11-14-19 Inside CAWA with Greg Peterson: Upcoming Colorado Ag Water Summit Dec 2-3 in Loveland & more

Inside CAWA with Greg Peterson: Upcoming Colorado Ag Water Summit Dec 2-3 in Loveland & more

(BARN MediaFarmCast Radio – Briggsdale, CO – November 14, 2019 – Joining the CO Ag News Network once again by telephone is Greg Peterson, Executive Director of the Colorado Ag Water Alliance, and CAWA is hosting their 2019 Ag Water Summit in Loveland Dec 2-3 at the Larimer County Fairgrounds at The Ranch…

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11-29-19 USDA Improves Crop Insurance Policies for Sugar Beet Producers

USDA Improves Crop Insurance Policies for Sugar Beet Producers

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 29, 2019 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced changes to crop insurance for sugar beets in 2020. USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) made changes to the policy, which take effect in 2020 for some policies and 2021 for others. These changes better protect sugar beet producers who may experience a bumper crop in future years as well as provide other flexibilities.

“We continually listen to producers and other stakeholders in developing our crop insurance policies, and we make adjustments to these policies when necessary,” said RMA Administrator Martin Barbre. “With these changes, USDA is able to better support sugar beet producers and ensure the early harvest adjustment more accurately matches their current year production.”

Key changes include: Continue reading

11-29-19 The J.R. SIMPLOT COMPANY AGREES TO ACQUIRE PINNACLE AGRICULTURE

The J.R. SIMPLOT COMPANY AGREES TO ACQUIRE PINNACLE AGRICULTURE

The combined complementary footprint of Simplot Grower Solutions and Pinnacle stores will grow to more than 200 locations across North America

BOISE, Idaho (AgPR) November 27, 2019 — The J.R. Simplot Company, a privately held food and agribusiness company headquartered in Boise, Idaho, and Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, a leading agricultural retailer, have announced Simplot’s agreement to acquire all of the interests in Pinnacle Agriculture Enterprises, LLC and its subsidiaries. The acquisition will bring together two market leaders in the distribution of agricultural crop inputs and related services. The target acquisition close date is in early 2020.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Pinnacle employees, customers and partners. By combining our geographic footprint and shared commitment to service, we will better serve customers in some of the most important agricultural communities in the world,” said Doug Stone, President of Simplot’s AgriBusiness Group. “We look forward to bringing together these complementary businesses and continuing to create value for our customers.” Continue reading

USDA – FAS Weekly Export Sales Report for November 29th

USDA FAS - Foreign Agricultural Service header

Weekly Export Sales for November 29th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, November 29th *ONLINE ONLY – BARN IS CLOSED*

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, November 29th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

No Final RFS Rule Friday

Today (Friday) is when historically the Environmental Protection Agency would release it’s final Renewable Fuel Standard proposal. However, thanks to other changes pending in the rule, the EPA said earlier this week that the agency would review comments, and will seek to finish the rule this winter. The comment period for the proposed changes regarding small refinery exemptions closes today (Friday), which effectively puts the final rule on hold until the proposal is finalized. Corn and ethanol groups were busy earlier this week submitting comments to the EPA. Many say the proposal breaks a promise by President Donald Trump to make up for all lost demand created by the exemptions. The industry says more than four billion gallons of demand for biofuels has been lost due to retroactive small refinery exemptions for compliance years 2015 through 2018. National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross of Iowa states, “The proposed rule fails to provide the assurance needed that EPA’s practices for granting waivers will change going forward.”

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Hoeven, Peterson, Meet with Sugar Growers Regarding Assistance

Lawmakers recently met with sugar producers to discuss needed relief efforts after a challenging growing season. North Dakota Senator John Hoeven, a Republican from North Dakota and chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, along with House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat, met with sugar producers earlier this week. They are working with Department of Agriculture undersecretary Bill Northey to secure disaster assistance funding for sugarbeet growers, while urging USDA to avoid any premature actions, including increasing sugar imports. Sugarbeet growers, who were impacted by severe weather, are facing unique circumstances as they work to recover, including the inability to complete harvest and budgeting constraints faced by the cooperative. The current disaster programs do not account for these constraints, which is why Hoeven and Peterson are working with USDA to secure disaster assistance. Hoeven says producers “have faced real challenges this harvest,” while Peterson says, “we’ll continue having conversations to see what can be done to address the concerns.”  

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Committee to Vote on FDA Nominee Next Week

The Senate Health Committee will vote on Stephen Hahn’s nomination to serve as Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration next week. Tuesday, the committee will consider the nomination, among three others. If approved, the nominations would head for the full Senate for a final confirmation vote. During a hearing by the committee examining the nomination, Hahn briefly voiced his support for “clear, transparent, and understandable labeling” for dairy and dairy imitation products. The comments were welcomed by the National Milk Producers Federation, as NMPF CEO Jim Mulhern stated, “It’s heartening to hear” Hahn would “immediately examine this crucial unfinished business.” NMPF and others are seeking a labeling system that prohibits plant-based dairy imitators from using dairy marketing terms. Rules already do so, but FDA has not enforced them. Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee, called Hahn an “impressive choice” to lead the FDA. Ranking member Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington, demanded Hahn commit to putting science, data and families first.

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Deere Reports 2019 Sales Increase

Deere & Company reports worldwide net sales and revenues increased five percent in both the fourth quarter and full year of 2019 to $9.8 billion and $39.2 billion. Deere reported fourth-quarter net income of $722 million, compared with net income of $785 million, in 2018. Agriculture and Turf sales increased for the quarter and full year of 2019 due to price realization and higher shipment volumes, partially offset by the unfavorable effects of currency translation. However, operating profit decreased for the quarter and year. Deere CEO John May says the performance “reflected continued uncertainties in the agricultural sector,” adding “trade tensions coupled with a year of difficult growing and harvesting conditions have caused many farmers to become cautious about making major investments in new equipment.” Deere’s worldwide sales of agriculture and turf equipment are forecast to decline between five and ten percent for fiscal-year 2020. Industry sales of agricultural equipment in the U.S. and Canada are forecast to be down about five percent, driven by lower demand for large equipment.

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Online Cheese Sales Set to Surpass Half a Billion Dollars in 2020

Online cheese sales are experiencing major growth. By the end of 2019, data shows that e-commerce sales will surge past $440 million. The 54 percent annual growth in online sales over the past four years signals that shoppers are embracing the convenience and variety available when ordering cheese online. Suzanne Fanning, Senior Vice President at Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, says, “Consumer research shows that cheese aligns with on-trend food preferences because it is packed with protein and good fat.” With the holidays being the peak shopping season for cheese, it is poised to be one of the hottest gifts this holiday season. The organization is encouraging consumers to buy Wisconsin cheese. A list of holiday gift baskets is available on the organization’s website. The collection includes twelve unique gift baskets that offer a variety of cheeses from top specialty retailers. Get free shipping nationwide on the entire collection from Black Friday to Cyber Monday at WisconsinCheese.com/gift-basket.

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USDA ERS: Potatoes Top U.S. Vegetable Consumption

Potatoes rank number one among vegetables in terms of consumption, according to Department of Agriculture data. USDA’s Economic Research Service says that in 2017, 49.2 pounds of fresh and processed potatoes per person were available for Americans to eat after adjusting for losses. The loss-adjusted food availability data series takes per capita supplies of food available for human consumption and more closely approximates actual consumption by adjusting for some of the spoilage, plate waste, and other losses in restaurants and grocery stores, as well as at home. Loss-adjusted availability of fresh potatoes was 22.9 pounds per person in 2017, followed by frozen potatoes at 20.5 pounds per person, while canned and dehydrated potatoes, along with potato chips and shoestrings, totaled 5.9 pounds per person in 2017. Tomatoes came in second. While loss-adjusted canned tomato availability, at 16.1 pounds, leads fresh tomatoes, total tomato loss-adjusted availability, fresh and canned, came in second, at 28.7 pounds per person. Onions, lettuce, carrots and sweet corn finish the list of America’s top seven vegetable choices.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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11-27-19 USDA-RMA: USDA Improves Crop Insurance Policies for Coarse Grains Producers

USDA-RMA: USDA Improves Crop Insurance Policies for Coarse Grains Producers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – November 27, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced changes to crop insurance for coarse grains in 2020. USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) made changes to the policy, which take effect in 2020. The changes allow producers more flexibility to choose enterprise units (EU) or optional units (OU) by Following Another Crop (FAC) or Not Following Another Crop (NFAC) cropping practice in select grain sorghum and soybean counties.

“We continually listen to producers and other stakeholders in developing our crop insurance policies, and we make adjustments to these policies when necessary,” said RMA Administrator Martin Barbre. “With these changes, we believe grain sorghum and soybean producers will have more flexibility.”

These changes are important because they: Continue reading

11-27-19 Giving Thanks For American Farmers and Ranchers, a Thanksgiving Message from RMFU President Dr. Dale McCall

Giving Thanks For American Farmers and Ranchers

Thanksgiving Message from Dr. Dale McCall, President of RMFU

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It is an American holiday, one that celebrates family and food. And, of course, our blessings.

We can be grateful we live in a land of plenty when it comes to food. We like to say we have the most abundant, affordable, and secure supply of food anywhere in the world. We do. Thanksgiving literally brings this home. Consider what is typically on the menu: turkey, gravy, potatoes, cranberries, bread, butter, stuffing, corn, apple pie… we sit down to a smorgasbord of choices. A seemingly endless supply of seconds will follow. Continue reading

11-26-19 Inside The BARN w/Mary Kraft of Badger Creek Farm & Quail Ridge Dairy and a member of DairyMAX…

Inside The BARN w/Mary Kraft of Badger Creek Farm & Quail Ridge Dairy and a member of DairyMAX…

The BARN – Briggsdale, CO – November 26, 2019 – Every year a group of 50-plus stakeholders from the health and wellness community are invited to the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio, Texas, to hear the latest dairy nutrition research from industry experts. This year’s sessions in September, covered topics about strengthening sustainable food systems, dairy’s role in preventing hunger, and more. In between science presentations, the Symposium had hands-on culinary demonstrations featuring dairy foods to help bring it all to life.

Mary Kraft, a fourth-generation dairy farmer from Fort Morgan, CO, who fulfilled that role by attending the 5th annual #Dairy Amazing Symposium hosted by Dairy MAX. Mary Joins the Colorado Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio at this time to recap her presentation titled, “Healthy Cows, Healthy People, Healthy Planet,” which gave the audience a closer look into the sustainable practices that occur on her family owned and operated dairy operations, Badger Creek Farm and Quail Ridge Dairy. 6k cows

Mary…welcome back inside the BARN…first, for those that aren’t familiar with your background and your family’s operations in NE CO…

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11-27-19 Inside The BARN with Former CO Ag Commissioner Dr. John Stulp…

Inside The BARN with Former CO Ag Commissioner Dr. John Stulp…

111th RMFU Convention interview; Upcoming Energy Smart Agriculture Energy Workshops Dec 10-11-12, Water Policy & CAWA’s Ag Water Summit Dec 2-3

The BARN Briggsdale, CO – November 27, 2019The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) and the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) will host a series of energy smart agriculture workshops Dec 10-11-12 at various locations to detail energy savings and climate resiliency opportunities for farmers and ranchers. Joining the CO Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio to discuss those and more is former Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture & former special policy advisor to the Governor, Dr John Stulp.

Topics included within the interview:

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11-27-19 CDA-CO Proud: Celebrate this holiday season with Colorado products

CDA-CO Proud: Celebrate this holiday season with Colorado products
BROOMFIELD, CO- November 27, 2019 – Colorado food artisans create a variety of sweet and savory treats to tempt any palate. These products are available year-round and make great gifts for the holidays. Many Colorado farmers are extending their growing seasons, and farmers’ markets are moving indoors for the fall and winter.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Winter Farmers’ Market List provides information about markets statewide. Additional online resources include the Colorado Food and Agriculture Gift Guide and Colorado Christmas Tree List, which help connect holiday shoppers with local producers.

“Small Business Saturday is November 30 this year,” said Wendy White, marketing specialist for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “Colorado has such a wide variety of products available every season of the year, and the holidays are the perfect time to celebrate local.” 

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11-27-19 CCTA awarded $1.6 million to support soil health in the High Plains

CCTA awarded $1.6 million to support soil health in the High Plains

KIT CARSON, Colo. – Nov. 26, 2019 – The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service announced Tuesday that the Colorado Conservation Tillage Association will be awarded more than $1.6 million through the On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials Soil Health Demonstrations, a new component of the Conservation Innovation Grants authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill.
One of nine entities selected nationally to participate as part of the Soil Health Demonstration Trials, CCTA will implement a project titled “FARMS: Farmers Advancing Regenerative Management Systems” over the next three years in Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska. The project will support producers in the High Plains by providing incentive payments to create and implement Comprehensive Soil Health Management Plans, facilitating a farmer-to-farmer mentoring program, and conducting a thorough evaluation of soil health, nutrient density, economic factors, and social outcomes on participating farms.
“We are very honored to receive this grant award,” said CCTA President Michael Thompson. “It is exciting to work on a project that will help farmers and ranchers improve their production practices and soil health in the High Plains.”

11-27-19 Colorado Farm Bureau’s 2020 Policy Priorities Set

Colorado Farm Bureau’s 2020 Policy Priorities Set

Every year, the Board of Directors meets after Annual Meeting to discuss what the upcoming policy priorities should be. While nothing changed significantly this year, the new policy priorities reflect changing rhetoric in the legislature and new bills and initiatives in Washington, D.C.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, November 27th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, November 27th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

2019 Trade Aid May Violate WTO Commitments

A recent independent report suggests U.S. trade aid in 2019 for farmers may surpass limits set in World Trade Organization commitments. The report for the American Enterprise Institute by Joe Glauber, a former Department of Agriculture Chief Economist, suggests the size of payments made to producers in 2019 may encourage other WTO members to challenge the payments. Glauber writes, a long-term concern is “how trade compensation comports with U.S. obligations in the WTO and, more generally, how it will affect future U.S. efforts to seek further reforms in the WTO.” President Donald Trump and his administration have approved the payments, roughly $28 billion, to offset any harm by other countries retaliating against the Trump trade agenda. Glauber says current WTO rules require that annual U.S. domestic supports that distort trade flows not exceed a maximum of $19.1 billion. Since the WTO disciplines went into effect in 1995, United States levels of support have remained in that annual limit.

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NPPC: Improved Pork Trade with China can Lower Trade Deficit

Securing zero-tariff access to China for U.S. pork would be an economic boon for American agriculture, according to the National Pork Producers Council. Based on an analysis by Iowa State University Economist Dermot (Der-Muht) Hayes, NPPC says unrestricted access to the Chinese chilled and frozen market would reduce the overall trade deficit with China by nearly six percent, and generate 184,000 new U.S. jobs in the next decade. NPPC Tuesday launched a digital campaign to spotlight the importance of opening the Chinese market to U.S. pork as trade negotiations continue. According to Dr. Hayes’ analysis, U.S. pork would generate $24.5 billion in sales if U.S. pork gained unrestricted access to the world’s largest pork-producing nation over ten years. NPPC President David Herring says the analysis shows, “The U.S. pork industry is missing out on an unprecedented sales opportunity in China when it most needs an affordable, safe and reliable supply of its favored protein.”

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Canada Rail Strike Prompts Potash Mine Shutdown

Nutrien Ag Solutions says it will be forced to curtail production at its largest potash mine in Canada due to the CN rail strike. Employees were sent notices this week, indicating the mine will be shut down for two weeks starting on December 2. The company says, “It is extremely disappointing that in a year when the agricultural sector has been severely impacted by poor weather and trade disputes, the CN strike will add further hardship to the Canadian agriculture industry.” Nutrien is the world’s largest provider of crop inputs and services, producing and distributing 27 million metric tons of potash, nitrogen and phosphate products worldwide. More than 3,000 CN rail employees are on strike, impacting agricultural shipments of grains, fertilizers and even propane for grain drying. A Fertilizer Canada official says an estimated $200 million to $300 million worth of fertilizer shipments will be impacted by the strike, calling on workers and the company to “find common ground” on labor disputes.

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Organic Valley Unaffected by Dean Foods Bankruptcy

When Dean Foods filed for bankruptcy this month, questions surfaced regarding the status of partnerships with the company and the health of the dairy industry. However, Organic Valley, a Wisconsin-based organic cooperative, says it’s Organic Valley Fresh LLC joint venture, which represents a small fraction of its milk processing and distribution, falls outside of the Dean Foods filing. The cooperative says its members are “disheartened by Dean Foods’ bankruptcy as it represents the many challenges dairy farmers face in getting their products to market.” Organic Valley officials say the cooperative remains strong and innovations have bolstered the business overall. Dean Foods this month announced the chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, adding the company was in advanced talks with Dairy Farmers of America regarding a potential sale. The National Milk Producers Federation says Dean’s bankruptcy is creating uncertainty for some producers, but “seen from another angle, it’s just another disruption this sector will be able to withstand,” due to the strength of cooperatives and their dairy farmer-owners.

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Ag Innovation Necessary to Address Climate Change

The American Seed Trade Association says agriculture innovation will help combat and mitigate the impacts of climate change. In comments submitted to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, ASTA says, “The development and commercialization of innovative plant products is already playing a significant role in helping U.S. agriculture reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For U.S. agriculture to maximize its potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration, several things are needed, according to ASTA, including additional private and public sector investment in agriculture research. The organization says agriculture also needs rational government policies regarding evolving innovation in the agriculture space, and  programs that incentivize farmers to adopt conservation practices. The comments note plant breeders are helping through developing better and higher-yielding crop varieties. ASTA says, “It’s critical we continue moving forward, through robust investment in agriculture research and development, to drive forward the next generation of innovative solutions to meet the new and emerging challenges of tomorrow.”

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USDA Announces Broadband Investments in Wyoming, Kansas

The Department of Agriculture this week announced two more investments as part of its new rural broadband effort. Natural Resources Conservation Service chief Matthew Lohr announced the $5.2 million investment for broadband infrastructure in Kansas as part of the Reconnect Pilot Program, while USDA also announced a $4.79 million investment in Wyoming. In Kansas, Wave Wireless, LLC will use the funding to deploy a fiber broadband network servicing more than 1,300 households. In Wyoming, the funds will improve and create broadband connections in the county of Sweetwater, benefiting roughly 320 homes. USDA received 146 applications this year requesting $1.4 billion in funding through the ReConnect Program. The funds enable the federal government to partner with the private sector and rural communities to build modern broadband infrastructure in areas with insufficient Internet service. Insufficient service is defined as connection speeds of less than ten Megabit download and one Megabit per second upload speeds. Additional investments will be made in the coming weeks.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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11-26-19 CAB: New book release benefits ranchers

CAB: New book release benefits ranchers

Signature coffee table book spotlights ranchers, launches Rural Relief Fund

By Nicole Erceg

“Every time I see an ambulance go by, I stop and say a prayer because odds are, I know the person riding inside,” says Adam Jones, rancher near St. Francis, Kansas.

It’s a sentiment many in Rural America share, where neighbors may not be just around the corner, but the bond of community is thick. His family ranch, Crooked Creek Angus, is one of 40 stories included in the new coffee table book Sheltering Generations — The American Barn.

The book features stories of beef producers in more than 20 different states, cataloging ranch life, rural community and the role of barns in our landscape.

Produced by Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB), each family featured in the book has one thing in common: they all have the brand logo painted on their barns. In 2018, in a throwback to “old school” marketing, the brand painted 40 barns to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

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11-26-19 USDA Announces Awards to Put Conservation Innovation to Work on U.S. Farms

USDA Announces Awards to Put Conservation Innovation to Work on U.S. Farms

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 26, 2019 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is awarding more than $24 million in grants designed to help partners implement and evaluate innovative approaches that have demonstrated conservation benefits on farmland.

The funding is provided through On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials (On-Farm Trials), a new component of the Conservation Innovation Grants first authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill.

“The Conservation Innovation Grants program is funding the future of conservation and agriculture,” said NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr. “These On-Farm Trials will allow us to put the latest innovations in conservation to work on the land, while providing new data to show producers across the nation what these systems and practices can do for the health of their operations and our natural resources.” Continue reading

11-26-19 Dairy MAX Revitalizes Digital Presence With Launch of Updated Websites

Dairy MAX Revitalizes Digital Presence With Launch of Updated Websites

Regional dairy council strengthens stakeholder and consumer connection to dairy with interactive sites  

Leading regional dairy council Dairy MAX recently launched its two redesigned websites, DairyMAX.org and DairyDiscoveryZone.com, to invigorate target audiences’ knowledge of dairy and support dairy sales. With the utmost focus on user experience and impact, Dairy MAX designed the sites to inspire, educate and engage visitors – from stakeholders to dairy advocates and everyone in between.

“Now, more than ever, is the time to share the dairy story with our audiences,” said Elizabeth Hurst, director of corporate communications. “Our new websites will help us more effectively connect with stakeholders and consumers by providing dairy information tailored to their needs and content that resonates with their lifestyles.” Continue reading

11-26-19 CO Farm Bureau, the State’s Largest Agriculture Organization Elects New Leaders to Board of Directors

CO Farm Bureau, the State’s Largest Agriculture Organization Elects New Leaders to Board of Directors

DENVER – NOVEMBER 26, 2019 – Five individuals were elected to the Colorado Farm Bureau Board of Directors during the organization’s 100th Annual Meeting on Nov. 23 in Denver. Connie Hass of Trinidad, Colo. and Chad Musick of Longmont, Colo. were re-elected to serve another two-year term. New to the board are Zandon Bray of Redvale, Colo., Jason Vermillion of Matheson, Colo. and James Henderson of La Jara, Colo.

Both Henderson and Vermillion are graduates of CFB’s Elite Leadership Academy, a program that trains and develops future industry and Farm Bureau leaders. Bray has served as President of Montrose/Ouray/San Miguel Farm Bureau for several years.

“For 100 years, the Colorado Farm Bureau has existed to promote and protect the future of agriculture and rural communities,” says Chad Vorthmann, Executive Vice President of the organization. “The Board of Directors represents over 22,000 members growing every type of crop and livestock throughout the state. They ensure agriculture’s success by guiding the organization through its efforts in advocacy, leadership development and education.” Continue reading

11-26-19 ACE urges EPA to get RFS back on track

ACE urges EPA to get RFS back on track

Sioux Falls, SD – The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) submitted comments today to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its proposed supplemental rulemaking to the 2020 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

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