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Legendary cattleman Aja trains future industry leader (access required)

The lion's share of the inside information gained from Bas Aja's 22 sessions lobbying at the Arizona Legislature is contained inside a large file cabinet at the Arizona Cattlemen's Association office. About five years ago, the longtime cattle industry lobbyist knew the time was coming to share the keys to this treasure trove with a younger, future industry leader.

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Farmers, ranchers fear budget cuts to Agriculture Dept. (access required)

As Arizona continues to grapple with declining government revenue, the state's farming and ranching communities are warning that the Arizona Department of Agriculture has stretched its dollars to the limit. And the situation could grow worse, as Gov. Jan Brewer in September ordered state agencies to draft plans that predict the immediate effects on departments if their budgets are cut another 15 percent.

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Senate panel discusses climate change (access required)

Critics of federal cap-and-trade legislation told a panel of Arizona lawmakers Sept. 28 that its effects insofar as reducing global carbon emission at the end of this century will be negligible - similar to turning off one 100-watt incandescent bulb in a football stadium. Some participants and onlookers, though, said the panel was a sham.

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Growth industry: Native American farms reclaim heritage, expand operations (access required)

Agriculture was big business long before the first Spanish conquistador, Franciscan friar or American wagon train reached the Valley of the Sun. Centuries of canal-building, first by the Huhugam, followed by their descendents the Akimel O'odham people (also known as Pimas) and their Pee-Posh, or Maricopa, neighbors, brought life-giving water from the Gila, Salt and other local rivers to fertile fields of corn, beans, squash, tobacco, lima beans and cotton.

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On cattle guard: Ag officer investigates crimes against livestock (access required)

Scanning the laptop bolted to a stand in the cab of his pickup, Darrell Hale ran down the list of complaints. Topping it was a call about horses with oozing eye infections. The call was made to Hale's employer, the Arizona Department of Agriculture. He's one of nine livestock officers in the agency's Animal Health and Welfare Program, all reporting to the state veterinarian.

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Fund sweep illegal; ag groups vindicated

A consortium of agricultural interests claimed victory July 9 after a judge ruled the Arizona Legislature acted illegally last year when it swept $160,000 from accounts that held voluntary, private contributions. The lawsuit targeted former Gov. Janet Napolitano, State Treasurer ...

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