Friday, June 29, 2018
Udall, Heinrich Announce Major Wins for Young Farmers and Ranchers, Dairies, and Tribes in Farm Bill
Udall, Heinrich Announce Major Wins for Young Farmers and Ranchers, Dairies, and Tribes in Farm Bill Farm Bill also addresses drought, protects rural drinking water, and promotes conservation and good forestry practices WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in the Senate to pass the 2018 Farm Bill – major legislation that supports New Mexico farmers and ranchers, and helps every county in the state by protecting the farm and social safety net, while making strategic investments in broadband, clean energy, clean drinking water, rural economic development, telemedicine, and much more. The Senate Farm Bill does not cut the farm safety net, conservation or food security programs and provides certainty for America’s farmers so they can provide the food, fuel, and fiber on which the nation depends. This bill fuels opportunity in rural America, grows small businesses on Main Street, expands forest and farmland conservation, offers new opportunities for the local food economy, and supports families working hard to make ends meet. “New Mexico is a rural state, and our agricultural sector is of one our greatest strengths,” said Udall. “I’m pleased to have secured investments in the 2018 Farm Bill for New Mexico farmers and ranchers, dairy producers, irrigation districts, tribes and acequias. These groups represent the lifeblood of our rural communities. The Senate’s bipartisan bill provides certainty for farmers and livestock producers and invests in our rural communities with strategic investment in broadband and telemedicine. And it also conserves our land, water, and natural resources and provides food security for families in New Mexico and across the nation.” “Farmers, dairy producers, and ranchers help drive New Mexico’s economy and have shaped our state’s history,” Heinrich said. “The 2018 bipartisan Farm Bill will provide certainty for rural New Mexico and boost our state’s dynamic agriculture economy. The bill reauthorizes federal funding for important programs including food and nutrition, soil and water conservation, and rural development, and makes investments in rural broadband access and expands renewable energy for workforce development in rural areas. I’m especially pleased the bill includes my provisions to improve the health and resiliency of New Mexico’s forests and watersheds, strengthen rural development in tribal communities, and preserve tribal seeds – and that we protected SNAP from the harmful changes proposed in the House Farm Bill. We owe it to all New Mexicans to enact legislation that supports job creation and opportunity and helps families benefit from our growing economy.” The Farm Bill is the federal government’s primary agricultural funding and food policy tool, passed by Congress every five years. The Senate’s bipartisan bill passed 86 to 11. The U.S. House of Representatives passed its own version of the Farm Bill on June 21, 2018, along party lines, 213 to 211. The Senate and House must now vote to establish a conference committee to resolve the differences between the two bills. The current Farm Bill expires September 30, 2018. Udall and Heinrich fought for important provisions in the bill for New Mexico, including: - Socially Disadvantaged Farmer and Rancher Program: Reauthorizes and reforms the program, which funds education, training, and outreach to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. This bill increases the funding set aside for this group from 5% to 15%, expands the program to forestry and makes Veterans eligible. Udall and Heinrich are original co-sponsors of the legislation, S. 2839. - Beginning Farmer and Rancher Loan Program: The Farm Bill included The Farmers of Tomorrow Act (S.2685), introduced by Udall. That act levels the playing field by giving new farmers and ranchers with degrees in disciplines other than agriculture and without farm income based tax returns access to capital to purchase or operate a farm or ranch. The Farm Bill also funds education, training, and outreach to this group and gives incentives to landowners in Conservation Reserve Program to transition land to new farmers and ranchers. -Acequias: Udall and Heinrich secured a provision to make acequias eligible for grants and technical assistance from conservation and environmental programs through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to increase agricultural water efficiency and further conservation of soil, water, and other natural resources. - Dairies: The Senate incorporated a Udall amendment which changes the Margin Protection Program for dairy to allow for payments to be triggered at the $5 margin level instead of $4. This change will support dairy producers by providing insurance for when the difference between the milk sale price and the average feed cost -- the margin -- falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. - Substantially Underserved Trust Areas: Heinrich and Udall championed the effort to allow tribes to refinance broadband and telephone loans borrowed from USDA's Rural Utilities Service (RUS). This allows communications companies that serve tribal communities in New Mexico, such as Mescalero Apache Telecom Inc. and Sacred Winds Communications, to refinance RUS loans at a lower interest rate. The RUS helps finance improvements to electric, telecommunications, water, and sewer infrastructure in underserved rural and tribal communities. In New Mexico, this could help tribal providers lower interest rates, allowing them to provide improved infrastructure to consumers. - Drought: The Farm Bill adopted a Udall amendment granting flexibility to NRCS to use the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding off farm land. This allows partners, such as acequias, irrigation districts and other water users to target EQIP funds to where the greatest water and cost savings can be made, regardless of land or infrastructure ownership to reduce water consumption. It also expands the use of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program to address water quantity and finally, to conserve water in order to advance drought mitigation in soil health. The Farm Bill also makes drought a priority, adding it as a purpose to the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. - Grassroots Source Water Protection Program: Reauthorizes funding for Source Water Protection Program (SWPP) at $25 million annually through 2023 at NRCS. The SWPP prevents pollution of surface and ground water used as the primary source of drinking water by rural residents. - Water Source Protection Program: Establishes the Water Source Protection Program within the Forest Service. The bill includes a Heinrich provision that builds on partnerships between cities, businesses, water utilities, farmers and ranchers, and the Forest Service to provide matching funds for forest health projects on lands that provide water resources for downstream users. In New Mexico, the Santa Fe Water Fund and Rio Grande Water Fund are successful examples of these partnerships. This provision clarifies and enhance the Forest Service’s ability to partner with communities to protect forest watersheds and provide reliable jobs for forest workers. - Watershed Condition Framework: The Forest Service developed the Watershed Condition Framework (WCF) in 2011, but it has never been authorized by Congress. The WCF is a system to evaluate the health of watersheds on national forest lands, identify priority watershed for restoration, develop restoration action plans, implement those plans, and monitor the effectiveness of the restoration projects. This Heinrich provision requires the Forest Service to coordinate with states, private landowners, and the public throughout the process. It also allows an emergency designation of priority watersheds that are newly damaged by catastrophic wildfire without waiting for the regular evaluation cycle. - Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program: The bill includes legislation from Udall and Heinrich to reauthorize this U.S. Forest Service program that encourages collaborative, science-based ecosystem restoration for 5 years and increases funding from $40 million to $80 million. - Regional Conservation Partnership Program: Increases investments in this program to leverage an additional $1 billion in private funding for conservation efforts aimed at water quality, drought, and wildlife habitat and in the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program to protect agricultural lands and wetlands. New Mexico has been one of the most successful applicants to RCPP, securing $17 million in competitive funds in FY18 alone. - Conservation Reserve Program: Adds 1 million new acres to the program and prioritizes water quality, wildlife habitat, and grasslands of special significance. - Public health and animal welfare: Turns into law U.S.D.A. guidance for use of M-44 sodium cyanide capsules to control predators to protect pets and people, especially children, from injury. - Hemp: Amends the Controlled Substances Act to make hemp production legal and expands the definition of hemp to include cannabinoid oils and extracts. This enacts S. 2667, the Hemp Farming Act, of which Udall is a co-sponsor. - Tribal Seeds and Traditional Foods: Includes a Heinrich-Udall amendment that directs the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study of marketplace fraud of traditional foods and tribal seeds and study the availability and long-term viability of tribal seeds. - Sage-Grouse and Mule Deer Habitat Conservation and Restoration Act: The bill includes Heinrich’s Sage-Grouse and Mule Deer Habitat Conservation and Restoration Act. The provision directs the secretary of the Interior to develop one or more categorical exclusions, in accordance with NEPA, to allow specified vegetative management activities to improve sage grouse and mule deer habitat. The legislation also includes several limitations on what activities may be included, and where those activities may take place. Other important provisions of the Farm Bill include: - Provides certainty for farmers and ranchers through Improved Risk Management Tools and gives support to expand their businesses, sell their products, and grow a diverse agricultural economy. - Improves Agricultural Risk Coverage to better support farmers. - Strengthens investments in agricultural research to support groundbreaking science that makes farmers more efficient, resilient, and sustainable. - Encourages farmers to plant cover crops that improve soil health and water quality by removing barriers in crop insurance, and providing new conservation incentives. - Permanently protects farmland and restores wetlands through new investments in conservation easements. - Protects against wildfires by expediting forest health treatments across federal, state, and private ownership and focusing federal resources to reduce hazardous fuels on the lands closest to homes and infrastructure. - Designates 25,000 new acres of national forest land as wilderness. - Expands high speed internet in rural communities by providing new grants that will connect communities with modern internet access. - Fights the opioid crisis through expanded telemedicine and community facility investments to provide critical treatment options for those who suffer from opioid addiction. - Promotes clean energy and efficiency upgrades to help rural small businesses and farmers use renewable energy, which lowers utility bills and supports energy installation jobs. - Adds new support for veterans in agriculture by making risk management tools more affordable, improving access to land and capital, and prioritizing training for veterans. - Makes key improvements to protect the integrity of nutrition assistance, while still preserving critical food access for millions of families. - Provides $40 million for the Voluntary Public Access program to encourage landowners to allow public recreation on their land. ### Contacts: Ned Adriance (Udall) 202.228.6870 / Whitney Potter (Heinrich) 202.228.1578
Udall Advances Protections for Children, Farmworkers as Long-Term Pesticide Registration Agreement Clears Senate Udall amendment to PRIA reauthorization preserves child & farmworker protections WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) announced that his amendment to preserve key protections for children and farmworkers has cleared the Senate as part of a bipartisan agreement to reauthorize the nation’s pesticide registration program under the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA). The Udall amendment preserves two rules by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the updated Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) and Certification of Pesticide Applicators (CPA) Rule, which provide key safeguards for farmworkers, and particularly child farmworkers, from toxic pesticide exposures. Udall, along with U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and others, had sought these protections as part of PRIA, in response to appeals from farmworkers around the country after recent EPA moves to re-open the two rules. The rules prevent children younger than 18 working in agriculture from handling highly dangerous pesticides like chlorpyrifos, which has been linked to brain damage in children, and help farmworkers get critical health and safety information about the pesticides they come into contact with. The agreement reauthorizes PRIA through 2023 and preserves the updated WPS and CPA through at least October 1, 2021. “The Senate came together in bipartisan fashion to advance PRIA and preserve critical protections for children and farmworkers,” Udall said. “We must maintain these essential safeguards for the people who toil day in and day out to help put food on all of our tables – safeguards which protect almost half a million young kids working on farms from handling toxic pesticides and guarantee farmworkers have access to safety information about the chemicals they are exposed to on the job. PRIA has had a long tradition of bipartisan congressional and stakeholder support. With my amendment, I believe that this tradition can continue. I thank Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow for working with us to resolve our concerns, and I encourage the House to maintain this same bipartisan spirit and move quickly to send this legislation to the president.” The Udall amendment: - REAUTHORIZES PRIA through 2023, with the reauthorization sun-setting in 2025 - PRESERVES THE CHILD & WORKER PROTECTIONS provided by the WPS and the CPA rule through October 1, 2021 - ADDRESSES INDUSTRY CONCERNS ABOUT THE DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE PROVISION by requiring that the GAO conduct a study on the use of a designated representative, “including the effect of that use on the availability of pesticide application and hazard information and worker health and safety”; and “include any recommendations to prevent the misuse of pesticide application and hazard information, if any misuse is identified.” - ALLOWS REVISIONS TO THE APPLICATION EXCLUSION ZONE (after notice, and a public comment period of no less than 90 days) that are consistent with the law (FIFRA).
FDA continues to warn about risk of accidental overdosing of dogs with the noise aversion drug Sileo
UPDATE: FDA Animal Drug Safety Communication: FDA continues to warn about risk of accidental overdosing of dogs with the noise aversion drug Sileo From May 2016, when Zoetis began marketing Sileo, to May 16, 2018, the FDA has received a total of 54 adverse event reports involving Sileo overdoses in dogs due to the ring-stop mechanism not properly locking at the intended dose. In the year since the FDA published its original Animal Drug Safety Communication on this issue, the agency has received 26 additional reports of accidental Sileo overdoses in dogs. The FDA is reissuing this advisory because adverse events are continuing to occur. The agency continues to advise veterinarians to carefully educate owners and handlers how to properly use the syringe to avoid accidental overdosing. In 2017, after becoming aware of the adverse events related to ring-stop locking issues, the FDA asked Zoetis to revise its labeling to better emphasize the need to secure the ring-stop mechanism to prevent overdose. This revised labeling is now in use. Zoetis has also provided enhanced training videos on its website to help veterinarians teach owners and handlers how to properly handle and administer Sileo.
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Udall, Heinrich Announce NM Counties to Receive $42.6 Million in 2018 PILT Payments to Support Schools, Roads, First Responders, Crucial Services in Rural Communities $42.6 million for 2018 represents a $4.1 million increase statewide over 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 27, 2018 Udall, Heinrich Announce NM Counties to Receive $42.6 Million in 2018 PILT Payments to Support Schools, Roads, First Responders, Crucial Services in Rural Communities $42.6 million for 2018 represents a $4.1 million increase statewide over 2017 WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that counties across New Mexico will receive more than $42.6 million through the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program for Fiscal Year 2018. The total is a $4.1 million increase from the total payments the state received last year, helped by the advocacy of Udall and Heinrich. A full list of funding by county and the final state total is included below. PILT provides federal payments to local governments to help offset losses in property taxes because of nontaxable federal land within their jurisdictions, including national parks and forests, wildlife refuges, and Bureau of Land Management land. Local governments use PILT funding to provide police, fire protection, emergency response, road maintenance and other crucial services to residents. New Mexico counties received payments for over 22 million acres of nontaxable federal land. "I'm proud to continue delivering the funding for New Mexico counties to deliver critical services, like schools, roads and public safety, and I am very pleased to see an increase for the state overall," said Udall, the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. "New Mexico is proud to host our military bases, national monuments and other facilities that support our economy and generate tourism in our state. But local governments need budget certainty to ensure that all New Mexicans receive consistent basic services. We currently fund PILT year by year, but that isn't good enough. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations committee, I'll continue to work for full, permanent funding to ensure local communities have the economic security they need." “Rural communities across New Mexico rely on PILT funds to provide for emergency response, maintain roads and bridges, and support local jobs," said Heinrich. "I’m glad we were successful in securing funding for this year’s payments, but we still need permanent funding for PILT to give counties in New Mexico more long-term predictability. I will continue to fight for full, permanent PILT funding so our counties have the budget certainty they need to succeed.” After years of funding PILT inconsistently, in 2008 Congress fully and automatically funded PILT for five years. In a 2012 transportation bill, full funding was extended for another year, leaving the future beyond 2013 uncertain. Udall and Heinrich have successfully secured PILT funding every year since and continue to fight for a long-term solution. The increased 2018 funding was included in the Interior, EPA and Related Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2018 which was enacted as part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act enacted in March of 2018. The PILT program is administered by the Department of the Interior. The department calculates annual payments to local governments based on the number of acres of federal entitlement land within each county and the population of that county. The lands include the National Forest and National Park Systems, lands in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge System, and areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management. New Mexico PILT Payments for fiscal year 2018: BERNALILLO COUNTY - $238,335 CATRON COUNTY - $639,528 CHAVES COUNTY - $3,225,294 CIBOLA COUNTY - $2,110,699 COLFAX COUNTY - $197,367 DE BACA COUNTY - $110,516 DONA ANA COUNTY - $3,189,584 EDDY COUNTY - $3,598,621 GRANT COUNTY - $2,558,024 GUADALUPE COUNTY - $162,226 HARDING COUNTY - $116,768 HIDALGO COUNTY - $739,903 LEA COUNTY - $1,128,578 LINCOLN COUNTY - $1,889,698 LOS ALAMOS COUNTY - $93,625 LUNA COUNTY - $1,999,158 MCKINLEY COUNTY - $1,094,772 MORA COUNTY - $306,596 OTERO COUNTY - $3,597,259 QUAY COUNTY - $4,840 RIO ARRIBA COUNTY - $3,232,674 ROOSEVELT COUNTY - $28,709 SAN JUAN COUNTY - $2,316,470 SAN MIGUEL COUNTY - $1,040,459 SANDOVAL COUNTY - $2,416,206 SANTA FE COUNTY - $812,453 SIERRA COUNTY - $1,336,642 SOCORRO COUNTY - $1,735,241 TAOS COUNTY - $2,036,719 TORRANCE COUNTY - $425,806 UNION COUNTY - $155,864 VALENCIA COUNTY - $91,858 STATE TOTAL - $42,630,492 ### Contacts:
2018 BCSC Tentative Conference Schedule SUNDAY, AUGUST 5 Rudder/MSC Complex 10:00 a.m. On-site registration and registered participants may pickup their registration materials. 10:30 a.m. Annual BCSC Scholarship Golf Tournament at Pebble Creek MONDAY, AUGUST 6 Rudder/MSC Complex 6:30 a.m. Coffee and Breakfast, compliments of trade show exhibitors 7:00 Registration desk open, TRADE SHOW OPEN in Rudder 8:00 General Assembly for instructions and orientation 8:30 a.m. to Noon - Cattleman’s College Sessions - CONCURRENT TRAINING Introduction to Cattle Production I Producers with entry-level basic information needs in beef production management practices will receive detailed training in nutrition, health, reproduction and beef cattle genetics. This session will feature a Q&A discussion with the experts. Forage Management I – Sustainable Pasture Management • NRCS Programs • Soil Health: What is it? • Cover Crops: Where do they fit? • Control of Weeds in Pastures: What are the costs? Nutritional Management – “How much should I feed my cows?” (Repeated on Tuesday) Participants are engaged in a lively discussion of cow size, digestive anatomy, nutrient requirements, forage quality and feeds and feeding. The audience will leave understanding the fundamentals involved in determining... ”How much should I feed my cows?” Applied Beef Cattle Breeding and Genetics Defining the “best” beef cattle breeds and crosses and how to use hybrid vigor and the new genomic EPDs, genetic markers, and selection indices for your production system. Beef Cattle Research in Texas This session highlights beef cattle research projects being conducted at Texas A&M University System locations across the state. Topics will encompass cow-calf and grazing aspects through feeding and end product considerations. Advanced Beef Cattle Health • Purchasing breeding cattle: Associated health risks and measures to mitigate those risks and vaccination protocols, parasite control, quarantine, post purchase testing • Feral hogs: behavior patterns and current methods of control in cattle operations and disease risk to associated cattle 11:30 to 1:30 Lunch served, trade show activities 1:30 Afternoon Program General Session – Issues Affecting Ranchers • Beef Cattle Market Outlook • Hot Issues: Animal Disease Traceability, Clean Meat Exports • Landowner Issues Affecting Ranchers • Extended Weather Outlook 6:00 Famous Texas Aggie Prime Rib Dinner, MSC Ballroom TUESDAY, AUGUST 7 Rudder/MSC Complex 7:00 a.m. Trade Show opens, coffee and breakfast, on-site registration opens. 8:30 a.m. to Noon - Cattleman’s College Sessions - CONCURRENT TRAINING Introduction to Cattle Production II – 365 Days on a Ranch What is the yearly production cycle on a ranch? When do I put the bull with the cows? When do I vaccinate? When should I start feeding hay in the winter? When do I fertilize my pasture? These questions and many more will be addressed in this introductory ranch management session. Pesticide Applicator Re-certification • Pasture weed control • Pesticide safety • Pesticide laws and regulations update Beef Cattle Health Management • Bovine Trichomoniasis: Role of female cattle in disease transmission and maintenance of disease in herds • Herd management ideas beneficial to lowering risk of sexually transmitted diseases of cattle • Current regulations regarding bovine Trichomoniasis • Panel discussion and Q&A: Veterinarians, ranchers and livestock market operators Working with Your County Appraisal District Understanding the property tax system in Texas can be challenging. This session is designed to help ranchers understand the system and be able to work with their local appraisal district. Ranching Around the World Ever wonder how ranchers in other countries raise cattle and produce beef? Now’s your chance to listen to speakers from Brazil, Panama, South Africa, the Dominican Republic, and other countries describe their production conditions and systems! Nutritional Management (Repeated from Monday) Forage Management II-Wintering the Cow Herd • Hay: Do you need it? How to use it? • Small Grain Varieties: Where do they fit? • New Legumes and Ryegrasses: What’s new? • Winter Pastures for Cows and Calves: Can I afford/not afford it? 11:30 to 1:30 Lunch served, trade show activities 1:30 to 5:30 - Cattleman’s College Sessions - CONCURRENT TRAINING Landowner Rights Ask an Ag Lawyer: Water, Oil and Gas, Pipeline Easement Negotiation, Eminent Domain, Estate Planning, Purchasing Property, Fence Law, FSA Disputes, and more. This session will feature a panel of four attorneys experienced in Ag Law. Through the Eye of the Storm: Dealing with Hurricane Harvey and Readying for the Next One This session will focus on response and recovery from Hurricane Harvey and lessons learned. Discussion will also focus on how livestock producers prepare for future events and resources available to recover and future proof one’s operation. Purchasing and Managing Stocker Cattle Stocker cattle are a flexible production option for ranchers. Lean more about purchasing stocker cattle and general management considerations. Rangeland Management- Tricks for Saving Money • Cattle Management: Stocking cattle to avoid buying hay, improving grazing distribution, using drones to reduce ranch labor • Plant Management: Low input natives- how to successfully plant, when and how- prescribed burning on the cheap, mechanical equipment-when its best and how to rent/afford Reproductive Management • Reproductive Efficiency: Impacts on the bottom line • Effects of temperament on reproduction • Managing for fertility and what’s new with pregnancy testing • Estrous synchronization and what’s new in Bos indicus influenced breeds • Estrous synchronization and early pre-testing to select replacement heifers Flies, Gnats, Ticks • Fly control in cattle • Update on Fever Tick issues • Tick control on livestock and an update on the latest tick research Purebred Cattle Marketing Purebred cattle breeds are the bases for genetic improvement in the US beef industry and are the early adopters for new genetic and other production technologies that promise success for their breeds and their customers. WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8 Pearce Pavilion, Beef Center, Rosenthal, Freeman Arena, Hildebrand Equine Complex 7:30 a.m. Coffee and breakfast at each location. 8:30 a.m. to Noon - Cattleman’s College Sessions - CONCURRENT TRAINING Fence Building Demonstration This session will cover the different types of fencing materials and designs. Learn how to build pipe and wood stretch sections and string multiple types of wire during this demonstration. Brush Busters and Beyond A three-hour workshop with do-it-yourself equipment and specific methods for controlling specific brush species including mesquite, huisache, prickly pear, Chinese tallow tree, Macarney Rose, Cedar, Greenbriar, Cut stump and mixed brush options. Beef Cattle Business Management Workshop • Basic records needed on the ranch • Risk management options for pastures and forages • Tax management and estate planning update - 2018 Beef Carcass Value Determination Workshop • Beef grading and live market steer evaluation • Video of market steers, grade the carcasses, and price the cattle • Where is the value? Carcasses to Cuts Tractor Safety, Hay Production and Sprayer Calibration This session will cover tractor purchasing decisions, implement safety and a sprayer calibration demonstration. Live Cattle Handling and Chute Side Working Demonstrations From pasture to the processing chute, this session will focus on low stress cattle penning, working facility design, movement through the system and proper calf processing techniques. Basic cowherd management practices with emphasis on proper vaccination procedures, castration, dehorning, parasite control and BQA recommendations. 12:00 Beef Cattle Short Course 2018 - Adjourned
Program Overview With 114 years of formal existence and a tradition of making a positive impact, the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University is the most preeminent and globally-recognized department of its kind. Our exceptional faculty strive to meet the needs of citizens by providing knowledge and training through innovative and cutting-edge teaching, research and Extension programs. Current and future challenges associated with a growing world population and an increasing demand for animal protein compel us to take the initiative in leading the world toward food security through efficient, sustainable, and profitable beef production. Our vision is to provide unparalleled leadership, best practices, and training to beef industries worldwide through excellence in research and educational ventures. The Texas A&M – International Beef Cattle Academy is a flagship component of our educational mission; a certificate program tailored to advance the knowledge of global beef production. Students will have access to emerging technologies in cattle reproduction, nutrition, genetics, health, and welfare pertaining to all phases of beef production, as well as quality and safety of beef and its products. The Texas A&M International Beef Cattle Academy will be led by the Department of Animal Science and based on comprehensive online coursework taught by internationally-renowned Texas A&M faculty and guest lecturers, concluding with experiential learning opportunities at the Texas A&M University – College Station campus. Program Objective Advance the knowledge of students in emerging technologies to enhance beef production and quality across the globe. Program Outline The Texas A&M – International Beef Cattle Academy consists of nine courses of 30 hours each, with six completed courses required for certification. Topics covered by the program include: Global beef production Cattle welfare and behavior Forage production and utilization Nutritional management and requirements Reproductive physiology and management Breeding and genetics Immunology and herd health management Safety of beef products Carcass and beef quality Application Process The International Beef Cattle Academy has limited class sizes to offer an exclusive and customized learning experience to students. Applications for the 2018-2019 academy will close July 15, 2018 and can be completed here. International Beef Cattle Academy Dr. Reinaldo Cooke (979) 458-2703 email@example.com
USDA Partners with Texas A&M to Help Veterans Seeking Agriculture Loans and Careers Secretary Perdue announced the partnership today in Dallas, Texas. (Dallas, TX, May 31, 2018) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension Service to help military veterans obtain loans and pursue careers as farmers and ranchers. Secretary Perdue joined local dignitaries, members of the Armed Forces, veterans, and community leaders at the Dallas Farmers Market to unveil the new pilot program. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is collaborating with AgriLife Extension Service on the pilot, which is part of the Texas A&M Battleground to Breaking Ground project. The program makes it easier for veterans to meet federal requirements to get FSA direct farm ownership loans, which can help provide access to land and capital. “Veterans retiring from active duty face many challenges, and this effort provides them with hands-on training and financial planning to help them succeed as new farmers and ranchers,” said Secretary Perdue, who is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. “Through this pilot, veterans will learn how to build an agricultural business and how USDA can help them at every step of the way. We are committed to supporting veterans, whether they are starting or growing their farming or ranching operations. This is an important step in our efforts to strengthen the American economy and support our American heroes.” The pilot program, which will include 15 to 18 veterans, will roll out in three phases: an introductory workshop, a business planning curriculum, and a production curriculum over a period of 12 to 18 months. Typically, loan applicants must participate in the business operations of a farm for at least three years during a 10-year period. However, as part of this pilot program, participants can combine the certificate they receive with their military leadership or management experience to satisfy this requirement. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, approximately 45 percent of armed service members are from rural America. Pilot program applications will be accepted from interested veterans between June 15 and July 20, 2018, until 11 p.m. central standard time, apply here. For more information about USDA programs, visit newfarmers.usda.gov/veterans or https://www.farmers.gov. To learn about other ways USDA is supporting veterans, visit https://www.usda.gov/our-agency/initiatives/veterans, and watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAeLqXHUU3w.
USDA Resumes Continuous Conservation Reserve Program Enrollment One-Year Extension Available to Holders of Many Expiring Contracts through Continuous Signup WASHINGTON, June 1, 2018 – As part of a 33-year effort to protect sensitive lands and improve water quality and wildlife habitat on private lands, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will resume accepting applications for the voluntary Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Eligible farmers, ranchers, and private landowners can sign up at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office between June 4 and Aug. 17, 2018. “The Conservation Reserve Program is an important component of the suite of voluntary conservation programs USDA makes available to agricultural producers, benefiting both the land and wildlife. On the road, I often hear firsthand how popular CRP is for our recreational sector; hunters, fishermen, conservationists and bird watchers,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said. “CRP also is a powerful tool to encourage agricultural producers to set aside unproductive, marginal lands that should not be farmed to reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, provide habitat for wildlife and boost soil health.” FSA stopped accepting applications last fall for the CRP continuous signup (excluding applications for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and CRP grasslands). This pause allowed USDA to review available acres and avoid exceeding the 24 million-acre CRP cap set by the 2014 Farm Bill. New limited practice availability and short sign up period helps ensure that landowners with the most sensitive acreage will enroll in the program and avoid unintended competition with new and beginning farmers seeking leases. CRP enrollment currently is about 22.7 million acres. 2018 Signup for CRP For this year’s signup, limited priority practices are available for continuous enrollment. They include grassed waterways, filter strips, riparian buffers, wetland restoration and others. To view a full list of practices, please visit the CRP Continuous Enrollment Period page. FSA will use updated soil rental rates to make annual rental payments, reflecting current values. It will not offer incentive payments as part of the new signup. USDA will not open a general signup this year, however, a one-year extension will be offered to existing CRP participants with expiring CRP contracts of 14 years or less. Producers eligible for an extension will receive a letter with more information. CRP Grasslands Additionally, FSA established new ranking criteria for CRP Grasslands. To guarantee all CRP grasslands offers are treated equally, applicants who previously applied will be asked to reapply using the new ranking criteria. Producers with pending applications will receive a letter providing the options. About CRP In return for enrolling land in CRP, USDA, through FSA on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), provides participants with annual rental payments and cost-share assistance. Landowners enter into contracts that last between 10 and 15 years. CRP pays producers who remove sensitive lands from production and plant certain grasses, shrubs and trees that improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and increase wildlife habitat. Signed into law by President Reagan in 1985, CRP is one of the largest private-lands conservation programs in the United States. Thanks to voluntary participation by farmers, ranchers and private landowners, CRP has improved water quality, reduced soil erosion and increased habitat for endangered and threatened species. The new changes to CRP do not impact the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, a related program offered by CCC and state partners. Producers wanting to apply for the CRP continuous signup or CRP grasslands should contact their USDA service center. To locate your local FSA office, visit www.farmers.gov. More information on CRP can be found at www.fsa.usda.gov/crp
USDA Enhances the Quality of Life in Rural Areas by Building or Improving Essential Community Service Facilities
Release No. 0134.18 Contact: Jay Fletcher (202) 690-0498 Weldon Freeman (202) 690-1384 USDA Enhances the Quality of Life in Rural Areas by Building or Improving Essential Community Service Facilities Department Invests $237 Million in Health Care, Municipal Centers, Schools, and Opioid Treatment, Prevention and Recovery Facilities BOX ELDER, S.D., June 27, 2018 – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $237 million in 119 rural community service facilities (PDF, 291 KB) in 29 states. “At USDA, we believe in rural America and in the promise of small towns and the people who call them home,” Hazlett said. “Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, we are committed to being a strong partner to local leaders in building healthy, prosperous futures for their communities.” Hazlett announced the funding following a meeting here of the Western Governors Association. USDA is supporting these quality-of-life projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. For example: • The city of Box Elder, S.D., is receiving a $3.2 million loan to construct three streets and make utility improvements to promote economic development. The project will complement the South Dakota Department of Transportation’s (SDDOT) decision to eliminate a dangerous intersection. SDDOT is contributing $2.35 million to this project. Two local developers have committed $500,000 each, demonstrating a public-private partnership and exceptional community support. • The Bear Lake Community Health Center, Inc., in Brigham City, Utah, is receiving a $405,000 loan to purchase a medical facility building. Bear Lake serves a large rural population in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. It plans to double its Brigham City staff from five to 10 this year. Two exam rooms will be used for screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment for opioid misuse in addition to regular medical visits. • The Village of Sand Lake, Mich., is receiving a $735,000 loan to improve Lake Street in the downtown business district. The village will reconstruct the street and sidewalks, make storm and sewer improvements to eliminate frequent flooding, and install decorative lighting. The projects that are being announced today will help improve the quality of life in rural communities in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. More than 100 types of projects are eligible for USDA Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally and state-recognized Native American tribes. Applicants and projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less. There is no limit on the size of the loans. Loan amounts have ranged from $10,000 to $165 million. The 2018 Omnibus bill increased the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget for the Community Facilities Direct Loan program to $2.8 billion, up $200 million from FY 2017. In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force. To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB). USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866 Media contact, Tristanna Bickford: (505) 476-8027 firstname.lastname@example.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, June 27, 2018: Youth encouragement elk hunting licenses go on sale July 11 SANTA FE – More than 1,800 youth, antlerless elk licenses will go on sale through the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish’s Online License System at 10 a.m. MDT July 11. The sale is designed to encourage youth hunting and includes almost 1,500 licenses for hunters using any legal weapon and 390 licenses for hunters using a muzzleloader or bow. Licenses will be sold online only on a first-come, first-served basis. To purchase a license, customers will need to log in to their Online License System account at www.wildlife.state.nm.us. Eligibility requirements: • For the first 14 days, the sale is open only to N.M. resident youths who have applied in the current license year for one or more draw hunts for deer, elk, antelope, bighorn sheep, oryx or ibex and were not successful for any hunt. Please note that the purchase of a leftover draw hunt for deer counts as a successful deer application. • Must have a valid Hunter Education certification. • Must be under 18 years old on the opening day of hunt. Beginning at 10 a.m. MDT, July 25, the sale will open to all eligible youths, regardless of residency, who did not draw a 2018-19 elk license, whether they applied or not. Hunters must have a current Junior Game Hunting or a Junior Game Hunting and Fishing license prior to purchasing an elk license. Customers without a Game Hunting license will be directed to purchase one before continuing to the youth encouragement sale. All purchases will be audited to verify the customer’s eligibility. Hunters planning to purchase a youth encouragement license must have completed all mandatory 2017-2018 harvest reporting requirements or their purchase will be rejected in the post-sale audit. The license fee, but not the application fee will be refunded on rejected purchases. After eligibility is verified, licenses will be awarded to hunters and will be available to print and view within a few days of purchase. Licenses can be printed from any computer by logging in to an account and selecting “My Purchases” in the main menu. Following successful purchase of the youth encouragement license, carcass tags will be mailed to the hunter. Complete information about the new tagging requirements is available on the department website and in the Hunting Rules & Information booklet. Read more about tagging here. For more information about the youth encouragement elk license sale, hunting in New Mexico, or for help logging in, please call customer service at (888) 248-6866. Youth encouragement licenses will not be sold over the phone. For the list of available hunts please see the 2018-2019 Hunting Rules and Information booklet available online at www.wildlife.state.nm.us. ###
NMSU Agricultural Science Center at Farmington to host field day July 13 DATE: 06/27/2018 WRITER: Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527, email@example.com CONTACT: Kevin Lombard, 505-960-7757, firstname.lastname@example.org FARMINGTON – A wide variety of research and community outreach is being done at New Mexico State University’s Agricultural Science Center at Farmington. The faculty and staff of the science center will host a free field day Friday, July 13, to share their findings with the community. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. “The field day gives the San Juan County and Navajo Nation community an opportunity to visit the science center and see what we are doing,” said Kevin Lombard, superintendent of the center. “Our research ranges from field crops to alternative crops. We are proud of the work we are doing for the community in the area of promoting home gardens and monitoring the long-term impact of the 2015 Gold King Mine spill on the soil along the Animas and San Juan rivers.” Pre-tour presentations on the Navajo garden project and the Gold King Mine long-term monitoring efforts will begin at 9:45 a.m. Field tours will begin at 10 a.m. Visitors will learn about the research being conducted on climate monitoring, grapes, melons, potatoes, sweet corn, blue corn, forage corn, hops, xeriscape, drought-adapted ornamental landscape plants, and much more. Following the field tours, a traditional barbecue lunch will be served. Visitors are invited to take walking tours of the xeriscape demonstration garden and vineyard and view the hops harvesting equipment after lunch. The science center is located at 300 Road 4063 across from the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry flour mill. A map to the center is on the center’s website http://farmingtonsc.nmsu.edu/events--announcements.html. For more information, call 505-960-7757. - 30 - Follow NMSU News on Twitter: http://twitter.com/nmsunews Follow NMSU News on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NMSUNews
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
LIME INDUCED IRON DEFICIENCY IN YOUR HOME LANDSCAPE Iron deficiency is the most frequent problem for ornamental plants in Eddy County, and New Mexico. The major cause for this is the high pH levels of our soils. Calcium carbonate or cliché builds up in desert soils because precipitation is and has been low for a long period of time therefore it does not leach below the root zone. Our soils actually have plenty of iron but it is insoluble and unavailable due to the high pH and calcium carbonate. Iron deficiency often is made worse by soils that are over watered, or very dry. Iron deficiency symptoms appear on the youngest, newest leaves. The area between the veins becomes pale yellow or even white know as interveinal iron chlorosis. Other nutrient deficiency such as zinc or manganese may look similar especially on Pecan trees. Native plants seldom show symptoms due to an ability to solubilize and absorb iron from high pH soil. How to correct this problem? Ideally the soil could be acidified but because calcium carbonate is a very good buffer this will not work for short term or long term. Adding elemental sulfur at 2 ounces per cubic foot of soil will help on some soils. This is about 1 pound per 10 square feet. This will not change the soil pH however. It does cause a complicated chemical reaction which end product includes calcium sulfate or gypsum which changes the soil structure. Chelated iron fertilizers are available in many forms, research at the Agriculture science center in Artesia indicate that Millers ferri plus Fe-EDDHA worked the best and Sequestrine Fe-EDTA work almost as well at correcting iron deficiency symptoms. Read the label carefully there are some products that say they are Chelated iron but only a small percentage of the iron is chelated. Other iron products were very short lived because they were easily tied up by the Calcium Carbonate. This research also showed that Iron sulfate (copperas) worked when combined with ammonia sulfate (24-0-0-24) fertilizer when applied at 2 to 3 pounds per 1000 square feet applied monthly. The product that worked the poorest in our soil types with high pH and calcium carbonate was Ironite and is not recommended for use in our area because of the high pH. Ironite does not work well in Eddy County. The most effective means of supplying iron is by spraying fertilizer on the plant leaves. This requires some skill and experience and I really don’t recommend home owner to do this. Mix ferrous sulfates at 1 oz per 1.25 gallons of water add a couple drops of Ivory dishwashing soap or other non-ionic surfactant. I have burned the leaves off of plants following label instructions here. I think it is due to our intense UV light. I personally do not apply iron to leaves. Spray this solution on the plant leaves during cool weather, early in the morning or late in the evening. Do not apply during hot dry days during daylight hours. Do not use a stronger solution then is recommended as leaf burning or drop will occur. It is better to make multiple application of a weak solution than one strong one. Spray on a small portion of the plant and wait a day or two to make sure it will not damage the plant. If the plant response in a positive manner after a few days from the foliar application, you may choose to go ahead and apply this on the whole plant. Although foliar iron application is very effective, it is not a permanent solution either. Iron will not move form an iron rich leaf to an iron poor leaf, so multiple application may be necessary as symptom reoccur, and new leave grow. Also iron won’t go to new growth. The same is true with soil applications. I mix Fe-EDDHA (Miller Ferrii Plus) in a five-gallon bucket and pour it around the drip line of the plants or down the row of the garden. We have plenty of lime in our soils DO NOT USE GARDEN LIME!! IT WILL KILL YOUR SOIL. I know it is sold in some garden centers, it should not be used except for sanitation of livestock pens. There are injectable products they are available; I try not to use these except in extreme situations when plant death is going to happen if you don’t. There are a few commercial applicators who will do this for you and have the expertise and training. Because you are wounding the tree it is important to be as sterile as possible. Iron deficiencies are more easily avoided then corrected. It is possible to avoid the problem through the use of the above product early in the season and routinely through the season. Trade names are used for easy of identification by the consumer. Subscribe to Eddy County Ag news at: http://nmsueddyag.blogspot.com/ Eddy County Extension Service, New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. All programs are available to everyone regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. New Mexico State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Eddy County Government Cooperating.
Monday, June 25, 2018
USDA to Help Producers Prepare for Addition of Seed Cotton to Two Key Safety Net Programs Information to Help Farmers and Ranchers Select the Coverage Options that Fit Their Needs Release No. 0111.18 Wayne Maloney 202-720-6107 Wayne.Maloney@wdc.usda.gov WASHINGTON, June 25, 2018 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is sending acreage history and yield reports to agricultural producers with generic base acres covered by the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. This information will help producers decide the best options for how to allocate generic base acres, given the addition of seed cotton as a covered commodity in the programs. “We’re sending this information to make sure farmers and ranchers have the data they need to make critical decisions about these USDA programs,” said Richard Fordyce, administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “It’s important that producers take a few minutes to compare the information they receive with their farm records. If something is incorrect, we encourage them to contact their local USDA office.” The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 amended the 2014 Farm Bill, adding seed cotton as a covered commodity under the ARC and PLC programs. This week, FSA will start sending producers information on current generic base acres, yields and 2008-2012 planting history. Per the Act, FSA is using the period 2009 through 2012 to compute the conversion of generic base acres to seed cotton base acres. In contrast, the 2008 through 2012 period is used to calculate yield updates to seed cotton. The updates are an important part of preparing agricultural producers to make decisions on allocating generic basic acres and updating yields for seed cotton. This summer, producers will have an opportunity to allocate their generic base acres and update their seed cotton yield. All producers electing to participate in either the ARC or PLC program will be required to make a one-time, unanimous and irrevocable election, choosing between ARC and PLC for the 2018 crop year for seed cotton only. Producers who elected ARC with the individual farm option will continue with that option since that election is applicable to all base acres on the farm. The final step to participate requires producers with farms with seed cotton base acres to sign contracts for ARC or PLC for 2018 this summer. The anticipated timeline is: June 29: Producers are mailed letters notifying them of current generic base acres and yields and 2008 to 2012 planting history. July: An online decision tool for ARC and PLC becomes available. Producers have opportunity to update yields and allocate generic base acres for ARC and PLC. Late July: ARC and PLC one-time elections occur for seed cotton. Late July: ARC and PLC sign-up for 2018 starts for farms with seed cotton base acres. “For all farmers and ranchers with questions, we encourage you to reach out to your local FSA office,” Fordyce said. FSA will provide updates as dates solidify. For more information, visit FSA’s ARC and PLC webpage or contact your local USDA service center.
Information to Help Farmers and Ranchers Select the Coverage Options that Fit Their Needs Release No. 0111.18 Wayne Maloney 202-720-6107 Wayne.Maloney@wdc.usda.gov WASHINGTON, June 25, 2018 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is sending acreage history and yield reports to agricultural producers with generic base acres covered by the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. This information will help producers decide the best options for how to allocate generic base acres, given the addition of seed cotton as a covered commodity in the programs. “We’re sending this information to make sure farmers and ranchers have the data they need to make critical decisions about these USDA programs,” said Richard Fordyce, administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “It’s important that producers take a few minutes to compare the information they receive with their farm records. If something is incorrect, we encourage them to contact their local USDA office.” The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 amended the 2014 Farm Bill, adding seed cotton as a covered commodity under the ARC and PLC programs. This week, FSA will start sending producers information on current generic base acres, yields and 2008-2012 planting history. Per the Act, FSA is using the period 2009 through 2012 to compute the conversion of generic base acres to seed cotton base acres. In contrast, the 2008 through 2012 period is used to calculate yield updates to seed cotton. The updates are an important part of preparing agricultural producers to make decisions on allocating generic basic acres and updating yields for seed cotton. This summer, producers will have an opportunity to allocate their generic base acres and update their seed cotton yield. All producers electing to participate in either the ARC or PLC program will be required to make a one-time, unanimous and irrevocable election, choosing between ARC and PLC for the 2018 crop year for seed cotton only. Producers who elected ARC with the individual farm option will continue with that option since that election is applicable to all base acres on the farm. The final step to participate requires producers with farms with seed cotton base acres to sign contracts for ARC or PLC for 2018 this summer. The anticipated timeline is: June 29: Producers are mailed letters notifying them of current generic base acres and yields and 2008 to 2012 planting history. July: An online decision tool for ARC and PLC becomes available. Producers have opportunity to update yields and allocate generic base acres for ARC and PLC. Late July: ARC and PLC one-time elections occur for seed cotton. Late July: ARC and PLC sign-up for 2018 starts for farms with seed cotton base acres. “For all farmers and ranchers with questions, we encourage you to reach out to your local FSA office,” Fordyce said. FSA will provide updates as dates solidify. For more information, visit FSA’s ARC and PLC webpage or contact your local USDA service center.
Trump administration plan would shift USDA programs Department’s nutrition, housing, food safety programs would be on the move 06/21/18 4:21 PM By Spencer Chase
A plan announced today by the Trump administration would shift Department of Agriculture programs to different government agencies, dramatically shrinking the size and scope of the department. The plan, detailed in a 132-page document released by the White House on Thursday, would move nutrition programs to the Department of Health and Human Services, shift some USDA housing programs to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and consolidate the government’s food safety oversight into a new Federal Food Safety Agency. Many of the proposals included in the plan – such as a merger of the Education and Labor departments – are likely to face stiff opposition in Congress and in the public square. Margaret Weichert, the deputy director for management at the White House Office of Management and Budget, acknowledged in a call with reporters that the changes “will not happen overnight,” but hopes some of the language can serve as the “beginning of a national dialogue on government reform.” “Shining a light on those examples should cause the well-intentioned civil servants who administer these programs to look for ways to better integrate and better provide service with greater efficiency,” she said. Many of the proposed changes would have direct impacts on USDA operations. Perhaps chief among them could be a shift of government nutrition programs to HHS (which also would be renamed the Department of Health and Public Welfare). Programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program would shift away from USDA; “commodity-based” programs like the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, Emergency Food Assistance Program, and others would stay. Weichert defended the proposed changes, saying many states already have different departmental organizations than the federal government for their public assistance programs. That difference, she said, “actually creates burden for the states and frankly takes away resources that should be going to needy families.” A separate proposal would combine food safety oversight currently done though separate programs at USDA, HHS, and the Food and Drug Administration into one agency under the USDA umbrella. The shift would leave FDA to focus on “drugs, devices, biologics, tobacco, dietary supplements, and cosmetics” after shifting about 5,000 FDA employees and $1.3 billion from FDA to the new USDA agency. This new agency would “cover virtually all the foods Americans eat,” the administration’s document said. The proposal includes some other changes impacting farm, food, and rural policy: USDA’s rural housing loan guarantee and rental assistance programs would be moved to HUD; The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would be merged with the National Marine Fisheries Service and brought under the Department of Interior; USDA’s Hazardous Materials Management Program and DOI’s Central Hazardous Materials Program would be moved into EPA’s Superfund program; USDA’s small business programs – as well as similar programs in other departments – would be moved into the Small Business Administration. In a statement, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue welcomed the conversation about government reorganization, but said USDA’s workforce is the best in the federal government. “We will advocate for those changes that make sense, and we will have a dialogue about areas where we feel USDA has the core competencies to most effectively deliver services,” Perdue said, without expanding on which services should remain at the department. Press officials from HHS and FDA did not respond to requests for comment. Administrative reorganization efforts are nothing new and have typically been undertaken with little success. Many of the proposals included in this particular plan would require legislative action. Weichert said announcements “in the coming weeks” will detail some steps that will be taken administratively to pursue the reorganization. For more news, go to: www.Agri-Pulse.com
Reuters By Amanda Becker The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a massive Republican farm bill with changes to the government food stamps program that make it unlikely to become law in this form. The Senate is considering its own farm bill with no major changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) used by more than 40 million Americans, or about 12 percent of the total U.S. population. The House passed the $867 billion farm bill in a 213-to-211 vote, earning the support of some conservative Republicans who helped defeat it in May after its renewal became entangled in an unrelated debate over immigration. The Republican SNAP proposals in the current farm bill would expand the number of non-disabled individuals subject to work requirements by raising the top age to 59 from 49 and including more people caring for school-age children. It would also put new limits on state governors’ ability to waive work requirements in economically depressed areas. Democrats opposed the farm bill, which typically gets bipartisan support, due to the proposed SNAP changes. The Senate, where Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority and passing most legislation requires 60 votes, is working on its own bipartisan version of the legislation.
Advocates go after rancher’s forest permit after wolf’s death By Andy Stiny | email@example.com Jun 23, 2018 Updated Jun 23, 2018
A Mexican gray wolf identified as mp1385 had a lot working against him. As a threatened species, the nearly year-old male pup faced the same issues that have long challenged Mexican gray wolves in a decades-old reintroduction program in southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona: an uncertainty over food, problems associated with inbreeding, the occasional car accident, poaching. But it was a simple farm implement that ended the life of mp1385 — and perhaps gave rise to new tensions in the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program, which began in 1982 after the subspecies was listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. A Catron County man who admitted to intentionally trapping the wolf pup on his Gila National Forest grazing allotment killed the animal in February 2015 with a shovel, according to court records. That incident — and the controversy that arose after Craig Thiessen recently was sentenced for the crime — has renewed the chasm separating the two sides of the decadesnlong wolf recovery saga. “This was a horrific loss of a Mexican gray wolf and the perpetrator deserves far more than a slap on the hand,” Bryan Bird of the nonprofit Defenders of Wildlife said in an email. Thiessen, a 46-year-old rancher from Datil, pleaded guilty in federal court in May to knowingly taking threatened wildlife. He was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation. He also was ordered to pay the wolf recovery program $2,300, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Albuquerque said. “I was afraid that if I didn’t hit it with a shovel, it would kill me when I released it,” Thiessen said during a plea hearing, admitting he knew he had caught a Mexican gray wolf because it wore the radio tracking collar attached to all Mexican gray wolves in the area. In a brief telephone interview with The New Mexican weeks after the court proceedings, Thiessen acknowledged hitting the wolf with a shovel but disputed he had killed it. “It doesn’t say I killed it,” he said of his plea agreement. “After I let it go, it left. It wasn’t dead.” The maximum penalty for Thiessen’s misdemeanor offense was six months of imprisonment, five years of probation and a $25,000 fine, according to court documents. But Thiessen’s lighter sentence has prompted outrage from supporters of the wolf recovery program who complain it’s far too lenient. “The value of this individual wolf to the American taxpayer is far more than $2,300,” Bird said. The wolf species “suffers from high rates of mortality, and illegal killings are a large portion. … Fish and Wildlife law enforcement needs to get serious about investigating and prosecuting wolf killings,” he added, referring to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Thiessen did not respond when asked if he thought the sentence was appropriate. A question of value If wolf proponents are unhappy about prosecution and penalties for those who kill wolves, advocates for ranchers are just as troubled by a recovery program they say has been foisted upon them and doesn’t adequately compensate them when wolves kill livestock. “The wolves have been a huge problem. They kill tens of thousands of dollars every year in livestock. And most think the government pays for those losses,” said Caren Cowan, executive director of the 1,400-member New Mexico Cattle Growers Association. “They do not.” Tom Paterson, an owner of the Spur Ranch Cattle Co. in Catron County and eastern Arizona, said he has faced “terrible problems” since the wolf reintroduction. The Mexican gray wolf, he said, “threatens our people, it threatens our pets, it threatens our property. … If the soccer mom in New York City wants to have the wolf on the ground, the American people should pay the expense.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program has a compensation program for “probable” or “confirmed” wolf kills, but Cowan said she believes it is inadequate and inequitable. Compensation varies and depends on how the loss is classified. With a probable loss, the rancher receives half of the animal’s market value that day. A rancher gets full market value only for a confirmed loss, Cowan said. The government formula does not take into account fattening time, genetic values of future production and the time needed to manage cattle away from wolves, she said. A 3-year-old bull, for example, might have a value of $3,500 and has five to eight years of procreation production, Cowan said. “They have lost that $3,500 and all the calves expected to be sired by the bull in the coming years,” she said. Fish and Wildlife spokesman John Bradley said in a statement that the agency understands “the difficulty that livestock producers face as they raise their cattle. One can only guess on how many calves a bull could potentially sire.” Since Jan. 3, Paterson said, four of his cows have been confirmed as killed by wolves, and one bull was a probable kill. Any compensation, he says, does not cover the losses and requires waiting. Occasionally, Bradley said, the Fish and Wildlife Service may “lethally remove” an animal preying on livestock. That happened in 2017, when a female wolf in a group known as the Diamond Pack was killed after the pack was linked to eight livestock deaths. Still, tensions bubble as wolf proponents consider the future of Thiessen’s livestock grazing permit, a document issued by the U.S. Forest Service that allows animals to graze on federal lands at a far lower cost than on private property. According to a Forest Service spokeswoman, a permit may be suspended or canceled by the district ranger for “failure to comply with federal laws or regulations.” Thirty-three organizations and 20 individuals requested “the immediate cancellation” of Thiessen’s permit in a June 8 letter to Gila National Forest Supervisor Adam Mendonca and U.S. Forest Service interim Chief Vicki Christiansen. “The public should not subsidize Mr. Thiessen’s private business after his brutal, violent and unconscionable crime,” the letter states. Thiessen said he had not heard of the letter seeking his permit revocation. The Forest Service is reviewing the case to make a determination, and Thiessen has the right to appeal, Mendonca said in a phone interview Friday. Thiessen has had a grazing permit in the Quemado Ranger District “for a number of years,” and the standard permit length is 10 years, Mendonca said. The agency has received over 200 calls and about 1,000 emails calling for Thiessen’s permit to be revoked, Mendonca said, adding he “appreciated that folks reached out and let us know how they think.” There is no time frame on when a decision will be made, he said. A well-known pup The statistics on Mexican gray wolf deaths in the recovery area tell a story. From 1998, when the first Mexican wolves were released into the wild in New Mexico and Arizona, until December 2015, 66 wolves died from “illegal mortality,” which might include illegal shooting with a firearm or arrow, or deaths related to trapping. Fifteen wolves succumbed to vehicle collision, 23 died from natural causes and 20 died from other or unknown causes, with six awaiting necropsy. The total number of deaths — not including management-related permanent removals or lethal control — for the 17-year period was 124. The Fish and Wildlife Service considers the recovery program a success, according to a spokesman. Once common from central Mexico to the American Southwest, the subspecies had nearly become extinct by the 1970s. According to the agency’s most recent census, there are about 117 Mexican gray wolves in the wild, with about half living in the Gila National Forest. According to Fish and Wildlife’s revised recovery plan for the species, released in 2017, removal of the Mexican gray wolf from the endangered species list would require one of two things: The U.S. population of the wolf would need to average “greater than or equal to 320” over four years, or at least 150 wolves would need to be identified in both the U.S. and Mexico over the same four-year period, with annual population growth. The wolf pup mp1385 was actually fairly well-known before his death. He was born in the wild in 2014 and weighed 25 pounds Sept. 7 of that year when he was captured in a foothold trap — a routine capture by Fish and Wildlife’s wolf recovery team. At that time, he was radio-collared, vaccinated and released in good health, moving away without any limp, according to a wolf capture data sheet. Five months later, on Feb. 17, 2015, the pup was found dead by the Mexican Wolf Inter-Agency Field Team, which is responsible for the day-to-day management of the wolves in New Mexico and Arizona. The wolf was part of a pack that roamed in the north-central part of the Gila National Forest. That group had no confirmed livestock killings, Fish and Wildlife said. Mp1385 was more than a number to Albuquerque 11-year-old Jaryn Allen, who at age 8 dubbed the pup Mia Tuk, as part of an annual pup-naming contest sponsored by the organization Lobos of the Southwest. Allen was notified by that group of Mia Tuk’s death. Allen said he got the name Mia Tuk from Jack London’s White Fang, a novel about a wolf-dog hybrid in the Yukon Territory. “It made me very sad,” Allen said last week, “and I was troubled for a few days. And sad.”
Friday, June 22, 2018
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Secretary Perdue Statement on 2018 Farm Bill Passing the House of Representatives (Washington, D.C., June 21, 2018) — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed their version of the 2018 Farm Bill: “I applaud Chairman Conaway and the House Agriculture Committee for their diligence and hard work in passing their 2018 Farm Bill through the House of Representatives. American producers have greatly benefited from the policies of the Trump Administration, including tax reforms and reductions in regulations, however a Farm Bill is still critically important to give the agriculture community some much-needed reassurance. No doubt, there is still much work to be done on this legislation in both chambers of Congress, and USDA stands ready to assist with whatever counsel lawmakers may request or require.”
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Sustainable Agriculture Field Day to be held at NMSU DATE: 06/19/2018 WRITER: Ximena Tapia, 575-646-6233, firstname.lastname@example.org CONTACT: Autumn Martinez, 575-646-2281, email@example.com New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences will host its first-ever Sustainable Agriculture Field Day Thursday, June 28. The event will be from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the NMSU Leyendecker Plant Science Research Center. The field day will highlight many of the ongoing research projects at the Leyendecker Plant Science Research Center that support sustainable agriculture in New Mexico. Information will be provided that will interest large and small commercial growers, home gardeners, and members of the public who appreciate and support the state’s agricultural base. A diverse group of ongoing research projects will be presented, including weed control in chile using mustard seed meal, biochar and pinto beans, irrigation efficient pecans, heat tolerant tomatoes, guar and jujube fruit trees. The event is being sponsored by the western region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. WSARE is a United States Department of Agriculture program that provides funding for research and education projects supporting agriculture that is profitable, environmentally friendly and beneficial for communities. The event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be provided. For more information or directions, contact the Leyendecker Center at 575-646-2281.
NMSU rodeo records two top 10 finishes at College National Finals Rodeo DATE: 06/19/2018 WRITER: Tiffany Acosta, 575-646-3929, firstname.lastname@example.org CONTACT: Logan Corbett, 575-646-3659, email@example.com The New Mexico State University rodeo team concluded the College National Finals Rodeo with a pair of eighth-place finishes at the event in Casper, Wyoming, June 10-16. Freshman Blaise Milligan (bull riding) and senior Anna Barker (barrel racing) led the Aggies with eighth-place individual finishes. “I am extremely proud of our team at this year’s CNFR,” said head coach Logan Corbett. “As a coach, anything less than first place can be disappointing, but as a whole, I’m happy with our results. Our finish doesn’t really sum up our performance, we had multiple students just seconds away from winning national titles, we just weren’t able to finish the week. I know we’ll be back, and stronger than ever.” In the team standings, NMSU’s women’s team finished 19th, and the men’s team was 30th. NMSU had 10 student-athletes compete at CNFR. In steer wrestling, freshman Colton Clemens finished 12th and senior Wyatt Jurney was 17th. Junior Tyler Muth qualified for the event but was unable to participate following an accident before nationals. Clemens also placed 18th in bareback riding, and freshman Cauy Pool was 21st. NMSU had top 20 finishes from sophomore Derek Runyan, 17th in tie down roping, senior Savannah Montero, 18th in goat tying, and freshman Levi Whitley, 19th in bull riding. Additionally, seniors Jace Cooley and Carly Billington finished 26th in saddle bronc riding and 30th in barrel racing, respectively.
Friday, June 15, 2018
Don’t miss out on the first-ever NMDA Chef Ambassador Program Application deadline is Saturday, June 30 Las Cruces, New Mexico – Don’t miss out on the opportunity to apply for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s first-ever NEW MEXICO—Taste the Tradition® (NM-TTT) Chef Ambassador Program. The competition is sizzling up! Applications are due Saturday, June 30 for New Mexico chefs interested in being a part of this exciting program. This is your chance to provide a taste of New Mexico agriculture simply by incorporating foods grown throughout the state into your own recipes. If selected, chefs will have the chance to showcase their cooking skills and gain industry exposure while providing a voice for New Mexico agriculture. Ambassadors selected through a competitive application process will serve a two-year term advocating for and promoting New Mexico agriculture at various events, such as the New Mexico State Fair, HomeGrown and industry conferences. Those interested in becoming an NM-TTT Chef Ambassador must demonstrate credentials as a chef, sous chef or pastry chef in the state of New Mexico. Please visit newmexicotradition.com or call Felicia Frost at 575-646-4929 for more information. Applications and necessary attachments must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by Saturday, June 30. For more information about NMDA, visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu. Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/NMDeptAg and follow us on Twitter @NMDeptAg. – NMDA –
New Mexico agriculture leaders discuss solution to aging farm, ranch operators DATE: 06/15/2018 WRITER: Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527, email@example.com CONTACT: Rolando A. Flores, 575-646-3748, firstname.lastname@example.org CONTACT: Jeff Witte, 575-646-3007, email@example.com BELEN – An aging agriculture producer population was the main concern aired at the second in a series of listening sessions by the state’s top agricultural leaders. New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Dean Rolando A. Flores and New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte led a lively conversation regarding what is being done to recruit future agricultural producers. “The average age of New Mexico agricultural producers is 60 and a half years old, which is older than the national average of 58,” Flores said. “It is critical that we recruit younger people into the profession. We are focused on recruiting students into our college. Especially, we need to increase the Hispanic and Native American students.” Besides learning about the recruiting efforts of the College of ACES, the audience was informed about the Grow the Growers program in Bernalillo County that is training people how to raise fruits and vegetables. Flores was asked what the College of ACES is doing, in addition to the traditional 4-H programs, to introduce agriculture to youth ages 10 to 13. He asked the Cooperative Extension Service agents present to talk about the statewide New Mexico Youth Ranch Management Camp; Valencia County Extension’s Food Camp for Kids, Dairy Camp and Beef Heifer Development Project; and Bernalillo County Extension’s 4-H program on Kirtland Air Force Base and the two Albuquerque Public Schools designated as 4-H schools, since all students participate in the program. “These programs are some examples of what we are doing,” Flores said. “They are localized in certain areas, at this time, but we are moving toward having these types of programs all over the state.” The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is introducing people ages 18 to 40 to agriculture through its AgriFuture Educational Institute program held every other year. “We have a tremendous amount of people in their 40s and 50s who are coming back to production agriculture,” Witte said. “About one-third of our participants at the AgriFuture Educational Institute are over 40 and want to enter agriculture.” Preparing future agriculture professionals is the purpose of NMSU’s College of ACES. “Our biggest challenge is how to prepare our future graduates for jobs that do not exist now,” Flores said of the rapidly changing technology associated with agriculture. “One way we are addressing this is by improving our facilities on campus.” Flores outlined projects included in the general obligation bond election in November, including a Biomedical Research Center, a Food Science Security and Safety Learning Facility and an Animal Nutrition and Feed Manufacturing Facility. “The 2018 GO bond projects to be voted on by New Mexicans in November of this year are vital for the future of New Mexico’s agriculture and food industries,” Flores said. “The goal is to have a big push for agriculture in two major areas: food safety and security and generation of value-added from agricultural products by developing the foods of the future. These two components, properly supported, can convert Southern New Mexico into a hub for the nation’s food safety and security and can bolster economic and community development in New Mexico.” This is the second year the two leaders have hosted listening sessions across New Mexico to hear from farmers and ranchers. This year’s series will conclude July 18 in Alamogordo at the Otero County Cooperative Extension Service office, 401 Fairgrounds Road. The event will begin at 6 p.m. - 30 -
Joint Statement of Action to Promote Elder Justice in Rural America by The United States Department of Justice And United States Department of Agriculture
Joint Statement of Action to Promote Elder Justice in Rural America by The United States Department of Justice And United States Department of Agriculture (Washington, D.C., June 15, 2018) — The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Agriculture (USDA) are forming a working group to focus on ways to empower and to support rural and tribal communities to combat elder abuse and financial exploitation. Today on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we collaboratively embark on a mission to work with older Americans in this Nation to improve their quality of life as envisioned by the Report to the President from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. The Nation’s seniors are treasured and revered members of our communities. Too often, however, seniors are targeted by unscrupulous criminals for fraud or are subjected to abuse. Factors more common in rural and tribal communities--including large geographic areas that elongate response time, fewer services and service providers, and limited access to broadband-- create additional challenges to identifying and combatting elder fraud and abuse in rural and tribal communities. DOJ and USDA resolve to marshal our collective resources and expertise to enable rural and tribal communities to more effectively combat elder abuse and financial exploitation. We are forming a working group to develop recommendations and will jointly present strategic action steps in November 2018 at the Department of Justice’s Rural Elder Justice Summit in Des Moines, Iowa. ###
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
NMDA schedules public hearings regarding new rules, amendments and repeals Public hearings to be held in Artesia June 18 and Las Cruces June 19
NMDA schedules public hearings regarding new rules, amendments and repeals Public hearings to be held in Artesia June 18 and Las Cruces June 19 (Las Cruces, New Mexico) – The New Mexico Department of Agriculture has scheduled rule-making hearings in order to receive public input on new rules, amendments and repeals of departmental rules. The first hearing will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, June 18 in Artesia at the Artesia Public Schools Administrative Office, located at 301 Bulldog Blvd. The hearing will focus on the new rule regarding pecan buyers licensure: 21.19.2 New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC) – Pecan Buyers Licensure. A hearing will also be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 19 in Las Cruces at the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, located at 3190 S. Espina. The hearing will focus on the new rule regarding pecan buyers licensure: 21.19.2 NMAC Pecan Buyers Licensure, as well as the following: Repeals: 19.15.110 NMAC Biodiesel fuel specification, dispensers, and dispenser labeling requirements; 19.15.111 NMAC E85 Fuel specification, dispensers, and dispenser labeling requirements; 19.15.112 NMAC Retail natural gas (CNG/LNG) regulations Repeal and Replace: 21.1.1 NMAC NMDA Rule Making Procedures Amend: 19.15.108 NMAC Bonding and Registration of Service Technicians and Service Establishments for Commercial Weighing or Measuring Devices. To view complete details, please visit http://www.nmda.nmsu.edu/notice-of-rulemaking-hearings/. For more information about NMDA, visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu. Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/NMDeptAg and follow us on Twitter @NMDeptAg.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Game Commission to meet June 21 in Raton NMDGF Press Release The New Mexico Game Commission will meet Thursday, June 21, in Raton to discuss potential hunting rule changes for turkey and migratory bird. The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Raton Convention Center located at 901 South Third Street, in Raton. Other agenda items include: • An update on the construction of the Albuquerque and Roswell Office Complexes. • An update on habitat projects throughout New Mexico in the past four years. • Initial discussions for potential rule changes for deer, elk, private land elk license application, licenses/permits specific to vendor opportunities, hunting and fishing applications, and potential amendments for the manner and method rule. Agenda
Farm Bureau Hails District Court WOTUS Decision AFBF Press Release “A federal district court ruling in Georgia late last week has effectively suspended the flawed ‘Waters of the United States’ rule from taking effect in 11 more states that challenged its legality. The 2015 rule is now stayed in a total of 24 states. While the ruling was a clear validation of many concerns that Farm Bureau has expressed about the rule, we need to continue to work diligently to support the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to formally repeal the rule,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall.
USDA Extends Application Deadline for Dairy Margin Protection Program to June 22 Re-enrollment Continues Through June 22, Dairy producers urged to act now WASHINGTON, June 12, 2018 – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced the re-enrollment deadline for the Margin Protection Program (MPP) for Dairy will be extended until June 22, 2018. The new and improved program protects participating dairy producers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below levels of protection selected by the applicant. USDA has already issued more than $89 million for margins triggered in February, March, and April, and USDA offices are continuing to process remaining payments daily. “Last week we re-opened enrollment to offer producers preoccupied with field work an additional opportunity to come into their local office to sign-up. We did get more than 500 new operations enrolled but want to continue to provide an opportunity for folks to participate before the next margin is announced,” said Secretary Perdue. “More than 21,000 American dairies have gone into our 2,200 FSA offices to sign-up for 2018 MPP coverage but I am certain we can do better with this extra week and a half.” The re-enrollment deadline was previously extended through June 8, 2018. The deadline is being extended a second time to ensure that dairy producers are given every opportunity to make a calculated decision and enroll in the program if they choose. This will be the last opportunity for producers to take advantage of key adjustments Congress made to provisions of the MPP program under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 to strengthen its support of dairy producers. USDA encourages producers contemplating enrollment to use the online web resource at www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool to calculate the best levels of coverage for their dairy operation. The next margin under MPP, for May 2018, will be published on June 28, 2018. Therefore, all coverage elections on form CCC-782 and the $100 administrative fee, unless exempt, must be submitted to the County FSA Office no later than June 22, 2018. No registers will be utilized, so producers are encouraged to have their enrollment for 2018 completed by COB June 22, 2018. All dairy operations must make new coverage elections for 2018 during the re-enrollment period, even if the operation was enrolled during the previous 2018 signup. Coverage elections made for 2018 will be retroactive to January 1, 2018. MPP payments will be sequestered at a rate of 6.6 percent. To learn more about the Margin Protection Program for dairy, contact your local USDA Farm Service Agency county office at offices.usda.gov or visit us on the Web at www.fsa.usda.gov. #
Monday, June 11, 2018
Original idea? Patent and Trademark Resource Center at NMSU assists innovators DATE: 06/11/2018 WRITER: Tiffany Acosta, 575-646-3929, firstname.lastname@example.org CONTACT: David Irvin , 575-646-6925, email@example.com Alex Moon has a new idea, and the biology doctorate student at New Mexico State University is trying to patent his idea. Through the process, the Patent and Trademark Resource Center at NMSU’s Zuhl Library has been a valuable resource. Established at NMSU in October 2016, the PTRC is the only office in New Mexico and the surrounding region and is officially affiliated with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia. “This program is set up through the USPTO to help inventors who don’t have the support or money up front to get going on the patent process,” said David Irvin, NMSU business and government documents librarian and PTRC representative. The PTRC can help individuals conduct prior-art searches for patents and trademarks so they can determine if a patent or trademark already exist before proceeding with the process. The PTRC is a free service and open to the public. Moon, who is trying to patent his method for building 3D printed casts, filled LLC paperwork in January 2018 for his business and then visited the PTRC and talked with Irvin to research the viability of his idea. “I’m currently now in the later stages of prototype development. Hopefully it comes out soon. It’s been a long challenge to get to that spot,” Moon said. “If my patent is granted, it’s because of the PTRC and the people in it.” The PTRC provides access to not only the research software and USPTO training materials but also referrals to the ProBoPat program, which connects individuals to pro bono intellectual property attorneys. “It saves inventors money to be able to have access to an office like this,” Irvin said. “It also is part of the extension and outreach mission of the university ... to reach out and provide resources for inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs who are applying for patents or trademarks. “The library is a good place for this because we have been trained as professional researchers. You can do keyword searches using Google Patent search, but the more effective way is to use the software that the patent examiners use themselves,” he added. “We have that capability.” Moon encourages local inventors to visit the PTRC. “Don’t be afraid to use it. It’s a very awesome resource that is there and not many people utilize, which is really sad,” he said. Since the PTRC office opened, Irvin estimates 130 people have been helped. Starting this summer, the PTRC will be open all year, previously the office closed in the summer. “People need to be realistic about how difficult this process is and how long it takes and often times how expensive it is,” Irvin said. “If people want to go through a search for art, this is a great place to do it. If they want advice about the application process or drafting claims, you really have to do that on your own or have an attorney do it.” Additionally, Irvin mentioned the NMSU Library collects and binds plant patents from the USPTO. Since 1994, NMSU has received plant patent volumes that are housed in the Branson Library. For more information visit http://nmsu.libguides.com/PTRC.
Friday, June 8, 2018
Suicide Prevention and Support Resources Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that suicide rates increased by 25 percent across the United States since 1999, and that, in half of the states, increased more than 30 percent. Suicide is a serious public health problem that causes immeasurable pain, suffering, and loss to individuals, families, and communities nationwide. The causes of suicide are complex and determined by multiple combinations of factors, such as mental illness, substance abuse, painful losses, exposure to violence, and social isolation. If you need to talk to someone, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress and prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and offers best practices for professionals
Assistant to the Secretary Anne Hazlett Statement on Stop Youth Opioid Abuse Campaign (Washington, D.C., June 8, 2018) – Following the release of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Stop Youth Opioid Abuse public service announcement campaign, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett issued the following statement: “Leaving no community untouched, the opioid epidemic has taken a monumental toll on many of the small towns and rural places that are the heartbeat of our country. The campaign to Stop Youth Opioid Abuse shows that at the root of this crisis, addiction is a disease driving good people to make shocking and destructive decisions. Addressing the opioid epidemic is a top priority for this Administration. With that leadership, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural leaders in building healthy, resilient and prosperous communities now and for generations to come.” At the direction of President Trump, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been keenly focused on addressing the opioid crisis in rural communities. So far, the Department has been convening regional roundtables to hear firsthand accounts of the impact of the crisis and effective strategies for response in rural communities; launched an interactive webpage on opioid misuse in rural America featuring resources for rural communities and individuals facing the crisis; and prioritized investments in two key grant programs to address the crisis in rural places. For more information about these efforts, visit the USDA rural opioid misuse webpage at www.usda.gov/opioids. #
New Mexico official says Texas landowners are “stealing” millions of gallons of water and selling it back for fracking
New Mexico official says Texas landowners are “stealing” millions of gallons of water and selling it back for fracking SOURCE: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/06/07/texas-landowners-new-mexico-stealing-water-fracking/ Water restrictions in New Mexico have created a supply crunch for the fracking industry, so more free-flowing Texas water is helping to fill the void. But not without controversy: A top New Mexico politician says Texans are pumping his state's water and piping it across the state line for oil drillers. ORLA — After you head northeast on Ranch Road 652 from tiny Orla, it’s easy to miss the precise moment you leave Texas and cross into New Mexico. The sign just says “Lea County Line,” and with 254 counties in Texas, you’d be forgiven for not knowing there isn’t one named Lea. But the folks who are selling water over it know exactly where the line is. That’s because on the Texas side, where the “rule of capture” rules groundwater policy, people basically can pump water from beneath their land to their heart’s content. But on the New Mexico side, the state has imposed tight regulations on both surface and groundwater that restrict supply. Here’s the rub — or the opportunity, depending on your perspective: With an oil fracking boom driving demand for freshwater on both sides of the state line in these parts, Texas landowners are helping to fill the void with water from the Lone Star State — including from at least one county in which Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a drought. The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one. Now a top New Mexico politician is crying foul, saying that unregulated pumping from wells next to the state line is depleting the shared aquifers that supply water to southern New Mexico. “Texas is stealing New Mexico’s water,” said New Mexico State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn. “If you put a whole bunch of straws in Texas and you don’t have any straws in New Mexico, you’re sucking all the water from under New Mexico out in Texas and then selling it back to New Mexico.” The difference in ownership of land in the two states contributes to the divergent water policies. In Texas, more than 90 percent of the land is privately owned. In New Mexico, by contrast, only 43 percent is owned by individuals, while 57 percent is in government or tribal hands. Ben Hasson Dunn says he has already found at least seven unpermitted water lines snaking from Texas across state trust lands he oversees, and he believes millions of gallons a day are being pumped into his state for use in oil and gas exploration. The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one. The commissioner, who oversees 9 million surface acres of state trust lands, said he has quit issuing new fresh water well permits for the oil and gas industry on agency-supervised property, but he can’t stop the pumping in Texas. And experts say there is no law barring unlimited sales of Texas water to New Mexico buyers — making the transfers hard to quantify. “Water is a vested property in the state of Texas. There is no law that I know of that prevents it from being shipped over state lines,” said state Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo. “It is less important where the water goes, as long as the owners are compensated, I suppose, than what the plans are to see to it that we have a water supply in perpetuity.” It’s a bipartisan sentiment. State Rep. Poncho Nevárez, the Eagle Pass Democrat who represents the far-flung outpost of Pecos in neighboring Reeves County, said he’s not so worried where the water goes as long as there’s enough to go around for residents and the towns they live in. “What does it matter if it goes 5 feet across the county line or to the moon?” Nevarez said. “I could see the pushback if Pecos proper was having trouble getting water, and here you have these guys moving massive amounts of water to New Mexico ... you gotta take care of the people where the resource generates from first.” When it comes to ensuring future supplies for the locals in Texas, lawmakers note that communities can always band together and form groundwater conservation districts, which issue pumping permits to protect aquifer levels. But here in Loving County, which is part of both Nevarez' and Seliger’s sprawling districts and sits adjacent to Lea County, New Mexico, there is no water conservation district, according to maps published by the Texas Water Development Board. (Abbott recently put Loving County on the list of counties seeking federal drought assistance). Texas rancher Roy “Sonny” Lindsay owns Loving County property that sits along the state border near Ranch Road 652, and he’s seen plenty of water heading north to New Mexico — where locally sourced water is harder to obtain. He recently sold some of it himself to ConocoPhillips from a giant frac pit — used to store water in the drilling process — the company built on his land. The company then pumped the water through hoses running into New Mexico, he said. “If it wasn't for Texas water, New Mexico wouldn't have no oil production,” Lindsay said. “So they shouldn't gripe about us selling water over there.” The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one. Rancher and land owner Sonny Lindsay walks next to a "frac pit" on land he has leased to ConocoPhillips along Ranch Road 652 near the Texas-New Mexico border. Rancher and land owner Sonny Lindsay walks next to a "frac pit" on land he has leased to ConocoPhillips along Ranch Road 652 near the Texas-New Mexico border. Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune In an emailed statement, ConocoPhillips spokeswoman Romelia Hinojosa cited the supply problems in New Mexico and said water from Lindsay’s Hanging H Ranch was used to complete five wells in New Mexico in early 2017. “At the time, we could not source water from New Mexico because other operators had captured the full capacity of the water available from sources (third party water vendors) in New Mexico,” Hinojosa said. She didn’t know the “exact volume” of water sent over the state line but said it was less than 5 percent of the water the company used in the Permian Basin in 2017. “At this time, ConocoPhillips is not using Texas water in New Mexico,” Hinojosa added. Lindsay said ConocoPhillips isn’t the only company that has piped water into New Mexico over his land. He said he recently discovered a water line from Texas Pacific Land Trust, a highly profitable company whose water sales have exploded in recent years, going over his land into New Mexico. He found another line lying alongside Ranch Road 652 whose owner could not be determined. Nor was it clear who owned several hard plastic lines — or what they were being used for — stretching across the state border near a wastewater facility not far from the Lea County Line sign. Phone and email messages left for Texas Pacific Land Trust, a 130-year-old company that owns almost 900,000 acres of land in 18 Texas counties, were not returned this week. Meanwhile, a Houston-based water supply company, Solaris Water Midstream, announced Tuesday that it is building a pipeline that will soon deliver millions of gallons of water per day from parched West Texas to New Mexico to help alleviate what the CEO described as “limited sources of water” constraining fracking operations in the region. “The high-capacity pipeline will add crucial, permanent water supply infrastructure to one of the most prolific areas in the Permian Basin and will be capable of transporting approximately 150,000 barrels [6.3 million gallons] of water per day from Loving County, Texas, to Eddy County, New Mexico,” the company said. Solaris spokeswoman Casey Nikoloric said the company works closely with area landowners to ensure "all permits are in place and easement fees are paid." The heavy cross-state water sales come amid an unprecedented fracking boom in the northwestern Texas counties near the New Mexico border. Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, uses enormous quantities of water, which drillers pressurize and shoot deep below the surface to help separate shale oil from porous rocks. In remote West Texas counties like Loving and Reeves, water lines zigzag between frac pits — above-ground pools lined with plastic — that dot the horizon. The drilling frenzy has filled hotels, torn up roads and boosted oil company profits all over the Permian Basin. New Mexico State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn stands along Highway 652 below the Lea County sign at the Texas-New Mexico border on May 23, 2018. New Mexico State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn stands along Highway 652 below the Lea County sign at the Texas-New Mexico border on May 23, 2018. Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune But oil isn’t the only liquid landowners are turning into quick cash. Suddenly, ranchers who once coaxed cotton out of the desert are finding their water is more valuable than the crops they once irrigated with it. “There’s a lot of individuals that have sold a million dollars’ worth of water,” said Paul Weatherby, former general manager of the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District. He said he’s not bothered that some of it is being sold in New Mexico. “You don’t stop at the border for anything,” he said. “You drive across it on a trip. Ranchers own land in both states; farmers own land in both states. Oil and gas doesn’t recognize the border. Water doesn’t recognize the border.” Still, water and how it’s used can be a touchy subject around here. In the early 1950s, a crown jewel of Fort Stockton — Comanche Springs — dried up amid heavy pumping by farmers, most famously Clayton Williams Sr. An ensuing court battle reaffirmed the landmark 1904 decision upholding the “rule of capture” — giving landowners broad control over the water under their property — and Comanche Springs never recovered. Williams’ son, Clayton Williams Jr., who lost the 1990 governor’s race to Ann Richards, later rattled Fort Stockton with a plan to pump his water from the rural area to thirsty cities like Midland and Odessa. The battle dragged on for years, culminating in a 2017 settlement that allows for limited water exports. Tangling over water with New Mexico isn’t new, either — particularly when it comes to the Rio Grande and Pecos Rivers. A battle over distribution of water from the Rio Grande recently went to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Texas claimed a preliminary victory in March in an ongoing water war. In this new water-war battlefront, the New Mexico land commissioner argues that the rule of capture should not allow one state to negatively impact another’s aquifer. Dunn also is trying to determine if the landowners and companies selling water in New Mexico are paying taxes on it as required. Robert McEntyre, spokesman for the New Mexico Oil & Gas Association, said his members believe in robust compliance with all regulations and tax laws. "If we're running lines across state trust lands or federal lands, we should have the proper permits, and the proper taxes should be paid. I don't think anyone is contesting that," he said. "But I do think it would be irresponsible for the land commissioner to paint the entire industry with a broad brush over what seems to be a handful of cases." Dunn says he worries about the long-term impact of pumping so much groundwater for use in oil and gas extraction. That pumping lowers the amount of water that feeds rivers and streams, he said. “You're taking a resource that's not really rechargeable, and using it,” Dunn said. “I think in the long run water is going to be more valuable than oil.” Midland veterinarian Michael McCulloch, who owns land in both Texas and New Mexico and advocates for water conservation, said it’s the disharmony in interstate water law that’s helping to deplete the land’s most precious resource. “We need to think about how this is going to affect our kids and grandkids down the road,” McCulloch said. “It does bother me a little bit that New Mexico regulates how much water I can use, but it would be nice if we could have a compromise between the two states, and Texas conserves a little bit more water and New Mexico maybe lightens up a bit on their water law.” Read related Tribune coverage EPA: Fracking can harm drinking water Ranchers Frustrated By Water Spills from Oil Fields