12-12-16 USDA: Partnership Seeking Input for Projects to Strengthen National Defense and Preserve Working Lands

USDA Press Release

USDA: Partnership Seeking Input for Projects to Strengthen National Defense and Preserve Working Lands

Proposals will enhance military readiness and strengthen rural economies

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2016 – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) joined the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Department of Defense (DoD) to announce the Sentinel Landscapes Federal Coordinating Committee will now accept applications for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Sentinel Landscape designation process. Established in 2013, the Sentinel Landscape Partnership is a nationwide Federal, local and private collaboration dedicated to promoting natural resource sustainability and the preservation of agricultural and conservation land uses in areas surrounding military installations.

“Together with our partners, USDA investments in the Sentinel Landscape Partnership are already having an impact, demonstrating that restoration of wildlife habitat and improving water quality can go hand in hand with productive working forests and ranches,” said Robert Bonnie, USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment. “We’ve seen great progress so far, and USDA looks forward to participating in additional landscapes.” Continue reading

11-12-16 Beef Checkoff Logs Record 3,300 BQA Certifications!

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Beef Checkoff Logs Record 3,300 BQA Certifications!

beef-checkoff-at-the-chuteThis fall, more than 3,300 producers from across the country became Beef Quality Assurance (BQA)-certified, the largest number in the history of free-certifications supported by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI). And, of those who signed up during the free certification window, 68 percent completed their certification, also the highest percentage in the program’s seven-year history. Through the sponsorship of the BQA certification program, BIVI provides financial support for the Beef Cattle Institute, which developed the certification module. Continue reading

12-12-16 Michael Best Strategies Adds Former Colorado State Legislator Greg Brophy…

michael-best-strategies-logoMichael Best Strategies Adds Former Colorado State Legislator

Past State Senator to enhance government relations efforts in Western U.S

CoSenGregBrophy picDENVER (Dec. 12, 2016) – Michael Best Strategies LLC has added former Colorado State Representative and Senator Greg Brophy to its ranks in its Denver office as vice president of the western region where he will coordinate efforts with Strategies’ regional state offices and those in Washington, D.C. Michael Best Strategies is the lobbying and regulatory-consulting arm of law firm Michael Best & Friedrich LLP.

Brophy will focus on facilitating communications between regionally-based U.S. companies and organizations and the federal government in Washington, D.C., through collaboration with Michael Best Strategies’ teams in the nation’s capital. As an authority on the Colorado lawmaking body, Brophy brings an uncommon blend of legislative and issues management experience in several key industries including agriculture, energy, natural resources, outdoor recreation, and technology.

“The establishment of Michael Best Strategies as a premier government relations firm in the Western region of the U.S. will continue to play a critical function in our national business development interests,” said Ted Kanavas, President of Michael Best Strategies. “Greg has been a positive force in the Colorado legislature, and now he’ll bring that energy and experience in the agriculture and natural resources sectors to our firm. I’m confident he will be a great asset to advancing our work in the state as it relates to activities of our nation’s federal government.” Continue reading

12-12-16 EPA Requires Stronger Standards for Applying the Riskiest Pesticides

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EPA Requires Stronger Standards for Applying the Riskiest Pesticides

Improved training and minimum age requirements will help protect people and the environment.

WASHINGTON–Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing standards for applicators who apply restricted-use pesticides that are not available for purchase by the general public, and require special handling.

“We are committed to keeping our communities safe, protecting our environment and protecting workers and their families,” said Jim Jones, EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “By improving training and certification, those who apply these restricted use pesticides will have better knowledge and ability to use these pesticides safely.” Continue reading

12-12-16 Rabobank: Supply-driven Global Meat Markets to Put Pressure on Prices

Rabobank: Supply-driven Global Meat Markets to Put Pressure on Prices

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St. Louis, Mo. (December 12, 2016) –  Consumers are set to benefit from downward pressure on global meat prices during 2017, according to a new report from the Rabobank Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory group.

The report, Prices Under Pressure in a Supply-Driven Market: Global Outlook for Animal Protein in 2017,also finds:

  • High supply and competitive market expected to push down current prices
  • China forecast to maintain record levels of pork imports into 2017
  • More complex production market forecast, with pressure to mitigate threats including concerns over antibiotic use and greenhouse gases

While global meat consumption continues to rise, a supply-driven and more competitive market will create challenges for producers, putting pressure on prices and margins, Rabobank forecasts. The predictions are included in its report Prices Under Pressure in a Supply-Driven Market: Global Outlook for Animal Protein in 2017. Continue reading

12-12-16 CO’s Kimmi Lewis Honored with LEAVEN Award by American Agri-Women

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Kimmi Lewis, LEAVEN Award recipient and new Colorado State Representative.

Kimmi Lewis, LEAVEN Award recipient and new Colorado State Representative.

CO’s Kimmi Lewis Honored with LEAVEN Award by American Agri-Women 

Raleigh, N.C. (AgPR) Dec 12, 2016 — Kimmi Lewis of La Junta, Colo.and a member of Colorado Agri-Women (CAW) was recognized with the LEAVEN Award at the recent American Agri-Women (AAW) Convention.

The LEAVEN Award, AAW’s highest award for members, was first given in 1977. That selection committee came up with the acronym LEAVEN (Loyalty, Enthusiasm, Anticipatory, Valiant, Effectiveness and Nurturing) to evaluate the candidates. “Leaven” (yeast) is a small element that can interact and influence everything around it. It permeates and raises the elements it’s mixed with. Leaven multiplies its effectiveness for good. AAW presents the LEAVEN Award to those persons who, to an outstanding degree, have acted as leaven, a truly feminine concept since “lady” means giver of bread. Winners are nominated by an AAW Affiliate.

Continue reading

12-12-16 Four States Irrigation Council Hosting 64th Annual Meeting in Ft Collins Jan 11-13…

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Inside the BARN with Northern Water’s Brian Werner

Brian Werner2 07(The BARN – Briggsdale, CO) December 12, 2016 – The Four States Irrigation Council is hosting its 64th  annual meeting in Fort Collins, Jan. 11-13, 2017. The meeting will be held at the Fort Collins Hilton.

Joining the CO Ag News Network by telephone to discuss the upcoming event in much more detail is Brian Werner, Communications and Records Manager with Northern Water in Berthoud, CO…

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Four States Irrigation Council Hosting 64th Annual Meeting

BERTHOUD – The Four States Irrigation Council is hosting its 64th annual meeting in Fort Collins, Jan. 11-13, 2017. The meeting will be held at the Fort Collins Hilton.

Established in 1952, the Four States Irrigation Council serves as a forum for irrigators to exchange ideas and information, to discuss specific irrigation-related problems, and to learn if solutions to those problems have been explored by other members. The member states are Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming. The annual meeting is held each year in January.

“The Four States annual meeting provides an excellent opportunity for farmers, ranchers, water managers, irrigation district or ditch company staff and board members, and others to come together and learn about new irrigation technology, conservation, water construction projects, informational updates, State and Reclamation updates, and much more,” said Amy Johnson who represents Northern Water as a director-at-large on the Four States board. Continue reading

12-12-16 International Certified Crop Adviser Award Returns to Its Roots During 2017 Commodity Classic

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International Certified Crop Adviser Award Returns to Its Roots During 2017 Commodity Classic

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Nominations Now Open to Recognize Outstanding Practicing Agronomist

ST. LOUIS (December 11, 2016)—Officials with the Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) program have announced that the winner of the organization’s most prestigious annual award will be recognized during the 2017 Commodity Classic held March 2-4 in San Antonio, Texas.

The recipient of the International Certified Crop Adviser (ICCA) of the Year Award will be highlighted the afternoon of Friday, March 3, during a CCA-sponsored Learning Center session entitled “Achieving Sustainability with a Certified Crop Adviser.” The award is traditionally presented at the American Society of Agronomy Annual Meeting, but CCA officials have opted to also showcase the award at Commodity Classic this year and, it is hoped, in future years as well. Continue reading

12-12-16 Government Shutdown Clock Resets, Clock Still Ticking for Family Agriculture, NFU Says

NFU logo 3Government Shutdown Clock Resets, Clock Still Ticking for Family Agriculture, NFU Says 

WASHINGTON (December 12, 2016) – In response to the U.S. Senate’s vote to pass the $1.1 trillion stopgap spending package, sending the bill to the President’s desk to fund the government through April 28, 2017, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson issued the following statement:

“While we reset the government shutdown clock, the clock is still ticking for family farmers and ranchers, particularly for dairy producers, who were hopeful this spending package might include some immediate relief from persistently low milk prices and an unsuccessful dairy safety net program.

“We would have also liked to see a greater investment in renewable energy by funding expiring tax credits that incentivize the use of renewable energy and biofuels.

“We are, however, appreciative of the efforts of Senate Agriculture Appropriations Chairman Jerry Moran, Ranking Member Jeff Merkley and other agricultural champions to provide funding for the USDA Farm Service Agency. As farmers and ranchers are burdened by the declining farm economy, access to low-interest operating credit is necessary to keep struggling producers in business.”

Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, December 12th

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

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, December 12th

EPA Nominee Opposes RFS, WOTUS

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency. In the past, Pruitt has filed legal challenges against the “waters of the United States” rule and greenhouse gas regulations. Agri-Pulse reports that Pruitt met this week with Trump about the position. Pruitt has been a vocal critic of the Renewable Fuels Standard, calling the RFS a “flawed program.” Pruitt has also filed legal challenges against the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank law, under which the Administration has implemented new regulations on the futures market. Pruitt was first elected Oklahoma Attorney General back in 2010. He’s established a “federalism unit” within the state Solicitor General’s Office to challenge regulations. Pruitt also questioned the legal and scientific basis for the Obama administration to attack climate change, saying, “Scientists continue to disagree about the extent of climate change and its connection to the actions of mankind.” Oklahoma Republican Senator Jim Inhofe, who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee, says he expects no problems with getting Pruitt confirmed in the Senate.

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Lukewarm Reaction to EPA Chief Nominee

North Dakota Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp recently met with President-elect Trump and remains as a potential cabinet pick. Politico’s Morning Agriculture Report says that doesn’t mean she’s ready to rubber-stamp Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma Attorney General Trump has nominated to take over as Chief of the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt isn’t a believer in climate change and isn’t a fan of the Renewable Fuels Standard, which Heitkamp says, “Gives her pause.” Heitkamp does share Trump’s concerns regarding overregulation, but she “also wants clean air and water. If we’re going to have an EPA administrator who understands rural America, that means they also have to understand the needs of farmers and want to support those farmers.” Senate Ag Committee Ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan is also skeptical of Pruitt. “We were promised a farmer-friendly EPA by President-elect Trump, yet his nominee wants to upend one of the most successful drivers in rural America.” Stabenow adds that this appears to be the President-elect saying one thing to the American public and doing something else.

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Farm Credit System Reports Increasing Stress

The Farm Credit System’s quarterly report says stress levels are still high in the ag sector of the economy. In fact, the operating report says stress levels are high in many different sectors of agriculture. Farm debt levels are still high while cash receipts continue to decline. Interest rates remain low but are slowly beginning to rise. That’s combined with commodity prices that’ll remain low thanks to record or near-record production in corn, soybeans, and wheat. All of these factors are also putting downward pressure on farmland prices. High production numbers are also weighing down price and profit margins in the dairy and protein industries. Overall, the quarterly reports say the Farm Credit System is financially sound and safe, well set against the risky environment in agriculture. The System reported modest loan growth, favorable earnings, and higher capital levels in the first nine months of 2016. The System’s portfolio loan quality is in good shape, but credit risk measures are showing increasing stress.

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China Proposes New Food Safety Rules on Imports

The Chinese government recently proposed a draft rule on food imports that has the European and U.S. governments concerned. Trade officials from both nations are concerned that the new rules could hamper billions of dollars in goods like coffee, pasta, and biscuits, that are all shipped to the number two economy in the world. The proposed rule is part of a push by China to increase its oversight of the country’s large food supply chain. The new rule for shipping food imports into China will require imports to have health certificates with them, even if the products are designated as low risk. Pork Network Dot Com says the new regulations will add costs and logistical headaches to a large number of companies that do business in China. Germany’s Ambassador to China, Michael Clauss, told Reuters, “The new draft has clearly crossed a line from protecting the consumer to outright protectionism of the domestic producer.” Chinese producers will not be required to meet the same standards. The Chinese Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine is the group that oversees food import safety and a Reuters request for more information from the agency was not responded to.

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Bayer/Monsanto Asks Soybean Growers for Support

Monsanto and Bayer officials met together with about 200 members of the American Soybean Association and asked them to support the proposed merger between the two companies. Monsanto Chief Technology officer Robb Fraley and Bayer AG Board Member Liam Condon talked about the potential $66 billion-dollar acquisition of Monsanto with members of the ASA and the United Soybean Board at the USB Winter Meeting in St. Louis. Fraley told the crowd, “I’m here to ask for your support.” Farm Journal research says the merger would create a company controlling nearly 37 percent of the corn seed market and 30 percent of the market for soybean seeds. The deal is in the hands of regulators and won’t close until late next year. Condon reinforced the message he’s already given to regulators: that they’re willing to sell off where the companies overlap if objections are made on anti-trust grounds. Condon said those objections may happen in cotton and canola, saying those are two of the more likely areas.  

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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