12-06-18 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…

BRIGGSDALE, CO – December 6, 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…


ABOUT CDA Continue reading

12-06-18 Delta-Montrose Electric Association Files with PUC Seeking Just and Reasonable Exit Charge from Tri-State

Delta-Montrose Electric Association Files with PUC Seeking Just and Reasonable Exit Charge from Tri-State

MONTROSE, Colo.  Dec. 6, 2018  Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA), a member-owned and locally controlled rural electric cooperative in Montrose, Colo., today strongly reaffirmed its intent to exit membership in Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association (Tri-State), and has asked the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to exercise its statutory authority over Tri-State as a public utility and adjudicate a just, reasonable and nondiscriminatory exit charge.
“DMEA and our Board of Directors have a fiduciary responsibility to serve the best interests of our members to remain a competitive, reliable and cost-effective co-op,” said DMEA Chief Executive Officer Jasen Bronec. “DMEA’s wholesale power costs from Tri-State have been escalating at an unsustainable rate. Tri-State’s annual reports show that average member rates have increased 56 percent since 2005, which is more than double the increase in the Consumer Price Index over the same time period. This stands in stark contrast to the overall energy market in which prices have decreased significantly over the same period.”
Today’s announcement culminates over a decade of negotiations between DMEA and Tri-State to stabilize rates and lift restrictions on DMEA’s pursuit of more local renewable energy generation.

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12-06018 CEI: EPA’s New Proposed Rule on Emissions for Coal Plants Will Safeguard Affordable Energy

EPA’s New Proposed Rule on Emissions for Coal Plants Will Safeguard Affordable Energy

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new proposed rule, rescinding the Obama Administration’s carbon dioxide emission standards for new coal power plants.

CEI Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis said:

“CEI applauds EPA’s proposal to rescind the prior administration’s carbon dioxide emission standards for new coal power plants. Those standards are based on the fiction that prohibitively-expensive, geographically-limited carbon capture and storage (CCS) is an adequately demonstrated “best system of emission reduction.” The standards effectively ban the construction of new coal power plants—a policy Congress never approved and would not pass if put to a vote. By lifting the ban, EPA’s proposal will help restore the separation of powers and safeguard affordable energy for American consumers.”

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12-06-18 Watch the 40th Anniversary Celebration of Colorado Corn & Awards Ceremony on Livestream

Watch the 40th Anniversary Celebration of Colorado Corn & Awards Ceremony on Livestream – courtesy of The BARN, the Colorado Ag News Network & FarmCast Radio – CLICK HERE
listen to just the audio from the event

40th CO Corn Awards Audio 120518

12-06-18 CWCB: Request for Dianne Hoppe Scholarship Applications

Colorado Water Conservation Board: Request for Dianne Hoppe Scholarship Applications

Applications must be postmarked by March 15, 2019

Dianne Hoppe Memorial Scholarship

The Colorado Water Conservation Board is pleased to administer a $2,000 one-year scholarship for a Colorado high school student interested in western water issues planning to attend a public institution of higher education in Colorado.

Diane Hoppe served in the Colorado House of Representatives from 1999-2006 and was the chairwoman of the House Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee, the Water Interim Committee, and the Water Resources Review Committee. She also served as the minority whip. Diane was a founding member of the Colorado Foundation for Water Education and served as president from 2002-07. Governor Hickenlooper appointed Diane to the Colorado Water Conservation Board as the South Platte Basin representative in 2012, and she was elected chairwoman of the board in 2015. Diane passed away on February 27, 2016. Her family worked with the Colorado Water Conservation Board to establish this scholarship in her honor. Continue reading

12-06-18 Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District approves $22.3M budget

Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District approves $22.3M budget

The Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District Board of Directors Thursday approved a $22.3 million budget for 2019 that includes payments for the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, support for the Arkansas Valley Conduit and the anticipated opening of a hydroelectric generation plant at Pueblo Dam. Continue reading

12-06-18 NMPF Applauds USDA Support for More Milk Options in School Meals

NMPF Applauds USDA Support for More Milk Options in School Meals

ARLINGTON, Va. – – The National Milk Producers Federation commended Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for returning low-fat (1%) flavored milk as part of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs. The final rule implementing regulatory changes needed to add low-fat flavored milk to more school menus and other nutrition programs serving children was announced today by the USDA and will be published later this month in the Federal Register.

“NMPF thanks Secretary Perdue for completing this step that will encourage milk consumption in schools,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the NMPF. “USDA’s own studies have shown that students drank less milk after low-fat chocolate milk was removed from schools. Returning low-fat flavored milk to school menus will help reverse this harmful trend.  Milk has been an integral part of school meals since their beginning, and greater milk consumption equals better nutrition for America’s kids. The new rule is good news for schools, students and American dairy farmers.”

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12-06-18 USDA: U.S. Beef Gains New Market Access in Morocco

USDA: U.S. Beef Gains New Market Access in Morocco

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today that the government of Morocco has agreed to allow imports of U.S. beef and beef products into Morocco. 2018 is the first year that U.S. beef and poultry exporters have access to Morocco’s market under the terms of the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA).  Morocco opened its market to U.S. poultry in August, 2018.

“President Trump continues to prioritize the opening of new markets for U.S. agricultural products.  New access to the Moroccan market for beef and beef products is an important step in ensuring that American farmers and ranchers can continue to expand their exports of U.S. agricultural products,” said Ambassador Lighthizer.  “I welcome Morocco’s agreement to allow imports of U.S. beef and look forward to growing our shipments to Morocco.”

“Finding new markets for American agricultural products has been a priority for the Trump Administration from day one, and the opening of the Moroccan market is good news for our producers,” said Secretary Perdue.  “American beef is the best in the world, and once Moroccans get a taste of it, they’ll surely want more.”

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12-06-18 Responding to the Needs of Local Schools, USDA Publishes School Meals Final Rule

Responding to the Needs of Local Schools, USDA Publishes School Meals Final Rule

More Flexibility on Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Provides Options to Schools

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2018 – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today empowered local schools with additional options to serve healthy and appealing meals. A final rule on school meal flexibilities, to be published later this month in the Federal Register, increases local flexibility in implementing school nutrition standards for milk, whole grains, and sodium. Secretary Perdue said the final rule will deliver on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) promise, made in a May 2017 proclamation(PDF, 123 KB), to develop forward-thinking strategies that ensure school nutrition standards are both healthful and practical.

“USDA is committed to serving meals to kids that are both nutritious and satisfying,” said Perdue. “These common-sense flexibilities provide excellent customer service to our local school nutrition professionals, while giving children the world-class food service they deserve.”

The actions taken today will benefit nearly 99,000 schools and institutions that feed 30 million children annually through USDA’s school meal programs. This rule is part of USDA’s Regulatory Reform Agenda, developed in response to President Trump’s Executive Order to eliminate unnecessary regulatory burdens.

The Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements final rule offers schools new options as they serve meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP) and other federal child nutrition programs. The rule: Continue reading

12-06-18 NWSS Announces Dana Crawford as 2019 Parade Grand Marshal


Dana Crawford as 2019 NWSS Parade Grand Marshal

National Western Stock Show Announces Dana Crawford as 2019 Parade Grand Marshal

Denver, CO.  – The National Western Stock Show is excited to announce Denver urban developer and preservationist, Dana Crawford, as the Grand Marshal for the 2019 Stock Show Kick-Off Parade, presented by Arrow Electronics.

On Thursday, January 10th, Dana Crawford will lead the traditional drive of Longhorn cattle, horses and western wagons through the streets of downtown Denver to celebrate the start of the 2019 National Western Stock Show. The parade begins at noon outside of Crawford’s very own name-sake hotel, The Crawford Hotel at Union Station. The parade marches fifteen blocks down 17th Street to Tremont.

“It is a great honor to have a Denver pioneer and visionary like Dana Crawford kicking-off our iconic Stock Show Parade,” said Paul Andrews, President & CEO of the National Western Stock Show. “Dana is an advocate for Denver’s historic preservation and our city’s unique character. She embodies the same appreciation of Denver’s western heritage that the historic stock show represents.”  Continue reading

12-06-18 CALP Class 13 Tours Columbia, Donates to Local Education Foundation

Colorado Agriculture Leaders Tour Agriculture in Colombia

Cortez, CO – December 6, 2018 — Class 13 of the Colorado Agriculture Leadership Program, along with their executive director and board president and vice president, returned yesterday from the final seminar of their leadership development experience. The class departed for Cali, Colombia on November 26, and spent nine days in the country.  Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, December 6th

CLICK HERE to listen to the audio from today’s BARN’s Morning Ag News

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation & the Colorado Farm Bureau

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, December 6th

Peterson: Farm Bill Could be Passed Next Week

The Ranking Democrat of the House Agriculture Committee predicts the farm bill will be considered next week. Representative Collin Peterson of Minnesota told reporters this week the bill is nearly finalized and should be filed Monday, with House consideration Wednesday and Senate consideration Thursday. Peterson says the bill would rename the Margin Protection Program and change the way it operates in an effort to better help dairy farmers. He says dairy farmers “got the best deal” out of the agreement, and “they needed it.” The bill includes another provision that will refund half the premiums paid under the MPP program “because everybody thought they got ripped off.” Peterson also says of the agreement in principle that it would raise the Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP, acreage by three million acres, but reform how it works. He says there are also changes in how yield is calculated in the Ag Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs. Full details of the bill will be made available next week.

Steel and Aluminum Tariffs a USMCA Roadblock

Steel and aluminum tariffs against Canada and Mexico remain a roadblock that would limit the impact of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Politico says the tariffs could prove to be a huge obstacle for congressional passage of the deal next year, as lawmakers have expressed displeasure with the duties remaining in place, despite a new trade agreement. The U.S. is facing industry and agricultural retaliatory tariffs on more than $15 billion worth of goods. Agriculture industry analysts say the tariffs would negate any benefit from the trade agreement. Negotiations to remove the tariffs are ongoing, with some expecting the tariffs to be replaced with quotas. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said any deal to eliminate the U.S. duties should be “fair” to Canada and Mexico, but maintain “the integrity of the president’s steel and aluminum programs.”

Activists Groups Target Kansas Law Protecting Livestock Owners Property Rights

A coalition filed a lawsuit this week in Kansas challenging the state’s law that protects the property rights of livestock owners. The Animal Legal Defense Fund, Center for Food Safety, Hope Sanctuary and others argue that the law violates the First Amendment by deterring activists from undercover investigations at animal facilities. Meat industry publication Meatingplace reports the groups have popularized the phrase “ag gag” to describe such laws. The Kansas law was enacted in 1990 and is the oldest of its kind in the country. The Animal Legal Defense Fund claims the law “exists solely to protect the financial interests of industries that abuse animals.” The Animal Defense Fund also led a coalition that saw significant parts of similar laws in Utah and Idaho struck down. Lawsuits against such laws are pending in Iowa and North Carolina.

CoBank: Grain Elevator Margins Outlook

Average grain elevator margins are expected to be relatively normal this year for most of the Midwest. However, according to a new report from CoBank’, elevators should be cautious about the outlook, as several variables, such as trade issues, could affect elevator margins. Corn and wheat margins look solid on good carry and expected basis improvement, although corn ownership may be difficult for some elevators to obtain. Soybean margins for the year ahead face some uncertainties. Elevators are confident they will make a margin, but the question is when. Trade, logistics and export competitor production will be major factors impacting margins going forward. A CoBank economist says soybean basis appreciation will face resistance over the next year as “ample supplies and weak demand will continue to hobble the market.” Farmers will opt to store the crop as elevators seek to purchase it. Corn basis remains relatively strong considering the large crop, thanks to strong domestic demand. Ethanol use is expected to increase year-over-year, and feed demand will remain robust as cattle, hog and poultry numbers continue to increase. Amid this strong demand, elevators will likely see strong basis appreciation this year.

Soil Health Partnership Expanding Associate Program

The Soil Health Partnership is launching phase two of its pilot Associate Program and will invite 75 farmers to enroll in 2019. The organization says the effort will enable more farmers to join the partnership in its mission of using science and data to support farmers in adopting agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm. Joining the Associate Program during the pilot phase will give farmers access to no-cost soil health sampling and results. The program will provide data insights and reports on how making a change, like growing cover crops, impacts their soil. After enrolling 25 farms in the pilot program in 2018, phase two will bring the number of associate sites to 100. The partnership plans a full-scale launch of the Associate Program for 2020, when even more farmers can join. Learn more online at soilhealthpartnership.org.

EPA, USDA Encourage  Collaborative Approaches to Address Excess Nutrients

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture issued a letter this week to state and tribal co-regulators that encourages increased engagement to reduce excess nutrients in waterways. David Ross, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water, says stakeholders have made significant progress reducing excess nutrients in some watersheds, adding “now is the time to build on that success.” EPA and USDA are committed to working with stakeholders to identify watersheds where market-based approaches can supplement traditional regulatory programs to reduce excess nutrients and improved water quality. The agencies say this work could include providing technical and financial support and participating in problem-solving at the local level to explore approaches including water quality credit trading, public-private partnerships, pay-for-success, supply chain programs, and more. USDA undersecretary Bill Northey says farmers are leading the way toward improved water quality by taking steps to decrease sedimentation and nutrient runoff, but adds ”we know more can be done.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service