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Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Training in Huron on December 5, 2018

BROOKINGS, S.D. – SDSU Extension hosts an environmental training session for operators of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO), policy makers and concerned citizens. The training will be held December 5, 2018, in Huron at the Crossroads Convention Center (100 Fourth St. S.W.).

To register, visit iGrow.org/events and search by training date. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. in Huron. To cover the cost of the event, registration is $50 and includes lunch, breaks and training materials. Due to room availability, registration will be limited to the first 60 people for this training.

The program begins at 8:50 a.m. and concludes at approximately 4:45 p.m.

Specialists from SDSU Extension, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service are offering the training.

Training fulfills permitting requirement

In the Spring of 2017, the S.D. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources reissued the General Water Pollution Control Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. The new permit requires existing permitted operations to obtain coverage under the proposed permit between one to four years after the General Permit is issued.

One of the proposed permit conditions for existing permitted operations is that an onsite representative attends an approved environmental training program within the last three years prior to obtaining a new permit. Also, if the person who attended training no longer works at the operation, another representative must attend training within one year.

This current training program meets the training requirement of the proposed permit as long as it is attended within three years of obtaining coverage under the new permit. Manure applicators, producers and any other interested individuals who are not currently applying for a permit can also benefit from the information and are encouraged to attend.

Certified Crop Advisor credits are available as well.

Speaker line-up & presentation details

John McMaine, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Water Management Engineer will discuss water quality.

Bob Thaler, Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist will lead a session on livestock nutrition options for reducing nitrogen and phosphorus content of manure.

Jason Roggow, a natural resources engineer with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, will give an overview of the South Dakota DENR Livestock Permit program.

Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist, will discuss managing nitrogen and phosphorus in land applications of manure.

Jason Gilb, Conservation Agronomist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will go through nutrient management planning worksheets.

John Lentz, Resource Conservationist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will cover implementing conservation practices to improve sustainability.

Kent Vlieger, Soil Health Specialist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, will demonstrate soil erosion and infiltration.

Bob Thaler, Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist, will conclude the day's training with a session on air quality and odor.

"Past attendees of this program have come away with at least one new practice they consider adopting related to land application, livestock feeding, air quality or soil conservation," Thaler said.

Rushmore State sends three to WNFR: Lockhart, Routier, O’Connell to compete

Three South Dakotans have qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR).

Bareback rider Shane O'Connell, Rapid City, and barrel racers Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, and Jessica Routier, Buffalo, will be in the city of "neons and nylons," Las Vegas, competing at the 60th annual WNFR December 6-15.

For Lockhart, the veteran of the trio, this will be the twelfth consecutive trip.

For O'Connell and Routier, it is the "maiden voyage."

O'Connell, who is 23 years old, had a "world champion-type season" all year, up till mid-July.

He won second place at the 2017 RAM Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo in Minot, first at the All-American Finals in Waco, Texas, and placed at nearly every rodeo he went to.

After winning third at Cheyenne Frontier Days, he was ranked seventh in the world standings. A separated and strained sternoclavicular (SC) joint, connecting the sternum to the collarbone, didn't keep O'Connell from rodeo but slowed him down. Sports medicine trainers helped, but he slipped in the standings. "I didn't win but five, six thousand dollars from Cheyenne to the end of the year (Sept. 30)," he said. "That's a pretty rough three months of rodeo when you're hurt. But they were going to have to rip it away from me before I would go home. Making the Finals was what drove me."

O'Connell has had time to rest, rehab and relax since the rodeo year ended, and he's appreciated it. "Being home, not getting on for the last three or four weeks, has been tremendous for my body and great for my head. I'm able to relax. There's a lot of pressure towards the end of the year."

O'Connell's dad, Jiggs, was a bareback rider and started his only son. "Dad pushed me into riding bareback riding pretty hard, but I loved it. I could take it," O'Connell said. He rode junior junior barebacks in Little Britches Rodeo, winning the National Little Britches Rodeo five years in a row. He also won the S. D. State High School bareback riding title three times and the bull riding once, and at the National High School Finals in 2013, he won the bareback riding.

This won't be O'Connell's first time to compete in the Thomas and Mack Arena, the home of the WNFR. When he was thirteen years old, he was one of three top Little Britches Rodeo bull riders to ride a bull as part of the PBR World Finals.

His dad has been anticipating this for a long time. O'Connell has twice finished the rodeo season in nineteenth hole, four places out of the WNFR qualifications, and when his son had won $18,000 last October (for the 2018 rodeo season), Jiggs made room reservations in Las Vegas. "I knew this was coming," Shane said.

He doesn't have butterflies, either. "I'm more just ready to get it done. I've been waiting on this for a long time. I might get nervous when I get there, but right now, no way. I love riding bucking horses, and they're going to run the best ten horses under me for a lot of money. Bring it on. I'm just waiting for it."

In addition to his dad Jiggs, his mom Ann will be in Las Vegas to watch their son ride, and his sisters Rylee and Eryn will be there for part of the rodeo.

O'Connell enters the WNFR in thirteenth place, with $80,162.66 won.

Two busy mamas' lives are going to be a bit hectic for ten days in December.

Lisa Lockhart, the mother of three, and Routier, the mother of five, will both be in Las Vegas to run barrels at the WNFR.

It is Routier's first trip.

She's aboard a seven-year-old palomino mare, Fiery Miss West, "Missy," owned by Gary Westergren of Lincoln, Neb.

It was never Routier's plan to make the WNFR. But when she won second at the 2017 Badlands Circuit Finals and second at the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Florida, she thought maybe she should try. (Monies earned from the '17 circuit finals and the national circuit finals counted for the '18 rodeo year). "The way things looked," Routier said, "I thought it would be silly not to go a little bit more. We kept going, and it kept going well. It wasn't our goal at the beginning of the year to make the Finals by any means."

It was at the rodeo in Guymon, Oklahoma, when Routier sat down with a map and the rodeo listing, and planned her schedule. She figured out how much it had taken in earnings to qualify for the barrels in past years, and "I had an idea in my head of how much I needed to win each week to be in the top fifteen."

She was never more than ten to fourteen days from home, her husband Riley, and their kids: son Braden, twelve, and daughters Payton, ten, twins Rayna and Rose, three, and Charlie, two.

The older kids, Braden and Payton, understood what their mother was trying to do and urged her on. "Braden has asked me for years why I never tried to make the NFR," she said. "I told him I'd have to be gone from home a lot. They were part of what pushed me to do it."

Braden and Payton are excited for their mom, and through the year, Braden kept track of her earnings. "They checked the standings online, and after every run, Braden would want to know what (the rodeo) paid."

Missy, by Firewater Frenchman and out of Frenchmans Bo Dashus by Royal Quick Dash, came to the Routier ranch as a two-year-old, and Routier ranched on her, breakaway roped and did poles on her. "She's good at every task you put her to," Routier said. She doesn't like cattle that are facing her, however. "She's terribly afraid of them if they're facing her. I think that's one of the things that made her tough. At a young age, we made her work through it." Routier, aboard Missy, worked the alleyway during AI season, so "she had to work through that fear. She's tough as nails."

Missy also faced new arenas and situations all summer long and handled them with aplomb. The first barrel at the Thomas and Mack is "blind," meaning horses don't see it till they're through the alleyway and in the arena. But Routier doesn't think it will bother Missy at all. "She's never had anything throw her for a loop."

The mare also loves her job. "When we decided to (rodeo to make the WNFR), I decided, if she gets tired or sore, I'm not going to push her. She kept running strong all summer long and jumped in the trailer every time it was time to go. She handled it really well."

Routier also isn't worried about making so many runs consecutively. "It's hard on a horse to make ten runs in ten days in a row, but we've almost done that this summer, and we had to drive between runs. Usually if you run her several times at the same place, she gets stronger and stronger every run."

She has turned to veteran barrel racer Lockhart for advice about the WNFR. "I've asked a lot of questions from a lot of people who have been there before, mainly Lisa," she said. "She's been my go-to all summer."

While Riley and Jessica are in Las Vegas, a trusted babysitter, Jada Maher, will stay with the kids at home. All of them will fly out for the last four days of the rodeo.

Routier enters the WNFR in eighth place, with $98,704.23 won in 57 rodeos.

Veteran barrel racer Lisa Lockhart will have two horses in her trailer, when she and husband Grady head for Las Vegas.

Fans know and love her main mount, Louie, and they are becoming familiar with her number two horse, an eight-year-old mare buckskin named Rosa who looks very similar to Louie. The way fans can tell the two horses part: Lockhart takes Louie to the right barrel first, whereas, Rosa goes to the left first.

Louie is Lockhart's "Mr. Consistent," she said. "There's not an arena that Louie doesn't love." If it means staying in the average, Louie might be her mount. But if it means winning a round, Rosa might be her choice. But that doesn't mean the two horses aren't interchangeable. "There is no right or wrong answer," Lockhart said, "and there is no right or wrong horse. It's an instinct thing and we haven't decided what we're doing."

Even though, after nearly a dozen trips to the "big show," a person might think the WNFR would be old hat, but it's not. "You can't get too comfortable," Lockhart said. "It's great, having expectations of what our schedule will be, and things like that, that make a huge difference. But we'll be just as nervous for the first round (this year) as we were for the first round the first year."

And even though the routine is somewhat familiar, it's still a big deal. "The stakes are higher," Lockhart said. "You're going to do your job, to the best of your ability, regardless of whether it's a regular rodeo or the NFR, but in the back of your mind, you know what's at stake. There's a lot of money to be won out there these days. It's a game changer for your year and your life."

She and Grady have three children: Alyssa, a student at Black Hills State University (and also a WPRA barrel racer), Thane, a senior, and Cade, a freshman, both at Hot Springs High School. The boys won't come to Las Vegas to watch their mom; there are basketball practices to attend. But Alyssa might come for the entire ten days. "She'd love to see how it all happens," Lockhart said, "from start to finish. We'd love to have her there with us."

But before they head to the WNFR, there are plenty of obligations at home: wrapping up high school football, Alyssa's last college rodeo for the season, selling calves next week, and a few circuit rodeos.

And the day after the WNFR is over, the Lockharts will make a beeline for home. There's a high school basketball game on Monday, Dec.17, and two of the Hot Springs Bison – Thane and Cade – will have their mom and dad in the stands. "We switch modes pretty quickly," she said. "It'll be back to the parent mode, the cheerleader mode, in short order."

Lockhart enters the WNFR in third place, with $123,515.19 won in 43 rodeos.

The WNFR consists of ten rounds on ten consecutive days, December 6-15. After the final performance, two champions are crowned in each event (four for the team roping): the average winner, who won the WNFR by having the best cumulative time or score over the ten rounds, and the world champion, who won the most money throughout the year (including what was earned at the WNFR). The average winner and world champion might be the same person, or different people.

CHS Foundation Announces $1.5 Million Gift to Support SDSU Precision Agriculture Program

BROOKINGS, S.D. – The CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., announced today a $1.5 million grant to support the South Dakota State University precision agriculture program and construction of the new Raven Precision Agriculture Center on campus.

"The gift from the CHS Foundation is pivotal in allowing us to make our globally preeminent precision agriculture program a reality," says John Killefer, the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council Endowed Dean of the SDSU College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.

The gift aligns with CHS priorities around ensuring that educating the next generation of agricultural leadership includes technology and tradition.

"The CHS Foundation is committed to supporting projects that cultivate opportunity for students interested in the agriculture industry," says Nanci Lilja, president, CHS Foundation. "By supporting the precision ag program at SDSU, there will be more qualified graduates entering the agriculture industry."

SDSU is the nation's first land-grant university to offer a bachelor's degree and minor in precision agriculture. The degree is a collaborative effort encompassing the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department and the Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science Department in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, as well as the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering.

SDSU's precision agriculture degree will provide students with access to cutting-edge developments in the rapidly evolving intersection of agronomics, high-speed sensor technology, data management and advanced machinery development. Students will be prepared for lifelong careers that support economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture.

This facility will allow the state to lead the nation in precision agriculture research, teaching and innovation.

"The gift in support of the Raven Precision Agriculture Center will positively impact our students and industry for decades to come," says Killefer. "This commitment from the CHS Foundation illustrates the leadership role and vision they have within the agricultural industry."

The building has 129,000 square feet of floor space that will be able to house modern precision farm equipment and will provide collaborative learning spaces for student design projects. Flexible space will give scientists from a variety of departments and industry space to collaborate on research and education.

"Precision agriculture technology is ever-changing," says Lilja. "It's exciting to envision the impact students will have by developing new technologies through collaboration with their peers and industry leaders in this new environment."

Final construction plans are in-progress. Some ground work is expected to begin this fall, with construction starting in the spring of 2019.

–SDSU Extension

NDA: Watch mycotoxin levels in grain

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) is encouraging producers and feed manufacturers to be mindful of mycotoxin levels in corn being fed to livestock this winter. Mycotoxins are naturally occurring mold fungi that affects corn.

"Summer drought coupled with wet harvest conditions creates a high risk for mycotoxin's to grow," said NDA Director Steve Wellman. "Fortunately, we have not seen alarming concentrations of mycotoxins in Nebraska like our neighboring states, but it is important for producers to remain vigilant to help protect the safety and wellbeing of their livestock herds."

NDA Animal and Plant Health inspectors collect corn samples at grain elevators across the state each year during harvest. The NDA laboratory tests the samples for mycotoxins, including Aflatoxin and Fumonisin, as part of a collaborative effort between NDA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Test results showed no detectable levels of Aflatoxin, but did indicate an increased presence of Fumonisin in several of the samples.

Livestock fed feedstuffs with a high enough concentration of Fumonisin can cause harm or even death. The most susceptible animals include horses, rabbits and swine. Cattle and poultry seem to have a higher tolerance for Fumonisin. The FDA has established safe feeding recommendations for grains containing significant levels of Fumonisin, those recommendations can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/ybdj2z7l.

–Nebraska Department of Agriculture

Baxter Black: Cowboy Mentality

I ran into Randy in the airport. He was draggin' his right hind leg like an escaped convict tryin' to cover his tracks. I could see it had taken him a while to pull his pant leg on over the swollen knee. He side-slid to a stop to visit for a minute.

"So." I asked stupidly, "Hurt yourself?"

Randy is a rodeo announcer. A good one, I might add. I've seen him work. But this injury could certainly not be worked related, I thought to myself. Rodeo announcers are a little higher up the food chain than those of us who actually get within striking distance of large herbivores. They sit in their ivory towers above the dust and flailing hooves, inciting the fans and titillating the timers. Occasionally stooping to act as straight man to the barrel man's jokes but above it all, maintaining their dignity. Ringmaster of all they survey.

He gave me a raised eyebrow, realized that I was not smart enough to have asked the question facetiously, and explained. In an effort to 'keep up with the competition' he had taken to announcing rodeos ahorseback.

'Say no more,' I thought. Riding a strange horse furnished by the stock contractor into the center of the arena surrounded by thousands of foot stompin', whistlin', avid rodeo fans, reins in one hand, microphone in the other, with flags flyin', banners flappin' and music blarrin'…the outcome is almost predictable.

His story included all of that and concluded with a wild bucking exit where he bailed out with the grace of a sand bag fallin' off the back of a runaway stage coach.

What makes people do things like that says something about the cowboy mentality. This mentality is best characterized by that old joke where the guy holds his hand in front of his face and bets his friend that he can't 'hit my hand before I move it.'

I once had to wear a neck brace for several weeks. Not in public, of course. Maybe I wouldn't have been so reluctant to wear it if I didn't have to respond to the question…"So, did you hurt your neck?"

What did I tell them? No. It's just decorative. A cosmetic article of clothing designed to offset my bad posture and enhance my fine facial features. Or maybe…my wife gave it to me on our anniversary…or, I wrenched it saving a school bus load of children from a burning building.

If I had been forced to explain, I would have to have said I was riding down the trail with an amigo whose horse was jiggin' and tossin his head. So I told this amigo that he didn't have to put up with that kind of unsavory equine behavior. When he throws his head, I said, conk him between the ears. 'Whattya mean?' asked my amigo. So I demonstrated by leaning out of the saddle and whacking his horse on the poll with a 32 oz mug I'd got at the GIT AND GO. The mug broke, his horse stampeded and when I straightened up, I couldn't move my neck.

See what I mean? Randy's story isn't that preposterous after all. Just part of the cowboy way. Here, bet you can't hit my hand before I move it.

Lee Pitts: My House Runneth Over

There are many benefits to being a syndicated columnist. Although you work for a pittance, the gifts you get more than make up for the paltry salary. For example, I wrote that I had a barb wire collection and Dan from South Dakota, a longtime reader, sent me his entire barb wire collection. Years ago Jack, a longtime friend from Nebraska, sent me a really nice three foot windmill that he made from barb wire. Consequently when people enter my home they don't know if they've entered a private residence or a barb wire museum.

Speaking of our home, due to all the nice gifts people have given me over the years our house currently runneth over. I hardly have room for all the books people have sent me because my bookcases are filled with my miniature anvil collection. Publishers have sent books hoping I'd give them a plug while many others have sent me books they wrote. I read most of them too and came to the conclusion that there are a lot of people out there who can write better books than what I find in Barnes and Noble. After Renaissance Magazine ran a couple of my columns they paid me off with a 1957 red Chevy Bel Air convertible. Too bad it's only three inches long.

I collect practically everything and people have added to my knife, spur, bit, hat, bullet pencil, art and clock collections. Will and Deb donated to my branding iron collection by sending me one that folded up. Bob made me a miniature branding iron of my own iron and Range Magazine gave me a bigger golden version of my brand that I cherish even though it isn't real gold. One of my most meaningful gifts was a cutting board Skinner made from wood from his own ranch and EC has given me 40 years worth of date books I've used to tell me where to be and when.

Butch sent me several blabs for my blab collection (they prevent a calf from sucking) and the Red Bluff Bull Sale Committee gave me a beautiful bridle, reins and Garcia bit. John sent me a favorite piece of art that is a pencil drawing of the stages a horse goes through to become a reined cow horse and Jerry, a great artist and cowboy columnist himself, sent me one of his original oils that will be worth a fortune someday when we're both dead. As a Mad Jack cartoon fan I created a shrine of sorts with the eight he drew, colored, and signed for me. Jerry also sent me one of his original cartoons.

The Western States Beefmaster folks gave me a plaque with a clock on it, the Brangus Association gave me a Cross matching pen and pencil set, and Bubba from the Akaushi Association sent me a container filled with great tasting steaks. People must look at my skinny body and think I need fattening up because I've received everything from A to Z in foodstuffs: from almonds from Bill to zucchini from Glen. The bottles of wine people have given me would have filled a cellar.

Kind folks see how I'm dressed and try to dress me. Auction markets have given me a lifetime supply of caps and jackets, and Don sent me several Pendleton shirts (my favorite) and a beautiful Mark Dahl engraved belt buckle to remind me I'm really not a very good engraver. I wear a CAB jacket that Rick gave me and a Charolais shirt from Dennis and I have to be careful not to wear the Charolais shirt to an Angus sale, and vice versa.

Writers receive so much stuff I'm thinking of starting a registration service for writers like there is for newlyweds. That way you'd know we need a 72 inch TV and a satellite dish a whole lot more than we do a silver chafing dish. And it might put an end to the odd gifts I get like the box of flies I got one time. And no, they weren't the kind for fishing. They weren't from an irate reader either, but from a company that sells castrated male flies to decrease the fly population. (Imagine how small the Callicrate banders must be for them!) The gift was fleeting however because I turned them loose and never heard from them again.

Converse County’s Tim and Dawn Pexton receive the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Leadership Award

November 15, 2018— Tim and Dawn Pexton, of Converse County, were awarded the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) Leadership Award at the organization's 99th annual meeting. Presented Nov. 8, the award is given to those who have gone above and beyond in their agricultural leadership service in the organization.

"Tim and Dawn's leadership and dedication to the Farm Bureau Federation at the local, district and state level is unrivaled," said Todd Fornstrom, WyFB President.

Serving in leadership roles to represent farmers and ranchers is part of Tim and Dawn's agricultural life. And it isn't about the title either…wherever there is a need for leadership is where you will find them. Advocating for farmers and ranchers of all ages to join Farm Bureau and be a part of the voice for agriculture through membership in Farm Bureau has been an important component of their leadership.

Fellow volunteers say Tim's quiet and laid-back leadership style makes him an effective leader. Many will tell you he is a "doer" and not a "talker." And Dawn's support is unwavering.

"There has never been a question of not being actively involved in Farm Bureau," Tim said. "If I am going to attend meetings and support an organization I am going to speak up with my ideas and work to at least sustain the group and hopefully make it better; it becomes a duty."

"Membership in Farm Bureau is valuable because it connects us to a lot of really great people who share the same goals and ideals, who face the same trials and tribulations, and who speak the same language. This is true at the local level as well as on a national level," he continued.

Some of Tim's earliest memories are of attending Farm Bureau meetings where his Dad John served as county president, as well as other positions, and his Mom Noramae served as secretary and Women's Chairman.

Tim's direct involvement began in the early 1970s. He and Dawn were married in 1979 and Dawn has attended nearly every annual meeting with Tim. Whether it be serving as county president or county membership secretary or serving as the co-pilot for one another on the long drives across the state to Farm Bureau meetings they are the epitome of leadership in Farm Bureau.

Tim serves as the Central District Director on the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors. He also serves as the Wyoming Farm Bureau Membership Committee Chair; a position he has held for 20 plus years.

Tim's involvement with the Farm Bureau Membership Committee was sparked by his Uncle Charles Pexton. Charles firmly believed in Farm Bureau and was not afraid to ask anyone, anywhere or anytime if they would consider paying their dues or to join if they weren't already a member. Tim places high value in working to preserve and improve that system of membership acquisition and retention.

In addition to Farm Bureau, Tim has volunteered and served on many boards including the "Fair Posse" in Converse County which supports the Wyoming State Fair. He has been active on the Eastern Wyoming College Foundation Board for the Douglas Campus. He served as chairman of the Wyoming Rural Development Council until its dissolution in 2016.

His involvement in a Young Farmer Organization in his early years provided interaction and leadership opportunities including a couple of overseas trips to learn about agriculture in other countries.

He has always been an avid supporter of Farm Bureau's Young Farmer & Rancher program providing ideas and guidance. Tim's love of Farm Bureau shows when he is mentoring new young members to get involved in the organization.

Dawn is always by his side supporting Tim. The nominators wrote: "Dawn's unwavering support and cheery attitude amidst Tim's crazy schedule is a testament to her strength of character. A meeting without Dawn's smiling face is just not the same."

Tim is a 4th generation rancher south of Douglas near Esterbrook. Their children are now married and have given Tim and Dawn four beautiful grandchildren with which they love to spend their time.

"Leadership is not necessarily a conscious thing," Pexton concluded. "Maybe just by showing up with an open mind and a dedication through good times and bad to do what needs to be done, you are a leader."

"The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation is proud to honor Tim and Dawn Pexton with the WyFB Leadership Award," Fornstrom concluded. "We thank Tim and Dawn for their dedicated leadership on behalf of the Converse County Farm Bureau, the Central District and the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation and Wyoming agriculture."

–Wyoming Farm Bureau

Sheridan College student Madison Anderson wins Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet

November 16, 2018—Sheridan College student Madison Anderson discussed agriculture issues at the Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Collegiate Discussion Meet and earned $300 cash and an expense-paid trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Anderson competed Nov. 7 in Sheridan. Seven competitors representing Sheridan College and the University of Wyoming entered the competition. The competition is designed to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected.

Galen Kretschman, Sheridan College student, was named the runner-up and was awarded a $150 cash prize. A fourth-generation rancher from Arvada, Wyo., Kretschman is studying agriculture business.

Rounding out the "Final Four" finalists were: Jessica Rossi, University of Wyoming (UW) and Gillian Petsch, Sheridan College. Rossi is a senior studying agriculture business. She also serves as the Collegiate Farm Bureau Chapter Chair at UW. Petsch is from Meriden and is studying agriculture business and communications.

Contestants are given pre-determined topics. They are judged on their knowledge, speaking ability, ability to participate in a committee meeting and listen to others and air all points of view. All contestants competed in two rounds of competition. The top four advanced to the "Final Four" round.

The "Final Four" discussion topic was: "In our modern world, the rapid dissemination of information and opinion about agriculture and food technologies can make it difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. Given these challenges, how can Farm Bureau best protect farmers' and ranchers' access to production technology options?"

"I applaud the contestants in this year's Collegiate Discussion Meet," said Chalsey Kortes, out-going WyFB YF&R Competitive Events Sub-Committee Chair. "They took the questions and ran with them formulating great conclusions!"

"We will be cheering Madison on as she heads to Milwaukee representing Wyoming Farm Bureau next March," Kortes concluded.

Anderson will represent the Wyoming Farm Bureau in the American Farm Bureau Federation Collegiate Discussion Meet March 15-18, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Anderson grew up on a ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyo. She is studying agriculture business at Sheridan College. FFA has played a large part in her agriculture involvement.

–Wyoming Farm Bureau

MFBF elects officers

BILLINGS—Hans McPherson, a diversified farmer from Stevensville, was re-elected as president of the Montana Farm Bureau Federation during the organization's annual convention Nov. 7-10 in Billings. Cyndi Johnson, a Conrad small grains farmer, was re-elected as vice president.

Re-elected to the MFBF Board of Directors were Rhonda Boyd, District 2, a rancher from Alder; Lee Boyer, District 4, a rancher from Bridger; Wes Jensen, District 6, a rancher from Circle; Cindy Denning, District 8, a rancher from Sun River; and Patti Davis, District 10, a rancher from Belgrade.

Gretchen Schubert from Huntley was re-elected as the MFBF Women's Leadership Committee Chair with Gil Gasper from Circle re-elected as the MFBF Young Farmer and Rancher Committee Chair.

Following are the district chairs for the Women's Leadership Committee and the Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee:

District Women's Leadership Committee:

District 1: Beth Blevins – Ronan / Janie Kurth – Missoula

District 3: Mary Hill – Raynesford/ Debbie Bricker – Moore

District 5: Lillian Ostendorf – Powderville / Cathy McDowell – Powderville

District 7: Nancy Bowman – Hinsdale

District 9: Bonnie Jones – Helena / Loretta Burnham – Helena

District Young Farmer/Rancher Committee:

District 1: Josh Senecal – Ronan / Lacey Sutherlin – Stevensville

District 3: Lane Nordlund – Bozeman / Kevin Arntzen – Hilger

District 5: John Olson – Broadus

District 7: Gwynn Simeniuk – Opheim

District 9: Josh Doely – Helena / Klayton Lohr – Devon

The Montana Farm Bureau 99th Annual Convention was November 7-10 in downtown Billings.

–Montana Farm Bureau

USDA, FDA will oversee cell-cultured proteins

Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration held a public meeting to discuss the use of livestock and poultry cell lines to develop cell-cultured food products. At this meeting, stakeholders shared valuable perspectives on the regulation needed to both foster these innovative food products and maintain the highest standards of public health. The public comment period will be extended and will remain open through December 26, 2018.

After several thoughtful discussions between our two Agencies that incorporated this stakeholder feedback, we have concluded that both the USDA and the FDA should jointly oversee the production of cell-cultured food products derived from livestock and poultry. Drawing on the expertise of both USDA and FDA, the Agencies are today announcing agreement on a joint regulatory framework wherein FDA oversees cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth and differentiation. A transition from FDA to USDA oversight will occur during the cell harvest stage. USDA will then oversee the production and labeling of food products derived from the cells of livestock and poultry. And, the Agencies are actively refining the technical details of the framework, including robust collaboration and information sharing between the agencies to allow each to carry out our respective roles.

This regulatory framework will leverage both the FDA's experience regulating cell-culture technology and living biosystems and the USDA's expertise in regulating livestock and poultry products for human consumption. USDA and FDA are confident that this regulatory framework can be successfully implemented and assure the safety of these products. Because our agencies have the statutory authority necessary to appropriately regulate cell-cultured food products derived from livestock and poultry the Administration does not believe that legislation on this topic is necessary.

Lia Biondo, with the United States Cattlemen's Association shared some thoughts in a live video announcing the decision. "FDA and USDA just issued a joint statement saying that the two agencies are going to jointly regulate foods produced using cell-cultured technology. We've seen a regulatory battle over the last year," she said. The decision for dual regulatory authority is exactly what USCA had lobbied for.

"This joint regulatory framework is exactly what's needed. Both agencies have a role to play. USDA regulates meat products."

Biondo said her organization believes that if USDA had been allowed to exclusively regulate the cell-cultured protein products, that the products may be allowed to be marketed as meat. They believe this may be part of the reason that some meat companies were lobbying for this approach.

–USDA/FDA news release and staff reporting