01-08-18 The 112th NWSS Kicks Off with Record-Breaking Weekend Attendance

To view a complete schedule and to purchase tickets, click here

The 112th National Western Stock Show Kicks Off with Record-Breaking Weekend Attendance

The National Western Stock Show is excited to announce a record-breaking opening weekend.  The annual Colorado tradition brought in crowds totaling 103,546 for the first two days of its sixteen-day event. Previously, the largest opening weekend was in 2016 with 97,099 guests. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, January 8th

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 Monday, January 8th

Roberts: Trump Listening to Senate NAFTA Concerns

Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts says President Donald Trump “really listened to our concerns” regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement. During a meeting between lawmakers and the President last week, Roberts says he “delivered the message that farmers and ranchers need to grow export markets and maintain our status as a reliable supplier.” A White House statement mentioned Trump was “glad to speak” with the group of senators regarding trade policy priorities that both Trump and the Senate will be focusing on in 2018. That focus, according to the White House, includes securing more equitable trade deals, increasing exports, and ensuring fair treatment of U.S. industries. The meeting featured six Republican Senators, including Missouri’s Roy Blunt, South Dakota’s John Thune, Colorado’s Cory Gardner, North Dakota’s John Hoeven and Dan Sullivan of Alaska. The next round of NAFTA negotiations is set for January 23rd, in Canada.

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Canada Ag Minister at AFBF Convention

Canada’s Agriculture Minister spent the weekend promoting the North American Free Trade Agreement at the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention and IDEAg (Idea-ag) trade show in Nashville, Tennessee. MacAulay, a keynote speaker at the event, traveled to Nashville to promote Canada-U.S. trade through NAFTA, saying the trade agreement “delivers high-quality foods and supports millions of middle-class jobs on both sides of the border.” MacAulay was scheduled to participate in a roundtable with U.S. agriculture producer and business groups, meet with AFBF President Zippy Duvall, and numerous state counterparts. President Donald Trump was also confirmed to attend the conference, delivering a speech Monday afternoon before traveling to Atlanta to attend the national college football championship game between Georgia and Alabama with USDA Secretary and Georgia native Sonny Perdue.

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Thatcher Retiring from AFBF

Long-serving public policy specialist Mary Kay Thatcher will retire from the American Farm Bureau Federation at the end of the month. In an email to AFBF staff, Dale Moore, the organization’s executive director for public policy, said: “It is tough to inform you that Mary Kay Thatcher has announced her retirement from AFBF,” according to the Hagstrom Report. Her last day with AFBF will be January 31st. Thatcher, born in Iowa, joined AFBF in 1982, covering a number of different policy areas for the organization. In the email, Moore stated Thatcher is “recognized as one the of the top agricultural advocates in Washington, echoed by the news media which has voted her one of DC’s top lobbyists 11 years in a row.” There was no announcement on her plans for the future.

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Organic Milk Sales Lower

Organic milk sales are dropping, but sales of so-called plant-based milk are rising. The Wall Street Journal reports organic milk sales fell 2.5 percent in 2017, slightly less than traditional white milk that fell 4.5 percent. Plant-based milks rose 2.9 percent in sales. However, the largest gains in milk sales were seen by specialty milk which would include products like lactose-free. Organic milk prices fell from roughly $40 per hundredweight in 2016 to $27 in 2017. Organic dairy processors are looking for new ways to move the product. Company officials at Organic Valley, the nation’s largest organic dairy cooperative, expects prices to stabilize in 2018 and hopefully improve in 2019, but did not expect the market to take its recent turn. Meanwhile, farmers who spoke with the Wall Street Journal said the market conditions were tough to deal with, and one was even culling dairy cows to adjust.

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Cargill, Hershey, Leave Grocery Manufacturers Association

Ag giant Cargill, along with the Hershey Company, are the latest to drop out of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, joining at least eight other major companies in retreat. The two join Tyson Foods, Campbell Soup Company and others who have recently left Washington, D.C.’s largest food industry association. Politico reports many of the companies that have left are viewed as more progressive and had unsuccessfully fought to push GMA into adopting more transparent and consumer-friendly policies like GMO labeling. A Hershey Company spokesperson offered little reason, but stated the membership was not renewed following an annual review process. A spokesman for GMA told Politico the association was working closely with its membership to evolve with the changing times.

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California Man Arrested in Fraudulent Cattle Buying Scheme

A California man was arrested in Texas last month after being suspected of investment fraud, embezzlement and cattle theft. Drovers Cattle Network reports Justin Tyler Greer, 36, is suspected of defrauding seven victims out of $1.5 million. The investigation began in June 2017 when the victims claimed to be coming up hundreds of head short. Investigators say cattle owned by investors were illegally sold and moved to Colorado and Wyoming. A California law enforcement official called the scheme “21st Century cattle rustling and embezzlement at the highest level.” Greer managed cattle owned by ranchers in California, Wyoming and Colorado, and allegedly failed to meet finical obligations in April and May, raising flags for his customers. The U.S. Forest Service is also investigating the case of the cattle in Wyoming in a parallel criminal investigation because cattle were being grazed without the proper permits.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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