02-05-18 Secretary Perdue Applauds POTUS Selection of USDA’s RUS Administrator

Secretary Perdue Applauds President Trump’s Selection of USDA’s Rural Utility Service Administrator 

Washington, D.C., February 5, 2018 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today applauded President Donald J. Trump’s intent to appoint Kenneth Johnson to be the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utility Service Administrator. Following the announcement, Secretary Perdue issued this statement:

“As President Trump pursues his comprehensive agenda of infrastructure improvements like increased broadband access for rural communities, adding Ken Johnson to the USDA team is exciting. Ken’s experience with rural utilities, including real success in expanding access to high-speed Internet, will serve us well as we strive to increase prosperity across rural America.  While this is welcome news, I’d also like to take this opportunity to urge the U.S. Senate to take up key nominations we have pending, so we can add to our team and continue our mission of doing right and feeding everyone.”  Continue reading

02-05-17 Tractor Supply, FFA Looking for FFA Projects to Fund

Tractor Supply, FFA Looking for FFA Projects to Fund

Grants for Growing applications open through Feb. 14

Click here to learn more about the National FFA Organization

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (February 5, 2018) – Local FFA chapters in search of funding for their next animal science lab, community garden or other noteworthy agricultural project, take note.

Tractor Supply Company, the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, will soon launch its third annual Grants for Growing campaign—a competitive grant program designed to support local FFA chapters across the country that want to make a difference in their communities through sustainable agriculture-focused projects.

To qualify for a grant, FFA advisors must visit http://www.FFA.org/grantsforgrowing and submit an application by Wednesday, February 14, 2018. The submission process requires entrants to provide a detailed proposal, including how they will start, maintain or expand on a project that will benefit their communities. Continue reading

02-05-18 2018 CBB Officers Named

2018 Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board  Officers Named

February 5, 2018 – Cattle producers Joan Ruskamp of Dodge, Nebraska, Chuck Coffey of Springer, Oklahoma, and Jared Brackett of Filer, Idaho, are the new leadership team for the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board (CBB), elected unanimously by fellow Beef Board members during the 2018 Cattle Industry Convention in Phoenix on February 2, 2018. Ruskamp will serve as chairman, Coffey will serve as vice chairman and Brackett as secretary/treasurer to lead the national Beef Checkoff Program for the coming year.


02-05-18 CSU Ext: 2018 Crop Protection and Nutrition Workshop in Sterling Feb 15th

CLICK HERE to view the entire agenda and for registration information

CSU Ext: 2018 Crop Protection and Nutrition Workshop in Sterling Feb 15th

Area producers, crop consultants and pesticide applicators are invited to participate in the Crop Protection and Nutrition Workshop sponsored by Colorado State University Extension, DowDuPont, Syngenta, Helena Chemical Company and Kugler Company.  The workshop will be held at the Logan County CSU Extension Office in Sterling, 508 S. 10th Avenue on February 15 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Colorado State University Extension specialists, field and technical sales agronomists from four chemical companies will present on fertilizers and insect, weed and disease control solutions that improve crop yield and quality.

The meeting has been approved to offer Certified Crop Adviser Continuing Education Credit Units.  This program is free of charge.  Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Please RSVP by noon on February 14.  For more information on the agenda and registration please contact Wilma Trujillo at 970 522-3200 or wilma.trujillo@colostate.edu.

Written and submitted to The BARN by:

Dr. Wilma Trujillo, Area Agronomist, Logan and Morgan Counties, Colorado State University Extension, Email: Wilma.Trujillo@colostate.edu , Cell: (719) 688 – 9168Colorado State University Extension

02-05-18 NMPF: Dairy Industry Urges Swift Confirmation of Gregg Doud as Trade Negotiator for Agriculture

Dairy Industry Urges Swift Confirmation of Gregg Doud as Trade Negotiator for Agriculture

ARLINGTON, VA – The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) today urged the U.S. Senate to swiftly approve Gregg Doud as chief agricultural negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

Doud’s confirmation process was halted last year after Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) placed a hold on his nomination. With Flake’s hold now lifted, USDEC President and CEO Tom Vilsack and NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern are asking the Senate to move quickly to confirm Doud, particularly given the breadth of trade issues in which the USTR is engaged.

“The U.S. dairy industry welcomes this news, and looks forward to working closely with Doud as the new U.S. ag chief negotiator,” said Vilsack. “The role of the agriculture ambassador within the USTR is critical to successful U.S. engagement with current negotiations and growing global markets.” Continue reading

02-05-18 Networking with Other Farmers Added Benefit of Attending Commodity Classic

Networking with Other Farmers Added Benefit of Attending Commodity Classic

ST. LOUIS (February 5, 2018) — Conversations in the hallways and over lunch are an integral part of the educational experience at Commodity Classic as farmers share their knowledge, passion and insight with their colleagues from across the nation.

The 2018 Commodity Classic will be held February 27-March 1 in Anaheim, Calif.  Attendees can register for all three days or register for one day only.  Continue reading

02-05-18 RMFU: New Mexico Passes $6.3 Billion Budget: Some Funding Restored

CLICK HERE to learn more about the RMFU and how you can become a member today!

New Mexico Passes $6.3 Billion Budget: Some Funding Restored 

By Pam Roy
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union
New Mexico Government Relations

As New Mexico’s economy continues to lag in comparison to neighboring states and the country, improving budget forecasts are giving hope to infuse state funding into jobs, salaries, education, and public safety.  On January 30 the House of Representatives passed a $6.3 billion budget on a 65-3 vote.  The budget would provide two-percent pay raises to state employees, and increase funding for child care and child protective services.  The budget would increase spending by $240 million (an increase of 3.9 percent from current year) and leave about $646 million in reserves.  The Senate Finance Committee was left with little room to add to the budget and will take up budget negotiations this week. Continue reading

02-05-18 CEP representatives taking part in upcoming Ag Day at the Capitol; Event set for March 22

CEP representatives taking part in upcoming Ag Day at the Capitol; Event set for March 22

The “most popular event under the Golden Dome” is set for March 22, as Gov. John Hickenlooper, state officials, the media and others will take part in a well-deserved “thank you” to Colorado’s farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses during Agriculture Day at the Capitol.

Continue reading

02-05-18 Washington Wheat Growers Take On Washington D.C. and National Policy

Washington Wheat Growers Take On Washington D.C. and National Policy

Advocating for Trade, the Farm Bill and Vital Research

RITZVILLE, WA, February 05, 2018 — Trade, the 2018 Farm Bill and crop insurance top the list of priorities leadership and staff of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) will focus on during their advocacy trip to Washington, D.C., this week. The wheat growers will be meeting with many of Washington state’s federal delegation, as well as several of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s agencies and key leadership in the House and Administration.

“Work is shifting into high gear on the 2018 Farm Bill, and we need to make sure that the wheat industry has a seat at the table so we can fight for the best interests of our growers,” said Michelle Hennings, executive director of WAWG. “We will also be discussing the importance of trade deals, including TPP and NAFTA, and educating legislators on the vital role crop insurance plays in helping growers recover from a natural disaster such as drought or a late spring snowstorm.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, February 5th

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, February 5th

Doud Nomination Hold Lifted

Jeff Flake, Senate Republican from Arizona, has lifted his hold on the nomination of Gregg Doud as chief agriculture negotiator. Flake had placed his hold on the President Trump nominee because he was upset about a Trump proposal in the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations. The proposal would have allowed Florida tomato producers to use U.S. trade remedy laws to counter surges in Mexican produce imports. The Hagstrom Report says Flake had secured commitments on NAFTA-related trade priorities from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch. Flake said Hatch is committed to working with him on NAFTA provisions that benefit all American producers. Lighthizer also committed to meet with Arizona stakeholders who rely on NAFTA and would have been hurt by the proposed provision. Flake says, “Given the importance of U.S. agriculture and what’s at stake for them in the NAFTA negotiations, I’m pleased this nomination can move forward.” Senate Ag Committee Chair Pat Roberts says he is pleased that assurances have been given and the path for Gregg Doud to be confirmed as the chief agriculture negotiator has finally been cleared.


Cattlemen Release 2018 Policy Priorities

At last week’s Cattle Industry Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association released its policy priorities for 2018. The priorities center around five categories, including the 2018 Farm Bill, Trade and Market Access, Regulatory Reform, Antimicrobial Use, and Fake Meat. NCBA will be working to make sure the new farm bill includes funding for a Foot and Mouth vaccine bank. They also want to protect programs like EQIP and prevent market-disrupting policy like COOL. The regulatory-reform efforts will focus on finding a permanent solution to an electronic logging devices mandate, modernizing the Endangered Species Act, and replacing the 2015 Waters of the U.S. Rule. One of the newer priorities involves protecting the industry and consumers from fake meat and false labeling on products that don’t contain real beef. “With tax reform, regulatory rollbacks, and new access to the Chines market, we had some big victories in Washington last year,” says incoming NCBA President Kevin Kester of California, “but now is not the time to take a break. 2018 is going to see a mix of new and familiar challenges.”


NPPC Reacts to “The Other White Meat” Court Ruling

The U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. issued a ruling that partially denied the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit over the sale of “The Other White Meat” trademarks. The National Pork Producers Council sold “The Other White Meat” trademarks to the National Pork Board in 2006. NPPC President Ken Maschoff says they are conducting a thorough review of the decision and looking at all their options. “We are disappointed that the court partially denied the USDA motion to dismiss this frivolous lawsuit, one that was never based on a legitimate legal challenge to the sale.” He says the suit was brought by an anti-meat activist group intent on eliminating meat consumption and harming the beef industry that employs thousands of Americans and feeds billions around the world. Maschoff adds, “Regardless of the final outcome in this case, we are well positioned to continue fighting for the livelihood of farmers and others in rural America.” The USDA argued in court that the lawsuit, filed by the Humane Society of the U.S. and two other parties, lacked merit, was barred by the statute-of-limitations, and the plaintiffs failed to show how they were harmed by the sale of the trademarks from NPPC to the Pork Board. HSUS claims that the trademarks were sold for an inflated price.


Court Grants Delay for Air Emissions Reporting Requirements

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., granted the Environmental Protection Agency’s request to delay air emissions reporting requirements for farms until May first.  Dairy Herd Dot Com says the ruling was issued late Thursday. EPA had requested more time to fine-tune the guidance on who must report and what must be reported. In April of last year, the D.C. Circuit Court had ruled that farmers were required to report air emissions of “hazardous substances” that exceeded certain thresholds set by two specific environmental laws. Attorneys involved in the case say it’s likely that Congress didn’t intend for the laws to apply to farmers. Livestock groups supported the EPA request for the delay while environmental groups and animal rights activists had been pushing the court to apply the requirements to farmers. Last April, the court had overturned EPA exemptions from air emissions reporting requirements that were issued to American farmers. The EPA asked the court for a delay in the requirements last October. Further complicating the issue is there is no scientifically accepted method for monitoring emissions requirements from livestock operations.


CA Study Says Farm Fields Are Causing Air Pollution

A recent study by the University of California – Davis says farm fields are causing major nitrogen oxide pollution in the state. The study indicates that between 20 and 32 percent of that smog is caused by farm fields with fertilizer applications. The study says recent findings show that agriculture is one of the dominant sources of nitrogen oxide in the U.S. It says the impact is especially large in the Midwest, where fertilizer inputs are substantial. The study took place in California’s central valley, with the authors saying more study is needed around the state before new policies are suggested. If the study is proven, it means a lot of new regulations for farms around the state, with producers and agriculture industry stakeholders not happy about the idea. Renee Pinel of the Western Plant Health Association says it’s just one study that hasn’t even been peer-reviewed yet. A wide range of universities and regulatory agencies have studied this and not found agriculture to be a significant contributor of nitrogen oxide.


Ag Lending and Interest Expense Increasing for Farmers

Farm lending at commercial banks increased during the fourth quarter of last year. Demand for all types of loans, except for farm machinery and livestock, increased significantly over 2016. Operating expenses continue to make up the majority of loan originations. Loans for livestock made up over a quarter of all new non-real estate loans. The total value of operating and livestock loans increased almost 50 percent over the previous year, but they’re still below 2014 and 2015 levels. Large loans continue to make up the majority of farm loan volumes at commercial banks. Because of high production costs, loans of $100,000 or more continue to make up more than 70 percent of loan volume. After declining through 2016, the average size of farm loans grew in every quarter of 2017. Interest rates on all types of farm loans increased in the fourth quarter of last year. Total farm debt increased in the third quarter of 2017 from the previous year. The slight jump is due to both real estate and non-real estate debt. Delinquincy rates are still low for both real estate and non-real estate loans, staying near two percent in the third quarter of last year.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service