03-17-17 REMINDER: Agriculture Day at the Capitol set for Wednesday in Denver

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REMINDER: Agriculture Day at the Capitol set for Wednesday in Denver

Food competition, celebration of state’s ag industry one of the most popular events under the Golden Dome

A celebration of Colorado’s agricultural producers and agribusinesses is set for Wednesday, March 22, at the State Capitol Building in Denver.

The 48 organizations that make up the Colorado Ag Council are hosting Agriculture Day at the Capitol, starting at 10:45 a.m. and featuring the teaming up of 14 local chefs with various lawmakers and ag representatives in a cook-off competition of Colorado-grown foods. Lunch will be served around 11:30 a.m.

The public and media are all invited to attend the event, which takes place as part of National Agriculture Week. Continue reading

03-14-17 Inside the CO Ag Council w/President Julie McCaleb…

Julie McCaleb, President of the CO Ag Council

(The BARN – Briggsdale, CO) March 14, 2017 – Joining the BARN on the CO Ag News Network at this time Julie McCaleb, President of the CO Ag Council, the organization that is hosting Ag Day @ the Capitol on March 22nd during National Ag Week…

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Anyone looking for more information about Agriculture Day at the Capitol can contact event manager David Collie at david@5280culinary.com. Or simply visit https://www.coloradoagcouncil.net/

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03-21-17 RMFU: Apply Yourself: Scholarships, Camp Counselor Opportunities Are Calling

 

RMFU: Apply Yourself: Scholarships, Camp Counselor Opportunities Are Calling

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union will be awarding up to $8,000 in college scholarships and we urge both traditional and non-traditional students to apply. The scholarship application may be found on our website at https://www.rmfu.org/what-we-do/education/scholarships/. Scholarships are also available to members through National Farmers Union and can be found at https://nfu.org/education/scholarships/.

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03-21-17 RMFU: Good Food & Ag Bills Heading to N.M. Governor’s Desk

RMFU: Good Food & Ag Bills Heading to N.M. Governor’s Desk

By Pam Roy
RMFU Government Relations for New Mexico

As New Mexico’s lawmakers roared through a massive stack of legislative and budget options in its last few days, a few substantive bills that would support New Mexico farmers, ranchers, food processors, and consumers made it to the finish line and are awaiting Governor Susana Martinez’s approval. Here are a few highlights: Continue reading

03-21-17 RMFU: Wyoming Legislative Wrap-Up

RMFU - Wyoming Legislative Wrap-UpRMFU: Wyoming Legislative Wrap-Up

As spring begins and the dust has fully settled on 40-day session of the Wyoming Legislature, there will be no tax increases.  Fee increases, however, are another story. The following two bills are designed to replace general fund appropriations to the Department of Transportation (WYDOT) through increased user fees.    Continue reading

03-21-17 NPPC Farm Bill Priority: FMD Vaccine Bank

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NPPC Farm Bill Priority: FMD Vaccine Bank

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 21, 2017 – The U.S. pork industry’s top priority for the next Farm Bill is establishing a Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank, the National Pork Producers Council told a House Agriculture subcommittee in testimony today.

“If this country ever had an FMD outbreak, it not only would devastate my farm and the whole livestock industry but the entire U.S. economy,” said NPPC Vice President David Herring, a pork producer from Newtown Grove, N.C., who testified on behalf of the organization before the agriculture panel’s Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture.

To address a potential FMD outbreak, which would cost the beef, corn, pork and soy bean industries alone an estimated $200 billion over 10 years, NPPC wants the 2018 Farm Bill to direct the U.S. Department of Agriculture to: Continue reading

03-21-17 Potatoes USA Annual Meeting is Extremely Productive

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Potatoes USA Annual Meeting is Extremely Productive

The Potatoes USA annual meeting was held March 13 – 16 in Denver Colorado.  The first day was dedicated to training the new Board members and meeting with the representatives of the state and national organizations in attendance.  The next day was packed with reports from the Research, Finance, Domestic Marketing, Industry Outreach and International Marketing committees.  Details from these committee meetings will be provided in future industry updates.  That afternoon all Board members also went through communications and message training as part of the new Potatoes USA Ambassador program. 

 

A presentation from John Keeling of the National Potato Council helped the attendees to better understand the policy environment currently unfolding in Washington DC.  The actual Board Meeting got underway on the 15th with the swearing in of the 20 new Board members.  John Toaspern, CMO at Potatoes USA then presented an update on the markets for U.S. potatoes in 2016. Those slides can be found by clicking here.  Mark Klompien the new head of the United Potato Growers of America federated co-op provided an update on the work of UPGA and their thoughts on the supply and demand balance in the U.S. potato industry. Continue reading

03-21-17 NFU Urges Congress to Vote Against AHCA

NFU Urges Congress to Vote Against AHCA

WASHINGTON – Citing the need for family farmers and ranchers to have affordable access to quality health coverage, National Farmers Union (NFU) is urging Congress to vote against the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The bill is scheduled to be voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.

NFU President Roger Johnson sent a letter to the members of the House of Representatives today, highlighting NFU’s primary concerns with the proposed legislation. The organization is troubled by the inclusion of a cap on Medicaid, reforms to the healthcare marketplace, and the proposed system of basing premium subsidies on a person’s age, rather than their income.

“NFU’s member-driven policy ‘affirms the right of all Americans to have access to affordable, quality health care,’” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “We believe the American Health Care Act (AHCA) would have serious negative impacts on farmers’ and ranchers’ access to affordable health insurance coverage.” Continue reading

03-21-17 USDA Announces $6 Million to Aid Fire-Affected Farmers and Ranchers in Midwest (KS, TX, OK)

USDA Announces $6 Million to Aid Fire-Affected Farmers and Ranchers in Midwest

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing the availability of more than $6 million in funding to implement practices that will help private farmers, ranchers and forest landowners affected by the wildfires blazing in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

“We have seen the devastating effects of these wildfires on agricultural operations and the funding announced today can help communities of farmers and ranchers start the process of recovery,” said Acting Deputy Agriculture Secretary Michael Young. “USDA is here to offer assistance, and I encourage producers who experienced losses to take full advantage of our financial and technical assistance to aid in their recovery efforts and alleviate part of the financial burden caused by these tragic events.” Continue reading

03-21-17 NACD: CONSERVATION DISTRICT OFFICIALS FROM ACROSS AMERICA TAKE ON CAPITOL HILL

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NACD: CONSERVATION DISTRICT OFFICIALS FROM ACROSS AMERICA TAKE ON CAPITOL HILL

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2017 – Just days after the release of President Donald Trump’s disappointing budget proposal, the National Association of Conservation Districts is rallying on Capitol Hill for voluntary conservation alongside more than 150 locally-elected conservation district officials and conservation leaders from around the country.

“Today our members will hit the halls of Congress to meet with their representatives and senators face-to-face to discuss the most pressing natural resource issues affecting their districts and communities,” NACD President Brent Van Dyke said.

At this year’s fly-in, district officials will be communicating the value of:

  • Farm bill conservation programs. Because the farm bill is the federal government’s primary tool for setting agriculture and food policy in the United States, NACD has carefully developed nine farm bill principles to promote in and out of farm bill negotiations now and until the next farm bill is passed.

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03-21-17 Beef Checkoff News: Nominations for 12th Annual BQA Awards Now Being Accepted

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Nominations for 12th Annual BQA Awards Now Being Accepted

Nominations for the 2018 national Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Awards are now being accepted. The beef checkoff-funded program, now in its 12th year, recognizes five winners in the areas of beef and dairy beef production, marketing and education.

Categories for the award are:

BQA Cow-Calf, BQA Feedyard and BQA Dairy awards recognize producers who best demonstrate the implementation of BQA principles as part of day-to-day activities on their respective operations;

The BQA Educator Award is open to individuals or companies that provide high quality and innovative training to individuals who care for and handle cattle throughout the industry chain; and

The BQA Marketer Award is open to livestock markets, cattle buyers and supply-chain programs that promote BQA to their customers and offer them opportunities to get certified.

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03-21-17 NFU Salutes Family Farmers and Ranchers on National Ag Day

NFU Salutes Family Farmers and Ranchers on National Ag Day

Highlights Need to Ensure Success of Next Generation

WASHINGTON – Highlighting the important roles family farmers and ranchers play in ensuring food security, National Farmers Union (NFU) joined the agriculture community today in celebrating National Ag Day.

“Family farmers and ranchers play a critical role in providing food, fuel, feed and fiber to both our country and the global population,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “In order to ensure our food security for future generations, we need to be fostering the next generation of family farmers and ranchers today.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, March 21st

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 Tuesday, March 21st

Stabenow Asking for USDA Bird Flu Response Information

Senate Agriculture Committee ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan is asking the Agriculture Department to outline its avian influenza response. Stabenow specifically is asking Acting Deputy Agriculture Secretary Michael Young to explain how the Trump Administration is responding to bird flu outbreaks around the country, according to the Hagstrom Report. Young is the highest ranking official at USDA right now. As Stabenow noted, USDA has found highly pathogenic avian influenza in a commercial flock of 73,000 chickens in Tennessee, and last week detected the same HPAI strain in a nearby flock. Two cases of low-pathogenic avian influenza were also discovered in Wisconsin and Tennessee, followed by three additional suspected cases in Alabama this month. In a letter to Young, Stabenow asked who is in charge of the effort to fight avian influenza, whether the Trump administration’s hiring freeze will affect the effort to fight the disease, and who will handle international trade questions about the presence of HPAI in U.S. commercial flocks, including restrictions that other countries place on imports of U.S. poultry.

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Canada Blocks Poultry, Eggs from Alabama and Tennessee

Canada has moved to block imports of poultry and eggs from select areas in Alabama and Tennessee. The move stems from the two outbreaks of high pathogenic avian influenza in Tennessee and three suspected low pathogenic avian influenza cases in Alabama. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency last week announced restrictions on imports of uncooked poultry products, live birds and eggs from those two states until further notice. Commercial-level poultry and egg imports are restricted only from “specific quarantine zones” within the affected states, according to the agency. Before coming to Canada, cross-border travelers who buy poultry and eggs while visiting the U.S. must have proof that those products originated from states not under the restrictions, according to online publication AgCanada. Canada has been declared free of avian influenza since November of last year.

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Japan, Germany, Pledge to Work Together on Free Trade

Japan and Germany over the weekend announced an agreement to work together on free trade. The announcement follows President Donald Trump’s removal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which included Japan. TPP was estimated to be worth $4 billion to U.S. agriculture. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (sheen-zoh ah-bay) both called for a free trade deal to be reached quickly between Japan and the European Union. Neither leader mentioned the United States, but Reuters says the move is seen as a positioning away from protectionists trade views demonstrated by President Trump. The comments also follow a meeting of TPP nations last week in Chile focusing on the next chapter of the trade agreement without the United States.

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Senate Ag Sets Perdue Hearing Time

The Senate Agriculture Committee Monday announced the time for Sonny Perdue’s confirmation hearing. Perdue is the last in line for a confirmation hearing, after being the last cabinet nominee announced by then President-elect Donald Trump a day before his inauguration into office. The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold the hearing Thursday at 10 a.m. Eastern. The delay is likely attributed to the delay in announcing and then making the nomination of Perdue to be the next Agriculture Secretary. Following the January 19th announcement, Perdue’s ethics paperwork and FBI background check weren’t finished and forwarded to the Senate Agriculture Committee until earlier this month. Perdue, a former Governor of Georgia, has received widespread support from agricultural trade groups and is expected to receive little resistance from the Senate Agriculture Committee.

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China Halts Meat Imports from Brazil

China is blocking meat imports from Brazil until the nation can provide more information about an investigation into a bribery scheme to release sanitary licenses for meat products. Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture agreed to provide all requested information, according to meat industry publication Meatingplace. China was the only country to officially communicate with the Brazilian government about the investigations. The move comes after an investigation that started last week into the bribery scheme. Brazil closed three meat packing plants and removed 33 public employees from their jobs. The investigation includes meatpacking plants owned by JBS and BRF. The Brazilian government and representatives of the meat industry in Brazil have said the processing facilities investigated by federal police represent only a very small part of the country’s meat industry. Only 21 meat processing plants out near 5,000 units subjected to federal inspection in Brazil have been cited in the investigation, according to the federal government.

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Judge Dismisses Des Moines Water Works Lawsuit

A federal judge late Friday dismissed a lawsuit over nutrients runoff filed by Des Moines Water Works against Iowa drainage districts in the Raccoon River watershed. DTN reports the lawsuit was dismissed by a federal judge who said the Iowa General Assembly is the appropriate body to address the state’s water quality issues and not the court. The lawsuit was filed in March of 2015 against trustees of 10 drainage districts. The complaint alleged the drainage districts were point-source polluters as defined by the Clean Water Act. The lawsuit sought damages against the districts for nitrates runoff polluting sources of drinking water. The ruling claims Des Moines Water Works has no authority to sue the drainage districts, but the ruling did not address whether agricultural drainage tile is a pollution point source in the Clean Water Act. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said in a statement that “the dismissal of this lawsuit is very welcome news.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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