Jenny Schlecht / Agweek Staff Writer
About a year ago, I talked to women involved in Annie's Project, a farm management course for women, for a story in Agweek. That night in McIntosh County, N.D., the class heard from a speaker on bookkeeping and audits. As I gathered my photos and videos, a lightbulb went off in my head. I needed this.
In early April, the Washington Post reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture was going to put pork inspection under industry control, rather than the control of federal inspectors. The USDA and the pork industry were quick to cry foul, with the USDA going as far as putting out a point-by-point press release repudiating the claims in the Post article.
ASHLEY, N.D. — It was 1885 when Terry Ulrich's family homesteaded the farm he operates with his brother, wife and hired man about a mile north of the South Dakota border. So he has a pretty good historical context for what a normal winter looks like in his area. The winter of 2018-19 will go down as one of the wettest in his farm's history, right up there with the wet years of the 1990s. The result has been a lot of mud and a lot of slop. "Bring your boots," Polly Ulrich, Terry's wife, advises visitors.
BISMARCK, N.D. — Representatives of ag groups are used to going to shows and conventions, talking to farmers and consumers. Talking to farmers about the importance of various crops can be like preaching to the choir, while talking to consumers at big events can be hit or miss on whether the information sets in, said Brian Gion, marketing director for the Northern Crop Growers Association.
SAN FRANCISCO — Myriad Mobile's Bushel won a prestigious award at Rabobank's 2019 FoodBytes! San Francisco event. Bushel is a software platform and app launched in 2017 that allows grain elevators and cooperatives to digitally connect with growers and deliver real-time information to inform better business decisions. Based in Fargo, N.D., Bushel touts itself as a software company "made up of farm kids."
BISMARCK, N.D. — A bill to change North Dakota's trespassing and posting laws remained alive after a vote in the state House, though many changes sought by the House Agriculture Committee were defeated. The debate on the floor of the House on Thursday, April 11, revealed numerous simmering differences of opinion along urban and rural divides and between landowners and hunters. The bill still will have to be ironed out by a conference committee.
BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota House has revived a proposal to move regulation of the grain industry from the Public Service Commission to the state Department of Agriculture. The House on Wednesday, April 10, voted 80-13 to pass Senate Bill 2346, which had been amended to, in part, mirror a bill earlier passed by the House, House Bill 1467. The North Dakota Public Service Commission is in charge of regulating grain traders for the state. In 34 of 38 states that regulate the grain industry, state departments of agriculture are in charge of such duties.
A few weeks ago, I helped my husband move some pens of calves and sort some cows. Our feedlot has an excellent drainage system, but this time of year, nothing can drain well enough to keep pens dry. An abundance of melting snow and ice jams in the culverts have created ankle-deep slop here and there. Every thwack of my boots sticking in the mud sounded like spring.
NEW YORK — For the first time in about 90 years, broiler mortality has been trending upward, G. Donald Ritter, a veterinarian with Mountaire Farms, said during a New York Academy of Sciences conference on antibiotics in animal agriculture. The increase coincides with an uptick of meat companies adopting "no antibiotics ever" standards for poultry.
BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota stands alone in the region for its wide-open laws concerning who can go onto private property. Outdoors groups credit the law, which considers all private property open for anyone to enter unless otherwise posted, with keeping the state's hunting traditions vibrant. But the positive note for hunters has long been a problem for many landowners, particularly farmers and ranchers who want to control who enters their land.