12-14-16 Mike Lefever of Longmont elected Colorado Corn Administrative Committee president

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Mike Lefever of Longmont elected Colorado Corn Administrative Committee president

During its board meeting this month, the Colorado Corn Administrative Committee (CCAC) elected new executives, voting in Mike Lefever as CCAC president.

Lefever – a Longmont-area resident, who farms in eastern Colorado near Haxtun – takes over for Doug Wilson, who had served in that capacity since the passing of former CCAC President Charlie Bartlett earlier in the year. Continue reading

12-14-16 CICA: Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef

CICGA-CO Independent Cattle Growers Association logoGlobal Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) has an agenda all too familiar to U.S. ranchers. The environmental group, World Wildlife Fund (WWF aka World Wide Fund for Nature), seeks to fundamentally change the entire beef industry through the GRSB. WWF’s website states that they are a founding member of the GRSB and are “actively involved in the newly established U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef as well as related pilot projects to develop key sustainability indicators and methods to verify sustainable beef.” Their goal is to transform the beef supply chain by influencing the “companies [which] control twenty- five percent of all fifteen of the most significant commodities that threaten biodiversity” (Clay, 2010). The WWF claims beef and biofuels are two of these threatening commodities. (Clay, 2010). Continue reading

12-14-16 CFB: Crucial Conversations® Training To Be Held in Alamosa January 13-14, 2017

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CFB: Crucial Conversations® Training To Be Held in Alamosa January 13-14, 2017

GREENWOOD VILLAGE – December 14, 2016 – Colorado Farm Bureau (CFB) is bringing the award-winning Crucial Conversations® Training to Alamosa on January 13 & 14, 2017. The training is based on the New York Times bestseller “Crucial Conversations –Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High”. Crucial Conversations is a two-day course that teaches skills for creating alignment and agreement by fostering open dialogue around high-stakes, emotional, and risky topics—at all levels of your operation. Continue reading

12-14-16 Former U.S. Deputy Ag Secretary among Keynote Speakers for 2017 Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture

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2017 Governors Forum on CO Ag Label It Agriculture logoFormer U.S. Deputy Ag Secretary among Keynote Speakers for 2017 Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture

Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden will provide one of the many highlights for the 2017 Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture, when she steps up to the podium to deliver a presentation on an agricultural “future built by collaboration.” Harden, who currently serves as vice president of public policy and chief sustainability officer for DuPont, will share her perspective on the need for alliances with food, nutrition and conservation groups, as well as other non-traditional partners.

The Forum – taking place on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver – will also feature addresses from Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Colorado State University President Tony Frank and Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown, among many others. Continue reading

12-14-16 KDA News: Jan 4th Meeting Planned for Water Users in Upper Republican River Basin

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KDA News: Jan 4th Meeting Planned for Water Users in Upper Republican River Basin

MANHATTAN, Kan. — State and local water officials will host an informational meeting and discussion forum for water users and others interested in the water supply of the South Fork Republican River.

The meeting will take place at 1:00 p.m. CST on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, at the Cheyenne County 4-H building at the fairgrounds on N. College Street, St. Francis, Kansas. Continue reading

12-14-16 RMFU: USDA’s Fair Practices Rules Will Work For Ranchers

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USDA’s Fair Practices Rules Will Work For Ranchers

DENVER, C­olo. ­­– The livestock industry is being battered by low prices due to limited competition among cattle buyers. Rocky Mountain Farmers Union welcomes the Fair Practices Rules issued by the United States Department of Agriculture, saying the action will help restore competition to the beef and poultry markets.

“The Fair Practices Rules will put the largest meatpackers on notice that they no longer can manipulate market prices to their advantage,” says Dr. Dale McCall, president of RMFU. “USDA, through the Grain Inspectors, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), needs to be aggressive in reigning in livestock buyers, who are profiting at the expense of the families who raise cattle.” Continue reading

12-14-16 NCBA: Administration Releases Destructive GIPSA Rules

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Administration Releases Destructive GIPSA Rules

WASHINGTON (Dec. 14, 2016) – Jeopardizing U.S. livestock producers, USDA released their final rulemaking on the 2010 Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Act. Tracy Brunner, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president said these provisions are very similar to the 2010 proposed rules that industry groups have consistently voiced concern over. He also pointed out that Congress has repeatedly defunded the rules due to the staggering harm they would cause industry.

“The GIPSA rules are especially troubling to the cattle industry,” said Brunner. “As we have consistently stated, if adopted, this rulemaking will drastically limit the way our producers can market cattle and open the floodgates to baseless litigation. In a time of down cattle markets, the last thing USDA needs to do is limit opportunity. The fact of the matter is, we don’t trust the government to meddle in the marketplace.”   Continue reading

12-14-16 NFU Says Farmer Fair Practices Rules a ‘Step in the Right Direction’ for Fair Market Practices

NFU logo 3NFU Says Farmer Fair Practices Rules a ‘Step in the Right Direction’ for Fair Market Practices

WASHINGTON (December 14, 2016) – National Farmers Union (NFU) is pleased by today’s announcement that the long-awaited Farmer Fair Practices Rules, which aim to level the playing field for family livestock producers and poultry growers, have been released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).

The Farmer Fair Practices Rules include an interim final rule that gives producers protection against unfair or discriminatory contract practices and two proposed rules that provide oversight for pricing and payment practices.

“For too long, family livestock producers and poultry growers have endured a heavily concentrated market with little protection against unfair, anti-competitive practices. We are glad that this important set of rules is finally moving forward,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “While the Farmer Fair Practice Rules do not fix all of the fraudulent practices in the livestock and poultry industries, these rules are certainly an important step in the right direction.” Continue reading

12-14-16 USCA Applauds Long-Awaited Publishing of Farmer Fair Practices Rules


USCA Applauds Long-Awaited Publishing of Farmer Fair Practices Rules

(WASHINGTON) – Following today’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) issued the following statement from USCA Marketing Committee Chairman Allan Sents:

“Today marks an important step to advance competition and true price discovery in the cattle market.  The Farmer Fair Practices Rules will seek to restore order in the marketplace, allowing the USDA to maintain their oversight role and prevent anti-competitive buying practices in the livestock sector. We applaud Secretary Vilsack and the Obama Administration for moving forward with the rule-making and comment period.  We look forward to reviewing the proposals as clarifications and definitions are direly needed within the Packers and Stockyards Act.”

The rules can be found HERE.

Continue reading

12-14-16 NPPC: White House Issues ‘Midnight’ GIPSA Rule

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White House Issues ‘Midnight’ GIPSA Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 14, 2016 – In an apparent attack on rural America for its role in helping elect Donald Trump as president, the Obama administration today issued a regulation that could restrict the buying and selling of livestock, lead to consolidation of the livestock industry – putting farmers out of business – and increase consumer prices for meat. The National Pork Producers Council will work with the Trump administration and the new Congress to repeal the “unnecessary, destructive and illegitimate midnight rule.”

Written by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), the “interim final” rule broadens the scope of the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA) of 1921 related to the use of “unfair, unjustly discriminatory or deceptive practices” and “undue or unreasonable preferences or advantages.” Specifically, the regulation would deem such actions per se violations of federal law even if they didn’t harm competition or cause competitive injury, prerequisites for winning PSA cases. (Such actions currently are state court matters.)

“I can’t imagine a more devastating regulation on an industry,” said NPPC CEO Neil Dierks. “The rule, which creates legal uncertainty, will destroy opportunities for many in the U.S. pork industry, with no positive effect on competition, the regulation’s supposed goal.” Continue reading

12-14-16 More of the Same for U.S. Tractor and Combine Sales, Says AEM November Report

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More of the Same for U.S. Tractor and Combine Sales, Says AEM November Report

MILWAUKEE, December 14, 2016 – The latest U.S. Ag Tractor and Combine Report, with November numbers, from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) shows little change in year-to-date growth from last month’s YTD totals, with under 40HP tractors the only category in positive territory. AEM is the leading trade group for off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers. Continue reading

12-14-16 USDA Invests $74 Million for Affordable Rural Rental Housing in 2016 as 20-Year Program Eclipses $1 Billion Mark

USDA Press Release

USDA Invests $74 Million for Affordable Rural Rental Housing in 2016 as 20-Year Program Eclipses $1 Billion Mark

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C., Dec. 14, 2016 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Housing Service Administrator Tony Hernandez today visited North Carolina to tour a USDA-funded rental complex and highlight two decades of USDA investments and partnerships to build and renovate affordable rural rental housing for families across the country.

USDA’s investments in rural housing developments have provided more than 41,000 affordable rental units nationwide during the past 20 years. Just this year, USDA surpassed the $1 billion milestone for investments through the Multi-Family Housing Loan Guarantee Program to create and preserve affordable rural rental housing. In Fiscal Year 2016 alone, USDA invested $74 million to build and preserve 2,765 affordable rural rental apartments nationwide.

“USDA’s multi-family housing program has provided loans and other assistance for affordable rural rental housing for two decades,” Hernandez said. “Providing decent, safe and affordable homes like those I visited today promotes rural economic development and strengthens communities.” Continue reading

12-14-16 USDA Announces Farmer Fair Practices Rules – Clarifications for Industry & Protections for Farmers

USDA Press Release

USDA Announces Farmer Fair Practices Rules – Clarifications for Industry & Protections for Farmers

Rules Seek to Ensure Fairness and Protect Rights of Farmers

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 2016 The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) today announced updated regulations to protect the rights of farmers. The Farmer Fair Practices Rules target the most harmful practices hurting farmers and clearly outlines common sense protections to restore fairness and reduce the burden for farmers seeking justice under the Packers and Stockyards Act. This is the most recent action in the Obama’s Administration’s efforts to level the playing field for all Americans.

“For years, American farmers have been calling for protections against the most damaging unfair and deceptive practices confronting family farms across the country,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Poultry growers in particular are vulnerable to market risks and concentration in the processor market. All too often, processors and packers wield the power, and farmers carry the risk. Today, USDA is taking a big step toward providing the protections that farmers deserve and need.” Continue reading

12–14-16 Potatoes USA: Lindsey Dodgen Joins Potatoes USA as Assistant Marketing Manager


Lindsey Dodgen Joins Potatoes USA as Assistant Marketing Manager

lindsey-dodgen-joins-potatoes-usa-as-assistantDENVER (December 14, 2016)— Lindsey Dodgen is Potatoes USA’s newest team member, joining the team as the Assistant Marketing Manager supporting the Retail, Market Access, Seed, Reputation Management, and Industry Outreach Programs.

Dodgen is a December 2015 graduate of Texas A&M University where she earned her BS in Agricultural Economics-Food Marketing Systems and her Masters of AgriBusiness with an emphasis in marketing. She was highly involved throughout her time in college with the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) as well as other marketing organizations and conferences. Dodgen brings a good deal of knowledge and agriculture experience to Potatoes USA through her internship at the USDA in Washington, D.C. and her Marketing Research study abroad experience in South Africa. She is excited to start her career with Potatoes USA and looks forward to opportunities to gain knowledge within the potato industry. Continue reading

12-14-16 Beef Checkoff: Increase in U.S. Beef Production Leads to Lower Beef Prices at the Meat Case

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Increase in U.S. Beef Production Leads to Lower Beef Prices at the Meat Case

Good News for Consumers Shopping for Beef this Holiday Season

CENTENNIAL, Colo., Dec. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — As consumers shop at the meat case this holiday season and into the new year, they’ll see lower retail prices on beef, including popular holiday cuts like the tenderloin and rib roast. Continue reading

12-14-16 ACE issues call to action on EPA nominee

ACE to grassroots: Urge Senators to get ethanol support from EPA nominee Pruitt during confirmation process


Sioux Falls, SD (December 14, 2016) – The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) issued a call-to-action to its grassroots membership today, urging ethanol supporters to contact their U.S. Senators about the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Mr. Pruitt needs a majority vote of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and if so, 51 votes in the full U.S. Senate to earn confirmation as the next EPA Administrator.  As is Senate custom, Pruitt is beginning individual meetings with Senators about his confirmation.

“We encourage you to contact your Senators and urge them to secure commitments from Mr. Pruitt to remove regulatory restrictions on the use of E15 and flex fuels and to publicly agree with President-elect Trump’s position in support of the U.S. ethanol industry and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) before agreeing to cast affirmative votes for Pruitt during the confirmation process,” ACE said in the call-to-action. Continue reading

12-14-16 Colorado Pork Producers to hold Pork Act Delegate Election

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Colorado Pork Producers to hold Pork Act Delegate Election

December 14, 2016 – The election of pork producer delegate candidates for the 2018 National Pork Producers (Pork Act) Delegate Body will take place at 10:00 Am January 21,2017, in conjunction with a Board of Directors meeting of Colorado Pork Producers Council at Park Place Hyatt Downtown in Denver, CO 440 14th St.  All Colorado pork producers are invited to attend.

Any producer, age 18 or older, who is a resident of the state and has paid all assessments due may be considered as a delegate candidate and/or participate in the election. All eligible producers are encouraged to bring with them a sales receipt proving that hogs were sold in their name and the checkoff deducted.

For more information, contact Colorado Pork Producers Council,  PO Box 116, Lucerne,  CO  80631, (970) 356-4964, jkelly@copork.org. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, December 14th…

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Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, December 14th…

Trump Ag Advisors Scoff at Heitkamp Talk

Agriculture advisers for President-Elect Donald Trump don’t want North Dakota Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp as Agriculture Secretary. While Heitkamp has sided with agriculture and Republicans at times, Trump’s agriculture allies consider Heitkamp a snub against Trump’s network of rural supporters. Politico over the weekend reported Heitkamp topped the list to head USDA, but Trump’s inner agriculture circle told Politico they were “blindsided” by the news. Trump has yet to offer Heitkamp the post, and it is also uncertain she would accept the job, as she would leave a vacant seat in the Senate which would likely be filled by a Republican in a special election. Political insiders said Tuesday that it does not appear Trump is “close” to naming a new Agriculture Secretary just yet, despite recent speculation.


Consumers Set to Benefit from Lower Global Meat Prices

A report from Rabobank shows consumers will benefit from downward pressure on global meat prices in 2017. The Rabobank Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory group says high supply and competitive markets are expected to push down current prices, while global meat consumption continues to rise. Rabobank also expects China to maintain record levels of pork imports into next year. China’s beef and poultry imports are also expected to rise. But the market is being driven by the current supply of beef and pork, which is much greater than demand. Meanwhile, organizers of the report say U.S. producers head into 2017 grappling with potential changes with the country’s trade policy and further currency movements, adding more potential downward pressure.


USCA Urges Action on Farmer Fair Practices Rules

The United States Cattlemen’s Association sent letters this week to the current and incoming Administrations regarding the associations near and long-term priorities. USCA issued an immediate request to President Barack Obama to continue work on restoring basic market protections for U.S. cattle producers. Late this year, the Department of Agriculture initiated the rulemaking process for the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, or GIPSA, Farmer Fair Practices Rules. The two proposed rules, and one interim rule were sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget for approval. In its letter, USCA asks the Administration to move forward with publishing the rules for public comment. In its letter to President-Elect Donald Trump, USCA is requesting a swift and seamless transition.

Judge Sides with R-CALF Against Beef Checkoff

A federal judge this week sided with R-CALF by recommending the Montana U.S. District Court grant a preliminary injunction request by R-CALF in a case involving the beef checkoff. The injunction would stop the Department of Agriculture from allowing the Montana State Beef Council to use checkoff dollars to fund its advertising campaigns. Meat industry publication Meatingplace reports the ruling relates to a lawsuit R-CALF filed against the national beef checkoff program in May. The lawsuit alleges it is unconstitutional for the government to allow private beef councils to keep and spend one-half of all checkoff dollars to pay for the beef council’s private speech when R-CALF members disagree with such speech. The court must now conduct an independent review and has 14 days to respond.

Monsanto Shareowners Approve Merger with Bayer

Monsanto shareholders have approved a proposed merger with Bayer AG. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Monsanto shareowners will receive $128 per share in cash at the closing of the merger. Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant Tuesday called the approval an “important milestone” for both companies. Bayer AG leadership says the merger will “help address the growing challenges facing farmers.” 99 percent of the votes by Monsanto shareholders were in favor of the merger, according to a Monsanto news release. The merger is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. Bayer and Monsanto announced the merger agreement in September. Under the terms, Bayer AG agreed to purchase Monsanto for $66 billion.


Chipotle Executive to Step Down Following Slow Growth

A top-level executive for Chipotle will step down early next year following a struggle to regain the restaurant chain’s footing after several food safety failures. The New York Times reports Montgomery Moran, a co-chief executive for Chipotle, will step down from his role while the company will also be making changes to its board of directors. Chipotle founder and co-chief executive Steve Ells says the restaurant chain decided “one CEO will serve the company better.” Chipotle Shares have fallen more than 30 percent in the last year amid food safety issues, including a norovirus outbreak and two E. coli outbreaks. Sales in stores open at least a year, a key measure of a restaurant chain’s health, have not recovered as fast as the company had expected.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service