09-19-19 CSU’s McConnell embraces student demonstrators, calls for ‘courageous transformation’ in first Fall Address

Colorado State University’s historic Oval was the scene for Joyce McConnell’s first President’s Fall Address, which opened with the Land Acknowledgement delivered by student Serena Natonabah. During McConnell’s remarks, more than 300 students peacefully marched in front of the stage to protest recent racially biased incidents on campus. Following the remarks, CSU’s 15th president mingled with members of the campus community enjoying the annual University Picnic. Photos by CSU Photography

CSU’s McConnell embraces student demonstrators, calls for ‘courageous transformation’ in first Fall Address

Joyce McConnell’s first Fall Address as president of Colorado State University was unlike any delivered by previous leaders of the state’s land-grant institution.

The first difference was that McConnell is CSU’s first female president, and she spoke with a perspective her predecessors simply did not possess.

But this Fall Address, delivered on a glorious September day on the historic Oval, was unique in another, much more powerful way: For the first time since the inaugural speech and picnic were held in 1997, a significant number of students peacefully demonstrated against recent incidents of racial bias on campus.

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09-19-19 Colorado FFA Range Judging and Plant Identification Events Held in New Raymer and Branson

Plant ID judging at Regional Contests involves identifying the common names of 30 range plants along with important characteristics of each plant. Northeast Regional event at Prairie School.

Colorado FFA Range Judging and Plant Identification Events Held in New Raymer and Branson

Ben Berlinger, Colorado Section of the Society for Range Management, Youth Activities Chair

The Northeast and Southeast Colorado Regional FFA Range Judging and Plant Identification Career Development Exercises (CDE) were held on September 16 at the Prairie School near New Raymer and on September 18 in Branson, CO.  The events were hosted by the New Raymer and Branson FFA Chapters.  Seventy-seven students participated representing eight FFA chapters for the event at the Prairie School.  At the event in Branson 217 students participated representing 17 FFA Chapters.

FFA range judging places the students in the field to make real-life judgments about the past grazing management and best management practices to recommend for range improvement. Malpais Breaks ecological site near Branson, CO.

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09-19-19 TSGTA News: Nucla Station retires from service

TSGTA News: Nucla Station retires from service

  • Tri-State announces that Nucla Station officially retires from service on Thursday.
  • 100-megawatt facility in Western Colorado meets early requirement for retirement under Colorado’s State Implementation Plan, which addresses regional haze visibility.
  • Company to provide $500,000 to community to support plant closure transition.

(September 19, 2019 – Westminster, Colo.) The Nucla Station, a 100-megawatt, coal-fired power plant in Western Colorado operated by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, officially retired from service as a coal plant today, the cooperative announced. The end of generation occurred as the facility exhausted its remaining on-site fuel supply earlier in the month.

With the retirement, Tri-State meets its deadline for ending plant operations under Colorado’s regional haze visibility State Implementation Plan. The facility, which had its final run of generation July 11 through Sept. 9, was set to be retired by the end of 2022.

As part of the transition to closure, Tri-State is providing $500,000 over the next five years in community support during the retirement.

“While our generating station has been a significant part of Nucla and Naturita communities for many years, it made the most sense to come offline at this time in a controlled fashion, while maintaining compliance with all of our federal and state environmental regulations,” said Duane Highley, Tri-State chief executive officer. “We will support the remaining employees at the plant and the community during this transitional period of decommissioning and dismantling the facility.” Continue reading

09-19-19 NMPF Urges Dairy Farmers to Take Advantage of Dairy Margin Coverage Signup Extension

NMPF Urges Dairy Farmers to Take Advantage of Dairy Margin Coverage Signup Extension

ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Milk Producers Federation is urging farmers to take advantage of a one-week extension in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program signup deadline to Sept. 27, announced by USDA today.

“Dairy farmers have much to gain by signing up for this program, and another week to take advantage of this benefit can be nothing but helpful for them,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “We urge producers to take advantage of this added opportunity to sign up.”

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09-19-19 USDA: More Time Provided for Dairy Producers to Enroll in Dairy Margin Coverage Program – Sept 27th!

USDA: More Time Provided for Dairy Producers to Enroll in Dairy Margin Coverage Program

New Signup Deadline for Dairy Margin Coverage is September 27

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today extended the deadline to September 27 for dairy producers to enroll in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program for 2019. The deadline had been September 20.

Authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill and available through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), the program offers reasonably priced protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

“More than 21,200 dairy operations have already signed up for DMC, but we’re providing an additional week to help ensure interested producers have time to come into the office,” said Bill Northey, USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “With smaller margins and increased feed costs, DMC has resulted in almost $230 million in payments disbursed. I know that some farmers may still be cautious given their experiences with former dairy support programs, but producers who have not signed up yet should come into a local office to learn how much money the program can put into their pockets.”

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09-19-19 Former Agriculture Secretaries Announce Support for USMCA

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Former Agriculture Secretaries Announce Support for USMCA

(Washington, D.C. September 19, 2019) – Today, all former U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture since President Reagan’s Administration announced support for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). In a letter to Congressional leaders, former Secretaries John Block (Reagan), Mike Espy (Clinton), Dan Glickman (Clinton), Ann Veneman (W. Bush), Mike Johanns (W. Bush), Ed Shafer (W. Bush), and Tom Vilsack (Obama) underscored the importance of passing USMCA saying, “We need a strong and reliable trade deal with our top two customers for U.S. agriculture products. USMCA will provide certainty in the North American market for the U.S. farm sector and rural economy. We strongly support ratification of USMCA.” Following the announcement, Secretary Perdue issued this statement:

“President Trump has fulfilled a promise, which many said couldn’t be done, to renegotiate NAFTA and improve the standing of the entire American economy, including the agriculture sector,” said Secretary Perdue. “Support for USMCA crosses all political parties, specifically when it comes to the agriculture community, and I am proud to stand side by side with former agriculture secretaries who agree USMCA is good news for American farmers. I commend President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer, for their perseverance, leadership, and hard work to get USMCA across the finish line.”

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09-18-19 Farm Foundation Announces New President and CEO

Farm Foundation Announces New President and CEO

OAK BROOK, IL September 18, 2019 – Farm Foundation is pleased to announce that Shari Rogge-Fidler will be joining the organization as president and CEO. Rogge-Fidler brings a breadth of executive, academic and managerial experience in production agriculture, business management, national and international finance, conservation and soil health issues. These skills align well with the varied and important work of the Farm Foundation. “We are very excited to have Shari join the Farm Foundation in this leadership role,” says Farm Foundation Board of Directors Chair Larkin Martin. “Her track record of strong leadership, combined with her deep agricultural knowledge makes Shari uniquely qualified to lead the Farm Foundation into the future.

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09-19-19 National Farm Safety and Health Week: Confined Spaces in Agriculture

National Farm Safety and Health Week: Confined Spaces in Agriculture

Grain bins, silos, grain wagons and manure pits are among the most common agricultural confined spaces.  Confined spaces are places large enough for a person to enter; however they are not designed for frequent occupancy.  Confined spaces have limited entry and exit points and pose a serious risk.  More than 900 cases of grain engulfment have been reported in the last 50 years.  In fact, it only takes 5 seconds for a person to be entrapped in flowing grain to the point where they cannot free themselves.  Don’t become a statistic!  Proper training, use of effective lifeline systems and adherence to grain bin entry procedures including lockout/tagout will greatly reduce the number of fatalities in grain bins.

Visit YouTube.com/usagcenters for health and safety videos on grain bin entry procedures.


Hazard Communications Standards (Noon CDT)
Presenter – Dan Neenan, MBA

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, September 19th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, September 19th

African Swine Fever Shows Up in South Korea

South Korea is now the ninth Asian country to find itself positive for African Swine Fever. The pigs that tested positive for the disease were located near the border with North Korea, which has been ASF positive since May. The South Korean agriculture minister says the country’s first case of the highly-contagious disease was confirmed on Tuesday. Officials ran tests on five pigs that had died on a farm just miles south of the North Korean border. The South Korean government is making a stronger effort to disinfect farms and transport vehicles. The government also ordered a 48-hour standstill on all pig farms, slaughterhouses, and feed mills across the country to help prevent the disease from spreading further. South Korea has about 6,000 farms that produce more than 11 million pigs. The country doesn’t import any pork products or live pigs from China due to the severe outbreak of ASF inside that country. South Korea mainly imports from the United States and Germany. Pork imports account for about a third of the country’s total pork supply.


Lawmakers Want India’s Trade Privileges Restored

Reuters says 44 members of Congress are asking U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to restore trade concessions to India. They say the U.S. withdrawal of that trade privilege has led to retaliatory tariffs, which hurt the U.S. ag industry. Back in June, the United States ended its preferential trade treatment for India. The Generalized System of Preferences Program allowed India to send up to $5.6 billion worth of imports into the United States duty-free. India retaliated with higher tariffs on 28 U.S. products, including almonds, apples, and walnuts. The letter from the U.S. lawmakers to Lighthizer says a lot of American jobs depend on trade between India and the United States. After President Trump decided to remove India from trade privileges, American and Indian trade negotiators met in July. However, neither side made much progress on the issue of tariffs and other protectionist measures imposed by each side. The U.S. and India resumed trade talks after meetings on the sidelines of the G20 summit in June and agreed to take steps to deepen the two countries’ relationship.


NCBA Announces Woodall as New CEO

The Executive Committee of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says Colin Woodall will serve as the group’s new Chief Executive Officer. Woodall was named to the post this week after an extensive national search. He most recently was the Vice President of Government Affairs and managed NCBA’s efforts in Washington, D.C., for more than ten years. He first joined NCBA in 2004 and was instrumental in ensuring the interests of NCBA members and the beef community were well-represented in DC. “Colin has served NCBA members for 15 years, and in that time, he’s done a great deal for beef producers everywhere,” says NCBA President Jennifer Houston. “Much of his work and many of the victories registered by NCBA in Washington are the result of his ability to build coalitions and bring people together.” Ethan Lane was chosen to replace Woodall as the Vice President of Government Affairs. Most recently, Lane was the Executive Director of the Public Lands Council and NCBA Federal Lands. Houston says Lane has been a “driving force in many of NCBA’s most important policy wins.”


Farmers and Ranchers Launch Pro-Green New Deal Coalition

The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers for a Green New Deal coalition held a press conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday, along with a handful of Democrats from the House of Representatives. Sherri Dugger is an Indiana farmer who co-chairs the new coalition. She says a lot of the farmers that she talks to every day don’t understand what the Green New Deal is about. “I’m here to say we need to be involved in this discussion and we need to be at the table to have our voices heard,” she says. The coalition delivered a letter to Congress that calls for farming to have a key place in meeting the goals of the Green New Deal, which seeks to get to net-zero emissions between 2030-2050. The coalition says the U.S. economy needs to move away from fossil fuels and transition “toward family farm-based organic and regenerative farming.” The group also favors land-use practices that improve soil health and draws down and sequesters carbon. The coalition’s announcement this week is timed to coincide with the global Climate Strike event on Friday.


Organic Farmers Association Opposes Genetic Engineering

Earlier this week, the Organic Farmers Association delivered a letter to USDA in response to a statement made by Undersecretary Greg Ibach (EYE-baw). The Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs recently spoke about possibly opening up a dialogue about gene-editing in organic agriculture. The letter speaking against the idea was signed by 79 organic farm organizations. It strongly opposes any form of genetic engineering into the organic standard and expressed opposition against the possibility of including it. Instead, the OFA is asking the USDA to build the organic market by focusing on building healthy soil and addressing the core issues that affect the domestic organic market. Kate Mendenhall, Director of the Organic Farmers Association, says introducing a dialogue on genetic engineering would be a “major distraction” within the industry. “We have crucial issues in organic agriculture that need the USDA’s full attention, such as stopping organic import fraud, closing certification loopholes, and enforcing current organic standards fairly and equitably,” Mendenhall says.


Farm Bureau Wants USDA to End NRCS Abuses

Farmers and ranchers are being denied due process as part of an abuse of discretion by officials from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. That comes straight from a scathing ruling by the Seventh Circuit’s U.S. Court of Appeals. The ruling is highlighted in a letter sent from the American Farm Bureau Federation to Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue asking him to enact much-needed reforms in the agency. The letter focuses on the case of an Indiana farm owned by David and Rita Boucher (BOW-cher). The battle between the Boucher family and the NRCS has gone on for 17 years. The Bouchers removed nine trees on 2.8 acres the agency declared a wetland, and the NRCS demanded they plant 300 trees per acre as compensation. The court found that the NRCS wrongly accused the Bouchers of harming a non-existent wetland on their property. The NRCS made no effort to correct the decision, even after the accusations were proven to be groundless. The Farm Bureau letter notes that the Bouchers aren’t the only victims of regulatory abuse. AFBF is asking Secretary Perdue to accept the Seventh Circuit’s decision and compensate the family for costs incurred during the battle against the government.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service