not already done so, please write your Williamson Act letter today and submit it to CCA to deliver to lawmakers on your behalf. You may fax letters to (916) 444-2194 or e-mail them to Dawn Clover at A sample letter can be found on CCA’s Web site by clicking here.

What if there's a shutdown?

Been poking around at federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and others whose work is pertinent to ag to find out what would happen if the government shuts down next week because of a budget impasse.

Either the government doesn't know yet, or they're not telling.

Pete Lucero, spokesman for the Bureau of Reclamation in Sacramento, said the Interior Department is still evaluating what a shutdown might do.

"We're awaiting guidance from the department on how to conduct operations during a shutdown," Lucero said.

These discussions are ongoing, he said. But agency officials are trying to remain optimistic.

"We're actually expecting there will be some kind of agreement prior to March 4," he said, "but in the event there isn't, we're in discussions on how we might proceed through a shutdown."

Interior spokeswoman Kate Kelly had nothing to tell me about shutdown plans as of yesterday, and I have yet to hear back from the USDA, whose spokeswoman is checking with the Forest Service, the Farm Service Agency and other arms of the department on my behalf.

More on this as we get closer, I'm sure.

Rancher thanks lawmakers for eye on DFG

Etna, Calif., rancher Jeff Fowle penned an open letter of thanks to far Northern California's two state lawmakers, Assemblyman Jim Nielsen and Sen. Doug LaMalfa, for keeping some pressure on the Department of Fish and Game over its requirement of special irrigation permits in the Scott and Shasta valleys.

He observes:

For more than 30 years the farmers and ranchers of the two valleys have been voluntarily improving water efficiency, installing fish screens, replacing push up dams with permanent, fish friendly structures and incorporating bypass flows into their diversion structure designs. All of these actions were done proactively to address potential impacts to salmonids. In addition, landowners along the two rivers have installed fencing to better manage grazing in riparian areas and have voluntarily stabilized banks and planted native vegetation to improve the habitat.

In the 80’s, the Department wanted us to put in fish screens they designed and we did. Then they wanted us to replace our push up dams with permanent rock weirs and we did. They then requested a bypass flow at the point of diversion and we obliged. Then they wanted assurance we were diverting our adjudicated water right and we are water mastered. Now they want me to pay $200 a year for a 1600 permit and $10,000 to $15,000 for a 158 page permit that says I am diverting with approved mitigations and the Department can take my water when they want to? I say hell no!

The recent re-interpretation of the Fish and Game code 1600 is merely another attempt by the State to assume more control over small business, ignore private property rights and follow the beck and call of a few elitist activist groups whose desire is to see our two valleys depopulated and returned to a “natural” state. If the Department is successful in implementing the 158 page permit in combination with requiring a 1600 permit simply to exercise a water right, the repercussions throughout the state will have a devastating impact.

He writes later:

To think, this all started nearly 30 years ago with the listing of the Spotted Owl. The timber industry was shutdown, unemployment jumped, communities died, schools began to deteriorate due to the lack of a tax base, forests have become too dense, tree diseases are rampant, catastrophic wildfires have ensued, tax dollars are wasted in efforts to fight fires, forest wildlife no longer have quality habitat, evapotranspiration has climbed, surface flows have decreased due to increased evapotranspiration increased and tree density and so now, it is time to eliminate the farms and ranches, surely that will fix the problem.

It is time to stop this short-sighted nonsense and approach the management of our natural resources with common sense. Modern forestry, farming and ranching practices can and will return our county to one that is environmentally healthy and economically viable, provided the onerous regulations, misguided permits are eliminated. Further, the puppet strings that are controlling the Department, held by the elitist environmental groups, must be cut.

You can read his entire letter here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

UC reminds of oak toxicity potential

From the California Cattlemen's Association:

After a few warm weeks throughout the state this winter and the news of more winter storms on the way, CCA wants to pass on information from the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) that is important for cattle producers to be aware of.

According to an article from John Maas, DVM, published in the January 2008 issue of the California Cattleman magazine, there are more than 50 common species of oak trees in California all containing some levels of the chemicals that can cause problems in cattle. Maas says oak buds, young leaves and fresh acorns have the highest level of toxins. Many oak trees in California have already began to bud in the warmth of early spring. As seen in past years, the threat of cold weather, especially snow in the foothills, can cause these buds to fall off trees and into the hay or forage on the ground, and subsequently may be eaten by livestock, causing a wide variety of cattle health problems.

To read the article in its entirety click here. You may also learn more about this problem and how you can best avoid it by contacting your local UCCE Livestock Farm Advisor.

Public Lands Council: Block 'Wild Lands' designation

From the Public Lands Council:

The Public Lands Council (PLC) Executive Director Dustin Van Liew said blocking funds to implement the Department of the Interior’s “Wild Lands” Secretarial Order 3310 (the Order) and halting payments authorized under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) are encouraging signs members of the U.S. House of Representatives are listening to the concerns of public lands ranchers. These funding limitations were attached to H.R. 1, a continuing resolution (CR) approved by the U.S. House of Representatives to fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year. The CR has now moved to the Senate for consideration.

Last month, PLC submitted a letter to Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar voicing opposition to the Order, which directs the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to designate areas with wilderness characteristics under its jurisdiction as “Wild Lands” and to manage them to “protect” their wilderness values.

“Shifting the BLM’s focus from multiple-use management to management for wilderness characteristics, as the Order would do, presents a threat to the longstanding multiple-use activities on public lands, including livestock grazing,” Van Liew said. “The Order would have far-reaching negative effects on public lands ranchers and the communities that rely on a thriving ranching industry. The administration should not be allowed to make decisions of such magnitude without getting input from local stakeholders or Congress’ consent.”

With regard to EAJA, Van Liew also said Representative Cynthia Lummis’ (R-Wyo.) amendment is a win for livestock producers.

“For years, radical environmental extremists have abused EAJA to fund petty lawsuits designed to bring down the public lands livestock grazing industry and other multiple-use industries,” Van Liew said. “As it stands, ranchers impacted by these suits must pay crippling legal fees to defend their land, business or way of life against the lawsuit. At the very same time, their own hard-earned money is being used to help pay the attorney fees for the very groups attacking them. It’s a true injustice.”

The Lummis amendment would put a six-month moratorium on all payments from EAJA to give Congress the time to study the issue and make necessary changes. Van Liew added that, while there has been no real oversight of EAJA, the cost to taxpayers reportedly exceeds $37 million in payments to radical environmental groups, many whose net worth exceeds $50 million.

“While the CR is not a done deal and still faces tests in the Senate before it can be sent to the President, it is encouraging that the House has included these two critical funding limitations,” Van Liew said, “PLC encourages the Senate to retain both the block on funding to implement the Order as well as the halt on EAJA payments.”

The PLC's partner organization, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, also applauds the House's amendment to deprive the Environmental Protection Agency of funding to regulate dust and impose Total Maximum Daily Load regulations on states around the Chesapeake Bay. States Colin Woodall, the NCBA's vice president of governmental affairs:

“I hope the activists turned government officials at the Environmental Protection Agency were listening to the very clear signal sent by the U.S. House of Representatives that enough is enough. Our elected leaders are growing weary of defending this agency that appears to be determined to put farmers and ranchers out of business. Burdensome, job stifling regulations are never a good thing. But when you have a struggling economy on the verge of a rebound, government overreach is definitely not a way to stimulate job growth and economic recovery. On behalf of U.S. cattlemen and women, I commend Representatives Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) for leading the charge against overregulation and in support of economic growth in rural America and throughout the country.

“As a cattle rancher, Rep. Noem understands that dust is a part of farming and ranching. It seems like a no-brainer but apparently EPA officials haven’t stepped off the city sidewalks lately. We are thankful Rep. Noem’s commonsense and knowledge of the agricultural industry prevailed in the House over attempts to regulate family farmers and ranchers out of business. Regulating dust on a farm or ranch is like regulating flour in a bakery. Quite simply, it is ridiculous. Almost every farm and ranch in the country would be found noncompliant for going about their everyday activities ranging from driving a truck on a gravel road or moving cattle from one lot to the next. We all need to stop and question EPA’s motives since it is well known that scientific studies have never shown, whatsoever, that agricultural dust at ambient levels causes health concerns.

“Representatives Goodlatte and Rooney, both from states where agriculture is extremely important, understand the need for peer reviewed science before you impose regulations that would cause for sale signs to become a frequent occurrence on farms and ranchers across the country. Rep. Goodlatte’s amendment to stop funding for EPA to implement its TMDL rule for the Chesapeake Bay, which is based on flawed scientific assumptions, could also prevent the model from becoming a template for other watersheds. EPA’s data was even proven inaccurate by another agency in the same administration. One would think that contradiction would encourage EPA to take another look. Rep. Rooney’s amendment would protect cattle producers in Florida from EPA’s extremely detrimental, scientifically indefensible nutrient criteria rule. Both of these rules, if implemented, will cost cattle producers millions of dollars in compliance costs, financially devastate state economies and erase thousands of jobs.

“We hope these amendments don’t stop with the U.S. House of Representatives. We urge the Senate to follow suit if they plan to stop government overreach and job stifling regulations.”

Van Liew told me yesterday his organization has reached out to senators about the "Wild Lands" designation, adding that Western senators have voiced concerns about the program. He noted several letters written to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, including one from the Idaho delegation and another from the Western Caucus.

"We're optimistic that the Senate will be on board with both of these issues," Van Liew told me. "Specifically our Western senators have voiced opposition to the Wild Lands order. The EAJA funding is a little less certain at this point, but they do from the West on the Senate side realize there's an issue there.

"We need to have a period where Congress can look into the payments -- the amount of payments, where they're going and how that fits in with the overall budget concerns for the country," he said.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


That was Redding Record Searchlight editorial page editor Bruce Ross's response to my post over at Jefferson Journal regarding Michael Shaw, a critic of the United Nations who was a guest on a local radio talk show.

You can see or join the discussion here.

USCA: Ranchers still 'wrangling the recession'

From the United States Cattlemen's Association:

Ranchers from across the country will converge in Washington, D.C. next week for the U.S. Cattlemen's Association's "Ranchers Wrangling the Recession" Washington, D.C. Fly-In 2011. State leaders representing a variety of regions within the U.S. will be in the nation's capital advocating for ranchers' best interests during a packed schedule of meetings.

Producers from California, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota, Virginia, Texas, and Wyoming will arrive in D.C. on February 28 and will spend the following days speaking to agency officials and their respective elected representatives about issues vital to the cattle industry. Specific issues that will be addressed include continued discussion on establishing competitive and transparent markets within the industry, country of origin labeling, current trade policy, animal health concerns with regard to Foot and Mouth Disease and the domestic and international safeguards currently in place, animal disease traceability program updates, and support for Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) reform.

The producers will be discussing these issues with officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, as well as with their state's Senators and respective regions' Representatives.

USCA President Jon Wooster noted, "U.S. cattle producers play a key role in pulling this country out of the recession, and getting on the right track towards economic prosperity. Key legislation and federal policies dealing with country of origin labeling, competition in the marketplace, and the prevention of the introduction of foot and mouth disease could be the difference between agricultural poverty and prosperity."

The fly-in will wrap up with a Wednesday, March 2nd Capitol Hill reception. For more information about the fly-in, or specific media based questions, please contact Kelly Fogarty at 202-870-3342.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Low snow levels for NorCal on Thursday

The National Weather Service predicts it's likely that snow will fall Thursday in Redding, Calif., with accumulation of less than a half-inch during the day and another half-inch Thursday night. In fact, the weather service predicts an outside chance of snow for Red Bluff.

Kathy Hoxsie, the weather service's warning coordinator in Sacramento, told me today that she expects this persistent parade of weather systems in California to last at least until early to mid-March. Then once we dry out a bit, another week or two of storms could arrive in April or early May, she said.

Here is the February and seasonal rainfall totals and comparisons to normal for Redding and other selected California cities, according to the NWS. Totals are as of Monday:
Redding: Month to date 3.42 inches (normal 4.16 inches); season to date 20.93 inches (normal 22.29 inches)
Sacramento: Month to date 2.06 inches (normal 2.70 inches); season to date 13.12 inches (normal 12.54 inches)
Stockton: Month to date 1.68 inches (normal 1.89 inches); season to date 10.49 inches (normal 9.44 inches)
Modesto: Month to date 1.89 inches (normal 1.82 inches); season to date 9.39 inches (normal 8.67 inches)
Salinas: Month to date 2.48 inches (normal 1.87 inches); season to date 9.92 inches (normal 8.69 inches)
Fresno: Month to date 1.02 inches (normal 1.56 inches); season to date 10.90 inches (normal 7.09 inches)

Monday, February 21, 2011

U.S. red meat exports boost trade balance

From the U.S. Meat Export Federation:

The U.S. balance of trade received a $4.24 billion shot in the arm courtesy of the red meat industry in 2010, according to statistics released by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Record-high export values for beef ($4.08 billion) and the second-highest total on record for pork ($4.78 billion) fueled the trade surplus.

“The United States agriculture sector not only is feeding much of the world, but it’s an important source of jobs and revenue for our country,” said Philip Seng, president and CEO of USMEF.

The U.S. beef industry exported 2.35 billion pounds valued at $4.08 billion in 2010, increases of 19 percent in volume and 32 percent in value over 2009. Beef exports exceeded imports by 605.1 million pounds and $1.155 billion in value.

Similarly, U.S. pork exports increased 3 percent in volume to 4.23 billion pounds and 10 percent in value to $4.78 billion versus 2009 totals. Those exports exceeded imports by 3.4 billion pounds and $3.58 billion in value.

Only U.S. lamb had an export deficit. Exports of 23.5 million pounds valued at $20.6 million compared with imports of 126.2 million pounds valued at $490 million.

Total U.S. red meat exports in 2010 were valued at $8.88 billion, 19.4 percent higher than the previous year and 4 percent higher than the previous record set in 2008.

That $8.88 billion in exports supports an estimated 107,000 U.S. jobs, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) calculations, with every billion dollars in U.S. agricultural exports supporting approximately 12,000 American jobs.

“The value of U.S. red meat exports can be measured in many ways,” Seng said. “For example, in 2010, the incremental value of beef exports equated to $153.09 for every steer and heifer processed. For hogs, the incremental value of exports was $43.72 per head.”

Another way to measure the value of exports, Seng said, was the return on investment that it provides for the taxpayers’ support of USMEF’s proactive efforts to support exports in 80 countries around the world. Of USMEF’s $35.3 million budget, just over half ($18.4 million) came from USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program, with the balance coming in the form of support from the beef, pork, corn and soybean industries and USMEF members. An additional $24.3 million was contributed by international third-party organizations that USMEF partners with in its market development activities.

A recent independent study conducted by IHS Global Insight, Inc., for USDA found that for every $1 expended by government and industry on market development, U.S. food and agricultural exports increased by $35. Based on that formula, the collective $59.6 million that USMEF drew from all of its funding sources in 2010 created a $2.1 billion benefit for U.S. red meat exports.

“The decision by our legislators to invest in programs like the Market Access Program creates a multiplier effect that boosts exports, creates jobs and keeps the U.S. agriculture sector vibrant and profitable,” said Seng. “That $18.4 million investment USDA made in the U.S. red meat sector through USMEF in 2010 will pay dividends in American jobs for years to come.”

Sunday, February 20, 2011

CCA president attends White House event

From the California Cattlemen's Association:

California Cattlemen’s Association President Kevin Kester, a rancher from Parkfield, Calif., was in our nation’s capital yesterday to represent California beef producers at a White House event focused on lasting conservation of the outdoor spaces that power our nation’s economy, shape our culture and build our outdoor traditions.

The event was centered around the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, which was established by President Obama on April 16, 2010, when he charged the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality to develop a 21st century conservation and recreation strategy based on the priorities of American communities. CCA has been involved with the initiative’s evolution from the beginning to ensure that the perspective of landowners remains paramount in the discussion.

CCA officers and staff attended meetings throughout the state last year to share comments and concerns about the initiative and represent ranchers and their outstanding stewardship of our national resources and open spaces.

According to the Obama Administration, this initiative seeks to reinvigorate our approach to conservation and reconnect Americans, especially young people, with the lands and waters that are used for farming and ranching, hunting and fishing, and for families to spend quality time together.

According to Kester, the initiative provides opportunities for private landowners to share their perspective to help Americans interested in the outdoors realize the importance of ranching and private property ownership to land management in our state and across the country.

“Family ranches steward both public and private land across California and the entire nation, contributing to local economies and creating healthy landscapes that support their families and benefit the public,” Kester said. “By keeping land in agriculture production and avoiding decision-making aimed at centralized designation that reduce management of our nation’s lands, we are ensuring the future of American traditions, keeping space open for all to enjoy and providing wholesome nutrition for all Americans. CCA appreciates the Administration’s continued invitations to participate and hope to see this initiative foster the types of partnerships necessary for farmers and ranchers to continue the admirable work they have done for our country for generations.”

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Low snow levels in NorCal

After an unexpected spring break, winter is back in session in far Northern California. Light snow has been falling this morning along the Sacramento River in central Redding, though the ground is too wet for any to stick.

Here's Redding's seven-day forecast, according to the National Weather Service:

Today: Showers. High near 41. South southeast wind between 5 and 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Tonight: Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 33. Light and variable wind. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Friday: A 40 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 49. Calm wind becoming north northeast between 5 and 8 mph.

Friday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 36. North northeast wind between 3 and 7 mph.

Saturday: A 30 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 50. North northwest wind between 5 and 8 mph.

Saturday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 37.

Sunday: A 20 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 50.

Sunday Night: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 38.

Washington's Birthday: A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 53.

Monday Night: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 36.

Tuesday: A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 52.

Tuesday Night: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 36.

Wednesday: A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 51.

A winter storm warning is here. Chain requirements are in effect on many mountain roads; if you're in the area, you can listen to continuous Caltrans radio updates at AM 1610.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ag career day points the way


California State University-Chico's College of Agriculture held its eighth annual career fair for students today, and 35 vendors participated -- up from 27 a year ago, fair coordinator Susie Funk said.

"It seems like more jobs are coming available and more internships," she said. "We have several new companies this year that have never been here."

Students walked around the pavilion at the university farm and talked to representatives of seed companies, nut growers, poultry farms, the USDA's veterinary services office and other industry representatives.

"I think it's great," said student Jessica Cook, 21, of Santa Rosa. "It gives us an opportunity (to meet prospective employers). It kind of forces us to go out, too."

For more details about the event, check soon.

Michelle Obama's 'junk science'

Michelle Malkin today skewers Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign, and uses a study done in the Pacific Northwest as ammunition. (Hat tip: Laura Ingraham)

Take another East Wing pet project: leaning on private businesses to print expanded front-package nutrition labels warning consumers about salt, fat and sugar. The first lady's anti-fat brigade assumes as an article of faith that her top-down designer food labels will encourage healthier eating habits. It's a "no-brainer," Mrs. Obama insists.

However, the latest study on this very subject -- funded by no less than the left-wing Robert Wood Johnson Foundation -- confirms other recent research contradicting the East Wing push. A team led by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School's Eric Finkelstein, published in the peer-reviewed American Journal for Preventive Medicine, found that mandatory menu-labeling in Seattle restaurants did not affect consumers' calorie consumption. "Given the results of prior studies, we had expected the results to be small," the researchers reported, "but we were surprised that we could not detect even the slightest hint of changes in purchasing behavior as a result of the legislation."

Will the first lady and her food cops be chastened by the science that undermines their spin? Fat chance.

Chico State's sheep and goat day draws hundreds

From the California State University-Chico College of Agriculture:

California State University, Chico College of Agriculture hosted Sheep and Goat Educational Day and Sale on Feb. 12 at the University Farm.
The day included educational workshops, a trade show and a sale of lambs and goats.

“More than 550 guests attended the Sheep and Goat Educational Day, making it one of the largest in attendance the event has had,” said Celina Johnson, an assistant professor of animal science.

The educational workshops included nutrition, reproduction, project kid and lamb selection, lamb and meat goat showmanship, lamb and meat goat fitting and a California State Fair Quality Assurance Program. Participants were able to attend up to four workshops.

CSU, Chico Stock Dog Association demonstrated herding sheep with their dogs.

After the workshops were over, attendees were given the opportunity to purchase lambs and goats for their own fair projects. The sale featured 10 meat goat wethers and 60 club lambs, including 10 lambs raised by the CSU, Chico Sheep and Goat Unit. The lambs’ sale price averaged $330 and the goats’ price averaged $280.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Klamath Basin meeting agenda set

From the Klamath Basin Coordinating Council:


February 24, 2011, 9 am
Running Y Conference Center, Klamath Falls, Oregon

1. Introductions and review agenda.

2. General public comment.

3. Approve summary from December 15, 2010 KBCC meeting (Ed Sheets).

4. Review status of implementing the Hydroelectric Settlement (Tim Hemstreet).

5. Status report on Power for Water Management Program

a. Klamath Basin Power Alliance formation
b. Communications plan.
c. Eligibility for power program.
d. Federal power program.

6. Status report on development of Klamath Fisheries Restoration and Monitoring Plan
(Klamath Fish Managers).

7. Review KBRA implementation.

a. Funding for Klamath Basin activities in FY 2012 Budget (Laidlaw).
b. Discuss KBRA budget review (Sheets).
c. Review workplan and schedule for implementing Restoration Agreement

8. Status report on Interim Technical Advisory Team (Sheets).

9. Review status of draft Drought Plan (Drought Plan Lead Entity).

10. Discuss status of draft FACA charters for Klamath Basin Advisory Council and
Technical Advisory Team.

11. Discuss communications and outreach plan (Ed Sheets, Craig Tucker and Glen

12. Public comment period.

13. Discuss next steps for April 7th KBCC meeting in Fortuna, California.

Monday, February 14, 2011

9th circuit to hear Delta smelt suit Tuesday

From the Pacific Legal Foundation:


February 15, 2011 – 9:00 a.m. (PST) court docket

WHERE: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Courtroom One, 95 7th Street San Francisco, CA 94103.

WHAT: Oral argument in PLF’s constitutional challenge to the federal government’s Delta smelt regulations (Stewart & Jasper Orchards v. Salazar). This lawsuit presents a constitutional challenge to the Delta smelt "biological opinion" that led to draconian cutbacks on pumping into the main water system serving the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.

Pacific Legal Foundation attorneys represent three San Joaquin Valley farmers hard hit by the federally mandated water cutbacks (

PLF argues that the federal government lacks constitutional authority (under the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause) to issue regulations on the Delta smelt, a fish found only in California and without commercial value.

Access PLF’s briefs in the "case resources" column (

WHEN: Tuesday, February 15, 2011. Oral argument will be held during the court’s 9 a.m. docket.

WHO: PLF attorney Brandon Middleton will present oral argument on behalf of PLF’s clients and constitutional cause of action.

It's official: U.S. meat exports break records

The U.S. Meat Export Federation has the details here. The upshot:

December statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) confirm that 2010 was the best year ever for U.S. beef export value. A final total of $4.08 billion breaks the pre-BSE high from 2003 of $3.86 billion by more than 5 percent and exceeds the 2009 total by nearly $1 billion. Total volume was 1.067 million metric tons, an increase of 19 percent over 2009.

Pork export value posted the second-best year on record at $4.78 billion, falling just 2 percent short of the 2008 high and besting 2009 by more than 10 percent. Total volume was 1.918 million metric tons - an increase of 3 percent over the previous year.

USMEF spokesman Jim Herlihy told me this morning that overseas consumer confidence in American meat has been growing, and the U.S. has been benefiting from some misfortunes facing some of its competitors, including foot and mouth disease in South Korea, drought in China, unfavorable weather in Australia and restrictions on beef exports from Argentina.

For more on this, check later this week.

Michael Coffman, the UN and global governance

After Michael Coffman's keynote speech Thursday for the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference, media reports -- mine and others -- mostly glossed over his lengthy segment detailing what he sees as the global aims of environmental true-believers. Lest we let any misconceptions linger, it's fair to take a closer look at what he said.

Coffman started by asserting that much of the nation's current cultural divide can be traced back to two men in the 18th century -- John Locke, the English philosopher who believed property was a natural right, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the French writer who heavily influenced the French Revolution and was "the father of European socialism," according to Coffman. Put another way, we're in a "battle of worldviews," with one side believing rights come from God and the other thinking they come from government, he said.

America's Founding Fathers believed that the purpose of government was to preserve private property, Coffman said. Thomas Jefferson was one who believed strongly in distributed government, which necessarily makes government less efficient, he said.

Today you hear calls for government to be more efficient, but "the only way government can be more efficient is to take your liberty away and put it in the hands of bureaucrats," Coffman said. "That's exactly what's happening."

Private property
Why are private property rights so important? Because according to recent data, Americans' average annual income of $45,000 was well above "socialist" Europe's $34,000, while the income in former communist countries was just $2,000 a year, Coffman said.

"The amount of regulation determines your gross domestic product and the average income of your citizens," he said. "It's a striking relationship, one we need to be aware of because we're struggling with more and more regulation." In the U.S., some 50,000 pages of new regulations are introduced each year, he said.

After a trip to France during the revolution there, Thomas Jefferson believed "Washington would become oppressive" if it followed the French model, Coffman said.

"He knew what was going to happen," Coffman said. "He could see the day we're living in today and realized Washington ... would become venal and oppressive and it's happening before our eyes."

All of this leads to the modern environmental movement, whose leaders mostly hold to the collectivist idea that private property is evil and have embarked on a slow, decades-long offensive against property rights worldwide, he said. Here, Coffman noted that he doesn't believe every environmentalist thinks private property is evil, but many of their groups' leaders do. And he said these people don't make up a large segment of the population, but they're present in many vestiges of power around the world -- particularly in the United Nations.

This worldview in the 1960s and '70s led to the creation of the National Environmental Policy Act, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and other regulatory vehicles to control what happens on both public and private land nationwide, he said. In 1973, the Adirondack Park Agency was created in upstate New York, which "gave a state agency total control absolute control over anything that could happen in the park" which included public and private lands in a huge swath of the state. That became a model for similar land-use-controlling agencies around the world, Coffman said.

The United Nations
This brings us to the U.N., and specifically its Department of Economic and Social Affairs' Division of Sustainable Development. Its core document is Agenda 21, which Coffman characterizes as a 40-chapter document that spells out how every human being is going to be controlled. Here's how the UN's Web site describes it.

Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.

Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests were adopted by more than 178 Governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, 3 to 14 June 1992.

The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was created in December 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, to monitor and report on implementation of the agreements at the local, national, regional and international levels. It was agreed that a five year review of Earth Summit progress would be made in 1997 by the United Nations General Assembly meeting in special session.

The full implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Commitments to the Rio principles, were strongly reaffirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 26 August to 4 September 2002.

Each section of the document is available for reading online. Coffman notes that it uses phrases that we've all heard, such as creating a "green economy" and "decoupling" environmental impacts from the use of natural resources and economic growth.

"A nation can't survive without the use of natural resources," he said.

Coffman said a working document of the EPA speaks of "amending national policies to achieve international obligations." A Cllinton-era document, Sustainable America, was based on Agenda 21, he said.

'Central principle'
"This now has become the central principle of every federal agency of the United States," Coffman said. "You're dealing with a mentality ... meant to put you out of business. Every federal agency is in the loop."

Coffman argues evidence of environmental leaders pantheistic worldview can be found in the UN's Global Biodiversity Assessment in the 1990s. Christopher Woodward of explains:

Section 11 of the GBA states that there are too many people in the world living at too high a material standard, and offers two options for how to address this. The first option is for most human beings to live as “peasants”, which would allow for a population of 5 to 7 billion people. Alternatively, the GBA states, that “a reasonable estimate for an industrialised world society at the present North American material standard of living would be 1 billion."

Under Section 12, the GBA condemns Christianity by denouncing the “western worldview” for its “denial of the sacred attributes of nature which became firmly established with the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religious traditions” It contrasts this with the "traditional worldview" where humans see “themselves as members of a community that not only includes other humans, but also plants and animals as well as rocks.... People are then members of a community of beings -- living and non-living. Thus rivers may be viewed as mothers. Animals may be treated as kin."

The GBA also attacks property rights stating that they should be “usufructual.” The concept of usufructual rights was established during the Roman Empire and meant that everything is owned by Caesar, who distributes the right to use property by permit.

"What can we do to heal America?" Coffman said. "We need to expose the progressives in Congress and in the legislatures and let people know who they are. They are extremely dangerous.

"They literally do not know what it takes to put food on the table," he said. "You cannot convince them of anything ... They want to do good. They don't want to do evil. But they are doing evil by the bucketfuls. They're destroying American society as we know it."

Sound crazy? Nadine Bailey, the logging conference spokeswoman and a long-time acquaintance of Coffman, thought so when she first heard him speak about these issues 15 years ago. In fact she used the word "crazy" during her introduction of Coffman on Thursday. But she doesn't think it's crazy anymore after seeing the way things have turned out, she said.

As for me, whenever I hear folks talking about global governance or a new world order, I tend to start thinking, "Much easier said (or feared) than done." World government? Try telling that to the protesters in Egypt who've grown violent over the mere hint of foreign interference. North American Union? Heck, the most weak-kneed immigration bill in Congress sparks so much controversy that there's little hope one will get passed anytime soon, whatever its benefits for ag. Shoot, they're having trouble keeping the European Union together, and that's just one continent.

On the other hand, I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that there are like-minded bureaucrats at all levels who dream of more power and more control, that a good number of them reside at the U.N., and that environmentalism is one of their favorite tools. The fruit of their labors is self-evident. The fact that Michael Coffman has spent a career meticulously documenting these labors and warning others of their dangers is to me simply an example of a citizen taking part in the political process.

For his part, Coffman hasn't been hiding behind his book. Over the past week he's attended numerous community meetings, done radio interviews, talked with people face-to-face and backed up his arguments with facts.

One can agree or disagree with his conclusions, but to simply chalk him up as another conspiracy theorist would smack of intellectual laziness at best.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chico State to host ag career day

From the California State University-Chico College of Agriculture:

California State University, Chico College of Agriculture will host the 8th annual Career and Internship Fair for students and alumni on Feb. 16 at the University Farm Pavilion. The Career and Internship Fair begins at 10 a.m. and lasts until 2 p.m. Thirty-five companies will be on hand to recruit students, including Monsanto, Agri Beef, Pathway to PCA, Dow AgroScience, Rabobank, E & J Gallo, Driscoll’s and Harris Moran Seed Company.

Whether students are looking for a summer job or a career path, the Career and Internship Fair has been a proven success in connecting student jobseekers with potential employers from a broad range of agricultural occupations. Simmie Stayer, a senior majoring in animal science, learned about JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding Company at the Career and Internship Fair in 2010 and ended up spending her summer and part of the fall semester interning at the company’s Colorado feed yard. “The internship helped me figure out what I want to do in my career,” Stayer said. “I’m looking forward to going back to JBS Five Rivers as a management trainee when I graduate.”

Part of the continued success of the Career and Internship Fair is due to the preparation and capability of the CSU, Chico students who attend. Joshua Green, research assistant with Monsanto, said his company has had success in finding summer interns at the Career and Internship Fair. “The Chico State students have been among the greatest interns we’ve had the pleasure to work with,” Green said. “We’ve found them to be bright, capable, hard working and able to pick up new tasks quickly.”

For more information about the Agriculture Career and Internship Fair and the registered companies visit or contact Susie Funk at 530-898-4262.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sunny day, outlook at logging conference


It was another balmy day Friday at the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference in Redding, Calif., as people walked around the equipment expo, watched logging sports exhibitions and attended seminars at the Redding Convention Center and Turtle Bay Exploration Park.

At one panel discussion this afternoon at Turtle Bay, experts saw a ray of hope that things will improve for the beleaguered timber industry, which has seen two of its worst years since World War II.

Here is the schedule for Saturday, the final day of the conference and expo.

7:00 a.m. Truckers Seminar

Redding Convention Center 2nd Floor Lobby

4 Units ProLogger Credits

9:00 a.m. Exhibits Open

8:00 a.m. – 11 a.m. “Fleet Truck Regulations and Enforcement”, Repeat of Friday’s Presentation

Redding Convention Center Room 125

Panel discussion presented by Loggers Association of Northern California. Facilitated by Kathleen Mead of the Air Resources Board (ARB), followed by discussion on the Enforcement of Regulations.

2 Units ProLogger Credits

9:00 a.m. Backhoe Rodeo

Redding Convention Center South Parking Lot

Can you dig it, or can you balance it? That is the question that contestants from far and wide will answer. Join us as we watch experienced operators fight against time and gravity to take home the prize money. Thanks to Sponsor Axner Excavating for this popular event and for securing sponsors to keep this event growing.

10:00 a.m. Truck Driving Skills Competition

Redding Convention Center West Parking Lot

11:00 a.m. Wild Things, Wildlife Show

Redding Convention Center 2nd Floor Lobby

Wild Things, Inc. was founded in 1987 for the explicit purpose of housing and caring for displaced wildlife and educating the public with a message of conservation and appreciation for natural wonders.

11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Logging Sports Exhibition

Logging Sports Arena, Convention Center SouthParking Lot

2:00 p.m. Wild Things, Wildlife Show

Redding Convention Center 2nd Floor Lobby

Wild Things, Inc. was founded in 1987 for the explicit purpose of housing and caring for displaced wildlife and educating the public with a message of conservation and appreciation for natural wonders.

3:00 p.m. Raffle Drawing

Redding Convention Center 1st Floor Lobby

3:30 p.m. Gates Close

Trio feted at logging conference

Three timber industry stalwarts were given awards at the 62nd Sierra Cascade Logging Conference this week in Northern California.

The Logger of the Year is Harold Kiper, 83, the owner of Kiper and Kiper Logging in Squaw Valley, Calif. He has been a contract logger in the central Sierras for almost 60 years, and is "still going strong," say conference organizers. He and his wife, Mary, have been married for more than 60 years and have two sons and nine grandchildren.

The Roy Derek Berridge Award goes to Sherry L. Crawford of Seiad Valley, the owner and office manager of a logging company since 1979. She's had numerous school and civic leadership positions through the years and has been a member of the USDA's Resource Advisory Council since 2001. She's been married 44 years and has four children, 21 grandchildren and two adoptees coming.

The John Jarrett Award recipient is Buzz Eades, a lifelong logger and past president of the logging conference who is now its Logging Sports Show co-chairman. He and his wife, Murial, just returned from China, where their son is a missionary.

Congratulations to Harold, Sherry and Buzz.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Property rights activist speaks to loggers


Landowners should take advantage of local government’s power to stave off federal regulations that deprive them of their liberties, a property rights advocate said.

Cities, counties and local districts can frustrate new wilderness designations and other federal land-use orders by invoking coordination under U.S. and state environmental laws, author Michael Coffman told a logging conference here Feb. 10.

Under coordination, a city council or county commission could appoint a citizens’ advisory committee and enact an ordinance opposing a federal rule and the agency would have to involve the local government in its decision, Coffman said.

The coordination process was used to stop a planned highway through Texas that was part of implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, he said.

“Local coordination … is very, very powerful if it’s done correctly,” said Coffman, whose book, “Rescuing a Broken America,” addresses the environmental movement’s role in the nation’s cultural divide. “It allows your local government to become part of the process.”

For more on his speech, check soon.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The irony of the green shrine

Michael Coffman is probably the antithesis of what you'd call a "greenie." He's a veteran of the property-rights wars in the woods, perhaps most notable for his role in killing the U.S. ratification of the Convention on Biological Diversity in the 1990s. On the Redding Tea Party's Sunday radio show, "We The People," Coffman talked about how the modern environmental movement is based more on an almost religious adherence than it is on sound science.

So I had to get a kick out of the announced venue for his keynote speech Thursday at the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference's kickoff breakfast -- the uber-eco-conscious Gaia Hotel and Spa in Anderson. For those who don't know, Gaia in Greek mythology was the goddess of the earth. So chances are, Coffman may well wax poetic about the perceived idiosyncracies of the environmental religion -- at a shrine to the goddess of the earth. It'll be sort of like an atheist giving a lecture on the errors of Catholicism in the sanctuary of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Hey, I'm not criticizing the logging conference for booking the Gaia. For one thing, it's one of the few venues in the area that's big enough to accommodate a large crowd, as last year's kickoff breakfast at the Holiday Inn was a little cramped. And it lets the conference keep its ties with Anderson, which hosted the conference for many years before it moved to the Redding Convention Center last year.

I just thought it was funny, in an ironic sort of way.

Checkoff helps beef industry meet challenges

The Cattlemen's Beef Board posts this about the Beef Checkoff, the per-head fee paid when cattle are sold to support research and promotion of the industry:

America’s beef farmers and ranchers today are facing unprecedented challenges which curtail their ability to provide a safe, nutritious and delicious protein food to a global population. In recent years, marketplace competition among animal protein sources has intensified. Consumer attitudes and needs have evolved, impacted by both the changing nutrition environment and the recession. In addition, activists opposing animal agriculture have increased their coffers, stepped up their media campaigns, and expanded their activities into the legislative and regulatory arenas at both the state and national level.

The beef checkoff is both proactive and reactive in response to these challenges. Through integrated programming, the checkoff launches marketing and communication programs that highlight those demand drivers that impact consumer attitudes and behaviors about beef.

The checkoff’s Research, Education, and Innovation (REI) department provides the scientific evidence used to develop the essential messages supporting these marketing, communication, and issues-response efforts, but also makes available tools and technologies to help increase industry effectiveness in producing a great tasting, nutritious and safe beef product for consumers who continue to love beef.

The checkoff program areas -- Beef Quality Assurance, Beef Safety Research, Product Enhancement Research, Human Nutrition Research, New Products and Culinary Initiatives, as well as the Producer Education program -- collaborate to ensure the best beef product possible reaches the marketplace.

This year’s REI annual update highlights how the checkoff is providing all segments of the industry with the knowledge to support new technologies, such as pre- and post-harvest safety interventions, and new communication messages that inform consumers about beef’s taste and nutrition advantages.

“Ultimately, America’s beef-producing farmers and ranchers reap the benefit through increased profitability,” says Craig Uden, chair of the REI group and producer from Cozad, Neb. “We will continue to develop the knowledge that protects and expands our industry as it feeds a global population.”

The full annual update can be downloaded here.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Rancher spreads the word about 'agvocacy'

Recently the Sacramento Bee covered a workshop at the University of California-Davis led by Etna, Calif., rancher Jeff Fowle encouraging farmers and ranchers to make better use of social media.

Reporter Gina Kim wrote:

It wasn't discussions of sustainability, irrigation techniques or cattle breeds that had dozens of farmers busily scribbling notes in Davis on Saturday. It was the intricacies of hashtags, followers and status updates that pulled them out of their fields and into classrooms for a 21st century addendum to the agricultural revolution.

"It's all about putting a face on that plate," said Jeff Fowle, who raises cattle, horses and hay on a 640-acre ranch in Siskiyou County.

"I want to be the face when a family is sitting down to a dinner of Hamburger Helper."

About 80 people attended the full-day workshop on social media for farmers – hosted by the University of California, Davis – to help an aging farming population communicate directly with their consumers through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

"The economic edge for farming can be very narrow," said organizer Annie King, a professor of animal science at UC Davis. "This is a way farmers can tell the story of their family farms and how they get food on the table."

This was one of numerous workshops Fowle has been putting on to discuss what he and others call "agvocacy," which is to let average consumers get to know farmers through the use of technology.

I had a chance to cover one of Jeff's talks at least year's Sierra Cascade Logging Conference in Redding, Calif. Here's a bit of what I wrote:

When it comes to farmers' quest to reach the public, information is different from communication.

Agriculture "is infamous for getting out information," said Jeff Fowle, an activist and cattle rancher in Etna, Calif.

But communication means to actually get through, Fowle said. And these days, there's no more powerful way to do that than through social media -- e-mail, Web sites, instant messaging, blogs, MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter, he said.

With these tools, companies are employing a laser-like focus on specific audiences, Fowle said.

Using interactive media, a producer can potentially reach millions from the back of a horse. While it took radio 38 years to gain 50 million users, Facebook and the iPhone achieved that many users in nine months, he said.

"Social media is amazing," Fowle told attendees of a recent logging conference in Redding, Calif. "If Facebook were a country, it would be the world's fourth largest."

The picture is changing so fast that now even e-mail is considered passé, Fowle said. Now people are using cell phones for texting and tweeting, he said.

"You no longer search for news. The news finds you," he said. And most people these days trust their peers the most for news, he said.

For those who are interested in finding out more, Jeff is slated to return to this year's conference with a session starting at 9 a.m. Friday at the Redding Convention Center. His talk will be titled, "Social Media: Make It Work For You and Your Industry."

Monday, February 07, 2011

Farm futurist visits Chico State

From the California State University-Chico College of Agriculture:

Dr. Lowell Catlett, dean of the College of Agriculture, Consumer Affairs and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University, visited California State University, Chico on Feb. 3. CSU, Chico College of Agriculture and Butte County Farm Bureau arranged for Dr. Catlett to conduct a seminar for students, faculty and staff at 9 a.m. on “The Next Green Revolution: How to Feed a Hungry World and Keep Mother Nature Happy.”

Dr. Catlett’s seminar focused on the future of agriculture and how it will change. Whereas the last “green revolution” evolved to produce enough food to get calories into peoples’ bodies, Catlett said the next green revolution will need to do the same while also considering the environmental and social ramifications of how food is produced. He said “To have healthy humans you can’t separate them from plants, animals, and other people.” Dr. Catlett said, “There will be a next green revolution, it will feed a hungry world and we will be more in touch with Mother Nature.”

Dr. Catlett also gave students advice on how he believes they can find success. He emphasized to students to find a career they love because they will do well in it and be good at it. After the seminar, Kayla Pauwels, a senior in animal science, said, “Dr. Catlett’s seminar motivated me to find something I love to do and become good at it, but be open to other experiences.” She explained that she enjoyed the seminar and found it quite informative and interesting.

After the seminar, Dr. Catlett spent the day at CSU, Chico College of Agriculture speaking with students in agribusiness classes. He was also featured as a key note speaker at the Butte County Farm Bureau Dinner at CSU, Chico the evening of Feb. 3.

I interviewed Catlett for a story on the future of farming that I did in September. Fascinating fellow.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Prune breeders get on the FasTrack


[ Photo caption: Horticulturist Ralph Scorza (right) and technician Mark Demuth inspect ripe HoneySweet plums. Scorza discussed the plums today during a workshop in Red Bluff, Calif. ]

Researchers discussed the latest in pest-fighting and other technologies during a University of California Cooperative Extension workshop on prune production today at the Elks Lodge in Red Bluff, Calif. About 70 local farmers attended the workshop.

Among the most newsworthy items:

-- Ralph Scorza, a USDA Agricultural Research Service horticulturist who flew in from West Virginia to attend the meeting, reported that scientists have developed a way to more quickly breed plum trees used for prunes, which are dried plums. The method, dubbed FasTrack, allows growers to get 12 years of plant development work done in about three years.

-- Rich Peterson of the California Dried Plum Board is optimistic about the future of prunes grown in the Golden State despite declines in bearing acreage and in prices paid to farmers. He outlined the board's efforts to market the fruit worldwide.

For more details about these issues, check soon.

Karl Rove: U.S. beef can compete anywhere

From the National Cattlemen's Beef Association:

Karl Rove, former senior advisor and deputy White House Chief of Staff for President George W. Bush, and incoming National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Bill Donald told NCBA members that our country and the beef industry are at a crossroads. However, both Rove and Donald challenged cattlemen and women to step up to the challenge and determine the path forward.

In his keynote address during the Second General Session of the 2011 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show, Rove said the United States “cannot be prosperous if we only sell to each other.” He said America can compete anywhere in the world as long as we are on a level playing field. Additionally, he noted that consumers worldwide want to buy “American quality” products. He said it is in our country’s strategic and economic interest to finish pending trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

“Unfortunately, that’s where the easy stuff stops,” Rove said. “We are currently dealing with a government that thinks it knows better and knows more than the rest of us. That’s wrong for America.”

Incoming NCBA President and Montana rancher Bill Donald said the government’s overreach in the beef industry was unprecedented. He said current proposals to regulate greenhouse gases, water and dust are not based on sound science.

“Basically, we have a lot of agencies imposing regulations without truly understanding the implications,” said Donald. “However, as an industry we have to do a better job telling out story. We must educate these government officials and the public about this industry.”

Despite all of these challenges, Rove said NCBA members have the opportunity to change the course our country is currently taking. He encouraged NCBA members to “get involved and stay involved.” Rove and Donald said NCBA members must work to educate the growing number of urban and suburban elected officials who do not understand the beef industry. Rove encouraged NCBA members contribute to the NCBA PAC to help “elect leaders who understand your business and send home those who don’t.” Rove and Donald challenged NCBA members to step up and take an active role in determining the future of their operation and their industry.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Colusa Farm Show draws thousands


[ Photo caption: 4-H members Alex Vige (left), 11, and Clayton Beals, 13, of Orland, Calif., step off a hay baler today at the Colusa Farm Show. ]

The Colusa Farm Show got off to a running start today, as thousands flocked to the fairgrounds in Colusa, Calif., to get a look at a parking lot full of big tractors and other equipment and several exhibit booths full of smaller wares.

The farm show continues Wednesday and Thursday. Here is the schedule:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

7:00 a.m. Ag Leadership Foundation Breakfast
Saint Bernadette's Hall
(Across from Fairgrounds)
For more info contact Sarah DeForest,
CSU Chico 530-898-3737

9:00 a.m. Colusa Farm Show Opens

10:00 a.m. Commerical Industry Vehicle Program
Sponsored by the California Highway Patrol
Located in Sheep Barn

11:00 a.m. Lubrication for the Farming Industry:
- Reduce Downtime,Lubrication Consumption
and Increase Equipment Reliability
Sponsored by ChemSearch
Located in Sheep Barn

1:00 p.m. Ag Perspectives
Sponsored by Family Water Alliance
Located in Sheep Barn

3:00 p.m. Farm & Ranch Estate Planning
Presented by New York Life
Sponsored by Community Foundation
of Colusa County
Located in Sheep Barn

5:00 p.m. Colusa Farm Show Closes

Thursday, February 3, 2011

9:00 a.m. Colusa Farm Show Opens

3:00 p.m. Exhibitor Check Out Begins

4:00 p.m. Colusa Farm Show Closes

For my coverage of the farm show's first day, check soon.

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