04-19-18 NFU Lauds Congressional Support for Long-term Farm Safety Net Solution to Potential Trade Damages

NFU Lauds Congressional Support for Long-term Farm Safety Net Solution to Potential Trade Damages

WASHINGTON – In a letter sent to President Donald Trump yesterday, twenty members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee urged the administration to support long-term solutions in the Farm Bill that would ensure an adequate farm safety net for family farmers and ranchers who are enduring a depressed farm economy and threats of retaliatory tariffs on farm products.

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson lauded the letter, noting it mirrors Farmers Union’s call for the administration to work with Congress to develop a Farm Bill that protects family farmers from harm as a result of retaliatory tariffs. Johnson issued the following statement in support of the letter:

041918 House Farm Bill Tariff Letter Continue reading

04-19-18 An In Depth Look at the Colorado Crisis Services Program and how they can help YOU…

An In Depth Look at the Colorado Crisis Services Program and how they can help YOU…

An EXCLUSIVE interview with RMFU Fellow Catherine Russell about Colorado Crisis Services..help is just a call or TEXT away…

(The BARN / FarmCast Radio – Briggsdale, CO) April 19, 2018 – The agriculture economy at this time is facing some tough trials and many in the ag industry may feel that there is no one that they can talk to about their particular situation. That’s here the Colorado Crisis Services comes in. And joining the Colorado Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio to discuss that organization in more detail is Catherine Russell, RMFU Fellow…


If you don’t know where to begin getting mental health, substance use or emotional help for yourself or someone you know—start here. Colorado Crisis Services provides confidential and immediate support, 24/7/365. If you are in crisis or need help dealing with one, call this toll-free number 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255 to speak to a trained professional.

04-19-18 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

04-19-18 NASDA: State Ag Leaders Praise Introduction of FARMERS FIRST Act

NASDA: State Ag Leaders Praise Introduction of FARMERS FIRST Act

04/19/2018 – Following today’s introduction of the Facilitating Accessible Resources for Mental Health and Encouraging Rural Solutions For Immediate Response to Stressful Times (FARMERS FIRST) Act by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) with Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Jerry Moran (R-KS) as original co-sponsors, NASDA CEO Dr. Barbara P. Glenn issued the following statement:

“NASDA applauds the bipartisan introduction of this bill to help individuals deal with the extreme stresses facing agriculture. This bill will enable farmers and ranchers to connect with real people who can help them through their uniquely stressful situations. The outreach services and trainings highlighted in this bill can reach producers regardless of where they are located and what they’re facing,” said Glenn. “State departments of agriculture are on the front lines with producers helping tackle these issues and the FARMERS FIRST Act will create needed coordination of these efforts.”   Continue reading

04-19-18 NFU Applauds Introduction of FARMERS FIRST Bill in Senate

NFU Applauds Introduction of FARMERS FIRST Bill in Senate

Legislation Would Reauthorize and Strengthen Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of Senators today introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate to provide mental health resources in rural America to address the alarmingly high rate of suicide amongst farmers and ranchers.

The bill, Facilitating Accessible Resources for Mental Health and Encouraging Rural Solutions for Immediate Response to Stressful Times (FARMERS FIRST), would reauthorize the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) and authorize $50 million for the program, which has yet to be funded since being first authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill. FRSAN provides grants to extension services and nonprofit organizations that offer stress assistance programs to individuals engaged in farming, ranching, and other agriculture-related occupations. FARMERS FIRST is sponsored by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and cosponsored by Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.).

National Farmers Union (NFU) president Roger Johnson applauded the Senators on the introduction of the bill:

041918 Senate FRSAN Intro

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04-19-18 US Representatives Conaway and Thompson hosted Agriculture Audio News Conference Following Markup of 2018 Farm Bill

US Representatives Conaway and Thompson hosted Agriculture Audio News Conference Following Markup of 2018 Farm Bill

Washington, D.C. – Washington, D.C. – House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) and Vice Chairman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-5) hosted an agriculture telephone news conference on Thursday, April 19th. Conaway and Thompson shared opening remarks regarding the committee markup of the 2018 Farm Bill and then took questions from reporters…

041918_USHouseAgCommitteeChairMikeConaway_FarmBillPresser Continue reading

04-19-18 NFU: E15 Waiver is Good News for Family Farmers

NFU: E15 Waiver is Good News for Family Farmers


After months of deliberations around and attacks on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), there is optimism in recent ethanol news; President Trump announced his support for the year-round sale of E15, or gasoline blends comprised of 15 percent ethanol, which had previously been barred from being sold in the summer. NFU applauded the decision, as it will cut into the corn supply and expand markets for American farmers. However, the organization also urged the administration to cut down other barriers that limit the use of high blends of ethanol and pushed for greater promotion of E30, which offers better economic, fuel economy and air quality benefits than do lower blends of ethanol.

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04-19-18 NFU: Current House Farm Bill Fails to Meet Needs of Family Farmers

Current House Farm Bill Fails to Meet Needs of Family Farmers — NFU Opposes Current Version, Suggests Significant Improvements

NFU President Roger Johnson

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House Agriculture Committee today marked up the 2018 Farm Bill, H.R. 2, sending the bill to the full U.S. House of Representatives for its consideration.

National Farmers Union (NFU), the nation’s second largest general farm organization, opposes the legislation as it is currently written, as it fails to provide an adequate safety net to family farmers and consumers, fails to support the long-term sustainability of family farms and ranches, and fails to ensure fair and diverse markets for farmers and ranchers. In a series of recommendations released today, NFU urged House members to make significant improvements on the floor prior to passing the bill.

041818 House Farm Bill Markup

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04-19-18 Secretary Perdue Announces New Senior Leaders at USDA

Secretary Perdue Announces New Senior Leaders at USDA

(Washington, D.C., April 19, 2018) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the selection of senior leaders in several U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies. Perdue appointed Ken Isley as Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Administrator, Joel Baxley as Rural Housing Service (RHS) Administrator, and Martin Barbre as Risk Management Agency (RMA) Administrator. In addition, Perdue announced the appointment of Tommie Williams as Minister-Counselor for Agriculture at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome.

“President Trump has made increasing prosperity in rural America a priority for his administration, and our new USDA team members will be key in advancing us toward that goal,” Secretary Perdue said.  “Improving economic conditions in rural America involves providing services to farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers, and it also means helping people who live in those communities.  In addition, we must continually try to find new markets for the agricultural bounty they produce.  Our new leaders in FAS, RHS, and RMA will help us carry out our mission.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, April 19th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, April 19th

House Ag Committee Debates Farm Bill Draft

The House Agriculture Committee Wednesday approved the draft farm bill, with 26 in favor, and 20 voting against the bill. Democrats and Republicans squared off on the nutrition title, which Republicans are seeking to reform to include work requirements. However, Democrats argue the program changes may be too costly, and that the reforms are “not the right way” to help people get work. Georgia Democrat David Scott went as far to call the draft the “most terrible farm bill we’ve ever had.” In opening remarks, Ranking Democrat of the Committee, Collin Peterson, claimed the “flawed bill” is the result of a “bad and nontransparent process.” Chairman Mike Conaway argues that Democrats on the committee, who announced “unanimous opposition” to “partisan policies” regarding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, “had no interest in negotiating on the SNAP title.”  In his opening statement Conaway focused on the need for a new farm bill stemming from the current agriculture economy, and the lack of will by Democrats to negotiate SNAP.

RFA: Early Evidence of Ethanol Demand Destruction

The Renewable Fuels Association says its found evidence that RIN waivers are destroying ethanol demand. The Environmental Protection Agency has been handing out hardship waivers “like candy,” according to refining executives. The waivers grant refiners a pass on RINs, the mechanism by which Renewable Fuel Standard compliance is tracked. Renewable Fuels Association executive vice president Geoff Cooper says the credits also provide a strong economic incentive for the expansion of ethanol blending beyond E10. Thus, when RIN prices collapse, “the incentive to expand ethanol blending is also weakened.” Cooper says the waivers and other actions by the EPA are rapidly destroying demand for ethanol and corn. A settlement with a bankrupt refiner, the waiver exemption, and failure to enforce 2016 statutory requirements, Cooper says, “effectively reduced the 2016 and 2017 RFS volumes each by one billion gallons or more.”

Perdue Comments on China Sorghum Tariff

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Wednesday called the China announcement regarding U.S. sorghum this week “ludicrous.” China’s anti-dumping investigation has resulted in a 179 percent tariff on U.S. sorghum imports. Perdue says the move by China is “clearly a political decision,” add that the U.S. “rejects their premise.” Perdue goes on to say that U.S. sorghum producers are “the most competitive in the world,” saying the industry does not believe there is any basis in fact for China’s actions. National Sorghum Producers previously said the organization is “evaluating all legal options moving forward.” China is the largest buyer of U.S. sorghum products, purchasing more than $900 million worth last year. China launched the anti-dumping investigation in February. The move is seen as part of an ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

Senators Call for National Security Review of Brazilian Acquisition of U.S. Beef Company 

A group of U.S. Senators are calling for a national security review of the Brazilian acquisition of a U.S. beef company. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, along with Ranking Senate Agriculture Committee Member Debbie Stabenow, and others, are urging the Committee on Foreign Investment to review the proposed purchase of National Beef Packing Company by Brazil’s Marfrig Global Foods. The Senators point out that the proposed acquisition follows a 2017 corruption scandal in Brazil’s food safety system that revealed unacceptable safety and quality issues with Brazilian beef intended for the American market, which included Marfrig Global. Citing the Smithfield acquisition by a Chinese company, and the ChemChina-Syngenta merger, the senators say “it has become increasingly clear that growing foreign investment in U.S. agriculture requires a thorough review process to safeguard the American food system.” The senators also asked the Treasury Department to include both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration in the reviews of foreign acquisitions of major U.S. agriculture assets.

Coalition Works to Expand Rural Broadband 

A coalition of rural and farm groups are seeking to improve rural connectivity to broadband. The first in a series of workshops was held Wednesday at the Department of Agriculture. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai (Ah-jiht’ Pie) joined executives from the five partner organizations for the discussion. The coalition includes the Farm Foundation, The Rural Broadband Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, CoBank, and the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation. Farm Foundation President and CEO Constance Cullman says: “Actions needed to improve e-connectivity vary widely by community and region,” adding that the listening sessions will “highlight common issues,” and challenges. The stakeholders emphasized the need for collaborative efforts to enhance broadband services in rural America. The next listening session will be in June 2018 in Minnesota, with additional sessions to be completed over the next six months.

Universities Create FedbyScience Initiative

A total of 16 public and private universities have joined together to create FedByScience, an effort to boost federal investment in agricultural research. The initiative, timed with the release of the 2018 House farm bill, focuses on demonstrating the ways that U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded universities and researchers are creating a safer, healthier and more productive food system. FedByScience launched April 18th with briefings for Senate and House staffers. The effort tells stories in which scientific discoveries and innovations have improved the way food is produced and distributed. FedByScience co-chair Ronnie Green, of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, says the universities are joining together to ensure “our stories about the value of food and ag research are heard.” Other participating universities include Colorado State, Cornell, Iowa State, Kansas State, Michigan State, New Mexico State, North Carolina State, Purdue, Texas A&M, the University of California-Davis, the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Washington University in St. Louis.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service