06-04-18 CDA: Free Publication Connects Consumers with Local Products

CDA: Free Publication Connects Consumers with Local Products

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BROOMFIELD, Colo.– Spring has sprung and Coloradans are coming out of their winter slumber, looking for local products. The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s 34th annual Colorado Farm Fresh Directory helps consumers find farmers’ markets, roadside stands, u-picks, wineries and agritourism activities.

“We are excited to partner with Kaiser Permanente this year,” said Wendy White, marketing specialist for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “The directory is brimming with local producers and educational information.”
The 2018 Colorado Farm Fresh Directory features more than 200 farms, ranches, roadside stands, u-picks and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs as well as 100 farmers’ markets across the state.  Farm Fresh also includes farms that offer tours, restaurants using local ingredients, wineries, corn mazes, pumpkin patches and farm and ranch vacations. In addition, the free directory includes county fairs, a crop calendar, food and agricultural festivals and tips for picking Colorado produce.

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06-04-18 DAIRY MAX AND WESTERN DAIRY ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCE COMPLETION OF MERGER

DAIRY MAX AND WESTERN DAIRY ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCE COMPLETION OF MERGER

Newly joined regional dairy council represents 900 dairy farmers across seven states​

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – June 4, 2018 – Nonprofit regional dairy councils Dairy MAX and Western Dairy Association today announced the completion of a merger between the groups.

Two of the leading dairy councils in America, Texas-based Dairy MAX and Colorado-based Western Dairy Association, have a long history of affirming the efforts of dairy farmers in their regions and providing information about the nutrition and benefits of dairy. The combined organization, which will be known as Dairy MAX, represents more than 900 dairy farmers and their families in seven states: Colorado, southwest Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, western Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.

Dairy MAX is part of a nationwide effort to promote dairy, develop new dairy foods, provide educational information and increase consumption. It does so with a team of experts in dairy farming, education, health and wellness and business, working with organizations such as the National Dairy Council (NDC) and Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP).

“It is an exciting day for our regional dairy council and for the dairy farmers we represent,” said Mike Konkle, CEO of Dairy MAX. “Dairy MAX highlights the importance of American agriculture and dairy farming, helping to grow impact in our communities year after year. We believe that dairy products are simple solutions to everyday hunger, nutrition and dietary needs – and that’s a key message we’re committed to sharing as part of the newly shaped Dairy MAX.”

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06-04-18 WDA merges with Dairy MAX!

Western Dairy Association Farmers and Friends,

We’re excited to announce today that we’ve joined forces with our neighbor, the Texas-based dairy council, Dairy MAX. The combined organization will continue with the Dairy MAX name and brand, now representing seven states, including Colorado, southwest Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, western Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.

Both organizations have passion for and a long history of working on behalf of the dairy farm families in their regions by helping our communities understand the importance of dairy in their diet and the dairy industry. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, June 4th

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, June 4th

Peterson: New Farm Bill Must Protect Against Trade Retaliation

House Ag Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson says that American tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will generate retaliation that will hit farm exports hard. As a result, he’ll be working with House and Senate Ag Committee leaders on a new farm bill to protect farmers from “the market fluctuations caused by these actions.” A USDA spokesman says President Trump “will not allow American agriculture to bear the brunt of retaliatory tactics.” However, in an email to the Hagstrom Report, Peterson says, “That the administration has decided to move forward with these wrongheaded tariffs, even though farmers have repeatedly warned about retaliation from trade partners, shows that the administration isn’t listening or just doesn’t care.” Instead of a farm bill focused on welfare reform, Peterson says he looks forward to working with leadership to craft a bill that protects farmers from the market fluctuations caused by these tariffs. The legislation should also invest in trade promotion to help them rebuild lost markets. The USDA spokesman says the agency is continuing to work to expand existing markets and to come up with new ones for American agricultural products.

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Trade Partners Respond to Tariffs with Threats of Retaliation: Ag Groups Concerned

The National Pork Producers Council is very concerned about the steel and aluminum tariffs placed on imports from Canada and Mexico. Both countries have already threatened retaliation. Those concerns arise as Mexico, a key pork export market, has already threatened to retaliate against pork imports. U.S. pork shipped $1.5 billion worth of product to Mexico, and another $792 million to Canada, its fourth-largest market. U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Dan Halstrom says it’s unfortunate if U.S. pork exports to Mexico, which deliver tremendous benefits to both the U.S. supply chain and Mexican consumers, importers, and restaurants, no longer enjoy duty-free access to this critical market. “It’s especially frustrating to see U.S. pork caught up in a trade dispute that has absolutely nothing to do with the pork trade,” Halstrom says. The National Farmers Union says, while they agree with President Trump’s inclination to address unfair trading practices and reduce our trade deficit, provoking a global trade war with our closest allies hardly seems like a solution. NFU President Roger Johnson says, “These on-again, off-again tariffs will likely result in the opposite of their intended effect. Agriculture is always the first casualty in retaliatory tariffs.”

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Tariffs Throw Another Monkey Wrench Into NAFTA 2.0

The steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by President Trump threw another wrench into the North American Free Trade Agreement talks. Politico says that will further delay a final agreement between the three long-time trading partners. The action also revives the possibility that Trump will once again possibly follow through on his threat to withdraw from the pact. That’s a move that will have serious economic consequences for all three economies. Trump recently told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the “U.S. will sign a fair deal, or there will be no deal at all.” Trudeau says the Trump administration has pressured him to accept a provision that would automatically terminate the agreement unless all three countries agreed to renew it. Trudeau refused to have his hand forced and canceled his plans to travel to Washington to finalize the deal if that was going to be the condition. The conservative group, American Action Forum, says the president thinks being “tactically unpredictable is a fantastic approach.” The group says he fails to realize that strategy only confuses people, damages important relationships, and the president shoots himself in the foot on the economy during a time when regulatory and tax reform is doing so well.

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USDA Reopens Application Period for Producers Recovering from Cattle Loss/Other Disasters

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will once against accept disaster assistance program applications, beginning on June 4. Eligible producers include those who’ve suffered livestock losses, as well as the loss of honeybees, farm-raised fish, as well as other types of losses because of natural disasters. USDA’s Farm Service Agency is reopening the application period for two disaster assistance programs in response to statutory changes made by Congress. Starting Monday, June 4, the FSA will accept new applications for losses in 2017 and 2018 filed under the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) or the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Bees, and farm-raised fish program (ELAP). Producers who’ve already submitted applications and received decisions on their applications for these years don’t need to file again. However, they can reapply if they have additional losses or filed their applications late. Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which made several changes to each program. Producers who are interested in LIP or ELAP should contact their local Farm Service Agency office for more information.

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EPA Awards Biofuel Waivers Worth Tens of Millions of Dollars

A Reuters report says the Environmental Protection Agency has awarded tens of millions of dollars’ worth of biofuel blending credits for this year to refiners HollyFrontier and Sinclair Oil. Two sources tell Reuters the refiners argued that the agency had wrongly denied them waivers from the country’s biofuels law as far back as 2014. It’s likely to add fuel to the fire in the ongoing dispute between oil refiners and the renewable fuels industry over the future of America’s biofuels policy by opening the door to similar challenges in the future. The EPA’s move may put even more pressure on credit prices, which have plummeted to five-year lows as the agency has expanded the small refinery waiver program. The EPA gave Hollyfrontier nearly $34 million worth of credits to reverse a denial for one of its Wyoming plants that dated back to 2015. The agency also gave undisclosed millions more to Sinclair for two of its facilities in the state for both 2014 and 2015.

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Rural Mainstreet Index at Highest Point in Five Years

The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index climbed above growth neutral in May for the fourth-straight month. The index surveys bank CEOs in rural areas across a ten-state region that depends on agriculture or energy to power its economy. It’s the first time since 2015  that the index readings have been above growth-neutral in four consecutive months. The growth index rose to 56.3, its highest reading since July of 2013, also up from 53.5 in April. The index ranges from 0 to 100, with 50 being growth neutral. Ernie Goss, Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University, says, “Over the past several months, surveys indicate the rural economy is trending upward with improving and positive economic growth. While commodity prices have improved recently, prices are still below break-even for a large share of farmers.” Over 36 percent of bank CEOs cite rising regulatory costs at the top economic challenge to their banking operations over the next five years. Bankers reported an average cash rental rate of $239 per acre, which is about three percent lower than last year.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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