12-06-19 Statement from the Family on the Passing of Colorado State Representative Kimmi Lewis

Kimmi Clark Lewis
3/19/1957 – 12/6/2019

Statement from the Family on the Passing of Colorado State Representative Kimmi Lewis

Muddy Valley Ranch, Kim, CO – The family of Colorado State Representative Kimmi Lewis (R-HD 64) released the following statement today:

“With heavy hearts, we share that Kimmi Clark Lewis entered God’s Kingdom this morning following her third and valiant battle with cancer.  She was at home on her ranch surrounded by family and loved ones.  She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Kimmi was many things throughout her life – daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, rancher, business owner, advocate, devout follower of Christ, and proud representative of her rural district in the State Legislature.  But the common threads throughout her time on earth were her strong ties to the land she was born and raised on and her unwavering principles.

To her constituents, she was their voice in the state capitol; to her colleagues, an inexhaustible resource for all matters related to agriculture and property rights; to her neighbors and community, a resolute and unflagging defender of their rights and way of life; but to us, she was the epitome of a strong, passionate, and heroic American who was committed to her family while faithfully serving her community.  Her patriotism, strength, and resolve were unmatched and we pray her character lives on in all of us.

We sincerely thank all for their prayers and words of encouragement to Kimmi throughout her long and hard-fought battle.  She never let cancer hold her back from reaching her goals and the job at hand.  We know her memory will live on in the people whose lives she so generously impacted, and in the land and way of life she worked so hard to protect.”

12-06-19 Northern Water: Barnard Construction Inc. chosen to build Chimney Hollow Reservoir

Northern Water: Barnard Construction Inc. chosen to build Chimney Hollow Reservoir

 BERTHOUD – The Board of Directors of the Northern Water Municipal Subdistrict has chosen a contractor to build Chimney Hollow Dam.

Barnard Construction Inc. of Bozeman, Mont., will enter into a $485.4 million contract that calls for the construction of a 355-foot-tall asphalt-core dam in the valley west of Carter Lake in southern Larimer County. The board voted unanimously to approve the contract during its meeting held Thursday at Northern Water’s offices in Berthoud.

When completed, the newly constructed dam will establish Chimney Hollow Reservoir, the 90,000 acrefoot water storage component of the Windy Gap Firming Project. The reservoir will provide a portion of the water supplies needed in the future for 11 water providers and a utility.

“This contract marks an important milestone for the future of the water providers participating in the Windy Gap Firming Project,” Northern Water General Manager Brad Wind said. “Construction of Chimney Hollow Dam and Reservoir will offer assurance to water managers that they will have the water their residents need for the next generations as well as fulfill key elements of the Colorado Water Plan.” Continue reading

12-06-19 USDA Reminds Producers Facing Delayed Harvest to Contact Insurance Agents

USDA Reminds Producers Facing Delayed Harvest to Contact Insurance Agents

Producers can file a Notice of Loss and request more time to harvest

WASHINGTON, December 6, 2019 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds insured producers nationwide who currently participate in Federal Crop Insurance and are facing a delay in harvesting their crop to contact their crop insurance agent and file a Notice of Loss (NOL) by December 10 or the applicable end of insurance period in order to request an extension of time to harvest. Once an extension has been approved, an insured producer needs to harvest the crop at the first feasible opportunity.

“Farmers are certainly struggling this year because of wet weather conditions,” said Martin Barbre, Administrator of USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). “Producers covered by Federal Crop Insurance that are unable to harvest on time should contact their crop insurance agent as soon as possible to file a notice of loss.”

Insured producers must file a NOL and request an extension of time to harvest before the end of the insurance period, so that crop insurance claims are settled based on the amount of harvested production. For crops such as corn and soybeans, the end of the insurance period is December 10. For other crops, please contact your crop insurance agent.

Once an insured producer contacts their crop insurance agent to file a NOL, the Approved Insurance Provider (AIP) should allow additional time to harvest, on a case-by-case basis, when all of these conditions are met: Continue reading

12-06-19 U.S. Senator Bennet Announces Over $600,000 in Local Food Promotion Grants to Colorado Organizations

U.S. Senator Bennet Announces Over $600,000 in Local Food Promotion Grants to Colorado Organizations

USDA Grants to San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition, Bytable Foods Will Support Local Markets and Producers

Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, announced that the San Luis Valley (SLV) Local Foods Coalition and Bytable will receive funding through the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The SLV Local Foods Coalition will receive $245,963 in funding to further grow its Local Foods Local Places project, including expanding its farmers market network and education efforts to raise consumer awareness. Bytable, based in Colorado Springs, will receive $437,951 in funding to promote an understanding of regional and local food systems and provide consumers with easy and affordable access to sustainably- and regeneratively-produced food products.

“Colorado is fortunate to have many organizations focused on increasing access to local and regional food systems, including San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition and Bytable,” said Bennet. “I strongly supported increasing funding in the 2018 Farm Bill for these innovative efforts, and I’m pleased to see these grants go to work here in Colorado.” Continue reading

12-06-19 USDA Announces New Members of the National Organic Standards Board

USDA Announces New Members of the National Organic Standards Board

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the appointment of five new members to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).

“We appreciate the great work of the outgoing board members,” said Deputy Administrator Jennifer Tucker, who heads the USDA National Organic Program. “We know that these new members and our ten continuing members will keep the Board representative of the knowledge, needs and passion of the community we serve.”

The NOSB is made up of 15 members representing the organic community. New members announced today will serve five-year terms beginning in January 2020.

Please join us in welcoming to the Board: Continue reading

12-06-19 CSU Golden Plains Area Extension: Beef Quality Assurance and Transport Certification

CSU Golden Plains Area Extension: Beef Quality Assurance and Transport Certification

WRAY, CO – December 6, 2019 – The national Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification is not new to cattlemen, in fact it has been in existence since 1987.  The first National Beef Quality Audit was conducted in 1991 with the most recent completed in 2016.

“The nationally coordinated and state implemented BQA program focuses on all segments of the beef industry, including focused training for transporters as well as self-assessments for cow/calf, stocker and feeder operations,” says Colorado BQA coordinator Libby Bigler. “Now more than ever, consumers show concern for issues pertaining to animal welfare and environmental sustainability, and the BQA program is committed to addressing such topics in order for the cattle industry to continue meeting ever-changing consumer expectations.”  

Continue reading

12-06-19 Global alliance of agriculture and biofuels partners highlights role of ethanol as immediate and cost-effective climate action measure for transport

Global alliance of agriculture and biofuels partners highlights role of ethanol as immediate and cost-effective climate action measure for transport

For Immediate Release – December 5, 2019 COP 25 Madrid, Spain – In the light of alarming oil industry forecasts[1] of continued growth in the world’s fleet of gasoline and diesel road vehicles to 2040 and beyond (to upwards of two billion vehicles from 1.2 billion today), ethanol sector advocates pressed government leaders at COP 25 today to further bolster support for ethanol as a renewable fuel.
Today’s ethanol contributes greenhouse gas savings of over 50 percent compared to oil-a number that increases every year as the sector innovates.  With enough output to power 100 million cars globally, the amount of renewable energy supplied by ethanol is approaching that of wind energy and has surpassed that of solar.  Worldwide, ethanol made from biomass is the single biggest contributor to climate action in the transport sector while also serving as a valuable revenue stream for farmers that have struggled with low prices due to global crop surpluses.

SfL’s Fred Yoder (center) joins other ethanol sector advocates at Madrid press conference promoting the biofuel as an immediate and cost-effective climate action measure

12-06-19 CSU Extension: Morgan County 4-H Exchange Partners on Twine Recycling Program

Morgan County 4-H Exchange Members with containers of twine ready to be recycled

CSU Extension: Morgan County 4-H Exchange Partners on Twine Recycling Program

By Aimee Kanode, Morgan County Extension

Morgan County is ranked in the top five agricultural counties in the state, and while farmers and ranchers work hard to reuse or recycle products, thousands of pounds of baler twine gets overlooked each year. Polypropylene is the most common material that baler twine is made of, and is a plastic that takes an average of 20-30 years to decompose, and can release toxins if burned.  However, baler twine is 100% recyclable, meaning here is no need to burn, bury, or throw the twine in a landfill when it can be recycled and reused. Continue reading

12-06-19 NPPC, AFBF File Legal Challenge to California’s Proposition 12

NPPC, AFBF File Legal Challenge to California’s Proposition 12

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 6, 2019 –The National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation have filed a legal challenge to California’s Proposition 12, which imposes animal housing standards that reach outside of California’s borders to farms across the United States and beyond. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, December 6th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, December 6th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Trump; China Agreement has to Work for the U.S.

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue made a recent appearance on CNBC to talk about U.S. trade negotiations with China. The secretary says President Trump wants a “phase one” deal with China that works for the United States. “The president wants to come to a deal that’s enforceable, that’s reliable, and will be consistent with what the deal says.” His appearance on CNBC happened shortly after a Bloomberg report said that the U.S. and China were edging closer to wrapping up an agreement before new U.S. tariffs go into effect December 15th on more Chinese imports. During the NATO summit this week, Trump told reporters that trade talks with China are “going well.” He made those comments just one day after saying he might want to delay a deal with China until after the 2020 presidential election. Beijing and Washington have hit each other’s goods with billions of dollars in tariffs. The moves have hit U.S. farmers especially hard. Nearly $20 billion in U.S. agricultural exports went to China last year alone. “We in agriculture are optimistically hopeful that we can conclude this,” Perdue tells CNBC. However, he reiterated administration concerns that China won’t follow through on what it promises in the agreement.


Wisconsin Rep Asks Perdue for More Support

Wisconsin Representative Ron Kind sent a letter of Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue demanding that he have a plan to provide certainty and support for family farms amidst the trade talks with China. Kind points out in the letter that the secretary refers to farmers as “casualties” of the trade war. Kind sent the letter as a deadline for new tariffs on Chinese goods is set to take effect on December 15th and after Trump suggested that waiting to settle the dispute until after the 2020 elections is an option. Kind’s home state of Wisconsin loses an average of two farms a day and is on top of the nation in terms of the number of family farmers who’ve declared bankruptcy. It’s the second-straight year that Wisconsin has led the U.S. in that dubious category. As U.S. farmers face sometimes overwhelming challenges, they’re finding export markets increasingly closed off. In the first four months of this year, Wisconsin agriculture exports dropped nearly five percent compared to the previous year. Ag exports to China dropped by 31 percent. Kind says Wisconsin taxpayers have forked over $743 million in additional tariffs since the trade war began in March of 2018.


Settlement on Cooperatives Working Together Lifts Cloud over Dairy

The National Milk Producers Federation announced a settlement agreement that would end a class-action lawsuit concerning the Herd Retirement Program that ended back in 2010. The program was administered through the federation’s Cooperatives Working Together initiative. The settlement will safeguard ongoing efforts to aid U.S. dairy producers, lift a cloud over the industry that’s lasted years, and it allows NMPF member cooperatives and the current CWT program to move forward with more certainty. The plaintiffs consisted of larger retailers and companies who directly buy butter and cheese from CWT member cooperatives. The settlement amount is $220 million in exchange for a release of all claims. Neither the NMPF nor any of its member cooperatives admit any wrongdoing as a result of the settlement. “There is no way to sugarcoat a settlement of this size, especially given that the Herd Retirement Program was a well-publicized effort designed to serve dairy producers in difficult times,” says Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the NMPF. “It was praised by two Secretaries of Agriculture and a number of the leading members of Congress.” The plaintiffs sought damages relating to the Herd Retirement Program, which offered dairy farmers financial incentives to market their milking herds for beef. It operated between 2003 and 2010.  


USDA Opening CRP Signup on December 9th

The USDA’s Farm Service Agency announced that signup for the Conservation Reserve Program will begin on December ninth. The signup period ends on February 28th for general CRP, while the signup for continuous CRP is ongoing. Farmers and ranchers who enroll in CRP get a yearly payment for voluntarily establishing long-term, resource-conserving plant species like approved grasses or trees that help control erosion. The practices also improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat on marginally productive agricultural lands. “The Conservation Reserve Program is one of our nation’s largest conservation efforts and a critical tool to help producers better manage their operations while they conserve natural resources,” says Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue. CRP currently has 22 million acres enrolled in the program. However, the 2018 Farm Bill lifts the cap on acres up to 27 million. That means many farmers and ranchers have the chance to enroll for the first time or continue their participation for another term. CRP was first signed into law in 1985 and is one of the largest private-lands conservation programs in the United States. The program has evolved over the years and provides a variety of conservation and economic benefits across the country.


USDA will Take Seven Trade Mission Trips in 2020

The U.S. Ag Department announced it will sponsor seven agribusiness trade missions in 2020. The goal will be to diversify and grow export opportunities around the world for American farmers and ranchers. “I cannot overstate the immense value trade missions provide to the U.S. agriculture industry and our customers,” says USDA Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney. He says trade missions help agribusinesses big and small to get their foot in the door to new markets, build strong relationships with existing and potential customers, and expand their global footprint and sales of U.S. farm and food products. “I’ve had the pleasure of leading numerous trade missions at USDA and the results overwhelmingly speak for themselves,” he adds. “In 2019 alone, six USDA trade missions enabled more than 170 U.S. companies and organizations to engage in more than 3,000 face-to-face meetings with foreign buyers.” Those engagements generated more than $78 million in projected 12-month sales. Destinations in 2020 include North Africa, the Philippines, Spain and Portugal, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, Peru, and the United Arab Emirates.


Sheep Industry gets Predator Control Approval from EPA

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the final interim decision on the registered use of sodium cyanide for predator control. The EPA worked in conjunction with the USDA’s Wildlife Services to put out a label for the predator control tool. The label will include three additional use restrictions to promote public awareness and decrease non-target impacts. Benny Cox, President of the American Sheep Industry Association, says the nation’s sheep producers welcome the decision. “We sincerely appreciate the USDA and EPA working together to ensure livestock producers will have access to effective predator control, while also increasing public awareness and transparency,” he says. “Livestock producers face heavy losses from predators, with those losses totaling more than $232 million every year.” He says producers are especially vulnerable to losses during lambing and calving. Sodium cyanide is only used under the oversight of federal or state wildlife officials.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service