04-30-18 NATIONAL AUCTIONEERS ASSOCIATION CELEBRATING NATIONAL AUCTIONEERS WEEK

NATIONAL AUCTIONEERS ASSOCIATION CELEBRATING NATIONAL AUCTIONEERS WEEK

NAA President Scott Shuman of Hall and Hall Auctions in Eaton, CO

The National Auctioneers Association is celebrating National Auctioneers Week, highlighting the community leadership and services auctioneers offer rural America, and others.

Members of NAA are joining a social media campaign, that showcases the work auctioneers do, leading up to National Auctioneers Day on May 5th. In September, the U.S. Congress recognized the day as a celebration of auctioneers, according to NAA President Scott Shuman of Eaton, Colorado…

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National Auctioneers week runs April 30th, leading up to National Auctioneers Day, May 5th. Learn more about the events and the National Auctioneers Association online at www.auctioneers.org.

04-30-18 CO Governor Hickenlooper sends bill to Secretary of State without signature

CO Governor Hickenlooper sends bill to Secretary of State without signature

DENVER — Monday, April 30, 2018 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today sent the following bill to the Secretary of State to become law without signature.

Number

Title

Sponsors

Summary

HB 18-1093

Reclaimed Water Use For Edible Crops

Rep. Arndt / Sen. Coram

Concerning the allowable uses of reclaimed domestic wastewater, and, in connection therewith, allowing reclaimed domestic wastewater to be used for food crops and making an appropriation.

View a copy of the governor’s letter. Continue reading

04-30-18 CO Governor Hickenlooper signs bills into law

CO Governor Hickenlooper signs bills into law

DENVER — Monday, April 30, 2018 Gov. John Hickenlooper signed these bills into law today. Among today’s bill were HB 18-1322, the Long Appropriation Act and HB 18-1323, funding three Pay for Success projects.

The Long Appropriation Act, also known as the long bill, sets the state budget for the coming fiscal year. Our better-than-expected state forecast allows us to strengthen key areas of the budget including K-12 education and higher education. You can find the letter that accompanies the long bill here. Highlights of the 2018-2019 budget include: Continue reading

04-30-18 Learn more about Innosphere and the Israel-Colorado Innovation Fund: An Interview with Gili Elkin…

Learn more about Innosphere and the Israel-Colorado Innovation Fund: An Interview with Gili Elkin…

(The BARN / FarmCast Radio) April 30, 2018 – At the inaugural CSU Water in the West Symposium on April 26-27 in Denver, I had the opportunity to listen to and meet one of the presenters during a panel discussion entitled, “Dollars and Droplets: Financing Water Projects”, her name is Gili Elkin, who is a General Partner with the Israel-Colorado Innovation Fund; and she graciously accepted an invitation for a telephone interview. We discuss several topics including:

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View your personal invitation to attend the Cyber Security for Critical Infrastructures & Transportation Event on May 14th in Denver… Continue reading

04-30-18 Inside the BARN & FarmCast Radio with Jerry Wilkins of Colorado Egg Producers…

CLICK HERE to learn more

Inside the BARN & FarmCast Radio with Jerry Wilkins of Colorado Egg Producers…

Egg Recall – CEP Annual Meeting – 2018 Pedal the Plains & More

Jerry Wilkins, Colorado Egg Producers Association Board Vice-President & Rocky Mountain Eggs, Inc. Sales and Marketing Director

(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) April 30, 2018 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network for this month’s CO Egg Producers Update is Jerry Wilkins, CEP Board Vice-President & Sales and Marketing Director at Rocky Mountain Eggs, Inc. discussing several topics pertinent to the egg industry, including:

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW…

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2018 CEP Annual Meeting on May 24th in Brighton

Evening BBQ and Entertainment!

Singer – Songwriter – Historian
Jon Chandler

Jon Chandler is a three time winner of the prestigious Spur Award from the Western Writers of America. Linwood, his moody examination of Doc Holliday’s life won the Spur for Best Song in 2009, while his tribute to Wyoming’s Hole in the Wall country, Morning Star Moon, received the award in 2012. His novel The Spanish Peaks received the WWA’s Medicine Pipe Bearer Award (Spur Award) for Best First Novel, and he was named True West Magazine’s Best Western Musician. His Wyoming Wind, A Novel of Tom Horn, was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. A seventh-generation Coloradan, Jon’s music and stories reflect his heritage, and his eight CDs, two novels, two nonfiction works and myriad short stories and nonfiction articles are collected by western lifestyle aficionados worldwide. He is finishing a coffee table book for the Nelson Museum of the West in Cheyenne, Wyoming entitled Meet Us in Cheyenne, as well as his next western novel, He Was No Hero. He hosts the iconic monthly concert series America’s Soul Live at the Olde Town Pickin’ Parlor in Arvada, Colorado.

Colorado Egg Producers… Producing for Colorado. Farming with Care.

Learn more online @ http://www.coloradoeggproducers.com/

04-30-18 CDPHE news: Avoid hantavirus–Practice prevention and year-round rodent control

CDPHE news: Avoid hantavirus–Practice prevention and year-round rodent control

As spring cleaning gets underway, the state health department reminds Coloradans to take steps to avoid hantavirus, a rare but potentially fatal respiratory disease from a virus carried by deer mice. People are most likely to get hantavirus by breathing in dirt and dust contaminated with deer mouse urine, droppings or saliva. More people get hantavirus in the spring and summer, often while cleaning up homes, yards and sheds. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has documented more than 110 cases of hantavirus across the state since it began tracking the disease in 1993. There has been one case of the disease in Colorado this year. The case was in a Denver resident who recovered.

“If you see deer mice in or around your home, you may be at risk for this illness,” said Dr. Jennifer House, state public health veterinarian. “The more of these mice there are, the greater the risk.” Deer mice have large ears and eyes and white undersides.

Continue reading

04-30-18 CSFS: Campaign to Inform, Educate During Wildfire Awareness Month

Campaign to Inform, Educate During Wildfire Awareness Month

DENVER – April 30, 2018 – With wildfires already burning homes in Colorado this spring, more than three-quarters of the state in drought conditions and a low snowpack, the possibility of a dangerous wildfire season looms in the minds of many residents. Now is an ideal time for homeowners living in the wildland-urban interface, public lands users and others to become more knowledgeable about how they can join in reducing wildfire risk.

May is Wildfire Awareness Month in Colorado, and for the next four weeks an online campaign to inform and educate Coloradans about wildfire risk and steps that can be taken to reduce risk will be the focus of a partnership between the Colorado State Forest Service, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control and U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, April 30th

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, April 30th

EPA Waivers Lower Ethanol Production Six Percent

The Environmental Protection Agency has granted Renewable Fuels Standard waivers to dozens of refineries over the last couple of years. The Renewable Fuels Association analyzed the EPA’s own compliance data and found that the exemptions lowered volumetric obligations by at least 1.6 million gallons over that time period. The volume lost over the last two years is ten times greater than the collective losses from 2013-2015. Despite receiving numerous requests for information from ethanol industry stakeholders on the exact number of waivers, the EPA hasn’t disclosed the number of waivers it’s granted and how much blending volume those exemptions effectively erased. An RFA analysis of EPA database information shows, “The EPA data strongly implies that small refiner exemptions have effectively lowered the 2017 required volume of renewable fuels by 1.1 billion gallons, or six percent.” The RFA analysis also says that the data shows small refiner exemptions also effectively reduced the 2016 RFS requirement by 523 million gallons. RFA President and CEO Bob Dineen says, “This analysis, based on EPA’s own data, confirms our concerns and sheds light on the scope and magnitude of Administrator Pruitt’s campaign to undermine the RFS. “

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EPA Chief Faces Tough Questions

A Politico report says Environmental Protection Agency Chief Scott Pruitt had a simple task during recent Congressional hearings, which was to keep his conservative backers happy. In turn, that may keep the president happy. Democrats and environmentalists panned Pruitt’s job performance as the EPA head is facing a number of ethical and spending questions. Most Republicans seemed pleased enough with his performance that he may have saved his job, for now. However, President Donald Trump hasn’t weighed in with his thoughts yet. One Republican who is close to the White House tells Politico that, “As long as Pruitt’s explanations hold and there are no crazy discrepancies or smoking guns, I don’t think that creates any red flags for Pruitt.” Pruitt’s shifting answers to questions about controversial staff raises for two of his aides raised concerns that he hasn’t been completely up front. Pruitt also used the two hearings before lawmakers to blame his torrent of scandals on EPA career staff. Pruitt said during one hearing, “Let me be very clear: I have nothing to hide as it relates to how I’ve run the agency for the past 16 months.”

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NC Residents Win Big Money from Smithfield

A federal jury reached a verdict worth $50 million in the first of 26 lawsuits against North Carolina pork producer Murphy Brown. An Indy Week Dot Com reports says the jury took less than 24 hours to reach the verdict against Murphy Brown, a subsidiary of Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods. The plaintiffs contended that the company’s waste-management plan makes their lives miserable. The plan consists of storing excess hog waste in open-air cesspools, as well as liquefying and spraying the remains on nearby fields. The plaintiffs say the odors and mist from the spray drift onto their properties, that the hogs attract swarms of insects and buzzards, boxes with dead hogs smell especially bad, and the stench limits their ability to go outside. The trial involved ten plaintiffs who live near Kinlaw Farm in Bladen County, North Carolina, who contracts with Smithfield to raise 15,000 hogs. Smithfield Foods says in a news release that they will file an immediate appeal of the verdict.

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American Veterinary Association Pleased With House Farm Bill

The American Veterinary Medical Association is pleased with the animal health priorities in the House version of the 2018 Farm Bill. Among the highlights, the AVMA is pleased with the new authorizations and funding for a National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program, The National Animal Health Laboratory Network, and a livestock vaccine bank with immediate attention to foot-and-mouth disease. Dr. Lauren Stump, Assistant Director of Government Relations for the AVMA, says the House Agriculture Committee’s work on the farm bill is a great step in the right direction to effectively respond to and prevent animal diseases. “We don’t know when the next major outbreak will occur, but it’s of paramount importance that we prepare for when it does,” she says. “We must take a proactive approach to animal health so we can stop animal diseases before they spread.” Stump says they look forward to continuing to work with Congress to help lawmakers pass a farm bill that achieves the goals of protecting animal agriculture and ensuring consumers have access to safe and nutritious protein.

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Syngenta Says European Decision Takes Ag In The Wrong Direction

The decision by European Union member states to back the European Commission’s proposal on further restricting the use of neonicotinoids disappointed Syngenta, but it wasn’t unexpected. The company says that wasn’t the right decision for the future of agriculture or the environment in Europe. Syngenta says agriculture needs all the options it has to help farmers ensure that consumers have access to safe and affordable food. Farmers also have to be able to minimize the negative impact and amplify the positive effects agriculture has on the environment. Syngenta says the Commission relied on an unapproved regulatory document called the Bee Risk Guidance Document in making its decision. Syngenta says the decision to propose a further ban on neonicotinoids will not address the challenges we face in ensuring a safe and reliable food supply, while also taking care of the environment. They say the Bee Risk Guidance Document is so conservative and so far removed from the reality of modern agriculture that it would ban most, if not all, agricultural chemicals.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts a large increase in cotton production in Texas, the biggest cotton-producing state in the U.S. Cotton industry observers are noticing cotton production shifting northward into Kansas and Oklahoma. CoBank issued a report looking at the reasons for cotton increasing into new areas. The report says the reasons behind the expansion include unprofitable prices for grain crops, declining water availability, round bale harvesters, better genetic varieties of cotton, and increased optimism about a cotton program re-entering the 2018 Farm Bill. A CoBank senior analyst says the projections of increased cotton planting are sending signals to the cotton industry that it will need more ginning capacity and storage capacity. Ben Laine of CoBank says, “We’re already seeing some cooperative gins in Kansas expanding capacity, with some doubling their previous year’s capacity, and others in three more states increasing their capacity by as much as 30 percent.” While the cooperatives are expanding, the bigger question is how sustainable cotton will be in some of these new areas. Laine says, “If cotton is included in a rotation, the underlying infrastructure investments and the long-term economics compared to other crops show cotton is sustainable in these typically grain-dominated areas.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, April 27th

CLICK HERE to listen to Today’s BARN Morning Ag News w/Brian Allmer

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, April 27th

U.S. Beef Could Expand In E.U. To Help Avoid Trade War

The European Union is preparing to allow more tariff-free U.S. beef into the region as part of an attempt to avoid a trade war. Politico says the move comes at the same time French President Emmanuel Macron (Ma-CRAHN) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are making high-level diplomatic trips to Washington, D.C. Both leaders are trying to dissuade President Donald Trump from slapping tariffs on European steel and aluminum imports, set to begin on May first. An EU concession on American beef may go a long way toward appeasing the U.S. President, who’s made it clear that Europe has “unacceptable” barriers to trade. “Our farmers can’t send their product into the European Union as easily as they should,” Trump says, “and we accept their products. So, we have to make a change, and they understand that.” To make the change happen, the EU would have to alter a 2009 agreement which allowed the U.S. to export 45,000 tons of hormone-free beef without paying dues. European agriculture associations typically don’t favor more beef imports, but Politico says they seem to be supportive of tweaking the quota, especially if hormone-free beef stays on the banned list.

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EPA Chief Faces Scrutiny on Capitol Hill

Lawmakers peppered Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt with questions on ethics and spending allegations that have prompted bipartisan calls for his ouster. An Associated Press report says the EPA boss was on the defensive as he blamed “half-truths” and “twisted” allegations as attempts to undermine the Trump administration’s anti-regulatory agenda. The public questioning on Capitol Hill comes after a month-long bout of headlines surrounding his outsized security spending, first-class flights, as well as a sweetheart deal on a condo lease from a lobbyist. Republicans who support Pruitt’s policy agenda are beginning to say his lapses in judgment can no longer be ignored. Democrats attacked Pruitt at the opening of the hearing. New Jersey Representative Frank Pallone said, “You are unfit to hold public office.” President Donald Trump is standing by his EPA chief. However, White House officials say behind closed doors that Pruitt’s job is in serious jeopardy. Pruitt addressed the allegations against him in passing during his opening statement. He did acknowledge there’s been “a learning curve” and that “facts are facts, fiction is fiction.”

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Former Senators Ask Congress to Investigate EPA/RFS Waivers

Former Senators Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and James Talent of Missouri both played major roles in the legislation that established the current Renewable Fuels Standard. This week, the two say Congress should investigate the waivers to the RFS granted to more than two-dozen refineries by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. In a statement released by the National Biodiesel Board, both men say, “Lawmakers from across the heartland have already demanded the EPA stop abusing these waivers, but Congress needs to do more. The public deserves real answers from Administrator Pruitt about handouts granted under the cover of night.” The waiver provision established by Congress provided some flexibility in dealing with the smallest refining companies who produced fewer than 75,000 barrels a day. It was designed for unique cases that presented disproportionate economic hardship. “But the EPA has warped those provisions to grant tens of millions of dollars in regulatory handouts at the expense of farmers, biofuel workers, and American consumers,” says Dorgan and Talent. “Granting secretive ‘hardship’ waivers to some of the nation’s most profitable petroleum giants undermines the law and destroys demand for homegrown biofuels,” says Kurt Kovarik, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs

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Chinese Sorghum Importers Ask Government to Waive Tariff

Some Chinese sorghum importers have asked their government to waive the hefty tariff imposed last week on U.S. sorghum imports already at sea. A Reuters report says the request comes as companies are rushing to sell China-bound cargo currently stranded on the water at big discounts. The Commerce Ministry slapped a large 178.6 percent deposit on American sorghum in a trade row between the world’s two largest economies. Grain sorghum is used in animal feed and to make liquor. One source tells Reuters his company made the request of Beijing to impose the new tariff on shipments that left U.S. ports after April 18. Companies are making a bid to protect almost a dozen vessels shipping U.S. sorghum that had already left their ports. A second source at a private importer told Reuters that a group of companies, including one government-owned firm, met with Commerce Ministry officials to discuss concessions for the new tariff, but didn’t disclose details of what happened at the meeting. The scramble to secure government concessions underscores concerns among Chinese firms that the trade dispute between Washington and Beijing will inflict financial pain on China

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Ag Groups Applaud Precision Ag Connectivity Act

The American Soybean Association is among agriculture groups applauding the Senate Commerce Committee for pushing the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act of 2018 forward in the legislative process. ASA President John Heisdorffer says his group welcomes the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act of 2018. “This legislation understands the unique needs of growers across rural America,” Heisdorffer says. “We urge swift passage in the U.S. Senate as wireless broadband connections in the field support farm operations and, in turn, rural communities.” The American Farm Bureau says the bill would create a task force designed to focus in on the connectivity and technology needs of modern farmers, who are too often without connectivity in the fields and on the ranches where they work. The Farm Bureau says precision agriculture maximizes yield, lowers environmental impact, and improves farm profitability, which is important at a time when farmers need to maximize every penny they can to survive. The Federal Communications Commission says 39 percent of rural Americans lack access to basic broadband services compared to only four percent of urban Americans.

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Farmers’ Share of the Food Dollar at a Record Low

The Economic Research Service’s Food Dollar Series shows that the farmers’ share of the food dollar fell to 14.8 cents in 2016. That’s a 4.5 percent drop from the previous year and the lowest level since the series first launched in 1993. The farmers’ share of every $1 spent on domestically produced food represents the percentage of farm commodity sales tied to the food dollar expenditure. Non-farm related marketing associated with the food dollar rose to a record-high of 85.2 cents. Those expenses include things like transportation, processing, and marketing. The largest decline in the farmer share of the food dollar was in food not consumed at home. The family farm share of food consumed away from home dropped to 4.4 percent, ten percent lower than the previous year.  The smaller share of the food dollar consumed away from home is due to the cost of restaurant food service and preparation. For all but the food and beverage dollar consumed at home and the food at home dollar, the farmers’ share of the food dollar is at record-low levels.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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04-10-18 Jocelyn Hittle details CSU’s 1st Annual Water in the West Symposium coming to Denver April 26-27

April 26-27 in Denver, CO CLICK HERE to learn more and to get registered

Jocelyn Hittle details CSU’s 1st Annual Water in the West Symposium coming to Denver April 26-27

Jocelyn Hittle, Director of Denver Program Development for the CSU System

(The BARN / FarmCast Radio) Briggsdale, CO April 10, 2018 – Colorado State University is hosting their 1st annual Water in the West Symposium April 26-27 at the McNichols Civic Center Building in Denver and joining the CO Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio to detail the event in detail is Jocelyn Hittle, Director of Denver Program Development for the CSU System

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Continue reading

04-26-18 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

04-26-18 Family Farm Alliance Op-Ed by President Patrick O’Toole – CSU’s Water in the West Symposium

Family Farm Alliance Op-Ed by President Patrick O’Toole – CSU’s Water in the West Symposium

This week Colorado State University hosts the symposium, “Water in the West,” to discuss water policy and community, environment, and industry issues for Colorado and the entire West. The program includes a variety of Colorado politicians, policy makers and other business leaders, as well as the previous and current U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture.

Unfortunately, the conference agenda fails to include voices from the farming and rural communities of Colorado, a critical component of Western water use, even though it promises discussion of creative solutions addressing the needs of food producers. Continue reading

04-26-17 CAB: $33,500 in Colvin Scholarships to 6 Ag Students

cab-colvin-scholarship-logoCAB: $33,500 in Colvin Scholarships to 6 Ag Students

By Diane Meyer

Six aspiring college students were awarded $33,500 through the Certified Angus Beef  ® (CAB®) Colvin Scholarship Fund. Since 1999, the annual awards have supported future leaders in honor of the brand’s co-founding executive director of 21 years, Louis M. “Mick” Colvin. The program continues his legacy of inspiration and creative leadership.

2018 Undergraduate Recipients

$7,500: Elisabeth Loseke | Senior, Animal Science & Pre-Veterinary Medicine | University of Nebraska-Lincoln

$6,500: Kylie Philipps | Senior, Animal Science | University of Florida

$5,000: Macy Perry | Senior, Animal Science | Oklahoma State University

$4,000: Madison Butler | Senior, Animal Science | Oklahoma State University

$3,000: April Molitor | Junior, Animal Science | Texas Tech University

2018 Graduate Recipient

$7,500: Michael Cropp | First Year, Meat Science | Iowa State University

Continue reading

04-26-18 CSFS: Communities Coming Together on Wildfire Preparedness Day, May 5th

CSFS: Communities Coming Together on Wildfire Preparedness Day, May 5th

DENVER – April 26, 2018 – Next Saturday, May 5, is “Wildfire Preparedness Day” in Colorado – a day when communities across the state come together to prepare for wildfires and take actions to reduce their wildfire risk. The proclamation, which dedicates a day to engage communities in focusing on activities that create awareness, education and action to reduce potential deaths and property losses through their preparedness efforts, coincides with the 2018 National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day.

The National Wildfire Preparedness Day, which falls on the first Saturday in May each year, is organized by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) – an international nonprofit established in 1896 to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on quality of life by providing resources that are adapted by many states, including Colorado. Continue reading

USDA – FAS Weekly Export Sales Report for April 26th

USDA FAS - Foreign Agricultural Service header

Weekly Export Sales for April 26th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, April 26th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, April 26th

Soybean Growers Talking Tariffs, Trade on Capitol Hill

American Soybean Association farmer-leaders from across the country are on Capitol Hill this week to talk with lawmakers about the potential impact of Chinese tariffs on U.S. soybeans. ASA President John Heisdorffer says China purchases 61 percent of U.S. soybean exports, as well as 30 percent of the overall U.S. soybean production. “In short, trade with China matters and is vital not only to the hundreds of thousands of U.S. soybeans producers but to rural economies and communities that depend on them,’ Heisdorffer says. “Today, we’re asking lawmakers to support their communities and constituents by joining ASA in encouraging the administration to rethink the Section 301 tariffs, and instead, empower soybeans to continue to be part of the solution.” He says the growers have come to D.C. and left their fields during planting season to educate and convey the importance of trade with China. Heisdorffer says the message is clear: “A 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans into China will have a lasting effect on every soybean farmer in America.”

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Time Running Out to Participate in the 2017 Census of Agriculture

The National Ag Statistics Service wants to remind farmers and ranchers that the window is closing on the opportunity to participate in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. NASS has received more than 1.5 million completed questionnaires. However, the national return rate is currently lower than it was at this point in the 2012 Census. NASS is asking U.S. producers who have not returned their completed Census questionnaires to please do so as soon as possible in order to avoid follow-up phone calls or in-person visits. NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer says they’re very grateful for the responses they’ve received, but it’s important that the others who received a Census questionnaire join their neighbors, colleagues, friends, and family in being a part of the Census count. “If you produced and sold $1,000 or more of agricultural products in 2017, or normally would have produced and sold that much, we need to hear from you,” says Hamer. “If you’re a landowner who leases your land to a producer, we need to hear from you as well.” The Census of Agriculture is the only comprehensive source of agriculture data for every state and county in the nation. The data is used by policymakers, trade associations, researchers, agribusinesses, and many others.

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Farm State Senators Worry About Trade During Hearing

The Senate Agriculture Committee convened a hearing on Tuesday and expressed a great deal of concern over the trade strategy of President Donald Trump and its effects on the U.S. farm economy. Politico says farm-state senators used the opportunity to direct Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue to impress on the Trump administration just how sensitive commodity markets are to trade actions. Committee Chair Pat Roberts of Kansas says producers are being used as pawns in Trump’s crackdown on what he argues are unfair trade practices by China and other countries. After a full year in the Trump administration, Politico says Perdue has gotten good at defending the president’s trade actions while assuring farmers he has their back. Perdue says the updated trade agreement between the U.S. and South Korea is an example that the strategy is working, but he did acknowledge there wasn’t much added benefit for food producers in the new agreement. In the meantime, Trump announced Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (Muh-NOO-chin) and others will be traveling to China in a few days to hopefully negotiate a deal to help both countries avoid slapping tariffs on each other’s goods.

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NFU Board of Directors Opposes Current House Farm Bill

The National Farmers Union Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution opposing the current version of the House Farm Bill that passed out of the Ag Committee last week. The Board called on House members to make significant changes in the legislation before passing it. The Board says in a release that, “The House Farm Bill, as currently written, lacks the improvements needed to help farmers cope with continued low commodity prices. The bill fails to provide farmers with the tools they need to be the best possible stewards of our natural resources, and it reverses progress toward expanding access to local, regional, and specialty markets.” The NFU Board says the House bill also makes “unnecessary cuts” to programs that feed hungry Americans. Among the changes recommended by the NFU Board, they’d like to increase PLC reference prices to improve the farm safety net and offset possible trade retaliation. They’d like to strengthen payment limitations and actively engaged requirements for Title 1 programs. The NFU would also like to see dairy farmers provided enhanced price supports and a mechanism in place that manages our nation’s milk inventories to meet market demand.

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Trump Says NAFTA Talks Are “Doing Nicely”

President Donald Trump says this week that the North American Free Trade Agreement talks are “moving along nicely.” Bloomberg says trade ministers from Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. are meeting in Washington, D.C., and pushing to finish an agreement by early May. During a meeting with the president of France, Trump said, “NAFTA, as you know, is moving along. I could make a deal very quickly but I’m not sure that’s in the best interest of the United States. We’ll see what happens but we’re doing very well.” The trade head of the Mexican version of the Chamber of Commerce says an agreement on an updated NAFTA could be reached within the next ten days. If no deal is reached in the coming days, the Bloomberg report says it may make sense to put further negotiations on hold until the end of this year, or even early 2019. That’s because of the Mexican presidential election in July and the American midterm election in November. Negotiating teams have agreed on nine or ten more topic areas that are ready for the ministers to review. However, there are still some sticky issues left to deal with.

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USDA Launches Website Promoting Rural Development Best Practices

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched a new interactive website to help identify best practices for building rural prosperity. Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development, says communities need forward-thinking strategies to build strong futures. “The Rural Development Innovation Center is focused on identifying unique opportunities, pioneering new, creative solutions to tough challenges, and making Rural Development’s programs easier to understand, use, and access,” she says. The webpage will highlight effective strategies that have been used to create jobs, build infrastructure, strengthen partnernships, and promote economic development in rural America. An interactive feature allows webpage visitors to submit comments on ways USDA can improve the Rural Development program delivery. The Center staff will review the citizen recommendations and direct resources, services, and expertise that will help their communities create transformative solutions to complex rural challenges. The website will also highlight USDA resources that can be used for investments in infrastructure and innovation.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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04-25-18 Nation’s leaders attend 2018 Ducks Unlimited Capitol Hill Dinner

Nation’s leaders attend 2018 Ducks Unlimited Capitol Hill Dinner

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 25, 2018 – Last week, nearly 700 people gathered for the annual Ducks Unlimited Capitol Hill dinner and auction. More than 70 members of congress were in attendance, along with many congressional staff members, partners in agriculture and conservation, members of the Administration, Wetlands America Trustees and Ducks Unlimited volunteers and board members from around the country.

This year House Speaker Paul Ryan and Secretary Sonny Perdue were among those in attendance.

Pictured in row one from left to right: Rep. Jim Costa (CA), Rep. Bruce Poliquin (ME), Rep. Don Young (AK), Rep. Gary Palmer (AL). Pictured in row two from left to right: Rep. Dan Newhouse (WA), Sen. Mike Rounds (SD), Rep. Mike Coffman (CO), Rep. Dan Kildee (MI), Rep. Mike Conaway (TX), Rep. Ralph Abraham (LA), Rep. Ann Wagner (MO), Rep. Tim Walberg (MI). Rep. Glenn Grothman (WI), Rep. Bill Flores (TX), Rep. Rob Wittman (VA), Rep. Susan Brooks (IN), Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL), Sen. Rand Paul (KY), Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS). Pictured in row three from left to right: Rep. Liz Cheney (WY), Rep. Mike Johnson (LA), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (MN), Rep. Bob Latta (OH), Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI), Sen. Chris Coons (DE), Rep. Mike Thompson (CA), Rep. Ken Calvert (CA), Sen. Rob Portman (OH), Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE), Rep. Clay Higgins (LA), Rep. Dave Joyce (OH). Pictured in row four from left to right: Rep. Ron Kind (WI), Sen. Tom Carper (DE), Rep. Jason Smith (MO), Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ), Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC), Rep. Bruce Westerman (AR), Rep. Brad Schneider (IL), Rep. Paul Cook (CA), Sen. Dean Heller (NV), Sen. Martin Heinrich (NM), Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA), Rep. Austin Scott (GA).

“The Washington D.C. event on Capitol Hill is our opportunity to thank our bipartisan friends in Congress for their continued support of wetlands conservation,” said Dale Hall, CEO of Ducks Unlimited. “We celebrate those champions who fight for our natural resources every day with some of our most senior volunteers and partners. Their support is paramount in our effort to conserve some of the nation’s most critical habitat.” Continue reading

04-25-18 2018 Pedal the Plains Route: Kiowa – Bennet – Limon…September 14-16!

CLICK HERE for the full details and to get registered!

Gov. Hickenlooper announces Pedal the Plains Route

DENVER — Wednesday, April 25, 2018 Today Gov. Hickenlooper along with the Denver Post Community Foundation, announced Kiowa, Bennett, and Limon as the host communities for this year’s Pedal The Plains bike ride.

The 188 mile, three-day tour will take place Sept. 14 – 16. The 2018 Tour includes a new gravel century ride. Registration is now open online at www.pedaltheplains.com. Continue reading