Watch the 2018 Farming Evolution Conference from Holyoke, CO on Livestream Feb 13-14

CLICK HERE to watch LIVE or the archives from the Phillips County Event Center in Holyoke, CO Feb 13-14

Webcasts brought to you by: The Haxtun, Sedgwick, West Greeley and Yuma County Conservation Districts, the Upper Republican Natural Resource District, NRCS and Phillips County Pheasants Forever sponsor the Farming Evolution, and courtesy of The BARN, CO Ag News Network & FarmCast Radio

Here’s the tentative schedule: Continue reading

02-14-18 BLM offers livestock operators increased flexibility through Outcome-Based Grazing Authorizations

BLM offers livestock operators increased flexibility through Outcome-Based Grazing Authorizations 

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Land Management announced a new initiative today to provide grazing permit holders an unprecedented level of flexibility in the management of livestock while also protecting the public lands.  This effort emphasizes the Trump Administration’s goal of promoting shared conservation stewardship of public lands while supporting uses such as grazing.

“Farmers and ranchers know the wildlife and the land they work better than anyone; it only makes sense that we would enlist them in conservation efforts,” said Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.  “One of my top goals is for the government to be a better neighbor, land manager, and partner.  I think it’s a great step in that direction.  I applaud the team at BLM for coming up with this innovative program.” Continue reading

02-14-18 Rural Colorado’s First Southwest Community Fund Launches New Website for 2018

Rural Colorado’s First Southwest Community Fund Launches New Website for 2018

First Southwest Community Fund supports the dedicated entrepreneurial spirit of rural Colorado, by investing in the people, culture and ideas that fuel innovation and financial knowledge in our community with an emphasis on areas of greatest need.

ALAMOSA, COLO., (February 14, 2018) — First Southwest Community Fund (FSWCF) recently launched their new website at fswcf.org to provide a more seamless online experience for individuals and businesses seeking creative funding for their rural Colorado business.

The new website includes information on the Intermediary Relending Program, the New Pioneers Microloan Program, the Rural Business Development Grant, and more – including an added section for News and Community Fund success stories. It’s also now much easier to reach out and gain more information regarding sponsorship, partnership, and funding.

“The main goal of updating the FSWCF website was to create a modern, easier to navigate platform  for individuals and businesses to learn more about the services the community fund offers,” says Kent Curtis, FSWCF’s president. “We’re really excited about the opportunities that a more robust and accessible network will provide in this coming year.” Continue reading

02-14-18 NPPC: Bill Would Exempt Farms From Reporting Emissions

NPPC: Bill Would Exempt Farms From Reporting Emissions

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 13, 2018 – Legislation strongly supported by the National Pork Producers Council was introduced today to exempt farmers from reporting to the U.S. Coast Guard emissions from the natural breakdown of manure on their farms.

Led by Sens. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Ranking Member Tom Carper, D-Del., the bipartisan “Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM) Act” would fix a problem created last April when a U.S. Court of Appeals rejected a 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule that exempted farmers from reporting routine farm emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). Continue reading

02-14-18 Red Angus Association of America Hires Director of Breed Improvement

Ryan Boldt has joined the Red Angus Association of America as the Director of Breed Improvement.

Red Angus Association of America Hires Director of Breed Improvement

Denver – The Red Angus Association of America is pleased to announce that Ryan Boldt of Ft. Collins, Colorado, has been hired as Director of Breed Improvement. Boldt is a Ph.D. student in breeding and genetics at Colorado State University, where he also earned a Master of Science. His undergraduate education includes a Bachelor of Science in animal science from Texas Tech University and an associate degree from Colby Community College. Boldt was a member of the collegiate livestock judging teams at both Colby and Texas Tech. He was raised on a sheep operation near Longmont, Colorado, where he continues to be involved with his family.

“I am honored to join the excellent staff at Red Angus. I am truly humbled by the opportunity to work for an organization that has focused on using sound scientific principles to genetically describe cattle since its inception. I look forward to working with the membership to provide tools that allows for the continued growth and interest in Red Angus genetics by the commercial cattleman.”

Continue reading

02-14-18 RMFU’s Colorado Legislative Drive-In Drew A Crowd

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

Show Up, Stand Up, Speak Up: It’s What We Do at RMFU

he RMFU Legislative Drive-In to the Colorado Capitol put members, lawmakers, and ag leaders in the same room to trade ideas on what farmers, ranchers, and rural communities are facing in 2018.

Written by RMFU’s Alaina McWhorter

Legislators attending the event included Representative. Perry Buck, Senator Matt Jones, Representative Jeni Arndt, Senator John Cooke, Representative Dylan Roberts, Senator Chris Hansen, Senator Jerry Sonnenberg, and Senator Kerri Donovan.

This year marked another successful Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Drive In as members and legislators joined forces to discuss the most pressing issues impacting agriculture in Colorado and beyond. The day’s theme emphasized RMFU’s desire to pursue agricultural policies and opportunities that position Colorado as an industry leader while balancing the preservation of the state’s agricultural resources with growing urban demands. Different challenges faced by urban and rural members were highlighted, including how issues such as healthcare, transportation, and education also impact farmers’ and ranchers’ success across the state. Continue reading

02-14-18 CSU Extension: Pay Yourself First in 2018

Pay Yourself First in 2018

A key principle to building wealth is saving money. Studies show that people who develop a habit of saving regularly, even small amounts are successful. Setting aside money helps to form a savings habit. This is called “Paying Yourself First”. Paying yourself first simply means setting aside money before there is a temptation to spend it. Arrange with your financial institution to automatically transfer a certain amount from each paycheck to savings. Over time, it will add up and you will be building wealth.

Here are some strategies to use for successful savings.

Set Yearly Money Goals Continue reading

02-14-18 CSU Extension: Minding the gap: A practice in financial feminism

Minding the gap: A practice in financial feminism

America Saves, a national campaign that promotes savings, notes significant differences in savings between men and women. A 2014 survey showed that women displayed a greater interest in savings, but there was no greater savings effort or savings effectiveness compared to men. But just two years later in the same survey, the gender gap leapt off the page. Woman were notably behind across 12 important financial indicators including consumer debt, savings habits, emergency savings, and general savings progress. Continue reading

02-14-18 CSU Extension: Making a Commitment is the First Step to Saving Money

Making a Commitment is the First Step to Saving Money

One of the most important things you can learn in life is how to save money. It’s the first stride in getting where you want to be. Studies show that those with a savings plan, regardless of income, are more likely to spend less than they earn. Living within your means is the best approach to saving money and building wealth over time.

Let America Saves help you reach your savings and debt reduction goals. It all starts when you make a commitment to yourself to save. That’s what this pledge is all about. And it doesn’t stop there. America Saves will keep you motivated with periodic information, advice, tips, and reminders sent by email or text message to help you reach your savings goal. Think of America Saves as your own personal support system. Continue reading

02-14-18 Gardner and Tipton Introduce Legislation to move BLM Headquarters West

Gardner and Tipton Introduce Legislation to move BLM Headquarters West

In 2017, Colorado Farm Bureau passed policy to support the move of the Bureau of Land Management headquarters to the Rocky Mountain region. Senator Cory Gardner and Representative Scott Tipton introduced legislation on this issue, making it one step closer to a reality.

This policy is supported more broadly by other organizations, including policymakers living in the region–Including, Mesa County commissioners. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, February 14th

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, February 14th

Trump Budget Proposal Considered “DOA”

Presidential budget proposals have been dead on arrival before. However, the Hagstrom Report says no budget outline has been as dead as the one President Trump sent to members of Congress on Monday. No one in the entire American food chain seems happy with what they’ve seen. Everyone, from members of Congress to farm leaders, crop insurance executives, as well as anti-hunger activists and grocery store lobbyists, are denouncing the plan. Trump’s plan calls for cutting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and making a food package part of the benefits. The budget also proposes eliminating premium subsidies, commodity payments, and conservation program eligibility for farmers with Adjusted Gross Incomes of more than $500,000. It also proposes many other changes designed to reduce payments to farmers. The budget also proposes establishing user fees for many of the programs within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The proposal says it would save $260 billion over ten years, including $213 billion of those savings from SNAP. Farm program cuts would total $47 billion over ten years, including $25 billion from crop insurance and $13 billion from streamlining conservation payments.

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ASA Welcomes New CEO

The American Soybean Association announced it has hired Ryan Findlay as its new Chief Executive Officer. He replaces Stephen Censky, who is now the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. ASA President John Heisdorffer, an Iowa soybean farmer, says they are extremely pleased to have found someone of Findlay’s caliber and experience to lead the organization into its next chapter as a first-class commodity organization. “Ryan’s background of growing up on a farm and working for the Michigan Farm Bureau and Syngenta give him the right combination of life and work experience that will serve ASA well in the coming years,” says Heisdorffer. Findlay says, “I’m honored to lead a premier policy organization that I’ve worked with and admired over the years.” The National Biodiesel Board issued a statement congratulating Findlay on his new position. The NBB says, “ASA and its members have been leaders in the advancement of the biodiesel industry since the beginning. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with ASA as we grow biodiesel use across America.”

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NPPC Wants Congressional Votes on Trump USDA Nominees

The National Pork Producers Council urged Senate leaders to schedule confirmation votes on four long-languishing Trump administration nominees to USDA positions. In a letter, NPPC is urging the leadership to move quickly to schedule votes on the four USDA positions, which are important to U.S. pork producers and for American agriculture. NPPC President Ken Maschoff is asking Congress to fulfill it’s “vital role in ensuring that our federal agencies are adequately staffed and move quickly to schedule confirmation votes.” The organization wants Gregg Doud confirmed as the chief agricultural negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and Bill Northey confirmed as Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation at the USDA. They’re also asking for confirmation of Stephen Vaden as the USDA’s general counsel and Andrew Wheeler as deputy administrator with the Environmental Protection Agency. Maschoff says, “All four candidates are highly qualified, and the positions they’ll fill are extremely important to U.S. pork producers, as well as American agriculture. The nominees will oversee policies and programs that farmers and ranchers depend on.”

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Feeding Minds Press Focuses on Accurate Ag Books for Children

Feeding Minds Press is a new chidren’s book venture from the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. The goal is to bring children accurate knowledge about how their food is grown. The new publisher’s first book will be titled “Right This Very Minute,” and is scheduled for release in January of 2019, just in time for the American Farm Bureau’s annual convention. The foundation’s announcement says “Right This Very Minute” is the perfect book to launch this exciting new project. They call it a great story and it tells kids that every minute of every day, someone, somewhere, is working to bring the food to their table. Julia Recko, director of education outreach with the Farm Bureau Foundation, says they’ve been working every year to find books that support their mission, but it’s really no longer an option. “It’s become more and more difficult to discover books that meet our specific needs,” she says. “We feel this is the next logical step in educational outreach.” Feeding Minds Press intends to regularly publish new books that show how farmers are using technology to better grow crops and livestock. They plan to also accept submissions for new books that bring modern agriculture to life.

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South Korea Driving Recent Surge in U.S. Beef/Pork Exports

For the past year, South Korea has been one of the top global markets for U.S. beef and pork exports. The South Korean director for the U.S. Meat Export Federation says the American beef industry has been very successful in restoring consumer confidence in U.S. beef. Many Korean restaurants and retailers that were once reluctant to carry U.S. beef now feature a good-sized supply of it without any hesitation. A good example of this would be Costco-Korea. Over the last year, they’ve converted the chilled beef selection in their warehouses from Australian to U.S. beef. U.S. beef exports to Korea pushed three percent higher year-over-year in volume to 184,152 metric tons last year. Those exports jumped 15 percent higher in value to a record $1.2 billion dollars. U.S. pork exports to Korea have also been successful. They’ve jumped 28 percent in volume to 173,182 metric tons in 2017. Those pork exports were valued at $475 million, up 30 percent year-over-year and the second-highest on record.  

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McKinney Updates U.S. Grains Council on Trade Negotiations

USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Affairs, Ted McKinney, addressed the delegates and members of the U.S. Grains Council early this week. He gave them updates on ongoing trade negotiations that will affect global grains market access. McKinney also announced a $1.3 million-dollar grant for Council feed industry training programs in North Africa and the Middle East. The U.S. Grains Council’s 58th annual meeting is going on in Houston, Texas. McKinney leads the development and implementation of the Department’s policy. He also oversees and facilitates foreign market access and promotes opportunities for U.S. agriculture through various trade programs and high-level government negotiations. Some of the topics he touched on in Houston included the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations, the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, potential bilateral trade deals, and ethanol exports. “USDA is in it for all of you,” he said to the members. “We have not missed an opportunity to promote your products at the highest levels.” Deb Keller is USGC chair and an Iowa farmer, who says “McKinney’s role and efforts are evidence of the USDA’s sharp focus on trade, which is shared by the Council’s members, delegates, and staff in attendance.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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02-14-18 USWA Directors Elect 2018/19 Officers; Oregon Farmer New to Officer Team

U.S. Wheat Associates Directors Elect 2018/19 Officers; Oregon Farmer New to Officer Team

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) board of directors elected new officers for the 2018/19 (July to June) fiscal year at their meeting Feb. 10, 2018, in Washington, D.C. The board elected Darren Padget of Grass Valley, Ore., as Secretary-Treasurer; current Secretary-Treasurer Doug Goyings of Paulding, Ohio, as Vice Chairman; and current Vice Chairman Chris Kolstad of Ledger, Mont., as Chairman. These farmers will begin their new leadership roles at the USW board meeting in June 2018 in Seattle, Wash., when current Chairman Mike Miller of Ritzville, Wash., will become Past Chairman. USW is the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry. Continue reading