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Published December 20 2013

Ag calendar (Dec. 20)

4-H raffle winner named

Shelly McPhee of West Fargo won a Case IH Scout utility vehicle in the North Dakota 4-H Foundation’s 2013 statewide fundraising raffle.

McPhee has been involved with 4-H since she was a youth, when she won the

National Wool Growers Award for a wool jacket and skirt she made. Now she is a leader of the Clover Friends 4-H Club in West Fargo.

Her husband, Kevin, is also a 4-H leader, and her daughter, Mariah, is a 4-H member.

The Case IH Roughrider dealer network of North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota sponsor the raffle, which raised $24,000. The funds will be used to support 4-H programs across the North Dakota.

U.S. Commercial Service / N.D. Office internship available

In partnership with the North Dakota District Export Council and the North Dakota Trade Office, an internship position is currently available with the U.S. Commercial Service / North Dakota office in Fargo.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens and will work out of the U.S. Commercial Service Fargo office at North Dakota State University Barry Hall. A minimum six-month commitment is required, working approximately 20 hours a week. Previous interns have gone directly into international jobs from the internship. Applicants should send a resume and cover letter to Heather.Ranck@trade.gov.

Annual zero-tillage workshop set

The Manitoba-North Dakota Zero Tillage Farmers Association is holding its 36th annual workshop and trade show Jan. 6-8 at the Holiday Inn - Riverside in Minot.

The theme for the workshop is “Unlock Your Soil’s Full Potential.”

Workshop presenters and farmer panels will discuss research and farm-based information relating to topics such as soil biology, soil compaction, managing wet and cold soils, zero-tilling corn and soybeans in adverse conditions, zeroing in on resistant weed management techniques, research updates and the economics of better soil health through zero-tillage.

Along with the presentations, there will be several panel and rap session discussions, an international show-and-tell and beer-and-bull sessions.

Find additional topics, speakers and registration information at www.mandakzerotill.org or by contacting Bonnie Staiger, association executive secretary, at (701) 223-3184 or email mandak@westriv.com.

Farmers created the Manitoba-North Dakota Zero Tillage Farmers Association to facilitate the exchange of ideas, encourage zero-till research and disseminate zero-till information.

Applications for Conservation Stewardship program due Jan. 17

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is opening the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for new enrollments for federal fiscal year 2014.

Producers interested in participating in the program can submit applications to NRCS through Jan. 17.

The CSP is a Farm Bill conservation program that helps established conservation stewards who improve agricultural production while providing conservation benefits such as cleaner and more abundant water, healthier soils and better wildlife habitat.

Eligible landowners and operators in all states and territories can enroll in CSP through Jan. 17 to be eligible during the 2014 federal fiscal year. While local NRCS offices accept CSP applications year round, NRCS evaluates applications during announced ranking periods.

To be eligible for this year’s enrollment, producers must have their applications submitted to NRCS by the closing date.

A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if the program is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, stewardship threshold requirements and payment types.

Learn more about CSP by visiting the NRCS website or a local NRCS field office.

NDSU Feedlot School set for Jan. 21-22

North Dakota State University’s Carrington Research Extension Center will hold its annual NDSU Feedlot School Jan. 21-22.

The intensive course is for cattle producers, feeders, backgrounders, feed industry personnel, animal health-care suppliers and anyone else who is interested in learning more about feedlot production, nutrition, waste management and marketing.

The feedlot school is a thorough overview of the management and operation of a feedlot enterprise in two intense days. It will give participants information on the advantages and challenges in our region.

A commercial feedlot tour and a tour of the Research Extension Center’s livestock facilities are part of the school.

Faculty from NDSU’s Animal Sciences Department, and the Carrington and North Central Research Extension Centers, as well as others with extensive experience working with northern Plains feedlots will instruct.

The registration fee is $130 per person or $175 for two people from the same operation. All meals and a binder are included with the registration. The deadline to register is Jan. 14. The fee does not include lodging.

Lodging is available at the Chieftain Conference Center, (701) 652-3131; Carrington Inn and Suites, (701) 652-3982; or Cobblestone Inn, (701) 652-3000.

For more information about the course or to register, contact Joel Lemer, an Extension agent in Foster County, at (701) 652-2581 or joel.lemer@ndsu.edu.

The Carrington Research Extension Center is 3.5 miles north of Carrington on U.S. Highway 281.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea still a threat

Although the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus has not been reported in North Dakota, the number of cases continues to grow elsewhere in the United States.

The best line of defense against the virus, known as PED, is to use good sanitary practices to prevent it from spreading, animal health experts say.

“We cannot be too careful with biosecurity protocols in order to protect the health of our North Dakota herd,” North Dakota State University Extension Service swine specialist David Newman said.

The virus was found in the U.S. for the first time this year. PED has been confirmed on 1,373 swine operations in 19 states, including Minnesota. Two-thirds of the cases are in three states: Iowa, Oklahoma and North Carolina. It also has been reported in Hungary, Germany, China, Korea and Japan.

It only infects pigs and has no other known hosts. Newman says pork is still safe to eat.