Minnesota Lamb & Wool Producers Association
Little Ag vs. Big Ag? Best bet on both
By Allen Levine Summer 2009
Healthy, safe food served in table, and that we'd all be
school lunches. Control over better off eating a mostly
our national obesity epidemic. plant-based diet of foods MLWP Officers &
Local farmers making a living grown by small, local Directors
selling nutritious food. producers. • President—Dan Persons
None of these goals seem Fair enough. But then 320-986-2336
controversial at first glance. "Food, Inc." goes further. A firstname.lastname@example.org
But many recent books, web companion book and • 1st VP—Don Adelman
sites and movies about the promotional website call on 952-466-2451
food industry and healthy viewers to take action on Dr. Allen Levine
eating have turned something food-related causes — not • 2nd VP—Sherry Stirling
as simple what we eat into a just taking personal actions about farming" and point-by- 651-257-0827
political litmus test. like growing a vegetable point rebuttals. Healthy, safe • Secretary—Sheilina
"Food, Inc.," a movie that in garden, but joining efforts food comes from traditional Nohner 320-237-3577
its promotions promises to with varying degrees of agriculture.
political overtones. • Treasurer—Glenette
"lifts the veil on our nation's Associations representing Sperry 651-257-6735
food industry," opens The movie's negative the livestock, meat and
nationwide. Its contributors portrayal of agribusiness poultry industries have • Past Presidents -
include Eric Schlosser and giant Monsanto prompted launched a similar site. Jeremy Geske 952-758-7938
Michael Pollan, both of whom that company to launch its The back-and-forth Bob Padula 320-269-7973
have written best-selling books own campaign between the two viewpoints • NE Dir. - Warner Johnson
on similar topics. Their basic counterattacking the film, seems to go on endlessly and 651-257-0827
premise is that Americans' diet complete with a dedicated often is based on incomplete
is too dependent on big food website featuring film clips • NW Dir - Karen Stormo
producers, from the field to the of "real farmers talking (cont. on p.2) 218-776-2223
• SE Dir. - Steve Scheffert
View From the Hayloft - Dan Persons, President 507-835-3951
• SW Dir. - Doug Mathias
Below are this year’s Today was the start of our thankful the temperatures
replacement ewe lambs. winter lambing cycle as we have dropped a bit today.
They are content with lots turned out rams with all of • WC Dir. - Mike Haubrich
I hope you will all mark
of room and an appropriate the ewes. Actually the 320-826-2526
your calendars and plan on
diet. In a time of year that breeding season started two attending the Shepherds • Metro Dir. & Membership
we usually have chores weeks ago with the turn-out Holiday December 4 and 5 Chair - Patty Anderson
down to one TMR load a of teaser rams and feeding a in Alexandria, MN. The 952-447-4184
day for the ewe lambs, we flushing ration. That must conference schedule has
find ourselves with the have been working as the been expanded this year to
feedlot full of open ewes teasers were fairly active
that had to be pulled off the the last couple days. I am www.mlwp.org
pastures for lack of grass. (cont. on p.2)
Page 2 Shepherd’s Bulletin
Pr esident’s Messa ge - cont.
give more time for workshop The packing industry feels there is take for granted the work of others
sessions. The board has decided to try room for much more expansion of and forget the sacrifices they make for
and offer a more diverse array of lamb meat in the US, but need the the greater good of our industry.
workshops to fit more interests. We promise of increased supply before Thank You!!
have also put together a post- they can guarantee a product to
conference on-farm session that will customers. Its the proverbial chicken Do you have any used sheep
offer a farm tour and several hands- and egg dilemma. I would really like equipment that is in good condition
on demonstrations. The conference to hear what some of you have to say that you do not use any more or know
registration will begin Friday morning on this issue. What keeps us from of a neighbor that has gone out of
at 8:00 with the first session at 9:00 expanding production? What limits production and has some good
and will end at 1:30 Saturday our ability to produce more lambs? equipment available? Would you
afternoon with the on-farm session Who will take over when we are consider donating it to MLWPA to be
following from 2:00 to whenever…. ready to retire? How can we ensure sold at our annual fundraising
the continuation of successful farms? auction? We are always looking for
News from ASI is that they are ideas and items for this fundraiser. If
putting together a taskforce to look at I want to express my sincere you have something to offer contact
what will be needed to increase sheep gratitude to those individuals who myself or Travis and Jeanine Fowler.
numbers in the US. Numbers have have the passion and energy to
been on the decline and yet the dedicate towards our booths at the Til next time, keep your pencils
demand for our product is not falling. State Fair and other festivals sharp and your minds open.
throughout the year. Too often we
Bet on Both —Cont.
food sourcing is practical as a policy
overeating and not eating well, and solution or on a personal level. While
research or half-truths. Why have we some of the advice is worthwhile. But
let eating — one of our most basic some believe that buying locally
truly solving the problems around produced food — or better yet,
functions as humans — become a providing good, safe food globally
political issue for the privileged growing and cooking it ourselves —
will take a more comprehensive may be safer and healthier, it's not
classes? Millions of people don't have approach that looks at all of the
enough to eat, period. Millions more realistic to think that everyone is able
scientific research on health, to do so or that advances in
have little choice but to eat what's environment and land use as it relates
cheap and readily available, which in agricultural productivity and food
to food, rather than simply reporting technology should be ignored when
turn may lead to obesity and its on the studies that support an
accompanying costly medical issues. people are hungry.
Sometimes it seems that no good Let's get back to the real issues and
deed goes unpunished: Nobel
Allen Levine is make informed choices about eating
Laureate Norman Borlaug, who saved Dean of the CFANS and producing food. Let's concentrate
on balancing the needs of those who
a billion people worldwide from at the U of MN. have too much with those who don't
starvation in the 1960s and '70s, has
been criticized for the environmental have enough. Our food production
and economic effects of the Green ideological argument. Such an systems are abundant and varied —
Revolution. (The critics apparently unbiased approach won't happen let's appreciate that instead of trying
don't faze Borlaug, now 95, who quickly; both biotechnology and to impose one value system on
replies that if you've never been organic-food supporters have much to everyone.
hungry yourself, you have no right to lose by conceding any ground to their Allen Levine is dean of the College of
argue with his results.) opponents. Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource
Sciences at the University of
Pop-culture books and movies about Food and agriculture policy is Minnesota..The views he expresses are
healthy food aren't a bad thing: complicated. But it seems pretty clear his own and do not reflect an official
Americans obviously still are that neither extreme viewpoint on position of the University of Minnesota.
Summer 2009 Page 3
MLWP Announces Star ter Flock Winners
Three MLWP Junior members Congratulations to Abbie, Lizzy
were awarded starter flock scholarship and Kelly! We look forward to
funds to be used towards the purchase progress reports on your flocks.
of a ewe for their flock. The winners Watch for more information next
are: Abbie Weckman, Elizabeth Roe, winter about the 2010 MLWP starter
and Kelly Froehlich. flock program. Several breed
Abbie and her family raise associations also have scholarships for
commercial sheep near Shakopee. youth to use towards the purchase of
Lizzy and her family raise Suffolks ewes. All MLWP junior members are
and club lambs near Blue Earth. Kelly encouraged to apply!
and her family raise Lincolns near
Endurance Shearing Record Set in the US - from ASI
Two American shearers set sheep per hour (2:58 minutes per the ball rolling with U.S. shearers to
precedent for marathon endurance sheep). The shearers were allowed see what kinds of ‘records’ they can
sheep shearing in the United States on breaks, but the duration of each rest break and get more young people
July 11-12 at Estacado Industries Inc. was added to the end of the time period interested in the profession,” says
in Dimmitt, Texas. Attempting the feat to ensure each shearer sheared for a Rathke on the reason for organizing
of shearing for 24 hours straight was full 24 hours. As the sheep passed the event.
Doug Rathke (48) of Minnesota who through the hands of the shearer, their Twenty volunteers from around
sheared a total of 607 sheep and Gavin physical stamina and mental the country were on hand to bring up
McKerrow (60) of Wisconsin who preparedness wore; however, each the sheep and record times and monitor
sheared 487 sheep. animal that came out of the chute was sheep and wool handling. A nurse
To put these benchmark numbers as fresh and lively as the first one monitored the well being of the
into perspective, Rathke sheared 25.29 sheared. shearers’ health while an extension
sheep every hour (2:23 minutes per The two shearers participated in agent ensured that the sheep were
sheep) and McKerrow sheared 20.26 this endeavor to bring positive properly handled.
attention to shearing in Sponsors of the event included
the United States and Estacado; Glen Fisher, American
to build an interest Sheep Industry Association (ASI)
in sheep shearing as a president; Lister/Wahl Corp.; Mid-
means of employment. States Wool Growers; Groenewold Fur
“It is troubling and Wool Co.; Perfect Water; and ASI.
to me that I am Both shearers are participants in
continuously hearing ASI’s Certified Sheep Shearer
about shearing records Program which pledges their
being broken in other commitment to shearing in a manner
countries, and nothing that promotes wool quality and
is being attempted good animal husbandry in the United
here. We hope to get States.
MLWP Seeks Silver Bell Award Nomina tions
The Minnesota Lamb and Wool similar program. conference. All winners will be
Producers are currently seeking • Civic contributions to their notified prior to the MLWP annual
nominations for the 2009 Junior and community. conference. Winners will be asked to
Senior Silver Bell Awards. give a short presentation at the
Applications are due by November 20, The selection of the state’s most following year’s annual conference.
2009. The Silver Bell Awards will be profitable flock, the largest lamb crop,
the heaviest shearing ewes, or the best Criteria for the Award
presented at the Shepherds Individual must meet the
Conference and Trade Show, appearing flock was not the goal.
Rather, we have chosen sheep following criteria to be nominated for
December 4 & 5, in Alexandria.
producers who are exemplary of what the Silver Bell Award:
Silver Bell Award History all shepherds should strive to be. • Be a paid current member of
The Silver Bell Award has MLWPA.
awarded annually to one or two General Rules and Guidelines
Minnesota shepherds who have A shepherd can receive the award • Excelled in the PRODUCTION of
excelled in modern sheep, lamb, or only once in a lifetime. If there is no sheep, lamb, or wool.
wool production for over 25 years. individual worthy of receiving the • Excelled in the PROMOTION of
award, one will not be presented. The sheep, lamb, or wool.
Over the years, the selection individual should show longevity in
criteria has included flock size, the sheep business. All aspects of the • Excelled in the production and
lambing and weaning rate, lamb and sheep industry will be considered promotion of sheep, lamb, or wool
wool production per ewe, sale price of equal, including commercial, dairy, over an extended period of time.
lamb and wool, gross return per ewe, purebred, and hand-spinning farms. Letter of Nomination
and the following less tangible but Individuals do not need to be
equally important factors: There shall be a Junior Silver Bell
award based on the same criteria as notified that they are being nominated
• Attitude toward the adoption of the adult Silver Bell award, except for this award. Nomination letters may
new technology. that the nominee must be less than 21 be kept on file for future years if there
• Use of financial as well as flock years of age and a current FFA or 4H are more nominees than awardees in a
production records. sheep program participant. Selection given year.
• Willingness to commit labor, feed, emphasis for this category will focus The letter of nomination should
capital, and managerial effort on how they have gone out of their not be verbose. There is no set format.
toward the profitable production way to promote the sheep industry. Try to limit your letter to one page.
of a quality product from their Selection of individuals to receive Focus on how the person being
flocks that reflects well upon the the award will be done by a committee nominated meets the criteria for the
entire sheep industry. of the Minnesota Lamb and Wool award and what they have done to
Producers with at least one previous distinguish themselves from other
• An apparent faith and confidence shepherds. Each letter of nomination
in the “old ewe” and in their award member on the committee. It
will be the responsibility of the must stand on its own merit.
efforts to consistently generate a
substantial part of their farm committee to determine the degree of Letters of Nomination for this
income with a ewe flock. excellence of each nomination and to year’s Silver Bell awards must be
select the winner based on the submitted not later than November 20,
• A contagious enthusiasm for collective subjective judgment of the 2009 to Selection Committee Chair:
sheep, coupled with a record of committee. Foster Mooney, 9710 Jewel Lane,
profitable production that Chisago City, MN 55013.
encourages others to follow a The Silver Bell Award will be
presented at the annual MLWP
Far mer Involvement in TMDLs is Critical
A significant number of or no farmer input. Many of the folks these stakeholder groups to bring some
Minnesota’s rivers and lakes have been involved in writing these TMDL common sense to the table, and make
identified as “impaired” because of reports have minimal understanding of sure the group looks at all sources of
one or more pollutants. Impaired modern agriculture, and as a result, impairments, and not just blame
waters do not meet water quality agriculture tends to receive a large everything on the farmers.
standards for one or more pollutants. share of the blame in most TMDLs. The Minnesota Agriculture Water
The federal Clean Water Act Resources Coalition (MAWRC - of
establishes a course of action once which MLWP is a member), and
waters are placed on the impaired list. several agricultural groups (MN
At some point, MPCA or its designee Soybean Growers, MN Corn Growers,
conducts a Total Maximum Daily MN Farm Bureau, and others) have
Load (TMDL) project. The idea is that been working hard to get more farmer
a diverse group of stakeholders will be involvement in TMDL projects.
assembled to evaluate the data about Training is available for farmers on
that water body and the surrounding how to be effectively involved in the
landscape in an attempt to allocate the As farmers, we certainly want to process. In addition, MAWRC and
various sources of the pollutant and do our part of clean up our waters, but other Ag groups are working with
come up with recommendations for we don’t want to be blamed for MPCA to improve the process and
reducing each source’s contribution. impairments we didn’t cause. A recent increase stakeholder involvement.
The number of TMDL projects in example is in the Lake Shaokatan If you hear of TMDL meetings in
Minnesota is rapidly increasing. phosphorus TMDL. Sheep on over- your area, get involved and encourage
Despite the fact that stakeholder grazed pastures are listed as a source other farmers to get involved as well.
involvement is required by the Clean of phosphorous, even though there are If we don’t speak up, there are plenty
Water Legacy Act, many of these no sheep farms in the watershed! of non-farmers who would gladly
projects are being conducted with little We need farmers participating in speak for us.
Call for nomina tions for MISA Board
This is a message from the MISA and beyond. A term on the MISA representatives.)
Board of Directors Nominations Board is three years. You may The complete announcement can
Committee. nominate yourself or someone else to be found at
We seek your help in identifying serve on the Board. http://www.misa.umn.edu/MISA_Boar
individuals potentially willing to serve Beginning in September 1, 2009, d_Nominations.html
on the Board of Directors for the the following vacancies on the Board
Minnesota Institute for Sustainable will be filled:
Agriculture (MISA.) The purpose of >Two (2) sustainable agriculture
MISA is to bring together the diverse practitioners (e.g. farmers and
interests of the agricultural community ranchers); and,
with interests from across the
University community in a cooperative >One (1) representative of the
effort to develop and promote sustainable agriculture community
sustainable agriculture in Minnesota (e.g., non-governmental organizations,
business, government and citizen
7 Things You Didn’t Know About HSUS
Source: Center for Consumer Freedom
1) The Humane Society of the ecstatic.” That same year, Goodwin years … it’s no surprise at all that the
United States (HSUS) is a “humane was arrested at a UC Davis protest richest of them would mislead the
society” in name only, since it doesn’t celebrating the 10-year anniversary of public with a phony seafood boycott.”
operate a single pet shelter or pet an ALF arson at the university that 6) HSUS raised a reported $34
adoption facility anywhere in the US. caused $5 million in damage. million in the wake of Hurricane
In 2007, HSUS contributed only 3.64 4) According to a 2008 Los Katrina, supposedly to help reunite lost
percent of its budget to organizations Angeles Times investigation, less than pets with their owners. But little of that
that operate dog and cat shelters. In 12 percent of money raised for HSUS money was spent for its intended
reality, HSUS is a wealthy animal- by California telemarketers actually purpose. Louisiana’s Attorney General
rights lobbying organization (the ends up in HSUS’s bank account. The ended his 18-month-long investigation
largest and richest on earth) that rest is kept by professional fundraisers. into where most of these millions
agitates for the same goals as PETA And if you exclude two campaigns run went, shortly after HSUS announced
and other radical groups. for HSUS by the “Build-a-Bear its plan to contribute $600,000 toward
2) Beginning on the day of NFL Workshop” retail chain, which the construction of an animal shelter
quarterback Michael Vick’s 2007 consisted of the sale of surplus stuffed on the grounds of a state prison. Public
dogfighting indictment, HSUS raised animals (not really “fundraising”), disclosures of the disposition of the
money online with the false promise HSUS’s yield number shrinks to just 3 $34 million in Katrina-related
that it would “care for the dogs seized percent. In 2004, HSUS ran a donations add up to less than $7 mil.
in the Vick case.” The New York telemarketing campaign in Connecticut 7) After gathering undercover
Times later reported that HSUS wasn’t with fundraisers who promised to video footage of improper animal
caring for Vick’s dogs at all. And return a minimum of 0 percent of the handling at a Chino, CA processing
HSUS president Wayne Pacelle told proceeds. The campaign raised over plant in November of 2007, HSUS sat
the Times that his group recommended $1.4 million. Not only did absolutely on its video evidence for three months,
that government officials “put down” none of that money go to HSUS, but even refusing to share it with the U.S.
(kill) the dogs rather than adopt them the group paid $175,000 for the work. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
out to suitable homes. HSUS later 5) Research shows that HSUS’s HSUS’s Dr. Michael Greger testified
quietly altered its fundraising pitch. heavily promoted U.S. “boycott” of before Congress that the San
3) HSUS’s management includes a Canadian seafood— a protest against Bernardino County (CA) District
former spokesman for the Animal Canada’s annual seal hunt—is a phony Attorney’s office asked the group “to
Liberation Front (ALF), a criminal exercise in media manipulation. A hold on to the information while they
group designated as “terrorists” by the 2006 investigation found that 78 completed their investigation.” But the
FBI. HSUS president Pacelle hired percent of the restaurants and seafood District Attorney’s office quickly
John “J.P.” Goodwin in 1997, the same distributors described by HSUS as denied that account, even declaring
year Goodwin described himself as “boycotters” weren’t participating at that HSUS refused to make its spy
“spokesperson for the ALF” while he all. Nearly 2/3 of them told surveyors available to investigators if the USDA
fielded media calls after an ALF arson they were completely unaware HSUS were present at those meetings. HSUS
attack at a California veal processing was using their names in connection chose to release its video footage at a
plant. When asked by reporters for a with an international boycott more politically opportune time, as it
reaction to an ALF arson fire at a campaign. The Canadian government launched a livestock-related ballot
farmer’s feed co-op in Utah (which is on record about this deception, campaign. Meanwhile, meat from the
nearly killed a family sleeping on the saying: “Some animal rights groups processing plant continued to flow into
premises), Goodwin replied, “We’re have been misleading the public for the U.S. food supply for months.
Gray Wolves of f on of f on of f on the
Endanger ed Species List...
Its almost impossible to keep track livestock should be able to get
anymore, but for the time being, gray reimbursed faster (the last couple
wolves are back on the endangered years, the funds ran out early due to
species list as the lawsuits continue. high crop losses caused by elk, and
Despite overwhelming evidence farmers where put on a waiting list
that gray wolves have recovered in until the next round of funding became
Minnesota to a population of two - available).
three times what was originally set as Stay tune, by the next issue, they
the recovery goal, misguided animal may be off the endangered species list Wildlife Service estimated that gray
rights groups continue to challenge again...(sarcasm intended). wolves number about 4,000 in northern
common sense and waste time and Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan,
Why are they are back on the list? and no longer needed federal help. The
resources that could be used to protect
species that are actually endangered. Minnesota's gray wolves will Obama administration had ordered a
return to the endangered species list review of the decision. Salazar
Meanwhile, ranchers in northern under a settlement today between the previously said he had concluded that
Minnesota continue to suffer livestock U.S. government and several groups dropping the wolf from the list was
losses from wolves. The only bright that fought to return the wolves to the justified by its strong comeback in two
spot here is that the legislature list. In March, Interior Secretary Ken parts of the nation, including the Upper
separated out funds to reimburse Salazar upheld a decision by the U.S. Midwest. The settlement involved
farmers who suffer crop and livestock Fish and Wildlife Service to remove groups including the Humane Society
damage from wolves or elk into the species from the endangered of the United States and the Center for
different account, so ranchers who can species list in the state. The Fish and Biological Diversity.
prove wolf depredation on their
Dombek inducted in Pipestone Sheep Hall of Fame
Each year, the Pipestone Lamb and runs over 900 ewes and is an innovator Randy's farm is always valuable to
Wool program inducts a new person who has helped pioneer many cutting producers because of his "straight talk"
into the Pipestone Sheep Hall of Fame. edge management practices, including: answers, innovative sheep
Selection is based on outstanding built the first modern "state of the art" management practices and his
accomplishments in sheep production lambing barn; developed a low labor/ willingness to share both what has
by a member of the Lamb and Wool low cost production system; self worked and what hasn't.
Program and/or in recognition of feeding soybean hull pellets on pasture Because of his innovation,
valuable contributions to the Program to flush ewes; self feeding soybean outstanding sheep production
by a person from education, research hull pellets and dry distillers grain topractices, long time success in the
or allied industries. lactating ewes and utilized low labor sheep business and willingness to
This years' inductee is Randy management concepts. share his knowledge with others plus
Dombek from Ivanhoe, MN. Randy Randy also generously shares his his dedication to the success of the
has been a member of the Pipestone sheep management knowledge with Pipestone Lamb and Wool Program
Lamb and Wool Program for 30 years thousands of sheep producers through make Randy Dombek a very deserving
and has served on the Program's various workshops, bus tours and inductee in the Pipestone Sheep Hall of
Advisory committee for 20 years. He individual visits to his farm. Visiting Fame.
Le gisla tive Upda te
USDA-Price Increases for DPPSP Farm groups are still concerned
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack about creating a new system, as well
announced on July 31 that the Obama as the impact of the legislation on
Administration is taking immediate growers of fruits and vegetables.
action to support struggling dairy There is no timeline for Senate action.
farmers by increasing the amount paid
for dairy products through the Dairy Senate Approves Ag Spending Bill
Product Price Support Program On August 4, the U.S. Senate
(DPPSP). The increases will be in approved the fiscal year 2010 On August 3, the full Sixth Circuit
place from Aug. 2009 - Oct. 2009. appropriations bill for the U.S. Court of Appeals denied Farm
Bureau’s petition for a rehearing of
The increase will raise the price paid Agriculture Department, the Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) and National Cotton Council (NCC) v.
for nonfat dry milk from $0.80 per
related agencies by a vote of 80-17, Environmental Protection Agency
pound to $0.92 per pound, the price
paid for cheddar blocks from $1.13 per clearing the way for a conference
pound to $1.31 per pound, and the committee to take up the legislation in AFBF filed a petition in April asking
price of cheddar barrels from $1.10 September. The price tag of the bill the full Sixth Circuit to rehear the Jan.
per pound to $1.28 per pound. totals $125 billion. 7, 2009, decision issued by a three-
judge panel in the case. That decision
Additionally, the U.S. Department of More than 80 percent of the funding
in the measure, $100.8 billion, is for reversed an EPA rule that would have
Agriculture (USDA) is currently
mandatory programs such as food clarified that federal Clean Water Act
reviewing federal dairy policy to
(CWA) permits are not required for
determine what changes are needed to stamps, which have seen a sharp
increase in demand during the pesticide application to waters or over
reduce price volatility and enhance
recession. The Senate legislation also waters, so long as the application
would provide substantial increases to complies with pesticide labeling laws.
U.S. House Passes Food Safety Bill international food aid and farm In June, the full Sixth Circuit Court
support programs financed through the of Appeals granted an EPA request for
On July 31, the U.S. House of Commodity Credit Corporation, which a two-year stay in NCC v. EPA. This
Representatives passed the Food would receive $13.9 billion, up 25 “stay of the mandate” makes the
Safety Enhancement Act (H.R. 2749) percent from last year. original EPA rule valid until April
283-142. All of Minnesota’s members 2011 and defers any potential pesticide
of the U.S. House voted in favor of The Senate voted 60-37 to approve
an amendment by Bernie Sanders (I- permitting requirements until that
this bill. The Senate must now act on time.
the House bill or take up a food safety Vt.) to add $350 million to the
bill of its own; the American Farm measure for milk price supports to AFBF is disappointed in the court’s
Bureau Federation (AFBF) expects the increase government purchases of decision and will consider its options.
Senate will use S. 510 introduced by surplus dairy products. Meanwhile, AFBF has been and will
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) rather than By unanimous consent, the Senate continue to work with EPA in the
the House bill. voted to slash funding for the National development of a permitting system.
EPA is expected to release a general
U.S. House Agriculture Committee Animal Identification System in half, permit prototype later this month.
Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) from $14.6 million to $7.3 million.
was successful in obtaining The House axed all funding for the
program in its version of the spending Farmable Wetlands Program Begins
exemptions from most of the bill’s
provisions for farms. USDA will bill passed last month. USDA recently announced that
continue to regulate feed grain farms producers can begin signing up for the
and livestock and poultry farms, rather Court Denies Farm Bureau Petition Farmable Wetlands Program on Aug.
than the FDA. in Cotton Council Case 3 at local Farm Service Agency (FSA)
county offices. The program is a
component of the Conservation
Le gisla tive Upda te - cont.
Reserve Program (CRP) authorized in India Rejects Any Greenhouse-Gas emission reduction target, period,
the 2008 farm bill. Authorized Cuts Under New Climate Treaty between now and the Copenhagen
incentives include a payment of $100 India said it will reject any new meeting and thereafter.”
per acre, an incentive payment of 40 treaty to limit global warming that
percent of the cost to establish the makes the country reduce greenhouse- Senate Committee Approves Clean
practice and a 120 percent rental rate. gas emissions because that will Water Restoration Act
The voluntary program was undermine its energy consumption, On June 18, the U.S. Senate
developed to restore up to 1 million transportation and food security. Environment and Public Works
acres of U.S. farmable wetlands and Cutting back on climate-warming Committee voted 12-7 in favor of the
associated buffers by improving the gases is a measure that instead must be Clean Water Restoration Act, S. 787,
land's hydrology and vegetation. taken by industrialized countries, and which amends the Clean Water Act
For more information on FSA’s India is mobilizing developing nations (CWA) by replacing the term
conservation programs, producers are to push that case, according to “navigable waters” with “waters of the
encouraged to stop by their FSA Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh. United States.”
county office in person or visit “India will not accept any emission- During mark up of the bill a
www.fsa.usda.gov. reduction target -- period,” Ramesh substitute amendment was offered by
said. “This is a non-negotiable stand.” Senators Baucus (D-MT), Klobuchar
CSP Sign-Up Begins and Boxer (D-CA). Their amendment
India, which has more than 800 was agreed to. The amendment makes
U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary million people living on less than $2 a a number of changes to S. 787.
Kathleen Merrigan announced that the day, is talking with Brazil, China and
USDA will begin continuous sign-up South Africa on taking a common However, the amendment continues to
for the new Conservation Stewardship stand in negotiations that richer delete the term “navigable” and
Program (CSP) on August 10, with the countries like the U.S. and Britain replace it with “all waters of the
first signup period cutoff on Sept. 30. must reduce their emissions 45 percent United States.” Senator Klobuchar
voted in favor of moving S. 787 out of
CSP is a voluntary program that by the year 2020 from 1990 levels. committee as amended.
encourages agricultural and forestry That level of reduction worldwide
producers to maintain existing Farm Bureau remains concerned that
may be enough to ensure the global the legislation will needlessly expand
conservation practices, while adopting average temperature rises no more than
additional procedures on their the federal reach of the CWA, with
2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) significant negative impacts on
operations. Congress renamed and above pre-industrial times, according farmers, ranchers, local governments
revamped the former Conservation to a UN climate agency, which
Security Program to improve its and local economies without improved
suggested a 25 percent-to-40 percent
availability and appeal to agricultural cut over the same three-decade period. protection of the nation’s critical water
and forestry producers. resources.
The 27-nation European Union,
The program will be offered to promising a 20-percent reduction, Health Care Legislation Delayed
producers nationwide through Japan, pledging an 8 percent cut, and
continuous sign-ups. Eligible U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry
the U.S., committed to return to 1990
applicants may include individual Reid announced President Obama’s
levels by 2020, all fall below the UN
landowners, legal entities and Indian August deadline for finalizing health
target for gases such as carbon dioxide.
tribes. Agricultural and forestry care legislation will not be met. Senate
producers must submit applications by “We are not re-negotiating the U.N. Democrats canceled plans to vote on a
Sept. 30 to be considered for funding Framework Convention on Climate health care reform bill a few hours
in the first ranking period. Congress Change,” Ramesh said, referring to the after Obama reiterated his support for
capped national acreage enrollment at treaty that entered into force in 1994 the August deadline.
12,769,000 acres for each fiscal year. and laid the groundwork for emissions
On the House side, Speaker Nancy
cuts by richer nations. “There is no
Pelosi (D-CA) has not committed to a
way India is going to accept any
vote before adjournment.
Pipestone Honors Gunder man - Outstanding Producer
The Pipestone Lamb and Wool In addition, he has served on the do a good job of keeping ewe feed
Program recently honored two Lamb and Wool Program advisory costs low and are consistently in the
members of the program who have committee for several years. He also elite end of program members for lamb
achieved outstanding production, has hosted on-farm training sessions, feed efficiency. Dave and Julie work
performance and profit from their bus tours and has served on producer well together in making good, timely
sheep operations. panels at shortcourses. management decisions that positively
The first recipient of the The next recipients of the affect their bottom line profits.
outstanding producer award is Russell outstanding producer award are David In addition to their sheep
Gundermann from Westbrook, and Julie Hofland from Hartley, Iowa. production accomplishments, the
Minnesota. Russell has raised sheep Dave and Julie have raised sheep for Hoflands have helped many new
for 30 years and has been a member of over 20 years and have been members people get started raising sheep and
the Pipestone Lamb and Wool of the Pipestone Lamb and Wool have served as mentors to them. They
Program for that entire time. Over that program for 18 years. Their flock has have also worked tirelessly in
time, he has grown from a 100-head steadily grown from less than 100 head representing and promoting the sheep
ewe flock to a little over 600-head of to about 550 Finn Cross and Polypay industry as directors, officers and
Finn Cross ewes today. He excels as a type ewes. They excel as a high workers for the Northwest Iowa Sheep
low cost producer who consistently is production flock that consistently Producers Association and the Iowa
one of the two or three producers in the markets around a 200 percent lamb Sheep and Wool Promotion Board.
program with the lowest annual ewe crop or better. Since they started The elite production levels, flock
feed cost and therefore the lowest raising sheep, they have kept and used profitability and industry leadership
annual cost of production. Russell extensive production records in make Russell Gundermann and Dave
runs a low labor operation and has breeding, culling and selecting their and Julie Hofland very worthy
excellent sheep management skills and replacement ewes. They also select all recipients of the Pipestone Outstanding
pays close attention to details and rams used in their flock based on Producer Award.
timely management. production records. In addition, they
Impor tance of Biosecurity
Livestock in the US are just as travelers on farm potential spread of disease.
mobile as people, traveling across the • Banning any person displaying signs Help keep Minnesota’s livestock
country and sometimes overseas in of sickness industry healthy and thriving. Please
mere days. Though this allows for a visit www.bah.state.mn.us and click on
broader range of business prospects, it • Mandating all farm workers and
visitors wear personal protective “Quick Links - Biosecurity” for more
also paves the way for potentially information.
harmful viruses and bacteria to be equipment including boots, gloves,
spread quickly. Biosecurity is now masks, and coveralls
more important than ever. • Reporting any unusual behavior or
Some of the basic steps to signs of illness in livestock to a
maintaining biosecurity on farm are: veterinarian immediately
• Limiting the number of people on the Taking these steps, alongside of
farm many other important biosecurity
practices, will help prevent the
• Not allowing recent international
MLWP takes par t in MN Ag Ambassador Institute
The Minnesota Lamb and Wool
Producers had four representatives
attend the14th annual Minnesota
Agricultural Ambassador Institute
(MAAI) in St. Paul. Donnie Drewry of
Farmington, Kathy Hansen of Cold
Spring, Jodee Oelke of Barrett, and
Ashley Schiefelbein of Kimball took
part in the three-day youth leadership
Also among the 33 individuals
taking part were representatives from
the Minnesota Pork Board, Minnesota
Soybean Research and Promotion
Council and FFA.
The MAAI combined hands-on
activities, speakers, and tours to
encourage and develop communication
and leadership skill of youth who have
an interest in agriculture and
Front: Kathy Hanson and Donnie Drewy, Back: Kevin Paap - MFBF,
The MAAI participants toured Jodee Oelke, Ashley Schiefelbein, and Joe Martin - MN Dept of Ag
Canterbury Park in Shakopee, CHS
grain shipping facilities in Savage, and about their careers in agriculture and Kevin Paap, Minnesota Farm Bureau
the Minnesota Public Radio facilities the state agriculture department’s food President.
in St. Paul. Participants also took part safety and regulatory programs, and The institute’s primary organizers
in an etiquette dinner at the Machine consumer and production agricultural are the Minnesota Pork Board and the
Shed restaurant in Lake Elmo. services Communication and Minnesota Farm and Food Coalition.
Speakers at this year’s program leadership training presenters were Additional funding for the event comes
included Minnesota Department of Bryn Poliska, National Pork Board from several other commodity and
Agriculture staff members who talked Knowledge Transfer Specialist, and agricultural groups.
U.K. PLAN CUTS ‘HIGH CARBON’ LAMB FROM MENUS
The United Kingdom’s Committee consumers to eat more potatoes and A government-sponsored study on
on Climate Change is developing seasonal vegetables, as well as pork greenhouse gases in the U.K. found
menus to combat climate change by and chicken, which they say generate that producing 2.2 pounds of lamb
cutting out “high carbon” food such as fewer carbon emissions. “Changing released the equivalent of 37 pounds of
lamb, which the group claims pose a our lifestyles, including our diets, is carbon dioxide.
serious threat to the environment going to be one of the crucial elements Editor’s note: Even sheep are not safe
because they expel methane. in cutting carbon emissions,” said from the climate terrorists.
The committee is encouraging David Kennedy, of the committee.
"America's Dair yland" Under Attack by PETA
If the animal-rights group PETA had its way, Wisconsin's license plate slogan "America's Dairyland" would be
changed to "America's Cow Hell."
"Today's factory farms are hell on Earth for animals and shouldn't be celebrated on Wisconsin license plates," says
PETA campaign coordinator Lindsay Rajt. "People who care about cows shouldn't be forced to use their cars as free
advertising for an industry that forcibly impregnates cows and then tears their babies away and locks them up in veal
crates for the remainder of their short lives."
PETA has sent the following letter to Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle:
Dear Governor Doyle:
On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our thousands of members and supporters across
Wisconsin, I am writing to ask you to endorse an alternative to the ubiquitous "America's Dairyland" license plate out of
respect for the many Wisconsinites who do not wish to support animal abuse on factory farms. Instead of the "America's
Dairyland" slogan with the quaint barn in the background, we'd like to see a new license plate that reads, "Wisconsin:
America's Cow Hell" and has a more realistic image, perhaps depicting sick cows in a cramped, filthy factory-farm
The dairy industry is far from the romanticized fairy tale of Old MacDonald's Farm that milk companies want
consumers to envision. In real life, thousands of cows are forced to live in barren, severely crowded factory-farm
feedlots, where they spend their days mired in mud and their own feces. Most factory-farmed cows suffer from a painful
udder infection called mastitis, which is exacerbated by filthy conditions and the growth hormones that farmers routinely
give to cows so that they will pump out milk like machines, not mammals. Of course, cows only produce milk during and
after pregnancy, so to force them to keep giving milk, they are repeatedly impregnated using what farmers call a "rape
rack." Their calves are taken away shortly after birth; most calves spend their short lives confined to veal crates, unable
to move. After several years of milk production, the cows' worn-out bodies are ground up and turned into hamburgers.
In addition to causing immense animal suffering, the dairy industry is a leading contributor to climate change as well as
air and water pollution in the Badger State.
Caring and informed Wisconsinites are increasingly making the compassionate choice to go vegan; these kind folks are
dismayed that their vehicles are being used as free advertising space for the cruel dairy industry. Please encourage the
legislature to create an alternative license plate that provides an accurate depiction of this abusive and environmentally
destructive industry. Madison-based Alliance for Animals (AFA) has produced a sticker that can be placed over
"America's Dairyland" until the permanent "America's Cow Hell" plate is available. Attached is a photograph showing
the sticker on a car owned by PETA staffer/AFA member Jackie Wochos. Wisconsin residents can order a license plate
sticker at AFA's Web site.
Thank you for your consideration.
Very truly yours,
Ingrid E. Newkirk
Commissioner Hugoson ur ges USDA to r eshape
animal identifica tion discussion
Citing the importance of animal providing animal health officials with premises information.
traceability in responding to food timely information needed to fight “We believe the most important
safety threats and livestock disease animal diseases and foodborne component of a disease investigation is
outbreaks, Minnesota Agriculture illnesses. the ability of state officials to contact
Commissioner Gene Hugoson and “While most parties can agree on affected livestock producers or
Minnesota State Veterinarian Dr. Bill the importance of improving animal handlers in a timely manner,” Hugoson
Hartmann today sent a joint letter to traceability for food safety, animal and Hartmann wrote. “Overreliance on
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom health and marketing purposes, it a national database system may lead to
Vilsack urging him to resume the seems very difficult to find consensus problems … a better blueprint would
discussion about implementing a on how best to build workable systems be to empower states to build modern,
national animal identification system. to accomplish these goals,” they wrote accurate, and nationally compatible
Commissioner Hugoson and Dr. in their letter. “Rather than being systems to effectively trace animal
Hartmann acknowledged the drawn into the debates … take this diseases.”
controversy generated by earlier opportunity to reshape the discussion The letter points out that a less
debates over the proposed National with a focus on how we improve centralized system with greater state
Animal Identification System (NAIS), animal traceability.” involvement may be easier for some
and they encouraged Secretary Vilsack The letter urged greater producers to accept.
to set aside the bogged-down debate involvement of state animal health
about whether to implement that “We believe enhancing state
officials, citing their role as first systems will garner more producer
system. Instead, Hugoson and responders to animal diseases.
Hartmann suggested a greater participation and improve animal
Hugoson and Hartmann said this role disease response and traceability,”
emphasis on practical issues related to makes it vital for state responders to
development of a modern, high-quality Hugoson and Hartmann wrote.
build and maintain accurate and “Additionally, data privacy concerns
animal traceability system that respects updated information systems with
producer privacy concerns while also can be better addressed by state
producer contacts and livestock statutes.”
Mark your calendars now for the 2009 MLWPA Shepherd’s Holiday, December 4-5, in Alexandria.
Ideas for speakers/topics can be submitted to any MLWP board member.
Gr een Acr es and Rural Pr eser ves Fact Sheets
The Minnesota Department of Rural Preserves program was created (1).pdf
Revenue has released Green Acres and this year. It is similar to the Green The Rural Preserves Fact sheet site
Rural Preserve Fact Sheets to help Acres program, but is designed for is the same through content/ the last
landowners answer questions about the non-ag land. part is:
two property tax programs designed to The Green Acres Fact sheet can be 2009144%20Rural%20Preserveves%2
preserve agricultural land and open found at: www.taxes.state.mn.us/ 0Fact%20Sheet.pdf
space. The Green Acres program has property_tax_administrators/
been around for several years, but Ask your county tax assessor for
other_supporting_content/ more information about these
changes have been made to it in teh 2009258%20Fact%20Sheet%205%20 programs.
last two state legislative sessions. The
Livestock Investment Program grants available
The Minnesota Department of buildings and/or capital equipment. are not requested as part of the
agriculture (MDA) is accepting Grant applications will be application process. Only grants that
applications for the 2009 Livestock competitively scored using and are approved will need to provide
Investment Grant Program (LIGP) as evaluation profile and ranked on their proof of payment. Grants will be paid
part of the newly created Agricultural relative merit in each category. A to eligible producers after they have
Growth, Research and Innovation review committee will evaluate the submitted proof of payment to MDA.
applications and notify recipients in LIGP applications must be
early 2010. Give special attention to postmarked by Nov. 30, 2009. All
the evaluation profile when applications must be originals (no e-
answering questions on the mail or faxed copies). Keep a copy for
application. If you applied for, but your records. Incomplete applications
were not granted an LIG in 2008, your will not be reviewed or accepted.
application remains active and will be More information, and an
Program (AGRI). These grants are considered along with the 2009
available to qualifying livestock application form can be found at:
producers and provide reimbursement
of up to 10% of their investment in Receipts for purchases or services mentgrant (or call 651-201-6500).
LRP-Lamb Sales Will Resume
Sales of the Livestock Risk Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) insurance
Protection-Lamb (LRP-Lamb) plan of Board of Directors approved a number provider to
insurance will begin again on Sept. 14, of program changes, including: FCIC. The Risk
according to USDA Risk Management -A new pricing procedure that uses a Management
Agency (RMA). Sales under the 2009 lamb carcass price converted to a Agency (RMA)
and 2010 Livestock Risk Protection calculated live price using Agricultural publishes a list
(LRP) Lamb Specific Coverage Marketing Service (AMS) data; of agents authorized by insurance
Endorsements were suspended due to providers to write livestock insurance
the unavailability of pricing -The addition of a 20-week on its Web site at
information and was no longer endorsement; http://www3.rma.usda.gov/tools/agents
available for sale. -Expansion to the state of Washington; /companies/indexLPI.cfm."
The American Sheep Industry -A reduction in the maximum size of "We are very pleased that this
Association's (ASI) Sheep Venture the Specific Coverage Endorsement great risk management tool will once
Company (SVC) and the Livestock from 7,000 head to 2,000 head. again be available to the sheep industry
Marketing Information Center have A new LRP Lamb Specific this fall ... the changes are very
been working with RMA and the Coverage Endorsement, 2010-1-LRP positive both for the sustainability of
Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Lamb, reflecting the above changes is the program and its usefulness to
(FCIC) for nearly a year on several now available. Producers interested in producers," said Margaret Soulen
enhancements to LRP-Lamb. purchasing an LRP Lamb Specific Hinson, ASI vice president.
As a result the RMA published Coverage Endorsement will need to The 2010 reinsurance year LRP-
the following informational memo: contact a crop insurance agent and Lamb materials may be accessed on
"On June 25, 2009, the Federal complete an application that will be the RMA Web site from the Livestock
submitted through the approved page at www.rma.usda.gov/livestock/.
Did you know?
By being a member of MLWPA, you can get the ASI Weekly News by email for free?
Just contact ASI for information on getting your email account set up.
Calendar of Events
Aug. 27—Sep. 7 MN State Fair St. Paul, MN
Lamb Chops w/ Cranberry-Orange Salsa
Sep. 8 Wyoming WGA state ram sale Douglas, WY
Sep. 17 Montana Ram Sale Miles City, MT
2 tablespoons orange juice
Sep. 18 Newell Ram Sale Newell, SD 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
8 American lamb loin chops, 1-inch thick
Sep. 26 SD Sheep Growers Assoc Annual mtg Huron, SD
Oct. MN Hampshire Young Shepherd’s Scholarship deadline 1 medium orange, peeled and chopped, or
1/2 cup canned mandarin oranges, chopped
Oct. 31 North Star Bred Ewe Sale Pipestone, MN 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies,
Nov. 7-20 NAILE (Louisville) Louisville, KY drained
1/4 cup dried cranberries, soaked in hot
Nov. 19-21 MN Farm Bureau Annual mtg Brooklyn Park, MN water for 10 minutes and drained
1/4 cup orange marmalade
Nov. 20-21 ND Lamb & Wool annual mtg Mandan, ND 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro or
Nov. 28 MN Bred Ewe & Doe Sale Rochester, MN 1 tablespoon white vinegar
Nov. 30 Application Deadline for Livestock Investment Grant program Lamb Chops
Combine orange juice and Worcestershire
Dec. 4-5 MLWPA Shepherd’s Holiday Alexandria, MN sauce. Brush lamb chops with orange juice
To Grill: Cook over medium-hot coals. Grill
Jan. 20-23 ASI Annual Convention Nashville, TN 4 inches from coals for 5 minutes. Turn and
grill 4 to 6 minutes longer or to desired
If you have a calendar item or news releases that you would like included, degree of doneness.
please send information to:
To Broil: Cook chops 4 inches from heat
source for 5 minutes. Turn and cook 4 to 6
minutes longer or to desired degree of
407 Horizon Dr. SE
New Prague, MN 56071
email@example.com Serve chops with Cranberry-Orange Salsa.
Combine all ingredients. Cover and chill
several hours or overnight.
Not ready for the PGA!