Belle Point Ranch awarded

Belle Point Ranch near Lavaca was recently ranked among the most productive in Arkansas with the American Angus Association.

According to Mark McCully, American Angus Association chief executive officer, the ranch known for the big Budweiser can silos registered the second-most Angus beef cattle in Arkansas with the American Angus Association during fiscal year 2019, which ended Sept. 30.

Angus breeders across the nation in 2019 registered 304,577 head of Angus cattle.

“Despite a challenging year, our Angus breeders continue to see strong demand for Angus genetics,” McCully said in a news release. “Our members are committed to providing genetic solutions to the beef cattle industry that maintain our long-held position as a leader in the beef cattle industry.”

The American Angus Association is the nation’s largest beef breed organization, serving nearly 25,000 members across the United States, Canada and several other countries. The association provides programs and services to farmers, ranchers and others who rely on Angus to produce quality genetics for the beef industry and quality beef for consumers. For more information about Angus cattle and the association, visit www.ANGUS.org.

Organic dairy compliance course

A new course on organic dairy compliance is now available in the free, online Organic Integrity Learning Center. The course provides an overview of the USDA organic livestock standards with a special focus on dairy operations. Target audiences include certifiers, inspectors and reviewers who assess organic dairies for compliance with the USDA organic regulations, as well organic livestock and dairy operations interested in gaining a better understanding of the federal requirements.

People with an account can access the Learning Center at http://usda.blackboard.com/. People without an account can review “Getting Started” information and sign up for an account at https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/organic-certification/training. For questions about the Organic Integrity Learning Center, contact USDA-NOP@apvit.com.

Chapter 12 bankruptcy webinar

After a year of lower commodity prices, extreme weather, and ongoing trade tensions in world markets, much-needed debt relief can be available to family farms through Chapter 12 bankruptcy, a news release states.

According to the United States Courts, Chapter 12 is designed for "family farmers" or "family fishermen" with "regular annual income." It enables financially distressed family farmers and fishermen to propose and carry out a plan to repay all or part of their debts.

The National Agricultural Law Center will host a webinar providing an introduction to Chapter 12 Bankruptcy, featuring the Chapter 12 Standing Trustee for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas, Renee Williams. Williams will discuss eligibility requirements, advantages and uses of a plan to make changes in the farming operation.

The webinar will be Oct. 16 at 11 a.m. Central Standard Time. There is no cost to attend the webinar.

“With the difficult year producers have had, it’s important we address Chapter 12 bankruptcy and keep resources available,” said Harrison Pittman, Director of the NALC.

“The relief provided in Chapter 12 of the United States Bankruptcy Code is something all family farmers and family fishermen should be aware of,” Williams said. “This section of the code provides family farmers and family fishermen the ability to reorganize their debts helping them weather difficult economic times and continue their way of life.”

For more information on upcoming webinars, visit nationalaglawcenter.org.

10th medical marijuana dispensary opens

The Arkansas Beverage Control Division this week issued approval for the 10th medical marijuana dispensary to open for business.

ABC approved Harvest in Conway to open following a final inspection on Oct. 8. Harvest is located at 1200 Thomas G. Wilson Drive and opened Friday.

Since the state's first dispensary opened in Hot Springs on May 10, patients have purchased more than 1,730 pounds of medical marijuana, totaling $12.35 million in sales.