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 Agriculture News


     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - The number of sheep and lambs in North Dakota is at a record low.  The Agriculture Department says in its latest report that the number of sheep and lambs in North Dakota on Jan. 1 totaled 66,000 head, down 8,000 from last year.
     Breeding sheep were at a record low 50,000, and the 2013 lamb crop was a record low 55,000. Shorn wool production during 2013 was a record low 490,000 pounds.  Market sheep and lambs totaled 16,000, down 3,000 head over the year.

    BISMARCK, ND (NDDA) - Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has appointed Dr. Sara McReynolds as an assistant state veterinarian in the Animal Health Division of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture.

    "Dr. McReynolds has a ranching background and the necessary experience treating both large and small animals," Goehring said. "Her work in disease prevention and control will be especially valuable as North Dakota develops emergency plans and responses to animal disease outbreaks."

    A Kansas native, McReynolds graduated from Dordt College, Sioux City, IA, with a degree in animal science. She later earned a master's degree in public health, a doctorate in epidemiology and a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS.

    Following graduation, she was in private practice in Laramie, WY, before returning to KSU as a graduate research assistant. In 2013, she served as a scholar with the Department of Homeland Security researching personnel requirements for responding to animal disease outbreaks.

    In her new role, McReynolds will participate in the division's emergency response planning and the North Dakota Johne's disease control and the National Poultry Improvement programs. She will help coordinate the 20-member Reserve Veterinary Corps which assists the state veterinarian in preparing and carrying out emergency responses. She will also be NDDA's liaison to the Department of Emergency Services.

    McReynolds will report to Dr. Susan Keller, the state veterinarian, and to the State Board of Animal Health.


     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp has gone from pushing a farm bill in Congress to promoting American agriculture products in Cuba.  Heitkamp, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, was in the island nation Friday, the day that President Obama signed the farm legislation into law.  Heitkamp says the trip organized by Montana Sen. Jon Tester was meant to further discussions about agriculture, trade and normalizing relations.
     The U.S. has been the largest supplier of food and agricultural products to Cuba in the last decade.  North Dakota is a leading producer of several crops that are prominent in the Cuban diet, including beans, dry edible peas and lentils.  Heitkamp says it's also important to modernize the Cuban ag sector in order to open up markets for North Dakota farm machinery.

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A group that funds developers of North Dakota farm products will consider grant requests totaling nearly $546,000 at its quarterly meeting this month in Grafton.  The Agricultural Products Utilization Commission will review seven requests on Feb. 20.     
     Among the groups making requests is Bio-Sunn of Garrison, which wants $132,000 to defray costs studying a facility that would manufacture ethanol, methane, flax composites and treeless paper products.

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Three rural cooperatives and one city in the Dakotas are getting money through a federal Agriculture Department effort to invest in rural businesses and spur economic development.  Nearly $17.6 million in loans and grants is going to projects in 15 states and the Northern Mariana Islands.
     In North Dakota, Dakota Valley Electric Co-op is getting a $1 million loan for a manufacturing building, and Minn-Dak Farmers Co-op is getting a $1 million loan to buy equipment to process molasses byproducts.
     In South Dakota, Lake Region Electric Association is getting a $300,000 grant for an economic development loan fund, and the city of McLaughlin is getting a $42,455 grant for equipment for a local youth organization.


     (Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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