Ag Briefs: Rifle raises bull riders
Rifle seems to have become a training ground for top bull riders in recent years.
From the Colorado Junior High Rodeo ranks to the intercollegiate and pro level, bull riders come in all ages and sizes.
Colorado Northwestern Community College held their second annual college rodeo on Friday and Saturday, April 4-5, at Columbine Park in Rangely, with Rifle’s Brice Osborne winning the men’s all-around championship.
Osborne, a 2012 Rifle High School graduate and Rifle native, won the long round, short round and the average of the bull riding.
The wins earned Osborne a championship trophy buckle, moved him from third to second place in the Rocky Mountain Region ranking and solidified his second trip to the College National Finals Rodeo in as many seasons.
Osborne also competes in the bareback bronc riding and placed second in that event in the long go, short go and average. He is currently tied for eighth in the region in that event.
The regular Rocky Mountain Region college rodeos wrap up on Friday and Saturday, April 11-12, with the Colorado Mesa University Rodeo at the Mesa County Fairgrounds in Grand Junction.
In Colorado State High School Rodeo Association action, a Rifle High School senior, Dallas Rohrig, stands firmly atop the statewide rankings in bull riding with two first place wins to his credit. Rohrig did not attend the first CSHSRA spring rodeos in Lamar on Saturday and Sunday, April 5-6; however, he will compete at the Golden rodeos on Saturday and Sunday, April 12-13.
Colorado Junior High Rodeo Association bull rider Colten Fritzlan, a Rifle Middle School eighth grader, stands alone at the top of the CJHRA standings with two wins to his credit as well. Fritzlan won the bull riding at both rodeos in Lamar on Saturday and Sunday, April 5-6. Also competing in the boys goat tying, Fritzlan picked up a sixth and a fourth place finish in Lamar, he was also fifth in chute dogging.
Emergency loans available
Family-size farms and ranches in Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Routt and Summit Counties have until April 28 to seek Farm Service Agency emergency loans.
The counties were declared eligible for a disaster designation due to losses caused by drought. The incident period began July 2, 2013.
Loans are available to operators of family size farms and/or ranches that are unable to obtain credit elsewhere and are based on production losses caused by the disaster. Each application will be considered on its own merit, taking into account the extent of losses, security available, repayment ability and other eligibility requirements.
For more information, contact Laurie Neilson at (970) 242-9133, ext. 2.
Farm Bill changes listed
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced, as a result of the 2014 Farm Bill, expanded lending opportunities for thousands of farmers and ranchers to begin and continue operations, including greater flexibility in determining eligibility, raising loan limits and emphasizing beginning and socially disadvantaged producers.
Immediate changes include:
• Elimination of loan term limits for guaranteed operating loans.
• Modification of the definition of beginning farmer, using the average farm size for the county as a qualifier instead of the median farm size.
• Modification of the joint financing direct farm ownership interest rate to two percent less than regular direct farm ownership rate, with a floor of 2.5 percent. Previously, the rate was established at five percent.
• Increase of the maximum loan amount for direct farm ownership down payments from $225,000 to $300,000.
• Elimination of rural residency requirement for youth loans, allowing urban youth to benefit.
• Debt forgiveness on youth loans, which will not prevent borrowers from obtaining additional loans from the federal government.
• Increase of the guarantee amount on conservation loans from 75 to 80 percent and 90 percent for socially disadvantaged borrowers and beginning farmers.
• Microloans will not count toward loan term limits for veterans and beginning farmers.
Visit the Farm Service Agency Farm Bill website for detailed information and updates to farm loan programs.
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Garfield County is seeking to qualify its four west-end communities for Colorado’s Rural Jump Start program, providing tax breaks for new businesses.