12-20-13 *R-Calf USA News* USDA Prepares to Break U.S. Cattle Market with Cheaper, Higher Risk Brazilian Imports…

R-Calf USA logoDecember 20, 2013 Billings, Mont. – Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced its proposal to allow the importation of cattle and fresh beef from 14 states in Brazil, a country that had been plagued with the most contagious disease known to cattle – foot-and-mouth-disease (FMD).

Brazil’s cattle herd – at 183 million – is more than twice the size of the U.S. cattle herd and is reported to be growing. 

APHIS states that domestic cattle prices are expected to decline under its proposal: 

“The fall in beef prices and resulting decline in U.S. production would translate into reduced returns for producers in the livestock and beef processing sectors,” APHIS states in its proposed rule.

APHIS further acknowledges that a risk remains for the introduction of FMD into the 14 states the agency wants to certify as eligible to export to the United States:

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12-20-13 USFWS Announces Availability of the Final Revised Recovery Plan for the Black-footed Ferret…

Black-Footed Ferret courtesy of USFWS

Black-Footed Ferret courtesy of USFWS

USFW-US Fish & Wildlife_logoDENVER–The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is announcing the availability of the Black-footed ferret Revised Recovery Plan (Plan). The Black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) (ferret) was historically found throughout the Great Plains, mountain basins, and semi-arid grasslands of North America wherever prairie dogs occurred.  The species is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act).

The ferret’s close association with prairie dogs is an important factor in its decline.  From the late 1800s to approximately the 1960s, conversion of native grasslands to cropland, poisoning, and disease dramatically reduced prairie dog numbers.  The ferret population declined precipitously as a result.

“The single, most feasible action that would benefit Black-footed ferret recovery is to improve prairie dog conservation, “ said Pete Gober, Black-footed ferret recovery coordinator. “If efforts are undertaken to more proactively manage existing prairie dog habitat for ferret recovery, all other threats to the species will be substantially less difficult to address. Down listing of the Black-footed ferret could be accomplished in approximately 10 years if conservation actions continue at existing reintroduction sites and if additional reintroduction sites are established.”

The objective of a recovery plan is to provide a framework for the recovery of a species so that protection under the Act is no longer necessary.  A recovery plan includes scientific information about the species and provides criteria and actions necessary for the Service to be able to remove it from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Recovery plans do not regulate federal agencies or their partners, but recovery plans are often adopted by federal agencies as sound environmental policy.

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12-20-13 NCBA Announces National Anthem Contest Winner: Kansas’ Rylee Werth…

DENVER (Dec. 20, 2013) – Oh, say, can you sing? Rylee Werth can, and will be singing at the 2014 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Cattle Industry Convention. Werth will sing the National Anthem during the Opening General Session Tuesday, Feb. 4 and at the Grand Ole Opry House during the Cowboy’s Night at the Opry II.

Werth is an 11 year-old, Kansas native whose family has a 400-head, cow/calf operation in conjunction with a feedlot on the family farm. Actively involved in showing cattle at the local and national level, Werth hopes to continue her involvement by one day showing at the American Royal and National Western Stock Show.

“Congratulations to Rylee, her talent is outstanding,” said Scott George, NCBA president and Cody, Wyo. cattleman. “We knew our anthem contest was going to attract some great talent, but the number of votes collected was impressive. This convention is on pace to be one of the largest ever, and we hope cattlemen and women nationwide will join us for the events, education and grass-roots policy process.”

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RRWCD - Republican River Water Conservation District Header

Submitted to BARN Media by: Deb Daniel, RRWCD General Manager

Thanks to the continuous efforts and cooperation of the Republican River Water Conservation District, the Sandhills Groundwater Management District and the State of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado unanimously approved a resolution that allows Colorado to operate the Compact Compliance Pipeline and deliver water to the North Fork of the Republican River for one year – 2014.

On May 5, 2013, Colorado submitted to the Republican River Compact Administration (RRCA) the Resolution Approving and Augmentation Plan for the Colorado Compact Compliance Pipeline (CCP). Nebraska and Colorado voted in favor of the resolution. Kansas voted against it. 

Colorado then instituted mandatory non-binding arbitration disputing Kansas’ decision and requesting the Arbitrator find Kansas had acted unreasonably.  During a three day hearing, October 1-3, 2013, Ms. Martha Pagel, acting as the arbitrator listened to testimony regarding the pipeline proposal. 

On November 27, 2013, Ms. Pagel published her decision regarding the arbitration – finding that, although Colorado had met all the requirements for approval of the CCP, Kansas nevertheless did not act unreasonably in not approving the CCP.

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12-20-13 *CSU-Golden Plains Ext News* Grain Bin Safety…

CLICK HERE to view

Submitted by: 

RF Meyer, Colorado State University Extension Agronomist
Katie Thimgan, Colorado Corn Safety Program Coordinator

Burlington, CO – Whenever possible, don’t enter a grain bin.  If you must enter the bin, as a farm owner/operator you should:

  • Break up crusted grain from the outside of the bin with a long pole.  When using a pole, check to see that it doesn’t come into contact with electric lines.
  • Wear a harness attached to a properly secured rope.
  • Stay near the outer wall of the bin and keep walking if the grain should start to flow.  Get to the bin ladder or safety rope as quickly as possible.
  • Always have another person, preferably two people, outside the bin who can help if you become entrapped.
  • Grain fines and dust may cause difficulty in breathing.  Anyone working in a grain bin, especially for the purpose of cleaning the bin, should wear an appropriate dust filter or filter respirator.
  • Always stay out of grain bins, wagons and grain trucks when unloading equipment is running.
  • If it is necessary to enter the bin, remember to shut off the power to augers and fans.  It is a good idea to lock out any unloading equipment before you enter a bin to prevent someone from unintentionally starting the equipment while you are in the bin.
  • Children should never be allowed to play in or around grain bins, wagons or truck beds.
  • Where possible, ladders should be installed inside grain bins to use for an emergency exit.  Ladders are easier to locate inside a dusty bin if there are brightly painted stripes just above or behind the ladder.
  • It only takes 25 seconds for a 6 ft., 180 lb. man submerged in grain from the neck down.
  • It takes 625 pounds of force to remove a 180 lb. man submerged in grain from the neck down.
  • If you become trapped in a bin of flowing grain with nothing to hold onto but you are still able to walk, stay near the outside wall.  Keep walking until the bin is empty or grain flow stops.  If you are covered by flowing grain, cup your hands over your mouth, and take short breaths until help arrives.

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12-20-13 *CSU Ext News* Benefits of a Community Garden…

CSU Extension LogoBy Linda Langelo, Horticulture Program Associate

Did you know that studies have shown that community gardeners and their children eat healthier, more nutrient rich diets than do non-gardening families?  According to a study by Bremer, Jenkins and Kanter of the University of Wisconsin in 2003 of community gardens in Milwaukee regarding dietary habits do still agree with these results.  According to Denver Urban Gardens’ (DUG) survey of their community gardens, more than 50% of community gardeners eat fresh vegetables and fruits according to the national guidelines for fruit and vegetable intake.  On the other hand 25% of non-gardeners do not meet these national guidelines.  Most people who are in the 25% of non-gardeners have one or possibly two servings a day of fresh fruit or vegetables.  In comparison, the Journal of Community Health, Dec 1, 2010, in the article titled: The Influence of Social Involvement, Neighborhood, Aesthetics and Community Garden Participation on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption states community gardeners consumed fruits and vegetables 5.7 times per day compared to home gardeners 4.6 times per day.   They continue to state non-gardeners consume 3.9 times per day.
But what is a good diet without exercise?  If you are not going to the gym or exercising at home on a regular basis, come to the “green gym” in your local community garden.   As a green gym, the lifting and handling of the growing medium, compost, and the repetitive movements of sowing, planting, weeding and harvesting offer exercising opportunities that is as high or low impact as the gardeners’ desire. Gardeners have reported that participating in a community garden relieves stress and pressures in their daily living (Armstrong 2000; Dickinson et al. 2003, Wakefield et al. 2007).  Besides a trend toward better eating habits, community gardeners become involved in more social activities and form stronger ties to their neighborhoods.  Overall a community garden promotes stronger leadership, outreach and volunteerism.
Denver Urban Gardens survey showed that 100% of community gardeners joined the garden to be outside in nature and get their hands dirty.  Digging deeper, DUG also found that 80% of those community gardeners gardened as children.   Besides the benefits of healthier diet and exercise, how else can the community benefit?  Community gardens have been shown to actually increase property values in the immediate vicinity of the garden.  In general, improving your home landscape can increase the value of your home up to 20%.  In today’s housing market, that is a welcome increase.

12-20-13 CO awards nearly $3 million to support innovation through Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program…

AIAP-Advanced Industires Accelerator Programs HeaderDENVER — Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 — Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) today announced the first round of grantees of the Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program. A total of $2,908,883 was awarded for both Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital and Retention Grants to support key industries.

Advanced industries are prime drivers of the United States and Colorado economy, comprised of engineering and R&D intensive companies that deliver products and services in industries ranging from aerospace to medical devices. Colorado’s advanced industry strategy was developed as part of the Colorado Blueprint launched in 2011.

“The growth in advanced industries in Colorado is adding jobs and having statewide impact on our economy,” Hickenlooper said. “Today’s grant announcement demonstrates the state’s continued support of innovation and growth in these sectors.”

Proof-of-Concept grants are open to Colorado research universities, federal labs located in Colorado and other private, nonprofit and for-profit labs with valid technology transfer offices. Proof-of-Concept Grants are for Pre-Commercialization Research and Commercialization Preparation.

Proof-of-Concept grantees: Continue reading

12-20-13 USDA Farm Service Agency Urges Farmers and Ranchers to Vote in County Committee Elections…

USDA FSA LogoCorrected Ballots will be Mailed to Eligible Producers Friday, Dec. 20

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2013 — USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia announced that the FSA County Committee Elections begin today, Dec. 20, with the mailing of ballots to eligible voters. The deadline to return the ballots to local FSA offices is Jan. 17, 2014.

Producers have been instructed to destroy the FSA County Committee Election ballots (FSA-669’s) mailed on Nov. 4. The new ballots mailed to producers will have the word “corrected” printed on the outside of the mailing, the ballot itself, and the return envelope. Producers must complete and return the corrected FSA-669 to have their vote counted.

Eligible voters who do not receive a ballot in the coming week can obtain one from their local USDA Service Center. The last day for voters to submit corrected ballots in person to local USDA Service Centers is Jan. 17, 2014. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Jan. 17. Newly elected committee members and their alternates will take office Feb. 18, 2014.

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12-20-13 Drought Workshop Planned in Garden City, KS, January 9th…

Farm and Ranch Drought Workshop Garden City KSRange and irrigation experts will discuss managing in extreme and extended drought…

GARDEN CITY, Kan. – More than 15 experts in the fields of irrigation, range management, climatology, and drought planning are scheduled to speak at a one-day workshop Jan. 9 in Garden City, Kan., on managing drought on the farm and ranch.

Producers can register now (www.drought.unl.edu/ranchplan) for the free workshop, which will be held at the 4-H building on the Finney County Fairgrounds. Registration and coffee begin at 8 a.m.

The workshop will feature morning sessions on climate forecasts and aquifer management. Separate afternoon tracks will target the specific needs of ranchers and irrigated-crop producers.

Speakers will include range, climate, water and irrigation specialists from New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado, areas that have experienced recent droughts.  The workshop will also feature farmers and ranchers from across the Great Plains, who will share their experiences and ideas for managing through long-term and extreme drought.

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2013 National Corn Yield Contest Winners Announced…




Click here for a PDF of the 2013 National Corn Yield Contest – National Winners

Click here for a PDF of the 2013 National Corn Yield Contest – State Winners

Click here for a PDF of the 2013 National Corn Yield Contest – All Contestants

For nearly a half century, NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest has provided corn growers the opportunity to compete with their colleagues to grow the most corn per acre, helping feed and fuel the world. This has given participants not only the recognition they deserved, but the opportunity to learn from their peers.

Winners receive national recognition in publications such as the NCYC Corn Yield Guide, as well as cash trips or other awards from participating sponsoring seed, chemical and crop protection companies. In San Antonio, Texas, during the 2014 Commodity Classic, state winners will be recognized at the NCYC Breakfast and national winners will receive awards at the Awards Banquet.

12-20-13 CSU Animal Sciences Professor Dale Woerner Honored with 40 Under 40 in Agriculture Awards…

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Dr Dale Woerner, Ph.D. CSU Asst Professor Center for Meat Safety and Quality. CLICK HERE to learn more about Dr. Woerner...

Dale Woerner, Ph.D. CSU Asst Professor Center for Meat Safety and Quality.

FORT COLLINS – Colorado State University professor Dale Woerner has been honored with Vance Publishing Corporation’s inaugural 40 Under 40 in Agriculture Awards. The assistant professor of Animal Sciences was selected from among 200 applicants to join researchers, consultants, executives, and other top agricultural professors on this prestigious list. Woerner was selected for his leadership and commitment in advancing the cause to double food production by 2050.

“Every segment of the industry will contribute to solving the 2050 challenge, and these 40 finalists reflect the diversity of our country’s agriculture industry,” said Peggy Walker, Vance Publishing president.

The group of young agricultural leaders, representing agriculture at its best, has made a remarkable impact on both their organizations and the industry as a whole.

“We were looking to identify and recognize extraordinary individuals in agriculture, and I am confident that these Top 40 candidates do just that,” said Shawn Etheridge, Vice President & Publishing Director, Agribusiness at Vance. “With such a broad range of high caliber candidates, our panel of judges faced tough decisions.”

For the past couple years, Woerner has worked with the U.S. Meat Export Federation to address questions from U.S. export markets about beef-cattle production and marketing practices, efforts that have helped to grow markets for U.S. beef.

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12-20-13 ‘Golden Age of Agriculture’ at 2013 Colorado Ag Classic…

Grain marketing expert Dan Maltby gives his opinion on the outlook for grain markets.

Grain marketing expert Dan Maltby gives his opinion on the outlook for grain markets.


Dr. Jay Lehr was keynote speaker at the Colorado Ag Classic on December 12.

Dr. Jay Lehr was keynote speaker at the Colorado Ag Classic on December 12.

December 20, 2013 – Over 200 farmers, legislators, and agribusiness representatives participated in the Colorado Ag Classic event held December 11-12 at The Embassy Suites in Loveland. The ninth annual event was jointly hosted by the Colorado Association of Wheat Growers (CAWG)/Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee (CWAC)/Colorado Wheat Research Foundation (CWRF), Colorado Corn Growers Association (CCGA)/Colorado Corn Administrative Committee (CCAC), Colorado Sunflower Administrative Committee (CSAC), and Colorado Seed Growers Association (CSGA).

The Colorado Ag Classic opened the afternoon of December 11 with a Legislative Town Hall.  Several state legislators and representatives of national legislators were present, and after brief introductory remarks, interacted with farmers at individual tables. That evening, a dinner, casino night and auction raised funds for CAWG and CCGA state and national legislative efforts.

December 12 started with a unity breakfast hosted by Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture John Salazar. The boards of the host organizations discussed issues of common interest to all of the participating organizations.

Dr. Craig Beyrouty, Dean of the College of Agriculture at Colorado State University (CSU), opened the general session with information about how CSU plans to participate in a national initiative to message agriculture to the general public. Keynote speaker Dr. Jay Lehr spoke on “Today’s Golden Age of Agriculture in a Resilient Economy.” Lehr’s presentation was sponsored by CoBank.

“The Colorado Ag Classic gave us farmers much food for thought. Whether one is an optimist or a pessimist or just a realist, there was something for everyone.  For the optimist, Dr. Jay Lehr, a futurist, gave a very inspiring talk on not only the future of agriculture but also the overall economy here in America. The ingredients are all there for agriculture and energy to continue to take off,” said Mark Linnebur of Byers, CAWG president.

Additional sessions on December 12 included a farm safety meeting and session on grain marketing, planning for weather in 2014, effects of healthcare reform on agriculture, the quest for high yield, and the future of farming in Colorado, featuring new research and tools for Colorado farmers.

Recorded webcasts of the December 12 sessions are available to watch at http://www.ihigh.com/barnmedia/.

Submitted by: Glenda Mostek, Communications and Marketing Director Continue reading

12-20-13 CO Teacher Writes Childrens Book discussing the Importance of “Water: sources – use – conservation”…

water-cover-2nancy carlson pic 2008(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) December 20th, 2013 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN is Nancy Carlson, a retired elememtary & special education teacher from Hotchkiss, Colorado and she is also the Education Chairperson for the Colorado Cattle Womens. Carlson recently wrote a book titled, “Water: sources, use, conservation” , in which the book introduces 3rd – 5th grade students to the one resource we cannot live without, but often take for granted.

Water”, explains, in an engaging student friendly manner, the Hydrologic Cycle, showing how water moves from one physical state to another and how each of these states affects agriculture. It introduces students to watersheds, river basin, and wetlands; explains why irrigation is an important component of good water stewardship.

“Water” is written to fit the CORE Standards; with an emphasis on science it integrates nicely with STEM standards. It’s also written in accordance with the new Pillars of Ag Literacy standards introduced by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture in July 2012.

To listen to the interview, please click on the link below…

– 122013_WaterBook_NancyCarlson_9m16s

Nancy Carlson’s Biography:

Carlson has a BA in Elementary Education and an MA in Special Education as well. For the past 30 years she has been a classroom teacher, a K-12 teacher for Ag-in-the-Classroom, and an adjunct instructor at a number of colleges in Colorado. She has developed and provided curriculum for grades K-12 in Math, English, Science and Social Studies. Carlson, a cattle rancher, also serves as the education chairperson for the Colorado Cattle Women’s for which she travels the state; teaching about beef cattle to elementary school students and presenting at special events.

To order copies of the book, “Water: Sources – Use – Conservation” – CLICK HERE

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News as heard inside the BARN for Fri, Dec 20th…

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

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

“FDA Plans to Change FSMA Proposed Rules that Affect Farmers”

The Food and Drug Administration will propose revised rule language on two of the proposed rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act that affect farmers. FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael Taylor says the agency believes this decision was made in response to the careful consideration of many people involved in supplying our food and is critical to fulfilling a commitment to getting them right. The plan is to issue revised rules for the proposed rules on produce safety and preventive controls for human food by early next summer. Among other things – the changes will encompass water quality standards and testing and standards for using manure and compost. FDA will seek comments on the revised sections of the rule.


“Positive Responses to FDA Decision”

The American Feed Industry Association and United Fresh both responded positively to the FDA’s plan to make changes to proposed Food Safety Modernization Act rules. According to AFIA President and CEO Joel Newman – the decision shows the agency’s recognition of the complexity of the rules and their willingness to take the extra step to ensure the final rules will be as practical as possible for implementation by the industry. He says AFIA acknowledges FDA’s intent to make these rules well suited for everyone involved in various industry segments. Newman says this is a positive sign for the future of the Food Safety Modernization Act. United Fresh Senior Vice President of Food Safety and Technology David Gombas says his group is encouraged that FDA took the extensive input received from produce farmers and others in the agricultural sector on the proposed Produce Safety and Preventive Controls rules seriously. He says United Fresh appreciates the agency’s willingness to rethink these provisions and propose requirements that are more science and risk-based. Gombas says it’s critical that FDA get these FSMA rules right – and United Fresh believes this is a step in the right direction. Continue reading