Fort Hall Bull Riding Mayhem is today

FORT HALL (AP) — Fort Hall Bull Riding Mayhem presented by the Fort Hall Casino and Shoshone Bannock Hotel & Events Center will be at 8 p.m. today at the Fort Hall rodeo grounds.

The event will feature bull riding competition where 20 riders each try to ride 2 bulls to win their share of over $7,000 in prize money. This event happens in conjunction with the Shoshone Bannock Native American Festival.

General admission tickets are $15 at the gate and VIP tickets are $35 at the gate.

Tickets are available at http://shobangaming.com and CAL Ranch Stores in Pocatello and Blackfoot

For more information go to the Fort Hall Bull Riding Mayhem Facebook page.

Two area counties issue burn bans

(RSJ) Both Fremont and Madison counties have issued temporary burning bans effective immediately.

In Madison County, commissioners issued a temporary burning ban effective from now through Sept 30. Those who break the ban are subject to a fine of as much of $300 and at least $100.

“There exists a extreme or serious danger and threat of forest fires, grass fires and wildfires due to dry weather and vegetation conditions in the county,” the commissioners wrote in a news release.

The commissioners have made exceptions for wood burning stoves and fire places near or inside buildings, road side emergency flares, concrete fire rings, barbecue grills on personal property or the “prescribed burning of irrigation ditches, fields and farmland.”

Fremont County is also instituting a burn ban, citing dry conditions and no expectation of rain in the immediate future.

Firm wants to make cider for a cause

GARDEN CITY (IP) — Meriwether Cider wants your backyard apples.

Located in Garden City, the cider company is making a cider entirely out of neighborhood apples, and is looking for help, according to a news release about the apple collection.

Anybody who has them is encouraged to bring any spare backyard apples (worm holes and hail damage are fine, but please, none picked up from the ground as they may have bacteria that makes cider go bad) to the Meriwether Cider taproom located at 5242 Chinden Blvd.

Once enough apples have been collected the company will announce a “crushing and pressing” party where “adults and kids alike are invited to crush and press all the apples,” said the release. About a month after that the public will be invited “to enjoy the fruits of their labor” when the hard cider is fermented and ready to drink. The proceeds from the cider will go to benefit the Treasure Valley Food Coalition.

All proceeds from the sale of the Crush Cider will go directly to The Treasure Valley Food Coalition, a local nonprofit that works with local farmers and legislation to promote agriculture and to preserve open spaces.

Visit www.Meriwethercider.com/neighborhoodcrush or the Meriwether Cider’s Facebook page for more details.

Goats chow down in Boise neighborhood

BOISE (AP) — About 100 escaped goats munched on manicured lawns in Idaho’s capital city before being rounded up and hauled away early Aug. 3.

Multiple news outlets captured the goats calmly eating grass and shrubs in a Boise neighborhood before a trailer arrived amid applause from neighborhood residents.

The goats had been corralled near a local retention pond to eat weeds and other overgrowth, but — perhaps noticing the grass was greener next door — broke through a wooden fence to roam the neighborhood.

Kim and Matt Gabica own the animals as part of their business called We Rent Goats. They gathered the docile herd and said all 118 of the goats were accounted for.

Goats are sometimes let loose in the nearby Boise foothills to eat wild plants and reduce wildfire threats.

Farm Credit donates

to Preston rodeo arena

PRESTON (PC) — Northwest Farm Credit Services donated $25,000 to the rodeo committee’s effort to replace the arena’s grandstand bleachers.

“We asked Northwest to donate and they said, ‘yes,’ “ said rodeo Chairwoman Kris Beackstead. “They are very invested in our community and that organization is great to support worthy causes. They really set the example for all other businesses to join in the cause.”

“It’s a good cause,” Mike Mills said. “We support it every year and purchase tickets for our customers. This year we purchased 610 tickets. It is a great way to support our community and our customers enjoy it.”

“We are getting donations in through Venmo and PayPal on our prestonrodeo.com website. From $20 to $1,000 mostly. We are excited!” Beckstead said.

Gene editing could lead to more crops

BOISE (AP) — A multinational agricultural company based in Idaho has acquired gene editing licensing rights that could one day be used to help farmers produce more crops and make grocery store offerings such as strawberries, potatoes and avocados stay fresher longer.

J.R. Simplot Co. on Monday announced the agreement with DowDuPont Inc. and the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, developers of the nascent gene editing technology. Simplot is the first agricultural company to receive such a license.

“We think this is a transformative technology — it’s very powerful,” said Issi Rozen, chief business officer of the Broad Institute. “We’re delighted that Simplot is the first one to take advantage of the licensing.”

There is no evidence that genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs, are unsafe to eat, but changing the genetic code of foods presents an ethical issue for some. For example McDonald’s had declined to use Simplot’s genetically engineered potatoes for its French fries.

The food industry has also faced pressure from retailers as consumer awareness of genetically modified foods has increased.

Northwest Farm Credit Services awards scholarships

SPOKANE, Wash. (S-R) — Northwest Farm Credit Services awarded 84 students from its five-state territory a total of $168,000 in scholarships.

There were 17 winners from Idaho to each receive $2,000 college scholarships.

The Northwest FCS land grant university scholarship supports undergraduate students pursuing a degree in agricultural business or related field of study, by providing two $2,000 scholarships at each of the land grant universities in Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Montana.

The minority scholarship supports academic achievement and the advancement of diversity by awarding $2,000 scholarships to students pursuing degrees in agriculture/finance/business in the Northwest.

Two $2,000 graduate scholarships are awarded to graduate school students enrolled in graduate-level courses that impact the rural community, and any career field or major is eligible.

Undergraduate scholarships are awarded to sons and daughters of Northwest FCS employees and customers and their employees who are graduating high school students or current college students attending classes in the fall of 2018; any career field or major is eligible.

Northwest FCS is an $11 billion financial cooperative providing financing and related services to farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, commercial fishermen, timber producers, rural homeowners and crop insurance customers in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Alaska.

New extension agent just in time for Fair

EMMETT (MI) — Rebecca Mills has stepped into the position of University of Idaho Extension Service agent for Gem and Boise counties at a very busy time. Mills came on board at the Emmett Extension office early in July just as the final preparations for last week’s fair and rodeo were at their peak.

Fortunately, the Extension offices are on the Gem County Fairgrounds so she was right in the middle of the action.

According to the UI, “Mills brings a wealth of Extension experience to this position, having been promoted and tenured as an Extension educator at Utah State University, and as an Extension instructor for the University of Idaho and Oregon State University Extension systems. She has technical training in animal science and work experience in 4-H Youth Development, family and consumer sciences and food systems.”

Nearly 300 4-H participants were expected to take part in this year’s fair with over 1,000 4-H exhibits on display during the week.

Simplot secures ag research, commercial license

BOISE (PRNewswire) — The J.R. Simplot Co. announced Monday that it has executed a joint intellectual property licensing agreement with Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for foundational CRISPR-Cas9 and related gene editing tools.

The technology provides Simplot with another avenue to bring desirable traits forward in certain fruits and vegetables and advance products to the market in the U.S. to benefit both farmers and consumers.

Simplot provides a full line of fresh, frozen and chilled offerings that include potatoes, avocados and strawberries.

Each year, 35 percent of fresh potatoes worth $1.7 billion are lost because of waste from poor storage or shelf life according to the Journal of Consumer Affairs. Avocados, strawberries and other fruits and vegetables have similar losses and gene editing technology like CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing tools may be able to reduce that significantly.

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