05-29-15 Inside the WDA w/Katie Evenden: National Dairy Month and more…

WDA - Western Dairy Association logo 2012

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW BELOW…

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June is National Dairy Month

WDA Associate Manager of COmmunications

WDA Associate Manager of Communications

(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) May 29, 2015 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN to discuss several topics  is Katie Evenden, Associate Manager of Communications with Western Dairy Association…

ABOUT WDA

Western Dairy Association is a non-profit, dairy farmer-funded organization that works to promote dairy products as part of a healthy lifestyle. We are passionate about developing, implementing and leading health programs for children and schools , science-based nutrition, community and consumer education and, of course, dairy farm families, dairy farm best practices, dairy cows and dairy food products. WDA is an affiliate of Dairy Management Inc. and National Dairy Council, and is fully funded by dairy farm families to be an active voice providing nutrition information for consumers, health professionals, educators, community leaders and media in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming. Learn more online @ http://www.westerdairyassociation.org/

05-29-15 ASI WEEKLY NEWS FOR SHEEP INDUSTRY LEADERS…

Deadlines to Remember

Submit H-2A Comments Now

June 1 is the deadline for all comments to be filed in response to the Department of Labor’s proposed rule to revise the H-2A special procedures program for sheepherding. The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) will be filing its comments today.

“More than 300 producers, federal legislators, county commissioners, banks, local businesses and industry affiliates have already filed comments pointing out the serious problems with the proposal to re-write the sheepherder rules. If you have not already filed a comment, please take the time to do so,” said Peter Orwick, ASI executive director. “The rule, as proposed, would make sheepherders unaffordable or unavailable to the ranches that provide 38 percent of America’s lamb and wool.”

To review ASI’s comments, go to www.sheepusa.org/IssuesPrograms_LegislativeActionCenter.

To submit your comments, go to www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=ETA_FRDOC_0001-0195 and then click on “Comment Now!” on the right-hand side of the screen.

To read through comments already submitted, go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketBrowser;rpp=25;po=0;dct=PS;D=ETA-2015-0004;refD=ETA-2015-0004-0001.

ASI Hires Sheep Industry News Editor Continue reading

05-29-15 Colorado Corn Update w/ Eric Brown…

Colorado Corn LogoEric Brown - CO Corn Communications Director(The BARN – Briggsdale, CO) May 29, 2015 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN is Colorado Corn’s Communications Director Eric Brown, discussing several topics that important to producers including:

  • EPA/ARMY’s WOTUS/Clean Water Act Announcement
  • EPA’s RFS Announcement
  • 2015 CO FFA State Convention
  • All American Beef Battalion
  • Upcoming E85 Days
  • & MORE

To listen to the entire interview, click the mp3 audio link below…

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The Colorado Corn Growers Association and Colorado Corn Administrative Committee work on behalf of more than 4,000 corn producers through market development, communications, research and technical assistance. See more about the work of both organizations and to see the TRUTHS about Ethanol, please visit www.coloradocorn.com.

05-29-15 Wyoming Files for Injunction in Case Challenging BLM’s Hydraulic Fracturing Rule…

Wyoming Governors Seal

Wyoming and Colorado have filed for a preliminary injunction in the state’s case against BLM’s hydraulic fracturing rule. The states ask the court to prevent the BLM’s rule from taking effect until their cases have been fully resolved. The rule is set to take effect June 24, 2015.

 “Wyoming has led the way in creating safe, responsible rules for hydraulic fracturing – rules that have been in place for years,” Governor Mead said.  “It makes sense to wait until Wyoming’s case is resolved to enact a rule that complicates compliance and hurts our economy.”

The Federal government will have until June 12, 2015, to file a response to Wyoming and Colorado’s motion, unless the Court grants an extension of this deadline.

SOURCE

 

05-29-15 Inside the CO Farm Bureau w/President Don Shawcroft…

CFB - Colorado Farm Bureau Header

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

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CFB President Don Shawcroft

CFB President Don Shawcroft

(BARN Media & the Colorado Ag News Network – Briggsdale, CO) May 29, 2015 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN is Colorado Farm Bureau President Don Shawcroft, discussing topics including:

At its heart, Colorado Farm Bureau exists to ensure the success of farming, ranching and our shared rural heritage in the state of Colorado. Founded in 1919, the Colorado Farm Bureau seeks to promote and protect the future of agriculture and rural values. If you would like to learn more, and even become a CFB member, please visit www.ColoradoFarmBureau.com

05-29-15 NRCS-CO News: Key Sage Grouse Habitat Protected in Colorado through a Conservation Easement Partnership…

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Chris West (who directed CCALT up until May 2015), left, celebrates conservation progress at the Yust ranch with Jay and Jim Yust, and CCALT's Carolyn Aspelin, who worked closely with the family to close this important conservation easement. Photo courtesy of Deborah Richie with SGI. - See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2015/05/29/key-sage-grouse-habitat-protected-in-colorado-through-a-conservation-easement-partnership/#sthash.yb7z6grH.dpuf

Chris West (who directed CCALT up until May 2015), left, celebrates conservation progress at the Yust ranch with Jay and Jim Yust, and CCALT’s Carolyn Aspelin, who worked closely with the family to close this important conservation easement. Photo courtesy of Deborah Richie with SGI. – See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2015/05/29/key-sage-grouse-habitat-protected-in-colorado-through-a-conservation-easement-partnership/#sthash.yb7z6grH.dpuf

The Natural Resources Conservation Service works with ranchers and partners to improve habitat for sage grouse with funding through the Sage Grouse Initiative. Focusing on privately-owned lands, the initiative covers the 11 western state range of the bird. About 40 percent of the sage grouse dwell on private lands.  Sandra Murphy is a freelance writer for the Sage Grouse Initiative, a partnership that includes NRCS.—Petra Barnes, NRCS Colorado.

By Sandra Murphy, for the Sage Grouse Initiative

The recent conservation easement on the Yust Ranch in northwestern Colorado represents not only the preservation of a five-generation ranching entity, it also illustrates the vitality of partnerships that expand federal programs and initiatives aimed at protecting wildlife habitat, particularly for species of concern.

The Yust family partnered with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCAT) to enroll 955 acres of land near the confluence of the Blue and Colorado rivers into a perpetual easement, held by CCALT.  NRCS contributed $715,000 through the NRCS-led Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) and the former Farm and Ranch Land Program (FRPP). The 2014 Farm Bill merged FRPP with other easement programs to form the new Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).

“Securing this easement was a priority for the agency,” said Clint Evans, NRCS state conservationist in Colorado. “The property encompasses prime sagebrush-steppe, which is habitat for the greater sage-grouse.” Continue reading

05-29-15 RFA: EPA’s RVO Decision is Not What the Statute Intended, Not in the Best Interest of Consumers

RFA-Renewable Fuels Association LogoWASHINGTON — Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2014, 2015 and 2016. Unfortunately, the EPA continues to cling to the “blend wall” methodology that falsely claims ethanol has reached its saturation point at a 10 percent ethanol blend and that higher-level ethanol blends, such as E15 and E85, are not yet large enough to justify a higher RVO. The Renewable Fuels Association has called on the EPA to do away with the “blend wall” methodology and allow the statutory volumes in the RFS to drive marketplace change. Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, released the following statement:

“EPA has to be given some credit for attempting to get the RFS back on track by increasing the renewable volume obligations (RVOs) over time. But the frustrating fact is the Agency continues to misunderstand the clear intent of the statute — to drive innovation in both ethanol production and ethanol marketing. The Agency has eviscerated the program’s ability to incentivize investments in infrastructure that would break through the blend wall and encourage the commercialization of new technologies. By adopting the oil company narrative regarding the ability of the market to effectively distribute increasing volumes of renewable fuels, rather than putting the RFS back on track, the Agency has created its own slower, more costly, and ultimately diminished track for renewable fuels in this country. Continue reading

05-29-15 AEC: EPA Proposal Better, But Still Encourages Oil Companies to Block Renewable Fuels…

AEC - Advanced Ethanol Council logoWASHINGTON — Advanced Ethanol Council (AEC) Executive Director Brooke Coleman released the following statement today in response to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) releasing its proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2014, 2015 and 2016.

“The good news is it is clear that EPA and the Obama Administration want to send a signal to the marketplace that domestic renewable fuel markets are going to grow. The blending targets are definitely stronger and theoretically create new markets. And the blender pump program shepherded by Secretary Vilsack, if implemented the right way, could create more market access for renewable fuels. But Clean Air Act regulations have to have backbone to actually achieve their ambitions, and EPA is still allowing the oil industry’s refusal to comply with the RFS to be cause to slow the program down. If the Obama Administration continues to reward non-compliance with clean energy laws, clean energy laws will cease to be effective. Continue reading

05-29-15 NFU Extremely Disappointed with Low RFS Volume Targets; Perplexed Administration Fails to Go For ‘Low Hanging Fruit’…

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NFU Extremely Disappointed with Low RFS Volume Targets; Perplexed Administration Fails to Go For ‘Low Hanging Fruit’

WASHINGTON (May 29, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson today said he was extremely disappointed at the decision by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce its volume targets for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to levels below those mandated by federal law, and reminded the agency that family farmers are both struggling financially and are already feeling the effects of climate change.

EPA’s delays in announcing the RFS have done a lot of damage to family farmers and to the fragile renewable fuel sector already, and the targets announced today are yet another setback,” said Johnson. “Family farmers are on the front line in climate change, and today’s decision will do little to help them,” he added.   

The RFS targets announced by EPA today are an 11.27 billion gallon shortfall over the 3 years for total biofuels, well below the targets called for by Congress in the law.  “The unwillingness of EPA to adhere to the targets set forth in the law will continue to cause capital investment to turn away from the U.S. renewable fuel sector in favor of foreign investments, leaving this nation without a robust renewable fuel sector,” he said. Continue reading

05-29-15 USDA to Invest Up to $100M to Boost Infrastructure for Renewable Fuel Use, Seeking to Double Number of Higher Blend Renewable Fuel Pumps…

USDA seal logoWASHINGTON, May 29, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest up to $100 million in a Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership to support the infrastructure needed to make more renewable fuel options available to American consumers. Specifically, USDA will administer competitive grants to match funding for state-led efforts to test and evaluate innovative and comprehensive approaches to market higher blends of renewable fuel, such as E15 and E85. States that are able to provide greater than a one-to-one ratio in funding will receive higher consideration.

“American-made, clean energy sources support the environment, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs and sustain the economy in rural communities across the country. We are fortunate that our farmers are producing record amounts of feedstock for these fuels,” Vilsack said. “However, a combination of factors, including lower commodity prices and reduced demand for feed as the poultry industry recovers from highly pathogenic avian influenza, are creating uncertainty for America’s corn and soybean producers. With this partnership, USDA is helping to ensure the infrastructure is in place for consumers to access more renewable fuels, expand marketing opportunities for farmers, and grow America’s rural economies.”

Higher blends of renewable fuel offer significant potential for increasing the use of renewable fuels in the U.S. gasoline pool, but currently, the typical gas pump can deliver fuel containing a maximum of 10 percent ethanol, limiting the amount of renewable energy consumers can use to fuel their cars. This new USDA partnership will help support the installation of fuel pumps capable of supplying higher blends of renewable fuel by partnering with states to fund innovative, public-private partnerships to test more comprehensive approaches to marketing such blends. This new investment seeks to double the number of fuel pumps capable of supplying higher blends of renewable fuel to consumers, such as E15 and E85.

The United States exported more than $2 billion dollars of ethanol last year, making the United States the world’s largest exporter of ethanol. Additionally, the United States has become a market leader in the export of high-quality distiller’s dried grains (DDG), a byproduct of ethanol production used as a high-protein feed for livestock and poultry. Other countries are investing in clean energy technologies because they realize the tremendous economic potential of these energy sources, and the United States must do the same to remain competitive. The projects funded by these competitive grants will expand markets for farmers and help them diversify their rural energy portfolios, support rural economic growth and the jobs that come with it, and ultimately give consumers more affordable options at the pump. Continue reading

05-29-15 USDA Announces Additional 800,000 Acres Dedicated to CRP for Wildlife Habitat and Wetlands…

USDA seal logoSecretary Vilsack Announces Additional 800,000 Acres Dedicated to Conservation Reserve Program for Wildlife Habitat and Wetlands

Secretary Hails Program’s 30th Anniversary, Announces General Signup Period

MILWAUKEE, May 29, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that an additional 800,000 acres of highly environmentally sensitive land may be enrolled in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) under certain wetland and wildlife initiatives that provide multiple benefits on the same land.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will accept new offers to participate in CRP under a general signup to be held Dec. 1, 2015, through Feb. 26, 2016. Eligible existing program participants with contracts expiring Sept. 30, 2015, will be granted an option for one-year extensions. Farmers and ranchers interested in removing sensitive land from agricultural production and planting grasses or trees to reduce soil erosion, improve water quality and restore wildlife habitat are encouraged to enroll. Secretary Vilsack made the announcement during a speech delivered at the Ducks Unlimited National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“For 30 years, the Conservation Reserve Program has supported farmers and ranchers as they continue to be good stewards of land and water. This initiative has helped farmers and ranchers prevent more than 8 billion tons of soil from eroding, reduce nitrogen and phosphorous runoff relative to cropland by 95 and 85 percent respectively, and even sequester 43 million tons of greenhouse gases annually, equal to taking 8 million cars off the road,” said Vilsack. “This has been one of most successful conservation programs in the history of the country, and today’s announcement keeps that momentum moving forward.” Continue reading

05-29-15 NCGA: EPA Snubs Consumers and Farmers Again, Takes Renewable Fuel Backward

NCGA News Release logoEPA Snubs Consumers and Farmers Again, Takes Renewable Fuel Backward

WASHINGTON (May 29, 2015) – The following is a statement from Maryland corn farmer Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association, in response to today’s announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of proposed  renewable volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“Once again, the EPA has chosen to ignore the law by cutting the corn ethanol obligation 3.75 billion gallons from 2014 to 2016. This represents nearly a billion and a half bushels in lost corn demand. The only beneficiary of the EPA’s decision is Big Oil, which has continuously sought to undermine the development of clean, renewable fuels. Unfortunately, the EPA’s gift to Big Oil comes at the expense of family famers, American consumers and the air we breathe.

“The Renewable Fuel Standard was working as intended, with no need to change. It has reduced greenhouse gas emissions, decreased our reliance on foreign oil, lowered gasoline prices for consumers, increased economic stability in rural America and spurred innovation in advanced and cellulosic biofuels.

“We are evaluating our legal options for defending the law and protecting the rights of farmers and consumers. We will fight to protect and build profitable demand for corn, which is of fundamental interest to NCGA and our farmers.”

About NCGA Continue reading

05-29-15 RFA Praises USDA for Its Investment in Infrastructure…

RFA-Renewable Fuels Association LogoMay 29, 2015 — Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced $100 million worth of funding for new blender pump installations throughout the country. Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, released the following statement praising the USDA for its investment:

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement today of a significant investment in blender pumps stands in stark contrast to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) earlier decision that thwarts private sector investment in infrastructure. Clearly, Secretary Vilsack and USDA understand what is necessary to move this country’s renewable energy industry forward. Consumers across this country are applauding USDA today for its efforts to encourage a choice of high-octane, low-cost, domestically produced fuel at the pump. EPA should pay close heed.”

About the Renewable Fuels Association Continue reading

05-29-15 ASA Responds to EPA’s Proposed RFS Volume Requirements for Biodiesel…

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON (May 29, 2015) – The Environmental Protection Agency released today its Proposed Rule to establish the volume requirements for the Renewable Fuel Standard, including the volume requirements for biomass-based diesel for 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. EPA proposes setting the biomass-based diesel volumes at the following levels:

  • 2014 – 1.63 billion gallons of Biomass-based Diesel, 2.68 billion gallons of Advanced Biofuels
  • 2015 – 1.7 billion gallons of Biomass-based Diesel, 2.9 billion gallons of Advanced Biofuels
  • 2016 – 1.8 billion gallons of Biomass-based Diesel, 3.4 billion gallons of Advanced Biofuels 
  • 2017 – 1.9 billion gallons of Biomass-based Diesel

The volumes proposed by EPA are certainly an improvement over the previous proposal, which would have set the Biomass-based Diesel requirements at 1.28 billion gallons for 2014 and 2015. The increases proposed by EPA will provide some benefit and certainty to the domestic biodiesel industry and to soybean growers who supply much of the feedstock. However, the proposed volumes do not fully recognize or capitalize on the capacity and further growth potential of U.S. biodiesel. Continue reading

05-29-15 NMPF-DMI Dairy Market Report for May 2015

CLICK HERE to view the full report

CLICK HERE to view the full report

The May issue of the NMPF-DMI Dairy Market Report is attached. It indicates that domestic markets are stabilizing following the fall in milk prices in late 2014 and early 2015. The highlights:

·         The national average all-milk price was $16.60 per hundredweight in March, down 20 cents from a month earlier.

·         April Federal Order class prices indicate that the April all-milk price will likely be little changed from March.

·         Exports continue below year-ago levels on a quarterly basis, but the rates of annual decline are beginning to slow for several key products.

·         Gains in domestic consumption, together with moderating increases in production, are keeping dairy stocks in check and supporting milk prices.

·         Steady reductions in feed costs will keep the MPP margin at the top of, or above, the range of insurable margins, at least until there is a significant change in the general dairy situation.

The Dairy Market Report is written and produced by the National Milk Producers Federation and sponsored by Dairy Management, Inc., in Rosemont, IL.

SOURCE

05-29-15 Biodiesel Industry Welcomes Renewable Fuels Proposal…

NBB - National Biodiesel Board logoNBB Applauds Growth and Stability but Presses for Additional Volumes

WASHINGTON D.C.- May 29, 2015 – The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) voiced measured support Friday for the EPA’s proposal to increase volumes for biodiesel and other Advanced Biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) while calling for improvements in the final rule.

“This proposal is a significant step in the right direction,” said NBB CEO Joe Jobe. “It is not perfect, but it will get the U.S. biodiesel industry growing again and put people back to work. I want to thank Administrator McCarthy and Secretary Vilsack for restoring growth to the program and for their commitment to renewable fuels.” Continue reading

05-29-15 Beef Checkoff Educates and Engages with Foodservice Operators and Influencers…

At the recent National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) 2015 Show, the beef checkoff engaged in several meetings associated with the conference, which hosted 65,000 attendees.

Starting the week off, the checkoff was a sponsor of the Supply Chain Management Executive Study Group, which brings together the leading supply chain decision makers from the top-tier foodservice operations.

“It is vitally important for the checkoff to be visible with national foodservice operators in order to deepen existing relationships,” says Jana Malot, Beef’s Image Committee co-chair and producer from Harrisonville, Pa. “The NRA show is a platform where the checkoff can share what farmers and ranchers are doing to continuously improve how they raise beef, as well as to explain to information-seeking consumers how beef goes from pasture to plate by utilizing websites such asFactsAboutBeef.com and videos such as the recently-released Pasture to Plate video.”

As part of the Supply Chain Management Executive Study Group, Season Solorio, executive director of issues and reputation management for the beef checkoff, was invited to speak on a panel along with other animal protein representatives (pork and chicken) to discuss issues that affect the supply chain, such as antibiotics, sustainability and animal welfare. The presentation was followed by a number of questions from the audience and one-on-one dialogues with several retail/foodservice operators.

Continue reading

05-29-15 ACE News: EPA states desire to get RFS back on track, but continues to side with Big Oil on blend wall…

ACE LOGOSioux Falls, SD (May 29, 2015) – Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President for the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), today issued the following statement after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released proposed Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“Promises to get the RFS back on track and USDA funding for flex fuel pumps are appreciated, but EPA is yet again proposing to circumvent the RFS by limiting ethanol use to the amount oil companies are willing to blend with the gasoline they refine and not one gallon more.  It’s like the NFL saying it’s ok for the New England Patriots to deflate footballs while everyone else must play by the rules,” said Jennings.

As expected, proposed volumes for the 2014 RFS largely reflect actual use.  The Agency intends for renewable fuel use to increase from 2014 to 2016.  But EPA’s proposed blending targets for 2015 and 2016 fall back on the E10 “blend wall” methodology which has disrupted RFS implementation for more than a year.  Earlier this week the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory released a report confirming that most retail infrastructure is already compatible with E15.  The majority of cars on the road can use E15. Continue reading

05-29-15 EPA News: Renewable Fuel Standard: Proposed Renewable Fuel Volumes for Calendar Years 2014, 2015, and 2016…

LISTEN TO ALL THE AUDIO FROM THE EPA’S PRESS CONFERENCE…

OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT AUDIO

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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS AUDIO

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epa_seal_mediumcolorEPA Proposes Increases in Renewable Fuel Levels

Washington — Today the EPA announced proposed volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016, and also proposed volume requirements for biomass-based diesel for 2017. The proposal would boost renewable fuel production and provide for ambitious yet responsible growth over multiple years, supporting future expansion of the biofuels industry.

“This proposal marks an important step forward in making sure the Renewable Fuel Standard program delivers on the Congressional intent to increase biofuel use, lower greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy security,” said Janet McCabe, the acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air. “We believe these proposed volume requirements will provide a strong incentive for continued investment and growth in biofuels.”

After extensive outreach and dialogue with the agricultural community, biofuel producers and the oil and gas industry, EPA is proposing to establish 2014 standards at levels that reflect the actual amount of domestic biofuel use in that year, and standards for 2015 and 2016 (and 2017 for biodiesel) that increase steadily over time.

Proposed Renewable Fuels Volumes  Continue reading

05-29-15 History-CO News: CO Welcomes 6 Properties to the National Register of Historic Places, including Engelbrecht Farm…

History CO Preservation Programs Header

Have you ever thought about why it’s called the History Colorado Center and not a museum? That’s because it’s more than just a museum.

History Colorado also houses the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, which works with the National Park Service to list buildings in Colorado in the National Register of Historic Places — a big, prestigious national list you’ve probably heard of that honors our country’s most significant and beautiful historic places. More than 80,000 properties are listed in the National Register and almost every county in the United States is represented.

Identifying Colorado’s unique historic places and sharing their stories is a fundamental priority of History Colorado, so we are thrilled to announce that six new properties in Colorado have been listed in the National Register.

These recently listed properties tell stories about the history of agriculture, social history, and environmental innovation that are important to not only Colorado’s history, but the nation’s as well.

#1 Engelbrecht Farm

Engelbrecht Farm

Anyone flying into DIA has seen those distinct green circles across the landscape, but have you ever wondered what those were? No, they are not crop circles created by extraterrestrials. In fact, they are created by a form of irrigation known as center-pivot irrigation that was developed in the late 1940s by Frank Zybach and Ernest Engelbrecht. Engelbrecht Farm is located in Adams County and has gained national recognition for its major influence on agricultural productivity.

With the discovery and exploitation of the Ogallala Aquifer that was found under most of the Great Plains, farmers were able to plant crops in previously unsuitable regions. The discovery of the aquifer, combined with Zybach’s knowledge of sprinkler systems, helped fuel the development of this new irrigation system. Originally built out of common machine parts, the equipment rotates around a central point, and the crops are watered with sprinklers. (Have you ever seen one of those large, rotating metal “arms” that waters crops? That’s this!)

The farm, featured in the July/August 2014 issue of Colorado Heritage, still houses the original center-pivot towers as well as the machine shop where the prototype was developed. This innovative idea transformed irrigation systems worldwide and is now responsible for the vast number of irrigated acres in the United States—rightfully deserving to be a part of the National Register!

# 2 Dodge-Hamlin House

Continue reading