Cattle Raisers Insurance staff welcome your coverage questions

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The knowledgeable staff with Cattle Raisers Insurance is here to answer any questions you have about the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period, changing your current plan or getting a quote for family or ranch coverage. For more information about your health insurance options, contact Michele Woodham at mwoodham@tscra.org; Tina Finicum at tfinicum@tscra.org; Julissa Chubbs at jchubbs@tscra.org; or call 800-252-2849. All TSCRA offices, including insurance, will be closed Nov. 27 and 28, but please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as we return Monday.

Letter to the president on his executive action

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Former U.S. Reps. Tim Penny, D-Minn., and Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., wrote an open letter to the president regarding his recent executive action on immigration. Read more at The Hill…

Meatless Mondays – Forget about it

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Eliminating meat from the diet? No way. Just the thought of it leaves a bad taste in John Schlageck’s mouth. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork…

Texas crop, weather, for Nov. 25, 2014

USDA/NRCS photo by Jeff Vanuga.

Texas crop, weather, for Nov. 25, 2014 Texas farmers, ranchers and growers have a lot to be thankful for this November, but they still face many challenges, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. “Much of the state got excellent rains over the weekend, and if they have winter wheat out or winter pastures, that rainfall will go a long way toward taking those crops through the winter,” said Dr. Travis Miller, interim associate director for AgriLife Extension state operation, College Station. “These rains are very beneficial in recharging moisture in soil profiles and providing water for stock tanks and other surface water supplies. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Bistro beef stew

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This fall stew makes up easy with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Read more at beefitswhatsfordinner.com…

US Drought Monitor and Summary for Nov. 25, 2014

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Moderate to heavy rainfall (1 to 6 inches) was noted across much of central and eastern Texas, with the highest concentration of heavy rain near San Antonio and Austin. Consequently, there were widespread reductions to drought intensity and coverage in the areas where rain was heaviest. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

TSCRA leaders meet new Texas Congressman

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TSCRA First Vice President Richard Thorpe and Director Arthur Uhl had the opportunity to meet with U.S. Rep.-elect Will Hurd, Texas- Dist. 23, Tuesday, to discuss issues important to cattle raisers and landowners. After Hurd takes office in January 2015, he will represent a 29-county area stretching from San Antonio to El Paso and south to the Rio Grande. We appreciate Rep. Hurd’s support of TSCRA and look forward to working with him in the days to come.

White House skeptical of possible deal on tax breaks

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The White House on Monday appeared to throw cold water on an emerging deal in Congress on extending tax breaks, saying reports were “not promising.” Read more at The Hill

FAA may require pilot license to operate drone

Picture courtesy Ohio State University Extension

The official rules for commercial drones should be released by the end of the year, but according to newspaper report on Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration is expected to announce they will require operators to have a pilot license and will limit flights to daylight hours, below 400 feet. Read more at CBS News

USDA disaster assistance to help thousands of livestock producers

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that nearly 2,500 applicants will receive disaster assistance through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) for losses suffered from Oct. 1, 2011, through Sept. 30, 2013. The program provides disaster relief to livestock, honeybee, and farm-raised fish producers not covered by other agricultural disaster assistance programs. Eligible losses may include excessive heat or winds, flooding, blizzards, hail, wildfires, lightning strikes, volcanic eruptions, and diseases, or in the case of honeybees, losses due to colony collapse disorder. Beekeepers, most of whom suffered honeybee colony losses, represent more than half of ELAP recipients. Read more…

Hunting in a fever tick quarantine area

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The Texas Animal Health Commission has released a video about what you need to know about hunting Nilgai antelope, white-tailed deer and other free-ranging wildlife and exotic animals in a cattle fever tick quarantine area. Read more…

Special 2-day Thanksgiving sale at Cattle Raisers Trading Co.

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As a thank you to our members, we are offering a 2-day Thanksgiving special sale on all our TSCRA merchandise: $5 off $50, $10 off $100 or $15 off a $150 purchase on Nov. 24 and 25 only. Get a jump on your Christmas shopping and take advantage of members only prices! To order, call 800-242-7820 or visit our website at member.tscra.org. Please note that gate signs are excluded in this special.

NFU

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National Farmer’s Union appears to do an about face on creating a new, separate beef checkoff. Read more at BEEF magazine…

Immigration ruling still a concern for farmers

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Mark Kelley.

After President Barack Obama temporarily legalized millions of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally on Friday, farmers are still concerned about losing workers. With the plan, it is estimated that 250,000 farm workers would be safe from deportation and would be eligible for work permits, according to the United Farmworkers Union. However, that is just a small portion of the total undocumented workers who work in agriculture. Farmers hope that Obama’s action will lead to Congress finding a solution that will help solve agriculture’s workforce needs. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork…

Renewable fuels proposal for 2014 withdrawn by EPA

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The Obama administration’s decision to put off this year’s quotas for using renewable fuels sets up fights in Congress and the courts over a program that has been bitterly contested for nearly a decade. The delay, announced yesterday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, caps months of fighting between refiners and ethanol producers over a proposal by the agency to lower the quotas for using ethanol, biodiesel and cellulosic fuels. Read more at Bloomberg News…

Nominations sought for USDA veterinary loan repayment program

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The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) is accepting nominations until Jan. 2, 2015, for areas of the state experiencing a specific need for veterinarians to work in the areas of food animal medicine, rural private or public practice. The TAHC will forward nominations for selected areas to the USDA for inclusion in the national Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) for the 2015 award cycle. The VMLRP will pay up to $25,000 per year for 3 years towards qualified educational loans, for eligible veterinarians who agree to serve in a designated shortage area. Read more…

Cow/Calf Corner: Cattle on feed numbers show feedlot response to current market; Evaluate udder soundness soon after calving to use as culling criteria

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

In the Nov. 24 issue of Cow/Calf Corner, a weekly newsletter from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Derrell Peel talks the most recent Cattle on Feed numbers and how they relate to the current markets; and Glenn Selk discusses the importance of udder quality and how to use this as cull criteria. Read more…

DFW rancher warns of foot-and-mouth threat from abroad

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WFAA talked to TSCRA President Pete Bonds, a Saginaw rancher who runs a huge ranching operation. He has thousands of head of cattle spread across Texas. He’s worried about the threat – even the remotest threat – of foot-and-mouth disease infecting his herds. Read more at WFAA…

Country of origin label for meat cuts endangered

Photo © 2012 Cattlemen's Beef Board

The U.S. is running out of options in its effort to tell consumers where fresh cuts of meat originated after a successful challenge to package labeling by Canada and Mexico.  Read more at AgWeb BeefToday/The Associated Press

Ellis receives career excellence award

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Dr. Dee Ellis, Texas’ state veterinarian and executive director of the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), has been awarded the 2014 International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM-USA) Career Excellence Award. The award recognizes a national leader who has made significant contributions throughout their career to promote and improve the emergency management profession in the U.S. This is the first time the award has been presented to a veterinarian. Read more…