12-21-17 Farm Service Agency – A Vital Source of Assistance to America’s Farmers and Ranchers

Farm Service Agency A Vital Source of Assistance to America’s Farmers and Ranchers

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2017 – Through the work of dedicated staff in over 2,100 county and state offices, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) provides vital farm safety-net assistance to agricultural producers across America.

“We’ve seen recent challenges in farm income and commodity prices,” said Dr. Robert Johansson, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for the Farm Production and Conservation mission area. “The ‘safety net’ provided in the 2014 Farm Bill has helped producers withstand economic losses as well as losses resulting from natural disasters. Loans for operating expenses, farm purchases and other purposes help current producers stay in business and allow a new generation of farmers and ranchers get their start.”

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12-21-17 CSU Ext News: Want to learn more about Preserve@Home?

CSU Ext News: Want to learn more about Preserve@Home?

CLICK HERE to view the flyer

So are the jars in the photo canned correctly or not….that is the question? Preserve@Home provides research-based food preservation education online throughout the state of Colorado.  Participants learn how to produce high quality preserved foods and the science behind current food preservation techniques and food safety.

Individuals with little or no previous food preservation experience are welcome.  Anyone with an interest in food preservation and food safety can enroll in Preserve@Home.  Colorado Cottage Food producers can benefit from this online training, especially if they want to make sure they have updated information and resources related to food preservation.  This online training provides you with safe techniques and recipes for the products you make at home and sell to consumers! (by the way, the jars in the photo are incorrectly canned/processed)

Eventbrite Registration:  http://csu-ext-food-preservation.eventbrite.com

Registration Deadline:  January 16, 2018 Continue reading

12-21-17 NRCS Delivers Healthier Natural Resources, Greater Public Safety, Better Customer Service in 2017

FINAL_Conservation'sGreatestHits

NRCS Delivers Healthier Natural Resources, Greater Public Safety, Better Customer Service in 2017

New Conservation Plans Cover 27 Million Acres of Working Lands

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2017 – In 2017, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) continued its proud tradition of working in partnership with America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners.

“Our data and science-based surveys of our work show that we and our partners brought a healthier resource base, used taxpayers’ dollars wisely, made people safer, and brought more-efficient customer service to our customers and communities in 2017,” said Dr. Robert Johansson, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for the Farm Production and Conservation mission area.

Here are some highlights: Continue reading

12-21-17 USDA-RMA: Improvements to Crop Insurance continue in 2018

USDA-RMA: Improvements to Crop Insurance continue in 2018

Changes to the Federal crop insurance program initiated in 2017 will continue into 2018. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) continues to improve the program, increasing its availability and effectiveness as a risk management tool while safeguarding the integrity of the program.

In 2017, RMA had a number of accomplishments in the areas of program integrity, program efficiency, expanded options, and customer service. These accomplishments include the way RMA develops new pilot programs, and makes policy changes based on stakeholder feedback.

For more information, click here.

Growth of Crops Insured Infographic 2002-2017

SOURCE

12-21-17 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

12-21-17 Inside the BARN with Colorado Ag Commissioner Don Brown…

CDA Commissioner Don Brown

Inside the BARN with Colorado Ag Commissioner Don Brown

(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) December 21, 2017 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN is Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown discussing several topics including:

  • Congress passes Tax Reform – its effect on CO Ag Producers & next Farm Bill
  • Recap CO Ag Council’s Meeting
  • Recap High Plains Millet Association’s 1st Annual Meeting and CO Millet Marketing Order
  • Upcoming Legislative Issues (Water Reuse & Nursery Bills)
  • Upcoming Events (January: NWSS, CO Farm Show, NASDA as well as those in February: CFVGA Conference, Gov’s Ag Forum, Farm Credit CO Ag Hall of Fame)
  • Recent Meeting with EPA
  • Holiday Wishes
  • & More

Listen to the interview with CO Agriculture Commissioner Don Brown below…

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ABOUT CDA Continue reading

12-21-17 Secretary Perdue Applauds USDA’s 2017 Accomplishments

Secretary Perdue Applauds USDA’s 2017 Accomplishments

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2017 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today applauded the accomplishments made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) over the past year. In the first year of the Trump Administration, USDA made breakthroughs in agricultural trade, moved to reduce burdensome regulations, responded to natural disasters, and battled through the worst fire season on record, among other notable achievements.  

“As 2017 comes to an end, the hard-working civil servants who make up USDA have a great deal to be proud of,” said Perdue. “Unlike any other federal department, USDA touches the lives of each individual in this country every day. In the wake of hurricanes, forest fires, and everything in between, the dedicated professionals at USDA worked tirelessly to serve the American people. As we look ahead to 2018, USDA will continue our efforts to be the most effective, efficient, and customer focused department in the entire federal government.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, December 21st

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 21st

Congressional Ag Leaders Applaud Tax Bill Passage

Leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees say the just-passed tax bill delivers lower taxes for farmers and ranchers. House Ag Chair Mike Conaway says: “From lower marginal rates to the treatment of pass-through income to improved small business expensing, this bill delivers for farmers, ranchers and all rural America.” Meanwhile, Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts says the legislation “impacts every single American,” offering a fairer, simpler tax code. For farmers, Roberts says the bill creates a “much more pro-growth tax system,” lowering the tax burden on farmers and ranchers. The bill also doubles the exemptions from the estate tax up to $22 million per couple. Not all agree, however, that the bill will benefit farmers and ranchers. The partisan bill was not supported by Democrats. Further, the bill will deliver near-term benefits to farmers, but many of the ag-important provisions are temporary. The National Farmers Union says the bill  ultimately provides handouts for the wealthy that “will be paid for by family farmers, ranchers, the lower and middle classes, and our future generations.” The American Farm Bureau Federation applauded the bill, and stated AFBF will now focus on making those important tax deductions, lower rates and the estate tax exemption permanent.”

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Agriculture Secretary Perdue Comments on Tax Reform

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue calls the recently passed tax reform bill a “once-in-a-generation” reform of the federal tax code. Calling tax reform an eagerly awaited Christmas present for taxpayers, Perdue says “tax paying people of American agriculture need relief.” In his statement, Perdue offered thanks to President Trump and commended Congress for passage of the legislation. He says most family farms are run as a small business, and that they “should be able to keep more of what they earn to reinvest in their operations and take care of their families.” Perdue says that simplifying the tax code and easing the burden on citizens will free them up to make choices for themselves, create jobs, and boost the overall American economy.

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Canada Executives Urging Trudeau to Join U.S.-Free TPP

Business leaders in Canada are trying to sway Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to join the now U.S.-free Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. In an open letter, more than a dozen business leaders are telling Trudeau to join the pact that the U.S. left earlier this year. Canada-based Business News Network reports the letter doesn’t specifically mention the threat of a U.S. withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement, but says trade diversification is more important than ever. A spokesperson for Canada’s International Trade Minister says the government is “redoubling” its efforts to consult with stakeholders to make sure Canada gets the best deal possible on the revived TPP. However, with Canada absent from the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting, Japan is considering pressing forward without interaction with Canada in the TPP talks. Canada’s agriculture groups last month continues to press the nation to move forward with TPP, citing uncertainties with NAFTA as a reason to bolster other trade markets.

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Canada On-farm Bovine TB Testing Concludes

Canada has concluded on-farm testing for bovine tuberculosis after the fall 2016 outbreak in Alberta. The TB investigation has been underway since September of last year, when Canadian officials got notice from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that a cow from Alberta had tested TB-positive at a U.S. slaughter plant, and later found six confirmed cases. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency reported this week it has completed on-farm testing of those “trace-in” herds, which include about 15,000 animals in all. AgCanada reports that testing of “trace-out” animals, any animals that left the infected index herd in the past five years, is also “largely complete with no additional cases to date.” Genetic analysis of the TB strains in the six infected animals showed they were all infected with the same strain, but that it wasn’t the same as any strain ever previously detected in Canadian domestic livestock or wildlife or people. Officials say it’s possible that a source for the confirmed infections won’t ever be found.

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DuPont Pioneer Confirms Iowa Layoffs

DuPont Pioneer officials earlier this week confirmed the company has laid off “an undisclosed number of workers” in Iowa. A spokesperson for the company said the layoffs are an effort to “integrate our operations and establish a streamlined, efficient, built-for-purpose organization.” DuPont and Dow Chemical closed their $150 billion merger this fall, with plans of creating several smaller companies, including a new standalone ag company. The Des Moines Register reports the company remains committed to its three locations in Delaware, Indiana and Iowa. Though Iowa lost its bid to headquarter the company’s new ag firm, state leaders awarded $17 million in incentives in 2016 to keep roughly 2,600 jobs at DuPont Pioneer in the state. The company expects that over time, it will have a presence of “equal or higher” employment levels, because of the transition.

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USDA Gives States More Flexibility for SNAP

The Department of Agriculture is allowing states more flexibility under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service issued national program guidance Wednesday that allows the new flexibility. The new guidance clarifies that while certification decisions must be made by state employees, FNS is expanding the possible use of contracted private-sector staff to provide basic case-specific information. Previous guidance restricted state contractor staff to a much more limited set of activities. USDA says that the new policy maximizes flexibility within the law related to the SNAP certification process, while holding states accountable for ensuring eligible people have access to food benefits as they move toward self-sufficiency. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the change is “a positive step toward enhancing customer service and being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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