2 CapitalPress.com April 1, 2016 People & Places Falconer keeps pest birds at bay Brad Felger turns his passion into a full-time job protecting tree fruit crops, vineyards Capital Press Established 1928 Board of directors Mike Forrester ..........................President Steve Forrester Kathryn Brown Sid Freeman .................. Outside director Mike Omeg .................... Outside director Corporate officer John Perry Chief operating officer Western Innovator By SEAN ELLIS Capital Press Managers Mike O’Brien .............................Publisher Joe Beach ..................................... Editor Capital Press Brad Felger Elizabeth Yutzie Sell .... Advertising Director BOISE — Brad Felger’s life-long love of falconry has turned into a full-time job that also benefits farmers whose fruit crops can be devastated by pest birds such as starlings and sparrows. Felger, 56, began testing the effectiveness of using raptors — hawks or falcons — to scare away pest birds from vineyards and fruit orchards during the 1980s and 1990s. While continuing his job as a farrier, he flirted with the idea of turning his falconry passion into a full-time job. While tak- ing on part-time bird-abatement jobs for several years, he put the money away and used it to grow his falconry business. In 2002, he left the horse- shoeing business and founded Airstrike Bird Control, which focuses on agriculture but also offers its services to landfills and resorts. The company provides bird-abatement services for a variety of fruit crops, particu- larly blueberries, grapes and cherries. That he can now make a Founder: Airstrike Bird Control Barbara Nipp ......... Production Manager Occupation: Master falcon- er, provides bird-abatement services for agriculture Age: 56 Born: Los Angeles Home: Mount Vernon, Wash. Sean Ellis/Capital Press Master falconer Brad Felger poses with a hybrid falcon Feb. 25 in Boise during the Idaho Wine Com- mission’s annual meeting. Felger uses raptors to scare pest birds such as starlings away from grapes and other fruit crops. living doing something he has loved since age 10 is a plus, said Felger, who lives near Mount Vernon, Wash. “Falconry is not just a liv- ing. It’s a passion and it’s been a driving force in my life for 46 years,” Felger said while visiting Idaho in late February during the Idaho Wine Com- mission’s annual meeting. While he was already ex- perimenting with using rap- tors to scare birds away from vineyards, Felger got a break while he was performing a bird demonstration during a sustainable agriculture con- ference in Central California in the late 1990s. When a huge hidden flock of pest birds promptly rose up and left a vineyard, people took notice, and calls for work followed from vineyard man- agers. The company has custom- ers in Washington, Oregon and California and is exploring Idaho. Idaho winemaker and vine- yard owner Ron Bitner said the economics of using raptors to control pest birds in Idaho could make sense for some vineyards, depending on how big their bird problem is. “It’s a real problem,” he said of starlings and other pest birds. “They can be terrible. I know some vineyards around here that have been wiped out by them in the past. I would think they would want to look into that.” While starlings and other pest birds might adapt to the sound of noisemakers, visual deterrents or shotgun blasts, they are terrified of raptors and never lose that fear, Felger said. “There’s a predator-prey re- lationship in nature that is ex- Wife: Sue tremely deep-rooted,” he said. “We’re using nature against nature for a positive thing.” “Anybody in the agricul- ture industry ... who has used a falcon to manage a bird prob- lem will tell you it is by far the most effective and efficient solution,” said falconer Kort Clayton, an independent con- tractor who works in partner- ship with Felger. Felger said the economics of using a falconer to protect crops starts to make sense in the 100- to 150-acre range, but some smaller acreag- es can pencil out if smaller, neighboring vineyards split the cost. Science sides with beef, expert says By CRAIG REED For the Capital Press WINSTON, Ore. — For nearly an hour, Gary Sides defended red meat as a meal choice and explained that the science of the past that said oth- erwise was flawed. Sides, who works for Zoe- tis, a 60-year-old international animal health care company that offers medicines, vaccines, diagnostic products, genetic tests and other services for live- stock, was the keynote speaker at the recent Douglas County Livestock Association’s 2016 Spring Livestock Conference. He spoke to about 100 people, most of them Douglas County livestock producers. “For the last 50 years we’ve been told by federal studies to eat a diet low in fat, high in carbs and to avoid red meat,” Sides said. “But the results show that obesity has tripled in those years, diabetes has gone from 1 percent to 11 percent and 15 percent of children ages 6 to 19 are overweight.” He said diet presentations by the government have been pretty one-sided. His goal is to present a different scientific Calendar understanding of diet, and spe- cifically of red meat. “The message I got was that the public has a perception that beef is bad for you, and actually that is not true at all,” said Guy Kennerly, who has a cattle and sheep operation in the Dillard, Ore., area. “Beef is one of the best things for you. Diabetes and obesity are up (with some other types of diets) so maybe eating beef is not a bad idea. “Maybe a little more re- search needs to be done be- fore assuming something is Sponsored by: To submit an event go to the Community Events calendar on the home page of our website at www. capitalpress.com and click on “Sub- mit an Event.” Calendar items can also be mailed to Capital Press, 1400 Broadway St. NE, Salem, OR 97301. Saturday, April 2 26th Annual Dayton FFA Alumni Auction and Dinner, 5-9:30 p.m. in the old gym at Dayton High School, 801 Ferry St., Dayton, Ore. The silent auc- tion starts at 5:30 and an “agrilicious dinner” will be served at 7 with the oral auction following at 8. Tickets are $10 per person and may be purchased at the door or in advance by calling the Dayton Ag Shop at 503-864-2080. Spring Farming Days, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Eastern Washington Agricultur- al Museum, Pomeroy. www.co.gar- field.wa.us/museum Sunday, April 3 Spring Farming Days, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Eastern Washington Agricultur- al Museum, Pomeroy. www.co.gar- field.wa.us/museum Wednesday, April 6 Idaho FFA State Leadership Conference, College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls. idahoffa.org/ Thursday, April 7 Craig Reed/For the Capital Press Gary Sides, left, talks with Scott Hendy of Roseburg, Ore., follow- ing Sides’ presentation on the benefits of red meat at the recent Douglas County Livestock Association’s 2016 Spring Conference. Sides says updated science indicates red meat has benefits, contrary to the science to a few decades ago. Growing Agripreneurs — A Sea- son of Farming Training, 6-9 p.m., Growing Agripreneurs is a sev- en-month program, beginning April 7, designed for beginning farmers interested in gaining theoretical and practical knowledge through class- es, field work, marketing, food pres- ervation, farm tours and one-on-one mentoring. Pre-registration required. Southern Oregon Research and Ex- tension Center, 569 Hanley Road, Central Point, Ore. Cost: $350 (cou- ples discount, $600) Partial schol- arships available. http://extension. oregonstate.edu/sorec/farms Idaho FFA State Leadership Con- ference, College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls. idahoffa.org/ Friday, April 8 Idaho FFA State Leadership Con- ference, College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls. idahoffa.org/ Saturday, April 9 96th Annual California Ram Sale, Viewing starts at 8 a.m. Over 400 range rams from California, Or- egon, Idaho and Utah. Crossbred, Hampshire, Suffolk and White- Faced (Columbia, Rambouillet) rams will be auctioned off in the sale. In addition three purebred ewes will also be sold. Also, ultrasound car- cass measurements and a range ram index will be provided on all sale rams, Porterville Fairgrounds, 2700 W. Teapot Dome Ave., Porterville, Calif. http://cawoolgrowers.org/sale/ ramsale.html Idaho FFA State Leadership Conference, College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls. idahoffa.org/ correct,” he added of the beef information that was released many years ago, subsequently giving beef a bad image. Woody Lane, a livestock and forage specialist in Rose- burg, Ore., agreed that Sides’ message emphasized that past diet recommendations were not based on good science. Sides said school lunch menus emphasize fruits and vegetables, but not protein. In his presentation, Sides showed a couple photos of skinny, but pot-bellied children in a Third World country. “They need fat and protein,” he said of the kids. “Instead we shipped them white rice and white flour.” Sides said the nutritional profile of beef shows it has all 20 of the essential amino ac- ids required in the human diet in addition to being a natural source of iron and potassium, B vitamin and trace minerals. According to the federal Cen- ters for Disease Control, animal proteins are considered to be complete because of the nutri- ents they have. Sides also said a Harvard University analysis of 21 clin- ical diet studies to see if there is an association between saturat- ed fat intake and heart disease showed there was none. Studies have shown high quality proteins help satisfy ap- petites longer, eliminating the urge to snack. The 2015 Dietary Guide- lines Advisory Committee re- leased a 600-page report a year ago that recommended 12.5 ounces of red meat per week per person, and Americans are consuming an average of 11 ounces. Another study Sides dis- puted was one done in 2006 by the United Nations that de- termined 18 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions came from cattle. He said a more recent study by the University of California-Davis found the cattle emissions were less than 3 percent. Sides also explained that updated studies have countered the earlier World Health Orga- nization’s report that eating red meat increases the risk of get- ting cancer. “Simple lies are more palat- able than complicated truths,” Sides said of more recent studies that show the benefits of eating red meat compared to studies done a few decades ago. While Sides was talking to livestock producers who don’t need any convincing about the product they produce, the speaker did emphasize that those people need to know the science of meat so they can better educate consumers when they have the opportu- nity. When asked about counter views to his regarding beef, Sides said science favors beef. GASES / WELDING / SAFETY / FIRE 20 Northwest Locations Tuesday, April 12 Oregon Cranberry Growers Twi- light Meeting, 4 p.m., Robinson Farm, Bandon, Ore. www.oregoncranber- rygrowers.com Wednesday, April 13 International Fair of Agricultural Technologies Conference and Exhibi- tion, FEXPO Agricola Central, Talca, Chile Thursday, April 14 International Fair of Agricultural Technologies Conference and Exhibi- tion, FEXPO Agricola Central, Talca, Chile Friday, April 15 International Fair of Agricultural Technologies Conference and Exhibi- tion, FEXPO Agricola Central, Talca, Chile Saturday, April 16 and illnesses, nutrition and include a session on packgoats. Go to the website, http://edelweissacresobers. com/, or call. Holistic Land Planning, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Create the ideal land plan for your ranch. What is the ideal layout of your fences? Where should infra- structure be located to facilitate ani- mal handling and movement? Kittitas Valley Event Center, 901 E. Seventh Ave., Ellensburg, Wash. Cost: $227 until April 2. www.rootsofresilience. org International Fair of Agricultural Technologies Conference and Exhibi- tion, FEXPO Agricola Central, Talca, Chile Hood River Hard-Pressed Cider Fest, noon-7 p.m., 3315 Stadelman Drive, Hood River, Ore. http://hoodriv- er.org/cider-fest/ Oregon Women for Agriculture Auction & Dinner, 5-9 p.m. The or- ganization’s 29th annual fundraiser, themed “Oregon Agriculture A to Z,” will take place at the Linn Coun- ty Fair & Expo Center, 3700 Knox Butte Road E in Albany, Ore. Cost: $40 per person. http://owaonline.org/ owa-auction-2016/ Sunday, April 17 Goat healthcare and nutrition and packgoat seminar, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Edelweiss Acres, Olympia, Wash., 360-742-8310. $25 per person; $7.50 for each 4-H member. The goat care clinic will go over general health care Tuesday, April 19 Holistic Land Planning, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. This is the continuation of the workshop that began Saturday. Cre- ate the ideal land plan for your ranch. Kittitas Valley Event Center, 901 E. Seventh Ave., Ellensburg, Wash. Cost: $227 until April 2. www.rootsof- resilience.org Idaho Range Livestock Sym- posium. 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. American Legion Hall, Marsing, 208-896-4104. A one-day traveling program and net- working event packed with information on industry relevant topics, for produc- ers and rangeland managers. Thursday, April 21 Idaho Range Livestock Sympo- sium. 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Challis Com- munity Events Center, Challis, (208) 879-2344. A one-day traveling pro- gram and networking event packed with information on industry relevant topics, for producers and rangeland managers. Saturday, April 23 Oregon Ag Fest, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. We strive to bridge the gap between urban and rural life, and to share the wonder and abundance of Oregon’s bountiful and diverse harvest. Most importantly, we do this in a family friendly way, where kids 12 and under receive free admission, and virtually all activities are free of charge. Ore- gon State Fairgrounds, Salem. http:// oragfest.com/ California FFA State Convention, Selland Arena, Fresno. www.calaged. org/stateconvention Sunday, April 24 Oregon Ag Fest, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. We strive to bridge the gap between urban and rural life, and to share the wonder and abundance of Oregon’s bountiful and diverse harvest. Most importantly, we do this in a family friendly way, where kids 12 and under receive free admission, and virtually all activities are free of charge. Ore- gon State Fairgrounds, Salem. http:// oragfest.com/ Carl Sampson ................Managing Editor Samantha McLaren .... Circulation Manager Entire contents copyright © 2016 EO Media Group dba Capital Press An independent newspaper published every Friday. 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