07-30-18 Navigating Trade Challenges Focus As 58th US Grains Council Meeting Kicks Off In Denver, CO

Colorado Dept. of Ag Commissioner Don Brown welcomes the @USGC crowd to Denver! #grains18

Navigating Trade Challenges Focus As 58th US Grains Council Meeting Kicks Off In Denver, CO

Denver – Navigating the new global trade landscape while maintaining and strengthening relationships with key partners, including Mexico and China, was front and center as the U.S. Grains Council’s 58th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting began Monday in Denver.

The meeting kicked off with keynote speaker Ambassador Carla Hills, a former U.S. Trade Representative, who shared her perspective on how agriculture fits in today’s global trade puzzle.

Ambassador Carla Hills, a former U.S. Trade Representative, who shared her perspective on how agriculture fits in today’s global trade puzzle at the U.S. Grains Council’s 58th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting.

“Global trade is the most effective development tool we have,” Hills said. “It enlarges economic opportunities for poor countries. It is not just a humanitarian effort; it creates tomorrow’s trade partners. One might call it an act of enlightened self interest.

“But these are turbulent times. The U.S. government has always used diplomacy to advance the well-being of our own nation, but it worries me…that we are turning inward.” Continue reading

07-30-18 NCGA: Good Steward Aug. 6, Deadline Rapidly Approaching

NCGA: Good Steward Aug. 6, Deadline Rapidly Approaching

If you have a farmer friend, neighbor or family member who epitomizes the title “Good Steward” then please take a minute to consider nominating them for the National Corn Growers Association’s Good Steward Recognition Program before the 5 p.m. CDT, Aug. 6, 2018 deadline.

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07-30-18 RMFU Letter Supports US Senator Michael Bennet As A Farm Bill Conferee

RMFU Letter Supports US Senator Michael Bennet As A Farm Bill Conferee

U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture
The Honorable Chairman Pat Roberts

The Honorable Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow

The 2018 Farm Bill will result in a make-or-break outcome for thousands of farmers and ranchers across Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming. The Food and Farm Bill is the leading long-term federal legislation that shapes an essential economic and social way of life across the nation’s heartland.

On behalf of the 20,000 members of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, I am urging you to place Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado on the Farm Bill conference committee. During the past year, Senator Bennet organized and hosted a series of on-farm discussions across the state with the only topic being the Farm Bill. We commend Sen. Bennet for his service on the Senate Agriculture Committee, and for amendments that made it into the final version of the Senate Farm Bill that promote conservation, support rural economies, and improve energy options. Continue reading

07-30-18 Inside USDA Rural Development with Assistant to the Secretary Anne Hazlett: Opioid Epidemic Assistance for Rural America…

Inside USDA Rural Development with Assistant to the Secretary Anne Hazlett: Opioid Epidemic Assistance for Rural America…

Briggsdale, CO – July 30, 2018 – This week, USDA Rural Development’s Assistant to the secretary Anne Hazlett is in the Denver metro area attending a conference and wanted to visit with The BARN’s listeners about the assistance that USDA Rural Development can provide to help rural communities dealing with the opioid epidemic. Joining the Colorado Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio inside the BARN is Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development


Opioid Misuse Resource Map graphic

CLICK HERE to watch the video

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. Continue reading

07-30-18 Inside the CCA w/Erin Karney: Drought, Wildfires, Hail, Tornadoes, CCA’s Newly Re-Formatted Ranching Legacy Program & More…

Inside the CCA w/Erin Karney: Drought, Wildfires, Hail, Tornadoes, CCA’s Newly Re-Formatted Ranching Legacy Program & More…

Briggsdale, CO July 30, 2018 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network, FarmCast Radio here inside the BARN to discuss several topics impacting Colorado’s cattle industry is Colorado Cattlemen’s Association Industry Advancement Director Erin Karney…

Topics covered include:


CCA is committed to enhancing the investment of the grassroots beef producer through legislative representation, research and education, information distribution, public relations, issues management, and allied group cooperation. Learn more online @ https://www.coloradocattle.org/ 

07-30-18 USDA Encourages Rural Communities, Water Districts to Apply for Loans to Improve, Rebuild Infrastructure; $4 Billion Available

USDA Encourages Rural Communities, Water Districts to Apply for Loans to Improve, Rebuild Infrastructure; $4 Billion Available

Department’s Latest Investments to Benefit 165,000 People in Rural Communities in 24 States

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2018 – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced a historic commitment by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to upgrade and rebuild rural water infrastructure.

“USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in building their futures,” Hazlett said. “All people – regardless of their zip code – need modern, reliable infrastructure to thrive, and we have found that when we address this need, many other challenges in rural places become much more manageable.”

Eligible rural communities and water districts can apply online for funding to maintain, modernize or build water and wastewater systems. They can visit the interactive RD Apply tool, or they can apply through one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices.

Sallie Clark, State Director
Denver Federal Center
Building 56, Room 2300
PO Box 25426
Denver, CO 80225-0426
Voice: (720) 544-2903
Fax: (720) 544-2981
Colorado Relay: (800) 659-3656


USDA is providing the funding through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. It can be used to finance drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

Below are a few examples of USDA’s latest investment (PDF, 162 KB) of $164 million for 54 projects nationwide: Continue reading

07-30-18 CO Corn: Takeaways from Corn Congress in D.C.

CO Corn: Takeaways from Corn Congress in D.C.

The week of July 16th, CCAC President, Mike Lefever, CCAC Secretary, Rod Hahn (Colo. delegate pictured in light blue), and staff members Mark Sponsler and Ann Cross traveled to Washington, D.C. for Corn Congress and to meet with representatives at the capitol.  Continue reading

07-30-18 CO Corn: USDA Announces $12B in Trade Assistance

CO Corn: USDA Announces $12B in Trade Assistance

Assistance is a short-term effort to curb equity losses; long-term trade relations and opportunities that rely on market-driven demand sought by producers.
For weeks, President Trump has vowed he would “take care” of farmers. Until this week, Colorado Corn Growers Association (CCGA) and other agriculture groups did not know what or how much assistance that package would contain or in what way it might materialize. USDA’s announcement July 24th authorized up to $12 billion in programs. This short-term plan has three components: direct payments to farmers to ease the sting of lower prices resulting from retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods, surplus commodity purchases by USDA for distribution to food banks and other nutrition programs, and funding to assist in developing new export markets.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, July 30th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, July 30th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Trump to Approve Year-Round E15 Soon

President Trump says his administration is “very close” to approving the year-round sale of the E15 blend of ethanol very soon. During a trip to Iowa on Thursday, Trump told the audience, “I’m very close to pulling off something that you’ve been looking forward to for many years, and that’s the 12-month E15 waiver. We’re getting very close to doing that.” The Quad City Times says Trump called the process “very complex.” The President noted that he stuck with ethanol, saying most of the other candidates “weren’t there, to put it mildly.” Pro-ethanol group Growth Energy says, “We are pleased to hear President Trump say he’s ‘very close’ to making E15 available year-round, fulfilling his promise to America’s farmers.” Growth Energy says increased access to U.S. markets will provide America’s farmers with some financial confidence and they hope the President will direct the Environmental Protection Agency to act quickly to provide year-round RVP (Reid Vapor Pressure) relief.


EU Insists Agriculture Not a Part of Trade Truce with Trump

The European Union says that the proposed trade talks with the United States wouldn’t include farming. The website Business Times Dot Com says this directly contradicts what President Donald Trump says. An EU Commission spokeswoman says they’ve been very clear on that fact. The spokeswoman adds that agriculture is not part of it, only the things that were specifically mentioned in the statement that came out Thursday. “The joint statement shows no mention of agriculture, as such you’ll see a mention of farmers and a mention of soybeans, which are part of the discussion,” says Mina (MEE-nah) Andreeva. “That is part of the discussion and we will follow up on that.” The EU clarification comes one day after the president called the agreement a “major victory for U.S. farmers,” who’ve seen plummeting exports due to Washington’s trade policies. Trump told a rally in Iowa that “We’ve just opened up Europe for you farmers.” The EU may be feeling pressure to emphasize that there was no farming concession made to Trump because of opposition in Europe to more genetically modified imports from America.


Bankers: Farmers Want Trade Not Handouts

Following the president’s announcement of a $12 billion trade assistance package to farmers, the nation’s bankers echoed farmer sentiments, saying producers want free trade and not handouts. A Farm Journal report quotes ag lender Alan Hoskins as saying it’s far too soon to know how beneficial the aid will be. Hoskins did say one thing is clear; it’s not what farmers want. “They want to be able to turn a profit by selling their grain,” Hoskins says, “and not by getting government handouts.” Hoskins says cash flow is going to be very tight this year, which will lead to some difficult conversations between producers and lenders. However, he says it’s not something to be feared by producers, but rather it’s an opportunity to sit down and work together to figure out something that will benefit farmers. Illinois producer Michael Cox tells Farm Journal that the aid package is just a temporary fix, at best, because there are too many questions about the program. Hoskins says many farmers are wide open to market volatility at this point and those payments will come in handy.  


Lighthizer Testimony: NAFTA Deal Possible in August

During congressional testimony on Thursday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told lawmakers that it’s entirely possible that the three North American Free Trade Agreement members will reach a deal in August. Lighthizer says that would meet the Mexican objective of having current President Enrique Pena (PAIN-ya) Nieto (KNEE-eh-toe) sign the deal before he leaves office in December. Bloomberg says U.S. trade law requires a three-month waiting period before the parties can sign off on the deal. Should the three countries not reach a deal until September or later, the incoming President of Mexico would have to sign off on it after he takes office. Lighthizer says Canada may be the sticking point in reaching a new NAFTA agreement. “My hope is that we’ll have a quick resolution with Mexico, and, as a result of that, Canada may come in more willing to compromise,” Lighthizer said in testimony. The current Mexican Economy Minister says it is possible they will reach a deal with the U.S. in August. The chief NAFTA negotiator for the incoming government says he’s more “cautiously optimistic” about the direction of the talks.


Senate Stalls on Farm Bill Conference

The Senate left Washington on Thursday without voting to move the farm bill forward to conference, or even naming conferees. Politico says those were two goals that Ag Chair Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow wanted to get done before Senators left town. Politico says the delay could be a result of a number of different things, including backdoor, last-minute deals and jostling by Senators who want to get a seat on the conference committee. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he and South Dakota Senator John Thune, who represent key ag states, could be left off the committee if leadership only names five Republicans to the panel. If the lingering issues get worked out over the weekend, the earliest the Senate could vote would be Monday afternoon. The House left for its summer recess last Thursday. However, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tells the Hagstrom Report that the Senate is expected to vote to go to conference in the coming week.


Groups Want “Fake Meat” Regulated by USDA

Seven groups that represent meat and poultry producers, as well as processors, wrote a letter to President Trump asking him to place cell-cultured protein products under USDA regulation. The meat industry website Meating Place Dot Com says the groups want these products held to the same high standards for food safety and labeling that meat and poultry are held to under the USDA regulatory system. In the letter, the groups say, “Cell-cultured products that purport to be meat or poultry should be subject to the same comprehensive inspection system that governs amenable meat and poultry products to ensure that they are wholesome and safe for public consumption.” The groups also want the products regulated in a way that ensures they are labeled and marketed in a manner that levels the playing field in the marketplace. The groups also say that the Food and Drug Administration tried to assert itself as the primary regulator of cell-cultured products at a public meeting the USDA was excluded from. The groups say that is inconsistent with meat and poultry inspection statutes, as well as a White House Agency reorganization plan that consolidates food safety inspection duties into a single USDA agency.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service