Arrest made in Connors State College cattle theft case

Artrell Mark Carmouche, 23, of Humble, Texas, was arrested TSCRA Special Rangers Bart Perrier and John Cummings on May 7, accused of stealing and selling 5 head of cattle from the Connors State College agriculture program. Carmouche, who attended the Warner, Okla., college on a rodeo scholarship, was being held in the Muskogee County, Okla., jail on a charge of larceny of domestic animals. Read more…

BPI closing 3 plants, blaming LFTB controversy

The Associated Press reports that Beef Products Inc. will close processing plants in three states because of the controversy surrounding lean finely textured beef (LFTB), a product critics have dubbed “pink slime.” Approximately 650 jobs will be lost when the plants close on May 25 in Amarillo, Texas; Garden City, Kan.; and Waterloo, Iowa. A plant in South Sioux City, Neb., will remain open but run at reduced capacity. Read more…

Milder East Texas wildfire season in forecast, analyst says

A fire analyst with the Texas Forest Service predicts fewer than average wildfires in East Texas this summer, based on current conditions. Wildland Fire Analyst Brad Smith said, for the next two weeks to 30 days, the area wildfire conditions are normal to below normal. Read more…

NRCS announces Water Quality Initiative in Chambers Creek Watershed

State Conservationist Salvador Salinas announced the launch of a new Water Quality Initiative committed to improving impaired waterways in Texas. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will manage the initiative by making $2 million in financial assistance available to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in the Chambers Creek watershed above Richland-Chambers Reservoir in the Trinity River Basin, which includes Ellis and Navarro Counties. Read more…

Venomous snakes are more prevalent in DFW this year

With temperatures in the 70s and 80s following a wet winter and spring, venomous snakes are making their presence known across North Texas: in flower beds, woodpiles, parks and golf courses. And with more snakes have come more snakebites. Read more…

VMLRP application webinars scheduled for May 15

The USDA Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) application cycle deadline is June 15, 2012. NIFA will host two live webinar sessions May 15 to provide an in-depth explanation of the VMLRP application process. Each session will end with a Q&A forum to allow webinar participants an opportunity to ask questions. Read more…

TDA Market Recap, May 7, 2012

For the week ending May 5, feeder cattle prices at the Texas Panhandle auctions covered by USDA Market News were steady to $8 higher per hundredweight (cwt), while San Angelo was steady to $2 lower. The Texas direct feeder cattle trade was mostly steady to $3 lower early in the week, but steady to $2 higher later as markets recovered from the limited effects of the California BSE case. Read more…