Appropriations bill, EIA in NW Nebraska, upcoming meetings and events, chicken diapers |

Appropriations bill, EIA in NW Nebraska, upcoming meetings and events, chicken diapers

It’s been so nice seeing all the green grass again. I know a lot of folks whose ranches were saved by the billion dollar rains that finally came. It hasn’t happened everywhere though. In the Rocky Ford/LaJunta region of southeastern CO, the drought remains deeply rooted. Dust storms passed through that country that looked identical to the photos of the ones from the ‘30’s Dust Bowl. My heart aches for those folks. I don’t know what they can do. It’s just hung on too long. Keep praying for rain for that whole region, clear into New Mexico and Arizona too.

The Agriculture Appropriations Bill (FY14) will be going to the full committee on appropriations on Thursday, June 13. One of the potential budget cuts would be funding for the USDA inspectors needed in the horse processing plants. We have got to make our voices heard, people. Don’t wait for someone else to do it, that’s how we lost the U.S. processing plants to start with! For a full list of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, go to Call your congressional reps, as well as your senators. They’re listed under U.S. Gov’t in the phone book. Make some noise! The survival of the U.S. horse industry is at stake here. Oh, you don’t raise horses? Well, guess what, other livestock processing will be targeted next. Does that hit a little closer to home?

This is something to pay attention to as well! Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) has been found in a horse herd in northwestern Nebraska. Twelve horses on one place have been diagnosed. The disease is usually fatal and there is no treatment for it. It’s spread by biting insects and infected needles used on multiple horses. Symptoms include fever, depression, weight loss, and anemia. Horses, mules and burros are the only ones affected. Biosecurity measures are being taken at the facilities involved and should be at your place too. Spray your horses for flies if possible and NEVER reuse a needle when vaccinating horses. A fresh needle for every horse is critical. EIA is the disease that we test for when we get a Coggins on our horses. If you’re traveling, keep that Coggins up to date. We’ve all bootlegged horses from state to state, and it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but if you think about it a little more, it is. What if someone brought a horse to your place from a place that came down with EIA? It would be a big deal then.

By the way, the Eastern Wyoming Ranch Rodeo at Lusk, Wyoming has been postponed until Sept. 14. It’s a WRCA approved ranch rodeo and a great one to watch, so mark that on your calendars.

At the Casey Tibbs Matched Bronc Ride on June 1, the winner was Will Smith, Marshall, MO, with 89 points on PRCA Bucking Horse of the Year, Chuckalator of the Sutton string. Second was last year’s winner, Sterling Crawley of Stephenville, TX, with 85.5 points on Korkow’s Fraid Not. Third was Ty Manke, Box Elder, SD, on Sutton’s South Point.

Trula Churchill, Valentine, NE and her great gelding Worm just keep creeping up the WNFR standings list. She’s up to ninth place, while Jane Melby, Backus, MN, is fourth and Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, SD is eleventh.

There will be a meeting during the CNFR (College National Finals Rodeo), which is on right now, to explore the idea of a Wyoming Rodeo Hall of Fame. The meeting will be June 14. If you’d really like to be there, call Rhonda Stearns at 307-746-2030 right away and she can give you details.

The Third Annual Will James Roundup will be July 12-14 at Hardin, MT. On Friday July 12, there will be working ranch horse competition all day, plus a Big Loop Team Roping that evening. On Saturday July 13, there will be cow doctoring in the morning and ranch bronc riding, both men’s and women’s, in the evening. On Sunday will be the ranch rodeo at 11 a.m., followed by women’s steer stopping and a $500 added money Indian relay race. I’ve heard great reports on this absolutely pure cowboy weekend and sure would like to make it up there myself. For more information, call Sam and Shirley Redding at 406-666-2330 or email

I heard a news story about a new product that is available. It’s chicken diapers for use by those people who want to take their chicken in the house and not have it do what chickens do. Oh my. You know, these people vote.

Well, that’s my circle for this week. Send me any news items or upcoming events and I’ll be happy to talk about ’em here!

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