11-20-18 CSU Offers Farm Assessments for Solar Energy (FASE) Program

Colorado State University Offers Farm Assessments for Solar Energy (FASE) Program

November 19, 2018 – FORT COLLINS, CO – Colorado State University’s Rural Energy Center is offering free economic feasibility assessments for Colorado farms interested in learning their cost-benefit for use of solar energy. The Center has already conducted feasibility assessments for 30 irrigated farms and 10 feedlots and has just expanded the program to greenhouses and dairies as well. The Farm Assessments for Solar Energy (FASE) program provides estimates of initial costs, ongoing costs, tax implications, energy savings, and incentives as well as a detailed cash flow analysis that producers can use to make a decision about whether or not to pursue solar. Continue reading

11-20-18 US Senator Bennet, Governor Hickenlooper Secure $20.2 Million for Colorado Wildfire Recovery

US Senator Bennet, Governor Hickenlooper Secure $20.2 Million for Colorado Wildfire Recovery

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and Governor John Hickenlooper today secured $20.2 million in Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) funds for wildfire recovery projects in La Plata, Huerfano, Costilla, and Eagle counties. Through mitigation of post-fire flooding and watershed restoration, the projects will protect communities affected by the 416, Spring Creek, and Lake Christine Fires. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s announcement follows months of work coordinating between local officials and state and federal agencies to assemble these successful applications for federal funding. Continue reading

11-20-18 Dairy MAX: Denver Event Brings NFL Players and Farmers Together to Recognize Students

Dairy MAX: Denver Event Brings NFL Players and Farmers Together to Recognize Students

By Jordan Manning on 11/19/2018

When kids have professional football players cheering them on to make healthy choices and dairy farmers to teach them about where milk comes from, it’s a recipe for success. That recipe came to life at the Denver Fuel Greatness Touchdown Recognition Celebration at Mile High Stadium, where students were recognized for completing all six steps of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.

Along with their recognition, students took part in the Healthy Schools Innovation Challenge. By using Hometown Grant funds, provided by the NFL Foundation, $10,000 was awarded to middle schools that pitched ideas to a judging panel about how to improve health and wellness for their school. These grants are opportunities for schools to provide better access to dairy through healthy eating improvements.

“The Healthy Schools Innovation Challenge is one of the most impactful activities during the event,” says Nicole Croy, director, school wellness. “Students are challenged to apply the Fuel Up to Play 60 program in a tangible way that will directly impact their school or community. They are also given the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership skills, which is a secondary goal of the program.”  Continue reading

11-20-18 Drought, Declining Farm Income Concern RMFU Delegates, leaders

Drought, Declining Farm Income Concern RMFU Delegates, leaders

DENVER, C­olo. ­­– Farmers and ranchers from Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming are concerned about the severe drop in overall farm income. Collectively, they also want more federal and state attention given to water management given the damage this year’s drought caused across the region.

Delegates, members, and guests attending the annual Rocky Mountain Farmers Union convention remain hopeful that by working together they can find solutions to the significant challenges facing families who farm and ranch.  Delegates adopted a Special Order of Business that, in part, states, “RMFU will advocate for State, Inter-Basin and Federal rules and legislation that advocate for the sharing of burden across all water sectors, water users, and across the continental divide so that agricultural water rights, and agriculture itself, are not adversely or unjustly injured.” Farmers and ranchers prefer to work cooperatively to manage water rights and storage rather than creating a system of winners and losers. Continue reading

11-20-18 WGA welcomes newly elected Western Governors

WGA was pleased to host a lunch with Western Governors and Governors-Elect at the National Governors Association’s Seminar for New Governors in Colorado Springs on Nov. 16. Pictured above, left to right: Nevada Governor-Elect Steve Sisolak, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, Wyoming Governor-Elect Mark Gordon, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Guam Governor-Elect Lou Leon Guerrero, Colorado Governor-Elect Jared Polis, Kansas Governor-Elect Laura Kelly, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, and Idaho Governor-Elect Brad Little.

WGA welcomes newly elected Western Governors

The Western Governors’ Association offers its congratulations to the 11 new Western Governors elected on Nov. 6, 2018 and the 6 incumbents reelected. We look forward to working with these governors to amplify their messages, regionalize their priorities and help leverage their collective influence. They include:

New Western Governors:

Continue reading

11-20-18 Colorado Farm Bureau Celebrates 100th Annual Meeting at New Location

Colorado Farm Bureau Celebrates 100th Annual Meeting at New Location

Denver, Colo. —More than 350 members and friends of the Colorado Farm Bureau gathered to celebrate the organization’s 100th Annual Meeting on Nov. 16-18 at the Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel. This year included a special celebration of the 100th meeting and kick-off to a year-long celebration for the organization’s centennial.

“Each year, Colorado Farm Bureau members gather to create a vision for the next year and celebrate the one that has ended. This year was a time of particular reflection for members as we celebrated our 100th gathering,” says Don Shawcroft, president of Colorado Farm Bureau. “The celebration gave us time to reflect about the deep history we have built in Colorado.”

Each year, the Annual Meeting brings together members and friends from across the state to develop and improve policy and programs to support agriculture interests. It was a year of firsts for the organization. A constitutional ballot initiative, a new county grant program, innovative county trainings, and exciting new young farmer and rancher activities were a few of the highlights.  Continue reading

11-20-18 CattleTrace Participants Meet with USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach

Approximately 40 beef industry leaders who are participating in the CattleTrace disease traceability pilot project met with USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach to discuss next steps for the pilot project and disease traceability across the country.

CattleTrace Participants Meet with USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach

MANHATTAN, Kan. – U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach was welcomed to Great Bend, Kansas, on Monday, November 19, by beef industry leaders participating in the CattleTrace pilot project for disease traceability. USDA is a partner in the pilot project that will develop and test an end-to-end disease traceability system.

Approximately 40 producer participants, including ranchers, livestock markets, cattle feeders and packers, as well as other CattleTrace partners, participated in the meeting that provided an update on the pilot project as well as allowed for discussion about disease traceability priorities at USDA. CattleTrace is being implemented by a cooperative public-private partnership including the Kansas Livestock Association, Kansas State University, Kansas Department of Agriculture, USDA and private producers.

“Without the partnership from beef producers across the state, CattleTrace wouldn’t have gotten off the ground. It is exciting to see enthusiasm from producers who are willing to step up and help lead the development of a disease traceability system that can work in and for our industry,” said Brandon Depenbusch, CattleTrace, Inc., Board of Directors chairman. “USDA is an important partner in CattleTrace and plays an integral role in disease traceability across the country. We are grateful that Under Secretary Ibach traveled to Kansas to meet with CattleTrace participants and share his vision for disease traceability.” Continue reading

11-19-18 Make plans to attend the 2019 Four States Irrigation Council on January 9-11 in Fort Collins, CO

Make plans to attend the 2019 Four States Irrigation Council on January 9-11 in Fort Collins, CO

Join them for their 66th annual conference at The Hilton!

Established in 1952, FSIC serves as a forum for irrigators, irrigation and water districts, and ditch companies to exchange ideas and information, discuss specific water delivery and irrigation-related issues, and to learn from others. This year’s conference will be full of engaging speakers, important and relevant topics, networking opportunities and great entertainment at our banquet dinner on Thursday.

Save Your Spot Today

Sponsorship & Exhibitor Opportunities Available Continue reading

11-20-18 Farm Service Agency Names William “Bill” Beam as Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs

Farm Service Agency Names William “Bill” Beam as Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2018 — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Richard Fordyce announced today that William “Bill” Beam has been appointed by the Trump Administration to serve as Deputy Administrator of Farm Programs (DAFP). Beam was sworn in on Oct. 22, 2018. 

As Deputy Administrator, Beam will be responsible for overseeing and implementing policies and procedures that regulate the delivery of federal farm programs. He along with DAFP staff oversee major portions of the farm bill including programs that help America’s farmers, ranchers and forest stewards manage market risks, recover from disasters and conserve and protect natural resources through FSA’s network of over 2,100 state and county offices.  Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, November 20th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, November 20th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

USDA Cancels Trade Aid to Smithfield

The Department of Agriculture has canceled trade mitigation program payments to Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods following industry complaints. Politico reports USDA canceled a $250,000 contract with Smithfield following public complaints that a Chinese-owned company would receive U.S. relief funds intended for farmers losing money from the U.S.-China trade war. Smithfield has requested that USDA terminate the contract and no funds have been transferred, according to USDA. The contract was part of the Food Purchase and Distribution Program within the $12 billion trade mitigation package. Iowa Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley was a vocal critic of the payment, saying he didn’t understand why Smithfield qualifies for the funding that was meant to help U.S. farmers. Last month, a Smithfield Foods statement noted the company met USDA’s eligibility standards, while pointing out the Smithfield is still a U.S.-based company employing thousands of Americans and that its U.S. meat products are made in its nearly 50 domestic facilities.

Former China Trade Chief Criticizes Handling of Trade War

China’s former trade chief says the nation’s tactics in the trade war with the U.S. are not well thought out. In criticizing the handling of the trade war, Long Yongtu (Lawgn Yawng-Too) told a Chinese media event that it was inappropriate to involve political considerations in trade talks, according to the South China Morning Post. The official said: “We don’t think deeply enough,” referring to the focus on politics rather than economic impact. He claimed it was “unwise” to impose tariffs on U.S. soybeans because “targeting agricultural products should be the last resort.” China responded at the beginning of the tit-for-tat trade war by implementing a 25 percent duty on U.S. soybeans, altering global soybean trade. Yongtu said, “China is in dire need of soybean imports.” China has sourced much of its recent soybean purchases from Brazil since the start of the trade war with the United States.

USDA, FDA, Agree to Joint Cell-Cultured Food Oversight

The Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration agreed to a joint regulation of cell-cultured foods. The announcement last week follows a public meeting from last month featuring discussion on how best to regulate cell-cultured, or so-called lab-grown products. Feedback from the meeting suggested a joint-regulatory approach. Meat industry publication Meatingplace reports that FDA will manage cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth and differentiation. USDA will take over during the cell harvest stage, and then will oversee production and labeling of cell-based meat products. The two agencies will work out technical details on collaboration and information sharing. In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottleib said, “USDA and FDA are confident that this regulatory framework can be successfully implemented and assure the safety of these products.”

USCA Encouraged by Cell-cultured Joint Regulation

The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association applauded the joint regulatory effort on cell-cultured products announced last week. The organization says the announcement by the Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration follows suggestions from its membership. FDA will oversee cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth and differentiation. A transition from FDA to USDA oversight will occur during the cell harvest stage. USDA will then oversee the production and labeling of food products derived from the cells of livestock and poultry. USCA says it has “repeatedly stated that interagency collaboration is key” for this regulation. As the process moves forward, USCA says rulemaking to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service on the definitions of ‘beef’ and ‘meat’ must be addressed. USCA says labeling must be truthful and transparent for consumers.

Midwest Farmland Values Mixed

Midwest farmland values were mixed in the third quarter, according to the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank. An agriculture survey from the Chicago Fed, as part of a slew of third quarter Fed reports, show farmland values were one percent lower than last year. The district covers parts of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. This was the first quarterly decline for agricultural land values in the region since the fourth quarter of 2016. Almost two-thirds of survey respondents expected farmland values to be stable during the fourth quarter of 2018, but 32 percent expected a decrease in farmland values in the final quarter of this year and only two percent expected an increase. However, the report says agricultural land values would have experienced more downward pressure in the absence of exceptional crop yields. In 2018, the region’s corn and soybean yields jumped to all-time highs, 198 bushels per acre for corn and 59 bushels per acre for soybeans.

Ag Coalition Discusses Trade with Cuba

Delegates from the U.S. agriculture industry were in Cuba earlier this month for the Cuba-U.S. Agriculture Business Conference. The 20 conference participants met with Cuban government officials and farmers. While about 30 percent of Cuba’s land area is currently used for farming, Cuban farmers do not have access to the latest technologies, equipment and inputs. Much of the food for Cuba’s 11 million people and four million annual tourists must be imported, including an estimated 30 million bushels of wheat, which comes primarily from the EU and Canada. There are many advantages of importing food from the United States, most notably the proximity in terms of getting high-quality food in a timely and freight-efficient manner. Arkansas U.S. Representative Rick Crawford spoke to the group regarding legislation that would allow for better trade of food between the U.S. and Cuba. Crawford said “It’s about U.S. ag commodities and market access to areas that have really been difficult for us, and this is a market that I would certainly like to see us participate in.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service