To listen to this morning’s report or archives…
To listen to this morning’s report or archives…
Commentary provided courtesy of the Brugler & the NAFB News Service
Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation
READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, February 21st
Senators Urge Trump to Rejoin TPP
A group of Republican Senators is urging President Donald Trump to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. The 25 lawmakers, including many from western and farm states, encouraged Trump to “work aggressively to secure reforms that would allow the United States to join the agreement” according to Politico. In a statement, the group says: “An improved TPP would therefore bolster and sustain the economic growth America has experienced over the past year,” growth they say was facilitated by regulatory reductions and tax cuts enacted by the Trump Administration. The effort is led by Senator Steve Daines of Montana, who says the group “is committed” to expediting the trade nominees needed to rejoin TPP on the Senate floor. Trump sparked a glimmer of hope of the U.S. rejoining the trade pact when he said he would consider rejoining the deal if it was changed to be made beneficial to the United States.
Judge Dismisses Arkansas Dicamba Lawsuit
A judge in Arkansas has dismissed a lawsuit by Monsanto seeking to block the state’s ban of dicamba herbicides from April 16th through October 31st. Arkansas enacted the ban after receiving nearly 1,000 complaints last year about the weed killer drifting onto fields and damaging crops not resistant to the herbicide. In dismissing the case, the judge cited a state Supreme Court ruling last month that said the state Legislature can’t waive Arkansas’ immunity from lawsuits, saying the state Supreme Court ruling prevented the lower court from deciding on the case. Monsanto says the state can’t claim immunity since the company wasn’t seeking monetary damages. Attorneys for the Arkansas Plant Board argued the company hadn’t proven the state acted illegally or unconstitutionally, so the state was immune from the lawsuit. Arkansas Assistant Attorney General Gary Sullivan said during the hearing: “They just don’t like the decision the Plant Board made,” according to the Washington Post. Monsanto did not say whether it would appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.
USDA Seeking Dismissal of OTA Lawsuit
The Department of Agriculture wants a federal district court to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the department’s delay of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule. USDA claims it’s challenger, the Organic Trade Association, “lacks standing because it pleads no facts” in showing the delay has resulted in the suffering of its members because of the USDA action, according to the Hagstrom Report. In response to the request, the Organic Trade Association says it believes USDA seeks the dismissal “to avoid explaining to America’s organic producers and consumers why it is blocking necessary rule clarifications and the strengthening of organic production practices.” The Organic Trade Association calls the delays of the final rule by USDA “unlawful,” and says the group “won’t accept unending delay and thin explanations,” adding “we expect a federal judge won’t either.”
Fertilizer Institute Issues Annual Industry Report
The Fertilizer Institute 2017 State of the Fertilizer Industry report shows a continued investment in nutrient management and stewardship, among other things. Organizers say the annual report, which is part of the organizations stewardship and sustainability programs, quantifies the industry’s performance record on environmental, economic and social indicators. The report also documents the fertilizer industry’s contribution to meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals of zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, industry innovation and infrastructure, along with climate action. The report shows the fertilizer industry invested nearly $1 million in 4R Nutrient Stewardship research to strengthen best management practices and seek solutions that reduce nutrient loss to the environment. The report also shows the industry captured and reused 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, a savings equivalent to taking nearly two million cars off the road for an entire year, along with investing $4.3 billion to advance innovation, improve infrastructure, and enhance sustainable production of fertilizer. Finally, the report states the fertilizer industry is two times as safe as peer industries.
USDA Temporarily Expands Puerto Rico Nutrition Assistance
As Puerto Rico continues to recover from the 2017 hurricane season, the Department of Agriculture will extend temporary nutrition assistance to the island. A grant from USDA is providing eligibility for increased nutrition assistance through the Puerto Rico Nutrition Assistance Program beginning March first. The grant comes from the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, and delivers an additional $1.27 billion. The funds allow Puerto Rico to expand assistance to additional households and increase the benefit amount for current and new participants on a temporary basis. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the grant “fulfills the Administration’s pledge to support the recovery” of Puerto Rico. The nutrition assistance program in Puerto Rico is different from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program operated in the United States and operated as a block grant. Through the grant, Puerto Rico has the flexibility to create a plan to provide temporary benefits for victims of the hurricanes in a way that best suits the needs on the island.
Plant-based Protein Eaters: It’s About Taste
New results from a research firm shows U.S. adults who eat plant-based proteins do so for taste above all other factors. Research firm Mintel reports 52 percent of adults surveyed say taste is the top reason for the choice, outranking diet concerns at ten percent, animal protection at 11 percent, the environment at 13 percent and even health at 39 percent. Meat industry publication Meatingplace reports the research was based on responses from more than 1,800 U.S. internet users aged 18 or over that eat plant-based proteins. The study also indicated that 46 percent of Americans agree that plant-based proteins are better for you than animal-based options. However, Mintel senior analyst Billy Roberts notes that overall consumption of plant-based proteins remains low. The Mintel survey showed that 67 percent of Americans agree that meat is essential to a balanced diet and 51 percent believe a meal is not complete without meat.
By Commander, Submarine Forces Public Affairs
GROTON, Conn. – The newest Virginia-class attack submarine, USS Colorado (SSN 788), will be commissioned at Naval Submarine Base New London, Mar. 17, 2018. It will be the 15th Virginia-class attack submarine to join the fleet.
As the most modern and sophisticated attack submarine in the world, the submarine can operate in both littoral and deep ocean environments and presents combatant commanders with a broad and unique range of operational capabilities. Colorado is a flexible, multi-mission platform designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the submarine force: anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, delivery of Special Operations Forces (SOF), strike warfare, irregular warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and mine warfare.
Colorado is a part of the Virginia-class’ third, or Block III, contract, in which the Navy redesigned approximately 20 percent of the ship to reduce acquisition costs. Colorado features a redesigned bow, which replaces 12 individual Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs) each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles, among other design changes that reduced the submarines’ acquisition cost while maintaining their outstanding warfighting capabilities.
(BARN Media / FarmCast Radio – Briggsdale, CO) February 20, 2018 – This week is National FFA Week and Culver’s Restaurants are celebrating it in a big way!
Joining FarmCast Radio and the Colorado Ag News Network is Jessie Kreke, one of Culver’s senior marketing managers, Jessie WELCOME inside the BARN…tell me more about the launching of its 4th Annual FFA Essay Contest, part of the Thank You Farmers Project…
More about Jessie Kreke
Kreke is a senior marketing manager for Culver’s Franchising System, the franchisor for over 640 Culver’s Frozen Custard and ButterBurgers restaurants. Her areas of expertise range from website best practices to digital promotions, social media and local restaurant marketing. She also leads the Thank You Farmers cause marketing initiative and works with the National FFA Foundation as well as local ag organizations and Culver’s restaurants on fundraising for ag education. Kreke holds a bachelor’s in business administration from Cardinal Stritch University. She grew up on a hobby farm outside Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, with horses, dogs, goats and cattle.
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE Continue reading
WESTMINSTER, Colorado – Ready to sharpen your knowledge about invasive species and their impact on managed and natural ecosystems? You’ll have a great opportunity during National Invasive Species Awareness Week, scheduled for February 26-March 2, 2018. The Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) is among the sponsors of the weeklong event.
“Invasive weeds alone represent a multibillion dollar drain on our economy annually,” says Lee Van Wychen, Ph.D., science policy director of WSSA. “It’s important to educate ourselves so we can take fast and appropriate action throughout the year to protect native species from unwanted invaders.”
Many learning opportunities are planned during the weeklong awareness event, offering lots of opportunities for becoming involved.
Attend a Capitol Hill Seminar Continue reading
CO Gov. Hickenlooper and USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach to highlight Colorado and American Agriculture at 2018 Forum
(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) February 19, 2018 – Joining me inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network is CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg from District 1 discussing several topics including:
SENATOR SONNENBERG’S BIOGRAPHY Continue reading
INDIANAPOLIS (Monday, Feb. 12, 2018 /National FFA Organization) – Agriculture is part of our daily lives—from the food we eat to the clothes we wear. Next week, more than 653,000 FFA members will celebrate the role agriculture plays in our lives while sharing the message of agricultural education as part of National FFA Week.
National FFA Week is a time for FFA members to host activities that raise awareness about the role the National FFA Organization plays in the development of agriculture’s future leaders and the importance of agricultural education.
National FFA Week always runs Saturday to Saturday and encompasses Feb. 22, George Washington’s birthday. This year, the week kicks off on Feb. 17 and culminates on Feb. 24. Continue reading
BURLINGTON, CO – Dates and locations for Pest Sweep pesticide drop-offs are:Colorado State University Extension will be hosting a pesticide pick up program at various locations within the Golden Plains Area and Morgan County. The program will accept any pesticide delivered to us and properly dispose them through a hazardous waste contractor. Charges for any product dropped off will be $7 per pound. Both liquid and solid pesticides will be accepted. Continue reading
Two Credit CLA Safety Meeting to be held in Fort Morgan on Wednesday, March 7th
The Colorado Livestock Association will host a meeting for Safety Group members at the Country Steakout in Fort Morgan on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 from 10:00-1:00pm.
Two presentations will be given by safety experts from Pinnacol Assurance covering methods for effective safety training and techniques for managing the safety of aging workers.
During lunch, Bill Hammerich, CLA’s CEO, will give an update on the status of key legislative and regulatory issues.
To RSVP for the meeting in Fort Morgan please click here.
(BARN Media / FarmCast Radio, Briggsdale, CO) February 16, 2018 – Joining the BARN & FarmCast Radio by telephone is National & Colorado Auctioneers Association Board of Directors David Whitley and owner of Whitley Auctions: Rocky Mountain Estate Brokers and David has a VERY IMPORTANT issue and court case that could impact the entire auction industry…
To learn more about today’s topic and more about the National Auctioneers Association, please visit http://www.auctioneers.org/ also, to learn more about the Colorado Auctioneers Association visit http://www.coauctioneers.com/ and finally to learn more about Whitley Auctions & Rocky Mountain Estate Brokers please visit http://www.whitleyauction.com/
Want to experience a trip of a lifetime?? Come “See Colorado” with other 4-H members. The tour is open to current 8-11th grade members.
More info and a complete agenda can be found on the website at http://goldenplains.colostate.edu/4h/4h_Tour.html
RSVP by Feb 26th
Weld County Extension, Weld County Livestock Association and the Colorado Pork Producers is presenting a Swine Seminar, “Today’s Swine Operation, What Do You Need To Know”. It will be held on Saturday, March 3, 2018 in the 4-H Building, Island Grove Regional Park, Greeley, CO.
Topics include Biosecurity, Swine ID & Traceability, Secure Pork Supply, Nutrition for success and VFD. Registration from 8:30a-9:00a, program from 9:00a – 3:00p. Continue reading
Please join the West Greeley Conservation District from 8am-5pm on March 14th and 15th at Island Grove Park in Greeley, CO for a 2-day soil and water symposium at Island Grove Park for progressive farmers and ranchers in Northeastern Colorado. It will be a great way to meet new people and explore new ideas in the world of agriculture!
Don’t miss out!
RSVP today to reserve your spot at this FREE event.
FREE lunch included when you RSVP by March 6th 970-356-8097 x 3 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Speakers include educators, industry professionals, government officials as well as farmers and ranchers just like YOU!
2018 Gov’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture, Class 13 & More
(The BARN – Briggsdale, CO) December 20, 2017 – The 27th annual Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture is scheduled for February 21, 2018 at the Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center in Denver, CO, and it brings together all facets of Colorado’s agriculture, including ag producers, support industry reps, political leaders, as well as consumers. Joining the CO Ag News Network to discuss the event in more detail is Dani Traweek, Executive Director of the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program…
For more information about the Forum, and a complete program, please visit http://www.governorsagforum.com/. And to learn more about Class 13 and the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program, please visit www.coloagleaders.org
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Feb. 20, 2018 – Late winter, from mid-February through early March, is the best time to prune most trees. Trees are still dormant at this time of year and, unlike in early winter, wound closure will be rapid if pruning occurs just prior to the time new growth emerges.
“Pruning trees during the late dormant season reduces impacts on tree health, and builds a strong structure for our community trees in the long term,” said Keith Wood, urban and community forestry manager for the Colorado State Forest Service. Wood says that although some elms, maples, birch and walnut trees may visibly exude sap if pruned in the late winter or early spring, this should not harm the tree.
The CSFS offers the following tree pruning tips: Continue reading
Lepore oversaw comprehensive upgrades to state’s oil and gas regulations, increased collaboration with local governments, major staff expansion and systemic improvements to the agency’s transparency
Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission director Matt Lepore is resigning as director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to return to the private sector effective March 2 . Lepore was appointed director of the COGCC in August of 2012.
Under Lepore’s leadership, the COGCC comprehensively strengthened the state’s oil and gas regulations, expanded Commission staff to improve oversight of industry activities, amplified the role of local governments and dramatically increased the access and volume of regulatory data available to the public.
“Matt performed one of the most demanding jobs in state government. He did so with style and substance that provided calm over an area often at the center of controversy,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Matt always put safeguarding public safety and the environment first. Under his leadership, Colorado developed regulations that have been used as models across the country.” Continue reading
Chris Meyerpeter experienced in leading innovative businesses
Denver, Colorado, February 15, 2018 – Ardent Mills, the premier flour-milling and ingredient company, announces Chris Meyerpeter will join the company as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and member of Ardent Mills’ senior leadership team. In this role, Chris will lead the Information Technology (IT) function and will be responsible to drive Ardent Mills’ IT strategy, objectives and goals as well as provide innovative enterprise solutions.
“We are excited to announce Chris as the CIO of Ardent Mills,” states Dan Dye, CEO. “He comes to Ardent Mills with extensive experience in building and leading diverse teams to support innovative businesses.” Continue reading
Proposed rule to allow short-term, limited-duration insurance for longer periods providing increased choice at a lower cost
In direct response to President Trump’s October 2017 Executive Order, the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and the Treasury (the Departments) issued a proposed rule today that is intended to increase competition, choice, and access to lower-cost healthcare options for Americans. The rule proposes to expand the availability of short-term, limited-duration health insurance by allowing consumers to buy plans providing coverage for any period of less than 12 months, rather than the current maximum period of less than three months. The proposed rule, if finalized, will provide additional options to Americans who cannot afford to pay the costs of soaring healthcare premiums or do not have access to healthcare choices that meet their needs under current law.
“Americans need more choices in health insurance so they can find coverage that meets their needs,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. “The status quo is failing too many Americans who face skyrocketing costs and fewer and fewer choices. The Trump Administration is taking action so individuals and families have access to quality, affordable healthcare that works for them.” Continue reading
Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation
READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, February 20th
Trump to Sit Down with Mexican President
The North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations will be just one of the topics President Trump will discuss with the President of Mexico when they meet in the next few weeks. Bloomberg says they plan to discuss the relationship between the two countries and several pending issues. The meeting comes after several months of sometimes contentious NAFTA discussions and Trump’s insistence that Mexico pays for a border wall. Officials from both countries met recently to discuss issues like trade, immigration, security, and energy. They also agreed to set up a meeting between the two presidents in the near future. Trump was scheduled to host Enrique Pena Nieto (Ehn-ree-kay Payn-yah Nee-eh-toe) in January of last year, but Pena Nieto canceled after a dispute erupted on Twitter over the border wall. It was during the presidential campaign that Trump first began to call NAFTA a horrible deal for America and pledged to withdraw if a new deal couldn’t be done. Trump indicated last month that he could be flexible with a deadline on completing NAFTA negotiations right before he repeated his threat to withdraw from the pact if the three countries can’t reach a deal that’s more “fair” to America.
Immigration Debate in Congress Still Struggling
The Senate’s immigration debate ended on Thursday with no deal. Neither a bipartisan plan nor President Trump’s proposal had the required number of votes to pass. Every proposal considered couldn’t reach the 60-vote threshold. That leaves the undocumented immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in limbo and lawmakers unsure of what’s next in the debate. In the other chamber, House immigration hardliners are getting more uneasy as they continue to push for a floor vote on Virginia Representative Bob Goodlatte’s proposal to reform the H-2A agricultural guestworker program. A Republican amendment aimed to enshrine the president’s four-part immigration framework, which would make cuts to legal immigration, was defeated by a wider margin of 36-60.House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows is calling for new leadership in the House Republican Conference. He’s also repeatedly criticized Speaker of the House Paul Ryan for not scheduling a floor vote. Politico says even if the bill got the 218 votes it needs to pass through the House, it’s unlikely to pass in the Senate.
Legislation Designed to Save Pollinators Introduced in House
Representatives Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Jim McGovern of Massachusetts introduced the Saving America’s Pollinators Act. The legislation is designed to protect the health of honey bees and other critical pollinators. Estimates are that the U.S. lost one-third of honeybee colonies between 2016 and 2017, with similar losses occurring in previous years. To help bring a halt to the trend, the legislation suspends the use of bee-toxic insecticides (neonicotinoids), which have been linked to the declining population of pollinators. It also would require the Environmental Protection Agency to do a thorough evaluation to make sure using these insecticides is not adversely affecting pollinator populations. Blumenauer says, “A healthy food system depends on healthy pollinators. To keep the status quo is like flying blind. We shouldn’t be using these insecticides when we don’t know for sure how they’re affecting pollinators. The EPA has a responsibility to get to the bottom of this in order to protect our pollinators.” McGovern says that protecting pollinators is essential to the sustainability of our nation’s food supply. Studies estimate that one of every three bites of food Americans eat is from a crop pollinated by bees.
MN Students Want GMO Approval Process Streamlined
A group of graduate students at the University of Minnesota is asking Congress to streamline the approval process for GMO crops that produce food and fiber. A DTN article says the seven students are doing graduate work at the Minnesota College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences. They believe the regulatory hoops that companies need to jump through to commercialize new traits are slowing down innovation. In a letter to U.S. representatives, the students pointed out that it costs companies between $20 million and $30 million to get a new GMO crop from start to finish through the regulatory process. That’s a price tag that limits smaller companies from making inroads into the marketplace. The students say, “Each of us has numerous ideas about genetic modification that could be developed into startup companies and bring more competition in a marketplace that’s dominated by a few mega-companies that can afford the regulatory process.” The letter asks Congress to pass a bipartisan bill that funnels GMO fuel and fiber crops through either the USDA or the EPA, but not both.
FTC Nominee Pledges to Look Closely at Ag Mergers
The Federal Trade Commission would take a look at past merger deals to see if regulators were too easy on the companies involved. That’s the promise of Joseph Simons, the White House nominee for FTC Chairman. Simons said during a Senate confirmation hearing, he would direct a formal study of closed deals, including some in the agriculture industry. He also said, if confirmed, he would police the conduct of big agribusinesses. He also pledges to sue if wrongdoing comes to the agency’s attention. U.S. agriculture has seen rapid consolidation in recent years, and U.S. regulators have mostly waved the deals through. If the federal government takes a more aggressive stance based on any information gathered as a result of a merger study, it would mark a new era of antitrust policy under Republicans. Simons is the co-chair of the antitrust group at the law firm Paul Weiss, and a former FTC antitrust official during the George W. Bush administration. There are more merger deals in the pipeline that will put antitrust regulators’ approach to the test. Bayer and Monsanto are still awaiting antitrust approval from the U.S.
History Channel Following Farmers for a Documentary Series
The agriculture industry typically looks at documentaries about American agriculture with more than a little trepidation. However, the History Channel says it’s putting together a documentary about American agriculture with no agenda in mind. The TV channel and BobCat Studios is working on an eight-part series tentatively titled “The American Farmer.” While the show is still in development, the current plan is for cameras to follow five farming families throughout the planting, growing, and harvesting seasons. The series will be filmed in locations across the country, ranging from New Hampshire to Tennessee to Alaska. Jeff Brick is in charge of the series for the History Channel. He says, “One of the things that BobCat Studio founder Thomas Beers likes to say is “most documentaries are told from a certain point of view, and those points of view rarely seem to be the farmers.” The production team recently spent time at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky, trying to get a sense of what American farmers were about. Brick called farmers, “Heroic people who are gambling everything, risking everything every year, taking out huge operating loans, trying to control Mother Nature, and still put food on the table for all of us.”
(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…
**********LE, LLC. ARCHIVES************* Continue reading
Restaurant Chain Launches Fourth Annual FFA Essay Contest
PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. – Feb. 19, 2018 – Culver’s is celebrating National FFA Week in a big way. Through its Thank You Farmers® Project, the restaurant will launch its fourth annual FFA Essay Contest on Feb. 19. The three winning essay writers will win $7,500, $5,000 and $2,500, respectively, for their FFA chapters.
The FFA chapters are encouraged to use their prize money to support educational opportunities for their members, like attending the National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis, Oct. 24–27, 2018. FFA members can submit their essays at Culvers.com/essaycontest.
This year’s essay contest prompt is: Continue reading
The number of farms and ranches in Arizona in 2017 totaled 19,600, unchanged from the 2016 estimate. Total land in farms in Arizona, at 25.9 million acres, was unchanged from the 2016 estimate. The average size of farm was 1,321 acres, unchanged from the previous year.
The number of farms and ranches in Colorado in 2017 totaled 33,800, unchanged from the 2016 estimate. Total land in farms in Colorado, at 31.8 million acres, was up less than one-half percent from the 2016 estimate. The average size of farm was 941 acres, compared to 938 acres the previous year.
The number of farms and ranches in Montana in 2017 totaled 27,100, down 300 operations from the 2016 estimate. Total land in farms in Montana, at 59.8 million acres, was up less than one-half percent from the 2016 estimate. The average size
of farm was 2,207 acres, compared to 2,179 acres the previous year. Continue reading