Make Plans to attend the 2018 Colorado Egg Producers Annual Meeting in Brighton, CO on May 24th
US Senators Bennet, Gardner Introduce FARMERS FIRST Bill to Provide Mental Health Support to Agricultural Communities
Report finds agricultural workers have higher suicide rate than any other occupation
Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D) and Cory Gardner (R) this week introduced bipartisan legislation to provide farmers, ranchers, and agricultural workers with critical mental health support and resources.
“During meetings and listening sessions around the state, we’ve heard about the challenges and uncertainty felt in rural Colorado,” Bennet said.“Tackling this challenge requires a comprehensive approach that includes access to health and wellness services for farmers and ranchers. I’ll continue working with my colleagues across the aisle to ensure America’s agricultural communities have the resources they need and deserve.”
“As a fifth generation Coloradan who still lives in a tiny town on the Eastern Plains of Colorado that is totally dependent on agriculture, I see the hardships our farmers and ranchers experience every day,” Gardner said. “When I was a kid growing up in the 1980s, I remember Colorado farmers and ranchers facing tough times, and I’m afraid that we are seeing that same thing happen again. My friends and neighbors are filing for bankruptcy, being forced to sell their family farms, taking on more debt, and struggling to provide for their families. These stories break my heart and serve as a reminder that we need to be there for our farmers and support our rural communities during times of hardship, and that is exactly what the FARMERS FIRST Act does. This bipartisan legislation will make sure our agriculture community doesn’t feel abandoned and alone. The forgotten men and women of America must know that we have their backs, that their communities have their backs, and that we will always strive to help them. While this legislation is a good start, more must be done and I will continue to work with my colleagues on solutions to help our agriculture community.” Continue reading
An In Depth Look at the Colorado Crisis Services Program and how they can help YOU…
An EXCLUSIVE interview with RMFU Fellow Catherine Russell about Colorado Crisis Services..help is just a call or TEXT away…
(The BARN / FarmCast Radio – Briggsdale, CO) April 19, 2018 – The agriculture economy at this time is facing some tough trials and many in the ag industry may feel that there is no one that they can talk to about their particular situation. That’s here the Colorado Crisis Services comes in. And joining the Colorado Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio to discuss that organization in more detail is Catherine Russell, RMFU Fellow…
If you don’t know where to begin getting mental health, substance use or emotional help for yourself or someone you know—start here. Colorado Crisis Services provides confidential and immediate support, 24/7/365. If you are in crisis or need help dealing with one, call this toll-free number 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255 to speak to a trained professional.
OP-ED: Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture, Don Brown “Access to International Trade Critical for Colorado Ranchers and Farmers”
April 17, 2018 – If you live in Colorado, or if your business is touched in any way by any aspect of the agricultural industry, the ongoing national discussion about trade agreements and import tariffs should mean a lot to you. Colorado farmers and ranchers understand that there are a lot of things like weather and market price fluctuations that we can’t control. But we can make every effort to create new market opportunities and expand the global partnerships we have worked so hard to develop for our products.
We all need to work together to protect our state’s position in international markets. The Colorado farm community can’t afford to wait quietly for Washington to put forth a comprehensive trade strategy. While we wait, our global competitors are moving aggressively to formalize trade pacts to put them at a competitive advantage to the U.S. It’s not right to force our hard-working farmers and ranchers to stand idle while this political drama plays out. Continue reading
Inside the BARN and FarmCast Radio with CSU’s Mark Enns: 50th BIF Annual Meeting and Research Symposium & More…
Pre-Register for the event by May 31st and Save $80
Hotel Reservations due by May 20th
April 18, 2018 – BRIGGSDALE, CO – For 50 years the Beef Improvement Federation has hosted their annual research symposium and convention, which serves to facilitate discussion and provide education on current issues facing the beef industry. The event will be held, June 20-23 at the Embassy Suites Convention Center Hotel in Loveland, Colorado. Joining FarmCast Radio & the Colorado Ag News Network to discuss the event in more detail is Colorado State University Assistant Professor of Animal Sciences Mark Enns…
50th Beef Improvement Federation’s Research and Improvement Symposium June 20-23 @ the Embassy Suites in Loveland, CO, for complete details, including registration and hotel information, please visit https://beefimprovement.org/library/general-information
To learn more about the National Beef Quality Assurance please visit https://www.bqa.org/
And to learn about Colorado Beef Quality Assurance please visit http://www.cobqa.org/
Lastly, to learn more about Colorado State University’s Animal Sciences Department please visit http://ansci.agsci.colostate.edu/
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE Continue reading
Come learn, lead & laugh at Camp RMFU
Looking for a great opportunity for your kids ages 7-18? It’s all here at our RMFU Cooperative Leadership Camps! Our camps are traditional in the sense that we do hiking, crafts, cooperative games, and more, but where we stand apart is that we try to send the campers home with some type of newfound knowledge that they might not necessarily learn about in school or through other venues. Then at the end of camp, we go on a field trip to give hands-on experience incorporating the theme. But more importantly to the kids, is that we allow them to be kids for a few days—with silly skits and crazy games! Continue reading
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union / FUSA Insurance Night at the Rockies July 3rd
Game time (This is the Fireworks Game)
6:10 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Tickets are $32, each
For ticket information RMFU / FUSA Members need to contact: Continue reading
Jocelyn Hittle details CSU’s 1st Annual Water in the West Symposium coming to Denver April 26-27
(The BARN / FarmCast Radio) Briggsdale, CO April 10, 2018 – Colorado State University is hosting their 1st annual Water in the West Symposium April 26-27 at the McNichols Civic Center Building in Denver and joining the CO Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio to detail the event in detail is Jocelyn Hittle, Director of Denver Program Development for the CSU System…
NMPF: National Dairy FARM Program, Beef Quality Assurance Program Seek Nominations for Joint Dairy Award
ARLINGTON, VA – The National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program is partnering with the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program to collect nominations for the first-ever joint FARM/BQA Dairy Award for 2019. The deadline to apply is June 1, 2018.
The awards honor outstanding beef and dairy producers and marketers that demonstrate the best animal care and handling principles as part of their day-to-day operations. This is an opportunity for NMPF member cooperatives and FARM participants to recognize dairy farmers that they believe demonstrate a strong commitment to quality animal care. In 2017, NMPF member Chris Kraft and his family were recognized for the care provided on their two operations in northern Colorado, Badger Creek Farm and Quail Ridge Dairy.
“The FARM Program is excited to continue working with BQA by jointly presenting this award,” said Emily Yeiser Stepp, director of the FARM Animal Care program. “By partnering with BQA, we can grow our pool of nominations and celebrate even more dairy farmers for their commitment to the highest animal care standards.”
The winner of the BQA/FARM Dairy Award is selected by a committee of animal scientists, FARM staff, BQA staff and industry representatives. The winning dairy operation will be chosen based on a set of five criteria: Continue reading
US Senator Bennet Introduces Protections for San Juan Mountains
San Miguel County Commissioner Joins Bennet in Washington to Introduce Bill
Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, joined by San Miguel County Commissioner Hilary Cooper, today introduced the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act to protect approximately 61,000 acres of land located in the heart of the San Juan Mountains in Southwest Colorado. The bill would designate some of the state’s most iconic peaks as wilderness areas, including two fourteeners: Mount Sneffels and Wilson Peak.
“We must do our part in Washington to push this bill across the finish line,” Bennet said. “Not only are these iconic landscapes vital to outdoor recreation and local economies, but they also stand as a symbol of our public lands legacy in Colorado—a legacy we must pass onto our kids and grandkids. I’m grateful to all of the county commissioners and leaders who have tirelessly worked to advance this effort for over a decade, and I’m particularly grateful to Commissioner Hilary Cooper, who has played an instrumental role in shaping the legislation we introduced today.”
Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation
READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, April 20th
Conaway Hopeful House Will Consider Farm Bill in May
House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway is hopeful the U.S. House will consider the 2018 farm bill next month. Conaway told reporters he wants to bring the bill to the full U.S. House in May, but says the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act will be taking up time on the floor in coming weeks, according to Politico. The bill faces a partisan divide as no Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee voted in favor of the legislation earlier this week. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says the bill does not include enough support for agricultural producers, and that the nutrition title proposals would waste tax payer money and increase hunger and poverty. In the Senate, Ranking Agriculture Committee Democrat Debbie Stabenow says the House version of the bill is “impossible to pass.” She alleges that House Agriculture Committee leadership has “abandoned” the broad, partisan coalition that passed the 2014 Farm Bill. Stabenow says she “remains committed” to working Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts to “write a bipartisan bill” that focuses on “farmers, families, and rural communities.”
Trump: Not Interested in Rejoining TPP
President Donald Trump says “I don’t want to go back into” the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (sheen-zoh ah-bay) , Trump told reporters “the media has not covered the TPP correctly.” President Trump however did say that “if they offered us a deal that I can’t refuse, on behalf of the United States, I would do it,” according to the Hagstrom Report. The comments follow a previous statement by the President on Twitter that he would be interested in rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, and comments made during a White House meeting last week, where farm-state senators say Trump told them his administration would explore rejoining the trade agreement. Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who attended the meeting and confirmed the comments, added that rejoining TPP is the “best thing” the U.S. can do to “push back” against China. As for trade with Japan, Trump said he would prefer “a bilateral deal, a deal directly with Japan.”
Japan-EU Trade Agreement Threatens U.S. Pork Exports to Japan
The Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service says a Japan-EU trade agreement threatens U.S. pork exports to Japan. Japan and the EU announced finalization of negotiations on the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement in December of last year. For 2017, Japan imported $1.68 billion of pork from the U.S. and $1.69 billion from the European Union. Japan ranked as the world’s largest importer of pork and pork products in 2017, growing imports from $4.9 billion in 2016 to $5.2 billion in 2017. USDA says the trade agreement between Japan and the EU, similar to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, marks a change in trade with Japan eliminating tariffs on more than 60 percent of its pork and pork product tariff lines within 12 years. Additionally, the agreement has established a volume-based safeguard for EU pork imports that will be phased out over 11 years. USDA says larger exports of European processed pork products can be expected under the agreement, and USDA says agricultural exporters from the United States will face challenges as the EU gains preferential tariffs under the agreement.
Northern Storms Easing Drought, Dryness Worsening in the Southwest
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows late-season winter storms are shrinking dry conditions in the northern Midwest and Plains states, but the southwest remains critically dry. Parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, and further westward, are in prolonged extreme or exceptional drought, according to the latest report. As of April 17th, the two largest wildfires in Oklahoma had charred more than 300,000 acres of grass and brush and had destroyed more than 100 structures. Meanwhile, the report notes that Kansas wheat was recently rated 46 percent as poor to very poor. In Oklahoma and Texas, nearly two-thirds of winter wheat is rated poor to very poor. Meanwhile, the National Weather Service outlook for next week calls for the likelihood of near to below-normal temperatures across most of the eastern half of the U.S., while warmer-than-normal weather will cover the West. Near to below-normal precipitation across the majority of the country should contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in a few areas, including the Atlantic Coast States and central and southern sections of the Rockies and High Plains, according to the report.
Baldwin, Ernst, Introduce Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network Bill
Senators Tammy Baldwin and Joni Ernst Thursday introduced legislation to fund the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network. The two say the legislation will provide farmers with critical support and resources to respond to the difficult economic times. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found agricultural workers have a higher suicide rate than any other occupation. The Facilitating Accessible Resources for Mental health and Encouraging Rural Solutions for Immediate Response to Stressful Times, named the FARMERS FIRST Act, will establish helplines, provide suicide prevention training for farm advocates, create support groups and reestablish the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network. Senator Baldwin of Wisconsin says the legislation “will provide funding for local resources and expand access to stress reduction strategies and suicide prevention programs.” Ersnt of Iowa says “we must do more” to ensure farmers and ranchers “have access to the mental health resources and supports they need.”
USDA Announces Senior Level Leadership
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue Thursday announced the selection of senior leaders in several U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies. Perdue appointed Ken Isley as Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator, Joel Baxley as Rural Housing Service Administrator, and Martin Barbre as Risk Management Agency Administrator. In addition, Perdue announced the appointment of Tommie Williams as Minister-Counselor for Agriculture at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome. Ken Isley most recently served as a Special Adviser for Corteva Agriscience. Joel Baxley comes to USDA with 23 years of real estate finance experience. Martin Barbre is an Iowa farmer and past president of the National Corn Growers Association and a member of the Illinois Corn Growers Association. Tommie Williams of Georgia started his career as a farmer and later founded several successful businesses. Secretary Sonny Perdue says the new appointees “will be key” in helping USDA advance towards President Trump’s goal of increasing prosperity in rural America.
NFU Lauds Congressional Support for Long-term Farm Safety Net Solution to Potential Trade Damages
WASHINGTON – In a letter sent to President Donald Trump yesterday, twenty members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee urged the administration to support long-term solutions in the Farm Bill that would ensure an adequate farm safety net for family farmers and ranchers who are enduring a depressed farm economy and threats of retaliatory tariffs on farm products.
National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson lauded the letter, noting it mirrors Farmers Union’s call for the administration to work with Congress to develop a Farm Bill that protects family farmers from harm as a result of retaliatory tariffs. Johnson issued the following statement in support of the letter:
Colorado Weekly Hay Report
04/19/2018 – Following today’s introduction of the Facilitating Accessible Resources for Mental Health and Encouraging Rural Solutions For Immediate Response to Stressful Times (FARMERS FIRST) Act by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) with Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Jerry Moran (R-KS) as original co-sponsors, NASDA CEO Dr. Barbara P. Glenn issued the following statement:
“NASDA applauds the bipartisan introduction of this bill to help individuals deal with the extreme stresses facing agriculture. This bill will enable farmers and ranchers to connect with real people who can help them through their uniquely stressful situations. The outreach services and trainings highlighted in this bill can reach producers regardless of where they are located and what they’re facing,” said Glenn. “State departments of agriculture are on the front lines with producers helping tackle these issues and the FARMERS FIRST Act will create needed coordination of these efforts.” Continue reading
NFU Applauds Introduction of FARMERS FIRST Bill in Senate
Legislation Would Reauthorize and Strengthen Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network
WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of Senators today introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate to provide mental health resources in rural America to address the alarmingly high rate of suicide amongst farmers and ranchers.
The bill, Facilitating Accessible Resources for Mental Health and Encouraging Rural Solutions for Immediate Response to Stressful Times (FARMERS FIRST), would reauthorize the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) and authorize $50 million for the program, which has yet to be funded since being first authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill. FRSAN provides grants to extension services and nonprofit organizations that offer stress assistance programs to individuals engaged in farming, ranching, and other agriculture-related occupations. FARMERS FIRST is sponsored by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and cosponsored by Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.).
National Farmers Union (NFU) president Roger Johnson applauded the Senators on the introduction of the bill:
US Representatives Conaway and Thompson hosted Agriculture Audio News Conference Following Markup of 2018 Farm Bill
Washington, D.C. – Washington, D.C. – House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) and Vice Chairman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-5) hosted an agriculture telephone news conference on Thursday, April 19th. Conaway and Thompson shared opening remarks regarding the committee markup of the 2018 Farm Bill and then took questions from reporters…
NFU: E15 Waiver is Good News for Family Farmers
Current House Farm Bill Fails to Meet Needs of Family Farmers — NFU Opposes Current Version, Suggests Significant Improvements
WASHINGTON – The U.S. House Agriculture Committee today marked up the 2018 Farm Bill, H.R. 2, sending the bill to the full U.S. House of Representatives for its consideration.
National Farmers Union (NFU), the nation’s second largest general farm organization, opposes the legislation as it is currently written, as it fails to provide an adequate safety net to family farmers and consumers, fails to support the long-term sustainability of family farms and ranches, and fails to ensure fair and diverse markets for farmers and ranchers. In a series of recommendations released today, NFU urged House members to make significant improvements on the floor prior to passing the bill.
Secretary Perdue Announces New Senior Leaders at USDA
(Washington, D.C., April 19, 2018) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the selection of senior leaders in several U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies. Perdue appointed Ken Isley as Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Administrator, Joel Baxley as Rural Housing Service (RHS) Administrator, and Martin Barbre as Risk Management Agency (RMA) Administrator. In addition, Perdue announced the appointment of Tommie Williams as Minister-Counselor for Agriculture at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome.
“President Trump has made increasing prosperity in rural America a priority for his administration, and our new USDA team members will be key in advancing us toward that goal,” Secretary Perdue said. “Improving economic conditions in rural America involves providing services to farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers, and it also means helping people who live in those communities. In addition, we must continually try to find new markets for the agricultural bounty they produce. Our new leaders in FAS, RHS, and RMA will help us carry out our mission.” Continue reading