04-07-17 Meeting Announcement: CDA’s Farm Products/Commodity Handler Programs for Colorado’s Industrial Hemp Industry

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Meeting Announcement: CDA’s Farm Products/Commodity Handler Programs for Colorado’s Industrial Hemp Industry

The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) will be hosting a public meeting to provide information on the CDA Farm Product Dealer Program as it relates to the commercial use of industrial hemp in Colorado.

This meeting will provide beneficial information for industrial hemp producers, processors, and anyone interested in becoming a Farm Product Dealer or a Commodity Handler of industrial hemp. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., at Colorado Department of Agriculture, 305 Interlocken Parkway, Broomfield, CO 80021. For those unable to attend, a livestream will be broadcast on the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/coloradoagriculture.

“Under the CDA Industrial Hemp Registration Program, the number of Colorado farmers registered to grow industrial hemp is growing at a rapid pace. As a result, the CDA has launched an effort to bring dealers of unprocessed industrial hemp into compliance with the CDA Farm Product and Commodity Handler Acts,” said CDA’s Inspection and Consumer Services Division Technical Section Chief, Hollis Glenn. “These programs provide important financial protection to Colorado producers who entrust their agricultural products and commodities to dealers with the expectation of future payment.”

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04-07-17 CSU Ext’s Schoderbek’s Meeting with CO Senator Sonnenberg: NE CO Wildfires & More

Senator Jerry Sonnenberg and CSU-Extension Range Specialist Donald Schoderbek on the Colorado Senate floor, following a meeting held on April 7th, 2017.  Topics of discussion included the recent Logan/Phillips range fires, urbanization/land use change, and drought.

CSU Ext’s Schoderbek’s Meeting with CO Senator Sonnenberg: NE CO Wildfires & More

On Friday morning, April 7th, CSU-Extension Range Specialist Donald Schoderbek met with Colorado Senator Jerry Sonnenberg on the Colorado Senate floor.  Topics of discussion included the recent Logan/Phillips range fires, urbanization/land use change, and drought.I was also lucky to be invited to sit in on the session from the floor following our meeting, and watch the Senate pass the budget.

Below please find a copy of the information that was discussed with CO Senator Sonnenberg :  Continue reading

04-07-17 US Senator Bennet: Bipartisan Group of Senators Look to Permanently Reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund

US Senator Bennet: Bipartisan Group of Senators Look to Permanently Reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund

EPA awarding additional reimbursements based on Bennet’s legislation

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Burr (R-NC), and others today introduced legislation to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which protects and promotes access to America’s parks, rivers, forests, and public lands.

“Access to Colorado’s open spaces is critical to our thriving outdoor recreation economy,” Bennet said. “The LWCF has supported hundreds of projects across Colorado, from protecting the Ophir Valley to expanding and improving the Animas River Trail to providing Denver kids with outdoor educational opportunities in their own neighborhoods. We should pass this bill to reauthorize the program permanently, and at the same time, Congress should move to ensure the LWCF receives full and dedicated funding going forward.”

“The LWCF has a proven track record of making good on the promise of conserving our parks, open spaces, and wildlife habitats for the benefit of future generations of Americans,” Burr said. “My colleagues and I offer this bill to permanently extend the LWCF, a program that preserves our natural heritage but does so without asking American taxpayers to shoulder the burden. I look forward to my colleagues coming together to pass this bipartisan legislation.”

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04-07-17 CFVGA Announces 2017 Leadership Team

Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association Announces 2017 Leadership Team

Robert Sakata, Sakata Farms, Brighton, Colo., was elected last month by the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) board of directors to serve a fourth year as president of the association. He has been elected president each year, since 2014 when CFVGA was founded.
Other officers elected include Roger Mix, Mix Farms, Center, Colo., vice president; and Glenn Hirakata, Hirakata Farms, Rocky Ford, Colo., secretary. Reid Fishering, Mountain Quality Sweet Corn, Olathe, Colo., was re-elected treasurer.
David Asbury, Rocky Mountain Pumpkin Ranch/Full Circle Farms, Boulder, Colo., was elected by the board in January to fill the term of resigning board member Jason Condon. Asbury, who grew up on a farm west of Longmont and studied agriculture at Colorado State University (CSU), started his own farm with just five acres off Highway 66 in Boulder County. His operation has become a local landmark and designation for consumers who enjoy his seasonal produce market and annual fall festival. A certified organic grower, he is most known for his chiles and fall squash.
Additions to the board elected by the membership Feb. 21, during the CFVGA annual business meeting and convention include Grant Mattive, Worley Family Farms, Sargent, Colo., and Jeni Lamb Rogers, Holland and Hart LLP, Denver, Colo. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, April 7th

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, April 7th

Farmers and Ranchers Want Comprehensive Tax Reform

The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing this week to look at how the tax code currently in place affects farmers, ranchers, and the rural communities they live in. The American Farm Bureau was one of the organizations giving testimony. Pat Wolff, Senior Director of Congressional Relations, told the committee that farmers and ranchers need more flexibility built into the tax code. The goal would be to give farmers the flexibility to grow during the good times and help them adapt to situations often beyond their control when tough times hit. The House has proposed ideas for tax reform, many of which the Farm Bureau supports. Some of the proposals include reducing income tax rates, reducing capital gains taxes, immediate business expensing, and repealing the estate tax. Wolff says Farm Bureau has ideas that would improve the proposed changes to the tax code, including reinstating benefits like the deduction for business interest expense and guaranteeing the continuation of stepped-up basis, cash accounting, and like-kind exchanges. “Running a farm and ranch business is challenging under the best conditions,” Wolff said in her testimony. “Farmers and ranchers need a tax code that recognizes the unique financial challenges that impact them.”


Canada Trade Policies Hurting Rural America

A number of U.S. dairy organizations are asking the Trump Administration to take steps against Canadian trade policies they’re calling “protectionist.” They say Canada is shutting the door on American dairy exports in violation of trade agreements between the two countries. The National Milk Producers Federation, the U.S. Dairy Export Council, and the International Dairy Foods Association want the president and northern state governors to take immediate action in response to Canada’s violation of its trade commitments. The groups say the new “Class 7” pricing policy is expressly designed to place U.S. dairy exports at a disadvantage. As a result of the new policy, multiple dairy companies in New York and Wisconsin have had to tell their farmers the Canadian market for their exports has dried up. For some farmers, this means the company that processes their milk and ships it to Canada will no longer be accepting their milk starting in May. Tom Vilsack, President and CEO of the Dairy Export Council, says, “While farm families in the northeast and midwest are the ones suffering the immediate consequences, thousands more will suffer if Canada persists in using its programs to distort global milk powder markets that are critical to tens of thousands of dairy farmers.”


Six Biotech Giants Dropping to Three by Year’s End

Politico’s Morning Agriculture Report says the European Union’s approval of the ChemChina merger with Syngenta means the ball is likely rolling for the six biggest biotech companies to be whittled down to three by the end of this year. A day before the E.U. approved the deal, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission also okayed the deal as long as certain stipulations were met that require ChemChina to sell off parts of its business that overlap with Syngenta. Now that the U.S. and E.U. have approved the deal, the two companies need the approval of China, India, and Mexico to complete their $43 million deal. Politico says the next deal likely to close will be the biggest. It’s the $130 billion merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont, which still requires the approval of the U.S., Brazil, and China. There’s still a $66 billion dollar deal between Bayer CropSciences and Monsanto to complete yet. The two companies are still looking for approval from up to 30 nation groups. However, they do expect to get an answer from the U.S. and the E.U. by the end of June, which they say would put the deal on track to be completed by the last quarter of this year.


Ag Groups Oppose Air Traffic Control Privatization

The Ag Retailers Association, the National Farmers Union, and a host of other groups sent a letter to Congress opposing the possible privatizing of the nation’s air traffic control system. The groups say a proposal to privatize the national air traffic system is being pushed by many of the bigger airlines. The idea would take air traffic control out from under Congressional oversight and put it under the control of a board made up of mostly commercial interests. The board would oversee things like taxes and fees, to airport investments and access. The letter arrived this week as the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee is holding a hearing on reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration. The letter says, “Rural communities, agriculture, and small businesses would stand to lose the most under a privatized system. There would be no Congressional oversight to ensure that all stakeholders and communities have access to equal transportation. A privatized system likely will direct most resources to the larger airport hubs in urban areas.”


Kansas Senators Ask USDA for Flexibility

Senator Pat Roberts and Congressman Roger Marshall, both Kansas Republicans, sent a letter this week to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on behalf of Kansas ranchers affected by the recent wildfires. The letter requested some flexibility on the part of the USDA in responding to what’s been a significant natural disaster. The lawmakers said in the letter that over 700,000 acres across the state were burned and local officials are still assessing the total damages. “As a result of the wildfires, farmers and ranchers across Kansas are in need of assistance to protect their property, livestock, and livelihood in a number of ways,” they said in the letter. They went on to say response efforts to this kind of disaster will require a certain amount of flexibility to respond appropriately to local and county circumstances. “We’d like to request that USDA considers any further requests, particularly those requests that have garnered local consensus, including additional conservation practices eligible for emergency grazing.”  


Drone Operators on Farms Asked to be Extra Cautious

The National Agricultural Aviation Association wants to remind farmers using drones on their operations this year to remember to keep an eye out for agricultural aircraft flying low over their fields. Agricultural aviators often fly as low as ten feet off the ground, and this year may find themselves in the same airspace as drones that are licensed to fly as high as 400 feet off the ground. That’s why the National Ag Aviation Association is urging farmers to do what they can to watch out for the larger aircraft. Executive Director Andrew Moore says, “When flying at speeds over 140 miles per hour, agricultural aviators likely won’t see a UAV. That’s why it’s so important for drone operators to protect aviators any way they can.” In tests conducted by the Colorado Agricultural Aviators Association and the state of Colorado, not one pilot could continually track a 28-inch drone while flying at regular speeds. They may be spotted for a second but won’t be continually seen, so it’s up to drone operators to prevent potential collisions.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service