12-04-13 Gold Star Family Tree of Honor at state Capitol honors Colorado fallen service members…

This photo was taken by Mark Broste from the Governor’s Office.

This photo was taken by Mark Broste from the Governor’s Office. CLICK HERE for a larger view…

DENVER — Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 — Gov. John Hickenlooper joined Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, the Adjutant General of Colorado, military members and families today to light the “Gold Star Family Tree of Honor” at the state Capitol. The tree lighting ceremony honors all Colorado-based service members who have died in combat operations since Sept. 11, 2001.

“This ‘Gold Star Family Tree of Honor’ reminds us of those who have so bravely served our country, but who are not with us today,” Hickenlooper said. “We are continually inspired by our service members’ commitment to our state and nation. This holiday season, and every day throughout the year, we remember and are thankful for the sacrifices these men and women and their families make.”

The 2013 tree is a 32-foot, 49-year-old subalpine fir harvested at 8,500 feet from the State Trust Land in northern Larimer County. The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) selectively cuts trees in this area as a part of ongoing efforts to improve forest health due to the recent mountain pine beetle epidemic. This is the third year in a row the CSFS Fort Collins District has harvested a tree for the state Capitol.

The Department of Personnel and Administration installed the Capitol tree, and it was decorated by the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs.

Check out more pics courtesy of the CSFS

12-04-13 NACD Applauds USDA-EPA Water Trading Partnership…

NACD_Logo_200WASHINGTON, DC—December 4, 2013—National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) President Earl Garber issued the following statement regarding the announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of an expanded partnership to support water quality trading and other market-based approaches that provide benefits to the environment and economy:

“NACD commends USDA and EPA for joining efforts to advance water-quality trading and ecosystem services. Conservation districts play a key role in current water trading processes, and we look forward to continuing to work closely USDA and EPA to expand upon and develop new opportunities in trading and other cost-effective solutions for nutrient reduction.

“Water-quality trading programs will be most successful when used in conjunction with current conservation incentive-programs that producers and landowners voluntarily utilize and trust. We thank USDA and EPA for their leadership and look forward to continued collaboration.”

According to USDA and EPA, the Department and the Agency will identify opportunities to work collaboratively to help improve water quality trading programs across the country through a number of joint efforts. The policy is intended to “support states, interstate agencies and tribes as they develop and implement water quality trading programs for nutrients, sediments and other pollutants where opportunities exist to achieve water quality improvements at reduced costs.”

For more information, click here.

The National Association of Conservation Districts is the non-profit organization that represents the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, their state associations and the 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. For more than 70 years, local conservation districts have worked with cooperating landowners and managers of private working lands to help them plan and apply effective conservation practices. For more information about NACD, visit: www.nacdnet.org.

12-04-13 AFBF and RFA Teleconference on EPA Proposal for 2014 RFS Targets…

CLICK HERE

Learn more about the AFBF – CLICK HERE

RFA-Renewable Fuels Association Logo(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) December 4th, 2013 – Today, Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, hosted a discussion featuring Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and American Farm Bureau economist Matt Erickson on the negative impacts the proposed 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) targets would have on agriculture and rural economies.

To listen to the entire press conference – CLICK HERE

Audio courtesy of BARN Media & the Colorado Ag News Network

12-04-13 Animal Health International Launches New Udder Health Solution…

AHI - Animal-Health-Intl-LOGOweb

GREELEY, CO., December 04, 2013 – Animal Health International today announces the launch of Udder Calm™ Spray and Udder Calm™ Lotion, both innovations in udder health.  Udder Calm™ Spray and Udder Calm™ Lotion are offered to help maintain udder health in dairy cattle* and are available under the company’s Aspen Veterinary Resources ® brand.

Udder Calm™ is a unique formulation which combines Vitamin-E, Aloe Vera, lanolin and natural oils to promote comfort and udder health in dairy cattle, moisturizing and protecting skin in harsh weather conditions while soothing the udder.  Udder Calm’s™ natural oils penetrate the skin easily and stimulate blood flow to the udder.  These natural oils include Peppermint Oil (to improve circulation and reduce udder swelling and pain) Clove Oil (provides warmth) and Tea Tree Oil (promotes natural healing).*

“Both Udder Calm™ Spray and Udder Calm™ Lotion were formulated with certain principles in mind.” says Pierre Frumholtz, Senior Director of House Brands with Animal Health International.  “We wanted to provide an udder care solution that was easy to apply, effective for dairy cows under stressed conditions, and a great value for the dairyman or dairywoman.  We’ve achieved all of those targets with Udder Calm™.”*

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12-04-13 USDA Announces 74 Projects to Improve Water Quality in 40 States – 3 Projects in CO…

View the complete list of recipients...

View the complete list of recipients…

Colorado was one of 40 States and had three of the 74 Projects, including:

  • CO – Town of Larkspur, CO to receive $2,053,000 loan & $1,135,000 grant for Water Supply Project
  • CO – Mill Creek Park Water to receive $229,000 loan & $421,000 grant for Water Storage and Distribution Replacement
  • CO – Redhill Forest Property Owners Mutual Water and Cattle Association to receive $4,463,000 loan for a Water Distribution System

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2013 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced funding for projects in 40 states to finance investments in improved water and wastewater systems for more than 200,000 rural residents.

“Rural businesses and residents need access to clean water and modern waste disposal systems. This isn’t just an economic issue, it’s an issue of basic health and safety,” said Vilsack. “Water and wastewater projects like these help safeguard rural access to a modern, working infrastructure, which in turn ensures a decent quality of life and helps attract – and keep – the best and brightest in small towns across America.”

Vilsack noted that passage of a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs bill would help tackle the $2.1 billion backlog of shovel-ready rural water/wastewater projects, and said the bill is vital to rural communities. These are just some of the reasons why Congress should pass a comprehensive bill as soon as possible, he said.

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12-04-13 USDA-RD: Vilsack Announces Energy Efficiency Loan Program to Lower Costs for Consumers, Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions…

USDA Rural Development logoRural Development Loan Program is Latest USDA Effort in Support of Climate Action Plan

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2013 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA will take new steps to save consumers money on their energy bills in partnership with rural electric cooperatives. USDA plans to provide rural electric cooperatives up to $250 million to lend to business and residential customers for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems.

“Energy efficiency retrofitting can shrink home energy use by 40 percent, saving money for consumers and helping rural utilities manage their electric load more efficiently,” said Vilsack. “Ultimately, reducing energy use helps pump capital back into rural communities. This program is designed to meet the unique needs of consumers and businesses to encourage energy efficiency retrofitting projects across rural America.”

Vilsack noted that the Energy Efficiency and Loan Conservation Program, by promoting energy savings in rural areas, is another step by which USDA is supporting President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. The program will help build a cleaner and more sustainable domestic energy sector for future generations by reducing barriers to investment in energy efficiency and potentially cutting energy bills for American families and businesses in the process.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News as heard inside the BARN for Wed, Dec 4th…

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

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

“Budget Leaders Still Moving Forward on Budget Deal”

According to Politico – Congressional budget leaders Paul Ryan and Patty Murray are considering a plan to give some domestic and defense programs burdened by the sequester some relief through 2015 by replacing cuts with budgetary savings in other areas. One proposal still under consideration would set overall discretionary spending levels at around 1-trillion dollars for 2014. If an agreement can be made through this approach – this increased spending would be split almost evenly between defense and non-defense spending. If Ryan and Murray don’t reach a deal by next week – House Speaker John Boehner is prepared to pass a bill that would fund the government past January 15th at 967-billion dollars to avoid another shutdown.

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“Senate Democrats Continue Fight for Food Assistance Programs”

While lawmakers continue negotiations on differences between House and Senate farm bills – including food and nutritional assistance programs – Senate Democrats continue calling for increased food assistance. Virginia Senator John Rockefeller and Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey have said they will increase their efforts to restore cuts to SNAP and the Emergency Food Assistance Program. Casey says food assistance programs play a critical role in the battle against hunger across the nation – and Congress must work on a bipartisan basis to develop policies to ensure all Americans have access to safe, nutritious, affordable foods. Rockefeller says the nation’s most vulnerable families must not be forgotten – and they need as much support as possible. He says SNAP is essential to easing the stress of food insecurity – and families currently are struggling to do more with less SNAP assistance. Beyond these points – Rockefeller says every dollar in SNAP benefits generate 1-dollar and 79-cents in economic activity. The House Farm Bill proposes nearly 40-billion in cuts for food assistance. Continue reading

12-04-13 CO FFA Foundation Announces 2014 Farm Credit CO Ag Hall of Fame Rising Star Recipient…

Co FFA Hall of Fame LogoThe Colorado FFA Foundation announced today the “Rising Star in Agriculture” recipient is Mr. John Adent, CEO of Animal Health International.  The award recognizes leadership in the Colorado agriculture industry.  “Rising Stars” must be between 35-50 years old and are voted on by all living members of the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame.

“The Rising Star Award is very competitive and is a great way to showcase the talent that contributes to Colorado agriculture every day,” said McCall. “Mr. Adent is an excellent choice for the “Rising Star” program.

The Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame banquet is held in conjunction with the Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture and is a prime opportunity to gauge the direction of the industry and learn about issues facing one of the largest industries in Colorado. Both the forum and the banquet are attended by industry and political leaders as well as family farmers and ranchers who lead and support the agriculture industry and its future.

And recently, CO FFA Foundation also announced the 2014 CO Hall of Fame Inductees too. They include:  Estes Park’s Les Hardesty…and three gentlemen from Ft Collins, Dr. Norman Dalsted , Dr. Cleon Kimberling and Don Svedman. CLICK HERE to learn more about them.

Friends, peers and business associates will recognize the four CO Ag Hall of Fame inductees and the Rising Star during the Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame Banquet, Feb. 27, 2014, at the Renaissance Hotel, Denver. The 2014 inductees will join 77 other outstanding Colorado agriculturists who have been similarly honored since 1989. All Agriculture Hall of Fame members’ portraits are displayed in the Colorado Department of Agriculture offices and will be moved to the CoBank Center for Agricultural Education at Colorado State University upon it’s completion.

Hosted by the Colorado FFA Foundation, the banquet is held yearly to induct members into the Agriculture Hall of Fame who have significantly contributed to Colorado’s second largest industry. A unique, multi-media presentation will highlight the life of each new inductee during the ceremony.  Continue reading