The head of Michigan's agriculture department is resigning to work for the Trump administration. Gordon Wenk will replace Clover Adams to lead the department. He's been chief deputy director since 2008 and joined the department back in 1978.
Colorado officials have agreed to pay Nebraska $4 million to settle old claims that their state violated a water-sharing compact involving the Republican River. The settlement requires Colorado to make the payment by Dec. 31, 2018, even though state officials did not admit to any violations of the Republican River Compact. Colorado legislators must approve the funding before the deadline, or the settlement will become invalid. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper touted the settlement as a way to promote cooperation between the states. The settlement was signed by both governors, Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson and Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.“Nebraska and Colorado can now continue to focus on providing their water users with greater certainty and to pursue other collaborative opportunities to benefit our shared economies,” Ricketts said.
A new pilot project could help curb the declining number of veterinary services in rural Saskatchewan. The Preceptorship Program has been launched by the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. tarting in May, it will run for 14 weeks and employ five third-year veterinary students in the province. The program’s goal is to attract and retain students in veterinary practice in outlying parts of the province by providing opportunities to experience mixed- and large-animal practices in rural settings. The Preceptorship Program, the first of its kind in Canada, is expected to address the challenges of hiring and retaining qualified veterinarians. “We’ve tried to pick (students) for areas that have a high need or have a large service area. We picked based on what we thought would be the best to keep students in Saskatchewan and in those areas,” she said.
Washington lawmakers appear willing to throw a lifeline to the state Department of Agriculture’s hemp program. House and Senate budget proposals released this week allocated funds to resume issuing and renewing licenses to grow and process hemp. WSDA suspended processing applications late last year because it ran out of money.
roundwater pumpers have until April 1 to have an approved flow meter installed on their wells. Dairies were required to comply by Jan. 1. Those qualifying for a variance must have an approved variance on record.
Northwest Iowa is one of the safest places for Republicans in the country. t's represented in the U.S. Congress by hardliner Steve King, who has a long history of controversial positions and comments. But David Johnson also represents part of northwest Iowa. And while King might look to the White House and see a kindred spirit, Johnson calls Donald Trump's rhetoric "misogynistic," "race-baiting," and "bigoted." David Johnson is a former dairy farmer who's been a senator in the state legislature since 2003. He was a prominent local leader for both George W. Bush and Mitt Romney during their presidential campaigns but left his party after Donald Trump became its presidential nominee in 2016. Now he's running as an independent, and he's not alone. Bob Krist, a Nebraska state legislator and retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, is running as an independent in that state's gubernatorial election. Kansas City attorney Craig O'Dear also left the Republican Party and is campaigning for the U.S. Senate in Missouri. In Iowa, Sen. Johnson is facing Republican Zach Whiting, an aide to Rep. King, in November. No Democrat has announced yet.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill joining a coalition of states committed to cutting emissions of carbon dioxide to fulfill the United States' pledge under the Paris international climate change agreement. Murphy’s action requires New Jersey to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of 15 other states and Puerto Rico vowing to uphold the Paris Agreement. Both chambers of the state legislature passed a bill to put New Jersey in the alliance. The alliance, which includes California, represents at least $7 trillion of economic activity and about 40 percent of the nation's population.
The Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee endorsed legislation that would put into law the "bright line of authority" Utah has over oil and gas production, as opposed to state and local government. SB191, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Van Tassell, R-Vernal, establishes that state authority in instances where state and local government may pass ordinances and rules that thwart mineral production. Van Tassell explained there may be instances where owners of surface and mineral rights are at odds with each other, but the state has clear interest in the production of those mineral rights. In other parts of the country, too, state and local government have adopted ordinances to prohibit oil or gas production. This proposal would be prevent that.
Dog owners, breeders, and farmers who testified against an animal cruelty bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) said, while its intentions are good, they fear it would open the door to abuse and intimidation by animal rights activists, unfairly discriminate against the poor, and allow extortion by the agencies providing emergency care. They point to the judgment against Christina Fay, the Wolfeboro woman convicted of animal cruelty after authorities seized 84 Great Danes that were living in squalid conditions. Last December, Circuit Judge Charles Greenhalgh found Fay guilty and gave her a one-year suspended jail sentence, ordering her to pay the entire amount that the prosecution had asked for: $773,887.63 sought by the Humane Society of the United States, $16,300 by the town of Wolfeboro, and $1,500 by Pope Memorial SPCA of Concord Merrimack County.The sentence has been stayed because of Fay's appeal to Carroll County Superior Court, but the breakdown of charges by the Humane Society shows that only $154,375.66 went to the direct care of the seized dogs. The remaining $619,511.97 is attributed to consulting fees ($245,429.88), travel by plane, train, and automobile ($151,138.36), meals ($23,841.98), and lodging ($117,490.01), with minor amounts going to office expenses, trash removal, and even an $88.63 charge for “Prize/Awards Payments.”Jay Phinizy of Ackworth, a former state representative who raises hunting dogs, believes existing laws are sufficient to deal with animal cruelty, if they are only enforced, and that Bradley’s bill is flawed by being rushed into law without sufficient study.
The state House this week showed strong support for redistributing wolves in Washington, except from lawmakers whose districts could be candidates for taking in wolves. The House voted 85-13 on Tuesday to direct the Department of Fish and Wildlife to study moving wolves from Eastern Washington to Western Washington. The “no” votes, three Democrats and 10 Republicans, were cast by westside legislators whose districts include expansive tracts of wildlife habitat.