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DES MOINES, IOWA

Iowa town's editor wins Pulitzer for taking on farm groups 

The owner of a small-town Iowa newspaper who took on powerful agricultural groups for allowing nitrogen runoff to pollute lakes and streams and wrote that the state "has the dirtiest surface water in America," has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing.

Art Cullen, who owns the Storm Lake Times with his brother John, acknowledged it wasn't easy taking on agriculture in a state that is the nation's top producer of corn and No. 2 in soybeans and where farm fields stretch for hundreds of miles in every direction. The Cullens lost a few friends and a few advertisers, but never doubted they were doing the right thing.

Northwest Iowa's Buena Vista County, where the 3,000-circulation, twice-weekly newspaper is based, was one of three counties sued by Des Moines Water Works for allowing too much nitrogen to be released through farm drainage systems into Iowa rivers from which the utility draws its drinking water. The counties fought the federal lawsuit using money provided by undisclosed sources.

The newspaper worked with the Iowa Freedom of Information Council to force the release of documents showing funding came from the Farm Bureau and other agricultural groups.

ST. LOUIS, MO

Escaped cattle being cared for at Missouri veterinary center 

Six steers that made a mad dash out of a St. Louis slaughterhouse in March are being treated and temporarily housed at the University of Missouri's veterinary center in Columbia.

Jay Weiner, co-founder of The Gentle Barn Foundation, says the six cattle are being kept together to reduce their anxiety.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the foundation paid $12,200 for the six animals after their escape from the Star Packing Co.

The Gentle Barn created a GoFundMe page Wednesday to raise funds for veterinary care, food and boarding.

Weiner said after the escape that the cattle might go to a sanctuary in Tennessee or California. But he said Thursday he prefers keeping the cattle local and partnering with a Missouri farm sanctuary might be an option.

ST. PAUL, MN

Four-state dairy conference set for June 14-15 

The 2017 Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference will be held on June 14 and 15 at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, Iowa. This premier conference will focus on nutrition and management topics to improve cow performance, and foot and cow health.

This conference is a collaborative effort of Iowa State University Extension, University of Illinois Extension, University of Minnesota Extension and University of Wisconsin-Extension.

In addition to the educational program, there is a trade show with 50 companies exhibiting their latest products, evening receptions and plenty of time to network with other participants. ARPAS and veterinary CEU credits are available (contact your state veterinary certifying agency).

For more information and to register, visit http://z.umn.edu/4state. The conference registration fee is $150 until May 31 and $175 after.

SHOREVIEW, MN

Forage Genetics International files suit

Forage Genetics International, LLC (FGI), a leading global forage technology company, filed suit this week in U.S. District Court against Alforex Seeds, LLC, alleging that Alforex makes false and misleading claims in its advertising and promotional materials in violation of federal and state law.

The suit alleges that Indiana-based Alforex promotes its Hi-Gest® alfalfa as a low-lignin variety that is comparable or superior to FGI’s HarvXtra® alfalfa reduced-lignin trait, when in fact it is only comparable to conventional alfalfa varieties already on the market.

The suit alleges that FGI’s HarvXtra® alfalfa is the industry’s first alfalfa technology developed to maximize quality by significantly reducing the amount of lignin in the plant. In addition to the lignin content claims, the suit alleges that Alforex highlights a potential for delayed harvest that research does not support and that it misleadingly implies that alfalfa grown from Hi-Gest® seed promotes easier digestion and enhanced performance for livestock.

CHESTERFIELD, MO

Entries sought for Fields of Corn photo contest

The National Corn Growers Association reminds photographers that they can help tell the story of farming field corn in America through the fourth annual Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest. Through this contest, NCGA captures high-resolution photos of corn growth from seed to harvest and the families that grow

Entries will be accepted up until Nov. 30, 2017. The contest is open to all and cash awards will be given to the top three entries in eight categories: Corn, Growing Field Corn, Farm Family Lifestyle, Scenery/Landscape, Farming Challenges, SHP Conservation, Little Farmers and one for the most popular as determined by Facebook “likes.”

For more information visit fields-of-corn.com/home.

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