06-30-14 CMU Water Center News: What can local governments do to protect and conserve water?

CMU-Colorado Mesa University logo

Written & submitted to BARN Media by: Hannah Holm, Coordinator, Water Center at Colorado Mesa University

As people around the state debate how to make Colorado’s limited water supplies stretch to accommodate nearly twice as many people by 2050, the topic of growth surfaces repeatedly.  Some call for outright limits on population growth, while others point out that how communities grow can have as big an impact on their water use as how much they grow. For example, smaller lots equal smaller lawns, resulting in less water consumed per household.

In May, the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments (NWCCOG) held a workshop to explore how land use planning practices and regulations can be employed to achieve water conservation and water quality goals.  According to the workshop report prepared by Torie Jarvis, staff to NWCCOG’s Water Quality & Quantity Committee, some communities are already taking substantial action in these areas.  The full workshop report is available here: http://www.nwccog.org/index.php/programs/water-qualityquantity-committee/  Some key points are highlighted below.

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06-30-14 DARCA hosting FREE Water Workshops this July: Make Plans to Attend…

DARCA-Ditch ad Reservoir Company Alliance Logo 2

July 2014 DARCA Workshop Brochure

CLICK HERE to view the DARCA Workshop Brochure

Boulder – June 30, 2014 –  DARCA is involving ditch and reservoir companies in Colorado’s Water Plan by hosting four free workshops across Colorado during July.

Colorado’s Water Plan is a state driven effort to help find solutions to the ever increasing demand for water. With the vision of prosperous ditch companies, DARCA’s workshops will involve presentations on the state water plan and also ditch company planning. The workshops have the focus of soliciting input concerning the state water plan from ditch and reservoir companies and their farmer/rancher shareholders. The workshops also have the purpose of informing ditch companies on the importance of their own internal planning so that they can do well in an uncertain future.


  • Brighton – July 12, Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to noon

Brighton Recreation Center
555 N. 11th Ave.
Brighton, CO 80601

  • Grand Junction, July 18, Friday, 8:00 a.m. to noon

Ute Water Conservancy District
2190 H ¼ Rd.
Grand Junction, CO 81505

  • Durango – July 19, Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to noon

Florida Grange
656 Hwy 172
Durango, CO 81303

  • Pueblo – July 26, Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to noon

Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District
31717 United Avenue
Pueblo, CO 81001

The Ditch & Reservoir Company Alliance, a nonprofit organization, established in 2001, is dedicated to serving the needs of mutual ditch and reservoir companies, irrigation districts and lateral companies. DARCA’s efforts include advocacy, education, and networking.

For information about the workshops and to register please visit http://www.darca.org or contact John McKenzie at (970) 412-1960 or john.mckenzie@darca.org.

06-30-14 National Bison Association Director Dave Carter Appointed to USDA Trade Advisory Committee…

 National Bison Association News Header

Westminster, CO (June 30, 2014) – The appointment of the National Bison Association Executive Director Dave Carter to a U.S. Department of Agriculture trade advisory panel reflects the growing role of the bison business as a part of the overall agricultural economy, according to the association’s president, Bruce Anderson of South Dakota.

“Even though the bison business is a small part of the livestock industry, we need to be a part of any agreement that opens new markets to American agricultural products,” Anderson said. “We are pleased that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is including our voice at the table in this advisory panel.” 

Carter was one of three individuals appointed by Vilsack last week to the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade (ATAC) in Animals and Animal Products. The other individuals include Shelly McKee of the USA Poultry and Export Federation and Stephen Sothmann of the U.S. Hides, Skins and Leather Association. Vilsack appointed 16 other individuals to other trade panels that will advise the USDA and the U.S. Trade Representative in ongoing trade negotiations.

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06-30-14 USCA Urges Congress Not to Intervene in COOL…


USCA (June 30, 2014) – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA), a supporter of U.S. country of origin labeling (COOL), today urged federal policy-makers to reject requests for Congress to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to suspend indefinitely the U.S. country of origin labeling (COOL).  USCA expressed disappointment that a number of U.S. trade associations and other groups, led by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the North American Meat Association (NAMA) are asking Congress to intervene.  NCBA and the other groups sent a joint letter dated June 26 to House and Senate agriculture leadership asking Congress to intervene in COOL before a decision by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on compliance matters is released publicly, which is expected in September.

USCA President Jon Wooster, San Lucas, California said it is particularly troubling that the anti-COOL coalition would attempt to influence Congress with misinformation about the WTO process.  “These groups are warning Congress about impending trade retaliation even before we have a decision from the WTO dispute panel about whether the Department of Agriculture’s revised rules bring the program into compliance with trade obligations,” said Wooster.   “The dispute panel’s final report is expected to be released publicly in September.  The parties involved – Canada, Mexico and the U.S. – then have 60 days to file appeals with the WTO Appellate Body.  Appellate Body deliberations would take another 60 to 90 days or longer.  If Canada or Mexico win on one or more issues, they can file for the right to retaliate and the matter would likely go to an arbitrator, which would take another 60 days.  Any trade retaliation must be authorized by the WTO.  Retaliation by Canada and Mexico would only be permitted if they win on any issues in the challenge and that’s something we will not know until the WTO renders its final report.  We do not need any legislative intervention in COOL; instead, the WTO process must be allowed to conclude, which is not likely to happen until 2015.”

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06-30-14 Native Plant Conservation MOU Renewed in Coordination with Western Governors’ Association…

US DOI BLM - US Dept of Interior Bureau of Land Management logo

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) hosts the 2014 Seed Conference to celebrate 20 years of public-private partnerships for native plant conservation.  The Conference brings together 12 federal agencies to renew a Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) that continues the work of the Federal Native Plant Conservation Committee of the Plant Conservation Alliance (PCA) and its cooperators in State government, including the Western Governors’ Association, and non-government organizations.  The PCA is a public-private partnership of governments and non-government organizations that share the same goal of protecting native plants by ensuring that native plant populations and their communities are maintained, enhanced, and restored. 

“Every year America suffers significant losses of its native plants and wildlife due to fire, drought, flood and other natural disaster damage,” BLM Director Neil Kornze said.  “The MOU we are signing today calls attention to our need as Federal agencies to adapt to changing realities and to work together to restore affected landscapes for the people, communities and economies that depend on them.” 

At the Conference, attendees will evaluate the state of current knowledge about native seeds and plant restoration, and also discussed the tools needed to work collaboratively to sustain healthy, resilient landscapes that provide a full range of ecosystem services, and are capable of adapting to climate change.

The MOU commits Federal agencies to bolster the collective capacity of the PCA Committee to leverage funds and tools through efforts with non-federal partners.  The MOU calls for Federal agencies to assist non-Federal land managers in plant conservation and protection efforts.  It also calls for innovative partnerships among public and private sectors, nationally and internationally, to conserve native plants and their habitats before they become critically endangered. Continue reading

06-30-14 CWC News: Initiative 103, Public Trust Resources, Denied by the Supreme Court…

CWC - Colorado Water Congress logo

Colorado Water Congress shifts focus to Initiatives 75 & 89

Denver, CO- June 30, 2014- The Colorado Supreme Court published an opinion today declaring that Initiative 103 (Public Trust Resources) may not proceed towards the 2014 Ballot. A 4-3 majority holds that the Title Board lacked authority to proceed with a substituted designated representative when one of the proponents could not attend the rehearing. This decision validates a May 1 appeal by the Colorado Water Congress (CWC) and Coloradoans for Responsible Reform.

Initiative 103, by Phil Doe and Barbara Mills-Bria, proposed to establish an “inalienable right” of the people of Colorado to clean air, clean water (including groundwater), and the preservation of the environment and natural resources (called “Public Trust Resources”), as common property of all people, including future generations. It would require the state, as trustee of Public Trust Resources, to conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people. CWC and over 70 supporting entities from around the state opposed this Initiative on the grounds that it was unwise, unnecessary, expensive and disruptive to the responsible allocation and stewardship of Colorado’s water resources.

CWC will now shift its energy towards Initiatives 75 and 89, both of which are of concern to Colorado’s water community. A 5-2 Supreme Court majority decided today that Initiative 89 may proceed towards the 2014 Ballot. The Court similarly confirmed Initiative 75 last month. Each will require 86,105 valid signatures to be placed on the ballot in November.

Initiative 75 would strengthen “local control,” allowing local governments to adopt environmental regulations that override state laws, including the laws that limit and balance local governments’ regulation of water facilities. Initiative 89 would combine this local control theme with a Public Trust Doctrine, declaring “common property” in Colorado’s water and environment and obligating state and local government to conserve these resources as trustees. In his dissenting opinion today, Justice Gregory Hobbs cautioned that “Initiative #89 proposes to create an entirely unprecedented form of public trust duty requiring state and local governments to ‘conserve’ what are predominately privately held resources… [It] would upend the existing regulatory balance and thrust private property owners and governments into an uncertain future.”

The Colorado Water Stewardship Project, a special project of CWC, will continue to monitor Initiatives 75 and 89 and inform water stakeholders of the serious implications of amending the constitution to create a Public Trust Doctrine in Colorado.

To learn more about Colorado Water Congress – CLICK HERE

06-30-14 NMPF Asks FDA to Exempt Dairy Farms from Additional Regulation Under Food Safety Modernization Act…

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2Processed Dairy Products Not High-Risk Foods, According to NMPF

ARLINGTON, VA – Efforts to impose added regulations on dairy farms under the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) are not warranted because milk leaving farms for further processing is not a significant public health risk from intentional adulteration, the National Milk Producers Federation wrote today in comments to the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA is reviewing comments about the FSMA law, which is the most significant change to food safety legislation in many years.  Part of the scope of FSMA is to enhance the safety protocols around foods that may be subject to intentional adulteration, by terrorists looking to threaten or injure people, or cause economic harm to certain companies or industries.

“We disagree with the premise that on-farm milk destined for pasteurization is a high-risk food,” said Beth Briczinski, NMPF’s Vice President of Dairy Foods and Nutrition.  Raw fluid milk for pasteurization moves among various regions of the country and is in constant flux to meet specific processing demands.  Because of the challenge of predicting the precise processing facility and type of product or ingredient to which an individual farm’s milk is ultimately destined, NMPF concluded that “activities on dairy farms should not be addressed through this rule.”  A full copy of NMPF’s comments can be found here.

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06-30-14 *NASS-CO NEWS* The latest Colorado Crop Progress Report for June 30th, 2014…

CLICK HERE to visit the USDA/NASS Website

CLICK HERE to visit the USDA/NASS Website

Agricultural Summary: : Eastern Colorado received isolated precipitation with locally heavy accumulations in some areas. Some crop damage was indicated by reporters as a result of localized hail storms common in parts of the northeast and eastern districts. Conditions were warm and dry elsewhere, spurring crop development while allowing producers to focus on hay cuttings and planting activates. Dry conditions felt throughout the majority of Colorado have depleted moisture reserves across the state. Reporters indicated producers relying on surface water within the San Luis Valley have seen irrigation ditches shut off. Farmers were allowed 5.7 days in the field for spring operations.
Small Grains: Eighteen percentage points worth of barley reached the headed stage last week, ending on 37 percent. Barley remains behind average in development. Spring wheat was 43 percent headed, compared with 65 percent last year and 52 percent on average. Winter wheat developed rapidly last week, ending with 84 percent of the crop coloring, up from 52 percent previously. This is ahead of a year ago and the average of 74 percent and 80 percent, respectively. Twenty-nine percent was mature (ripe), compared with twenty-one percent last year and 37 percent on average. Harvested winter wheat was at 5 percent of the total intentions last week, behind 6 percent last year and 22 percent on average.
Row Crops: Development of dry beans last week ended on 85 percent emerged, up from 65 percent reported last week. Corn was 2 percent silked by week’s end, normal for this time of year per last year and the average. Condition of potatoes inside the San Luis valley partly recovered from last week’s freeze as temperatures have increased. Virtually all potatoes outside the San Luis Valley had emerged as of last week. Sorghum plantings were virtually complete by week’s end while 61 percent had emerged, up from 41 percent previously. Sunflower plantings were 88 percent complete, slightly behind average.
Pasture and Range: Pasture and range conditions were rated 58 percent fair to good across the State, down slightly from 63 percent last week. Last year, 31 percent was rated fair to good while 54 percent is fair to good on average. The first and second cuttings of alfalfa were 85 percent and 9 percent complete, respectively.
Livestock: : Death losses for cattle and sheep remained mostly average to light, showing an improvement from the previous week. Stored feed supplies generally held steady last week, and remains mostly adequate to short.

To view the entire USDA/NASS Colorado Crop Progress Report from June 30th, 2014 – CLICK HERE

06-30-14 *USDA-NASS News* The Colorado’s latest Acreage Report…

CLICK HERE to visit the Colorado Field Office Website

Colorado principal crop planted acreage, which includes acres planted to all major crops and those expected to be cut for all hay, is up 5 percent from 2013 to 6,217,000 acres.
Colorado corn producers planted 1,170,000 acres of corn this year of which they intend to harvest 960,000 acres for grain, down from 990,000 acres harvested in 2013. This is a decrease of 3 percent from last year’s harvested grain acreage and a 4 percent decrease in planted acreage for all purposes.
Sorghum plantings, at 265,000 acres, decreased 34 percent from the previous year and acreage expected to be harvested for grain, at 170,000, decreased 29 percent.
Oat seedings are set at 50,000 acres, a decrease of 5,000 acres from last year, with producers planning to harvest 13,000 acres for grain, up 1,000 acres from acreage harvested for grain in 2013.
Barley planted area, at 64,000 acres, is 2 percent more than last year’s acreage. Expected harvested acres, at 60,000, are 3 percent above 2013.Winter wheat producers planted 2,850,000 acres in the fall of 2013 for harvest in 2014, up from 2,300,000 acres planted for the previous year’s crop. Acreage expected to be harvested for grain was decreased 150,000 acres from the May forecast to 2,400,000 acres.

Spring wheat seedings, at 14,000 acres, are up 4,000 acres compared with a year ago. Acreage for harvest is expected to total 13,000 acres, up from 9,000 harvested last year.

Proso millet seedings are expected to total 260,000 acres this year, down 30 percent from 2013.

The area to be harvested for hay is expected to increase 20,000 acres from a year ago to 1,330,000 acres. Alfalfa hay harvested acreage is expected to increase 100,000 acres to 750,000 acres and all other hay harvested acreage is expected to decrease 80,000 acres to 580,000 acres. All sunflower planted area, at 65,000 acres, is 2,000 acres below last year. Oil type varieties totaled 55,000 acres, up 5,000 acres from 2013 while non-oil type varieties are set at 10,000 acres, down 7,000 acres. Harvested acres are expected to total 49,000 acres for oil type and 9,000 acres for non-oil.

Sugarbeet plantings increased 1,700 acres from last year to 28,500 acres. The expected harvested area, at 27,700 acres, is 2,000 acres above last year.

Acres planted to dry beans, at 60,000, are up 54 percent from last year. Harvested acres are expected to total 56,000.

Fall potatoes located in the San Luis Valley showed a 9 percent increase in planted acres from 49,700 acres last year to 54,200 acres this year. Fall potatoes located outside the San Luis Valley in Colorado (included in Summer Potatoes prior to 2013) totaled 6,000 acres, up from 5,100 acres last year.


06-30-14 *USDA/NASS News* Colorado Grain Stocks…

USDA NASS Regional Release


Corn stocks in all positions on June 1, 2014 totaled 3.85 billion bushels, up 39 percent from June 1, 2013. Of the total stocks, 1.86 billion bushels are stored on farms, up 48 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 1.99 billion bushels, are up 32 percent from a year ago. The March – May 2014 indicated disappearance is 3.15 billion bushels, compared with 2.63 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Soybeans stored in all positions on June 1, 2014 totaled 405 million bushels, down 7 percent from June 1, 2013. On-farm stocks totaled 109 million bushels, down 36 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 296 million bushels, are up 12 percent from a year ago. Indicated disappearance for the March – May 2014 quarter totaled 589 million bushels, up 4 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Old crop all wheat stored in all positions on June 1, 2014 totaled 590 million bushels, down 18 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks are estimated at 97.0 million bushels, down 19 percent from last year. Off-farm stocks, at 493 million bushels, are down 18 percent from a year ago. The March – May 2014 indicated disappearance is 467 million bushels, down 10 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Old crop Durum wheat stocks in all positions on June 1, 2014 totaled 21.5 million bushels, down 7 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks, at 12.8 million bushels, are down 6 percent from June 1, 2013. Off-farm stocks totaled 8.73 million bushels, down 8 percent from a year ago. The March – May 2014 indicated disappearance of 16.6 million bushels is down 15 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Old crop barley stocks in all positions on June 1, 2014 totaled 82.0 million bushels, up 2 percent from June 1, 2013. On-farm stocks are estimated at 19.1 million bushels, 21 percent above a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 62.9 million bushels, are 3 percent below June 1, 2013. The March – May 2014 indicated disappearance is 39.5 million bushels, 8 percent above the same period a year earlier.

Old crop oats stored in all positions on June 1, 2014 totaled 24.7 million bushels, 32 percent below the stocks on June 1, 2013. Of the total stocks on hand, 9.71 million bushels are stored on farms, 15 percent lower than a year ago. Off-farm stocks totaled 15.0 million bushels, 40 percent below the previous year. Indicated disappearance during March – May 2014 totaled 10.4 million bushels, compared with 16.3 million bushels during the same period a year ago.

Grain sorghum stored in all positions on June 1, 2014 totaled 92.3 million bushels, up 125 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks, at 4.50 million bushels, are up 66 percent from last year. Off-farm stocks, at 87.8 million bushels, are up 129 percent from June 1, 2013. The March – May 2014 indicated disappearance from all positions is 83.4 million bushels, up 65 percent from the same period last year.

For a full copy of the report please visit www.nass.usda.gov or CLICK HERE.

For state specific questions please contact:

Arizona – Steven Manheimer 1-800-645-7286
Colorado – William R. Meyer 1-800-392-3202
Montana – Eric Sommer 1-800-835-2612
New Mexico – Longino Bustillos 1-800-530-8810
Utah – John Hilton 1-800-747-8522
Wyoming – Rhonda Brandt 1-800-392-3202


06-30-14 NGWA News: Abandoned water wells can present risks…

(June 30, 2014) Household water wells owners should act to address any improperly abandoned wells on their property as they can present threats to both people and animals, the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) said today.

“Abandoned wells can be a physical danger to people and animals who may fall into them, but an even greater threat may be the pathway that an abandoned well provides for surface contamination into an aquifer used for drinking water,” said Cliff Treyens, NGWA’s public awareness director.

It’s estimated that there are millions of abandoned wells and drilled holes in the United States. Other types of wells and drilled holes may also affect aquifers, such as ones used for:

  • Mineral exploration
  • Seismic data collection
  • Dewatering
  • Construction water
  • Groundwater monitoring.
  • To find abandoned wells or other drilled holes may take some detective work on the part of the property owner.

“The passage of years can obscure what was once obviously a well. If a person knows what to look for, however, there are some signs that can give away the location of an abandoned well,” Treyens said, including: Continue reading

06-30-14 NFU Urges Congress to Stay the Course on COOL…


NFU - National Farmers Union logo5

WASHINGTON (June 30, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to renewed efforts by opponents of Country-of-origin labeling (COOL) to repeal the consumer labeling requirements:

“The World Trade Organization’s report on COOL’s compliance with trade obligations has reportedly been transmitted to the U.S. government but not yet been made available to the public. Despite that fact, the multinational meatpackers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are pushing to repeal COOL without knowing the full findings of the WTO compliance study. Urging Congress to repeal COOL laws before the WTO report is issued is just another desperate attempt to prevent consumers from having access to basic information about their food.

“NFU eagerly awaits the WTO report and will recommend a response if necessary. Consumers have a right to know where their food comes from and our family farmer and rancher members agree. The WTO has already ruled that the U.S. COOL law is acceptable. There are many policy or regulatory options – if any are needed – that can be adopted in order to comply, although NFU feels the current COOL regulations are WTO-compliant.”

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.

06-30-14 CAWG NEWS: 2014 Colorado Winter Wheat Harvest Update #1…

2014 CO Winter Wheat Harvest Update HeaderJune 30, 2014 – Ft Collins, CO – Winter wheat harvest has started in southeastern Colorado, a little later than average. Skyland Grain in Walsh reported taking their first load of wheat on June 20th.

The USDA NASS Crop Report `estimated Colorado at zero percent harvested last Monday, compared to 2 percent a year ago and the five-year average of 9 percent on this date.

Skyland Grain in Walsh reported harvest as 50 percent complete for their area. Moisture content ranged from 9 to 15 percent, and test weights were good, with the average at 62.5 pounds per bushel and some wheat up to 65 pounds per bushel. Reported dryland yields ranged from five to 40 bushels per acre. Skyland Grain anticipates receiving about 40 percent of an average crop this year, compared to 10 percent of average last year.

A Walsh area producer started harvest last Wednesday the 25th. Fifty percent of his crop was zeroed out because of drought loss. Moisture content was low, around ten percent. Test weight was averaging 60 pounds per bushel, and yields were 15 to 20 bushels per acre. This family will be done with harvest on their farm tomorrow, and he estimates in 10 days Baca county will be complete.

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06-30-14 CSU trains veterinarians to care for U.S. military animals that serve a nation…

Dr. Jeff Ullmer, a new CSU veterinary graduate, is part of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps.

Dr. Jeff Ullmer, a new CSU veterinary graduate, is part of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps.

Drs. Joshua Powell, Kelly Horgan and Hailey Harraun attended CSU with help from the U.S. Army’s Health Professionals Scholarship Program and now care for military service animals.

Drs. Joshua Powell, Kelly Horgan and Hailey Harraun attended CSU with help from the U.S. Army’s Health Professionals Scholarship Program and now care for military service animals.

FORT COLLINS – He felt called to serve, but it wasn’t until his tour with Colorado’s Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard that Army 2nd Lt. Jeff Ullmer found a second calling: veterinary medicine.

His experience with Army horses provided Ullmer with new insights into the long tradition and vital importance of supporting the health of U.S. military service animals – animals that often exhibit unique skills, courage and loyalty while working alongside handlers and troops in the field.

This spring, Ullmer was one of four new veterinarians to graduate from Colorado State University’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program and be commissioned as officers in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps during commencement.

CSU and Kansas State University each graduated four new military veterinarians in May; that’s the highest number to enter the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps from any university in the country this spring. CSU has six more students now in vet school bound for the corps.

“People’s lives depend on the health and well-being of military service dogs,” Ullmer said, as he anticipated the work ahead. “It’s our jobs as veterinarians to ensure that they are in proper health to perform their duties.”

Service dogs have gained increased visibility since working alongside emergency responders during the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks of 2001. In recent years, during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, highly trained combat canines have been deployed alongside U.S. troops to find improvised explosive devices before they blow.

Army veterinarians care for military working dogs on and off the field. This includes training handlers to respond to medical emergencies and supporting Human-Animal Bond Programs at military hospitals.

Joining Ullmer from CSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences are Hailey Harraun, Kelly Horgan and Joshua Powell. They now serve among more than 700 veterinarians in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, a network of medical experts posted in dozens of countries and in all branches of the U.S. military.

Congress established the corps nearly a century ago, in 1916, to maintain the health of military service animals – chiefly horses in the early years – and to ensure troop vitality by managing the health of food animals destined for mess tents. Today, aspiring veterinarians may take advantage of the U.S. Army’s Health Professionals Scholarship Program, which pays full tuition and fees for graduate-level health degrees; enrolled students are commissioned as officers upon graduation, and new veterinarians are obligated to serve for at least three years.

It seemed the ideal route to veterinary medicine for Horgan, an animal lover raised in a military family. Continue reading

06-30-14 NFU Holds 78th All-States Leadership Camp for Rural Youth, included Tyson Peppler of Mead, CO…


Mead, CO’s Tyson Peppler

NFU - National Farmers Union logo5WASHINGTON (June 30, 2014) – Young adults from across the country are returning home from Bailey, Colo., where they participated in National Farmers Union’s (NFU) All-States Leadership Camp.

“Our grassroots heritage includes an educational program for young leaders that is more than 75 years old,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The participants at All-States have gone on to be leaders in agriculture, cooperatives, and rural communities.”
Farmers Union campers come together each summer at the NFU Education Center to take part in cooperative activities and listen to several inspirational speakers. Campers heard from Andrew Jacobs of Co-Bank; Rulon Gardner, Olympic gold and bronze medalist in Greco-Roman Wrestling; and NFU leaders, including immediate past Vice President Claudia Svarstad.
This year’s camp focused on “Farming Means a World of Good,” reflecting the 2014 being declared the International Year of Family Farming by the United Nations. Campers learned to appreciate the cultural and economic value of family farm agriculture in America and worldwide.
“As a former camper, I understand the importance of building leaders in our industry at a young age,” said Johnson. “We are very proud of these young people and the tradition of NFU’s All-States Leadership Camp.”
The campers elected six of their peers to represent them nationwide. The 2014/2015 National Youth Advisory Council (NYAC) includes: Nicollette Bitz, Napoleon, N.D.; RaeLyn Leier, Fargo, N.D.; Chris Nemec, Holabird, S.D.; Tyson Peppler, Colo. (pictured on right); Dayton Trujillo, DeSmet, S.D.; and Lexie Weber, New Rockford, S.D. NYAC duties include representing thousands of Farmers Union youth across the country, including working at the annual NFU Convention. These young Farmers Union leaders also help plan the next year’s NFU All-States Leadership Camp.
To participate in All-States Leadership Camp, Farmers Union members, ages 17-20, must meet specific criteria throughout the year.
All-States is sponsored by the FUI Foundation, Farm Credit, CoBank and CHS Foundation.
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.

06-30-14 New Trout Unlimited report documents importance of small streams to clean water and fishing in America…

Trout Unlimited logo

As Congressional attacks on the Clean Water Act continue, anglers must mobilize to protect habitat and fishing opportunity

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A new report from Trout Unlimited details the importance of small seasonal streams across America to the overall health of the country’s rivers, its fish and fishing opportunity, and it asks anglers to take action to protect these waters by contacting their members of Congress and telling lawmakers to keep the Clean Water Act intact.

Rising to the Challenge: How Anglers Can Respond to Threats to Fishing in America is a brief report and a call to action for all who fish in the United States. Trout Unlimited scientists mapped how small streams influence historic native trout and salmon habitat in 16 states. Legislation in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate would halt a rulemaking process that would restore protections to small “intermittent and ephemeral” headwater streams under the Clean Water Act.

The proposed rule, drafted by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers, was crafted in response to two Supreme Court rulings in the 2000s that jeopardized 30 years of protections given to small headwater streams under the Clean Water Act. The Court questioned the nexus between these waters—which run low or dry at certain times of the year—and larger rivers downstream. In the aftermath of the court’s decision, dozens of interests, including the American Petroleum Institute and the National Association of Home Builders, requested that the federal government issue clarifying rules.

Both agencies have since affirmed scientifically that there is, indeed, a substantial connection between these small waters and the navigable waterways into which they feed, and the rule clarifies that connection, as required by the court.

The draft rule is currently in the public comment phase, but if proposed legislation is approved, the entire rulemaking process would be derailed. Continue reading

06-30-14 PlainsGold® highlights winter wheat variety offerings for 2014 fall planting…

PlainsGoldJune 30, 2014 – PlainsGold varieties available for fall 2014 winter wheat planting were announced recently, including the highly popular PlainsGold Byrd and the newest addition, PlainsGold Antero.

Publicly-developed PlainsGold varieties continue to gain market share across the High Plains. Currently, more than 61 percent of winter wheat acres in Colorado are planted in PlainsGold varieties. The PlainsGold brand is expanding into more states, including Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and Texas. There are more than 100 seed growers now offering PlainsGold varieties, compared to about 75 a year ago.

Check out the numerous PlainsGold varieties that will work for your operation this fall:

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Mon, July 30th…

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“Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report Released”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released its Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report Friday. NASS surveyed more than 7,800 operators across the U.S. during the first half of June for this report. As of June 1st – there were 62.1-million hogs and pigs on U.S. farms – which is the lowest inventory since 2007. U.S. hog producers intend to have 2.89-million sows farrow between now and August – and 2.88-million sows farrow between September and November. For more from the report – visit NASS dot USDA dot gov (www.nass.usda.gov).


“Immigration Reform Labeled Dead”

According to the Washington Post – lawmakers on both sides of the immigration reform issue have said immigration is effectively dead until after President Obama leaves office – even though the President called immigration reform his top priority for his second term. Friday marked a year since the Senate approved a comprehensive immigration bill on a bipartisan vote with no progress evident in the House and few working days left to approve legislation. Illinois Representative Luis Gutierrez says nothing is going to happen and Arizona Senator Jeff Flake says changes of advancing legislation in the House are next to zero – which he says is a shame. Lawmakers and immigration reform advocates say Representative Eric Cantor’s loss in his primary election and a new crisis on the Mexican border are partly to blame for the inevitable delay of immigration reform – as House Republicans have labeled both situations as evidence that the time isn’t right for this type of reform.


“CBO Releases Analysis on Renewable Fuels Mandate Situations”

The Hill reports the Congressional Budget Office recently released an analysis based on Congress not repealing the Renewable Fuel Standard. The analysis estimates fuel refiners would have to more than triple the use of advanced biofuels by 2017 and use more than the 10-percent ethanol blend in gasoline that older vehicles can tolerate. According to this analysis – the CBO estimates gas prices would increase up to nine-percent and diesel fuel would rise up to 14-percent by 2017. The analysis concludes food prices wouldn’t likely change much by 2017 if the mandate is repealed because fuel refiners would still find it cost effective to keep using a similar amount of corn-based ethanol without the mandate. Even if the mandate increased – CBO predicts food prices would change very little because corn and food made with corn account for just a small fraction of total U.S. spending on food.

National Farmers Union Senior Vice President of Programs Chandler Goule says the CBO’s claim that repealing the RFS would reduce gas prices is simply false. Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis agrees – saying the report looks at unrealistic scenarios and ignores the goals of the RFS – to decrease the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, create jobs, spur economic growth and improve the environment. Goule says the RFS has reduced consumer demand for oil – which the study fails to take into account – and study after study shows the RFS is saving consumers money. He says thankfully the CBO study acknowledges that the RFS is not driving up food prices – but Goule says the CBO should have taken all consumer benefits into consideration when performing its study. Buis says the bottom line is the CBO report is one-sided and skewed with no value placed on the meaningful policy objectives the RFS provides.


“Update on Situation Regarding U.S. DDGS Imports to China”

Kevin Roepke – U.S. Grains Council Director of Trade Development in China – says the situation regarding DDGS imports to China continues to evolve each day. Roepke reports recent conversations between the Council and China Inspection and Quarantine Service suggest a more pro-active stance on the part of CIQ for resolving the status of approximately 90,000 metric tons of U.S. DDGS stranded in Shanghai. He says CIQ has acknowledged a growing problem and expressed a readiness to work with the trade to facilitate re-export of rejected shipments – which includes assistance with issuance of new phytosanitary certificates and fumigation – if required for a new destination. Latest information indicates new import permits will be issued – but only to companies that have dealt with previously rejected cargoes and companies that certify new cargoes will not contain unapproved traits.


“Ag Secretary Sees Possible Alternative to GMO Labeling”

During the Aspen Ideas Festival – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke in a U.S. food policy discussion about GMO labeling – according to The Hagstrom Report. Vilsack says the challenge of the labeling debate is that food labels have either provided nutritional information or warned about possible allergies – but GMO labeling doesn’t fit into either category. Still – he says the consumer has a right to know. Vilsack believes putting information about genetically modified ingredients through barcodes on food labels – like Nestle does – could resolve the issue of labeling foods with GMOs. Nestle has created an extended bar code that Vilsack believes consumers could read with smartphones or on machines in grocery stores to determine if a product contains GMOs without sending any misleading messages. A Grocery Manufacturers Association spokesman says the use of barcodes to provide this information is worth exploring – but a federal GMO labeling standard would still be necessary to prevent a 50-state patchwork of labeling laws that could be costly – and confusing – for consumers.


“Give Consumers Information to Combat Food Fears”

A new study from Cornell University surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. mothers over the phone about what kinds of foods they avoid. Agri-Pulse reports those mothers were then divided into those who avoid high fructose corn syrup and those who avoid sugar. Results show those who avoid high fructose corn syrup were more likely to receive their information from the Internet and wanted to share their food-related choices with friends – yet they weren’t willing to pay more for foods that contained regular table sugar. Cornell researchers noted blogs and Internet websites provide easy access to targeted information that can support almost any pre-existing opinion – so if someone has a pre-existing opinion or fear of an ingredient – an Internet search can easily return results that further support or confirm their viewpoint. Researchers found – though – that companies can combat those fears by giving consumers more information. They discovered this by asking participants to rate the healthfulness of Stevia – a natural sweetener. Half were given historical and contextual information while the others weren’t given anything to read. Researchers report those given information rated the sweetener healthier. Bottom line – researchers say companies should focus on dispelling myths about their ingredients and their potential benefits if they want to combat consumers’ food fears.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

06-10-14 CAWG News: Congressman Gardner’s Wheat Tour June 28th…

2014 Gardner Wheat Tour poster 2

CLICK HERE to watch the webcast archive of his first stop @ Wickstrom Family Farms in Morgan County…

LISTEN to ALL of the audio from the stop @ Wickstrom Family Farms in Morgan County AND an EXCLUSIVE interview with US Congressman Cory Gardner…


June 10, 2014, Fort Collins, Colo. – The Colorado Association of Wheat Growers (CAWG) and the Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee (CWAC) will host the fourth annual Gardner Wheat Tour on Saturday, June 28, 2014.  The wheat tour will include events in Adams and Morgan counties, and is an opportunity for wheat farmers to meet and talk with U.S. Congressman Cory Gardner (R-4th).

Gardner’s large Fourth Congressional District includes 17 major winter wheat producing counties on the Eastern Plains.

“The wheat tour gives the Congressman a chance to visit specifically with wheat farmers,” said CAWG President Mark Linnebur, “And hear about issues they are facing on their farms, from water issues to the EPA and oil and gas.”

“Although the Farm Bill has been passed,” Linnebur said, “There are still many bills before Congress that are important to wheat farmers.”

Colorado wheat producers are invited to attend and participate in the following events scheduled on Saturday, June 28:

A lunch program with Morgan County area wheat farmers will begin at 12:00 p.m. at the Wickstrom farm, 33052 Road 3, Orchard, located one mile north of Orchard on County Road 2 and 1 mile east on Road HH. Please RSVP by calling the wheat office at 1-800-WHEAT-10 or 970-449-6994.

A dinner program with Weld and Adams County area wheat producers will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Linnebur Farm, 1150 N. County Road 225, 13 miles east of Byers on Highway 36 and then 1/2 mile south. Please RSVP by calling the wheat office at 1-800-WHEAT-10 or 970-449-6994.

Gardner will also tour Morgan, Weld and Adams county wheat fields.

The first wheat tour with the Fourth District representative was in 1991, with Wayne Allard (R, 1991-1997), and the tradition continued with wheat tours for Bob Schaffer (R, 1997-2003), Marilyn Musgrave (R, 2003-2009), Betsy Markey (D, 2009-2011), and now Congressman Gardner.

For more information about the Gardner Wheat Tour please call 1-800-WHEAT-10, or visit www.coloradowheat.orgCAWG and CWAC are two distinctly separate organizations with different, but complimentary purposes. CAWG is a voluntary membership association that lobbies on behalf of wheat growers at the state and national levels of government and provides special programs and benefits to dues paying members. CWAC is the producer-elected Board of Control for the Colorado Wheat Marketing Order whose purpose is to decide how assessment funds are to be spent for research, promotion and education activities.

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06-28-14 Colorado Book Award Finalist to Visit Limon July 13th…

Prairie Grace book cover Marilyn Bay WentzFifth Generation Coloradoan’s Debut Novel Has Historical Significance

Colorado Book Award 2014 Finalist Marilyn Bay Wentz will speak and sign books at the Lincoln Theatre in Limon at 2pm July 13. She will discuss the events leading up to the Sand Creek Massacre, which occurred Nov. 29, 1864 in southeastern Colorado, the timeframe in which her novel Prairie Grace is set. She also will talk about her writing and publishing journey and answer audience questions.

Prairie Grace, published by Koehler Books, depicts the clash of white and Native cultures in 1864 Colorado Territory through the eyes of throw-caution-to-the wind frontierswoman Georgia MacBaye and Cheyenne brave Gray Wolf, who is cast into the white world when his uncle, Chief Lean Bear, seeks help for him from Georgia’s mother, a well-known “healer.” When Lean Bear (actual historic figure) returns nearly a year later to retrieve his nephew, he explains that he was delayed by a trip to Washington, D.C., where he and other Cheyenne and Arapaho chiefs met the Great White Father (President Abraham Lincoln), a documented event.

“Prairie Grace is a work of fiction, but it sticks doggedly and with great detail to the historical timeline for 1862-64 Colorado Territory,” said Bay Wentz, a resident of Strasburg, Colo. “Prairie Grace accurately depicts the best and worst of humanity, describing both the Indian depredations and the ruthless U.S. government/military campaigns to eliminate the Native Americans and their perceived threat to the whites.”

Bay Wentz said she set out to write an entertaining story but one which also would educate readers about the history, particularly the Native-settler clash of this time period. Extensive research enabled her to write realistic dialog between fictional and actual characters. Historic events, including the Colorado gold rush, the Denver flood of 1864, the Hungate murders, the slaughter of innocent Indians in small villages, and the treaties of Fort Laramie and Fort Wise are woven into the storyline. Historical figures Lean Bear, Bull Bear, Roman Nose, One-Eye, Beaver aka George Bent, Black Kettle, Tall Bull, Cheyenne captive Laura Roper, Issac Van Wormer, Indian Agent Samuel Colley, Edward Wynkoop, Silas Soule, Governor Evans, and Col. John Chivington all make appearances in Prairie Grace.

Bay Wentz notes that Limon, as a stage stop, is part of Prairie Grace. “Georgia and her father travel from their ranch at the Bijou Basin to Limon so that she can catch the stage into Denver to attend medical school. That doesn’t go so well, but you will have to read the book to see how the stage ride turns out.”

Prairie Grace culminates with the Sand Creek Massacre when Colonel John Chivington led a U.S. Army assault on an encampment of peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians in present day southeastern Colorado on Nov. 29, 1864, massacring an estimated 130 Indians, at least 100 of them women and children.

Bay Wentz grew up on a farm six miles east of Eaton, Colo. She has written hundreds of news releases and articles for agricultural organizations and other clients. Prairie Grace released in December 2013 and is available online and through select bookstores, including the Tattered Cover and Woody’s Newsstand.