New RMA Director & Finding Extra Dollars
Risk Management Agency has announced Ben Thiel has been appointed to the position of director of the Spokane Regional Office serving Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. He has worked for USDA for more than 12 years. Thiel grew up on a family farm that produced alfalfa, malting barley, and potatoes west of Idaho Falls, Idaho. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Idaho State University. As director of RMA's Spokane Regional Office, Thiel will oversee all aspects of the federal crop insurance program, working closely with growers, grower groups, other USDA agencies, community based organizations, and approved insurance providers.
Where can we find 80 to 100 million extra dollars in the beef industry? Scientists say developing genetic tools to limit Bovine Respiratory Disease, or B-R-D, will do just that. Holly Neibergs with Washington State University explains.
NEIBERGS: Without including labor costs for animals in the feedlot that get sick or the loss and feed efficiency, we have identified between 80 and over $100-million dollars can gained per year if there is selection for BRD. And that's just in the feedlot industry. That doesn't include cow/calf or anything. But that shows you that there's really an opportunity for us to reduce the prevalence of the disease and also increase the bottom line.
Now with today's Food Forethought, here's Lacy Gray.
We've had visitors in our backyard recently, and while they're beautiful, they're not visitors we want to have for an extended stay. I'll explain. These visitors are a pair of Cooper's hawks. Our yard is edged with ten massive pine trees along with two towering curly willows, a mature english walnut tree and several young blue spruce. Needless to say our backyard is host to a bevy of small song birds and squirrels. We enjoy watching their antics and listening to their song and chatter. At least we had up until the visitors came. Now most have gone into hiding, or have become snack food for the hawks. But the hawks are not to blame. Urban sprawl is to blame. We live in an area that up until recently had miles of wild uninhabited open spaces. Now, those areas are being bulldozed to put in more subdivisions and shopping centers. To many the endless stretches of sagebrush, woodlands and rock areas where we live have no beauty, and are seen as nothing more than opportunities for moneymaking sprawl. The reality is that these spaces are, or were home to a bounty of wildlife, such as Cooper's hawks. Yes, development will continue to happen, but we need to be smarter and more responsible with it.
Thanks Lacy. That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.