10-23-19 Inside the CO FFA Foundation with Executive Director Don Thorn

Inside the CO FFA Foundation with Executive Director Don Thorn

Blue Jacket Society Banquet Recap, Upcoming NWSS-CO FFA Meat & Greet, 2020 NWSS, 2020 CO Farm Show, 2020 Governor’s Ag Forum, 2020 Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame Inductees & MORE!

(The BARN & FarmCast Radio – Briggsdale, CO) October 23, 2019 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN is Don Thorn, Executive Director of the Colorado FFA Foundation with an update about all things bluee & gold here in the state including:


The Colorado FFA Foundation is a non-profit organization that raises funds to support the more than 7,000 FFA members in Colorado’s 112 chapters. FFA is a national organization of 610,240 members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture.

Learn more about the Colorado FFA Foundation – CLICK HERE

Learn more about the Colorado FFA Association – CLICK HERE

10-23-19 Gardner, Bennet, Bipartisan Senators Introduce Bill to Incentivize Renewable Energy, Localize Benefits

Gardner, Bennet, Bipartisan Senators Introduce Bill to Incentivize Renewable Energy, Localize Benefits

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Colorado Senators Cory Gardner (R) and Michael Bennet (D), along with Senators Martha McSally (R-AZ), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tom Udall (D-NM), Steve Daines (R-MT), Jon Tester (D-MT), and James Risch (R-ID) introduced bipartisan legislation yesterday to incentivize responsible renewable energy development on public lands and allow local communities to reap the economic benefits.

The Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act (PLREDA) of 2019 would streamline the permitting process for renewable energy development on public lands and establish a revenue sharing mechanism to ensure local communities receive a percentage of the revenue created by these projects.

“Geothermal, solar, and wind energy are all critical in an all-of-the-above energy solution that keeps costs low and our nation’s energy supply secure,” said Senator Gardner. “The Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act streamlines the permitting process for renewable energy projects to be developed on public lands. By focusing on responsibly developing renewable energy, we have an opportunity to make a better life for all Americans.”

“Leasing public lands for clean energy development is important to a comprehensive, long-term approach to meet our nation’s energy needs,” said Senator Bennet. “This bill is a common-sense approach that will put renewables on a level playing field with other forms of energy, while supporting local economies and future conservation efforts.”

Specifically, PLREDA would: Continue reading

10-23-19 Joint Statement by the Dairy Sectors of the United States and Mexico on their Fourth Annual Meeting

Joint Statement by the Dairy Sectors of the United States and Mexico on their Fourth Annual Meeting

ARLINGTON, VA – The representatives of the organizations of milk producers and the dairy processors of Mexico:
  • Asociación Nacional de Ganaderos Lecheros (ANGLAC)
  • Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas (CNOG)
  • Gremio de Productores Lecheros de la Republica Mexicana
  • Cámara Nacional de Industriales de la Leche (CANILEC)
And the representatives of the organizations of milk producers of the Unites States:
  • National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF)
  • U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC)
The dairy industries of Mexico and the Unites States are proud to be among the world’s leading providers of wholesome and nutritious dairy products. We help feed communities around the globe while driving economic growth and bringing myriad positive benefits to each of our respective nations.

Continue reading

10-23-19 CO Governor Polis Signs Shared Stewardship Memorandum of Understanding with USDA and DNR

CO Governor Polis Signs Shared Stewardship Memorandum of Understanding with USDA and DNR

DENVER – Gov. Polis and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)  signed a Shared Stewardship Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the state capitol. This agreement establishes a framework for federal and state agencies to collaborate better, focus on accomplishing mutual goals, and respond to ecological, natural resource, and recreational challenges and concerns for our 24 million acres of forest lands in Colorado.

“This agreement reflects my administration’s commitment to protecting natural resources and increasing access for all Coloradans to our public lands,” said Gov. Polis. “Our partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service recognizes the need for our state, the federal government and private landowners to work together for the mutual benefit of Colorado’s ecosystems, forest health, and local communities. Together, we can work to protect and preserve the places we all love.”

Under the agreement, the State of Colorado and USDA Forest Service will focus on priority, landscape-scale forest and grassland restoration activities that protect at-risk communities and watersheds across all lands.

“We recognize that Colorado’s natural resources are threatened, and the challenges before us require a shared approach,” said Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Jim Hubbard. “Shared Stewardship is about setting cross-boundary priorities together to achieve landscape-scale outcomes. The Shared Stewardship Agreement reinvigorates a long-standing partnership between the USDA Forest Service and the State of Colorado.”

Continue reading

10-23-19 U.S. Senator Bennet, Bipartisan Colleagues Urge USDA to Prioritize Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement

U.S. Senator Bennet, Bipartisan Colleagues Urge USDA to Prioritize Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and a bipartisan group of senators in urging U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to prioritize enrollment and implementation of the State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) initiative within the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

“We are concerned that the decision to limit the practices and associated cost-share incentives available in recent continuous sign-ups, and excluding wildlife practices like SAFE, will decrease landowner interest in CRP and the effectiveness of the program,” the senators wrote. “The statutory purpose of CRP is to ‘conserve and improve the soil, water, and wildlife resources’ of enrolled land and ‘address issues raised by state, regional, and national conservation initiatives.’ The land enrolled through SAFE serves as an example of how USDA, landowners, and other partners can work together to address all three resource concerns on the same acre of enrolled land.” Continue reading

10-23-19 Joint Statement From the U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy And the Renewable Fuels Association On Brazil’s Ethanol Tariff Rate Quota

Joint Statement From the U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy And the Renewable Fuels Association On Brazil’s Ethanol Tariff Rate Quota

The U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy, and the Renewable Fuels Association expressed their disappointment with the news that the Brazilian government amended the recent August 31st rule that raised the quota on U.S. ethanol imports under the tariff rate quote (TRQ) from 600 million liters per year to nearly 750 million liters per year. The TRQ regulates the threshold of ethanol that can be imported into Brazil without triggering a 20 percent tariff.

This is a step backwards in Brazilian government claims that it is an advocate of free markets. Growth Energy, U.S. Grains Council, and Renewable Fuels Association released the following statement: Continue reading

10-23-19 CAB: Beef grading from yesterday to tomorrow

CAB: Beef grading from yesterday to tomorrow

Precision drives predictability

By Natalie Jones

When you enjoy a great steak, it’s largely because of those little flecks of intramuscular fat (IMF).

“Marbling is like butter in the pan of potatoes,” said Dale Woerner, Texas Tech meat scientist addressing the recent Feeding Quality Forum in Amarillo. “The more marbling in the beef, the more flavor and performance we get.”

He reviewed the history of USDA beef grades, Prime, Choice, Select and Standard, wherein a combination of marbling and maturity determine quality grade. The measure of maturity has evolved from a study of chine bone ossification to dentition in 2017, with somewhat greater accuracy in the prediction of eating quality.

The U.S produced a fair amount of Choice and Prime 50 years ago but in the 1990s, dietary consensus may have moved demand toward leaner beef.

“Fortunately for all of us, the times have changed,” Woerner said. We have research that supports fat as part of a healthy diet and consumers demanding high-quality beef. So what we have seen in the last 20 to 25 years is a rebound of grade because of increased emphasis on genetics, Angus genetics perhaps.”

That started in 1978 when the Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB®) brand “came in and changed the game” in the establishment of premium Choice.

“Today, the most progressive producers aren’t talking about percent Choice. They are focused on CAB and talk about the percent of cattle in premium Choice and Prime,” he said. Continue reading

10-23-19 USDA Extends Deadline for Producers to Enroll in Conservation Stewardship Program Grassland Conservation Initiative

USDA Extends Deadline for Producers to Enroll in Conservation Stewardship Program Grassland Conservation Initiative

WASHINGTON, October 23, 2019 – USDA is extending the deadline to November 8, 2019, for eligible agriculture producers to enroll in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Grassland Conservation Initiative, which was created by the 2018 Farm Bill. The original deadline was October 25, 2019. This program is available to producers with base acreage that has been in grass or grasslands over a nine-year period, rather than planted with commodity crops. Continue reading

10-23-19 Coalition Challenges EPA on 2018 Refinery Waivers

Coalition Challenges EPA on 2018 Refinery Waivers

Sioux Falls, SD – A coalition of renewable fuel and agricultural trade organizations filed a petition Tuesday afternoon with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, challenging the process by which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exempted certain unknown small refineries from their respective Renewable Fuel Standard obligations for 2018. The coalition includes the American Coalition for Ethanol, Growth Energy, National Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and Renewable Fuels Association.

Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, October 23rd

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, October 23rd

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

EPA Finalizes Rule to Repeal WOTUS

The Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday published the final rule repealing the Waters of the U.S. rule. The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers effort repeals and returns the law to provisions in place prior to 2015. The new rule will go into effect on December 23, 2019. However, legal challenges are expected from environmental groups. First announced in September, the American Farm Bureau Federation at the time called the rule a victory for farmers and ranchers. The EPA attributed the repeal to four factors. First, the agency says the 2015 rule did not implement the legal limits on the scope of the agency authority under the Clean Water Act as intended by Congress. EPA also says the Obama-era rulemaking failed to adequately consider states’ rights. The repeal is an effort by the EPA to avoid interpretations of the Clean Water Act that “push the envelope of their constitutional and statutory authority.” Lastly, the EPA and Army Corps conclude that the 2015 Rule’s distance-based limitations suffered from “certain procedural errors” and a lack of adequate record support.

EPA’s Wheeler: Response to RFS Proposal a “Knee Jerk” Reaction

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler this week downplayed criticism towards the EPA’s small refinery exemptions proposal. Wheeler told reporters, “I think a lot of people who had a knee jerk reaction” because the rule “wasn’t exactly what they were expecting,” according to Politico. Wheeler, along with President Donald Trump, this week reiterated that the proposal would get the Renewable Fuel Standard to the 15 billion gallons of ethanol, as per requirements of the law. President Trump claimed during a Cabinet meeting Monday the rule was “fully approved,” while Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue suggested agriculture was confused about the new rule. Perdue stated, “Once they fully understand what you’ve done here, they’ll be fine as they see it implemented.” The ethanol industry called the rule a “bait and switch” attempt to avoid fixing demand problems created by an excess of small refinery waivers issued by the Trump administration. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says the proposal “will do nothing to bring back the ethanol plants that have shut down.”

USDA Announces More Rural Broadband Investments

The Department of Agriculture Tuesday announced investments into a $9.7 million high-speed broadband project in South Carolina. The project will create or improve rural connectivity for 3,900 rural households in the state, and is part of the USDA ReConnect Pilot Program. USDA last Friday announced the first investment in the program, funding a $2.8 million infrastructure project in Tennessee to improve broadband access for nearly 350 households. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says of the program, “We know that rural communities need robust, modern infrastructure to thrive, and that includes having access to broadband e-Connectivity.” In March 2018, Congress provided $600 million to USDA to expand broadband infrastructure and services in rural America. Secretary Perdue announced the program in December 2018, called “ReConnect,” to help build broadband infrastructure in rural America. USDA received 146 applications this summer, requesting $1.4 billion in funding across all three ReConnect Program funding products: 100 percent loan, 100 percent grant, and loan-grant combinations.

NCBA Applauds Livestock Risk Management and Education Act

The cattle industry welcomed legislation introduced this week that would provide grants to certain state land-grant universities to better equip livestock producers with risk management training. South Dakota Republican Representative Dusty Johnson this week introduced the Livestock Risk Management and Education Act in the House of Representatives. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says the bill “speaks directly to our core values as an industry,” adding the legislation gives producers the latest farm management resources and tools to help them navigate dynamic markets. NCBA announced support for the bill following its introduction. The legislation would authorize the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to provide resources to improve livestock producers’ knowledge of futures markets, and to help them better manage market volatility. Representative Johnson says an understanding of futures contracts and risk management strategies will allow producers to better anticipate cattle prices. Republican Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Frank Lucas of Oklahoma joined Johnson in introducing the bill.

Legislation Introduced to Help Support Rural Hospitals

New legislation in the Senate would support rural health care providers to deliver high-quality care. Introduced by Kansas Republican Pat Roberts and Nevada Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto. the Rural ACO Improvement Act would fix a glitch in the program, according to the lawmakers. The legislation would change the accountable care organizations, or ACO, reimbursement formula which inadvertently punishes rural health care providers when they reduce costs. The bill would put rural providers on a level playing field with their urban counterparts and ensure that all providers are rewarded equally for their work to deliver value in health care. ACOs are made up of groups of health care providers that share responsibility for providing coordinated care to patients to improve health care quality and reduce unnecessary spending. When ACO providers work together to improve care and lower costs below what Medicare expected to spend, Medicare saves money. The health care providers in ACOs are then able to receive a share of those savings.

USDA Publishes Pumpkin Production

With Halloween approaching, many consumers are searching for the nearest pumpkin patch. Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture just updated pumpkin production data, showing production is widely dispersed throughout the United States. All U.S. states produce some pumpkins, but according to the 2017 U.S. Census of Agriculture, about 62 percent of pumpkin acres were grown in only ten States. Illinois is consistently the nation’s largest producer of pumpkins, the majority of which are used for pies and other processed foods. Pumpkin production from the other states surveyed annually by USDA is primarily destined for decorative, or carving, use. While 2019 production has not yet been surveyed, early feedback indicates an average year for Illinois and California with a healthy crop. Retail prices for pumpkins typically fluctuate from week to week leading up to Halloween. At the end of the first week of October, average retail price for jack-o-lantern style pumpkins was $3.42 per pumpkin compared to $3.32 for the same week in 2018.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service