10-31-14 USCA News: U.S. Court of Appeals Denies Motion For Rehearing In COOL Lawsuit…

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USCA (Oct. 31, 2014) – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) said today that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has denied appellee’s petitions for both a panel rehearing and a rehearing en banc in the country of origin labeling (COOL) lawsuit filed on July 8, 2013 by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the American Meat Institute (AMI) and seven other plaintiffs against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Both orders were issued by the Court on October 31.  USCA is a defendant-intervenor in the case.

USCA President Danni Beer, South Dakota, praised the court’s decision.  “We appreciate the court’s diligence on this matter.  Today’s order is the fourth victory for COOL in the legal arena since this lawsuit began 15 months ago.  This is not only a victory for COOL, but also for consumers who benefit from enhanced labeling information and for U.S. cattle producers who are able to differentiate their product.  USCA believes it is time for the plaintiffs in this case to withdraw their lawsuit and end this continued waste of resources.”

Established in March 2007, USCA is committed to concentrating its efforts in Washington, D.C. to enhance and expand the cattle industry’s voice on Capitol Hill. USCA has a full-time presence in Washington, giving cattle producers across the country a strong influence on policy development.  For more information go to www.uscattlemen.org

10-31-14 *USDA/NASS-CO* October Grain Prices: CO Release…

USDA NASS Regional News Release header

October Farm Prices Received Index Declined 9 Points

The preliminary Agricultural Production Index of Prices Received by Farmers in October, at 98 percent, based on 2011=100, fell 9 points (8.4 percent) from September. The Crop Index decreased 9 points (10 percent) but the Livestock Index increased 4 points (3.0 percent). Producers received lower prices for soybeans, corn, and milk and higher prices for hogs, calves, and cattle. 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, cotton, and calves offset the decreased marketing of cattle, milk, broilers, and wheat. The preliminary Agricultural Production Index decreased 2 points (2.0 percent) from October 2013. The Food Commodities Index, at 111, decreased 8 points (4.7 percent) from last month but increased 5 points (4.7 percent) from October 2013.

Prices Paid Index Unchanged

The October Index of Prices Paid for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates (PPITW) is at 112 (2011=100). The index is unchanged from September, but 6 points (5.7 percent) above October 2013. Lower prices in October for concentrates, feed grains, diesel, and gasoline offset higher prices for feeder cattle, milk cows, feeder pigs, and supplements.

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

10-31-14 ASI WEEKLY NEWS FOR SHEEP INDUSTRY LEADERS…

Happy Halloween! Be Safe.

150th Update

By 1830, thanks to advancements in the northeast United States, the quality of wool production in the country had increased dramatically. Wool traders and dealers began appearing and a wool warehouse was thriving in Boston.

Registration forms are arriving into the American Sheep Industry Association office. It is available by clicking on the “2015 ASI Convention” link at www.sheepusa.org.

Drought Causing Hay Shortages in California  Continue reading

10-31-14 FREE VIEWING: The Hanna Ranch—One Cowboy’s Fight For Family And Land on Thursday, November 6, at the Armory in Brighton…

 

Hannah FilmDear Ag Partner,

The impact of urban development is increasingly felt by farmers and ranchers in Weld and Adams Counties, as it is in much of Colorado. We would like to invite you to a showing of The Hanna Ranch—One Cowboy’s Fight For Family And Land on Thursday, November 6, at the Armory in Brighton (see poster.) This documentary details how one extended family’s land near Fountain, and the family itself, was impacted by urban growth literally in their own backyard.

We hope you will join us for refreshments and a movie that will certainly lead to discussions within your own family.

Your ag partners at Platte Valley and West Adams Conservation Districts, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

 

10-31-14 NFU News: COOL Wins Fourth Victory in U.S. Courts, NFU to Multinational Meat Industry: Drop the Senseless Litigation…

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Urges USDA to Appeal WTO Ruling, Stay the Course on COOL

WASHINGTON (Oct. 31, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson today urged Congress to ignore a recent letter signed by groups who are using scare tactics to derail Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), a law popular with both consumers and family farmers alike.

 

“This letter was organized by groups who have opposed COOL from day one and demonstrates that they understand they have lost the battle over this issue in the public arena,” said Johnson. “We urge Congress to ignore the overblown rhetoric of the letter and stay the course on COOL,” he said.

 

The letter comes on the heels of a recent World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that the implementation of the law remains unbalanced between consumer information and production costs and will need further changes. “The WTO has already ruled that the COOL law is compliant and this ruling shows that USDA’s current rule is one more step in the right direction, but may not have gone far enough in providing sufficient information to consumers,” he said. Johnson noted that talk of retaliation is premature and the WTO process required to even consider such actions would likely be a year from concluding. “There is simply no rush to take rash action,” he said.

Continue reading

10-31-14 NFU Says Congress Should Ignore Scare Tactics of Recent Anti-COOL Letter…

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Urges USDA to Appeal WTO Ruling, Stay the Course on COOL

WASHINGTON (Oct. 31, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson today urged Congress to ignore a recent letter signed by groups who are using scare tactics to derail Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), a law popular with both consumers and family farmers alike.

 

“This letter was organized by groups who have opposed COOL from day one and demonstrates that they understand they have lost the battle over this issue in the public arena,” said Johnson. “We urge Congress to ignore the overblown rhetoric of the letter and stay the course on COOL,” he said.

 

The letter comes on the heels of a recent World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that the implementation of the law remains unbalanced between consumer information and production costs and will need further changes. “The WTO has already ruled that the COOL law is compliant and this ruling shows that USDA’s current rule is one more step in the right direction, but may not have gone far enough in providing sufficient information to consumers,” he said. Johnson noted that talk of retaliation is premature and the WTO process required to even consider such actions would likely be a year from concluding. “There is simply no rush to take rash action,” he said.

Continue reading

10-31-14 Dairy industry fights prostate cancer during MoDairy Movember Campaign!

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CLICK HERE to listen to an important message…

MoDairy, an initiative committed to raising awareness of men’s health throughout Movember, gears up for a second year.

Madison, Wis. [October 29, 2014] – November 1st marks the start of the MoDairy initiative’s second year. MoDairy, in support of the Movember Foundation, committed to raising awareness for men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer and male mental health, all through the power of the moustache.

Globally recognized as the leading global organization changing the face of men’s health, growing a moustache in the month of November reminds us of the health challenges facing a high proportion of males – specifically prostate cancer. Statistically, one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.

With the high potential of men being affected by prostate cancer, dairy farmers are also at risk. “Adding to the concern, dairy farmers have less awareness as to signs and symptoms, likely have less frequent medical examinations and simply are often more focused on the care of their cows and crops than they are of their own health,” says Amy Throndsen, director of international sales for DCC Waterbeds and founding member of MoDairy.

A group dedicated to supporting Movember, MoDairy is a small coalition dedicated to help dairy producers become more aware of their health.

“The goal of this growing coalition is to increase awareness of prostate cancer and build support throughout the dairy industry to help dairy farmers protect themselves with greater education, understanding and action to help keep their health in check,” says Ed Peck, president of Filament Marketing and member of MoDairy.

Combining humor and health, MoDairy is driving change by growing moustaches, sharing key statistics and encouraging dairy producers to contact their doctors for health screenings.

Producers, companies, and industry partners can all help spread the word about MoDairy in the following ways: Continue reading

10-31-14 CDA UPDATE: Vesicular Stomatitis (VS): 344 Colorado Quarantines Since Beginning of Outbreak…

CDA - Animal Health Division logo*UPDATED on 10/31/14*

Vesicular Stomatitis (VS): 344 Colorado Quarantines Since Beginning of Outbreak

Guidelines for Livestock Shows, Fairs, Exhibitions, and Events

BROOMFIELD, Colo. –As of 10/29/2014, the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian’s Office has 52 locations under quarantine after horses and cows tested positive for Vesicular Stomatitis (VS); 292 of the 344 quarantines have now been released.

 

“As warm fall temperatures persist some fly populations are still proving capable spreading this disease.  Therefore, livestock owners must still work to prevent flies on their property,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr.

Continue reading

10-31-14 USDA Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections to Begin Monday, Nov. 3…

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Farmers and Ranchers Encouraged to Make Their Voices Heard

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2014 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging farmers and ranchers to make their voices heard by voting in the upcoming Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Committee elections. FSA Administrator Val Dolcini announced that beginning Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, USDA will mail ballots for the 2014 elections to eligible producers across the country. Producers must return ballots to their local FSA offices by the Dec. 1, 2014, deadline to ensure that their vote is counted.

“The role and input of our county committee members is vital as we implement the 2014 Farm Bill,” said Dolcini. “New members provide input and make important decisions on the local administration of FSA programs. We have seen promising increases in the number of women and minority candidates willing to serve on county committees, helping to better represent the diversity of American agriculture.”

FSA County Committee members provide an important link between the local agricultural community and USDA. Farmers and ranchers elected to county committees help deliver FSA programs at the local level, applying their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on commodity support programs; conservation programs; indemnity and disaster programs; emergency programs and eligibility. County committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.

Continue reading

10-31-14 NRCS-CO News: NRCS’ Highly Sought After Web Soil Survey Site Gets Even Better…

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CLICK HERE to learn how the USDA’s WSS site can benefit you and your operation.

header_nrcsDenver, CO- October 29, 2014 – One of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) most sought after tools was recently updated.  Ninety-four percent of all soil survey areas nationwide recently had their information assessed and updated as part of the annual refresh on the Web Soil Survey (WSS) Site.  Web Soil Survey provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey.

“Colorado soil survey information has been updated and enhanced significantly this year,” shared William Shoup, NRCS State Soil Scientist in Colorado.  “Soil surveys can be used for general farm, local, and wider planning.  Colorado tends to see the majority of inquiries along the front-range, and most users are interested in physical properties, or engineering interpretations.”

USDA receives more than 180,000 hits on the WSS site each month.  Users access the site to generate an ‘area of interest’, and then can review the interpretations and properties customizing their report as needed. Continue reading

10-31-14 CO’s Heid and Thompson qualify for NCBA’s National Anthem Contest Final Four…

DENVER (Oct. 31, 2014) – The top four finalists have been selected for the second annual National Cattlemen’s Beef Association National Anthem Contest and we need your help in selecting the winner.

  • Mollie Beaver (11) Wichita, Kansas
  • Talli Heid (17) Yuma, Colorado
  • Hannah Segrist (14) Lubbock, Texas
  • Cassidy Thompson (16) Limon, Colorado

The participant entry videos can be seen on www.beefusa.org or the NCBA Facebook page. Online voting will take place October 31st through November 24th (One vote per day, per person). The winner will be determined by the most public votes and will be announced on December 8th. Cast your vote today! Be sure to tell your friends and family to vote online to help spread the word about these talented contestants.

The winner will win a variety of great prizes including: Continue reading

10-31-14 “GO ALL OUT” at the 87th National FFA Convention and Expo from Louisville, KY now thru Nov 1st…

Nat FFA 2014 Nat Convention logo

Award-Winners Take the Stage at the National Convention and Expo
See which FFA chapters have been named the model chapters of the year.

What the FFA Letters Mean to 12 Members at Convention
FFA is, simply, FFA! It’s not an acronym; instead, an opportunity for premier leadership, personal growth and career success.

Tyson Foods Encourages FFA members to Share #myAGstory
Tyson Foods is not only promoting its story but also encouraging FFA members to share their own via social media.

We Are FFA Booth in Expo Encourages Inclusivity
Providing FFA members with an experience where they can learn about intentional inclusiveness, multicultural awareness and organizational connectedness is what Megan Tanaka and the We Are FFA program is all about.

Going All Out for Career Success
Your time as an FFA member has prepared you for a successful career in agriculture; now it’s time to go find it.

How Far Have FFA Members Traveled to Convention?
From Alaska to Puerto Rico and Maine to Hawaii, members have traveled from near and far to attend the national convention and expo. And we wanted to know just how far.

For more news, click here. Also check us out on Facebook and Twitter or watch us live on RFD-TV and iHigh.

Friday Oct. 31 Session Highlights–Watch Live on RFD–TV or iHigh

8 a.m. Fourth General Session, Serve All Out
Honorary American FFA Degree Ceremony
Distinguished Service Citations and VIP Awards
Retiring Address by Mitch Baker, National FFA Secretary, “At the Table”
Noon Fifth General Session, All Out Commitment
Retiring Address by Wes Davis, National FFA Eastern Region Vice President, “Here for a Reason”
Agriscience Teacher and Agriscience Fair Recognition
3 p.m. Sixth General Session, All Out Passion
National Agricultural Proficiency Awards
7 p.m. Seventh General Session, Motivate All Out
Retiring Address by Jackson Harris, Southern Region Vice President, “Don’t Give Up on Home“

About National FFA Organization

Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, October 31st…HALLOWEEN!

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

“Groups Ask Congress to Rescind Parts of COOL”

Agriculture and other industry groups have asked Congress to “immediately authorize and direct” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to rescind elements of Country of Origin Labeling. The groups want Congress to take out elements of COOL that are non-compliant with trade obligations by the World Trade Organization, according to the Hagstrom Report. Known as the COOL Reform Coalition, the group claims such action by Congress would not undermine COOL to the extent it is not consistent with international trade obligations nor would it weaken U.S. defense of COOL in WTO litigation.

The list of letter-signers included many commodity groups but it did not include the two largest general farm groups, the National Farmers Union or the American Farm Bureau Federation. The United States still has the right to appeal the ruling, but the coalition said its members are “gravely concerned” that “Canada and Mexico could subject an array of U.S. exports to retaliatory tariffs.”

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House Planning Vote on Requirements for EPA Regulations”

While no date has been set in stone, The Hill reports House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy says a vote will be “soon” on Environmental Protection Agency regulations requirements. He says the House will vote on legislation that would prevent the EPA from issuing regulations without scientific data to support implementation. The House will return to Washington on Nov. 12 McCarthy said the measure would be part of GOP messaging to show the party can make government function.

Under the bill, H.R. 4012, the EPA would be required to make it available for “independent analysis and substantial reproduction of research results.” The EPA currently does not always provide scientific data to the public to identify the need for new regulations.

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“97 Percent of Doctors Concerned with Antibiotic Resistance”

97 percent of doctors say they are concerned about antibiotic resistance, according to a study by Consumers Report. Think Progress dot org reports almost 30 percent of surveyed doctors had a patient either suffer severe complications or die as a result of a multi-drug resistant bacterial infection. The study surveyed 500 doctors and found about 80 percent of them had a patients with a drug resistant type of infection in the last year. According to that study, several types of farmed fish were found to contain a type of antibiotics used in humans. The study claims feeding chickens a same type of antibiotic may have contributed to last year’s antibiotic-resistant salmonella outbreak, according to a report by Reuters.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that over two million people get sick and 23,000 die annually from drug-resistant infections. CRE-based infections, which have high antibiotic resistance, have increased by 500 percent between 2008 and 2012.

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“Registration Open for AFBF Convention”

Online registration is open for the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 96th Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show, which will be held January 10-14, 2015, in San Diego.  About 7,000 Farm Bureau members from across the nation are expected to gather for the convention, where they will hear from distinguished leaders and participate in a grassroots policy setting process that will guide the American Farm Bureau Federation through 2015. AFBF’s senior director of conventions and events, John Hawkins said this year’s convention “offers a preview of the future of agriculture.” The online registration can be found at annual convention dot fb dot org.
 http://annualconvention.fb.org/

The full Farm Bureau member registration includes the IDEAg Trade Show and Young Farmer & Rancher competitive events, general sessions, workshops and the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Silent Auction. AFBF President Bob Stallman will give his annual “State of Farm Bureau” address to members at the opening general session of the convention. Commander Rorke Denver will give the general session keynote address, and acclaimed late night TV host Jay Leno will give the closing session keynote address.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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10-31-14 Inside the USDA’s Rural Development w/Deputy Under Secretary Doug O’Brien…

LISTEN TO AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW…

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USDA Rural Development logo

Doug O Brien Deputy Under Secretary for USDA Rural Development(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) October 31st – On Friday, October 31st, USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the USDA is investing $20.7 million in loans and $8.3 million in grants for 10 projects in six states, including Colorado.

Joining me to discuss this in more detail is Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien, first…welcome inside the BARN on the CO Ag News Network. (INTERVIEW ABOVE)

BIOGRAPHY: Doug O’Brien, was appointed Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development. Prior to his appointment, O’Brien served as Senior Advisor to Secretary Tom Vilsack and Chief of Staff to Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. Before joining the United States Department of Agriculture, O’Brien served as the Assistant Director at the Ohio Department of Agriculture. In this capacity, he assisted the Director in administering the day-to-day operations of that department in such areas as plant industries, animal health, and its laboratories. In addition, he was responsible for developing the department’s biofuels, bio-products and renewable energy policy. O’Brien has also served as Senior Advisor to Iowa Governor Chet Culver, Interim Co-Director for the National Agricultural Law Center in Fayetteville, Ark., and Senior Staff Attorney at the Drake Agricultural Law Center in Des Moines, Iowa. He is former counsel for the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, where he worked on the 2002 Farm Bill. He also served as Legislative Assistant for Representative Leonard Boswell, focusing primarily on Rep. Boswell’s work on the House Agriculture Committee, and as a Clerk for Justice Jerry Larson of the Iowa Supreme Court. O’Brien graduated from Loras College and earned a Juris Doctorate with honors from the University of Iowa. In addition, he holds a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas. O’Brien, who was raised on a diversified farm in Iowa, has dedicated his career to agriculture and rural policy

FOR MORE INFORMATION – CLICK HERE

The USDA’s Rural Development, committed to the future of rural communities. Learn more online @ http://www.rurdev.usda.gov

 

10-31-14 USDA Announces $29 Million to Provide Housing for Farmworkers…

LISTEN TO AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY DOUG O’BRIEN

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USDA Rural Development logoWASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA is investing $29 million to provide affordable housing for farm laborers and their families.

“A safe, affordable home is often the first step on the road to more economic prosperity for farmworkers and their families,” Vilsack said. “These loans and grants will significantly improve the lives of farmworkers, who are vital to agricultural production.”

USDA is providing assistance through the Farm Labor Housing Loan and Grant program. Financing is available to qualified organizations to develop housing for domestic farm laborers.  USDA also provides rental assistance to help very-low-income families afford the monthly rent.

Through today’s announcement, USDA is awarding $20.7 million in loans and $8.3 million in grants for 10 projects in six states. When completed, the properties will provide 320 farmworker families with new homes. Rental assistance will be offered for 315 of the new housing units.

“I have witnessed firsthand the way these loans and grants help farmworkers and their communities,” said Tony Hernandez, Administrator of USDA’s Rural Housing Service, which runs the Farm Labor Housing program.  Earlier this month, Hernandez toured the Sugarloaf Apartments farm labor housing complex in Hendersonville, N.C.,  Since the complex opened in 1995, it is usually fully occupied.  Sugarloaf has two day care facilities onsite, one of which is year-round, making it a convenient place for residents to work and raise their families.

Below is a complete list of loan and grant recipients announced today. Funding is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of their agreements:

California

Coachella Valley Villa Hermosa Phase II – $3 million loan.  Funds will be used to add 68 units to the complex.

Peoples Self Help – $3 million loan.  Funds will be used to develop 33 units.

9355 Avenida Maria – $3 million loan.  Funds will be used to develop 60 units.

1006 Golden Valley – $3 million loan.  Funds will be used to develop 41 units.

Colorado

San Luis Valley – $1.5 million loan and $1.5 million grant.  Funds will be used to develop 30 units.

Straton Area Foundation – $750,000 loan and $1.6 million grant.  Funds will be used to develop 12 units.

Florida Continue reading

10-30-14 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

hay_20060403SmSq-bales-GL_GR310 – Greeley, CO    Thu Oct 30, 2014    USDA-CO Dept of Ag Market News

Colorado Hay Report

Compared to last week: Hay movement is slow this week with steady prices.
Fourth cutting of hay is testing above 180 RFV and most buyers are paying a
dollar a point for the RFV.  Cow hay is still hard to move due to abundance.
All prices reported FOB the stack or barn unless otherwise noted.  Prices
reflect load lots of hay.

If you have hay for sale or need hay, use the services of the Colorado
Department of Agriculture website: www.coloradoagriculture.com.

Northeast Colorado Areas Continue reading

10-30-14 NAFB News: USDA Secretary Vilsack Addresses members @ 87th National FFA Convention…

To listen to the audio, click on the mp3 audio link below…

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(USDAlogoRGBNAFB – Louisville, KY) October 30th, 2014 – USDA secretary Tom Vilsack spoke Thursday morning at the 87th annual National FFA Convention..

To learn more about USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack – CLICK HERE

To learn more about the USDA – CLICK HERE

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

 

10-30-14 NACD Expresses Concerns on “Waters of the U.S.” Proposed Rule…

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WASHINGTON, D.C.–October 30, 2014— The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) submitted comments today on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Proposed Rule defining “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

“We support the mutual goal of clean water and acknowledge the successes of the Clean Water Act throughout its 40 year existence,” said NACD President Earl Garber. “While we appreciate the opportunity to provide our input on the proposed rule, we are asking the EPA and Army Corps to take additional time to obtain local input for any rule making. To that end, we are requesting that the current version of the rule be withdrawn.”

In its comments, NACD expressed concerns and requested additional clarification on the following definitions: tributaries, adjacency, other waters, and significant nexus. As drafted, the proposed rule would substantially expand CWA jurisdiction, granting EPA and USACE broad authority and discretion to regulate wetlands and other water bodies remote from traditionally navigable waters.

By policy, NACD opposes any measure that expands jurisdiction of the CWA. After completing an economic analysis, EPA and USACE have estimated the rule would result in a three-percent increase in CWA jurisdiction. The amount of expansion is difficult to predict with any meaningful precision; however, if the rule were to encompass all adjacent waters and most isolated wetlands and ditches, NACD estimates it would be significantly greater than three-percent. Regardless, even a three-percent increase in jurisdictional areas would be significant, considering the total number of acres affected and the associated potential economic impacts.

While EPA’s efforts to preserve the agricultural exemptions are critical and well-intentioned, the combined effect of the expansion of jurisdiction and the framework to implement the agricultural exemptions creates a number of legal uncertainties and risks.

NACD supports the decisions of the Supreme Court to leave the management of non-navigable waters in the hands of landowners and local governments. For more than 75 years, conservation districts have been leaders in locally-led efforts to ensure a clean and sustainable water supply for the nation. With earned trust and a proven ability to form partnerships at the local level, conservation districts are well positioned to play a key role in addressing water quality challenges in local communities.

“It is our philosophy that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” said Garber. “Less-costly preventative measures are being implemented on the ground every day due to voluntary and incentive-based conservation practices.”

An expansion of CWA jurisdiction would take away from the current voluntary approach to conservation, which promotes collaboration in a large-scale manner. Any attempt to clarify CWA jurisdiction should be subject to local input, in order to develop effective parameters, criteria, and standards that successfully meet specific local needs. No final ruling should be employed until EPA and USACE have successfully vetted and approved clear provisions that are predictable when applied on the local level.

NACD’s full comments can be found on the website.

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

10-30-14 “GO ALL OUT” at the 87th National FFA Convention and Expo from Louisville, KY now thru Nov 1st…

Nat FFA 2014 Nat Convention logo

You Know National FFA Convention & Expo Has Started When…

Anyone who’s been to a previous National FFA Convention & Expo knows it could be considered stepping into another world. That said, you know national convention has started when…

Hunger Outbreak Response Team Gives Mission to FFA Members
One in seven Americans won’t get enough food today or some other day this year. Survival depends on you!

Melrose-Mindoro FFA Member Restores a Piece of History
When Riley Hanson decided to restore an Allis Chalmers WD tractor in 2012, he never imagined where this path would lead him.

FFA Chapters Create Untraditional Traditions during Convention
The National FFA Convention & Expo is packed with contests, reunions and inspiring moments – but for some FFA chapters, it’s also about tradition.

10 Things FFA Members Are Excited for During the National Convention and Expo
We took to the streets to see just what about the national convention and expo members look forward to most.

Download the National FFA Convention & Expo app for your smartphone
Quick and easy access to schedules, maps and more.

Thursday Oct. 30 Highlights

8 a.m. Opening Session 1C, Kentucky Exposition Center
8 a.m. – 5 p.m. National FFA Expo, KEC, South Wing A, B, C
1 – 4 p.m. National FFA Career Fair, KEC, Expo Floor
2 p.m. Second General Session, KEC
4:30 – 6 p.m. FFA Alumni Awards Session, KEC, Room C205
6:30 – 8:30 a.m. World’s Toughest Rodeo, KEC, Broadbent Arena
7:30 p.m. Third General Session, KEC
9:30 p.m. Concert – Scotty McCreery and Danielle Bradbery, KFC YUM! Center

About National FFA Organization

Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, October 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

“Dairy Margin Protection Programs Deadline Extended”

The deadlines for the dairy Margin Protection Program will extend now until December fifth. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the extension while speaking at the National Milk Producers Federation annual meeting.  The voluntary enrollment deadline was changed because Vilsack said “We want dairy producers to have enough time to make thoughtful and well-studied choices.” The program provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.

Vilsack encouraged producers to use the online Web resource at www dot fsa dot usda dot gov slash mpp tool (www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool) to calculate the best levels of coverage for their dairy operation. USDA also extended the opportunity for public comments on both the Margin Protection Program and the Dairy Product Donation Program until Dec. 15th.

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“USDA Planning to Move Ahead with Second Beef Checkoff”

Meatingplace reports USDA will move ahead with its plans to create a second beef checkoff in the absence of consensus from the industry as to how to overhaul the existing program. USDA is expected to file a notice in the Federal Register in early November seeking public comment on the proposal. Vilsack said earlier this month he’d create the parallel program if industry members couldn’t reach consensus on the existing checkoff’s reforms. Cattlemen’s groups nationwide responded with a letter urging the secretary to back off, arguing that USDA’s program would give the government too much control.

The parallel program Vilsack is planning would likely be funded by an additional $1 per head fee that producers would pay while continuing to pay $1 per head to fund the current checkoff program. However as previously reported, Vilsack is willing to pull back his plan if the industry reaches consensus on a viable way forward.

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“Consumer Groups Want Bee Killing Pesticide out of Lowe’s”

Consumer campaigns are urging Lowe’s to take ‘bee-killing’ pesticides off its shelves. According to the Hagstrom report, Friends of the Earth said the environmental group and its allies have organized more than 30,000 people to “swarm” Lowe’s stores around the country to deliver one million petition signatures to ask the home improvement company to remove neonicotinoid pesticides and plants treated with them from its shelves. The campaign follows similar moves regarding groups trying to get certain foods off of store shelves.

The group cited its own study of the impact of neonicotinoid pesticides on pollinators, and said gardeners “should beware” of the plants and pesticides they may be buying. Home Depot is requiring its suppliers to label all plants treated with neonicotinoid pesticides, and is working with its suppliers to “find alternative insecticides for protecting live goods and bees,” according to the Friends of the Earth environmental group.

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“Monsanto Investing to Transform Plant Breeding”

In a news release, Monsanto announced a commitment to further improve the genetic potential of seeds. The company announced Wednesday a $20 million investment in integrated technology centers as part of its global breeding program. The technology centers will utilize continuing advancements in data science, genomic breeding methods and predictive analytics to further enhance seeds, according to the release. The funding will help accelerate plant breeding research across integrated technology centers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota and Nebraska.

Monsanto vice president of global plant breeding Sam Eathington stated “We are at a unique inflection point in the evolution of plant breeding where data science and predictive analytics will help to unlock previously untapped potential of plant genetics.”

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“Vilsack to address FFA Members”

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack will address FFA members this morning during the 87thNational FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville, Kentucky. Vilsack is set to speak during the opening session of the convention this morning at 8:00am. An estimated 60,000 are expected to attend the national FFA convention, with approximately 12,000 in attendance to hear Secretary Vilsack speak.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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