05-24-18 Colorado Farm Bureau Gathers Signatures to Protect Private Property Rights

Colorado Farm Bureau Gathers Signatures to Protect Private Property Rights

Centennial, Colo.,  May 24, 2018 — The state’s largest agriculture organization is proposing a constitutional amendment for the November general election ballot that would strengthen private property rights in the state. Colorado Farm Bureau is currently gathering signatures for Initiative 108 — a constitutional amendment that will ensure property owners are properly compensated if new laws or regulations negatively impact the value of their property.

“No matter who you are or where you come from, your property is your property,” says Shawn Martini, Vice President of Advocacy for the Colorado Farm Bureau. “This new amendment will further strengthen property rights in Colorado and provide a way for property owners to get a fair hearing in court when their property value is impacted.”

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05-24-18 WGCD Scholarship Awards Announced

WGCD Scholarships Announced

Greeley, CO – The West Greeley Conservation District has selected 10 students who live within the boundaries of the conservation district’s service area to benefit from their scholarship program during the 2018-19 academic year. Four recipients are graduating from high school right now, four are renewal awards going to students who received a scholarship from WGCD as freshmen this past year and two are upper class women. All 10 will receive $5,000.

All are attending a Colorado institution of higher learning, pursuing careers in: Natural Resources, Environmental Studies, Agriculture, Animal Science, Agribusiness, Water, Forestry, and related conservation fields. They earned a 3.0 GPA or better and have been very involved in their schools and community.

Incoming Freshman Scholarships are awarded to: Continue reading

05-24-18 Honey Bee Health the Focus of CDA & CSU Grant

Honey Bee Health the Focus of CDA & CSU Grant

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Colorado State University Extension, CSU College of Agricultural Sciences and the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) have been awarded a grant for $132,000 to span three years from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to monitor honey bee health and to educate hobby beekeepers new to the field of honey bee husbandry.
Maintaining healthy bee populations has been challenging for a variety of reasons including communicable diseases that bees are contracting, mite infestations, lack of forage and misuse of pesticides. Colorado is home to 946 native bee species belonging to 66 genera. Preliminary indications are that new beekeepers who do not receive instruction and mentoring from beekeeping clubs or other experts are more likely to have hives that carry diseases and other health issues that spillover to other honey bees and native bees.
“The health needs of bees and the commitment to become a beekeeper is often misunderstood,” said Laura Pottorff, CDA’s Apiary program manager. “The receipt of this award will help CSU and CDA work to preserve the beekeeping profession and protect the health of all pollinator populations in Colorado.”
“The goal of the project is to educate new beekeepers and decrease disease and parasite presence in apiaries managed by hobby beekeepers across Colorado by helping them to recognize honey bee pests and diseases and to adopt integrated pest management practices,” said Kurt Jones, county director for Chaffee County Extension.
The training programs will be offered in Adams, El Paso, Chafee, Mesa Counties and the San Luis Valley. Program participants will be educated on scientific beekeeping practices and monitoring for honey bee health, specifically addressing re-emerging diseases, their prevention and control. In return, participants must agree to:

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05-24-18 Make plans to attend the 2018 Summer Grass Tour near Briggsdale and Greeley June 20-21

Make plans to attend the 2018 Summer Grass Tour near Briggsdale and Greeley June 20-21

You are invited you to join us June 20th and 21st at our 2018 Grass Tour

So very excited to be working with the Colorado Section- Society For Range Management, West Greeley Conservation District, Colorado Watershed Assembly, CSU Extension, and Jordan Angus this year! Together we have a great tour planned for you. Continue reading

05-24-18 H-2A Agricultural Worker Visa Modernization Joint Cabinet Statement

Header Statement

H-2A Agricultural Worker Visa Modernization Joint Cabinet Statement

Secretary Acosta, Secretary Nielsen, Secretary Perdue, and Secretary Pompeo

(Washington, D.C., May 24, 2018) — When President Trump addressed the American Farm Bureau Federation in January of this year, he reminded the audience that his commitment to our farmers has been clear since the day his Administration began:  “From that day on, we have been working every day to deliver for America’s farmers just as they work every single day to deliver for us.”  

In keeping with that commitment, our Departments are working in coordination to propose streamlining, simplifying, and improving the H-2A temporary agricultural visa program – reducing cumbersome bureaucracy and ensuring adequate protections for U.S. workers. Continue reading

05-24-18 CYFEA Announces 2018 – 2019 Academic Scholarship Winners

CLICK HERE to learn more about the CYFEA…

CYFEA Announces 2018 – 2019 Academic Scholarship Winners

May 24, 2018 – The Colorado Young Farmers Educational Association is pleased to announce the winners of its CYFEA 2018 – 2019 Academic Scholarship Awards!  This scholarship program was established in 1994 to recognize outstanding students who will be entering college in the fall academic year as a Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, or Senior.  These students will major in Ag education or an Ag related field of study, as well as being academically superior and involved with their local and/or state community service organizations.

This year there are four student scholarships awarded, for a total of $3500.  The winners are as follows:

  • Senior – McCall Etl, Fleming CO
  • Junior – Augustus Gill, Merino CO
  • Sophomore – Stephanie Bushnell, Monte Vista CO
  • Freshman – Cooper Carlson, Atwood CO

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05-24-18 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

05-24-18 Eight FFA Members Named to the 54th Class of U.S. Presidential Scholars

Click here to learn more about the National FFA Organization

Eight FFA Members Named to the 54th Class of U.S. Presidential Scholars

INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, May 24, 2018/National FFA Organization) – Eight FFA members were recently named U.S. Presidential Scholars—one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students—for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education. Each year, up to 161 students receive this honor. Overall, eight FFA members were named as 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars.

The FFA members named as scholars are:

  • Michael Z. Chen of Newark, Del., member of Newark High School FFA Chapter
  • Connor K. Erbsen of Lanark, Ill., member of Eastland FFA Chapter
  • Lane Hilgenhold of Tell City, Ind., member of Perry Central FFA Chapter
  • Caleb L. Lines of Nashua, Iowa, member of the Nashua-Plainfield FFA Chapter
  • Caitlin Henne of Eaton Rapids, Mich., member of the Springport FFA Chapter
  • Tyler Noyes of Toston, Mont., member of the Broadway FFA Chapter
  • Brianna D. Maddock of Davenport, N.D., member of the  Kindred FFA Chapter
  • Bridger J. Gordon of Whitewood, S.D., member of the Sturgis FFA Chapter

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, May 24th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, May 24th

Administration Discord Over China Tariffs

Sources close to the White House tell Bloomberg that President Donald Trump backed off imposing billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese goods because of discord within the administration. There’s also concern within the White House over the possibility of harming negotiations with North Korea. Trump also reportedly succumbed to pressure from farm-state Republicans, who heavily lobbied the administration to settle its differences with China, which had threatened to levy its own tariffs on American agricultural imports. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (Muh-NOO-chin) said over the weekend that the administration’s plan to impose tariffs on Chinese goods has been suspended. However, former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon told Bloomberg the deal was “capitulation.” Some White House officials say the retreat on tariffs is a result of discord on Trump’s economic team. Bloomberg says divisions are raw between free trade supporters like Mnuchin and White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow and the China hawks led by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro. Mnuchin and Navarro were said to have argued over China policy during a trip to Beijing earlier this month, and Navarro wasn’t as deeply involved during negotiations last week with a Chinese delegation that made a trip to Washington, D.C.

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U.S.-China Trade War a Win For Other Nations?

A Politico report says the real winners of a trade war with China could be some of America’s top global trade competitors. As the two countries push toward a trade deal, long-term trends could be stacked against American producers when it comes to Beijing’s consumption. China will likely keep pouring resources into other countries in an attempt to diversify its sources for everything from agricultural goods to consumer goods. Brazil could bring millions of new acres into production faster with the help of Chinese investments in its roads and railways, which could be a detriment to American growers. The South American nation has taken over the globe’s number one spot as top soybean producer, supplanting the U.S. USDA estimates show that Brazil is already projected to increase soybean acres dramatically over the next 10 years. The challenge will be difficult to overcome for U.S. producers, who have all but maxed out their growable acres. China is also encouraging its own soybean farmers to increase their production.

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Japan, Russia, and Turkey Talk Potential Trade Retaliation

The World Trade Organization says Japan, Russia, and Turkey have all warned the United States about possible trade retaliation for U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. An Agriculture Dot Com article says those tariffs would up the total U.S. tariff bill around the world to $3.5 billion annually. The three countries recently notified the World Trade Organization of their compensation claims. That follows similar moves by the European Union, India, and China. Each filing showed how much the U.S. tariffs would add to the cost of steel and aluminum exports to the United States. Russia says the Trump-imposed tariffs add up to $538 million in duties to its exports. Japan put the amount at $440 million and Turkey added another $267 million. They all reject the view that the U.S. tariffs are a matter of security concerns and are therefore exempt from WTO rules. Neither Japan or Russia specified how they will retaliate against U.S. exports, but Turkey listed 22 American goods it was planning to target, ranging from nuts, rice, and tobacco, to cars and steel products.

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U.S. Government to Spend $50 Million in Seed Quality

The U.S. is trailing China in federal ag research and seed-breeding investments. China has outspent the U.S. in those categories for the past ten years. To help combat the low spending, House Democrats Mark Pocan of Wisconsin and Darren Soto of Florida introduced the Seeds for the Future Act earlier this year. A Farm Journal report quotes a release from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition as saying farm businesses need to overcome a host of obstacles to stay viable in today’s economy. The obstacles include increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, invasive pests, and previously unseen crop diseases. The release also says, “The Seeds for the Future Act will increase farmers’ access to these 21st-century seeds by making much-needed investments in breeding programs.” Funding will focus on developing seeds that help farmers combat the challenges they face in today’s growing environments. The Act ensures federal investments to support farmers and researchers who are working to develop seeds that will be effective in diverse farming operations and locations.

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Marathon Petroleum Asks for RFS Waiver

Marathon Petroleum Corporation, one of the largest refining companies in the nation, requested a “hardship waiver” from the Environmental Protection Agency. Marathon wants one of its facilities exempted from its requirements under the Renewable Fuels Standard. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor was not pleased with the news. She says, “Two of the largest corporations in the country are set to create an oil monopoly and they’re still expecting ‘small refiner’ handouts. This is what happens when the EPA regulators are permitted to ignore the president’s commitments to rural communities.” Skor says these waivers have already siphoned away billions of dollars from farm families to enrich some of the world’s largest oil companies, as well as a few well-connected investors like Carl Icahn. Skor adds, “Those gallons need to be restored and American consumers need immediate, year-round access to E15 as well.” Even Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley weighed in on the topic, saying, “That an oil company making billions of dollars in profits thinks it’s got a shot at receiving a hardship waiver shows how broken the process is.” The smallest Marathon refiner producers 93,000 barrels of product a day at its Canton, Ohio, location.

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Crop Protection Companies Readying for Robot Sprayers

A solar-powered robot that looks like a table on wheels was recently moving through a field of sugar beets in Switzerland. The robot scans rows of crops with its camera, identifies weeds, and zaps them with blue liquid from its mechanical tentacles. A Reuters report says the Swiss robot is undergoing its final testing before the blue liquid is replaced with actual weedkiller. The machine is a new breed of AI weeders that investors say could disrupt the $100 billion pesticides and seeds industry by reducing the need for universal herbicides and the genetically modified crops that tolerate them. The industry is bracing for the impact of digital agricultural technology and some of the biggest companies are already changing their business models in anticipation. The stakes are high as herbicides are worth $26 billion a year in sales and account for 46 percent of pesticide revenue overall. Industry experts say some of the profit pools that are in the hands of major agrochemical companies could wind up in the hands of farmers and equipment manufacturers. While still in its infancy, the plant-by-plant approach is a marked change from the standard method of crop production.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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