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Sidney Herald
Sidney , Montana
December 10, 2003     Sidney Herald
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December 10, 2003

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 10, 2003 SIDNEY I The holiday season is a good time to remember farmers and the contributions they make to our nation and its welfare. Reminders are every- where- holiday feasts for our table, trees and wreaths from Christmas tree farms, even the farm scenes that are so common on Christmas cards. All remind us of the benefits and blessings we get from the land, and our nation's farms and ranches. When the American Farm Bureau Federation completed its Thanksgiving meal cost survey in November, the re- sults were both astonishing and predictable. They were as- tonishing in that a turkey din- ner could be served at home to a family of 10 for under $40. They were predictable be- cause afford- able food is what we have come to ex- pect. Farmers are proud of the contributions Montana Farm they make, but Bureau often feel that their efforts and agricul- Stewart Truelsen ture in gener- al are taken for granted. They get recog- nized a bit more during the holiday season, but often in a nostalgic way as though fami- ly farms are a thing of the past. That's simply not true. Agriculture is a vibrant in- dustry and the farm family is still at the center of it. In the past, many of us were connected to agriculture through an aunt and uncle or grandparents, so we could ob- serve farming for ourselves. That's becoming less true to- day. The family connection and visits to a farm are less commonplace, but our connec- tion to agriculture is just as great if not greater. For one thing, agriculture is a lot more than food produc- tion. Farm Bureau likes to say its food, fiber and fuel. It's the cotton T-shirt or wool sweater you're wearing. It's the ethanol or biodiesel in your vehicle's fuel tank, or perhaps the electricity for your home from a new generation of 'They get recognized a bit more during the holiday season, but often in a nostalgic way as though family farms are a thing of the past.' Stewart Truelsen American Farm Bureau Federation windmills. Farming includes aquacul- ture, not just raising fish for the dinner plate, but tropical fish too. A big segment of agriculture produces the flow- ers and foliage plants we place in and around our homes and businesses. A growing num- ber of farmers are engaged in the fast growing sectors of equine agriculture and game management. USDA counts hundreds of alternative crops, and enter- prises for farms, including heirloom crops and exotic and unusual livestock. Farming plays a big role in preserving open spaces, wildlife habitat and scenic vistas. But there is urban farming, too. There are so many value- added products from the farm that they are almost incalcula- ble. There's the whole science of "green chemistry" or poly- mers made from corn, soy- beans or even sweet These are cals made from sources not An entire house Ohio utilizin products. There are new agriculture, or at least names, like tourism and "a which combines rural t medicines that some ing "farmaceuticals" ing developed through and animal all have to whether we know it or much more eat, basic connection. Orginators of COOL call on members to shape comments at meeting The organization that first proposed the new law that gives American con- sumers the ability to know what country the meat they buy comes from today re- minded its members that the group's for- mal response to proposed rules for imple- menting COOL will be developed at its annual convention in Billings this week. "We still back the COOL proposal that we initiated seven years ago," said John Swanz, a rancher from Judith Gap and president of the Montana Stockgrowers Association. 'And although implementa- tion of the rule will now be delayed for two years, we plan to work actively to en- sure this time is used to create a fair and workable plan that benefits producers, as well as provides consumers a choice in purchasingbeef from the U.S." Although initiation of the mandatory rule will be postponed, comments are still due to the USDA by Dec. 29. As always, de- bate, discussion, and vote by members will determine stockgrowers policy and response to the proposed COOL rules. "We urge Montana ranchers to attend this year's convention and speak their voice in shaping our final response to the rules USDA will use to implement the concept we first proposed seven years ago," Swanz said. Swanz explained the national COOL policy originated with a proposal that the MSGA affiliate group, the Western Mon- tana Stockgrowers Association, brought to the annual convention in 1996. "Our annual convention that year fea- tured the debate that led us to adopt COOL as an official proposal of the Mon- tana Stockgrowers Association," Swanz said. "We then went to work promoting the concept with Congress and the Na- tional Cattlemen's Beef Association. Now, seven years later, our focus will be to make sure our idea is implemented in a workable way, so that American con- sumers and livestock producers will be the winners that county of origin label- ing intends them to be." A trade show featuring approximately 100 booths will be open to registrants throughout the convention. Registration will open at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, and one-day only passes can be purchased at the door as well as convention packages. All events will take place at the Billings Holiday Inn Grand Montana. causes concerns in A confirmed outbreak of brucellosis in a herd of cattle in neighboring Wyoming pos- es a serious threat to Mon- tana's livestock industry, said a representative of the Mon- tana Stockgrowers Associa- tion. "The announcement by Wyoming Gov. Dave Freuden- thal that a herd of cattle in Sublette County are verified to have brucellosis has to be tak- en very seriously by state and federal officials," said John Swanz, a rancher from Judith "We have many years and have ,, more than: to eradicate the disease domestic herds allow this our livestock industry or concern to the of Livestock and cooperatively to measures are taken to the ease to Montana cattle. We've teamed up to make sure "mail call" is an exciting time for our hometown soldiers. l lmlllglj / k The Sidney HeraldI tqg 'e! - . has distributed ! J i postcards to area / a " - :7: schools and has ................ asked students to ...............l create special of ' OO Christmas greetings. 50,rd,:: ] Stop in and get your list of addresses and postcards from one of these participating sponsors: i h,,, 1i ....... i01 South Central Avenue~Sidney~433-8600 ~4 N. Central Ave. Sidney www'stckmanbank'em Hg FAR__MM BUREAU FINANCIAL SERViC~ In~u~r~Ilce ht~Mr~lenl$ 804 S. Central Ave. * Sidney Terry Sivertson Dan Wyman t 433-4416 433-'~416 INSURANCE 2rid St. NW, Sidney 2rid Ave. SW Sidney 4~0 S, Central, Sidney 488-7410 433-321 2 ] We live where you live.* I P Michael Morasko, AgentI BANK-WEST 919 S Lincoln, Sidney I "Serving the MonDak I ~ 216 S. Ellery 406-482-3115 i areo since 1961" [ ~ Fairview Uke a gd neighbr' State Farm is there I 114 2nd Ave. riE, Sidney 433-1411 Thank you to the following orgamzaaons jo their support in providing funds to mail the postcards: 9r Jeff and Cindy Mead Greg and Debbe Anderson Sidney Women of Today ~ Xi Alpha Beta ~ Sidney Kiwanis 310 2nd Ave. NE Sidney we are your story! 482:2403 I I I Schwartz Photography will honor all wedding contracts currently booked, and will do new wedding photography when possibl Or wedding tO qualify. 103 E. Main Sidne 433-1236 We accept Sidney Big Bucks Visa, Mastercard Discover American Express $ The goal of your electric cooperative is to provide you with uninterrupted service every day of the year, but sometimes Nature creates unavoidable power outages. Your electric coo wants you to remain safe during severe winter weather, so co preparing now for the possibility of power outages this winter: Create an emergency kit with a battery-powered radio, a flashlight, extra batteries, candles, matches, a first-aid kit, a fire extinguisher, bottled water and nonperishable food. After the storm, replace used batteries in your emergency kit and restock food and water. Brought to you by Lower Yellowstone Rural Electric Assoe. Inc. ~,,'~ Touchstone Er~' Hwy. 16 NW of Sidney 488-1602 Thurs., Dec. 11 6:45 p.m. Smoking & N0n-sm0king Roast Beef Supper sponsored by Mary & Fred Boyce Tues., Dec. 16 WOTM Meeting 7 p.m. Broson Christmas Program