Midwest briefs: Kansas community divided over livestock rules

Wisconsin State Farmer


Kansas agriculture community divided over livestock rules 

The Kansas agriculture community has been divided over a decision by the Trump administration to block new livestock rules from taking effect. 

The Lawrence Journal-World reports a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture had proposed the rules that were scheduled to go into effect Thursday. 

The new rules were intended to protect poultry producers from unfair commercial practices by food processing giants like Tyson Foods. 

Republican Sen. Pat Roberts praised the decision to block the rules. He says the decision promotes economic prosperity and reduces regulatory burdens in the agricultural community. 

But some groups disapprove of the decision. An official with the Organization for Competitive Markets says the block favors large agricultural corporations and hurts farmers and ranchers. 


Manure from dairy farm blamed for deaths of 60K fish

Authorities are blaming a manure runoff from a dairy farm for killing about 60,000 fish in eastern Iowa.

The farm is situated about 3 miles (5 kilometers) east of New Vienna. The fish kill was reported Oct. 9 after fish carcasses were spotted in two creeks downstream in Dyersville.

The Iowa Natural Resources Department has issued a notice of violation to the owner, John Hoefler, and is expected to seek restitution for the fish. Among the dead were minnows, white suckers and creek chubs.


Nebraska hog farmer, educator announces congressional bid 

A northeast Nebraska hog farmer and educator is running for a seat in Nebraska's 3rd Congressional District. 

Democrat Paul Theobald of rural Foster announced his candidacy Wednesday. He will challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith, a Republican who is seeking re-election in the GOP-dominated district. 

Theobald is a former professor at Wayne State College. He and his wife, Maureen, live on a small farm in rural Pierce County where they pasture-raise purebred heritage breed hogs. 

Theobald says he would focus on the needs of rural residents, communities, businesses and schools if elected. On his campaign website, he says he supports Medicare for all and a higher minimum wage, and opposes the Keystone XL pipeline. 

Smith has represented Nebraska's sprawling, mostly rural 3rd District since 2007. 


Agenda set for Prairie Crest Capital annual Ag Tech Investor Conference  

The Prairie Crest Capital Annual Ag Tech Investor Conference recently unveiled its list of speakers for its upcoming event on Nov. 9, 2017. Throughout the day, the event will feature a wide range of presenters from both the private and public sectors.  

Legendary investor Steve Forbes will serve as the keynote speaker of the event and will be sharing his decades of experience in the investment management industry with all attendees. 

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds will kick off the annual conference with opening remarks showcasing the key role Iowa plays in the future of agricultural – both in the development of new technologies and investments in those developing ideas.

Throughout the course of the morning, agricultural investors from across the country will participate in moderated panel discussions featuring a variety of topics.

Special guests include Ewa Kozicz, Columbia Business School alumna, currently working on a new investment platform with a focus on sustainability in agriculture at Anthelion Capital in New York, NY; Dr. Spencer Maughan, partner at Finistere LLC in San Francisco, CA; Jan Bouten, partner at Innova Fund in Memphis, TN and Claire Kinlaw, director of agriculture practice at Larta Institute in Los Angeles, CA.


Injured western Illinois farmer gets help with harvest

Eighteen western Illinois farmers pitched in to help harvest beans and corn belonging to a farmer who recently fell from his grain trailer and broke two vertebrae.

The Quincy Herald-Whig reports the farmers brought their combines and semi-trucks to John Ufkes' farm near Basco on Friday and Saturday. The accident will keep Ufkes from working for three months.

The farmers were able to harvest 160 acres of beans and 160 acres of corn. Farmers came from places like Augusta, Hull, West Point and Golden.

Ufkes said he was amazed by how some farmers will stop to help a neighbor even though they're not done with their own harvests. He said, "the farming community really rallies around someone when they have a problem."

Basco is about 35 miles west of Macomb in Hancock County.