07-21-17 National FFA Organization Names 2017 American Star Award Finalists

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National FFA Organization Names 2017 American Star Award Finalists

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, July 21, 2017/National FFA Organization) –Today, the National FFA Organization selected 16 students from throughout the United States as finalists for its 2017 top achievement awards: American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience.

The American Star Awards represents the best of the best among thousands of American FFA Degree recipients. The award recognizes FFA members who have developed outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through the completion of a supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program. A required activity in FFA, an SAE allows members to learn by doing. Members can own and operate an agricultural business, intern at an agricultural business or conduct an agriculture-based scientific experiment and report the results. Continue reading

07-21-17 Secretary Zinke and Colorado Senator Gardner Announce more than $50 Million for National Parks Infrastructure

Secretary Zinke and Colorado Senator Gardner Announce more than $50 Million for National Parks Infrastructure

NPS Centennial Challenge Program is Matching $20 Million in Congressional Funding with $33 Million from Partner Organizations to Support Maintenance Projects at National Parks

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Colorado Senator Cory Gardner announced today that the National Park Service is teaming up with partners across the nation to distribute nearly $50 million in high priority maintenance and infrastructure projects at 42 parks in 29 states. Congress provided $20 million for the projects as part of theCentennial Challenge program which will be matched by $33 million from more than 50 park partners to improve trails, restore buildings, and increase visitor access to parks.

Secretary Zinke and Senator Gardner made the announcement while visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, which will receive $200,000 in federal funds matched by $200,000 from the Rocky Mountain Conservancy to reduce deferred maintenance on the Alluvial Fan Trail.

“Our national parks span twelve time zones and attract more than 330 million visitors every year. Some locations, like Rocky Mountain National Park, attract millions of visitors alone. This puts an incredible stress on the aging infrastructure at our parks and thanks to Centennial Grants and the generosity of public-private partners, we are able to distribute funds to rebuild our parks,” said Secretary Zinke. “Using public-private partnerships to help address the deferred maintenance backlog remains a priority for the Department and the Trump Administration. Park infrastructure includes trails, signage, restrooms, lodges, roads, bridges and waterlines. These funds will help us continue to provide a world-class experience to visitors and ensure that these amazing places are around for future generations.”

“Today, I stood alongside Secretary Zinke as he announced critical funding grants for Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park,” said Senator Cory Gardner. “We must continue to be good stewards of our National Parks and protect these treasures for future generations. I want to thank Secretary Zinke for highlighting a crown jewel of Colorado’s public lands, Rocky Mountain National Park, and the dedicated Park employees that care for this land every day.” Continue reading

07-21-17 CO Governor Hickenlooper responds to US DoI Secretary Zinke’s decision on Canyons of the Ancients

CO Governor Hickenlooper responds to US DoI Secretary Zinke’s decision on Canyons of the Ancients

Gov. Hickenlooper offered the following statement in response to Sec. of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s announcement that Canyons of the Ancients is no longer under review and no modifications will be made to the national monument:

“It’s great to hear that no changes will come to our popular Canyons of the Ancients,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “We’ve had great conversations with Sec. Zinke and we’re grateful that he respected the overwhelming consensus in Colorado on our national monument.” Continue reading

07-21-17 US Senator Bennet Statement on Canyons of the Ancients Recommendation

Bennet Statement on Canyons of the Ancients Recommendation

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today issued the following statement regarding Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recommendation not to modify Colorado’s Canyons of the Ancients National Monument:

“This is welcome news, but many of our shared public lands are still at risk, including Bears Ears. Coloradans have made clear that they want public lands to remain public and protected. Secretary Zinke should recognize that our monuments belong to all Americans and abandon this useless review. ”

Continue reading

07-21-17 WDA: FARM Program Survey

FARM Program Survey

The National Dairy FARM Program, in collaboration with Colorado State University is conducting a dairy farmer survey to learn more about perceptions of the FARM Program and how it can continue to improve the resources it offers producers.

The voluntary survey will probe producers’ knowledge of the program and the value they think it provides to their operation. Continue reading

07-21-17 WDA News: Weld County 4-H/FFA Dairy Replacement Heifer Sale

Weld County 4-H/FFA Dairy Replacement Heifer Sale

Please see the following announcement from Keith Maxey, Director/Livestock Agent, Colorado State University Extension, Weld County.

Please join us for the annual Weld County 4-H/FFA Dairy Replacement Heifer sale on Thursday, July 27, at 1:00 p.m. at Island Grove Park, in Greeley. The sale is an opportunity to make a difference in the life of a young person and to be recognized for your support. 12-14 heifers will be sold. All heifers will have pregnancy confirmed prior to the sale. Continue reading

07-21-17 WDA News: Brush 4th of July Parade Reaches Thousands with Chocolate Milk

WDA News: Brush 4th of July Parade Reaches Thousands with Chocolate Milk

Western Dairy Association partnered with Keith Bath Farms to hand out chocolate milk at the Brush 4th of July Parade, which was attended by thousands of people from across the state – including Governor Hickenlooper. This well-attended festive event was a great way to share our favorite beverage with consumers – and celebrate the holiday too. Continue reading

07-21-17 RMFU Co-op Development Center Director Bill Stevenson Earns ACE Award


A leader in Denver’s Community Wealth Building Network, Bill Stevenson (left) received the 2017 William J. Nelson ACE Award recognizing those who add significant value to the Association of Cooperative Educators. The award was presented by William Nelson (right), retired vice president of Corporate Citizenship and president of the CHS Foundation.

RMFU Co-op Development Center Director Bill Stevenson Earns ACE Award

Bill Stevenson, Director of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Cooperative Development Center, was honored at the annual ACE awards banquet at Regis University, in Denver on July 19.  ACE is comprised of educators, researchers and leaders of cooperatives across North America and the Caribbean. They meet in a different city each year.

“Bill was the cornerstone for the 2017 ACE Institute conference as it took shape in Denver,” says past ACE President William Nelson, for whom the award is named. He further remarked that Stevenson has the enthusiasm and energy that is needed to inspire new cooperative entrepreneurs and their mentors. Continue reading

07-21-17 RMFU: National Farmers Union Legislative Fly-in September 10-13


RMFU: National Farmers Union Legislative Fly-in September 10-13

Dear RMFU Member,

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union invites you to participate in the National Farmers Union Fly-in to Washington, D.C.  This event gives our members the opportunity to visit directly with USDA officials, White House administration representatives, and members of Congress and their staff. Continue reading

07-21-17 NCGA Statement on the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act

NCGA Statement on the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act

WASHINGTON (July 21, 2017) – The following is a statement from the National Corn Growers Association regarding the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act (S. 517):

“Corn farmers appreciate the work of Senator Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska) and the bipartisan Senate sponsors of the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act to advance this legislation.  While this legislation will not move to a committee markup at this time, we will continue to back efforts to remove this unnecessary roadblock to consumer choice that saves drivers money and is better for the environment. Continue reading

07-21-17 NFU Encouraged by Bipartisan Support for Cotton and Dairy Producers

NFU Encouraged by Bipartisan Support for Cotton and Dairy Producers

WASHINGTON – The Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday approved its fiscal year (FY) 2018 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, which will guide funding for programs that support American agriculture, conservation, and nutrition programs.

The bill allocates $145.4 billion in discretionary and mandatory funding and includes provisions for cotton and dairy producers, both of whom have faced challenging economic circumstances in recent years. Specifically, the bill allows cotton producers to participate in the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program and reforms aspects of the Dairy Margin Protection Program (DMPP), which has failed to adequately support struggling dairy producers. Continue reading

07-21-17 USDA/NASS-CO: Cattle on Feed



The number of cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in Colorado feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 head or larger was estimated at 930,000 head as of July 1, 2017. The latest inventory was 9 percent above July 1, 2016 inventory but 4 percent below the previous month’s inventory. The inventory included 575,000 steer and steer calves, up 5 percent from the previous year. The number of heifer and heifer calves, at 355,000 head, are up 18 percent from a year ago. Cattle feeders with 1,000 head or larger capacity marketed an estimated 160,000 head of fed cattle during June 2017. This was 14 percent above the previous month’s marketings, and 14 percent above marketings one year earlier. An estimated 125,000 cattle and calves were placed on feed during June, 22 percent below the previous month’s placements, but 19 percent above June 2016 placements. Of the number placed in June, 20 percent weighed less than 600 pounds, 20 percent weighed from 600 to 699 pounds, 28 percent weighed from 700 to 799 pounds, 16 percent weighed 800 to 899 pounds and 16 percent weighed 900 pounds or greater. Other disappearance for June, at 5,000 head, was 5,000 head below last month but the same as last year.

UNITED STATES Continue reading

07-21-17 CO-OEDIT: Advanced Industries (AI) Export Accelerator Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

OEDIT-CO logoAdvanced Industries (AI) Export Accelerator Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

Funding Available to offset international business development and marketing costs

The Advanced Industries (AI) Export Accelerator Grant program is now accepting applications from current and aspiring Colorado exporters in the Advanced Industries who are looking to offset international business development and marketing costs.

Grants are available for up to $15,000 for eligible costs for small and medium-sized AI businesses in aerospace, infrastructure engineering, advanced manufacturing, energy and natural resources, bioscience, electronics, and technology and information. Continue reading

07-21-17 NFU Applauds USDA Decision to Expand Emergency Haying and Grazing

NFU Applauds USDA Decision to Expand Emergency Haying and Grazing

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is authorizing the release of additional Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota for emergency haying and grazing. The decision will allow farmers affected by severe drought conditions to hay and graze CRP wetland and buffer practices. In response to the decision, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement:

The conditions in the Great Plains this summer are some of the worst we’ve seen. After a harsh winter, hay was already in short supply, and with almost no moisture for months, our members in the Upper Great Plains are hurting. A deteriorating feed supply has forced many ranchers to drive hundreds of miles to purchase hay, while others have already sold their herds.

NFU is grateful for the USDA’s immediate and ongoing action to offer meaningful assistance for farmers and ranchers in the affected areas. In the short term, emergency haying and grazing on CRP land will provide much-needed relief, and in the long term will protect the viability of many of these operations.

Continue reading



WASHINGTON, July 20, 2017 – Today the Forests in the Farm Bill Coalition (FIFB) released its2018 Farm Bill recommendations. The National Association of Conservation Districts has been an active participant in the creation of the recommendations, serving on two of the coalition’s working groups to ensure that NACD’s policies and principles were included.

“The public expects clean air and water, healthy soils, and abundant wildlife habitat and our nation’s forest lands certainly provide opportunities to achieve these expectations,” NACD President Brent Van Dyke said. “The farm bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation Congress works on to address our nation’s forest lands and landowner needs. Locally-led, voluntary incentive-based conservation works.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, July 21st

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, July 21st

First Round of NAFTA Talks Scheduled

As expected, U.S. trade officials confirmed this week that North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations would begin August 16th, the first day allowed by U.S. law. The office of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced this week that the talks would kick off in Washington, D.C. on August 16th, and the initial rounds of negotiations are scheduled to wrap up on Sunday, August 20th. Earlier this week, the White House released its goals for NAFTA, which includes maintaining duty-free status on agricultural exports to Mexico and Canada. The 18-page Summary of Objectives also includes the need to eliminate non-tariff barriers to U.S. agricultural exports. The new plan stresses the administration’s goal of updating and strengthening the rules of origin laws. However, it doesn’t ask for a reinstatement of Country of Origin Labeling on beef and pork imports from Mexico and Canada.


McKinney, Clovis, Officially Nominated for USDA Posts

President Donald Trump has nominated Ted McKinney for Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs and Dr. Sam Clovis for Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics. Both have long been rumored to take top seats at the Department of Agriculture for months. McKinney currently serves as the director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and Clovis was a Trump Campaign advisor before serving on the USDA transition team. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said McKinney and Clovis would both be assets to the department. Meanwhile, the White House this week also sent to the Senate Agriculture Committee its notice of intent to nominate Stephen Censky for USDA deputy secretary, paving the way for a Senate vote on the nomination.


U.S. Drought Monitor Shows More Drought Expansion

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor shows drought conditions in the upper Midwest and Plains expanding again. The weekly report says an upper-level ridge of high pressure in the western U.S. inhibited precipitation and kept temperatures warmer than normal across much of the West over the last week. The prolonged and intensifying drought ravaged crops and rangeland in the northern Plains, while soils continued to dry out across the West, Plains and into the Mid-Atlantic region. Extreme drought coverage area now includes 40 percent of North Dakota, 11 percent of South Dakota, and 22 percent of Montana. 65 percent of Montana is classified in a drought condition, while 93 percent of North Dakota is in a classified drought along with 99.97 percent of South Dakota. 74 percent of Nebraska is in a classified drought, along with 40 percent of Kansas, 21 percent of Iowa, and 42 percent of Illinois is classified as abnormally dry. With hot and dry conditions expected across much of the corn belt over the next several days, it’s a safe bet to expect another expansion in drought area again next week.


Mexican Ambassador Addresses Corn Farmers

Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., Gerónimo Gutiérrez (Her-ron-ih-mo-guut-tee-air-ezz) spoke to more than 200 corn farmers from the National Corn Growers Association this week in Washington, D.C. He told the group that the North American Free Trade Agreement has benefited both the U.S. and Mexico agriculture sectors, and that he is optimistic about the prospects of modernizing the trade agreement. Gutiérrez says: “Our agricultural trade through NAFTA has been a success for all parties,” adding that “the challenge is that none of us should stay in our comfort zone.” The Ambassador expressed a strong desire to continue strengthening agricultural trade between the U.S. and Mexico, but he also acknowledged that Mexico must keep its options open and is looking to other markets to secure his nation’s grain supply.


U.S., China Sign Agreement to Provide Market Access for U.S. Rice Exports

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Thursday announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture has reached a final agreement with Chinese officials to allow the United States to begin exporting rice to China for the first time. Secretary Perdue says the agreement has been in the works for more than a decade, and says the agreement represents “an exceptional opportunity” with potential for growth in the future. China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of rice. Since 2013, it has also been the largest importer, with imports reaching nearly five million tons last year. When the new rice protocol is fully implemented, the U.S. rice industry will have access to China, significantly expanding export opportunities. U.S. rice exports can begin following the completion of an audit of U.S. rice facilities by China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

FDA Grants to Help States Comply with FSMA Produce Rule

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is issuing $30.9 million in funding to support 43 states in their continued efforts to help implement the Food Safety Modernization Act’s produce safety rule. The funds represent the largest total of grants made available by the FDA to support compliance with the rule, which seeks to update and strengthen the FDA’s risk-based approach to the oversight of food safety. FDA says the produce safety rule establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption, and reflects feedback that the FDA received from thousands of public commenters. The $30.9 million grants follow last year’s grant funding by FDA of $21.8 million. Grant award information can be found on FDA dot gov (https://www.fda.gov/ForFederalStateandLocalOfficials/FundingOpportunitie…).

SOURCE: NAFB News Service