Centennial, Colo. – March 10 – As the 2014 Colorado legislature reaches the midway mark, Colorado Farm Bureau has been working diligently with legislators and industry groups to protect Colorado’s farmers and ranchers.
“Legislative decisions and government actions continue to add unnecessary regulations, which in turn directly impacts Colorado’s economy, environment and the future of the state’s agricultural industry,” said Don Shawcroft, President of Colorado Farm Bureau.
Prior to the start of the general assembly, Colorado Farm Bureau designated the following six areas as priorities for the legislative session: water, property rights, second amendment rights, animal welfare, energy and wildlife. CFB has addressed bills concerning water, food labeling, 2nd amendment rights, tax credits, endangered species, and energy standards with numerous bills still to be introduced. Colorado Farm Bureau has already taken a position on 45 bills, 11 dealing with water.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the 112th NFU National Convention
SANTA FE, N.M. (March 10, 2014) – Delegates at the National Farmers Union (NFU) 112th Anniversary Convention re-elected Roger Johnson president of the organization and Donn Teske, Kansas Farmers Union president, NFU vice president.
“I am grateful that the membership will allow me to serve for two more years,” said Johnson. “I am honored to lead this organization and am looking forward to working with Donn to continue the time-honored traditions of Farmers Union.”
Johnson is NFU’s 14th president, a position he has held since 2009. Johnson hails from a family farm near Turtle Lake, N.D., and grew up as an active member of Farmers Union. Prior to his post at Farmers Union, he was the North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture.
“I am so humbled by the faith and trust the delegates have shown by electing me vice president,” said Teske. “I’ll do my best to help President Johnson move the organization forward under the direction of the grassroots policy formed here today.”
WELD COUNTY, CO – The Weld County Natural Gas Coalition will host a meeting from 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., March 28. During this time, they will explain the application process to apply for a portion of the $30 million in funds for the Congestion, Mitigation, and Air Quality program (CMAQ). The availability of funds was announced in December 2013 by Gov. John Hickenlooper, and aims to increase Colorado’s natural gas fueling infrastructure. Representatives from the Colorado Energy Office will be at the event to explain the application process and answer questions.
The event is open to anyone who would like to attend, including the public and private fleet owners, station owners, and anyone who is interested in running vehicles on natural gas. The session will include an overview of natural gas vehicles (NGV) and information regarding the process to apply for CMAQ grant funds, funding availability, and review what funds may be used for.
WASHINGTON (March 10, 2014) – The Public Lands Council (PLC) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) announced today that registration is open for their 2014 legislative conferences. PLC will be hosting its event April 7-9, 2014, in Washington, D.C., while NCBA’s conference, sponsored by Elanco, will kick off the evening of April 8 and will run through April 10, 2014. In addition to meeting with their U.S. representatives and senators about a variety of issues affecting the livestock industry, attendees will hear from administration officials, industry experts and other multiple-use industry representatives.
PLC President Brice Lee and NCBA President Bob McCan agreed that it is important for livestock producers to visit Washington, D.C., and have their voices heard on Capitol Hill.
“Decisions made inside the Beltway have a direct impact on cattle producers’ daily operations,” said McCan. “I encourage all cattlemen and women to get involved in our nation’s legislative process in order to ensure that the beef industry remains successful and our agricultural economy remains vibrant.”
During the conferences, attendees will be hearing from government agency personnel, Congressional staff and industry members. After their Hill visits, NCBA conference attendees are invited to a reception on Capitol Hill hosted by Outback Steakhouse on April 9.
WASHINGTON, March 10, 2014 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the expansion of the Farm Storage and Facility Loan program, which provides low-interest financing to producers. The enhanced program includes 23 new categories of eligible equipment for fruit and vegetable producers, and makes it easier for farmers and ranchers around the country to finance the equipment they need to grow and expand.
Producers with small and mid-sized operations, and specialty crop fruit and vegetable growers, now have access to needed capital for a variety of supplies including sorting bins, wash stations and other food safety-related equipment. A new more flexible alternative is also provided for determining storage needs for fruit and vegetable producers, and waivers are available on a case-by-case basis for disaster assistance or insurance coverage if available products are not relevant or feasible for a particular producer.
Additionally, Farm Storage and Facility Loans security requirements have been eased for loans between $50,000 and $100,000. Previously, all loans in excess of $50,000 required a promissory note and additional security, such as a lien on real estate. Now loans up to $100,000 can be secured by only a promissory note.
“The Farm Storage and Facility Loan program has helped American farmers and ranchers to finance on-farm storage for almost 13 years,” said Farm Service Agency Administrator (FSA), Juan M. Garcia. “We anticipate these changes will increase the number of individuals who qualify for these loans and help them access new market opportunities.”
INDIANAPOLIS (Monday, March 10, 2014/National FFA Organization) – FFA members, their friends and family members and FFA supporters can catch a Major League Baseball game this summer and take advantage of specially discounted ticket rates, help raise funds for FFA and heighten awareness of the organization.
7:10 p.m. Friday, June 14: Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers at Safeco Field in Seattle
7:10 p.m. Friday, June 20: Kansas City Royals vs. Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Field in Kansas City
1:10 p.m. Sunday, June 22: Cincinnati Reds vs. Toronto Blue Jays at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati
1:15 p.m. Sunday, June 22: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies at Busch Stadium in St. Louis
7:10 p.m. Friday, June 27: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Colorado Rockies at Miller Park in Milwaukee
7:05 p.m. Friday, July 11: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia
1:35 p.m. Sunday, July 20: Washington Nationals vs. Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
2:10 p.m. Sunday, July 27: Colorado Rockies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates at Coors Field in Denver
Each game is a fundraising event for FFA with a portion of each ticket sold benefitting FFA at the state level.
Based on ticket sales, FFA has the potential to share how the organization makes a positive difference in the lives of agricultural education students throughout the country with nearly 500,000 baseball fans in the combined eight markets.
To order specially discounted tickets online for any of the FFA Day at the Ballpark games, visit FFA.org/MLB.
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 579,678 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,570 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
The National Corn Growers Association released a revised version of its “Know Before Your Grow” website this week to offer growers updated information to help inform planting decisions in light of the release of new seed varieties currently unapproved in some export markets. The information provided allows growers to make informed decisions on potential marketing restrictions well before harvest.
“In a globalized agricultural economy, it is important that farmers understand the delicate balance that must be struck in trying to ensure access to the technologies necessary to combat production challenges while also ensuring export markets remain open to U.S. corn,” said NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Jim Zimmerman. “In the case of China, the balance can prove challenging given that country’s asynchronous approval system for biotech traits, and its current trend toward falling behind even the normal asynchronous approval timelines. While we must make robust efforts to maintain market access, be it through controlled limited release of new products or even delayed release, farmers should remain aware of the importance of these products to their operations as they face difficulties caused by biological stressors. Both biotechnology and export markets play a key role in maintaining profitability and making decisions based on solid information will be key moving forward.”
NCGA stands solidly true to its policy in maintaining all new events must have approval in the United States and Japan prior to release. Additionally, the trait provider must be actively pursuing approval in all other markets for U.S. corn.
Colorado State University Extension provides reliable, research-based information, research capabilities and resources to Coloradans from all walks of life. Extension is dedicated to serving current and future needs by providing educational information and programs that safeguard health, increase livelihood and enhance well-being.
Riding the range, feeding hungry animals, and calving are all iconic parts of the western cowboy way of life. But today, winning the west requires more than just turning the cows out to pasture and hoping for rain. At the end of the day, the sustainability of the operation may very well be dependent on a pencil and a piece of paper.
When record keeping and the dreaded B word – Budget – are brought up, it is common place for eyes to glaze over and drowsiness to set in. But the reality of being a manager is that you need to “manage” your operation. Record keeping is one of the most important decision making tools available to you and if utilized properly can increase the efficiency of your operation. Just as any household budget, record keeping may fall into categories of worthless, valuable, and overwhelming, depending on what type and how much information you are keeping. A detailed record book may be of little value if it is too overwhelming of a task to tackle.
There are also three methods to establish a record keeping program. Pencil and paper, Excel spreadsheets, or computer software. Whichever method you prefer, the following are important measures that you can begin to collect to build your record keeping program. Although the information is tailored for a cattle operation, it will apply to other species as well.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the 112th NFU National Convention
SANTA FE, N.M. (March 10, 2014) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack addressed attendees of the National Farmers Union’s (NFU) 112th anniversary convention this morning, highlighting the important contributions family farmers and ranchers make to our country’s food, energy, economic, environmental and national security. His keynote remarks on implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill set the tone for the afternoon’s upcoming policy discussion.
“For more than two years the secretary has been almost singularly focused on getting a new, comprehensive, five-year farm bill through a dysfunctional Congress to provide certainty for family farmers, ranchers and the food insecure. It is refreshing to hear him instead be able to celebrate our hard-fought farm bill victories in a forward-looking address,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “I appreciate Secretary Vilsack’s efforts to put forward all resources possible to quickly roll out the commodity programs even though we are in the midst of the 2014 crop year.”
During his remarks, the Secretary announced new and expanded efforts to connect small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) resources that can help them build stronger businesses, expand to reach new and larger markets, and grow their operations.
“The recent Census of Agriculture shows that there is tremendous growth potential for small and mid-sized producers in the American agricultural landscape,” said Vilsack. “USDA is taking a hard look at our existing resources to ensure that they work for producers of all sizes. We’ve adjusted policies, strengthened programs and intensified outreach to meet the needs of small and mid-sized producers. These producers are critical to our country’s agricultural and economic future.” Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON, March 10, 2014 – USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson and National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Policy Director Ferd Hoefner hosted a media call highlighting USDA support for America’s small and mid-sized farmers. Secretary Vilsack discussed recent and forthcoming USDA efforts to assist small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers to help them access capital, manage risk and locate markets. Vilsack also discussed USDA efforts to increase outreach and provide educational resources to small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers.
PRESS CONFERENCE AUDIO
USDA Agriulture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s Opening Statement – CLICK HERE
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson – CLICK HERE
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Policy Director Ferd Hoefner- CLICK HERE
“The recent Census of Agriculture shows that there is tremendous growth potential for small and mid-sized producers in the American agricultural landscape,” said Vilsack. “USDA is taking a hard look at our existing resources to ensure that they work for producers of all sizes. We’ve adjusted policies, strengthened programs and intensified outreach to meet the needs of small and mid-sized producers. These producers are critical to our country’s agricultural and economic future.”
Efforts include improved access to USDA resources, revised risk management tools that better fit the needs of smaller producers, additional support for hoop houses, and expanded collection of valuable market news information. USDA is also introducing a series of education tools focusing on opportunities for farmers engaged in local and regional food systems. In addition, USDA field staff will be boosting their outreach efforts to small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers.
More information about tools and resources available to small and mid-sized farmers will be rolled out in the coming months, including information about access to capital, risk management, food safety, and locating market opportunities on USDA’s Small and Mid-Sized Farmer Resources webpage.
“WASDE at a Glance”, courtesy of the NAFB’s News Service…
The latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report was released Monday. Here are some of the highlights.
WHEAT: There are no changes to the 2013-14 U.S. all wheat supply and use projections this month. A 15-million bushel increase in projected Hard Red Spring wheat exports is offset by a decrease for Soft Red Winter wheat – with both changes reflecting the pace of sales and shipments. Projected ending stocks for both classes are adjusted accordingly. The projected season-average farm price for all wheat is raised 10-cents on the bottom end of the range to $6.75 to $6.95 per bushel based on recent strength in prices.
Global 2013-14 wheat supplies are raised slightly with a 0.8-million ton increase in world production. Strong demand in the Middle East and North Africa boosts 2013-14 world wheat imports three-million tons. World wheat consumption is raised slightly for 2013-14. Global wheat ending stocks are nearly unchanged. Read the rest of this entry »
(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) - Each week, Auctioneer Tyler Knode with Livestock Exchange, LLC. in Brush, CO will be inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network providing a RECAP of the previous week’s auctions and also a PREVIEW of upcoming cattle & hay auctions…
CLICK THE AUDIO LINK BELOW TO LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S UPDATE…
Colorado’s oldest livestock organization will meet April 5th at Springfield and has added a ranch rodeo scramble to its annual agenda.
The Bent-Prowers Cattle & Horse Growers Association board put the final touches on the agenda at its monthly meeting.
The ranchers & horsemen will mark the association’s 145th year with its annual meeting, ranch rodeo scramble, auction, banquet and cowboy ball.
Registration begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 5th at the Minnick Building on the Baca County Fairgrounds in Springfield. The session for Baca, Bent, Crowley, Kiowa, Otero, and Prowers county ranchers and agricultural community supporters starts at 9:30 a.m. with ag industry, association and legislative updates.
4-H youth will have a lunch concession stand and Southeast Colorado Junior members will lead games, plus hold a meeting.
A ranch rodeo scramble, a new event, will start at 1 p.m. at the fairgrounds arena. The rodeo is open to all, but limited to the first 25 teams to sign up. For ranch rodeo entries, please contact 469-2749. Events are: mugging, calf doctoring, trailer loading and team penning. A Calcutta also will be held.
A cowboy punch bowl and social will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the VFW Hall in Springfield. It will be followed by the banquet at 6 p.m., which also will include an auction and awards presentations in addition to the meal. Banquet and dance tickets are $20 per adult and $10 per youth age 14 and younger.
The dance, which is open to the public, will run 8 p.m. till midnight with music provided by the popular Saddlesores band of Springfield. Dance-only tickets are $10.
Bent-Prowers Cattle & Horse Growers Association was organized in 1870. For more information, call 384-4463 or 529-6369.
DENVER — Sunday, March 9, 2014 — Governor John Hickenlooper recognized the continued flood recovery and progress to rebuild from the September floods. The flooding started on Sept. 11, 2013, and impacted more than 24 counties and more than 2,000 square miles in Colorado. This Tuesday, March 11, marks six months since the flooding started.
“From the moment the devastating floods hit Colorado, we have been fortunate to receive assistance from first responders, and from State and Federal agencies, who all have worked with remarkable dedication and efficiency,” Hickenlooper said. “Because of that kind of collaboration and commitment, we opened roads before our deadline and winter’s worst, and we began getting people back to their communities. We now face the spring runoff. There’s still much to be done. This recovery will be a long-term effort. But now six months in we have been reminded like never before that Coloradans are resilient. Coloradans don’t break. We remain united in rebuilding stronger and better than before. We remain focused and will continue to collaborate and listen to the impacted communities. We will help and continue to do all we can to secure funding for their recovery.”
Since the flooding, the Governor has visited all 24 impacted counties. The Governor, his staff and Chief Recovery Officer Molly Urbina have worked with impacted communities to assess their greatest needs and have joined with the Congressional delegation to secure funding to help rebuild.
“Since the flooding in September we have been working with our partners in Federal Agencies like HUD and FEMA, the state legislature, private resources and the Congressional Delegation to secure funding for long-term recovery,” said Molly Urbina, the state’s Chief Recovery Officer. “Coloradans have accomplished a great deal in this short term recovery, but now is when we rebuild for the future. The commitment to Colorado’s recovery is needed more than ever as we hit the 6 month anniversary of the flooding.”
“ASA Cites Concerns with FDA Proposal to Reduce Trans Fat Consumption”
The American Soybean Association has officially entered its comments on the Food and Drug Administration’s proposal to further reduce trans fat consumption by rescinding the generally regarded as safe status for partially hydrogenated oil – including partially hydrogenated soybean oil. ASA is urging FDA not to withdraw the generally regarded as safe status for partially hydrogenated oils – noting the almost 70-percent reduction and continued downward trend in consumption of trans fats over the last decade and touting the work of the soybean industry to develop high oleic soybean varieties. High oleic soybean varieties can replace the functionality of partially hydrogenated soybean oil in certain applications without the addition of trans fats. QUALISOY projects approximately 1.3-billion pounds of high oleic soybean oil will be extracted from the 2016 crop of high oleic soybeans and available for use by the food industry in 2017 – with increasing quantities available in subsequent years. In its comments – ASA expressed confidence that high oleic soybean oil can replace a substantial portion of the between two- and 2.5-billion pounds of partially hydrogenated oils that are still in the market. ASA encouraged the agency to take into account the time needed to ramp-up domestic high oleic soybean oil production and urged FDA to pursue alternative strategies that have already aided in the dramatic reductions in trans fat consumption over the last decade – including education, revisions to the nutrition fact panel and limits on the amount of trans fats that food products can contain to be labeled free of trans fats. ASA cited the successful approach taken by other nations – setting a limit on daily consumption of trans fats in food – as an alternative. ASA said this approach seems a more common-sense way to approach the goal of further reducing trans fat consumption in the U.S. diet than the FDA’s current proposal.
ASA is concerned FDA’s proposal would have the unintended consequence of raising saturated fat consumption as manufacturers opt to substitute higher saturated fat palm oil for partially hydrogenated oils while waiting for high oleic soybean production capacity to catch up with demand. ASA said this would replace domestically-drown and sustainable soybean oil with palm oil. ASA called it a lose-lose for the government and American consumers – noting the saturated fat profile of palm oil is 6.7-grams of saturated fat per tablespoon compared to just two-grams for soybean oil. ASA is also concerned that the proposal addresses the process of hydrogenation, rather than the end product of the oil itself. ASA believes the proposal is so sweeping in its application that it would stymie technological advances in oil processing that aren’t even envisioned today.
“Senators Press CFTC Nominees on Lack of Ag Experience”
The Senate Agriculture Committee met Thursday to consider Commodity Futures Trading Commission nominations. Timothy Massad has been nominated to serve as CFTC Chairman. J. Christopher Giancarlo and Sharon Bowen are nominated to serve as commissioners. Two Senators expressed concern with the lack of experience the nominees have in the agriculture sector. Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss noted that the CFTC’s Agricultural Advisory Committee has met once since 2011. He went on to ask if anyone would want to serve as chair of the committee – which was created in 1985 to advise the CFTC on issues involving the trading of agricultural commodity futures and options and facilitate communications between the CFTC, the agricultural community and ag-related organizations. Massad assured the Senate Ag members that he would make sure the committee is chaired and said it would meet more regularly. Giancarlo added that he would be honored to serve as chair. North Dakota’s John Hoeven also pressed the nominees on their lack of ag experience – stating they need to get out in the field. Giancarlo said he recognizes the importance of the futures markets to the business of agriculture and said it’s essential that U.S. futures and swaps continue to serve the needs of all involved in agriculture. Read the rest of this entry »
CLICK HERE to learn more about the 112th NFU National Convention
SANTA FE, N.M. (March 9, 2014) – Attendees of National Farmers Union‘s (NFU) annual convention heard today from a panel of congressional, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and media experts on the 2014 Farm Bill.
Bart Fischer, chief economist, House Committee on Agriculture; Joe Shultz, chief economist, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; and Alexis Taylor, chief of staff, USDA Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, described the farm bill conference process from their respective viewpoints. Sara Wyant, president, Agri-Pulse Communications, moderated the panel.
The panelists discussed the compromises farm bill conference committee members made when negotiating the differences between the House of Representatives and Senate versions of the bill, particularly on commodity programs, Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), crop insurance, payment limitations, changes to base acres allocations, and the new dairy program.
Panelists focused on the new commodity programs, the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, as well as enhanced risk management tools, including the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) and improved options for non-insured crops and beginning farmers. Emphasis was also placed on the importance coalition-building efforts played in farm bill passage.
Taylor discussed the long-term implementation timeline, with emphasis on timely enactment of the livestock disaster programs, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s top priority. USDA also plans to hold listening sessions in Washington, D.C., and across the country to ensure farmers and ranchers the opportunity to provide input on program implementation.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the 112th NFU National Convention
SANTA FE, N.M. (March 9, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) presented Tim Marema of Daily Yonder with the Milton D. Hakel Award for Excellence in Agricultural Communications during NFU’s 112th Anniversary Convention.
“NFU appreciates the work of the media to ensure the public receives the most accurate, unbiased information about issues our industry is facing,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “Marema and his staff at Daily Yonder are dedicated to bringing both sides of the story to their readers. We are proud to present this honor on behalf of all of our members.”
The award is presented to reporters or news outlets that demonstrate exceptional reporting of agricultural issues in honor of Milton D. Hakel, a longtime, well-respected Farmers Union communicator.
“Daily Yonder is dedicated to covering current and past events to share, raise awareness, and generate positive coverage of matters vital to family farms and ranches,” said Missouri Farmers Union President Richard Oswald upon nomination. “Tim has offered a very visible link to farm policy reaching all the way to the White House, where Daily Yonder is seen as taking the pulse of rural America.”
CLICK HERE to learn more about the 112th NFU National Convention
SANTA FE, N.M. (March 9, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) recognized members, county and local organizations and state divisions for excellence in membership recruitment and outreach in the past year.
“Peer recruitment is a powerful and important part of growing and maintaining membership in our organization,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The passion and dedication these members exude for Farmers Union is something in which we take great pride.”
Gary Wertish of Minnesota Farmers Union achieved the Silver Star Award. The Silver Star Award is the highest award a member can achieve for membership recruitment in a given year.
“Wertish has achieved this level of excellence each of the past three years,” said Johnson. “His determination and commitment to bringing new members to the organization is invaluable. We are proud of his achievement.”
Individuals also recognized for membership recruitment included Holly Finnarn of Ohio, Tom Farber of South Dakota, Ben Gotschall of Nebraska, Larry Anderson of Minnesota, and Linda Riefers of Ohio. Thirty-three county and local organizations were also recognized. North Dakota and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union were each presented with the Outstanding Leadership Achievement Award for their level of activity and outreach.