03-26-15 US Senator Bennet Amendment Would Extend Renewable Energy Tax Credits…

US Senator Michael Bennet color official photo-022513Windmills at SunsetWashington, DC – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet introduced an amendment to the Senate’s budget proposal that instructs Congress to extend expired and expiring tax credits for renewable energy. The tax credits should be extended for a reasonable period of time as a bridge until Congress completes its work on tax reform. 

“Colorado is a leader in clean and renewable energy, and our producers and manufacturers are looking for certainty from Congress,”Bennet said. “The production tax credit and investment tax credit for wind and solar energy have helped create thousands of jobs in our state. As we work on tax reform, we need to extend these credits to give the clean energy industry the predictability they need.”

Since coming to the Senate, Bennet has introduced several proposals to improve the tax code for the energy industry. In the absence of energy tax reform, he has pushed to extend the wind energy production tax credit that supports thousands of jobs in Colorado and across the country. Bennet also introduced a bipartisan bill that would allow solar companies to benefit from the investment tax credit as soon as they start construction.

SOURCE

03-26-15 Get Registered for the 2015 Protein Producer Summit in Steamboat Springs June 15-17…

CCA - Protein Producer Summit 2015

Monday, June 15 – CCA Committee Meetings, CCW Meetings, & JCCA Meetings

On Monday, members will engage in CCA committee meetings where their voices can be heard and policies that shape the future are formed. Be sure to submit any resolutions for the committees and nominations for the open board seats to the CCA office as soon as possible. The CattleWomen will also hold their executive committee and board meeting and general membership meeting on Monday. The lunch on Monday will include the Leopold Award presentation.

Tuesday, June 16 – Innovations and Technology Summit

The topic for 2015’s convention is “Innovations and Technology.” We will start off the day with breakfast in the trade show exhibit area. The featured speaker for the morning will kick off the Summit. The speaker is a recognized entrepreneur and has a background in agriculture. We will look toward the future using advanced technology in agriculture to set the stage for the morning’s forum. Next, two guest speakers will join in for a panel discussion. One of our panelists is from CSU and is at the forefront of agriculture and food innovation. Another panelist has already been successful at innovating new opportunities in agriculture. After lunch, we will move from Think Tank to Stock Tank, where we will create a spin-off of the popular television show “Shark Tank”. Three innovators will present their theories and ideas to the audience and it’s up to “titans of the industry” to vote on the best proposal. “From Innovation to Application” will follow in the afternoon, where two industry leaders will summarize the day with a session which will take innovative ideas that are already being applied into applications benefitting the livestock industry. The Junior Cattlemen will spend the day in educational workshops and offsite activities. The CCA Foundation and the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust will also meet on this day. Tuesday night we will join to take a gondola ride up the mountain to a reception and banquet at the Steamboat Springs Ski & Resort including catching up with friends and taking in the beautiful views of the Yampa Valley.

Wednesday, June 17 – Current Issues Breakfast, CCA Business Session, JCCA Meetings & Report, & CLA Meetings

Wednesday will begin with our Current Issues Breakfast; when the Colorado Beef Council, Western Dairy Association, and Pork Producers Council will be on hand to give us their updates. This will be followed by the CCA business meeting; CLA council/issues meetings, membership meetings, and the CLA Past Presidents’ Luncheon. CCA’s board of directors will meet following their business session. Look for updates and current information in future email Bulletins.

CLICK HERE for more details

CLICK HERE to register

Protein Producer Summit Tradeshow and Sponsorship Opportunities Continue reading

03-26-15 USDA Announces Grants for Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs: $990k for CSU…

USDA seal logoColorado State University in Fort Collins, CO will receive $990,984 for CSU’s  HEROs Study (HEalthy EnviROnments Study), which seeks to impact young children’s healthy behaviors by incorporating their successes in improving willingness to try new foods and motor performance in preschool, and amplifying these effects by adding a powerful family component.

WASHINGTON – March 26, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the USDA awarded $9 million in grants to develop childhood obesity intervention programs through colleges and universities in 12 states and Puerto Rico. The grants are funded through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the flagship competitive grant program authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill.

“One-third of the children in the U.S. are overweight or obese, making this issue one of the greatest health challenges facing our nation,” said Vilsack. “It is critical that we make the effort to help our children be healthy kids, and develop into healthy adults,” said Vilsack.

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) made the awards through the AFRI Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area. Fiscal year 2014 awards include: Continue reading

03-26-15 USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) Farm Bill Programs Approach a Critical March 31st Deadline…

USDA FSA CO logo(Denver, CO.) – March 25, 2015 — USDA Farm Service Agency Colorado State Executive Director Leland Swenson reminds producers that the final date to update yield history, reallocate base acres and elect the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) is Tuesday, March 31, 2015 “Farmers and landowners need to have this completed or a scheduled appointment with FSA by the end of March,” said Swenson.

These new safety net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill are critical for providing financial protection against unexpected changes in the marketplace.

If no changes are made to yield history or base acres by March 31, 2015, the farm’s current yield and base will be used. “For many producers this is the first opportunity since the late 1980’s to update their farms base and yield,” Swenson said. Continue reading

03-26-15 CAAA Op-Ed: Safety Concerns Regarding Drone Use in Agriculture…

03-25-15 Inside the RMFU with Jan Kochis: NFU Convention Recap and more…

To listen to the interview with RMFU’s Board Chair Jan Kochis click the mp3 audio link below… 

032515_RMFU-JanKochis_12m8s

Jan Kochis, RMFU Board of Director Chair from Matheson, Colo.  And Dist. VI.

Jan Kochis, RMFU Board of Director Chair from Matheson, Colo. And Dist. VI.

(BARN Media & CoAgNews Network – Briggsdale, CO) March 25, 2015  – Joining me Inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network for this month’s Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Radioline Report is RMFU Board Chair Jan Kochis, discussing several topics including:

  • RECAP of the 113th National Farmers Union Anniversary Convention in Wichita, KS March 13-15
  • RMFU’s presence on Capitol Hill this week
  • Upcoming Events/Issues
  • Final thoughts

The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is a general farm organization that provides educational programs, cooperative business development services, and a legislative voice for family farms, ranches, and local communities. RMFU was formed in 1907 and serves members in Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Learn more about the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union & find out how YOU can become a member by visiting www.rmfu.org.

03-24-15 NAFB Foundation Scholarships Available…

NAFB Foundation Logo

Liz Koehler (University of Illinois), Joel Penhorwood (The Ohio State University), and Shannon Yokely (University of Missouri)

Liz Koehler (University of Illinois), Joel Penhorwood (The Ohio State University), and Shannon Yokely (University of Missouri)

The National Association of Farm Broadcasting Foundation has been investing in the future of farm broadcasting by providing financial support for students pursuing careers in agriculture communications by awarding college scholarships since 1975. The foundation will be awarding three $5,000 scholarships this year.

The scholarships are named after farm broadcasting pioneers:
  • Glenn Kummerow Memorial Scholarship. Glenn dedicated himself to the farm broadcasting industry, and was a respected authority in ag radio. He was a true friend and loyal supporter of the Association.
  • George Logan Scholarship. George was the first NAFB Executive Director, a long time farm broadcaster and television manager. He was a mentor to many broadcasters during their careers.
  • Orion Samuelson Scholarship. Orion is the most recognized radio and television farm broadcaster in history. Orion along with George Logan started the NAFB Foundation in 1975.
Eligible applicants are in-coming college juniors, seniors or graduate students currently enrolled in a college or university agriculture communications program and pursuing careers in agriculture communications.

Continue reading

03-24-15 Deadline to nominate YOUR school district for Monsanto’s America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education is April 1st…

GrowRuralEducationGraphicFarmers can nominate their school districts to receive grants of up to $25,000

BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO (March 24th, 2015) – Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education continues to be a priority for U.S. school districts. Investing now is vitally important, as the fastest-growing occupations require STEM proficiency.  Joining the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN by telephone is Heather Wolfe, Customer Advocacy Manager with Monsanto’s AMerica’s Grow Rural Education Program…

032415_Monsanto-AFGRE-HeatherWolfe_3m42s

Between now and April 1, 2015, farmers can nominate a public school district in their community to apply for a $10,000 or $25,000 grant.

For more information about the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program and to view the official rules, a list of eligible states, counties and CRDs, visit www.GrowRuralEducation.com.

About the Monsanto Fund

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the farm communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at www.monsantofund.org.

03-24-15 MONSANTO ANNOUNCES FINAL CALL FOR 2015 “FARM MOM OF THE YEAR” NOMINATIONS…

Americas Farmers Mom of the Year LogoAll Submissions Due March 31

ST. LOUIS (Mar. 24, 2015) – For those who have been waiting to enter their favorite farm mom into the 2015 America’s Farmers Mom of the Year competition, now is the time! Nominations will be accepted for one more week – through March 31 – and Monsanto Company wants to hear your story!

“The America’s Farmers Mom of the Year program is one of the most fulfilling things we have the honor of doing all year,” says Tracy Mueller, Monsanto Corporate Brand Communications Manager. “Each year we read about the strong, caring and dedicated moms who not only help raise their crops, livestock and other agricultural goods, but who nurture their families and actively support their communities. Every story is amazing.”

Anyone can nominate their favorite farm mom, whether it’s their mom, sister, aunt, daughter, friend or community member. Just visit AmericasFarmers.com during the nomination period to review the full rules on eligibility and judging, and submit a brief essay online or by mail that explains how the nominated farm mom contributes to her family, farm, community and agriculture. Be sure to address all four areas as a panel of judges from American Agri-Women will use that as part of the criteria they use to help Monsanto select five regional winners. Continue reading

03-24-15 CO Wheat Scholarships – Application Deadline FAST Approaching…

CAWG logo 2014The Colorado Association of Wheat Growers (CAWG) will award two $1,000 college scholarships in 2015.

The scholarships will be awarded to two graduating high school seniors planning to attend an accredited college, university, junior college or community college.  The students must enter college the same year as their graduation from high school.  Students intending to major in agricultur- related fields are strongly urged to apply. The scholarships will be one-year, non-renewable awards. Applicant’s parent, grandparent, or legal guardian must be current or new members of CAWG OR the applicant must be nominated by a current or new sponsor of CAWG. CAWG sponsors may each nominate one student.

Click here for the scholarship application.  2015 CAWG Scholarship Application (0)

Application deadline is Friday, April 17, 2015.

One scholarship is funded by CAWG, and one is the “Friends of Wheat” scholarship, funded by donations in memory of several wheat supporters, including Patti Wickstrom, Lorin Starkebaum, Cindy Seger, Gale Dunn, Cassie Brooks, Larry Palser, and David Heck.

Scholarship Honor Roll – Past Winners

Continue reading

03-24-15 CO Egg Producers: CLEVER AND CREATIVE EASTER EGG DECORATING IDEAS…

CEP-CO Egg Producers LogoSONY DSCColorado egg farmers share unique decorating ideas to celebrate Easter

DENVER – March 2015 – No matter what winter throws our way each year, Coloradans can rely on one tradition that arrives without fail each spring – Easter. From Easter egg hunts to candy and family brunches, Easter is a cherished springtime holiday that brings together family and loved ones in celebration. And no Easter celebration would be complete without egg decorating. Easter egg decorating is a classic Easter activity that people of all ages enjoy every year. This year, the Colorado Egg Producers (CEP) Association would like to share some helpful egg decorating tips to help make your Easter eggs the best and brightest.

“Easter egg decorating is a tradition near and dear to our hearts,” said Vince Ruscitti, a Colorado egg farmer and member of CEP. “There are so many fun, beautiful ways to decorate Easter eggs. We hope that as Coloradans prepare for their Easter festivities, they remember to buy local and use Colorado-produced eggs, available at many stores throughout the state.”

Before you get to the decorating, make sure your eggs are properly hard-boiled and have cooled. Or you can decorate blown – or empty – eggs. Our partners at the American Egg Board provide easy instructions on how to properly hard-boil or blow eggs for decorating, click here to learn more.

Below are several fun Easter egg decorating ideas that will be easy for all ages to do at home courtesy of Parenting.com.

Continue reading

03-20-15 Inside the BARN w/NACD Executive Board Member Tim Palmer: Fly-in Recap, Iowa Lawsuits and More…

Listen to the interview featuring NACD’s Tim Palmer…

032015_NACD-Palmer_11m42s

NACD - Tim PalmerNACD_Logo_200(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) March 20, 2015 - Joining the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network is Tim Palmer, 2015 National Association of Conservation Districts Executive Board Member – North Central Region from Truro, Iowa. Tim & I will be discussing several topics including a lawsuit that has been filed against 3 counties in the Upper Raccoon River Watershed there in Iowa.

The National Association of Conservation District’s mission is to serve conservation districts by providing national leadership and a unified voice for natural resource conservation. For more information about the National Association of Conservation Districts – http://www.nacdnet.org/

And for more information about the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts, an NACD Member –  http://coloradoacd.org/

03-17-15 Check out a song written by former CO State Conservationist Phyllis Ann Philipps, “Desperate Farm Wives”…

NRCS-CO State Conservationist Phyllis Philipps

Phyllis Ann Philipps of COnrad, MT

BARN Media received the following email from Phyllis Ann Philipps former State Conservationist of Colorado for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.  I hope all is well with you. Since my retirement in May from the NRCS, I’ve been busy in rural life back home in Conrad, Montana.  I’ve written a musical comedy called Desperate Farm Wives and I’ve attached the theme song from the show for your entertainment.  It was recorded a sound studio so it should be good enough quality to air if you would like. This is a song I wrote for the play. Both are dedicated to women in agriculture and the men who love them.  The song speaks of a few of the current issues facing ag.  The play is a musical comedy complete with dancing cows and cowboys and will be performed in April in Conrad. I just wanted to share with you a project that I’m working on that might be of interest to your listeners.

I just thought you might get a kick out of the song.  Please share as you see fit.  It is an original piece written by me and performed by the cast.  Again hope all is well with you. Take care.
- Phyllis Ann Philipps – Director of “Desperate Farm Wives”

03-10-15 BQA Transportation Symposium Coming to Ft Collins May 14-15: Registration Open Now…

Beef Checkoff News HeaderCattle Transportation Symposium logoAttention all cattle transporters, dairymen, cattle farmers and ranchers:  The Cattle Transportation Symposium, funded in part by the beef checkoff, is set for May 14-15 in Fort Collins, Colo. The symposium provides a venue for industry experts and stakeholders to gather and discuss issues, research, and solutions that directly relate to cattle transportation. The goal is to provide clarity about the state of the industry and the future of cattle transportation in the United States.

Registration for the event is now open and a tentative schedule has been posted.

“Producers will have the opportunity to hear more about loading and unloading practices for ranch, feedlot and dairy cattle, how to select animals that are fit for transport and principles of proper cattle transportation using stock trailers, including loading, hauling, and unloading, as well as weather-related considerations,” says Dr. Dan Thomson, Jones professor of production medicine and epidemiology and director of the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and 2015 National Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Educator of the Year.

“Managing cattle stress at the time of transportation is vitally important for the health and well-being of the cattle and safety people working with the cattle,” Thomson said. “Cattle that are stressed are difficult to handle, and the quality of their beef can be affected. This symposium is aimed at teaching producers, packers and dairymen how to get the most value from the carcass and provide consumers with the highest quality beef possible through best animal handling and transport practices.”

Hear from industry experts including Dr. Clyde Lane, University of Tennessee Extension; Dr. Caroline Schwartzkopf-Genswein, AgCanada; Lily Edwards-Callaway, Animal Welfare, JBS; Jason Ahola, associate professor, Beef Production Systems, Colorado State University; Mike Siemens, Animal Welfare & Husbandry, Cargill; Kristen Parman, Livestock Marketing Association; and Jeff Johnson, Out West Trucking.

For more information about the symposium, please contact Chase DeCoite. For more information about checkoff-funded BQA, visit bqa.org, and for more about your beef checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.

Take a look at the Tentative Agenda (as of 2/24/15)… Continue reading

03-05-15 BLM Seeks Bids for New Off-Range Pastures to Care for Wild Horses, INT w/Debbie Collins…

Listen to an exclusive interview with Debbie Collins about the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program…

030515_BLM-WHBP-Update-DebieCollins_19m15s

US Dept of Interiror BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program logoUS DoI BLM logoBLM Seeks Bids for New Off-Range Pastures to Care for Wild Horses

WASHINGTON D.C. – February 27, 2015 - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking proposals for new off-range pasture facilities that can provide a free-roaming environment for wild horses removed from Western public lands.

Proposals will be accepted from the following states through April 22, 2015: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming.

One or more off-range pasture contracts will be awarded and each must accommodate a minimum of 100 wild horses.  The contractor must provide humane care for a one-year period, with a renewal option under BLM contract for a four-year or nine-year period.

Applicants who have never conducted business with the government must first obtain a Duns and Bradstreet number at www.dnb.com before registering at www.sam.gov/  to do business with the Federal Government.  There is no fee involved.

To obtain the solicitation: (1) go to www.fedconnect.net ; (2) click on “Search Public Opportunities”; (3) under Search Criteria, select “Reference Number”; (4) put in the solicitation number “L15PS00182”; and (5) click Search” and the solicitation information will appear. The solicitation form describes what to submit and where to send it.

For assistance, visit www.blm.gov or contact Eric Pagal at (202)-591-5079/epagal@blm.gov or Ken Lund at (202) 912-7034/klund@blm.gov. They can assist with general questions and/or coordinate a meeting for you with a local BLM contracting officer and small business specialist.

Continue reading

03-02-15 USDA Provides One-Time Extension of Deadline to Update Base Acres or Yield History for ARC/PLC Programs…

USDA seal logoFarmers Now Have Until March 31 to Update Yields and Reallocate Base Acres; Deadline for Choosing Between ARC and PLC also Remains March 31

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2015 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that a one-time extension will be provided to producers for the new safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres has been extended one additional month, from Feb. 27, 2015 until March 31, 2015. The final day for farm owners and producers to choose ARC or PLC coverage also remains March 31, 2015.

“This is an important decision for producers, because these programs provide financial protection against unexpected changes in the marketplace. Producers are working to make the best decision they can. And we’re working to ensure that they’ve got the time, the information, and the opportunities to have those final conversations, review their data, and to visit the Farm Service Agency to make those decisions,” said Vilsack.   Continue reading

The Denver Cash Grain Bids…

———–PREVIOUS DAY’s DENVER CASH GRAIN BIDS————–

Continue reading

03-26-15 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

hay_20060403SmSq-bales-GL_GR310   
Greeley, CO    Thu Mar 26, 2015    USDA-CO Dept of Ag Market News

Colorado Hay Report

Compared to last week, light demand being reported due to warmer weather and
light interest from feedlots and dairies.  Hay from the southern part of the
state is going into Texas.  According to the NRCS, regional snowpack levels are
being reported in Yampa and White River Basins at 77 percent, Upper Colorado
River Basin at 86 percent, Laramie and North Platte River Basins at 83 percent,
South Platte River Basin at 94 percent, Arkansas River Basin at 93 percent,
Upper Rio Grande River Basin at 75 percent, Gunnison River Basin at 74 percent,
and San Miguel, Dolores, Animas, San Juan River Basins at 67 percent.  According
to the U.S. Drought Monitor, parts of western Colorado are moving from moderate
to severe drought and parts of Northeastern Colorado are changing from normal to
abnormally dry.  The rest of the state remains unchanged.  All prices reported
are FOB at the stack or barn unless otherwise noted.  Prices reflect load lots
of hay.

If you have hay for sale or need hay, use the services of the Colorado
Department of Agriculture website: http://www.coloradoagriculture.com.

Northeast Colorado Areas Continue reading

03-26-15 NAFB News: “House Passes Budget Resolution”

nafblogobluegoldcopyThe House passed a budget resolution by a vote of 228 to 199 late last night – according to The Hagstrom Report. The House budget contains a provision directing the House Ag Committee to cut 1-billion dollars over 10-years from programs under its jurisdiction. The budget also contains a provision to turn the food stamp program into one run for the states. The Senate is expected to vote on its budget resolution today or early tomorrow.

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, March 26th…

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY's BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer...

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY’s BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

“House Ag Subcommittee Holds Hearing on COOL”

The House Ag Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture held a public hearing yesterday (Wednesday) to examine the implications of potential retaliatory measures against the U.S. regarding Country-of-Origin Labeling. Subcommittee Chair David Rouzer of North Carolina says the threat of retaliation is severe – and Congress must act quickly to prevent irreparable damage to certain industries and the overall economy. After hearing from members of the ag and business communities – Rouzer says it is more apparent than ever that the committee must not only fully understand the potential consequences following the World Trade Organization decision – but be ready with a legislative solution. House Ag Committee Chair Mike Conaway says COOL has been a failed experiment from the start – and now the economic damages the U.S. could face will be felt by all Americans – not just the ag industry.

*******************************************************************************************

“NFU President Presents COOL Study Findings to House Ag Committee” Continue reading

03-25-15 US Senator Gardner Amendment Protects Water Rights…

Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) announced today that he has introduced an amendment to the Senate budget which would protect privately held water rights and permits from federal overreach. Gardner’s amendment would recognize the long-standing authority to manage water according to state law and protects against federal takeover of water rights and permits.

“Coloradans know best how to manage their own water resources,” Gardner said. “The ability of Coloradans to rely on state recognized water rights has been the foundation of Colorado agriculture, small business, outdoor recreation and local economies since the formation of our state in 1876.  My amendment would protect states’ ability to govern their own water laws, and protect existing water rights and permits from any future meddling by the federal government.”

Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.  

B40B Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20515      Phone: (202) 224-5941

03-25-15 NCGA urges Congress to pass the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act…

NCGA News Release logoWASHINGTON, D.C. (March 25, 2015) —  The National Corn Growers Association applauded the introduction today of legislation to create a national, science-based labeling standard for foods containing genetically modified organisms and urged Congress to quickly pass the bill.

The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), will ensure that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration remains the authority on food safety and labeling in the United States.

Additionally, by establishing federal standards around a voluntary GMO-free label, this bill strikes an important balance between providing consumers choice and clarity in the grocery aisle and protecting a technology that is vital to American farmers. Continue reading

03-25-15 USCA Comments on COOL-Focused House Agriculture Subcommittee Hearing…

USCA logo new

USCA (March 25, 2015) – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) issued the following statement regarding today’s hearing, “Livestock & Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee-Public Hearing: Meat Labeling Requirements” as held by the House Agriculture Committee, Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture.  The following statement may be attributed to USCA President Danni Beer:

“Today’s hearing focused on issues that have been the central argument of the anti-Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) organizations since the initial discussions began on COOL.  The continued reference to the detrimental economic affects that COOL has supposedly caused to both Canada and Mexico remain the central issue of this claim.”

“A recent study conducted by C. Robert Taylor, Ph.D., Auburn University Scholar and Professor, (click here herefor study), highlighted data not utilized in previous studies on this issue.  The data presented in Dr. Taylor’s study has confirmed the error in statements that claim COOL has adversely affected exports of beef to the U.S. from Mexico and Canada.” Continue reading

03-25-15 NMPF Applauds Introduction of Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act…

NMPF logo 5

Legislation Will Establish Labeling Guidelines to Help Farmers and Consumers

ARLINGTON, VA – The National Milk Producers Federation today praised the introduction of legislation in the House of Representatives that would establish federal standards for the safety and labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms.

Under the bill, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, the Food and Drug Administration will set standards for companies that wish to label their products as containing or not containing GMOs. The legislation was introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC). Rep. Pompeo introduced similar legislation in the House last year.

“Rather than create a confusing patchwork of state policies, the legislation would deal with this issue at the national level,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF. “It would improve clarity in foods carrying a GMO-free label by establishing uniform rules and a national certification program for foods that have been produced without bioengineering.”

GMOs have been proven safe by nearly 2,000 studies from the leading scientific bodies in the world, including the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association. Agencies including the FDA, the U.S. Agriculture Department, the National Academy of Sciences, and the World Health Organization have found no negative health effects from consuming GMOs. Continue reading

03-25-15 Farmers Union Officials Granted Audience with Pope; Vatican Leaders to Discuss Importance of Family Farming and Ranching…

NFU logo 3

WASHINGTON (March 25, 2015) – Five Farmers Union state presidents and National Farmers Union’s (NFU) chief counsel were granted an audience with Pope Francis today following a weeklong series of meetings with Vatican officials and rural-based non-governmental organizations. Discussions surrounded the important role family farmers play in food security and the fact that most of the food produced in the U.S. is produced by family farmers.

Monsignor Peter Wells, assistant secretary of state for the Vatican, expressed concerns with the worldwide loss of family farmers, food security and environmental stewardship. “I’m pleased to hear the Vatican State Department’s belief that stewardship is ecumenical worldwide,” said Doug Peterson, president of the Minnesota Farmers Union. Continue reading

03-25-15 NFU Urges House Ag Committee to Review Recent COOL Study, Allow WTO Process to Play Out…

NFU logo 3

WASHINGTON (March 25, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson today presented the findings of a recent econometric study showing that Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) did not have a negative impact on Canadian cattle exports to the U.S. at a U.S. House Committee on Agriculture hearing. Johnson also urged the committee to wait for the WTO to rule on COOL, as Canada and Mexico cannot retaliate if no damages are found.

“The results of the recent study done on COOL by C. Robert Taylor, Ph.D., a professor at Auburn University, refute Canadian claims of economic damage to their beef exports to America,” said Johnson. “Congress should leave COOL alone and allow the WTO process to run its course.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, March 25th…

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY's BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer...

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY’s BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

“House Ag Committee Holds Hearing on Biotechnology Labeling”

The House Agriculture Committee held a public hearing Tuesday to examine the costs and impacts of states implementing mandatory biotechnology labeling laws. Last year – 30 different states introduced 125 bills mandating labeling of biotechnology. A Cornell Business School professor released a report that showed if mandatory labeling became law in New York – a family of four could pay an additional 500-dollars on average in annual food costs – and the state would incur an estimated 1.6-million dollars in costs to write and enforce the new regulations. House Ag Chair Mike Conaway says this growing patchwork of mandatory state laws is creating confusion in addition to driving up the cost of food. Conaway says unnecessary and conflicting regulations will only make it harder for America’s farmers and ranchers to feed the country and the world.

House Ag Ranking Member Collin Peterson says consumers have expressed their interest in knowing more about where their food comes from – which he thinks is a good thing. However – when it comes to labeling – Peterson says it’s important to find a smart way to balance this consumer demand with what is known about the safety of the foods America’s farmers produce. Vermont dairy farmer Joanna Lidback testified before the committee that the use of GMO crops is important to her farm’s economic sustainability. Lidback says building an economically viable small family business has led them to fully embrace using technology to farm better and with less impact on their surroundings – which includes GMO seed varieties. If marketplace demands were to force them to use non-GMO feed grains – she says their feed bill would more than double each month – from a little more than 53-hundred dollars to 12,000-dollars. Lidback doesn’t see how they could profitably farm in the long term with those increased costs.

Lidback says mandatory labeling is aimed at arbitrarily limiting choices for farmers and consumers. While she agrees consumers have a right to know their food is safe and nutritious – she says a small percentage of the population should not be able to impose their personal, non-science based food preferences on everyone else. Mandatory labels on foods with biotech ingredients are not necessary – according to Lidback – but if consumers are to drive some sort of label requirement – she believes it should be done in a cohesive way at the federal level.

***********************************************************************************************

“USDA Releases Proposed Rule Regarding ‘Actively Engaged’ Farmers” Continue reading

03-24-15 FSA-CO News: Foreign Persons Must Report U.S. Agricultural Land Holding…

USDA FSA CO logo(Denver, Co)March 24, 2015– Leland Swenson, State Executive Director, Colorado Farm Service Agency, reminds foreign persons with an interest in agricultural lands in the United States that they are required to report their holdings and any transactions to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

“Any foreign person who acquires, transfers or holds any interest, other than a security interest, including leaseholds of 10 years or more, in agricultural land in the United States is required by law to report the transaction no later than 90 days after the date of the transaction,” said Swenson.

Foreign investors must file Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act (AFIDA) reports with the FSA county office that maintains reports for the county where the land is located.

“Failure to file a report, filing a late report or filing an inaccurate report can result in a penalty with fines up to 25 percent of the fair market value of the agricultural land,” said Swenson. Continue reading

03-24-15 CDA News: Steps to Protect your Poultry from Avian Influenza…

CDA - State Veterinarian Dr Keith Roehr Logo

BROOMFIELD, Colo. –The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N2 & H5N8 in several different types of poultry flocks in eight states: Missouri, Arkansas, Minnesota, Kansas, California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.
“There are currently no cases of HPAI in Colorado. However, poultry producers and bird owners are encouraged to increase their disease prevention practices to help prevent the infection in our state,” said CDA’s State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr. “Wild birds appear to be the vector for HPAI infection of domestic poultry; therefore it is especially important to limit the exposure of poultry to wildlife, wildlife areas, or through people who may have had contact with both.”
Vaccines are not commonly used to control avian influenza virus outbreaks due to trade implications and because no vaccine covers all strains of the virus; disease prevention is the best way to prevent HPAI. Continue reading