09-21-18 Colorado Governor Hickenlooper announces Boards and Commissions appointments

Colorado Governor Hickenlooper announces Boards and Commissions appointments

DENVER — Friday, Sept. 21, 2018 — Gov. Hickenlooper today announced Boards and Commissions appointments to the Beef Council Authority Board of Directors, Civil Rights Commission, Fire and Police Pension Association, Opportunity Scholarship Initiative Advisory Board, and Advisory Committee to the State Property Tax Administrator.

The Colorado Beef Council Authority Board of Directors works to promote the increased consumption of Colorado beef. The Board researches beef production methods, advancements and other matters with economic impacts upon the beef industry and makes this information available to interested parties.

For a term expiring July 1, 2021:

  • Susan Mary Link of Elbert, to serve as an individual who raises, breeds, or grows cattle or calves for beef production, and as a Republican, and occasioned by the resignation of Todd A. Inglee of Arvada, appointed.

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09-21-18 CDA: Funding Available for Agricultural Hydropower Projects

Image result for Colorado Agricultural Hydropower Projects

CDA: Funding Available for Agricultural Hydropower Projects

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are seeking applicants for on-farm agricultural hydropower projects. The total amount of available assistance for this round is $1,200,000. The funding is available to Colorado agricultural irrigators with appropriate hydropower resources.
“This program gives producers a way to cut their costs and use their resources efficiently. It’s about water quantity, water quality, and energy resources,” said Sam Anderson, CDA’s Energy Specialist, “We focus on helping farmers upgrade outdated and labor-intensive flood-irrigation systems to more efficient pressurized-irrigation systems using hydropower, or retrofit existing sprinkler systems with a hydropower component.”

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09-21-18 NWSS Catch-a-Calf Contest Entering its 82nd Year

National Western Stock Show Catch-a-Calf Contest Entering its 82nd Year

By Amy Kelley, CSU Extension Agent, Morgan County

Fort Morgan – 2019 marks the 82nd year of the National Western Stock Show Catch-a-Calf Contest. This long running program is an important part of that National Western. It not only gives youth the opportunity to learn about animal husbandry, but also to compete at the National Western.

Catch-a-Calf participants first must catch a calf during one of the National Western Stock Show Rodeo performances. They then return in May to receive their project, which they are required to feed and care for until the following year’s Stock Show. At that time participants bring their steers to be evaluated based on their rate of gain, appearance, and carcass. Participants must also submit a record book, participate in an interview, and compete in showmanship. The overall grand and reserve grand champion Catch-a-Calf steers are eligible for the Auction of Junior Livestock Champions. The National Western Stock Show Catch-a-Calf Program would not be possible without generous sponsors, so participants are also required to send monthly correspondence to their sponsors. Continue reading

09-21-18 Inside the BARN with NCGA’s New CEO Jon Doggett…

Inside the BARN with NCGA’s New CEO Jon Doggett…

BRIGGSDALE, CO – September 21, 2018 – The National Corn Growers Association announced Jon Doggett as the organization next CEO, taking the place of Chris Novak. Doggett is the fifth CEO in the organization’s 61-year history. The change is effective immediately.  Joining the CO Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio is NCGA’s new CEO Jon Doggett discussing several topics including:

  • Doggett’s Background
  • Doggett’s Vision for the NCGA
  • Farm Bill
  • RFS / RINS / Year–Round E15 Sales
  • Trade War with China & NAFTA
  • Thoughts about USDA’s “TRADE AID” Package
  • Others issues the NCGA is working on
  • Upcoming NCGA events (2019 Commodity Classic)
  • Final Thoughts & More


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09-21-18 Corn Refiners Association Focuses on Innovative Uses of Corn – Debuts New Website and Logo

Corn Refiners Association Focuses on Innovative Uses of Corn – Debuts New Website and Logo

WASHINGTON – The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) today officially unveiled its new logo, new look and new office space. These changes come as part of the trade group’s efforts to educate policymakers and the public about the incredible but often invisible role the unassuming corn kernel plays in our everyday lives. Even CRA’s new office was specifically designed to educate. It highlights and utilizes corn products throughout the space – corn is found in the walls, flooring, chairs and in the compostable serviceware in the kitchen, among other places.

“Corn products can be found everywhere, in nearly everything,” said John Bode, President and CEO of CRA. “They make our food taste better and our cosmetics last longer, they make our plastics more environmentally friendly and our medicines easier to swallow. From the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed, corn is the powerhouse ingredient inside hundreds of consumer products and industrial processes. That’s why we call corn nature’s renewable building block.”

“Innovation has long been the backbone of the corn products industry. Today, corn is being used to create low-calorie and no-calorie sweeteners, contributing to a healthier diet. And, scientists continue to find new and groundbreaking uses in places you might never imagine – from renewable materials to advanced bioproducts, from 3-D printing inks to biomedical nanotechnology,” said CRA’s Chairman Christopher Cuddy. “It is time to put the spotlight on the kernel – an unassuming ingredient found inside nearly everything.”

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09-21-18 Whose water is it anyway? CSU shares $4.9M grant for evaluating water rights

Gateway Natural Area damWhose water is it anyway? CSU shares $4.9M grant for evaluating water rights

Mountain snowpack and rainfall are the primary sources of water for the southwestern United States, and water allocation institutions determine how that water gets distributed among competing uses. This includes agriculture, which accounts for approximately 80 percent of water diversions in Colorado.

The “Arid West,” which includes Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, receives precipitation in the mountains far from agricultural fields, or during winter months when crops are not grown. Continue reading

09-21-18 USDA grants $4.97 million for research evaluating snowpack and water allocation

The University of Nevada, Reno recently received a $4.97 million grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to lead a major water-availability research effort.

USDA grants $4.97 million for research evaluating snowpack and water allocation

Is agriculture at risk from changing water availability? Twelve researchers from five institutions in three states, representing several academic disciplines, aim to find out…

RENO, Nev. – Mountain snowpack is a primary source of water for the arid western United States. This region, which includes Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, receives precipitation in mountains far from agricultural fields, and during the winter months when crops are not grown. Water allocation institutions are the rules, regulations, rights and management strategies that determine how that water gets distributed among competing uses. Changes in mountain snowpack is altering water availability in ways that are not yet well understood, and it is not clear how well existing water allocation institutions will cope with these changes.

To bring scientific focus to these inevitable changes, the University of Nevada, Reno recently received a $4.97 million grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to lead a major research effort that includes the Desert Research Institute; Colorado State University; Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University.

“Water is our most precious resource and finding solutions for dealing with water scarcity and quality is critical for communities across the U.S. who grow and raise the food we eat,” Acting NIFA Director Tom Shanower said. “By investing in projects that address a critical problem for American agriculture, we aim to find better tools and technologies for water management practices that make a difference for our farmers, ranchers, and foresters.” Continue reading

09-21-18 USDA Secretary Working to Empower Local School Leaders and Improve the School Meal Programs

FNS Press Release

USDA Secretary Working to Empower Local School Leaders and Improve the School Meal Programs 

USDA hosts education roundtableWASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2018 – USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue yesterday hosted a roundtable with local school officials to learn more about how USDA can best assist and enable their efforts to serve nutritious meals to our nation’s children.

The meeting was part of the Secretary’s ongoing efforts to explore reforms that will make school meals more appealing by giving control back to local school food professionals who know the children best.

“School officials have expertise critical to the conversation of school meal reform,” said Perdue.  “USDA is committed to giving schools the common sense flexibilities they need to serve nutritious meals kids will want to eat.”

Local officials provided feedback on the role of school meal policy in ensuring their students’ nutrition: Continue reading

09-21-18 RFA Statement on EPA Efforts to Provide Greater Transparency on RFS

RFA Statement on EPA Efforts to Provide Greater Transparency on RFS
WASHINGTON — On September 20th, Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced new efforts to provide greater transparency in the Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market, used to show compliance with annual Renewable Fuel Standard requirements. As part of today’s announcement, EPA said it will be providing aggregated annual data on small refiner exemptions, as well as waiver requests for current and future compliance years. RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen had the following statement:

“This is a step in the right direction, and we applaud Acting Administrator Wheeler’s initial efforts to provide greater transparency to the RFS program. Today’s action may prevent small refiners from obtaining market-moving information before other participants in the marketplace. That’s important because it appears the RIN market was gamed earlier this year by a small group of refiners who were privy to sensitive information regarding compliance exemptions before the rest of the market knew what was going on. Hopefully, this will put a stop to that. However, more information and transparency are still needed. Market participants and the public deserve to know exactly who is receiving small refinery exemptions and what criteria is being used by EPA in making the decision to grant or deny a waiver request.”

09-21-18 CSU: New state program recruits rural veterinarians by repaying college debts

CLICK HERE for the whole story written by Coleman Cornelius, executive editor of Colorado State Magazine and to view photos contained in the magazine

CSU: New state program recruits rural veterinarians by repaying college debts

At least one-third of Colorado’s 64 counties – encompassing vast stretches of ranchland on the state’s Eastern Plains and Western Slope – lack veterinarians needed to care for sheep, hogs, dairy cattle, and beef cattle that are essential to food production and to the well-being of rural economies and communities.

The dearth of rural veterinarians is a growing concern, not only in Colorado but in livestock- producing regions nationwide. It means animal welfare worries and economic losses from livestock illness and death. The veterinary shortage also weakens a critical front line for public health because vets detect and monitor diseases that can spread from animals to people, such as Salmonella infections, West Nile virus, rabies, and plague. Continue reading

09-21-18 New US Lamb Industry Leadership Roundtable Sets Priorities to Meet Goals…

New US Lamb Industry Leadership Roundtable Sets Priorities to Meet Goals

While some of the Lamb Industry Roadmap recommendations have already been addressed, the four key goals still remain relevant and more work needs to be done.  The goals of the Roadmap are: Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, September 21st

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, September 21st

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Canada Farmers Say Dairy Not a Bargaining Chip in Negotiations

Talks between Canada and the U.S. regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement are intensifying in Washington, D.C. Bloomberg says Canadian dairy farmers recently told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau not to use access to the protected Canadian dairy market as a bargaining chip. The Dairy Farmers of Canada says it’s already lost $193 million because of past trade agreements and they won’t accept more losses. “The work of our lives seems to have been reduced to a bargaining chip,” says Dairy Farmers of Canada president Pierre Lampron. The group, along with the Dairy Producers of Manitoba, says farmers will hold Trudeau accountable for his promise to defend the supply-management system. The threat may have added strength because of Canadian national elections which come in about a year. They say Canada’s market is too small to accommodate U.S. overproduction, saying the Class Seven milk targeted by President Donald Trump iså worth protecting. Both groups issued a statement saying, “We will hold our prime minister accountable for saying he will defend supply management and dairy in the NAFTA negotiations. We have articulated clearly that the support means no access will be given to the Canadian dairy market.”


Livestock Losses Mounting after Florence

Recovery is underway in North Carolina after Hurricane Florence. The number of livestock lost to flooding is climbing in the aftermath. The North Carolina Ag Department says 5,500 hogs and 3.4 million poultry were lost due to the hurricane. In addition to damage on farms around the area, other reports included wind damage to hog farms, as well as substantial road damage. That makes for a lot of logistical challenges for farmers to get feed to their livestock, electricity on farms, and just getting to the barns successfully to care for their animals. Smithfield Foods said just one of their 200 company-owned farms in North Carolina had floodwaters inundate the hog houses and the lagoon. The Smithfield processing plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina, is scheduled to ramp up production as roads become more passable. Sanderson Farms reported that 60 broiler houses and four feeder houses were all flooded. About 30 of the independent farms that supply Sanderson with birds are isolated by floodwaters and unreachable right now. That amounts to about 6 million birds that they can’t get feed too. Sanderson reports there was no damage to processing facilities, feed mill, or two hatcheries. Operations resumed at the feed mill on Monday and on Tuesday at the processing plant.  


U.S. – India Closing In On Trade Agreement

India and the United States are currently in negotiations on a trade package. Reuters says Washington and New Delhi (Deli) are looking to remove some long-standing disagreements between the two countries that would strengthen ties. Initial reports say it looks like Indian farmers and U.S. medical device manufacturers could be some of the early winners in the deal. The two countries have been going back-and-forth on steel tariffs, as well as duties on agricultural products. The two sides began talks in June. India is unhappy with U.S. steel tariffs and the U.S. has problems with a tariff on imported IT equipment. A source with knowledge of the negotiations tells Reuters, “We are closely negotiating a discreet package of trade issues and it will amount to a pretty substantive agreement.” The source says both sides expect the negotiations to wrap up within a few weeks. U.S. President Donald Trump recently said India came to the United States to “start doing a trade deal.” However, he didn’t provide a lot of specifics about the potential agreement.


Bayer Says Dicamba Decision Likely Coming Soon

The world’s largest agribusiness is predicting the Environmental Protection Agency will decide soon on the future of dicamba. Bayer expects the EPA to issue a renewal and an updated license for the product in the weeks ahead. Liam Condon, President of the Crop Science Division at Bayer, says, “The EPA wants to make a decision before the next growing season so that growers have certainty.” The weed system was first authorized by the EPA for a two-year period, which ends in November. The agency is currently deciding on whether the product should continue to be used and if there should be changes in how and when it could be used. Following a large number of volatility and drift complaints last year, Bayer says those numbers are lower in 2018, thanks to mandatory training and spraying restrictions. Bayer says there were 99 complaints per every million acres of seed last year. The company says that number was down to 13 complaints per million acres of seed in 2018. Bayer estimates dicamba-tolerant crops covered 50 million acres this year and predicts that number will only get larger in 2019.


Nebraska Farmers Have New Option for Health Insurance

The Nebraska Farm Bureau heard consistently from its producer-members that the lack of affordable health insurance was a huge concern. President Steve Nelson says many families are struggling to provide health care. “Many have had to find a second job to help pay for health insurance or so they can get it through an employer,” Nelson says. “We’ve looked at this closely and wanted to do something to help our members.” Politico says the Nebraska Farm Bureau announced a partnership with Minnesota-based Medica, Inc., a health insurance company. They’ve formed a health plan specifically for farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses. The organization’s members, or those people earning at least 50 percent of their gross income from production agriculture, are allowed to enroll. Outside of Nebraska, Choices Magazine conducted a study that found eight percent of farmers included in a nationwide sample had no health insurance as recently as 2016. Those farmers cited unaffordable premiums or out-of-control costs due to high deductibles and out-of-pocket payments. 53 percent of those respondents say they are concerned about having to sell farm assets to cover health care costs.


Growth Energy Welcomes Congressional Support for Year-Round E15

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor (Score) thanks the 24 members of the House Biofuels Caucus for sending a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency asking them to approve year-round E15 and support the Renewable Fuels Standard. The letter also calls for the agency to “put an end” to the secretive refinery waivers that have “hurt farmers and the growth of ethanol.” Skor says her group is deeply grateful for rural champions who stand united behind a strong RFS and are fighting for better, more affordable options at the fuel pump. “It’s vital that the EPA uphold President Trump’s commitment to American biofuels and immediately tear down outdated regulatory barriers against the summertime sale of E15,” Skor says. “Opening the market to year-round competition will help to revitalize farm income and restore growth in rural communities hit hardest by the agricultural downturn.” Growth Energy recently launched a Midwestern bus tour called E15 Now that will carry that same message to events throughout the region.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service