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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

Category Archives: Ag legislation

Two bills introduced recently would modify the existing H-2A agricultural visa program to make it easier for dairy farmers to hire the foreign labor they need to run their operations. Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Chris Collins (R-NY) co-authored the Farm Family Relief Act in January. Rep. Sean Duffy’s (R-WI) introduced the Defending the Agricultural Industry’s Requirements Year-round (DAIRY) Act this month.

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American Dairy Coalition (ADC) reports U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI), co-chair of the Congressional Dairy Farm Caucus, introduced a new immigration reform policy for dairy operations.

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As issues arise in livestock, grain, forage and equine industries, I compile the best information and send it our to local producers. If you are interested in receiving the update by email, please subscribe here:

I will continue to publish the Ag News blog. The updates contain additional weather information, calendar and more in-depth articles.


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The law affects sustainable, local food producers in many ways, and farmers need information on how to deal with these concerns. Williamson County Extension will present this webinar series through Farm Commons over the winter of 2014-2015. The series will help farmers identify some common concerns. Webinars are hosted on Monday and Tuesday afternoons and be held at the Extension office. Topics will include: beginning farmers and farm law, putting your CSA on a solid legal footing, hosting legally secure farm events, adding value with liability to farm products and farm leases that are good for landowners and tenants.

The first program will be on Monday, December 8 from 12 noon to 1 p.m. The interactive webinar will be a preview of the many legal issues beginning farmers should consider when just starting out with farming. What business entity should a farmer choose? Which insurance policies are really important? What about that farmland lease- when should it be written down and what should it say? Is there anything to know about farmers market sales, volunteers, or working with family members? This webinar will touch on all of these questions and more.

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“Water rights and wrongs: What Every Rancher Should Know About Texas Surface and Groundwater Law” will be the topic of a May 1 webinar featuring Dr. Ron Kaiser, professor in the recreation, park and tourism sciences department at Texas A&M Universityand chair of the Texas A&M Water Program.

Water has become a very limiting resource, Kaiser said. This webinar will disclose information every landowner should know about both surface and groundwater laws and how they relate to them.

“Put rumors to rest and join us for this informative topic,” he said.

This webinar is part of the Texas Range Webinar Series conducted monthly by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Serviceecosystem science and management unit. Each webinar is scheduled from noon to 1 p.m., said Pete Flores, webinar coordinator in Corpus Christi.

Flores said the program has switched webinar software, so those planning to attend should go to to configure their computer prior to the webinar.

This webinar and others in the series can be accessed at .

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This week the United States Department of Agriculture released the preliminary report for the 2012 Census of Agriculture. From this early information I am not surprised that the nationwide number of farms continues the trend downward started in 1982 with a 4.3 percent drop since 2007. However, the number of Texas farms has increased from 247,437 in 2007 to 248,810 in 2012 while the average size has remained fairly constant at 523 acres.

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