Jenny Schlecht / Agweek Staff Writer
STEELE, N.D.—When Kidder County, N.D., merged its two high schools for this school year, there was one major hitch: the county school district's ag program had always been based at Tappen High School. All of the students now go to Steele High School. Steele had a shop, but not the kind of facility that would house all of the agriculture and vocational education offerings.
TAPPEN, N.D. — One could be excused for thinking the central North Dakota weather on March 30 was an early April Fools' Day joke — and a cruel one at that. The northwest wind bit at exposed skin and sent snowflakes fluttering wildly, the conditions fit for neither human nor beast. But, as February, March and April are the prevalent calving times for the region, the repercussions of the weather on both humans and beasts can be a harsh reality.
VALLEY CITY, N.D. — A market is easier lost than gained, Valley City farmer Monte Peterson said. And that's got him worried. As the Trump administration moves forward on tariffs on Chinese products, Peterson and others in agriculture in North Dakota are worried about potential retaliation and the effect that could have on the prices local farmers receive for their crops and livestock. "If we see retaliation, oftentimes we see it within the ag sector," Peterson said.
I've heard people say raising cattle is "easy money." That's laughable to me, as someone who has been connected to the cattle industry my entire life. Sure, those big calf checks look good when they come in, but when most of that money goes back to the bank to pay the operating loan for the expense of making feed and to pay other notes required to keep the place running, the result at the end is far less than many would expect and sometimes seems barely worth the effort.
LAMOURE, N.D.—No livestock producer wants to have sick animals, but the Fairview Colony has a special interest in keeping its pigs healthy: Its market depends on it. The colony west of LaMoure, N.D., sells its pigs to Coleman Natural Foods of Sioux City, Iowa, contingent on the fact that the pigs have never, ever had antibiotics. That makes keeping their animals healthy all the more important.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.—Ground Works-Midwest formed about seven years ago to use teaching gardens to enhance classroom education in elementary schools in underserved areas of South Dakota. As they introduced the concepts from their themed gardens, they started hearing a common complaint from teachers: "Our kids do not know where their food comes from," says Tim Olsen, executive director of the nonprofit Ground Works-Midwest.
BISMARCK — Tim Petry is tired of the word "record," because when it comes to livestock markets and production, "we are constantly setting records." Petry, livestock economist at North Dakota State University, spoke along with his NDSU crop economist counterpart Frayne Olson during the Farming and Ranching for the Bottom Line conference held at Bismarck State College on Feb. 27. The two gave the crowd of more than 200 a look at the price outlooks for their respective areas of expertise.
WASHINGTON — A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate would permanently exclude livestock producers from having to report animal waste emissions. Eight senators introduced the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM) Act on Feb. 13 and additional co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle have signed on since the bill was written. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act requires facilities to report releases of hazardous substances that meet or exceed a reportable quantity within a 24-hour period.
When we bought an Australian Shepherd puppy in the 2015, my older daughter was in a phase of naming things with random syllables. The little black and brown puppy was going to be "hers," and she wanted naming rights. After running through a variety of sounds, she stumbled onto "Cocoa." We immediately agreed, since it was an actual word and not a hodgepodge of letters. It also fit her coloring and was easy to scream.
ENGLEVALE, N.D.—As soybeans and corn have increased as crops of choice for North Dakota farmers, Craig Jarolimek said driving through the state feels a little bit like driving through Iowa. "If you didn't know where you were, you'd think you were in Iowa," Jarolimek told a crowd at a tour at the new Ransom Multiplier gilt production facility near Englevale on Thursday, Oct. 12. "All we're missing is the livestock."