05-19-15 NPPC Backs Bill Repealing Meat Labeling Requirements…

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 19, 2015 – The National Pork Producers Council is urging swift passage of H.R. 2393, legislation to repeal country of origin labeling requirements for beef, pork and poultry, following yesterday’s World Trade Organization (WTO) decision that the requirements violate international trade rules.

The WTO Monday rejected an appeal by the United States of the international trade body’s October 2014 ruling that the U.S. Country-Of-Origin Labeling (COOL) law discriminates against Canadian cattle and pigs and Mexican cattle. COOL requires meat to be labeled with the country where the animal from which it was derived was born, raised and harvested. Canada and Mexico send livestock to the United States to be fed out and processed. The WTO decision paves the way for those countries to place retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports. Continue reading

05-19-15 MCREA Awards Lineworker Scholarships …

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Akron's Garret Basler

Akron’s Garret Basler

Merino's Jorden Jole

Merino’s Jorden Jole

FORT MORGAN, CO – May 19, 2015 – Morgan County REA is pleased to announce that Garret Basler from the Akron area and Jorden Jole from Merino have each been selected to receive a $7,500 Morgan County REA Electric Lineworker Scholarship.  Proceeds from Morgan County REA’s Annual Invitational Golf Tournament are used to fund the lineworker scholarship program.

Qualified applicants must reside in Morgan County REA’s service area or have parents or guardians who do, and who will attend an approved lineworker training program as a full-time student.  MCREA’s service area includes all of Morgan County and portions of Logan, Weld, Adams, Arapahoe and Washington counties.

Scholarship winners may use any remaining funds from the scholarships for living and/or working expenses after paying tuition, fees, books, tools and equipment.  The scholarship recipients are not required to work at Morgan County REA after graduating line worker school.

Scholarship recipients are selected by a committee comprised from the MCREA Operations Department.  The committee’s decisions are based on a number of factors, including academics, school and community participation, work experiences, and a student statement of goals and aspirations.

Organized in 1937, Morgan County Rural Electric Association is a not-for-profit electric cooperative owned by our members – the people we serve.  We strive to provide goods and services that enhance the quality of life in rural America.

To learn more about the Morgan County Rural Electric Association – CLICK HERE

Submitted to BARN Media by: Geoff Baumgartner, Communications Specialist, Morgan County REA; (970) 867-5688; email: geoff@mcrea.org

 

05-19-15 Cooperation essential to protect agriculture in the Upper Colorado River Basin…

Trout Unlimited logoAgriculture, conservation, and water management groups call for cooperation to stretch water supplies, protect river health and ensure long-term viability

(Colorado) – Against the backdrop of the brutal drought in California and dwindling water supplies across the arid West, management of supply and demand for the Colorado River is getting increasingly precarious. Complex management challenges have brought together a diverse set of stakeholders to address innovative solutions designed to meet growing municipal, agricultural, environmental and recreational demands in the face of dwindling supplies.

“We all recognize that shortages have already been incredibly damaging to water users including our environment,” said Russ Schnitzer, agriculture policy advisor for Trout Unlimited. “The Upper Colorado River Basin supports diverse agricultural production, which is a cornerstone supporting rural western slope communities, as well as the fish and wildlife habitats we all treasure. Together, these elements comprise a major share of Colorado’s economy. We can’t afford to do damage to these incredibly important assets.”

We have seen our potential water future—and it’s not pretty. Years of sustained drought and warmer temperatures, combined with a rigid regulatory framework, are making water management increasingly difficult and driving severe water shortages in California and elsewhere in the arid West. Sharp cutbacks in California have already been imposed on producers in one of the nation’s largest food-producing regions. This year, much of California’s irrigated farmland will lose more than 80 percent of its surface water allocation. Over 3 million acres of California’s irrigated farmland will see deep cuts to normal water deliveries, and an estimated 1 million acres of land will lie fallow and unproductive.

“All water users must work together to protect our shared future in the Colorado River Basin,” Schnitzer added. “We need to be vigilant to ensure that agricultural, conservation and recreational values are not caught in the middle of a no-win tug-of-war.” Continue reading

05-19-15 Governor’s Excellence in Exporting Award winners announced…

OEDIT-CO logoGovernor’s award honors Colorado companies for World Trade Day

DENVER – Tues., May 19, 2015 – In honor of World Trade Day, OEDIT today announced that Dean Swift Seed Company and Diversified Machine Systems are the winners of the 45th annual Governor’s Excellence in Exporting competition. Winners were announced today at the World Trade Day Colorado conference, the region’s premier international trade event.
“Diversified Machine Systems and Dean Swift Seed Company are shining examples of how exporting can help expand businesses, increase profits, and grow the Colorado economy as a whole,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “From seeds to machines, exporting provides access to 95% of the world market outside our borders. We are honored to recognize these companies for their commitment to exporting and wish them continued success.”

The Governor’s Excellence in Exporting award has been given to Colorado exporters since 1970 and recognizes Colorado companies that have contributed to the state’s economic growth through international trade. Exporting brings $15.4 billion into the state.

About the winners: Continue reading

05-19-15 NMPF and IDFA Commend Introduction of School Milk Nutrition Act……

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WASHINGTON, DC – A bipartisan bill to help reverse the decline of milk consumption in schools will be introduced this afternoon by Representatives G.T. Thompson (R-PA) and Joe Courtney (D-CT). The School Milk Nutrition Act of 2015 focuses on preserving milk’s role in school feeding programs, while complying with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA).

The School Milk Nutrition Act of 2015 aims to increase milk consumption in schools by reaffirming the requirement that milk is offered with each school meal, consistent with current law and the DGA. The bill also aims to improve the variety and availability of milk served in schools through a new pilot program and research.

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) strongly support the bill and encourage Congress to adopt it in the Child Nutrition Reauthorization process.

“With Congress set to reauthorize school nutrition programs this year, we applaud Congressman Thompson and Congressman Courtney for introducing this bill, and for recognizing the importance of milk to the health and well-being of our nation’s school children,” said Connie Tipton, president and CEO of IDFA. Continue reading

05-19-15 Southeast Colorado CattleWomen: “Make the Most of Your Meat Dollars” Seminar in Las Animas on June 2nd…

CCW-CO LogoMake the Most of Your Meat Dollars

Learn to make the most of your meat dollars at a presentation hosted by Southeast Colorado CattleWomen.  Luke Newlon, meat manager at Florence Super Foods, will give meat-buying tips June 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the John W. Rawlings Heritage Center in Las Animas.  Cattle producers will also enjoy the presentation as Newlon talks about trends in the meat industry and what consumers are looking for when purchasing meat.

Southeast Colorado CattleWomen President Bonnie Lessenden stated the group is excited to share this informative, entertaining speaker with area residents.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  For more information, contact Kaye Kasza at 719-829-4208.

05-19-15 Inside the NACD w/President Lee McDaniel…

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NACD 1st VP Lee McDaniel

NACD President  Lee McDaniel

(BARN Media & CoAgNews Network – Briggsdale, CO) May 19, 2015 – Joining the BARN by telephone is Lee McDaniel, National Association of Conservation Districts President discussing several topics including:

To listen to the entire interview with NACD President-electLee McDaniel…

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Biography: Lee McDaniel, NACD President-elect, operates his family’s Indian Spring Farm in Darlington, Maryland.  He has served on the Harford Soil Conservation District Board since 1997, elected as Chairman since 2005.  He has served two terms as President of the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts from 2005 to 2009. He has been involved on the national level since 2005, serving on the Board of Directors and the Executive Board. McDaniel is a graduate of Cornell University, with a BS in Agricultural Economics. McDaniel and his wife Connie, a retired school teacher, grow corn, soybeans and alfalfa hay on the 850 acre farming operation. Conservation practices on the farm include cover crops, no-till, grassed waterways, diversions, spring developments, strip cropping, stream bank protection, grassed and wooded buffers and stream crossings.

For more information about the National Association of Conservation Districts – CLICK HERE

For more information about the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts, an NACD Member –  CLICK HERE

05-19-15 Legislation Introduced in House to Repeal COOL…

NCBA - New Image 2010WASHINGTON (May 19, 2015) – After over a decade and two administrations failing to successfully implement the rule, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Conaway (R-Texas) introduced legislation (H.R. 2393) to repeal Country of Origin Labeling. Originally introduced in the 2002 Farm Bill covering beef, pork and chicken; and implemented in 2008, COOL has been detrimental to the U.S. livestock industry and without benefit to U.S. consumers. After multiple rulings against the U.S. by the World Trade Organization,National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President and Chugwater, Wyoming, cattleman, Philip Ellis said this action by Congress is long overdue.

“As a fifth-generation rancher I am proud of the products we produce and we produce the best beef in the world, but mandatory labeling has only cost producers money without benefit,” said Ellis. “Continued economic analysis has shown that consumers do not use COOL information in their purchasing decisions, and despite implementation costs in excess of $1 billion for beef alone, these same reviews have found little or no economic benefit from this rule. It has resulted in discounts paid to U.S. producers like myself, and it is directly related to the closure of a number of processing plants and feedlots in the U.S.” Continue reading

05-19-15 CDA News: Ribbon-Wrapped Ash Trees Warn of Pest’s Potential Impacts…

CEABRT-CO Emerald ASh Borer Response Team logo

DSC_0037BROOMFIELD, Colo. – This week, residents of several Front Range communities will notice trees in high-traffic public parks or along street rights-of-way encircled with wide bands of green or yellow ribbon that warn of an invasive tree pest. City parks departments, Colorado Tree Coalition volunteers and others have marked more than 450 trees, all of which are ash, to offer a visual example of a mere fraction of the millions of trees in Colorado that could be lost to the invasive, tree-killing emerald ash borer (EAB).

As part of National EAB Awareness Week, May 17-23, the wrap is intended to help people recognize what ash trees look like, and prompt homeowners and other landowners to consider early management options for EAB. These may include removing unhealthy trees before they die and planting new trees near ash that could ultimately replace trees lost to the pest.

The tree wrap offers the simple message “This ash tree is at risk from Emerald Ash Borer” and directs passers-by to eabcolorado.com for more information. Communities participating in the awareness week by wrapping ash trees include Broomfield, Englewood, Erie, Lafayette, Lakewood, Longmont, Louisville and Westminster. Many trees also are wrapped on Boulder County properties and on the University of Colorado main campus, and the county is offering EAB information tables at area garden centers. Continue reading

05-19-15 CSU SEA Extension News: Updated News and Information for Colorado Backyard and Small Poultry Producers…

CSU SEA Ext Says logoHighly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI): Updated News and Information for Colorado Backyard and Small Poultry Producers

Because of the ongoing disease outbreak and the potential for spillover from wildlife, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has become of significant importance for small poultry producers. The United States has been hard hit by a growing highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak since late 2014.  The first detection of HPAI in this outbreak was reported by Washington State on December 19, 2014.  Since that first report, this ongoing outbreak has resulted in the destruction of more than 20 million birds, marking it as the largest avian influenza outbreak in United States history.

HPAI has been identified in wild birds, commercial poultry flocks, and backyard flocks in at least 18 states, located within migratory bird paths designated as the Pacific, Central, and Mississippi flyways.  The virus can travel in wild birds without making them appear sick, and wild birds are implicated in the spread of disease.  As of May 11, 2015, no cases of HPAI have been reported in Colorado.

Although Colorado has had no cases of HPAI, with virus present in millions of birds and multiple states, several of which share borders with Colorado, the risk of disease entering Colorado is high.  Disease prevention is the best way to prevent HPAI infection, and will become of utmost importance in the event that HPAI is identified in the state.  The following information contains detailed steps to prevent the introduction of HPAI into your flock.

Disease Prevention is the Best Way to Prevent HPAI Continue reading

05-19-15 CMU Op-Ed: Increased population doesn’t have to mean increased water use…

CMU - Water Center HeaderWritten by: Hannah Holm, Coordinator, Water Center at Colorado Mesa University

With Colorado’s population expected to increase by leaps and bounds in coming decades, increased water use surely must follow, right?  Maybe not, or at least not by the same amount.

Two reports recently came out that underscore the serious supply/ demand imbalance building in the Colorado River Basin and outline measures to address it.  Both note that population and water use increases don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand.

The first report is a follow-up to the 2012 Colorado River Basin Supply and Demand Study, which corralled reams of data from tree ring studies and climate models to exhaustively demonstrate that the basin’s future water supplies are highly unlikely to come anywhere close to meeting the water needs projected through the middle of the 21st century.

Titled Colorado River Basin Stakeholders Moving Forward to Address Challenges Identified in the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study, this report chronicles the efforts of many stakeholders and experts charged with “identifying actionable steps to address projected water supply and demand imbalances that have broad-based support and provide a wide range of benefits.”  Three work groups identified a wide range of potential actions to promote urban conservation, agricultural efficiency and low-impact agricultural transfers, and managing water in ways that benefit the environment and recreation while meeting other needs.  Continue reading

05-19-15 CropLife America Responds to Today’s Pollinator Health Task Force Report…

CLA-Crop Life America LogoCrop Protection Industry Thanks Task Force for Addressing Pollinator Health, Seeks Common Ground and Practical Steps Forward

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 19, 2015 – CropLife America (CLA) welcomes the release of the White House Pollinator Health Task Force’s “National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.” The organization is ready to review the report closely to identify areas of collaboration and partnership in supporting pollinator health. The crop protection industry will also continue to advance stewardship activities in conjunction with additional task force plans. CLA praises the task force for creating a multi-pronged, coordinated approach.

“The crop protection industry looks forward to joining the many stakeholders in reviewing the National Pollinator Health Strategy. We are hopeful both the private and public sectors can strategically address pollinator health together,” stated Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CLA. “Pollinators add more than $24 billion to our nation’s economy, and honey bees support over 90 commercially grown crops in North America1. CLA and our members support stewardship practices in seed treatment, among other key crop protection strategies, and we will continue to work with growers, beekeepers, regulators and other stakeholders to promote responsible pesticide use.”   Continue reading

05-19-15 NFU Calls COOL Repeal Bill “Premature, Reactionary”…

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Reminds Congress Threats of Retaliation Only Relevant if Parties Fail to Find Agreement on Moving Forward

WASHINGTON (May 19, 2015) –  National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson called the House bill to repeal the popular Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), “premature and reactionary,” noting that there remains ample opportunity for the administration, Mexico and Canada to negotiate an acceptable path forward.

“The best thing Congress could do is to step aside while the WTO process continues,” said Johnson. “As has happened with past disputes, WTO members can work together to find a solution that will work for them,” said Johnson. “In this case, such a solution must involve continuation of a meaningful process step – born, raised and slaughtered  – labeling requirement.” Continue reading

05-19-15 NFU Kicks Off Special Spring Fly-In Focusing on Popular Country-of-Origin Labeling Law…

NFU - National Farmers Union logo5WASHINGTON (May 19, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) kicked off a special Spring Fly-In of family farmers and ranchers from across the country meeting with their elected officials in Washington and underscoring their unwavering support for Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) and the need for Congress to allow the World Trade Organization (WTO) process to conclude without interference.

“COOL is clearly one of the most important issues for rural America, and NFU members have chosen to travel to Washington to voice their commitment and unwavering support for this popular labeling law,” said Roger Johnson, NFU president.

Sixty Farmers Union members from 27 states arrived in the nation’s capital this week, determined to meet with a targeted group of legislators to urge them to stand strong behind COOL and allow the WTO process to conclude without their intervention.  Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, May 19th…

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

“WTO Rules Against COOL”

The World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body ruled against Country-of-Origin Labeling on Monday. House Ag Committee Chair Mike Conaway says he expected this decision – and as retaliation by Canada and Mexico becomes a reality – it is more important now than ever to act quickly to avoid a protracted trade war with the United States’ two largest trade partners. House Ag Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson says he is disappointed in the WTO’s ruling and will oppose efforts to fully repeal COOL. Peterson says there are still several steps in the WTO process that must be met before any retaliation could go into effect – so he believes the U.S. should take the time to thoughtfully consider how to move forward. Conaway will hold a press conference tomorrow (Tuesday) at 11 a.m. Eastern with other members of Congress along with National Pork Producers Council’s John Weber and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Philip Ellis.

American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman says the WTO’s decision means further effort is needed to craft an acceptable COOL program. Farm Bureau will carefully review the decision and then determine recommended actions – according to Stallman. He says Farm Bureau will work with Congress, USDA and USTR to reach the goal of an effective COOL program that conforms to international trade rules. AFBF supports a COOL program that adheres to appropriate parameters and meets WTO requirements.

The United States Cattlemen’s Association is committed to maintaining the information provided to consumers through the A label – which distinguishes those products born, raised and harvested in the U.S. – and will work to address any concerns or violations as ruled on by the WTO. USCA says COOL provides consumers a choice at the grocery stores and the ability for U.S. cattle producers to differentiate their product. As other countries move to implement their own origin labeling programs – USCA is disappointed WTO’s ruling contradicts the growing trend.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Philip Ellis says NCBA has long said that COOL is not just burdensome and costly to cattle producers – it is generally ignored by consumers and violates the country’s international trade obligations. Now that the WTO has ruled for a fourth time that this rule discriminates against Canadian and Mexican livestock – Ellis says the next step is retaliation by Canada and Mexico – which will irreparably harm the U.S. economy and its relationships with top trading partners – sending a signal to the world that the U.S. doesn’t play by the rules. He says it’s past due for Congress to repeal this regulation.

As seen in other dispute – National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says WTO members often work together to find a solution that works for them once decisions are handed down. In this case – he says a solution must involve continuation of a meaningful COOL requirement. He says retaliation is relevant only if the parties cannot reach an agreement on how to move forward and then only after an arbitration process. Johnson cites a recent report from Auburn University’s Dr. Robert Taylor that shows significant evidence indicating any harm to U.S. trading partners has been negligible at most – so he says any amount of retaliation is speculative at best and aimed to raise alarm where none is warranted.

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“OECD Conference Begins Today”

Today (Tuesday) – Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is hosting the 10th rural conference of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. This year’s conference is themed National Prosperity Through Modern Rural Policy – Competitiveness and Well Being in Rural Regions – focusing on international strategies to address rural development in this century. The conference takes place in Memphis, Tennessee through Thursday. Visit OECD Rural Conference Memphis dot org (http://oecdruralconferencememphis.org) for more information.

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“USDA NRCS Invests Funding to Help Mitigate Drought”

Since 2012 – dry conditions have persisted in many parts of the U.S. – particularly in the West – according to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. Each day – Vilsack says USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service conservationists work alongside ag producers to help them conserve water and increase resilience in their operations. He says the announced investment by USDA NRCS of approximately 21-million dollars will provide additional resources to help farmers and ranchers implement solutions to mitigate the impacts of sustained drought. For more information – visit NRCS dot USDA dot gov (www.nrcs.usda.gov).

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“HATCH Making Tremendous Impact in Community With 1 Month to Go”

About one month ago – Elanco announced its community partnership for the HATCH pilot program to help fight hunger in Central Indiana. Since then – more than 63,000 eggs have helped 5,250 families fight undernourishment through the power of egg protein. Mitch Davis – Elanco Animal Health Director of Global Shared Value – says HATCH is having an immediate impact on fighting hunger and undernourishment in the community. HATCH is providing one egg to a local food bank for each dozen Kroger-brand medium eggs purchased. Being able to direct a donation of eggs by purchasing eggs for their own families’ use is a wonderful way Davis says people can easily make a vital difference in their communities. For more information – visit HATCH for Hunger dot com (www.HATCHforHunger.com) or follow the conversation with the hashtag HATCH for Hunger (#HATCHforHunger).

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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