05-22-18 CO Governor Hickenlooper to sign bill supporting next generation of Colorado farmers and ranchers

CO Governor Hickenlooper to sign bill supporting next generation of Colorado farmers and ranchers

Farmers and ranchers from across Southwest Colorado will join Governor Hickenlooper in Durango Thursday as he signs the Agricultural Workforce Development bill to expand beginning farmer education and help bridge the farmland succession gap

DURANGO, CO (May 22nd, 2018)– Governor Hickenlooper will travel to Durango on Thursday, May 24th, to sign a bipartisan bill to support and train the next generation of Colorado farmers and ranchers. The signing will take place at 2:30pm MST at Escalante Middle School, 141 Baker Lane, Durango, CO. Members of the press are invited to attend.

The legislation (SB18-042), which creates a new Agricultural Workforce Development Program, emerged from the first-ever Colorado Young and Beginning Farmer Interim Study Committee, established in 2017. The new program will reimburse qualified agricultural businesses up to 50% of the cost of hiring a farm apprentice, helping existing farmers and ranchers stay in production while allowing young farmers and ranchers to gain better access to land, equipment, and mentorship.

“If Colorado wants to save family farms, we need to find ways for young and beginning farmers to be farmers,” said Representative Marc Catlin (R-Montrose), one of the prime bill sponsors in the House. “This bill will help start that conversation.”

“Our agricultural lands are an essential part of the fabric of Colorado, and we must do what we can to keep them viable and productive,” said Representative Barbara McLachlan (D-Durango), the bill’s other prime sponsor in the House. “Young and beginning farmers represent our future, our environment, and our economy.” In the Senate, the bill was championed by prime sponsors Sens. Kerry Donovan (D-Vail) and Larry Crowder (R-Alamosa). Continue reading

05-22-18 FSA County Committee Nominations Launch June 15th

FSA County Committee Nominations Launch June 15th

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2018 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) encourages America’s farmers and ranchers to nominate candidates to lead, serve and represent their community on their local county committee. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will accept nominations for county committee members beginning Friday, June 15, 2018. Continue reading

05-22-18 Smart Yields and RMFU Launch Cutting-Edge Technology Program to Enhance Crop Monitoring

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

Smart Yields and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Launch

Cutting-Edge Technology Program to Enhance Crop Monitoring

Honolulu agriculture technology company Smart Yields and the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) have launched a state-of-the-art pilot program to monitor crops and livestock using wireless sensors, hardware and data analytics. It is the first program of its kind in Colorado, spanning nearly 1 million acres of land. Continue reading

05-22-18 National Farmers Union Urges Immediate Action on E15 Waiver

National Farmers Union Urges Immediate Action on E15 Waiver

Higher Blends of Ethanol Offer Significant Benefits for Farmers, the Economy, and the Environment
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delay in allowing year-round use of E15 gasoline threatens harm to markets for family farmers, according to National Farmers Union (NFU). NFU President Roger Johnson today wrote to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, urging EPA to immediately institute a waiver for summertime sales of E15.
Johnson noted that year-round use of E15 would have significant benefits for farmers, the economy, energy independence, and the environment. Currently, an arbitrary restriction on use of E15 in summer months is limiting the amount of ethanol that can be blended into the nation’s transportation fuel supply. Yet while EPA has been actively working on allowing year-round use of E15 since October 2017, and President Donald Trump committed to allowing an E15 waiver earlier this year, EPA has yet to take any action or provide any time table as to when a waiver can be expected. This delay in issuing a waiver is threatening to upend any potential benefits of a waiver in the upcoming summer months of 2018.
“It is now May, and the summer restrictions on E15 for this year are looming with no apparent movement from EPA on this issue,” said Johnson in his letter to Administrator Pruitt. “Year-round use of E15 is not a new issue for EPA; this has long been supported by the biofuels industry and agriculture. We urge you to act in an expedited manner to follow President Trump’s direction to allow the use of E15 this summer.”

Continue reading

05-22-18 CDA Program Provides Value-Added Opportunity to Colorado Farmers While Reducing Noxious Weeks

CDA Program Provides Value-Added Opportunity to Colorado Farmers While Reducing Noxious Weeks

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s “Certified Weed Free Forage & Mulch” program works to reduce noxious weeds and provides an opportunity for farmers to sell their product as “certified weed free.” The program inspects forage or mulch before it is harvested to ensure there are no noxious weeds in the mulch or forage. The use of certified weed free forage and mulch is intended to reduce the spread of weeds on public land or other areas where forage or mulch is used.
“This program is of great value to our farmers and purchasers of their products. Certain public and provincial lands have areas that require regional weed free forage and this program offers that certification,” said Les Owen, CDA’s Conservation Services division director. “Plus, we do all the work to assist farmers in getting signed up.  We help gather the information, such as the number of acres involved, schedule the inspection, and provide the specially colored twine that labels it as weed-free.”

Continue reading