05-22-19 USDA Secretary Perdue visits his 50th State

USDA Secretary Perdue visits his 50th State

(Salt Lake City, Utah, May 22, 2019) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today stepped foot in Utah making it his 50th state visited since becoming Secretary just over two years ago. Since then, he has traveled more than 100,000 miles, held nearly 200 townhall discussions and visited nearly 100 farms across the country listening to America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters and producers.

“It is my honor and privilege to serve America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers as they work to feed and clothe the world. Getting out of Washington, D.C. and connecting with the people of American agriculture is one of my favorite parts of the job. All across our great nation is where American ingenuity, strong character, and the wisdom to build strong families and communities shines. President Trump has such an affection for America’s farmers and ranchers because of their values and ingenuity,” said Secretary Perdue. “On every visit to every community, I discover new ideas and methods, listen to issues people are facing, and I take them back with me to make changes to better serve our customers.”
Throughout his travels, Secretary Perdue has met with a number of folks who have had specific problems when it comes to working with the federal government. The Secretary has taken those concerns back to Washington, D.C. and has worked to deliver concrete solutions to the problems facing farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers.

05-22-19 CO Governor Polis Announces Boards and Commissions Appointments

CO Governor Polis Announces Boards and Commissions Appointments

Judicial Nominating Commissions

There is a judicial district nominating commission for each of Colorado’s 22 judicial districts that selects nominees for district and county judicial vacancies. Each district nominating commission is chaired by a justice of the Supreme Court, who is a non-voting member of the commission.

Supreme Court Nominating Commission

for terms expiring December 31, 2020:

  • Deborah Anne Suniga of Greeley, Colorado, to serve as a non-attorney and as a Democrat from the Fourth Congressional District, and occasioned by the resignation of Tracee Bentley of Severance, Colorado, appointed;

Colorado Medical Board

The Colorado Medical Board reviews applications for medical licenses.  In cases involving any professional or ethical violations of the Medical Practices Act, the board holds hearings and assists the state’s district attorneys in the prosecution of all persons, firms, associations, or corporations charged with improper conduct.

for a term expiring May 3, 2023:

  • Amy Elizabeth Colen of Evergreen, Colorado, to serve as a member of the public, reappointed;

  • Donald Jay Lefkowits, MD, FACEP of Denver, Colorado, to serve as a doctor of medicine, reappointed;

  • Lesley Clark Brooks, MD, of Greeley, Colorado, to serve as a doctor of medicine, appointed;

  • Roland Flores, Jr., MD, of Denver, Colorado, to serve as a doctor of medicine, appointed.

Oil and Gas Conservation Commission of the State of Colorado

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) promotes the responsible development of Colorado’s oil and gas natural resources by balancing the efficient exploration and production of oil and gas resources, the prevention of waste and the protection of the public health, environment and mineral owners’ rights pursuant to C.R.S. § 34-60-104, effective May 16, 2019 for a term expiring July 1, 2020:

  • Brenda Haun of Grover, Colorado, to serve as an agricultural production or royalty member, and as an Unaffiliated, appointed. Ms. Haun is a veterinarian and she and her family own a cattle ranch in Weld County.

  • Erin Overturf of Denver, Colorado, to serve as an environmental protection member, and as a Democrat, appointed. Ms. Overturf is Deputy Director, Clean Energy Program with Western Resource Advocates.

  • Howard Boigon of Denver, Colorado, to serve as a member with experience in the oil and gas industry, and as a Democrat, appointed. Mr. Boigon is an oil and gas attorney with many years of experience in the industry.

  • John Messner of Gunnison, Colorado, to serve as a local government member, and as a Democrat, appointed. Mr. Messner is a Gunnison County Commissioner.

  • Liane Jollon of Durango, Colorado, to serve as a member with experience in public health, and as an Unaffiliated, appointed. Ms. Jollon is the Director of San Juan Basin Public Health.

  • Mark Hopkins of Broomfield, Colorado, to serve as a member with technical expertise relevant to the issues considered by the commission, and as a Republican, appointed. Mr. Hopkins is a retired engineer following a career with the Chevron Corporation.

  • Pam Eaton of Boulder, Colorado, to serve as a wildlife protection member, and as a Democrat, appointed. Ms. Eaton is founder of Green West Strategies, a consulting firm focusing on conservation and renewable energy and former Deputy Vice President with The Wilderness Society.

State Board of Stock Inspection Commissioners

The State Board of Stock Inspection Commission makes rules regarding brand inspection and livestock laws and regulates fees for stock inspections.  The commission also sets service charges and procedures, administers the Estray Fund, licenses public livestock markets, and secures bond and surety on butchers and slaughters.

for terms expiring May 1, 2023:

  • Kory Allen Kessinger of Akron, Colorado, to serve as a representative of the confinement cattle industry, reappointed;

  • David H. Mendenhall of Rocky Ford Colorado, to serve as a representative of the non-confinement cattle industry, reappointed.

Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp Committee

The Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp Committee shall annually review proposed projects for expenditure of Colorado wildlife habitat stamp funds and make recommendations to the director and the wildlife commission.

for terms expiring December 31, 2022:

  • Timothy Brass of Longmont, Colorado, at large member, reappointed;

  • Thomas Duane Brossia of Durango, Colorado, a sportsperson, reappointed;

  • Daniel C. Gates of Canon City, Colorado, a sportsperson, reappointed;

  • Robert William Winn of Rifle, Colorado, a sportsperson, appointed

  • Ashley Johnson Rust of Denver, Colorado, a representative of a national or regionally recognized conservation organization whose mission is focused on nongame wildlife and whose membership is composed primarily of nongame wildlife users, appointed.


05-22-19 NFU: Over 200 Farm, Food and Rural Groups Support Agribusiness Merger Moratorium Bills

NFU: Over 200 Farm, Food and Rural Groups Support Agribusiness Merger Moratorium Bills

Coalition Urges Members of Congress to Cosponsor Vital Legislation

WASHINGTON – Today, a broad-based coalition of 219 farm, food, rural, faith and consumer advocacy organizations delivered a letter to Congress endorsing food and agribusiness merger moratorium bills introduced by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Jon Tester (D-MT) and Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI).

The Food and Agribusiness Merger Moratorium and Antitrust Review Act of 2019 would initiate a moratorium on large agriculture, food and beverage manufacturing and grocery retail mergers to allow time to assess the impact corporate consolidation has on farmers, workers, consumers and communities. It also recommends improvements to antitrust enforcement. The bills were also introduced in the House and Senate in 2018.

“Over the past several decades, lax antitrust enforcement has greatly reduced competition in the industries that supply and buy from family farmers and ranchers, saddling them with higher input costs, fewer choices, and less innovation,” said National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson. “After a recent wave of agribusiness mega-mergers, Senator Booker and Representative Pocan’s legislation would provide a much-needed opportunity to evaluate the damage and establish stronger safeguards to prevent this level of consolidation in the future. We heartily support this merger moratorium, and we urge Congress to do so as well by passing it swiftly.” Continue reading

05-22-19 RAAA News: Leadership and Cattle Key Components in JRA Scholarship Winners’ Futures

Red Angus: Unique Genetics Project Demonstrates Effectiveness of EPDs and DNA Testing

by: Brandi Buzzard Frobose, RAAA Director of Communications

DENVER – The Red Angus Association of America Junior Activities Committee is pleased to name each of the following five Junior Red Angus members as recipients of a $1,000 college scholarship. These scholarships are awarded to JRA members that are active in the association, as well as in their communities and the beef industry, and are planning to attend a two-year or four-year university in the coming year. Recipients completed an extensive application and interview process, and have proven their leadership and professionalism are a step above of crowd. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, May 22nd

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, May 22nd

China Says There is No Rush to Restart Trade Talks

Beijing says it’s in “no rush” to get talks going again between the U.S. and China. That’s from the South China Morning Post. The Chinese newspaper says the country is prepared to not meet with President Trump if he’s “not prepared to be realistic.” In the article the Chinese government appeared to invite a U.S. delegation to make a trip to Beijing for more discussions. However, there’s no schedule set in stone yet and CNBC says negotiations are “in flux.” The South China Morning Post says Chinese state media outlets have gone on the offensive. An international relations expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences tells the paper, “There’s no need to get into frantic calculations about when he (Trump) will come if the U.S. continues to lack sincerity. After all, enough has been said by both sides in many different rounds of talks.” A Peking University international relations professor says, “The standoff should last for a while because the U.S. has refused to make even the slightest compromise, to a point that’s somewhat unreasonable.” China put retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods in response to President Trump increasing tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese goods.


China Holding Up Shipments of Soybeans, Canola, From Canada

Chinese purchases of Canadian soybeans have “slowed to a trickle,” according to the Financial Post. Those purchases have dropped 95 percent in the first few months of 2019 because of “tensions between Ottawa and Beijing.” The purchase decline comes in addition to Chinese authorities ramping up pre-entry inspections of shipments from Canada. Soybean shipments from Canada to China plunged to just 3,282 tons between January and March, down from just shy of 73,000 tons during the same period a year ago. The sudden drop in exports is even more eye-opening when compared to Chinese purchases late last year. China purchased a record 3.2 million tons of Canadian soybeans over the last four months of 2018. “Trade with China fell off a cliff,” says Ron Davidson, Executive Director of Soy Canada. “They slowed to a trickle after December. Now, exporters are being told that their shipments are being held for further testing and that China is testing for things it never has before.” China also stripped the import permits of two Canadian canola exporters. They’ve also halted more purchases of canola over concerns about “prohibited pests” found in shipments.


Growth Energy Applauds House Biofuels Caucus

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor had positive things to say to the 20 members of the House Biofuels Caucus. The Caucus sent a bipartisan letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler in support of year-round E-15 sales. The lawmakers in the caucus called on the EPA to finish lifting outdated restrictions on the biofuel blend in time for this summer’s driving season. “We are grateful for the continued support of champions on both sides of the aisle who are fighting for a strong rule that will ensure more biofuels reach consumers at the pump,” Skor says. “The rural economy is at a breaking point. It’s vital that the EPA act by June 1 to uphold the president’s commitment to farm families and allow retailers to keep more homegrown fuel on the market this summer.” The congressional letter to Wheeler says, “Our farmers, renewable fuels producers, and retail gas stations stand to benefit from the adjustment of volatility requirements for E-15 during the summer driving season of June 1 through September 15.” The group says they are concerned that the EPA proposal would create inefficiencies in the marketplace due to “unnecessary restrictions on the components that can be used for fuel blending.”


Senate Ag Committee Holds Hearing on Climate and Agriculture

The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing on the issue of climate change and the agricultural sector. In written testimony, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson thanked the committee for addressing the negative effects of climate change on the agricultural industry. He also emphasized the need for federal policies to assist farmers with implementing practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sequester carbon, and build resilience to extreme weather events. In the meantime, Committee Chair Pat Roberts says, “Maintaining the health of our planet for future generations is, of course, of paramount importance. So is feeding the billions of people that populate the planet today and in the years ahead.” Roberts did note that there’s no single silver-bullet solution that has brought about the Ag sector’s enhancements in environmental sustainability. “Rather than a silver bullet, it’s like a recipe that includes many ingredients,” says the Chair. Biotechnology, precision Ag, voluntary conservation practices like no-till farming, veterinary care, livestock nutrition, and genetics all have helped U.S. producers improve environmental sustainability. “Climate change is a complex and global issue,” Roberts adds. “We must be thoughtful and deliberate in considering potential responses and consequences for the Ag industry.”


Economic Growth Means Higher Demand Ahead for Animal Proteins

USDA economist Mildred Haley expects pork production to increase 3.5 percent to 28.3 billion pounds in 2020. The increase comes in response to higher international pork prices caused by pork deficits in China, which are caused by the African Swine Fever outbreak. As a result, experts predict higher international pork prices brought on by the ASF-driven losses in China. Those higher prices mean farrowings likely will accelerate in late 2019 and on into the following year. Pork Business dot Com says in the May Economic Research Service Outlook Report, all animal proteins should increase in 2020. Beef production will rise by one percent, broiler production should jump by 1.3 percent, and other chicken production will rise by 1.4 percent. Turkey production is also expected to increase for the first time in three years, Producer response to forecasts of continued positive U.S. economic conditions is what’s driving higher production. Prices of live equivalent 51-52 percent lean hogs are expected to average $60 per hundredweight, more than 10 percent higher than average prices in 2019. Haley says U.S. pork exports are forecast at 6.7 billion pounds in 2020, almost seven percent higher than the 6.2 billion pounds estimated for this year.


Alltech, Lyons Family, Establish new Foundation with UK HealthCare

Alltech and the University of Kentucky’s UK HealthCare this week announced a partnership supporting lifelong wellness in farm country and beyond. Speaking during ONE19: The Alltech Ideas Conference, Alltech CEO Dr. Mark Lyons, along with UK HealthCare officials, announced the collaboration. Leaders say the effort partnered with the Lyons Family Life Foundation will focus broadly on total wellness, including mental health and opioid abuse, “empowering people to both live well and die well.” The initiative was inspired by Alltech patriarch Dr. Pearse Lyons’ lifelong endeavor to “make a difference.” Pearse Lyons passed away in March 2018 and his final days were spent in the care of UK HealthCare. Dr. Phillip Chang of UK HealthCare says the partnership is an opportunity to “take patient safety and advocacy to the next level,” and will include clear communication in healthcare, and a focus on personal wellness. The long history of collaboration between Alltech and the University of Kentucky also extends to music, nutrition, and education. In 2012, Alltech committed to a five-year strategic research alliance with the UK for work within agriculture, pharmacy, and medicine.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service