01-24-17 CO Gov. Hickenlooper’s statement on EPA freeze

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Gov. Hickenlooper’s statement on EPA freeze

DENVER — Tuesday, Jan. 24,  2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today released the following statement:

“We received notice today that the team from the new administration asked the EPA to temporarily suspend grant and contract awards. The communication was ambiguous and did not explain the duration or scope of the freeze. This freeze could potentially impact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s ability to carry out its federally mandated commitment to protect clean air, clean water and safe drinking water. We have sought clarification from the EPA and have asked for assistance from Senators Gardner and Bennet.”


01-24-17 Statement from Colorado Farm Bureau on Pipeline Project Federal Approvals

CFB - Colorado Farm Bureau HeaderStatement from Colorado Farm Bureau on Pipeline Project Federal Approvals

cfb-president-don-shawcroftCentennial, Colo. –  Jan. 24, 2017 – Colorado Farm Bureau President Don Shawcroft released the following statement following this morning’s order by the Trump administration to approve the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines.

“The Colorado Farm Bureau is encouraged by President Trump’s approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines. Our organization has long advocated for projects like these, which will help increase energy affordability and security for farmers, ranchers and rural Colorado,” said Shawcroft. Continue reading

01-24-17 NCBA: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proceeds with Regulatory Action Despite Trump Administration Directive

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proceeds with Regulatory Action Despite Trump Administration Directive

WASHINGTON (Jan. 24, 2017) – In a move that some believe violates the spirit of President Donald Trump’s recent directive freezing all agency regulatory activity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has indicated that it will decline to extend a 90-day comment period to evaluate the status of the Lesser Prairie Chicken under the Endangered Species Act. This denial comes despite the soon expected public release of a new population survey for the species by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife agencies – information that will be critical to determining the success of ongoing conservation actions. Continue reading

01-24-17 NCGA: Ag Industry Letter to Trump Highlights NAFTA Successes

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Ag Industry Letter to Trump Highlights NAFTA Successes

On the heels of comments from President Donald Trump that his administration may withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), more than 130 food and agricultural organizations have contacted the President to highlight the importance of the trade agreement to the industry and urge him to preserve and build upon that success.

“With the productivity of U.S. agriculture growing faster than domestic demand, the U.S. food and agriculture industry – and the rural communities that depend on it – relies heavily on export markets to sustain prices and revenues,” the groups say in a letter sent to President Trump on Tuesday. Continue reading

01-24-17 Members Gather for CCA’s Mid-Winter Conference

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Members Gather for CCA’s Mid-Winter Conference

Members of the Colorado Cattlemen’s’ Association (CCA) gather twice a year to gain knowledge about their industry, create policy that drives their trade association, and present awards to those who have served the state’s beef industry in an exemplary fashion.

Last week’s Mid-Winter Conference, held on January 16-18 in Denver, focused on agriculture-related issues that will be addressed during the 2017 session of Colorado’s General Assembly. Committee meetings were also held during the conference, which help establish the organization’s policies and stance on a wide range of legislative and regulatory topics impacting Colorado’s beef industry. “CCA operates through its diverse and broad membership throughout Colorado; that represents the majority of beef cattle production, private land ownership, state and federal lands grazing, businesses, and those who advocate for the industry,” said Tim Lehmann, President of CCA. “Members gathering to discuss issues and engage in policy development is the purpose of this organization,” Lehmann continued.

CCA Foundation Banquet

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Arizona dairy herds produced 1.17 billion pounds of milk during the October – December quarter, up 0.7 percent from the previous year.

Colorado dairy herds produced 997 million pounds of milk during the October – December quarter, up 6.2 percent from the previous year.

Montana dairy herds produced 72.0 million pounds of milk during the October – December quarter, down 1.4 percent from the previous year.

New Mexico dairy herds produced 1.96 billion pounds of milk during the October – December quarter, up 3.9 percent from the previous year.

Utah dairy herds produced 522.0 million pounds of milk during the October – December quarter, down 2.4 percent from the previous year.

Wyoming dairy herds produced 35.7 million pounds of milk during the October – December quarter, up 3.8 percent from the previous year.

Nationally, U.S. milk production during the October – December quarter totaled 52.5 billion pounds, up 2.4 percent from the October – December quarter last year.
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CSU SEA Ext Says logoHelping children in tough times

By: Kaye Kasza, CSU Extension Agent, Kaye.kasza@colostate.edu or 719-456-0764

When money becomes scarce, the whole family, from children to parents, can feel the pinch. We may have limited or no control over the causes of financial difficulties, but we control our responses.  Discuss money problems in a way that lessens stress and anxiety in children. Talk to them about your family’s situation in a way the child can understand. Do not keep the income loss a secret from children and other family members, despite the urge to spare them or “save face”. Continue reading

01-24-17 Maintaining Pork Exports to Canada, Mexico Critical

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Maintaining Pork Exports to Canada, Mexico Critical

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 24, 2017 – The National Pork Producers Council today committed to work with the Trump administration to preserve tariff-free market access for U.S. pork exports to Canada and Mexico. The administration is planning to pursue trade discussions with the two countries.

“As far a pork is concerned, the trade deals with Canada and Mexico have been tremendous for U.S. pork producers,” said NPPC President John Weber, a pork producer from Dysart, Iowa. “Our exports to those nations exploded because of the trade pact we have with them. But we know that some concerns have been raised by others, so we are committed to working with the Trump administration in looking for ways to improve our trade relationships with Canada and Mexico.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, January 24th

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, January 24th

Trump Signs Executive Order to Remove U.S. From TPP

President Donald Trump Monday followed through on a campaign promise by signing an executive order to remove the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Trump also said he plans to begin renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. Agriculture groups demonstrated disappoint with the decision. American Soybean Association President Ron Moore said in a statement: “TPP held great promise for us.” Moore says ASA expects “to see a plan in place as soon as possible” to engage the 11 other TPP member nations on trade to “capture the value” lost from the withdrawal. American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall says it is critical the new administration “begins work immediately” to develop new markets for agriculture. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Tracy Brunner said: “Sparking a trade war with Canada, Mexico, and Asia will only lead to higher prices for American-produced beef in those markets.” Brunner called foreign trade one of the greatest success stories for U.S. beef. The American Feed Industry Association condemned the action, saying trade deals like TPP are key to setting the terms and rules for future trade relationships.


Trump EPA Plan Calls for Eliminating WOTUS

New President Donald Trump’s plan for the Environmental Protection Agency includes eliminating the Waters of the U.S. rule. The Trump administration calls WOTUS a burdensome regulation that is “harmful and unnecessary.” A leaked agency action plan for the administration lists WOTUS, along with Clean Air Act greenhouse gas regulations, the Clean Power Plan and the Total Maximum Daily Load Requirements in the Chesapeake Bay area as targeted initiatives to stop. Trump also wants to change how the agency uses science, saying unless major reforms are achieved, “the EPA will be able to return to its bad old ways” once a different administration takes office. Meanwhile, WOTUS will head to the Supreme Court this year to determine whether jurisdiction to hear a challenge to the lawfulness of the rule lies in the courts of appeal or federal district courts. The Trump administration could choose not to defend WOTUS in court, effectively killing enforcement of the rule.


Three Named as USDA Deputy Secretary Candidates

The list of candidates to serve as Deputy Agriculture Secretary boast familiar names to the Donald Trump administration. The Hagstrom Report says the list includes Charles Herbster, A.G. Kawamura (Cow-uh-more-uh) and Ted McKinney. Herbster of Nebraska was a big supporter during the Trump campaign and served on Trump’s agriculture advisory committee, Kawamura is a former California Agriculture Secretary and McKinney was Indiana agriculture director when Vice President Mike Pence was governor of Indiana. Meanwhile, Indiana farmer Kip Tom is considered a candidate for White House agricultural liaison. Taking over the Department of Agriculture for now is Michael Young, USDA’s Office of Budget and Program Analysis director. He will serve as acting secretary until the Senate confirms former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to the post. President Trump has sent policy adviser Sam Clovis to lead the transition at the department while USDA waits for the Senate to act. A team assisting Clovis will hire staff and begin crafting policy until Perdue is allowed to take office.


Fourth Quarter 2016 Farm Lending Slows

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City says farm lending during the fourth quarter of 2016 slowed significantly as lenders and borrowers assessed economic prospects for 2017. In a report, the Kansas City Fed says some of the reduced loan volume likely stemmed from lower costs of farm inputs. However, as the outlook for farm income has remained weak and farmland values have continued to decline, both lenders and borrowers may be more apprehensive about adding new debt heading into 2017. A survey of bankers found non-real estate loans in the farm sector dropped 40 percent from a year ago. The 40 percent drop was the largest year-over-year decline in nearly 20 years. Despite the sharp reduction in new loans, outstanding farm sector debt at commercial banks continued to rise, but at a slower pace. Survey data indicated outstanding debt increased five percent from a year ago. The Fed attributed the increase to a slower rate of loan repayments, but the increase in farm debt was the smallest increase in more than three years.


ChemChina Files for U.S. Antitrust Approval of Syngenta Takeover

ChemChina has filed for U.S. antitrust approval with the Federal Trade Commission for its proposed $43 billion takeover of Syngenta. Bloomberg reports ChemChina has submitted documentation required by U.S. law and expects the U.S. antitrust process to be “on track.” The Justice Department and the FTC typically have 30 days to clear a proposal or issue a second request asking for more information and a longer review period. The proposed transaction already has been cleared by a U.S. national security panel and won antitrust approval in Australia. The European Union is currently reviewing the deal and has until April 12th to discuss remedy proposals that have been submitted. A Syngenta spokesperson says both companies remain fully committed to the transaction and are confident of its closing.


EU Dairy Farmers Spray Milk Powder in Price Protest

Dairy farmers from the European Union sprayed milk powder onto a European Council building in Brussels during a protest over dairy prices. The EU recently purchased large quantities of skimmed milk powder in an effort to stabilize the market, but the EU says it will begin moving the stockpile as prices have improved. Protesting farmers told the Associated Press that the move would depress prices throughout Europe. A spokesperson with the European Milk Board says “only a real price increase and long-term stability on the market can save milk production across the EU from extinction.” The farmers say EU policies are driving them to the brink of bankruptcy and releasing more milk powder on the market would further complicate their plight.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service