09-16-19 You’re invited to join an interactive roundtable on Opportunity Zones – September 25th in Grand Junction, CO

You’re invited to join an interactive roundtable on Opportunity Zones – September 25th in Grand Junction, CO

Colorado Rural Development (RD) State Executive Director Sallie Clark
USDA Photo by Preston Keres

Date/Time: Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 8:30 AM – 10 AM

Location:  Mesa County Old Courthouse, 544 Road Street, Multi Purpose Room, Grand Junction, CO

Co-Hosted by the Following Federal Partners:

Sallie Clark, Colorado State Director, USDA Rural Development; Dan Nordberg, Region 8 Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) & Evelyn Lim, Region 8 Administrator, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development  (HUD)

The Opportunity Zone incentive, created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is designed to spur economic development and job creation by encouraging long-term investments in low-income communities across the country. Opportunity Zones also have the potential to transform entrepreneurship, health and housing outcomes and increase workforce development opportunities, among other impacts. Continue reading



CENTENNIAL, CO (Sep 16, 2019) — The Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) will invest approximately $40.9 million into programs of beef promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications during fiscal 2020, subject to USDA approval.

In action at the end of its September 10-11 meeting in Denver, Colorado, the Beef Promotion Operating Committee (BPOC) approved checkoff funding for a total of 15 “Authorization Requests” – or grant proposals – brought by seven contractors for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2019. The committee, which includes 10 producers from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and 10 producers from the Federation of State Beef Councils, also recommended full Cattlemen’s Beef Board approval of a budget amendment to reflect the split of funding between budget categories affected by their decisions.

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09-16-19 CO Horse Council invites All Equine Organizations to Attend the “Putting the Pieces Together” Workshop Meetings Oct 18-20 in Denver

CO Horse Council invites All Equine Organizations to Attend the “Putting the Pieces Together” Workshop Meetings Oct 18-20 in Denver

Learn how your association can provide the best services possible for your members and organizational leaders. Learn about the importance of relationship building and how to motivate others to become involved in your work.

Come and join this gathering of individuals working to build equine organizations across the country. This gathering focuses on our needs as council and club administrators and volunteers in need of ideas and suggestions to help our organizations grow and prosper.
This event will give you plenty of networking with the experts in the field of bringing people together for important equine causes, along wit ideas and systems that help your communications and record keeping for you organization.
This combined workshop, presentations and sessions on how to operate your organization is a 3-day event with a combined registration fee of $95.
Register Now – This link takes you to the Equine City Hall, Build an account as a New Visitor No costs or memberships required

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09-16-19 NMPF: Dairy Defined: With Demand at 56-Year High, “Death of Dairy” is a Myth

Dairy Defined: With Demand at 56-Year High,“Death of Dairy” is a Myth
ARLINGTON, VA – Dairy is facing challenges. In a crowded beverage marketplace, per-capita fluid milk consumption in the U.S. is down by a quarter in the past 20 years, and the number of U.S. dairy farms dropped 6.8 percent in 2018.
That’s one part of the story. But a more accurate picture of the health of the dairy industry is much brighter than the doom and gloom conjured from selective use of data. No matter what critics may say, attempts to craft a “death of dairy” narrative are mistaken.
Looking more broadly than milk in a glass, per-capita dairy consumption has been on the rise since the 1970s, according to USDA data. Last year’s level – 646 pounds per
person – was the most popular year for dairy in the U.S. since 1962.
Individual products tell similar stories. Cheese per-capita consumption has tripled since 1971. Butter is at its highest per-capita use since 1968. Contrast that with nose-diving sales of margarine, the longest-established “plant-based” dairy alternative, which in 2010 was at its lowest per-capita consumption since 1942. After that, the federal government stopped tracking it altogether.

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09-16-19 USDA Opens Signup for Regional Conservation Partnership Program

USDA Opens Signup for Regional Conservation Partnership Program

(Washington, D.C. September 16, 2019) – USDA is investing up to $300 million to help support the adoption of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural lands. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting proposals through December 3, 2019, for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program.


09-16-19 USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on Farm Safety Week

USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on Farm Safety Week

(Washington, D.C. September 16, 2019) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today applauded President Trump’s proclamation making September 15-21, 2019 National Farm Safety and Health Week. The theme for this year’s National Farm Safety & Health Week is “Shift Farm Safety into High Gear” as a reminder that it is everyone’s responsibility to prioritize safety on the farm and the rural roadways of America.

“America’s farmers, ranchers and producers work hard to feed our nation and the world,” Secretary Perdue said. “Farming is not always the safest profession and it is our responsibility to continue to improve workplace safety and pursue initiatives that create healthier work environments. They must also have access to innovative technologies and production practices to protect themselves and their employees. President Trump has our farmers backs and this proclamation further demonstrates this issue as one of great importance. Promoting Farm Safety will help our American agriculture workforce to continue producing the healthiest, safest, most affordable, and most abundant food supply on earth.”
This week is an opportunity to spread awareness of the inherent risks associated with work in the agriculture sector and commit to improved practices that advance the health and safety of farm and ranch operators, their family members, and their hired workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 581 workers in agriculture and related industries died from a work-related injury in 2017, making agriculture one of the most dangerous professions in the United States.
The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety is providing informative Webinars each day of the week. Each day of National Farm Safety & Health Week has a theme as follows:
  • Monday, September 16, 2019 – Tractor Safety & Rural Roadway Safety
  • Tuesday, September 17, 2019 – Farmer Health & Opioid/Suicide Prevention
  • Wednesday, September 18, 2019 – Safety & Health for Youth in Agriculture
  • Thursday, September 19, 2019 – Confined Spaces in Agriculture
  • Friday, September 20, 2019 – Safety & Health for Women in Agriculture


09-16-19 National Farm Safety and Health Week: Tractor Safety & Rural Roadway Safety

National Farm Safety and Health Week: Tractor Safety & Rural Roadway Safety

Each year incidents involving tractors and other agricultural machinery occur on rural roads. Did you know that only 19% of Americans live in rural areas; however, 55% of highway deaths occur on roads that are considered rural?  Nearly half of all incidents between motorists and farm implements involve either a left hand turn or a rear-end collision.  As you would expect, these collisions follow seasonal trends coinciding with planting and harvesting and are most likely to occur at dusk.  Tractor operators need to ensure they have a clean SMV (slow moving vehicle) emblem on the back of their tractor and implement.  They also need to use appropriate hand signals and install lighting according to their state laws.  Motorists, on the other hand, need to exercise patience and understanding.  The bottom line is we all have places to be and we have to share the road.  You don’t want to be the reason someone doesn’t make it home to their family tonight.

More safety information is available from the U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers.  There are 11 Centers located across the country to promote the health and safety of agricultural, forestry and commercial fishing workers.  Find the Center closest to you by entering NIOSH Ag Centers in your search engine.


Understanding the Tractor Factor (Noon CDT)
Presenter – Aaron Yoder, PhD

Ergonomic Safety for Farm Women (2:00 p.m. CDT)
Presenter – Charlotte Halverson, RN, BSN, COHN-S

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, September 16th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, September 16th

China Lifts Punitive Tariffs on Pork, Soybeans

A Chinese state news agency says the country will lift punitive tariffs imposed on U.S. soybeans and pork. Both China and the U.S. have made conciliatory gestures ahead of upcoming negotiations that will hopefully lead to an end to the trade war between the two nations. The Chicago Tribune says China will suspend tariff hikes on soybeans, pork, and some other farm goods. The Chinese Commerce Ministry says Beijing also supports “domestic companies in purchasing a certain amount of U.S. farm produce,” but didn’t give out any specific details. A release from the National Pork Producers Council says, “If media reports are accurate, this is a most welcome development.” The Chinese have placed punitive tariffs of 60 percent on most U.S. pork products, bringing the effective tariff rate for most U.S. pork to 72 percent. NPPC President David Herring says, “U.S. pork exports could singlehandedly make a huge dent in the trade imbalance with China. When you consider that China is the largest producer and consumer of pork in the world, the importance of this market to U.S. pork producers is clear.”


China Buys Soybeans Ahead of Trade Talks

Privately run Chinese firms bought at least ten boatloads of U.S. soybeans late last week. Reuters says that was the most significant Chinese purchase since June. The move comes ahead of high-level talks next month which both sides hope will end a trade war that’s gone on for over a year. The purchases totaled more than 600,000 tons and will be shipped out from export terminals in the Northwest U.S. between October and December. Reuters says the purchases are hopefully another indication that trade tensions between the two countries are easing. Talks hit another low point last month when China suspended all U.S. farm product purchases in response to threats by President Trump to impose more tariffs on Chinese imports. Jack Scoville, Vice President of Price Futures Group in Chicago says, “I’m impressed that the day they allow their commercial interests to buy from the United States, we’ve got this much sold immediately. Clearly, they’re trying to show what they can do if we get back to a normal trade relationship.” Also, late last week, the USDA reported China buying 10,878 tons of U.S. pork in the week ending September 5, the most in a single week since May.


Farm Leaders, Congressmen Rally for USMCA

Farm group leaders and members of Congress gathered at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., last week to rally for approving the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement on trade. The rally happened in front of a 25-foot RV decorated with pro-USMCA signs that had traveled 20,000 miles to 30 states and made 100 stops to promote approval during a “Motorcade for Trade” event sponsored by Farmers for Free Trade. The Hagstrom Report says House Ag Committee Chair Collin Peterson of Minnesota was in attendance. He’s already deviated from his personal history of opposition to trade agreements by endorsing the USMCA months ago. Peterson told folks attending the rally to be patient, but to also expect a vote sometime this fall. While U.S. Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer has sent his proposals to address Democrat concerns to House leadership, Peterson says he hasn’t seen them yet. Farmer leaders also repeated earlier statements that USMCA will provide farmers with new market access to Canada and Mexico while keeping the zero-tariff platform they rely on. Farmers for Free Trade also held a roundtable discussion last week for ag groups to discuss the impact of the USMCA on each sector.


Top Democrat Attempting to Block Trade Aid

House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey of New York is proposing to block a White House request regarding its farm trade aid program. A Washington Post review of the draft legislation says it would potentially mean trouble for President Trump’s ability to direct aid payments to thousands of American farmers. A key Republican lawmaker says the Democrat’s move could potentially stall a key bill needed to avoid another government shutdown. The farm bailout is one of several unresolved issues that lawmakers will have to work through to meet a deadline by the end of this month. Up until now, the payments haven’t needed congressional approval. However, the timing of the next round of payments is directly tied to approval from Congress. The USDA is planning to spend about $28 billion in payments over two years. However, the program Trump is using for the payments has a $30 billion spending limit, which they’re expected to hit this year before completing the second round of payments. Republicans have said they won’t support the government funding bill if it leaves the farm payment issue unresolved.


Trump Touts “Progress” on Biofuels Deal

President Donald Trump says his administration has made progress on a biofuel reform package after meeting with key farm-state senators late last week. The meetings were part of an ongoing effort to boost ethanol demand to help hard-hit corn farmers. Trump is having a hard time trying to appease two key constituencies, Big Oil and Big Corn, that he hopes will help propel him to reelection in 2020. “I think we had a great meeting on ethanol for the farmers,” Trump said to reporters at the White House last week. “Let’s see what happens.” Politico says despite recent meetings, it appears the White House doesn’t intend to slow down the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of waivers that allow some refiners to ignore ethanol-blending requirements under the Renewable Fuels Standard. It also seems as though the White House won’t offset the volumes expected to be lost to those exemptions in the annual rule. Trump is pushing a plan to add another 500 million gallons of ethanol and 500 million gallons of advanced biofuels to the 2020 blending mandate to appease farmers.


Wisconsin Legislation will Stop Mislabeling of Dairy Products

The Wisconsin Dairy Business Association is applauding three state lawmakers for new legislation designed to stop the use of misleading labels on imitation milk and other “dairy” products. The legislation would ban the labeling of products as milk or as a dairy product or ingredient if the food was not made from the milk of a cow, sheep, goat, or other mammals. Tom Crave, DBA President, says, “The plant-based food industry increasingly masquerades its products as real dairy foods. This mislabeling confuses customers who often make judgments about a food’s nutritional value based on its name.” Crave says words do matter. “Milk is milk and cheese is cheese,” he adds. “Customers deserve transparency.” A recent national survey about imitation cheese confirms customer confusion. About one-quarter of customers mistakenly think plant-based products that mimic cheese contain milk. About one-quarter of customers purchase plant-based foods that mimic cheese because they believe them to be low in calories and fat, as well as without additives. The reality is plant-based foods contain a comparable amount of fat and calories and substantially more additives than dairy cheeses.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service