12-16-16 Rural and Agriculture Council of America Applauds Secretary of Interior Nomination

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Rural and Agriculture Council of America Applauds Secretary of Interior Nomination

raca-rural-and-ag-councill-of-america-logoWASHINGTON, DC – In response to this week’s announcement by President-elect Donald Trump on the nomination of Representative Ryan Zinke to the position of Secretary of the Interior, Jack Alexander, President of the Rural & Agriculture Council of America (RACA), issued the following statement:

“Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke proved his patriotism and willingness to serve through 23 years as a Navy Seal. As a lifetime participant in outdoors sports and recreation as a fifth-generation Montanan, he has developed a love for public lands and natural resources.  The Rural and Agricultural Council of America (RACA) applauds President Elect Trump for appointing a Secretary of Interior from rural America.  We look forward to Rep. Zinke bringing his experience and knowledge of rural America and public lands to his Cabinet position. He talks about being “red, white, and blue”, which is a great description for the rural lands for which he will be responsible. RACA looks forward to working with the new Secretary to manage public lands for all Americans and protect public lands, manage natural resources, and provide opportunity for those who live, hunt, recreate, and make their living on public lands.” 

ABOUT RACA Continue reading

12-16-16 Inside the American Angus Association with David Gazda, Region 2 Manager: NWSS Angus Bull Sale and more…

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Courtesy of the American Agus Association and NWSS

Courtesy of the American Angus Association and NWSS

david-gazda-american-angus-assn-region-2Inside the American Angus Association with David Gazda, Region 2 Manager: NWSS Angus Bull Sale and more…

(The BARN – Briggsdale, CO) December 16, 2016 – On Jan. 11, 2017, a new evening event will grace the Stadium Arena during the 111th NWSS, to not only celebrate the heritage of ranching, but also the unprecedented, century-plus expansion of Angus into the West.

Joining the CO Ag News Network to discuss the Angus Bull Sale in more detail is David Gazda, Regional Manager with the American Angus Association who is also the NWSS Angus Bull Sale manager

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BONUS COVERAGE LOOK BELOW Continue reading

12-16-16 Inside the BARN with NYFC Western Water Program Director Kate Greenberg…

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Inside the BARN with NYFC Western Water Program Director Kate Greenberg

Kate Greenberg Western Water Program Director Durango, CO Before joining NYFC, Kate worked and volunteered on CSA vegetable farms, wineries, and ranches, and managed western field programs and native tree greenhouses. She graduated from Whitman College in 2009. She currently sits on the board of directors of the Quivira Coalition.

Kate Greenberg
Western Water Program Director

(The BARN – Briggsdale, CO) December 16, 2016 – If you are passionate about raising the most nutritious food possible, in the best soil possible, for the healthiest people possible, then you’ll want to make plans to attend the state’s premier sustainable agricultural gathering, the Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum, in Montrose at the Montrose Pavilion January 20-21, 2017.  Joining the CO Ag News Network to discuss that upcoming event is Kate Greenberg, National Young Farmers Coalition Western Water Program Director out of Durango, CO

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Kate Greenberg Western Water Program Director – Before joining NYFC, Kate worked and volunteered on CSA vegetable farms, wineries, and ranches, and managed western field programs and native tree greenhouses. She graduated from Whitman College in 2009. She currently sits on the board of directors of the Quivira Coalition.

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To learn more about the 5th Annual Western Food & Farm Forum Jan 20-21 in Montrose, CO & to get registered – CLICK HERE

To learn more about the National Young Farmer Coalition – CLICK HERE

RELATED BARN STORY POST

12-16-16 NFU Board Calls on Congress to Assist Struggling Dairy Producers

NFU logo 3NFU Board Calls on Congress to Assist Struggling Dairy Producers

WASHINGTON (December 16, 2016) – As U.S. dairy producers continue to struggle with multi-year price lows and an inadequate safety net, National Farmers Union (NFU) is calling on Congress to provide meaningful support for the nation’s dairy sector.

NFU’s Board of Directors released a resolution calling on legislators to provide the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) the authority to provide direct assistance to struggling producers, and to refund dairy Margin Protection Program premiums.

“U.S. dairy farmers are experiencing an extended period of very low milk prices which, unless corrected, will force thousands of farmers out of business,” the resolution states. “NFU calls on Congress to advance spending legislation that includes relief for dairy farmers through additional authority for the USDA to provide direct assistance as an alternative to dairy product purchases and a refund of 2015 Margin Protection Program premiums.” Continue reading

12-16-16 NMPF IDFA Joint News Release: Dairy Organizations Applaud Congressional Letter to FDA Asking for Stricter Enforcement of Milk Labeling Standards

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Dairy Organizations Applaud Congressional Letter to FDA Asking for Stricter Enforcement of Milk Labeling Standards

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new congressional effort to prod federal regulators to crack down on the inappropriate labeling of products designed to imitate milk drew support today from the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), which thanked lawmakers for speaking out on the issue.

In a letter written by Reps. Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Peter Welch (D-VT), and cosigned by a bipartisan coalition of 32 other members of the House, lawmakers urge U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf to more aggressively police the improper use of dairy terms, which are used on the labels of many products that have no real dairy ingredients. Continue reading

12-16-16 NPPC TO WORK WITH NEXT ADMINISTRATION, NEW CONGRESS TO KILL GIPSA RULE

NPPC logoNPPC TO WORK WITH NEXT ADMINISTRATION, NEW CONGRESS TO KILL GIPSA RULE

NPPC will work with the Trump administration and the new Congress to repeal an “unnecessary, destructive and illegitimate midnight rule,” issued this week by the Obama administration, that could restrict the buying and selling of livestock, lead to consolidation of the livestock industry and increase consumer prices for meat. Continue reading

12-16-16 World Dairy Expo® Honors Outstanding Volunteers

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Chick Miller, Mary Langford, Rita Paulson, Marjorie Stieve and Debbie Crave were recognized for their contributions and dedication to World Dairy Expo at the Friends of Expo Party, December 12, 2016. Not pictured: Award winners Jim Dickrell and Joan Lau.

Chick Miller, Mary Langford, Rita Paulson, Marjorie Stieve and Debbie Crave were recognized for their contributions and dedication to World Dairy Expo at the Friends of Expo Party, December 12, 2016. Not pictured: Award winners Jim Dickrell and Joan Lau.

World Dairy Expo® Honors Outstanding Volunteers

WDE-50 World Dairy Expo 50th 2016MADISON, WIS. – World Dairy Expo celebrated its many volunteers with the annual Friends of Expo Party on Monday, December 12. The volunteers in attendance enjoyed an evening of food, friends and one last celebration of the 50th Anniversary of World Dairy Expo. Highlighting the evening was the announcement of the 2016 Friend of Expo Honorees, Jim Dickrell, Chuck Miller, Marjorie Stieve, Mary Latchford and Rita Paulson. Each of these individuals received special recognition for their faithful dedication to different facets of Expo.
Continue reading

12-16-16 WSGA Thanks 2016 Winter Roundup Convention & Trade Show Sponsors

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WSGA Thanks 2016 Winter Roundup Convention & Trade Show Sponsors

Cheyenne, Wyo. – The 2016 Winter Roundup, hosted by the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) was held in Casper, Wyo., December 5-7 at the Parkway Plaza and Convention Center.

This event reached an attendance of over 300 individuals throughout the convention. This event was made successful by the following sponsors: Continue reading

12-16-16 USFRA: GMO Crops Help Reduce Inputs and Enhance Conservation

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U.S. Farmers: GMO Crops Help Reduce Inputs and Enhance Conservation 
New survey from U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance and National Corn Growers Association finds protecting the environment as a top concern for today’s farmers.

 

ST. LOUIS, (December 16, 2016) – The majority of U.S. farmers and ranchers indicate biotechnology and GMO crops as an important solution in helping raise crops more efficiently, according to new survey results released yesterday from the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). With technology shaping today’s farms, GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are one tool in a farmer’s toolbox to enhance production and grow and raise our food supply more sustainably.
Over 280 farmers across the United States were surveyed about their attitudes toward GMO crops. They were asked to weigh in on a range of topics regarding the impact of GMO technology on the environment, pesticide use, and yields, among others.
Findings conclude that farmers believe biotechnology helps raise crops more efficiently, and that the environment and sustainability practices will suffer if GMO technology utilization is reduced in crop production in the future. Seventy-eight (78%) percent of farmers foresee increased environmental impacts-including an increase in water usage and application of pesticides-if GMO seeds were not to be available to them as a choice in crop production.
When asked about farmers’ ability to lessen their environmental footprint, 98 percent of those polled ranked GMO seeds at the top of their list. Additional survey findings include:
  • Pesticide Use/Crop Inputs: When asked about the reason for using biotechnology when raising crops, most farmers indicated GMO seeds allow them to minimize pesticide/herbicide usage (87%).
  • Sustainability: Three quarters (78%) of farmers also expressed being able to engage in advanced farming practices, such as conservation tillage.
    • Another two-thirds (64%) of farmers also believe GMO seeds allow for efficient management of resources, specifically, fuel, time and less wear-and-tear on their equipment.
  • Yields: Many farmers believe GMO seeds produce a higher yield (69%). This finding may also have an impact on why many farmers believe GMO seeds work best for their particular farm and region in enhancing productivity (65%).
“With GMOs and advances in agricultural technology, we’re utilizing our resources much more precisely today and have pinpoint accuracy when applying fertilizer, nitrogen and chemical applications. This is especially important on my farm in the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” said Chip Bowling, vice chairman of USFRA and third-generation farmer. “The farmers’ perspective in the survey findings are a direct indication of how important genetic engineering technology is for the environment and our food supply, and how it benefits farmers and consumers alike.”
This most recent farmer survey follows USFRA’s September 2016 annual Perception Benchmark Study, which measured consumer opinions about agriculture, including attitudes toward environmental sustainability, GMOs and technology. Approximately half of the Consumer Food Connectors, or men and women surveyed between the ages of 21-65 (with no personal connections to farming), attributed increased yields and increased efficiency to the use of advanced technology on farms and ranches. While technology on the farm was perceived positively, only 11 percent of this group found GMOs favorable.
“As an organization that supports all farmers and their choice to plant and grow conventional crops, genetically modified crops, organic crops, or any combination, we believe in sustainability and technology to continually improve our farms for future generations,” said Randy Krotz, USFRA CEO. “Our research shows the continued need for agriculture to inform today’s consumer about the merits and benefits of GMOs and other technologies, while dispelling any misconceptions about negative impacts to human health and the environment.”
The survey was conducted online from October 11-26, 2016, among a sample of 282 farmers, 18 years of age and older, living in the U.S. The margin of error for this study is +/-5.84 % at a 95% confidence level. Of the 282 farmers polled, 92% have been using GMO seeds for 10 or more years, and grow a variety of crops, including corn, soybeans, alfalfa, wheat and cotton.
About U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance® (USFRA®)
U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) consists of about 100 farmer and rancher led organizations and agricultural partners representing virtually all aspects of agriculture, working to engage in dialogue with consumers who have questions about how today’s food is grown and raised. USFRA is committed to continuous improvement and supporting U.S. farmers and ranchers’ efforts to increase confidence and trust in today’s agriculture. To learn more, visit our website at www.fooddialogues.com. You can also find USFRA on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
This press release was wholly or partially funded by one or more Checkoff programs.

12-09-16 CALP auctioning off Denver Broncos tickets – Auction ends Dec 16th!

CLICK HERE to learn more about the CALP...

CLICK HERE to learn more about the CALP

CALP auctioning off Denver Broncos tickets

Anyone wanting to catch the Denver Broncos regular-season finale on Jan.1 against the Oakland Raiders — and at the same time support an organization that’s developing emerging leaders who are committed to the future of Colorado’s agricultural and rural communities — can do so by bidding on game tickets at this link.

All proceeds will go to support the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program.

Continue reading

12-16-16 Israeli Importation of Texas Longhorns

dickinson-cattle-company-headerIsraeli Importation of Texas Longhorns

Barnesville, OH — The benefit of Texas Longhorn cattle genetics for the arid hills of Israel was first considered by the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon. The Prime Minister traveled to Texas and became mesmerized by his introduction to the historical breed at the King Ranch, Kingsville, TX. He promptly made plans of importing Texas Longhorns to Israel from the day general manager Leonard Stiles toured the herd with the Israeli war hero.

Simon and Erez Cahaner visited Dickinson Cattle Co of Barnesville, Ohio in the Summer of 2016 to evaluate the feasibility of exporting frozen Texas Longhorn embryos to Israel for their 600 cow herd. This is a major introduction of Texas Longhorns to the area.

Simon and Erez Cahaner visited Dickinson Cattle Co of Barnesville, Ohio in the Summer of 2016 to evaluate the feasibility of exporting frozen Texas Longhorn embryos to Israel for their
600 cow herd. This is a major introduction of Texas Longhorns to the area.

Ariel Sharon was a key player in Israeli military defense for decades and highly regarded within his country. He was respected for his unstoppable determination to do whatever he deemed best for the sake of Israel’s security. Starting at age 14 he served dozens of years in military service. He participated in Israel’s War of Independence, the battle of Latrun, the Arab-Israeli War of 1956, the battle of Mitla Pass, the Six-Day War of 1967, the War of Attrition of 1969, and the Yom Kippur War.
A few months after the Prime Minister returned from Texas in 2005, he suffered a stroke. His plan to introduce Texas Longhorns to his West Bank Israeli ranch ended. After 8 years in a coma, Sharon died. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, December 16th…

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 Friday, December 16th…

Wheat Growers Welcome Actions on China Trade

U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Wheat Growers Association are happy to see two actions filed against China recently regarding its trade policies. The U.S. Trade Representative is challenging Chinese policies that distort the wheat markets, thereby harming wheat growers around the world. Both organizations say it’s important that the U.S. government take a strong stand on enforcing trade rules. They say it’s crucial for building trust in existing and new trade agreements. The U.S Trade Representative filed the request for a consultation with the World Trade Organization this week. The U.S. Trade Rep says China is not fairly administering its annual tariff rate quotas for commodities like corn, rice, and 9.64 million metric tons of wheat. The request says China unfairly makes it more difficult to export wheat into the country. The request also asks the WTO to convene a panel for a hearing on the dispute it filed back in September against China’s excessive market price supports for corn, rice, and wheat. “The fact is, these two actions go hand in hand, demonstrating how Chinese government policies create an unfair advantage for domestic wheat production,” said Gordon Stoner, president of the National Wheat Growers Association.   

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Ag Groups React to Proposed GIPSA Rules

The National Turkey Federation is expressing concern over USDA’s final interim rule and two proposed regulations possibly upending contract relationships in place between turkey growers and processors. The USDA wants to make changes in the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration rules that would govern those contracts. The Turkey Federation says the changes would increase costs, reduce overall productivity, and lead to a lot of uncertainty and unintended consequences that would outweigh any potential benefits to changing the rules. “GIPSA’s proposed regulations governing poultry and livestock contracts and marketing could wind up hurting the very producers the department claims it’s trying to protect,” said National Turkey Federation President Joel Brandenberger. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association agrees, saying the rules are “destructive.” NCBA President Tracy Brunner said, “USDA is going well beyond their statutory limitations, limiting marketing options for a product that America is demanding.” Brunner says if the USDA was interested in real solutions, they wouldn’t rush the rules out the door at the end of the current administration. He adds, “Cattlemen and women don’t appreciate Secretary Vilsack throwing a grenade in the building as he abandons it.”

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Freedom Caucus Wants Nutrition Rules Overturned

The House Freedom Caucus is a group of conservative House Republicans that issued a 23-page list of regulations it wants overturned in a Trump administration, and nutrition is a key target. The list includes the Food and Drug Administration’s update to the Nutrition Facts Panel and the updated standards for school meals. Both of those were priorities championed by First Lady Michelle Obama. The document says, “The regulations have proven themselves to be unworkable for schools to implement.” The regulations it’s referring to include the standards that mandate schools to offer more fruits and vegetables and whole grains while cutting back on salt, sugar, and fat. It goes on to say, “Schools are throwing away food that students are not eating.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that schools have almost hit 100 percent compliance to the changes and health advocates say that students have adjusted as well.  Items not on the list to overturn include the FDA’s near-ban of trans fat, policies intended to limit antibiotic use in agriculture, the Food Safety Modernization Act rules, and new stocking requirements for SNAP food retailers.

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Consumers More Educated, Still Worried About GMO’s

A recent study by the NPD Group shows U.S. consumers are more educated about genetically modified organisms, or GMO’s, as well as the benefits of using them in the food supply. The study also finds that many consumers are still concerned. The NPD Group, a global information company, says over half of consumers in 2013 had little to no knowledge of what GMO’s are, but in 2016 that number has shrunk to a third. The study also shows that as consumer awareness grows, they do recognize the benefits of using them to produce better and more resilient crops. Many consumers who are aware of the benefits still seem to have concerns, making GMO’s still the fastest growing food additive concern. Although GMO awareness is growing, the study says most consumers don’t seem to know that the government recently passed a GMO labeling law that goes into effect in 2018. “With the increasing awareness and concern, consumers would benefit from hearing from food manufacturers the reasons why they use GMO’s and how it benefits their customers,” said Darren Seifer, NPD Group food and industry analyst. “Consumers today want to be informed and appreciate it when food companies make an effort to educate them.”

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Republican Set for Battle Over Immigration

An article in the Wall Street Journal says Republicans are getting set for a battle over legal immigration. The debate is going to hinge on whether or not Republicans believe foreign workers are a driver for economic growth as business groups say, or if they consider foreign workers as competition for American workers, a position held by the populist wing of the GOP. The business side of the debate is waiting to see if the Trump administration will use executive power to change the legal immigration system and what kind of support for immigration policies remains in Congress. Supporters of legal immigration want expanded opportunities to get green cards and to expand visa programs to get more access to workers. Critics of the plan say expanded access to foreign workers will displace American workers. Milk Business Dot Com says some Republicans argue that immigrants fill jobs that most Americans don’t want, especially in American agriculture. Most Democrats appear to support higher visa numbers, but labor unions have voiced concerns over the impact on U.S. jobs.

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Idaho Governor May Be Next Ag Secretary

A report on the Magic Valley Dot Com website says Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter is being looked at by the Trump Administration as a possible Secretary of Agriculture. He’s one of several candidates mentioned as a possible successor to Tom Vilsack. Otter’s name came up as a possible nomination for Interior Secretary, but reports surfaced this week that the Interior nomination will go to Montana Republican Representative Ryan Zinke. Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and South Dakota Republican Representative Kristi Noem have also been mentioned as candidates. Recent reports indicate Noem isn’t interested in the job. Otter has already said this term will be his last as Idaho Governor. One of the Ag Secretary’s jobs is to develop foreign markets, which is something Otter has a lot of experience with. He’s led several trade missions as governor and traveled overseas as President of potato giant Simplot International, traveling to more than 80 countries.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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