01-05-17 NMPF IDFA Joint News Release: Dairy Groups Express Concern with Proposed Changes in WIC Feeding Program

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Dairy Groups Express Concern with Proposed Changes in WIC Feeding Program

National Academy of Sciences Suggests Major Reduction in Servings of
Nutrient-Rich Milk Offered in WIC Program

From Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF, and
Michael Dykes, D.V.M., President and CEO of IDFA:

“The NAS Committee’s recommendations would undermine the nutritional value of the WIC program to needy Americans. It is contradictory that the NAS report would both acknowledge that many WIC participants are not getting enough milk, yet at the same time suggest further reducing the milk served through the program.

“Milk, cheese and yogurt are the No. 1 source of nine essential nutrients in children’s diets: protein, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, vitamins A, B12, D and riboflavin. The reason dairy foods are included in the WIC package is that no other food source can deliver such a wide range of vital nutrients to mothers and young children. Cutting back on dairy is a step in the wrong direction.

“To its credit, the committee also made recommendations that encourage dairy consumption by WIC participants, including continuing to allow the substitution of cheese, and expanding options for substituting yogurt, as well as making it easier for participants to purchase yogurt in popular sizes. The committee also recognized that many plant-based beverages, such as those derived from almonds and rice, are not nutritionally equivalent to milk.

“As the U.S. Department of Agriculture considers this report, we will work to highlight the value to all Americans of the nutrition that only milk and dairy products can provide.”


01-05-17 Andrew Freedman to leave position as Colorado’s State Director of Marijuana Coordination

CO Governor John Hickenlooper header

Andrew Freedman to leave position as State Director of Marijuana Coordination

DENVER — Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017 Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today that Andrew Freedman, Director of Marijuana Coordination, will be transitioning out of the administration. Freedman will be launching a consulting firm, Freedman & Koski, LLC which specializes in advising state and local governments on how to best implement marijuana legalization. Continue reading

01-05-17 USFRA® Debuts a New Communications Concept – SMART Farm – at Consumer Electronics Show

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U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance® Debuts a New Communications Concept – SMART Farm – at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 

SMART Farm brings to the forefront advanced technology and innovative practices that help farmers and ranchers grow and raise food sustainably
LAS VEGAS (Jan. 5, 2017) – Today at CES, the largest consumer electronics show in the world, U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance® (USFRA) introduced a new communications concept, called SMART Farm, aimed at bridging the gap between the acceptance of innovation that’s a part of consumers’ everyday lives with the science and technology happening on today’s farms and ranches.
“Science and technology are embraced by consumers in all aspects of their lives,” said Brad Greenway, USFRA Chairman and South Dakota crop and pig farmer. “We want to demonstrate that farmers and ranchers are using similar technology to produce food in a way that is good for the soil, air, habitat and water on and around our farms and ranches – without compromise on cost, quality or taste.” Continue reading

01-05-17 Inside DARCA with Executive Director John McKenzie

darca-log-new-010517Inside DARCA with Executive Director John McKenzie

(The BARN – Briggsdale, CO) January 5, 2017- Joining the Colorado Ag News Network Inside the BARN  is John McKenzie, Executive Director of the Ditch and Reservoir Company Alliance discussing several topics including  DARCA’s 15th Annual Convention on February 15-17, 2017…


To learn more about the Ditch and Reservoir Company Alliance – CLICK HERE



01-05-17 Inside the CFVGA with Executive Director Marilyn Drake…


Inside the Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association with Executive Director Marilyn Drake

CVFGA Executive Director Marilyn DrakeRegistration is open NOW for the CFVGA’s Third Annual Conference Feb. 21, 2017!

(The BARN – Briggsdale, CO) January 5, 2017 – The Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) is hosting their Third Annual Conference on Feb. 21, 2017 at the Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel. Joining the CO Ag News Network to discuss the event in more detail is Marilyn Drake, CFVGA’s Executive Director…


For more information and to register: http://cfvga.org 

For more on CFVGA: http://coloradoproduce.org


Produce Trends Expert to Keynote Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association 3rd Annual Conference

Continue reading

01-05-17 USDA Ombudsperson Office Expands to Help Women and Hispanic Farmers and Ranchers Resolve Access Issues to USDA Programs

USDA Press Release

USDA Ombudsperson Office Expands to Help Women and Hispanic Farmers and Ranchers Resolve Access Issues to USDA Programs

WASHINGTON, Jan. 5, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that the Office of the Ombudsperson is helping women and Hispanic farmers and ranchers with accessing Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Rural Development (RD) programs. The Ombudsperson seeks a fair process for everyone involved and helps USDA identify and address issues relating to program access by women and Hispanic producers, focused strategically on FSA, NRCS, and RD programs in California, Missouri, New Mexico and Texas.

“I strongly support this office and its functions in ensuring civil rights at USDA and continuing to improve service delivery to our stakeholders,” said Vilsack. “The Ombudsperson is another avenue for producers to highlight their shared concerns, while also allowing key issues to be brought to USDA’s leaders as early as possible and to help identify solutions to these shared concerns.” Continue reading

01-05-17 Interior Department Announces Grants for Underrepresented Communities Through Historic Preservation Fund

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Interior Department Announces Grants for Underrepresented Communities Through Historic Preservation Fund

$500,000 to support greater inclusion of nation’s rich diversity in the National Register of Historic Places, for example: Colorado State Historical Society of Colorado will receive $43,158

WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced $500,000 in grants to help fund projects across the country to increase the number of listings associated with communities that are underrepresented in the National Register of Historic Places. The grants will assist nine states, two Indian tribes and a local government prepare nominations of properties representing Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, women and LGBTQ Americans.

“Our nation has been shaped by the contributions of a diverse array of Americans, yet the National Register of Historic Places does not appropriately yet reflect this rich diversity,” Jewell said. “These grants will enable us to work with partners to identify important sites that will help tell a more complete story of our journey.”

“As America’s storyteller through place, the National Park Service is providing diverse groups the expertise and resources needed to protect the places unique to their communities’ histories,” said National Park Service Acting Director Michael Reynolds. Continue reading

01-05-17 Get Registered for the 15th Annual DARCA Convention in Ignacio, CO Feb 15-17


The 15th Annual DARCA Convention to be held in Ignacio, CO Feb 15-17

darca-log-new-010517The Ditch & Reservoir Company Alliance (DARCA) is hosting its 15th Annual Convention on February 15-17, 2017. The convention will take place at the Sky Ute Casino Resort on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation in Ignacio, Colorado, located twenty-four miles southeast of the City of Durango.

Twenty speakers are scheduled for DARCA’s 15th Annual Convention, Learning from the Southwest Water Community.  A variety of speakers will discuss their views on timely subjects, emphasizing local water users in the southwest. Speakers have been invited to not only inform, but to solicit input from ditch companies and agricultural water users.

DARCA will be hosting a pre-convention workshop on Wednesday, February 15. The workshop, Farming & Water Resources in the Southwest, includes a day long bus tour with two stops for presentations and lunch, then concluding at the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.

On Friday, February 17th, the final day of the conference, participants may choose among three concurrent workshops: Continue reading

01-05-17 Higgins Named Gelbvieh Association Commercial Producer of the Year

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American Gelbvieh Association Executive Director Myron Edelman presented the AGA Commercial Producer of the Year Award to Barry Higgins, Russellville, Ky. Left to Right: Myron Edelman, Barry Higgins, Kim Higgins, Kameron Higgins, Cody Higgins

Higgins Named Gelbvieh Association Commercial Producer of the Year
Barry Higgins of Russellville, Kentucky, was honored as the American Gelbvieh Association (AGA) Commercial Producer of the Year during the awards banquet held at the 46th Annual American Gelbvieh Association National Convention in Lincoln, Nebraska on Friday, December 2, 2016. Continue reading

01-05-17 CME Group Expands FX Offering with Launch of FX Monthly Futures Contracts

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CME Group Expands FX Offering with Launch of FX Monthly Futures Contracts

LONDON and CHICAGO, Jan. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced the expansion of the foreign exchange (FX) offering with six FX monthly futures contracts. These new contracts provide FX market participants with access to the front months of the FX forward curve with the capital and operational benefits of trading listed futures. FX monthly futures are scheduled for trading on Monday, February 27, 2017 and will be listed on Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) subject to regulatory review. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, January 5th

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 Thursday, January 5th

Agriculture Growing Weary of Ag Secretary Search

As President-elect Donald Trump thins his list of major nominations to make before he takes office later this month, the agriculture industry is getting restless while waiting for his pick to lead the Department of Agriculture. There’s been a flurry of meetings and rumors since his election in November, but the industry continues to wait. A nomination was expected this week and was thought to be former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, but that gave way to former California Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado (Mal-do-nah-do). The Trump transition team Wednesday said Trump continues to meet with highly qualified candidates. Former USDA Secretary John Block perhaps said it best, saying: “It’s very risky to think you know anything, because you don’t,” according to Politico. Meanwhile, Jerry Hagstrom of the Hagstrom Report wrote in the National Journal this week that “damage has already been done,” citing a lobbyist who said “ag is going to start saying that Trump doesn’t care about us.” It is believed this is the longest wait for a USDA Secretary nomination by an incoming president since Henry Wallace, who was nominated by Franklin D. Roosevelt in March of 1933, according to a U.S. Senate historical book. While the nomination cannot come until after Trump is sworn in, most President-elect’s have announced who the nominee will be well before Inauguration Day.


Vilsack Expected to Become U.S. Dairy Export Council President

Outgoing Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is expected to become the next president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council when he leaves office later this month. Vilsack has not confirmed the plans, but a source familiar with the intentions told Agri-Pulse Vilsack will take the place of Tom Suber, who retired at the end of the year from the Council. The U.S. Dairy Export Council is funded by checkoff revenue to track and promote U.S. dairy products. Vilsack says that until he leaves his post at USDA, he is focused on his current job with “several items to get across the finish line.” He says he has nothing currently to say about “life after the administration.” Vilsack has publicly spoken previously, however, regarding his interest in working in farm policy once he leaves USDA.

Midwest Senators to Meet with EPA Administrator Nominee on Biofuels

Midwest Senators representing ethanol producing states will meet with Scott Pruitt Thursday to discuss biofuels in the Trump administration. President-elect Donald Trump recently nominated Pruitt to become his Environmental Protection Agency administrator. Ethanol proponents have voiced some concern that Pruitt may not be supportive of biofuels. Pruitt currently serves as the attorney general for Oklahoma, one of the nation’s biggest oil, natural gas and grain producing states. In 2014, the New York Times reported he and other Republican attorneys general had formed an “unprecedented, secretive alliance” with the energy industry.  However, Trump’s pick for ambassador to China, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, recently said Pruitt would be supportive of biofuels. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley will host the meeting in his office. Senate members joining the meeting include Missouri Republican Roy Blunt, South Dakota Republicans John Thune and Mike Rounds, Iowa Republican Joni Ernst, Kansas Republican Pat Roberts and Nebraska Republican Deb Fisher.


Farm Bureau Endorses Trump EPA Nominee

The American Farm Bureau Federation Wednesday said the organization “strongly endorses” the nomination of Scott Pruitt as Environmental Protection Agency administrator. President-elect Donald Trump nominated Pruitt to lead the EPA in his administration. AFBF President Zippy Duvall calls Pruitt an “ideal nominee.” In a letter to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Chairman Duvall cited Pruitt’s contesting of the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule, also opposed by many farm groups. Duvall says Farm Bureau’s support for Pruitt is based on the nominee’s “respect for the law” and his understanding of the need for an agency to “live within the statutory programs Congress has authorized.”

CTFC Chairman Massad Resigns

Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Timothy Massad, announced he will step down when President-elect Donald Trump takes office later this month. Massad has served as CTFC Chairman since June of 2014. Massad could have stayed at the post until April of this year. In a statement marking the announcement, Massad said: “I am grateful to have had the opportunity.” House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, a Texas Republican, thanked Massad in a statement Wednesday. Conaway said: “Tim has given agricultural producers and processors a seat at the table and offered them meaningful input in the rulemaking processes.” The Wall Street Journal Reports Christopher Giancarlo (John-car lo), the CFTC’s sole Republican member, is expected to succeed Massad, at least on an interim basis. Giancarlo is also under consideration to fill the top CFTC role on a permanent basis, according to those close to the Trump transition team.


ChemChina-Syngenta Deal Delayed

ChemChina and Syngenta were issued an extension by European Union antitrust regulators to comply with the regulator’s request. The EU has extended the deadline for a decision on ChemChina’s proposed buy of Swiss group Syngenta by ten working days to April 12th, according to Reuters. Syngenta said in a statement the two companies had asked for the extension to allow “sufficient time for the discussion of remedy proposals”. The European Commission opened the investigation into state-owned ChemChina’s $43 billion bid in October, saying the companies had not alleviated concerns over the deal. Syngenta said in a statement the two companies remain “fully committed” to the transaction and are “confident of its closure.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service