June 14, 2022
Check out these five stories that are dominating the news this week.
1. New Zealand considers taxing cow and sheep burps to combat climate change
New Zealand has proposed a novel way of fighting climate change: charging farmers for the burps, farts and waste of farm animals.
As part of a system of selling tradable emissions credits, New Zealand wants to require ranchers to buy credits for the methane their livestock produce.
"There is no question that we need to cut the amount of methane we are putting into the atmosphere, and an effective emissions pricing system for agriculture will play a key part in how we achieve that," James Shaw, New Zealand's climate change minister, told BBC News last week.
Methane is the second-most prevalent greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide, and the majority of methane emissions come from human activity.
2. Iowa Premium cancels Tama beef processing factory that was slated to add 400 jobs
Blaming increased construction costs, Iowa Premium spokesperson Marcy Johnson said the company has "indefinitely paused" building a new factory in Tama. She said the company will decide whether to resume the project later and will continue operating its current factory in town, where 830 employees work.
Iowa Premium announced plans in March 2021 to replace its current factory with a bigger plant. In a filing with the state, the company disclosed that it would hire 400 workers there by the end of 2024, bringing its total employment to more than 1,200. The larger factory would double the company's production capacity in Tama, to 13,500 head a week.
3. Washington DOFW gets OK to remove cattle
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will attempt to kill up to two wolves in the Togo pack area following repeated attacks on cattle.
WDFW Director Kelly Susewind authorized the killing of one to two wolves. The killings are "not expected to harm the wolf population's ability to reach the statewide or local recovery objective," according to an agency news release.
"In previous years, WDFW has documented 12 — 30 mortalities per year and the population has continued to grow and expand its range," according to the statement.
The Togo wolf pack has a minimum of seven members, per the state's 2021 wolf survey. In 2021, the Togo pack was targeted by state shooters following repeated livestock attacks, but no wolves from the pack were killed. WDFW spent $3,109.87 on that unsuccessful effort.
4. Several wildfires have been burning in New Mexico
One family has lost everything: homes and probably cattle. But they keep their hope.
“When I realized this fire was burning out of control, my nephews and I went out on the 4-wheelers and open the gates to allow them to escape,” Martinez said.
The Martinez family has lived on the land outside of El Rito for generations.
And when the Midnight Fire started to get close to his home, he wanted to try and save it. While he was able to open the gates and let his cattle out, the next day he couldn’t reach his property at all.
As the Martinez family mourns their loss, they are hopeful at least some of their cattle have escaped.
“Right now as far as we know the cattle are moving away from the fire on their own because there are no one to push them and we simply don’t know where they are at because it’s a huge area,” said Martinez.
KOB 4 asked Martinez what they plan on doing next and he said honestly at this point they don’t have a plan. He’s upset the forest service wasn’t able to protect his house but he still loves that canyon and plans on rebuilding one day.
As for the firefight, hotshot crews have a long week ahead of them.
On Monday, the crews were battling high winds low humidity, and conditions perfect for fire growth.
5. Top dogs to show off their skills this weekend
They are often our best friends and allies when working cattle. And this week, a couple dozen of the West’s more talented dogs will gather near Sumpter, Oregon to show their prowess.
The particular canine skill in this case is herding cattle.
Clint and Cassi Johnson have organized the Huckleberry Mountain Invitational Dog Trial Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19.
Handlers will be on horseback as they take their dogs through the course, which will feature cattle in realistic scenarios, Clint said.
The top 10 dogs, based on combined scores from the first two rounds, will compete in a short round starting at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
About 27 dogs are expected to compete, most, if not all, purebred border collies.
Dogs will be coming from Central and Eastern Oregon and from several other states, including California, Nebraska, Montana, Utah and Idaho.
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