02-20-18 USS Colorado To Be Commissioned

WASHINGTON (June 21, 2012) An artist rendering of the Virginia-class submarine USS Colorado (SSN 788). (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Stan Bailey/Released)

USS Colorado To Be Commissioned

By Commander, Submarine Forces Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. – The newest Virginia-class attack submarine, USS Colorado (SSN 788), will be commissioned at Naval Submarine Base New London, Mar. 17, 2018.  It will be the 15th Virginia-class attack submarine to join the fleet.

As the most modern and sophisticated attack submarine in the world, the submarine can operate in both littoral and deep ocean environments and presents combatant commanders with a broad and unique range of operational capabilities. Colorado is a flexible, multi-mission platform designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the submarine force: anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, delivery of Special Operations Forces (SOF), strike warfare, irregular warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and mine warfare.

Colorado is a part of the Virginia-class’ third, or Block III, contract, in which the Navy redesigned approximately 20 percent of the ship to reduce acquisition costs. Colorado features a redesigned bow, which replaces 12 individual Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs) each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles, among other design changes that reduced the submarines’ acquisition cost while maintaining their outstanding warfighting capabilities.

GROTON, Conn. (Dec. 3, 2016) A panorama composite photograph compiled from several images shows the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus delivering remarks during the christening ceremony of the Virginia-class attack submarine USS Colorado (SSN 788). (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Petty Officer 1st Class Armando Gonzales/Released)

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02-20-18 CSFS: Late Winter the Best Time to Prune Trees

CSFS: Late Winter the Best Time to Prune Trees

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Feb. 20, 2018 – Late winter, from mid-February through early March, is the best time to prune most trees. Trees are still dormant at this time of year and, unlike in early winter, wound closure will be rapid if pruning occurs just prior to the time new growth emerges.

“Pruning trees during the late dormant season reduces impacts on tree health, and builds a strong structure for our community trees in the long term,” said Keith Wood, urban and community forestry manager for the Colorado State Forest Service. Wood says that although some elms, maples, birch and walnut trees may visibly exude sap if pruned in the late winter or early spring, this should not harm the tree.

The CSFS offers the following tree pruning tips: Continue reading

02-20-18 Inside the BARN/FarmCast Radio with Culver’s Jessie Kreke: FFA Essay Contest, Thank You Farmers Project and more…

FFA Essay Contest ends April 6th, 2018, at 5 pm CST / 4pm MST

Inside the BARN/FarmCast Radio with Culver’s Jessie Kreke: FFA Essay Contest, Thank You Farmers Project and more…

Jessie Kreke Culver’s Senior Marketing Manager

(BARN Media / FarmCast Radio – Briggsdale, CO) February 20, 2018 – This week is National FFA Week and Culver’s Restaurants are celebrating it in a big way!
Joining FarmCast Radio and the Colorado Ag News Network is Jessie Kreke, one of Culver’s senior marketing managers, Jessie WELCOME inside the BARN…tell me more about the launching of its 4th Annual FFA Essay Contest, part of the Thank You Farmers Project…


More about Jessie Kreke
Kreke is a senior marketing manager for Culver’s Franchising System, the franchisor for over 640 Culver’s Frozen Custard and ButterBurgers restaurants. Her areas of expertise range from website best practices to digital promotions, social media and local restaurant marketing. She also leads the Thank You Farmers cause marketing initiative and works with the National FFA Foundation as well as local ag organizations and Culver’s restaurants on fundraising for ag education. Kreke holds a bachelor’s in business administration from Cardinal Stritch University. She grew up on a hobby farm outside Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, with horses, dogs, goats and cattle.


02-20-18 Matt Lepore resigns as Director of COGCC

Matt Lepore resigns as Director of COGCC

Lepore oversaw comprehensive upgrades to state’s oil and gas regulations, increased collaboration with local governments, major staff expansion and systemic improvements to the agency’s transparency

Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission director Matt Lepore is resigning as director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to return to the private sector effective March 2 . Lepore was appointed director of the COGCC in August of 2012.

Under Lepore’s leadership, the COGCC comprehensively strengthened the state’s oil and gas regulations, expanded Commission staff to improve oversight of industry activities, amplified the role of local governments and dramatically increased the access and volume of regulatory data available to the public.

“Matt performed one of the most demanding jobs in state government. He did so with style and substance that provided calm over an area often at the center of controversy,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Matt always put safeguarding public safety and the environment first. Under his leadership, Colorado developed regulations that have been used as models across the country.” Continue reading

02-20-18 National Invasive Species Awareness Week Kicks Off February 26

National Invasive Species Awareness Week Kicks Off February 26

WESTMINSTER, Colorado – Ready to sharpen your knowledge about invasive species and their impact on managed and natural ecosystems?  You’ll have a great opportunity during National Invasive Species Awareness Week, scheduled for February 26-March 2, 2018.  The Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) is among the sponsors of the weeklong event.

“Invasive weeds alone represent a multibillion dollar drain on our economy annually,” says Lee Van Wychen, Ph.D., science policy director of WSSA.  “It’s important to educate ourselves so we can take fast and appropriate action throughout the year to protect native species from unwanted invaders.”

Many learning opportunities are planned during the weeklong awareness event, offering lots of opportunities for becoming involved.

Attend a Capitol Hill Seminar Continue reading

02-20-18 Ardent Mills names Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Ardent Mills names Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Chris Meyerpeter experienced in leading innovative businesses

Denver, Colorado, February 15, 2018  Ardent Mills, the premier flour-milling and ingredient company, announces Chris Meyerpeter will join the company as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and member of Ardent Mills’ senior leadership team. In this role, Chris will lead the Information Technology (IT) function and will be responsible to drive Ardent Mills’ IT strategy, objectives and goals as well as provide innovative enterprise solutions.

“We are excited to announce Chris as the CIO of Ardent Mills,” states Dan Dye, CEO. “He comes to Ardent Mills with extensive experience in building and leading diverse teams to support innovative businesses.” Continue reading

02-20-18 Trump Administration works to give relief to Americans facing high premiums, fewer choices

Trump Administration works to give relief to Americans facing high premiums, fewer choices

Proposed rule to allow short-term, limited-duration insurance for longer periods providing increased choice at a lower cost

In direct response to President Trump’s October 2017 Executive Order, the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and the Treasury (the Departments) issued a proposed rule today that is intended to increase competition, choice, and access to lower-cost healthcare options for Americans. The rule proposes to expand the availability of short-term, limited-duration health insurance by allowing consumers to buy plans providing coverage for any period of less than 12 months, rather than the current maximum period of less than three months. The proposed rule, if finalized, will provide additional options to Americans who cannot afford to pay the costs of soaring healthcare premiums or do not have access to healthcare choices that meet their needs under current law.

“Americans need more choices in health insurance so they can find coverage that meets their needs,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. “The status quo is failing too many Americans who face skyrocketing costs and fewer and fewer choices. The Trump Administration is taking action so individuals and families have access to quality, affordable healthcare that works for them.” Continue reading

02-20-18 There’s Still Time to Register for 2018 Governor’s Ag Forum

There’s Still Time to Register for 2018 Governor’s Ag Forum

February 20, 2018, Denver, Colo. – The 27th Annual Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture is set to begin tomorrow, February 21, at 7:30 am. Registration is still open, and interested individuals can even register to learn about Colorado’s agricultural impact the day of the event. Register at GovernorsAgForum.com.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, February 20th

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 Tuesday, February 20th

Trump to Sit Down with Mexican President

The North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations will be just one of the topics President Trump will discuss with the President of Mexico when they meet in the next few weeks. Bloomberg says they plan to discuss the relationship between the two countries and several pending issues. The meeting comes after several months of sometimes contentious NAFTA discussions and Trump’s insistence that Mexico pays for a border wall. Officials from both countries met recently to discuss issues like trade, immigration, security, and energy. They also agreed to set up a meeting between the two presidents in the near future. Trump was scheduled to host Enrique Pena Nieto (Ehn-ree-kay Payn-yah Nee-eh-toe) in January of last year, but Pena Nieto canceled after a dispute erupted on Twitter over the border wall. It was during the presidential campaign that Trump first began to call NAFTA a horrible deal for America and pledged to withdraw if a new deal couldn’t be done. Trump indicated last month that he could be flexible with a deadline on completing NAFTA negotiations right before he repeated his threat to withdraw from the pact if the three countries can’t reach a deal that’s more “fair” to America.


Immigration Debate in Congress Still Struggling

The Senate’s immigration debate ended on Thursday with no deal. Neither a bipartisan plan nor President Trump’s proposal had the required number of votes to pass. Every proposal considered couldn’t reach the 60-vote threshold. That leaves the undocumented immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in limbo and lawmakers unsure of what’s next in the debate. In the other chamber, House immigration hardliners are getting more uneasy as they continue to push for a floor vote on Virginia Representative Bob Goodlatte’s proposal to reform the H-2A agricultural guestworker program. A Republican amendment aimed to enshrine the president’s four-part immigration framework, which would make cuts to legal immigration, was defeated by a wider margin of 36-60.House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows is calling for new leadership in the House Republican Conference. He’s also repeatedly criticized Speaker of the House Paul Ryan for not scheduling a floor vote. Politico says even if the bill got the 218 votes it needs to pass through the House, it’s unlikely to pass in the Senate.


Legislation Designed to Save Pollinators Introduced in House

Representatives Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Jim McGovern of Massachusetts introduced the Saving America’s Pollinators Act. The legislation is designed to protect the health of honey bees and other critical pollinators. Estimates are that the U.S. lost one-third of honeybee colonies between 2016 and 2017, with similar losses occurring in previous years. To help bring a halt to the trend, the legislation suspends the use of bee-toxic insecticides (neonicotinoids), which have been linked to the declining population of pollinators. It also would require the Environmental Protection Agency to do a thorough evaluation to make sure using these insecticides is not adversely affecting pollinator populations. Blumenauer says, “A healthy food system depends on healthy pollinators. To keep the status quo is like flying blind. We shouldn’t be using these insecticides when we don’t know for sure how they’re affecting pollinators. The EPA has a responsibility to get to the bottom of this in order to protect our pollinators.” McGovern says that protecting pollinators is essential to the sustainability of our nation’s food supply. Studies estimate that one of every three bites of food Americans eat is from a crop pollinated by bees.


MN Students Want GMO Approval Process Streamlined

A group of graduate students at the University of Minnesota is asking Congress to streamline the approval process for GMO crops that produce food and fiber. A DTN article says the seven students are doing graduate work at the Minnesota College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences. They believe the regulatory hoops that companies need to jump through to commercialize new traits are slowing down innovation. In a letter to U.S. representatives, the students pointed out that it costs companies between $20 million and $30 million to get a new GMO crop from start to finish through the regulatory process. That’s a price tag that limits smaller companies from making inroads into the marketplace. The students say, “Each of us has numerous ideas about genetic modification that could be developed into startup companies and bring more competition in a marketplace that’s dominated by a few mega-companies that can afford the regulatory process.” The letter asks Congress to pass a bipartisan bill that funnels GMO fuel and fiber crops through either the USDA or the EPA, but not both.


FTC Nominee Pledges to Look Closely at Ag Mergers

The Federal Trade Commission would take a look at past merger deals to see if regulators were too easy on the companies involved. That’s the promise of Joseph Simons, the White House nominee for FTC Chairman. Simons said during a Senate confirmation hearing, he would direct a formal study of closed deals, including some in the agriculture industry. He also said, if confirmed, he would police the conduct of big agribusinesses. He also pledges to sue if wrongdoing comes to the agency’s attention. U.S. agriculture has seen rapid consolidation in recent years, and U.S. regulators have mostly waved the deals through. If the federal government takes a more aggressive stance based on any information gathered as a result of a merger study, it would mark a new era of antitrust policy under Republicans. Simons is the co-chair of the antitrust group at the law firm Paul Weiss, and a former FTC antitrust official during the George W. Bush administration. There are more merger deals in the pipeline that will put antitrust regulators’ approach to the test. Bayer and Monsanto are still awaiting antitrust approval from the U.S.   


SOURCE: NAFB News Service