DENVER — Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 — Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today the Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse the state and local governments for eligible costs to reduce hazards in streams caused by the September floods that pose an immediate threat to lives and property.
This is a significant step in the state’s flood recovery efforts to help prepare for the impending spring runoff. Hickenlooper spoke with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate in Washington, D.C., earlier this week about the funding, and shared concerns from state and local officials that there is significant risk of damage from future flooding if the hazards are not removed. The governor also hosted meetings in Denver with FEMA and White House staff on this issue, and the governor’s staff traveled to Washington, D.C., to advocate for these funds.
“FEMA’s decision to help cover the cost of removing hazards from streams will help prevent future disaster and aid the state’s recovery efforts,” Hickenlooper said. “We are grateful to FEMA for allocating the resources needed to take this step to protect Coloradans in the flooded areas, many of whom are still recovering.”
The Governor’s Office worked with U.S. Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet and other members of the Colorado congressional delegation to secure the funding.
“Working as a team, we’ve made great strides rebuilding since September’s flood. These funds, which I was proud to fight for in Washington, will help reduce the chances that spring runoff and rain do not cause tragic landslides or result in more destructive floods,” Udall said. “This is welcome news for Coloradans along the Front Range, but it will not address all of our remaining needs. I will keep fighting to secure the resources communities ravaged by September’s flood need to address both immediate dangers and to fully rebuild.”
The Colorado Horse Council’s, Horse Person of the Year Award is given annually to the Coloradoan who, in the opinion of the Colorado Horse Council Board of Directors, has made an especially significant contribution to Colorado’s equine industry and horses. The Council and its entire membership takes great pride in recognizing, Cynthia Richardson, of Longmont, Colorado as the 2013 recipient of this most prestigious and honored recognition.
Upon her appointment to the Board of Trustees of the American Horse Council, president Jay Hickey proclaims, “We are very lucky to have Ms. Richardson on the AHC board. “Arabians are involved in all aspects of the horse industry, racing, showing and recreation. The AHA has ties to each and Ms. Richardson’s experience will be very helpful as the AHC gets involved in every facet of the horse industry in its work with Congress and the federal regulatory agencies here in Washington,DC.”
Cynthia Richardson, with over 40 years of experience with Arabian horses was elected at President of the Arabian Horse Association, Aurora, Colorado. A retired system’s analyst and technical writer with the Space Program, Richardson has a degree in Computer Science and years of general business, public relations and communications experience. For the past two decades, Cynthia has been working diligently within the Arabian Horse Association on numerous committees and was the Region 8 Director until the last election. A breeder and endurance rider, Cynthia is also a National/Regional level Arabian judge and holds judges cards in both Pinto and Miniature Horses.
USDA Expands Research on Larger Dog Breeds for Livestock Protection
Taking on an adult grizzly bear or a pack of wolves is a lot to ask of a livestock protection dog, but it’s a task they willingly take to protect their flocks from predation. For centuries, livestock protection dogs have helped ranchers protect livestock from coyotes, feral dogs, foxes and mountain lions. Without them, thousands of sheep, lambs and calves would be killed or injured each year.
Livestock protection dogs grow up and live with their flock, patrolling the perimeters of grazing areas to ward off potential predators. Now, with the recovery and expansion of populations of grizzly bears and wolves, current breeds of livestock protection dogs — like the Great Pyrenees, Komondors and Akbash — are losing many of the fights. They are no match for these larger predators.
A child dies from injuries on a farm an average of once every 3.5 days. The most common situation involves a tractor.
“Keep Kids Away from Tractors,” is the unified message of the Childhood Agricultural Safety Network (CASN) http://www.childagsafety.org/, a coalition of 38 health, safety and youth organizations. The coalition’s campaign urges adults to think twice before allowing children 12-under to operate tractors or ride on them.
The month of March is popular for week-long ag safety observances by several national organizations. The coalition urges individuals and groups to incorporate CASN resources in their safety initiatives. Posters, radio ads and more information can be found at http://www.childagsafety.org/TractorCampaign.htm.
Consider these incidents from the past year:
A 1-year-old North Dakota boy died after falling from a tractor driven by his father. His 4-year-old brother survived.
A 6-year-old Minnesota boy died with his grandfather when the tractor they were riding rolled over.
A 5-year-old Kansas girl died when she fell through the windshield of a combine driven by her father.
The biggest tragedy of all? These deaths were 100 percent preventable.
Allowing young children to ride on a tractor is considered a tradition by many. But remember — “It’s easier to bury a tradition than a child.”
WEBINAR!: “Keep Kids Away from Tractors” will be featured in a webinar at noon (CT), Wednesday, March 12. Presenting on behalf of the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety will be Director Barbara Lee, Ph.D., and Marsha Salzwedel, M.S. The webinar is sponsored by the Childhood Agricultural Safety Network and AgriSafe Network. Register at www.agrisafe.org.
The preliminary All Farm Products Index of Prices Received by Farmers in February, at 106 percent, based on 2011=100, increased 7 points (7.1 percent) from January. The Crop Index is up 4 points (4.5 percent) and the Livestock Index increased 4 points (3.4 percent). Producers received higher prices for cattle, oranges, market eggs, and milk and lower prices for broilers, peanuts, grapefruit, and potatoes. In addition to prices, the overall index is also affected by the seasonal change based on a 3-year average mix of commodities producers sell. Increased monthly movement of cattle, milk, and broilers more than offset the decreased marketing of soybeans, corn, tobacco, and wheat.
The preliminary All Farm Products Index is down 3 points (2.8 percent) from February 2013. The Food Commodities Index, at 116, increased 6 points (5.5 percent) from last month and increased 8 points (7.4 percent) from February 2013.
Prices Paid Index Unchanged
The February Index of Prices Paid for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates (PPITW) is at 107 (2011=100). The index is unchanged from January but 1 point (0.9 percent) above February 2013. Higher prices in February for concentrates, feeder pigs, LP gas, and complete feeds offset lower prices for supplements, feeder cattle, potash & phosphate, and nitrogen.
DENVER—Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) signed the Range-wide Oil and Gas Industry Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (LEPC CCAA). The Service also released an accompanying environmental assessment (EA). The agreement is the result of longstanding cooperation between the Service and the five range states of the lesser prairie-chicken—Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico—to undertake conservation action for the species, which is proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The LEPC CCAA incorporates measures to address impacts to the lesser prairie-chicken from oil and gas activities on non-federal enrolled lands. Landowners can voluntary enroll their lands into the CCAA. On undertaking certain actions that impact the lesser prairie-chicken or its habitat, the participants will be required to pay mitigation fees. Funds generated through these fees will enable implementation of conservation actions on enrolled lands elsewhere.
“This landmark agreement between the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies shows how cooperation between federal and state government agencies and private landowners can help advance conservation objectives while considering the economic needs of the nation,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “It is also another example of how flexibility in the Endangered Species Act helps us address the complex issues often associated with protecting our rarest wildlife and their habitats.”
DENVER, CO – February 28, 2014 – The 2014 Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture, held yesterday in Denver, provided an exploration of consumer preferences with live focus groups and insights into international trade trends.
The Forum, an annual event highlighting trends in Colorado agriculture, was themed “Farm to Table: What do Consumers Really Want?” That theme took various forms, including perspectives from Governor John Hickenlooper and Commissioner of Agriculture John Salazar on the driving forces of agriculture in the state, as well as insights into the minds of Colorado consumers from Colorado State University economic experts.
“Colorado’s producers have proven themselves to be resilient and innovative, while continuing to meet the world’s needs for food, fiber and energy,” said Hickenlooper in a letter inviting the public to the Forum. “We have continued to see new growth in the agricultural sector via new patent applications, as well as increases in natural and organic goods production, giving Colorado’s consumers more choice.”
Commissioner Salazar echoed the Governor’s comments, expanding upon how the state’s consumers recognize the value of Colorado-grown products.
“Colorado consumers appreciate the work of our state’s producers, and that came through in the day’s discussions,” said Salazar. “We are proud of our farm families who contribute more than $40 billion a year to the state’s economy, and we’re glad to see that Colorado’s citizens care about buying from our local producers.”
WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 28, 2014 – The U. S. Department of Agriculture today finalized changes to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to further improve the nutrition and health of the nation’s low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants and young children. The changes – which increase access to fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy – are based on the latest nutrition science. Today’s announcement marks the completion of the first comprehensive revisions to the WIC food packages since 1980.
“The updates to the WIC food package make pivotal improvements to the program and better meet the diverse nutritional needs of mothers and their young children,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The foods provided by the WIC program, along with education that focuses on the critical role of breastfeeding and proper nutrition, help to ensure that every American child has the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong.”
Along with a more than 30 percent increase in the dollar amount for children’s fruits and vegetables purchases, the changes also: Continue reading →
The 2014 Farm Bill, formally known as the Agricultural Act of 2014, makes the Livestock Forage Program (LFP) and Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) permanent programs and provides retroactive authority to cover eligible losses back to Oct. 1, 2011.
LFP provides compensation to eligible producers who suffered grazing losses due to drought and fire. LIP provides compensation to livestock producers who suffered livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather and attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the Federal Government or protected by Federal law, including wolves and avian predators.
USDA is determined to make implementing the livestock disaster programs a top priority and plans to open program enrollment by April 15, 2014.
As USDA begins implementing the livestock disaster assistance programs, producers should record all pertinent information of natural disaster consequences, including: Continue reading →
Cory Myers from Center, Colo., and Jordan Thomas, from Hamer, Idaho, participate in PILI media training.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Twenty-four potato growers and industry representatives joined together to form the 2014 class of the Potato Industry Leadership Institute (PILI), an annual program jointly administered by the National Potato Council (NPC) and the United States Potato Board (USPB) that identifies and cultivates the next generation of leaders within the industry.
From Feb. 20-27, PILI participants traveled from potato growing regions across the country to attend eight days of industry training and professional development. This year’s class kicked off in Stevens Point, Wisc., where the class received an overview of the local and national potato industry, including some of the challenges and issues beyond the production sector.
NPC Executive Vice President and CEO John Keeling provided attendees with an overview of the industry’s pressing public policy issues. USPB Chief Marketing Officer John Toaspern gave a market and consumer update and talked about some of the international export opportunities the industry is working to open. Participants then had a chance to visit potato growing and processing operations throughout Wisconsin, including Heartland Farms, Okray Family Farms, the Hancock Ag Research Station Storage Facility, and the Wisconsin Dairy State Cheese Company facility.
During the second half of the program, the Leadership Institute traveled to Washington, D.C., for sessions on lobbying, media training, and business etiquette. The class also participated in team building exercises, including the Iron “Potato” Chef Competition, where each team was given a pantry list and challenged to prepare a nutritious, creative, and satisfying meal that included potatoes and ground beef in one hour. Continue reading →
Cheyenne,Wyoming– Cattlemen, woolgrowers, anglers, hikers, and hunters will continue to enjoy Beartrap Meadows in the Big Horns thanks to a conservation easement completed by the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust with the support of Johnson County ag organizations, the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The project conserves a historic stock rest in western Johnson County that has been used by agricultural producers for almost a century. Located high in the southern Big Horn Mountains near the headwaters of Beartrap Creek, ranchers in the region rely on the area as a stopover for rest for their cattle and sheep while driving them to summer grazing pastures. More than 20,000 head of livestock trail through annually, benefitting from the area’s plentiful water and forage. Under the terms of the agreement, the land and the stock rest will be conserved in perpetuity.
The appeal of Beartrap Meadows extends beyond agricultural uses. According to landowner Bruce Pheasant, a Kaycee rancher, hundreds of recreational users from the U.S. and abroad enjoy the landscape each year, including its remarkable trout fishing. Through the “bargain sale” of a conservation easement, the Pheasant family will preserve the property in its current and historic use as a stock rest. The Pheasant family generously donated a significant portion of the fair market value of the conservation easement and the partners listed above contributed to the reduced purchase price. In addition, the family has worked out an agreement with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department that allows the public to continue to fish on the property.
“It’s a little piece of paradise,” Pheasant said. “The easement is going to help so many people in so many ways.” Beartrap Meadows is about 30 miles from Kaycee and is accessed by roads from Kaycee, Buffalo, Tensleep, and Casper.
The project brought together a unique set of six partners. In addition to the in-kind contribution from the Pheasant Family, contributions from the following made the project possible: the Farm and Ranchland Protection Program of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, the Johnson County Wool Growers, the Johnson County Cattlemen, and private donations.
(Denver, Colorado) – February 28, 2014 – USDA Colorado Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Leland Swenson, urges producers who want to purchase coverage through the Noninsurable Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) to do so by March 17, 2014.
NAP provides financial assistance to producers of noninsurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters.
“Purchasing a crop insurance policy is an easy way for producers to participate in risk management,” said SED Swenson. “The impact of the recent flood and multiple years of drought have proved that natural disasters can directly affect the profitability and recovery of agricultural operations,” he said.
“Biosecurity and Nutrition Important to PEDv Prevention”
As the swine industry strives to eliminate and prevent the dissemination of PEDv – Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus – Alltech Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Karl Dawson says quality control and stringent biosecurity measures are the only precautions producers can take. He says this goal will largely be achieved by using proven, controlled disease challenge strategies and adherence to strict biosecurity programs that prevent the spread of the virus through direct exposure and environmental contamination. PEDv is a fast spreading virus with a short incubation period. It is mainly transmitted via indirect or direct contact through fecal/oral means – but can also spread by fomites, aerosol emissions and most recently through transmission of feed ingredients. Dawson advises producers to work closely with veterinarians to implement stringent biosecurity measures and a nutritional management program that strengthens the immunity and disease defenses of pigs. By using proven nutritional strategies in conjunction with prevention programs – Dawson says it may be possible to augment and reduce the production losses associated with remediation programs that are designed to prevent further dissemination of PEDv.
“Grains Council Urges Strict Adherence to Stewardship Program”
The U.S. Grains Council is urging producers who choose to plant Agrisure Duracade in 2014 to adhere carefully to their stewardship responsibilities in order to minimize the risk to U.S. export sales. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight says it’s important for all sectors of the value chain to recognize the potentially significant international implications of their actions. He notes the Council welcomes the announcement of an aggressive stewardship program for the release of the Syngenta seed trait to minimize the risk of export trade disruption. According to Sleight – the unfortunate reality is that biotechnology approval systems around the world aren’t synchronous. He says some countries lack effective, trade-enabling policies regarding the low level presence of unapproved biotech events in grain shipments and therefore their presence carries a significant risk of major international trade disruptions. Sleight says leakage of unapproved events could even result in the closure of some major markets to U.S. corn exports for an indefinite period. Continue reading →
(BARN Media & CO Ag News Network – Briggsdale, CO) February 27th, 2014 – Joining the BARN by telephone with insight from the Colorado Department of Agriculture is Deputy Ag Commissioner Ronnie Carleton. Deputy Commissioner Carleton discusses several topics & events relevant to Colorado’s Agriculture Industry & Producers, including:
ST. LOUIS (Feb. 27, 2014) –She works every aspect of the farm, keeps everyone on task, and even advocates for the industry she loves. Farm moms are amazing women, and Monsanto Company wants to continue recognizing their efforts. As a result, the company today announced that nominations are now open in its search for the next America’s Farmers Mom of the Year.
Nominations for the contest, which is in its fifth year, will be open from February 27 – March 31, 2014. Anyone can nominate their favorite farm mom for a chance to win up to $10,000 — whether it’s their own mom, sister, aunt, daughter, friend or community member.
“Last year we received nominations from 48 different states – all featuring wonderful stories of active and empowered women who make a positive impact on their families, farms and communities,” says Jessica Simmons, Corporate Marketing Director for Monsanto. “We know there are still so many great stories out there to share and more women to recognize, so we want to hear from you.”
To nominate a favorite farm mom, visit AmericasFarmers.com during the nomination period and submit a brief essay online or by mail that explains how the nominated farm mom contributes to her family, farm, community and agriculture. Each nomination will be judged based on published criteria by a panel of judges from American Agri-Women, and Monsanto will select five regional winners based on the judges’ decisions. Each regional winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize. Profiles of the regional winners will then be posted to AmericasFarmers.com, where the public can vote for one national farm mom winner. Announced just prior to Mother’s Day, the national winner will receive an additional $5,000 cash prize above and beyond her regional prize.
Western Governors want land management to continue even when wildfire suppression costs soar.
It takes more than smoke-jumpers to battle wildfires. That’s why the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) urged Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last year to improve management of deteriorating federal forest lands throughout the West. (Read our letter)
Since then another deadly wildfire season has swept the West. And just like previous seasons, the high cost to battle the fires forced federal land management agencies to transfer funds from other programs, such as hazardous fuel reduction and restoration projects, to pay for wildfire suppression. So Western Governors have stepped up again, this week urging support for Congressional efforts to end the so-called “fire borrowing” practice to fund wildfire suppression employed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of the Interior. Specifically, WGA said in its letter delivered Feb. 24: “We welcome legislation such as the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2013 (S. 1875), that would solve this budgetary issue by creating a funding structure similar to that used by federal agencies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, when responding to natural disasters.”
That legislation, sponsored by Senators Ron Wyden and Mike Crapo, is similar to a bill introduced in the House by Representatve Mike Simpson and Kurt Schrader. WGA concluded its request by noting that “These non-fire programs are critical to managing our national forests; inadequate funding of these programs leads to more wildfire activity and raises the costs of suppression efforts.” (Read the letter)
In addition to Sen. Wyden, WGA reached out to Secretary Vilsack, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell, and Chief of the United States Forest Service Thomas Tidwell. Continue reading →
Greeley, CO Thu Feb 27, 2014 USDA-CO Dept of Ag Market News
Colorado Hay Report
Compared to last week: Hay prices remain steady to weak on light demand.
Trading activity is slow to inactive for new customers, with the majority
movement consisting of repeat customers. Statewide snowpack levels are 111
percent of average for this time of year. Regional snowpack levels are being
reported as Yampa and White 119 percent, Colorado 127 percent, North Platte 132
percent, South Platte 145 percent, Arkansas 100 percent, Upper Rio Grande 77
percent, Gunnison 107 percent, and (San Miguel, Dolores, Animas, San Juan) 85
If you have hay for sale or need hay, use the services of the Colorado
Department of Agriculture website: www.coloradoagriculture.com. All prices
reported FOB the stack or barn unless otherwise noted. Prices reflect load lots
of hay the most recent sales.
Northeast Colorado Areas
Large Squares: Supreme 230.00-240.00; Premium 220.00-230.00; Good 185.00-
200.00, 210.00-220.00 del; Fair 170.00-180.00; Utility 160.00-170.00.
Small Squares: Premium 250.00-275.00 (8.00-10.00 per bale). Continue reading →
Statement from the U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight
“The U.S. Grains Council welcomes the announcement of an aggressive stewardship program for the release of Syngenta seed trait Agrisure Duracade to minimize the risk of export trade disruption. It is important for all sectors of the value chain — individual farmers, technology providers, shippers and exporters alike — to recognize the potentially significant international implications of their actions. The Council therefore urges producers who choose to plant Agrisure Duracade in 2014 to adhere carefully to their stewardship responsibilities in order to minimize the risk to U.S. export sales.
“Today’s unfortunate reality is that biotechnology approval systems around the world are not synchronous. In addition, some countries still lack effective, trade-enabling policies regarding the low level presence (LLP) of unapproved biotech events in grain shipments. Inadvertent commingling is almost certain to occur in the high volume U.S. commodity handling system, and modern testing methods are likely to detect even trace levels of unapproved events. The presence of unapproved events in the export stream therefore carries a significant risk of major international trade disruptions. Given the increase in corn production in competitor countries and the ability of buyers to source anywhere in the world, leakage of unapproved events may even result in the closure of some major markets to U.S. corn exports for an indefinite period.
From Jim Mulhern, President and Chief Executive Officer, NMPF:
“As we review the details of today’s announcement on proposed food label changes, we are open to improvements that will help consumers make informed choices.
We applaud the provision to highlight a food’s dietary contribution of potassium and vitamin D – two nutrients most Americans are not consuming enough of. Milk is a great source of those, as well as two other key nutrients, calcium and protein, that are already highlighted on the current nutrition facts panel. This change will help consumers better understand the important role that dairy plays in a healthy diet.
There are some parts of the proposal that need greater clarification, such as the definition of ‘added sugars,’ and we look forward to working with the FDA to address these issues.”
The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 30 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. Visit www.nmpf.org for more information.