National briefs: Farm Bureau, FFA share story of ag ed

Wisconsin State Farmer


Farmer asks public to help her find stolen goats

A Vermont farmer is asking for help finding her stolen goats. 

WCAX-TV reports the Randolph farmer's animals went missing last week. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture says the goats were taken from their pasture at night. 

The farmer has offered up a reward for information to help with the case. 


American Farm Bureau, National FFA, work together sharing story of Ag ed

On July 14, the American Farm Bureau Federation and National FFA Organization signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to grow leaders, build communities and strengthen agriculture.

The MOU outlines how the two organizations will work together to discover opportunities that benefit both their members and agricultural education students in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The MOU was signed in Washington, D.C., during a national meeting of state Farm Bureau presidents from across the country. 

Together, FFA and AFBF will attract, educate, inspire and prepare students to enter careers in the agriculture, food, fiber and natural resources industry. In addition, the two organizations will broaden the definition of “agriculturally related careers” to encompass the vastness of professions in the industry of agriculture.

FFA and AFBF will determine existing connections between county Farm Bureaus and local FFA chapters as well as state Farm Bureaus and state FFA associations. The MOU also allows AFBF to serve as a member of the FFA Agricultural Policy Committee.

FFA will use AFBF-branded advocacy resources and materials to train state FFA officers and find ways for FFA and AFBF members to interact during policy discussions or in policy communications. 


Iowa senator presents AAW Champion of Ag award

Last month Iowa's Senator Joni Ernst received the American Agri-Women (AAW) Champion of Agriculture Award during the annual AAW Fly-In in Washington D.C. 

Senator Ernst supports agriculture through her work on the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. 

In early February, Senator Ernst met with Sonny Perdue, who was at the time the nominee for Secretary of Agriculture, and discussed with him the agriculture economy and the challenges farmers and ranchers across the nation are facing. She also spoke of the importance of renewable fuels and strong trade agreements with other countries; both of which are very important to Iowa’s economy. 

Senator Ernst introduced legislation in the Senate (which passed the Senate and House) to dismiss the expanded definition of WOTUS. She recognized the flaws in the expanded WOTUS Rule, and the need for a more effective approach to protecting our water without placing unnecessary regulatory burdens on our farmers, businesses, and manufacturers.  

Senator Ernst’s passion for agriculture is rooted deep in her Iowa heritage and life experiences. Being raised on a family farm in Iowa, she grew up walking soybeans and cornfields, and feeding hogs. 

 “Championing Iowa’s farmers is a priority of mine. I will continue to work to cut burdensome regulations, and lead efforts that promote our agriculture economy and rural communities. I am grateful for this honor as we work to assist the men and women who help feed and fuel our nation and world,” said Senator Ernst. 


Stink bugs found in Skagit County 

A brown marmorated stink bug, an agriculture pest that has devastated crops for a decade on the East Coast, has been captured in Skagit County for the first time. 

The Skagit Valley Herald reports it was found last week in a Washington State University Skagit County Extension trap in south Mount Vernon. 

Director Don McMoran says they'll continue to monitor the bug. 

The insect feasts on a variety of crops, including vegetables, fruits and berries. 

The extension notified local farmers and gardeners urging them to monitor their fields and report sightings of the stink bugs. 

Homeowners aren't exempt from damages either. The pests release pheromones during the winter, causing them to huddle against buildings by the thousands. 

Along with their bad smell, they'll damage trees and home gardens. 


Massachusetts probing what killed thousands of honeybees 

The Massachusetts' Department of Agricultural Resources is investigating a massive honeybee kill that has almost entirely wiped out a hive of 80,000 bees. 

A representative from the department was in Rehoboth over the weekend to take samples to determine the cause of the bees' deaths. 

Wayne Andrews, vice president of the Massachusetts Beekeepers Association, says as many as 60,500 bees have been killed. 

Eric Pilotte, president of the Bristol County Beekeepers Association, says it seems similar to pesticide contamination cases he has seen. Andrews says it is probably the biggest bee kill he has seen in his career. 

A Department of Agricultural Resources spokeswoman says they are actively investigating the case.