Jenny Schlecht / Agweek Staff Writer
FARGO, N.D. — Most farmers and ranchers have lists of chores they want to get done. But rarely do they remember to put caring for the most important asset on their operations on their lists, says Sean Brotherson, North Dakota State University Extension family science specialist. "On that list, the first and most important thing needs to be the care of their own health and the people around them," he says. "You can take care of your operation, but taking care of yourself is essential to being able to take care of your operation."
Resources are available to connect people to help for mental and emotional health needs, as well as other services. Here are some places nationally and in the region to go for help. • The 211 program is a hotline to connect people throughout most of the U.S. and Canada to human services resources. Call 211 or visit www.211.org for more information. • In Minnesota: www.211unitedway.org/about-211 . • In Montana: www.montana211.org/index.php . • In North Dakota: https://myfirstlink.org/services/2-1-1-helpline .
Washington – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the United States and Japan have agreed on new terms and conditions that eliminate Japan’s longstanding restrictions on U.S. beef exports, paving the way for expanded sales to the United States’ top global beef market.
SISSETON, S.D. — The vice president of a South Dakota livestock auction says allegations that his company violated federal law by falsifying information had nothing to do with the livestock auction itself. Tyler Hellwig, vice president of Sisseton Livestock Auction, would not answer questions about the complaint filed last month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service against his company and on May 8 referred a reporter to "the people involved" before hanging up.
BILLINGS, Mont. — R-CALF USA and four cattle-feeding ranchers from Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Wyoming have accused the nation's four largest beef packers of violating federal law by unlawfully depressing the prices paid to ranchers. R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard said in a statement that the lawsuit is an attempt to see cattle ranchers in the U.S. "compensated for years of significant losses."
Planting remains behind even last year's slow pace in the Upper Midwest. Continued cold, wet conditions kept many farmers in the region out of the field. Montana had 4.2 days suitable for farmwork last week, followed by Minnesota at 2.1, North Dakota at 3.3 and South Dakota at 1.6, according to the May 6 Crop Progress report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which reflects conditions in the week ending May 5. A more favorable forecast for the coming week could help spur progress. Here's a crop-by-crop look at how farmers fared: Corn
When I was a teenager, my mom and I were discussing why there were so many people around us trying to be "farmers." They'd buy 10 cows or a little tractor and act surprised when it wasn't as easy as expected. My mom, wise in all things, suggested a lot of people want the "lifestyle" of farming and ranching. "It's kind of a stupid lifestyle," I remember saying.
BROADVIEW, Mont. — When a newspaper editorial board started asking deep questions about agriculture, Max Baucus didn't try to answer them. Instead, the former U.S. senator and ambassador to China pointed the editors and reporters to Michelle Erickson-Jones. "She's the expert," Baucus says. Erickson-Jones farms with her father, husband and brother right outside of Broadview, 30 miles from Billings. She's the fourth generation on the farm and the past-president of the Montana Grain Growers Association.
BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota House voted down a bill that would have made changes to the state's private property posting laws, making Senate Bill 2315 the latest bill addressing the state's unique trespassing laws to fail. Julie Ellingson, executive director of the North Dakota Stockmen's Association, said ag groups are disappointed in the failure of the bill. The Stockmen's Association, which had taken the lead in this year's effort, will continue to work on the matter if so directed by its board, she said.
BROADVIEW, Mont. — Rain poured down on the fields of south central Montana just as the Farmers for Free Trade "Motorcade for Trade" pulled into Erickson Farms, the road trip's final stop on its 11-state, 3,500-mile tour. The dark skies seemed an apt symbol for agriculture, affected nationwide by low prices and trade uncertainty. But the 2-year-old Farmers for Free Trade hopes that by promoting the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, it can help move the industry to sunnier days.