Coyote bites child in Portland driveway

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — State and county officials say a coyote bit a 7-year-old girl in Portland.

KATU-TV reported the attack happened Nov. 2 in the driveway of a home in the southwest part of the city.

Authorities said he girl is being checked for rabies.

The girl's mother told authorities her daughter was in the driveway when the coyote pounced on her and nipped her on the leg.

Mont. lt. gov. on ag trade mission to Mexico

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana officials say Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney is in Mexico this week leading a trade delegation to promote barley exports.

Cooney said in a statement that Mexico is the largest importer of malt barley and that it's important to the state's agricultural industry to reaffirm and build that relationship.

USDA statistics show Montana is among the top three barley-producing states. Gov. Steve Bullock's office said the U.S. sold Mexico $242 million worth of malt grown from barley last year.

Cooney is traveling with Montana Department of Agriculture Director Ben Thomas and two leaders of the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee.

They were meeting with officials from Mexican companies, with the Mexican Craft Brewers Association and attending the Cerveza Mexico Expo.

Oregon fines dairy for 224 violations

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon regulators have fined the state’s second-largest dairy more than $187,000 after finding 224 violations of its wastewater permit.

The Statesman Journal reported the state Department of Agriculture announced the fine last week against Lost Valley Farm near Boardman.

The violations that occurred between June 2017 and August include allowing manure lagoons to overflow, improperly storing dead cows and failing to report spills.

Owner Greg te Velde declined to comment Tuesday. He has until next month to appeal the penalty.

The penalty comes as te Velde faces bankruptcy proceedings, a pending permit revocation and criminal contempt of court charges.

Department spokeswoman Andrea Cantu-Schomus said the penalty amount due will become part of his bankruptcy estate.

MSU chooses Bajwa as VP for ag

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Montana State University has chosen Sreekala Bajwa, a professor and scientist who investigates new ways to use engineering to improve farming, as its new vice president of agriculture.

For the past six years, Bajwa, originally from India, has been a professor and chair of North Dakota State University’s department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABEN), which is part of both its colleges of engineering and agriculture.

ABEN “merges the knowledge of living systems, engineering technologies and a social conscience to solve the complex problems facing our planet,” according to its website.

When she starts work at MSU on Jan. 14, Bajwa will be dean of the College of Agriculture and lead the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station. Her salary has not yet been finalized, said Michael Becker, MSU News Service director.

Ore. noble fir cut for U.S. Capitol Christmas tree

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Workers have cut down a tree in western Oregon to be the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree.

The Statesman Journal reported the 82-foot noble fir was cut down Nov. 2 in Willamette National Forest.

The tree will be displayed on the West Lawn of the Capitol Building in Washington, with a public tree-lighting ceremony in early December.

Officials said it's the first time in the 47-year history of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Program that a noble fir has been selected.

The theme this year is "Find Your Trail!" in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act, and the 175th commemoration of the Oregon Trail.

Mont. panel urges combining ag labs

BOZEMAN, Mont. (BDC) — A legislative subcommittee is recommending spending about $43 million to consolidate three agricultural labs in a new building on Montana State University’s campus over concerns that animal samples traveling between the labs could spread disease.

The recommendation comes from the subcommittee’s study on consolidating six labs located on MSU’s campus. Of those six, the subcommittee recommends building one location to house the Department of Livestock Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, the Department of Agriculture Analytical Lab and the Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ wildlife lab.

Republican Rep. Kerry White of Bozeman is the chairman for the subcommittee. White presented the study to Gallatin County on Tuesday and said that animal carcasses FWP tests for diseases are taken in a truck to the veterinarian lab to be discarded.

“Currently, carcasses are transported in an open bed pickup and there are concerns regarding potential contamination and exposure to the public of harmful pathogens,” White said.

The three labs do not have a process to treat effluent that enters Bozeman’s sewer system, the study found. Lab consultants stated in the study that treatment was not required, but the committee hopes to correct the effluent disposal with upgrades or new construction.

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