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If you are of a mind to try and keep up with either one of these Unaweep Canyon natives, you had better be in Olympian condition. Just reading their resumes will wear you out. This sister act, Janie VanWinkle and Callie Hendrickson have left an indelible mark on Colorado agriculture. For that they were nominated and will receive the Trailblazer Award for 2021 from the Denver Business Journal (DBJ). The Trailblazer Award is part of the DBJ’s “Who’s Who in Agriculture” program. The pair will be installed on March 18 during a virtual event. You may register to be on the broadcast at https://bit.ly/3soV0qr.

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There is a big difference between Bill Gates and me — I mean besides all that money — and that is that I have worked with his product, a lot, and understand it. I have also endured the stress of using his company’s bug-ridden software over the decades. He, on the other hand, has perhaps eate…

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I know, I’m going to step in it. But I’ve stepped in it before — I just shuffled my boots through the dirt and I was good. So here goes.

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Eckert rancher Hugh Sanburg will chair the national Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board (CBB) after the election held during the group’s winter meeting. The board is responsible for providing direction for the national Beef Checkoff program during 2021. Sanburg was vice-chair last year.

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The ‘71 International Harvester Lodestar flatbed truck with a manure spreader on its back was already in a bone yard when George Rosenbaum saw gold in the battered red paint job. The farmer from Olathe says that he walked around the truck, which had springs popping through the driver’s seat …

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It was like no other Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association (UVWUA) meeting ever. While about 60 stakeholders wired in on the now ubiquitous Zoom system, another 40 or so attended in person at the Montrose County Event Center. The group never approached the cap on the number of people wh…

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Look out, Yellowstone and Longmire, here comes Tyson vs. Easterday.

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The 11th Western Colorado Soil Conference will be an online treasure trove of information and inspiration and is set to go live Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7:45 a.m.

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I was on a visit to my cardiologist’s office last week. While waiting for Dr. Lee, with whom I have become too well acquainted in the last four months, I noticed the clinic had a rather large blowup of the photo of the Gunnison Tunnel Opening Gate downtown, circa 1909, on the reception area wall.

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A few years back, we started hearing from portfolio managers about buying “cropland” — that was their code word for farmland. Their argument was farmland had two values. It could create a revenue stream from the operation, and it was going nowhere but up in basic value. And that was even bef…

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As I pulled into the yard at the new headquarters of the Horsefly Creek Veterinary Clinic, Alicia Ashley was getting out of her truck with a two-day-old lamb in her arms. A palomino gelding with hock arthritis was taking a walk in the sunshine. Another pickup rolled in. And the new clinic wa…

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One of the hundred or so books that I retained from the pickup load of volumes that I donated to the Phoenix Library upon my leaving that desert metropolis is “The Last Sorcerer.” Some of you may recognize the title as Michael White’s concise, 361-page, biography of Isaac Newton.

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Despite a well-attended and vocal protest meeting in Montrose this past summer, the project known as the Little Blue Canyon Project on US 50 will go as scheduled, according to John Knowles, the Central Federal Lands Highway Division manager for the project. Knowles said on Tuesday that the p…

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They are shooting off fireworks up in Wyoming this week. The reason for the celebration is that the Wyoming legislature just passed another amendment to the state’s Food Freedom Act, a five-year-old, work-in-progress bill that they are kind of making up as they go. The newest addition will a…

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The Semmis family’s chicken farm was a quarter mile up the hill from our orchard. We got our eggs from them. David Semmis was my best fourth and fifth grade friend. Mrs. Semmis was of sturdy Italian stock and had the voice to prove it. We got an opera performance whenever she was working in …

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The principals of the Goldenhorn Consulting group presented their feasibility findings for a meat processing plant in San Miguel or West Montrose County. In a nutshell they were not encouraging, although some of those who sat in on the virtual meeting found the exercise useful.

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Because of the pandemic interruptions of life on the Western Slope, the Ninth Annual Western Food and Farm Forum will go virtual this year. According to Carol Parker, founder of the event, it will feature live question and answer sessions, film screenings, and even a virtual happy hour. In t…

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I wish that I could just jump on board and wholeheartedly endorse the idea of the demand management plan that is proposed by the Colorado Water Conservation Board. But I can’t. I also have friends on that board and even they cannot really stomach the idea.

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Jan Congour, second grade teacher at Northside Elementary, has been named Teacher of the Year by the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts (CACD). Congour caught the attention of the conservation community after she led the effort to develop and maintain the Learning Garden at North…

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In early November, the USDA mailed out about a 1.75 million ballots for the 2020 Farm Service Agency election of county committee members. About a third of the 7,000 committee members are up for re-election. The ballots must be completed and returned to the USDA, postmarked no later than Dec…

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Matt Miles, founder of the hemp processing company General Processing announced this week that he has completed the sale of his company to the EcoGen BiosSciences division of Kadenwood, a privately held consumer products lifestyle company, focused on shaping CBD into a trusted and safe mains…

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Marc Catlin, 58th District Colorado State representative has been feted by the Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute for the second time. Catlin scored the “Faith, Family and Freedom Award” for his 2020 session votes in the Colorado Assembly.

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If you are new to farm and ranch country, make note that stock animals live outdoors, and they are okay with that. That does not mean that when we get a front coming through like the two that came through in the past two weeks, our critters do not deserve a little extra consideration.

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The Colorado hemp industry is in disarray. The number of acres planted in 2020 were down 56% from the record year of 2019. The state’s hemp management plan has not been approved by masters at the USDA. And with the ongoing delay of the full approval of the 2018 enabling federal legislation f…

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I have participated (voted) in every election since I was first eligible in 1964. I have voted for some winners and some losers. I have never been deeply emotional about my voting tasks and have worked diligently at being as pragmatic as possible. In this election season, I am sorely taxed t…

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When I drove into the yard at the Dry Creek Farm on Monday morning, Lisa Perry had on the biggest smile that I have ever seen. In the small corral Corabelle, Lisa’s 3-and-a-half-year-old Black Mountain burro, was standing guard over a gangly chocolate brown foal still damp from her birth, a …

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If Dave Dudley were still around writing trucker songs, his current hit would be “12 Hours on the Road — and I’m a gonna shut ‘er down right here.”

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In a news release to Colorado media late Monday, Colorado Ag Commissioner Kate Greenburg and Gov. Jared Polis issued a statement indicating that Colorado had replied to the request for clarification of the state’s submission for the Final USDA (Hemp) Rule, which is scheduled to be released i…

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The basis for the body of law that governs water rights in the Southwestern United States was codified in 1922. At the time there were no major dams on the Colorado River. There were some diversion points, such as the one that fed the Alamo Canal from the river to the Imperial Valley and Mex…

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Some years back, the late Wayne Dyer, self-help guru to millions, told the story relating how he had told his mother that his teacher had told him he was a scurvy elephant. Mrs. Dyer was perplexed by the message and contacted the teacher who said, “No, no, I said he was a disturbing element.…

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There are thousands of people in southern California and elsewhere who actually think Colorado water should be used to keep the so-called disaster of the withering Salton Sea from happening.

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I didn’t even have time to panic when the ER doc announced to me and the staff, “You’re having a heart attack.” And that’s when the Montrose Memorial team broke huddle. It was first and 99, on my own one.

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By the time the gavel comes down sometime tonight, Sept. 10, the Beef Promotion Operating Committee (BPOC) will have spent about $40 million. That is probably no problem to the people who wander the halls of Congress, but to the 20 people on the committee, who run cattle ranches, feed lots, …

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The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the drug war guys, have removed CBD oil from the Schedule I Controlled Substance list. That’s a nice start. But keeping it on their list, even as a Schedule V drug, means you have to have a doctor’s prescription to use it or even possess it. In Colo…

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Bulls were bred with mama cows to make calves. The calves grew up to be breeders or go to market. The breeding took place on the ranch. The market animals were taken to the railhead for shipment to processors. Shortly thereafter, a bank draft went into the ranch account. That was life. Even …

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No one who had been in the Pine Gulch area 18 miles north of Grand Junction was surprised on July 31, when a bolt of lightning set ablaze the tinder dry hills north of the escarpment that guards the Colorado River Valley. No rain, to speak of, and hot, dry winds set the mixed conifer, sage a…

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While sugar beets came and went, as did potatoes, there are certain crops that have been here forever. Pinto beans are one of those crops. It’s not a glam crop, just a small bushy kind of plant that has seed pods housing the seed, which is the product.

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Jim Webb does not do almond milk or rice milk or soy milk. He does cow milk, about 32,000 pounds of it a day. Six days out of seven, he and the family-owned dairy ship its fluid milk product to the Dairy Farmers of America plant in Denver. But they don’t rest on the seventh day. The 32,000 p…

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The Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum is set for Jan. 24 and 25 at the Montrose Pavillion, 1800 Pavilion Drive. This is the eighth annual iteration of the event that brings farmers, ranchers and consumers together for the enlightenment of all factions.

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Don’t know what a “Ricky” is? Well, it is not something that you get in the back seat of a car at the drive-in movies. It is a new word in our lexicon. The definition is “a statement or comment that appears insulting or outlandish but nevertheless remains potentially useful in advancing idea…

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The pretty lady in the big white pickup stuck her red flag out the window and into the light snow that was falling out on the California Mesa the other day. I stopped my truck and got out, waving her, the five cattle dogs, three mounted riders and about 60 head of cattle on by.

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A year ago the Colorado Department of Agriculture was processing applications for hemp growing permits in Colorado. At least Colorado had a licensing process and some regulations. A lot of states were just going by the hastily thrown together rules from the USDA, based on the 2018 Farm Bill.…

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Five months ago this week we had the prospect of a late corn harvest on our minds and the Colorado Wool Growers began, in earnest, to nurse the oozing sore that is the possible forced reintroduction of wolves into the San Juan Mountains. It was also the week when I signed on to cover the agr…

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They absolutely nailed it.

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Whether you just eat food or produce it, you’ll want to plan on spending the weekend of Jan. 24 and 25 at the Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum in Montrose.

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If you showed up at the parimutuel windows with this ticket you would need a wheelbarrow to haul the cash away. It’s called a trifecta, a run of three wins or grand events, according to the ubiquitous Mr. Webster.

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Recently, the Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund (RMWAF) turned in petitions with more than 210,000 signatures, forcing the matter of the reintroduction of wolves into Colorado a decision by voters on the 2020 election ballot. Having voters determine the fate of a matter of wildlife management …

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Is there a big inventory of farms for sale on the Western Slope?

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