10-17-16 Culver’s Community Grieves Death of President and CEO Phil Keiser

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phil-keiserCulver’s Community Grieves Death of President and CEO Phil Keiser

Craig Culver to assume role of interim CEO

PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. – Oct. 17, 2016 – Phil Keiser, Culver’s president and CEO, passed away of natural causes on Oct. 15, 2016. Having worked for Culver’s for 20 years, he was the leader of over 20,000 team members at 580 Culver’s locations in 24 states. The entire Culver’s community is devastated.

Co-founder Craig Culver will assume the role of interim CEO until a successor is named. “Culver’s would not be what it is today without Phil’s influence,” Craig said. “Yet as great a loss as this is for us professionally, it doesn’t begin to touch how much Phil will be missed on a personal level. We hurt most deeply for his wife Betsy, and his children: son Nate, wife Bethany and their children Caprina, Linea and Landon; son Nick, wife Maria and their child Harper; and daughter Kelsey.” Continue reading

10-17-16 President’s New Proposals Set the Stage for Improved Agricultural Trade with Cuba, NFU Says

NFU logo 3President’s New Proposals Set the Stage for Improved Agricultural Trade with Cuba, NFU Says

WASHINGTON (October 17, 2016) – Effective today, the White House’s new proposals on the Presidential Policy Directive on Cuba present a major step towards improved trade relations with Cuba. In response to the administration’s action, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson released the following statement: Continue reading

10-17-16 USWA: U.S. Wheat Farmers Participate in USDA Export Promotion Programs that Boost U.S. Farm Export Value by 15 Percent, Create Thousands of Jobs

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U.S. Wheat Farmers Participate in USDA Export Promotion Programs that Boost U.S. Farm Export Value by 15 Percent, Create Thousands of Jobs

ARLINGTON, Virginia — Agricultural export market development programs funded through the Farm Bill have contributed an average of $8.2 billion per year, a total of more than $309 billion, to farm export revenue between 1977 and 2014 according to a new study conducted by noted land grant university economists.

“In other words, these programs have accounted for 15 percent of all the revenue generated by exports for U.S. agriculture over that time. To me, such a positive result is just stunning,” said Dr. Gary Williams, professor of agricultural economics and co-director of the Agribusiness, Food, and Consumer Economics Research Center at Texas A & M University, who led the study.  Continue reading

10-17-16 Corridor Signage for Ports-to-Plains and Heartland Expressway

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Barry Gore of Adams County Economic Development, Cathy Shull of Pro 15,  Joe Kiely of Ports-to-Plains Alliance and Tyler Purvis of the City of Brush

Barry Gore of Adams County Economic Development, Cathy Shull of Pro 15, Joe Kiely of Ports-to-Plains Alliance and Tyler Purvis of the City of Brush

Corridor Signage for Ports-to-Plains and Heartland Expressway

The Ports-to-Plains Alliance is pleased to announce that the Colorado Department of Transportation is installing signage to identify the Ports-to-Plains and Heartland Expressway through eastern Colorado.  These corridors have been designated by Congress as High Priority Corridors on the National Highway System.  Continue reading



Letter to Dannon Protests Environmentally-Damaging Move to Deselect GMOs

ARLINGTON, VA (October 17, 2016) – Leaders of the nation’s top farming organizations joined together today in urging food companies to recognize that their sustainability goals, intended to reduce the use of natural resources, cannot be achieved without the use of modern agricultural practices, despite any misleading assertions to the contrary. Continue reading

10-17-16 USDA-NRCS: ‘Reach for the stars, but cherish the soil’ astronomer urges in new TV ad

unlock-the-secrets-of-the-soil-soil-health-header‘Reach for the stars, but cherish the soil’ astronomer urges in new TV ad

nrcs-3-unlock-the-secrets-of-the-soilWASHINGTON, October 13, 2016 – She’s spent most of her professional life searching the cosmos, seeking to unlock the mysteries of the stars. Now, in an effort to help address some of planet Earth’s biggest challenges, astronomer Laura Danly, Ph.D. is urging all of us to “unlock the secrets in the soil.”

The curator of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, Calif., and a former NASA astronomer, Danly recently teamed up with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to lend her voice to a new series of TV public service ads that underscore the importance of improving the health of Earth’s living and life-giving soil.

“The more I learn about our amazing universe, the more I realize what a special home we have within that universe – right here on planet Earth,” she said. “One of the things that makes planet Earth such a special place in the universe is its living soil.”

“Unfortunately, soil is one earthly resource that’s often overlooked, underappreciated and too often degraded,” said NRCS soil health campaign coordinator Ron Nichols. “However, healthy soil and the teeming life within it, could very well help us address some of planet Earth’s biggest challenges,” he said.

“Not only does soil feed and clothe us, but we now know that improving the health of our soil may help us mitigate climate change impacts, improve water quality and quantity, and increase food production,” Nichols said.

Astronomer Laura Danly, Ph.D., is lending her voice to a new series of television public service ads that encourage viewers to “Reach for the stars, but cherish the soil.”

Astronomer Laura Danly, Ph.D., is lending her voice to a new series of television public service ads that encourage viewers to “Reach for the stars, but cherish the soil.”

Continue reading

10-17-16 USCA Commends USDA for Moving Ahead with “Fair Practices” Rules


USCA Commends USDA for Moving Ahead with “Fair Practices” Rules
WASHINGTON – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) commends today’s action by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’ Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (USDA GIPSA) in submitting The Farmer Fair Practices Rules to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  According to a letter sent by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to industry groups, the long-awaited rules will seek to restore basic market protections for U.S. cattle producers.  Continue reading

10-17-16 CO State Forest Service: 2016 Colorado Wildfires Highlight Need to Use Local Wood

CO State Forest Service logo2016 Colorado Wildfires Highlight Need to Use Local Wood

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – October 17, 2016 – The large and destructive wildfires in Colorado this year, from the 38,000-acre Beaver Creek Fire still burning in beetle-kill timber in northwestern Colorado to the 16,000-acre Hayden Pass Fire southeast of Salida, are in part due to unhealthy forest conditions that made them prone to intense fire behavior. And with this week being National Forest Products Week, the Colorado State Forest Service wants to emphasize how having a robust wood products industry spurs not only widespread forest management, but the healthy forests and reduced wildfire risk that result from them.

“If we could increase the share of locally produced wood products that are purchased by Coloradans, the benefits would accrue not only to family-owned businesses, but to our forests themselves,” said Tim Reader, CSFS utilization and marketing forester. Continue reading

10-17-16 Progressive 15: Colorado’s Eastern Plains a Renewable Energy Economic Hub, According to New Report…

Progressive 15 logo 091615

Colorado’s Eastern Plains a Renewable Energy Economic Hub, According to New Report

Fort Morgan – Colorado’s Eastern Plains Counties have seen 4,000 local jobs created and hundreds of millions of dollars of investment from the renewable energy industry, according to a report released today by Progressive 15. In addition, renewable energy companies and manufacturers have made significant local and beneficial impacts, felt by Coloradans across the region through employment, property tax, and support for local farms and landowners. With the newly approved Rush Creek project, investment will now be in the billions. Continue reading

10-17-16 CO Sen Sonneberg – VOICE OF AG: October…

CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg Dist 1 040715

CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg District 1



As one of the most conservative Senators in Colorado as evidenced by ratings from the Principals of Liberty and the Colorado Union of Taxpayers, I wanted to share with you why so many people support Amendment 71, also known as “Raise the Bar.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, October 17th…

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

CME Considering Cash Settlement for Cattle Markets

CME Group officials last week indicated the group is considering switching to a cash settlement process for its live cattle futures. Traders continue to complain to CME regarding the extreme volatility in the live cattle futures, and are looking to CME group to bring some control back to the market. Sharp declines in price last fall led to the scrutiny. If implemented, the change would be a major attempt to restore confidence in the market by adjusting the way it operates. CME’s Dave Lehman says discussions about the new settlement procedure were part of an all-encompassing review of the market by CME. He told Reuters “it’s on the table,” adding that CME was also looking at potential modifications to the physical delivery process. Feeder cattle and lean hog futures are already cash-settled, leaving live cattle as the remaining physical delivery settled market. Lehman says volatility is getting worse and farmers have been selling cattle to packer’s months in advance, rather than negotiating shortly before slaughter. Producers say that has led to questionable pricing systems and price discovery for the market.


Japan to Consider TPP Approval

Lawmakers in Japan are starting to discuss legislation to implement and ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership. DTN reports the current administration in Japan wants to approve the trade agreement before the U.S. presidential election next month. Japanese lawmakers have paved the way to consider TPP, after approving a supplementary Fiscal 2016 budget that was standing ahead in line of TPP. That leaves TPP related legislation as the next and effectively only remaining legislation to be debated by lawmakers. Deliberations began Friday as Japan’s government urged the nation’s parliament to quickly pass the deal to pressure the U.S. into approving TPP. Japan says there is “absolutely no intention” of renegotiating the trade deal. However, Japan must overcome its own opposition, as an opposition group cites the U.S. presidential candidates opposition as a reason to not support the trade agreement.


USDA China Office Expects Record Soybean Imports

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s office in China expects the nation will likely import a record 86 million metric tons of soybeans during the current marketing year, up 3.5 million metric tons from last year. Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today reports a recovery in swine production and steady growth in the poultry sector has boosted demand for feed and protein meal in China. However, USDA expects the rate of growth for soybean imports to slow as the country’s soybean production recovers and China unloads soybean and oilseed product reserves. Meanwhile, lower imports of distillers dried grains due to China’s antidumping duties should boost soymeal demand and thus soybean imports, according to USDA. That’s welcome news for U.S. soybean farmers as a recent USDA report forecasted another record soybean harvest for the current growing season.


USDA Cheese Purchases May Fall Short

Politico reports there is no guarantee the U.S. Department of Agriculture will spend all $20 million pledged last week to buy cheddar cheese surplus supplies. That’s because the first cheese purchase announced earlier this year fell short. USDA had pledged $20 million in purchases in August to offset lower global dairy markets. However, USDA only spent $7 million on those purchases of surplus cheese. Politico says a USDA spokesperson explained that the window of opportunity to make purchases — August 23rd until September 30th — was shorter than normal because the department had to obligate the funds before the end of the fiscal year, and it happened to be a busy time for dairy processors. So USDA evaluated the market’s status and announced additional purchases werenecessary. Dairy producers are desperate for short-term relief as revenue has dropped 35 percent over the past two years amid a global oversupply.

Deere Says DOJ Unfairly Accusing of Monopoly

Deere & Co. says the Department of Justice is unfairly accusing the company of trying to monopolize a market that does not exist. Deere responded last week to a DOJ challenge to the companies planned purchase of Monsanto’s seed planting equipment line, Precision Planting. The Wall Street Journal reports the government aims to block Deere from buying Precision Planting on grounds the deal would suppress competition for technology that allows farmers to plant crops at accelerated rates. Deere already offers high-speed components for its own planters. Deere denied that the purchase would give the company 86 percent of all precision-plating system sales in the United States. The DOJ filed a lawsuit against the deal at the end of August. Deere responded last week and repeatedly challenged the government’s attempts to distinguish high-speed planting systems from slower, conventional planting equipment. Deere also says products from Precision Planting would be widely available for non-Deere equipment after the deal is finalized. Precision Planting’s U.S. sales were about $100 million in 2015, while Deere’s U.S. sales of planter-related equipment last was near $900 million.


Florida Citrus Harvest Expected to Decline

Florida citrus growers are expected to harvest 14 percent less product this year compared to last year, but the Department of Agriculture says that is not because of Hurricane Matthew. USDA expects the 2016-2017 season harvest to total 70 million boxes, compared to last season’s 81.6 million boxes. The forecast is less than half the 170 million boxes harvested in 2008. USDA attributes the declines in production to citrus greening disease, which has infected more than 90 percent of the state’s groves. The total harvest estimate includes 34.0 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges, or early, midseason, and Navel varieties, and 36.0 million boxes of Valencia oranges. The Navel orange forecast, at one million boxes, accounts for three percent of the non-Valencia total, according to USDA. Industry officials note citrus greening in Florida has forced a citrus production decline of 70 percent in the last 20 years.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service