09-26-17 USDA Secretary Perdue Hosts U.S. Senators for 2017 Fire Briefing

USDA Secretary Perdue Hosts U.S. Senators for 2017 Fire Briefing

(Washington, D.C., September 26, 2017) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue hosted U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Jim Risch (R-ID), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) today at the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for a 2017 fire briefing to hear about this year’s efforts to contain wildfires out west as well as the way the USFS is funded. Currently, the agency has to borrow money from prevention programs to combat ongoing wildfires. Secretary Perdue believes Congress should treat major fires the same as other disasters and that those fires should be covered by emergency funds so prevention programs are not raided.

“This has been a tremendous fire season,” said Secretary Perdue. “As wildfire costs exceed $2 billion, I appreciate those in Congress who recognize this funding issue and are working to make a permanent fix that allows us to manage our forests preemptively. While we can’t stop these wildfires, we know we can be prepared in a much better way.”

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09-26-17 CCAC president helps Beef Battalion feed 2,500 more troops and family members

CCAC president helps Beef Battalion feed 2,500 more troops and family members

Colorado Corn Administrative Committee (CCAC) President Mike Lefever this month teamed up once again with the All-American Beef Battalion — a volunteer organization that travels the U.S. serving steaks to our men and women in uniform, and their families. Continue reading

09-26-17 USFRA: Make Agriculture Fun in the Classroom with 360-Degree Videos and Interactive Activities through Discovering Farmland

USFRA: Make Agriculture Fun in the Classroom with 360-Degree Videos and Interactive Activities through Discovering Farmland

U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance® (USFRA®) in partnership with Discovery Education created an agricultural curriculum to help urban students understand how their food is grown and raised.

ST. LOUIS (September 26, 2017) – How are indoor barns impacting animal care? What is sustainable agriculture? How are new technologies improving water efficiency? These are the questions that are answered for high school students through U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance’s (USFRA) Discovering Farmlandcurriculum. With food production’s connection to science, economics, technology and sustainability, these topics make agriculture relatable to students highlighting how farming and ranching has evolved over several decades.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, September 26th

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

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Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, September 26th

U.S. Has First NAFTA Finalization Target

The United States now has a tentative timeline to complete the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations. The Trump administration notified Congress Friday evening of expected changes to trade remedy law as a result of the ongoing trade talks, according to Politico. Notification is required at least 180 days before a trade agreement is signed, under the trade promotion authority law. The House Ways and Means Committee confirmed it received the notification. Trade promotion authority also requires the administration to give Congress another notification 90 days before signing the agreement and to publish the text of the pact 60 days before signing. The timeline puts March 22nd as the first day a new NAFTA could be signed. However, to have the deal ready to sign, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would have to reach a deal in December and publish the text in January.

U.S. Yet to Propose NAFTA Dairy Fix

The United States has yet to propose changes to the dairy issue between the U.S. and Canada as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiation. And, Canada’s lead NAFTA negotiator doesn’t expect the United States to make demands for the dairy sector during the current set of talks that conclude Wednesday in Canada, according to the Toronto Star newspaper. President Donald Trump has criticized Canada’s supply management system that protects its domestic dairy industry, which Ottawa has vowed to support. Canada’s supply management system for dairy has been in place since the 1970s and allows Canada to set production quotas and the price of milk. President Trump has blamed Canada’s dairy import restrictions for the economic woes of dairy farmers in New York and Wisconsin. The U.S.-based National Milk Producers Federation earlier this year, along with the Mexico dairy industry, called on negotiators to address Canada’s policy that they say hinder free trade.

Korea to Host KORUS Trade Meeting

South Korea will hold a second round of trade talks with the United States next month. The meeting comes as the Trump administration wants to either renegotiate a free trade agreement between the two, or withdraw from the agreement. A South Korea news agency reports the meeting will take place on October 4th, but the two sides have yet to decide on the specific agenda or their delegations. Last week, the top trade negotiators for Korea and the U.S. met in Washington, D.C., to discuss ways to move forward with the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, known as KORUS. Washington is seeking to amend the five-year-old deal to address the country’s growing deficit in trade with South Korea. Korea previously declined to engage with the U.S. in talks to address KORUS. Korea is the fifth largest U.S. agricultural export market.

WTO Will Investigate U.S. Complaint over China

The World Trade Organization has created a dispute panel to investigate U.S. complaints regarding import quotas by China. The panel came at the request of the U.S. regarding quotas on wheat, rice and corn. The panel on tariff rate quotas for agricultural products was automatically established as it was the second request by the United States at the WTO Dispute Settlement Body, after China blocked the first attempt in August, according to Reuters. The challenge was initiated by the Obama administration in December of last year, and was continued by the Trump administration which says the quotas hurt U.S. farm exports. China calls the quotas “legitimate measures with regard to vital agricultural staples.” However, the U.S. says China pledged to remove the restrictions when it joined the WTO. Some 14 countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, and Thailand, as well as the European Union, have joined the dispute.

FMD Language Included in Defense Authorization Act

The National Defense Authorization Act approved last week includes language to require an analysis on Foot and Mouth Disease, or FMD. Language included in the bill by Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst includes a provision “recognizing the risk of FMD, or other foreign animal diseases, to U.S. food production, the economy and national security,” according to the Senator. The provision directs the Department of Defense and Department of Agriculture to analyze the nation’s ability to response to an outbreak. The National Pork Producers Council supports the provision, and noted that without better preparation, Iowa State University economists estimate that an FMD outbreak would cost the beef, pork, corn and soybean industries alone $200 billion over ten years. The Senate passed the $700 billion package last week, and the House of Representatives passed its version of the bill in July. The two versions must be reconciled before Congress can consider a final version.
Census of Agriculture to Start Soon

Farmers will soon receive forms for the 2017 Census of Agriculture. The Department of Agriculture’s National Ag Statistics Service says farmers and ranchers across the nation will begin receiving the forms in eight weeks. Producers can mail in their completed census form, or respond online. Conducted once every five years, the census of agriculture is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them. USDA says it is the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agriculture data for every state and county in the country. Producers will see a new question about military veteran status, expanded questions about food marketing practices, and questions about on-farm decision-making to better capture the roles and contributions of beginning farmers, women farmers and others involved in running the business. More information and the web forms are available, at www.agcensus.usda.gov.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service