05-22-17 RFA Congratulates Governor Branstad on Senate Approval to be U.S. Ambassador to China

RFA-Renewable Fuels Association LogoRFA Congratulates Governor Branstad on Senate Approval to be U.S. Ambassador to China

WASHINGTON- This evening, the U.S. Senate gave final approval to the nomination of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to be U.S. Ambassador to China. Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen had the following comment:

“The RFA congratulates Governor Branstad on his new post. As the longest-serving governor in American history, Terry Branstad has been one of the most effective advocates for value-added agriculture, farmers and ethanol. Today, with the U.S. ethanol industry continuing its international expansion of ethanol and high-protein feed, we look forward to working with Ambassador Branstad to ensure consumers in China and around the world have access to both the cleanest, lowest-cost and highest source of octane on the planet and cost-effective protein for poultry and cattle. Ambassador Branstad will be an effective and ardent advocate for President Trump’s commitment to putting America first around the world.” Continue reading

05-22-17 CO House Republicans: Rep. Catlin’s bill protecting water rights gets signed into law

Rep. Catlin’s bill protecting water rights gets signed into law
DENVER—Yesterday in Cortez Colorado, the governor signed Senate Bill 117, sponsored by Representative Marc Catlin (R-Montrose). The new law, which took effect upon the governor’s signature, confirms a person with a recognized water right designated for agricultural use can use that water to grow industrial hemp in Colorado.
Senate Bill 117 is in response to facilities around the state banning farmers from choosing to grow industrial hemp. While industrial hemp is part of the cannabis genus, it is not considered a drug and contains very little tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. Non-drug industrial hemp is currently used to make paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction equipment, health food, and fuel.
Catlin issued the following statement regarding the new law:

Continue reading

05-22-17 Inside the BARN with Northern Water’s Brian Werner: WGFP Final Approval and more…

(The BARN – Briggsdale, CO) May 22, 2017 – After 14 years, the Windy Gap Firming Project received FINAL APPROVAL from the US Army Corps of Engineers.   The WGFP is an effort by Northern Water’s Municipal Subdistrict to construct a 90,000 acre-foot reservoir at Chimney Hollow just west of Carter Lake and near Berthoud, CO. The project’s formal environmental permitting process began in October 2003, although the initial development of the WGFP began in the mid-1990s.

Brian Werner, Communications and Records Manager with Northern Water in Berthoud, CO discussed several topics within the interview including:

  • Chimney Hollow Reservoir Final Approval
  • What’s next and timelines for construction & completion
  • Glade Reservoir Update
  • Recapping CO Legislative Session from Northern Water’s Perspective
  • and more


Learn more about Northern Water’s Water Projects by visiting http://www.northernwater.org/WaterProjects/WaterProjects.aspx 

Learn more about Northern Water, please visit http://www.northernwater.org

05-22-17 CDA: The Status of Honey Bees– What’s the Buzz?

The Status of Honey Bees– What’s the Buzz?

Colorado Department of Agriculture Shares the Latest Survey Data on the Health of Managed Honey Bees in Colorado

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Bee pollinators play a crucial role in natural and agricultural ecosystems and contribute over $200 billion in revenue from vegetable, fruit and nut production in the United States.  To gain a better understanding of current honey bee health in Colorado, the Colorado Department of Agriculture has taken part in the National Honey Bee Health Survey for the last three years.
“Scientific surveys and research on honey bee health bear out that the past decade has been challenging for beekeeping with a decline in managed hives in the US,” said Laura Pottorff, CDA Division of Plant Industry’s Apiary Program Manager. “Honey bees are a crucial part of our environment and the national survey provides a valuable insight into the state of managed honey bees in Colorado.”
The Survey is an initiative sponsored by United States Department of Agriculture, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) and the Bee Informed Partnership.  Honey bee researchers agree that there are many factors responsible for the challenges facing the valuable pollinator:

Continue reading

05-22-17 CCA: Important Dates for Convention and Hotel Reservations

CCA: Important Dates for Convention and Hotel Reservations

Not Too Late to Register for Annual Convention or Reserve Hotel Rooms!

Colorado Cattlemen’s Association’s 150th Annual Convention is just around the corner on June 12-14, 2017 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Grand Junction, CO.  If you haven’t already registered for convention or booked your hotel room, don’t miss these dates: Continue reading

05-11-17 Make Your Plans to Attend the Colorado Water Congress 2017 Summer Conference…

2017 CWC Summer Conference 

Program Coming Soon

The Colorado Water Congress Summer Conference and Membership Meeting takes place annually, in August, for two and a half days at a Colorado resort location.
The 2017 conference will be held at the Hotel Talisa formerly the Vail Cascade Resort, August 23 to 25.


Colorado Water Congress Mission: The mission of the Colorado Water Congress is to initiate and advance programs for the conservation, development, administration, and protection of the water resources of the State of Colorado.


05-22-17 REMINDER: Deadline Approaching for BQA Award Nominations

REMINDER: Deadline Approaching for BQA Award Nominations

Nominations for the 2018 national Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Awards are due by June 2, 2017. 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: Continue reading

05-22-17 CPW News: Four-year project with Kansas, USFS hopes to restore plains grouse

Liza Rossi, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Bird Conservation Coordinator, and Trent Delahanty, CPW technician, release two lesser prairie chickens on the Comanche National Grasslands during a recent relocation from Kansas. Copyright photos by Jonathan Reitz, Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

CPW employs high-tech trickery in effort to reintroduce lesser prairie chickens

Abby Athen, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, uses calipers to measure a male lesser prairie chicken. Copyright photos by Jonathan Reitz, Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

CAMPO, Colo. — Why did the lesser prairie chicken cross the state line?

Well, if Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists are successful, the answer will be to rebuild populations of the rare and vulnerable bird that has mostly disappeared from the sagebrush and grasslands of the southeast corner of the state.

Wildlife biologists Jonathan Reitz and Liza Rossi recently concluded a busy month-long effort to catch and relocate lesser prairie chickens from stronghold populations in Kansas. It’s part of a joint four-year operation between CPW, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and the U.S. Forest Service to rebuild prairie chicken populations in a 330,000-acre swath of southeastern Colorado and southwestern Kansas. Continue reading

05-22-17 Sakata Takes Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Grower Concerns to Washington, D.C.

Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) President Robert Sakata, Sakata Farms, Brighton, Colo., shakes hands with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt (Courtesy of CFVGA

Sakata Takes Colorado Grower Concerns to Washington, D.C.

Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) President Robert Sakata, Sakata Farms, Brighton, Colo., returned yesterday from a three-day visit to the nation’s capital where he Joined Western Growers members in talking to members of Congress and the Trump administration about the challenges facing Colorado produce growers.
“The main thing we addressed in Washington is the labor crisis,” said Sakata. “We called on members of Congress to support immigration reform and enact a guest worker program.

Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, May 22nd

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 22nd

Canada and Mexico React Cautiously to NAFTA Letter

Canada and Mexico issued carefully worded statements following the announcement letter outlining President Donald Trump’s intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement was sent to Congress, according to the Hagstrom Report. Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland said: “We are at a critical juncture that offers us an opportunity to determine how we can best align NAFTA to new realities.” Freeland pointed out that NAFTA supports nine million jobs in the United States that depend on trade and investment with Canada. A statement from Mexico reaffirmed the nations willingness to update the agreement. The statement says: “Our countries deserve a modern instrument to regulate our trading and economic relationship.” Meanwhile, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says he is confident the move to renegotiate NAFTA will “result in a better deal for our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers. “

Trump Plan to Balance Budget Includes Farm Subsidy Cuts

A budget plan President Donald Trump is expected to submit to Congress Tuesday includes steep cuts to farm subsidies, according to Bloomberg News. The 2018 budget proposal, which would begin the process of balancing the budget within ten years, would make cuts to mandatory spending on an array of social programs while sparing the Social Security and Medicare entitlement programs. The budget proposal will also include Trump’s proposal to overhaul the tax code. But, with an effort of eliminating the federal deficit, many suspect tax cuts will be offset by the elimination of credits and deductions, a move opposed by agriculture groups who say farmers need both. Bloomberg News says the possibility of proposed cuts to target price supports and crop insurance led House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway to seek a meeting with White House director Mick Mulvaney. However, Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky signaled that lawmakers would seek substantial changes to the proposal, calling it a “process of negotiation.” McConnell added: “We haven’t paid a whole lot of attention to any president’s budget since I’ve been here.”

Senate Ag to Hold Farm Economy Hearing

The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on the farm economy conditions Thursday, May 25th. Announced by leadership of the committee, Senators Pat Roberts, and Debbie Stabenow, the hearing is titled “Examining the Farm Economy: Perspectives on Rural America.” The hearing is recognized as the start of the Senate Agriculture Committee’s farm bill hearings. It follows two “boots on the ground” field hearings in Kansas and Michigan, according to Chairman Roberts. Ranking Democrat Stabenow says the committee “must understand the current state of the farm and rural economy because our farmers and families are already doing more with less.” Witnesses for the hearing have not been determined but will be announced before the hearing.

Stabenow Expresses Concerns with EPA Scientist Dismissals

The ranking Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee has expressed concerns over the dismissal of scientists by the Environmental Protection Agency. Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow specifically voiced her concerns over EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s move to dismiss nine members of the Board of Scientific Counselors, a major scientific review board within the agency. The board reviews the research carried out by EPA scientists to ensure the integrity of the agency’s research findings, including studies on pesticide safety and water quality. Stabenow expressed concern over the dismissals in a letter to Pruitt, citing the importance of the board’s role in safeguarding American agriculture. Stabenow pointed out scientist on the board rationally serve at least two terms, regardless of a change in Administration. In the letter, she asks Pruitt for names of who was dismissed and issues likely to come before the board in the next year, among a host of other questions regarding the review board.

Canada Defeats GMO Labeling Bill

Members of Canada’s Parliament defeated a GMO labeling bill last week. The bill was handed a landslide defeat, with 67 members voting yes, and 216 voting no. The bill would have mandated GMO labeling in Canada. Online food industry publication FoodNavigator-USA reports the bill specified that Canada’s Food and Drugs Act be amended to say “No person shall sell any food that is genetically modified unless its label contains information to prevent the purchaser or the consumer of the food from being deceived or misled in respect of its composition.” However, critics pointed out that the bill failed to properly define the term genetically modified, with opponents arguing the wording of the bill was too vague. The vote follows a similar move by the United States the passed the U.S. Congress last year.

USDA Investigating Unapproved GE Petunias

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services is investigating imported unapproved genetically modified petunias. USDA says the GE petunias produce various hues of orange, red and purple colored flowers. The petunias have been imported into the U.S. from Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, South America, as well as the countries of Australia, Israel and Mexico, and distributed without proper authorization. USDA says APHIS is working in close cooperation with breeders and growers represented by the American Seed Trade Association and AmericanHort to ensure the GE petunia varieties are withdrawn from distribution. APHIS says Petunias are annual, ornamental plants that have no sexually compatible wild relatives in the United States. Several distributors have already voluntarily removed GE petunias from distribution and destroyed them in accordance with APHIS guidance.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service