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CDA welcomes new staff to 2 key positions

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — The Colorado Department of Agriculture announced the placement of new staff members into two key management roles within CDA’s Markets and State Fair divisions.

Danielle Trotta has been selected to lead CDA’s Colorado Proud program. In the role, Trotta will work to promote food and agricultural products grown, raised or made in Colorado, and expand the program’s membership base that include growers, processors, schools, restaurants and retailers statewide. Trotta has served as the department’s business development specialist since 2018 and as interim program manager for Colorado Proud for the past five months.

“My passion lies in community and agriculture,” said Trotta, “In my new role as Colorado program nanager I plan to pour myself into these passions, encompassing all walks of life and communities as well as all sectors of our food, beverage, and agricultural industries.”

Prior to joining CDA as business development specialist in 2018, Trotta co-managed a commercial and registered Red Angus cattle operation in eastern Colorado and later worked as a livestock audit specialist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a masters degree in agriculture with a focus on integrated resource management from Colorado State University.

JT Gillmore will fill the Colorado State Fair’s newly created position of director of Agriculture and Competitive Exhibits, and will oversee all competitions and agriculture education programs year round at the fairgrounds, as well as during the state fair.

Gillmore was raised in the rural community of Westcliffe, Colo., on a small cow/calf operation where he was deeply involved in 4-H, FFA, and the Custer County Fair. While attending Colorado State University, he was a competitive member of the university’s livestock judging team, and continues to judge sheep and hogs at the local, state and national level.

“I firmly believe that the Colorado State Fair is one of the state’s best tools to both educate the general public about Colorado’s diverse agricultural industries, as well as to promote our youth on the highest level,” Gillmore said, And looking forward to implementing new ideas that continue to make our fair such a great event.”

Gillmore began his career with the USDA Farm Service Agency’s Pueblo, Colo., office. He holds an associate degree in animal science from Eastern Oklahoma State College, a dual bachelor’s degree of animal science and ag business from Colorado State University, and the American FFA Degree.

Farm, ag groups tell Tai, Vilsack of Mexico concerns

A coalition of 27 farm and agriculture groups today wrote U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that they have growing concerns about the U.S.-Mexico agricultural trade relationship.

“Mexico is one of America’s most important food and agriculture trade partners. NAFTA has yielded strong benefits to both countries and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement promises to build upon those gains,” the letter says.

“Yet, the food and agriculture trade relationship with Mexico has declined markedly, a trend USMCA’s implementation has not reversed. We respectfully urge your attention to this important but quickly deteriorating trade relationship.”

They cited a ban on glyphosate and genetically modified corn, increased obstacles to dairy trade, an organic export certification requirement, a state-sponsored campaign disparaging corn sweeteners from the U.S., a cessation of review and approval of biotechnology applications, implications from meat industry market access and geographical indications, a potato export ban, and a new front-of-pack labeling regulation.

The letter was released by the Corn Refiners Association.

A century of tradition

Arlen Sawyer and family were honored with the American Angus Association Century Award.

2020 marks a century of the Sawyer family’s membership in the American Angus Association. Arlen (posthumously) and Becky Sawyer of A&B Cattle of Bassett, Neb., were recognized as 2020 American Angus Association Century Award recipients during the Awards Recognition Dinner Nov. 8 at the 137th Angus Annual Meeting in Kansas City, Mo.

The work of Angus breeders is more than a business — it’s a way of life. The American Angus Association initiated the Century Award to recognize its members and their families who have been in continuous production of registered Angus cattle for at least 100 years.

“The Sawyer family is a true testament to the tradition and legacy of the Angus breed, and we are proud to welcome them into the exclusive group,” said Mark McCully, American Angus Association CEO.

The Sawyers have a rich tradition of Angus cattle threaded through their lives. Arlen’s family established their registered Angus cow herd in Howard, S.D., in 1917, which was operated by his grandfather and father. On Christmas Eve of 1919, Arlen’s grandfather received his membership into the American Angus Association.

“The history and 100 years that we are celebrating are less about the place and more about the family legacy that is being handed down onto the fifth generation,” said Becky Sawyer.

Arlen and Becky Sawyer’s family has been involved with the Angus industry near Bassett since 1976, operating their ranch since 1984. In 1994, A&B Cattle was recognized as a Historic Angus Herd based on more than 50 years of continuously raising registered Angus cattle in the Sawyer family.

Today, Becky; daughter, Jessica; son, Adam; Adam’s wife, Jenessa; and their son, Augustus, work together to operate their 600 registered and commercial Angus cow herd in the Sandhills of Nebraska. Augustus Sawyer, fifth generation of the Sawyer family, now holds his great-grandfather’s lifetime membership of the American Angus Association. The family hopes that one day Augustus will carry on the Sawyer family’s Angus tradition.

For more information about the American Angus Association Century Award, visit www.angus.org.

Fornstrom elected to fifth term as Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation president

CASPER, Wyo. — Todd Fornstrom, of Laramie County, was elected to his fifth term as President of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation at the organization’s 101st annual meeting in Casper.

“The Wyoming way is to step up and be involved,” Fornstrom said. “It is an honor to serve this great organization. Our members are strong in the work they do for agriculture. Together we can accomplish so much more and I’m proud to serve.”

Todd and his family farm in Laramie County. He and his wife, Laura, have four children. Fornstrom works with his family on the Fornstrom Farm near Pine Bluffs. The diversified farm consists of irrigated corn, wheat, alfalfa, dry beans and a cattle and sheep feedlot. They also run a trucking business, custom harvest and Todd is in a partnership and runs Premium Hay Products, an alfalfa pellet mill.

Voting delegates elected Cole Coxbill, of Goshen County, to his fifth term as WyFB vice president. Coxbill and his wife, Sammie, have three kids. They run a trucking business, commercial spraying business and raise cattle.

“It is a great opportunity to serve,” Coxbill said. “I love serving the members and representing you in all the work we do for agriculture in Wyoming.”

Rachel Grant, of Converse County, was elected to her second term as the director-at-large. Grant is a past president of the Converse County Farm Bureau Federation, a former WyFB Young Farmer & Rancher Committee member and past state chair of the WyFB Natural Environmental and Resources Committee. She and her husband Will have four children and ranch in Southern Converse County.

“I really enjoy policy development,” Grant said. “In every decision we make, we think about how this impacts the families of our members.”

In addition to the three statewide elections, five district directors and the Young Farmer & Rancher state chair serve on the state board.

The Young Farmer & Rancher Committee elected Chelsea Baars to her second term as the state committee chair. This position has a seat on the WyFB board of directors.

Rounding out the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation board of directors are district directors: Raenell Taylor, Northeast District director; Kevin Baars, Southeast District director; Tim Pexton, Central District director; Thad Dockery, Northwest District director; and Justin Ellis, Southwest District director.

The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general agriculture organization. The purpose of the 101st annual meeting held Nov. 12-14, 2020, was to develop policy to guide the organization in the coming year. Visit www.wyfb.org.

Colorado horse judging team earns national championship

The Colorado Arabian Horse Club/Region VIII Arabian Youth Horse Judging Team dominated the U.S. Arabian & Half-Arabian National Championship Youth Judging Contest on Nov. 14, 2020. The contest is typically hosted during the national championship show held at Tulsa Expo Square, Tulsa, Okla., however this year it transitioned to a virtual format. The team members competed in both team and individual categories. As a team, they finished second in halter, first in performance, first in reasons and first overall, winning the National Championship by a significant margin. Team member Lily Thomas was named the Reserve High Individual Overall.

Contestants from 4-H, FFA, Arabian Horse Association affiliate clubs and collegiate teams from across the U.S. and Canada competed in the day-long contest split into three divisions totaling 23 teams and over 100 individuals. They evaluated 10 classes of Arabians and Half-Arabians then delivered four sets of memorized oral reasons defending their placings in select classes which are scored on accuracy, terminology and presentation.

CAHC/Region VIII team members included Madalyn Gabel of Lafayette, Colo., Jessica Jacobucci of Brighton, Colo., Moriah McQueen of Berthoud, Colo., and Lily Thomas of Longmont, Colo. Ava Wright of Erie, Colo., competed as an individual. Gabel was ninth in halter, fifth in performance, first in reasons and fourth overall. Jacobucci was seventh in halter, eighth in performance, sixth in reasons and seventh overall. McQueen was third in performance, fifth in reasons and third overall. Thomas was fourth in halter, first in performance, third in reasons and reserve high individual overall. Wright was fifth in halter, seventh in performance and fifth overall. The team won the Junior AHA division and was named the National Champion team by 61 points. As reserve high individual, Thomas earned a $250 scholarship from the Arabian Horse Foundation. The four team members were awarded championship Montana Silversmiths buckles. This national championship marks the 19th win for the team since 2000 (reserve national champions in 2008). The contest is organized by the AHA in conjunction with the U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Show. More information and results can be found at https://www.arabianhorses.org/youth/.

The team is coached by Rachel LeClere of Firestone, Colo., and Kendra McConnell of Longmont, Colo. Both coaches were successful as youth at the U.S. Arabian & Half-Arabian National Championship Youth Judging Contest many times as well as other national level competitions such as the Scottsdale Arabian Show, Paint World Show, All American Quarter Horse Congress, Quarter Horse Youth World Show and the 4-H National Roundup. They also coach the Boulder County 4-H Youth Horse Judging Team.

Competitive horse judging offers an exciting and challenging opportunity for youth to further their knowledge of horses. Team members learn to evaluate horse conformation and performance, while developing skills such as critical thinking, public speaking and team building. Contestants are scored based on how close their placings of mock classes of four horses are to the official panel. They are then asked to deliver a 2 minute, memorized oral defense of their placing of certain classes.

The Boulder County 4-H Horse Judging Team will host a kickoff for the spring season in early January. Anyone is welcome to attend and learn more about the team and competitive horse judging. Enrollment in the 4-H horse project is not required. For more information, find the team on Facebook @Boulder County Horse Judging or email bouldercountyhorsejudging@gmail.com.

Pasture and forage

Fall rain and snow are good for wheat and next year’s crops, but it does have its drawbacks. One challenge is its impact on corn stalk feed quality.

While this fall has been quite dry, there has and will continue to be areas that receive some rain or snow events. Rain reduces corn stalk quality several ways. Most easily noticed is how fast stalks can get soiled or trampled into the ground if the fields become muddy.

Less noticeable are nutritional changes. Rain or melting snow soaks into dry corn stalk residue and leaches out some of the soluble nutrients. Most serious is the loss of sugars and other energy-dense nutrients, which lowers the TDN or energy value of the stalks. These same nutrients also disappear if stalks begin to mold or rot in the field or especially in the bale. Then palatability and intake also decline.

Another factor that affects cornstalk grazing is wind. Throughout the fall, there always seems to be those days where excessively high winds will easily blow corn leaves and husks off the field. This of course, can impact the amount of feed, and after grain, those leaves and husks contain the highest nutritional quality.

There is little you can do to prevent these losses. What you can do, though, is to closely monitor cow and field conditions while adjusting your supplementation program accordingly. Since weathering by rain reduces TDN more than it reduces protein, consider the energy value of your supplements as well as its protein content.

Weathered corn stalks still are economical feeds. Just supplement them accordingly.

ALFALFA SOIL TEST: OLSON PHOSPHORUS

So you pulled some soil cores and now you have the results in your hand, now what? On your soil test results you will want to check out pH, potassium, phosphorus and sulfur. Today we will focus on phosphorus recommendations, specifically for the Olson test results.

Phosphorus has three tests that can be completed to test soil P levels: Bray-1, Olson, and Mehlich-3 are the most widely used. These are measured in parts per million (ppm) and recommendations are dependent on dryland and irrigated fields. Values will differ between Bray-1/Mehlich-3 and Olson test results, so carefully look at your soil test before making fertilizer purchases. If your soil tests are greater than 14 for Olson, you do not need to add any phosphorus for irrigated or dryland acres.

• 0-3 apply 60 lbs. P2O5/acre for irrigated or 40 lbs. P2O5/acre dryland.

• 4-7 apply 40 lbs. P2O5/acre for irrigated or 30 lbs. P2O5/acre for dryland.

• 8-14 apply 30 lbs. P2O5/acre for irrigated or 20 lbs. P2O5/acre for dryland.

These values can be found online on the CropWatch website under the alfalfa section and include the values for Bray-1 and Mehlich-3. Also depending on your fertilization schedule, you can plan to apply phosphorus in two year increments for dryland fields; take the single year recommendations and double to calculate the two year needs.

Remember if you are still wanting to pull soil cores sample at 8 inches or historic depth, collect samples by grid, soil type or representative area (40 acres or less). Then pull 10 to 15 random soil cores and combine in a plastic bucket to represent one soil sample. Take about a pint of soil and submit to an accredited lab.

 

Interior reins in Great American Outdoors Act

Interior Secretary David Berhardt last week issued a secretarial order to require written support from local governments for any land or water acquisition through the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The LWCF got $900 million annually in funding authorization under the Great American Outdoors Act passed earlier this year and signed by President Donald Trump.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council, which opposed the law, praised the order.

But Backcountry Hunters and Anglers said it “adds a litany of new rules governing deployment of LWCF funds, including eliminating outright funds for projects enabling land acquisition by the Bureau of Land Management and infringing on private landowner rights by stipulating that state and local officials can veto LWCF-funded land acquisitions from willing sellers who are dedicated to the conservation and stewardship of our natural resources.”

“The LWCF was originally created to be used as a discrete tool to strengthen recreational opportunities for local communities and improve public lands management. States and local stakeholders know best what their communities need and should be directly involved in these decisions,” said Kaitlynn Glover, NCBA executive director of natural resources and PLC executive director.

“Ranchers appreciate Secretary Bernhardt’s work to make certain LWCF cannot be used as a tool for rampant, unchecked acquisitions that would compromise the health of Western landscapes and federal agencies’ ability to manage the lands and waters already under their purview.”

But Backcountry Hunters and Anglers said “These requirements fall far outside the Interior Department’s scope” and had been rejected by Congress.”

John Gale, the group’s conservation director, said, “For over 50 years, LWCF’s impressive record of enhancing public access, conserving critical fish and wildlife habitat and buttressing state and local recreation infrastructure demonstrates how effective it’s been in every corner of the country.”

“The Trump administration touted its support of the Great American Outdoors Act — including full, dedicated funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and addressing critical deferred maintenance needs — on the campaign trail,” Gale said.

“However, since the bill’s passage, the administration has missed legally required congressional reporting deadlines, eliminated numerous projects already proposed to Congress, and used misleading accounting methods to claim it is meeting congressionally mandated allocation percentages for LWCF funding. Actions speak louder than words, and it escapes all reason why this lame-duck administration would suddenly decide to sully the legacy it stood proudly for just weeks ago.

“With today’s announcement by Secretary Bernhardt, the administration is sending all Americans a clear and unmistakable message that they only care about our public lands and waters when it’s convenient or politically advantageous.”

Eating supper at dinner

It may shock some people to learn that I’ve never eaten supper in my life. Oh sure, I’ve hardly ever missed the evening meal, it’s just that in my house it’s called dinner, not supper. I’ve traveled to all 50 states and believe me, it can get really confusing in the Midwest and deep south where dinner is supper and lunch is dinner.

As I understand it, dinner was traditionally the biggest meal of the day in the Midwest and southern farming communities where the workers needed lots of energy to work 14 hour days. Supper was a lighter meal eaten in the evening after all the work was done. Dinner was also the most formal meal of the day but not in my house. I’ve never sat down to a lunch where there was a tablecloth, three forks per setting, candles or cloth napkins. I’m lucky to get a bent fork and a paper towel!

After researching the issue I’m still confused. Is supper lunch or dinner? Two of my favorite columnists have opined on the matter. Andy Rooney said that Democrats eat supper before sundown and Republicans eat dinner after eight. But I haven’t eaten dinner after eight in my life. Russell Baker said that blue collar people eat supper but I’ve always considered myself a blue collar guy and like I said, I’ve never eaten supper. He also said that you can tell supper eaters because they faint dead away if you serve them an artichoke.

I’m of the belief that like much in our society, what word you use depends on which side of the Mississippi you live. Easterners eat dinner after dark and call it supper and westerners eat supper at six and call it dinner.

If you think it’s confusing traveling between the states, you ought to go live in a foreign country like my wife and I did when we lived in Australia for a year on a Rotary Graduate Fellowship. I got to pick any university in the world to attend and if a foreign language was spoken there Rotary would have also paid for intensive language training. Since I thought I was going to a country that spoke English I passed on the language training and for the first two months we lived there I couldn’t understand a single word they said. From the first time I heard “areyourightmate?” to our first invitation to tea I just went around with a blank stare on my face.

I’ve loved tea ever since I traveled Texas as a livestock field editor. I got hooked on Texas tea and I’ve been addicted to iced tea ever since. So when my wife and I were invited to “tea” in Australia we assumed we’d be drinking a cuppa and maybe eating some scones or crumpets. You can imagine our surprise when we were eating dinner. Evidently tea is not only something you drink, it’s also something you bite and chew. It gets really confusing when you add Brits into the mix. Or as the Aussies call them, “bloody POMS.” (The initials stand for “prisoner’s of majesty’s service” which gives you an idea of the low regard held for the British in the land down under.) The bloody POMS refer to something they call “high tea” which you and I call dinner or supper, and low tea is lunch. There is also something they call afternoon tea in which the participants get snockered on Sherry from 3:30 to 5:00.

You may think I’m making too much commotion about all this dinner versus supper thing but I’ve seen it destroy households. I’m thinking of one particular “mixed marriage” where the husband, being a farmer from the Midwest, called dinner supper and the wife, from California, insisted on eating dinner. The marriage didn’t last as long as the garage sale toaster someone gave them for a wedding present. (What did you expect us to get them, a complete setting of sterling silver?) I knew the marriage had too much to overcome and wouldn’t last and I wasn’t about to invest that much money in it.

In the final analysis I think I’ve come up with a solution we can all live by. Forget dinner, or supper if you insist, and skip right to dessert. We all know what that is.

Right?

‘Kinda makes a feller soft’

They stood in the back of the room lookin’ like two Oakland Raider linebackers at a preppie quiche-tasting party. They had on unblocked hats with flat brims and each man wore a neck scarf and new Wrangler’s. Steve ambled over and asked where they were from. “Nevada,” they said, “We ranch.”

They discussed the cattle business and bad-mouthed the government, as usual. Pretty soon they got to discussin’ mutual acquaintances. Steve had a friend named Pat from way up around Brothers, Ore.

“Quite a character,” Steve said. “Pat would trade out vet work with his neighbors. One day, one of his ranching neighbors who was an ex-mechanic came over. Pat asked him to walk around his ol’ beat-up tractor to see if it needed anything. The neighbor took a professional stroll around the rusting and dented piece of antique farm machinery and said, ‘Pat, if you’d pump up that right front tire, it’d steer better.’”

Pat lived and ranched 12 miles from the tiny town of Brothers but the wife and kids lived in the nearest big town 60 miles away. Four years ago he finally got a radio telephone. He rings through a big transmitter on a mountain top and patches into the Portland exchange 200 miles away.

“We know Pat,” said the Nevada boys, “He’s been down our way lookin’ to buy a place. Seemed like a nice enough guy but we’re worried about him. See, we don’t have no phone. Turns out he spends weekends in town with his wife and kids. That ain’t the best way to run a ranch, ya know. Livin’ that close to town kinda makes a feller soft.”

Steve asked, “How far out are you?”

“Wull,” said the buckaroo, “My ranch is 72 miles from Fallon but the one he is lookin’ at was a ways off the road.”

It’s the funnies

An east coast lawyer rolls through a stop sign and gets pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy in the middle of the Fly-Over nation. He thinks that he is smarter than the deputy simply because of his upbringing and locale and he is certain that he has a better education then any country rube deputy sheriff.

So, he decides to prove superiority and have some fun at the deputy’s expense.

The deputy says, “License and registration, please.”

“What for?” says the lawyer.

The deputy says, “You didn’t come to a complete stop at the stop sign.”

Then the lawyer says, “I slowed down. I looked both ways and no one was coming. There was no safety issue.”

“You still didn’t come to a complete stop,” says the deputy. “License and registration, please.”

The lawyer says, “What’s the difference?”

“The difference is you have to come to complete stop. That’s the law. License and registration, please!” the deputy repeats politely.

The lawyer says, “If you can show me the legal difference between slow down and stop, I’ll give you my license and registration — and you give me the ticket. If not, you let me go and don’t give me the ticket.”

“That sounds fair,” the deputy says evenly. “Please exit your vehicle, sir.”

At this point, the deputy takes out his nightstick and starts whaling away on the lawyer’s body. When the lawyer starts yelling out in pain, the deputy says with an edge in his voice, “Do you want me to stop, sir, or just slow down?”

***

Four brothers went to college, and they all had successful careers — one real estate developer, one car dealership owner, one in the entertainment business and one successful mega-rancher and land baron.

One evening during a rare time the brothers got together, they chatted after having dinner together about what birthday gifts they were able to give their 95-year-old mother, who had left the family farm and retired to town.

The builder brother reported, “I had a big fancy home built for mama.”

The brother in the entertainment business said, “And I had an elaborate theater built in the house and piped high fidelity sound into every room.”

The third brother with the car dealership reported, “And I had a top of the line Mercedes car delivered to mama.”

The fourth brother, the rancher and land baron, reported, “Your gifts were nice and expensive for sure, but they were all too materialistic for a 95-year-old lady who basically has everything. I realized how mama loved reading the Bible and I realized she can’t read anymore because she can’t see very well. Well, I met this preacher who told me about a parrot who could recite the entire Bible. It took 10 preachers almost eight years to teach him. I had to pledge to contribute $50,000 a year for five years to his church, but it was worth it. Mama only has to name the chapter and verse from the Bible, and the parrot will clearly recite it.”

The other brothers were impressed. A few days later mama sent out her “Thank You” notes.

She wrote the builder son: ”The house you built is so huge that I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house. Thanks anyway.”

She wrote the entertainment son, “You gave me an expensive theater with Dolby sound and it can hold 50 people, but all of my friends are dead, I’ve lost my hearing, and I’m nearly blind. I’ll never use it. Thank you for the gesture anyway.”

To the car dealership son she wrote: “I am too old to travel. I stay home; I have my groceries delivered, so I’ll never use the Mercedes. The thought was good. Thanks.”

To the rancher-land baron son she wrote: “You were the only son to have the good sense to give a little thought to your gift. The chicken was delicious. Thank you so much. Love, mama.”

***

That story seemed timely to me since we all have a Covid Thanksgiving Day ahead of us.

***

Well, the election is thankfully getting behind us and I’ve learned some things from it.

First, I learned I’m a deplorable person to more than half the population.

Second, I learned that civility is waning — if not on its death bed.

Third, I learned it’s hard for anyone or any group to buy an election in the electronic age.

Fourth, I learned that a lot of questionable voting goes on in the mish-mash of state election laws.

Fifth, I learned that civics should be returned to our school curriculum.

And sixth, and last, I learned that scarcely anyone knows the kind of government we live under in the good ol’ U.S. of A. Any person I talked to, any media talking head I listened to kept up the drumbeat about “American Democracy.”

Folks, we DO NOT live in a democracy. We LIVE in a Constitutional Republic and there’s a huge difference.

If you don’t know the difference, look it up. Google is handy.

That’s my words of wisdom for the week.