06-25-19 US Senator Gardner Announces $8.2 Million in Airport Infrastructure Grants

US Senator Gardner Announces $8.2 Million in Airport Infrastructure Grants

Washington, D.C. – Today Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) announced the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will award $8.2 million in Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants to four airports in Colorado. The funding includes a $4.6 million grant to Eagle County Regional Airport for a deicing pad.

“I am excited to announce this important funding for several of our airports across Colorado,” said Sen. Gardner. “Modernizing our infrastructure and transportation systems is important for our quality of life and our economy. I will continue my efforts to support Colorado’s transportation priorities at the federal level.”

The Colorado grants include awards of: Continue reading

06-25-19 US Senators Bennet, Cassidy, Bilirakis, Crist Unveil New Tax Credit for Working Families, Small Businesses Preparing for Natural Disasters

US Senators Bennet, Cassidy, Bilirakis, Crist Unveil New Tax Credit for Working Families, Small Businesses Preparing for Natural Disasters

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), and U.S. Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Charlie Crist (D-FL), introduced the Shelter Act, to help Americans protect their homes or businesses against hurricanes, tornados, floods, drought, and wildfires. The Shelter Act would create a first-of-its-kind disaster mitigation tax credit for families and business owners in disaster-prone areas.

“For millions of people in Colorado and across the country, a devastating natural disaster isn’t a matter of if, but when,” said Bennet. “While Americans can receive federal tax relief following a disaster, there isn’t an incentive to prepare for future threats. Our Shelter Act would change that by encouraging taxpayers to make critical investments in safeguarding their homes and businesses—helping to defend properties from future disasters and save lives.”   Continue reading

06-25-19 NPPC Launches ‘Keep America First in Agriculture’ Campaign

NPPC Launches ‘Keep America First in Agriculture’ Campaign

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 25, 2019 Today, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) launched “Keep American First in Agriculture,” a new campaign to highlight the importance of establishing a proper regulatory framework for gene editing in American livestock.

Gene editing technology, which introduces useful genetic variation into food animal breeding programs, promises significant animal health benefits, including a natural immunity to disease and a reduction in the need for antibiotic use.

“Gene editing is a huge step forward for America’s farmers, as it offers a powerful new way to combat animal disease,” said Dr. Dan Kovich, NPPC’s deputy director of Science & Technology. “With gene editing, livestock breeders can knock out specific genes that make animals vulnerable to viral infections. Healthier animals benefit both farmers and consumers,” he said. 

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06-25-19 New online database puts sharper focus on U.S. agricultural injuries

New online database puts sharper focus on U.S. agricultural injuries

A newly updated online tool is providing a clearer picture of injuries in agriculture.

AgInjuryNews.org enables users to search the largest database of publicly available U.S. agricultural injury and fatality reports, getting a near real-time snapshot of the distribution and nature of trauma incidents, both nationally and locally.

“The innovation here is the combination of capturing, coding, and redistributing publicly available data on agricultural injuries and fatalities, primarily mined from media reports, and coupled with relevant prevention materials,” said project leader Bryan Weichelt, Ph.D., an associate research scientist with the National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute.

Insurers, lenders, agricultural employers, government statisticians, media professionals, educators, policy-makers and researchers are using AgInjuryNews.org to guide research priorities, safety initiatives, and public policy.

Anyone can set up a free account and search thousands of unique incidents, including more than 600 in 2018 alone. To create an account, visitwww.AgInjuryNews.org and click “Register.”

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06-25-19 Culver’s #Farming Fridays Social Media Series Returns on June 28th

Culver’s #Farming Fridays Social Media Series Returns on June 28th

 Restaurant Chain to Share Stories From Agricultural Influencers

PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis.—June 25, 2019—America is home to 2.1 million farms—and every person involved with farming has a story to tell. That’s why Culver’s created #FarmingFridays in 2016. This social media series profiles influential people who are passionate about educating others about the agricultural industry and feeding a growing population.

Back for its fourth consecutive year, #FarmingFridays returned back on April 26th and resumes on June 28th (SEE BELOW). The influencers will share their stories on Culver’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat accounts. The full #FarmingFridays lineup is:

  • June 28, Marie Zick: Zick’s Wisconsin dairy farm has been in her husband’s family for over 150 years. The Zick family cares for 160 Jersey cows, whose milk is used for cheesemaking. Continue reading

06-25-19 NACD TESTIFIES TO CONGRESS ON IMPORTANCE OF SOIL HEALTH

NACD TESTIFIES TO CONGRESS ON IMPORTANCE OF SOIL HEALTH

WASHINGTON D.C. – June 25, 2019 – Today, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Secretary-Treasurer Ian Cunningham testified before the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry about the importance of soil health practices.

Cunningham owns and operates a fifth-generation family farm with his son in southwest Minnesota, producing corn, soybeans and beef cattle.

“Soil health is a top priority across our 800-acre operation,” Cunningham said in written testimony to the subcommittee. “We have come to realize that healthy soil is the key to addressing many natural resource concerns. It is clear that healthy soil is the bedrock and should be the priority of our conservation efforts.” Continue reading

06-25-19 Opinion: FDA overreach on gene-editing threatens US agriculture’s global technology lead

Opinion: FDA overreach on gene-editing threatens US agriculture’s global technology lead

Written by David Herring

For more than a century, advances in science and technology have made the U.S. food supply the safest, most abundant and most affordable in the world. Our farmers have led the way in applying new developments in sanitation, robotics, GPS and scientific livestock breeding.

But for the first time in our history, U.S. farmers are now at risk of falling behind Argentina, Brazil, Canada and other global competitors in the use of a vital new technology: gene editing. While the U.S. is making great strides in this effort, regulatory overreach by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hampering progress. Continue reading

06-25-19 US Senator Bennet, Senate Colleagues Call on Trump Administration to Release Climate-Related Studies Conducted by USDA

US Senator Bennet, Senate Colleagues Call on Trump Administration to Release Climate-Related Studies Conducted by USDA

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Tom Udall (D-NM), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) called on the Trump Administration to provide more information after a recent report revealed the administration has only publicized two of at least 45 climate-related studies reviewed by the non-partisan Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) since President Trump took office. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, the senators demanded the agency provide a complete list of its climate-related studies, which demonstrate the effects of climate change, to Congress.

“It is vital that the Trump Administration and USDA properly communicate taxpayer-funded research about the increasing dangers of climate change,” the senators wrote. “Our offices continue to hear from constituents about the ongoing impacts of extreme weather patterns. This attempted suppression of scientific research is a disservice to the American people as we develop policy solutions to combat climate change.” Continue reading

06-25-19 Another Successful, Highly Engaged CCA Annual Convention

Another Successful, Highly Engaged CCA Annual Convention

The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) held its 152nd Annual Convention this past week at the Steamboat Grand in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. With a large attendance and high engagement, this year’s convention was one to be remembered.

The convention began with CCA’s ten committee meetings throughout the day on Monday. This year’s committee meetings packed the conference rooms and allowed passionate discussion from members on the upcoming year’s tough battles. During lunch, the Livingston Ranch and family were recognized as the 2019 Colorado Leopold Conservation Award winners. This award was well-earned by the multi-generational family of outstanding leaders in conservation and production. The day concluded with a dinner for CCA’s past presidents, with over 15 years of presidents in attendance! Continue reading

06-25-19 The 2019 Golden ARC Awards Winners Announced

The 2019 Golden ARC Awards Winners Announced

Kansas City, MO (AgPR) June 21, 2019 – The Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) announced the winners for the 2019 Golden ARC Awards contest on June 20 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Golden ARC Awards contest honors the stellar work created by public relations professionals in the agricultural industry since 1990.

The Golden ARC de Excellence award is given to the best all-around entry in the campaigns division and this year that honor was bestowed 2019 Golden ARC Award Winnersupon a campaign produced by Minneapolis-based agency, Padilla. “Seeding Support for Farm and Food Interests – A Greater Minnesota with Padilla” was entered into the Public Affairs division. Padilla credits John Himle for his work on the campaign.

“The role of a public relations practitioner continues to grow in scope and importance. These professionals are communicating the importance of food, fiber and farming and connecting consumers with producers and production practices,” said Kristy Mach, associate director of ARC. Continue reading

06-25-19 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Optimistic Outlook for U.S. Red Meat at Taiwan’s Largest Food Show

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Optimistic Outlook for U.S. Red Meat at Taiwan’s Largest Food Show

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO – June 25, 2019 – Joel Haggard, the U.S. Meat Export Federation’s (USMEF) Hong Kong-based senior vice president for the Asia Pacific, just returned from Taiwan where he participated in Food Taipei, Taiwan’s largest food trade show. He shares observations from this rapidly growing market for U.S. red meat in the attached audio report.

Haggard notes that while Taiwan is a relatively small market for U.S. pork, exports are surging in 2019. Through April, U.S. pork shipments to Taiwan totaled 8,819 metric tons (mt), up 80% from the same period last year, while value increased 55% to $19.3 million. U.S. lamb is fairly new to the Taiwanese market, having regained access in 2016. USMEF has outreach efforts planned this fall for chefs and other foodservice professionals interested in U.S. lamb.

Taiwan is a tremendous destination for U.S. beef, with exports in 2018 topping $500 million for the first time. At nearly 60,000 mt valued at $550 million, beef exports to Taiwan nearly doubled in volume and more than doubled in value over a period of just five years. Haggard sees excellent opportunities for future growth in Taiwan, as U.S. beef’s presence continues to expand in both the restaurant and retail sectors.

Haggard Taiwan Market Update 6-24-19

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, June 25th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, June 25th

Presidents Trump and Xi Will Talk Trade at G-20

U.S. President Donald Trump will be off to the G-20 summit in Japan at the end of this week. He’s scheduled to meet with China’s President Xi (zhee) Jinping face-to-face for a high-stakes discussion on trade, as well as other issues. While most officials don’t expect a long-awaited breakthrough yet, it is possible that Trump could be talked into not putting new tariffs on even more Chinese imports. Politico says Trump has continually preached patience during high-profile negotiations with China, North Korea, Iran, and other nations. It’s both for strategic reasons and as a way to smooth over any frustrations with the slow pace of progress. Politico also says the “no rush” approach could also be a result of Trump’s confidence that the U.S. can simply outlast its adversaries in trade disputes. However, the go-it-alone foreign policy seems to be leaving the U.S. president increasingly isolated from key U.S. allies. Politico says that may become even more apparent during the upcoming G-20 gathering.

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New Tariffs Could Hit Pesticides

The pesticide industry is asking the Trump administration to exempt its chemical imports from China from the potential $300 billion in new 25 percent tariffs the president is threatening to impose next month on Chinese goods. CropLife America and a specialty chemical trade group filed comments with the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office. Those comments say the tariffs would hit a wide range of products that farmers rely on to do their jobs. Those products would include glyphosate, 2,4-D, atrazine, and dicamba. The groups say, “Many of the chemicals that would be subject to the proposal are just not available from American sources, and many others are not reasonably available from sources outside of China in the volumes we need and within a useful time period.” An Agri-Pulse report says Chris Novak, President and CEO of CropLife America, was scheduled to speak on Monday during the USTR’s sixth day of hearings on the list of products targeted for the Section 301 tariffs.

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NBB says E-15 Rule Alone Doesn’t Undo Economic Damage

The National Biodiesel Board sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler highlighting the economic damage caused by small refinery waivers. The biodiesel and renewable diesel industry have been hit hard by the retroactive small refinery exemptions under the Renewable Fuels Standard that the EPA has given out in recent years. At issue in the letter is Wheeler’s recent comments that the approval of year-round E15 sales will make up for the economic damage done by the exemptions. “The E15 waivers will not provide growth for biodiesel and renewable diesel, but small refinery exemptions have had a detrimental impact on demand for those fuels,” the NBB says in its letter. “EPA is required to repair the demand destruction for biodiesel and renewable diesel resulting from the agency’s flood of unwarranted retroactive small refinery exemptions.” The NBB says when they compare the size of the exempted refiners to biodiesel producers, the threat to agriculture is easier to understand. The University of Illinois says the demand destruction for biodiesel and renewable diesel could reach 2.45 billion gallons. The economic loss could reach $7.7 billion in the next few years.

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Drought at Record-Low Levels

A Farm Futures report points out that the typical weather-related challenges for farmers during each growing season is extremely dry weather. That’s not been the case this year because of rampant flooding in a good-sized portion of farm country. While this spring did see drought in a few areas of rural America, its influence has steadily dropped over the last few months. The latest updates to the U.S. Drought Monitor say that drought conditions are affecting just over 10 percent of the country. That’s up from a record low of 8.84 percent last month but it’s still among historical low numbers. Brad Pugh (Pew) is a climatologist who put this week’s Drought Monitor Report together. He says, “Excessively wet conditions still continue to hamper the development of corn and soybeans across the Corn Belt. However, drought is intensifying across northern North Dakota due to a serious lack of rainfall since April.” Only 3.1 percent of the Midwest is currently listed under drought conditions, while that number was 15 percent last year at this time. In the Plains, just 5.9 percent of the region is being affected by drought, compared to 49 percent a year ago. Pugh says the chances for above-normal precipitation in the next six to ten days is strong in the eastern U.S., including the Ohio, Tennessee, and Mississippi River Valleys, as well as the southern Great Plains.

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Laos Joins List of Countries Affected by African Swine Fever

A Reuters report says China has banned direct and indirect imports of pigs, wild boars, and related products from Laos after the first outbreak of the African Swine Fever virus was found in that country. The southeast Asian nation reported the first outbreaks late last week. China’s General Administrator of Customs says if illegally imported pigs, wild boars, and their products are intercepted by officials at the Chinese border, they’ll be destroyed under the supervision of customs agents. The World Organization for Animal Health says Laos confirmed the first deadly outbreaks of African Swine Fever in a southern province. African Swine Fever is deadly to pigs but doesn’t harm human beings. Officials in Laos say seven separate outbreaks have led to the deaths of almost 1,000 animals. Thailand has officially joined China in banning imports from Laos. ASF has hit the entire country of China hard. Officials report outbreaks in all of its mainland regions, as well as Hainan Island and Hong Kong. The Chinese ASF outbreak was first reported back in August of last year.

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Minnesota Co-op Manager Gets Eight-Year Jail Sentence

Jerome Hennessy, age 56, was once the manager of the Ashby Cooperative Farmer’s Elevator in Minnesota. An elevator employee from 1988 to 2002, he became the manager in 2003. From that point on, law enforcement officials say he began using his position to steal millions of dollars from the co-op. He wrote hundreds of checks to himself and other people for things like renovations to his home and a cabin, buying real estate, furniture, jewelry, credit card balances, hunting trips, taxidermy services, and more. Hennessy was sentenced to 96 months in jail for mail fraud and income tax evasion by a U.S. District Judge in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. At the sentencing, U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald said, “As a manager, Mr. Hennessy held a position of trust over the Co-op’s members and their financial interests. Unfortunately, he chose to violate that trust by committing egregious fraud, stealing from his own friends, colleagues, and neighbors.” In order to cover the co-op’s legitimate expenses, as well as the millions of dolla

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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