01-17-18 It’s Almost Time for the CWC 2018 Annual Convention

It’s Almost Time for the CWC 2018 Annual Convention

CWC 2018 Annual Convention

The CWC Annual Convention is only one week away! Join us at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center January 24-26 for the premier water industry event in the state.

This year, you have the opportunity to pose questions to some of Colorado water’s most influential leaders during three of the convention sessions.

Please send your questions to Chane@cowatercongress.org no later than Friday, January 19.  We will select the top two questions for each session.

Session 1: Annual State Legislative Breakfast
Want to know more about what’s coming this Legislative Session? This is your chance to ask Rep. Arndt, Sen. Sonnenberg, Rep. Becker, and Sen. Garcia your questions. What are the top issues?  Continue reading

01-17-18 CSU Extension offers free workshop for installing center pivot irrigation systems

CSU Extension offers free workshop for installing center pivot irrigation systems

Are you thinking of installing a center pivot irrigation system but have several questions? How much is it going to cost? Can I use my ditch or canal water, or is it better to install a well? What about putting a center pivot on my least productive land — will I ever get my money back? How do I find augmentation water and how much does it cost? Am I eligible for higher cost share benefits?

Two workshops Jan. 29 and 30

Continue reading

01-17-18 Eagle Mine Superfund site in Eagle County, Colo. among sites on redevelopment focus list

Eagle Mine Superfund site in Eagle County, Colo. among sites on redevelopment focus list

DENVER (January 17, 2018) —Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified the Eagle Mine Superfund site in Eagle County, Colo. as among 31 current and former National Superfund Priorities List (NPL) sites with the greatest expected redevelopment and commercial potential.

“EPA is more than a collaborative partner to remediate the nation’s most contaminated sites, we’re also working to successfully integrate Superfund sites back into communities across the country,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Today’s redevelopment list incorporates Superfund sites ready to become catalysts for economic growth and revitalization.” Continue reading

01-17-18 CO’s Jim Odle and Phillip Anschutz to receive 2018 Western Heritage Awards

Western Heritage Awards – April 13 – 14, 2018

The Museum’s Western Heritage Awards was established in 1961 as the pinnacle commemoration of the American West by honoring the legacy of men and women for their works in literature, music, film, and television. The evening includes the induction of individuals into the Hall of Great Western Performers and the Hall of Great Westerners who made extraordinary contributions to shaping the American West’s rich heritage. The evening continues with the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award presentation named after the Museum’s founder, given to an individual for their unwavering commitment to the American West’s future. All award recipients receive a Wrangler, a bronze sculpture of a cowboy on horseback representing an iconic symbol of American West determination, persistence, and pride. The 2018 Western Heritage Awards is unique in that the Museum will also honor Philip Anschutz with the inaugural Western Visionary Award.


01-17-18 Join NYFC for a Produce Safety Workshop in Montrose, CO Jan 25-26

Join NYFC for a Produce Safety Workshop in Montrose, CO Jan 25-26

NYFC and the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union are offering a Produce Safety Workshop for fruit and vegetable growers at this year’s Farm and Food Forum on January 25th and 26th!

Many smaller fruit and vegetable growers ask why they should bother attending a FSMA workshop if they’re going to be qualified exempt. We think understanding food safety basics and food safety regulations is important from a business perspective.

Perhaps your business will grow by size or marketing strategy and fall into a category where you’d need to be in full compliance with the rule. Maybe your buyers will begin to require certification. Even if you stay small-scale and qualified exempt, you’ll be happy to be growing the healthiest produce you can, and considering food safety standards can improve the health and shelf-life of your product. Plus, this workshop is taught by trainers with experience running small diversified produce farms.

When: Thursday, January 25, 1:30pm-6pm, and Friday, January 26, 8am-12pm
Where: Montrose County Fairgrounds Friendship Hall, 1001 N 2nd Street, Montrose, CO 81401
Cost: $50 for non-members; $35 for members of NYFC, RMFU, or CFVGA (click here to become a member of NYFC)

This training is filling up super fast, but there is another workshoporganized by RMFU in Greeley at the same time, and RMFU is tentatively planning another in Durango. Stay tuned!


About Our Produce Safety Workshops Continue reading

01-17-18 SHIC 2017 Accomplishments Reviewed and Accepted

SHIC 2017 Accomplishments Reviewed and Accepted

Ames, Iowa – Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg presented the 2017 Annual Report and the Center’s accomplishments at the National Pork Board meeting on January 9, 2018. The report was accepted and the organization’s efforts to protect and enhance the health of the US swine herd by providing return on the investment made in the Center validated.

“Each year by design, the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) provides a report to National Pork Board on its progress over the last year,” said Terry O’Neel, National Pork Board president from Friend, Nebraska. “The SHIC Report was given unanimous approval. The work that SHIC has performed in 2017 brings the US pork industry closer to being prepared and having a rapid response plan in place in case of a major animal disease outbreak. Continue reading

01-17-18 FFA Members return from Educational, Cultural Experience in South Africa

FFA Members return from Educational, Cultural Experience in South Africa

Click here to learn more about the National FFA Organization

INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018/National FFA Organization) – During the past two weeks, 74 FFA members visited South Africa for a 12-day educational and cultural experience.

Members participated in the 2018 International Leadership Seminar for State Officers (ILSSO) as an annual, international opportunity through the National FFA Organization. The seminar allows FFA members to experience a foreign culture, learn about international agriculture and become more knowledgeable on the global marketplace.

Seventy-four past and present state FFA officers representing 24 states left the United States on Jan. 4. The group traveled throughout South Africa while surveying the agricultural landscape. FFA officers met with government and U.S. Embassy officials to learn about U.S. and South African trade relations; toured crop and livestock operations; met with business and industry leaders; and explored a private game reserve that is home to lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffalo. The group also met with fruit exporters, abalone producers and more. Continue reading

01-17-18 NACD and AFT Release Water Quality Trading Handbook

NACD and AFT Release Water Quality Trading Handbook

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and American Farmland Trust (AFT) released a handbook to highlight the role conservation districts play in water quality trading and other environmental markets programs.

AFT and NACD collaborated to produce the “Handbook for Conservation Districts on Environmental Markets,” which is a detailed look at how conservation districts and their partners are engaged in water quality trading and payments for ecosystem services. The handbook provides guidance and lessons learned from the real-world experiences of conservation districts across the country. This three-year project was funded by a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant.

The handbook is meant to help conservation districts determine potential roles in water quality trading and other environmental markets programs. It includes key findings and recommendations, nine case studies from conservation districts across the country, and a checklist for conservation districts interested in water quality trading and other environmental markets.

The report and its key components can be reviewed on NACD’s website and AFT’s websiteContinue reading

01-17-18 New “Buck” naked barley: food, feed, brew

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New “Buck” naked barley: food, feed, brew 

Resilient, hull-free barley flaunts high yields, nutrition 

Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) are giving an ancient grain a new life: this barley is naked, but not in an indecent way.

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Photo caption/credit: Barley Project members at The Plant Variety Showcase (October 12, 2017, Portland, OR) showcase breads made from Buck (and other naked barleys) in the foreground. From left to right: Brigid Meints, Rebecca Hayes, Patrick Hayes, Laura Helgerson, Andrew Ross, and Scott Fisk. Photo provided by Patrick Hayes.

Most barley grains are covered rather than naked. Covered varieties have a hull—or outer layer—firmly attached to the grain. The hull on ‘Buck’—as in “Buck-naked”—doesn’t hang on to the grain. Instead, the hulls fall off during harvest.

“Even barley geneticists try to have a sense of humor,” said Patrick Hayes, crop scientist. Hayes is part of the OSU Barley Project, a team of barley enthusiasts and breeders.

Food manufacturers using covered barley grind off the unpalatable hull to produce pearled barley. But pearling removes part of the nutrient-rich bran, and pearled barley isn’t considered a whole grain. Naked barley does not require pearling, allowing it to hold onto the bran and whole grain status. Continue reading

01-17-18 2018 National Wheat Yield Contest Launches to Showcase Greater Grain

2018 National Wheat Yield Contest Launches to Showcase Greater Grain

Washington D.C. (January 17, 2018) – The National Wheat Foundation’s (NWF) annual National Wheat Yield Contest officially kicks off Jan. 17, 2018. In its third year, the contest continues to drive innovation in the industry by spotlighting the best practices among American wheat growers.

This year, the contest is adding a quality requirement, raising the bar for what constitutes the greater grain among U.S. wheat growers.

Foundation Board President Phil McLain believes adding a quality component to the contest will encourage growers to share approaches and techniques that help improve quality and maintain yields.

“The wheat yield contest helps improve the overall quality and marketability of U.S. wheat by creating a reason for growers to share successes and learn from one another,” McLain said. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, January 17th

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 Wednesday, January 17th

Senator Ernst Suggests Trump is Softening on NAFTA Threats

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa told the Iowa Corn Growers Association this week that President Donald Trump appears to be reassessing his position on the North American Free Trade Agreement. Ernst told farmers Monday that “I think he has doubts,” when it comes to withdrawing from NAFTA. Iowa’s Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that Ernst expects a follow up NAFTA meeting with the President, following a meeting between Trump and a group of farm-state Senators in December. She says the goal is to make sure the President understands that NAFTA is “a good thing nationwide,” and not just for one particular economic sector. The NAFTA negotiations will resume later this month in Canada. Ernst fears that if the talks fail, Mexico, the top buyer of U.S. corn, will find mass supplies of the commodity from other nations.

Speaker Ryan: Canada the Real Problem with NAFTA

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin says the biggest problem with the North American Free Trade Agreement “comes from the North,” referring to Canada. Ryan points to Canadian dairy producers dumping low-cost products on the market to compete with Wisconsin farms, as the real issue with NAFTA. Late last week, the Republican said NAFTA needs updated, but said the U.S. should work within the framework of the deal that took effect in 1994, rather than withdrawing from the agreement. Bloomberg reports that dairy has long been one of the sticking points in Canada-U.S. trade, especially for Ryan’s native Wisconsin. Canada’s system of tariffs and quotas, known as supply management, restricts much of its market. The U.S. is proposing changes to the program through NAFTA, but Canada has so-far refused, calling the system “fair.”

NPPC: Mexico Pork Exports Rule Maintains Good Trade Relationship

The National Pork Producers Council says allowing Mexico to export pork to the U.S. is a sign of good trade relations. The Department of Agriculture last week finalized a regulation allowing Mexican states to export pork to the United States. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is implementing a science-based risk assessment that determined Mexico is free of Classical Swine Fever, a highly contagious viral disease in pigs. It was eradicated from the United States in the late 1970s. APHIS in 2016 concluded that the risk of the disease from pork imports from Mexico is negligible. Noting that Mexico is the second largest export market for U.S. pork, NPPC President Ken Maschhoff says: “Maintaining our good relationship with that country by ensuring fair and reciprocal trade is paramount for our producers.” Mexico first requested access to the U.S. market in 2007, but USDA determined Mexico’s control program for Classical Swine Fever was not sufficient to classify the country as negligible risk for the disease.

U.S. Top Beef Exporter to South Korea

The United States has reclaimed the title of top beef exporter to South Korea in 2017. The change comes 14 years after a U.S. outbreak of mad cow disease that led to a ban of U.S. beef in South Korea, handing the top spot of the market to Australia, according to Reuters. U.S. beef shipments jumped 13.7 percent last year to 177,400 metric tons, accounting for nearly half of South Korea’s beef imports. Australian shipments eased about four percent to 172,800 metric tons. Beef is a diet mainstay of South Korea, and the nation is the world’s fourth-biggest beef importer, and the third biggest buyer of U.S. beef in 2016, rising to a value of $1.1 billion in 2017. A Korea-based trade researcher attributed the change to the 2017 drought in Australia and a tariff gap between the U.S. and Australia. U.S. beef will attract a 21.3 percent tariff in 2018 while the tariff for Australian beef will be 26.6 percent.

Native Farm Bill Coalition Formed

More than 30 native American tribes have formed the Native Farm Bill Coalition in an effort to give native American farms a voice at the farm bill table. Minnesota Public Radio reports that the coalition is an outgrowth of programs to improve health and expand access to health food for Native Americans. The coalition says that for decades, Indian Country has largely been pushed to the side during farm bill discussions. That means, according to coalition leaders, Native Americans and tribes are “missing out on major opportunities to protect and advance their interests.” The Native Farm Bill Coalition is a joint project by the Seeds of Native Health campaign, the Intertribal Agriculture Council, the National Congress of American Indians, and the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, to improve Native dietary health and food access.

Farmers Market Legal Toolkit Launched

Farmers markets now have an online tool that provides the markets with accessible resources to understand legal issues and legal risk. The Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law school, along with the Farmers Market Coalition, and others, have launched the Farmers Market Legal Toolkit online, a free resource created with support from the Department of Agriculture. The toolkit responds to recurring questions from farmers market managers as they make decisions to build and grow their markets. Topics covered include how different business structures would affect their organizations, what types of legal risks exist and how to manage them, and how to make local food available and accessible for all community members. The toolkit can be found at www.farmersmarketlegaltoolkit.org

SOURCE: NAFB News Service