05-10-18 USDA Secretary Perdue Announces Fourth “Back to Our Roots” Tour: NM, CO, WY & NE

USDA Secretary Perdue Announces Fourth “Back to Our Roots” Tour: NM, CO, WY & NE

(Washington, D.C., May 10, 2018) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will embark on his fourth “Back to Our Roots” tour next MONDAY, May 14th to hear ideas and concerns from local farmers, ranchers, producers, foresters, agriculture students, business owners, community leaders, and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) employees. The tour will last through Thursday and include stops in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska. During different segments of the tour, Secretary Perdue will be joined by Governor Susana Martinez (NM), Governor John Hickenlooper (CO) Governor Pete Ricketts (NE), Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte (NM), Agriculture Commissioner Don Brown (CO), Agriculture Director Doug Miyamoto (WY), Director of Agriculture Steve Wellman (NE), and American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall.

“This tour is another great chance to escape Washington and meet face-to-face with America’s farmers, ranchers, producers, and foresters,” Secretary Perdue said. “We want to take our message directly to the American people and give them an opportunity to express their ideas and concerns. As Congress and the Administration continue their work on important issues like rural infrastructure, trade, and the Farm Bill, USDA stands ready to give the agriculture community a voice.”


Background: Continue reading



The Beef Checkoff hosted a comprehensive one-day training on May 9 with eight chefs from across the Northeast region. Chefs are valuable members of the beef community, bringing delicious and nutritious beef meals to consumers via a foodservice setting each day. The training centered around building these regional chefs up as beef advocates. Kaitlyn Carey, Director of Consumer Affairs with the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiativenoted, “This was a first of its kind training for our chefs located here in the Northeast. We want to engage with and build up chefs as advocates for beef, as they all have their unique circles of influence.” Continue reading

05-15-18 Two Apprentices Graduate from Dunwoody College, Soon will be First to Complete Ardent Mills’ Milling Certification Program

Two Apprentices Graduate from Dunwoody College, Soon will be First to Complete Ardent Mills’ Milling Certification Program

Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 14, 2018 – When Jacob Pierzyna and Zachary Melin walk with their fellow students at Dunwoody College of Technology on May 17, they will be the first students to graduate in partnership with a new Ardent Mills apprenticeship program. Jacob and Zach will continue working with Ardent Mills until early fall to complete the on-the-job hours required for apprenticeship certificates. Next: they will be ready for their professional milling careers. Continue reading

05-15-18 Beef Checkoff News: 2017 Cattlemen’s Stewardship Review

Beef Checkoff News: 2017 Cattlemen’s Stewardship Review

Good and Getting Better: Report for Consumers, Influencers Notes Key Improvements Being Made by Cattle Industry

A beef checkoff-funded report is highlighting the commitment cattle producers demonstrate in the areas of animal welfare, beef quality, sustainability and community involvement. The Cattlemen’s Stewardship Review (CSR) gathers data from an independent 2017 telephone survey of beef producers to deliver a comprehensive profile of the U.S. beef community today. The report and survey were coordinated by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) as a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program.

The report compares to a 2010 checkoff-funded benchmark survey. It shows that improvements have been made in all four of the cattle industry areas studied. In addition to a national news release to national media outlets, the report and information from it are being presented to key national media by the NCBA communications team, as a beef checkoff contractor.

“We want consumers to know we aren’t just farmers and ranchers, but also animal caretakers, nutritionists, small business owners, environmentalists, and members of our communities,” said Joan Ruskamp, part owner of J & S Feedlot in Nebraska and Cattlemen’s Beef Board chairman.  “This report is a way to benchmark our progress, celebrate our successes and identify opportunities for improvement.”

Among the findings of the survey, conducted by Aspen Research of a proportionate number of producers to the Agricultural Census, are:

Continue reading

05-15-18 USDA Designates Five Counties in Colorado as Primary Natural Disaster Areas with Assistance to Producers in Kansas

USDA Designates Five Counties in Colorado as Primary Natural Disaster Areas with Assistance to Producers in Kansas

WASHINGTON, May 14, 2018 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Cheyenne, Crowley, Kiowa, Lincoln and Pueblo counties in Colorado as primary natural disaster areas due to losses and damages caused by a recent drought.

Farmers and ranchers in the following contiguous counties in Colorado also qualify for natural disaster assistance. Those counties are: Continue reading

05-15-18 Colorado FFA Members Receive over $50,000 in College Scholarships

CLICK HERE to visit the Colorado FFA Foundation’s Website

Colorado FFA Members Receive over $50,000 in College Scholarships

GREELEY—The Colorado FFA Foundation is proud to announce 16 worthy recipients will receive scholarships from the Foundation and it’s supporting partners.  Additionally, 29 Colorado FFA members were awarded scholarships from the National FFA Organization. Scholarships are sponsored by businesses and individuals through the the Colorado FFA Foundation and the National FFA Foundation and are given for a wide variety of experiences, career goals, and higher education plans. The selection process takes into account the whole student – FFA involvement, work experience, supervised agricultural experience (SAE), community service, leadership skills and academics. Below is a list of the Colorado FFA Foundation sponsored Scholarships with their descriptions.  Continue reading

05-15-18 American Agri-Women Announce Their 2018-19 Officer Team

The 2018-2019 American Agri-Women officer team. (back row, left-to-right) Doris Mold, Jean Goslin, Natalina Sents, Katie Yost (front row), Karolyn Zurn, Jeanette Lombardo and Jenny Stelmach.

American Agri-Women announce their new officer team 

Ventura, CA (AgPRMay 15, 2018  Jeanette Lombardo, Immediate Past President of the California Women for Agriculture has been elected President of American Agri-Women (AAW) for 2018-2019. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, May 15th

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, May 15th

Farm Bill May Have Enough Votes in House for Passage

The farm bill may have enough votes in the House of Representatives for passage. Politico reports that as the bill is expected to be brought to the House floor this week for consideration, some senior Republicans think House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway has the votes to pass the bill. That comes as Democrats in the House have been urged to vote against the legislation by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Democrats remain opposed to the stricter work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program as part of the Republican-drafted farm bill. The bill must first pass through the House Rules Committee which will be considering some 100 amendments to the farm bill. The Rules Committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday evening. Conaway met with President Trump last week, and Conaway says the President “supports his efforts,” despite some concern that the President would veto the bill, titled the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018.

Trump Deal on China’s ZTE May Reduce Ag Tariff’s

A possible agreement between President Trump and China that would relax penalties on a Chinese telecom company could ease the agriculture tariff threats. Trump is talking with China to ease restrictions on ZTE, a smartphone company that shut down major operating activities last week after Trump’s seven-year export ban stemming from trade violations. A source close to the talks says a “mini-deal is in sight” that would give China relief for ZTE, and return to “status quo” for U.S. agriculture, according to the Hagstrom Report. China has threatened tariffs on U.S. agricultural products, including soybeans and pork, and has slowed the importation of U.S. ag products by inspecting each export container. The threats stem from Trump’s steel and aluminum import tariff.

Starling Moves to USDA

In announcing leadership for Department of Agriculture agencies last week, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue also announced the movement of Ray Starling from the White House to USDA. Agri-Pulse reports that Starling, who has served as a special assistant to the president for agriculture, will now serve as Secretary Perdue’s chief of staff. Starling will replace Heidi Green who is returning home to Georgia. Before joining the White House, Starling served as chief of staff for U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, a Republican from North Carolina. The news came the same day that Secretary Perdue announced new leadership for the Farm Service Agency and the Food Safety and Inspection Service. Former Missouri Agriculture Director and state FSA Director Richard Fordyce was appointed to the lead the Farm Service Agency, while Carmen Rottenberg was appointed to lead the Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Canada, China, Talking Trade

Canada and China are seeking a stronger trade relationship. The two countries have agreed to increase collaboration on agriculture, including expanding market access. The move is key to a trade target by Canada to grow global agriculture and food exports to $75 billion by 2025, according to Canadian Minister of Agriculture Lawrence MacAulay. Officials from Canada, including MacAulay, are in China this week for a mission to showcase Canada’s agricultural products. Canada is meeting with Chinese companies and participating in discussions on cooperation between the two countries and to advocate for expanded market access for Canadian pork, beef and canola. MacAulay says the Chinese market offers “significant opportunities for Canadian agricultural producers and processors.” The trip comes as U.S. agriculture is facing a glut of tariffs from China stemming from a trade dispute if President Trump cannot strike a deal to keep China from implementing the tariffs.

USDA Proposes Rule to Eliminate Redundant Hog Carcass Cleaning Regulation

The Department of Agriculture last week proposed to amend federal meat inspection regulations to repeal what USDA calls a redundant regulatory requirement for hog slaughter establishments. The Food Safety and Inspection Service says the proposed rule would remove a redundant requirement that requires hog slaughter establishments to clean hog carcasses before cutting. Establishments are required to have a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point system, or HACCP, that identifies potential biological, chemical or physical hazards, and the controls to prevent, reduce or eliminate those hazards at specific points in the process. Because establishments are required to operate under those regulations and apply HACCP principles, USDA says the command-and-control regulatory requirement is no longer necessary to ensure food safety. Carmen Rottenberg of FSIS says removing the regulations will “continue to be” the focus of FSIS as the agency seeks to streamline regulations.

Smithfield Launches Investigation Into Alleged Abuse

Smithfield Foods has launched a third-party investigation into a North Carolina farm where animal rights activists are claiming abuse is taking place. Meat industry publication Meatingplace reports that Direct Action Everywhere claims in a new report completed after what it says was an eight-month investigation at the facility that pregnant sows continue to be confined in “torturous” gestation stalls. The report comes despite Smithfield saying that it completed its ten-year transition to open sow housing at all of its sow farms worldwide at the end of 2017. In a statement, Smithfield says the animal rights group ignored the group housed barns on the farm that “they unlawfully broke into” in order to deliberately mislead viewers. A Smithfield official further says that the group claiming to be animal care advocates compromised the health and well-being of the pigs when they “trespassed onto farms, violated our strict biosecurity policy that prevents the spread of disease, and stole our animals.” The group claims to have “rescued” two piglets from a Smithfield farm in Utah.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service