12-14-17 Colorado Governor Hickenlooper appoints Melissa Hart as New Colorado Supreme Court Justice

CO Gov Hickenlooper appoints Melissa Hart as New Colorado Supreme Court Justice

DENVER — Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 Gov. John Hickenlooper today announced the appointment of Melissa Hart to the Colorado Supreme Court. Hart fills a vacancy created by the resignation of the Honorable Allison H. Eid who is now serving on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Melissa is a brilliant legal mind who has dedicated herself to making Colorado a better place. Her expertise and strong work ethic make her a terrific addition to the bench,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “I’m encouraged by her ideas on how to make the judicial system more effective, efficient, and less expensive.”

Listen to the audio from today’s press conference, courtesy of The BARN

Congratulations to Colorado’s new… – John W. Hickenlooper

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12-14-17 Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture Registration Open

Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture Registration Open

DENVER, CO – DECEMBER 14, 2017 –  Early bird registration for the Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture is now open. Early bird registrants receive a $50 discount off the regular price of $200. Early bird registration is available until February 1, 2018. Please follow this link to register. Special discounts available for students and Colorado Ag Leadership Program Alumni. Continue reading

12-14-17 USDA Highlights $40 Million in Infrastructure Investments in Rural Communities

USDA Highlights $40 Million in Infrastructure Investments in Rural Communities

Funding Helps Improve Streets, Transit Facilities and Other Structures to Spur Economic Growth and Create Jobs

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 2017 – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today highlighted U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) investments in Fiscal Year 2017 that will help construct or improve infrastructure and boost economic growth in rural communities.

“USDA is focused on improving rural America’s infrastructure,” Perdue said. “Investments such as the ones I’m highlighting today will improve the quality of life, create jobs, grow our economy and foster prosperity in rural areas.”

In Fiscal Year 2017, USDA used funding from the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program to invest more than $40 million in 31 projects to repair, enhance or build infrastructure. These investments were for projects such as surface transportation, aviation, ports, water and storm water resources, energy production and generation, and electricity transmission. They will benefit nearly 265,000 residents.

The investments are supporting projects in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont and Wyoming.

Below are some examples of infrastructure projects that Rural Development funded in FY 2017: Continue reading

12-14-17 USDA announced disaster declaration for several Colorado counties for hard freeze last spring

USDA announced disaster declaration for several Colorado counties for hard freeze last spring

The letter from USDA Secretary Sonny Purdue to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper says, “On May 31, 2017, the acting Colorado State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency (FSA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), requested a primary county disaster designation for Montrose County, Colorado, due to damage and losses caused by severe freezes that occurred from April 4 through April 30, 2017. At that time, USDA was unable to make a complete and accurate determination of production losses for the current crop year. On November 28, 20 I 7, the Colorado State Office notified the National Office that the loss assessment report was complete.

USDA reviewed the Loss Assessment Report and determined that there were sufficient production losses to warrant a Secretarial natural disaster designation. Therefore, I am designating Montrose County, Colorado, as a primary natural disaster area.

In accordance with section 321 (a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, Delta, Gunnison, Mesa, Ouray, and San Miguel Counties, Colorado, are named as contiguous disaster counties.

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12-14-17 Limagrain Cereal Seeds: LCS Jet Tops 2017 National Wheat Yield Contest

Limagrain Cereal Seeds: LCS Jet Tops 2017 National Wheat Yield Contest

LCS wheat growers lead in National Wheat Foundation’s state and national categories

December 14, 2017 — Phillip Gross of Warden, Wash., was named the highest yield winner of the National Wheat Foundation’s 2017 National Wheat Yield Contest. Gross entered the competition with Limagrain Cereal Seeds variety LCS Jet and a blockbuster irrigated winter wheat yield of 184.29 Bu/A — 247.7% over the average county yield.

Of the contest entries that featured Limagrain Cereal Seeds (LCS) varieties, more than 75% were named winners. LCS growers topped the irrigated winter wheat leaderboard in both Washington and Oregon, including first place showings for Gross and Nathan Rea of Milton Freewater, Ore., with LCS Jet and LCS Drive, respectively. Continue reading

12-14-17 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

12-14-17 National Western Center News: Legacy Building Unveiled & $10M Donation for “The Ron & Cille Williams’ Yards”

Legacy Building Unveiled & $10M Donation for “The Ron & Cille Williams’ Yards

On December 12, we unveiled Tryba Architects’ model for Stock Show’s future headquarters — the Legacy Building.  This 100,000-square-foot building will be a focal point of the new National Western Center, featuring sweeping terraces with views of the campus as well as a greatly expanded National Western Club.
“This is going to be a watering hole, a gallery space, and a place to do business for friends, cowboys and art lovers alike,” said NWSS President and CEO Paul Andrews.
Ron and Cille Williams also were recognized for their $10 million donation to our Honoring the Legacy campaign. In honor of their gift, the historic Stock Yards will be named the “Ron and Cille Williams Yards” upon renovation. Watch the entire ceremony below…

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

View more pictures of the Legacy Building, renderings courtesy of Tryba Architects… Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, December 14th

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 Thursday, December 14th

Conaway Ready For Farm Bill Work

House Agriculture Committee Chair Mike Conaway is ready to get rolling on the farm bill in 2018. Politico also mentioned he’s not worried about a push to overhaul welfare potentially making the process more complicated. The Republican from Texas is optimistic about keeping things on track and getting a floor vote scheduled by March. A working draft of the bill is already at the Congressional Budget Office. Conaway’s goal is to have the farm bill wrapped up by the time that welfare reform discussions gain traction on Capitol Hill. “I think we’ll be done and across the floor before the train leaves the station,” he said to Politico. While there aren’t a lot of details on the draft available to the public, Conaway did share a few insights. For example, he said changes need to be made to Title 1 in order to aid the cotton and dairy industries. “I don’t anticipate significant changes to Title 1, but there will be changes in the Agriculture Risk Coverage and the Price Loss Coverage programs,” he said. “We want cotton growers to be eligible for these programs.” He also says plans for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program should line up with Republican goals of tightening up federal spending.


Oil and Ethanol Supporters Get Together to Talk RFS

The White House is hoping to play mediator between the oil and ethanol industries as it brought together today (Wednesday) for a preliminary discussion on the Renewable Fuels Standard. Refiners say they can’t afford the RFS compliance costs. The biofuels industry insists it has to have the mandates in the RFS to keep expanding and growing biofuels. Senators Chuck Grassley, Joni Ernst, and Deb Fischer were there to represent corn states. Staffers for Senators Ted Cruz and Pat Toomey were there to make a case for refiners. Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe wouldn’t reveal any details of a plan he’s working on to adress some of those issues. He did say it would have to address the ever-increasing cost of buying biofuel credits the Environmental Protection Agency uses to ensure that refiners are blending the required amounts of biofuels into the nation’s fuel supply. Ethanol producers and supporters have been doubtful about the possibility of brokering a deal with the oil industry. Biofuel providers are convinced the oil industry would squeeze them out of the nation’s fuel supply entirely if they got the chance to do so.


Lighthizer defends U.S. Ag in WTO Meeting

U.S. Wheat Associates publicly thanked U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for his work defending U.S. agriculture against attempts to weaken the World Trade Organization rules on domestic support in agriculture. The Wheat Associates organization says the Buenos Aires WTO Ministerial Conference would be a failure and the mission of the WTO to advance trade would be negatively affected through a proposed permanent exemption for market price supports for certain major ag producers. India and other countries have tried to create an ongoing loophole for certain types of price support programs that are associated with state-run stockpiling programs. Those types of price supports can be very distorting to trade, which violates WTO rules and the spirit of trade liberalization that the organization is supposed to represent. Domestic support programs are what the U.S. calls a “non-starter” without market access liberalization. U.S. Wheat Associates wants to make clear it doesn’t object to countries holding public stocks for food security, which is critical for all countries. Public stockholding has always been an option in the Agreement on Agriculture’s “Green Box” of non-trade distorting support.


Perdue Applauds WTO Agreement on Pesticide Residue Levels

17 countries signed on to a statement regarding maximum residue levels (MRLs) at the 11th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says the USDA applauds the joint statement on pesticide MRLs issued this week. “The 17 signatory countries have come together to recognize that farmers around the world must be able to access the full range of available tools and technologies in order to remain productive and competitive,” he says. “Too often, that access is hampered by non-scientific regulatory barriers.” Perdue says the development of sanitary and phytosanitary measures that are grounded in science is critical to protecting human and environmental health, facilitating trade and enabling agricultural producers to meet the challenge of feeding a growing population. “With this signed statement,” Perdue adds, “we’re taking a step further in that direction.” Perdue says the USDA also looks forward to continued collaboration that will establish residue standards that enable the safe use of pesticides and, at the same time, facilitate trade in food and agricultural products.”


Canada and Mexico Working to Strengthen Trade Ties

While the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations are in between rounds, Mexico and Canada are still busy talking trade. Canada’s Ag Minister just wrapped up a two-day trip to Mexico City aimed at strengthening their bilateral relationship and promoting trade. Meating Place Dot Com says the Canadian Ag Minister, Lawrence McCauley, attended a large food and trade show in Mexico City with the Mexican officials, including the President and Secretary of Agriculture. The visit was part of a larger Canadian effort to expand its international agricultural trade to $75 billion by 2025. Bilateral trade between the two countries totaled $4.2 billion in 2016. The minister also attended a roundtable discussion with food and ag industry officials. They talked over ideas on increasing bilateral trade opportunities and ways to further strengthen their bilateral trade relationship. They did discuss NAFTA and the importance of a strong and integrated North American supply chain. In the meantime, officials from all three NAFTA countries are gathering in Washington, D.C., this week for a week of discussions in between formal rounds of negotiations.


House Ag Committee Launches Farm Bill Landing Page

As the House Ag Committee and its Chair, Michael Conaway of Texas, gets ready to ramp up work on the 2018 Farm Bill, Conaway is launching a new online resource for farm bill information. Interested parties can access the information through the Committee’s website http://agriculture.house.gov/farmbill. The landing page is designed to provide updates and act as a storehouse for information relating to the 2018 Farm Bill. Following the launch of the new landing page, Conaway said he’s committed to delivering a farm bill on time. “We’ve spent the past three years preparing, holding 113 hearings and six listening sessions around the country,” he says, “and we know what’s at stake.” Conaway says officials are working on getting the policy in the 2018 Farm Bill right. They’ll use this site as a resource as the committee tries to advance the next farm bill.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service