11-28-14 USCA Statement on Appeal of WTO Ruling…

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USCA (Nov. 28, 2014) – The following statement may be attributed to USCA President, Danni Beer:

“USCA is pleased that the US is appealing from the panel’s decision.  This has been a long process but the panel’s rulings appear to be incorrect in a number of respects. We look forward to having the Appellate Body review those matters properly appealed to it. COOL is important to consumers and to cattle producers in the United States trying to have the origin of their product communicated to the end user. We appreciate the support from the Administration and from many in Congress to defend this critical legislation and agency regulations.”

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

11-28-14 CDA News: Noxious Weed Grants Available…

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BROOMFIELD, Colo. –The Colorado Department of Agriculture announces requests for proposals for the 2015 grants for noxious weed management to local entities. This year, the Department has over $600,000 in grant funds available for projects based in Colorado to battle noxious weeds.

Noxious Weed Fund Grants

Nearly $500,000 was appropriated by the General Assembly in 2014 to expand the availability of resources for Colorado counties, municipalities and other entities with exceptional noxious weed management projects. Included in these funds is $100,000 earmarked for projects that address noxious weed problems resulting from floods, wildfires and other natural disasters.

State and Private Forestry Program Grants

Over $100,000 is available from the U.S. Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry program, which directs funds to projects that reduce noxious weed infestations that occur close to Forest Service-managed lands.

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11-28-14 NFU Thanks USTR for Supporting Family Farmers, Ranchers, Consumers; Urges Congress to Keep Its COOL and Let Process Play Out…

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WASHINGTON (Nov. 28, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson applauded today’s decision by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to appeal the recent World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) for family farmers, ranchers, and consumers. Johnson also urged Congress to leave the popular labeling law alone and allow the WTO process to run its course.
 
“The decision today by the USTR to appeal the WTO ruling on COOL is the right thing to do for American family farmers, ranchers and consumers,” said Johnson. “The October WTO ruling found once again that the COOL law is WTO-compliant and acknowledged that the May 2013 USDA regulations were a significant improvement in terms of providing more accurate information to consumers. Nonetheless, the WTO incorrectly found the rules were noncompliant and an appeal is the obvious course of action.”
 
Johnson noted that the popular sentiment towards the labeling law shared by family farmers and consumers is not echoed by large international meatpackers, who continually try to pressure Congress to repeal the law.

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11-26-14 *USDA/NASS-CO* November Grain Prices: CO Release…

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Prices Received Index Increased 2 Points

The preliminary November Prices Received Index (Agricultural Production), at 101 percent, based on 2011=100, increased 2 points (2.0 percent) from October. The Prices Received Index includes crop and livestock production. At 80, the November Crop Production Index is unchanged. At 134, the Livestock Production Index decreased 2 points (1.5 percent). Producers received higher prices for eggs, cattle, lettuce, and soybeans and lower prices for hogs, milk, apples, and broilers. 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 corn, cattle, milk, and cotton offset the decreased marketing of soybeans, grapes, potatoes, and wheat. The preliminary Prices Received Index is up 2 points (2.0 percent) from November 2013. The Food Commodities Index, at 119, increased 7 points (6.3 percent) from last month and 10 points (9.2 percent) from November 2013.

Prices Paid Index Down 1 Point

The preliminary November Prices Paid Index for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates (PPITW), at 110 percent (2011=100), is down 1 point (-0.9 percent) from October, but 4 points (3.8 percent) above November 2013. Lower prices in November for complete feeds, concentrates, other services, and hay & forages more than offset higher prices for mixed fertilizer, nitrogen, trucks, and feed grains.

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

10-26-14 The EPA should stay away from our electric bills!

EPA’s proposed carbon emissions regulations have the potential to drive up electricity costs and threaten the stability of our electric grid. As proposed, the EPA’s plan may force some power plants to close, which will affect the reliability and affordability of energy. 

Experts worry that the EPA’s proposal would harm the U.S. economy. An analysis published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy gives several clues of what will happen if the EPA regulations are finalized.

In short, they will create an economic MONSTER! Tell EPA to PROTECT CONSUMERS!

  1. Increased energy bills. Estimates have energy consumers paying $289 billion more for their electricity through 2030.
  2. People will lose their job. According to the U.S. Chamber’s analysis, the policies could cost as many as 442,000 jobs in 2022 and put at least 224,000 Americans out of work.
  3. The economy will take a hit. The Chamber estimates U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will decrease by $51 billion on average every year through 2030.
  4. Lower disposable household income. Like falling dominoes – job losses and unemployment in conjunction with higher energy bills, lower GDP, and a weaker economy – will ultimately lead to American families having lower disposible income, a total of $586 billion combined.
  5. Unreliability. Nearly 40% of U.S.electricity generated in the U.S. in 2013 was from coal. Any swift movement away from baseload electricity supplied by coal and nuclear power will disrupt the flow of electricity to the grid and ultimately to U.S. consumers.

CONTACT EPA!!

11-26-14 Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference Recap…

Government Partners Panel at the first National Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference  (L-R) Karis Gutter, Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services (FFAS), newly appointed Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison; Keith Kelly, Assistant to the Secretary, Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS), Department of Labor; Jaime Wood, Director for Policy and Engagement, Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD), Small Business Administration. Not shown: Scott Silvay, Employment Coordinator at the Iowa VA, and moderator Dr. Richard Mestas, Special Advisor to FVC Board of Directors.

Government Partners Panel at the first National Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference
(L-R) Karis Gutter, Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services (FFAS), newly appointed Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison; Keith Kelly, Assistant to the Secretary, Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS), Department of Labor; Jaime Wood, Director for Policy and Engagement, Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD), Small Business Administration. Not shown: Scott Silvay, Employment Coordinator at the Iowa VA, and moderator Dr. Richard Mestas, Special Advisor to FVC Board of Directors.

Farmer Veteran Coalition logoAn historic announcement from the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, a ground-breaking discussion between five departments of the Federal Government and a palpable enthusiasm among the 200 people in attendance marked the first National Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference, held in Des Moines, Iowa last weekend and sponsored by FVC and the Agricultural Law Center of Drake University.

“In my sixty-two years, it was the most powerful congregation I have been part of,” said James Brady, Air Force veteran and Board member of Louisiana Association of Cooperatives. The sentiment was echoed by many as speakers gave first-hand accounts of the healing, sense of purpose and career opportunities that returning veterans were finding on America’s farms.

USDA Deputy Agriculture Secretary Krysta Harden used her keynote address to name fellow conference attendee Karis Gutter the first Military Veteran Agricultural Liaison at the USDA.

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture - Krysta Harden

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture – Krysta Harden

“Many of America’s veterans come from our rural communities, and are often drawn back to the land upon returning to civilian life,” said Deputy Secretary Harden. “Veterans are key to building our future generation of farmers, land stewards and conservationists. USDA already has a number of initiatives to help veterans find meaningful work in agriculture upon returning home, but this new position will help coordinate our efforts and make programs easier to navigate. I look forward to Karis’ leadership as we continue to support America’s heroes.”

Gutter, a native of Terry, Mississippi (pop. 1,099), began his career in public service as an enlisted United States Marine Corp Reservist. Gutter served as a Corporal in the Marine Corps and a communications and field radio operator, participating in humanitarian relief in support of September 11 and Hurricane Katrina.

“Serving as USDA’s first Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison is a great honor,” said Gutter. “As a Marine, I know military veterans have unique skills, training and perspective. My job is to make sure military veterans have full access to USDA’s resources and services to help them succeed in civilian life.”

The USDA Military Veteran Agriculture Liaison, which reports directly to the Office of the Secretary, is a new position created by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Joining Gutter at the Plenary the next day were representatives of four other Departments of the Federal Government.  Keith Kelly, Assistant to the Secretary of Labor, oversees Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS).  “Our main goal is to get veterans jobs,” said Kelly, a Vietnam veteran and past Secretary of Agriculture in  two states: Montana and Arizona. “We don’t have a specific program for farmers and ranchers,” he said, but noted that the conference, bringing everyone together for the first time, could change that.

Jaime Wood, Army veteran and Director for Policy and Engagement for the Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) at the Small Business Administration (SBA) agreed.  “Veterans are 45% more likely to be self-employed than the general population. The resources from the SBA can help veterans succeed in self-employment.”  She, too, looked forward to what the new collaborations could bring.

(L-R) James Brady, Air Force Veteran and Board Member of the Louisiana Association of Cooperatives, and Dr. Walter A. Hill, Provost of Tuskegee University, at the Conference reception. Brady said of the conference: "In my sixty-two years, it was the most powerful congregation I have been part of."

(L-R) James Brady, Air Force Veteran and Board Member of the Louisiana Association of Cooperatives, and Dr. Walter A. Hill, Provost of Tuskegee University, at the Conference reception. Brady said of the conference: “In my sixty-two years, it was the most powerful congregation I have been part of.”

Scott Silvay, Employment Coordinator at the Iowa VA and a disabled Army veteran, described how his local office connects veterans with education, job training, and apprenticeship programs. When it comes to farm ownership, however, Silvay admitted that “the VA is not adept and geared toward farming from a self-owned perspective. This is why we need the USDA liaison role to ensure that veterans’ needs are being met across all departments.”

Dr. Richard “Rick” Mestas led the panel.  Dr. Mestas serves as Program Manager at the National Intelligence University, but spoke only in the capacity of his long-time role as Advisor to the Board of Directors of FVC. Mestas, whose career has spanned both military (Army) and education, pushed the panelists for ways they could cooperate across their departments to support rural veterans and a new generation of farmers, both issues critical to our national security.

Other keynote speakers included General Charlie Kruse, past President of the Missouri Farm Bureau and Past Secretary of Agriculture of Missouri; Brigadier General Stanley Flemming, DO, Ambassador to the US Army Reserves and current Councilmember, Pierce County, WA; and Ben Shaffar, Director of Business Development, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and the developer of the Homegrown by Heroes label.  The generals both sit on FVC’s Board of Directors.

The most moving talks came from military veterans involved first hand in the transition to agriculture.  Leaders of four organizations – Colin Archipley (USMC), Veterans Sustainable Agricultural Training (CA); Chris Brown (USMC), Growing Veterans (WA); Mike Lewis, Growing Warriors (KY); and James McCormick, Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture (WV) – gave compelling testimony about how their programs change, and in some cases, save lives.

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11-26-14 PORK CHECKOFF: New Studies Reveal Best Disinfectants and Methods for Inactivating PEDV in Hog Trailers…

PEDV Update Pork Checkoff HeaderA new paper from Iowa State University offers pork producers first-time insights on how various disinfectants and disinfection techniques work while also verifying existing knowledge about ways to battle Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV).

The four-study summary provides details of how individual aspects of trailer sanitation programs were evaluated, including thermo-assisted drying and decontamination (TADD) systems, along with multiple disinfectants. The research, led by Drs. Derald Holtkamp and Paul Thomas, identified disinfectants that may work well against PEDV even when feces is present.

The study also verified previous methods of combatting the virus. Specifically, PEDV in the presence of feces was inactivated by heating to 160°F (71°C) for 10 minutes or by maintaining room temperature at 68°F (20°C) for at least 7 days. No other combinations of time and temperature evaluated were shown to be effective at inactivating PEDV.

To learn more about these studies, including the disinfectant information, click to view the practical summary or the full study.

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, November 26th…

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

“Organizations Call Executive Order on Immigration Good First Step”

Farmworker Justice says as many as 450-thousand farmworkers and spouses could qualify for relief under President Obama’s executive order on immigration – according to The Hagstrom Report. With protection against the fear of deportation – the organization says farmworkers and other aspiring Americans will be able to contribute more fully to their communities and will be empowered in their workplaces. Still – the organization is disappointed at the limits of the program. United Farm Workers believes the executive order is the first step in comprehensive immigration reform.

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“FFA Joins Organizations in #GivingTuesday”

The National FFA Organization and National FFA Foundation are joining more than 10,000 organizations in an effort to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. #GivingTuesday is December 2nd – the Tuesday after Thanksgiving – and the goal is to inspire people to take action together to improve their communities, give back in better ways and help create a better world. National FFA Foundation President Molly Ball says this is a wonderful opportunity to not only raise support of FFA – but also heighten public awareness for the organization. Ball says this kind of grassroots effort can lead to a greater understanding of FFA’s mission and the importance of supporting the future of agricultural education.

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“Apply Now for NCGA Academic Scholarship”

The National Corn Growers Association and BASF are still accepting applications for five 1,000-dollar scholarships. Applicants for the NCGA William C. Berg Academic Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship Program must be entering at least their second undergraduate year or any year of graduate study and be pursuing a degree in an agriculture-related field during the 2015-2016 academic year. Applicants also must be an NCGA member – or have a parent or legal guardian who is a member. Applications must be postmarked on or before December 12th. Scholarship recipients will be selected in early 2015 and attend the 2015 Commodity Classic in Phoenix, Arizona. NCGA Grower Services Action Team Chair Tom Haag says this program is an important component of NCGA’s commitment to fostering youth in agriculture and to the future of rural communities.  

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“Proper Barn Preparation Key This Winter”

Alltech U.S. Swine Business Manager Russell Gilliam says the pork industry must make sure its animals are prepared for anything that may come their way this season. Gilliam recommends producers focus on herd flow, cleanliness, transportation, employees and nutrition to properly shield pigs from exposure to viruses and diseases this winter. He says it is essential to make sure there are proper check points for identifying infected animals and separating them from the rest of the herd. It’s also important to ensure all areas are completely clean and dry before exposing them to new pigs. Animals coming and going are at risk for exposure by transportation vehicles – so producers should make sure vehicles are completely clean and that the biosecurity protocols are fully understood and being followed. As for employees – foot traffic should be monitored and proper biosecurity measures need to be implemented. Lastly – producers should include technologies in feed to reduce the risk of pathogens and build immunity. Gilliam says the industry needs to keep improving methods to protect animals. Visit Alltech dot com (www.alltech.com) for more information.

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“5th Rural Entrepreneurship Initiative Webinar in One Week”

The fifth in a series of free online business training webinars for rural entrepreneurs and Farm Bureau members – Finding and Keeping Talent – will be held Tuesday, December 2nd at 3 p.m. Eastern. The webinar – presented by the American Farm Bureau Federation and Georgetown University McDonough School of Business Global Social Enterprise Initiative – will focus on growing your team by developing staff in new ways. RSVP for the webinar at www1 dot go to meeting dot com slash register slash 718 549 705 (https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/718549705).

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“Applications Now Being Accepted for 2015 ESAP Award”

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Bob McCan says environmental stewardship and conservation have long been the focus of America’s foremost land stewards – farmers and ranchers. 2015 marks the 25th year of the Environmental Stewardship Award Program – which recognizes the outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of U.S. cattle producers. Any individual, group or organization is eligible to nominate one individual or business who raises or feeds cattle. Applicants must submit one nomination letter and three letters of recommendation highlighting their leadership in conservation along with a completed application. Applications are due March 6th and are available at environmental stewardship dot org (www.environmentalstewardship.org). Seven regional winners and one national winner will be selected by a committee of representatives from universities, conservation organizations, federal and state agencies and cattle producers. Candidates are judged on management of water, wildlife, vegetation, soil, leadership and the sustainability of their business as a whole.

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“Still Fighting the RFS Fight”

According to The Hagstrom Report – renewable fuels leaders are still urging Congress to maintain the Renewable Fuel Standard. Advanced Ethanol Coalition’s Brooke Coleman says congressional intervention will only create more uncertainty for investors. A coalition of industry leaders say it is vital for the EPA to finish a proposal in the coming year to encourage renewable fuels production. This year – blenders have used 13.5-billion gallons of ethanol – according to Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen. EPA plans to release a proposal for 2014 and 2015 by April and finalize a package that includes 2014, 2015 and 2016 in August.

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“Farmland Documentary Now Available On-Demand”

Farmland – the feature length documentary by Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Moll – is now available for rent and purchase through On Demand platforms – including iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster On Demand, Sony PlayStation, Vudu.com, Xbox and YouTube. Costs to download begin at 14-99 for high definition and at 12-99 for standard definition. High definition online rental costs start at 4-99 and standard definition starts at 3-99. The documentary also will be available to satellite and cable television subscribers through their Video-on-Demand or Pay-per-View platforms this December.

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“Food Safety Tips to Remember This Thanksgiving”

As you prepare for your Thanksgiving meal – USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has some food safety recommendations to make sure the turkey is properly prepared and safe to serve. Before cooking a turkey – store it at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly below in the refrigerator. When cooking a turkey – wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before touching any food to prevent the spread of any infection or illness. Do not wash the turkey. Fully cooking it will kill any bacteria. Keep raw turkey separated from all other foods and use separate cutting boards, plates and utensils to avoid cross-contamination. Cook the turkey until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit on a food thermometer. To check the temperature – place the thermometer in the thickest part of the breast, the innermost part of the thigh and the innermost part of the wing. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours to prevent bacteria growth and store them in shallow pans or containers to decrease cooling time. Remove any stuffing from the turkey and refrigerate it separately from the meat. Don’t consume leftovers that have been in the refrigerator for more than three or four days. For more information – visit Food Safety dot gov (www.foodsafety.gov).

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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11-25-14 NCBA’s Cattlemen’s College Lineup Set for Feb. 3-4 in San Antonio…

DENVER (Nov. 25, 2014) — The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Cattlemen’s College, now celebrating its 22nd year, has established a reputation as one of the most thorough cattle producer education programs in the nation. Sponsored by Zoetis, the 2015 edition of Cattlemen’s College offers a wide range of informative, hands-on educational workshops designed for cattle operations of every size and sector.

The program will be held Feb. 34, 2015, in San Antonio, Texas, headlining the first day of activities at the 2015 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show. Early registration for Cattlemen’s College and the convention ends Jan. 9, 2015.

Cattlemen’s College workshops include an outstanding lineup of industry experts during the course of two jam-packed days. OnTuesday, Feb. 3, participants will first hear from Gary Smith, Keith Belk, Daryl Tatum and Dale Woerner on “Feeding to Increase the Quality, Consistency, and Competitiveness from Market Cows.” This first hands-on class will help attendees improve the beef from market cows, identify production practices and learn value concepts from feedlot to retail.

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11-25-14 NCBA Environmental Stewardship Award Calls for Entries…

DENVER (Nov. 25, 2014) — Celebrating its 25th year, the Environmental Stewardship Award Program has opened its nomination season for 2015 award. Established in 1991 by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the program has recognized the outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of U.S. cattle producers for more than two decades. Regional and national award winners are honored for their commitment to protecting the environment and improving fish and wildlife habitat while operating profitable cattle businesses.

Seven regional winners and one national winner are selected annually by a committee of representatives from universities, conservation organizations, federal and state agencies, and cattle producers. The nominees compete for regional awards based on their state of residency, and these seven regional winners then compete for the national award. Candidates are judged on management of water, wildlife, vegetation, soil, as well as the nominee’s leadership and the sustainability of his or her business as a whole.

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11-25-14 Colorado State Forest Service, Pingree Park provide Christmas trees for local charity…

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The trees are being donated through a Northern Colorado Shares program called Gift of a Green Christmas Tree.

The trees are being donated through a Northern Colorado Shares program called Gift of a Green Christmas Tree.

FORT COLLINS – For the third successive year, the Colorado State Forest Service is providing a Fort Collins-based charity with more than 300 Christmas trees for local families in need – all obtained from Pingree Park, Colorado State University’s mountain campus and outdoor classroom for natural resources students.

On Saturday, Nov. 22, the CSFS worked with local Boy Scouts, CSU’s Alpha Student Chapter of the Society of American Foresters and other volunteers to harvest the young lodgepole pine trees from a 20-year-old burn scar in Pingree Park. The trees were obtained for Gift of a Green Christmas Tree – a program of the broader 501(c)(3) organization Northern Colorado Shares (NOCO Shares) – which each year provides hundreds of free trees to brighten the holiday season for families, senior citizens and others with limited resources.

“It’s all about providing local families a brighter Christmas,” said Ryan Behm, NOCO Shares president. “We wouldn’t be able to reach out to so many each year without the efforts of the Colorado State Forest Service, and the trees provided by Pingree Park.”

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11-25-14 Alltech News: Pig Barns Prep for More than Frigid Temperatures This Winter…

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Pig Barn - Clean[LEXINGTON, Ky.] –  Last year as Jack Frost nipped across the United States, the swine industry saw an immense spike in Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) cases. With the absence of summer heat and dry conditions to keep the virus at bay, the disease spread through barns across 31 states. Now with a renewed focus on biosecurity measures and nutritional management, the industry hopes to reverse this costly trend and avoid another surge in PEDv infections.

“As an industry, our focus needs to be on making sure our animals are prepared for anything that may come their way this season,” said Russell Gilliam, U.S. swine business manager for Alltech. “However, the winter does bring some additional challenges that producers need to be aware of in order to protect their pigs.”

While there are many facets of pig production that need to be set up and continually monitored to properly shield pigs from exposure to viruses and diseases this winter, Gilliam recommends swine producers concentrate on these five production areas: Continue reading

11-25-14 National FFA Joins the #GivingTuesday Movement to Encourage Spending with a Purpose…

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Living to Serve Grants Program...

INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014/National FFA Organization) – The National FFA Organization and the National FFA Foundation have joined #GivingTuesday, a unique effort that will harness the collective power of a global blend of partners—charities, families, businesses and individuals—to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. Coinciding with the Thanksgiving holiday and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday will inspire people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they support and help create a better world. Taking place Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014 – the Tuesday after Thanksgiving – #GivingTuesday will harness the power of social media to create a national moment around the holidays dedicated to giving, similar to how Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become days that are, today, synonymous with holiday shopping.

“We see Giving Tuesday as a wonderful opportunity to not only raise support of FFA, but also to heighten public awareness for the organization,” said Molly Ball, president of the National FFA Foundation, the fundraising arm of the National FFA Organization. “With our all-time high membership of more than 600,000, this kind of grassroots effort can lead to a greater understanding of the mission of FFA and the importance of supporting the future of agricultural education.”

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, November 25th…

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

“No Budges on Tax Breaks”

In what’s becoming a Christmas tradition for Congress, no one has budged to help move expired tax breaks along. The Hill reports both sides want to wrap up talks soon over the so-called tax extenders, which come up about every two years for re-authorization. If a deal between the two chambers can’t be reached, House Republicans are saying the best they might be able to do is extend tax breaks that expired at the end of 2013 only through the end of this year. Once the republicans gain control of the Senate in 2015 the issue could be revisited.

Tax writers in both parties also say they continue to favor the Finance Committee’s proposal to extend most of the incentives, which expired at the end of 2013, through the end of next year. House GOP leaders have said they hope to wrap up the current lame-duck session by December 11, the day the current stopgap spending measure expires. The IRS has already warned that the 2015 filing season could be delayed if an extenders deal isn’t reached quickly.

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“No Federal Drought Bill for California This Year”

California Democrat and Senator Dianne Feinstein says a bill addressing the ongoing drought in California will not be passed before Congress adjourns this year. Meatingplace reports efforts to enact water legislation have been slowed by environmental concerns around diverting water to the Central Valley, the state’s agricultural center. Feinstein said in a statement that while progress has been made “it has become clear that we will be unable to present an agreed-upon proposal before Congress adjourns this year.”

Feinstein has been trying to bridge the gap between two bills, one the House passed in February that sought to roll back environmental protections and one the Senate approved that would allow federal agencies to pump as much water to farms as possible without violating existing laws. California is in the midst of a third straight year of drought and climatologists don’t expect much relief this winter, the states wet season.

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“USDA Disaster Assistance to Help Livestock, Bee and Fish Producers”

USDA Disaster assistance announced Monday will help 2,500 producers with emergency assistance for losses previously not covered under farm bill programs. The Assistance comes through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program for losses suffered from October 1st, 2011 through September 30th of 2013. The program, re-authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides disaster relief to livestock, honeybee, and farm-raised fish producers not covered by other agricultural disaster assistance programs.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stated “Once the Farm Bill was restored, not only did we implement the disaster assistance programs in record time; we’re issuing payments less than three months after the enrollment deadline.” Eligible losses may include excessive heat or winds, flooding, blizzards, hail, wildfires, lightning strikes, volcanic eruptions, and diseases, or in the case of honeybees, losses due to colony collapse disorder.

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“NFU Calls Delay of 2014 RFS Volume Standards a ‘Serious Disappointment;”

The National Farmers Union calls the EPA’s decision to delay the Renewable Fuels Standard requirements for 2014  disappointing but a hopeful opportunity that will allow EPA time to get the targets right.  NFU President Roger Johnson said “the proposed targets in November were unacceptable,” and the NFU remains “hopeful that the EPA will now be able to address the flaw for both immediate and future target levels.” Johnson noted that the biofuels industries – and the farmers who grow the grains they use – are poised for continued growth here in the U.S., but need a clear signal that the targets will remain firm.

Johnson said ““the EPA needs to demonstrate its support to this vital industry to ensure its success and keep investment in and production of renewable fuels here in the United States.” Since Its creation by Congress, the RFS has created $184.5 billion in economic impact while supporting 852,056 jobs nationwide, according to the National Farmers Union.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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11-24-14 *CSU Ext – SeCO News* Pesticide Applicator Continuing Education Credit Workshops in Cheyenne Wells Dec 11 and Las Animas Dec 12…

CSU Ext SE CO

In Colorado, the application of pesticides is regulated by a very strict set of guidelines and laws.  Since 2007, these regulations are enforced by the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA).  Some of the regulations include the licensing of private and commercial pesticide applicators. The purpose of the license is to ensure that the applicators have a good working knowledge of how the pesticides work as well as how to handle and apply them safety and correctly.  Under the Colorado Pesticide Applicators Act, to maintain the status of Private Applicator, Qualified Supervisor or a Certified Operator, applicators must accumulate seven Continuing Education Credits (CEC’s) in core subjects and one or two CEC(s) in each of the categories in which Qualified Supervisor or Certified Operator are currently licensed.

Colorado State University Southeast Area Extension and the Colorado Environmental Education Program will conduct two Pesticide Applicator Continuing Education Credit Workshops on December 11 and 12, 2015.  The training is aimed to provide new information on pest control, health and environmental safety, pest management technology and changes in pesticide laws and regulations.  These workshops will provide area applicators all seven core credits to renew their license.

The Pesticide Applicator Workshops are scheduled as follows:

December 11 – Cheyenne Wells, CO

1:00 pm to 5:30 pm.  Cheyenne County Extension Office (425 South 7th West)

December 12 – Las Animas, CO

8:00 am to 12:30 pm.  Las Animas Senior High School (300 Grove Avenue)

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11-24-14 *NASS-CO NEWS* Colorado Crop Progress Report for November 24th…

CLICK HERE to visit the USDA/NASS Website

CLICK HERE to visit the USDA/NASS Website

Agricultural Summary: Dry conditions persisted last week, allowing harvest activities to be finalized throughout large swaths of Colorado. Some concerns were noted regarding lack of moisture as its overall decline has been marked over the last several weeks, particularly in the east. In addition to dry conditions, high winds were reported in the eastern districts. In several localities, winter wheat conditions remain a concern as a consequence of hard freezes, particularly in areas where advanced growth of the crop is common. Statewide, farmers were allowed 5.9 days in the field for operations.
Small Grains: nothing to report
Row Crops:  Ninety-three percent of the corn crop has been harvested thus far, on par with the average. The sorghum harvest was estimated at 84 percent complete, slightly behind 93 percent last year and 88 percent on average. The sunflower harvest was 90 percent complete by week’s end, compared with 99 percent last year and the average of 91 percent.
Pasture and Range: Pasture and range conditions were rated 66 percent fair to good across the State.
Livestock: Death losses for cattle and sheep remained mostly average to light. Stored feed supplies were rated 2 percent very short, 6 percent short, 72 percent adequate, and 20 percent surplus. Last week, stored feed supplies were rated 2 percent very short, 6 percent short, 73 percent adequate, and 19 percent surplus.

To view the USDA/NASS Colorado Crop Progress Report for November 17, 2014 – CLICK HERE

11-24-14 Colorado Farm Bureau’s 96th Annual Meeting Review…

CFB - Colorado Farm Bureau Header

CLICK HERE to WATCH two sessions on Friday, November 21st

CLICK HERE to WATCH two sessions on Friday, November 21st

Centennial, Colo. – Nov. 23, 2014 – More than 300 members and friends of the Colorado Farm Bureau gathered from Nov. 20-23 at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center in Denver, Colo. for the 96th Colorado Farm Bureau Annual Meeting.

During the Annual Meeting current policies and the addition of new policies by the voting delegates were discussed and adopted. The policies adopted by CFB delegates originate at the grassroots level and define the organization’s position on a variety of issues including endangered species, water and public land issues.

On the last day of the meeting elections for state leadership positions were held. The voting delegates re-elected Don Shawcroft, of Alamosa County, to serve as president, and Carlyle Currier, of Mesa County, to serve as vice president.

This year, state board positions from Districts 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 were up for election. Marc Arnush, of Morgan County, was elected to serve District 2 and Ken Schweizer, from Otero County, was elected to serve District 4. Elected to serve District 6 was Darrell Phippen, of Douglas County, and Phyllis Snider, of the San Juan Basin County, was elected to serve District 8. Angela Ryden, of Garfield County, was the only newly elected board member and will serve District 10.

Also, voting delegates elected the new YF&R and Women’s Leadership Committee Chair’s. Jason Vermillion, of Lincoln County, was elected as the YF&R Chair and was also named the YF&R’s Emerging Leader. Vermillion was awarded a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 3 and a crystal trophy for being named YF&R’s Emerging Leader. Nikki Weathers, of Yuma County, was elected as the Women’s Leadership Committee Chair and is taking the place of Angela Ryden, who stepped down after serving as the committee’s chair for 22 years.

On Nov. 23, CFB presented its 2014 Service to Agriculture Award to this years recipients. Charles and Angela Ryden were recognized as the inside of Farm Bureau Service to Agriculture Award winners. The Ryden’s have been Colorado Farm Bureau members since 1963. They both have served in multiple capacities for the Garfield County Farm Bureau and District 10 and they spend a majority of their time dedicated to educating the public on agriculture.

Bette Blinde received the outside of Farm Bureau Service to Agriculture Award. Blinde is the Executive Director of the Colorado Foundation for Agriculture. She established the Colorado Foundation for Agriculture and the food, fiber and more summer ag institute.
CFB would again like to congratulate this years Service to Agriculture Award recipients and thank them for their continuous efforts to promote and protect agriculture in Colorado.

The Annual Meeting also highlighted the 2014 YF&R and Collegiate Discussion Meets. The YF&R discussion meet featured 8 contestants. The first place winner for this year’s YF&R Discussion Meet was Grant Allen, of San Juan Basin County. Allen proved himself worthy of his placing when discussing government managed public lands, food-borne illnesses, crop insurance, food insecurity and encouraging membership growth within Farm Bureau. As the overall winner of CFB’s 2014 YF&R Discussion Meet, Allen will represent Colorado in the 2015 AFBF Discussion Meet in San Diego, Cali. Jason Vermillion, of Lincoln County, placed second in the 2014 YF&R Discussion Meet. Allen was awarded a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 and a crystal trophy, and Vermillion received a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.

In the collegiate division, Jenna Pralley was announced as the winner and Cameron King was awarded second place. A total of 18 collegiates competed from Adams State College, Colorado State University, Northeastern Junior College and Lamar Community College. Pralley and King received a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 and a crystal trophy for their accomplishments and both will compete at the national collegiate discussion meet in February in Nashville, Tenn.

Colorado Farm Bureau is the states largest grassroots organizations with more than 24,000 members. Colorado Farm Bureau seeks to promote and protect the future of agriculture and rural values.

11-24-14 National Cattlemen’s Foundation Accepting Applications for Beef Industry Scholarship…

NCF-WD Farr Scholarship logo

DENVER (Nov. 24, 2014) – Applications for 2015-16 beef industry scholarships sponsored by the CME Group are now being accepted. Ten scholarships of $1,500 each will be awarded to outstanding students pursuing careers in the beef industry.

Students studying education, communication, production, research or other areas related to the beef industry should consider applying for the scholarship. Applicants must be a graduating high school senior or full-time undergraduate student enrolled at a two or four year college.

The National Cattlemen’s Foundation administers the program. Applicants for the 2015-16 scholarship will be required to write a one page letter expressing future career goals related to the beef industry. They also must write a 750 word essay describing an issue in the beef industry and offering solutions to this problem.

Applications should be submitted by Dec. 19, 2014 and sent to National Cattlemen’s Foundation, 9110 E. Nichols Ave., Suite 300, Centennial, CO 80112. The winning recipients will be announced on Jan. 15, 2015.

The National Cattlemen’s Foundation advances the future of the beef industry by assisting in the education of the next generation of beef industry professionals. For more information, visit www.nationalcattlemensfoundation.org.

11-24-14 CSU Extension: Golden Plains Area – 2015 IRM Red Books Available…

NCBA IRM Redbook 2015

CSU Extension Golden Plains Area logoNovember 24, 2014 – The 2015 edition of the IRM Redbook is available at each Golden Plains Area Extension office. This has been a valuable tool for many years for livestock producers to collect calving data in the field along with maintaining a calendar and important contact information. Producers can also track pasture usage, herd health activity and treatment activity in the Redbook.

There is no cost for the book but supplies are limited. The IRM Redbooks are sponsored by Golden Plains Area Extension, Yuma County Cattlemen’s Association and Kit Carson County Cattlemen’s Association.

Submitted to BARN Media by: Dennis A. Kaan, Golden Plains Area Director and Community Development Agent

11-24-14 Farmland from Academy Award-Winning Director James Moll Now Available via On-Demand Digital Platforms…

Farmland Documentary Website screenshotThe film’s transition to Internet Video On-Demand platforms gives viewers the opportunity to rent and purchase the film via online download

LOS ANGELES (November 24, 2014) – Academy Award®-winning filmmaker James Moll’s feature length documentary, Farmland, is now available for rent and purchase via On Demand platforms – providing more people with the opportunity to view the film from their own homes and digital devices. The film’s move to digital platforms takes place this month, following a successful four-week run on Hulu.com and Hulu Plus.

Farmland is available for digital download via iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster On Demand, Sony PlayStation, Vudu.com, Xbox and YouTube. The cost to download and own the film ranges from $14.99 to $19.99 for high definition and $12.99 to $14.99 for standard definition format. Online rental will cost approximately $4.99 to $7.99 for high definition and $3.99 to $6.99 for standard definition format.

Farmland will also be available to traditional satellite and cable television subscribers via their respective Video-on-Demand or Pay-per-View platforms in December 2014. DirecTV and DISH subscribers will have access to Farmland through their Video-on-Demand or Pay-per-View channels beginning on December 2. The film is also being made available to companies that deliver Video-on-Demand (VOD) or Pay-per-View (PPV) content to ATT U-Verse, Verizon Fios, Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable. Viewers are encouraged to check their local VOD/PPV channels on their respective cable and satellite television providers for details. Continue reading