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.”

Continue reading

02-27-19 Ridgway Old West Fest Plans Take Shape in Colorado

Ridgway Old West Fest Plans Take Shape in Colorado

John Wayne in the movie True Grit Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Plans are well underway for the first Ridgway Old West Fest to be held October 11-13, 2019 in Ridgway, Colorado.  The festival, which will become an annual event, is intended to highlight the town’s film, ranching and railroad heritage and to celebrate all things Western.

“We have a lot of fun activities planned, and there should be something for everyone, young and old,” said Eve Becker-Doyle, Ridgway Western Heritage Society president. “The 2019 Old West Fest is free. It does not have a registration fee. While some of the events require a paid ticket, the majority do not. That makes a really cost-effective weekend for our attendees. Right now we are also looking for business sponsors and vendors,” said Becker-Doyle.

Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, February 27th

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, February 27th

Trump Budget Proposal to Include USDA Cuts

The Trump 2020 budget proposal will include “big cuts” to the Department of Agriculture, according to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. The budget request will propose cutting non-defense programs by five percent. However, Politico reports USDA is likely to face steeper budget cuts. Perdue noted that Congress usually disregards the president’s budget request, which in recent years has unsuccessfully called for cuts to USDA. Perdue says he would like to see the process return to a negotiation between the president and Congress, saying: “It’s like buying and selling a piece of land. You’ve got to get within the realm of negotiation there for people to take you seriously in that regard.” The Trump administration has previously proposed large cuts to crop insurance, agriculture research and rural development. Perdue says the budget will be conservative, but speaking of his team, says “we’ve done our best to advocate for farmers.”

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Coalition Asks Congress to Safeguard Crop Insurance

A coalition of more than 50 farm groups is asking lawmakers to safeguard crop insurance. The organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, warned in a letter to top-ranking House and Senate budget leaders this week that “An overreliance on budget savings from the agriculture community and from crop insurance will unquestionably undermine rural economies.” 2018 farm profitability is expected to hit a low not experienced in more than a decade. The groups also noted the public-private partnership of crop insurance has been a consistent and reliable risk management tool for farmers, particularly at a time of heightened uncertainty in agriculture caused by natural disasters, trade disputes and government shutdowns. The letter says farmers and lawmakers “agree that crop insurance is a linchpin of the farm safety net” and is crucial to the economic and food security of rural America. The groups concluded the letter urging lawmakers to oppose cuts to crop insurance during this year’s budget process.

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USMCA Coalition Launched to Promote Trade Agreement

A group of industry and agriculture companies and associations have launched the USMCA Coalition, an effort to see the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement through ratification. The USMCA Coalition is a collection of more than 200 organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, with an objective “to secure congressional approval” of the trade agreement. AEM President Dennis Slater says completing the trade agreement will “guarantee North America’s manufacturing competitiveness” and support 1.5 million jobs across the U.S. and Canada. Equipment manufacturers contribute $188 billion combined to the U.S. and Canadian economies. Canada is the largest export market for U.S. manufacturers of heavy equipment and a more than $10 billion per year export market for U.S. equipment manufacturers. Meanwhile, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico quadrupled from $8.9 billion in 1993 to $39 billion in 2017, according to AFBF, and the two countries are top markets for U.S. grains, dairy products, meats fresh fruits, and vegetables. 

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U.S. Asks China for Lower Ethanol Tariffs

The U.S. has asked China to lower tariffs on ethanol imports as part of the ongoing talks between the two nations. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Tuesday confirmed the U.S. request, saying “we would certainly love below 15 percent,” tariff levels, but did not say what level the U.S. asking for, according to Reuters. Last summer, through the tit-for-tat trade war,  China imposed retaliatory tariffs of up to 70 percent on U.S. ethanol shipments. It’s also unclear how receptive China is to the U.S. request, but Perdue says the two sides are “engaged in conversation.” Perdue says several other agriculture issues are “on the table” in the trade talks, including poultry access, issues over beef exports, feed grains, ethanol and distillers grains. Meanwhile, President Trump delayed a planned March tariff increase on Chinese goods, also seen as a deadline for the talks to conclude.

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Farm Credit 2018 Income Even with 2017

The Farm Credit System this week reported combined net income of $5.3 billion for 2018, as compared with $5.2 billion for the prior year. The system also reported combined net income of $1.3 billion for the fourth quarter of 2018, as compared with $1.5 billion for the fourth quarter of 2017. Tracey McCabe, President and CEO of the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation, says earnings for the year “continued to reflect strong financial performance by system institutions.” Combined net income increased $143 million or 2.8 percent for 2018, as compared with the prior year. The increase resulted primarily from increases in net interest income of $264 million and noninterest income of $92 million, partially offset by increases in noninterest expense of $128 million and the provision for income taxes of $88 million. Net interest income increased $264 million or 3.4 percent to $8.0 billion for 2018, as compared with $7.7 billion for the prior year.

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Organic Spirits Company Announces Fund for Farmers

Prairie Organic Spirits has launched its Spirit of Change Fund that will commit one percent of sales to support the next generation of organic farmers and to help transition more conventional farmland to organic. The company is self-proclaimed as the nation’s leading organic spirits brand. Through the initiative, Prairie Organic is seeking to increase sales of organic spirits to equal five percent of all alcohol category sales. By achieving the goal, the company claims approximately 8.0 million acres of conventional farmland would be converted to organic and approximately 7.4 million pounds of pesticides would go unused annually. Organic alcohol sales make up less than one percent of total sales, while organic food and beverage sales are roughly five percent of the U.S. total. Through the fund,  Prairie Organic will provide ten scholarships for interns accepted into the Rodale Institute’s Next Generation Scholarship Program, which provides practical, hands-on organic agriculture knowledge and skills to future organic farmers.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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