05-01-17 NMPF IDFA Joint News Release: Dairy Industry Applauds USDA Secretary Perdue for Supporting School Milk Options

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Dairy Industry Applauds USDA Secretary Perdue for Supporting School Milk Options

Washington, D.C. – Dairy leaders thanked newly confirmed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for recognizing the important role school milk plays in ensuring school-aged children get the nutrition they need.

In one of his first actions as Secretary of Agriculture, Perdue visited Catoctin Elementary School in Leesburg, Va., to announce that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will implement regulations to allow school districts to again offer low-fat (1%) flavored milk as part of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs. Under the Obama Administration, USDA eliminated low-fat flavored milk as an option in the school meal and a la carte programs. Since then, consumption of school milk declined, as did overall participation in the school lunch program.

“In just the first two years after low-fat flavored milk was removed from the program, 1.1 million fewer school students drank milk with their lunch,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “Secretary Perdue’s action today recognizes that a variety of milks and other healthy dairy foods are integral to child nutrition programs in schools.” Continue reading

05-01-17 National Young Farmers Coalition applauds CO General Assembly for creating Interim Study Committee on Young and Beginning Farmers in CO

NYFC - National Young Farmers Coalition logoNational Young Farmers Coalition applauds Colorado General Assembly for creating Interim Study Committee on Young and Beginning Farmers in Colorado

DURANGO, CO – May 1, 2017  The Colorado General Assembly’s creation Friday of an Interim Study Committee on Young and Beginning Farmers in Colorado was applauded by the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC), the only national advocacy organization to focus solely on new farmers and ranchers.

“The National Young Farmers Coalition applauds the Colorado General Assembly for approving the creation of the Interim Study Committee on Young and Beginning Farmers in Colorado,” said Kate Greenberg, NYFC Western Program Director.  “We look forward to working with members of the General Assembly to build policies and programs that will allow young farmers and ranchers in Colorado to thrive now and into the future.” Continue reading

05-01-17 Country music sensation Jake Owen to headline Cattle Barons Ball Sept 9th…

Country music sensation Jake Owen to headline American Cancer Society Cattle Barons Ball Sept.9th

LANCO to open

GREELEY, Colo., (May 1, 2017) – Country music star Jake Owen will headline the American Cancer Society 25th Anniversary Northern Colorado Cattle Barons Ball at the Budweiser Events Center, Saturday, Sept. 9. This year’s theme is Barefoot Blue Jean Night.

Named “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” during the 2012 American Country Awards, Owen’s latest album, American Love, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums last year. LANCO, a modern country band with southern roots, will open for Owen.

The Cattle Barons Ball starts as a private gala held on the floor of the arena from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Doors open to the public for the Jake Owen concert starting at 8 p.m.

Concert only tickets go on sale May 5 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased at www.budweisereventscenter.com, the Budweiser Events Center Box office or call 1-877-544-TIXX. For more information on the Cattle Barons Ball event, visit www.CBBNoco.com.

“Cancer touches lives and changes them forever,” said Dana Hamilton, American Cancer Society senior director of major gifts. “Thanks to the Weld County community who started this great event 25 years ago, the Cattle Barons Ball has raised nearly $7 million to support the fight against the disease.” Continue reading

05-01-17 CSFS: CO Governor Hickenlooper Proclaims May 6 “Wildfire Preparedness Day”

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CSFS: CO Governor Hickenlooper Proclaims May 6 “Wildfire Preparedness Day”

05-01-17 FFA Members to Participate in Town Hall with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

FFA Members to Participate in Town Hall with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue; Chief Executive Officer of the National FFA Organization Mark Poeschl; FFA members.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue participated in a question and answer session with FFA members via YouTube Live. on Monday, May 1, 2-3 p.m at CS Monroe Technology Center, Leesburg, Va.; A satellite location will be at the National FFA Center, 6060 FFA Drive, Indianapolis, Ind.

Additional Information: The National FFA Organization will participate in a simulcast question and answer session with the new Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, on Monday, May 1. Chapters participating in the YouTube Live event include:

  • Hudson FFA in Hudson, Iowa
  • Dover FFA in Dover, N.H.
  • Greeley FFA in Greeley, Colo.
  • CS Monroe Technology Center FFA in Leesburg, Va.
  • Eau Claire FFA in Eau Claire, Wis.Indiana FFA members will be in attendance at the National FFA Center for the event.

05-01-17 USDA Ag Secretary Perdue Moves to Make School Meals Great Again

USDA Ag Secretary Perdue Moves to Make School Meals Great Again

Local Control of Whole Grains, Sodium, Milk to Make Meals Healthful, Appealing

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue, joined by Sen. Pat Roberts (left) & Tom Marshall, Loudoun County School Board, signs a proclamation.

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue, joined by Sen. Pat Roberts (left) & Tom Marshall, Loudoun County School Board, signs a proclamation.

LEESBURG, VA, May 1, 2017 U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide greater flexibility in nutrition requirements for school meal programs in order to make food choices both healthful and appealing to students.  Perdue made the announcement during a visit to Catoctin Elementary School in Leesburg, Virginia to mark School Nutrition Employee Week.  Perdue signed a proclamation which begins the process of restoring local control of guidelines on whole grains, sodium, and milk.  Perdue was joined by Sen. Pat Roberts (KS), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and Patricia Montague, CEO of the School Nutrition Association.

“This announcement is the result of years of feedback from students, schools, and food service experts about the challenges they are facing in meeting the final regulations for school meals,” Perdue said.  “If kids aren’t eating the food, and it’s ending up in the trash, they aren’t getting any nutrition – thus undermining the intent of the program.” Continue reading

05-01-17 *CSU Ext News* WHEAT UPDATE

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Wheat Update

Dr. Kirk Broders, Plant Pathologist, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management and RF Meyer Area Extension Agronomist, Colorado State University

Wheat field observations have been taking place throughout northeast Colorado this spring from various on-farm testing sites.   We’ve been looking for wheat pest production issues and have found various pests.  Evidence of Brown Wheat Mite was found at numerous locations.  However, this dry weather wheat insect pest was controlled by the late March precipitation received and is no longer an issue in the current production year.  One field had Russian Wheat Aphid, but it was found below economic treatment levels.  Cutworm damage was not observed at locations inspected.  Continue reading

05-01-17 NFU Calls on FTC to Oppose ChemChina Acquisition of Syngenta

NFU Calls on FTC to Oppose ChemChina Acquisition of Syngenta

WASHINGTON – Continuing a long tradition of advocating for competitive marketplaces for family farmers and ranchers, National Farmers Union (NFU) today urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to oppose the proposed China National Chemical Corp’s (ChemChina) acquisition of Syngenta AG.

In public comments to FTC Secretary Donald S. Clark, NFU President Roger Johnson asserted that the deal further consolidates the highly globalized agricultural inputs sector. This decreases competition amongst the few companies that dominate the marketplace, limiting choice and raising prices for family farmers.

“ChemChina’s proposed takeover of Syngenta would disrupt trade flows and accelerate the international consolidation of food and agribusiness industries,” said Johnson. “We urge you to stand up for family farmers and ranchers and oppose the merger.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, May 1st

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 Monday, May 1st

Most Wisconsin Dairy Farmers Find Milk Buyers

It appears most Wisconsin dairy farmers caught up in the trade dispute with Canada have found new buyers for their milk. This good news allows them to stay in business and literally comes days before they may have had to shut their doors for good. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says 58 farms had been in danger of closing. The farm sizes ranged from 80 cows to as high as 3,000. Grassland Dairy Products of Greenwood, Wisconsin, had said this Monday, May 1, was the date it would stop buying milk from those producers. Greenwood says a trade dispute with Canada had cost the company millions of dollars. Canada recently changed its milk-buying arrangements to favor Canadian producers at the expense of U.S. dairy farmers. As of Thursday (April 27), dairy farmers close to the situation tell the Journal-Sentinel that it appears all the farmers who lost their contracts with Grassland now will have buyers by Monday, even though some may be on short-term contracts. Some of the new buyers come from Wisconsin-based companies like Rolling Hills Dairy Cooperative and Mullins Cheese, as well as Dairy Farmers of America.

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Trump Threatens to Terminate ‘KORUS’

In a recent interview, President Donald Trump threatened to terminate a trade agreement with South Korea, which he referred to as a “horrible deal that’s left America destroyed.” A Washington Post article says Trump sharply criticized the U.S. free trade agreement with South Korea, known as “KORUS,” which was most recently ratified in 2011. “It’s a Hillary Clinton disaster, a deal that should never have been made,” Trump said, “it’s a one-way street.” South Korea is the sixth-largest trading partner with the U.S. However, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative says America’s trade deficit with Korea was $27.7 billion last year. The week of May first marks an anniversary for the trade deal, which triggers a review period that could lead to renegotiation or termination of the deal by either side. The president says the process to terminate KORUS is much simpler than the process for NAFTA. “With NAFTA, if we terminate tomorrow, it ends in six months.” Trump says, “With KORUS if we terminate, it’s over.” South Korea’s Trade Ministry told the Associated Press it has no plans to renegotiate the deal.

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Farmer Opinions on Trump’s First 100-Days

A new Farm Journal poll offers farmer perspective on Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office. In fact, Farm Journal has tracked farmer opinions on Trump since 2015. Several polls conducted in 2015 and 2016 showed Trump was the clear favorite candidate within the ag sector. The most recent Farm Journal poll wanted to know if farmers were still happy with their choice after his first 100 days in office. The results of the new poll show that farmers still seem to be happy with their choice. 43 percent of the respondents give Trump an A grade on his first 100 days, while another 30 percent would give him a B. 12 percent gave Trump a C grade, while 15 percent would give a D or F. Trump’s first 100 days have been active, assembling a cabinet, signing more than 30 executive orders, and signing 28 pieces of legislation into law. There are several items on Trump’s to-do list that will impact farmers. They include infrastructure upgrades, immigration reform, tax cuts, and renegotiating trade agreements. Trump’s approval rating outside agriculture is much lower, right at 39 percent.

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Perdue Convinces Trump not to Terminate NAFTA

The new Secretary of Agriculture played a big part in convicing President Trump to not pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement. He had a little help from the Secretary of Commerce in doing so. Daily Caller Dot Com reports that just days after taking office, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue persuaded the President to change his mind after reports surfaced that an Executive Order was being prepared to withdraw the country from NAFTA. Perdue, with help from Secretary Ross, showed Trump a map of the many different regions that would be hit hard if America withdrew from NAFTA. Many of those areas included rural parts of the country that voted overwhelmingly to help get Trump elected President last year. During a recent speech in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Trump said, “NAFTA has been very, very bad for our country.” As recent as this week, he ramped up the anti-NAFTA rhetoric, saying, “I was all set to terminate as of Thursday.” Sources say he changed his mind shortly after looking at the map. After speaking with the leaders of Mexico and Canada, Trump announced the U.S. will renegotiate the agreement rather than leave it entirely.

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Florida Teacher Calls Ag Students “Murderers”

A Florida teacher is on the verge of losing his job after bullying and harassing FFA students that were raising livestock to be sold for slaughter. An Associated Press article says Thomas Allison, Jr., who teaches middle school at the Horizon Academy at Marion Oaks, has been placed on unpaid leave. A Marion County School District letter documenting the case notes that he called students who are raising livestock “murderers.” Superintendent of Schools Heidi Maier has written a recommendation of termination. The recommendation states that Allison, “has engaged in a repeated, egregious pattern of mistreating, ridiculing, insulting, intimidating, embarrassing bullying and abusing FFA students, crushing their dreams and causing them to feel that they must discontinue FFA activities to enjoy a peaceful school environment.” A local newspaper reported that Allison is accused of harassing the FFA group’s teacher/adviser, as well as encouraging his honors science students to harass FFA members. A direct investigation says Allison is on a mission to eradicate the animal agriculture program because of his animal rights beliefs. Allison adds that he won’t stop speaking up against animal agriculture and will fight for his job at an upcoming hearing before the school board.

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Tight Fuel Ethanol Supplies in Brazil Boost U.S. Exports

U.S. Fuel Ethanol exports are up sharply in the current marketing year, thanks in part to tighter fuel supplies in Brazil, which are resulting in higher U.S. imports. The change can be traced to an increase in the price of sugar in Brazil, which comes from stronger export demand for Brazilian sugar products. As a result of that higher demand, the country’s sugarcane refiners have shifted away from fuel ethanol and put most of their processing capacity toward sugar. Brazil has a mandate of 27 percent ethanol inclusion into gasoline, so the decline in output has left fuel providers short on supplies. The shortfall in Brazil has led to an increase in ethanol imports from America, where corn is much more abundant. U.S. shipments of ethanol to Brazil first began to rise in October of 2016. From October 2016 through February 2017, fuel ethanol shipments to Brazil surged 547 percent, compared with the same period a year earlier. In addition, U.S. shipments to the world rose 65 percent, and exports to Canada, also a major buyer, rose by 57 percent. 

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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