Jenny Schlecht / Forum News Service
When you’re out driving around, looking for stories in yet-to-be-planted fields, there are things you expect to see. Tractors, maybe. Farmers. Puddles, if you’re talking this spring. But as I was out driving a quiet gravel road the other day, I saw something I most certainly did not expect. An elliptical machine. Yes, a piece of exercise equipment was sitting there, on a section line in rural Burleigh County, N.D. Unless someone is starting some kind of weird theme gym, it seems pretty likely that someone was using the section line as their personal dumping grounds.
While countries across the globe work to eliminate African swine fever, John Deen says he hopes that U.S. pork producers continue to strive to block the highly contagious and deadly virus from ever infecting its pig herd. Deen is a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota. His expertise includes swine health and welfare and epidemiology of swine diseases. As part of his epidemiological work, he has visited China, talking to pig farmers and veterinarians about the new scourge to the industry.
When I interview farmers and ranchers and ask them to tell me about their operations, the first thing many of them say is that they are the third or fourth or fifth generation on their farm, whatever the number may be. They say that because they are proud to be continuing their family legacy of farming. If they are the fourth generation, their children are the fifth. How cool is it to be so connected to your ancestors?
Most farmers and ranchers have lists of chores they want to get done. But rarely do they remember to put caring for the most important asset on their operations on their lists, said Sean Brotherson, North Dakota State University Extension family science specialist. “On that list, the first and most important thing needs to be the care of their own health and the people around them,” he said. “You can take care of your operation, but taking care of yourself is essential to being able to take care of your operation.”
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Friday, May 17 announced that the United States and Japan have agreed on new terms and conditions that eliminate Japan’s long-standing restrictions on U.S. beef exports, paving the way for expanded sales to the United States’ top global beef market.
SISSETON, S.D. — The vice president of a South Dakota livestock auction says allegations that his company violated federal law by falsifying information had nothing to do with the livestock auction itself. Tyler Hellwig, vice president of Sisseton Livestock Auction, would not answer questions about the complaint filed last month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service against his company and on May 8 referred a reporter to “the people involved” before hanging up.
When I was a teenager, my mom and I were discussing why there were so many people around us trying to be “farmers.” They’d buy 10 cows or a little tractor and act surprised when it wasn’t as easy as expected. My mom, wise in all things, suggested a lot of people want the “lifestyle” of farming and ranching. “It’s kind of a stupid lifestyle,” I remember saying.
A few weeks ago, I helped my husband move some pens of calves and sort some cows. Our feedlot has an excellent drainage system, but this time of year, nothing can drain well enough to keep pens dry. An abundance of melting snow and ice jams in the culverts have created ankle-deep slop here and there. Every thwack of my boots sticking in the mud sounded like spring.
MEDINA, N.D. — When August Heupel learned about an effort to send some hay to Nebraska ranchers who are dealing with the aftermath of historic flooding, he didn’t hesitate to donate to the cause. “It’s tough to look at, so I can’t imagine living it,” Heupel said of the flooding.
MONANGO, N.D. — Mark Wagner has memories of the April 1997 storm that hit North Dakota, and he’s heard all about the 1966 storm before he was born that took lives, both human and livestock. He thinks the blizzard of March 2019 might go down in history with those past events.