Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Blackfoot--The Bingham County Farm Bureau Federation is offering $8,000 worth of
scholarships to local high school and college students as well as $500 grants
to each of the five school districts located in Bingham County.
“We want a lot of people to apply,” said Joyce Dalley, Bingham County Farm Bureau Scholarship Chair. Six scholarships will be offered. Three are
agriculture related scholarships; three are non-agriculture related
Awards for the agriculture related scholarships are 1st place $2,500; 2nd $1,500 and 3rd $1,000. Each applicant must be a Bingham County resident and a high school senior graduating in 2012. Recipients must enroll in at least one
agriculture related course.
Awards for the non-agriculture related scholarships are 1st $1,500; 2nd $1,000 and 3rd $500.
Each applicant must be a Bingham County resident and may also be attending college.
Each application must be received by the Bingham County Farm Bureau Scholarship Committee by March 1, 2012.
Applications can be downloaded at www.idahofb.org, click on events and registration in the left-hand column. In this application process, applicants must submit a completed application form and a letter about how the scholarship will benefit him or her. The letter needs to be addressed to the Scholarship Committee.
An electronic submission is preferred at firstname.lastname@example.org or it can be mailed to Bingham County Farm Bureau Scholarship Committee, Attn: Joyce Dalley, Bingham County Farm Bureau, 686 N. Meridian, Blackfoot, Idaho 83221. Applicants will be notified by email regarding the status of their application.
Scholarship funds will be awarded to each student upon evidence of registration
in an accredited post-secondary institution.
The Bingham County Farm Bureau Scholarship Committee
invites teachers in Bingham County to apply for a $500 classroom mini-grant.
These grants are for teachers, grades K-12. Grants, up
to $500, will be awarded in each of the five school districts in the county.
Each request must be submitted in digital format,
preferably in any version of Microsoft Word.
Each application must have one inch margins on all
sides, be double-spaced in Times New Roman Font size 12. Please include a title
page with name, grade level taught, building and district and the date.
This mini-grant is not limited to agriculture related projects;
however, preference will be given to agriculture related projects that are
typically not covered by traditional funding.
Please explain how you will incorporate agriculture
education into your classroom.
Committee members would appreciate knowing how funds
benefitted teachers and students. Please report to the committee in person,
through email or by personal invitation to visit your classroom.
Email mini-grant requests to email@example.com by
Wednesday, May 1, 2012. Funds will be available by May 15.
Contact your school district office for more
information or call Joyce Dalley at 684-4097. Any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
These scholarships and grants are sponsored by the
Bingham County Farm Bureau Federation, not Farm Bureau Insurance, said Dalley.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Bill Gates Speaks Out for Ag Research
Seattle--The relative lack of money devoted to agricultural innovation and research
was a key point in this year’s annual letter from Microsoft founder Bill Gates
on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2012 priorities. “Given the central
role that food plays in human welfare and national stability, it is
shocking—not to mention short-sighted and potentially dangerous—how little
money is spent on agricultural research,” Gates wrote.
According to a foundation study, only $3 billion is spent each year on
research dedicated to the seven most important crops, which include wheat,
corn, rice, cassava, sorghum, legumes and sweet potatoes. Out of that total,
about half comes from countries’ public funds, $1.2 billion is from private
companies and $300 million comes from the Consultative Group on
International Agricultural Research. In 2010 alone, the foundation made
$2.4 billion in grant payments to a number of agricultural development programs.
In his letter, Gates noted that the world population is projected to grow to
9.7 billion by 2050, which makes it imperative to help poor farmers sustainably
increase their productivity so they can feed themselves and their families. But
this will be possible only if agricultural innovation is a priority, he
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Idaho Cattle Association talks Animal Welfare Legislation
Boise--Wyatt Prescott of the Idaho Cattle Association addressed the Idaho Farm Bureau Legislative Leadership Conference concerning ICA’s effort to add a felony provision to the state's animal welfare law during the 2012 legislative session.
After consulting with other producer groups in Idaho, ICA members passed a resolution last Nov. 15th during their annual meeting in Sun Valley.
The ICA thinks that adding the felony provision to Idaho statute would eliminate the need for the ballot initiative and make the state less of a target for the Humane Society of the United States.
Farm Bureau members grilled Prescott asking about normal livestock practices like branding, removing horning and castration are exempt from the state's animal cruelty provisions, but ICA officials are concerned that if the HSUS gets involved in the ballot initiative, it would be much more severe and could seek to redefine animal welfare.
Prescott told Farm Bureau members that there are no guarantees, "we believe (the legislation) will take a significant amount of attention away from out state."
That’s because Idaho is just one of only three states that doesn't have a felony provision for animal cruelty, Idaho is ranked 50th of 51 states and the District of Columbia on the HSUS hit list of those most friendly toward animal rights.
The Idaho Farm Bureau did not take a stand on the issue during their annual meeting in December opting to see the language of the legislation before making a stand.
The resolution was printed this week with a hearing scheduled next week, according Prescott.
Markets Good, but Volatile: Clark Johnston
Boise--At the Idaho Farm Bureau’s Annual Winter Marketing Seminar, Annalyst Clark Johnston told a packed house that despite favorable market conditions, farmers are still cautious.
“Producers are a little more mindful this year than in the past,” said Johnson. “We continue to see producers change the class of wheat or change to different commodities all together in an attempt to lower their costs.
He says Chicago wheat prices decreased by 18% while heating oil futures are up15% taking diesel prices with it. Johnston told the House at the Downtowner that: “Each year we see new challenges as we look for opportunities to sell our crops for the best prices but also manage our costs.”
Johnston says it’s shaping up to be a year where its smarter to spend more time managing input costs that will directly help the bottom line.
January markets held true to form, moving the corn market 40 cents lower than the day it was released. “It’s not that the market always moves lower but it’s making a volatile move whether higher or lower at that time,” said Johnston.
Johnston showed members a series of charts that showed interesting historical data looking at January and February reports from the past 13 years. The corn market traded 12 cents lower to 15 cents higher. Since 2007 the markets have experienced an increase in volatility during this same time frame. Volatility is the norm this time of year. The least volatile year was 2010 when the market only moved 30 cents lower. The remaining years the trading range has been 60 cents lower in 2009 to 80 cents higher in 2011. This year the futures traded 58 cents lower within the first 5 trading days after the report.
Johnson told the crowd over and over that markets are more volatile simply because prices are higher. “There’s some truth to the price model, but there’s other factors that contribute to the market movement. One of the contributors is the amount of contracts that have traded in the market before and since 2006.”
In the years leading up to 2006 large traders held positions totaling more than a 100,000 contracts. “Since then we’ve seen these large traders accumulate positions of 400,000 to 500,000 combined contracts. So of course we‘re seeing added volatility.” said Johnston. “We won’t debate whether or not the large traders are good or bad for the markets but let’s just say they do give us the opportunity to merchandise our commodities at better prices throughout the year and quite often if we miss the first one we will get another chance.”
Johnson went on to discuss wheat to a dead silent crowd. “The stocks to use ratio is expected to increase this year. Baring something unforeseen in the world this will leave the wheat prices at the mercy of the corn market.”
Johnston says that’s not all bad. “We’ve seen the local feed wheat markets stay competitive with the domestic flour market in pricing since last harvest. With the carry in the wheat futures you should continue to look for your opportunities to sell either forward fixed price contracts or hedge to arrive contracts for new crop.” Johnston added that strength in the market will be quick and short lived so its important to have pricing objectives in mind and move quickly when the market reaches target prices.
Johnston says it’s always important to remember to sell when someone wants to buy. “Remember, each day that goes by moves us one day closer to 1st crop.”
McDonald House Gets Women’s Leadership Committee Donation
Boise--Two Carloads of badly needed groceries pulled into the parking lot of the Ronald McDonald House in Boise Monday afternoon.
Members of The Idaho Farm Bureau’s Women’s Leadership Committee cheerfully unloaded the carloads of food and when they were finished presented the House with checks totaling more than a thousand dollars.
“This donation is timely,” said Ronald McDonald House Director Mindy Plumlee. “People tend to donate around the holidays and then supply gets scarce, we really need the donations and Farm Bureau always comes through when we need it the most.”
Bags of groceries stacked in the House living room along with laundry detergent, gently used children’s clothes, diapers and even popcorn, “You have to have popcorn” said Carol Guthrie President of the IFBF Women’s Committee.
The mission of the Ronald McDonald House is to provide a “home away from home” for families of sick and injured children getting medical treatment at Saint Lukes Medical Center across the street. Plumlee says more than 500 families a year use the facility and they're booked just about every week.
"We really appreciate the donations because we have a full house and most of our families have family members in their rooms, this donation couldn't have come at a better time," said Plumlee.
The Women’s Committee rolled up their sleeves and cooked dinner for the residents of the House, a ham dinner with all the trimmings. “We’ve been doing this for 16 years,” said Guthrie. “There’s nothing like a home meal.”
The McDonald House was built in the early 1900s and purchased by the late J.R. Simplot for the Ronald McDonald Foundation. Families are charged just $10 a night; the balance is paid with public and private donations to the Ronald McDonald house, and any family who is unable to pay the $10 is not turned away.
“The grocery donation will go right into our pantry and will be used for dinner tonight," said Plumlee.
“The Ronald McDonald House donation is part of the annual ‘Food Check-Out Day’ that was started by American Farm Bureau. We have the best, most plentiful and cheapest food supply in the world, we're just sharing that good fortune with those who need it,” said Chairwoman Carol Guthrie. "It just gives you a warm feeling to help these families out."
The money donated to the house was collected from County Farm Bureaus across the state. “We’ll spend the cash donation on food and things needed to support families during their stay here," said Plumlee.
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