12-12-17 Colorado’s Congressional Leaders Introduce Bill to Establish the West Fork Fire Station…

Bennet, Gardner, Tipton Introduce Bill to Establish the West Fork Fire Station

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D) and Cory Gardner (R), along with Representative Scott Tipton (R), today introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to convey about four acres of Forest Service land to Dolores County for the location of a new fire station along the West Fork of the Dolores River. Without a station, fires pose a greater threat to the West Fork community, and homeowners are unable to purchase insurance. Building a fire station would decrease response times to emergency calls, reduce the financial burden on the region’s other emergency responders, and provide a staging area to respond to wildfires. Continue reading

12-12-17 Kevin McAleese Named CEO of Sand County Foundation…

Kevin McAleese Named CEO of Sand County Foundation

Kevin McAleese has been named CEO of Sand County Foundation. Kevin takes the reigns from our longtime executive, Dr. Brent Haglund. Brent will continue as Chief Scientific Officer, as Kevin fully assumes day to day oversight of our operations and strategy moving forward.

In his 20 plus years with SCF, Kevin has creatively and capably touched every project in the organization, including leading our community-based conservation programs in North America and Africa, and establishing and serving as the executive of the Cooperative Sagebrush Initiative.

His near-term goals for the foundation include ensuring that our staff and board have the alignment, organizational capacity, and resources to be successful in: empowering farmers, ranchers and foresters to elevate their commitment to land and water stewardship; introducing bold new conservation policy concepts into the national dialog, and; projecting positive examples of private land conservation heroes to inspire others and inform urban audiences. Continue reading

12-12-17 $10 Million Gift Gets National Western Fundraising off to Strong Start

Renderings credited Tryba Architects

$10 Million Gift Gets National Western Fundraising off to Strong Start


Denver philanthropists Cille and Ron Williams provide major gift to the $100 million Honoring the Legacy Campaign; The Yards to be named in their honor.

DENVER, Dec. 12, 2017 – Denver philanthropists Cille and Ron Williams today announced their gift of $10 million to the Western Stock Show Association’s Honoring the Legacy…Building the Future campaign. The campaign supports four major new facilities that will serve as centerpieces of the nearly billion-dollar urban renewal project to reinvigorate and expand today’s National Western Complex into a year-round National Western Center for education, entertainment and agricultural innovation.

The Yards, one of four new National Western Center facilities, will be named in perpetuity in the Williams’s honor. The other three facilities include the Legacy Building, the Equestrian Center, and the Livestock Center.

“Ron and Cille’s gift represents a big step toward making the National Western Center vision a reality,” said Pete Coors, chairman and chief customer relations officer of the Molson Coors Brewing Company, as well as chairman of the $100 million Honoring the Legacy campaign.

Check out the video courtesy of The BARN and the Colorado Ag News Network…

CLICK HERE to watch the entire announcement, courtesy of The BARN and the Colorado Ag News Network

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12-12-17 CDOT’s First Road Usage Charge Pilot Program Research Study Completed

CDOT’s First Road Usage Charge Pilot Program Research Study Completed

Report on the Pilot’s Exploration of the Potential Funding Alternative Available

DENVER – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) announced the successful completion of Colorado’s Road Usage Charge Pilot Program (RUCPP) Research Study, which researched how a pay-by-mile system compares to the current gas tax as well as its feasibility in Colorado. The RUCPP Pilot program represented Colorado’s first pilot test of the road usage charge concept.

CDOT is facing a nearly $1B annual funding shortfall over the next 10 years and is exploring transportation funding alternatives, as the gas tax is unable to meet the infrastructure investment needs of the transportation system due to decreased purchasing power, increased population and more fuel efficient and electric vehicles. A healthy, multimodal, transportation system is critical in maintaining the quality of life many Coloradans have grown to expect. This pilot was one of the first steps in an extensive process of evaluating the concept alongside other funding alternatives.

“We need to explore possible funding opportunities, such as a road usage charge (RUC), to ensure Coloradans have the mobility they need to live, work and play,” said Mike Lewis, CDOT Executive Director. “The findings from this pilot gave CDOT data about participant preferences, reporting accuracy and potential revenue. We’ll continue to explore RUC as a potential funding alternative that will help us ensure we continue to have a healthy transportation system that works for our state’s economy and way of life.”

The four-month pilot included 150 participants from 27 different counties across Colorado, from cities to towns, mountains to plains, individuals with less fuel efficient cars and trucks to hybrid and electric vehicles. The pilot allowed drivers of different vehicle types to choose how they reported their mileage and compare what they would pay under a road usage charge versus the current gas tax. The table below shows the difference in monthly gas tax paid versus road usage charge paid for vehicles with various average fuel economies, assuming 1,000 miles driven per month and 1.2 cents per mile, which was established for the purpose of this pilot:

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12-12-17 National Western Angus Bull Sale Returns to Denver

National Western Angus Bull Sale Returns to Denver

Angus to host its second evening Angus Bull Sale after a hugely successful 2017 sale

DECEMBER 12, 2017 – The 2018 National Western Bull Sale, scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 10, will head back to the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) in Denver. Held in the historic Stadium Arena, the event celebrates the rich history and success of the Angus breed.

Last year, almost 2,500 people packed the arena, making the event the largest cattle sale in the building since the 1950s. As the only sale hosted by the Association, the event celebrates the Angus breed’s impact on Western ranching and symbolizes the success of the breed for years to come.

“Angus breeders again have consigned another excellent group of bulls for the 2018 NWSS Angus Bull Sale,” said David Gazda, sale manager and director of field services at American Angus Association. “This year, approximately 40 bulls will be offered and are consigned from some of the most respected and progressive breeding programs in the country.”

The Angus Bull Sale Show will kick off NWSS Angus shows on Wednesday at 8 a.m. in the Stadium Arena. A three-person judging committee will place the bulls to help make a sale order. Judges for the event will be Art Butler, Bliss, Idaho; Sam Carter, Arthur, Nebraska; and Mike McGuire, Waverly, Alabama. The ROV Angus Bull Show will follow the Bull Sale Show at 11 a.m. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, December 12th

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, December 12th

Corn Market May Need Disruption

A banking official from Nebraska says the market may need “some disruption in production,” to reach higher prices for corn. Tom Jensen of First National Bank of Omaha told the Omaha-World Herald there is nothing on the horizon to increase corn prices, unless something disrupts the market. A disruption of the corn market means, generally, some form of natural disaster, such as drought or wide-spread storm damage. Meanwhile, assurances around U.S. foreign trade policy are lacking, and that has some bankers convinced that prices could go even lower, according to a rural Nebraska banker, who says “being able to maintain our markets as trade agreements potentially fall away could be hard and have a bad impact on prices.”

Farm Bill Coming Early Next Year

House Agriculture Committee leadership says the 2018 farm bill should be ready to move in the first quarter of next year. House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson told the Red River Farm Network that markup on the bill will begin at the end of January, or the first part of February. A spokesperson for Committee Chairman Mike Conaway could not confirm the timing, but did say the bill will be ready in the first quarter of 2018. Peterson expects the bill to reach the House floor in February or March. That would follow a timeline outlined by Conaway earlier this year, whose office started working on the farm bill late this fall. Conaway said in August that he expected the farm bill to be ready for a House vote in early 2018.


Pilot Program Gives Canada Beef and Pork Exports Expanded Access to China

A pilot program is allowing exporters of Canadian beef and pork expanded access to China. The bilateral pilot project announced Monday will expand access to China for Canadian chilled beef and pork, and commit China and Canada to “fully implementing” an agreement reached last year to expand market access for Canadian frozen bone-in beef, according to AgCanada. Canadian beef exports until now have been limited to frozen boneless beef, with bone-in access approved last year, subject to setting up documentation requirements. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association says China represents “massive potential” for Canada, and the Canadian Pork Council says the announcement comes at a “critical time” for the industry. Canada’s pork sector ships more than 70 percent of its product out of the country, and China is the second-biggest volume export market after the United States.


Record Number of Soybean Processing Facilities Under Construction

As global demand for soybeans increase, so does the need for soy processing facilities. Reuters points out that U.S. agricultural cooperatives are building new soybean crushing plants at the fastest rate in two decades. That comes as U.S. farmers again are predicted to plant a record number of soybean acres next year. U.S. processors are expected to open plants with capacity to process at least 120 million bushels of soybeans in 2019, up around five percent from existing capacity of an estimated 1.9 billion bushels. The industry attributes the boom to the growth worldwide in the number of consumers with income to spend on pork and chicken, which has led to a rapid rise in demand for animal feed products. U.S. soy plantings totaled a record 90.2 million acres this year and the USDA in a preliminary forecast set plantings next year at 91.0 million acres.

Wool Exports Increase 24 Percent

Wool exports increased 24 percent during the 2017 marketing year. Exports of U.S. wool increased 8.64 million lbs. to total more than 25 million lbs. for the year. The American Sheep Industry Association says work in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service has been “vital in the expansion of American wool exports.” China remains the top export destination with a very significant increase of 51.3 percent in United States exports. Meanwhile, Western Europe was the second-ranked destination, followed by India and Eastern Europe. Stronger world demand and steady world wool production also resulted in record wool prices as indicated by the Australian Eastern Market Indicator. In U.S. dollars, this represented a 30.7-percent increase year-on-year as of early November, and prices have continued to increase.

EU to Lists Objections to Bayer-Monsanto Deal

The European Union is setting up potential reasons to reject Bayer AG’s takeover of Monsanto. This week, the EU is expected to send Bayer a so-called statement of objections that list potential reasons for the EU to block the $66 billion proposal. Bloomberg News reports regulators are looking “very carefully” at the competition issues in the combination of Bayer and Monsanto to make sure farmers still have choice and “affordable prices, both when it comes to seeds and pesticides.” A precise list of objections, however, should allow Bayer and Monsanto the opportunity to address and correct issues of concern by regulators. Representatives from Bayer and Monsanto met with EU regulators last week, and are in regular contact with EU officials.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service