Rocky Mountain Ag Notebook: Upping efficiency on Colo. dairies, irrigation systems; CSU vet student awarded at conference |

Rocky Mountain Ag Notebook: Upping efficiency on Colo. dairies, irrigation systems; CSU vet student awarded at conference

NRCS Partners To Improve Efficiencies on Colo. Dairies, Irrigation Systems

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Colorado recently announced its participation in a pilot program aimed at sharing information about the numerous resources available to producers interested in increasing energy efficiencies.

The collaborative effort will bring existing resources and partners together while leveraging new opportunities slated at making energy efficiency easy.

A white paper regarding the pilot reports that, “According to the Colorado Energy Office’s (CEO) 2013 Market Research Report, energy costs account for 7 percent of the Colorado agricultural industry’s overall expenses. The dairy and irrigation sectors represent the greatest potential for savings as irrigation was responsible for 50 percent of the total electric expenses in 2008 for Colorado’s agricultural sector; and dairies, while fewer in number, are very energy intensive and operate 24/7/365.”

As a result of these findings CEO strategized opportunities for improvement thru collaboration and partnerships. NRCS was one of the many organizations contacted to participate.

The pilot will be implemented in two phases. The first will consist of a series of energy assessments and audits on 12 agricultural operations around the northeastern portion of the state, and the second phase will consist of the implementation of energy efficiency improvements identified in the assessment and audits on at least two dairy operations and two powered irrigation systems.

— Natural Resources Conservation Service

CSU Vet Student Awarded At American Indian Research Conference

A Colorado State University veterinary student from the Choctaw Nation recently was honored for developing training exercises that teach aspiring and practicing veterinarians how to respond during an infectious-disease outbreak.

Madeline Anna, who grew up in Colorado Springs and is in her first year in the CSU Professional Veterinary Medicine Program, won second place at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society National Research Conference in Denver.

Her training presentation focuses on zoonotic disease, or infection that can be passed between animals and people.

Zoonoses include West Nile virus, Lyme disease, anthrax, Ebola, rabies and bovine tuberculosis, among many other diseases that threaten animal and human health around the world.

Anna, 25, earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental health at CSU, followed by a master’s degree in veterinary public health at The Ohio State University. She envisions working as a federal veterinarian to help address public-health issues for American Indians.

At CSU, she is active with the campus Native American Culture Center and, through the center, tutors other students in biology.

— Colorado State University

JBS USA Implementing New Processes At U.S. Facilities

Greeley-based JBS USA is implementing new processes at its U.S. meat-packing facilities.

According to a news release, Quintiq, a global leader in supply-chain planning and optimization, announced that JBS has implemented the “Quintiq optimization platform” at 13 processing facilities across the country.

“We elected to partner with Quintiq due to their deep commitment to understand the inherent complexities of our protein-processing business,” said Eric Wallin, senior vice president and head of beef finance and business analysis at JBS USA.

The Quintiq news release says that implementation of the planning platform provides JBS “the capability to minimize less-efficient manual planning processes and realign business processes and departments to improve performance and enhance customer service.”

The new platform also allows JBS team members to maintain complete control over the planning and scheduling process and ensure all available materials are optimized at their maximal value.

JBS USA is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of JBS S.A. Based out of Brazil, JBS S.A. is the world’s leading animal protein processor.


Gov. Hickenlooper Announces Boards And Commissions Appointments

Gov. John Hickenlooper recently announced several Boards and Commissions appointments.

Among them, Marla A. Rock of Wray, was appointed to represent the confinement cattle industry — reappointed for a term expiring May 1, 2018.

The State Board of Stock Inspection Commission makes rules regarding brand inspection and livestock laws and regulates fees for stock inspections. The commission also sets service charges and procedures, administers the Estray Fund, licenses public livestock markets, and secures bond and surety on butchers and slaughters.

— Office of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper

Colorado Wheat, ConAgra Donate 24 Tons Of Flour To Food Bank Of The Rockies

In honor of National Agriculture Week, March 25-30, the Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee (CWAC) and the Colorado Association of Wheat Growers (CAWG) teamed with ConAgra Mills to donate 24 tons (48,000 pounds) of Ultragrain® blend flour to the Food Bank of the Rockies. The donation, with a retail value of more than $38,304, provides 9,600 5-pound bags of flour for distribution to families in need in Colorado.

This is the fifth consecutive year for this donation.

This is enough flour to make over 100,000 one-pound loaves of bread. Ultragrain® flour has the fiber and nutrition of whole grain but the taste, texture and appearance of refined flour.

Colorado wheat was featured in the Farm-to-Fork Cookoff, which paired state legislators and local chefs to create dishes using Colorado products. Executive Chef Daniel Flanagan of the Sanctuary Golf Course in Sedalia created a savory “Colorado Bread Pudding” for the event. (Recipe follows.) Chef Flanagan was paired with State Representative Randy Fischer, chair of the Colorado House Agriculture Committee, who helped serve the dish.

— Colorado Wheat

Lummis Family Ranch Outside Cheyenne Sold

The family of U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., sold a 5,080-acre ranch property outside of Cheyenne recently, according to the broker that arranged the sale.

The transaction was actually a land exchange, not a cash sale, said the congresswoman’s spokesman, Joe Spiering. The property, called the Lummis Ranch South Camp, was a piece of the Arp and Hammond Hardware Co., of which Lummis has a minority interest.

Terms of the transaction were not released by Lummis’ office or the Billings, Mont.-based broker Hall and Hall, which specializes in selling ranches. Wyoming is one of 14 so-called real estate non-disclosure states in which sale information is private and not released by county assessors, according to

The property was listed for $8.1 million.

The ranch has a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house with a detached garage. It also has a barn and corrals. It’s southeast of Cheyenne, just a 10-minute drive from the capital city’s downtown. Lummis Ranch South Camp was once part of a larger ranch. The owners once ran a cow-calf herd, from calving through shipping in the fall. More recently, the family turned it into a horse operation for yearlings, or young horses. They’d purchase yearlings in the spring and sell them in the fall, said Adam York, a spokesman for Hall and Hall.

— Casper, Wyo., Star-Tribune

Two Rivers In SE Colo. Poised For Growth

Two Rivers Water and Farming Co. has purchased more farmland in Pueblo County and is continuing its plan to expand national marketing of fruits and vegetables grown locally.

“In this business, it’s all about being able to deliver produce to national accounts,” said John McKowen, Two Rivers CEO.

Two Rivers purchased two farms with a total of about 225 acres in the Vineland-Avondale area on the Bessemer Ditch. Some of the water used on the farms will be leased back from the Pueblo Board of Water Works.

Two Rivers also uses some Pueblo water board water under a long-term lease contract.

The company markets nationally through Dionisio Farms, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Two Rivers.

This year, the company plans to expand its total planted acreage by about 1,000 acres over the 820 acres planted last year. About one-third of the farmland is in corn.

It also is adding farmers who contribute to its national contracts. Last year there were 12 outside farmers, compared with two in 2012, McKowen said.

Two Rivers plans to use drip irrigation on watermelon and pumpkin crops this year.

Two Rivers has purchased large amounts of farmland in Pueblo and Huerfano counties, as well as its farms on the Bessemer Ditch. Long-term plans for the company include rejuvenating storage and bringing farms back into production, as well as fallowing and potential water marketing.

— The Pueblo, Colo., Chieftain

Southern Colo. Duo Is Tops At Ram National Circuit Finals

There was a star-studded team roping field at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo April 10-12 at the historic Lazy E Arena.

Flying below the radar was the team of header Ty Blasingame and heeler J.W. Borrego.

By Saturday night, the southern Colorado duo had no equals.

Blasingame and Borrego clocked a 3.9-second time in the finals to win the national championship at the $530,503 RNCFR.

“A guy has to rope his steers as fast as he can and let the cards fall where they will, and it worked out awesome,” said Blasingame, who qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2010. “This is the biggest (rodeo) highlight I’ve ever had. I made the NFR, but this win right here means more to me than anything.”

Borrego concurred with his partner.

“This is just awesome,” Borrego said. “I’ve been visualizing this for a long time and it happened; it is very good.”

In addition to the $14,123 that Blasingame and Borrego pocketed for their weekend’s labors, they also each received a $20,000 voucher toward a Ram vehicle, a Montana Silversmiths buckle, boots and a saddle.

In the sudden-death semifinals competition, the only other team to register a time was Nick Sartain and Reagan Ward, at 4.4 seconds.

Blasingame and Borrego were competing for the Mountain States Circuit at the RNCFR. They qualified by winning the average at the Ram Mountain States Circuit Finals Rodeo last October in Rock Springs, Wyo.


Casper Judging Team Places 1st At Houston

The Casper College livestock judging team placed first overall at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

The contest marked the last national contest for the sophomores’ junior college judging career.

“The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is one of the largest livestock shows in the nation, in which only the best come. The Casper College team made sure that they only brought their best game,” said Jeremy Burkett, head livestock judging coach and agriculture instructor.

According to Burkett, Laddy Trehal, Kiowa, Colo., “started the team off right.” Trehal took third in sheep and carried the team to third in the sheep division. In swine, B.W. Ochsner, Torrington, Wyo., was sixth, with Trehal close behind in seventh, pushing the team to third in swine.

In the cattle division, Emily Hasenauer, Wallace, Neb., finished fifth and Cade Christensen, Peyton, Colo., finished ninth.

“Houston,” said Burkett, “also holds a division of just placings at the contest.” In placings, Trehal was ninth, Ochsner sixth, and Hasenauer first.

The team was first in placings as well. In reasons, the team finished third overall. In individual overall Ochsner finished seventh and Hasenauer finished fourth.

In addition, three Casper College Livestock Judging Team members were selected as All-American Livestock Judgers at the show: Katie Dodge, Spring Creek, Nev., Ochsner, and Trehal.

— Casper College

FedEral Judge Upholds Payette National Forest Bighorn Ruling

A federal judge ruled that a U.S. Forest Service plan to reduce domestic sheep grazing on the Payette National Forest by about 70 percent to protect bighorn sheep will remain in place.

Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge A. Wallace Tashima denied a motion by the sheep industry to overturn the 2010 decision by Payette National Forest Supervisor Suzanne Rainville aimed at separating domestic and bighorn sheep. Tashima ruled the USFS had followed the preponderance of evidence that domestic sheep carry diseases to the wild sheep population.

In 2012, the Idaho Wool Growers Association, American Sheep Industry Association, Public Lands Council, Wyoming Wool Growers Association and Colorado Wool Growers Association filed suit in federal court challenging the 2010 decision. The sheep industry contended the USFS didn’t adequately consider the environmental consequences of the plan as required by the National Environmental Protection Act.

They also argued the agency failed to consider whether disease is transmitted between bighorn and domestic sheep, the effect reintroduced wolves have had on bighorns and if there are ways to increase bighorn sheep immunity to domestic diseases.

Tashima’s 22-page decision rejected these arguments and said the agency did meet requirements in federal law in creating the plan. “The decision is rather shortsighted,” Harry Soulen, president of the IWGA and owner of Soulen Livestock Company, told an Associated Press reporter. “A number of us have lost our allotments or been forced out of the sheep business.”

He said he doesn’t believe domestic sheep are the causes of die-offs among bighorn sheep herds that contract pneumonia.

— American Sheep Industry Association

JBS Blue Ribbon Angus Beef Website Launched

JBS USA, based in Greeley, Colo., recently announced the launch of, a contemporary website that showcases their Blue Ribbon Angus Beef program.

The website serves as a sales resource and informational tool for retail and foodservice operators, as well as a source of information for consumers.

Blue Ribbon Angus Beef is exclusively produced at JBS facilities in Hyrum, Utah and Brooks, Alberta, Canada. This tiered program consists of USDA Choice and Select products to provide our customers with an Angus beef offering to meet business goals in any market.

“Consumers want a flavorful eating experience at a good value but many consumers are unsure about the variety of cuts and preparation options,” said Alexandria Tyre, marketing manager at JBS USA. “ is a new outlet providing dependable product information and fun recipes for consumers to try.”


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