06-08-17 US Senator Bennet Statement on Sage Grouse Order

Bennet Statement on Sage Grouse Order

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today issued the following statement regarding Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s order to review sage grouse conservation plans:

“Secretary Zinke’s order threatens to upend years of hard-fought conservation efforts by states, communities, and landowners across the west,” Bennet said. “The existing conservation plans – informed by science and developed through years of consultation – protect the broader sage brush ecosystem and help keep the Greater Sage-grouse off of the endangered species list. Continue reading

06-08-17 White House, EPA Honor Student Award Winners from Douglass Elementary in Boulder, Colorado

White House, EPA Honor Student Award Winners from Douglass Elementary in Boulder, Colorado

DENVER – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today honored a group of students from Douglass Elementary School in Boulder, Colo. as winners of the 2016 Presidential Environmental Youth Award (PEYA). The PEYA program recognizes outstanding environmental stewardship projects by K-12 youth. These students demonstrate the initiative, creativity, and applied problem-solving skills needed to tackle environmental problems and find sustainable solutions.

“Today, we are pleased to honor these impressive young leaders, who demonstrate the impact that a few individuals can make to protect our environment,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These students are empowering their peers, educating their communities, and demonstrating the STEM skills.” Continue reading

06-08-17 CCA: Review of Grouse Plan Must Emphasis Multi-Use and States


CCA: Review of Grouse Plan Must Emphasis Multi-Use and States

Late yesterday, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, signed Secretarial Order 3353 to improve sage-grouse conservation and strengthen communication and collaboration between state and federal governments.  “The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA); representing private, state and federal lands grazers affected by Greater Sage Grouse management, appreciates and supports the constructive review by the Department of the Interior for state and federal sage-grouse plans and programs,” said Tim Lehmann, CCA President.  Lehmann went on to say, “It is imperative that this review balance multiple uses of lands and not disproportionately abate or supplant regulatory restrictions on any one industry over another.” Continue reading

06-08-17 Repositioning Pork to Reach a Changing Audience

Repositioning Pork to Reach a Changing Audience

Des Moines, Iowa – June 8, 2017–With the consumer market for pork and other protein sources changing rapidly, the Pork Checkoff is putting the finishing touches on a plan to capitalize on those changes by repositioning pork marketing, Terry O’Neel, president of the National Pork Board, told an audience at World Pork Expo Thursday. “The Pork Checkoff has embarked on a journey to determine how best to market pork today,” O’Neel, a pork producer from Friend, Neb., said. “The direction may be drastically different than we’ve seen in the last quarter century.” Continue reading

06-08-17 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

06-08-17 CDA: Looking for Local? Find Farmers’ Markets in Annual Publication

Looking for Local? Find Farmers’ Markets in Annual Publication

BROOMFIELD, Colo.–  As grass is greening and days are getting warmer, farmers’ markets are popping up across the state.  The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s 33rd annual Colorado Farm Fresh Directory helps consumers find farmers’ markets, roadside stands, u-picks, wineries and agritourism activities.

“If you are looking for local foods, Farm Fresh is the perfect guide,” said Wendy White, marketing specialist for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “We hope the publication helps connect consumers with local producers.”

Continue reading

06-08-17 USDA Announces More than $22 Million in Conservation Innovation

USDA Announces More than $22 Million in Conservation Innovation

WASHINGTON, June 8, 2017 – The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) today announced that the agency will award more than $22.6 million to drive public and private sector innovation in resource conservation.  The agency is investing in 33 projects nationwide through its competitive Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program, which helps develop the tools, technologies, and strategies to support next-generation conservation efforts on working lands and develop market-based solutions to resource challenges. Public and private grantees – including non-governmental organizations, American Indian tribes, academic institutions and local government entities – will leverage the federal investment by at least matching it.

The projects announced today focus on conservation finance and pay-for-success models to stimulate conservation adoption; data analytics for natural resources; water management technologies and approaches; and historically underserved farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners. The 2017 CIG awards bring the total NRCS investment to nearly $286.7 million for 711 projects since 2004.

“The Conservation Innovation Grant program is an example of government at its best, providing seed money to help spur cutting-edge projects,” said NRCS Acting Chief Leonard Jordan.  “This year’s competition resulted in an impressive array of proposals that will ultimately benefit the people who grow our food and fiber.” Continue reading

06-08-17 NFU Announces Twenty Participants for 2017-18 Beginning Farmers Institute: 4 from CO

NFU Announces Twenty Participants for 2017-18 Beginning Farmers Institute: 4 from CO

WASHINGTON – National Farmers Union (NFU) has announced twenty beginning farmers and ranchers from across the United States to take part in the 2017-2018 Beginning Farmers Institute (BFI) program. The Institute empowers the success of America’s next generation of farmers by providing mentorship, technical training and leadership development to its participants.

“We are happy to welcome our largest class of participants ever for this year’s Beginning Farmers Institute program. Ensuring American agriculture lies in the hands of a well supported and equipped next generation of farmers and ranchers is a top priority for Farmers Union. NFU is proud to offer an educational program that continues to represent the geographical and production diversity in agriculture,” said NFU Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications Rob Larew. Continue reading

06-08-17 ASA Welcomes President Trump’s Infrastructure Commitment

ASA Welcomes President Trump’s Infrastructure Commitment

CINCINNATI (June 8, 2017) – American Soybean Association (ASA) Governing Committee member Bret Davis, of Ohio, and Directors Kendell Culp, of Indiana, and Gerry Hayden, of Kentucky, were among a number of soybean farmers and industry stakeholders that joined President Donald Trump in Cincinnati yesterday to highlight the economic importance of the inland waterways system and the need to invest in upgrades to the locks and dams that enable the system to serve as an efficient mode of moving commodities, such as soybeans. Continue reading

06-08-17 US Dept of Interior Secretary Zinke Signs Order to Improve Sage-Grouse Conservation, Strengthen Communication and Collaboration Between States and Feds

US Dept of Interior Secretary Zinke Signs Order to Improve Sage-Grouse Conservation, Strengthen Communication and Collaboration Between States and Feds


WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, late yesterday, signed a Secretarial Order 3353 to improve sage-grouse conservation and strengthen communication and collaboration between state and federal governments. Together, the Federal government and states will work to conserve and protect sage-grouse and its habitat while also ensuring conservation efforts do not impede local economic opportunities.

In signing Secretarial Order 3353, Secretary Zinke established an internal review team that will evaluate both Federal sage-grouse plans and state plans and programs to ensure they are complementary. As the team explores possible plan modifications, it will also consider local economic growth and job creation.

“While the federal government has a responsibility under the Endangered Species Act to responsibly manage wildlife, but destroying local communities and levying onerous regulations on the public lands that they rely on is no way to be a good neighbor,” said Secretary Zinke. “State agencies are at the forefront of efforts to maintain healthy fish and wildlife populations, and we need to make sure they are being heard on this issue. As we move forward with implementation of our strategy for sage-grouse conservation, we want to make sure that we do so first and foremost in consultation with state and local governments, and in a manner that allows both wildlife and local economies to thrive. There are a lot of innovative ideas out there. I don’t want to take anything off the table when we talk about a plan.”

Continue reading

06-07-17 US Senator Bennet Announces Grant for CSU

US Senator Bennet Announces Grant for Colorado State University

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D) and Cory Gardner (R) this week announced that Colorado State University (CSU) will receive $264,600 in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to study the spread of pathogens in U.S potato crops. This grant is part of a $4.8 million investment from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to study important challenges in U.S agriculture.

“Congratulations to Colorado State on receiving this grant, which will help detect and manage potato pathogens,” Bennet said. “Potato growers play a critical role in our farm economy, and this research will help support them over the long-term in Colorado and across the country.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, June 8th

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, June 8th

Former Ag Secretary Working on Milk Export Program with China

Former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told Agri-Pulse a new deal to allow more milk producers to enter the Chinese market is in the works. Vilsack, who now heads the U.S. Dairy Export Council, has been working for months to change a registration process that keeps new U.S. processors from entering the Chinese market. Vilsack told Agri-Pulse the deal is a matter of weeks away, and will give immediate clearance for 80 U.S. processors to begin shipping milk to China. In 2014, China created new food safety regulations that required all foreign milk suppliers to be registered and certified by their domestic regulatory agencies before they could ship to China. For the U.S., that’s the Food and Drug Administration. The China regulations went into effect last year, and the U.S. FDA offered a voluntary registry for U.S. milk producers, but the registry has not been effective. Through Vilsack’s work, the U.S. Dairy Export Council helped develop a new registry program that is gaining approval by U.S. and Chinese regulatory authorities.

NFU Urges Immediate Adoption of Farmer Fair Practices Rules

The National Farmers Union is urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to finalize the Farmer Fair Practices Rules. Through comments submitted to USDA as part of the public comment period for the rules, NFU tells USDA the rules will likely result in a more transparent and business-like relationship between farmers and the processing companies. The rules were released in December of last year, but are under review by the new Donald Trump Administration. Livestock groups, including the National Pork Producers Council, oppose the rules. Groups opposed to the rule say it will lead to more lawsuits within the livestock industry, and the possibility of consolidation. NFU President Roger Johnson says the interim final rule on competitive injury “plainly restates the intent of the Packers and Stockyards Act” to provide individual farmers and ranchers with protection from the abuses by meatpackers. The rule would change the competitive injury that must be proven for a lawsuit to continue. USDA is seeking public comment on the competitive injury interim final rule through June 12.

Pork Board Creating Secure Pork Supply Plan

The National Pork Board, with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is creating a Secure Pork Supply plan to help America’s pig farmers respond quickly to a major threat, such as a foreign animal disease. The plan, announced Wednesday, will enhance communication and coordination of all pork chain segments to help producers keep their farms operating and all related business activities functioning, according to the National Pork Board. Newly elected NPB President Terry O’Neel of Nebraska said of the plan that: “If we get the news that FMD, African swine fever or another foreign animal disease has arrived, the Secure Pork Supply plan will pay big dividends by getting pork production back to normal much faster.” An Iowa State University study estimates potential revenue losses to U.S. pork and beef industries from a foot and mouth disease outbreak would run $12.8 billion per year or $128 billion over a 10-year period. Related losses to corn and soybean markets over a decade would be $44 billion and $24.9 billion, respectively. The Secure Pork Supply plan will provide procedures that pork producers, processors and federal/state agencies agree are feasible should a foreign animal disease occur in the United States.

Finding the Next Big Thing in Corn

A new innovation challenge seeks to find the next big use for field corn. The National Corn Growers Association has partnered with NineSigma to launch the global competition. NCGA says the program was created to identify new and innovative uses for field corn as a renewable feedstock for making sustainable chemicals with significant market demand. The “Consider Corn Challenge” is geared to inspire new concepts, approaches and technologies that will help drive innovation, according to an NCGA spokesperson. United States corn production has increased from 105.5 million metric tons in 1970 to 345.5 million metric tons in 2015. NCGA is inviting innovators around the world from industry, academia and other research institutions to consider new ways to utilize corn and maximize its contributions to the economy. Up to six winning proposals will be selected, and winners will each receive $25,000. Winners will be announced in February 2018. The program is part of the NCGA strategic plan that includes a goal to establish three new uses of corn that each utilize 25 million bushels or more by 2020. Learn more online at NCGA dot com (www.ncga.com).

Organic Research Institution Launches Industrial Hemp Research Project

The Rodale Institute has started a new industrial hemp research project focused on examining the crop’s role in soil health and regenerative organic agriculture. Proclaimed as the nation’s leading organic farming research institution, Rodale is overseeing one of 16 pilot projects to grow industrial hemp in Pennsylvania, the first legal cultivation of the crop in the state in 80 years. Jeff Moyer, executive director of Rodale Institute, said the project could provide the “opportunity to expand farmers crop rotation, while helping farmers combat weed pressure, improve soil health, and sequester carbon.” Rodale Institute is conducting a four-year research project focusing on utilizing Industrial Hemp as a cash or cover crop to address weed pest issues and enhance soil health in organic agriculture. They are conducting two field trials and one greenhouse study. The research aims to identify which varieties of hemp will be effective for future use by organic farmers to manage weed pests and enhance soil health.

Connecticut Farmers Oppose State Agriculture, Energy Department Merger

Connecticut farmers rallied outside the state’s capitol earlier this week in hopes to stop a plan to combine the state’s agriculture and energy departments. The Connecticut Mirror, a non-profit online newspaper, reports about two-dozen farmers attended the rally against a state budget proposal that the publication says has largely flown under the radar. The bill would eliminate the stand-alone Department of Agriculture in Connecticut, and combine it with the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The state’s governor, Democrat Dannel Malloy (mah-loy), joined the farmers along with the state’s agriculture commissioner during the rally. Malloy said he is opposed to merging any departments, and continues to support a stand-alone agriculture department. Agriculture is a growing, $3.8-billion industry that provides 28,000 jobs in Connecticut, which is why the Connecticut Farm Bureau says the industry deserves its own “strong, stand-alone” department to “nurture the next wave of agriculture” in the state.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service