4/25 Business digest

Wool growers offer scholarship
4-H Club and Future Farmers of America members graduating from New Mexico high schools this year are eligible for the annual $750 scholarship of the New Mexico Wool Growers, according to a news release from the group.

May 15 is the application deadline. Applicants must be graduating high school seniors planning to major in an agricultural field at New Mexico State University, the news release said.

Scholarship applications are available at County Extension offices, from FFA advisors and at the NMWGI office in Albuquerque.

Contact the Wool Growers at 247-0584 or nmwgi@nmagriculture.org for more information.

Big O Tires adds regional manager
Pat Murphy of Chandler, Ariz., has joined Big O Tires as regional business manager for the Southwest region, responsible for Big O franchise stores in New Mexico and Arizona, according to a company news release.

He joins Big O Tires from Firestone, where he had worked for more than 12 years, and managed districts in Arizona, Philadelphia and Boston markets.

Big O Tires, a subsidiary of Florida-based TBC Corp., has more than 550 franchised stores primarily in the West and Midwest, and distributes tires and other automotive service products to Associated Dealers in Western Canada.

Milk income loss payments extended
Payments under the extended USDA’s Farm Service Agency Milk Income Loss Contract Program have begun, according to a news release from the agency.

The program has been extended to Sept. 30, 2007.

From Oct. 1, 2005, through Aug. 31, 2007, a dairy operation’s monthly payment will equal the milk quantity sold in that month multiplied by 34 percent of the difference between $16.94 hundredweight and that month’s domestic Class 1 milk price., the news release said.

USDA’s Commodity Credit Corp. makes payments on an operation-by-operation basis up to a maximum of 2.4 million pounds of milk produced and marketed by the dairy operation per fiscal year.

More information is available at local FSA offices and the FSA’s Web site at www.fsa.usda.gov.

Wells Fargo reports record quarter
Wells Fargo & Co. reported record diluted earnings per share of $1.19 for the first quarter, compared with $1.08 in the first quarter of 2005, company officials announced. Net income was a record $2.02 billion, up 9 percent from $1.86 billion in last year’s first quarter.

According to Chairman and CEO Dick Kovacevich, revenue grew 6 percent and combined growth of Wells Fargo’s businesses other than home mortgage was up 17 percent.

“Our mortgage business for the first time exceeded $1 trillion in owned servicing and continued to be … the nation’s largest retail mortgage originator,” Kovacevich said in a news release.

Business Digest is compiled by CNJ News Editor Jean Verlich. She may be contacted at 763-6991, or by e-mail: