09-30-14 US Senator Bennet Congratulates Four CO Schools being named National Blue Ribbon Schools…

US Senator Michael Bennet color official photo-022513

Denver, CO – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet congratulated four Colorado elementary schools on being named National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2014. The Department of Education today announced that Cougar Run Elementary School in Highlands Ranch, Elk Creek Elementary School in New Castle, Homestead Elementary School in Centennial, and Kruse Elementary School in Fort Collins are being recognized for academic excellence and demonstrating that all students can achieve at high levels.

“Colorado schools and school districts across the state are paving a path of innovation and success. The teachers, students, and parents, at Cougar Run, Elk Creek, Homestead, and Kruse elementary schools should be proud of their hard work.” Bennet said. “The National Blue Ribbon recognition validates their efforts.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes schools across the country for their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing the achievement gap. The annual National Blue Ribbon School award affirms the hard work of students, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. More than 7,500 schools have been presented with this coveted award.

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09-30-14 CSU Ext News: Furnace Thermostats…

CSU Extension Logo(Burlington, CO) September 30, 2014 – With elk bugling in the mountains and the cold weather approaching, Colorado State University Extension has a reminder about using your thermostat to save energy. Any thermostat can be used to lower the temperature when you’re sleeping or away, but programmable thermostats can make that job easier. New “smart” thermostats may be attractive to those who don’t like setting traditional programmable thermostats.

But any way you cut it, all low to moderate efficiency furnaces simply use less energy when they aren’t on. So reducing your thermostat’s set points saves you energy and money even if your heater has to work hard to get the temperature back up when you need it.

To learn more, visit the CSU Extension energy website at www.ext.colostate.edu/energy.

Colorado State University Extension programs are available to all without discrimination.

Colorado State University Extension is your local university community connection for research-based information about natural resource management; living well through raising kids, eating right and spending smart; gardening and commercial horticulture; the latest agricultural production technologies and community development. Extension 4-H and youth development programs reach more than 90,000 young people annually, over half in urban communities.

 

09-30-14 CO Corn News: More E85 Discount Days on the horizon…

Colorado Corn Logo

E85 PumpethanolpumpAbout half are already behind us, but there are a number of E85 Discount Days coming up in October. Altogether, there are about 25 such events taking place during September and October, during which Western Convenience staff members look to educate the public on the many benefits of E85, with 50-cent discounts on that fuel. Colorado Corn is providing some of the educational materials, and, along with Western Convenience staff, will be on hand at some of the events.

Dates for October include:

  • Oct. 1 – 2775 Briargate Blvd., Colorado Springs
  • Oct. 2 – 1905 West Uintah, Colorado Springs
  • Oct. 2 – 2507 E. Platte Ave., Colorado Springs
  • Oct. 3 – 227 W. Filmore St., Colorado Springs
  • Oct. 3 – 11399 Hwy 24, Divide
  • Oct. 6 – 9190 Huron St., Thorton
  • Oct. 13 – 12702 Lowell Blvd., Broomfield
  • Oct. 14 – 382 East Mountain Ave., Fort Collins
  • Oct. 14 – 1113 W. Drake Road, Fort Collins
  • Oct. 15 – 2387 West 72nd Ave., Denver
  • Oct. 15 – 2301 E. 88th Ave., Thorton
  • Oct. 16 – 1500 N. Main St., Longmont
  • Oct. 16 – 2630 Colorado Blvd., Idaho Springs

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09-30-14 WSGA News: WY Stock Growers Land Trust Conserves Ranch for Agricultural Production in Perpetuity…

WSGA - Wyoming Stock Growers Association Logo

Martin Place looking northCheyenne, Wyoming – The Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust completed the Martin Place project conserving 840 acres of productive rangeland in Sublette County. The Martin Place conservation easement, which closed on September 26, complements 14 conservation easements in Sublette County held by the Stock Growers Land Trust and results in a new total of 38,312 acres under easement in that county.    This total includes three easements already completed by landowner Maggie Miller as part of the Sommers Grindstone project.  As with the others, the Martin Place conservation easement will ensure the ranch’s compatibility with agriculture and prevents the ranch from being converted to non-agricultural uses in the future.

The Martin Place has a rich variety of plant and animal diversity as it lies between Bridger-Teton National Forest and the Green River.  South Beaver Creek and its tributaries provide abundant riparian habitat for a number of nesting songbirds, raptors, waterfowl, and shore birds.  The surrounding uplands provide terrestrial habitat for a number of sage brush obligate species including Greater Sage Grouse.  The eastern portion of the ranch is encompassed by the Daniel Sage Grouse Core Area and has been determined by the Wyoming Game and Fish department to provide suitable spring, summer and fall habitat for elk and winter-yearlong habitat for moose.

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09-30-14 Beef Checkoff Teams Up With Ibotta App…

Beef Checkoff News - Please turn on images to View

Ibotta AppIn cooperation with Ibotta, the 16th most frequently used app in the United States, the beef checkoff recently encouraged customers at two national retailers to choose beef at the meat case. Ibotta shared educational information about freezing beef and about beef nutrition, in addition to sharing the checkoff’s Easy Lean Beef Burger and DIY Taco videos. By engaging with the content, Ibotta users earned a cash rebate for their purchase of Top Sirloin Steak or Ground Beef.

“This app partnership really provided the checkoff with a way to get beef education to the consumer – how to cook, how to freeze ground beef, and nutritional facts,” said Cevin Jones, vice chairman of the Beef Promotion Operating Committee and beef producer from Eden, Idaho. “It also gave us the opportunity to have access to rich consumer data that showed us who is buying, where they are buying, what else they are buying when they buy beef, and the additional purchases that buying beef adds to a consumer’s shopping cart.”

Highlights from the program include:

  • Millennial consumers, those consumers aged 25-34 years, accounted for 44 percent of the redemptions for the beef checkoff’s products
  • The redemption rate was 25 percent, more than 30 percent higher than Ibotta’s systemwide average
  • There were approximately 35,000 redemptions in just the 16 days that the program was active The engagements (tasks) the checkoff offered each had more than a 95-percent completion rate

“A great product and great content is a recipe for success with Ibotta,” said Richard Donahue, vice president of marketing at Ibotta. “The Beef Checkoff Program was a huge success – with hundreds of thousands of videos being viewed on how to cook and store beef, more than 141,000 consumers put beef on their shopping list and 35,000 additional beef purchases being made in just a couple of weeks.”

For more information about your beef checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.

For more information about Ibotta, visit Ibotta.com. Or, to download the free Ibotta app, visit the App Store or find it on Google Play.

About Ibotta

Ibotta, a Denver-based mobile technology company aims to transform the way companies and retailers think about and execute mobile media and advertising campaigns in conjunction with brand loyalty development. With a one-of-a-kind user experience, the world’s leading brands and retailers continue to make Ibotta a key pillar of their digital programs and in-store growth strategies. With over two billion rebates viewed, 70 million completed brand interactions, and more than $11 million in cash rewards earned by users to date, Ibotta continues to drive brand messaging tracked to direct item level purchases for both in-store and online transactions.

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09-30-14 USDA/NASS News: SMALL GRAINS REPORT – SEPT 2014…

CLICK HERE to visit the Colorado Field Office Website

SMALL GRAINS – SEPTEMBER 2014

COLORADO HIGHLIGHTS

All wheat production in Colorado, estimated at 89.8 million bushels, is up 116 percent from 2013, according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. All wheat yield was 38.1 bushels per acre, up 12.8 bushels per acre from a year ago.

Winter wheat producers seeded 2.75 million acres in the fall of 2013 for harvest in 2014, up from 2.30 million acres seeded for the previous year’s crop. Acreage harvested for grain increased 720,000 acres to 2.35 million acres in 2014. Winter wheat production is estimated at 89.3 million bushels, up 119 percent from last year. Winter wheat yield, at 38.0 bushels per acre, is up 13.0 bushels per
acre from last year.

Spring wheat seedings, at 9,000 acres, are down 1,000 acres from last year. Acreage harvested totaled 8,000 acres, down from 9,000 acres harvested last year. Spring wheat production is estimated at 512 thousand bushels, down 31 percent from last year. Spring wheat yield, at 64.0 bushels per acre, is down 18.0 bushels per acre from last year.

Oat seedings in Colorado totaled 45,000 acres, down 10,000 acres from last year. Producers harvested 9,000 acres for grain or seed,
down 3,000 acres from 2013. Oat production totaled 540 thousand bushels in 2014, down 31 percent from last year. Oat yield is 60.0 bushels per acre in 2014, down 5.0 bushels per acre from the previous year.

Colorado’s barley seeded area, at 57,000 acres, is down 6,000 acres from last year. Harvested area, at 54,000 acres, is down 4,000 acres from 2013. Barley yield, at 126.0 bushels per acre, is down 7.0 bushels per acre from last year. Barley production in 2014 is estimated at 6.80 million bushels, down 12 percent from the previous year.

UNITED STATES HIGHLIGHTS
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09-30-14 USDA News: Nation’s Ag Co-ops Set Record for Annual Sales and Income…

View the complete list of recipients...USDA Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack

Co-ops Set Third Consecutive Sales Record; Jobs Increased by 5 percent Last Year

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2014 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the nation’s farmer, rancher and fishery cooperatives set a new sales record in 2013, with total business volume of more than $246 billion. That surpasses the previous record, set in 2012, by $8 billion, a 4 percent gain. U.S. co-ops also enjoyed robust job growth over the previous year.

This third consecutive year of record sales by ag cooperatives reflects increased sales in the overall farm economy in 2013. U.S. crop production and livestock sales both increased 6 percent in 2013, while production input (farm supply) sales increased 2 percent.

“These sales and net income records for ag cooperatives, combined with strong gains in employees for 2013, underscore the strength and productivity of the nation’s farmer- and rancher-owned cooperatives. These co-ops play a vital and growing role in the nation’s economy,” Vilsack said.

Secretary Vilsack made the announcement to mark the start of National Cooperative Month in October. He also signed a Cooperative Month proclamation that salutes the nation’s entire cooperative business sector, which includes about 30,000 co-ops. In addition to agriculture, the nation’s co-ops play a major role in electricity and telecommunications services, credit and financial services, housing and in many other sectors of the economy.

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09-30-14 Report: Colorado’s Economy Reaps $76,781,000 in Economic Output Thanks to the Sagebrush Ecosystem…

Sage Grouse Report

CLICK HERE to view the entire report, courtesy of ECONorthwest

SAge Grouse Conserving sage-grouse will protect Colorado’s thriving outdoor recreation economy

Western Values Project today released a report by ECONorthwest that shows that the sagebrush ecosystem—which supports the Greater sage-grouse and hundreds of other wildlife species—generates $76,781,000 in economic output in Colorado’s, and generates over a billion dollars in economic output across the American West.

The report comes as a growing number of western voices from the sportsmen community, business community, outdoor recreation community, energy industry and general public are calling on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and western states to develop strong, proactive, science-based conservation plans for the Greater sage-grouse and its habitat.

A recent, bipartisan poll found that nearly 80 percent of voters across the American West support sage-grouse conservation.

“I’m lucky enough to live in a part of the West where one can still find sage-grouse strutting and I can go hunt elk and deer when fall comes,” said Dr. Reishus a local Coloradan, hunter, and community doctor. “Visitors value this place as well, and whether they are sportsmen or wildlife watchers, their tourist dollars fuel our local economy and help support our way of life.”

The ECONorthwest report indicates that hundreds of millions of dollars in economic output from the outdoor recreation industry could be lost without responsible planning to conserve the Greater sage-grouse and its habitat.

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09-30-14 FSA-CO News: Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Information…

CLICK HERE to visit USDA-FSA-Colorado's Website

CLICK HERE to visit USDA-FSA-Colorado’s Website

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Information

The Colorado Farm Service Agency has notified County Offices that the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Validation has been disabled for disaster programs payments including, Livestock Forage Program (LFP), Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program Frost/Freeze (NAPFF), and Tree Assistance Program (TAP) Payment Processing.

State Executive Director Leland Swenson states this action will enable County FSA Offices to expedite payment processing. The AGI validation has been disabled temporarily for the following years and program payments: Continue reading

09-30-14 Beef Checkoff News: New Look and Feel for MyBeefCheckoff.com…

Beef Checkoff News - Please turn on images to ViewNEW MyBeefCheckoff.com Website snapshotThe beef checkoff launched a totally redesignedMyBeefCheckoff.com on Sept. 28, providing checkoff payers, leaders, staff and media with an easy-to-navigate selection of checkoff resources and information to highlight checkoff programs and results.

For the first time, MyBeefCheckoff.com will display photos and profiles of both Beef Board members and members of the Federation of State Beef Councils who serve on checkoff program committees. Where this is especially important is in another new feature, a “Meeting Center” that incorporates information from the old MyBeefCheckoffMeeting.com blog (which will go offline soon) along with new ‘visual rosters’ to help all checkoff payers better understand who represents them on each committee. The meeting center will offer committee materials – such as meeting agendas, minutes, presentations, etc. – as well as reporting from and photos of the meetings, and display it all in the Meeting Center.

The remake modernizes and simplifies organization of materials and makes everything accessible from drop-down menus at the top of every page. In addition, the site is “responsive,” which means it views the same on all electronic devices, from computer to laptop to tablet to smartphone.

“MyBeefCheckoff.com is really our one-stop source of information about our national $1-per-head beef checkoff,” says Jeanne Harland, chairwoman of the checkoff’s Producer Communications Working Group and a producer from LaFayette, Ill. “Through this site, producers have an opportunity to get to know their checkoff by reading about the latest results of our investments into checkoff programs.”

The home page also features a MyBeefCheckoff Facebook feed, daily news feed, and facts for producers to share via their own social-media platforms.

For more information about your beef checkoff investment, visit the new MyBeefCheckoff.com.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, September 30th…

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY's BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer...

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

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

“NATIONAL FFA REACHES RECORD MEMBERSHIP – 610,000 STUDENTS”

Analysts forecast that the world’s population will grow to 9 billion people by 2050. With global needs today to fight hunger and prepare for the expected population explosion, the industry of agriculture needs educated, skilled and passionate people dedicated to sustainability.

Today’s students are answering that call, evidenced by an explosion in FFA membership throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in the past year.

Membership in FFA today stands at 610,240 students up from 579,678 in 2013. Membership increased by more than 30,500 during the 2013-14 school year. The number of new, local FFA chapters throughout the country grew to 7,665.

The Texas FFA Association added more members than any other state, with 8,364 members. Total FFA membership in the Lone Star state stands at 103,379 with 1,021 chapters. California, with 76,470 members, is the country’s second-largest FFA association, followed by Georgia with 37,698 members, Missouri with 25,935 members and Oklahoma with 25,561 members.

Founded in 1928, the National FFA Organization’s mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

FFA operates at the local, state and national level. Students belong to FFA chapters organized at the local high-or-middle-school level and many students continue their membership through postsecondary education in colleges, universities or technical schools until age 21. For more, visit FFA.org.

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MONSANTO ISSUES COMMENT ON OREGON AND MONTANA GM WHEAT

Friday’s report by the USDA affirms that no genetically modified wheat is in commerce and that the commercial seed and grain supply does not contain genetically modified wheat. This finding is supported by extensive testing by USDA, state universities, Monsanto and others.

The USDA report also concludes that the unexpected detection of genetically modified wheat in Oregon last May was an isolated event on one farm, one field. Completion of the USDA investigation provides closure for the wheat industry as U.S. wheat growers continue to grow their global business.

Monsanto is committed to working with USDA to identify innovative stewardship practices, technologies and other opportunities to enable continuous improvement. Full compliance is our top priority.

To ensure continuous improvement, Monsanto participates in both the USDA’s Biotechnology Quality Management System Program and the industry’s Excellence Through Stewardship Initiative.

As the report also notes, USDA is reviewing an unrelated situation involving closed-out genetically modified wheat field trials at Montana State University, and Monsanto is cooperating fully with that investigation. In addition, the agency noted there is no evidence that genetically modified wheat is in commerce.

For more information, click here.

USDA has published a Q&A summarizing its investigation and emphasizing that there is no evidence that GM wheat is in commerce.

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“Consumers want more pork and they want it now”

According to Purdue University Extension economist Chris Hurt, although pork consumers have paid record-high retail prices this year, they want more. The latest USDA Hogs and Pigs report suggests that pork producers will be able to get more pork to consumers and to get it to them more quickly than had been anticipated.

“The rising volume of pork production over the next year will stand on three legs: lower death losses from PED, higher farrowings from producer expansion, and higher market weights this fall and winter,” Hurt said.

How can pork producers produce more pork quickly?

“The PED virus was not as deadly this summer as was anticipated,” Hurt said. “More baby pigs survived this summer than expected, and that will help boost pork supplies by the end of the year and into the winter. The number of pigs per litter this past summer was down 1.6 percent from the previous summer. This is much smaller than the losses in the previous two quarters. The number of pigs per litter was down 5.5 percent in the winter of 2014 and down 5.1 percent in the spring quarter. This meant that the number of market hogs was about 1 percent higher than expected according to the USDA survey results.”

Even more important to the hog and pork price outlook is what will happen to the number of pigs per litter this fall and winter and further into 2015.

Hurt said that increasing pigs per litter will be based on the low levels from a year ago and on the perceived “improved management” of the disease this fall and winter.

More pigs per litter is one way pork supplies will likely be expanded. Increased sow farrowings is the second way that was revealed by USDA. Producers intend to farrow 4 percent more sows this fall and 4 percent more in the winter.

Breeding herd numbers on Sept. 1 were up 2 percent, or by just over 100,000 head. The biggest portion of this expansion is in two states: Missouri, which was reported to have 40,000 more, and Iowa with 30,000 added head. Other states with noted expansions were: Texas, up 15,000 head, and Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, and Oklahoma with 10,000 additional.

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USDA Awards Over $52 Million in Grants to Grow Organic and Local Food Economies

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of over $52 million in support of the growing organic industry and local and regional food systems through five U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant programs. The Secretary made the announcement during an event with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe and local farmers at the Virginia State Fair.

“Local and regional food systems are one of the pillars of our efforts to revitalize rural economies,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Consumers are increasingly demanding more local and organic options. Investing in local and regional food systems supports the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers, especially smaller operations, while strengthening economies in communities across the country. Today’s announcements also improve access to fresh, healthy food for millions of Americans.”

Most of the grants announced today were authorized through the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill.  These investments represent USDA’s commitment to strengthening organic and local and regional food systems through projects that recruit and train farmers, expand economic opportunities, and increase access to healthy foods.

Secretary Vilsack made the announcement while in Virginia, where M. James Faison, a farmer and business owner of Milton’s Local Harvest, was awarded a Local Food Promotion Program grant. Milton’s Local Harvest will develop aggregation and wholesale distribution channels for farmers producing local swine and cattle products in Virginia and the District of Columbia. The project will improve the commercial viability of small to medium scale farmers, allowing wholesalers to source locally and increasing consumer access to local, sustainable, and healthy meat.

USDA’s AMS awarded over $27 million in competitive grants to expand marketing through the new Local Food Marketing Promotion Program (LFPP) and the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP). LFPP will invest millions annually in marketing and promotion activities for local food enterprises including food hubs, aggregation businesses, local food processors, farm to institution activities and other similar efforts. FMPP makes annual investments in marketing and promotion activities for farmers markets, CSAs and other direct producer-to-consumer outlets for local food.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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09-29-14 *USDA/NASS-CO* September Grain Prices: CO Release…

USDA NASS Regional News Release header

September Farm Prices Received Index Decreased 3 Points

The preliminary All Farm Products Index of Prices Received by Farmers in September, at 106 percent, based on 2011=100, decreased 3 points (2.8 percent) from August. The Crop Index is down 3 points (3.3 percent) but the Livestock Index was unchanged. Producers received lower prices for hogs, corn, soybeans, and cattle. Higher prices were received for broilers, milk, strawberries, and apples. 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 soybeans, corn, potatoes, and calves offset the decreased marketing of cattle, wheat, cotton, and barley. The preliminary All Farm Products Index is up 3 points (2.9 percent) from September 2013. The Food Commodities Index, at 119, decreased 1 point (0.8 percent) from last month but increased 13 points (12 percent) from September 2013.

Prices Paid Index Unchanged

The September Index of Prices Paid for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates (PPITW) is at 111 (2011=100). The index is unchanged from August but 4 points (3.7 percent) above September 2013. Higher prices in September for feeder cattle, potash & phosphate, LP gas, and herbicides offset lower prices for complete feeds, feeder pigs, hay & forages, and feed grains.

For a full copy of the report please visit www.nass.usda.gov. For state specific questions please contact: Continue reading

09-29-14 Beef Checkoff News: 2015 National Beef Ambassadors Selected…

Beef Checkoff News - Please turn on images to View

2015 National Beef Ambassadors

 (Pictured L to R: Kalyn McKibben, Rachel Purdy, Will Pohlman, Alicia Smith and Demi Snider.)

Thirty of the nation’s best beef industry youth spokespersons competed.  

Rachel Purdy (Wyoming), Will Pohlman (Arkansas), Alicia Smith (Texas), Kalyn McKibben (Oklahoma), Demi Snider (Ohio) were chosen as the 2015 National Beef Ambassador Team at the annual National Beef Ambassador competition, which is funded in part by the beef checkoff and managed by the American National CattleWomen, Inc, contractor to the beef checkoff.

Twenty senior contestants, ages 17-21, were judged in the areas of consumer promotion, education and outreach strategy, media-interview technique and issues response at the event in Denver, Sept. 26-27.

Contestants from throughout the country vied for a spot on this elite team of agriculture advocates and for the $5,000 in cash prizes sponsored exclusively by Farm Credit. Additionally, five educational scholarships totaling $5,000 were awarded by the American National CattleWomen Foundation, Inc. and Monsanto.

This year’s contest also hosted a junior competition for youth beef-industry advocates, ages 12-16. Ten passionate contestants vied for cash prizes, competing in three judged categories: consumer promotion, media-interview technique and issues response. The first-place winner was Phillip Saunders (Virginia). The second place winner was Bret Lee (Louisiana), and the third place winner was Abbey Schiefelbein (Minnesota). They all took home checks from Farm Credit for their top scores.

While preparing for this national beef promotion and education competition, youth across the nation learn about beef and the beef industry with support from state CattleWomen and Cattlemen’s associations and state beef councils. The preparation highlights industry issues of current consumer interest. Winners of the state competitions compete at the national level, where they receive additional training. After the event, the youth ambassadors speak to industry issues and misconceptions and educate their peers and meal-time decision makers about beef nutrition, cattle care, safety and more during consumer events, in the classroom and online.

Follow the National Beef Ambassadors on Twitter at @beefambassador and visitwww.nationalbeefambassador.org or www.ancw.org for more information.

For more information about your beef checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.

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09-29-14 CO Corn OpEd: New website a one-stop shop for info on drawbacks of Prop 105, mandatory GMO labeling…

No on Prop 105 Header

Go to http://noon105.com

TColorado Corn Logohe No On 105 Coalition this week launched its website, which will serve as an information and resource hub during this election season, explaining to the public why voting “No” on Proposition 105 in November is critical.

Proposition 105 would mandate a whole separate food-labeling system for Colorado that doesn’t exist in any other state. This would put Colorado farmers and food producers at a competitive disadvantage, increase our production costs and regulatory burdens, and ultimately raise food prices for Colorado families. Additionally, Proposition 105 is so badly written that it would result in misleading and inaccurate information on food labels in our state.

The No On 105 Coalition is made up of hundreds of diverse individuals and organizations representing thousands of farmers, consumers, businesses and taxpayers across Colorado – including the Colorado Corn Growers Association – and is using the new website to educate voters on such drawbacks.  Continue reading

09-29-14 *NASS-CO NEWS* Colorado Crop Progress Report for September 29th, 2014…

CLICK HERE to visit the USDA/NASS Website

CLICK HERE to visit the USDA/NASS Website

Agricultural Summary: As warm, dry conditions persisted last week, field activities gained prevalence and were maintained at an accelerated pace similar to the week prior. Precipitation was received along the Western Slope while isolated events occurred in the eastern district with trace amounts elsewhere. Emergence of dry areas was noted by reporters in the northeastern district as precipitation has waned in previous weeks. However, no immediate concerns of crop quality were addressed. Statewide, farmers were allowed 6.5 days in the field for operations.
Small Grains:  Harvesting activities for spring wheat continued behind average, with 83 percent of the spring wheat crop harvested by week’s end. Winter wheat was 71 percent planted as of last week, up from 42 percent a week earlier. This is ahead of 53 percent last year and 64 percent on average. Thirty-four percent was emerged, continuing ahead of last year and the average.
Row Crops: Maturity of corn was estimated at 39 percent, up 23 percentage points from the week earlier. Harvest activities gained momentum last week, with 6 percent harvested by week’s end. Eighty-five percent of the corn crop intended for silage has been harvested, compared with 86 percent last year and 84 percent on average. Dry beans were 72 percent cut while 42 percent has been harvested, up from last week’s respective figures of 45 and 22 percent. On average, dry beans are 52 percent harvested by now. Onions were 51 percent harvested, behind 58 percent last year and the average of 71 percent. San Luis Valley potatoes were 36 percent harvested, up from 22 percent previously. Potatoes outside the San Luis Valley were 92 percent harvested, compared with 95 percent last year and the average of 80 percent. Sorghum was 86 percent coloring, 44 percent mature, and 5 percent was harvested compared with the averages of 93, 41, and 5 percent, respectively. 24% of the sugarbeet crop was harvested, compared with 9 percent a year ago and 14 percent on average
Pasture and Range: Pasture and range conditions were rated 65 percent fair to good across the State. Last year, 54 percent was rated fair to good while 53 percent is fair to good on average. The third and fourth cuttings of alfalfa hay were estimated at 89 and 26 percent complete, respectively. On average, the third and fourth cuttings are 85 and 30 percent complete, respectively.
Livestock: Death losses for cattle and sheep remainedmostly average to light. Stored feed supplies were rated 5 percent very short, 12 percent short, 72 percent adequate, and 11 percent surplus, unchanged from the previous week’s figures.

To view the Sept 29th, 2014 USDA/NASS Colorado Crop Progress Report – CLICK HERE

09-29-14 USDA Awards Over $52 Million in Grants to Grow Organic and Local Food Economies…

USDA seal logoDOSWELL, Va., Sept. 29, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of over $52 million in support of the growing organic industry and local and regional food systems through five U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant programs. The Secretary made the announcement during an event with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe and local farmers at the Virginia State Fair.

“Local and regional food systems are one of the pillars of our efforts to revitalize rural economies,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Consumers are increasingly demanding more local and organic options. Investing in local and regional food systems supports the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers, especially smaller operations, while strengthening economies in communities across the country. Today’s announcements also improve access to fresh, healthy food for millions of Americans.”

Most of the grants announced today were authorized through the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill), including the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) Farmers Market Promotion Program and Local Foods Promotion Program, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and Community Food Projects (CFP) grant program. Also announced today are grants from AMS’s Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP). Together, these investments represent USDA’s commitment to strengthening organic and local and regional food systems through projects that recruit and train farmers, expand economic opportunities, and increase access to healthy foods.

Secretary Vilsack made the announcement while in Virginia, where M. James Faison, a farmer and business owner of Milton’s Local Harvest, was awarded a Local Food Promotion Program grant. Milton’s Local Harvest will develop aggregation and wholesale distribution channels for farmers producing local swine and cattle products in Virginia and the District of Columbia. The project will improve the commercial viability of small to medium scale farmers, allowing wholesalers to source locally and increasing consumer access to local, sustainable, and healthy meat.

USDA’s AMS awarded over $27 million in competitive grants to expand marketing through the new Local Food Marketing Promotion Program (LFPP) and the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP). LFPP will invest millions annually in marketing and promotion activities for local food enterprises including food hubs, aggregation businesses, local food processors, farm to institution activities and other similar efforts. FMPP makes annual investments in marketing and promotion activities for farmers markets, CSAs and other direct producer-to-consumer outlets for local food.

“These Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program grants provide farmers and ranchers around the country with tools to reach consumers, strengthen ties between urban and rural communities, and help meet the growing demand for locally and regionally produced food,” said AMS Administrator Anne Alonzo.

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09-29-14 CDA NEWS: Fall is the Perfect Time to Experience Colorado Agriculture…

CLICK HERE to learn more...

CLICK HERE to learn more…

CDA NEW main logo 051414BROOMFIELD, Colo. – The air is crisp and hues of red, orange and yellow dot the landscape. There is no better place to enjoy fall in Colorado than on a farm or ranch. This time of year brings a variety of family events involving agriculture including pumpkin patches and corn mazes. To help people explore agritourism in the state, the Colorado Department of Agriculture lists a variety of seasonal activities online at www.coloradoagritourism.com.

“Colorado’s harvest continues well into the fall,” said Wendy White, marketing specialist for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “It really is a wonderful time to get out and enjoy our beautiful agricultural landscape, and have a little fun too.”

Online resources include a list featuring corn mazes across the state as well as harvest festivals and pumpkin patches. The site also lists farmers’ markets, bird watching trails, wineries, breweries, agricultural festivals, ranch vacations and more.

Pumpkin Picking Tips: When selecting your pumpkin, choose a gourd that is heavy for its size, clean, well-shaped with no cracks in the rind and avoid those with soft spots or decay. More than just a beautiful decoration, pumpkins are nutritious. They are fat free, sodium free, a good source of Vitamin C and an excellent source of Vitamin A.

For more information, visit www.coloradoagritourism.com or call (303) 869-9175.

09-29-14 National Sheep Improvement Survey Underway…

NSIP-logo-150x150U.S. sheep producers are encouraged to participate before Oct. 10 in an online survey about improving the quality of the U.S. sheep flock.

This survey is being conducted by the National Sheep Improvement Association (NSIP), a non-profit group led by industry volunteers, whose sole purpose is to improve the quality of sheep and goats in the U.S. As a result of the American Lamb Industry Roadmap Project, which concluded that a major barrier to growth and prosperity in the U.S. sheep industry is quality, NSIP is taking a fresh look at how it can better serve U.S. sheep producers.

To take the survey, go to nsip.org or send an email to research@nsip.org with the subject “Link to Survey.”

09-29-14 CDA News: Biological Control Enlisted to Help Manage Emerald Ash Borer in Colorado…

CEABRT-CO Emerald ASh Borer Response Team logoTetrastichus adult wasp-APHIS Tetrastichus larvae under bark-APHISBOULDER, Colo. – Stingless, parasitic wasps that target and kill emerald ash borer (EAB), a highly destructive tree pest that poses a serious threat to Colorado’s urban forests, will be releasedtomorrow in Boulder to help control the borer’s spread. More than a thousand Tetrastichus planipennisi, which target EAB larvae specifically, will be brought into an area of known infestation by experts on the interagency Colorado EAB Response Team.*

 

The Colorado Department of Agriculture, University of Colorado and City of Boulder worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to obtain the wasps as biocontrol measures, to help suppress EAB populations in the city and manage the insect’s potential future spread. The release will occur on the East Campus of the University of Colorado.

“Biocontrols like these won’t eradicate EAB, but they are additional tools we can utilize in our integrated management approach to help control EAB in Colorado,” said Mitch Yergert, Director, CDA Plant Industry Division and incident commander for the EAB Response Team.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, Sept 29th…

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY's BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer...

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

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

“National Teach Ag Day at CHS Includes $1.5 Million Gift to Ag Education” 

CHS hosted the National Teach Ag Day celebration at its headquarters in Inver Grove Heights, Minn. today, which included the announcement of a $1.5 million gift over the next three years from CHS to further agricultural education in the United States.  National Teach Ag Day, which was streamed live online to celebrants watching all over the United States, brought attention to the current shortage of agriculture teachers and celebrated the contributions agriculture teachers make in their classrooms every day.

The celebration kicked off with the CHS announcement that it was committing $1.5 million dollars over the next three years to further agricultural education in the U.S. The gift was made to the National FFA Foundation, with a portion of the funds earmarked for the National Teach Ag Campaign Coordinator.

The National Teach Ag Campaign is an initiative to raise awareness of the need for more agricultural educators and celebrate the contributions agricultural educators make in their classrooms every day. CHS has been a sponsor of the National Teach Ag Campaign since 2010, contributing more than $450,000.  The campaign is a project of the National Council for Agricultural Education, led by the National Association of Agricultural Educators. It is funded by CHS, DuPont Pioneer and Growth Energy, as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

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“Foundation Releases New My American Farm App” 

The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has released a new version of its popular My American Farm app for iPads, Android tablets and Kindle Fire. The app is available for download on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon. 

The new version of the app, My American Farm 2.0, contains six My American Farm games, including the newly added Power Up game. This game allows young learners to dive into the world of energy and agriculture and embark on problem-solving missions for the virtual community of Energyville. The new app also builds on the math-focused game, In My Barn, with a Pre-K level to draw in new users. New badges also will be incorporated into the latest version of the app for everything from completing a game to engaging in virtual tasks like meeting a farmer or planting seeds. 

My American Farm is an educational game platform launched in 2011 to engage pre-K through fifth-grade learners in the discovery of relevant agricultural issues. Today, the free site offers 19 agriculturally themed games and more than 100 free educator resources such as lesson plans, activity sheets and comics.

The My American Farm educational resource is a special project of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture.  To take advantage of the free My American Farm resources, games and activities, visit http://www.myamericanfarm.org.

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“USDA Implements New Farm Bill Provision for Peanut Producers”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a new peanut revenue policy that will be available for eligible peanut producers. The policy, approved by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) Board of Directors, paves the way for USDA’s Risk Management Agency to make it broadly available to producers for the 2015 crop year in all counties where yield-based insurance coverage is currently offered.

The peanut revenue policy is one of several new risk management options authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill that will help farmers manage risks beyond their control. The Georgia Peanut Commission and the Western Peanut Growers developed the policy under section 508(h) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act, which allows private entities to design and submit crop insurance products to the FCIC Board.

The new insurance policy, which will be offered through the federal crop insurance program, replaces current peanut crop provisions. The policy will be based on the Common Crop Insurance Policy currently available for other major commodities and provide growers with a choice of Yield Protection, Revenue Protection, and Revenue Protection with the Harvest Price Exclusion. Available coverage levels will range from 50 percent to 85 percent. Information on the new peanut revenue policy for 2015 will be available on the Risk Management Agency’s website later this fall.

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“U.S., Japan fail to reach deal on TPP; NPPC wants agreement closed without Japan”

A two-day bilateral meeting was held this week between U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Japan’s chief Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) minister, Akira Amari, on the TPP negotiations in hopes of arriving at a consensus on the outstanding issue of agricultural market access. The TPP is a regional negotiation that includes the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, which account for nearly 40 percent of global GDP. The two countries were unable to reach an agreement on market access for what Japan calls its five “sensitive” agricultural sectors, including pork.

In a statement released Thursday, NPPC reiterated that Japan’s current offer is unacceptable. “The TPP could result in even greater gains for U.S. pork, but Japan is the key. It must be willing to phase out its tariffs over a reasonable transition period and abolish its trade-distorting Gate Price system,” NPPC said. In addition to being the largest value market for U.S. pork exports ($1.89 billion in 2013), Japan is the fourth largest market for the rest of U.S. agriculture, which shipped $12.1 billion of food and agricultural products to the island nation in 2013.

If Japan is allowed exemptions for its “sensitive” sectors from tariff elimination, other TPP countries will pull back on both market access and rules, which would significantly diminish the benefits of the entire agreement and set a terrible precedent for future trade deals. Taking a hard stance on Japan’s unwillingness to open its markets, NPPC said, “If Japan continues to refuse, the United States and the other TPP countries should close the negotiation without Japan.” NPPC applauded U.S. trade officials for their continued commitment to a gold-standard deal for U.S. pork producers. The next full round of negotiations is to be held in Australia in mid-October.

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“U.S. Hogs and Pigs Inventory Down 2 Percent”

As of September 1, there were 65.4 million hogs and pigs on U.S. farms, down 2 percent from September 2013, but up 6 percent from June 1, according to the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report published today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Other key findings in the report were:

  • Of the 65.4 million hogs and pigs, 59.4 million were market hogs, while 5.92 million were kept for breeding.
  • Between June and August 2014, 29.5 million pigs were weaned on U.S. farms, down 1 percent from the same time period in 2013.
  • U.S. hog producers intend to have 2.89 million sows farrow between September and November 2014, and 2.87 million sows farrow between December 2014 and February 2015.
  • From June through August 2014, U.S. hog and pig producers weaned an average of 10.16 pigs per litter.
  • With 20.7 million head, Iowa hog producers had the largest inventory among the states. North Carolina and Minnesota had the second and third largest inventories with 8.4 million and 7.7 million head, respectively.
  • While the national hogs and pigs inventory is down from September 2013, growers in Texas and South Dakota have increased the number of hogs and pigs in their states.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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