12-19-18 NMPF Releases Fake Milk “Naughty or Nice List” for Holidays

NMPF Releases Fake Milk “Naughty or Nice List” for Holidays

Dairy Farmers Urge FDA to Enforce Milk Labeling Laws, Which Some Companies Already Follow

ARLINGTON, Va.  With the holidays fast approaching, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) today released its own version of Santa’s “Naughty or Nice” list focused on good and bad actors in the labeling of fake dairy products. Continue reading

12-19-18 U.S. Pork Industry Ends 2018 with Major Antibiotic Progress

U.S. Pork Industry Ends 2018 with Major Antibiotic Progress

New FDA report shows big drop in livestock antibiotic sales/distribution;
pork industry joins diverse group to issue stewardship framework

DES MOINES, IOWA – Dec. 19, 2018 – America’s 60,000 pig farmers and their veterinarians are ending 2018 with recognition of their diligence to use medically important antibiotics in a strictly responsible way. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s newly published Annual Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals cites 2017 data that shows a 33 percent decline in this most critical class of antibiotics intended for use in food animals. When added to the decline found in the 2016 data, it confirms a reduction of 43 percent in this class of antibiotics from the 2015 level.

“This report is another indicator of the hard work that my fellow pig farmers have been doing to reduce the need for antibiotics. We continue to work closely with our veterinarians to ensure that we use antibiotics responsibly and according to FDA-approved labels,” said National Pork Board President Steve Rommereim, a pig farmer from Alcester, South Dakota. “We’re committed to using antibiotics in a strategic way that focuses on animal health and well-being, as well as to protecting overall public health.”

Veterinarian Dave Pyburn, senior vice president of science and technology at the National Pork Board, says that while the new report is not a perfect estimate of antibiotic use at the farm level, it clearly shows a downward trend in antibiotic use intended for food animals. He also notes that this latest data reflects what happened after the pork industry’s successful implementation in January 2017 of the Veterinary Feed Directive, which banned the use of medically important antibiotics for growth-promotion use.

“It was a relatively smooth transition after the Veterinary Feed Directives went into effect,” Pyburn said. “Thanks to well-planned and well-executed education programs implemented by the pork industry long before that date, producers, veterinarians and allied industry personnel were prepared to modify their procedures. This was a clear example of how the pork industry adapts to do their part in protecting antibiotics for human and animal health. It’s simply the right thing to do.” Continue reading

12-19-18 Colorado AgrAbility announces 2019 Winter Workshops…

CLICK HERE for more information about the CO AgrAbility 2019 Winter Workshops

Colorado AgrAbility announces 2019 Winter Workshops…

Western Slope rancher, Robert Andrews, a Marine Corps veteran, who, in his own words, ‘has been blown up three times’ and suffers from some physical impairments due to this combatrelated injuries wanted to find a way to continue his service after he retired from the Corps. As a United States Marine Senior NCO, Robert Andrews was used to mentoring his Marines. Now retired from the Corps but still having a servants heart, he has a desire to assist others after dealing with his own adversity. Robert wanted to use a sheep farm to help other small wool growers succeed. Robert has used AgrAbility and it’s 2017 Veterans grant to transition from military life to sheep ranching in the tiny town of Mack, Colorado. He found CAP through a
media ad and attendance at a CAP Winter Workshop. Colorado AgrAbility Project (CAP) is a service created by a grant from the US Department of Agriculture in partnership with Goodwill Industries of Denver and Colorado State University Extension. Reaching out to the staff, he set an appointment for an on-site farm/ranch assessment. The CAP staff made recommendations that would aid Robert in completing work tasks that he could not accomplish without assistance or
that he would just do but suffer the consequences of pain and fatigue But Andrews is not a quitter and he pressed forward. Now his ranch is off the ground and functioning well and Robert is reaching out to others and offering them a helping hand as a mentor.

Winter Workshops 2019

Below is a list of upcoming workshops that will be presented by Dr. Norman L. Dalsted, CSU Extension and by Candiss Leathers and Dr. James Craig, Goodwill Industries of Denver: Continue reading

12-19-18 NFU Backs USDA-FDA Joint Oversight of Cell Culture Technology

NFU Backs USDA-FDA Joint Oversight of Cell Culture Technology

Family Farm Organization Urges Consistent, Transparent Labeling

WASHINGTON – The nation’s second largest general farm organization today backed efforts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish a joint regulatory framework overseeing production and sale of animal cell culture technology.

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson submitted comments to the two agencies to that effect, urging them to provide clarity to consumers as to whether or not they are purchasing meat products raised in the traditional manner or products that were grown in a lab…


TRANSCRIPT: Continue reading

12-19-18 Colorado Water Congress Mourns the Loss of Ralph Curtis

Colorado Water Congress Mourns the Loss of Ralph Curtis

The Colorado Water Congress extends its deepest sympathies to the Curtis family…

Ralph George Curtis
August 31, 1931 – December 4, 2018


Ralph, a fourth generation resident of the San Luis Valley, was raised in the Saguache area. He was born on August 31, 1931, to Ralph George Curtis and Sara Chapman Curtis. He grew up on the family ranch working sheep and milking cows. Ralph attended Saguache schools through his sophomore year in high school. As a junior and senior, he went to New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico. Upon graduation, he entered the University of Colorado in Boulder on a football scholarship. Ralph, known as “Cactus Curtis,” was a football starter all four years, a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, and was president of his senior class. Because of his outstanding athletic career, he was inducted into the Living Legends Class of 2003 at the University of Colorado by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Alumni “C” Club. Continue reading

12-19-18 Grain School returns to University of Colorado – Colorado Springs in January

Grain School returns to University of Colorado – Colorado Springs in January

Grain School, a unique event that brings together scientists, farmers, bakers, millers, maltsters, brewers, chefs and consumers for teaching and learning, returns to UCCS for the fourth consecutive year in 2019. The three-day event runs Jan. 18-20 across campus.

“We’ve expanded our curriculum and hands-on workshops and will explore heritage grains in diverse production systems and creative on-farm vertical integration,” said Nanna Meyer, associate professor of health sciences. Representatives from the Land Institute, the Bread Lab, the USDA National Resource Conservation Service and Oregon State University will put grains in the context of time and at the confluence of water, soil and plants and address how these grains promote health and create community. Students and community members will choose from a range of hands-on experiences along the grain chain, including farming, sourdough baking, cooking, pasta and tortilla making, along with plant selection and breeding, milling and home-scale growing. Continue reading

12-19-18 Inside NAWG with Secretary Nicole Berg: Trade, MFP, 2018 Farm Bill & More…

Inside NAWG with Secretary Nicole Berg…

(The BARN / FarmCast Radio – Briggsdale, CO) December 19, 2018 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network & FarmCast Radio for this month’s interview with the National Association of Wheat Growers Secretary and Washington wheat grower Nicole Berg, we’ll be discussing several topics including: USMCA & China Trade War, USDA’s Trade Aid, Looming Government Shutdown and of the course The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, known as the 2018 Farm Bill…



READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, December 19th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, December 19th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Former China Banking Officials Says U.S., China, Agreement Possible

A former central bank official in China is optimistic the U.S. and China can reach an agreement by the March deadline that will “pave the way for future talks.” The South China Morning Post reports Zhu Min, (chu men) the deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China from 2009 to 2010, expects it would take at least six months to a year before the two countries could resolve their trade conflict. The official said China was willing to make compromises needed to address some U.S. concerns and to work to reduce the trade imbalance. But he also expressed concern over Washington’s rivalry with Beijing beyond trade, and the unpredictability of the U.S. president. China began buying U.S. ag products last week as part of the ceasefire agreement between the U.S. and China. Agriculture remains hopeful more purchases are planned.

Farm Groups Push for Ag in EU Trade Talks

A coalition of agriculture groups is asking the Trump administration to keep pushing agriculture issues in the European Union-U.S. trade talks. In a letter sent to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, 53 organizations, led by the National Pork Producers Council, urged the Trump administration “to continue stressing” that only a “truly comprehensive agreement will be acceptable.”  The EU has expressed reluctance to include agriculture as it did during earlier negotiations on the U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, knowing it would require lifting import barriers that protect EU farmers and removing regulatory measures that are scientifically unjustified or overly restrictive. Because of the EU’s barriers, the United States had a trade deficit in food and agricultural goods of nearly $11 billion last year. That deficit was $1.8 billion in 2000. NPPC President Jim Heimerl (Hi’-merle) says he and others expect the Trump administration “to require the EU to negotiate on agriculture and to eliminate all tariff and non-tariff barriers to U.S. pork and other agricultural products.”

NCGA: Trade Aid Comes up Short

The National Corn Growers Association says the second round of trade aid payments provide virtually no relief. The payments, released by the White House Monday,  sets the payment rate for corn at just one cent per bushel, despite the fact that corn farmers have suffered an average 44 cent per bushel loss since tariffs were first announced, according to NCGA. President Lynn Chrisp says, “One cent per bushel is woefully inadequate to even begin to cover the losses.” The payments stem from the Department of Agriculture’s Market Facilitation Program. The first round of payments was authorized earlier this fall. In a November 19 letter to USDA Secretary Perdue, Chrisp stressed the disappointment around USDA’s approach to calculating MFP payments. Many farmers, according to NCGA, felt it was too narrow in scope and did not capture real-time impacts of trade disruptions.

Study Quantifies Value Delivered to Corn Producers through Red Meat Exports

An updated study shows one in every five bushels of added feed demand for corn is due to beef and pork exports. The study, commissioned by the U.S. Meat Export Federation and conducted by an agricultural consulting firm, seeks to quantify the value delivered to U.S. corn producers through exports of red meat. The original 2016 study showed that 2015 exports of U.S. red meat accounted for 11.7 million tons of combined corn and Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles use. The updated 2018 survey found beef and pork exports will use a combined total of 14.9 million tons of corn and DDGS, which equates to an additional 459.7 million bushels of corn produced, an increase of 29 percent over the 2015 projections. The study also found that about 11 percent of the price of corn this year will be derived from red meat exports.

Groups Issue Framework for Antibiotic Stewardship in Food Animal Production

A group of major food companies, retailers, livestock producers, and trade and professional associations just announced a comprehensive framework to strengthen stewardship of antibiotic use in food animals. The framework is the product of a two-year dialogue among stakeholders, moderated by Farm Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, to ensure that antibiotics are used judiciously throughout production to protect animal and public health. The stakeholders agreed that the use of medically important antibiotics in all settings, from human health care to livestock production, must be carefully managed to slow the emergence of resistant bacteria. The framework defines effective stewardship, lays out its core components, and describes essential characteristics of effective stewardship programs, including key performance measures. Joe Swedberg, chairman of the board of Farm Foundation, says the framework “provides the basis for a robust and science-based system, one that consumers can understand and trust.”

NASDA Sets 2019 Policy Goals

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture announced the organization’s policy goals for 2019 this week. The organization of agriculture commissioners, secretaries and directors of agriculture identified focus areas of animal biotechnology and workforce development. NASDA’s new areas of focus include recognizing that labor supply is a concern throughout the agricultural supply chain. Also, in 2019, NASDA will prioritize advocacy for regulatory framework that ensures animal biotechnology products are approved in a timely manner, and support education to consumers to increase understating and acceptance of the technology. Carrying over priorities from 2018, NASDA will still support new free trade agreements and urge Congress to ratify USMCA, as well as continue to work with the Food and Drug Administration and states to effectively implement the Food Safety and Modernization Act.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service