04-04-17 AT&T Text-to-Donate Option Provides Additional Ways to Support Relief, Recovery Through Colorado Farm Bureau

AT&T Text-to-Donate Option Provides Additional Ways to Support Relief,
Recovery Through Colorado Farm Bureau

Centennial, Colo., – April 4, 2017 – As communities begin rebuilding and gathering funds to help victims of Colorado’s wildfires on the Eastern Plains, AT&T and the Colorado Farm Bureau Foundation have launched a text-to-give campaign to help spread the word.  Residents of Logan and Phillips counties recently experienced destructive wildfires on the Eastern Plains destroying over 32,000 acres of land, homes and structures, over 500 miles of fence and hundreds of cattle.

Those wishing to support recovery efforts for the Northeast Colorado wildfire and future rural disasters  can text WILDFIRE to 27722 make a $10 donation*.

“We appreciate AT&T and MGive’s efforts to help us recover from this disaster. Rural Colorado is lucky to have such comitted partners in its time of need,” said Colorado Farm Bureau President, Don Shawcroft, a rancher from Conejos county.

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04-04-17 American Agri-Women Announces “Ag Day is Every Day” Campaign

American Agri-Women Announces “Ag Day is Every Day” Campaign

#AgDay365 raises awareness about who produces our nation’s food, fiber and energy supply, every day, and connects producers with consumers.

COLCHESTER, Vermont, April 4, 2017 – American Agri-Women (AAW) announces its “Ag Day is Every Day Campaign,” and invites farmers, ranchers and consumers to join in and celebrate the fact that everyone is part of agriculture, every day. The campaign is also raising awareness about who produces our nation’s abundant food, fiber and energy supply.

American Agri-Women is the nation’s largest coalition of farm, ranch and agri-business women. The “Ag Day is Every Day” campaign, or #AgDay365, is inspired by and builds on the important connections made on National Ag Day, which was celebrated in March and organized by the Agriculture Council of America.

“American agriculture is among the best in the world — why not celebrate this fact every day? We want to raise up and connect the voices of those in agriculture with consumers,” says Doris Mold, president of American Agri-Women. Mold owns and operates a dairy farm in Wisconsin with her family and is a farm management consultant and educator. Continue reading

04-04-17 Reflections on the 2017 Mountain West Seed Summit

Reflections on the 2017 Mountain West Seed Summit

Photo credit: Seth Roffman

We are still buzzing from the energy and inspiration of the first Mountain West Seed Summit. It was a dizzying effort, but with support from so many, including our Summit partner the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, the conference went off without a hitch! Continue reading

04-04-17 Support Agricultural Education on May 4 for Culver’s Scoops of Thanks Day

Support Agricultural Education on May 4 for Culver’s Scoops of Thanks Day

Receive a scoop of Culver’s Fresh Frozen Custard by donating $1

PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. – Apr. 4, 2017 – What’s better than enjoying a scoop of Fresh Frozen Custard? Enjoying a scoop of Fresh Frozen Custard while supporting future agricultural leaders, of course. On Thursday, May 4, Culver’s restaurants will host the third annual Scoops of Thanks Day, when guests can stop by any Culver’s and donate $1 to the National FFA Organization and other local agricultural organizations in exchange for a single scoop of Fresh Frozen Custard.

Last year, Scoops of Thanks Day raised $56,500 for local FFA chapters and other agricultural organizations selected by each restaurant. FFA is a national youth organization whose mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

“We’re proud to support our local FFA chapters, as they provide young people with the education and resources they need to prepare for successful ag careers,” said Jessie Corning, senior marketing manager at Culver’s. “Scoops of Thanks Day gives our guests a great opportunity to join us in our support of ag students.” Continue reading

04-04-17 John Halverson Elected to Lead Potatoes USA 2017-2018


John Halverson Elected to Lead Potatoes USA 2017-2018

DENVER (April 4, 2017)—John Halverson of Arbyrd, MO, was appointed Chair of Potatoes USA on March 16, 2017, at the organization’s 45th Annual Meeting in Denver, CO. He will be serving his fifth year on the Board and his third year on its Executive Committee. In 2015, he served as Co-Chair of the Domestic Marketing committee, and in 2016 he served as Co-Chair of the International Marketing Committee. Halverson has been involved with potato production his entire life, and works out of Black Gold Farms business unit in Arbyrd, MO. Black Gold Farms is a global production, sales and service operation, specializing in potatoes for the chip, fresh and seed markets. John is primarily involved in the chip-stock and fresh sectors of the industry. Sweet potatoes, wheat, corn and soybeans are also grown on their farms.

“I have a passion for potatoes,” Halverson said. “It is what my family has done for generations, and we all love it with a passion. My brother, Eric and sister, Leah and I are fourth generation farmers in our business, which dates back to 1928 in the Red River Valley of North Dakota.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, April 4th

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, April 4th

Farm Groups Urge Senate to Confirm Perdue This Week

The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Grain and Feed Association are calling on the U.S. Senate to confirm Sonny Perdue as Agriculture Secretary this week, before a two-week recess that starts Friday. In a joint statement, the two groups said: “We need him at USDA to begin addressing a backlog of policy issues that are awaiting his attention and to begin the process of filling key positions within the department.” AFBF and NGFA noted that Perdue has the bipartisan support of six former agriculture secretaries, as well as the support of nearly 700 agriculture groups from across the nation. If the Senate fails to schedule a vote this week, his confirmation vote may be delayed until the last week of April, due to the two-week recess. However, getting the vote on the schedule this week may be held up by the confirmation vote for Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch, which is subject to threatened opposition by Senate Democrats.


Agriculture Groups Pushing Estate Tax Repeal

A coalition of more than 30 agriculture groups is pressing Congress to repeal the estate tax. A letter sent to the House Ways and Means Committee asked that any tax reform package include permanent repeal of the estate tax. Sometimes referred to as the “death tax,” the levy is imposed on the net value – less an exemption – of an owner’s assets transferred at death. For the 2016 tax year, the exemptions for the estate tax are $5.45 million for an individual and $10.9 million for couples. Transferred estates valued at more than those figures are subject to a maximum tax rate of 40 percent on the amount of assets above those levels. The agriculture groups, which includes the National Pork Producers Council, wrote in the letter saying: “The estate tax is especially damaging to agriculture because we are a land-based, capital-intensive industry with few options for paying estate taxes when they come due.”


Guatemala to Eliminate Tariffs on U.S. Chicken Products

Guatemala has agreed to end tariffs on select U.S. chicken products years earlier than planned. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office Monday said an agreement between the U.S. and Guatemala calls for the elimination of the 12.5 percent tariff on U.S. exports of fresh, frozen and chilled chicken leg quarters this month. The agreement is part of negotiations under the Central American Free Trade Agreement, according to Politico. Under the agreement, the U.S. and Guatemala will also establish a tariff rate quota allowing imports of 1,000 metric tons of processed chicken leg quarters to enter duty-free each year through December 31, 2021. Any remaining tariffs and quotas will be eliminated, effective January 1, 2022. Sales of U.S. chicken leg quarters to Guatemala totaled $82 million in 2016, about eight percent of the country’s total U.S. agricultural imports of $1.1 billion last year.


Canada Attempting to Deepen Trade Ties with China

Canada is doubling down on a push to deepen trade ties with China in a new effort that allows the nation to move ahead on a free-trade deal without quickly advancing extradition treaty talks. Bloomberg reports cabinet members for Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (True-doh) will begin following through on a plan by Trudeau to increase trade. Trudeau’s Trade Ambassador says: “It takes two to tango, but I think the Chinese are also wanting to go in this direction.” Bloomberg points out that the China file is one of Trudeau’s most delicate balancing acts. On one hand, it’s a massive economy with ample demand for Canadian resources. On the other, its human-rights record is a political problem for Trudeau, with polls showing at best lukewarm support for closer ties. The expanded ties Canada is seeking aren’t limited to a free trade pact, it wants more foreign investment, more Chinese tourists and to send more Canadian students to China. There’s little word yet what any expanded trade ties would mean for Canadian agriculture.


Protectionist Trade Rhetoric Not Beneficial for Global Ag Companies

The CEO of Deere and Company told CNBC trade rhetoric by President Donald Trump and prospects of a border tax are “worrisome” for global companies. Deere’s Samuel Allen says that “any form of protectionism or nationalism, on the whole, is not beneficial for a company like ours, or any global company.” While Allen notes that a border adjustment tax slapping a 20 percent tariff on imports could help Deere, he says the company is “very concerned” about the proposal’s potential impact on its farmer customers. Allen stated: “If, as a result of the adjustment tax, it has an unintended consequence of causing countries like China and Mexico to buy their ag commodities from other countries, that would be negative for U.S. farmers that do a lot of exporting to China, Canada and Mexico.” Mexico, the top buyer of U.S. corn, has threatened to counter any proposed tax or negative trade impacts from changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement to purchase agricultural commodities from other nations.


FMC Deal to Slow Dow-DuPont Merger

An agreement between FMC and DuPont to swap some agricultural business units will delay the Dow-DuPont merger. FMC announced last week it would purchase DuPont’s crop protection business and sell off most of its health and nutrition business to DuPont, a move that will allow the Dow-DuPont merger to gain approval by the European Union. However, Reuters reports the move will slow the approval process for the merger between Dow and DuPont. The merger, which was expected to close in the first half of 2017, is now anticipated to close between August and September of this year. The Dow-DuPont merger is still to be approved by regulators in the United States, Brazil, China, Australia and Canada. The deal with FMC is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, subject to the closing of the DuPont-Dow merger.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service