02-08-19 RMFU Co-op Development Center Putting USDA Grant To Work

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

RMFU Co-op Development Center Putting USDA Grant To Work

Helping farm workers and people who provide rural home care develop their own cooperatives is taking a major step forward, thanks to the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Foundation and the United States Department of Agriculture. The Foundation applied for and was awarded a $200,000 Rural Cooperative Development Grant for calendar year 2018 to work on a wide variety of projects. Besides farm labor worker cooperatives and rural home care worker cooperatives, the RMFU Foundation’s 2018 work will include food hubs and value food chain businesses, land access for small and beginning farmers, and outreach to numerous groups regarding the benefits of the cooperative business model.

“These funds are essential to helping groups with common goals organize and own their own businesses,” says RMFU Executive Director Ben Rainbolt. “The cooperative business model works especially well in rural communities.”

“We applaud RMFU for their 20 years of assisting rural Colorado in cooperative and economic development, which strengthens our state’s agriculture industry,” says Senator Michael Bennet. “This funding from USDA will enable them to build upon their work and provide more opportunities for Colorado’s rural communities.”

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02-08-19 RMFU President Dr. Dale McCall Says USDA Must Address Staffing Shortages

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

RMFU President Says USDA Must Address Staffing Shortages

The following letter was sent by RMFU President Dr. Dale McCall to Senator Michael Bennet earlier this week…

RMFU President Dr Dale McCall

The Honorable Senator Bennet,

Farmers and ranchers are doing their best to plan for the 2018 growing season. As you know, the farm economy is reeling from two years of depressed prices, making every producer’s decision a financial make it or break it call. Complicating this situation is the fact that USDA staffing in many areas of Colorado is inadequate or non-existent.

Without trained, knowledgeable and, frankly, available staff, Colorado farmers and ranchers are literally at a loss when it comes to using the tools that should be available to them through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Natural Resource Conservation (NRCS) programs. Currently, there is no loan officer for the entire Western Slope of Colorado and many NRCS offices are significantly understaffed. Numerous County FSA offices are without a County Executive Director and NRCS is attempting to operate without a number of District Conservationists. Colorado farmers and ranchers need Appropriate management in place within these agencies to provide the assurance that program development and implementation is done in a timely manner and with integrity and accuracy. While the recent brief government shutdown caused some disruption and concern, the situation at hand is similar in that Coloradoans are finding access to essential services are out of reach. Continue reading

02-08-18 CSU SEA Extension: Valentine’s Day – Keeping Romance and Love in Relationships…

CSU SEA Extension: Valentine’s Day – Keeping Romance and Love in Relationships…

FEBRUARY 8, 2018 – Due to Valentine’s Day, the month of February tends to turn many people’s thoughts to romance and love. The excitement and enjoyment of a new love affair stirs hearts and minds. It is exhilarating! It’s the stuff of longing, of sentimental love songs and of romantic books and movies. Continue reading

02-08-18 Bennet Urges USDA to Lift Hiring Freeze in Colorado

Bennet Urges USDA to Lift Hiring Freeze in Colorado

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue, urging the Department to lift a nationwide hiring freeze to allow Colorado’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offices to fill field staff vacancies. Continue reading

02-08-18 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

02-08-18 Inside CAWA with Greg Peterson: Rifle, CO Ag Water Workshop: Stream Management Plans on March 5th & more

Inside CAWA with Greg Peterson: Rifle, CO Ag Water Workshop: Stream Management Plans on March 5th & more

(BARN MediaFarmCast Radio – Briggsdale, CO February 8, 2018 – Joining the CO Ag News Network by telephone is Greg Peterson from the Colorado Ag Water Alliance and the CAWA is hosting a Stream Management Plans Ag Water Workshop in Rifle on March 5th…

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02-08-18 The 2018 Rocky Mountain Food Safety Conference in Arvada on May 8-9

Mark your calendars!

The 2018 Rocky Mountain Food Safety Conference is May 8-9 at the Arvada Center.

Established in 1972, the Rocky Mountain Food Safety Conference has become the premier food safety conference of the Rocky Mountain region and beyond. The conference brings together professionals from the food industry and the food safety community, providing a unique annual opportunity for updates, networking, and new ideas. National and local experts present information and views on current issues, problems, and developments, and conference participants gain an updated, broader view of the field and their role in securing and protecting a safe food supply.

The 2018 Rocky Mountain Food Safety Conference

May 8-9, 2018
Arvada Center
6901 Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada, CO  80003
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CONFERENCE

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02-08-18 Dairy and Cotton Fixes a Vital Step for Struggling Farmers, NFU Says

Dairy and Cotton Fixes a Vital Step for Struggling Farmers, NFU Says

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate’s proposed two-year budget deal contains important improvements for cotton growers and dairy producers, a vital first step to assistance for struggling farmers in both industries. Continue reading

02-08-18 Inside the NACD with President-Elect Tim Palmer: Annual Meeting Recap, Farm Bill, Funding and more

Inside the NACD with President-Elect Tim Palmer: Annual Meeting Recap, Farm Bill, Funding and more

(BARNMediaFarmCast Radio – Briggsdale, CO) February 8, 2018 – Within this month’s National Association of Conservation District’s interview my guest is the new President-elect Tim Palmer and we’ll be discussing several topics including:

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The National Association of Conservation District’s mission is to serve conservation districts by providing national leadership and a unified voice for natural resource conservation. For more information about the National Association of Conservation Districts – http://www.nacdnet.org/

And for more information about the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts, an NACD Member –  http://coloradoacd.org/

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, February 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…

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, February 8th

Lobbyist Suggest Cotton, Dairy Fixes in Disaster Bill

Industry lobbyist for cotton and dairy say safety-net fixes are nearing. Key industry lobbyist told the Hagstrom Report they believe there will be fixes to the problems in the cotton and dairy programs in the package of appropriations and disaster funding that Senate leaders are working on. An unnamed source said: “This would be a big win for agriculture going into the farm bill.” Ag leaders in Congress have been seeking a fix to the cotton and dairy programs in the disaster bill because they don’t think they can find the budget authority to change those programs in the farm bill. The disaster bill that the House passed to address help hurricane and wildfire victims contained both cotton and dairy provisions. House Agriculture Committee Chair Mike Conaway earlier this week said fixes for cotton and dairy should be part of any must-pass legislation.

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NFU Launches Farm Bill Campaign

National Farmers Union announced a farm bill campaign Wednesday that seeks to educate the public and to generate support for a farm bill to be passed this year. The campaign includes a new website, videos, weekly promotions and a petition. As Congress prepares for farm bill talks, NFU President Roger Johnson says: “Farmers Union wants to be sure all members of Congress understand why the farm bill is so vital to family farm agriculture, our land, our rural communities, and our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.” The campaign features a nine-minute video on the importance of the farm bill to family farmers, the environment and consumers, profiling Farmers Union members from across the country. NFU is also encouraging farmers and consumers alike to share the video on social media with the hashtag #FarmBillNow. Find the campaign online at https://2018farmbill.org/.

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CME Group Mulling Changes to Corn and Soy Contracts

CME Group is mulling potential changes to corn and soybean markets to address concerns the contracts’ prices are not accurately reflecting the underlying U.S. cash grain markets. Reuters reports that CME Group says it is “only in listening mode,” and that no changes are permanent. CME Group has been talking with customers about potential adjustments, as the discussions signal a new way in which the oversupply has been affecting day-to-day operations in the U.S. farm sector. Reuters says that farmers who rely on CBOT futures are beginning to lose faith in a critical hedging tool to offset the risk of raising crops and defend themselves against price swings. At issue for CME is a discount for corn and soybeans in the U.S. cash markets, where farmers sell their physical harvests, relative to the company’s soybean and corn futures contracts. Normally, the global futures benchmarks come together with cash prices at delivery points along the Illinois River when the futures contracts are expiring. But, some have not in recent months.

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New Records for U.S. Beef Export Value, Pork Export Volume in 2017

2017 was a record-breaking year for U.S. red meat exports, with beef export value exceeding $7 billion for only the second time. Pork exports, meanwhile, easily surpassed the previous year’s volume record. The U.S. Meat Export Federation reports beef exports totaled 1.26 million metric tons, up six percent from 2016. This was the fourth-largest volume on record and the second-largest of the post-BSE, or mad cow disease, era. Beef export value reached $7.27 billion, up 15 percent year-over-year and two percent above the previous high achieved in 2014 of $7.13 billion. Pork exports totaled 2.45 million metric tons in 2017, breaking the 2016 record by six percent. Export value was $6.49 billion, up nine percent year-over-year, and the second-highest on record, trailing only 2014’s $6.65 billion. Pork exports accounted for 26.6 percent of total production in 2017 and 22.3 percent for muscle cuts only, each up nearly a full percentage point from a year ago.

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Canada Offering Livestock Producers Tax Relief

The Government of Canada Wednesday released the final list of designated regions where livestock tax deferral has been authorized for 2017 due to drought, flood or excess moisture. In November, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada announced the initial list of designated regions in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec, for livestock tax deferral purposes. But, the agency says ongoing analysis has identified additional regions in British Columbia and Saskatchewan that experienced forage shortfalls in 2017. The livestock tax deferral provisions allow livestock producers declared regions to defer a portion of their 2017 sale proceeds of breeding livestock until 2018 to help replenish the herd. The cost of replacing the animals in 2018 will offset the deferred income, thereby reducing the tax burden associated with the original sale. Canada’s Ag Minister Lawrence MacAulay says the deferral “will help producers manage the impacts of the adverse weather, while focussing on rebuilding their herds in the coming year.”

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More Depart from Grocery Manufacturers Association

More companies are departing the Grocery Manufactures Association. Politico reports that the Kraft Heinz Company and DowDuPont are the latest to part ways with the association. The two companies join the Campbell Soup Company, Nestle, Dean Foods, Mars, Tyson Foods and Unilever. Politico says GMA staff are also leaving, including high-ranking executives. GMA pledges changes: A spokesperson for GMA said the nonprofit was working to adapt to the changing times. Roger Lowe said: “GMA and its board are moving forward with their work to reinvent a GMA that provides a voice for our industry as our members seek to improve the health and well-being of consumers and society.” DowDuPont, which makes agrichemicals as well as a variety of packaging and bio-based ingredients for food companies, said it would focus on building relationships with customers. Kraft Heinz says it has decided to focus efforts through category specific trade groups. The exits from GMA started when the association and companies disagreed on GMO labeling.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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