03-06-19 LMA: Livestock Haulers’ Hours of Service Petition Comment Period Closes March 8th

LMA: Livestock Haulers’ Hours of Service Petition Comment Period Closes March 8th

KANSAS CITY, MO (March 6, 2019) – The public comment period closes March 8, 2019 for a joint petition requesting a temporary modification of hours of service (HOS) requirements for livestock, fish, and bee haulers. The petition was filed on Oct. 15 by the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), American Beekeeping Federation, American Honey Producers Association, and the National Aquaculture Association.
“As of Wednesday, March 6, 198 comments have been posted on the Federal Register,” said Jara Settles, LMA General Counsel. “LMA encourages interested parties to comment to tell their story and speak about how important safety is to the livestock industry as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will take public comments into consideration when deciding whether to allow livestock haulers more drive time.” Continue reading

03-06-19 WELD JOINS OTHER COLORADO COUNTIES AS A SECOND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY COUNTY

WELD JOINS OTHER COLORADO COUNTIES AS A SECOND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY COUNTY

WELD COUNTY, CO — Today, the Weld County Board of Commissioners joined a growing number of Colorado counties declaring themselves a “Second Amendment Sanctuary County.” The resolution comes in response to HB 19-1177, or the Red Flag Bill, which allows family members, household members or law enforcement to petition a judge to remove firearms from an individual they deem dangerous to themselves or others. Continue reading

03-06-19 USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey to speak at CSU Water in the West Symposium

USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey to speak at CSU Water in the West Symposium

Denver, Colo. – Bill Northey, Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will speak at the upcoming Water in the West Symposium in the Denver area. Colorado State University System is hosting the Symposium at Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center on March 13 and 14.

Northey is a fourth-generation corn and soybean farmer, who previously served as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture from 2006 to 2018. In his role at USDA, he oversees the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Risk Management Agency, and Farm Service Agency.

“Reliable access to water is a significant issue for producers in the west and around the country,” said Northey. “Through forums like the Water in the West Symposium, we are able to work together to identify solutions and make meaningful progress in addressing these challenges.” Continue reading

03-06-19 Colorado Auctioneers Foundation Scholarship Deadline Is April 1st!

Colorado Auctioneers Foundation Scholarship Deadline Is April 1st!

Interested in applying for the CAA Scholarship?  Have family / coworkers that are looking to help them with continuing education?

Click the link below to download the Scholarship Application.

Deadline:  April 1, 2019

Scholarship Application – CLICK HERE

To learn more about the Colorado Auctioneers Foundation and the Colorado Auctioneeers Association, click on their links.

03-06-19 CSU Extension hosting Sustainable Lifestyle Expo “Better Front Range Living…Through Science!” in Broomfield, CO on April 14

Get registered today!

CSU Extension hosting Sustainable Lifestyle Expo “Better Front Range Living…Through Science!” in Broomfield, CO on April 14

Join your local Colorado State University Extension Agents, specialists and volunteers for a day of research-based demonstrations and short talks on over 30 different topics central to life on Colorado’s Front Range including: Continue reading

03-06-19 NACD RELEASES 2018 ANNUAL REPORT

NACD RELEASES 2018 ANNUAL REPORT

Today, NACD released the organization’s 2018 Annual Report. The report encompasses a recap of all of NACD’s events and successes over the past year. This edition includes a farewell address from NACD Immediate Past President Brent Van Dyke in addition to outlooks for the year ahead provided by President Tim Palmer and CEO Jeremy Peters.

In addition to membership details and financial statements, this year’s annual report contains a Boots on the Ground section that showcases all of the unique programs and initiatives NACD implemented in 2018 to serve districts and promote locally-led conservation across the country. The report also incorporates highlights from each region as well as a bio and outlook from each region representative. Lastly, readers will find an NACD in Action section for an at-a-glance perspective on NACD’s successes and the ways the organization is improving the conservation delivery system. Continue reading

03-06-19 NACD PUBLISHES MUCH-ANTICIPATED CONSERVATION DISTRICTS VIDEO

NACD PUBLISHES  MUCH-ANTICIPATED CONSERVATION DISTRICTS VIDEO

Over the past several months, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) has worked to create the “Past, Present and Future of Conservation Districts,” a video showcasing the history and unique journey of the conservation movement. This 10-minute video provides a brief overview of conservation districts and the services they have and will continue to provide to America’s landowners. While this video could only scratch the surface of the incredible work the nation’s conservation districts do, it serves as an introduction to the philosophy behind the nation’s conservationists and can be used as an educational tool for the locally-led mission.

Continue reading

03-06-19 Colorado State Senate Passes Net Neutrality Legislation

Colorado State Senate Passes Net Neutrality Legislation

Denver, COThe Colorado State Senate today voted 19-to-15 with one excused to pass SB19-078, Open Internet Customer Protections in Colorado, a bill to make sure that broadband infrastructure funded by the citizens of Colorado will adhere to fair and open internet practices. The bill, sponsored by Senators Kerry Donovan (D-Vail) and Jeff Bridges (D-Arapahoe County), now heads to the House for consideration.

“Private companies that use state dollars to build out their broadband networks shouldn’t dictate who gets fast internet and who doesn’t. Coloradans rely on the internet every day and deserve the same level of access to those networks, no matter what corner of the state you live in,” said Senator Donovan. “This legislation ensures equal access to the internet, which is why I am confident it will pass the House, and I urge Governor Polis to sign net neutrality into law.”

“The passage of net neutrality ensures that every Coloradan, no matter where you live, gets a fair shot,” said Senator Bridges. “This legislation will benefit Coloradans who rely on the internet for everyday tasks and small businesses who need it to innovate and grow our Colorado economy.” Continue reading

03-06-19 NPPC COMMENDS USDA FOR AFRICAN SWINE FEVER ACTION

NPPC COMMENDS USDA FOR AFRICAN SWINE FEVER ACTION

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 6, 2019 – The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) applauded additional measures announced today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to prevent the spread of African swine fever (ASF) to the United States. The risk of ASF – an animal disease affecting only pigs and with no human health or food safety risks – is growing as outbreaks continue throughout China and other parts of Asia.

“U.S. pork producers are already facing headwinds in the form of trade disputes with key export markets; an outbreak of ASF would be devastating,” said NPPC President Jim Heimerl, a pork producer from Johnston, Ohio. “With no available vaccine, prevention is our only defense. We thank Undersecretary Greg Ibach and the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for strengthening safeguards to protect our animals and the rural economy.”

The ASF-prevention measures announced today by USDA include: Continue reading

03-05-19 USDA Strengthens Partnerships and Protections to Keep African Swine Fever Out of the Country

USDA Strengthens Partnerships and Protections to Keep African Swine Fever Out of the Country

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 5, 2019 – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced additional steps to keep African swine fever (ASF) from entering the United States, even as the disease spreads internationally. These steps strengthen the protections announced last fall after the deadly swine disease reached China. The goal remains to protect our nation’s swine industry from this disease. ASF does not affect people, nor is it a food safety issue.

In coordination with the pork industry, USDA’s Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Greg Ibach, has stated the following enhanced activities to intensify multi-agency efforts toward the prevention of ASF’s entry into the United States: Continue reading

03-06-19 Colorado General Assembly Democrats Unveil Legislation to Abolish the Death Penalty

Colorado General Assembly Democrats Unveil Legislation to Abolish the Death Penalty

Senate and House Sponsors, faith leaders, and supporters gathered today in the Colorado State Capitol for a press conference

Denver, CO – Senate and House Democrats held a press conference in the State Capitol to unveil SB19-182, a bill that would abolish the death penalty in Colorado.

Throughout Colorado’s history with capital punishment, it has been applied unevenly and arbitrarily, with factors like race often playing a far larger role in who receives the death penalty than merely the specifics of the crime. Additionally, the complex legal costs associated with the death penalty make it far more expensive than any other alternative, oftentimes costing 10-20 times more than a life in prison.

The Colorado legislature has debated similar legislation four times over the last two decades. SB19-182 would finally abolish the death penalty in Colorado, but would not change the status of the individuals currently on death row. Continue reading

03-06-19 Majority Leader Fenberg’s Bill to Prioritize Health and Safety of Coloradans Advances Through Senate Transportation and Energy Committee

Majority Leader Fenberg’s Bill to Prioritize Health and Safety of Coloradans Advances Through Senate Transportation and Energy Committee

Denver, CO  After 12 hours of testimony, the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee today passed SB19-181, Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations, a bill sponsored by Majority Leader Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder) which seeks to prioritize the health and safety of all Coloradans and empower local communities to regulate oil and gas operations in their backyards. The bill passed the committee 4-3 and now moves to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.

“This bill is about one thing: creating a clear, modernized, and commonsense framework to allow the oil and gas industry to continue to do business in the state of Colorado, but not at the expense of people’s health and safety,” said Majority Leader Fenberg. “I received a lot of input from Coloradans prior to the bill introduction and we’ll continue to work with anyone interested in improving this bill throughout the upcoming committee hearings.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, March 6th

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, March 6th

Survey: Producers Less Optimistic Regarding Farm Economy

The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer weakened in February as producers became less optimistic about current economic conditions and the commodity price outlook. The barometer, which is based on a survey of 400 U.S. agricultural producers, declined seven points to a reading of 136, down from 143 in January. A rating below 100 is negative, while a rating above 100 still indicates overall positive sentiment regarding the agriculture industry. Weaker expectations for the future and, especially, a decline of producers’ perception of current conditions combined to drive the barometer lower. The Index of Current Conditions saw the biggest drop, down from 132 to 119, while the Index of Future Expectations weakened slightly, down from 148 to 145. Additionally, when producers were asked whether they have plans to grow or increase the size of their current operation in 2019, 50 percent of respondents said that they either “have no plans to grow” or “plan to reduce in size,” compared to 39 percent in 2018.

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Year-round E15 Rulemaking Moves Forward

The Environmental Protection Agency this week sent a draft rule to allow for year-round sales of E15 to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review. This is the next step in the regulatory process and meeting expectations that the rulemaking can be completed when the summer driving season begins June first. In a statement, National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp says the association is pleased to see the process move forward, adding “a timely rule is important for the summer driving season but it’s also important that the rule is done right.” Chrisp says NCGA will be providing OMB with input to help ensure a strong, clear rule for E15. Following the review and interagency approval, EPA will issue a proposed rule for public comment. There was confusion last week on whether the rule could be completed on time. At Commodity Classic, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters EPA has found a way to make it work, adding he would encourage EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to “signal out to the industry that it will be done.”

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Gottlieb Resigns from Food and Drug Administration

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has resigned from the federal agency and will leave in about a month. Commissioner Gottlieb leaves his post at a time when there are several pending issues regarding agriculture, included cell-cultured meats. Gottlieb has been comminuting from his home in Connecticut to Washington weekly, and cited the desire to spend more time with his family in his resignation. The Washington Post Reports the resignation was not sought by the White House. A senior White House official said Gottlieb had spoken to President Trump, who liked the FDA chief and did not want him to leave. President Trump took to Twitter to say Gottlieb has “done an absolutely terrific job.” Gottlieb was a former top FDA official during the George W. Bush administration.

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Federal Agencies Release Framework for Advancing the Bioeconomy

The federal government Tuesday unveiled a multi-agency strategy called the Bioeconomy Initiative: Implementation Framework. The strategy seeks to accelerate innovative technologies that harness the nation’s biomass resources for affordable biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. The Biomass Research and Development Board announced the plan that is co-chaired by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Energy. USDA Deputy Under Secretary Scott Hutchins says the bioeconomy “presents an opportunity to expand and enable new agriculture and forest markets while also improving sustainability.” The framework outlines an approach for implementing the Initiative and lays out activities to address technology uncertainty, leverage government, academic, and industrial resources and capabilities, stimulate public-private partnerships, and generate technical information that can inform decision-makers and policymakers. The board includes officials from USDA, the Transportation, Energy, Interior and Defense departments, along with the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President.

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CHS Completes Acquisition of West Central Distribution

CHS Inc. announced Tuesday it has completed the acquisition of West Central Distribution, LLC, a full-service wholesale distributor of agronomy products headquartered in Willmar, Minnesota. CHS is self-described as the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, agronomy, grains and foods company. West Central offers crop protection, nutrients and other specialized agronomy products to cooperatives and independent retailers. With 30 locations, West Central expands the distribution assets, capabilities, and expertise of CHS Agronomy, which currently offers a globally-integrated wholesale crop nutrient supply chain and an array of retail seed, crop protection, fertilizer and agronomic technologies and services. Gary Halvorson, senior vice president at CHS Agronomy, says “Ownership of West Central expands our agronomy platform” and “adds value for CHS owners.” CHS has owned 25 percent of West Central since January 2015. With the completion of the transaction, West Central’s more than 200 employees become CHS employees.

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Syngenta Announces Sixth Annual #RootedinAg Contest

Syngenta has announced the application period for the sixth annual #RootedinAg contest is now open. By sharing their inspirational stories, applicants can enter for a chance to become one of three finalists, who will each receive a mini touch-screen tablet. Of those finalists, Syngenta will award $500 to one grand prizewinner and publish his or her story in Thrive magazine. Syngenta will also make a $1,000 donation in the winner’s name to a local charity or civic organization. Wendell Calhoun, communications manager at Syngenta, says the contest “gives us a chance to celebrate the journeys of people who are moving agriculture forward.” The deadline to enter is May 30, 2019. A panel of judges will choose three finalists in June based on the quality of their essays. Syngenta will then post their entries on the Thrive website and ask visitors to help choose the grand prizewinner by voting for their favorite. Online voting ends Aug. 30, 2019, with Syngenta announcing the grand prizewinner in September. Apply at www.SyngentaThrive.com.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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