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USDA Names State Directors; Birth to Burger Program

RFID Technology Showcased Chicago
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**Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of state directors for the Farm Service Agency and for USDA’s Rural Development programs.

Farm Service Agency Directors are, for Washington, former Ferry County commissioner and state Senator Brian Dansel. For Oregon, eastern Oregon ag and ecology consultant Peggy Browne. For Idaho, Bannock County commissioner Evan Frasure. And Colorado, state Representative Clarice Navarro.

Rural Development Directors are, for Washington, former state Senate Ag, Water, Trade, and Economic Development Committee chair Kirk Pearson. For Oregon, state Representative John Huffman. For Idaho, Layne Bangerter who served various roles with Fish and Wildlife. And Colorado, former El Paso County commissioner Sallie Clark.

**Ag lenders are recommending further adjustments as farmers prepare for another year of tight margins.

Kevin Yager, with Minnesota’s Citizens Bank, says commodity prices were good 5-6 years ago, but now we have to discipline ourselves and maybe cut back on some expenses and improve marketing.

Yager’s been in ag lending forty years and tells Brownfield, he’s confident the farm economy will bounce back.

**Cargill is starting a pilot program to trace Canadian beef from birth to burger. The company announced their sustainability acceleration project last week, with a goal of providing consumers with beef from producers who use RFID technology to follow the entire life of the animal.

Cargill says the pilot program will include only Canadian cattle, starting with animals processed at Cargill’s High River, Alberta, facility.

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