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“We’re no stranger to oil and gas development in Converse County,” says Wyoming State Sen. Brian Boner of Douglas. “Development has been going on since the 1970s.”

However, recently, development has been hindered or stopped altogether as a result of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) interpretation of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, which requires consultation with Native American tribes whenever artifacts that may be of Native American origin are found at or near development sites.

“My constituents are interested in ensuring that there are no direct impacts to Native American sites from oil and gas development,” Boner says, adding that new interpretations, however, highlight view-shed and indirect impacts, which has created contention.

Historic preservation

Today, the National Historic Preservation Act’s  (NHPA) Section 106 is being interpreted by BLM as including both direct and indirect impacts to any historic sites or artifacts that fall under the purview of the Act.

“The interpretation includes not only the direct impacts but also indirect impacts, like view-shed protection, auditory affects or dust, for example,” Boner explains. “We are really concerned about how this section has been applied to private property.”

Boner further explains that, if a private property owner wants to drill for oil and gas on their property, if there is any intersection with federal mineral rights, extensive review is triggered.

“The vast majority of mineral extraction is on private property, but it eventually intersects federal minerals because of changes in technology,” he says. “Today, we aren’t just drilling down, but we also have the ability to drill two-mile laterals. We can’t drill two miles laterally without hitting some federal minerals in Converse County.”

Even if federal minerals comprise less than 10 percent of the project, the entirety of that endeavor is subject to federal regulation.

“If a project intersects with federal minerals, private land then falls under federal rules,” Boner explains. “My constituents are not comfortable having their private resources federalized.”

Continuing discussions

At the same time, Boner also says discussions with BLM have been initiated on the subject.

“There have also been a number of misconceptions about the policy and between landowners and BLM employees,” he describes. “If an entry-level archeologist sees a potential Native American site, there have been cases they say production has to be shut down because that site affects 20 miles in either direction.”

“Part of that problem is that the archeologist doesn’t understand that they can make a recommendation because, ultimately, it’s the BLM field office manager who makes the decision,” Boner continues. “We have had opportunities to facilitate conversations between oil and gas companies, landowners, BLM and others to make sure miscommunications like that are kept to a minimum.”

However, ongoing conversations are necessary to continue to build rapport between parties involved.

Recent meetings

At an Oct. 25 meeting of the Wyoming Legislature’s Federal Natural Resources Management Task Force, BLM and several Native American tribes were present to testify.

“The meeting was good, and it was the first time the Tribes have had a chance to testify,” Boner says. “They are concerned with protecting the sites and making sure they’re preserved.”

He continues, however, “If we weren’t concerned with preserving these resources, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. We appreciate their perspectives, and I think we have more in common than anyone realizes.”

However, changes in technology mean that many of requirements of NHPA are out of date. When the rules were first written, Boner says vertical drilling was the standard for oil and gas extraction.

“This policy doesn’t take into account the improvements in technology we have seen in the past 10 years,” Boner says.

The Wyoming Legislature plans to send a letter to the Department of the Interior laying out their concerns and raise a number of questions that have been expressed by all parties.

Boner comments, “We’re asking BLM to re-assess what the federal nexus means.”

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

Billings, Mont. – Metra Park was crowded Oct. 14-21 for the 50th annual Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE).

NILE President Jason Euell commented, “As NILE celebrates its 50th anniversary, it is important to look back and give thanks to all who have worked so hard to make the NILE the strong organization it is today.”

Jennifer Boka, NILE general manager, noted, “The organization is proud of the long-term partners, exhibitors and visitors alike who have allowed for 50 years of history in the making, and we look forward to 40 more.”

“As has been the culture of the year, the fall Stock Show and Rodeo will continue to salute those great individuals who come together to make NILE 50 years strong,” she said. “There will be the same NILE built on outstanding livestock, excellent exhibitors and relentless volunteers.”

With traditional events combined with new flair and activity, Boka emphasized that the NILE showcases every segment of the ag industry, promoting every segment from grain to pork and beef.

With a broad array of livestock shows at the event, Wyoming producers saw success in a number of shows during the week. Below is a list of winning Wyoming producers from the weeklong event.

Junior Fed Lamb Show

Judge: Marcus Arnold

Reserve Grand Champion Market – Kaycee Thomas, Carpenter

Reserve Grand Champion Senior Champion Showman – Taylor Reeves, Buffalo

Grand Champion Beginner Showman – Garrett Burkett, Casper

Shorthorn Show

Junior Division Judge:
Jake Scott

Senior Division Judge:
Kirk Stierwalt

Junior Shorthorn Plus Reserve Grand Champion Female – Miss Ellies Child, Sire: HF Manchild, Exhibitor: Coy Kaisler, Savery

Open ShorthornPlus Reserve Grand Champion Female – Miss Ellies Child, Sired: HF Manchild, Coy Kaisler, Savery

Junior Fed Steer Show

Judge: Marcus Arnold

Grand Champion Market Steer – Kody Foley, Cheyenne

Reserve Grand Senior Champion Showman – Justus Golding, Pine Bluffs

Junior Fed Goat Show

Judge: Marcus Arnold

Grand Champion Market Goat – Chase Taylor, Riverton

Grand Champion Senior Showman – Morgan Sanchez, Bear River

Reserve Grand Junior Champion Showman – Brayson Burch, Casper

Junior Fed Swine Show

Judge: Marcus Arnold

Reserve Grand Champion Market Swine – Mady Dolcater, Riverton

Grand Champion Senior Showman – Mady Dolcater, Riverton

Grand Champion Beginner Showman – Garrett Burkett, Casper

Club Calf Show and

Heifer Futurity

Judge: Kirk Stierwalt

Reserve Grand Champion Steer – 273Z, Sire: Fu Man Chu, Exhibitor: Reese Wilkins, Torrington

Grand Champion Heifer – 735, Sire: One In The Chamber, Exhibitor: Bailey Young, Gillette

Third Place Futurity Heifer – $530 – Young Wave, Sire: Young Money, Exhibitor: Virginia Wing, Casper, Purchased from: WW Cattle

Texas Longhorn Show

Junior Division Judge: Brandon Creamer

Open Division Judge: Brandon Creamer

Junior Texas Longhorn Grand Champion Female – Wild Silver, Exhibitor: Ryan Johnson, Big Horn

Junior Texas Longhorn Reserve Grand Champion Female – Dixieland Delight, Exhibitor: Ryan Johnson, Big Horn

Junior Texas Longhorn Grand Champion Bull – Rhinestone Cowboy, Exhibitor: Ryan Johnson, Big Horn

Junior Texas Longhorn Reserve Grand Champion Bull – General Lee Hot Stuff, Exhibitor: Emma Velazquez, Douglas

Junior Texas Longhorn Grand Champion Steer – Last Call, Exhibitor: Ryan Johnson, Big Horn

Open Texas Longhorn Grand Champion Non-Haltered Female – Texas Dixie Rose, Exhibitor: Tammy Delyea, Douglas

Open Texas Longhorn Reserve Grand Champion Non-Haltered Female – Nettie Mae, Exhibitor: Tammy Delyea, Douglas

Open Texas Longhorn Grand Champion Haltered Female – Steel Magnolia, Exhibitor: Toby Johnson, Big Horn

Open Texas Longhorn Reserve Grand Champion Haltered Female – Dixieland Delight, Exhibitor: Toby Johnson, Big Horn

Open Texas Longhorn Grand Champion Haltered Mature Female – WYO Silver, Exhibitor: Toby Johnson, Big Horn

Open Texas Longhorn Grand Champion Steer – BN Jim Reeves, Exhibitor: Toby Johnson, Big Horn

Open Texas Longhorn Reserve Grand Champion Steer – Last Call, Exhibitor: Toby Johnson, Big Horn

Open Texas Longhorn Grand Champion Bull – 100 Proof, Exhibitor: Toby Johnson, Big Horn

Open Texas Longhorn Reserve Champion Bull – Rhinestone Cowboy, Exhibitor: Toby Johnson, Big Horn

Commercial Heifer

Classic Pen Show

Commercial Heifer Reserve Grand Champion Pen – Cam and Abby Huston, Wheatland

Gelbvieh/Balancer Show

Junior Division Judge:
Jake Scott

Open Division Judge: Jason Hoffman

Champion Balancer Open Male – Disco, Sire: Scharpe Hybrid Vigor, Exhibitor: Grace Steenbergen, Cheyenne

Hereford Show

Junior Division Judge: Jason Hoffman

Open Division Judge: Jake Scott

Reserve Champion Open Hereford Female – NJW 137X8Y Faith 108D E, Sire: NJW 735 W18 Homegrown, Exhibitor: Ned and Jan Ward, Sheridan

Merit Heifer Show

Merit Heifer Judge:
Jake Scott

Showmanship Judge: Jason Hoffman

Grand Champion Merit Heifer – Madalyn Rohr, Elbert, Colo., Donor: Powder River Angus, Spotted Horse

Saige Albert, managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup, compiled this article from The NILE’s website,

By Jennifer Womack, WLR Managing Editor 

Douglas – Wyoming’s second annual Ag Expo was held at the Wyoming State Fairgrounds this past week. While organizers hope to see improved attendance at next year’s event, they were quick to thank the numerous sponsors, vendors and exhibitors who stepped forward in support of the event.
    “I’m so impressed with the vendors who were here,” said Scott Keith of the Wyoming Business Council’s Agribusiness Division as the event wrapped up. Keith along with a team comprised of Steve Paisley, Wayne Tatman, Milt Green, J.J. Werner, Mike Fabrizius and Ervin Gara, organized the event. “I appreciate the support we had. I was very pleased with the cattle exhibits we had,” said Keith. “Although numbers were down from last year, the quality was up.”
    According to those working the registration desk at the event, 300 people attended the two-day event. Most attendees were ranchers with about two-thirds of the attendees registered from the Douglas and Casper communities.
    Others were in town for the Ag-based Innovative Marketing Expo (AIMe) and the Farmer’s Market Conference, held in unison with the Ag Expo’s trade show and cattle exhibits. Keith says combining the four events, with the Roping the Wind Conference hosted in a tent as part of the Ag Expo, proved positive.
    “I think it’s fair to say we’re disappointed in this year’s turnout,” said Keith. Looking to next year he says he hopes to receive feedback on how the conference might be improved. Noting the Black Hills Stock Show in South Dakota and the NILE in Billings, he said Wyoming should be able to hold a similar event. “I hope this grows and Wyoming producers will support Wyoming vendors a little more,” said Keith. “I know it takes a while for people to get to know about an event.”
    A hay show and forage analysis competition were also included in this year’s event. With entries due Monday, they were overnight shipped to Ward Labs for analysis. With results back on Tuesday the winners were announced. Ron Hinman of Wheatland entered the top alfalfa. Lon Eisenbarth of Goshen County entered the top mixed hay and Bob Pingetzer of Shoshoni entered the top testing grass hay. Attendees were also asked to take a guess at determining the relative feed value of one entry in each of the three categories. In the alfalfa division Ron Richner of Casper was the winner. Bryan Werner of Riverton topped the mixed hay division and Brad Boner of Glenrock was the closest in the grass hay division.
    The new facilities at the Wyoming State Fairgrounds, according to Keith, provide a perfect location to host the event. The Expo was held in the southernmost of the two new barns and offered room for cattle, equipment displays and more.
    “I’d like to thank our sponsors,” said Keith noting the Northern Ag Network, the Converse County Tourism and Promotion Board, Rocky Mountain Power, Best Western of Douglas, the University of Wyoming Animal Science Department, the Wyoming Business Council Agribusiness Division and the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Keith also thanked several individuals who aided in the event’s organization.
    “As we look to next year as a committee,” said Keith, “we’ll be looking at the evaluation and getting together with the leaders of other groups to set the date for next year.”

Hulett – “Every year we choose someone in the Sundance, Moorcroft, Beulah and Hulett areas who needs help with a medical-related expense, and all proceeds go to them,” explains Committee President Chanda Snook of the purpose behind the annual Ride a Horse, Feed Cowboy event.
The 2010 event in late-August was the fourth year of the weekend-long event, and all proceeds were given to Hulett Hardware Store owner Deena Parnell, who is fighting cancer without insurance.
“Friday night we have a, ‘ride your horse to town’ event, where we give a belt buckle and $100 to the person who rode the farthest and prizes to the top five longest distances. This year Tess Polisky from Sundance rode 46 miles to win the belt buckle, and Troy Peterson of Pinnacle Bank came in second at 38 miles,” notes Snook.
Stables, water and hitching posts were available for the horses upon arrival. Friday evening also included a barbecue meal donated by the Ponderosa Bar and Café and a benefit auction.
“This year we raised $8,100 dollars for Deena at the auction,” says Snook, adding that Friday night was rounded out with a live band.
Saturday’s main event is a Tough Enough to Wear Pink matched bronc riding. UW senior and rodeo team member Trey Wasserburger was in charge of the event, and says it was a big success.
“We had 10 guys compete in bareback, 15 in saddle broncs and 10 on bulls,” says Wasserburger. “There was $1,000 added to both the saddle bronc and bareback events and $500 added to the bull riding, so it paid well in addition to being for a great cause.”
He added that Wacy Snook won the saddle bronc event with a 76-point ride and Ty English came out on top in the bareback event with a score of 74.
“No one road in the bull riding, so that money all went to the benefit, which made it a win-win,” notes Wasserburger.
“It was a big deal and so much fun to be a part of. You hardly ever get the opportunity to attend a rodeo like that. It was all roughstock and very laid back and relaxed. It’s hard to top a bunch of guys getting on some good stock for a great cause,” says Wasserburger.
He adds a lot of people donated their time and talents to make the event so successful.
“Travis Hackert was the announcer and he donated his time, brought the pickup men and paid for them. Mike McFarland was the clown and he also donated his time and when I went to pay the stock contractor for the bulls he had already paid. It’s amazing how much those two helped me.
“The judges were also free, a lady out of Billings donated her PRCA music system and her time, and several other people contributed to make it work. I just made a few phone calls and everyone followed through.
“I hope to get a bigger crowd next year. Something like this hardly ever happens anymore, especially with money being so tight right now, but people brought their checkbooks and volunteered their time and made it a great success,” says Wasserburger.
Saturday was rounded out with a trade show, the branding of a local gallery’s exterior, a Cowboy Calcutta Poker Tournament, Western concert and a second dance. The event concluded Sunday morning with Cowboy Church.
“This started as a way for everyone to come to town and have something to do on a weekend that included the entire community. Then it turned into a benefit so that while we’re doing something as a community we can also help someone within it,” explains Snook of the events beginning.
“It’s a great event for the town of Hulett – it’s a really Western- and ranching-oriented place, and the entire town was more than happy with how this year went. Next year I hope to get a bigger crowd both entered and in attendance at the rodeo,” says Wasserburger.
The 2011 Ride a Horse Feed a Cowboy event is scheduled for the fourth weekend in August. Both Snook and Wasserburger encourage everyone to attend.
For more information or to contribute to the event, contact Chanda Snook at 307-290-0400 or visit Heather Hamilton is 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..

Laramie – With agriculture appearing in all aspects of the media, educating the consumer about where food comes from has grown in importance, and Albany County Farm Bureau brought Gary Sides of Pfizer Animal Health to an event that attempts to engage citizens who aren’t involved in the agriculture industry.
    At their event, Today’s Ag, held on April 16, the group encouraged producers to invite non-ag community members to hear about agriculture from Sides.
    Sides began by emphasizing the incredible impact that modern agriculture has had on the developing world.
The impact of modern ag
    “In Peru, women are beasts of burden,” he says. “It’s a tough life and one that is brutal on women.”
    “They live in rock shacks or grass huts with their sheep that graze in communal grazing lands at 15,000 feet above sea level,” added Sides. “If nothing else, modern ag frees women and children from this type of lifestyle.”
    Modern agriculture and technology open a world of possibility for Americans, he said.
    “We don’t have to go very far to see what life is like without modern agriculture,” he added.
Food safety
    Because of the technology in modern agriculture, Sides said that food safety has increased, allowing Americans to worry less about the food they eat.
    “Is there anything that is really safe? There is really nothing safe,” said Sides. “Is there a risk to eating food? Yes. So what’s the risk in eating?”
    According to Sides, eating is a risk worth taking.
    “In 2011, the CDC estimated that yearly, one in six people will become ill from food borne illnesses, with 120,000 people hospitalized and 3,000 deaths,” explains Sides. “Your chance of dying is 0.0001 percent.”
    He also noted that, since 1999, food safety has increased dramatically, with half as many deaths and hospitalizations resulting from food borne illness.
    “Practically all of these diseases are preventable if food is cooked fully, if you don’t eat raw meat, don’t drink unpasteurized milk and rinse or cook veggies,” added Sides. “It’s everything that our grandmothers used to tell us, but people today don’t know.”
    Sides also addressed arguments for organic foods from a food safety perspective.
    Last year, an outbreak of E. coli in sprouts sickened thousands and killed 31 people, largely women, and an E. coli contamination in organic spinach from California in 2006 resulted in 276 sicknesses and five deaths.
    “By definition, organic food producers cannot use commercial nitrogen fertilizers, and their sources of nitrogen is manure, which is a source of these different disease causing bacteria,” said Sides.
Milk and water
    After an outbreak of typhoid transmitted by milk in 1913, all milk was required to be pasteurized in the 50 largest cities by 1917. Today, Sides said milk is safe because pasteurization controls bacterial threats.
    “Raw milk accounts for less than one percent of total milk consumed, but is responsible for 90 percent of food borne illness related to milk,” he noted. “Pasteurization is a piece of technology that saves lives.”
    Consumable drinking water is another aspect of our lives that we take for granted, said Sides.
    “Every year, 30,000 children die in Peru from drinking unsanitary water, and we know that the tap water isn’t safe in Mexico,” he said. “I never worry about the water supply in the U.S. Outside of the country, water is a precious issue.”
Hormones and antibiotics
    “Antibiotic use in livestock is a really complex issue,” said Sides, looking particularly at tetracycline.
    Tetracycline, a commonly used antibiotic, is naturally occurring, he explained. A microbiologist taking soil samples at the University of Missouri campus isolated a bacterium that produced the compound in 1949.
    “We have used tetracycline for about 60 years, and it still works,” Sides noted. “If we have a huge resistance issue, why is it still working?”
    He added that resistant organisms occur naturally, as well, specifically mentioning that a bacterium found deep in caves that have never been exposed to humans before, but was resistant to antibiotics.
    “We use antibiotics very judiciously,” he said, using cattle as an example. “Cattle have very small lungs and rapidly die of pneumonia, so these treatments are very valuable.”
    Antibiotic use in livestock is also very strictly regulated and don’t pose a food safety risk. Sides said in one example, conventional and organic animals in a feedlot were tested and no difference could be seen in their meat.
    “Antibiotic resistance, especially with MRSA, comes from human hospitals where you have people that are susceptible and a system that is deficient,” he added.
The hormone story
    Hormone use in cattle is another area of controversy throughout the world, and some consumers are concerned about the safety of hormone use.
    “International bodies have determined that hormone use in beef cattle is safe and effective,” explained Sides. “There is no such thing as hormone-free beef or chicken or pigs.”
    The hormone utilized in cattle, estradiol, is essentially the same hormone found in animals and humans naturally, he said.
    “Estradiol is required for life,” he added. “There would be nobody in this room without the hormone, and the European Union has declared it to be a carcinogen.”
    At the end of the day, a safe food source is something that many in the U.S. are concerned about, all while having no idea where their food comes from. With the current set of strict regulations and basic food safety practices, Sides says the U.S. food supply is both safe and abundant.
    “Food security means I have access to good food, and I can get what I need,” said Sides. “These technology that are being used are the greenest of the green.”
    Saige Albert is 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..