from July 25


ROBERTS EXPRESSES FRUSTRATION WITH EPA

     During a meeting earlier this week with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts from Kansas said the agency has unfairly targeted farmers, ranchers and rural America with burdensome regulations. Roberts told McCarthy his Kansas constituents are telling him EPA’s work to regulate water resources, fuel storage tanks, prescribed burning in the Flint Hills, cap and trade, pesticide permits and fugitive dust is an “assault on our way of life.”
     “The rocky relationship between Midwest agriculture and the EPA is not new, but the latest round of proposed regulations is making many folks believe the rules are driven by an anti-agriculture agenda that is hurting the Kansas economy,” said Roberts.
     He expressed frustration with the agency’s recent dismissal of concerns from Kansans regarding the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule. He specifically took issue with the EPA’s recent campaign calling these concerns “myths.”
     “Just two weeks ago, you were in Missouri to meet with producers regarding the proposed Waters of the United States regulation. Farmers and ranchers had hoped they would be able to persuade you to recognize the far reaching and negative impacts of the proposed and interpretive rules, but the reports back have not been positive.” Roberts said. “To hear that their concerns were categorized as ‘silly’ or ‘ludicrous’ is truly frustrating.”


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from July 24

NEW BOOK IGNITES DISCUSSION ABOUT SATURATED FAT IN THE DIET

 

     A new book re-evaluating the role of saturated fat in the diet and highlighting the unintended consequences of a low-fat diet has elevated the national dialogue about what constitutes healthy eating. Veteran investigative journalist Nina Teicholz, author of “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet,” concluded nutritional science has gotten it wrong regarding saturated fat and health. The book is gaining widespread national attention, most recently appearing as the cover story of the June TIME magazine.
     After years of meticulous research, Teicholz presents strong evidence that increasing obesity, diabetes and heart disease may be the result of eliminating the saturated fat contained in beef, milk and other animal-based foods. By doing so, Americans inadvertently may be consuming more calories from foods that don’t deliver much in terms of nutrients. Lean beef provides 10 essential nutrients and 150 calories in a 3 oz. serving.
     Earlier this year, a scientific review of 72 studies concluded “Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.” This study, Teicholz’ findings and other recent research on the subject reinforce the need, according to NCBA, for further research, including projects funded by the beef checkoff that help clarify the role and combination of all nutrients in a healthful diet.
     Beef checkoff staff contacted Teicholz to gain additional insight on her work. In the process, she was interviewed for a blog post featured on www.factsaboutbeef.com. Beef advocates are encouraged to distribute this special blog through social media channels. 

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from July 23

BRYANT NAMED RECRUITER OF THE MONTH

     Sarah Bryant of Winfield earned KLA Membership Recruiter of the Month honors for June. She will receive a $50 gift card as her reward for inviting friends and neighbors to join the association.
     The 2014 Top Hand contest, sponsored exclusively by John Deere, is well underway. Jake Bauer of Oakley leads the field of recruiters with 30 members. The Anderson County KLA committee is in second place with 14. Clint Sturdy from Lyndon and the Nemaha County Committee are tied for third with eight new members each.
     This year’s prize list is cumulative, so members can earn a nice package even if they don’t reach the top level. For more information, click here. Contact Letty Meek at letty@kla.org or (785) 273-5115 for recruitment materials and applications. 

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from July 22

HORSE OWNERS ENCOURAGED TO BE VIGILANT AS VS MOVES CLOSER TO KANSAS

     Officials with the Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health have been notified that Colorado has confirmed cases of vesicular stomatitis (VS). Four horses tested positive for the disease and have been placed under quarantine. The Colorado horses involved in these index cases have no history of travel.
     Previous positive cases of VS have been diagnosed this year in far southern Texas, near the Mexican border, and just south of Austin.
     According to Kansas Animal Health Commissioner Bill Brown, there are no travel restrictions in Kansas. Brown and other state animal health officials are asking horse owners to watch animals closely, especially when traveling this summer and co-mingling with horses from other states.
     Horses, mules, cattle, bison, sheep, goats, pigs and camelids are susceptible to the disease. Clinical signs include vesicles and erosions and sloughing of the skin on the muzzle, tongue, teats and above the hooves. Veterinarians and livestock owners who suspect an animal may have VS should immediately contact state or federal animal health authorities.
     There are no USDA-approved vaccines for VS. Transmission of the disease is not completely understood, but insect vectors, mechanical transmission and livestock movement are suspected as the primary causes. The disease is not fatal.

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from July 21

McCLASKEY SAYS PROPOSED EPA RULE IS “BAD FOR KANSAS”

 

     Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey criticized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week for its “heavy-handed overreach” in proposing to expand federal jurisdiction over ponds, ditches and, in some cases, dry land. She said contrary to public comments from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on her recent visit to Missouri, the proposed waters of the U.S. rule would narrow the current statutory exemptions for agriculture contained in the Clean Water Act and, ultimately, require more permits for routine farming activities.
     “The proposed rule is bad for Kansas,” said McClaskey.
     She said the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Department of Transportation, Kansas Water Office and Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism are cooperating to bring the negative ramifications of the proposed rule to EPA’s attention.
     “We will continue to fight to protect the rights of Kansas landowners and businesses,” said McClaskey.

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from July 18

IMPACT OF PRAIRIE CHICKEN LISTING ON WILMORE FIELD DAY PROGRAM

     The regulatory impact on farming and ranching in the lesser prairie chicken habitat range will be discussed during the August 13 KLA/Kansas State University Ranch Management Field Day near Wilmore. Earlier this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act. Western Kansas is one of the areas in a five-state region considered as key habitat for the bird.  
 Merrill Ranch, a 17,000-acre cow-calf operation located in the heart of the Red Hills, is hosting the event. It is owned by the H.A. Merrill Trust and the Catherine Merrill Trust. Dee and Phyllis Scherich manage the ranch.
 Other field days scheduled are August 18 near Uniontown, at the operation owned by Lafe, Linda and Eric Wilson, and August 20 at Pike Trail Cattle Company near Delphos. Each event will start at 4:00 p.m., include educational and informational sessions and conclude with dinner. More specific program information will be announced in the coming weeks. Bayer Animal Health and the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas are sponsors of the field days.

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from July 17

STATE FSA APPROVES EMERGENCY HAYING AND GRAZING IN 44 COUNTIES

     The Kansas Farm Service (FSA) Agency announced today (7/17) that emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres has been approved for 44 counties effective immediately. Members of the Kansas FSA State Committee authorized haying and grazing in counties designated as D2 – severe drought on the U.S. Drought Monitor Map.
     Counties approved for emergency haying and grazing are Barber, Barton, Cheyenne, Clark, Comanche, Cowley, Edwards, Ellsworth, Finney, Ford, Gove, Gray, Greeley, Hamilton, Harper, Haskell, Hodgeman, Kearny, Kingman, Kiowa, Lane, Logan, McPherson, Meade, Morton, Ness, Pawnee, Pratt, Rawlins, Reno, Rice, Rush, Russell, Scott, Sedgwick, Seward, Sherman, Stafford, Stanton, Stevens, Sumner, Thomas, Wallace and Wichita.
     Emergency haying will be allowed in these counties through August 15. Participants must leave at least 50% of each field or contiguous CRP field unhayed for wildlife. Hay must be removed from the field within 30 days of the end of the haying period. The hay cannot be sold. Landowners without livestock may rent or lease haying privileges.
     Emergency grazing is allowed through September 30. Livestock must be removed at the end of the grazing period or when the minimum average height reaches 5”. Producers without livestock may rent or lease grazing privileges.
     CRP participants in approved counties should first contact the local FSA office to request haying and grazing on an individual contract basis.

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from July 16

KLA PAC ENDORSES CANDIDATES IN PRIMARY RACES

 The KLA Political Action Council (KLA PAC) recently made campaign contributions to Kansas House and Senate candidates for the August 5 primary election. Below is a list of candidates, endorsed by KLA, who have a contested primary election. Candidates with uncontested races were not considered for endorsement in the primary.
 KLA PAC will meet after the primary to authorize contributions and recommend a list of endorsements for the November 4 general election.
 Funds used for KLA PAC contributions are from voluntary donations given by members. No dues revenue is used for campaign contributions.

KANSAS HOUSE

 KANSAS SENATE
DIST. NAME/HOMETOWN

 DIST. NAME/HOMETOWN
 9 Kent Thompson, Iola
   35 Marshall Christmann, Lyons
 19  Stephanie Clayton, Overland Park
   37 Molly Baumgardner, Louisburg
 21 Barbara Bollier, Mission Hills
     
 30 Ron Worley, Lenexa
   U.S. HOUSE
 45 Tom Sloan, Lawrence
   DIST. NAME/HOMETOWN
 49
Scott Schwab, Olathe
   2 Lynn Jenkins, Topeka
 50 Joshua Powell, Topeka
   3 Kevin Yoder, Overland Park
 59 Blaine Finch, Ottawa
   4 Mike Pompeo, Wichita
70
John Barker, Abilene
     
71
Diana Dierks, Salina
  U.S. SENATE
72
Marc Rhoades, Newton
  Pat Roberts, Dodge City
 91 Gene Suellentrop, Wichita
     
93
Joe Edwards, Haysville
  GOVERNOR/LT. GOVERNOR
97
Les Osterman, Wichita
  Sam Brownback/Jeff Colyer
 99 Dennis Hedke, Wichita
     
 117 John Ewy, Jetmore
  SECRETARY OF STATE
 120 Rick Billinger, Goodland
  Scott Morgan, Lawrence
 122 Russell Jennings, Lakin
   

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from July 15

ENTRIES, SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS FOR KJLS DUE AUGUST 15

 

     Premium books containing entry forms for the 82nd annual Kansas Junior Livestock Show (KJLS) have been mailed to all exhibitors from last year’s event. The 2014 show will be held September 19-22 at the Kansas Pavilions in Wichita.
     Show entries must be postmarked by August 15. Forms need to be signed by the exhibitor’s county extension agent or ag instructor and mailed to the show office in Wichita. Those who did not receive an entry form can contact their county extension office or go to www.kjls.org.
     During the show, KJLS will award 10 to 18 scholarships ranging in amounts from $750 to $2,500 to students from across the state. Scholarship applications are included in the show catalog and can be found on the KJLS web site listed above. Applications are due August 15.
     KLA, Kansas State University and the Agri-Business Council of Wichita are the three major sponsors of the show.

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from July 14

KLA/K-STATE RANCH FIELD DAYS COMING TO WILMORE, UNIONTOWN, DELPHOS

 

     The 2014 KLA/Kansas State University Ranch Management Field Days will be held August 13, 18 and 20. Merrill Ranch of Wilmore is the site of the August 13 field day. Lafe and Linda Wilson, and son Eric, will host the August 18 event near Uniontown and Pike Trail Cattle Company at Delphos will serve as the August 20 field day host.
     Each event will start at 4:00 p.m., include educational and informational sessions, and conclude with dinner. More specific program information will be announced in the coming weeks. Bayer Animal Health and the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas are sponsors of the field days. 

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from July 11

KLA ACCUSES EPA OF IGNORING AG’S SUGGESTIONS ON WATERS OF THE U.S.
    
     KLA Vice President of Legal and Government Affairs Aaron Popelka expressed disappointment after meeting with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy earlier this week to discuss the agency’s proposed waters of the U.S. rule. He said it is clear after the meeting and her remarks before the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City that EPA has “no intention of working with agricultural stakeholders to reform this deeply flawed proposal.”
     According to Popelka, McCarthy misrepresented the content of the proposed rule defining waters of the U.S. under the Clean Water Act. She said the proposal would not regulate groundwater or land use, while legal analysis by national and state ag organizations, including KLA, suggest it would greatly expand federal jurisdiction over groundwater, ponds, ditches and, in some cases, dry land.
     Instead of acknowledging the specific concerns of ag stakeholders raised with McCarthy during a July 9 meeting in Columbia, MO, she claimed farm and ranch organizations misunderstood EPA’s intent or have misread the rule. She also inaccurately suggested major ag organizations, including NCBA, asked for the proposed rule.
     “Nothing could be further from the truth and we call on the administrator to stop propagating these false statements,” said Popelka.
     KLA is a member of the Kansas Agricultural Alliance, which previously called on the state’s congressional delegation, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt to join forces against the EPA proposal. Gov. Brownback said this week the state is developing a coordinated response to the federal overreach contained in EPA’s waters of the U.S. rule.   

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