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MELROSE, Minn. — The "We Do Cows" billboards make a big impression on Interstate 94 as people travel to and from the Twin Cities. Ag-savvy motorists often smile at the slogan, but few know Leedstone Inc. is a creative and transformative business in the region's animal health industry. Leedstone is led by veterinarian brothers, David and Dan Tomsche. David, 61, is Leedstone's president and chief executive officer. Dan, 62, is vice president.
FORMAN, N.D. — A deal's a deal, but maybe it's not if the U.S. Department of Agriculture makes it, say Danny "Dan" Zirnhelt and his wife, Sherry Zirnhelt. The retired farmers and custom grain harvesters from Forman successfully appealed a Conservation Reserve Program contract payment dispute to the USDA's National Appeals Division. The Zirnhelts won partial victory but still lost $15,000. It all started in August 2015, when the Zirnhelts signed a 15-year contract.
GRAND FORKS — North Dakota and Minnesota are two of the top states in the U.S. to be hurt — or helped — by the openness of U.S.-Cuba trade policies, a recent report says. A study report was prepared by C. Parr Rosson, head of the department of agricultural economics at Texas A&M University, William Messina, an agricultural economist at the University Florida, and Steven Zahniser, agricultural economist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
WAHPETON, N.D. — Farmers in cooperatives are fighting a "pretty huge" change in the federal tax reform package making its way through Congress. Curt Wickstrom, president and chief executive officer Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative of Wahpeton, says he's told co-op members to contact their congressional delegations to effect "some type of correction" before the bill passes.
WAHPETON, N.D. — A 93-acre farmland parcel west of Wahpeton soon will be a new kind "land lab" for the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton. A free land lease arrangement from a donor runs for three growing seasons, says Craig Zimprich, the school's agriculture department chairman. The arrangement goes into effect this coming season. This past season the field was in soybeans, and it has been largely in a corn-soybean rotation. The field is about a mile from the NDSCS campus on the west edge of Wahpeton, so it's handy for student involvement.
FARGO — They're far from the drought, but North Dakota State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory chemists on the Fargo campus are in the middle of the action, running tests for ranchers who want to know their animals are getting safe feed and water. Brett Webb, director of the lab, say tests are about six-fold from non-drought years. Excessive nitrates in feed or water can lead to cattle losses or abortions. Typically the lab does 20 to 30 of the tests in non-drought years. So far this year, they have done about 300 for water and about the same for forages.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Harvest crews are in northeast North Dakota this weekend to take emergency Conservation Reserve Program hay, though some haying on CRP lands won’t happen until the first week of August.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A federal judge in Iowa on July 5 refused a biofuels promoter's motion to remove herself in his wire fraud and aggravated identity theft case. Darrell Duane Smith, of Forest City, Iowa, on June 18 asked that Chief U.S. District Court Judge Linda Rae Reade, recuse herself. Smith initially promised to plead guilty to some of the counts, but then cancelled the plea hearing and notified the court he would file the motion to remove Reade. A new plea hearing is set July 25 at 2 p.m.
FT. PIERRE, S.D. — Central South Dakota has had a bit of a rain revival, but many areas have back-slid into drought. Brothers Pete and Rick Severson farm and ranch in conjunction south of Onida, S.D. After an excruciatingly dry May, they got 1.2 inches on June 11, another .3 inches on June 15, then smatterings after that. They're still about 3.6 inches below average rainfall for the growing season.
FARGO — North Dakota State University served up a heaping helping of nutritional and food safety information along with flavor enhancing tips at the season's first BBQ Bootcamp event. The Fargo event on May 23 was the first in this city for a few years. It was a sell-out with 180 registrations, said Eric Berg, an NDSU meat science professor and co-director for the event at the NDSU Beef Cattle Research Complex.