02-27-19 Colorado FFA Foundation Inducts Hickert, Hutchinson & Williams into the 2019 Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame

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Colorado FFA Foundation Inducts Hickert, Hutchinson & Williams into the 2019 Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame

DENVER, CO – February 27, 2019 – The Colorado FFA Foundation inducted three more members into the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame on February 27, 2019.  Mr. Jay Hickert, Akron, Mr. George “Buck” Hutchison, Englewood, and Mr. Dan Williams, Denver, will all be formally inducted into the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame in at the annual Hall of Fame Banquet.

“We are proud to add three more outstanding individuals to the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame, the applicant pool continues to be diverse, and very competitive.  I am amazed at the significant contributions to agriculture that all of our nominees possess. “said Ed Cordes, Chairman of the Colorado FFA Foundation. Continue reading

02-28-19 Colorado’s General Assembly Democrats announce upcoming intro of oil & gas legislation prioritizing health and safety

Colorado’s General Assembly Democrats announce upcoming intro of oil & gas legislation prioritizing health and safety

Denver, CO –  Senate and House leadership, joined by Governor Polis and supporters, today announced oil and gas legislation that prioritizes the health and safety of Coloradans will soon be introduced in the General Assembly. The legislation, sponsored by Speaker KC Becker and Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, seeks to provide the most meaningful changes to oil and gas regulations Colorado has seen in more than 60 years.

The bill will not only provide peace of mind for Coloradans by clarifying that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s mission is to regulate, not foster, the industry, but will empower local communities to take control over what is happening in their backyards and equip them with the tools they need to stand up for their best interests.

“Coloradans simply do not have confidence that the laws in place are sufficient to protect their health and safety. They are right, and they are looking to their leaders for change,” said Majority Leader Fenberg. “For too long, the legislature has stood in the way of common sense reforms that would keep communities safe, and protect the Colorado we love.Today, we are announcing change.”

“Right now, oil and gas laws in Colorado tilt heavily toward the industry. We are going to correct that tilt so that health, safety, and environment are no longer ignored by state agencies,” said Speaker KC Becker. “This bill would also ensure that local governments have a greater ability to represent the interests of the people they serve.”

“The legislation we outlined today puts health and safety first and gives communities a meaningful seat at the table,” said Governor Jared Polis. “While we know this doesn’t solve all of the problems our communities face, it is a practical approach to finding a solution for many of our issues and providing more stability by updating our laws to reflect today’s realities.” Continue reading

02-28-19 U.S. Senators Bennet, Hoeven Reintroduce Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act

U.S. Senators Bennet, Hoeven Reintroduce Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act

Bipartisan Legislation Would Ensure ELD, HOS Reforms Work in Real-World Conditions

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and John Hoeven (R-ND) today reintroduced the Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act, bipartisan legislation to reform the Hours of Service (HOS) and Electronic Logging Device (ELD) regulations at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The bill would delay enforcement of the ELD rule until the required reforms are formally proposed by the DOT Secretary.

“Providing farmers and ranchers a seat at the table will lead to more sensible rules around the transportation of agricultural goods,” Bennet said. “It is important that we maintain safe roads, while also recognizing the unique flexibility needed to move Colorado’s agricultural products to market.”

“Livestock haulers need a permanent solution to the HOS and ELD rules that provides flexibility while also ensuring road safety and the humane transportation of animals,” Hoeven said. “We’ve worked hard to secure regulatory relief under these rules, including the 150 air-mile agriculture exemption and the flexibility the FMCSA provided for all commercial drivers last fall. Our legislation builds on these past efforts, putting the ELD rule on hold and helping ensure the DOT advances reforms that will work in the real world.” Continue reading

02-29-19 USDA Announces Timeline for Regulations, Hemp Specific Listening Session Planned for March 13th

USDA Announces Timeline for Regulations, Hemp Specific Listening Session Planned for March 13th

Today the USDA announced that it is actively working to promulgate federal hemp regulations and intends to finalize them in time for the 2020 growing season. USDA also announced they will be hosting a hemp specific listening session for stakeholders on March 13th. We will update you as soon as the details are available. This listening session will be your opportunity to provide feedback.

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02-28-19 CPW News: Colorado and Kansas sign historic agreement for a permanent water supply at CPW’s John Martin Reservoir State Park

CPW News: Colorado and Kansas sign historic agreement for a permanent water supply at CPW’s John Martin Reservoir State Park

HASTY, Colo. –  A 40-year deadlock between Colorado and Kansas has been resolved with the signing of a historic agreement that will provide a new source of water for a permanent fish and wildlife conservation pool in John Martin Reservoir. Continue reading

02-29-19 Concentric Ag Announces CEO Transition

Concentric Ag Announces CEO Transition

DENVER, Feb. 27, 2019 — Concentric Ag Corporation, one of the leading developers of biological and plant nutrient inputs, announced today that its President and CEO Donald R. Marvin will transition within the next few months to become the executive chairman of its board of directors. Continue reading

02-29-19 USW: WTO Dispute Panel Confirms China’s Domestic Agricultural Support Exceeds Limits, Distorts Trade

U.S. Wheat Associates: WTO Dispute Panel Confirms China’s Domestic Agricultural Support Exceeds Limits, Distorts Trade

ARLINGTON, Virginia — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) welcomes the ruling today by a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel that Chinese government payments to farmers for wheat exceed China’s aggregate measure of support (AMS) commitments and significantly distort global wheat trade. The panel was formed after the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) challenged China’s domestic agricultural support programs for wheat, corn and rice through the WTO dispute settlement process in September 2016.

USW President Vince Peterson

“We are very pleased that the Trump Administration has continued to support this dispute and a second case that challenges China’s administration of the 9.6 million metric ton (MMT) tariff rate quota (TRQ) on imported wheat that its government agreed to when it joined the WTO,” said USW President Vince Peterson. “U.S. farmers have been hurt by China’s overproduction and protectionist measures for too long and it’s past time for China to start living up to its commitments.”

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02-29-19 Conaway: WTO Victory Underscores Ongoing Need to Hold China Accountable

Conaway: WTO Victory Underscores Ongoing Need to Hold China Accountable

Washington, D.C. – House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) made the following statement about the World Trade Organization’s findings that China is illegally subsidizing its grain producers to the detriment of America’s farmers and ranchers.

“If there is any lingering doubt as to why the United States needs strong farm policy, this WTO ruling removes that doubt. China illegally subsidized just three crops to the tune of $100 billion in a single year, more than the entire U.S. farm safety net costs over the life of the farm bill. I commend President Trump for being vigilant in insisting that other countries live by the same rules we do in the United States. Free trade does not exist without everyone playing by the same rules. I especially want to thank Ambassador Lighthizer and Secretary Perdue for their extraordinary work to ensure a win for the American farmer and rancher in the WTO.”

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02-28-19 Trump Administration Unveils Plan for Historic Investment in America’s Students through Education Freedom Scholarships

Trump Administration Unveils Plan for Historic Investment in America’s Students through Education Freedom Scholarships

U.S. Sen. Cruz, U.S. Rep. Byrne to introduce companion legislation

WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, along with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), unveiled Education Freedom Scholarships (EFS), the Trump Administration’s key proposal to expand and improve the education options available to students across the country. The policy will make a historic investment in America’s students, injecting up to $5 billion yearly into locally controlled scholarship programs that empower students to choose the learning environment and style that best meets their unique needs. The policy would not rely on any funds currently allocated to public education, nor would it create a new federal education program. Participation would be voluntary for students, schools, and states.

“I believe every student in America deserves the opportunity to pursue the education that best meets his or her needs,” said Secretary DeVos. “No student should feel stuck in a school that just isn’t working for them, or feel hopeless because they live on the ‘wrong’ side of town. Education Freedom Scholarships will finally give students the opportunity to learn in places and grow in ways that have too often been denied to them. This historic investment in students honors the fact that each one of them is unique and deserves an education that’s personalized for them, unleashes their creativity, and unlocks their potential.”

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02-28-19 United States Wins WTO Dispute Finding China Provides Excessive Government Support to its Grain Producers

United States Wins WTO Dispute Finding China Provides Excessive Government Support to its Grain Producers

Washington, DC – U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today that a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel found that China has provided trade distorting domestic support to its grain producers well in excess of its commitments under WTO rules.  China’s market price support policy artificially raises Chinese prices for grains above market levels, creating incentives for increased Chinese production of agricultural products and reduced imports.

This panel report is a significant victory for U.S. agriculture that will help American farmers compete on a more level playing field.  This dispute is the first to challenge China’s agricultural policies that disregard WTO rules and shows that the United States will take whatever steps are necessary to enforce the rules and ensure free and fair trade for U.S. farmers, ranchers, workers, and businesses.

“The United States proved that China for years provided government support for its grain producers far in excess of the levels China agreed to when it joined the WTO.  China’s excessive support limits opportunities for U.S. farmers to export their world-class products to China.  We expect China to quickly come into compliance with its WTO obligations,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. Continue reading

02-28-19 USDA Announces Investments to Improve Rural Electric Infrastructure and Finance Smart Grid Technologies

USDA Announces Investments to Improve Rural Electric Infrastructure and Finance Smart Grid Technologies

More than 6,200 customers will benefit from improved or new service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2019 – Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley today announced that USDA is investing $122 million to expand and upgrade rural electric systems in Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Oklahoma and South Dakota. The funding includes more than $7 million to finance smart grid technologies to improve system operations and monitor grid security.

“Modern and reliable electric infrastructure is foundational to building prosperity in rural America,” Baxley said. “Under the leadership of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in improving this essential infrastructure.” Continue reading

02-28-19 Northern Water: Farm purchase part of NISP effort to ensure water-secure future for local communities and agriculture

Northern Water: Farm purchase part of NISP effort to ensure water-secure future for local communities and agriculture

BERTHOUD – The recent purchase of a Weld County farm marks a new venture for Northern Water and Northern Integrated Supply Project participants – one that’s part of the ongoing, collaborative effort to secure future water supplies for both the region’s communities and our vital agricultural industry.

On Jan. 31, Northern Water and the NISP participants purchased a 28-acre farm northeast of Greeley and the property’s water rights. The farm was purchased through the NISP Water Secure program, a cooperative effort to maintain the exchange of water for NISP while keeping water on participating farms. This investment is a shift from the “buy-and-dry” approach that has stressed our agricultural communities.

This innovative program will eventually provide supplemental water to approximately 500,000 residents in northern Colorado while preserving thousands of acres of irrigated farmland. Water Secure is part of a strategic long-term plan to better plan for future growth and to consistently apply Colorado Water Plan principles to protect water for our communities, farms and the environment. Without innovative approaches such as Water Secure, the region is on
pace to see hundreds of thousands of irrigated acres dried up by mid-century.

“This is an outside-the-box, ‘buy-and-supply’ approach we’re taking to address the tightening water supplies facing Northern Colorado and its future generations,” said Northern Water General Manager Brad Wind. Continue reading

USDA – FAS Weekly Export Sales Report for February 28th

USDA FAS - Foreign Agricultural Service header

Weekly Export Sales for February 28th

02-28-19 Family Farm Alliance Lauds Passage of Water and Power, WILD Act Provisions in Lands Package

Family Farm Alliance Lauds Passage of Water and Power, WILD Act Provisions in Lands Package

Washington, D.C. – The Family Farm Alliance and its members cheered yesterday’s passage by the House of Representatives of the Natural Resources Management Act (S. 47), a broad package of more than 100 public lands, natural resources, and water bills considered in the 115th Congress. This legislation is important to the Alliance, as it addresses title transfers, endangered fish recovery programs, the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project, WaterSMART and Bureau of Reclamation transparency. It also includes the Wildlife Innovation and Longevity Driver (WILD) Act, which includes Alliance-supported provisions that emphasize funding for the Fish and Wildlife Service “Partners for Fish and Wildlife” program.

“Some of the provisions included in this package have spanned three or more Congresses,” said Alliance Executive Director Dan Keppen. “Perseverance and hard work by Members of Congress, committee staff, and western water users kept these issues alive for when the right legislative vehicle arrived. The lands package was that vehicle.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, February 28th

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, February 28th

Perdue: Remove Tariffs to Pass USMCA

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue used a football analogy to describe the process of passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. He calls passage more of a “field goal” than a touchdown. Perdue says the reason for the difficulty is the administration hasn’t yet removed the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from two key North American trading partners. Perdue tells reporters this week that he’ll consider it a “touchdown, a more certain success when we get those tariffs removed.” When the trade pact negotiations were moving along smoothly, Canada and Mexico were exempt from the tariffs. However, when things stalled, that exemption came to an end. As was expected, Mexico and Canada both hit back with retaliatory tariffs. Mexican tariffs have hit American agriculture hard on cheese, pork, apples, and potatoes. Perdue says the tariffs need to go as they accomplished the goal of getting Mexico and Canada to the negotiating table. “Once you’ve achieved your goals with the tariffs, then it’s probably time to look at other ways,” Perdue says. He realizes that the tariffs remain a thorn in the process of getting the deal ratified in all three countries.

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Ag Labor Fix is Tough to Predict

Lawmakers and agriculture industry groups met face-to-face on Capitol Hill this week to discuss the serious labor shortage facing American farmers. They discussed the possibility of a comprehensive legislative package that would ease the chronic problem by legalizing undocumented workers and supporting a steady influx of laborers from other countries. Washington state Representative Dan Newhouse took part in a panel discussion, saying, “This isn’t something we have the luxury of time to take to solve. This is hurting our industry as we speak.” There are two ag labor bills that have been introduced so far this session. They would take care of parts of the broader issue. However, a comprehensive fix has yet to appear. Senate Ag Chair Pat Roberts still thinks a bipartisan solution to the problem is possible. “If we can figure out a combination here that makes sense, I think we can sell this,” Roberts says. Politico says the effort to solve the problem could get a boost from President Trump. At the American Farm Bureau national convention last month, the president said he would be pushing for legislation to make the process of hiring more guest workers easier for farmers to accomplish.

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State Ag Departments Want Hemp Standards, USMCA Approval

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture held its winter meeting this week in Virginia. The organization adopted new policies they’d like to see put in place. The Hagstrom Report says NASDA is looking for new policies at the federal level encouraging uniformity among states in hemp regulations. For example, a lack of uniformity in field-sampling standards could cause potential problems in hemp crossing state lines. NASDA is asking the Food and Drug Administration to work with states and develop a model regulatory framework to oversee hemp processing, as well as the manufacturing of hemp-based products. The organization also adopted a policy of asking Congress and President Trump to work together to ensure that the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement is successfully ratified and implemented. They want the Section 232 tariffs the Trump Administration imposed on Mexico and Canada removed. Association CEO Barb Glenn says, “To provide certainty for North American farmers and ranchers businesses, urgency must be applied to ratifying USMCA.” She says it’s also critical that the administration removes the Section 232 tariffs. That way, farmers and ranchers can realize net improvements in market access and the benefits that USMCA was negotiated to provide.   

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Commerce Department to Review Argentina’s Biodiesel Subsidies

The National Biodiesel Board wrote a letter to a group of 14 senators and thanked them for asking Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to be transparent in the upcoming review of U.S. duties on Argentine biodiesel imports. The department launched what’s called a “changed circumstances” review of those duties. The senators are asking Commerce to develop a complete record of Argentina biodiesel trade actions before they determine if another look at the U.S. import duties is warranted. In the letter, the senators say, “It’s unclear why Commerce would afford a special review to Argentina and its biodiesel industry when the ink on the anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders is barely dry.” They also point out that in the short period since the antidumping and countervailing duty orders were imposed, U.S. biodiesel producers have been able to compete on a more level playing field and the U.S. biodiesel industry has begun to recover from the injury caused by the unfair trade practices of the Argentinian government and biodiesel industry. Kurt Kovarik, NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs, says, “NBB and its members appreciate the leadership of the senators who raised concerns about fair trade with Secretary Ross. Over the past two years, Argentina has made more than a dozen changes to its export tax rates and continued to massively subsidize its biodiesel industry.”

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USMEF Wants Level Playing Field in Japan

Japan is an important trading partner for U.S. agriculture, especially when it comes to beef and pork producers. That was the main topic of a panel discussion during the recent USDA Outlook Forum. USMEF Economist Erin Borror says that Japan is the leading value destination for both U.S. beef and pork. 2018 exports are expected to reach $2.1 billion and $1.65 billion, respectively when year-end data is available. She also warns that the competitive terrain in Japan has gotten much steeper for U.S. exports. That’s because of Japan’s potential trade agreements with Australia, the European Union, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, and Chile. That situation will only get worse unless the United States can establish similar access to Japanese markets. The U.S. beef export value per head of fed slaughter averaged a record $320.72 in 2018, shattering the previous high of $300.36 that was set in 2014. Japan accounts for one-fourth of that total at $82.75 a head. That ratio is similar for U.S. pork, which averaged $51.46 per head slaughtered in 2018. Japan accounted for 26 percent of the total per-head value.

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Glyphosate in the Courts

A Reuters report says officials working at a health agency in Brazil have found that glyphosate does not cause cancer. The timing is interesting in that a jury in San Francisco Federal Court is about to decide soon whether or not glyphosate in Roundup caused a man’s cancer diagnosis. This is the trial that will likely influence the outcomes of hundreds of other similar trial cases. The opening statements in the Edwin Hardeman suit against Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup, took place on Monday. The 70-year-old man is the second plaintiff to take Monsanto to court out of potentially thousands who will follow. A San Francisco jury awarded a separate man $289 million after determining that Roundup caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Meanwhile, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group did tests that found glyphosate in samples of popular brands of beer and wine. The group found glyphosate in 19 of the 20 brands it tested, but it did say that the levels found were all below the amount that could cause harm to humans.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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02-22-19 CALP: Governor Polis, Commissioner Greenberg to Attend 2019 Ag Forum

CALP: Governor Polis, Commissioner Greenberg to Attend 2019 Ag Forum

Check out the audio from CO Governor Polis’ speech at the 2019 Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture during the luncheon (RAW AUDIO – THE VIDEO WILL BE BETTER)

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February 22, 2019, Denver, Colo. – The Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture is pleased to welcome Governor Jared Polis and newly appointed Colorado Agriculture Commissioner Kate Greenberg to their 2019 event. Continue reading

02-27-19 Colorado Governor Polis Announces Water Appointments

Colorado Governor Polis Announces Water Appointments

DENVER — Governor Polis has announced three new board appointments to the Colorado Water Conservation Board.

·         Gail Schwartz of Basalt, Colorado, representing the Colorado River basin

·         Jackie Brown of Oak Creek, Colorado, representing the Yampa-White River basin

·         Jessica Brody of Denver, Colorado, representing the City and County of Denver

In addition, the Governor appointed Russ George as the Director of the Inter-Basin Compact Committee in addition to five gubernatorial appointees.

·         Aaron Citron

·         Mely Whiting

·         Robert Sakata

·         Patrick Wells

·         Paul Bruchez

“I’m excited to work with these appointments,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources. “Their collective experience is unmatched.” Continue reading

02-27-19 LMA Tips Hats to Livestock Marketers Leading NCBA and ASI

LMA Tips Hats to Livestock Marketers Leading NCBA and ASI

KANSAS CITY, MO (FEBRUARY 27, 2019) – The Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) is grateful for the dedication and vision of livestock marketing business leaders that represent the livestock marketing industry as well as the livestock industry as a whole.
A noteworthy accomplishment was recently made as two LMA members and auction market influencers both were consecutively elected president of two different national livestock associations – National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and American Sheep Industry Association.
“I congratulate both Jennifer Houston and Benny Cox on their new roles,” Tom Frey, Livestock Marketing Association President, said. “I have no doubt the auction markets will be at the forefront of many conversations.”

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