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Webster County cattlemen hear lawmaking update

By Staff | Mar 26, 2010

Cheyenne Jones, of Gowrie, holds a trophy during the trophy auction purchased by area agribusinesses that will be given to the 2010 county fair 4-H and FFA beef show winners. Jones was named the Webster County 2010 beef princess.

Merle Witt, membership coordinator for the Iowa Cattlemens Association, told 120 people Monday, that the state will allow them to bail crop cover if it’s to be used for feed or bedding.

Witt’s comments came during the 2010 cattlemen’s annual banquet at the Webster County Fairgrounds in Fort Dodge.

Witt, a cattle producer from Arcadia, was updating the group on the Iowa Legislature allowing baling ground cover under House File 2380.

An administrative rule required producers to get permission from the Department of Natural Resources before ground cover, such as corn stover and oat straw, could be baled for any reason.

The rule was implemented to assure that the ground would not lose the nitrogen from decaying plant material.

However, if baled for feed or livestock bedding, Witt said, the material eventually gets reapplied on the field.

The legislature recognized that fact and relaxed the rule.

Witt also said the statewide organization has a major membership drive under way, offering those who renew or join their membership a chance to win a $1,000 gift, consisting of shopping sprees, gas, tools and a trip to Branson, Mo.

“Webster County has 67 members,” Witt told the audience. “That’s down from 67 a year ago,” he said, just 80 percent of 2009.

Statewide, Witt said, 2010 membership is at 9,600, which is 87 percent of 2009.

The state has set a goal of 10,000 members in 2010 from among Iowa’s 97 member county organizations.

When asked about the 2010 profit outlook, after a tough 2009 marketing year, Witt noted that the U.S. cattle herd is down 7 percent, and the world herd is down 6 percent.

“So it makes me feel a little positive,” he said, for 2010.

County royalty

Bruce Jones, president of the Webster County Cattlemens Association, announced the new county queen and princess.

The queen is Hillary Hotz, 17. The princess is Cheyenne Jones.

The outgoing queen was Caitlyn Jones.

Randy Kernan, of Glidden, the ICA’s district 8 director, told the audience to be careful of donating funds to the Humane Society of the United States.

He said that HSUS is often confused as a parent organization supporting local humane society animal shelters.

“But one-half of 1 percent of its (2009) budget actually went for supporting local humane societies,” Kernan said.

“The balance went to lobby against animal agriculture.”

Contact Larry Kershner at (515) 573-2141, Ext. 453, or by e-mail at kersh@farm-news.com.

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