Jan Swan Wood: Grass founder, some sad news, good news, deadlines for events | TSLN.com

Jan Swan Wood: Grass founder, some sad news, good news, deadlines for events

My Dad and I enjoyed a Father's Day drive through northwest South Dakota. The grass was so green it nearly hurt our eyes, the cattle were all shiny and fat, and most of the dams were at least half full of water. We did see one narrow strip south of Camp Crook a ways that needed some rain and had some dry dams. It's pretty amazing to see what rain can do for an area though. If we'd keep getting some showers, we may even get some hay.

In light of all this new green grass, be on the lookout for grass founder in your horses, mules and burros. There is absolutely NO breed of horse that is immune to it (contrary to what some breed advocates claim), and those horses that are already fat with a cresty neck are prime candidates. If your horse is laying down or standing with its feet extended in front of it, get it off the grass immediately and call your vet for instruction. Having a tube of Bute around is also a good idea, as your vet will probably recommend a dose of Bute right away.

One of the good pickup men in the business, Scott McClain, sure needs our prayers and support. Scott has picked up for Powder River Rodeos for years, so is well known in the rodeo world. Scott got hurt and broke his leg bad enough to require surgery to put a rod in it, so that was quite a setback for him and will have him laid up for quite a while. Then, the very next week, his wife Mary passed away on June 12. If you want to send Scott a card and help with expenses, his address is 70946 CR2, Lyman, NE 69352. My condolences to Scott and his family.

Also heard that Charlie Colombe, Mission, S.D., passed away after an ATV accident. He was a good cowboy and a great rodeo hand in his day so I find it particularly tragic that a danged machine may have led to his death. I also offer my sympathy to the Colombe family.

The great cowboy artist and good cowboy Bill Owen of Arizona died June 15. He was on a big outfit in northern Arizona, working with the crew and taking photos for reference, and at the end of the day had stepped off of a good horse and was standing around visiting with the guys when he had a massive heart attack and died on the spot. At least he was doing what he loved and didn't linger, but such a shock to his family and friends. We just never know when we walk out the door in the morning if we'll be walking back in that night which is kind of a sobering thought.

On a brighter note, the House Committee on Ag Appropriations passed the 2014 bill without an amendment that would have prohibited federal funding of USDA inspectors in the horse processing facilities. Thankfully, the House Rules Committee denied the horse slaughter ban it's vote, so it was not included in the overall farm bill. The farm bill is being debated now, so please send your support of horse processing to your representatives in D.C. They really do listen and they need to hear from so many people that it's overwhelming. Believe me, the anti-slaughter folks have lots of people supporting their agenda. Most of them don't even have a dog in the hunt either. We all do, whether you raise horses or not. They're livestock and it's all part of the same agenda.

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Indiana's Congressman Marlin Stutzman, a fourth generation farmer, filed an amendment on June 18, to separate the Farm Bill from the Farm Bill. I'll clarify that a bit by pointing out that few people realize that 80 percent of the "farm" bill is actually the food stamp program. Only 20 percent is even ag-related. I wish they'd do this so that there would be some clarity in what the farm bill actually is and so that the ag industry could actually benefit more from the appropriations.

The first futurity payment for the Roper Rally Futurity at Golliher Arena, Belle Fourche, S.D., is due July 1. There's lots of added money in the 5D barrel race, so contact ZeAnn for more information at 605-641-2926, email her at zgolliher@hotmail.com or http://www.zproductions.biz.

The Wyoming All Breed Racing Association is sponsoring a Youth Racing Experience during the first week of live horse racing in Rock Springs, Wyo., on Aug. 17-18. The youth must be 14 years old and will be part of the behind-the-scenes activities including touring the test barn, working with a trainer, and meeting vets and stewards. There are scholarships and other opportunities that go along with this, so it's a nice deal for those youth interested in horse racing. Registration deadline is Aug. 3. For registration and information, call Judy Horton at 307-331-0747 or Barb Daniels at 307-351-2167.

Well, I've loped out my circle for the week, so I'll go unsaddle. Send me your events, items of interest and suchlike and I'll be happy to share them here.