This landmark was the tiny town of Freeport, the smallest incorporated city in Kansas. Read More
Looking for a good way to keep up with daily agriculture-related headlines? Give Kansas Ag Connection a try!
Subscribers to On the Range, our weekly country living update (read more), may already be familiar with this site as a source for some of our headlines. There’s a reason for that. Kansas Ag Connection is a clutter-free aggregator of news stories and press releases of interest to farmers small and large across the state.
Kansas Ag Connection offers a way to keep up with the latest stories on:
- USDA news.
- Updates from the governor and state legislature.
- Health issues currently affecting Kansans.
- KU and K-State research on health, nature, and agricultural topics.
- Press releases from Kansas-based companies.
- State and regional crop and weather reports.
- Conferences and workshops coming to Kansas.
- Ron Wilson’s Kansas Profile column, featuring Kansas entrepreneurs with rural roots.
Links are also provided to more headlines from neighboring states, across the nation, and around the world.
Did you know that Homestead on the Range offers three different ways to keep up with the latest country living information?
- On the Range. Your weekly country living update! With a free subscription to On the Range newsletter, you will also learn about additions to the bookshelf, new photos in the gallery, and important post revisions. In addition, you receive exclusive seasonal suggestions, country living news headlines, and food for thought. While you’re at it, sign up for our periodical publishing newsletter for book releases, specials, and freebies.
- WordPress. You can also opt to let WordPress send you new posts from Homestead on the Range, even if you don’t have a website! While you can read our posts in the WordPress Reader, you may enjoy setting up an email subscription for convenience. Just click the floating Follow button in the lower-right corner of the screen, or scroll down to the signup form in the footer.
- RSS. And, of course, there’s always our feed, ready for use with your favorite reader.
We’re looking forward to making your country living adventure a success! Enjoy!
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Looking for seasonal reminders and fun things to do this February? We have moved our monthly Get Ready updates to On the Range, our free weekly country living newsletter.
Subscribing is easy! Just follow this link and enter your email address. You can start receiving your weekly newsletter as early as tomorrow!
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The Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) was developed to reduce the use of antibiotics in livestock production, primarily to fend off antibiotic-resistant diseases in humans. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 2 million people in the United States are infected by antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year. The concern is that extensive use of antibiotics in the food supply will increase the prevalence of drug-resistant bacteria.
The VFD is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2017.
Complying With the VFD
Once the VFD goes into effect, antibiotics for use in or on livestock feed and water will no longer be available to producers over the counter. To obtain antibiotic additives, farmers will have to obtain a prescription from a veterinarian and periodically have that prescription renewed.
Any medications prescribed must be used to treat or prevent disease as directed on the label. A veterinarian may not prescribe a regulated drug for any use not specified on the label, such as to enhance performance.
Not all drugs are covered by the new VFD rules. Only antimicrobials classified as “medically important” and administered orally are regulated, and the directive only applies to food animals. A drug is classified as “medically important” if it is associated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria or is a medication of key importance in treating human disease, particularly food-borne disease.
Drugs covered by the VFD include:
Feed mills and any veterinarians and producers they work with can expect random inspections from the FDA to ensure compliance.
The FDA expects to handle minor or unintentional violations with warning letters. Major or flagrant violations could be met with injunctions, seizures, fines, or up to three years in prison.
Implications for Small Farmers
Small producers who rely on medicated feeds on a regular basis will no longer be able to purchase feeds containing medically important drugs. However, feed mills are already looking into formulating medicated feeds with antibiotics not classified as “medically important” and therefore not regulated by the VFD.
While most large operations already have a working relationship with a veterinarian, many small producers prefer to treat animals on their own whenever possible. This will make obtaining oral antimicrobial medications far more difficult on a small scale. While some small farmers may decide to establish a relationship with a veterinarian, they should be aware that the cost of VFD-regulated medication and medicated feeds may rise in the near future as a result of the new regulations and their associated paperwork.
Note that sending photos or videos of a sick animal to a veterinarian to receive a prescription is not considered adequate under the new VFD. The veterinarian is required to establish a relationship with both the producer and the livestock in question. A hands-on examination or a farm call is a must. The veterinarians themselves are likely to insist on this, as the VFD makes them responsible for violations. Vets would be taking a risk by prescribing antibiotics to farmers that they do not have a relationship with.
Once a producer obtains a VFD-regulated medication, he must keep the paperwork on file for at least two years, according to the new rules. These records will be necessary in case of inspection.
Of course, those who raise their livestock naturally will be minimally affected by the VFD.
United States President
- Donald Trump (R): 276 electoral votes
- Hillary Clinton (D): 218 electoral votes
United States Senate
- Jerry Moran* (R): 62% of vote
- Patrick Wiesner (D): 32%
- Robert Garrard (L): 6%
United States House of Representatives
- Roger Marshall (R): 66%
- Alan LaPolice (I): 26%
- Kerry Burt (L): 7%
- Lynn Jenkins* (R): 61%
- Britani Potter (D): 32%
- James Houston Bales (L): 6%
- Kevin Yoder* (R): 51%
- Jay Sidie (D): 41%
- Steve Hohe (L): 8%
- Mike Pomepo* (R): 61%
- Daniel Giroux (D): 29%
- Miranda Allen (I): 7%
- Gordon Bakken (L): 3%
Kansas Supreme Court
- Carol Beier: 56% for retention
- Daniel Biles: 55% for retention
- Marla Luckert: 56% for retention
- Lawton Nuss: 55% for retention
- Caleb Stegall: 71% for retention
Note that Stegall’s retention is the only one officially decided at the time of this writing.
Kansas Ballot Measure
- Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment (Amendment 1): Approved by 81% of voters
This constitutional amendment is to establish the right to hunt, fish, and trap wildlife in Kansas.
Italics: Declared winner
Interested in tracking the progress of that important or controversial piece of legislation? LegiScan’s bill tracking tool makes it easy.
There are several ways you can use this online tool:
- Pick a specific bill and follow its progress.
- Track the activities of a committee.
- Find out what is happening in a branch of legislature.
LegiScan works great on both state and federal levels. You don’t need an account to view the bills online or to receive RSS updates.
Here are a few links to get you started:
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Not a subscriber? Sign up here! In every issue, you will receive timely tips, food for thought, and headlines that affect your farm, along with notice of the latest posts, updates, books, and gallery additions at our site.
We have updated our series on big predators in Kansas!
Our mountain lion post now includes:
- New sightings.
- Additional information on old sightings.
- More information on where the mountain lions came from.
- A link to a handy interactive map of sightings.
We have also added a new sighting and some additional details to our black bear post.