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Drewnoski is named Outstanding Young Extension Specialist

Mary Drewnoski is the recipient of the 2020 Midwest Section of the American Society of Animal Science Outstanding Young Extension Specialist Award. Drewnoski is an associate professor and beef systems specialist in the Animal Science Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The award was presented to her recently during the annual 2020 Midwest section of the American Society of Animal Science meeting held in Omaha, Neb.

Drewnoski grew up in Appalachia, attended Berea College and North Carolina State followed by a three-year post-doctorate at Iowa State and two years on faculty at the University of Idaho. She was hired by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2014 as part of an interdisciplinary team focused on developing integrated crop and cattle production systems in Nebraska.

Her extension and research program is focused on the utilization of crop residues and cover crop forages for backgrounding calves and beef cows. She has been instrumental in developing a $4.8 million Nebraska Beef Systems Initiative and leads the extension component. Drewnoski has made 87 presentations at extension meetings and has authored or co-authored 31 extension articles and done 45 interviews over the past three years.

She instigated the development of an exchange for farmers with crop residues or cover crops to connect with cattlemen looking for grazing opportunities. Drewnoski has certainly achieved the goals envisioned as a Beef Systems Specialist.

The ASAS Outstanding Young Extension Specialist Award recognizes an individual currently employed as an extension specialist by a state or federal service and is engaged in outreach education conducting programs in animal or dairy science. This person actively works with people that produce livestock animals or with people in the meat industry and uses their connections to initiate and develop educational programs dedicated to increasing education in areas such as breeding, milk production, nutrition, management, physiology, and many other areas that promote the growth of the industry. This award is sponsored by Purina Animal Nutrition.

Colo. Leopold Conservation award names three finalists

ARVADA, Colo. – Three finalists have been selected for the prestigious 2020 Colorado Leopold Conservation Award.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes ranchers, farmers and foresters who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat management on private, working lands.

In Colorado the $10,000 award is presented annually by Sand County Foundation, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The finalists are:

• Collins Ranch of Kit Carson in Cheyenne County: Toby and Amy Johnson’s family are cattle ranchers who have implemented a grazing system focused on the long-term sustainability and improvement of grass and soil health. By utilizing more, but smaller, pastures their rotational grazing system protects against overgrazing. Cattle are moved to fields of corn stalks during the winter. Water tanks for cattle and wildlife have been moved away from meadows and creeks to reduce erosion.

• LK Ranch of Meeker in Rio Blanco County: The innovative grazing management, fencing and watering systems implemented by the Klinglesmith family have made their ranch more ecologically and economically resilient. Conservation easements placed on the ranch ensure that water rights will remain for agricultural and wildlife in perpetuity. New irrigation equipment reduces the amount of water needed to irrigate hay fields, and any late season hay growth is left standing to feed mule deer and elk.

• May Ranch of Lamar in Prowers County: From a carbon credit offset program and rangeland health assessments, to how cattle are properly cared for, rancher Dallas May and his family utilize a variety of third-party verifications to measure and manage conservation success. In addition to managing the grasslands his cattle graze, the Mays have installed wildlife-friendly fencing, improved wetlands and streams, restored playas and planted native trees. They actively work with conservation groups by hosting surveys of bird species, tours and biological inventories on the ranch.

This year’s recipient will be announced in April. The formal award presentation will take place on Monday, June 15, 2020, at the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association’s 2020 Annual Convention, which will be held at the Colorado Springs Marriott in Colorado Springs.

To learn more about previous recipients, including the 2019 recipient, Livingston Ranch of Stratton, Colo., visit https://www.sandcountyfoundation.org/our-work/leopold-conservation-award-program/state/colorado.

Sand County Foundation presents the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 20 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation.

For more information on the award, visit www.leopoldconservationaward.org.

Connealy selected to represent Angus breed at NCBA’s 2020 Young Cattlemen’s Conference

The Angus Foundation selected Gabriel Connealy of Whitman, Neb., to represent the Angus Breed at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Young Cattlemen’s Conference. Every year, the Angus Foundation sponsors an individual to attend and represent the Angus breed at YCC, held May 27-June 4, 2020, in Denver, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Connealy is not only well versed in experience, but also history within the Angus breed. Growing up working on his family’s Angus seedstock operation, Connealy Angus, in Nebraska, he developed a passion for the industry and desire to assist in his family business, whose sustenance was built on the breed cattle. This led him to attain his bachelor’s degree in finance and later his master’s degree with an emphasis in animal breeding and genetics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His hunger for learning and passion for the industry is what encourages him to consistently look for new sources of knowledge through all media, specifically podcasts, which happens to be where he learned about YCC.

“At the end of each day, I hope to understand the world better than I did when I woke up,” Connealy said. “In particular, I want to understand every aspect of the beef industry more thoroughly: from night-calving to policy making in Washington, D.C.”

In addition to managing the family herd of 3,000 registered Angus cows, he has been a 23-year member of NCBA, served as a voting delegate at the 2019 National Angus Convention, and he has played an important role in the startup of his local Nebraska Farm Bureau chapter in Grant County.

“While at UNL, he demonstrated to me that he was not only intelligent, but more importantly, that he was committed,” said Matt Spangler, Ph.D., professor of animal science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “If I were to make an investment in a young person whom I thought had the potential to one day serve in key leadership roles within the beef industry, I would invest in Gabriel.”

His experience is backed with an innate desire to learn, which inspires him to put new information to use for the betterment of the breed. Connealy has had an array of experiences from interning in Argentina with an Angus breeding consultant to regularly hosting both domestic and international tour-groups at his ranch.

“We are excited to have Gabriel Connealy representing Angus at the 2020 NCBA Young Cattlemen’s Conference,” said Thomas Marten, executive director of the Angus Foundation. “He couples experience, a desire to learn and enthusiasm for the industry, and that will allow him to expand on opportunities presented to him to further his ranch and the industry.” ❖

The Beef Checkoff’s support for beef demand continues: An update

As I watch television news reports from my ranch and listen to radio broadcasts in my truck while checking on cattle, I see the impact that COVID-19 is having on our economy, including the stock market and cattle markets. And, as a beef producer, I know firsthand how frustrating this situation is for cattlemen and women across the country.

Certainly, none of us could’ve anticipated the circumstances we’re currently facing on top of other issues that have impacted the entire beef industry over the past few years.

While I’m a beef producer first and foremost, I’m also the 2020 chair of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. Our 99-member board — consisting primarily of domestic beef, veal and dairy producers — oversees the collection and spending of Beef Checkoff dollars. Our goal is to promote beef and increase demand, and in these uncertain times, I want to assure you that the Beef Checkoff and its contractors continue to work toward that very important goal.

We know that we must quickly reassess our 2020 plans in all checkoff program areas — promotion, research, foreign marketing, industry information, consumer information and producer communications. Our contractors are pivoting as we speak, changing their strategies and tactics to better address the current and future effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past few days, we contacted them to ask for updates in light of the rapidly evolving world situation. As anticipated, our contractors and subcontractors are responding accordingly to ensure beef demand remains stronger than ever.

Most are emphasizing strategies and tactics intended to encourage beef consumption at home rather than in restaurants as more areas mandate social distancing and quarantining. They’re providing influencers, supply chain partners and the media with recipes, videos and other educational materials to support these efforts. Contractors and subcontractors are turning more to social media, digital marketing, updated website content, newsletters, emails and other online tools to continue delivering positive messages about beef to their intended audiences. Many are transitioning scheduled in-person conferences and expos to virtual events or rescheduling them for later this year. More detailed information on specific contractors, programs, events and initiatives is available from our new “COVID-19 Response” page at DrivingDemandForBeef.com.

The COVID-19 situation is extremely fluid, and none of us can know what next month, next week or even tomorrow may bring. That’s why Beef Checkoff contractors will continue adjusting their plans over the next few weeks and months. As chairman of the CBB, I will work with our team to continue providing regular updates at DrivingDemandforBeef.com. Knowledge is power, and it’s our job to make sure you are aware of how your checkoff dollars are being spent to help the beef industry adapt to this changing world.

We are all in this together, and we will rise to meet this new challenge. Please know that the Beef Checkoff and its contractors will be working diligently on your behalf to keep driving beef demand so that you can focus on what you do best: producing high-quality beef for consumers worldwide. My thoughts are with all of you, and my hope is that someday soon, we’ll be able to look back and see how our combined efforts made a positive difference during this difficult time. ❖

Lamb in the days of COVID-19: Soaring retail sales and home-consumption vital

The effect of COVID-19 on the food supply chain is far reaching, changing the landscape of restaurants to take out only options and emptying grocery store shelves. As Easter approaches, a major holiday for lamb consumption, lamb is seeing a surge with home cooks.

Reinvention is going to be the name of the game for marketers, said Megan Wortman, and lamb is no exception. Wortman is the executive director of the American Lamb Board and has seen an upside to the change in demand wrought by COVID-19.

The closure of restaurants — especially high-end restaurants that aren’t suited to drive-through orders — could have spelled disaster for lamb as 50 percent of lamb goes to food service. Wortman said many direct marketers of lamb only sell directly to chefs, creating an immediate need for a significant change in marketing.

In the shadow of this blow, retail sales of lamb are booming, Wortman said, as consumers are stockpiling fresh meat for their freezers. Lamb sales were up 54 percent in the week ending March 15, with total fresh meat gaining by 77 percent. She said orders moving toward Easter are strong and the ALB is encouraging people to celebrate with lamb, even in a year when celebrations will look different than years past.

“The good news is consumers are picking up things they may not typically buy because it’s based on what’s available when they go shopping and how grocery stores are able to get things restocked,” she said.

In the long term, she said fine dining will be hit the hardest but as more people cook at home and with more, and possibly different, consumers putting lamb in their freezers, there’s a new demand for cooking resources, a need being met by a number of experts in video and print. The social media campaigns by the ALB quickly shifted to meet the demand with resources for consumers on preparation, storage, and use of lamb cuts and leftovers. Approachable recipes that can be prepared at home are popular, especially with the network of food bloggers that work with the board. The food bloggers, who are also catering to the new normal for now, are being provided with lamb, ideas, and messaging by the ALB to make possible video tutorials and blog posts for the hundreds of thousands who follow them on social media and online. The board has also reached out to celebrity chefs and gourmet-focused magazines as they create content for social and print media.

With the premium price of lamb, some are concerned that consumers will be price sensitive, and understandably so, she said. However, coming out of this crisis, she expects new customers, expanded online delivery, and a closer connection between consumers and producers in a time when buying local and buying American will resonate even more with consumers. Imported lamb has long been a challenge for American lamb with imports comprising over half of availability. With the current food service closures, the loss of an account to imported lamb would be devastating to producers, making at-home consumption and retail sales all the more important, she said.

“We have a lot going for us as high-quality, sustainable, and a little flavor goes a long way with lamb,” she said. “Lovely products that consumers can embrace and feel good about cooking at home and still cooking a rack of lamb at home and having your own bottle of wine is still less expensive than eating out.”

COMPLEX SITUATION

Making the situation more complex, Mountain States Rosen filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 20 with First Day Motions that will allow the processor to continue to operate with minimal interruption to fulfill its duties. In the filing, CEO Brad Graham said the company has been hit exceptionally hard by the COVID-19 pandemic-driven food service closures.

Mountain States Rosen employs about 50 people and is a fully owned subsidiary of the Mountain States Lamb and Wool Cooperative. The cooperative is comprised of 150 members, many of whom are multigenerational ranching families around the country. With 20 percent of the market share in the lamb industry, MSR is the only vertically integrated lamb company in the U.S., allowing them to control raw materials and processes from gate to plate but the facility, built in 1987, is aging.

In neighboring Morgan County, Colorado Lamb Processors is under construction and nearing opening, despite slowdowns caused by COVID-19. Mike Harper, a lamb feeder and partner in the facility with the Rule and Raftopoulos families, said the new facility is set up to handle a smaller volume of lambs, hopefully more efficiently. Harper said he hopes to begin hanging carcasses in June but there will be a slow increase to a potential capacity of 1,800 lambs per day, a number he said is unlikely. Even though construction was slowed, the plant should be operational by fall, when the majority of lambs are ready for harvest.

Without a fabricating plant in the region, the lamb industry is the only industry that ships hanging carcasses by rail to breakers on the East Coast. Harper said the greatest challenge facing lamb feeders is the ability to give consumers the product they desire 52 weeks per year. On the first of September, Harper had a few more than 13,000 lambs on feed. Three weeks later, that number was 61,000.

“If you were to look at the average weight, we probably didn’t vary 7 pounds,” he said. “In reality, we took in 48,000 and they were all within 7 pounds of each other. What do you suppose happens in eight weeks or nine weeks when those lambs are coming up on feed? How many lambs need to go to town? More than town can take.”

Trying to maintain a quality product while waiting for processing availability means an increase in gain costs with higher roughage and lower energy rations.

“You just can’t throw energy at everything like we could when we had the outlets,” he said. “It’s a tough business but I still feel like there’s opportunity. I’m excited about this new facility and the thought of handling a few more lambs ourselves and doing things that will add to the bottom line.”

Harper said efficiently flowing carcasses through the system would reduce wait and harvest lambs in a timely fashion, making the output more pleasing to end users. This added efficiency also helps curtail imported lamb being marketed at a more attractive price stateside, maintaining and growing American lamb’s market share. ​❖

— Gabel is an assistant editor and reporter for The Fence Post. She can be reached at rgabel@thefencepost.com or (970) 768-0024.

Miss Rodeo USA continues to spread the good word about ag and rodeo

Just as spring snowmelt began paving the way for a full season of rodeos across rural America, the ramp-up of COVID-19 has temporarily stolen the spotlight. Even so, the new Miss Rodeo USA Brooke Wallace who kicked off a couple of her signature-events before all rodeos and appearances were cancelled due to the coronavirus, is taking it in stride.

Deeply passionate about her new role as Miss Rodeo USA in sharing the importance of agriculture, the 25-year old Wallace; from Council Grove, Kan., is also sensitive to the rodeo cancellations which coincided with the worldwide effort to help stop the COVID-19 pandemic. In less than two months as Miss Rodeo USA, Wallace is already heartened that the ag and rodeo industries have enabled new friends to feel like family members.

“It speaks a lot about what the ag industry has to hold, and all that’s going on right now. It’s important that we all have to stick together, whether it’s farming, raising cattle, rodeo jumping, we all have to band together and show the world that rodeo will continue, and we have to bring new farmers into the world because if we don’t have new farmers — we won’t have any food,” said Wallace, the first Kansan to become Miss Rodeo USA. The Miss Rodeo USA pageant is hosted by the International Pro Rodeo Association.

“I’ve been pretty busy up until now, and I would’ve been driving to Georgia, but now I’m held off for several weeks as pretty much everything is,” Wallace said.

“All IPRA rodeos are cancelled through mid-April, and we were looking forward to a good season, but obviously health and welfare takes precedence over everything else,” said Dale Yerigan, general manager of the International Pro Rodeo Association.

“I was encouraged with the latest news (this past week) that some of these former drugs used for other ailments are hopeful for people with COVID-19 (coronavirus.) I think everybody’s looking for answers and we’ll see what it looks like, in a few weeks. Meanwhile, all IPRA rodeos are on hold at least through mid-April. “But,” added Yerigan, “We’ll look forward to getting back to normal, or whatever normal is for us.”

No rodeo schedules are experiencing “normal” currently, as the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association on March 11 cancelled its popular RodeoHouston when that event was just one week into its three week run, due to concerns about COVID-19. The PRCA also cancelled many of its other rodeos into much of April. The PBR cancelled its Unleash the Beast events in April, and is exploring alternatives to broadcast these Unleash The Beast world points events via CBS, from a venue closed to the public. The Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour on April 4 in Fort Worth, Texas, has been postponed.

The Cowboy Channel is giving fans 40 Nights of NFR airing the National Finals Rodeo (2016-2019) which began March 20, at 8 p.m. (ET) continuing through April 28, repeated nightly at midnight.

WAIT AND SEE

Since Miss Rodeo USA’s schedule is pretty full for the whole year, when an event is postponed, it may be tricky to find a new date. “Typically, I would have rodeo every single weekend, but it varies now with the whole coronavirus. So, it’s kind of a wait and see,” said the rodeo queen. “But, I can promote rodeo and agriculture through social media, the Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter and every couple of weeks.” She also writes a blog on MissRodeoUsa.com.

Being crowned the 55th Miss Rodeo USA on Jan. 19 at the International Finals Rodeo in Guthrie, Okla., was a shining moment for Wallace.

“Since I’ve been working for about five years for a title of this caliber, I’ve been in a mental mindset preparing to win, and when they called my name, my dad or sister made a comment, “You didn’t look surprised,” she said. “I knew I’d worked hard and was confident, when my name was called, I was prepared, and it was so exciting, and it’s hard to describe that feeling. So, in the rush of them putting on the crown and a new belt buckle, and being whisked away to go to an event, it didn’t really sink in until a couple days later until I got home. It’s hard to describe what I was feeling in the moment,” she added.

Then she immediately began working on a schedule.

“Since we’re only given one year to do as much as we can, I want to do as much I can. I represent the IPRA, and so I primarily will be at those rodeos throughout the year,” Wallace said. Although there are too many events to make it to them all (like the rodeo contestants do) when the rodeo schedule picks back up again, the new rodeo queen looks forward to staying at the same rodeo for the whole duration. “I carry the American flag, and work on promotional events, and I help promote everything we do.”

Agriculture is almost in Wallace’s DNA. She was born and raised on a farm east of Salina in central Kansas.

“Both of my grandparents had farmed and raised cattle. I remember helping my sister and I named all the calves (with the word Bell). “There was AnnaBell, Tinkerbell, Lulabell. At my parents house, we mainly had horses, chickens too, but horses were the biggest. I showed in eastern Kansas from age 2 to this last year, So for 23 plus years, I competed in English and Western (style riding).”

As part of her new position representing the IPRA and promoting the western lifestyle, Wallace had already begun visiting 4H groups, schools and other places. “Not just what rodeo is, but tying in the cowboy/cowgirl hard work and true grit. Then another week, I start over with a new group (usually,) and get as much rest as I can,” she said.

HER PLATFORM

Visiting with children has already made an impact, through the new Miss Rodeo USA’s platform.

“Specifically at The Miss Rodeo USA pageant, you have to come to it with a platform which is part of the application process,” Wallace said.

Dream Bigger is Wallace’s platform. “The idea is to set our goals high to push ourselves to do more than we could’ve more easily set. That goal was much harder, but I knew through time, I could do it, and showing children the specific steps it took to do it, showcasing that some things take more time but that at the end of the day, the goal you succeeded in, was really worth it,” Wallace said, “and that’s where the ‘Dream Bigger’ comes in to push yourself that much more.”

When Wallace is back in the saddle, and rodeos kick back into gear, eyes will be wide open when viewing her attire.

“One thing that’s a little different for me than other rodeo queens, I wear a lot of my own creations, so it’s a little unique and different,” she said. “I wore all of my own designs at the Miss Rodeo USA pageant during the six days in mid-January 14-18, and coronation, which was at the final day of the IFR (International Finals Rodeo) so we were in rodeo attire then.

Wallace graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in fashion design in 2017.

With the enjoyment of designing her own specialized clothing, Wallace already has her next career idea carved out.

“After being Miss Rodeo USA, I’m going to start my own business, and make rodeo and western wear,” she said. “I want to keep mine very customized; one of a kind pieces for individuals.”

For now, Miss Rodeo USA is focused on the goals for her reign.

“One elementary school boy asked, ‘How old were you when you set this goal?’ said Wallace, noting, “I didn’t set this goal ‘til I was 19, and it took this long to reach it, but you can start setting goals. It was a really great question that stuck with me.”

For more information about Miss Rodeo USA and the pageant, go to www.missrodeousa.com. ❖

— Hadachek is a freelance writer who lives on a farm with her husband in north central Kansas and is also a meteorologist and storm chaser. She can be reached at rotatingstorm2004@yahoo.com.

Seeing double: Calving twins

The frequency of twins during calving, according to USDA surveys, is estimated in about 2 percent of pregnancies, more common in dairy breeds. The result of either a double ovulation or, less commonly, an early embryo will split into two, resulting in identical twins.

Some cows and cow families are more apt to produce twin pregnancies though some years seem to result in a higher percentage of twins. This could be a result of a cow in really good body condition score at the time of breeding or a number of environmental factors that could play a role.

According to Dr. Bob Larson at Kansas State University, one twin is often not as vigorous. There are differences between placentas in terms of nutrient transfer and the birth itself can affect the calves depending upon which twin is where in the birth canal, especially in the case of dystocia.

Calving difficulties can make twins rather frustrating, especially when the birth of the first twin is complicated, putting the second twin at risk. Dr. Kathy Whitman, DVM, said solving twin calving problems is a matter of untangling more than being too large.

“The calves are not too big, they’re just in a jumbled mess,” she said. “If one is not coming right after another, they may be trying to come at the same time and that’s when they get a little tangled.”

Dystocia is common in twins and is one more reason not to encourage it as a production method. Whitman, who owns Bov-Eye Veterinary Services, said she has seen research operations that select for twins to gather data on the method and it is certainly not ideal.

Twins can pose a managerial challenge for producers if a twin is either abandoned or simply not thriving and must be removed from the cow. Whitman said while some more mature and experienced cows may be able to raise twins, she typically recommends one twin be grafted onto another cow if possible.

“If we’re doing well and not losing any calves, which hopefully we’re not, we may have bottle babies and that becomes a logistical challenge more than anything,” she said.

The grafting process depends on the nature of the cow, sometimes requiring a bit of sedation for the cow to calm her for the process of allowing the calf to safely nurse while she may be in a headcatch or even hobbled. Having her milk in the calf’s system helps the calf smell like the cow he or she is being grafted to. Products like Orphan-No-More claiming powder can also help the calf smell like the cow, but Whitman said she recommends it in tandem with other methods for a successful graft. Some producers will skin the cow’s dead calf and tie the hide to the new calf. She said she doesn’t discourage this method if it works for the producer but said it can be challenging.

“The biggest thing is to protect that calf from being hurt by the new cow and some cows are just not nice and you can’t use them, but for the most part, I think we’re pretty successful putting them in a head catch and letting the calf nurse,” she said. “If we do that for a day or two, with some other chemical restraints it’s successful in my experience.”

Another managerial consideration is culling a twin heifer when the time comes. Larson said exposure to testosterone in the uterine environment results in freemartinism in about 90 percent of heifers born twin to a bull calf. Whitman said if a client is making a decision to cull a calf to avoid twins and is without a feeding option, culling heifers born to a bull is her recommendation.

As rebreeding time approaches, the nutritional needs of a cow who raised a single twin don’t differ from the rest of the females though keeping all the cows in good body condition is a best practice. Whitman said cows should be in good body condition at calving time as well to avoid problems. Cows allowed to raise twins would require some additional protein and energy but would be managed separately to avoid the other cows overeating.

“Regardless of whether they have twins or singles, if they’re increasing in body condition towards the breeding season, those cows breed back better,” she said. “We definitely don’t want fat cows at calving but we do want to have cows that are stable and as they increase body condition, that increases reproductive efficiency.”​ ❖

— Gabel is an assistant editor and reporter for The Fence Post. She can be reached at rgabel@thefencepost.com or (970) 768-0024.

House approves coronavirus relief bill

The House today approved the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The bill, which was approved by the Senate by a 96-0 vote on Wednesday, now goes to President Donald Trump, who has promised to sign it.

The measure passed by a voice vote, with only a few voices in opposition.

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., asked for a recorded vote but he did get support. Massie said he thought there was not a quorum, but the chair ruled that the majority of the 218 members were present.

The vote took place after four and a half hours of debate.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., managed the debate for the Democrats, and House Ways and Means Committee ranking member Kevin Brady, R-Texas, managed it for the Republicans.

Almost all speakers spoke in favor of the bill.

Democrats praised Senate Democrats and their own leaders for making changes to the bill, while Brady said, “Senate Democrats, aided by Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi [D-Calif.] recklessly delayed this bill for days and used this crisis to advance a frivolous political agenda. It failed, and the Senate found unanimous, if not perfect, common ground.”

Several speakers, including Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., said the bill was particularly important to rural hospitals that need to buy supplies and build infrastructure in order to provide medical information and advice online.

Near the end of the speeches, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., gave an impassioned plea for members to vote for it.

Brady in a final speech for the Republicans urged members to vote for the bill, noting that Trump supports it.

Pelosi called for a large vote so that the American people would realize the government is there for them.

Hoyer said that members would vote not as Democrats or Republicans, but for the common good.

After the House adjourned, Pelosi and McCarthy appeared together to enroll the bill. Pelosi said the enrolled bill goes back to the Senate, which will send it to the White House.

The Fence Post obituary: Ramona O’Brien

Ramona O’Brien, 86

Aug. 6, 1933 – March 14, 2020

Strasburg, Colo.

Ramona Marie O’Brien was the third of seven children born to Archie and Wilhelmina (Jasken) Plante on Aug. 6, 1933, in Ogema, Minn. She passed peacefully from this life in her home with loved ones at her side on the evening of March 14, 2020.

Her family moved to Colorado when she was 9 years old and they lived in many different places throughout the state including South Park and Littleton, where she met her husband-to-be, Jim.

She was married to James “Jim” O’Brien on April 19, 1952. Together, they brought nine beautiful children into this world; four sons and five daughters. They lived in a 900-square-foot house on Chambers and Mexico in Aurora, Colo., where they farmed and ranched. The little house was often bursting at the seams with children and visitors, and she would happily cook for all in her tiny kitchen. In 1981, they moved the entire farming operation and family to a bigger house just south of Bennett. There is no doubt she was the happiest when she had a full house. She loved being a farmer’s wife and would often take meals to the fields to feed the hungry, hard-working boys.

She was deeply involved in the local agricultural community and she often attended American AG meetings to advocate for farmers and ranchers. She loved all God’s creatures (except mice), and cared for many a new calf that was brought in to be warmed by the stove. She even saved and raised a baby deer who had lost its mother.

She was a devoted and active parishioner at Our Lady of the Plains Catholic Church in Byers, Colo. She attended daily mass for many years and especially enjoyed setting up the altar before masses. She loved her church community and her closest friends were there. She greatly enjoyed going to have coffee with “the ladies” once a week.

Above all else, she loved being a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She rejoiced in and treasured each new baby born and saw them each as a precious gift from God. Ramona’s life is marked by her care and love for others. She was a servant of all, and always placed the needs of others before her own.

Ramona is preceded in death by her husband Jim, her parents; Archie and Minnie, her siblings; Lee, Jim, George, Steve, Otto and Katherine. She is survived by her children; Teresa Morey (Bill), James Jr. (Roberta), Michael, Mary Ulmer (Keith), Joseph (Betsy), John (Janet), Ramona Chase (Rob), Sarah Albert (Pat), Margret and one unofficially adopted son, Terry Wenze. Along with 31 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren, as well as many others who knew and loved her.

A private family service for Ramona was held at Our Lady of the Plains Catholic Church, Byers, Colo. The Funeral Mass was held on March 21, with burial following at Montview Cemetery, Bennett, Colo.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that you please have masses offered for Ramona at Our Lady of the Plains Catholic Church.

The Fence Post: Margaret Ann Lynch

Margaret Ann Lynch, 39

Feb. 4, 1981 – March 14, 2020

Eaton, Colo.

Margaret Ann Lynch, 39, of Eaton, Colo., passed away on March 14, 2020. She was born Feb. 4, 1981, in Greeley, Colo., to Kent Aderic and Sharon Kay (Dinges) Lynch.

Margaret grew up in the Ault and Eaton areas where she attended school. She received her associates degree from AIMS Community College and attended the University of Northern Colorado with a focus on behavioral psychology. Her most rewarding work experience was as an addiction counselor at the Weld County Detox Center.

Margaret loved animals and was always rescuing strays and animals in need of help. Growing up on the ranch, she became an accomplished horseback rider, a skill that served her well when it was time to brand calves or move cows between pastures. She also loved to craft and could pick up found items and repurpose them into items of beauty. She loved browsing the hobby stores in search of project ideas. During the summer, she loved to garden and share her home grown goods with family and friends.

Margaret participated in 4-H, and as a teenager joined a Washington Focus Group. With the group, she toured Washington. D.C., and visited many historic landmarks.

Survivors include her son, Brody (Sandra Barnett) Krautschun; mother, Sharon Lynch; father, Kent (Carol) Lynch; sisters, Monica (Perry) Flot and Marcia Lynch (Ian Dvorak) and her nieces and nephews; Amber, Nicole, Casey, Mason, Jaxson, Aleana, Logan, Brennan, Sheridan, Jennilinn and Clayton as well as stepbrother, Shane (Sara) Watson.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Orval and Joan Lynch of Ault and George and Lydia Dinges of Greeley.

A graveside service was held on March 25 at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Memorial gifts may be made to “Margaret Lynch Memorial Fund” in care of Adamson, 2000 47th Ave., Greeley, CO 80634. Friends may leave condolences at AdamsonCares.com.

The Fence Post obituary: Bill Wasson

Bill Wasson, 73

Nov. 8, 1946 – Feb.14,2020

Fort Morgan, Colo.

Bill Wasson 73 of Fort Morgan, Colo., passed away on Feb. 14 in Greeley Colo.

Bill was born in Denver on Nov. 8 1946. He and his son Brad lived in Fort Morgan for the last 20 some years. He is also preceded in death by sister-in-law Leona Wasson of Fort Morgan

He will be deeply missed for his laugh and giving everyone as much crap as he could. A celebration of life service will be held at The Sanctuary Church, 14587 Hwy 34, Fort Morgan, Colo., April 18 2020, with potluck reception to follow at the church.

The Fence Post Obituary: Earl “Butch” Raymond Bernard

Earl “Butch” Raymond Bernard, 75

May 22, 1944 – March 12, 2020

Wellington, Colo.

Earl “Butch” Raymond Bernard, 75, of Wellington, Colo., passed away March 12, 2020, at his home surrounded by his wife, son, sister, and three faithful dogs.

Butch was born May 22, 1944, in Hawthorne, Nev., to Earl and Kathryn Bernard. The family lived up in Cherokee Park when Butch contracted polio in 1948. He was paralyzed from the chest down. He was placed in the Iron Lung capsule for a few months and then remained in the hospital for another eight months. He did use leg braces and crutches to walk. Polio was a nuisance for him but he never let it get him down. Even if you thought he might not be able to do something, he would try and most of the time he would prove you wrong.

Butch disliked school. His mom had a very hard time keeping him there. Once he was old enough to drive himself to school there were many days you could find him at his future wife’s house playing cards.

He worked with his family in the timber business. He ran the CAT bulldozer, road grader, and the cherry picker. The cherry picker was where he felt at home. He unloaded and loaded timber, hay, and dug ditches. He could work magic with it.

He enjoyed hunting and loved helping his dad with the guide service he ran over by Oak Creek. While over there when he was 14, he shot a 27-point mule deer that scored 234. He also hunted antelope and especially loved hunting pheasants.

Butch and Judy met in the early 60s. Butch ran around with Judy’s older brother Roger Amey. Butch and Roger use to cruise College Avenue in Roger’s ’55 Oldsmobile named “Screamin’ Brains.” Butch and Judy dated for awhile and then broke up. Years later they got back together and married on April 20, 1974. Judy has been his rock, carried him on her back, and has helped him through everything. He depended on her and she never let him down. They have been inseparable. From overhauling motors, working timber, selling firewood and Christmas trees, and then eventually ranching.

On Jan. 5, 1980, their family grew by one. They had their son Earl Raymond Bernard III (Punkie as everyone called him). Starting as a toddler Punk would go to work with his dad. Butch and Punk did everything together….and I mean everything.

In 1984 Butch and Judy bought their first 80 acres north of Wellington. In 1989, Butch quit the timber business and started focusing more on his cattle. As the years rolled on they acquired more land and more cattle. Butch’s favorite breed of cattle were Charolais but eventually agreed to raise some Black Angus.

In 2000, after Judy retired, they moved out to the ranch. Together they built cow sheds, corrals and other improvements. They built it from the ground up. He loved going out and mowing off the sage brush being careful not to run over the horned toads and baby jack rabbits.

He reluctantly started helping Punk raise bucking bulls which continued the rest of his life. Butch was known to sit in the pickup with his shotgun just in case something went wrong while bucking the bulls.

In 2009, Butch and Punk bought a 379 Peterbilt to haul hay. Butch became the “co-pilot.” No matter where that truck went, Butch was in that passenger seat. They hauled hay from Walden together up until January of 2020. He loved seeing the wildlife on their hauls but especially the moose.

Butch is survived by his loving wife Judy of 45 years, son Earl and wife Kristi, grandchildren Austin, Sydney and Dalton. His sister Judy Novacek and husband Gary, and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was proceeded in death by his parents Earl and Kathryn Bernard, oldest sister Carol Dinkel, and youngest sister Earleen “Pete” Clark.

His service was held March 19 at Bohlender Funeral Chapel. Interment followed at Roselawn Cemetery.

A special thanks to the nurses at Canyon West Hospice. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to Hospice.