Holy buckets! I looked at my calendar today and realized it’s the 14th of the month and that I better get my column written, since I have 24 hours until the deadline. Looking outside, you’d think it was the 14th of February.
There was a statistic on the news the other day indicating we averaged about 20 degrees below normal the first 10 days of April. I was visiting with a neighbor the other day too who said this spring reminded him of Spring 1975. I was pretty young back then and don’t remember it, but he told me that it was the 20th of May before he had done any fieldwork. I sure hope that’s not the case this year. Steve Brooks told me that his daughter summed up the weather this way: “January has had 100 days in it this year!”
On the bright side, we’ve been blessed with some moisture, so when it does warm up, the grass should get off to a good start.
Beef in the Beltway
was planning on going to Washington, D.C., last month. However, with calving off to a running start and the weather not being very cooperative, I ended up having to cancel. I want to thank NDSA District 3 Director Craig Kemmet of Tappen for pinch-hitting for me. He and NDSA Executive Vice President Julie Ellingson did an outstanding job representing the NDSA there.
One of the issues they discussed in D.C. was the electronic logging device mandate for livestock haulers — a topic we’ve been working on for a long time. One of our strategies is a legislative one. North Dakota’s Sens. John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp and Rep. Kevin Cramer have been very helpful on this issue. We’re expecting legislation to work on the problem, including allowances for a 300 air-mile exemption on the front end of a trip and a 150 air-mile exemption on the back end. The bills are expected to include 15 to 18 hours of drive time and mandated, but flexible rest periods.
Rest assured, we will keep working with our delegation and other decision- makers, such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, on this issue for the best possible solution.
Another issue the NDSA discussed was funding for a foot-and-mouth disease vaccine bank. Full funding for the vaccine bank for the first year has been proposed in the House version of the farm bill; however, the dollars for Years 2 through 5 are at a lesser amount. At press time, the Senate version of the farm bill has not yet been released.
I’d like to remind you all of the Spring Roundups, which will be taking place June 4-5, 7-8 and 11-12. I personally would like to invite each of you to join us for a great meal and a short program, where we will be discussing topics that are important to our industry. The Roundups are also the time the NDSA Nominating Committees meet to bring names forward for future directors. If you or someone you know would be interested in becoming a director, be sure to contact your district committee chairman or any of the committee members listed here.
When Scott Ressler was in third grade, his teacher asked him, “What does a chicken give you?”
Scott answered, “Eggs.” His teacher replied, “Good. Now, what does a pig give you?”
Scott answered, “Bacon.” His teacher replied, “Great. Now, what does a cow give you?”
He got detention when he fired back, “Homework!” After a winter that wouldn’t quit, it appears that our long-anticipated spring has finally arrived.