Entries open for beef ambassador

The Oregon CattleWomen are putting out a call for contestants for the 2011 beef ambassador program.

The winner of the contest will receive a $500 award and travel expenses to compete in the National Beef Ambassador Competition in Wooster, Ohio.

Contestants must be between the ages of 17 and 20 and record a 5- to 8-minute speech on DVD on animal welfare concerning the beef industry. Entries must be submitted by May 15.

For more information, call Norma Kuyper at 541-826-2508.

-- Mitch Lies

Wolf progam budget cut

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) -- The federal program that controls wolves that attack or threaten farm animals or pets in Minnesota is in peril because of budget cuts by Congress.

The April 8 budget agreement in the U.S. Congress effectively eliminates money for the USDA's Wildlife Services program.

The program lethally traps or shoots wolves that have attacked livestock or pets. In 2010, Hart's office investigated 272 wolf complaints and lethally trapped or shot 192 wolves.

Weather harms Nebraska wheat

A few Nebraska fields have already been planted with corn, but most of the state's farmers are still waiting to start their spring planting.

Recent warm and windy temperatures in the state helped farmers get ready for planting, but the weather has been hard on the wheat crop.

About 36 percent of the wheat crop rates good or excellent, well below last year when 64 percent was good or excellent.

Spring calving is about 82 percent completed in Nebraska. And about 89 percent of the state's cattle were in good or excellent condition.

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