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Florence FFA, Florence, S.D.

Orion Samuelson profiles Florence FFA in Florence, S.D., which was chartered in 1990; member Callie Mueller shares some work she does as part of the group.

The weekly FFA Chapter Tribute is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the good work of your local chapter. Tell us about what you're doing, give us some history from your group and tell our viewers of the work you do in the community. FFA chapters across the country deserve recognition for the work they do, make sure we include yours.

To have your chapter considered for this weekly feature, send along information about your group by e-mail to Orion Samuelson at [email protected] or to Max Armstrong at [email protected]. They'll get your group on the list of those that will be covered in the future. It's a chance to share your story beyond the local community. Drop Orion or Max a "line" soon.

The National FFA Organization, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of about 650,000 student members as part of 7,757 local FFA chapters. The National FFA Organization remains committed to the individual student, providing a path to achievement in premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online, on Facebook at, on Twitter at

Need help with some questions

Orion Samuelson wants some insight into a couple of hot topics from today's news.

Samuelson Sez is a special feature of This Week in Agribusiness where Orion Samuelson shares his thoughts and insights into key issues of the day.

This Week in Agribusiness, June 24, 2017

Part 1

Orion Samuelson and Steve Bridge open this week's show with a look at trade with Cuba. David Salmonsen, American Farm Bureau Federation, talks about President Trump’s relationship with trade. Ed Usset, University of Minnesota, tackles the Farm Challenge of the Week. And Farm Broadcaster Lynn Ketelsen, Linder Farm Network, Owatonna, MN, offers insight into key issues farmers in that part of the country are watching.

Part 2

Orion Samuelson and Steve Bridge talk markets with Paul Georgy, Allendale Inc. In Samuelson Sez, Orion asks viewers some questions for which he's seeking answers. And Agricultural Meteorologist Greg Soulje looks at weather for the Western United States.

Part 3

Patrick Haggerty and Matt McKnight, CEO, U.S. Dairy Export Council, discuss dairy being exported to China. Orion Samuelson and Steve Bridge take a look at a few trade shows. And from the most recent Half Century of Progress, Max Armstrong talks with Mark Berkel, Alton, Illinois, whose tractor has a distinct sound.

Part 4

Steve Bridge talks with Jeremy Schultz, Consolidated Grain, and Ty Unangst, Rochelle, Illinois, and Doug Schroder, Mahomet, Illinois, about the future of the Illinois container industry. Ag Meteorologist Greg Soulje looks at weather for the Eastern United States. And in Max Armstrong tells the story of 1955 Minneapolis-Moine UB Special, owned by Richard Von Qualen, Kepmton, Illinois.

Part 5

Orion Samuelson and Steve Bridge continue their market conversation with Paul Georgy, Allendale, Inc.

Part 6                           

Orion Samuelson profiles Florence FFA in Florence, South Dakota, which was chartered in 1990; member Callie Mueller shares some work she does as part of the group. And Ag Meteorologist Greg Soulje looks at the weather for the week ahead, including his four week forcast.

Part 7

Orion Samuelson and Steve Bridge wrap up this week’s show with another installment of Freeways to Farms with Max Armstrong. Max talks with Dennis Wentworth, Downs, Illinois, about his father’s old tractor. Dennis also talks about how he uses technology in sync with his vehicles.  

1955 Minneapolis-Moline UB Special

Max tells the story of 1955 Minneapolis-Moline UB Special, owned by Richard Von Qualen, Kempton, Ill.

Max's Tractor Shed is a regular feature of This Week in Agribusiness. Max Armstrong shares information about legacy machines, their stories and how they may still be at work today. If you have a tractor you want featured in Max's Tractor Shed, send a high-resolution digital picture, your contact information, and information about the tractor - what makes it special - to [email protected].

Montana, Dakotas get emergency drought grazing authorization

Drought affecting Dakotas, Montana

Source: USDA

6-29 Update: USDA expands drought relief opportunities for ranchers in Northern Plains

As the original article notes below, ranchers in drought-stricken South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana early this week received authorization for emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands. Since that time, the drought has continued to deepen and the forecast is for hot, dry weather in the upcoming week in the Northern Plains. As such, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is authorizing emergency grazing of CRP for any county in which any part of its border lies within 150 miles of a county approved for emergency grazing of CRP.

In addition, for any county in which any part of its border lies within 150 miles of any county approved for emergency grazing of CRP, USDA will allow CRP contract holders who hay their acreage according to their mid-management conservation plan to donate their hay to livestock producers. CRP contract holders still have the ability to sell their hay with a 25% reduction in their annual rental payment as they’ve been fully authorized to do in the past.

Emergency haying is not authorized at this time. The Secretary will continue to monitor conditions and will consider expanding emergency authority if conditions worsen.

Eligible CRP participants can use the acreage for grazing their own livestock or may grant another livestock producer use of the CRP acreage. There will be no CRP annual rental payment reductions assessed for acres grazed.

A map displaying counties approved for CRP emergency grazing and the donation of hay under mid-contract management authority, will be available at: 

To take advantage of the emergency grazing provisions, producers should contact their local USDA Service Center. To find your local USDA Service Center visit 


Here's the June 23 announcement:

“Due to reduced availability of forage, ranchers in the hardest hit locations have already been culling their herds,” said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. “Without alternative forage options like grazing CRP lands, livestock producers are faced with the economically devastating potential of herd liquidation.”

All or parts of these states are experiencing severe or extreme drought conditions – indicated as categories D2 and D3 on the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Read: Drought likely to expand in the weeks ahead

Emergency grazing is authorized to begin immediately and extends through Sept. 30, unless conditions improve. Producers must work with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to develop a modified conservation plan that is site specific, including the authorized grazing duration to reflect local wildlife needs. FSA State Committees will monitor emergency grazing implementation at the local level to mitigate adverse impact on nesting areas and established CRP vegetation.

“If the drought continues and pasture recovery becomes less likely, feed supplies will decline, the quality and quantity of hay is reduced and stock water becomes scarce – considerable stressors for both the livestock and our producers,” said Perdue. “If opening up grazing lands reduces even some of these stressors for these ranchers, then it’s the right thing for us to do.”

Related: 6 Trending Headlines: U.S. beef headed to China; PLUS; Dakotas need your help

Eligible CRP participants can use the acreage for grazing their own livestock or may grant another livestock producer use of the CRP acreage. There will be no CRP annual rental payment reductions assessed for acres grazed.

To take advantage of the emergency grazing provisions, producers should contact their local USDA Service Center. To find your local USDA Service Center visit



You had to know they'd find plenty of fault with the new health care bill. Some senators say they will push for more money for opioid crisis. It is crisis across many of our states.

The pork industry needs more processing capacity and that new capacity is coming. A Sioux City, Iowa, plant will be up by Labor Day, rather than planned end of July opening. It will process 21,000 hogs a day.

Would you know poison hemlock if you saw it? Poison hemlock is spreading in southern Minnesota. It's toxic, flowering weed that can grow 8 feet tall. Poison hemlock has fernlike leaves and purple blotches on stem. All parts of plant are poisonous.

Heavy winds that came in with Tropical Storm Cindy washed up kitten. Employees at Tennessee Bureau of Investigations found cat in parking lot. They brought the cat inside and put in a box and fed it a couple chicken nuggets. The cat is at nearby shelter where it will be available for adoption if not claimed.


This has happened in a few areas in our region in recent months, a rash of overdoses. Bloomington, Indiana, latest with police responding to 10 overdoes from Wednesday afternoon to last night.

In his speech in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Trump made it clear he's not wild about wind energy. Trump reiterated support for coal. Republican Sen. Charles Grassley reiterated his vow to oppose Trump policies that negatively impact wind energy.

There are only few scattered pockets of drought across U.S., except in Dakotas, where there is widespread dry and drought conditions.

Retired Air Force Colonel William Hise and the estate of his late twin brother, Air Force Brigadier General James Hise gave $2.5 million to Southeast Illinois College in honor of their sister, Ella, who was a longtime teacher and art supervisor for Harrisburg Public Schools.

USDA suspends import of beef from Brazil

Kondor83/Thinkstock raw-beef-Kondor83-ThinkstockPhotos-511727610

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has suspended all fresh beef imports from Brazil because of recurring concerns about the safety of the products intended for the American market.  The suspension will remain in place until the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture takes corrective action that the USDA finds satisfactory. 

“Ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply is one of our critical missions, and it’s one we undertake with great seriousness," Perdue said.  "Although international trade is an important part of what we do at USDA, and Brazil has long been one of our partners, my first priority is to protect American consumers. That’s what we’ve done by halting the import of Brazilian fresh beef.  I commend the work of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service for painstakingly safeguarding the food we serve our families.”

Since March, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has been inspecting 100% of all meat products arriving in the United States from Brazil.  FSIS has refused entry to 11% of Brazilian fresh beef products. That figure is substantially higher than the rejection rate of 1% of shipments from the rest of the world. Since implementation of the increased inspection, FSIS has refused entry to 106 lots (approximately 1.9 million pounds) of Brazilian beef products due to public health concerns, sanitary conditions, and animal health issues. It is important to note that none of the rejected lots made it into the U.S. market. 

The Brazilian government had pledged to address those concerns, including by self-suspending five facilities from shipping beef to the United States. USDA's suspension of all fresh beef shipments from Brazil supersedes the self-suspension.

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association supports the suspension.

“This action is the result of USDA’s strong, science-based testing protocol of imported beef and this proves that our food safety system works effectively," said NCBA president Craig Uden. "NCBA supports USDA’s commitment to science-based trade and its commitment to keeping our food supply as safe as possible.”

Farm Progress America, June 23, 2017

Max Armstrong shares a look at a report from two Boston University researchers who took a look at how crop failures could impact food supply in the future. The two professors note that more information is needed about the risk of failures in different regions at the same time.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Max Armstrong, veteran farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

Photo: Jes Aznar/stringer/Getty Images