Jenny Schlecht / Agweek Staff Writer
HEBRON, N.D. — When David Wanner's calves broke out of the wooden corrals at 4 a.m., he knew it was time to upgrade his operation. Cattle getting out of the Wanners's ranch, adjacent to railroad tracks along the Interstate 94 corridor near Hebron, could spell disaster. Besides that, his family's herd had expanded from 100 to about 400, the old corrals tended to get too wet, and his son, Greg, was coming home to join the operation.
I remember visiting Washington, D.C., as a junior in high school and having people look at my group in awe when we said we were from Montana. Apparently the image "Montana" conjured was not normal teenagers in normal clothing using public transportation. They seemed disappointed to hear we used cars — not covered wagons or horses — to get to the airport.
Lora Lynn Horner will serve as Agweek's intern for the summer. Horner, 19, is a 2016 graduate of Wishek, N.D., High School. While in high school, she participated in FFA, Future Business Leaders of America, 4-H, Student Council, religion class, speech and drama, National Honor Society, volleyball and track. She grew up on a farm and ranch and says she misses that life.
BISMARCK, N.D. — Parts of North Dakota, Montana and South Dakota now are considered in extreme drought. Extreme drought is the second worst category of drought after exceptional drought on the U.S. Drought Monitor. The June 20 U.S. Drought Monitor, released June 22, showed 7.73 percent of North Dakota, 6.37 percent of Montana and 2.07 percent of South Dakota in extreme drought. Those are the only spots of extreme drought throughout the country.
JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Taylin Zimprich, 7, hasn't been on a farm before. The animals she's most familiar with are her baby rabbits. But on June 15, she got a little taste of farm life, right in Jamestown at Dr. Dawn's Dairy Day, an annual event at Dawn Entzminger's small animal veterinary clinic, Dr. Dawn's Pet Stop. Dr. Dawn's Pet Stop now has hosted six Dairy Days, and this year's coincided with June's Dairy Month.
LINTON, N.D. — Rain has fallen in much of central North Dakota in the past week, but that wasn’t enough to keep the area in severe drought in the state from doubling. The June 13 U.S. Drought Monitor, released on June 15, reports 27 percent of North Dakota is in severe drought, compared to 13.54 percent the week prior. An additional 56.4 percent is considered to have moderate drought conditions, while the remainder of the state is abnormally dry.
DICKINSON, N.D. — While a district court judge decides whether a Gladstone, N.D., man gets to keep his cattle and horses, agriculture groups want to make sure his due process rights — and those of other livestock producers in the future — are protected.
We've got a lot of tough stuff going on in agriculture right now. Crop prices are low. Drought is spreading. Federal crop insurance might get hacked. Trade deals might go away. With all those things and more to worry us, I'm finding it harder and harder to listen to or read comments about how farmers don't have it all that bad.
RICHARDTON, N.D. — As drought spreads across the upper Great Plains, some cattle producers in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana are reducing their herds. Joe Vetter, a field representative for Herreid Livestock, calls the situation in northern South Dakota "very grim." "There's virtually been no moisture, even starting in the month of April," he says. "Ten or 15 hundredths, maybe." The latest Drought Monitor, released June 8, shows all of North Dakota in at least abnormally dry conditions, with 13.54 percent in severe drought and 73.92 in moderate drought.
One of the biggest honors to be decided at this week's North Dakota State FFA Convention is the selection of the state Star Farmer. This year's four finalists encourage younger students, regardless of connection to agriculture, to get involved in FFA. They all cited their parents as inspiration for their FFA involvement. The finalists have the strong supervised agricultural experiences required of a Star Farmer and were quick to share their FFA experiences.