Cattleman testifies on the changing face of small business

Photo Courtesy of Oklahoma State University

Small businesses are the lifeblood of rural America, but for those in the cattle industry, governing statues and regulations have not evolved alongside the changing business models. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s witness Ken Keesaman, a Missouri cattleman, addressed these concerns Thursday at the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade hearing. Read more…

Heat danger persists through Friday


Livestock producers across the central United States will need to contend with at least a couple more days of dangerous heat and humidity. The latest Cattle Heat Stress Forecast maps from the USDA and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration shows heat and humidity index levels in the “emergency” range on Thursday, July 25 and Friday, July 26. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork…

James Herring to receive National Golden Spur Award


James E. Herring, Amarillo, has been selected to receive the prestigious National Golden Spur Award for 2014. Herring will receive the award on Sept. 20, 2014, at the National Ranching Heritage Center on the Texas Tech University campus. The award recognizes an individual who has provided outstanding contributions to the nation’s ranching and livestock industry. Herring, chairman and CEO of Friona Industries, is the 37th Golden Spur recipient. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Beef, wild rice and mushroom bake


This tasty dish has simple ingredients and is easy to make. Read more at…

USDA authorizes emergency haying of CRP acres for additional Texas counties

Farm Service Agency

USDA Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Judith A. Canales has announced that Dickens and Kent County are authorized for emergency haying use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for fiscal year (FY) 2014. FSA’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. Read more…

China meat scandal hits Starbucks, Burger King

Photo courtesy

A suspect meat scandal in China engulfed Starbucks and Burger King on Tuesday and spread to Japan where McDonald’s said the Chinese supplier accused of selling expired beef and chicken had provided 20 percent of the meat for its chicken nuggets. Chinese authorities expanded their investigation of the meat supplier, Shanghai company Husi Food Co., a day after Husi’s food processing plant in Shanghai was sealed by the China Food and Drug Administration. Read more at The Washington Post

Record cattle prices create opportunities to increase profit margins


Record cattle prices are creating opportunities for producers to increase revenue and several of these strategies will be discussed at the 60th Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course scheduled Aug. 4-6 on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station. Read more…

Texas crop, weather, for July 22, 2014


While some parts of Texas have been lucky when it comes to hay production, others will likely have an expensive go at feeding cattle this winter. Though the rest of the state has received some rain, drought conditions persist, which has of course pretty much stymied hay production in much of the state. Read more…

Ranch gathering scheduled Aug. 7 in Hamilton T


TSCRA will host a ranch gathering Thursday, Aug. 7, at the Circle T Arena in Hamilton. Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by a free beef dinner. TSCRA Special Ranger, Marvin Wills will give a law enforcement update and offer advice on how ranchers can better secure their livestock and equipment. Read more…

Texas vesicular stomatitis update


On July 18, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) received confirmation of 3 new cases of vesicular stomatitis (VS) in horses in Central Texas. One premises is 4 miles east of Webberville in Bastrop County, the second premises is 1 mile northwest of Webberville in Travis County and third premises is 8 miles southeast of Seguin in Guadalupe County. To date, 13 premises in 8 counties have confirmed cases of VS. Read more…

Two ag-gag laws facing federal court challenges


The years-long fight between farm organizations and animal rights activists over laws prohibiting secretly filmed documentation of animal abuse is moving from state legislatures to federal courts as laws in Utah and Idaho face constitutional challenges. Read more at ABC News/Associated Press…



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Sandhill Cattle Co. takes top spot at Caprock Ranch Rodeo in Levelland


Congratulations to Sandhill Cattle Company for taking top spot in the Caprock Ranch Rodeo in Levelland July 19. NK Cattle Company took second place and Rafter R came in third. The Top Hand was Tripp Townsend with Sandhill Cattle Company. Thanks to all teams and everyone who came to the rodeo. Click here for more information, a list of the ranch rodeo standings and pictures…

Texas lawmakers study desalination expansion


Hundreds of miles of Texas coastline may offer more than a scenic view in the coming years. One day, it could help solve the state’s water woes. A committee of state lawmakers is studying whether tapping the ocean to turn saltwater to fresh water would alleviate a problem exacerbated by population growth and a persistent drought that has left Texas lakes at near-record lows. The committee is also evaluating the benefits of building more desalination plants farther inland to filter brackish water. Read more at Austin American-Statesman

EPA keeps burning bridges


EPA continues to be a bit of a dirty word in the countryside. Despite Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy’s best attempts to clean up the agency’s act and build a bridge with the agricultural community, she keeps finding herself burning bridges. The agency already had many in agriculture in an uproar over its proposed lower Renewable Fuels Standards for biofuels last fall. National Farmers Union president Roger Johnson explained that EPA’s reputation was “very severely damaged in farm country” with the proposal to scale-back the Renewable Fuels Standard and this likely led to the “surliness with which the WOTUS proposal rule was received.” Read more at Farm Futures

Cow-Calf Corner: More rain in Oklahoma and feeder cattle price adjustments; Stockpiled bermudagrass can reduce winter feed costs

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

In the July 21 issue of Cow-Calf Corner, a newsletter by the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Derrell Peel talks recent Oklahoma rains and how feeder cattle prices are shaping up this summer; and Glenn Selk discusses the benefits of using stockpiled bermudagrass as winter forage. Read more…

Nomination deadline nears for Farm Service Agency county committees

Farm Service Agency

U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan Garcia reminds farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers that Aug. 1, 2014, is the deadline for local FSA county committee nominations. County committees are an important link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Farmers and ranchers elected to local committees share their opinions and ideas on federal farm programs. Read more…

USDA seeks comments on conservation program

Farm Service Agency

The USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has announced there will be public meetings on Aug. 4 in Lubbock, Texas, and Aug. 5 in Stillwater, Okla., to solicit comments on a recently completed draft analysis that examines the potential environmental impacts of changes to the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) enacted by the 2014 Farm Bill. Read more…

Watershed rehabilitation funding to repair dams in 26 states

Photo by TexasExplorer98

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that communities across the nation will benefit from a $262 million investment to rehabilitate dams that provide critical infrastructure and protect public health and safety. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Jason Weller and Representative Frank Lucas, chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, were in Oklahoma to recognize the importance of this announcement to agriculture and communities nationwide. Both Texas and Oklahoma will receive funding for many projects in multiple locations Read more…

Safety tips for trailering horses

Wreck on Highway 33 involving a small car and F350 w/ large horsetrailer.

Summer brings increased opportunity for travel with your equine partner, so make sure you’re doing everything possible to be safe when you hit the road together. Read more…