09-20-17 ASI Accepting Nominations for Annual Awards

ASI Accepting Nominations for Annual Awards

DENVER – “We have brilliant and dedicated people and organizations in the sheep business that do impressive things with sheep production or lamb and wool processing and marketing,” said ASI President Mike Corn. “We wanted to test the interest in a new award that would recognize innovations in the sheep business. ASI awards have traditionally recognized service and media coverage associated with the organization, so this Industry Innovation Award is an exciting addition.”
Nominations for the accolade – as well as ASI’s traditional awards – are now open. The deadline for nominations is Nov. 13.

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09-20-17 USDA-NASS Organic Survey

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USDA NASS Organic Survey

Sales of organic agricultural production continued to increase in 2016, when U.S. farms produced and sold $7.6 billion in certified organic commodities, according to data released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Results of the 2016 Certified Organic Survey show that 2016 sales were up 23 percent from $6.2 billion in 2015. During the same year, the number of certified organic farms in the country increased 11 percent to 14,217, and the number of certified acres increased 15 percent to 5.0 million. Continue reading

09-20-17 WSGA: Rangeland Internship Program – Recruiting for Summer 2018

WSGA: Rangeland Internship Program – Recruiting for Summer 2018

Cheyenne, Wyo. – The Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA), Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts (WACD), and the Wyoming Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) are taking applications for the Rangeland Internship Program for the summer of 2018. Starting in 2013, this joint internship program was designed to offer students majoring in Rangeland Management or related resource management fields hands-on experience and opportunities to network with land stewards, managers, government agencies and the private sector.

The program’s mission and goals state, “The West is losing experienced land stewards. Ranchers are aging and federal land management agencies are faced with a looming loss of capacity. Our goal is to prepare the next generation of land stewards.  In a unique partnership between the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts, and the Wyoming Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, we are providing ranching experience and a rancher’s pragmatic perspective on resource management to students who may later pursue careers in resource management in either government or the private sector.”  Continue reading

09-20-17 NWSS News: Tony Frank, DVM, PhD named 2018 Citizen of the West


NWSS News: Tony Frank, DVM, PhD named 2018 Citizen of the West

Denver – The National Western Stock Show has named Tony Frank the 2018 Citizen of the West, an award that recognizes those who embody the spirit and determination of the Western pioneer and perpetuate the West’s agriculture heritage and ideals. A committee of community leaders selects the recipients.

Frank is the President of Colorado State University and Chancellor of the Colorado State University System. He will receive the prestigious award at a dinner on January 8, 2018, at the National Western Events Center. Proceeds from the event support 100 scholarships awarded annually to colleges and universities in Colorado and Wyoming by the National Western Scholarship Trust. Continue reading



Milton “Bud” Ernest Mekelburg

Milton “Bud” Ernest Mekelburg, NACD’s president from 1982 to 1984, passed away on September 14 at the age of 82. In the late 1950s, Bud helped build the Yuma Soil Conservation District in Colorado, later taking on leadership roles with the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts, and ultimately NACD. Bud was also the recipient of NACD’s 2007 Distinguished Service Award.

He enjoyed traveling all over the U.S. during his tenure with NACD, meeting farmers to see what methods they were using to conserve soil and water and discovering how he might better serve their needs, as well as their districts’. Bud maintained great interest in his home conservation district throughout his life and particularly enjoyed seeing terraces, windbreaks, and other soil conservation practices installed on neighbors’ fields. He practiced many of the soil conservation ideas on his own farm as well, including terraces, stubble mulch, and wildlife habitat enhancements.

NACD and the whole conservation family sends its condolences to Bud’s family and friends. For information regarding Bud’s memorial service, please visit the Baucke Funeral Home’s website.

09-20-17 NCGA Supports Funding Increase for MAP, FMD Programs

NCGA Supports Funding Increase for MAP, FMD Programs

WASHINGTON (September 20, 2017) – The National Corn Growers Association praised the introduction today of the CREAATE Act, a bill to increase investment in two federal programs with a proven track record of building global demand for U.S. agricultural products. Continue reading

09-20-17 NFU President Joins Advisory Board of New Energy America

NFU President Joins Advisory Board of New Energy America

New Organization Set to Promote Clean, Renewable Energy Jobs in Rural America

WASHINGTON – In a move to further National Farmers Union’s (NFU) commitment to promoting American grown, renewable energy sources, NFU President Roger Johnson today joined the advisory board of New Energy America, a new organization created to promote clean energy jobs in rural America. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, September 20th

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY's BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer...

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, September 20th

Lighthizer: NAFTA Negotiation at Warp Speed, May Not Be Successful

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said this week that negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement are moving at “warp speed,” but may lead to no agreement. Lighthizer said: “we don’t know whether we’re going to get to a conclusion. That’s the problem. We’re running very quickly somewhere.” Lighthizer says the U.S. would like to reach an agreement and conclude the negotiations with Canada and Mexico by the end of this year. He refused to answer any questions about whether the administration planned to propose a “sunset” provision to automatically terminate NAFTA after five years, unless countries agree to extend, according to Politico. Lighthizer made the comments during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He also commented on China, calling the nation an “unprecedented” threat because of policies that subsidize domestic production, create national champions, force technology transfers and distort markets.


Ag Exports, Trade Surplus, See Increases

Data from the Department of Agriculture shows exports of farm goods will push higher in 2017. A forecast compiled by USDA predicts the value of agricultural exports in fiscal year 2017 will hit nearly $140 billion, up $10 billion from fiscal year 2016. With stronger exports and modest import increases in 2017, the U.S. will have an agricultural trade surplus of roughly $23 billion compared to $7 billion last year. USDA says the increase reflects the improvement in the global economy, and it represents a lower value for the U.S. dollar to make a better deal for foreign buyers to purchase U.S. agricultural products, according to Farm Journal’s AgWeb. The initial fiscal year 2018 forecast shows exports will reach $139 billion, slightly lower than the current level.

Bayer Seeking EU Review of Monsanto Deal

Bayer has asked the European Commission to extend its review deadline on its planned takeover of Monsanto. The move by Bayer, according to company officials, seeks to allow more time for Bayer to finalize the agreement. Dow Jones reports that in late June, Bayer filed a submission to obtain antitrust approval for the deal from the European Commission. The Commission initiated an in-depth investigation in August, and Bayer’s application this week requested a ten-working-day extension of the review deadline to January 22, 2018.The company says it requested the extension to facilitate “an appropriate evaluation given the size of the transaction.” Company officials say the deal remains on track to close early next year.

Beef Cattle Contribute to Sustainable Food System

A recent study by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization says cattle raised for beef production play a key role in maintaining a sustainable food system. Meat industry publication Meatingplace reports that the research essentially counters claims that beef production consumes too much human-edible feed, finding that cattle are net contributors to the global protein supply, and concludes that “modest yield improvements” can reduce further land expansion for feed production. The research shows that 86 percent of the feed cattle consume is grasses grown on marginal lands, not edible to humans. The study says: “Livestock play, and will continue to play, a critical role in adding value to these residual products, a large share of which could otherwise be an environmental burden.”

Tyson Reevaluating Planned Facility After Locals Back Away from Incentives

Local officials in Kansas have backed away from an incentives package to bring a Tyson Foods processing facility to the northeast corner of the state. The Leavenworth County, Kansas Commission, voted 2-1 to rescind a previous resolution in favor of issuing $500 million in industrial revenue bonds to help finance the project. The resolution would have made the project eligible for an 80 percent property-tax reduction. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the company was disappointed in the County Commission’s decision Monday. The plant would employ roughly 1,600 employees, once completed. But, those plans are now in jeopardy after the county decision, which followed a town hall meeting that persuaded the local officials to oppose the project.

Pecan Pies at Risk Following Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma’s destruction is putting the iconic Thanksgiving pecan pie at risk. The storm ripped through pecan orchards in Georgia, the number one grower of pecans in the nation, just weeks before harvest. The University of Georgia estimated that 30 percent of production may have been lost after high winds sent pods flying off branches and blew down trees. Bloomberg News reports that while pecans are a niche crop, the nuts are often associated with holiday desserts, and they’re among Georgia’s top agricultural commodities. Prices were already at the highest on record, averaging $2.59 a pound in the marketing year that ended in August 2016. Supply damage from Irma could mean even pricier pies for Thanksgiving. Pecan trees can produce for decades and some in the state are 100 years old, but any new trees planted won’t bear a crop for about five to seven years.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service