Jenny Schlecht / Agweek Staff Writer
FARGO—Michelle Rook will join AgweekTV as anchor, effective April 30, 2018. Rook has worked for Agweek as a freelance television and magazine reporter since 2016.
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.
FARGO — The discussion over what will happen with the Renewable Fuels Standard has quieted down somewhat, but that hasn't made the biodiesel industry relax. Some in the Trump Administration and opponents of ethanol and the RFS have tossed around the idea of capping the price of Renewable Identification Numbers attached to ethanol at 10 cents, a number far below the present market value. No definite proposal has come out of the discussions and rumors, but proponents of renewable fuels remain on edge.
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.
FARGO, N.D. — Programs to help producers affected by emergencies have gotten a workout in the last couple of years. Many North Dakota livestock producers were able to recoup some losses through the Livestock Forage Program. The program compensates livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses due to a qualifying drought condition.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health has moved away from plans to tighten up regulations surrounding the state's new cottage foods law. The department, in a news release on Tuesday, March 20, announced the comment period on the rules has been closed and public hearings scheduled for Thursday and Friday have been cancelled.
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.
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.