04-23-19 NCBA CEO Kendal Frazier Announces Plans for Retirement

NCBA CEO Kendal Frazier Announces Plans for Retirement

DENVER (April 23, 2019) – After 34 years with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the past four as CEO, Kendal Frazier announced his plans for retirement this morning. Frazier’s career began as a farm broadcaster in Kansas, where he also served as director of communications for Kansas Livestock Association, before moving to Denver, Colo., to join the staff of the National Cattlemen’s Association (NCA), predecessor organization to NCBA. During his illustrious career, he served the beef industry through some of its most challenging times and events.

“For more than three decades, the beef industry has benefitted from Kendal’s vision and leadership. There is no doubt in my mind that he has played a major role in ensuring the success of our industry today,” said NCBA President Jennifer Houston. “It has been my pleasure to work closely with Kendal for many years and I can say without a doubt that we are far better off because of his service to cattlemen and cattlewomen.” Continue reading


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April 23, 2019  – The Colorado Young Farmers Educational Association is pleased to announce the winners of its CYFEA 2019 – 2020 Academic Scholarship Awards!  This scholarship program was established in 1992 to recognize outstanding students who will be entering college in the fall academic year as a Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, or Senior.  These students will major in Ag education or an Ag related field of study, as well as being academically superior and involved with their local and/or state community service organizations. This year there are four student scholarships awarded, for a total of $3000.  

The 2019 winners are: Continue reading

04-23-19 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: U.S. Pork Exports to Panama Surging, but Now Face Higher Tariff Rate

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: U.S. Pork Exports to Panama Surging, but Now Face Higher Tariff Rate

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO – April 23, 2019 – U.S. pork exports to Panama are off to such a red-hot start in 2019 that a safeguard measure has been triggered.

Due to export volume already exceeding 130% of the tariff rate quota (TRQ) included in the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement, higher tariff rates on U.S. pork were applied April 1 and will remain in effect through the end of this year. Panama’s 2019 out-of-quota tariff rate for most U.S. pork products is 54.4%, but when the safeguard was triggered this rate increased to 70%. Lower rates apply to some products and the tariff rate on U.S. pork variety meat remains at zero.

Gerardo Rodriguez, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) regional marketing director for Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic, says that while the higher tariff rate will definitely have some negative impact on exports to Panama, he expects demand to weather the rate increase fairly well. Rodriguez notes that USMEF has positioned U.S. pork as a versatile product that delivers excellent value to its Panamanian customer base. This is true throughout Central America, where six of the seven countries in the region are now top 20 markets for U.S. pork and in 2018 exports achieved double-digit growth in nearly all of these markets.   Continue reading

04-23-19 National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition Supports Pathway Forward for Horse and Burro Management

National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition Supports Pathway Forward for Horse and Burro Management

WASHINGTON (April 23, 2019) – The National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition (NHBRMC) remains steadfast in its assertion that full use of all management tools included in the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act would most effectively return populations to Appropriate Management Levels (AML). However, a proposal put forth today by members of the Coalition, humane advocates, livestock producers, local governments, and rangeland management professionals brings all perspectives into consideration to break the cycle of failed management currently in place and ensure a pathway forward.

“This unprecedented proposal represents compromise language that contains some statements and assertions that are not fully embraced by the Coalition or its individual members,” said Ethan Lane, Coalition Chair. “However, the Coalition supports the underlying premise of the proposal that represents the best chance for population reductions and rangeland health restoration in the current political environment.” Continue reading

04-23-19 USDA Launches Ace the Waste! Food Waste Contest for Students

USDA Launches Ace the Waste! Food Waste Contest for Students

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2019 – Food waste is a problem everyone can tackle, including our nation’s youth. As part of Winning on Reducing Food Waste Month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is launching Ace the Waste! A student competition for food waste reduction ideas. This first-ever competition calls on students to come up with creative solutions to reduce food loss and waste in the United States.

The problem of food waste affects everyone. More than one third of food in the U.S. is lost or wasted. This amounts to 133 billion pounds, or $161 billion worth of food each year. Food is the single largest type of waste in landfills. Students age 11 to 18 are encouraged to submit proposals on reducing food loss and waste anywhere along the supply chain, from the farm to the dinner table and beyond. Topic ideas for the proposal include: Continue reading

04-23-19 USDA Opens Application Portal for New ReConnect Rural Broadband Infrastructure Program

USDA Opens Application Portal for New ReConnect Rural Broadband Infrastructure Program

As State Director of USDA Rural Development in Colorado, I encourage everyone interested in bringing broadband to your rural communities to apply for this great pilot program.  I recently attended one of the ReConnect workshops in Junction City, Kansas and was impressed by the magnitude of the work that has gone into this program.  Today, a detailed application guide was published online and the application window is now open. The first deadline is right around the corner on May 31, 2019, so please get started early. As always if there is anything that my staff or I can do to assist you please let me know. 

Sallie Clark
USDA Rural Development State Director

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2019 – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now accepting online applications for funding through the new ReConnect Rural Broadband Pilot Program. These funds will enable the federal government to partner with the private sector and rural communities to build modern broadband infrastructure in areas with insufficient internet service. Insufficient service is defined as connection speeds of less than 10 megabits per second download and 1 megabit per second upload. Beginning today, ReConnect funding applications can be submitted at reconnect.usda.gov.

“Reliable, high-speed broadband internet e-Connectivity is critical for economic prosperity and quality of life in the 21st century, from education to health care to agriculture to manufacturing and beyond,” Secretary Perdue said. “We at USDA are very excited to begin accepting applications for funds from this new and innovative program, which will bring critical infrastructure investments to homes, farms, ranches, schools and health care sites in rural America.” Continue reading

04-23-19 USDA Offers Low-Interest Loans for Agricultural Producers in Colorado Impacted by Natural Disasters

USDA Offers Low-Interest Loans for Agricultural Producers in Colorado Impacted by Natural Disasters

Emergency Support to Producers in Surrounding Counties/Border States Also Available

Denver, Colorado, April 23, 2019 — Colorado agricultural producers who lost property due to recent natural disasters may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) physical loss loans. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers these low-interest loans to agricultural producers in Arapahoe, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Larimer, Otero and Weld counties, the primary damaged area, who incurred losses caused by high winds and a blizzard that occurred between March 13, 2019, and March 14, 2019. Approval is limited to applicants who suffered severe physical losses only, including the loss of buildings and livestock. Applications are due Dec. 9, 2019.

“Colorado’s hardworking ag producers feed our neighbors, the nation and the world,” said State Executive Director Clarice Navarro. “When they suffer losses because of extreme weather, helping them get back on their feet is important. We encourage those affected to reach out to their local USDA Service Center to apply for these emergency loans.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, April 23rd

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, April 23rd

USDA Announces Enhancements to Livestock and Dairy Insurance Programs

The Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency Monday announced several enhancements to the Dairy Revenue Protection, Livestock Gross Margin and Livestock Risk Protection Programs. Risk Management Agency Administrator Martin Barbre says the changes “strengthen risk management options and provide peace of mind in times of unpredictable market fluctuations.” The Livestock Gross Margin program protects against loss of gross margin or the market value of livestock minus feed costs. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 removed the livestock capacity limitation, which allowed the program to remove the individual capacity limitation under the cattle, dairy and swine program. The Livestock Risk Protection program protects livestock producers from the impact of declining market prices. Improvements include expanded coverage for swine, fed and feeder cattle to all states. The Dairy Revenue Protection program is designed to cover unexpected declines in the quarterly revenue from milk sales compared with a guaranteed coverage level. Improvements for the 2020 crop year include changes in minimum declarations for butterfat and adjusting coverage levels. Learn more about the changes at https://www.rma.usda.gov.

Trade Coalition Calls for Tariff Elimination in U.S.-China Negotiations  

Americans for Free Trade, a coalition of business organizations, is urging the Trump administration to include tariff elimination in the U.S.-China trade talks. The coalition Monday sent a letter to Trump urging five specific outcomes from U.S.-China trade talks, which the White House has said are nearing completion. The letter, which was signed by 151 coalition association partners, is asking for the full and immediate removal of all recently imposed tariffs, including U.S. tariffs and China’s retaliatory tariffs as part of a final deal. The organization also wants a deal that levels the playing field for U.S. companies by addressing China’s unfair trade practices that put American technology, innovation and intellectual property at risk. Further, the coalition seeks the avoidance of any enforcement mechanism that would trigger further tariffs, and clarity on how the tariff exemption process will be carried out in the event of a deal. Finally, the coalition is asking for an economic assessment by the administration examining the costs of tariffs for American businesses and consumers.

Ag Groups Welcome USMCA ITC Report

Agriculture groups welcomed the International Trade Commission report on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement released late last week, even though it lacks full benefits for agriculture. National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp says the report “doesn’t fully capture” the economic benefits of trade with Canada and Mexico because it’s an update to NAFTA, which already eliminated most tariffs on exports of U.S. food and agriculture products. Brian Kuehl (keel) of Farmers for Free Trade called the report an important step, but noted “the benefits of North American trade are already well understood, particularly by farmers and ranchers.” Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, ag exports to Canada and Mexico, grew from $8 billion in 1993 to $40 billion last year. Farm groups are urging Congress to pass the agreement. U.S. Dairy Export Council President and CEO Tom Vilsack says that without USMCA, U.S. dairy farmers “lose out” on new rules that make reforms to Canada’s diary system. Vilsack also noted the importance of Mexico to U.S. dairy, as the U.S. shipped $1.4 billion in dairy products to Mexico last year, accounting for more than one-fourth of U.S. dairy exports.

Farm Groups Request Disaster Relief

Farm groups and agriculture lenders are urging lawmakers to pass disaster aid. More than 135 farm groups and banks last week penned a letter urging President Trump and Congress to “put aside political differences and supply urgently needed relief.” The organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, highlighted the “unprecedented destruction” in the letter from 2018 and 2019. Farmers and ranchers are especially anxious for relief because the disasters have come on top of an ongoing downturn in farm income. In response, many banks have tightened credit, placing some growers in jeopardy of not receiving critical funds needed to plant this year’s crops without some form of federal relief. Estimated agriculture losses in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina alone total nearly $5.5 billion. Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri currently estimate losses at more than $3 billion. Father, the groups say droughts have devastated the Southwest, and wildfires have done the same in the West. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico encountered its own humanitarian crisis from hurricanes Irma and Maria. For many farmers, the groups say, these events have meant near complete losses.

New Legislation Would Ease Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Rules Amid Farm Economy Slump

A bill announced last week would ease the process of reorganizing debt through Chapter 12 bankruptcy rules, making more farms eligible. The move comes amid a continued downturn in the farm economy. Led by Representative Antonio Delgado, the legislation is the companion bill to a measure already filed in the Senate. The New York Democrat says The Family Farmer Relief Act “will provide the critical restructuring and repayment flexibility” farmers need to get through hard times. Specifically, the legislation expands the debt cap that can be covered under Chapter 12 bankruptcy from $3.2 million to $10 million. The changes reflect the increase in land values, as well as the growth over time in the average size of U.S. farming operations and are meant to provide farmers additional options to manage the downturn in the farm economy. The legislation is endorsed by the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union. The bill will now be referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.

Culver’s #Farming Fridays on Social Media Returns

Back for its fourth consecutive year,  Culver’s #FarmingFridays return April 26, 2019. Created in 2016, the social media series profiles influential people who are passionate about educating others about agricultural. The influencers will share their stories on Culver’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat accounts. Different folks that represent and work in agriculture will participate in April, June, August, September and October. A Culver’s spokesperson says the restaurant chain “feels it’s important to celebrate and support the hard work that goes into providing our country with food.” #FarmingFridays is part of Culver’s Thank You Farmers Project, which supports agricultural education programs. To date, Culver’s and its guests have donated over $2 million to agricultural education efforts, such as the National FFA Organization. Find the dates and list of influences who will participate at www.culvers.com.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service