11-08-18 USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on Dept. of Labor Rulemaking on H-2A Visa Program

USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on Dept. of Labor Rulemaking on H-2A Visa Program

(Washington, D.C., November 8, 2018) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today praised proposed rulemaking by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), which could help farmers advertise job openings to domestic workers as required under the H-2A visa program.  The DOL rulemaking would require that employers seeking to hire temporary workers post the employment opportunities online, rather than in expensive newspapers advertisements reaching a limited audience.  This is an early step in H-2A regulatory reforms as promised in May in a joint statement of the Secretaries of Agriculture, Labor, State, and Homeland Security.

Secretary Perdue issued the following statement: Continue reading

11-08-18 Colorado Senate Democrats Elect Leadership for the 2019 Legislative Session

Colorado Senate Democrats Elect Leadership for the 2019 Legislative Session

The Colorado Senate Democratic Caucus Elects Leroy Garcia as the First Latino President of the Senate

Denver, CO – The Colorado Senate Democrats today elected their leadership for the 2019 legislative session that begins on January 4th.

Senator Dominick Moreno (SD-21) nominated Senator Leroy Garcia (SD-3) – who currently serves as Senate Minority Leader – for the position of President of the Senate stating “Senator Garcia has been a fearless leader for our caucus in the minority and I know he will do an excellent job as our President.” No other candidates were nominated for the position. Senator Garcia accepted the nomination and received unanimous support. Senator Garcia will serve as the first Latino President of the Senate.

“The Senate Presidency is a great responsibility and I am honored by my colleague’s vote of confidence in my ability to lead this caucus,” said Senate President-elect Leroy Garcia. “Our state faces some tough challenges, but I am confident that our caucus, under these dynamic leaders, will represent every Coloradan and find solutions to those challenges that will move every community across Colorado forward.”  

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The 2018 CSSRM Range Management Fall Workshop in Palisade, CO November 7-8: WATCH on LIVESTREAM!

CLICK HERE to to watch LIVE or the archives on LIVESTREAM from the Wine Country Inn of Palisade, CO

Make plans to attend the 2018 Colorado Section Society for Range Management Workshop in Palisade November 6-8 – REGISTER NOW!

CLICK HERE to view the agenda

CLICK HERE to view the power point

CLICK HERE to watch LIVE or the ARCHIVES on Livestream, courtesy of The BARN


11-08-18 CSU Extension hosting Eastern Colorado Crop Production Conference Dec 5-6 in Ft Morgan

Colorado State University Extension will offer a continuing education program on Crop Production and Soil Management on December 5th and 6th in Fort Morgan, CO.  This program is designed for Crop Producers, Agronomists and Certified Crop Advisors.  Up to 16 continuing education credits will be offered for Certified Crop Advisors.  Crop and Soil specialists from Colorado State University, Kansas State University, University of Nebraska, University of Wyoming and the Ag industry will present technical information on major crop production practices.

Registration for the two-day conference is $100 per person, which includes program material, lunch and refreshments.  Registration for one-day is $65.  Register by December 1st at: http://goldenplains.extension.colostate.edu/eccpcregistration-optons/.  Registration after December 1st is $125.

Check out the agenda below… Continue reading

11-08-18 2018 Angus Convention and Trade Show a Success

2018 Angus Convention and Trade Show a Success

Progress and innovation celebrated at the three-day event in Columbus, Ohio

The 2018 Angus Convention and Trade Show drew in a crowd of nearly 2,000 cattle producers, industry professionals and Angus breeders. The American Angus Association® celebrated a year full of progress and innovation at the three-day event.

“We are very pleased to have celebrated another great year at the American Angus Association, culminating in another successful Angus Convention,” said Allen Moczygemba, Association CEO. “We connected with numerous members, partners and friends and had the opportunity to show significant progress on the Long-Range Strategic Plan.”

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11-08-18 CFA: Agricultural Education Day Reaches 626 Jefferson County Students

CFA: Agricultural Education Day Reaches 626 Jefferson County Students

“I learned that different colored eggs come from different breeds of chickens,” was a popular comment made by students when asked what they learned at the “From Our Lands to Your Hands” agricultural education day. The event was held Thursday, November 1 at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

A total of 626 students from 29 different fourth and fifth grade classes from Jefferson County schools attended the agriculture and natural resources day. Besides the presentation on egg production given by the Colorado Egg Producers, students learned about the different types of potatoes grown in Colorado from the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee – Area III. Individuals from the Cal-Wood Education Center gave a presentation, which included showing the students the many products that we use every day that are made from wood including a bike helmet.

“My favorite part of the day was milking a cow,” was also a popular comment from the students. Students were able to milk “June,” the practically life-sized mechanical Holstein dairy cow. They learned about the nutritional benefits of dairy foods during this presentation given by Dairy Max. 

One of the student’s favorite presentations during the “From Our Lands to Your Hands” event in Jefferson County was given by Erin Barkey of DairyMax. Students were able to experience what it feels like to milk a cow by hand using “June,” the mechanical, nearly life-sized Holstein dairy cow.

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11-08-18 US-DoE Fulfills Administration Promise to Invest $200M in STEM Education

U.S. Department of Education Fulfills Administration Promise to Invest $200 Million in STEM Education

Department will continue to focus on plugging “leaks” in the STEM education pipeline

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that it has not only fulfilled but surpassed President Trump’s directive to invest $200 million in high-quality science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), including computer science, education. In total, the Department obligated $279 million in STEM discretionary grant funds in Fiscal Year 2018.

“It’s important that all students have access to a high-quality STEM education,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said. “These discretionary grant programs and this Administration’s increased focus on STEM will help ensure our nation’s students are exposed to STEM early in their lifelong education journeys and will have the tools needed for success in the 21st century economy.”  

The Department’s efforts to support STEM education, through the Secretary’s STEM discretionary grant priority, include funding for: Continue reading

11-08-18 USDA Announces Investments to Improve Rural Electric Infrastructure and Increase Grid Resilience

USDA Announces Investments to Improve Rural Electric Infrastructure and Increase Grid Resilience

More than 7 million customers will benefit from improved or new service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8, 2018 – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that USDA is investing $1.6 billion in 46 rural electric utility infrastructure projects (PDF, 170 KB) to improve electric reliability and resilience in 24 states.

“Reliable and affordable power is an underpinning for economic development and quality of life,” Hazlett said. “Under the leadership of Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in building prosperity in rural communities through the sustainment and modernization of rural electric infrastructure.”

The 46 projects announced today are being funded through USDA’s Electric Program. These investments will help contribute to a stronger rural electric system by improving operations and reliability. USDA’s funding will help build or improve 5,833 miles of line. It includes $307 million in smart grid technologies, which improve system operations and monitor grid security. These investments, such as the ones listed below, will benefit 7 million rural business and residential electric consumers across the country. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, November 8th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, November 8th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Now What Happens with the Farm Bill?

House Ag Chair Michael Conaway and the GOP conference committee members have to decide whether or not they’ll give some ground on some of the biggest sticking points of the farm bill debate in order to get a bill passed this year. Those disputes include conservation, commodity policy, and work requirements for SNAP program recipients. Politico says reaching a deal while they still hold the majority in the House of Representatives would help Republicans reach some of their goals before they lose their leverage. House Democrats could choose to start from scratch next year when they assume control, which Politico says the industry might not want to see. It’s possible that Democrats may pull the farm bill to the left with amendments to rein in subsidies on wealthy farmers or adjust federal crop insurance. Ranking member Collin Peterson of Minnesota won a close race on election day and is expected to retake the gavel as chair of the House Ag Committee. Peterson has said he would prefer to not start over and write a new farm bill.


California Passes Ban on Caging Farm Animals

Californians overwhelmingly passed a ban on confining farm animals in cages during Tuesday’s election. The Hagstrom Report says Proposition 12 sets space requirements for laying hens, breeding pigs, and calves raised for veal. Prop 12 also bans the sale in California of meat and eggs not raised according to state standards. It even bans the sale of products from out of state that also doesn’t meet those same California standards. Kitty Block, the Acting President of the Humane Society of the U.S., says, “California voters sent a loud and clear message that they reject the cruel cage confinement in the meat and egg industries.” Animal protection, environmental, food safety, and sustainable farming groups all spearheaded the development and eventual passage of Prop 12. More than 600 California veterinarians, over 100 California family farmers, and thousands of volunteers all came out in support of the measure. Now that California has passed Prop 12, a dozen states have laws against extreme animal confinement. Some of the nation’s largest food retailers like Walmart, Costco, Burger King, and hundreds of others all require their meat and egg suppliers to eliminate cages.  


Mississippi Senate Seat Heads to Runoff Election

Mississippi will find its next Senator during a runoff election later this month. Current Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, appointed to fill the seat when Thad Cochran retired, will face former Clinton-era Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy. Hyde-Smith is the first woman to hold a Senate seat from Mississippi and served as the state’s Commissioner of Agriculture. She also was a member of the Mississippi State Senate for 12 years and chaired the state Agriculture Committee for eight of those years. Hyde-Smith held a seat on the much-coveted Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee in D.C. Espy is a Democrat and the first African-American to ever hold the Secretary of Agriculture position at the USDA. Espy held the job from 1997-1998 when he resigned after being acquitted of charges for receiving improper benefits. He’s been working as a lawyer in Mississippi since then. Neither Hyde-Smith or Espy got 50 percent of the votes, the necessary threshold for an outright win. They’ll run against each other in a special election on November 27th.


World Wheat Production Forecast Drops

As the international price of wheat firms up, global supply and demand balance is going to tighten in 2018-2019. That forecast comes from the Food Outlook, a biannual report published by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. The global wheat production forecast is set to drop by 4.3 percent from the record level of last year. Total production is now predicted to add up to 727.9 million tons. Australia, China, the Russian Federation, and the EU are the primary causes of the year-over-year contraction. Those nations are also the primary reason for the overall lowering of the global production outlook. Production is expected to expand in both North and South America. Wheat utilization around the world will slightly increase in 2018-2019, with the minimal gain held in check by lower use rates in the Russian Federation and Ukraine. However, global wheat use for food production is expected to rise one percent higher. Because world production is expected to fall below usage level, global wheat stocks in 2019 will drop 4.5 percent lower than the record-high opening level.  


R-CALF Checkoff Lawsuit Expands to 13 Additional States

R-CALF has filed a lawsuit in Montana against the USDA over its beef checkoff program. A Montana federal district court granted an R-CALF motion allowing the suit to expand to 13 additional states. The district court recently granted R-CALF an injunction that stopped the USDA from “violating the U.S. Constitution” by forcing producers to fund the private speech of the private Montana Beef Council. The preliminary injunction was recently upheld by an appellate court. The ruling doesn’t apply the Montana temporary injunction to those other states. What it does do is allow R-CALF to proceed with its case looking for a permanent injunction against the USDA in Montana. If that permanent injunction is granted, it will likely apply to those other states. Thanks to the injunction, Montana producers can now decide where they want half the mandatory assessments collected from them spent. They can either choose to have half that money spent by the Montana Beef Council or all of it spent by the checkoff program’s Cattlemen’s Beef Board, which is subject to government fiscal controls. CEO Bill Bullard says on the R-CALF website that, “By redirecting money to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, rather than to their state beef councils, cattle producers can reduce the amount of money going into the NCBA under their ‘pay-to-play’ scheme, which we believe is a form of money laundering.”


Tariffs Spur Demand for Brazil Tractors

One of the biggest U.S. tractor companies has decided to drop China as a product supplier. Bloomberg says that should be good news for the Trump Administration, but AGCO Corporation is turning to Brazil to replace those products. The reason is the company wants to avoid the 25 percent U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports. AGCO Chief Executive Martin Richenhagen expects that tractor exports will grow to a total of 4,000-to-5,000 units next year. Bloomberg says this is another unintended consequence of the trade war between China and the U.S. that has turned the global economy upside-down and put a damper on expectations. AGCO, based in Duluth, Georgia, and its biggest rival Deere and Co., have both said there will be negative impacts from a trade war between the world’s two largest economies. AGCO is concerned about the trade war putting a lot of pressure on the nation’s farmers, while Deere and Co. stressed it supports and wants open markets and free trade. AGCO’s tractor sales in Brazil could get a boost as China continues to move away from American soybeans and replaces them with Brazil soybeans.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service