DENVER — Friday, April 24, 2015 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today signed Senate Bill 15-234 (the “FY 2015-2016 Long Appropriations Bill”) and thanked legislators for their bipartisan and collaborative work in preparing the budget.
“We applaud the cooperative spirit displayed by the Seventieth General Assembly in crafting this bill and its accompanying legislative items,” Hickenlooper said in a letter to lawmakers. “This budget crafts a careful balance between the public needs that accompany a growing economy and the fiscal prudence ahead of looming challenges caused by our conflicting constitutional provisions.”
The next fiscal year’s budget include these noteworthy items: Continue reading
Voting for National Winner Begins Today at AmericasFarmers.com; Runs Through May 5, 2015
ST. LOUIS (Apr. 24, 2015) – When Monsanto opened its search for the 2015 America’s Farmers Mom of the Year, the company knew it would get a lot of fantastic nominations. This year, though, the judging was particularly difficult because of all the amazing women who were entered. Today Monsanto, along with the American Agri-Women (AAW) are proud to announce its new 2015 class of regional winners. Beginning today, America can begin voting online for one of these women to be named “National Farm Mom of the Year.”
“Every year we receive such heartfelt nominations about people’s favorite Farm Mom,” says Tracy Mueller, corporate brand manager for Monsanto. “But this year, we’ve especially been overwhelmed by the number and quality of the entries we received. These women have different backgrounds and ways they contribute, but one thing was always clear – their strength, perseverance and dedication to their families, farms, communities and the industry they love.”
The 2015 regional winners of the America’s Farmers Mom of the Year contest include: Continue reading
(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) April 23, 2015 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN to discuss the event in more detail is Colorado State University Junior Mitch Stahley, a member of the fraternity that is hosting the event on Wednesday, April 29th in Ft Collins, CO…
To learn more about Colorado AgrAbility – CLICK HERE
To learn more about Colorado’s Ag in the Classroom – CLICK HERE
“Senator Bennet has constantly been a friend to agriculture. He has been named a friend of Farm Bureau during his time in Congress and his work on TPA reflects this,” said Don Shawcroft, president of Colorado Farm Bureau, “TPA is a critical tool in efforts to seek approval of trade agreements that support and create Colorado jobs while helping American agriculture to compete more successfully in the global marketplace. Without TPA, trade deals will become harder and harder to work towards and leave Colorado agriculture in a vulnerable position.”
Colorado agriculture relies on trade to be successful. According to the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service, Colorado’s agricultural exports reached an estimated $1.8 billion in 2013, up from $1.3 billion in 2009. Colorado’s exports help boost farm prices and income, while supporting about 13,600 jobs both on the farm and in related industries such as food processing, transportation and manufacturing. Several Colorado farmers and ranchers directly benefit from trade and in order for the benefits to continue, the agriculture industry needs strong trade commitments on TPA.
To learn more about the CO Farm Bureau – CLICK HERE
To listen to the interview with RMFU’s Director of Communications, click the mp3 audio link below…
(BARN Media & CoAgNews Network – Briggsdale, CO) April 23, 2015 – On this month’s edition of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union’s Radioline Report inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network I will be visiting with RMFU’s Director of Communications Bob Kjelland. Kjelland discusses several topics including:
- COOL – Country of Origin Labeling
- 2015 NFU & RMFU Polisy Handbooks Available NOW
- HB-1235: Tax incentive for Beginning Farmers/Ranchers
- Springtime: Think Safety on the Roadways
- & Much More
Since 1907, the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, serving family farming & ranching and “Growing the Agricultural Grassroots Network”, learn more and join the RMFU Today online @ www.rmfu.org or LIKE them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @RMFUnion
(CO Tumbleweed – Lamar, CO) April 21, 2015 – Moffat County Wheat along the Yampa River Valley wheat still in good condition. Higher fields North and West including Routt, finding lots of snow mold and winter kill. Some replanting to Spring Wheat taking place.
I will be in Franklin Texas most of this week. I will be visiting with farmers in this area. They are still wet down here. It is going to affect corn planted acres. Will also be talking to cotton farmers, too.
Wheat on 287/27 Lamar – Colorado through Oklahoma down 27 to Tula Texas: 50/40% below of normal.
Wheat 35/287 north of Bryan/College then up 183/270 to Liberal KS: good to above normal.
Wheat 83 north of Liberal KS to Colorado 160 then west: well below 50% of normal in most areas.
Late rains in SE Colorado will do nothing more than complicate claims payments. It will bring out green heads that will never produce harvestable grain. Loss procedures will kill us!!
Irrigated wheat normal but showing heat stress.
I will be documenting my Canola report on my way back north next week.
I will also be talking to my NW Colorado wheat farmers later today. I talked to my Haden Co. farmers this morning. They are waiting for the snow cover to leave, they are thinking severe damage from snow mold/freeze damage.
Will update you on Moffat County later on.
Canola: 4-13-2015 I confess I know nothing about Canola, except it is the prettiest at what I will call full bloom. Along 287 between Electra and Vernon Texas the bright yellow color was fading. As we traveled North on 183/270 towards Frederick Oklahoma, It was very easy to spot. The Bright Yellow fields were easy to see in a sea of Green Wheat. With the best field being 20 miles south of Woodward Oklahoma (the best only because it was closest to the road).
The Colorado Tumble Weed
DON TURNER, CO TUMBLE WEED CROP REPORTER/FOUR SEASONS INSURANCE AGENT
“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:
- FSA at Work Across Colorado in 2014 (CLICK HERE to view the entire report)
- Certification of Conservation Compliance by June 1st
- Other important FSA Dates & Deadlines
- & More
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
(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
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/
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.
Protein Producer Summit Tradeshow and Sponsorship Opportunities Continue reading
Attention 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
Dates to Remember:
- May 1 – Let’s Grow grants due
- May 15 – H-2A Comments Due — www.sheepusa.org/IssuesPrograms_LegislativeActionCenter
- May 20 – Livestock Protection Dog Insurance Survey ends — www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2085539/Livestock-Protection-Dog-Insurance-Survey
- June 1 – Sheep Heritage Foundation Scholarship applications due.
H-2A Sheepherder Comment Points Available
On April 15, the Department of Labor issued its Federal Register proposing to amend its regulations governing the H-2A program for employers seeking to hire foreign temporary agricultural workers for job opportunities in sheepherding, goat herding and production of livestock on the open range.
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) this week issued a nationwide Call to Action to thousands of sheep producers to officially react to the extensive changes proposed by the department to the sheepherder program. Four key points for use in comments include:
- Ask the Department of Labor to provide an extension of the comment period beyond May 15, 2015. The sheep industry requires additional time to provide analysis on the extensive proposed changes.
- Tripling the wages, as proposed, will force operations out of business. Ask the Department of Labor to withdraw the wage proposal and reply back to the industry with a common sense approach.
- Carefully consider the input and response from the major sheep industry organizations to the multitude of questions posed in the department’s proposed rule, including the definition of open range.
- Special procedures have proven critical to the successful H-2A sheepherder program and need to be retained.
Comments must be submitted on or before May 15 at www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=ETA_FRDOC_0001-0195.
To read the most current press release, scroll to the end of this newsletter.
LRP-Lamb Sales Will Resume on May 4 Continue reading
Greeley, CO Fri Apr 24, 2015 USDA-CO Dept of Ag Market NewsDaily Grain Bids for Denver and Surrounding Areas
Spot bids to producers for grain delivered to terminal and country
elevators. Bids dollar/bu. except for Barley which is dollar/cwt.
Bids are as of 3:00 PM MST.
Bids Change (cents)
US 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat 4.67-4.82 15 lower
Up to 12 percent protein
US 2 Yellow Corn 3.65 6 lower
US 2 Barley 5.25 steady
———–PREVIOUS DAY’s DENVER CASH GRAIN BIDS————–
AKRON, CO – April 24, 2015 – Ed Asfeld recently joined CSU’s Crops Testing Program as our new agronomist. He is replacing Jim Hain, who spent over 30 years working with the Crops Testing program and retired in February. Ed is based at the USDA-ARS Central Great Plains Research Station in Akron, Colorado. He will plant and harvest multiple crop variety trials across eastern Colorado, including trials of wheat, corn, sunflower, grain sorghum, and oilseeds. He also repairs and maintains equipment, machinery, and vehicles valued at nearly $1 million that are used in the program. As the principal field person for the Crops Testing program, Ed will work with graduate students, Cooperative Extension agents, Agricultural Research Station personnel, and staff at CSU and other universities. He will also collaborate with area farmers, scientists, government representatives, and crop commodity groups. Continue reading
Washington D.c. – April 24, 2015 – Representatives from the Five Nations Beef Alliance (FNBA)1 are in Maryland this week pressing the need for substantial trade liberalization via the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership agreement.
With the TPP negotiations seeming to be approaching the ‘end game’, discussions over the next few days will be critical given the negotiators are aiming to narrow the outstanding issues prior to a hoped for TPP Ministerial meeting in May.
WASHINGTON (April 24, 2015) – The National Corn Growers Association today applauded members of the House Ways and Means Committee who voted to advance the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015) out of committee Thursday evening and urged Congress to quickly pass the bill.
“Thank you to the House Ways and Means Committee members who voted to advance Trade Promotion Authority out of committee and keep this important legislation moving forward,” said NCGA president Chip Bowling, a farmer from Newburg, Maryland.
“Trade Promotion Authority will help the U.S. to reach major international trade agreements that support American farmers, businesses, and rural communities. It’s time to act. We urge the Senate and House to bring this legislation to a floor vote as soon as possible.”
About NCGA Continue reading
ST. LOUIS (April 24, 2015) – The National Corn Growers Association today announced changes to strengthen the organization’s efforts to build new corn market demand. NCGA will begin an immediate search for a Vice President of Market Development, who will be responsible for managing marketing initiatives to build demand for ethanol, livestock feed, biobased products and food uses of corn.
“Farmers constantly work to increase yields using fewer resources,” said NCGA CEO Chris Novak. “Looking to the future and continued productivity increases from our corn farmers, we need to be looking for new markets to create sustainable opportunities for today’s farm families.”
As a part of a restructure that brings greater focus on building corn demand, NCGA announced additional personnel changes:
· Fred Stemme is promoted to Vice President of Marketing and Operations as he takes over new management responsibilities;
· Paul Bertels will continue to serve the organization as Vice President of Production and Sustainability; and
· Rodger Mansfield is stepping down after 19 years of service to the organization.
“Sustainable corn production is a major priority for food chain partners and consumers,” added Novak. “NCGA’s work with Field to Market and the new Soil Health Partnership both provide an important foundation for enhancing our sustainability. Bertels’ background as a farmer, economist and conservationist makes him ideal to lead new efforts that can assist producers in meeting the expectations of our customers and consumers.” Continue reading
Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation
“Senators Urge EPA to Maintain Strong RFS”
As the Environmental Protection Agency works to finalize its proposed rule on biofuels volume requirements for 2014, 2015 and 2016 under the Renewable Fuel Standard – Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Dick Durbin of Illinois, John Thune of South Dakota, Al Franken of Minnesota and Mark Kirk of Illinois are leading a group of 37 Senators in calling for a strong RFS. They say the RFS has already proven to be an effective driver of alternative fuels and economic development in a letter to EPA. The RFS has strengthened ag markets and created hundreds of thousands of jobs in the new energy economy – and the Senators encourage EPA to ensure a final proposal continues to work toward achieving the RFS’ long-term economic and renewable energy goals.
Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis says this letter is a clear message to the EPA that the U.S. must have a strong, robust RFS to help the nation move forward in terms of alternative energy development. Buis says the Senators outlined the importance the RFS plays in creating jobs, strengthening rural America and reducing the nation’s addiction to foreign oil. He says it’s a clear message to Congress – too – making it clear that any attempts at repeal or reform will be met with resolute resistance and ultimately fail.
“Organizations Deem MPR Essential”
Earlier this week – the House Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture discussed reauthorization of the Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 1999 – Agri-Pulse reports. During the hearing – National Pork Producers Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and other group representatives unanimously supported reauthorization of MPR – under which USDA requires price reporting of live animals, boxed beef and wholesale pork cuts – relaying that information to the industry. Iowa cattle producer Ed Greiman told lawmakers the market information supplied by MPR is valuable – giving him the ability to make informed decisions and allowing free access to information and fair trade. Subcommittee Chair David Rouzer says it is vital to have industry groups work together to find the best solution. As the committee works on reauthorizing MPR – Rouzer says the goal and intent is to bring all parties together and strike a balance that promotes fairness, transparency and stability in the market. Rouzer suggests a bill could be expected before the end of the month.
“Global Feed Life Cycle Assessment Guidelines Released”
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization-led Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance Partnership has developed the Global Feed Life Cycle Assessment Guidelines – which provide practical and science-based recommendations to assess the environmental performance of feed supply chains – according to LEAP Chair Dr. Frank Mitloehner. He says they carry an international scientific consensus based on the input of 20 international experts in the drafting process and a thorough international public review – which took place ahead of the official release. Visit FAO dot org slash partnerships slash LEAP slash en (www.fao.org/partnerships/leap/en) to view the guidelines.
“USDA, White House Announces Partnerships to Combat Climate Change”
American farmers and ranchers are leaders when it comes to reducing carbon emissions and improving efficiency in their operations – according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. In fact – U.S. agricultural emissions are lower than the global average. Vilsack says it’s possible to build on this success in a way that combats climate change and strengthens the American ag economy. Through new initiatives – the ag and forestry sectors will utilize voluntary, incentive-based conservation, forestry and energy programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration and expand renewable energy production. Through these efforts – USDA expects to reduce net emissions and enhance carbon sequestration by more than 120-million metric tons of Carbon Dioxide equivalent per year by 2025. That’s like taking 25-million cars off the road.
“USDA Provides Grants to Increase Food Security, Combat Livestock Losses”
USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture announced three grants through its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative on Thursday to boost food security by minimizing livestock losses to insects and diseases. NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy says these grants will allow scientists to discover new tools and technologies necessary to deal with threats that insects and pathogens pose to livestock production in the country. He says this ultimately will benefit consumers through abundant, affordable food. Visit NIFA dot USDA dot gov (www.nifa.usda.gov) for more information.
WASHINGTON (April 23, 2015) – Tonight, the House Ways and Means Committee passed Trade Promotion Authority legislation (H.R. 1890) by a bi-partisan vote of 25 to 13.National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President and Chugwater, Wyo. cattleman Philip Ellis issued the following statement upon passage:
“We appreciate the House Ways and Means Committee’s efforts to pass this legislation following Senate passage last evening. As we have repeatedly stated, trade is critical to the success and future profitability of our industry and TPA is critical to negotiating future free trade agreements. Cattlemen urge swift passage of this legislation by the full House and Senate.”
April 23, 2015 – The Colorado Water Conservation Board (“CWCB”) and the Colorado Water Trust (“CWT”) today finalized an innovative agreement under which the same water rights will be used to both restore stream flows and preserve agriculture in the Gunnison Basin.
The CWCB is the only entity in the state that can hold instream flow water rights to preserve and improve the natural environment to a reasonable degree. Under its Water Acquisition Program, the CWCB can acquire water from willing water rights owners by donation, purchase, lease or other arrangement to include in Colorado’s Instream Flow Program. The CWCB and CWT partnership has resulted in many significant water acquisitions for instream flow use. Continue reading
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today applauded an announcement by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and Senior White House Advisor Brian Deese to help America’s farmers, ranchers, and foresters address the threat of climate change. The announcement was made on the campus of Michigan State University where President Obama signed Stabenow’s 2014 Farm Bill into law.
“Climate change has the potential to affect every person and every industry in America,” Stabenow said. “However, no one feels this building pressure more than our farmers, ranchers, and foresters. As our climate changes, their ability to produce our food, timber, and fiber will become increasingly strained and uncertain. That’s why it’s important we begin to address the issues of climate change in a serious way. Today’s plan builds on the voluntary programs in the 2014 Farm Bill. I look forward to working with the Administration on the work already being done by our farmers and ranchers to address this issue.”
Today’s announcement builds on efforts in Stabenow’s 2014 Farm Bill that emphasized the use of clean, renewable energy across rural America, while strengthening conservation and land stewardship programs to help farmers and ranchers conserve vital natural resources.
DENVER, C) – April 23, 2015 – Livestock producers in the western United States were dealt a blow last week when the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a Federal Register notice proposing significant changes to regulations governing the employment of non-immigrant H-2A workers as sheepherders, goat herders and for the production of livestock on the open range.
A 2014 court order directed the DOL to engage in a notice-and-comment rulemaking to formalize special procedure guidance that has governed the H-2A sheep and livestock herding occupations for decades. The H-2A program was instituted in the 1950’s and has been used successfully ever since.
The proposed changes issued by the department include definitions that do not accurately reflect the unique characteristics of the industry, inadequate job description parameters and an alarming wage methodology that will triple labor costs and impose additional expenses on employers. Continue reading
EAST LANSING, Mich., April 23, 2015 — In a speech today at Michigan State University, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack laid out a comprehensive approach to partner with agricultural producers to address the threat of climate change. Building on the creation of USDA’s Climate Hubs last year, the new initiatives will utilize voluntary, incentive-based conservation, forestry, and energy programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration and expand renewable energy production in the agricultural and forestry sectors. Through these efforts, USDA expects to reduce net emissions and enhance carbon sequestration by over 120 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent (MMTCO2e) per year – about 2 percent of economy-wide net greenhouse emissions – by 2025. That’s the equivalent of taking 25 million cars off the road, or the emissions produced by powering nearly 11 million homes last year. Continue reading
Organization has now helped serve over 30,000 steaks, donated $85,000 total to Beef Battalion
GREELEY, CO – APril 23, 2015 – Colorado Corn board members this past weekend teamed up with the All American Beef Battalion to help serve about 5,000 steak dinners to deploying and returning troops and their families at Fort Carson, Colo.
In addition to the helping hands, Colorado Corn on Saturday contributed another $15,000 to the Beef Battalion – a volunteer organization that travels the country feeding our nation’s men and women in uniform.
Colorado Corn has now given $85,000 total to the Beef Battalion, and has also been on hand to help serve more than 30,000 steak dinners at events here in Colorado.
“This is no doubt one of our favorite endeavors,” said Mike Lefever, a Longmont-area farmer and retired firefighter, who serves as chair of Colorado Corn’s Market Development Action Team. “Not only does this promote the livestock industry, which is the biggest buyer of Colorado’s corn, but above all gives us the opportunity to show appreciation to our nation’s troops, to whom we could never say ‘thank you’ enough.” Continue reading