Champion steer sets stock show auction record

DENVER (AP) — Officials say a prize-winning steer has been auctioned for a record-setting amount at the National Western Stock Show in Denver.

Ames Construction Co. made a winning bid of $150,000 for the Grand Champion Steer at the Jan. 25 auction of junior competitors' livestock.

Kutter Bland, a 17-year-old from Slaton, Texas, showed the 1,339-pound steer.

The auction sales of eight champion animals totaled $480,000.

Stock show officials said the auction proceeds support young exhibitors as they plan for college and future agricultural work.

A portion of the proceeds also go toward the National Western Scholarship Trust. The trust provides scholarships in agricultural studies and rural medicine at colleges in Colorado and Wyoming.

School probed for using live pigs in medical training

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A prominent physicians' group has asked federal regulators to investigate Brown University's medical school, arguing it is violating the law by using live pigs for training in emergency medicine.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine on Tuesday asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to investigate animal use at the Warren Alpert Medical School at the Ivy League university.

A medical school spokeswoman said she didn't know about the complaint and didn't immediately respond to questions about the use of pigs. The school's website says its residency education includes hands-on animal labs.

The committee advocates for eliminating the use of live animals in any medical training and promotes the use of human-body simulators instead. Proponents of animal research argue it is crucial to scientific breakthroughs and for furthering medical science.

More than 90 percent of emergency medicine residency programs in the United States and Canada use only human-based training methods, such as medical simulation or cadavers, according to the committee. The nonprofit represents more than 12,000 doctors.

Missouri: 9,300 feral hogs killed in 2018

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Department of Conservation says more than 9,000 feral hogs were killed in the state last year.

The department reported Jan. 25 that along with partner agencies and private landowners, it killed roughly 9,300 hogs in 2018.

More than 6,500 were killed in 2017.

Feral hogs are a menace in parts of Missouri. The Conservation Department said they damage property and agriculture by aggressively rooting through soil and trampling and eating crops.

Most of Missouri's feral hog population is south of Interstate 44. The problem is most persistent in southeast Missouri.

Federal officials have also helped cut back the hog population and last year used a helicopter to shoot and kill hard-to-catch hogs hiding in rugged terrain.

N.D. coyote catalog connects landowners, hunters

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — In an effort to keep coyote numbers in check, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department have teamed up to produce the Coyote Catalog. The catalog connects landowners who want coyotes removed from their land with hunters and trappers willing to help out.

"One of the reasons we started this a few year ago is that livestock producers expressed concern about high coyote numbers," said Doug Goehring, the state's agriculture commissioner. "The beauty of this is that we play matchmaker. We facilitate a service. If a landowner has coyote problems he can be put into the system."

Once a landowner signs up for the Coyote Catalog, which can be accomplished on the state Department of Agriculture website, their information is shared with coyote hunters and trappers who sign up for the Coyote Catalog on the state's Game and Fish website, Minot Daily News reported.

"It's kind of a for coyote hunters and landowners," said Stephanie Tucker, a game management section leader and furbearer biologist with the North Dakota Game and Fish.

Both Goehring and Tucker advise that landowners experiencing problems with coyote depredation should first contact USDA Wildlife Services.

"They provide services for free for livestock producers," Tucker said.

Industry still trying to protect word 'meat'

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — More than four months after Missouri became the first U.S. state to regulate the term "meat" on product labels, Nebraska's powerful farm groups are pushing for similar protection from veggie burgers, tofu dogs and other items that look and taste like real meat.

Nebraska lawmakers will consider a bill this year defining meat as "any edible portion of any livestock or poultry, carcass, or part thereof" and excluding "lab-grown or insect or plant-based food products." It would make it a crime to advertise or sell something "as meat that is not derived from poultry or livestock."

Similar measures aimed at meat alternatives are pending in Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming. They come amid a debate over what to call products that are being developed using the emerging science of meat grown by culturing cells in a lab. Supporters of the science are embracing the term "clean meat" — language the conventional meat industry strongly opposes.

The issue strikes a particularly strong chord in Nebraska, one of the nation's top states for livestock production, where cars roll down the interstate with "Beef State" license plates and the governor each year proclaims May as "Beef Month."

Officials OK dairy farm in NW Indiana

LAKE VILLAGE, Ind. (AP) — Indiana regulators have a granted a key permit for an organic dairy farm that could become home to more than 4,000 cows in Newton County.

Natural Prairie Dairy said its cows will graze on alfalfa and grass that hasn't been treated with synthetic herbicides or pesticides. Critics, including the Hoosier Environmental Council, fear the northwestern Indiana farm could harm wells and reduce property values.

The site is near The Nature Conservancy's Kankakee Sands natural area . But the Indiana Department of Environmental Management says Natural Prairie has presented a satisfactory plan to deal with manure, which will be used as fertilizer.

Kim Ferraro, a lawyer with the Hoosier Environmental Council, said the state's decision is "irresponsible." Dairy manager Will De Jong said planning has improved, based on "listening to our neighbors."

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