04-17-15 Congressional Western Caucus: Response to BLM Step Towards Oil and Gas Royalty Hikes on Federal Lands…

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Washington, D.C. (April 17, 2015) Today the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages over 245 million surface acres and 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout 12 Western states, took the first step to raise royalty rates on already restricted oil and gas production on federal lands.

Western Caucus Chairman Cynthia Lummis (WY-At large) and Chairman-emeritus Steve Pearce (NM-02) issued the following statements in response:

“The Obama Administration has made no secret of its desire to raise taxes on job creating energy production,” said Chairman Lummis. “We should all be concerned with securing a better return for taxpayers, but to that end the BLM should be looking within. Despite an 89 percent increase in oil and gas production on state and private lands since 2010, production on federal lands continues to fall because of this Administration’s hostility towards energy production. You can’t discuss oil and gas royalties intelligently unless you recognize the other costs, regulations, and uncertainty of producing on federal lands. Maximizing royalties is about balance and efficiency. But this is impossible to achieve when the Obama Administration’s entire energy policy is out of whack and out of touch with the needs of the American people.” Continue reading

04-17-15 Inside FSA-CO with Leland Swenson, State Executive Director…

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 “The USDA Farm Service Agency delivered more than $438 million in federal program payments and loans to Colorado farmers and ranchers during FY 2014. Colorado agriculture benefits greatly from the tireless efforts of our dedicated employees and locally elected County Committees.” – Leland Swenson, State Executive Director

(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) April 17th, 2015 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network is Leland Swenson, State Executive Director of the USDA Colorado Farm Service Agency and we are going to be discussing several programs and deadlines that CO’s ag producers need to be aware of including:

BIOGRAPHY: Leland (Lee) Swenson was appointed as the Colorado Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director on May 20, 2013. He is responsible for the management and oversight of all federal farm programs administered by FSA as well as the administrative operations for 39 county offices in Colorado. Born and raised on a diversified family farm, Swenson has been active in the agriculture sector for more than forty years. He has held significant leadership positions with several major agricultural organizations in South Dakota, California and Colorado, serving as the Executive Vice President of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union; Executive Director of Community Alliance with Family Farmers; President of the National Farmers Union; and President and Secretary/Treasurer of the South Dakota Farmers Union. Swenson also held Presidential and Secretarial appointments to the 21st Century Commission on Production Agriculture and the USDA Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee on Trade. Swenson served in the United States Air Force and Army National Guard. Lee is married to Kathy Fischer Swenson. They reside in Centennial, Colo., and have five children and two granddaughters.

FSA-CO Contact Information: Leland Swenson,  Colorado State Office West 6th Avenue & Kipling St., Bldg 56 Denver, CO 80225 (720) 544-2874 (720) 544-2966 Fax

The Farm Service Agency is equitably serving all farmers, ranchers, and agricultural partners through the delivery of effective, efficient agricultural programs for all Americans. The FSA is a customer-driven agency with a diverse and multi-talented work force, dedicated to achieving an economically and environmentally sound future for American Agriculture.  The foundation of FSA’s mission and vision rests upon the USDA’s long-standing core values of Strong Ethics; Customer Service,Team Work; Inclusive Decision-Making; and Fiscal Responsibility. Learn more online @ www.fsa.usdagov

04-16-15 National Bison Assn News: Producers Laud Change on U.S. – Canadian Bison Shipping Rules…

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New ID Requirements Reduce Stress on Animals, Costs for Producers

DENVER, CO (April 16, 2015) – The leaders of the U.S. National Bison Association and the Canadian Bison Association today applauded the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for implementing a new directive that eliminates the requirement that bison imported into the United States from Canada be branded.

The new directive replaces the branding requirement with a new rule that allows producers to identify animals with an approved RFID (Radio Frequency) tag compliant with the U.S. National Animal Identification System, and a secondary ear tag bearing the official identification number.

“This is a very positive development for the bison business. The National Bison Association, Canadian Bison Association and individual producers have worked with our respective federal agencies to request this new procedure. We are very pleased that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture responded to our requests,” said Bruce Anderson, president of the National Bison Association. Continue reading

04-16-15 CSU hosts 10th annual Legends of Ranching Performance Horse Sale…

2015 CSU Legends of Ranching Horse SaleFORT COLLINS – Horse enthusiasts will return to Fort Collins this April to continue a tradition that has become a hallmark of CSU’s Equine Science Program. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the CSU Legends of Ranching Performance Horse Sale will be held at the CSU Equine Center on Saturday April 25.

The sale represents a culmination of a year-long program in which Equine Science students take two classes, gain real-world experience, and have the opportunity to help manage the sale. Approximately 45 students take part in the courses, which have come to be some of the most popular courses for both Animal and Equine Science students at CSU.

Well-known Quarter Horse ranches from around the country have consigned two- or three-year-old horses to the Horse Training and Sales Preparation class, as well as a number of aged performance horses to the horse sale. Continue reading

04-16-15 USDA Reminds Farmers to Certify Conservation Compliance by June 1st Deadline…

USDA seal logoProducers May Need to Take Action to Remain Eligible for Crop Insurance Premium Support

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 16, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds farmers that the 2014 Farm Bill requires producers to file a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification form (AD-1026) with their local USDA service center by June 1, 2015, in order to become or remain eligible for crop insurance premium support.

Most farmers already have a certification form on file since it’s required for participation in most USDA programs such as marketing assistance loans, farm storage facility loans and disaster assistance. However farmers, such as specialty crop growers who receive federal crop insurance premium support, but may not participate in other USDA programs, also must now file a certification form to maintain their crop insurance premium support.

“USDA employees are working very hard to get the word out about this new Farm Bill provision,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “While many producers will not need to take action, we want to help make sure that those who are required to act do so by the June 1 deadline. We want all eligible producers to be able to maintain their ability to protect their operations with affordable insurance.”

Producers should visit their local USDA service center and talk with their crop insurance agent before the June 1, 2015, deadline to ask questions, get additional information or learn more about conservation compliance procedures. Producers that file their form by the deadline will be eligible for federal crop insurance premium support during the 2016 reinsurance year, which begins July, 1, 2015. USDA will publish a rule outlining the linkage of conservation compliance with federal crop insurance premium support. Go to http://go.usa.gov/3Wy5J to view a copy of the rule. Continue reading

04-16-15 Inside the BARN with Colorado Ag Commissioner Don Brown…

 

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Colorado Agriculture Commissioner Don Brown

CO Ag Commissioner Don Brown

(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) April 16, 2015 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN is Don Brown, the newly appointed & confirmed Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture. Commissioner Brown discusses several topics including:

  • Drought Update
  • CO’s News Deputy Ag Commissioner Chris Wiseman
  • Pesticide Applicator Sunset Review
  • CO Potato Exports to Mexico Update
  • CO Animal Health Update
  • NWSS Improvement Update
  • CO Water Plan Update
  • & MORE

To listen to the interview with Colorado Agriculture Commissioner Don Brown, click below…

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The mission of the Department of Agriculture is to strengthen and advance Colorado agriculture; promote a safe, high quality, and sustainable food supply; and protect consumers, the environment, and natural resources. The vision of the Department of Agriculture is that Colorado agriculture be strong and vibrant, a key driver of the state’s economy, and recognized worldwide for its safe, affordable, and abundant supply of high quality food and agricultural products.

If you would like to learn more about the Colorado Department of Agriculture stop by their offices @ 305 Interlocken Parkway in Broomfield, CO, give them a call @ 303-869-9000 or visit the CDA online @ www.colorado.gov/ag

 

 

04-14-15 Make plans to attend the 21st Arkansas River Basin Water Forum in Pueblo April 22-23…

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Paul_Fanning_APR(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) April 15, 2015 – The 2015 Arkansas River Basin Water Forum is coming up April 22-23 at Pueblo Community College in Pueblo, CO and inside the BARN on the CO Ag News Network to discuss this event in more detail is Paul Fanning, Public Relations & the Legislation Administrator with the Board of Water Works of Pueblo. Listen to the interview above or CLICK HERE.

ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE FROM APRIL 14, 2015 Continue reading

04-14-15 Inside the NACD with 1st VP Brent Van Dyke…

LISTEN TO THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH NACD’s 1st VP Brent Van Dyke…

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NACD_Logo_200(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) April 14, 2015 – Joining me on the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN is Brent Van Dyke, First Vice-President of the National Association of Conservation Districts discussing several topics including:

  • Van Dyke’s background in Ag Education and with USAID & NACD
  • Peters NEW NACD CEO Named
  • US Congress Back in session
  • NACD Summer Meeting in Spokane, WA JULY 11-13
  • & More

Brent Van Dyke 1st VP NACD 2015-16BIOGRAPHY: Brent Van Dyke, First Vice President, is a retired Agriculture Education teacher and FFA advisor from Hobbs, New Mexico. He has worked for the U.S. State Department/ U.S.A.I.D. for more than 15 years as a contract advisor for agriculture projects in Eastern Europe and Eurasia.

Van Dyke has served as Vice President of New Mexico Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts since 2006; prior to that, he served as Chairman of Lea County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors. Van Dyke was elected as NACD Southwest Region Executive Board Representative in 2011.

A life-long resident of New Mexico, Van Dyke and his wife Kim farm irrigated alfalfa and coastal Bermuda hay in Lea County, New Mexico, and cotton in Plains, Texas. They also run a commercial and registered cattle operation in Southeastern New Mexico.

Continue reading

04-14-15 CDA News: April 28th Workshop Helps Local Food Businesses Get Started in Aurora…

CDA NEW main logo 051414BROOMFIELD, Colo.– The Colorado Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with the Aurora Small Business Development Center, has developed a new workshop entitled Fundamentals for Food Product Success. The workshop will be held on Tuesday, April 28 from 8am to 4pm at the Community College of Aurora, 16000 E. Centretech Pkwy., Aurora, Colo.
This one-day workshop is perfect for start-up businesses and individuals considering a path into the food product industry. This workshop is organized to be fast paced and packed with vital information needed to establish steps to begin a food business. The workshop will include topics such as resources available for start-up businesses, building your brand, working with retailers, and other key topics such as labeling and beginning production factors.

Continue reading

04-13-15 Michelle Pearson discusses History CO and the Centennial Farms Program…

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History Colorado Centennial Farms LogoPearsonHeadshot(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) April 13th, 2015 – History Colorado invites families who have owned and operated their Colorado farm or ranch for 100 years or more to nominate their property for the 2015 Colorado Centennial Farms Award. Joining the BARN to discuss this in more detail is Michelle Pearson, Historic Preservation Education Grants Coordinator…click the link above to listen to the interview

Don’t forget History Colorado Seeks Nominations for 2015 Centennial Farms Award – Submissions are due April 30th

Nominees must meet the following requirements to be selected as a Colorado Centennial Farm:

  • Farming or ranching properties must have remained in the same family continuously for at least 100 years
  • Each property must still operate as a working farm or ranch­­­
  • Farms or ranches must have a minimum of 160 acres
  • Properties with fewer than 160 acres can qualify if they gross at least $1,000 in annual sales

History Colorado and the Colorado Department of Agriculture created the Colorado Centennial Farms Program in 1986 to recognize the important role that agriculture has played in the state’s history and economic development.

How to nominate: Download a Colorado Centennial Farms application and mail to:

History Colorado State Historical Fund
Colorado Centennial Farms Program c/o Michelle Pearson
1200 Broadway
Denver, CO 80203

Due Date: COB Thursday, April 30, 2015.

Questions? Contact Michelle Pearson at 303/866-2976 or michelle.pearson@state.co.us

Centennial Farms Awards Ceremony:
The 2015 Colorado Centennial Farms awards will be presented at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo in August. At the ceremony, award recipients will receive a certificate signed by the Governor and a sign to display on their property.

To date, nearly 500 Colorado farms and ranches representing 61 counties across the state have been honored as Centennial Farms. The majority of these farms were established between 1880 and 1895.

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About History Colorado
History Colorado, a Smithsonian Affiliate, inspires generations to find wonder and meaning in our past and to engage in building a better Colorado. Find us on Facebook.com/HistoryColorado and on Twitter@HistoryColorado. For more information visit www.HistoryColorado.org, call 303-HISTORY (447-8679) or visit us at the History Colorado Center at 1200 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203.

04-13-15 Colorado Corn Update w/ Eric Brown…

Colorado Corn LogoEric Brown - CO Corn Communications Director(The BARN – Briggsdale, CO) April 13th, 2015 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN is Colorado Corn’s Communications Director Eric Brown, discussing several topics that important to producers including:

  • CO Water Plan
  • CO House Bill 15-1234
  • EPA’s recent Announcement
  • Senator Bennet & Sen Gardners support of RFS
  • SAfe & Affordable Food LabelingBill
  • Upcoming Beef Battallion in CO Springs
  • Viaero Wireless Specials expire soon for CCGA Members
  • CO Energy Office Opportunity
  • & more

To listen to the entire interview, click the mp3 audio link below…

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The Colorado Corn Growers Association and Colorado Corn Administrative Committee work on behalf of more than 4,000 corn producers through market development, communications, research and technical assistance. See more about the work of both organizations and to see the TRUTHS about Ethanol, please visit www.coloradocorn.com.

04-10-15 CFB Action Alert: Take Action and Support SB15-119, Sunset Pesticide Applicator Bill…

Take Action and Support SB15-119, Sunset Pesticide Applicator Bill

The Colorado Department of Agriculture has provided the Pesticide Applicator Program for the last nine years. This program is scheduled to sunset in 2015. The Colorado General Assembly has before them the Colorado Pesticide Applicator Sunset Review bill. If passed, this bill will extend the program for another nine years.

The Pesticide Applicator Program:
• Assist farmers in their stewardship of the environment as they protect vital parts of our ecosystem, such as bees.
• Provides education to farmers and enforces proper pesticide handling and use.
• Requires continuing education for farmers to learn about the latest safety standards.
• Provides the license needed to access tools for safe pesticide application.

Please take action on this bill and contact the members of the House and ask them to support SB15-119, the Sunset Pesticide Applicator bill. Your messages will be vital to the success of this effort so we need you to Take Action now!

Click here to send a message to the House.

For more information about the CO Farm Bureau – CLICK HERE

04-10-15 NJC hosting FREE Drone demonstration in Sterling on April 20th…

Drone demonstration at NJC on April 20th

FREE Workshop will address use of UAVs in agriculture

By Barbara Baker

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Drones are becoming more and more popular for use in agriculture and other industries. A workshop on unmanned aerial vehicles will be held at Northeastern, hosted by the agriculture department, on April 10th. Photo courtesy of Aerial Data Systems

Drones are becoming more and more popular for use in agriculture and other industries. A workshop on unmanned aerial vehicles will be held at Northeastern, hosted by the agriculture department, on April 10th. Photo courtesy of Aerial Data Systems

If you haven’t had the opportunity to see a drone fly, or you’ve got questions about how they are being used, especially as it pertains to agriculture, here’s a demonstration workshop you won’t want to miss. If the weather is nice, you’ll get to see one fly.

The agriculture department at Northeastern will team up with Aerial Data Systems to present two sessions about the basics of the laws and regulations regarding flying of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on Monday, April 20th. The first session will begin at 1:10 p.m. and run until 2 p.m. and the second session will run from 2:10 p.m. to 3 p.m. These sessions are open to the public and are free of charge. The two sessions will be identical in information provided. You only need to attend one.

Experts will speak to those attending about their special use as it relates to the agriculture and oil and gas industries. A live flying demonstration will be held, weather permitting.

Aerial Data Systems, out of Broomfield, CO is a company with over 25 years of experience flying commercial and private planes and over 20 years of experience building and flying unmanned aerial vehicles. It offers full-service solutions, from helping someone decide which type of aerial system will achieve what tasks most effectively, to determining the right sensors and software for an individual’s needs. It offers training and consulting and services to the agriculture, oil and gas, geographic information systems, and fire industries among others. In agriculture specifically, producers are using UAVs to improve efficiencies by doing such things as scanning an entire filed in minutes and carrying multiple sensors to detect nitrogen levels, plant health and more.  By tying into digital resources such as Google Maps, drones can be flown on an optimally programmed route to maximize the area covered in as short a flight time as possible. Continue reading

04-08-15 Meet Weld County Extension’s New 4-H / Youth Development Director Kim Sterkel…

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2015_LM_Sterkle 4H_03192015_002(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) April 8th, 2015 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN is Kim Sterkel, the NEW 4-H / Youth Development Director, with Weld County Extension in Greeley. Sterkel discusses her new position, Weld County’s NEW 4H Ag Ambassador Program and the upcoming 97th Weld County Fair.

To learn more about the Weld County Extension’s NEW 4-H Agriculture Ambassador Program – CLICK HERE

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To learn more about the 97th Weld County Fair please visit http://www.weldcountyfair.com/

WELD COUNTY EXTENSION: “Providing information and education, and encouraging the application of research-based knowledge in response to local, state, and national issues affecting individuals, youth, families, dairy, livestock/agricultural enterprises, and communities of Colorado.” To learn more about Weld County Extension, please visit http://www.co.weld.co.us/Departments/CSUExtensionWeld/index.html/

04-02-15 NRCS: UAV and Soil Mapping Workshop in Longmont, CO on May 6th…

NRCS UAV - Soil Monitoring Workshop May6th LongmontPlease plan to join the Longmont NRCS and Longmont and Boulder Valley Conservation District office on Wednesday May 6th 9 AM to 12 PM at the Natural Resource Building at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont, Colorado for a free workshop on introduction to UAVs and Soil EM Mapping.

Sometimes walking the property doesn’t always give you all the answers you need when it comes to good sound land management.  But there are tools available to help land managers and owners to paint a better picture of what is going on from a real time bird’s eye view, as well as take a look at what is going on below the surface.

This will be an interactive workshop and presentation to experience the multiple beneficial uses for UAVs and EM/RTK Soil Mapping on a variety of land uses including cropland, rangelands, pastures, forest, land restoration, and more. At the workshop we will look at a the DJ1 Inspire UAV, including other aircrafts, proposed regulations from Washington, and of course a flight demonstration.  It is the most advance technology coming together in a very easy to use, all-in-one flying platform.  Equipped with a 4K video and capture 12 megapixel photos with extreme clarity.  It is very easy to use and fly.  Workshop participants will be provided an opportunity to fly the device themselves.   In addition to the UAV demonstration we will also look at  EM/RTK soil mapping, which is an Electro Magnetic survey of the land with RTK-corrected GSP mapping.  Provides site specific information of variation in soil type, moisture content, and compaction, useful in land management decisions.

Continue reading

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

03-10-15 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

The Denver Cash Grain Bids…

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

Continue reading

04-17-15 USDA Announces Loan Rates for Wheat, Feed Grains and Oilseeds…

USDA seal logoWASHINGTON, April 17, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation today announced the 2015 marketing assistance loan rates by county for wheat (by class), corn, grain sorghum, barley, oats, soybeans and each “other oilseed” (canola, crambe, flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, sesame seed and sunflower seed). The rates are posted on the Farm Service Agency (FSA) website at www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/price-support/commodity-loan-rates/index.

Marketing assistance loans provide interim financing to producers so that commodities can be stored after harvest, when market prices are typically low, to be sold later, when price conditions are more favorable. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, April 17th…

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 Votes to Repeal Death Tax”

By a vote of 240 to 179 – the House passed the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 on Thursday. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Philip Ellis says the death tax is a punitive tax on farmers and ranchers that is inaccurately framed as a tax on the rich. At the end of 2012 – Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act – avoiding a return to a 1-million dollar estate tax exemption with a 55-percent tax rate. The legislation provided a permanent exemption of the estate tax of 5-million per individual – 10-million per couple – and raised the top tax rate to 40-percent. American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman says the legislation provided important relief – but estate taxes still weight on many farm families. Stallman says tax policies need to help capital-intensive businesses. House Ag Chair Michael Conaway says when a farmer or rancher passes away – even though he has already paid taxes on everything he owns – the sons and daughters who want to  carry on the family tradition first have to get over the hurdle of a tax penalty that can reach as high as 60-percent. Conaway says the death tax hurts not only the next generation of farmers and ranchers – but it also hobbles an important sector of the U.S. economy. NCBA urges the Senate to act soon and vote for full repeal of the death tax to prevent an undeserved death sentence to many family-owned farms and ranches.

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“TPA Legislation Introduced in the Senate”

Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch and Ranking Member Ron Wyden introduced Trade Promotion Authority legislation on Thursday. Hatch expects to markup the bill next Thursday and hopes for Senate passage by the end of this month. Wyden – however – anticipates debate for weeks before TPA is considered by the full Congress. House Ag Chair Michael Conaway says trade is crucial for a growing and dynamic American agricultural sector that must maintain and increase access to the world’s consumers. Conaway says the U.S. cannot sit idly by and allow others to fill consumer demand around the world – and the details of trade agreements are important – but TPA is an essential part of passing those agreements. The National Corn Growers Association, American Feed Industry Association and National Pork Producers Council urge swift passage of TPA. NPPC President Dr. Ron Prestage says TPA is imperative for getting U.S. trading partners to come to the negotiating table with their best and final offers. When Congress passes TPA – Prestage says U.S. trade negotiators will have the leverage they need to close the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. He says the entire U.S. economy needs TPA – and soon. A House bill is expected to be introduced soon.

The National Farmers Union calls TPA a continuation of the same old thing – trade agreements that make huge promises of prosperity and jobs to the American public delivering nothing but bigger deficits, exported jobs and lost domestic ag sales. NFU President Roger Johnson says any trade deal the U.S. signs should ensure it will reduce the trade deficit, protect American workers and forbid trading partners from dancing around the negotiated rules and manipulating their currencies to gain an unfair advantage over the United States. NFU favors a trade policy that prioritizes domestic food production and goods supply chains in lieu of policies that put family farmers and ranchers out of business by sending the dreams of America’s middleclass overseas.

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“AFBF Sends Letter to Lawmakers Supporting Legislation to Repeal WOTUS Rule”

The American Farm Bureau Federation sent a letter to Congress yesterday (Thursday) endorsing legislation ordering EPA and the Army Corps to withdraw the Waters of the U.S. proposal. AFBF President Bob Stallman says the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 – approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee – is the first important step toward resolving this issue fairly. If EPA moves forward with a final rule – he says landowners would be forced to engage in expensive litigation to protect their rights. Farm Bureau members overwhelmingly oppose the proposed WOTUS rule. Farm Bureau believes without question that the rule expands EPA’s authority beyond congressional intent and the limits imposed by two Supreme Court opinions.

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“Young Consumers Concerned with High Protein Diets”

Meatingplace reports a new survey from Datamonitor Consumer shows consumers are becoming more aware of the potential negative health effects of high protein diets. Younger consumers are most likely to eat as much protein as possible – according to the survey – but they are also most likely to be concerned about the side effects of high-protein consumption – including constipation. Datamonitor Consumer senior analyst Melanie Felgate says concerned young adults will actively seek solutions to the problem – such as food and drinks high in fiber – while aligning with their protein intake goals. Felgate says the trend is starting to gain momentum – with an increasing proportion of new food launches labeled as high in protein and high in fiber. She says near-term trends will include a shift to beans and other foods that combine protein and fiber – and a long-term shift away from diets singling out specific food groups to more natural whole foods.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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04-16-15 NCBA Urges Congress to Support Trade Promotion Authority…

NCBA - New Image 2010WASHINGTON (April 16, 2015) – Today, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced Trade Promotion Authority legislation, which establishes concrete rules for international trade negotiations that will boost American exports and create new economic opportunities. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President and Chugwater, Wyo. cattleman Philip Ellis urged Congress to act swiftly to pass this important legislation.

“2014 was the largest year we’ve ever seen for U.S. beef exports, with over $7 billion in total sales,” said Ellis. “It is critical for our government to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade, to ensure our beef exports remain competitive across the world. TPA assures the President and Congress will negotiate present and future trade agreements with common objectives and the understanding that any agreement will receive an up or down vote when presented to Congress.”

Past free trade agreements negotiated under TPA have showed tremendous success for U.S. beef exports. The Korea-U.S. FTA will eliminate a 40 percent tariff rate, Columbia-U.S. FTA will eliminate an 80 percent tariff, Panama-U.S. FTA will eliminate a 30 percent tariffs, and the Dominican Republic-Central America-U.S. FTA will eliminate a 15-40 percent tariff; all over the course of 15 years. Currently, the U.S. exports over $1 billion in beef and variety meats to these markets, with greater opportunity as those tariffs continue to drop. Continue reading

04-16-15 NFU Opposes Repealing Estate Tax; Says Repeal Places Larger Tax Burden on the Family Farmer…

NFU - National Farmers Union logo5

WASHINGTON (April 13, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson opposed today’s action in the U.S. House of Representatives that would repeal the estate tax, stating the move would place a larger tax burden on American family farmers and ranchers.

“Repeal of the estate tax puts a larger tax burden on those that are currently exempted from the tax,” said Johnson. “Over 99 percent of small farms do not face the tax, as estates under $5.43 million, $10.86 million for couples, are exempted from it. As a result, NFU opposes completely eliminating the tax. Continue reading

04-16-15 Statement from USDA Secretary Vilsack on Introduction of Legislation to Support TPA…

USDA Ag Secretary Tom VilsackUSDA seal logoWASHINGTON, April 16, 2015 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement:

“U.S. agriculture applauds the introduction of Trade Promotion Authority legislation today. We look for quick action by Congress to provide the President with the authority to pursue agreements that open markets for America’s farmers, ranchers and agribusiness. Over 70 organizations representing America’s farmers and ranchers support trade promotion authority because trade is vital for U.S. agriculture. Last year, agricultural exports totaled more than $150 billion and for many of our products, foreign markets represent half or more of total sales. Those exports supported approximately 1 million U.S. jobs last year. The economy is strengthened in rural communities and throughout the entire country from the additional economic activity that flows from the expanded farm and processing business. Standing still is not an option. Not only do we face barriers in important foreign markets, but we are currently being hurt as these countries negotiate agreements that lower barriers for our competitors. U.S. agriculture’s interests are best served by ensuring America is at the table with strong negotiating authority.”

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04-16-15 NFU Calls TPA Bill A One Way Ticket To Bigger Trade Deficits, More Lost Jobs, More Dashed Hopes of Family Farmers, Ranchers…

NFU - National Farmers Union logo5

WASHINGTON (April 13, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson called the introduction of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill today a one way ticket to bigger trade deficits, more lost jobs and more economic devastation to America’s family farmers and ranchers.

“TPA is just the continuation of the same old thing, trade agreements that make huge promises of prosperity and jobs to the American public and deliver nothing but bigger deficits, exported jobs and lost domestic agricultural sales,” said Johnson, whose organization has long opposed TPA.

TPA — also known as “Fast Track”— grants the administration the ability to negotiate trade deals and only allows Congress to have an up or down vote on the final package, regardless of how many objectionable provisions it contains. The bill was introduced today by Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, in the U.S. Senate, and a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representative was introduced by Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin.  Continue reading

04-16-15 NCGA Urges Swift Passage of Trade Promotion Authority…

NCGA News Release logoBREAKING NEWS FROM NCGA – April 16, 2015 – The National Corn Growers Association applauded the introduction today of bipartisan legislation to renew and modernize Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and urged Congress to quickly pass the bill.

The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015) introduced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will help open the door to new markets for U.S. goods and services, grow the U.S. economy and support jobs in all 50 states. TPA was last enacted in 2002 and expired in 2007.

“Trade benefits American corn and livestock farmers, workers and consumers. Agricultural exports are already a major driver of the U.S. economy, supporting more than one million American jobs. If we remove trade barriers and expand our access to global markets, American farmers can do even more,” said Chip Bowling, a Maryland farmer and president of NCGA. “Trade Promotion Authority is critical to ensuring farmers get the best possible deal in trade agreements.” Continue reading

04-16-15 US Wheat Associates News: Wheat Growers Support Quick Passage of Bipartisan TPA Legislation…

USWA - US Wheat Associates LogoARLINGTON, Virginia – The U.S. wheat industry applauds bipartisan support for the introduction of legislation to modernize and renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 includes improvements to the 2002 TPA law that are key to establishing the groundwork for progressive trade negotiations and outcomes for U.S. farmers and businesses.

“Trade is vital to the U.S. wheat industry, with 50 percent of the annual crop destined for export markets. U.S. farmers are eager to sell high quality wheat throughout the world, but artificial trade barriers often stand in their way,” said National Association of Wheat Growers President, Brett Blankenship. “Passage of TPA would send a strong signal that Congress and the Administration are united in their commitment to opening markets for the benefit of farmers and rural communities and creating jobs throughout this country.”

The TPA legislation outlines U.S. trade policy objectives and sets out conditions for the President to negotiate free trade agreements and other trade liberalizing initiatives as well as allowing for expedited Congressional consideration. Also known as “fast track,” TPA builds confidence with our negotiating partners that once an agreement is reached, Congress cannot change it. The bill also institutionalizes consultation requirements to ensure that Congress and the President maintain a strong partnership in advancing trade policy goals. Continue reading

04-16-15 Dairy Groups Urge Quick Congressional Action on New TPA Legislation…

 

NMPF - US Dairy Export Council joint logoThursday, April 16, 2015 – The National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council today urged the Senate and House to act quickly on new Trade Promotion Authority legislation, saying the measure is crucial to securing well-negotiated trade agreements that open foreign markets to more U.S. dairy products.

The bipartisan TPA legislation was introduced today in the Senate by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and senior committee Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), and in the House by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).

NMPF and USDEC said renewing TPA, which expired in 2007, is particularly important to the U.S. dairy industry because America now exports the equivalent of one-seventh of its milk production. TPA is the key to unlocking future export opportunities, the groups said.

“Because world trade has become a major driver of U.S. dairy farmer income, we need well-designed free trade agreements to keep expanding our exports,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “All of the past trade agreements that were well-negotiated have been beneficial to the U.S. dairy industry. None of those have been implemented without Congress first approving trade negotiating authority.” Continue reading

04-16-15 NMPF Statement on House Vote to Repeal Estate Tax…

NMPF logo 5

From Jim Mulhern, President and CEO, National Milk Producers Federation

“It’s hard enough for new generations of dairy producers to establish their own farms without the prospect of the estate tax penalizing the transfer of farms between generations of family members.

“That’s why we support the action today in the House of Representatives to repeal the estate tax. H.R. 1105, the Death Tax Repeal Act, banishes the specter of the estate tax from the same business people that we should be encouraging to invest in the future of America’s food production.

“Dairy farming, like most forms of agriculture today, is a capital-intensive enterprise, and has become even more so in the past decade as land values have risen. When younger farmers inherit farms, they are often asset rich and cash poor. The estate tax can hit them with a bill to the IRS that is prohibitively costly. This legislation helps address that problem, and will facilitate the ability of established farmers to transfer their businesses to their offspring.

“The bill repeals the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes and makes permanent the maximum 35 percent gift tax rate and lifetime gift tax exemption. It also provides for an inflation adjustment to such exemption amount. By repealing the death tax, it will provide more certainty to the agriculture sector, and protect farms’ financial viability for future generations. We encourage the Senate to pass similar legislation to help our family farmers.”

The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the wellbeing of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. For more on NMPF’s activities, visit our website at www.nmpf.org.

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04-16-15 Governor Mead to Proclaim July 24th as WY Environmental Stewardship Day by Recognizing Leopold Conservation Award® Recipient…

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead

The King Ranch is the 2015 Leopold Conservation Award® recipient.

The King Ranch is the 2015 Leopold Conservation Award® recipient.

CHEYENNE – In celebration of Earth Day, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead will proclaim July 14, 2015 as Wyoming Environmental Stewardship Day. Governor Mead will sign the proclamation during a ceremony Monday, April 20th in his formal office.

Each year, Wyoming Environmental Stewardship Day marks the date of the Environmental Stewardship Tour hosted by the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture. The annual event showcases that year’s Leopold Conservation Award® recipient’s conservation efforts. The 2015 recipient of the award is King Ranch, a sustainable and profitable cattle operation west of Cheyenne.

King Ranch is owned and managed by Mark and Trudy Eisele and their family. The ranch consists of 250 acres of prime hay land, as well as private and leased lands for grazing. Some of the practices designed to improve the environment include solar pumps for livestock watering tanks, which can be used by wildlife; rotational grazing; planting tree rows for shelter and wind break; low pressure pivot irrigation; and energy development cooperative mitigation and reclamation. The ranch runs anywhere from 100 to 750 head of cattle, allowing for manageable stocking levels. Beyond ranching, the family is involved in numerous civic and community service groups at the state level, holding membership, leadership and officer roles. Continue reading

04-16-15 CSU Extension: AgFest 2015 – Teaching the Science behind Agriculture…

CSU Ext SE CO“Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens.  They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bands.”  (Thomas Jefferson, 1785.)

Many of you may be able to personally identify with this quote from Mr. Jefferson, due to the fact that we live in a rural, predominately agricultural area.  However, our urban counterparts may be several generations removed from any form of production agriculture and do not understand the science behind the production of their food.  Even many of our youth, who will soon be the leaders and scientists of tomorrow, are losing sight of where food comes from and how it’s produced.  Colorado State University Extension agents and specialists recognized this concerning trend and created a program called AgFest in 2010.  AgFest is an innovative, eclectic approach to help 5th and 6th grade students explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through hands-on educational workshops that supplement their school curriculum.

In order to deliver AgFest to a large audience of 5th and 6th grade students, the program travels to communities across eastern Colorado.  In the spring of 2014, the 5th year of AgFest, 1,675 students from 40 schools attended one of eight AgFest events held at fairgrounds and community centers.  During the day-long program, students rotate through ten activity stations, typically in groups of 15-30 students.  The following stations for the 2015 AgFest event will focus on different science-based learning objectives related to these aspects of agriculture: Continue reading

04-16-15 NCBA News: House Votes to Repeal the Death Tax…

NCBA - New Image 2010WASHINGTON (April 16, 2015) – The House voted 240 to 179 today for full repeal of the Death Tax, a tax that is threatening the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers across the country. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Philip Ellis said H.R 1105 Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 is commonsense legislation necessary for rural America.

“When did it become appropriate to tax death?” said Ellis, a multi-generational rancher from Wyoming. “This is a punitive tax on farmers and ranchers that is inaccurately framed as a tax on the rich. The U.S. Department of Agriculture even names the death tax as one of the top contributors to the breakup of multigenerational farming and ranching operations.”

At the end of 2012, Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act, narrowly avoiding a return to a $1 million estate tax exemption with a 55 percent tax rate. This legislation provided a permanent exemption of the estate tax of $5 million per individual, 10 million per couple, and raised the top tax rate to 40 percent. While ATRA provided some relief for some farmers and ranchers, fixing the underlying problem is critical. With rising farm land values across America the estate tax will continue to plague farm and ranch families until it is repealed. Continue reading