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Policy

On Oct. 13, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced their Final Rule on the employment of foreign workers in jobs related to herding of livestock on the range, including the herding of sheep and goats.

“The regulation, the H-2A Herder Final Rule, implements a methodology to address wage stagnation and prevent adverse effects on U.S. workers,” said DOL in their release.

“The rule is better than we anticipated, but there are a lot of details to look at and sort through,” said Wyoming Wool Growers Association (WWGA) Executive Director Amy Hendrickson. “We are grateful that DOL has listened to the industry. They took industry comments to heart and really tried to shape the program to meet their goals but also to not put sheep producers out of business.”

The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) commented that the work of ASI, Mountain Plains Agriculture Service and Western Range Association led to the submission of nearly 500 comments.

“The rule followed much of the sheep industry’s proposed methodology concerning two critical issues that arose in the original DOL proposal earlier this year – open range and wages,” ASI said.

Inside the rule

Among the concerns with the initial rule, the definition of “open range” was a big concern for sheep producers.

Sheep producer Shaun Sims of Evanston, who testified at a congressional hearing about the rule in August, commented, “They did away with the language about fencing, but they added ‘cultivated land.’ That might be problematic for producers in California or producers who bring their lambs and sheep into field in the fall.”

Former ASI President Clint Krebs of Oregon added that federal officials also greatly modified their proposal specifying ranches would be eligible to hire sheepherders under the H-2A program provision.

“We estimated 40 percent of the ranches that have hired sheepherders for decades would not have been eligible due to a proposed definition involving fencing where sheep graze,” Krebs said.

Wage impacts

The wage rate was also addressed in the final rule, and Hendrickson said, “The wage rate in the rule is very similar to what was proposed by the industry as a solution.”

DOL stated, “Under the final rule, employers must pay a wage that equals or exceeds the highest of a monthly pay rate, a collective bargaining agreement wage or an applicable minimum wage set by court or law. Under the rule, the monthly pay rate for all range occupations will use the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and a 48-hour workweek.”

“The Department will implement a wage formula tied to the federal minimum wage similar to our recommendation, and while it is a significant cost increase that won’t fit all ranches, the modification at least provides most farms and ranches the opportunity to sustain their sheep operation,” said ASI Executive Director Peter Orwick. “The proposal of the department in April to triple monthly wages would have put the majority of sheep producing families out of business.”

The wage rate will be phased in over three years, with full implementation beginning in 2018.

“Although it isn’t as drastic as had been proposed, the wage will change operations,” Sims explained. “Some operations will not be able to afford labor at the new rates, but it is considerably better than what was proposed.”

Housing standards

The rule also establishes housing standards, including water requirements and circumstances where heat must be provided.

“Another highlight of the rule was a requirement of 4.5 gallons of water per man per day, which is not a big deal,” Sims said. “The enforcement will be important, though.”

For example, Sims posed that, if he hauls enough water to herders to last a week, and they have two gallons left on the day he delivers, will he be in violation of the rule?

“How they interpret the rule will be important and could set people up for non-compliance,” he continued.

Another aspect of concern is the requirement to provide cold weather clothing.

“I think there is a lot of interpretation that could be interpreted poorly for producers,” Sims said.

Delving into details

Hendrickson and Sims both noted that there are many aspects of the rule that are unclear, but as they comb through the details and as implementation begins, a clearer picture on the impacts will emerge.

“The devil is in the details,” Sims said. “The rule is not as bad as it could have been, but there will be significant impacts.”

“This rule will have an impact, and the wages will go up quite high in some cases,” Hendrickson adds, “but we haven’t fully analyzed the rule yet.”

The final rule will become effective 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will withdraw a portion of proposed rules expanding their Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulatory authority. The withdrawn portion of WOTUS – the Interpretive Rule for Agriculture – removed normal farming exemptions. 

In a Jan. 29 Memorandum, the EPA and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers said, “Effective immediately, the agencies hereby withdraw this interpretive rule as Congress directed in Section 112 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriation Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235.”

In Wyoming

Governor Matt Mead worked for the withdrawal of this portion of the rule. He has also worked for the withdrawal of the remainder of the proposed rule. 

“These rules were not developed in consultation with states. They have far-reaching impacts on agriculture, industry, private property and state control of water, and they need to be withdrawn,” Mead said. “I am pleased the agencies have begun the withdrawal process. I look forward to more.” 

The EPA and Army Corps denied that the WOTUS proposed rules were aimed at expansion of federal authority, said Mead’s office in a press release. 

The release continued, these proposals, however, increased federal oversight of agricultural practices, as well as controls over land and water resources under state authority.

Ag industry feedback

Bobbie Frank, executive director of the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts, mentioned, “This withdrawal is good news for agriculture. Although the Interpretative Rule was touted as providing regulatory certainty and relief for producers, it actually required a producer to follow federal Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) practice standards for over 50 practices, many of which are common place on Wyoming’s farms and ranches. This would have created even more regulatory requirements, not less.”

She continued, “The Clean Water Act already provides exemptions for normal farming and ranching. The rule would have provided exemptions for these but only if we followed federally-established practice standards.”

“Importantly for conservation districts, we were very concerned about the regulatory role this may have put our partners in the NRCS in – something we strongly oppose,” Frank added. “We are appreciative of Governor Mead’s strong stance on this issue.”

Wyoming Stock Growers Association Executive Vice President Jim Magagna added, “The withdrawal of the Interpretive Rule is important because it returns the exemption of normal agricultural practices from EPA permitting and removes NRCS from the inappropriate role of having to confirm compliance with their practices when no NRCS program is involved.”

Congressional oversight

However, the withdrawal of the interpretive rule does not affect the agency’s work to finalize their rulemaking to define the scope of the Clean Water Act.

Magagna said, “The unacceptable reach of the WOTUS rule remains in place as an infringement on state control of water and private property rights. We cannot rest until we achieve withdrawal of that rule.”

As a result, Congress continues to oversee the impacts of the WOTUS rule. On Feb. 4, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Assistant Secretary of the Army Corp of Engineers Jo-Ellen Darcy testified in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works, chaired by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), and the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, chaired by U.S. Representative Bill Shuster (R-Pa.).

The nearly five-hour hearing allowed Congress to explore the impacts of the proposed rule on state and local governments. 

From the hearing

In opening statements, Shuster and Inhofe expressed their concern with the rule, as well as with how the rule was developed. They also looked toward the next steps that should be taken.

“The rule undermines the federal-state partnership under the Clean Water Act,” said Shuster. 

He continued, “Our water quality has continued to improve over the last four decades, and Republicans, Democrats and people at the state and local level all care about water deeply. Many state and local governments are objecting to the erosion of the partnership and their authority.”

The WOTUS rule, Shuster added, does not consider the rights of states or the potential economic and legal impacts it has on agriculture and other stakeholders, including job creators and hardworking, middle class Americans. 

Inhofe mentioned, “I have a number of the same concerns that many others do, but my concerns stem not only from the substance of the rule but from the thought process employed by the agencies in developing it.”

He expressed concern with the EPA’s continued attempts to expand their authority under the Clean Water Act. 

“The Supreme Court drew the line and made it clear that all water is not subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act,” Inhofe said. “This is an issue that has everyone’s attention.”

Next steps

“It is clear after today’s testimony from the Obama Administration and state and local leaders that we need to ditch the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule,” Shuster and Inhofe said in a joint statement. “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy admitted the rule is flawed by repeatedly committing to fix the proposal when Members of Congress raised serious concerns about how it would impact their constituents, communities and local industries.  She admitted that the proposed rule is inconsistent and ambiguous.”

While McCarthy also committed to make changes to ensure that isolated ponds, storm sewer systems, water reuse systems, roadside ditches, rock quarries, and farm activities all will be exempt in the rule and that each of the more than 1 million comments is reviewed.

Inhofe and Shuster said, “McCarthy also said any change to the rule would not be significant enough to warrant re-proposal and pledged today to plow ahead to issue a final rule by spring.  The EPA cannot have it both ways.  If the rule is flawed it should be withdrawn.  Small changes will not be sufficient.” 

They added, “We need to ensure that the Administration follows through on its word to make necessary and significant changes to the rule in response to the concerns of the states and local governments, and the more than 1 million comments filed by the public.”

This article was compiled from several press releases, interviews with Wyoming’s ag leaders and the Joint Congressional hearing. Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

With the passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014, producers across the country have concerns about where and how the new programs will be implemented.

“Both the livestock disaster and diary programs have gone through substantial changes in recent years,” said Eric Belasco, an assistant professor in agricultural economics and economics at Montana State University. “The Livestock Forage Disaster Program went through substantial changes in 2008, and the program has shifted again in the current Farm Bill.”

Three options

Belasco notes that three livestock disaster programs are available in the Farm Bill. 

“In the 2008 Farm Bill, there were five disaster programs – three of which were most relevant to livestock producers,” he commented. “The Livestock Forage Program (LFP), Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) are most relevant to most ranchers.”

“Each program indicates a shift in Farm Bill policy toward a disaster-related safety net for ranchers,” Belasco said.  

Additionally, the programs are sponsored through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), who will be responsible for administering all aspects of disaster assistance.

Retroactive nature

The Agriculture Act of 2014 is also retroactive for losses since the expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill on Sept. 31, 2011. 

“They made slight changes and adjustments to these programs, but they are funding programs to 2011,” he said. 

Wyoming FSA State Executive Director Gregor Goertz comments, “Preliminary information indicates producers in every county in Wyoming except Teton are eligible for payments in both the 2012 and 2013 grazing years.”

Changes 

The new legislation also makes livestock disaster programs permanent to avoid a lapse in coverage in the future. 

“If the bill expires, the programs will continue, and we won’t run into the same issue later,” Belasco said. “There are questions right now about what happens when there isn’t a policy in place.”

Additionally, available assistance increased from $100,000 per person to $125,000 per person. 

“This hasn’t been a binding limit frequently, but for producers in areas experiencing above-average drought, the binding limits may be approached,” he continued.

Forage concerns

The LFP provides compensation to those producers who suffer grazing losses due to qualifying drought on federal and private land or fire on federally-managed lands, Belasco explains.

“For LFP, producers know if they qualify for payments based on the drought monitor,” he says. “There is also no risk management purchase requirement.”

Payments may be distributed to producers for up to five months of lost feed each year. 

Payment rates will be established in the near future based on the national average price of cornin the year of the loss.

For fire, payments will cover 50 percent of monthly feed costs for the number of days the producer is prohibited from grazing, up to 180 days.

Belasco also clarified that the number of months a producer is eligible will likely be dependent on the severity and length of drought. 

“The payment rates are based on monthly feed costs for covered livestock or the normal carrying capacity on eligible land,” Belasco said. 

Payment for fire-damaged forage is also available for federally-managed lands at the rate of 50 percent of the monthly feed costs for the number of days the producer was prohibited from utilizing their grazing leases. The payments may cover up to 180 days.

Indemnity

LIP is the program created in the Farm Bill to cover livestock losses. 

“This will be the program that people who lost livestock in Winter Storm Atlas can utilize,” says Belasco. “LIP covers death losses in excess of normal mortality.”

Normal mortality rates are published by FSA, and these losses could include those livestock deaths resulting from adverse weather conditions, wolves or avian predators. 

“Payments will remain at 75 percent of the market value for applicable livestock on the day before the date of death,” Belasco explains. 

Producers, however, must be cognizant of the fact that they must be able to document livestock losses properly. 

He continues, “A big issues with this program will be documenting those death losses from past years. Producers should notify their FSA office to make sure their documentation is considered acceptable.”

Examples of death documentation may include photographs or videos of deceased animals. 

ELAP

The final program ELAP, which will provide relief to eligible livestock producers that does not fit under either the LIP and LFP programs.

Disease losses are also covered under the ELAP program. 

“Other eligible losses under ELAP include honey bee producers losses from colony collapse disorder or costs incurred for purchases of feed or lost feed due to flooding, which is not covered in LIP or LFP,” says Belasco.

Grazing losses that result from pests, such as grasshoppers, or losses from fire on private lands may also be covered by ELAP. 

Uncertainty

Goertz emphasized that while many people have read and interpreted the Farm Bill, the agencies are still working on the rules and regulations for the legislation.

“We won’t know exactly what these programs look like until we see the rules and regulations,” he said. “We may see changes.”
Goertz announced that most of the Wyoming FSA staff will attend training on these programs April 10 and encouraged producers to contact their local FSA offices after April 11 with any questions. Until that point, however, they will not have more information.

Belasco adds, “Secretary Vilsack predicts over $1 billion will be going to producers nationwide for retroactive claims.”

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack also noted that he wants expired livestock disaster programs implemented within 60 days after the recent Farm Bill was signed – by April 15, 2014. 

Wyoming FSA will release additional information as it becomes available and encourages producers to be looking out for more details on sign-up. 

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“There are a lot of moving parts in the new Farm Bill,” says John Hewlett, UW Extension ranch and farm management specialist.

He explains that the bill passed in 2014 provides producers with options for planning risk management strategically for their individual operations.

“Producers have to choose, and I’m afraid if they don’t choose, they’re out,” he says of the available programs outlined in the bill.

Yields and base acres

Operators should have their yields updated and base acres reallocated by Feb. 27, and March 31 is the deadline for choosing a Price Loss Coverage (PLC) or Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program.

“Though producers may have elected the program they want to participate in, they also must enroll,” Hewlett warns.

After April, there will be paperwork that producers have to sign to be eligible for their chosen program.

“There are quite a few things that haven’t changed or have not changed dramatically,” states Nicole Ballenger, agriculture and economics professor at UW.

Marketing assistance loans and loan deficiency payments, the sugar program, Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) and forage and livestock disaster programs have carried over from the previous bill.

New programs

“The last farm bill had a program called ACRE, or Average Crop Revenue Program, which was an option for producers to use for revenue protection,” she says. “That program is gone and has been replaced by a package of programs called ARC and PLC.” 

She explains that producers should have received a letter from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), outlining their base acres and current program yields, also known as counter-cyclical yields, which will play a part in the new programs.

“It is important for producers to go to the FSA office to talk about updating counter-cyclical yields,” she says.

Program payments, she explains, may be dependent on that value.

Base acreages

Ballenger says the second thing to consider is a reallocation of base acreage.

“As a one-time decision for the entire life of this farm bill, producers have the opportunity to retain the base acres they already have or to reallocate their current base to cover commodities that were planted in crop years 2009 through 2012,” she states.

Operators must also choose which ARC/PLC program they wish to enroll in, says Ballenger.

“Producers won’t have another opportunity to choose which program they’d like to utilize for the whole life of this farm bill. It is a one-time deal,” she says.

Inside crop protection

ARC/PLC programs provide revenue or price protection on 21 covered commodities, and there are three options to choose from – PLC, ARC – County (ARC-CO) and ARC – Individual (ARC-IC).

“PLC provides price protection, similar to counter-cyclical payment programs that producers might be familiar with from the last farm bill,” she explains.

This program may be selected for any commodity in a farm’s base.

“If a producer does not choose a program, it will be assumed that they have elected PLC,” states Ballenger.

She warns that an enrollment process is still necessary, and no choice may result in sacrificing potential payments for 2014.

“ARC programs provide revenue protection. They provide price protection, as well as a safety-net with respect to producer yields,” Ballenger continues.

ARC-CO provides revenue protection on a commodity-to-commodity basis. ARC-IC provides protection at the farm-level.

“When a producer picks ARC-IC, they automatically pick that program for every commodity planted on that farm,” she explains.

Commodities covered by ARC-IC must be planted on the farm, whereas commodities covered by the other two programs only have to be in base acres.

“PLC is based on what’s happening with prices in the market, and ARC-CO is based on what’s happening with revenues at the county level,” says Ballenger.

She notes that producers must enroll annually for their elected programs and contracts must be signed for 2014 and 2015 crop year.

NAP

Other programs in the new farm bill include the NAP. 

“NAP is something that a lot of folks in Wyoming have used historically,” says Hewlett.

This level of protection is called catastrophic coverage, which is triggered by yield loss 50 percent or greater.

“NAP is being updated now to allow for something called buy-up coverage,” he states.

Buy-up coverage allows for yield protection up to 65 percent, as well as up to 100 percent of price level protection established by the FSA for a particular commodity.

“NAP protects against natural disaster events such as hail, drought and excessive moisture. With buy-up, the producer must share in the risk of producing that crop,” Hewlett explains.

Premiums and payments will be calculated based on acres, shares, yields and coverage levels.

Caveats

“If producers qualify for beginning farmer, limited resource operator, socially disadvantaged operator or veteran operator status, there are some special caveats for them in all of these programs,” Hewlett says.

He also notes that producers are not eligible to receive payments under NAP and the Livestock Forage Program (LFP).

“Producers would have to choose which of these programs they want to get payment for if they happen to be covered under both programs,” he says.

A cap is also included in the new farm bill. Whether payments come from ARC/PLC, NAP, LFP, Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) or Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP), payments from farm bill programs cannot exceed $125,000.

“If producers elect to purchase and enroll base acres in PLC coverage, they also have the option of obtaining Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) for those acres,” says Hewlett.

Supplemental coverage

SCO is available on a select number of covered commodities with the purchase of crop insurance.

“SCO takes on the coverage of yield-based protection or revenue protection, depending on which insurance policy a producer has purchased, and it comes with a separate premium,” Hewlett explains.

He also mentions whole-farm revenue insurance, a new option in the latest farm bill.

“SCO insures a base-level revenue for a farm, based on its past revenue history,” he says.

Disaster programs

Hewlett notes that disaster assistance programs have changed, as well.

“The Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE) that was available for livestock type operations has gone away,” he states.

LFP, LIP and ELAP have been re-funded permanently.

“If producers have not filed for losses under any three of those programs, it is still possible to do that if they experienced a loss. The deadline for filing is the end of January,” Hewlett says.

Hewlett and Ballenger encourage producers to review their options for all of the new farm bill programs and to speak with FSA.

“There are different choices available to producers,” Hewlett says.

He adds that what works for one operation may not necessarily be the correct choice for their neighbors. Hewlett encourages individuals to assess what makes the most sense for them.

Deadlines

To apply for programs within the 2014 Farm Bill, producers must pay special attention to upcoming deadlines, which are listed below. 

Feb. 27 – Deadline to retain acres or reallocate base acres 

Feb. 27 – Deadline to retain or update program payment yield for each commodity covered 

March 31 – Deadline to select Price Loss Coverage (PLC) or Agriculture Risk Coverage – County program or Agriculture Risk Coverage – Individual for the entire farm 

Producers must annually enroll in the elected programs. Contracts must be signed for 2014 and 2015 crop years.

Producers enrolled in PLC who also participate in federal crop insurance programs may purchase supplemental coverage.

 

Natasha Wheeler is editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Washington, D.C. – On Jan. 28, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Agriculture Act of 2014, or the Farm Bill, and it’s headed to the Senate for final consideration.

The 950-page bill is, as expected, drawing mixed reaction among lawmakers and agricultural industry stakeholders. The House passed the conference report by a margin of 251-166, and it is expected the Senate will soon pass the legislation and that President Obama will sign it into law.

“They expect us to work together to find ways to reduce the cost of the federal government,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.). “The Agricultural Act contributes major savings to deficit reduction, significant reforms to policy and yet still provides a safety net, not only for the production of American food and fiber, but also to ensure our fellow citizens have enough food to eat.”

Bill programs

A press release from Lucas’ office notes that the bill achieves reform in a number of areas, including repeal of direct payments, strengthening of crop insurance and reform of dairy policy. 

“It establishes a 10-state food stamp pilot to empower states to engage able-bodied adults in mandatory work programs; ensures illegal immigrants, lottery winners, traditional college students and the deceased do not receive food stamp benefits; consolidates 23 duplicative and overlapping conservation programs into 13; creates a permanent subcommittee within the EPA Science Advisory Board to conduct peer review of EPA actions that would negatively impact agriculture; and enhances coordination between USDA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding actions taken to manage the lesser prairie chicken,” lists the release.

Disagreements

Though Lucas was optimistic on the bill, Kansas Senator Pat Roberts (R) did not sign the conference committee report and opposed the bill. 

“Despite years of work in both committees and strong provisions in the House-passed Farm Bill – the final legislation lacks key, common sense and sound science regulatory reforms,” Roberts said. “I am more than disappointed that a World Trade Organization (WTO)-compliant resolution to mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) was not reached. Our livestock producers were already facing drought and high feed prices, but now they will have to worry over retaliatory actions by the governments of Canada and Mexico.”

Industry opinions

United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) President Jon Wooster commented, “USCA is very pleased that policy-makers made the decision not to intervene in the U.S. COOL program, which will allow the WTO process to proceed appropriately.  We are also pleased that additional restrictions concerning revisions to the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Act (GIPSA) will not be authorized.”

Livestock groups, including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, American Meat Institute and National Pork Producers Association and National Chicken Council, opposed the bill because it failed to resolve issues related to COOL and GIPSA.

On the other hand, some positive strides were made.

“This bill delivers necessary livestock disaster assistance and other support programs that producers have waited patiently for despite weather-related catastrophes,” Wooster continued. “USCA urges swift, bipartisan passage of this farm bill.”

USCA Executive Vice President Jess Peterson commented further on the bill, “Production agriculture, along with consumers who benefit from a healthy and affordable food supply, are all winners today, thanks to the Farm Bill principals. The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association urges the House and Senate to pass this bill as to allow for a quick signature and final seal of approval by President Obama.”

Conservation clauses

National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) President Earl Garber praised Farm Bill conferees for their leadership in passing a strong conference report out of committee.

“The conference report is evidence of a strong, bipartisan understanding of the true value that conservation brings to the landscape and to the economy,” said Garber. “We appreciate the conferees’ recognition of the importance of on-the-ground conservation and delivery – not only through words but by providing an increase in funding and the establishment of permanent baselines to critical programs such as Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). We could not be more pleased by the leadership of Chairwoman Stabenow, Chairman Lucas and the rest of the members of the committee.”

The conference report included two of NACD’s top Farm Bill priorities – conservation compliance tied to crop insurance and language to streamline the conservation Technical Assistance (TA) delivery process.

Widespread comment

Other organizations, including the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and National Corn Grower’s Association, among others, also applauded passage of the bill and urged the Senate to follow suit. 

Additionally, Rocky Mountain Farmer’s Union President Kent Peppler endorsed the Farm Bill compromise and urged Congress to pass the bill. 

“A compromise never gives us everything we want,” Peppler said, “but this bill is good for farmers and good for consumers. The bill provides crop insurance and nearly $4 billion in livestock disaster relief, as well as increased funding for farmers markets and local foods. It established mandatory funding for renewable energy programs.”

The Senate could consider the bill as early as next week. If it is passed, it will head to the President’s desk for his signature. 

Saige Albert, managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup, compiled this article from a myriad of press releases. Send comments on this article to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..