11-01-19 Secretary Perdue Announces OneUSDA Internship Program for Summer 2020

Secretary Perdue Announces OneUSDA Internship Program for Summer 2020

Washington, D.C., November 1, 2019 – Today, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the “OneUSDA Internship” opportunity for Summer 2020. As part of the Federal Pathways Program, the OneUSDA Internship Program will provide students a way to explore serving their country through a career in government while gaining work experience in agriculture, natural resources, rural development, and other career fields.
“Our goal at USDA is to recruit the best and retain the best through our OneUSDA Internship Program offered nationwide,” said Secretary Perdue. “Today’s young people are the future of America and there are few things more American than agriculture. We’re aiming to find young talent, with a diverse background, across all 50 states, to begin their careers as interns with USDA.”
The OneUSDA Internship Program offers Federal opportunities to students currently enrolled in qualifying educational programs or institutions, with a comprehensive developmental program intended to provide students with experience in a dynamic work environment that will enhance their educational goals and shape their career choices. An internship with USDA will involve various components of on-the-job experience, mentorship, and training tailored to the student’s education, experience, and interests.
During 2019, USDA was proud to host thousands of interns throughout the country, many of which were through the Federal Pathways Program. In the Summer of 2020, USDA will hire Pathways Interns in hundreds of locations in nearly every state in the country for the following occupational fields:

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11-01-19 Colorado Governor Polis Submits Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2020-21

Colorado Governor Polis Submits Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2020-21

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis today submitted his budget proposal to the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) of the General Assembly.

“Our bold budget builds upon our bipartisan achievements and the vision we have for our amazing state. It is critical that we continue to succeed and are prepared for the future. Investing in education, working to lower the cost of health care, making our transportation dollars stretch and ensuring everyone has access to opportunity is the focus of my administration,”  said Governor Polis.

The Governor’s letter to the JBC highlights priorities including: Continue reading

11-01-19 USDA Partners with Y-W Electric to Invest in Rural Electric Infrastructure Improvements

USDA Partners with Y-W Electric to Invest in Rural Electric Infrastructure Improvements

DENVER, CO, Nov 1, 2019 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Sallie Clark today highlighted a $45.6 million investment to Y-W Electric in Akron, CO to improve rural electric infrastructure. 

Y-W Electric is a member-owned electric distribution borrower that will utilize loan funding to connect 365 customers, and build and improve 164 miles of line, including 18 miles of transmission line. This loan includes more than $4 million for smart grid technologies that use digital communications technology to detect and react to local changes in electricity usage.

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11-01-19 CDA: Colorado State Fair releases 2019 final attendance and revenue numbers

CDA: Colorado State Fair releases 2019 final attendance and revenue numbers

Pueblo, Colo. – The Colorado State Fair today released a final tally of 2019 attendance and revenue numbers, detailing increases in both over last year’s State Fair. Visitors to the State Fair increased by roughly five percent, with total attendance recorded at 466,380. Fiesta Day attendance alone was 66,630 – the largest it’s been in over a decade.

Revenue reports for the 2019 Colorado State Fair: Continue reading

11-01-19 Inside the CACD with President Scott Jones…

Inside the CACD President Scott Jones…

(The BARN / FarmCast Radio – Briggsdale, CO) November 1, 2019 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio here inside The BARN is Scott Jones, President of the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts and we’ll be discussing several topics including the 2019 CACD Annual Conference in Colorado Springs on Nov 18-19-20…

103119_CACD-ScottJones_14m Continue reading

11-01-19 Dairy MAX: Bringing Dairy Farming to Fairgoers

Dairy MAX: Bringing Dairy Farming to Fairgoers

Dairy Discovery Zone expands dairy’s reach while building positive influence, trust and transparency

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – When state fairs first began, most fairgoers were directly connected to agriculture. Today, the opposite is true. Dairy MAX is stepping in and connecting fairgoers to dairy farming through their traveling interactive dairy exhibit, Dairy Discovery Zone.

“We were looking for a way to connect directly with consumers who are now three and four generations removed from the farm,” says Kaci Creel, Dairy MAX’s vice president of communications. “Having the Dairy Discovery Zone at fairs and stock shows across our region allows us to help tell the story of what happens on a farm, how dairy farmers care and the process milk goes through to get dairy foods from the farm to homes and tables throughout the world.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, November 1st

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, November 1st

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Cancelation of APEC Meeting Doesn’t Change China Trade Talks

Chile’s cancellation of the November APEC summit shouldn’t change the outlook for trade talks with China. Planned for November 16 and 17, Chile canceled the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit to focus on restoring law and order in the country, according to Reuters. President Donald Trump and Chinse President Xi Jinping (Shee Jihn’-ping) were set to sign a so-called phase one agreement along the sidelines of the event. However, President Trump Thursday said China and the U.S. were working on selecting a new site for signing the agreement, add the new location would be announced soon. A Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson downplayed any concern, adding the U.S. and China remain in constant communication in working towards signing the agreement. Trump says the phase one agreement includes roughly 60 percent of the total deal sought by the United States. The agreement also covers $40-50 billion of U.S. agricultural exports to China over the next two years.

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Farm Bankruptcies up 24 Percent Since Trade War Start

Farm bankruptcies are at the highest level seen since 2011. Data compiled by the American Farm Bureau Federation shows farm bankruptcies surged 24 percent since the trade with China began. For the 12-month period ending September 2019, Chapter 12 farm bankruptcies totaled 580 filings, the highest level since 676 filings in 2011. AFBF Chief Economist John Newton points out that bankruptcy filings over the last 12 months were the highest in Wisconsin at 48 filings, followed by 37 filings in Georgia, Nebraska and Kansas. Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia all experienced Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings at or above 10-year highs. USDA currently projects farm income in 2019 to reach $88 billion, the highest net farm income since 2014’s $92 billion, but still 29 percent below 2013’s record high. Nearly 40 percent of that income, roughly $33 billion, is related to trade and disaster assistance, along with crop insurance programs.

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South Dakota Senators Introduce Beef Integrity Act

Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune this week took steps to keep beef born, raised and slaughtered in foreign countries from receiving a “Product of the U.S.A.” label. The South Dakota republicans say the U.S. Beef Integrity Act would make certain that the “Product of the U.S.A.” label only goes to beef and beef products exclusively derived from animals born, raised and slaughtered in the United States. Currently, the Food Safety and Inspection Service does not require that beef be born, raised and slaughtered in the U.S. in order to carry a “Product of the U.S.A.” label. The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association says the legislation would “immediately close the loophole,” and allow for a continued push towards establishing of a country-of-origin labeling program. However, the National Cattlemen’s Association says, “In general, NCBA members are opposed to requesting additional government regulation on our industry.” The organization recently formed a working group to gather information regarding labeling practices to “fully understand the scope of the issue” and seek solutions.

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USDA Announces NIFA, ERS, Office Location in Kansas City

The Department of Agriculture this week announced the signing of a lease for office space in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. 805 Pennsylvania Avenue will be home to the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and the Economic Research Service. The lease is part of USDA’s effort to move the two agencies out of the Washington, D.C., area, for alleged cost savings and to put the agencies closer to their customers. The criticized effort moves roughly 600 jobs to Kansas City, with several job openings as many USDA employees of the two agencies opted to seek employment elsewhere, rather than relocate. The Kansas City metro, split by the Kansas-Missouri border, has faced an economic border war for years. While the two states have worked towards a so-called truce regarding economic incentives to lure employers, Kansas City and Port KC, a political subdivision of the State of Missouri, offered $26 million worth of incentives to support the relocation. Missouri Governor Mike Parson says the USDA location will “benefit both Missouri and Kansas for years to come.”

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Women in Ag Survey Reveals Business Acumen and Leadership

Women are active advocates for agriculture and successful business owners interested in filling leadership roles, according to a new Farm Bureau survey. A majority of those surveyed, 91 percent, also believe there should be more women in leadership roles in the industry. More than 3,000 women completed the informal survey online, which AFBF conducted to determine the goals and achievements of women in agriculture. Sherry Saylor, chair of Farm Bureau’s Women’s Leadership Committee, says, “We hope to use the survey results to drive our program of work and also to give women their voice and help them make even more of an impact in their communities.” More than 50 percent of women surveyed have started their own business that’s still in operation, 25 percent have not started a business but indicated they would like to do so in the future. Respondents cited prioritizing and finding time to accomplish tasks, acquiring financial support and marketing plan development as their top business challenges. Full survey results are available online at fb.org/women.

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Increased Demand for Dark Chicken Meat Creating Market Opportunities

Evolving U.S. demographics are shifting consumer preferences from white meat chicken to dark meat, according to new research by CoBank. Since 2000, chicken breast’s share of the value of the bird has dropped from 66 percent to just 45 percent, while the value of chicken legs has increased dark meat’s share from 12 percent to near 30 percent. The report says the change presents the chicken industry with an opportunity to diversify its profit centers. Advances in mechanical deboning technology have allowed U.S. chicken producers to capture the emerging demand for dark meat while addressing the ever-present labor shortage, according to CoBank. Age and ethnicity are behind the change. Millennials are projected to surpass Baby Boomers in 2019 as the largest living adult generation in the U.S. As Baby Boomers age, their consumption of meat, including white chicken meat, is declining. Latino and Asian populations are growing in the U.S. and dark meat chicken, rather than white meat, is typically used in the cuisines of their cultures.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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