07-15-19 US Senator Gardner Announces BLM Will Relocate Headquarters to Grand Junction

US Senator Gardner Announces BLM Will Relocate Headquarters to Grand Junction

Gardner was the chief architect of the plan to move the Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters West

Washington, D.C. – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) released the following statement today announcing that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will relocate its headquarters to Grand Junction, Colorado.

Note: Click here to watch Senator Gardner’s remarks

“Today is a historic day for our nation’s public lands, western states, and the people of Colorado,” said Senator Gardner. “Relocating the Bureau of Land Management to the Western Slope of Colorado will bring the bureau’s decision makers closer to the people they serve and the public lands they manage. The problem with Washington is too many policy makers are far removed from the people they are there to serve. Ninety-nine percent of the land the BLM manages is West of the Mississippi River, and so should be the BLM headquarters. This is a victory for local communities, advocates for public lands, and proponents for a more responsible and accountable federal government.”

Senator Cory Gardner—in his effort to reshape the way Washington bureaucracy interacts with Americans its rules and regulations impact—was the chief architect of the plan to move the Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters West. Gardner’s steadfast commitment to his proposal, along with public legislative action and behind-the-scenes work with key Administration officials, is the reason the BLM’s new home will be in Colorado.

Timeline: 

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07-15-19 Colorado Governor Polis Statement on BLM’s move to Colorado

Colorado Governor Polis Statement on BLM’s move to Colorado

DENVER – Governor Polis released the following statement regarding the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to move their headquarters to Colorado.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Bureau of Land Management and their employees to the great state of Colorado. As I stated to Secretary Bernhardt many times, Grand Junction is the perfect location for the BLM because of community support, location closer to the land BLM manages, and the positive impact it will have on our western Colorado economy,” said Governor Jared Polis. “Hard to think of a better place to house the department responsible for overseeing our beloved public lands.”


www.colorado.gov/governor

07-15-19 USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on the Department of Labor’s Proposed H2A Modernized Rule

USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on the Department of Labor’s Proposed H2A Modernized Rule

Washington D.C. July 15, 2019 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement on the Department of Labor’s proposed rule to modernize the H-2A program to reflect stakeholder concerns and improve access to a legal source of agricultural labor:

“President Trump once again shows his commitment to helping America’s farmers, ranchers, and producers continue to be the most productive in the world by increasing their access to a stable and legal workforce. The proposed rule will increase access to a reliable legal agricultural workforce, easing unnecessary burdens on farmers, increase enforcement against fraud and abuse, all while maintaining protections for America’s workers. When this rule goes into effect, our farmers will be released from unnecessary and burdensome regulations allowing them to do what they do best.”

SOURCE

07-15-19 U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources: Chairman Rob Bishop’s Statement on BLM Reorganization

U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources: Chairman Rob Bishop’s Statement on BLM Reorganization

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 15, 2019 – Today, Ranking Republican Rob Bishop (R-Utah) released the following statement on the Department of the Interior’s decision to relocate the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

“Secretary Bernhardt is promoting a thoughtful, methodical approach that is a true win for the West. I’m pleased that a significant number of personnel will be coming to Utah and other Western states. The BLM personnel will be moved where they will have a greater impact on, and input by, the people who live in the regions where their influence is greatest. Not by bureaucrats from thousands of miles away.

“I will continue to work with the Secretary to determine that the positions moving to Utah are placed in the most effective areas in the state. Secretary Bernhardt’s efforts have brought logic to where these positions will be most effective and I sincerely hope that politics and dogma in Washington don’t stifle this effort to make government more responsive.” Continue reading

07-15-19 NASS-CO: USDA TO SURVEY COUNTY SMALL GRAINS ACREAGE

NASS-CO: USDA TO SURVEY COUNTY SMALL GRAINS ACREAGE

 LAKEWOOD, Colo. – July 15, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will survey producers in 32 states, including Arizona, Colorado, Montana and Wyoming, for its Small Grains County Agricultural Production Survey (CAPS).

The survey will collect information on total acres planted and harvested, and total yield and production of small grain crops down to the county level. CAPS will provide the data needed to estimate acreage and production of selected crops in the United States.

“The data provided by producers will assist federal and state programs managers in better supporting the farmer,” said Bill Meyer, director, Mountain Regional Field Office. “I hope every single producer understands the importance of these data and will take the time to respond if they receive this survey. Producers lose out when there is no data to determine accurate rates for loans, disaster payments, crop insurance price elections and more. When enough producers do not respond to surveys, NASS is not able to publish data. Without data, agencies such as USDA’s Risk Management Agency or Farm Service Agency do not have information on which to base the programs that serve those same producers” Continue reading

07-15-19 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Latin American Product Showcase Continues Success Connecting U.S. Red Meat Exporters, Importers

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Latin American Product Showcase Continues Success Connecting U.S. Red Meat Exporters, Importers

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO – July  15, 2019 –This year’s Latin American Product Showcase was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico and attracted 190 buyers from 23 countries across the Caribbean, Central America and South America. More than 60 USMEF member exporting companies participated, displaying and promoting U.S. beef, pork and lamb products over two days. U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstromsays the 2019 edition featured a mix of established customers from established markets and new customers from emerging markets in Latin America where USMEF has been working to grow demand for U.S. red meat. Halstrom acknowledges the region’s traditional taste for pork, but noted a growing consumer interest in both beef and lamb. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, July 15th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, July 15th

2020 Elections Slowing Down Progress on USMCA

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement has been stalled in Congress for months and it’s not looking good for progress on ratification ahead of the August congressional recess. Politico says the likelihood of getting the agreement through Congress is dropping as the Democratic presidential primary heats up, and Democrats are also holding their ground on Capitol Hill. The administration was hopeful that Congress would move on the trade deal before August, but any vote now likely will have to wait until at least September. The delay is worrisome for Republican leaders who were hoping to give President Trump a victory in a divided government and before the presidential election really heats up. Nine Democrats that serve on a “trade working group” held a meeting last week with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. After the meeting, both sides said the talks are headed in a positive direction but did admit nothing had been resolved yet. The Democratic lawmakers also said they haven’t discussed any timeline for getting the deal through Congress.

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Trump Planning Immigration Raids

President Trump announced that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement will be conducting multiple raids on undocumented immigrants in the next several days. The New York Times says the undocumented immigrants will be held in detention centers until they can be deported. It’s a development that could have a serious impact on farms and food processors across the country. The raids will focus on people who’ve arrived recently in the United States. Fox News says the raids could be a way to force Democrats to change asylum laws. However, The Hagstrom Report says the move could also be a way for the president to draw attention away from the fact that he’s giving up the right to ask people on the 2020 U.S. Census if they are citizens of the United States. In a Rose Garden announcement, Trump said, “I’m ordering every federal government agency and department to provide the Department of Commerce with all requested records on the number of citizens and non-citizens currently in our country.” The president says the government will utilize their “vast federal databases” to gain a full, complete, and accurate count of the noncitizen population in America.

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Senators Introduce Legislation to Protect American Agriculture

A bipartisan group of Senators introduced legislation to address a shortage of agricultural inspectors who protect the nation’s food supply and ag industries at the border. Ag inspectors work to prevent the intentional or unintentional entry of harmful plants, food, animals, and goods into the U.S. The Protecting America’s Food and Agriculture Act of 2019 would ensure the safe and secure trade of agricultural goods across our nation’s borders by authorizing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to hire additional inspectors to fully staff America’s ports of entry. Senate Ag Chair Pat Roberts was one of several authors of the legislation. Roberts says, “Every day, millions of pounds of produce, meat, and other agricultural good enter the U.S. through our ports of entry. Ag Inspectors are responsible for ensuring that the goods move efficiently across our borders while safeguarding against harmful pests, diseases, and even potential bioterrorism attacks.” Senate Ag Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow says, “It’s critical that we address the shortage of agricultural specialists and hire qualified staff to safeguard our food and our farms.”

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Good News, Bad News Regarding Banks and Farm Lending

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told senators last week that banks remain in good shape to continue lending to farmers and ranchers. That’s despite deteriorating conditions across the agricultural economy. “Our farm belt banks have a lot of experience in dealing with the issues farmers are confronting right now,” Powell said during a Senate Banking Committee hearing. “As a whole, the agricultural sector is in a difficult place.” Powell says he knows it’s a tough time for banks trying to work through some of those difficulties with farmers. However, Reuters says some of the bigger banks in the nation are pulling out of the agricultural sector. After years of falling farmer income and rising pressure from the U.S.-China trade war, JP Morgan and several other Wall Street banks are bailing out of their agricultural portfolios. Reuters conducted an analysis of the farm-loan holdings the banks reported to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The agricultural loan portfolios of the nation’s top 30 banks fell by $3.9 billion between their peak in December of 2015 and March of 2019. That’s a decline of 17.5 percent.  

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Settlement Talks on Missouri Labeling Lawsuit Collapse

Parties on both sides of the lawsuit against the Missouri law that prohibits food manufacturers from using the word meat on products made without animal flesh have been in settlement talks for six months. However, the talks have ended, and the case will continue as filed. Attorneys for both sides have remained in contact by phone but say in court filings that they’d reached an impasse. According to Meating Place Dot Com, the court filings say, “The parties do not believe that additional time will allow for resolution of the impasse. The parties are grateful for the Court’s patience as they attempted to reach a final settlement agreement.” Both parties are asking the court to proceed on the litigation. Tofurkey is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that says the statute presents not only a risk of criminal prosecution but will also force Tofurkey to change the way it does business. The court hasn’t yet issued a date for resuming litigation. A similar lawsuit was also filed in Mississippi, where a law that took effect July 1 prohibits the use of meat terms to describe plant-based foods. Vegan producer Upton’s Naturals is arguing that the ban violates both the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

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State Ag Departments Want FDA Help for Hemp Industry

Federal agencies are continuing to work on filing a new regulatory process for hemp products. In the meantime, state departments of agriculture officials are asking the Food and Drug  Administration to create a clear regulatory framework for hemp products as quickly as possible. The ag departments sent a series of comments to the FDA, saying that they have an immediate need for a regulatory system that all states can follow. “Hemp will only become more economically viable to American farmers and ranchers only if you develop a well-defined regulatory framework for its products. Consistency will be the key factor in helping to develop a market for this emerging industry.” The department also reminded the FDA that if they don’t act on it, the cost of missing the mark will be a high one. “If no federal action is taken, states will be forced to develop regulatory structures for the products, and the result will be a patchwork and an inability to sell across state lines,” On the consumer front, NASDA also said there’s increasing confusion in retail aisles about hemp products and the terms that describe them.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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