09-21-16 NCGA: Senate Report: EPA, Corps Exceeding Authority on WOTUS

NCGA News Release logoSenate Report: EPA, Corps Exceeding Authority on WOTUS

WASHINGTON (September 21, 2016) – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released a report Tuesday detailing examples of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to expand their jurisdiction over U.S. waters beyond Congressional intent. The report is the result of the majority staff’s investigation into how EPA and the Corps are interpreting and implementing their authority under the Clean Water Act.

Although the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered a nationwide stay on enforcement of EPA’s Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, the report demonstrates that EPA is, in fact, enforcing the rule and expanding its jurisdiction.

The following is a statement from National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling: Continue reading

09-21-16 ASI Accepting Nominations for Annual Awards

ASI Sheep Logo 1ASI Accepting Nominations for Annual Awards

DENVER – Once again, it’s time for the sheep industry to recognize the contributions of those working to guide the flock in a positive manner. Know someone who has gone above and beyond for the sheep industry, either in the past year or throughout their lifetime?
Nominate that individual for one of ASI’s annual awards. There are four award categories available for nomination: Continue reading

09-21-16 Secretary Jewell, Governor Hickenlooper Celebrate Unprecedented Collaborative Conservation Effort for Greater Sage-Grouse

US DOI CO header-Dept of Interior COSecretary Jewell, Governor Hickenlooper Celebrate Unprecedented Collaborative Conservation Effort for Greater Sage-Grouse

Report on One Year Anniversary Highlights Actions Taken to Implement Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation

DENVER – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper today marked the one year anniversary of the historic decision not to list the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act by celebrating the ongoing unprecedented collaborative conservation effort to conserve the sagebrush ecosystem with stakeholders at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.

The Administration, in partnership with the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA), today also released a report highlighting recent actions to conserve the sagebrush ecosystem, including efforts to minimize further habitat disturbance, restore the health of fire-impacted landscapes, reduce invasive grasses and provide opportunities for landowners and ranchers to invest in conservation actions that benefit the greater sage-grouse and the success of their own operations. Continue reading

09-21-16 NWSS News: John C. Malone, PhD named 2017 Citizen of the West

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Greg Maffei and John Malone, corporate executives from Liberty Media in Englewood, CO.  Joel Silverman Photography, serving the Denver Metro area.

Greg Maffei and John Malone, corporate executives from Liberty Media in Englewood, CO. COurtesy of Joel Silverman Photography, serving the Denver Metro area.

John C. Malone, PhD named 2017 Citizen of the West

Denver – The National Western Stock Show has named John C. Malone the 2017 Citizen of the West, an award that recognizes those who embody the spirit and determination of the Western pioneer and perpetuate the West’s agricultural heritage and ideals.  A committee of community leaders selects the recipients.

Malone is the Chairman of the Board of Liberty Media Corporation, Liberty Interactive Corporation, Liberty Broadband Corporation and Liberty Global, plc. He will receive the prestigious award at a dinner on January 9, 2017 at the National Western Events Center.  Proceeds from the event support 80 scholarships awarded annually to colleges and universities in Colorado and Wyoming by the National Western Scholarship Trust. Continue reading

09-21-16 WDA: Colorado Students Receive $15,000 in Grants from Leprino Foods Company Foundation…

WDA_4C_wTaglinehic-2016Colorado Students Receive $15,000 in Grants from Leprino Foods Company Foundation

Funds will be used to enable health and wellness changes in their schools and communities

Denver, Colo. Sept. 20, 2016  Several schools along the Front Range will be healthier due to $1,500 grants from the Leprino Foods Company Foundation to implement healthy changes in their schools and communities. Students earned the grants for their schools during a “Health Innovation Challenge” hosted at Leprino Foods Company in Denver.

The Leprino Foods Company Foundation, in conjunction with partners, GENYOUth and Western Dairy Association, created the event to empower students to use their ideas to improve school nutrition and wellness. Throughout the day-long program, more than 50 high school students from schools throughout the Front Range – from Colorado Springs to Greeley — designed and pitched their big ideas for improving nutrition and enhancing wellness at their schools to a panel of judges.

“Every single student brought a big idea to the table,” said Mike Reidy, senior vice president of corporate affairs, Leprino Foods. “While not every student was able to walk away with a grant to help implement their idea in their school, hopefully the students will take away a better understanding of how to harness their ideas and make them a reality in their schools.”

Student participants gained valuable leadership, collaboration, and innovation skills first-hand by designing and pitching their ideas for improving nutrition and wellness at their schools to a panel of judges. Schools from Colorado Springs to Greeley – working individually and in groups – worked with mentors to develop and prepare for their presentations.

The 10 winning ideas that will each receive a $1,500 grant from the Leprino Foods Company Foundation are: Continue reading

09-21-16 More Than 6,000 Farmers Ask Congress to Pass TPP

NCGA News Release logoMore Than 6,000 Farmers Ask Congress to Pass TPP

WASHINGTON (September 21, 2016) – To date, 6,325 corn farmers from across the country have written letters to Members of Congress, urging them to take up and pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in 2016. The National Corn Growers Association will be delivering them to Capitol Hill starting today.

“America’s farmers and ranchers need Congress to step up and pass TPP now,” said Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association and a farmer from Newburg, Maryland. “At a time when the farm economy is struggling, exports represent a rare bright spot for American agriculture. America’s farmers and ranchers stand ready to share our bounty and meet the challenge of feeding and fueling a growing world. But we can’t do that without trade agreements like TPP.” Continue reading

09-21-16 NCGA Reminds Growers to Minimize Fire Risks in Dry Areas this Harvest

NCGA News Release logoNCGA Reminds Growers to Minimize Fire Risks in Dry Areas this Harvest
ncga-fire-riskWith some parts of the country reporting extremely dry conditions this harvest, the National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers to carefully follow proper safety procedures that minimize the possibility of a combine or tractor fire. Even if the weather has not been warm and dry, fuel sources such as leaves, stalks, husks, dust, oil and fuel come into constant contact with potential sources of ignition from farm equipment, such as exhaust, bearings and electrical wiring presenting an ever present fire risk.
“Equipment fires are not only dangerous but are often extremely costly for farmers,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling, a Maryland farmer who has seen dry conditions firsthand. “During this busy season, a fire can halt harvest work in an instant causing property damage and consuming valuable time. Building risk management practices into your harvest schedule could end up saving both time and money.” Continue reading

09-21-16 NAWG and CAWG Applaud Senate Prioritization of Farm Economy Amidst Low Prices

CAWG Membership logo

NAWG and CAWG Applaud Senate Prioritization of Farm Economy Amidst Low Prices

Today, the Senate Agriculture Committee is holding a hearing on the Current State of the Farm Economy, with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack testifying. The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) submitted testimony to the Committee discussing the dire economic conditions in wheat country, conveying the importance of current safety net and risk management tools. With Congress in session for only a limited time this month, NAWG is pleased to see that the Senate Ag Committee has elevated the discussion of the state of the farm economy, particularly given the current low prices.

“Strong support for our nation’s farmers is critical when the agriculture economy declines to the level we are experiencing today,” says NAWG President Gordon Stoner, a wheat grower from Outlook, Montana. “With severely depressed wheat prices and countries like China violating their WTO commitments, American wheat growers are unable to compete globally, let alone cover their own cost of production. Now, more than ever, it is important that we have a strong farm safety net and risk management tools in place to support the growers who feed the world.”

“As farmers across the state of Colorado begin seeding their 2017 wheat crop while facing the daunting realities of depressed wheat prices, global trade challenges, and fear based attacks by special-interest consumer groups, it is vitally important that farmers and the agricultural industry come together to put forth solutions for these complex and difficult challenges,” says Colorado Association of Wheat Growers (CAWG) President Brian Brooks, a wheat farmer from Walsh, Colorado. “We appreciate the Committee raising the concerns of all farmers in this depressed farm economy.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, September 21st…

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

Farm Groups Cautious of Merger Trend

Farm groups are showing caution regarding the recent merger and acquisition trend in the agriculture industry, while companies included in the trend say innovation will benefit from the changes. At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, lawmakers heard from top agriculture and commodity groups along with agribusiness leaders. During the hearing, the National Farmers Union asked for more oversight on what NFU President Roger Johnson called “failing antitrust enforcement” in Agriculture. Groups such as the National Corn Growers Association and the American Soybean Association indicated a desire to preserve competition, but add the mergers could allow for more agriculture biotech research. Agriculture industry companies at the hearing, including Monsanto and DuPont, say the mergers will allow for the expansion of innovation and choice for farmers. In calling the hearing, Committee chair, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, voiced concern that “further concentration in the industry will reduce choice and raise the price of chemicals and seed for farmers.” He warned that price increase would be ultimately passed on to the consumer.

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Farm Bureau: Senate Report Shows Federal Clean Water Act Overreach

The American Farm Bureau Federation says Tuesday’s Senate report on the Clean Water Act proves the need for the Senate to act against the Waters of the U.S. rule. Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall says the case studies presented in the report reflect “the serious concerns” Farm Bureau has raised over the last two years. The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works released the report this week that Farm Bureau says exposes “reckless and unlawful actions in enforcing the Clean Water Act.” Farm Bureau alleges the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have unlawfully stretched the limited authority Congress gave the agencies. Specifically, AFBF says through the Clean Water Act, the federal agencies have regulated ordinary plowing, a normal farming activity exempted by Congress, and claimed authority to regulate tire ruts and puddles found on the farm. Duvall says the report shows the Senate should reconsider the measure to stop the Waters of the U.S. rule “at its earliest opportunity.”

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Vietnam Set to Delay TPP Vote on Heals of U.S. Election

Vietnam is set to delay ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership until next year, as anxiety is rising over the deal in the U.S. Congress and the anti-trade presidential campaigns. A top government official in Vietnam has suggested the National Assembly hold off on a vote on the 12-nation deal during the next session starting in mid-October because “many countries in the world haven’t approved it.” Other nations included in the deal have expressed concern regarding the outlook for TPP given the current political mood in the U.S. regarding trade ahead of the November elections. Bloomberg says Vietnam, while fully supportive of the deal, usually operates cautiously on the global stage. Meanwhile, Australia has not specified when it will put the TPP before its own parliament, though Japan’s ruling party has indicated it plans to pass the agreement in a parliamentary session starting next week.

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Canada Investigating PEDv Outbreak in Manitoba

Officials in Canada are investigating the possible source of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus confirmed at a Manitoba farm last week. Canada’s government is concerned trucks might carry the virus between the U.S. and Canada and inadvertently spread the illness, according to Meatingplace. Manitoba is working to establish a quarantine zone following the confirmation of PEDv last week. The province previously reported nine confirmed outbreaks of PEDv on Manitoba farms since 2014 and six of those are now considered “PEDv Presumptive Negative.” Manitoba’s Chief Veterinary Office is helping pork producers to boost biosecurity measures as follow-up programs are launched on 220 hog operations in the province. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is also conducting its own investigation to determine the movements of the animals with PEDv and completing its own sampling and testing. PEDv killed some eight million piglets on U.S. farms in 2014 and Manitoba is a major exporter of piglets to the United States.

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Organic Acreage Increase Misleading

USDA numbers show organic production acreage is up 20 percent, but the vast majority of the bump comes from four farms in Alaska. Politico reports 700,000 acres in Alaska account for 96 percent of the increase. In 2014, Alaska had just 376 certified organic acres spread between 17 farms; but the following year, 695,000 some acres were certified at four farms. The Organic Trade Association says the new acres stem from a single rangeland certification. While OTA is supportive of all new players in the industry, the Association says the 2015 increase “does not reflect a significant increase in crop acres,” Bering Pacific Ranches received the Alaska certification last year for a range that is home to roughly 6,000 head of cattle.

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EPA Awards $4.8 million to Research Water Quality Benefits

The Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday awarded $4.8 million to six universities to study the benefits of water quality. The funding is available for the universities to work with local communities to better understand the economic value of water quality. Thomas Burke of the EPA’s Research and Development office says the grants will “help measure the costs and benefits of improving water quality.” In a news release, the EPA says chemical and microbial contaminants continue to reduce the quality of water – and often at a rate that outpaces water quality improvements from regulatory actions. The grants were awarded to Clark University of Massachusetts, Ney Jersey’s Dartmouth College, The University of Connecticut, North Carolina State University, Michigan State University and Iowa State University.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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