08-22-17 National Western Center equity partners release official partnership agreement to advance campus vision

National Western Center equity partners release official partnership agreement to advance campus vision 

DENVER –  Today, the Framework Agreement, outlining program funding, governance, and other business-related agreements associated with the National Western Center will be pre-released to the media as a next step toward advancing the campus vision. The legally-binding agreement is between the campus equity partners: City and County of Denver, Colorado State University System (CSU), Western Stock Show Association (WSSA), and the National Western Center Authority (Authority), which will be formed pursuant to the Framework Agreement.

The agreement solidifies how each partner will contribute to and participate in the governance of the new National Western Center. Some notable documents incorporated into this agreement include: Continue reading

08-22-17 SHIC Funds Near Real-Time Global Swine Disease Monitoring System

SHIC Funds Near Real-Time Global Swine Disease Monitoring System

August 22, 2017 – Ames, Iowa – The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) has funded a near real-time monitoring system for swine diseases around the world. Reviewed by SHIC’s Monitoring and Analysis Working Group, the system will include identification of potential hazards due to new diseases or changes in current diseases’ status, screening steps to evaluate the information collected, and informing the U.S. pork industry through regular, timely reporting. Continue reading

08-22-17 RMFU: Show Up, Stand Up, Speak Out at Farm Bill Listening Session in Farmington, NM on Aug 25th

RMFU: Show Up, Stand Up, Speak Out At N.M. Farm Bill Listening Session

As a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcomittee on Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Udall wants to continue to strengthen agriculture in New Mexico, as well as to address hunger, protect our clean water and quality of our soil, and stimulate the economy in rural communities. And as work begins in Washington on the 2018 Farm Bill, he wants to hear from you.

We are partnering with Rep. Ben Ray Luján and would like to invite you to join for a discussion on the Farm Bill programs you access – what works well, what can use improvement, and what the Senate should look at as we reauthorize these programs for the next five years. Space is limited to those participants receiving this invitation directly from our Office. However, we welcome other members of our community to attend in a listening capacity. There will be an opportunity for all attendees to provide written feedback.

10 a.m. to noon Thursday, August 25

San Juan College, Health and Human Performance Center, Zia Room

4601 College Blvd.

Farmington, NM 87402

Please RSVP via email by Tuesday, August 23rd to Alicia_Schreiner@tomudall.senate.gov.

If you have any questions, you can call our Albuquerque Office at 505-346-6791.

08-22-17 American Sheep Industry Adds $5.8 Billion to U.S. Economy

American Sheep Industry Adds $5.8 Billion to U.S. Economy

DENVER – The American Sheep Industry Association released its 2017 Economic Impact Study, showing that the nation’s 88,000 sheep producers generated a total economic impact of $5.8 billion in 2016. With over $500 million in farm gate receipts for sheep and lambs, value added from processing, wool, and retail; the American sheep industry contributes over $2 billion directly to the U.S. economy, with a multiplier impact of nearly three times the initial investment. Through the commission of this study and periodic updates, Peter Orwick, Executive Director of the American Sheep Industry Association says the industry is better able to evaluate its role as a part of the larger agricultural economy.
“The American sheep industry is a major sector of livestock production in the United States,” said Orwick. “From large scale operations in the west, on private and public lands, to smaller farm flocks in the east, raising sheep and wool fosters economic growth that supports rural communities and provides food and fiber for the nation.”
In addition to the monetary economic impact, the study also found that every job in sheep production supported nearly a second full time position in foodservice, retail, or fabrication. Continue reading

08-22-17 CO Governor Hickenlooper announces State’s response following review of oil and gas operations

CO Governor Hickenlooper announces State’s response following review of oil and gas operations

DENVER — Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 Gov. John Hickenlooper today announced the state’s response following a three month review of oil and gas operations. He called for the review after the deadly home explosion in Firestone last April that killed two people and injured a third.

“At the time of the explosion, we committed to do all we could to ensure that what happened to the Martinez and Irwin families never happens again,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “The actions we announced today are a responsible and appropriate response that places public safety first.”

Immediately following the explosion, the Governor ordered the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to conduct a swift review of flowlines. Industry provided timely information and has shared in the development of these recommended next steps.

The Governor is directing work to now focus on policy initiatives. Change will come either through rulemaking or legislation and will fall into these areas: Continue reading

08-22-17 US Energy Department Announces $13.4 Million Investment in Community-based Advanced Transportation Projects

US Energy Department Announces $13.4 Million Investment in Community-based Advanced Transportation Projects

August 22, 2017 – Today, the Energy Department (DOE) announced $13.4 million in support of five new cost-shared, community-based projects focused on energy efficient mobility systems including connected and autonomous vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure including natural gas, propane, biofuels, hydrogen, and electricity.

This Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) funding is an investment in highly-innovative, highly-leveraged, and scalable projects that will provide real-world experience and generate knowledge and lessons learned to help improve our nation’s energy security, support energy independence, improve transportation efficiency, and strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness.

The following projects will serve as “living labs” to test new ideas, collect data, and inform research on energy efficient transportation technologies and systems. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, August 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 Tuesday, August 22nd

First Round of NAFTA Talks Conclude

The first round of talks between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, ended last week with all three sides saying they’re committed to getting negotiations done as quickly as possible. The next round of talks is scheduled for September 1-5 in Mexico. Talks then move to Canada in late September before coming back to America in October. Bloomberg says a joint statement issued by the countries acknowledges that there’s a lot of work ahead in the coming months but all three countries are committed to an accelerated and comprehensive negotiation process. The goal is to update the agreement and establish 21st century standards to benefit all citizens. Part of the pressure to get negotiations done as quickly as possible likely comes from elections held next year in Mexico as well as the U.S. congressional midterm elections in November of 2018. The opening round got off to a tense start last week as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the U.S. wouldn’t accept a “tweaking” of the deal that President Trump says has failed Americans and gutted U.S. manufacturing. Experts tell Bloomberg the most challenging parts of the discussions come when negotiators deal with issues like dispute resolution and the rules-of-origin that dictate local content requirements in products traded between the countries.


Farm Debt Likely to Reach All-Time High in 2017

Low commodity prices have made things tough by bringing down land values, tightening balance sheets, and increasing the stress level of America’s producers. Unfortunately, that means farmers are continuing to take on more debt. The amount of outstanding farm debt is likely to reach an all-time high this year. Brent Gloy of Agricultural Economic Insights says if the debt level climbs another five percent from current levels, it will reach an all-time high. MILK online says unlike the 1980s farm crisis, farm debt to asset ratios are still very low today in comparison. A Farmer Mac research expert says the amount of leverage on farms over the past several years remains low. USDA historical data shows that in spite of that large amount of debt, farmers are still in good position. The Economic Research Service shows debt-to-asset ratio is 14 percent. During the 1980s, that same number reached a high of over 22 percent. The lowest point was back in 2012 at 11.3 percent. Farm prices were very volatile ahead of the 1980s crash, which meant farmers didn’t have an opportunity to stockpile assets. Going into this downturn, record-high commodity prices helped farmers get their financial houses set up before prices tumbled.


California Announces Pesticide Restrictions

California took a step toward banning the pesticide chlorpyrifos (klohr-peer’-uh-fohs). The move comes in spite of a Trump administration effort to turn back the Obama-era effort to ban the chemical. The state’s Environmental Protection Agency says farmers and other users will be asked to increase the buffer zones between the fields where they spray the chemical and inhabited areas like residential areas and school zones. The L.A. Times says the agency will move ahead with plans to ban the chemical as a known hazard to humans under Proposition 65. California growers used more than one million pounds of the chemical in 2015 on more than 60 crops, including almonds, grapes, walnuts, oranges, and cotton. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation says the overall use of the chemical has dropped by half between 2005 and 2015. Environmental activists say California is still moving too slowly on the issue. Paul Towers, a spokesman for the Pesticide Action Network of North America, says the agency is actually issuing voluntary guidelines instead of new rules regarding pesticide application. Towers also says the state’s EPA scientists aren’t focusing on the chemical’s effects on children’s brains.


Will Crop Tour Have an Effect on Markets?

The Farm Journal Crop Tour this week will take another look at corn and soybean conditions across the Midwest as market prices slid last week. Jerry Gulke of the Gulke Group says if tour participants find fewer bushels than recent government predictions, the markets may have already seen its highest production numbers of the season. Gulke tells Farm Journal’s Ag Web Dot Com he’s hoping for positive results. “If they come out of the fields saying that government estimates might have been right,” Gulke says, “that’s not going to look good.” Commodity prices had a tough go last week as prices continued to drop thanks to rain reports in growing regions around the country, including North Dakota, where the drought has been at its most intense. Gulke suspects crop conditions are quite as good as the government thinks. “Crop ratings show that things are pretty bad in some areas,” Gulke says. While the trade has been skeptical of farmer-oriented tours in the past, Gulke says they have a lot more credibility than in the past, adding, “Let’s hope crop condition numbers are bad enough that they come out and say we’ve seen the highest production numbers we’re going to see this year.”


Cattle Loss Limited from Montana Wildfires

Montana has lost almost a half million acres of land thanks to wildfires. More than half of that acreage total came from just one fire. The Montana Stockgrowers Association tells Drovers Cattle Network Dot Com that cattle losses from the fires have been limited. 29 fires are currently active in Montana, with the bulk of them burning in the western part of the state where cattle numbers are more limited. The biggest fire is the Lodgepole Complex fire in eastern Montana. “Most of the people affected by the Lodgepole fire are getting a better handle on things,” says Jay Bodner, Director of Natural Resources for the Montana Stockgrowers Association. “Luckily, we did see minimal cattle losses from the fire.” So far, there haven’t been any reports of major cattle losses from the fires. Some cattle were unfortunately electrocuted by power lines when a power pole burned down. Bonder says he doesn’t think the cattle death toll will be as widespread as the fires that ravaged the southern plains in March. The latest drought monitor shows almost 12 percent of Montana is listed under the most extreme category of drought.  


Study Shows Positive Impact of American Sheep Industry

A new Sheep Industry Economic Impact Study completed recently shows that sheep continue to be a good investment for America. The impact analysis revealed that every one dollar spent in sheep and sheep-related production added an additional $2.87 to the American economy in 2016, nearly three times the initial investment. Among some of the study’s findings, a $2.02 billion investment in sheep production activities, ranging from lamb production at the farm gate to wool sock exports, generates a total economic benefit of $5.80 billion. Every $1 invested in sheep production and related activities generates $2.42 in total labor income. The Employment Multiplier revealed that every 10.4 jobs in the sheep industry at the farm gate supports a total of 19.50 jobs. The previous economic impact study was done in 2011. While the sheep industry has contracted in size since then, the new study captures an improvement in value-added benefits, including wool hosiery exports, lanolin, and the pelt-shearing value.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service