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White House salutes helpful Arkansas rancher

By Sarah D. Wire

This article was published August 3, 2014 at 3:24 a.m.

WASHINGTON -- The White House recognized an Arkansas cattleman Tuesday as a "Champion of Change."

Adam McClung, executive vice president of the Arkansas Cattlemen's Association, was among 15 people picked by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a leader working to encourage the next generation of farming and ranching, according to a White House news release.

McClung, 34, said the winners met with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and had a panel discussion at the White House with USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden about efforts to ensure that beginning farmers have access to the programs and the support they need.

USDA and White House officials wouldn't confirm who nominated him except to say several people did, he said.

"Somebody obviously thought enough about me to nominate me," he said. "I didn't know anything about it."

McClung said he thinks he was nominated for his work helping young farmers and ranchers get started and established.

McClung and his wife, Chantel, run 7 Diamond 3 McClung Cattle Co. near El Paso. McClung also met with U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor during his trip, Pryor's staff said.

RODEO CAUCUS

U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford and Jim Costa, D-Calif., announced Friday they have created the Congressional Rodeo Caucus. The informal group will consider rodeo-industry issues and "facilitate a constructive dialogue about animal welfare matters," according to a news release.

The caucus is an "important voice for a storied American tradition while also recognizing the need for a group of members to work on issues pertaining to animal welfare," it states.

Crawford was a saddle bronc rider in his 20s and worked as a rodeo announcer across the country, his staff said.

FIRE DEPARTMENTS

Five Arkansas fire departments will split nearly $700,000 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to purchase equipment and vehicles, the delegation announced this week.

The Hensley Volunteer Fire Department will receive $12,357 for communications equipment. The Valley View Fire Protection District will receive $100,482 for turnout gear and breathing equipment. The Burnt Ridge Volunteer Fire Department will receive $223,250 for the purchase of a vehicle used to draft water from hydrants and lakes. The Crawford County Fire District One will receive $229,197 for compressed-air breathing equipment. The Butterfield District 5 Volunteer Fire Department will receive $132,052 for a burn simulator.

DISTRICT EVENTS

U.S. Rep. Steve Womack is holding free "coffee with the congressman" events in Rogers and Springdale this week.

On Monday he will be at the Rogers Public Library at 711 S. Dixieland Road from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tuesday he will be at the Sam's Community Room at Arvest Ballpark at 3000 S. 56th St. from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton's staff is holding help sessions for veterans Aug. 12.

They will be at the Hempstead County Courthouse at 400 S. Washington St. in Hope at 9 a.m.; at the Clark County Courthouse at 401 Clay St. in Arkadelphia at 12:30 p.m.; and at the Hot Springs Federal Building at 100 Reserve St., Suite 307, in Hot Springs at 3:30 p.m.

On Saturday, U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin was scheduled to speak at ARcare's annual employee and partners conference at the Heber Springs Community Center and receive the Distinguished Community Health Champion award from the National Association of Community Health Centers, his staff said.

ENDORSEMENT

The National Right to Life Committee and Arkansas Right to Life endorsed U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton's campaign for the U.S. Senate on Monday.

MUSSELS

Pryor and U.S. Sen. John Boozman introduced legislation requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider how a proposed critical habitat designation will affect the economy and landowners. The House delegation has filed similar legislation.

The service is weighing a critical habitat designation for the Neosho Mucket and Rabbitsfoot Mussel, with a decision expected by the end of the year.

CLINTON CAMPAIGNING

Former President Bill Clinton will campaign for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky Wednesday, according to The Hill newspaper.

The event is Clinton's second in the state to support Grimes' challenge to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

INTERNS

Friday was the last day for Cotton intern Elizabeth Teed from Arkadelphia. She will be heading to Waco, Texas, for her sophomore year at Baylor University.

Interns were also finishing their time in U.S. Sen. John Boozman's Washington, D.C., office and preparing to return to school.

Returning to the University of Arkansas are seniors Weston Cox of Jonesboro, Jacob Costello of Elkins, Will Smith of Marianna and Paul Eakampai of Chiang Mai, Thailand; sophomore Alex Flemister of Little Rock; and junior Madison Rice of Pocahontas.

Barbara Scott of Bessemer, Ala., is a junior at the University of Mobile. Ford Tolar of Columbia, South Carolina, will be starting his senior year at Spring Valley High School. Pauline Audras of Gueret, France, is a senior at the Catholic University of the West in Angers, France. Matt Knudsvig of Rye, New York, is a junior at Boston University. Jacob Weaver of Roswell, Georgia, is a sophomore at Franklin University Switzerland.

NATIONAL GUARD

Womack was scheduled to attend the presentation of the National Guard Association of the United States' Harry S. Truman Award for Distinguished Service in Support of National Defense on Saturday. The award went to House Appropriation Committee Chairman Hal Rogers in Monticello, Ky. Womack's staff said he was invited because of his friendship with the the Kentucky congressman.

Planning to visit the nation's capital? Know something happening in Washington, D.C.? Contact us at (202) 662-7690 or swire@arkansasonline.com.

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