04-30-19 Governor Polis and Secretary of State Griswold announce March 3rd, 2020 as Colorado’s new presidential primary date

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Governor Polis and Secretary of State Griswold announce March 3rd, 2020 as Colorado’s new presidential primary date

DENVER — Today Governor Jared Polis and Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced March 3rd, 2020 as the new date for Colorado’s presidential primary. The two were joined by leaders from the Democratic, Republican, Unity American Constitution and Approval Voting parties.

“Our Super Tuesday primaries will be a tremendous opportunity to participate in democracy and for Coloradans to have their voices heard by presidential candidates in all parties,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We are proud of 2018’s record turnout, as well as Colorado’s status as a leader on voting rights. We hope to build on that momentum by participating in a primary along with other Super Tuesday states to ensure that all major candidates listen firsthand to the concerns of Colorado voters.” Continue reading

04-30-19 EPA Takes Next Step in Review Process for Herbicide Glyphosate, Reaffirms No Risk to Public Health

EPA Takes Next Step in Review Process for Herbicide Glyphosate, Reaffirms No Risk to Public Health

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking an important step in the agency’s review of glyphosate. As part of this action, EPA continues to find that there are no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label and that glyphosate is not a carcinogen. The agency’s scientific findings on human health risk are consistent with the conclusions of science reviews by many other countries and other federal agencies. While the agency did not identify public health risks in the 2017 human health risk assessment, the 2017 ecological assessment did identify ecological risks. To address these risks, EPA is proposing management measures to help farmers target pesticide sprays on the intended pest, protect pollinators, and reduce the problem of weeds becoming resistant to glyphosate.

“EPA has found no risks to public health from the current registered uses of glyphosate,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Today’s proposed action includes new management measures that will help farmers use glyphosate in the most effective and efficient way possible, including pollinator protections. We look forward to input from farmers and other stakeholders to ensure that the draft management measures are workable, realistic, and effective.”

“If we are going to feed 10 billion people by 2050, we are going to need all the tools at our disposal, which includes the use the glyphosate,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said. “USDA applauds EPA’s proposed registration decision as it is science-based and consistent with the findings of other regulatory authorities that glyphosate does not pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans.” Continue reading

04-30-19 USDA Releases Report on Rural Broadband and Benefits of Next Generation Precision Agriculture

USDA Releases Report on Rural Broadband and Benefits of Next Generation Precision Agriculture

Reliable, High-Speed Broadband e-Connectivity is Essential to Enhanced Agricultural Production

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2019 – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today unveiled a groundbreaking report, A Case for Rural Broadband: Insights on Rural Broadband Infrastructure and Next Generation Precision Agriculture Technologies(PDF, 2.5 MB). The report finds that deployment of both broadband e-Connectivity and Next Generation Precision Agriculture Technology on farms and ranches throughout the U.S. could result in at least $47 billion in national economic benefits every year.

“Broadband and Next Generation Precision Agriculture are critical components for creating vital access to world-class resources, tools and opportunity for America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters and producers,” Secretary Perdue said. “Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to doing our part to clear the way for nationwide broadband connectivity that will allow the next generation of precision agriculture technologies to thrive and expand.” Continue reading

04-30-19 USDA Announces New Decision Tool for New Dairy Margin Coverage Program

USDA Announces New Decision Tool for New Dairy Margin Coverage Program

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2019 — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced today the availability of a new web-based tool – developed in partnership with the University of Wisconsin – to help dairy producers evaluate various scenarios using different coverage levels through the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized DMC, a voluntary risk management program that offers financial protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. It replaces the program previously known as the Margin Protection Program for Dairy. Sign up for this USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) program opens on June 17.

“With sign-up for the DMC program just weeks away, we encourage producers to use this new support tool to help make decisions on participation in the program,” Secretary Perdue said. “Dairy producers have faced tough challenges over the years, but the DMC program should help producers better weather the ups and downs in the industry.” Continue reading

04-30-19 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: NAMI President and CEO Gets Firsthand Look at U.S. Red Meat’s Success in Japan, Korea

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: NAMI President and CEO Gets Firsthand Look at U.S. Red Meat’s Success in Japan, Korea

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO – April 30, 2019 – Julie Anna Potts, president and CEO of the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), just made her first visit to two of the leading destinations for U.S. beef and pork – Japan and South Korea. Potts was accompanied by U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom and participated in several consumer events, retail promotions and industry meetings arranged by USMEF. She also received market briefings from U.S. Embassy staff in Tokyo and Seoul.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, April 30th

CLICK HERE to listen to The BARN’s Morning Ag News w/Brian Allmer every day

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, April 30th

USDA Extends Market Facilitation Program Deadline

The Department of Agriculture Monday extended the deadline to May 17 from May 1 for producers to certify 2018 crop production for payments through the Market Facilitation Program. The trade relief program payments will be issued only if eligible producers certify acres before the updated May 17 deadline. Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce says the deadline was moved because rainfall and snowfall have delayed harvests in many parts of the country, preventing producers from certifying acres. The program helps producers who have been significantly affected by foreign tariffs, resulting in the loss of traditional exports, according to USDA. MFP provides payments to producers of corn, cotton, sorghum, soybeans, wheat, dairy, hogs, fresh sweet cherries and shelled almonds. To date, more than $8.3 billion has been paid to nearly 600,000 applicants. Producers can certify production by contacting their local FSA office or through farmers.gov.

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Trump Promises Ag Focus in Japan Trade Talks

President Donald Trump promises agriculture will be a focal point in trade talks with Japan. Farmers are hoping a deal with Japan will make up for lost market access after the U.S. withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Japan and TPP-member countries have signed a new agreement now in place, giving other nations reduced tariffs and improved access to Japan, resulting in a decline of U.S. products flowing to Japan. Before meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (sheen-zoh ah-bay) last week, Trump stated the two would be “discussing very strongly agriculture,” according to Politico. Japan will be seeking market access in return, which could include growing markets for its specialty agricultural products. The U.S. and Japan earlier this month agreed to accelerated trade talks in hopes of reaching a speedy deal by focusing on agriculture automobile trade. The benefits seen in a new trade deal with Japan are likely to be similar to those agriculture welcomed during the TPP negotiating process.

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Next Two Rounds of China Trade Talks Critical

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hopes the next couple rounds of trade talks with China will bring a deal or a decision to “move on.” He told Fox Business there is a “strong desire” to wrap up the talks, or move on. The negotiations have entered the final stages, according to Mnuchin. The U.S. and China meet again this week in Beijing. Officials from China are scheduled to then revisit Washington to continue the negotiations next week. Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping (Shee Jihn’-ping) may visit the White House in June, in what would be an expected meeting to sign an agreement. Mnuchin believes both sides want to reach a deal. Agriculture groups are seeking an agreement that removes tariffs on U.S. products implemented as part of the tit-for-tat trade war between the U.S. and China. However, Trump has previously stated that U.S. tariffs, those China retaliated against U.S. ag products over, may remain following an agreement.

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RFA “Strongly Supports” EPA Proposal to Allow Year-Round E15

In comments submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Renewable Fuels Association Monday said it “strongly supports” the year-round E15 proposal. The proposal would extend the Reid Vapor Pressure waiver for fuels blended with 15 percent ethanol year-round. The waiver currently applies to E10 only during the summer months. According to RFA, the EPA proposal would allow year-round sales of E15 in conventional gasoline markets for the first time, opening the marketplace more broadly to a fuel that provides consumers higher octane, lower cost, and reduced tailpipe emissions. RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper says, “President Trump was correct when he called the summertime prohibition on E15 unnecessary and ridiculous.” However, just 32 days remain before the start of the summer driving season. Cooper says to honor the President’s commitment, EPA must act quickly to complete the rule. RFA’s comments also discouraged EPA from finalizing any of the four proposed Renewable Identification Number market reforms. RFA is concerned that changes may be counterproductive, undermine the efficient operation of the RIN market mechanism.

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Representative Crawford Eyeing Top GOP Spot on House Ag Committee

Representative Rick Crawford of Arkansas is seeking the top Republican seat on the House Agriculture Committee after the 2020 election. Crawford told the Arkansas Farm Bureau last week that if the Republicans win control of the House, he will run for chair of the committee. House Republican rules limit members from serving in leadership positions on a committee for more than six years, preventing current ranking member Mike Conaway from serving as the top Republican beyond the current Congress. Crawford said he believed his biggest competition for the role would come from Representatives Austin Scott of Georgia and Glenn “G.T.” Thompson of Pennsylvania, according to the Arkansas Democratic Gazette. If Republicans regain majority control of the House after the 2020 elections, and Crawford is reelected, he would be running for the Chairmanship of the committee. Democrat Collin Peterson of Minnesota currently chairs the committee. Reelection and winning the top committee seat would put Crawford in the driver’s seat leading up to the next farm bill.

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Ag Champion Richard Lugar Passes

A champion for agriculture, former Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana passed away Sunday. Farmers for Free Trade Co-Chair Max Baucus, a former Senator from Montana, says Luger “leaves behind an unmatched legacy of bipartisan achievement” on agriculture and foreign policy. Luger, a Republican, served as U.S. Senator representing Indiana from 1977 to 2013. He twice served as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Upon leaving office, Lugar created The Lugar Center which focuses on global food security,  and other international issues. Former President Barack Obama called Lugar a problem solver, calling him “an example a public servant can make” by focusing on common ground. Vice President Mike Pence of Indiana called Luger a friend, saying his “contributions to the life of our nation are countless.” Luger, 87, was surrounded by family during his passing following a short illness in a hospital.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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04-29-19 Webinar Covers Nuts and Bolts of Wool on April 30th

ASI: Webinar Covers Nuts and Bolts of Wool on April 30th

The next webinar in the continuing series from Optimal Ag Consulting and funded in part by the American Sheep Industry Association’s Let’s Grow Program will address topics of importance for American wool producers.

The Nuts and Bolts of Wool webinar is set for April 30 at 8 p.m. eastern time and will cover a variety of topics, including: How the industry determines the quality of wool and what factors influence price; wool contamination; marketing wool from a commercial and specialty market perspective; trends in wool end uses; and more.

Click Here to register for the free webinar.

ASI is an equal opportunity employer. It is the national trade organization supported by 45 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of more than 88,000 sheep producers.

04-29-19 American Lamb Board: Internship Opportunities in the Sheep Industry

American Lamb Board: Internship Opportunities in the Sheep Industry 

The American Lamb Board believes that education and understanding all sectors of the sheep industry is of the utmost importance for young producers and industry professionals, and that having passionate, hard-working and progressive individuals across all facets is important for growth in the American sheep industry to provide the highest quality American lamb.  Such individuals might want to consider applying for upcoming summer or fall internships with the following companies in the industry.

INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: Continue reading

04-29-19 May is Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month

#MentalHealthAwareness #USAgCenters #WhyCare #GreenRibbon #CureStigma

Farmers, farm workers, and their families increasingly encounter financial hardship and uncertainty as a result of economic forces, unpredictable and extreme weather, and societal pressures. These factors have caused increases in the level of stress and anxiety, which can lead to poor mental health and even suicide. The availability, accessibility, and affordability of mental health resources and support is a particular challenge for people in agriculture, but awareness of potential resources is a critical component for addressing stress and improving resilience in these communities. This year, the 11 U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers are teaming up to promote resources for farmers during a five-week Mental Health Awareness campaign that focuses on a different topic each week.

“There is no single solution in combating stress and mental health problems brought on by forces largely out of the control of farmers and farm workers, but sharing information, starting conversations, and building partnerships to improve our community response is incredibly important. We believe the more people have access to information and have conversations with their families, friends, and co-workers, and in cafes, community centers, and places of worship, the better equipped they will be to help someone in need and guide them to the right resources,” says Bruce Alexander, Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and Director of the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center. Continue reading

04-29-19 USDA Extends Deadline to May 17 for Producers to Certify 2018 Crop Production for Market Facilitation Program Payments

USDA Extends Deadline to May 17 for Producers to Certify 2018 Crop Production for Market Facilitation Program Payments

WASHINGTON, April 29, 2019 – USDA extended the deadline to May 17 from May 1 for agricultural producers to certify 2018 crop production for payments through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), which helps producers who have been significantly affected by foreign tariffs, resulting in the loss of traditional exports. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) extended the deadline because heavy rainfall and snowfall have delayed harvests in many parts of the country, preventing producers from certifying acres. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, April 29th

CLICK HERE to listen to The BARN’s Morning Ag News w/Brian Allmer every day

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, April 29th

Peterson Leading Trade Mission to Central/South America

House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson of Minnesota is leading a trade mission to Central and South America. The Hagstrom Report says the delegation is scheduled to make stops in Brazil, Argentina, and Honduras. They’ll meet with agriculture leaders from the public and private sectors of each country. Patrick Delaney, the committee’s communications coordinator, says discussions will include the effects of the changes in U.S. trade policy. “This includes what openings the administration’s trade war has created for our competition in those countries,” Delaney says, “as well as how Chinese investment has increased the competitive capacity of South American producers.” Other discussions will cover ag trade issues that are important to each country. In Honduras, the delegation members will meet with American service members stationed in that country. Peterson says Trump Administration officials had encouraged him to include that particular stop in Honduras. Delaney didn’t provide the names of other trade delegation members, preferring to leave it up to each member to discuss the trip when they return to the U.S.

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USGC Focusing on Saudi Arabia Opportunities

U.S. Grains Council staff members recently made a long trip to Saudi Arabia with the goal of promoting sorghum and other products to buyers and other end-users in the country. As the Saudi government continues to revise its subsidy rates, that could lead to more opportunities for U.S. sorghum or corn imports used for animal feed. Saudi Arabia purchased 11 million bushels of U.S. sorghum last year, as well as 16.5 million gallons of ethanol. Roughly 80 percent of the country’s poultry market is controlled by 15 farms and 85 percent of the Saudi dairy market is controlled by nine farms. An increasing number of animal feed rations in both industries are coming from imports. The USDA’s Ag Trade Promotion Program is also expanding engagement for potential customers by promoting sorghum and DDGs in Saudi Arabia. Large Saudi importers and end-users will be traveling to a buyer’s conference in Europe this summer. Looking for feed supplies doesn’t end there as a team of Saudi buyers and end-users will also likely travel to the United States this fall.

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Agriculture Consensus on Labor Fixes

Ag industry lobbyists tell Politico that the industry appears to have come together to reach consensus on a potential fix to the shortage in farm labor. The lobbyists tell Politico that the potential fix would give workers a path to legalization for farm laborers currently in the country. It would also expand the H-2A foreign guest worker program to help make it easier for farmers to find the help they need to run their operations. Multiple lobbyists say those are the two elements that would help the potential fix win support from all segments of agriculture. Different segments of agriculture have been sharply divided in recent years on how to fix the labor shortage. Ag groups that lobby in Congress say organizations ranging from fruits and vegetables to dairy are more together on the issue than they’ve ever been in the past. Lawmakers, who return this week from Easter break, are in the beginning stages of negotiating legislation. Discussions in the House will likely pick up steam soon. “We’re hopeful for some sort of grand bargain and that our labor needs are addressed,” says Nick Giordano, VP of Government Affairs for the NPPC. “However, we know the odds are long.”

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NE Right to Farm Legislation Update Set for Final Vote

Nebraska state senators are working on a revised bill that would expand agricultural producers’ protections under Nebraska’s 1982 Right to Farm Act. They’ve sent the legislation on to the final stage of the process. The North Platte Telegraph says Legislative Bill 227 deals with nuisance lawsuits against farms. Senators set a two-year time limit to file nuisance suit against a change in the way a farm or public grain warehouse operates. The bill’s author wants to give farmers and livestock producers more protection when they expand, in case their neighbors consider the expansion an intrusion into their quality of life. Current state law says no suits can be filed over any changes in an agricultural operation if the farm or warehouse already existed and wasn’t considered a nuisance before the change. The bill passed by a vote of 31-7 in the first round before passing in the second round 38-0 after an amendment was inserted that limits nuisance lawsuits to within two years of a supposed “offensive change” to an operation. The amendment says “no lawsuit shall be maintained” if filed after two years. The only way it would be allowed is if the suit is brought to enforce a previous court order telling the producer to correct a previous nuisance.

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More States Working on Hemp Production

A Florida bill unanimously passed by its Senate means hemp could be joining oranges, strawberries, and tomatoes as top Florida crops. An Associated Press article says the bill passed last week with the goal of helping an industry that’s been hard to get off the ground. Hemp can be used to make everything from ropes to building materials to feed. The bill before the Florida legislature would create a state program to administer and oversee hemp growing. Republican Senator Rob Bradley says agriculture has been hit by setbacks like citrus diseases to hurricanes over the last 20 years and hemp could be a valuable addition to farmers’ plans. Further west, Louisiana farmers could be expanding into help growing if lawmakers agree to a proposal going before the full House. The measure would legalize growing and processing of industrial hemp in Louisiana and do so in line with what’s allowed under the federal farm bill. The bill’s author says hemp production would help Louisiana’s struggling farmers and create new jobs. “The idea is to grow and take advantage of a crop we haven’t been growing since 1938,” says Louisiana Ag Commissioner Mike Strain.

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Farm Bureau Wants Congress to Quickly Pass Rural Electric Co-op Bill

The American Farm Bureau is asking Congress to quickly pass the Revitalizing Underdeveloped Rural Areas and Lands (RURAL) Act. The recently-introduced legislation will ensure that electric cooperatives won’t put their tax-exempt status in jeopardy when they accept government grants for things like expanding broadband or restoring power after storms and other disasters. Most electric cooperatives are tax-exempt. In order to maintain that status, they must get at least 85 percent of their income from members. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act re-characterized those grants as income. The unintended consequence is that the Act makes it much harder for cooperatives to meet the tax-exempt definition. “Farm Bureau works hand-in-hand with rural electric cooperatives on the shared goal of ensuring that rural America and the farmers and ranchers that live there have access to reliable power and high-speed internet,” says AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “We are asking lawmakers to act quickly on this important measure to allow rural electric cooperatives to continue their critical work without risking their tax-exempt status.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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04-26-19 CLA: Governor Polis Visits Northeast Colorado Dairy

Norm Dinis, Empire Dairy, Wiggins, gives a tour of his family’s dairy farm to Colorado Governor Jared Polis. Courtesy CLA

CLA: Governor Polis Visits Northeast Colorado Dairy

Friday morning, a “Meet & Greet” was held in Fort Morgan with Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenburg. The event was very well attended and the dialogue was robust and the discussion ranged from oil and gas legislation to all day kindergarten. CLA member Ed Wilgenburg, Wildcat Dairy, in Fort Morgan shared with the Governor some of the challenges facing the livestock industry as well as the advancements made in the efficiency of production and the reduction of the livestock industry’s environmental footprint.

Governor Jared Polis addresses the audience at the open forum in Fort Morgan. Courtesy CLA

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04-26-19 CLA: Grey Wolf Delisting Comments Due by May 14th

A picture from a eastern timber wolf

CLA: Grey Wolf Delisting Comments Due by May 14th

The gray wolf should be an Endangered Species Act (ESA) success story. Since being listed for protection in the 1970s, populations have recovered range-wide. Unfortunately, because of the broken and outdated ESA process, gray wolves remain on the list. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to change that (again) and they need your help. Tell the Trump Administration that it is time to finally put gray wolf management back in state hands
Grey Wolf Delisting Rule Comments Due by May 14.
Comments can be submitted online using this link.

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04-26-19 CLA: Public Comment on RMNP Milestone Report Open Until May 10th

CLA: Public Comment on RMNP Milestone Report Open Until May 10th

The 2017 Rocky Mountain National Park Milestone Report is available for public comment from April 11 – May 10, 2019. This document serves as a progress report, highlighting milestones, policy and management developments, advances in industry best practices, and new research since the release of the 2012 milestone report. It is available at: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/air-division-public-comment. All comments should be directly sent to Lisa Devore at Lisa.Devore@state.co.us. There will be a stakeholder meeting on Tuesday afternoon April 30 from 1:30 – 4:30 PM at CDPHE in room C1A. Continue reading

04-26-19 USDA Reaffirms Science-Based Decision Making at G20 Agricultural Chief Scientists Meeting

USDA Reaffirms Science-Based Decision Making at G20 Agricultural Chief Scientists Meeting

TOKYO, Japan, April 26, 2019 – Two of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s top scientists today reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to science-based decision-making at the G20 Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) meeting held this week in Tokyo. Continue reading

04-26-19 World Veterinary Day is April 27th to Promote the Value of Vaccination

World Veterinary Day 2019 promotes value of vaccination

Vaccination is an essential tool for preventive veterinary medicine, according to the World Veterinary Association. The theme of World Veterinary Day 2019, set for April 27, is the “Value of Vaccination.”

The WVA created World Veterinary Day in 2000 as an annual celebration of the veterinary profession, falling on the last Saturday of April. This year, the WVA has partnered with Health for Animals, the global animal medicines association, on the World Veterinary Day Award, which honors one WVA member’s activities related to the theme.

“Vaccines are one of the most valuable tools in any veterinarian’s arsenal,” according to the award announcement. “These medicines protect the health of animals and the livelihood of farmers.” Continue reading

04-26-19 Ports-to-Plains: Eastern Colorado Truck Parking Workshop on April 30th at CDOT Headquarters in Denver

Ports-to-Plains: Eastern Colorado Truck Parking Workshop on April 30th at CDOT Headquarters in Denver

The Ports-to-Plains Alliance urges you to consider attending the Eastern Colorado Truck Parking Workshop scheduled for Tuesday April 30th from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm in the East Auditorium of the Colorado Department of Transportation located at 2829 W. Howard Place, Denver, 80204. Whether you are involved in freight movement, part of a local government team, an economic development professional, a business leader or and interested individual, please consider participation. Continue reading

04-26-19 NFU: Farmer’s Share of the Food Dollar Falls to All-Time Low

NFU: Farmer’s Share of the Food Dollar Falls to All-Time Low

WASHINGTON – April 25, 2019 – For every dollar American consumers spend on food, U.S. farmers and ranchers earn just 14.6 cents, according to a report recently released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS). This value marks a 17 percent decline since 2011 and the smallest portion of the American food dollar that farmers have received since the USDA began reporting these data in 1993. The remaining 85.4 cents cover off-farm costs, including processing, wholesaling, distribution, marketing, and retailing.

National Farmers Union (NFU), which has advocated for family food producers’ social and economic welfare for more than a century, uses the annually calculated statistic as a barometer of the state of the farm economy. In response to the updated report, NFU President Roger Johnson released the following statement:

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