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WASHINGTON

President urged to start trade talks with Japan

Ahead of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's state visit here, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) urged President Trump to begin negotiations on a free and fair trade agreement with Japan.

In a joint letter transmitted this week to the White House, NCBA and NPPC asked the president "to initiate free trade agreement negotiations with nations in the Asia-Pacific region beginning with Japan. ... As you continue to lead America forward, we want to be a resource for your administration for possible strategies in improving existing and future trade agreements for the benefit of our producers."

The Prime Minister will be in Washington Friday, Jan. 10, 2017, to meet with Trump on a number of matters, including bilateral trade.

"A successful, comprehensive agreement with Japan would result in one of the greatest trade agreements for the U.S. pork and beef industries and for many other sectors," said NCBA President Craig Uden, a cattle rancher from Elwood, NE.

BARABOO, WI

Huebsch is market manager at Richland Center

Huebsch appointed Richland Center market manager Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association announced that Andy Huebsch now serves as market manager at the Richland Center market. In his role, Huebsch will oversee the Richland Center market operations and staff.

He will work with producers to understand and meet their marketing needs, as well as develop and maintain relationships with buyers and truckers. Huebsch has worked at Equity for over two years as the barn supervisor.

Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association is a federated cooperative headquartered in Baraboo, WI. Equity Livestock operates 12 auction markets and services producers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and South Dakota. Equity assists producers with the marketing, managing and financing of their agricultural businesses.

KANSAS CITY, MO

Bedwell teaches at NCBA Cattlemen's College

Shane Bedwell, AHA director of breed improvement and chief operating officer, taught the course "Reducing lameness and improving cattle structure through genetics and management" Feb. 1 at the 24th edition of the Cattlemen's College during the 2017 National Cattlemen's Beef Association Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville.

Bedwell's course was one of 15 educational sessions taught to more than 1,000 cattlemen and women in attendance at the event.

"I'm very humbled I was asked to speak at the Cattlemen's College," Bedwell said. "Continued education is a vital part of advancing agriculture, and I'm thankful to play a small role in the future of the beef industry."

Presentations from the 2017 Cattlemen's College will be available online after Feb. 17 at beefusa.org.

SALEM, OR

Proposal could allow public to hunt 'problem' wolves

Oregon wildlife officials have long maintained that no hunting season is planned for the state's wolf population, even as the number of wolves in state continues to grow.

Wolf hunting is legal in nearby Idaho and Montana — and around 400 animals are harvested annually between the two states — but officials have said no similar plan is envisioned for Oregon.

Environmental groups disagree, and say the state is planning to offer wolf hunting in Oregon, and possibly soon, just by a different name.

A proposal that could allow the public to hunt "problem wolves" — animals that attack livestock or cause a major decline in game populations — has become a flashpoint in negotiations over revisions to Oregon's wolf plan.

FORT COVINGTON, NY

Fire kills nearly 100 calves at New York farm 

Investigators are trying to find out what started a fire that has killed as many as 100 calves at a northern New York dairy farm.

Fire officials said that the blaze had fully engulfed the barn when they arrived around 8 p.m. Feb 8 at the Brockway farm in the Franklin County town of Fort Covington, on the Canadian border.

More than 50 volunteer firefighters working in bitter cold conditions kept the flames from spreading to nearby buildings.

Dozens of calves died and farming equipment was destroyed, but officials say the rest of the milking herd was safe and has been sent to other area farms.

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