|Duane A. Lienemann|
UNL Extension Educator
This has been a busy, eventful - but also a sad week. The sad part was the loss of a good friend who was a huge part of the Webster County Fair and Rodeo, but even more importantly to me – an even bigger supporter of the 4-H and FFA and the kids within. Terry Plambeck lost his valiant battle with cancer this week and was laid to rest. One cannot hardly begin to list what this good-hearted man meant to those of us who knew him and worked with him and to all of the people who benefitted without even knowing the work behind the scenes. Terry never looked for recognition and in fact was embarrassed for being singled out. He did everything for the community, but especially the kids! He always saw the big picture, and that picture was his community, agriculture, the beef industry and of course his family and friends.
He was well known for the work he did on the Ag Association and particularly with the rodeo for the past 18 years, but what a lot of people didn’t know is that he put a tremendous amount of support towards the youth program. That was one of his many loves. You could not miss him, leaning on the panel of the show arena, not only watching his own kids, but all the others. If he wasn’t there, he was out back helping take care of the critters, giving advice and seeing to the needs of the shows. He delighted in that part of his life and his bigger than life humor, smile and laugh confirmed that. He also was a visionary, being on the front line in conceiving and funding the Webster County Beef Carcass Contest and more recently the Webster County Home Bred and Raised Heifer program. Those programs will continue in his remembrance.
You could always count on Terry! He was always on call it seemed. He was the first one there to help clean out the beef barn, deftly running his skid-steer or grabbing a shovel - moving chips with a purpose. He was the first one there to help set up the show arena or to help put things away after the fair had run its course. Our kids knew him as a gentle giant. They all respected him and better yet, trusted him. You cannot replace someone like Terry, but you can bet your bottom dollar that everyone will miss him. On behalf of the 4-H and FFA youth of Webster County we salute him. Rest in Peace good friend!
Farm Bill Decisions Deadline Extended: This past week exhibited a flurry of farmers trying to figure out if they wanted to update their yield, which to me is a no-brainer; and more importantly if they should reallocate their base acres, which in many cases is not such an easy decision. The deadline was supposed to be February 27. This is not really a great surprise, but USDA has extended the deadline for the base and yield update decisions from today to March 31, consistent with the ARC vs. PLC election decision deadline. I never could understand why there were two deadlines as all three decisions are inherently linked with each other, so making the deadlines the same and extending the base and yield deadline is logical and should have been done long ago before people were so squeezed in making these important decisions.
Adding to the benefit of this extension is that some of the program details relating to yields were not available until very recently, such as yield histories for hybrid seed corn and also popcorn production. And, the county yields for 2014 that factor into the ARC-CO revenue guarantees and payments were just released last week as well. Technically, NASS released yields per harvested acre while FSA still has to calculate yields per planted acre for purposes of the program, so the yield data is still not exact but approximate. Those yields can affect the performance of ARC-CO relative to PLC and potentially affect the ARC/PLC decision and the base acreage decision as well. All of that means pushing the base and yield update decision back to March 31, in line with the ARC/PLC election, will give producers time to digest this latest information. So if you made a hurried decision or have second thoughts about reallocation or even your election decision you now can re-evaluate those decisions and have this one time opportunity to change or alter them. I suggest you take advantage!
HHS & USDA 2015 Dietary Guidelines: Last week I wrote about the new Dietary Guidelines that was put out, and promised that I would revisit it this week to add some thoughts that I did not have room for last week, so here goes. I did a little study on what led to this final conclusion by the committee and it left me scratching my head. For you that did not read last week’s edition the short take on this new guideline is that the committee has excluded or at the very least diminished red meat from their considerations of what makes up a healthy dietary pattern. Many people like me feel that the recommendation to cut red meat is based on misinformation about the healthfulness and sustainability of meat production and has an agenda based on ideology and views on global climate change rather than concentrating on human health.
They have failed to offer new ideas for losing weight and reversing diabetes. And they have ignored sound science and based their advice on personal ideals and inaccurate observational data. Proof of that is in the minutes of one of their meetings. The sole presenter on sustainability wasted no time in pushing the vegetarian and organic agenda, and overlooked all of the benefits that science and technology in agriculture are bringing to reduce water and pesticide use and address volatile weather conditions. The presenter barely mentioned future food security, and conveniently ignored the inconvenient truth that the world faces an immense food security challenge: feeding an additional two billion people by 2050. Fortunately, we still have time to voice our concerns. Public comments will be accepted through midnight on April 8. Written comments can be submitted to: http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2015/comments/ . If you believe, like I do, that red meat is an important part of a healthy diet, I encourage you to share your experiences and personal testimonies.
Last but not least I want to give a shout out to all our FFA members and chapters for National FFA Week! Go get em!!
The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the website at: http://www.webster.unl.edu/home