08-21-19 Governor Polis Signs Executive Order to Conserve Colorado Wildlife and Habitat, While Protecting Public Safety

Governor Polis Signs Executive Order to Conserve Colorado Wildlife and Habitat, While Protecting Public Safety

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis today signed an executive order that supports Colorado’s wildlife, their habitat and migratory routes, while protecting public safety. Habitat loss poses a significant risk to Colorado’s wildlife populations. With Colorado’s growing population and increased travel across the state, nearly 4,000 wildlife-vehicle crashes are reported each year. That’s an estimated $80 million in damages, not including the value of wildlife killed or the impact on the health of wildlife populations.

“Colorado’s natural beauty and wildlife are part of why so many people love our great state,” said Governor Jared Polis. “This is a step toward better understanding and protecting the migratory patterns of Colorado’s wildlife populations and ensuring we can preserve our treasured animals and their habitats.”

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08-22-19 USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on New Draft Suspension Agreement on Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico

USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on New Draft Suspension Agreement on Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico

WASHINGTON, D.C. August 21, 2019 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement after U.S. Department of Commerce announced a newDraft Suspension Agreement on Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico:

“I want to thank my colleagues at the U.S. Department of Commerce for working diligently to reach a mutually beneficial agreement for tomato growers in both the U.S. and Mexico. Protecting America’s tomato producers from the glut of Mexican imports is yet another example of President Trump’s commitment to ensuring our farmers have the ability to succeed in international markets, as well as right here at home. Tomato producers across America, including those in Arizona, California, the Carolinas, Florida, and Georgia will benefit from the elimination of the unfair trade practices we have seen from these Mexican tomato imports,” said Secretary Perdue. “America’s farmers are the most productive on earth and President Trump recognizes that – I thank him for his continued work to secure fair trade that benefits our nation’s producers and consumers alike. When it comes to trade and agriculture, we have a mutually dependent relationship with Mexico and reaching a compromise here allows us to refocus our efforts towards quick passage by Congress of the broader U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.”

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08-21-19 Red Angus Foundation, Inc. Offers Premier Heifer for Annual Fundraising Auction

Red Angus Foundation, Inc. Offers Premier Heifer for Annual Fundraising Auction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Brandi Buzzard Frobose, RAAA Director of Communications (785) 448-0239  brandi@redangus.org

Denver – Bidders will be exercising their best attention-grabbing calls at the upcoming Red Angus Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) auction during the 66th annual National Red Angus Convention. The auction will take place Sept. 12, 2019, at 7 p.m. at the Grand River Conference Center in picturesque Dubuque, Iowa. Numerous generous donations have been made to ensure the highest quality of items for bidding, however, the jewel of the evening is the “Pick of the Herd” graciously donated by LN Cattle Company, Billings, Montana. Continue reading

08-21-19 South Platte Water Renewal Partners win EPA water quality “Challenge”

South Platte Water Renewal Partners win EPA water quality “Challenge”

Englewood, Colo. based company develops sensors for wastewater treatment to help address nutrient pollution

DENVER – (August 21, 2019) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with four federal partners announced the winners of a technology-accelerating water quality challenge. This year’s winners demonstrated how data from low cost water quality monitoring sensors can be used to inform local-scale nutrient management decisions.

“To address the challenges of today and the future, we need innovative thinkers at the global- and local-level,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Science and EPA Science Advisor Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta.“We commend the ‘challenge’ winners for identifying creative ways to use low-cost tools to understand our resources and better inform nutrient management decisions.”

This competition leverages emerging technologies and facilitates broader adoption of market-based programs to address the pressing challenge of excess nutrients in our watersheds,” said Gregory Sopkin Regional Administrator. “South Platte Water Renewal Partners as well as the other successful teams have shown great innovation and collaboration in the development of nutrient sensors.”

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08-21-19 USDA Announces Investments in Community Facilities that will Benefit Almost 200,000 Rural Americans, including Colorado

USDA Announces Investments in Community Facilities that will Benefit Almost 200,000 Rural Americans

The 45 projects that USDA announced include the states of Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

WASHINGTON, August 21, 2019 – USDA Rural Housing Service Administrator Bruce Lammers today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) isinvesting $52 million in 45 community facilities projects that will benefit nearly 200,000 rural residents (PDF, 151 KB) in 16 states.

“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to partnering with rural communities to build the facilities that provide state-of-the-art services to those who depend on them,” Lammers said. “Rural areas thrive when modern and accessible education, health care, public safety and municipal services are available. This provides a foundation for growth and prosperity.”

08-20-19 USCA Submits Comments Supporting BLM’s Targeted Grazing Project

USCA Submits Comments Supporting BLM’s Targeted Grazing Project

(WASHINGTON) –  On Wednesday, the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) submitted comments in support of a project initiated by the Bureau of Land Management titled Targeted Grazing of Annual Grasses in the Great Basin Ecoregions in Nevada.

The purpose of the project “is to manage invasive annual grasses by using a variety of livestock grazing practices in the Great Basin ecoregions of Nevada.”

USCA Public Lands Committee Co-Chair Jack Alexander explained further:

“With the spread of invasive annual grass species like cheatgrass, extreme wildfires continue to ravage Western rangelands. Cheatgrass intensifies wildland fire frequency, duration, and size, which presents challenges not only for public lands users, but also the communities that sit on the edge of these lands. Continue reading

08-20-19 Tractor Supply Hosting Farmers Market at Stores Nationwide on Sept 28th

TRACTOR SUPPLY HOSTS FARMERS MARKET AT STORES NATIONWIDE

Local growers, crafters and vendors invited to showcase goods at community event on September 28th 

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (August 20, 2019) – Tractor Supply Company is inviting farmers, craft makers and artisans to join the Farmers Market event at their local TSC store on Saturday, Sept. 28. The event is an opportunity for members of the community to showcase their many talents and display homemade and homegrown goods, whether they are new to the market or have been selling for years.

Every fall, Tractor Supply hosts local vendors and creators at their on-site Farmers Market to celebrate the community spirit. The Farmers Market is open to the public, providing a platform for budding businesses in a fun, family-friendly setting.

“Each Tractor Supply store serves as an important member of the community in which it operates. We are always looking for ways to connect with and support our neighbors, and the Farmers Market is a wonderful opportunity for this,” said Mary Lawley, vice president of store administration at Tractor Supply Company. “We are always amazed by the talent we see at this event and are so pleased to play a part in helping these neighbors thrive.”

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, August 21st

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, August 21st

Trump Allegedly Seeks to Lesson Blow from EPA Waivers

President Donald Trump this week asked cabinet members to appease farmers angry over small refinery waivers. Following a rash of blowback from ethanol and commodity groups, Trump held a meeting to find a solution. Representatives from the Departments of Energy and Agriculture, along with the Environmental Protection Agency attended a two-hour meeting Monday on the subject, according to Reuters. However, no clear action has been identified so far. The EPA has received 42 requests for small-refiner exemptions for 2018, while there are only 48 classified small refineries in the United States. The waivers exempt refineries from provisions in the Renewable Fuel Standard. Farmers argue that reallocating the exempted gallons of biofuel would be a good start in addressing the issue. The National Corn Growers Association says the waived volume now accounts for 4.04 billion ethanol gallons. NCGA President Lynn Chrisp says, “waivers reduce demand for ethanol, lower the value of our crop and undermine the President’s support for America’s farmers.”

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U.S. Comments on Hong Kong Could Jeopardize Trade Talks

Any U.S. attempt to sway China’s dealings with Hong Kong could jeopardize efforts to reach a trade agreement. Communist party leaders in China say, “Events in Hong Kong were the internal affairs of China, and linking them with trade negotiations was a dirty aim,” according to the South China Morning Post. The remarks followed Vice President Mike Pence’s remarks that the Trump administration would continue to urge Beijing to resolve differences with the protesters peacefully. China officials say the U.S. would “be naive in thinking China would make concessions if they played the Hong Kong card.” Further trade talks are planned for early September. However, Hong Kong, and the U.S. selling fighter jets to Taiwan, has brought further political uncertainty to the mix. The talks stalled earlier this year, and China announced it would stop purchasing U.S. ag products this month, following more tariffs announced by President Trump. China was once a $24 billion market for U.S. agriculture, falling to $9 billion last year.

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U.S. Dairy Seeks Swift Trade Deal with Japan

A coalition of U.S. dairy groups is urging the Trump administration to reach a trade agreement with Japan quickly. More than 70 dairy groups and companies sent a letter to Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue this week asking the administration to finalize a strong trade deal with Japan quickly. The coalition, including the National Milk Producers Federation and U.S. Dairy Export Council, say Japan is an established market with a growing demand for dairy products. The letter states that a robust trade agreement with Japan “will bring a much-needed boost to the economic health of the U.S. dairy industry.” The letter says the Japan-EU agreement and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership have allowed the European Union, New Zealand and Australia to position themselves to take sales from the U.S. dairy industry. The U.S. exported $270 million in dairy products to Japan in 2018. Once the trade deals are fully implemented, the U.S. risks losing $5.4 billion in total export sales.

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FSA Announces Payment Acceptance of Debit Cards, AHC

The Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency is expanding its payment options to now accept debit cards and Automated Clearing House or AHC, debit. The paperless payment options allow FSA customers to pay farm loan payments, measurement service fees, farm program debt repayments and administrative service fees, as well as to purchase aerial maps. Previously, only cash, check, money orders and wires were accepted. By using debit cards and ACH debit, transactions are securely processed from the customer’s bank through Pay.gov, the U.S. Treasury’s online payment hub. While traditional collection methods like cash and paper checks will continue, offering the new alternatives will “improve effectiveness and convenience to customers while being more cost-effective.” In 2017, the average cost to manually process checks cost USDA more than $4.6 million. The expanded payment options will cut the time employees take processing payments by 75 percent. The announcement, USDA says, marks the beginning of a multi-phased roll-out of new payment options for USDA customers.

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Elanco to Acquire Bayer Animal Health

Elanco Animal Health has entered into a $7.6 billion agreement with Bayer to acquire its animal health business in a transaction valued at $7.6 billion. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, will double Elanco’s companion animal business. Bayer CEO Werner Baumann says the acquisition by Elanco will “give rise to a leading competitor in the animal health industry, benefiting customers, employees and shareholders alike.” Following the transaction, Elanco will become the second-largest global animal health company. Elanco will finance the transaction through both cash and equity. Bayer will receive $5.3 billion in cash, and $2.2 billion or approximately 68 million Elanco Animal Health common shares. The transaction is expected to close in mid-2020, subject to regulatory approvals and other standard closing conditions. Elanco is a global animal health company that develops products and knowledge services to prevent and treat disease in food animals and pets in more than 90 countries. The company employs more than 5,800 employees.

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Target Launches Grocery Brand

Target this week announced the introduction of Good & Gather, a company-owned food and beverage brand. The flagship brand will offer a wide range of food and beverage products that prioritize taste, quality ingredients and ease, at a great value, according to the company. Good & Gather will be available in stores and online for same-day delivery beginning September 15, 2019. The assortment will include new and trend-forward products such as avocado toast, salad kits and beet hummus alongside everyday staples such as milk, eggs and cheese. By the end of 2020, it will include more than 2,000 products across food and beverage from dairy to produce, ready-made pastas and meats to granola bars and sparkling water. Good & Gather is Target’s largest owned brand launch. Developed by Target’s internal team, the products are made without artificial flavors and sweeteners, synthetic colors and high fructose corn syrup. However, in a news release, Target notes that some products, such as fresh vegetables and eggs, never contained these ingredients.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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