July 5th, 2018- The following is a statement from North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s resignation.

“It’s no secret corn farmers have been frustrated with Scott Pruitt’s ongoing actions over the past year that have seriously undermined the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“Even with this leadership change at the EPA, our priorities do not change. We will continue to push the EPA to stop granting unjustified RFS waivers. We expect the EPA to account for the more than 1.6 billion gallons the agency waived from 2016 and 2017 RFS obligations, and we will continue ask EPA to follow through on the president’s commitment to remove outdated regulations to allow higher blends of ethanol like E15 to be sold year-round. We are hopeful Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler will work with America’s corn farmers to give consumers more options at the pump to save them money and reduce emissions and provide farmers with certainty in the marketplace that comes with RFS integrity.”


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07-05-18 US Senator Michael Bennet’s Statement on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s Resignation

Bennet Statement on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s Resignation

Washington, D.C. — Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today issued the following statement after Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned.

“After violating ethical standards and unraveling necessary protections for air and water, it was far past time for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to resign,” Bennet said. “Coloradans need an EPA Administrator who will acknowledge and combat climate change and protect the health of their children. I will work to ensure the next Administrator honors the congressional mission of the EPA and executes the job with the integrity that it deserves.”

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07-05-18 CEI on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s Resignation

CEI on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s Resignation

WASHINGTON, July 5, 2018 — Today, President Trump announced the resignation of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) released the following statement about the news.

Director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment Myron Ebell said:

“On behalf of CEI, we thank Scott Pruitt for his outstanding service as EPA administrator, and we regret that personal troubles got in the way. Over the past 18 months, the EPA has made tremendous progress in ensuring that Americans have access to affordable and reliable energy. We are particularly pleased with Pruitt’s leadership getting the United States out of the Paris Climate Treaty, rolling back climate rules like the so-called Clean Power Plan, replacing the Waters of the United States rule, and establishing new science transparency rules.   Continue reading

07-05-18 RFA Statement on Resignation of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt

RFA Statement on Resignation of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt

WASHINGTON — This afternoon, President Trump announced the resignation of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen had the following statement:

“For the past year, Scott Pruitt had been waging war against the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the biofuels industry, and the millions of farmers and rural Americans who helped Donald Trump get elected. It appears these missteps finally caught up with Mr. Pruitt, who apparently thought that RFS stood for ‘Refinery First Strategy.’ Mr. Pruitt’s failure to follow President Trump’s directive to remove the red tape that restricts E15 from being sold in the summertime likely played a part in his demise, and the straw that broke the camel’s back may have been Mr. Pruitt’s recent proposal for 2019 RFS requirements that failed miserably to repair damages done to our nation’s farmers and biofuel producers.

“So, that sound you hear is a collective sigh of relief coming from the Midwest. We look forward to working with Acting Administrator Andy Wheeler, whose long career focusing on policies that recognize economic growth and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive is not undermined by an unmistakable anti-ethanol, anti-farmer bias.” Continue reading

07-05-18 Inside the BARN & FarmCast Radio with Colorado Ag Commissioner Don Brown

CDA Commissioner Don Brown

Inside the BARN & FarmCast Radio with CO Ag Commissioner Don Brown…

(BARN Media / FarmCast Radio – Briggsdale, CO) July 5, 2018 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN is Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown discussing several topics including:

Listen to the interview with CO Agriculture Commissioner Don Brown below…


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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, July 5th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, July 5th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Anger Rises as Tariffs Take Effect

Lawmakers may have left steamy Washington, D.C., for cooler temperatures, but Politico says they’ve only just begun to heat up talks to kill President Donald Trump’s rapidly spreading tariff war. In talking about Trump’s tariffs, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah says, “I want to kill them.” The Finance Committee chaired by Hatch is working on legislation to rein the president in. Republican Senators Bob Corker of Tennessee and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania are still working on what some have called a “hand grenade” amendment to stop Trump’s trade offensive. Politico says Republican sources tell them not a party meeting goes by where Republicans don’t fume over why the president isn’t listening to them on trade. Senate Ag Committee chair Pat Roberts says his committee has met with the president on trade, but says, “Trump is a protectionist who has his policy wrapped around the rear axle of a pickup and it’s hard to get out.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report highlighting how much every state is affected by retaliatory tariffs. “The administration is threatening to undermine the economic progress it worked so hard to achieve,” says Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue.


Too Early to Talk U.S. Withdrawal From WTO

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says it’s “too early” to talk about the possibiity of the United States leaving the World Trade Organization. A Bloomberg report says the discussion comes about as a result of the Trump Administration continuing to talk about ways to improve the organization. During an interview with CNBC, Ross said, “The WTO knows there are some reforms needed. I think there is a need to update and synchronize its activities, however, I think it’s a little premature to talk about simple leaving it.” The website AXIOS had reported Sunday that officials had drafted a bill that would permit the president to ignore WTO rules and let him adjust tariff rates at will for different countries. Trump said on Friday that he’s not planning on exiting the WTO after reports had him telling senior aides that he wants to leave the organization. America has already thrown the WTO into turmoil by blocking the appointment of legal experts to the appeals body, which is the world’s top court for settling trade disputes. The administration has long railed against WTO, saying it interferes with sovereign trade matters and complaining that China hasn’t opened up its economy as it promised to do when joining the WTO back in 2001.


Mexico’s New President Wants NAFTA Deal

Andres Manuel (Man-WELL) Lopez Obrador is the new president of Mexico, winning the election in what an Associated Press article called a “crushing victory.” The morning after he won the new job, he thanked U.S. President Donald Trump for his congratulatory message and said he’ll reach out to the U.S. leader to “reach an understanding.” Lopez Obrador called the congratulatory Tweet from Trump “very respectful,” and says that’s the kind of relationship he wants to maintain with the U.S. government, one of mutual respect. The AP article notes that Lopez Obrador has been compared to the U.S. president because of his populist, national rhetoric, and sometimes “touchy” personality, as well as his past skepticism over the North American Free Trade Agreement. But, Lopez Obrador says he supports reaching a new NAFTA deal with the U.S. and Canada. Talks have been stalled recently because of the Trump Administration’s demands for higher U.S. content in automobiles and a “sunset clause” in the new deal. The new Mexican President plans on letting the country’s current negotiators represent their interests until he takes office on December 1st, and then he’ll name his own team of experts to take over.


Final Countdown for 2017 Census of Agriculture

There is still time to complete the Census of Agriculture for producers who may have missed the June 15th deadline. A Farm Journal report notes that completed forms were first due from farmers back in February, but the deadline has been extended through the end of July. A press release from the National Agricultural Statistics Service says they extended the original deadline because a large number of producers still hadn’t been counted in the census. If producers aren’t represented in the survey, they risk being underserved in areas like farm programs, disaster assistance, agricultural research, local policies, and business. NASS says that’s why it’s so important that they hear from as many farmers as possible. Barbara Rater, the Census and Survey Division Director at NASS, says the census tells the whole story of agriculture. “Even smaller plots of land, both rural or urban, that grow fruit, vegetables, or even some small food animals, count in the survey if $1,000 worth of those products were sold,” Rater says. She said the census is a critical tool that gives producers an important voice in decisions that have a direct impact on their future.


Producer Sentiment Rises Slightly in June

The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer rose slightly in the month of June, coming in at an index of 143, two points higher than May. Ag producers’ sentiment rose slightly in spite of economic challenges like retaliatory tariffs from American trading partners. This month’s slight rise in the index was surprising given a collapse in prices for some of the key agricultural commodities. For example, corn, soybeans, and wheat prices peaked in May before dropping somewhat in early June. Prices tumbled in mid-June when it became apparent that the trade war with China would not be resolved before tariffs kicked in. The small rise in sentiment masks a larger fear among producers about the uncertainty of future conditions. Producers are less optimistic, shown by the number of respondents who expect good times in the year ahead dropping from 32 percent in May to 26 percent in June. When farmers were asked about future growth opportunities in their operations, most respondents don’t expect to increase the acreage on their farms over the next 12 months.


Study Finds Lean Red Meat Can Support Healthy Hearts

People who follow a Mediterranean-style eating plan that incorporates lean red meat can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. That’s according to new research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study compared Mediterranean-style red meat intake, typically three ounces per day, to a lower intake of three ounces twice a week. The research showed that consuming up to 18 ounces of lean red meat per week lowered cholesterol and lowered blood pressure while following the Mediterranean-style eating pattern. Lauren O’Connor, the lead author and a student at Purdue University, says participants’ LDL cholesterol, which is one of the strongest predictors of possible cardiovascular disease, improved with a typical, but not lower, red meat intake. O’Connor says, “Overall, heart health indicators improved with a Mediterranean-style eating pattern.” The study concluded that adults who are overweight or moderately obese people may improve multiple cardiometabolic disease risk factors by adopting a Mediterranean-style diet, with or without reductions in red meat intake when those red meats are lean and unprocessed.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service