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The first professional rodeo in The Dalles in four years was a successful event, with full grandstands and plenty of action at the Fort Dalles Riders Club.

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For probably 10 years now, Sherman County law enforcement have dealt with calls about a herd of feral cows. “I call them feral because they just roam the canyons. They’re everywhere,” said Sherman County Sheriff Brad Lohrey. “When I say feral—I mean mean. I’m scared of them.”

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Area livestock producers suffering losses of animals or feed due to this winter’s storms may be eligible for the USDA’s livestock indemnity  and feed loss assistance programs, according to Lissa Biehn, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director in Wasc…

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In the wake of a man’s death last summer while fighting fire on agricultural land, and the fines his employer incurred because of it, farmers need more clarification on firefighting rules, an official said.

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Bilateral trade negotiations have begun with Japan, the top importer of the soft white wheat grown in the mid-Columbia, wheat growers in Wasco and Sherman counties heard Feb. 4.

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The “Greenhouses for Good” project at The Dalles High School delivered its first bulk donation of lettuce to the local Oregon Food Bank last week.

The project began in the spring of 2018 and incorporates engineering, horticulture, and community service.

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A second and final round of trade mitigation payments meant to assist farmers suffering from damage due to “unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations” has been announced by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and farmers in Wasco and Hood River counties are encouraged to apply by the Jan. 15 deadline.

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A grant request to build a second deep well in Mosier, moving a heavy agricultural user out of a depleting aquifer currently being used by the town, was declined at this time. The Oregon Water Resources Commission told the grant seekers to come back with more information for reconsideration in the next funding cycle.

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Wasco County farmers and ranchers may be eligible for federal assistance to repair fencing destroyed by the summer’s wildfires, a local agency announced. The Wasco/Hood River County Farm Service Agency said farmers and ranchers have until Nov. 30 to contact the local FSA office and request assistance through the Emergency Conservation Program.

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A task force of local ranchers and farmers from Wasco and Sherman counties will help decide how $27,000 in a wildfire relief fund should be distributed. Ken Polehn, president of the Wasco County Farm Bureau, said the funds will be used for losses not compensated by insurance or other public and private relief funds.

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U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced the addition of commodities to the trade mitigation package aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations.

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Eight members of the Wolf Plan Stakeholder work group met last week in The Dalles with ODFW staff to discuss methods of controlling the growing population.

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Agricultural producers have new resources available to them to prepare for and recover from impacts of natural disasters on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new website, farmers.gov.

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Dufur Gap Road rancher Mike Filbin is relieved that U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., was successful in his bid to have the federal government allow emergency grazing on some preserve lands. The South Valley Fire came within 15 feet of destroying Filbin’s home and outbuildings last week.

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Providing health care to migrant farm workers not only meets a critical need but acknowledges the important contribution these families make to the local economy, says Jon Soffer, a nurse practitioner with Mid-Columbia Medical Center. “I think it’s critical for us to give back to this community by improving their health because they are a cornerstone of the industry,” he said.

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Three members of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation are on the move to get federal assistance for farmers in Sherman and Wasco counties who have sustained damage from recent wildfires. U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., has written a letter asking U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to allow emergency grazing of livestock on Conservation Reserve Program ground. He also asks that farmers be given flexibility to plant cover crops for soil stabilization without being placed in the continuous production category with the Risk Management Agency and having their crop insurance adversely affected.

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Wheat fields burnt in the Substation Fire — 79,121 acres in Wasco and Sherman County — are now at risk of both wind and water erosion, according to soil and water conservationists with the United States Department of Agriculture personnel in The Dalles. “Both wind and water can be a problem,” said Clinton Whitten, who works on soil issues with farmers in both counties.

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Christa Rude, right, and Willow Ziegenhagen, 8, of Zion Farms, serve customers purchasing lettuce Saturday at The Dalles Farmers Market in City Park.

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Jamie McLeod-Skinner toured Orchard View farm near The Dalles last week, learning about cherry production from owner Bob Bailey. “We were talking about everything from business opportunities to the pressure on the industry — how the federal government can either help or get out of the way,” said the Democratic candidate for the Second Congressional District seat.

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