OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Farmers and agribusiness professionals are invited to the Omaha Ag Outlook event in December. The event is scheduled for Dec. 6 and 7 at Embassy Suites in Omaha’s Old Market district. Organizers are offering sessions focused on livestock marketing, estate planning and international agriculture.
The event will also include a banquet to discuss the U.S. farm bill, and a discussion on the outlook for grains and oilseed. Pre-registration is required. The meeting is a joint effort of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Iowa State University.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office has rescinded a ban on outdoor burning in Audubon County. The ban, which went into effect On August 31st due to the dry condition, was lifted effective 1-p.m. today (Friday).
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Pennsylvania man who operated a hunting guide service in southern Iowa has been convicted of carrying out illegal hunts for whitetail deer in 2008. A jury in Des Moines on Thursday found Rodney Hughes of Mayfield, Penn., guilty of seven counts of the unlawful sale of deer taken in interstate commerce. Jurors also found him guilty of six counts of willfully submitting false information to state authorities.
Prosecutors say Hughes’ service, Midwest USA Outfitters, was a guide for several residents from other states who came to Iowa to hunt without having a buck tag. Hughes had relatives and friends obtain hunting tags that were used for the deer the hunters killed. He reported the false tag information to the state of Iowa.
The 63-year-old Hughes will be sentenced later.
The Watershed Improvement Review Board (WIRB) recently approved ten applications totaling more than $2.3-million in grants to support projects that will improve water quality or reduce flooding in the state. Among the projects is the Adair Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) covering Adair and Cass Counties, which will receive $298, 562 for the West Fork Middle Nodaway River. And, the West Pottawattamie SWCD will receive $279,811 for the Mosquito Creek Project in Pottawattamie County.
The grant funds will be matched by recipients, who will provide over $6.5-million in funding from the local communities to support these projects. As a result, $8.8- million will be going to support conservation work in priority watersheds throughout the state.
The approved projects have already completed watershed assessments that identified critical water resource areas and will focus on implementing specific water quality or flood reduction improvements. The projects will start after a grant agreement is signed between the applicant and the Watershed Improvement Review Board. Soil and water conservation districts, public water supply utilities, counties, county conservation boards, cities, and local watershed improvement committees were eligible to apply. Individual projects could request up to $300,000.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says “These projects are a partnership between federal, state and local organizations that are committed to improving Iowa’s water quality. By supporting projects that address runoff and drainage, sedimentation, urban stormwater, livestock runoff, streambed and bank stabilization and a number of other issues, these projects are focused on issues that directly impact the state’s waterways and water quality.”
WIRB received a total of $3 million this year and at least half of the funds must be used to support voluntary, science based water quality practices referenced in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Tickets to a popular bacon festival in Des Moines will go on sale next month. Organizers of the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival will sell tickets online Dec. 12 beginning at 12:12 p.m., at precisely 13 seconds past the minute. The Feb. 1st festival at the Iowa State Fairgrounds will have a Las Vegas theme that pays homage to Elvis Presley. There will also be a bacon-themed chapel for couples looking to get married at the event.
The festival is entering its seventh year and expanding its space at the fairgrounds. Organizers plan to admit 12,000 visitors, a jump from 9,500 last year.
The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association has launched an effort to help cattle ranchers in South Dakota who are trying to recover from a natural disaster. The untimely blizzard that hit western South Dakota in early October killed anywhere from 20-to-30-thousand (20,000 to 30,000) cattle, according to government estimates. Matt Deppe is CEO of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, which is calling on its members to donate toward the relief efforts in South Dakota. Deppe is hoping $2,000 will come from each Iowa county.
“That’s about the value of a bred heifer right now,” Deppe says. The storm that struck the Black Hills on October 4 packed 70 mile per hour winds and left behind snow drifts that were up to 10 feet high. The collection of Iowa donations from cattle producers is being coordinated by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation. Deppe says the foundation will send 100-percent of the Iowa dollars to the South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund.
“We’d like to get our donations in by the middle of December and turn around and send right up to the South Dakota crew,” Deppe says. Payments from individuals, businesses and county groups should be made out to the Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation with a notation that the money is for the South Dakota ranchers. Those donations can be mailed to: Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation, 2055 Ironwood Ct., Ames, IA 50014. Deppe is asking donations be made prior to Iowa Cattle Industry Convention in Altoona, December 9-11.