10-22-19 US Senators Gardner, Baldwin, Moran, Reed Introduce Bill to Create Three-Digit Suicide Hotline

US Senators Gardner, Baldwin, Moran, Reed Introduce Bill to Create Three-Digit Suicide Hotline

Bipartisan bill designates 9-8-8 as a suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline

Washington, D.C. – Today U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, bipartisan legislation to designate a three-digit phone number for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline and ensure states have the flexibility to strengthen local crisis call centers. The current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Veterans Crisis line are 10-digits, which is a barrier to Americans in crisis seeking support. Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT) and Seth Moulton (D-MA) are leading companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“We must do more to destigmatize access to mental health resources and prevent suicides in our country. Approximately every seven hours, a Coloradan dies by suicide. As the father of three young Coloradans, it breaks my heart to know that youth suicide rates have increased by 58 percent in the last three years,” said Senator Gardner. “If this bipartisan idea becomes law, Americans could dial a three-digit phone number in times of any crisis: 9-1-1 for an emergency, and 9-8-8 for a mental health emergency. This legislation is more than smart policy that will help save lives, it’s a statement that our government recognizes the crisis and is working across party lines to address it.

“In America, we lose about 45,000 people every year to suicide, including more than 6,100 veterans, making it one of the leading causes of death in this country,” said Senator Baldwin. “We need to do everything we can to prevent suicide and that means improving the tools we have to help people who are suffering from depression or other mental health issues. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to make it as quick and easy as possible for Americans in crisis to get the help and support they need through the National Suicide Hotline.”

“The state of Kansas and the entire country stand to benefit from increased access to critical suicide prevention and mental health services that a dedicated nationwide hotline would offer,” said Senator Moran. “I commend the work of my fellow Kansan Chairman Ajit Pai and the entire FCC on this important issue, and I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the commission and my Senate colleagues to make certain this is an effective tool for those who need it.”

“This is about saving lives. A nationwide, three-digit number for suicide prevention and mental health crises will connect people with the specialized help they need, when they need it. Mental health care works, and this bill will help get people into care, but it’s just a first step that will require the federal government to put up real resources,” said Senator Reed. Continue reading

10-22-19 US Senators Bennet, Udall Introduce Major Resolution to Set National Conservation Goal: Conserve 30% of U.S. Lands and Oceans by 2030

US Senators Bennet, Udall Introduce Major Resolution to Set National Conservation Goal: Conserve 30% of U.S. Lands and Oceans by 2030

The Thirty by Thirty Resolution to Save Nature Creates a Roadmap for Reversing the Conservation, Climate, and Wildlife Crises, as Ecosystems and Wildlife Species Near the Point of No Return

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) introduced a major Senate resolution to set a national goal of conserving at least 30 percent of the land and 30 percent of the ocean within the territory of the United States by 2030. The Udall-Bennet Thirty by Thirty Resolution to Save Naturerecognizes that nature – like climate change – has reached a tipping point. The resolution responds to a growing group of scientists, who say that conserving at least 30% of the ocean and land by 2030 is the minimum step necessary to adequately address the extinction, climate, and biodiversity crisis. In addition to Bennet and Udall, the resolution is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

“We can’t address climate change without focusing on conservation,” said Bennet. “Committing to conserving 30 percent of America’s lands and oceans by 2030 is exactly the kind of ambitious strategy we need to protect our wildlife and lands, and tackle this urgent crisis. Setting an aggressive, tangible conservation and climate goal has been a long-standing priority of mine, and I could not have asked for a better partner to advance this legislation. That’s why I am thrilled to be leading this resolution with Senator Udall today.”

“Just over 50 years ago, my father, Stewart Udall, sounded the alarm about the quiet loss of nature. Back then, in a few short years, our nation drastically deepened its commitment to the land and waters that sustain us by creating some of our most successful conservation programs. But today, the crisis is even more dire – and we need to meet it with the urgency it requires. That’s why I’m proud to introduce the Thirty by Thirty Resolution to Save Nature,” said Udall. “Globally, one million species are at risk of extinction – many within decades — as a result of factors like habitat destruction and climate change. These species are critical to our rich natural inheritance and our economic success. Now, there’s no question that we must, at a minimum, undo the environmental damage caused by the Trump administration. But let’s be clear: humans are destroying nature at a devastating rate. Only reversing the Trump administration’s wreckage would be like be applying a band-aid to a life-threatening wound. We must write a new playbook to address the climate and nature crises. We must set a national goal of protecting and restoring 30 percent of our lands and ocean by 2030 to stem the collapse of our natural world. This is the mass mobilization we need – the collective action that will save the planet.” Continue reading

10-22-19 Syngenta Commits $2 Billion and Sets New Targets for Innovation to Tackle Climate Change

Syngenta Commits $2 Billion and Sets New Targets for Innovation to Tackle Climate Change

  • Syngenta dedicates $2 billion over five years to innovation specifically targeted at delivering a step change in agricultural sustainability
  • CEO Erik Fyrwald will explain new goal to drive two technological breakthroughs to market each year at Sustainability Summit in New York
  • Syngenta to reduce carbon intensity of its operations by 50%, supporting the ambition of the Paris Agreement on climate change

BASEL, Switzerland–(BUSINESS WIRE Syngenta today announced $2 billion will be spent over the next five years to help farmers prepare for and tackle the increasing threats posed by climate change.

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10-22-19 Inside The BARN with Colorado AgrAbility’s James Craig

Inside The BARN with Colorado AgrAbility’s James Craig

BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO – October 22, 2019 Goodwill Industries of Denver and Discover Goodwill of Southern & Western Colorado have finalized a merger between the two organizations. Joining the Colorado Ag News Netowrk to discuss the merger and much more is James Craig, Rural Rehabilitation Specialist with CO AgrAbility…


Check out this video – Colorado AgrAbility helped design and build this UTV loader for Brady Haynes, so he can travel four states to scout fields making it possible to practice agronomy.

Check out the Fall Colorado AgrAbility Newsletter – CLICK HERE

Colorado agriculture is a big, dangerous business. The state has 28,268 farms and it had 78 agricultural fatalities 1997-2000. Colorado has 1,600 injury compensation claims for agricultural-related injuries that result in a loss of over $8 million each year. There are an estimated 6,965-10,882 farmers/ranchers with disabilities. Continue reading

10-22-19 US Senator Bennet Echoes Local Concerns with Proposed Resource Management Plan for BLM Uncompahgre Field Office

US Senator Bennet Echoes Local Concerns with Proposed Resource Management Plan for BLM Uncompahgre Field Office

After Last Minute Changes by BLM Undercut Local Governments, Bennet Asks BLM to Reengage with Community

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt to reiterate concerns expressed by the State of Colorado, local governments, and a diverse group of local stakeholders with the proposed Resource Management Plan (PRMP) recently put forward by the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Uncompahgre Field Office (UFO). The stakeholders note that the plan does not reflect years of collaborative work by local communities and lacks adequate measures to protect water supplies, air quality, wildlife habitat, and the burgeoning recreation economy.

“The drastic and unexplained changes to the PRMP have undercut the governments’ good faith engagement efforts. BLM’s decision to introduce the PRMP with new provisions that directly contradict local feedback at the last minute, and provide no opportunity for individuals, cooperating agencies, and stakeholders to share feedback, undermines years of collaboration and local engagement,” wrote Bennet. “The lack of transparency and unwillingness to work with the involved communities is troubling.” Continue reading

10-22-19 RFA: New Court Documents Detail Rampant EPA Abuse of Small Refinery Exemption Program

RFA: New Court Documents Detail Rampant EPA Abuse of Small Refinery Exemption Program

Newly available court documents assert that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency inappropriately granted Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance exemptions to certain small refineries that did not even qualify for the waivers, and that there was division within the Trump administration about its new approach to small refinery hardship exemption requests.

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10-22-19 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: USMEF Chair Conley Nelson Reflects on Eventful Tenure

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: USMEF Chair Conley Nelson Reflects on Eventful Tenure     

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO -October 22, 2019 – U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Chair Conley Nelson will conclude his one-year term at the federation’s helm at the upcoming USMEF Strategic Planning Conference, set for Nov. 6-8 in Tucson, Arizona.

Nelson, a pork producer from Algona, Iowa, and general manager of Smithfield’s hog production division in the company’s Midwest region, notes that despite trade barriers and other challenges, U.S. red meat exports achieved successes over the past year. He also sees a bright future for U.S. pork, beef and lamb exports and discusses opportunities for further growth.

Conley Nelson on his tenure as USMEF Chair 10-21-2019

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10-22-19 Family Farm Alliance: Statement on the Federal Government’s New Plan to Manage California’s Central Valley Project by Dan Keppen, Executive Director

Photo courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Family Farm Alliance: Statement on the Federal Government’s New Plan to Manage California’s Central Valley Project

by Dan Keppen, Executive Director

October 22, 2019 – The Trump Administration today will release a new plan that will guide the federal Bureau of Reclamation’s management of the federal Central Valley Project (CVP) in California.  Today’s action builds on President Trump’s campaign commitment to help solve the state’s water supply shortages, as outlined in his Western water executive memo issued last year. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, October 22nd

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, October 22nd

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Mexico: USMCA Would Provide Certainty in Global Trade

A government official from Mexico says global trade uncertainty is another reason the U.S. and Canada should ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Mexico’s Finance Minister last week noted global trade was a common topic during the fall meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington. Arturo (Are-tur-roh) Herrera says that in a world that is “probably facing some uncertainties for a while,” USMCA is “going to help attract investments to the region,” according to Reuters. Herrera says the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, now 15 months long, is partly to blame for a sharp slowdown in global growth. USCMA replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement and was ratified by Mexico this summer. The U.S. and Canada have yet to ratify the agreement, and some fear if Congress doesn’t act soon, the deal will be stalled by the 2020 elections. Democrats in the House of Representatives are set to continue negotiations with the White House this week. However, Congress is running out of working days to pass the agreement this year.

Ross: China Phase One Must be Right Agreement

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Monday suggested the phase one agreement with China doesn’t have to be ready to sign next month. Speaking on Fox Business Network, Ross says, “It has to be the right deal, and it doesn’t have to be in November.” President Donald Trump has indicated the deal would be ready to sign at the November APEC summit. The agreement includes the intent by China to purchase up to $50 billion worth of U.S. agricultural goods over the next two years. However, China has said it won’t move forward with significant purchases unless Trump agrees to cancel a planned round of tariff increases set for December. The comments from Ross seem to suggest the phase one agreement may not be as solid as previously portrayed. Agriculture is described best as cautiously optimistic that the phase one agreement can be completed, and that China massively increases its purchases of U.S. farm products. However, China recently purchased soybeans from Brazil, an uncharacteristic move for this time of year.

Democrats Switch Focus on USDA Moves

Key Democrats in Congress appear to be shifting focus on the Department of Agriculture agency relocations. USDA is moving the Economic Research Service and National Institute for Food and Agriculture to the Kansas City region, and many employees are fleeing. Last week, Democrats in the House of Representatives announced they are still “upset” with the relocation, but are now focused on making sure the agencies continue to do their jobs, according to the Hagstrom report. Stacy Plaskett, a Democrat from the U.S. Virgin Islands, chairs the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research. During a hearing, Plaskett noted that ERS has appropriated funding to support 329 employees, but currently, a total of 214 positions are vacant, a vacancy rate of 65 percent. At NIFA, 264 of 344 jobs are currently vacant, a vacancy rate of over 76 percent. She told a USDA representative she expects “ERS and NIFA to quickly be restored to their former prominence.” While the agency moves are underway, USDA has yet to announce permanent office space locations for either agency.

GasBuddy: China/U.S. Talks Behind Gas Price Volatility

Average fuel prices declined slightly again for the second straight week as farmers attempt to harvest their crops. The national average price of gasoline posting a drop of 0.7 cents over the last week to $2.63 per gallon according to GasBuddy data. Meanwhile, the average price of diesel fell 1.1 cents to $2.98 per gallon. While farmers are in the fields and dealing with trade uncertainties and a challenging harvest, GasBuddy says the ongoing trade war with China is providing more overall volatility to gas and crude oil markets, at a time of year when the market typically sees prices steadily fall. Patrick DeHaan (De-hawn), head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, says “I can’t remember an autumn where we saw so many factors that could impact prices so quickly and in such different directions,” adding “expect this roller coaster to continue.” Meanwhile, data from the Energy Information Administration showed oil inventories surging nearly ten million barrels as refined products inventories moved lower as refinery maintenance season continues.

Beef Industry Long Range Plan Task Force Begins Year-long Process

The Beef Checkoff is undergoing a year-long process to determine direction for the organization over the next five years. The long-range strategic planning process for the beef industry is underway, a process that pulls together key leaders from all over the country representing different sectors of the beef business. Updated every five years, the Beef Industry Long Range Plan is the standard the beef checkoff focuses on as one strategic direction, identifying key areas to advance beef demand. Since 1995, industry leaders have gathered to develop an aligned, comprehensive plan with the goal of increasing consumer demand for beef. The leaders are brought together to study and compile major areas of opportunity for the next five years. The current plan, in place since 2016, focuses on increasing beef demand and growing consumer trust. The newly appointed committee will convene over the next several months and consider all aspects of the industry from production trends, economic factors, foreign markets, consumer trends, and the competitive climate.

USDA Honors 25 Years of Tribal Land-Grant Universities

The Department of Agriculture Monday honored the 25th anniversary of legislation that recognized 29 tribal colleges and universities as land-grant institutions. Signed on October 20, 1994, the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act enabled tribal colleges and universities to receive federal support and train the next generation of agricultural professionals. Mike Beatty, Director of USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement, says, “Tribal colleges and universities draw on the strength of traditions while preparing graduates who can contribute to their communities.” USDA says tribal colleges and universities play a significant role among tribal nations. Today there are 36 federally recognized tribal colleges and universities designated as land-grants. The 1994 institutions are the latest additions to the land-grant university system. The Morrill Act of 1862 created land-grant institutions to give working-class citizens equal access to higher education, focusing on agriculture and mechanical arts. A second Morrill Act of 1890 authorized land-grant institutions for African Americans. 

SOURCE: NAFB News Service