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Published September 13, 2010, 12:00 AM

N.D. AGRICULTURE: Farm Bureau protests land valuations ... Goehring picks feed specialist

The Ward County Farm Bureau is alleging county officials broke state law when they set farmland values in a preliminary budget without notifying land owners.

b>FB challenges land value bump

MINOT — The Ward County Farm Bureau is alleging county officials broke state law when they set farmland values in a preliminary budget without notifying land owners.

Jim Lee of Max, a Farm Bureau member and former county commissioner, told the Minot Daily News a proposed 16 percent increase in farmland values is illegal. The county and producers had agreed on a 7 percent increase earlier this year.

The Ward County Farm Bureau filed a complaint with the state attorney general’s office.

County auditor Devra Smestad said the county acted on advice from the attorney general’s office before making the change in the preliminary budget.

Smestad said the notification requirement applies to increases to individual properties. She said across-the-board increases don’t require notification.

Goehring appoints feed specialist<

BISMARCK — North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has created a position in his department to focus on animal feed issues.

Goehring said growing North Dakota’s livestock industry will require the availability of quality feed products. He said the feed specialist position will oversee and coordinate the state’s feed regulatory program.

David Phillips is filling the post. He has worked the past three years as the department’s pesticide, feed and fertilizer enforcement supervisor but now will work strictly with feed. Goehring said Phillips will have expanded duties such as public outreach on regulatory and policy issues and tracking national regulatory issues that affect North Dakota.

About 5,400 animal feeds and 5,000 pet food products are registered in North Dakota.

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