12-10-19 Coloradans Protecting Wildlife Ready to Oppose Gray Wolf Ballot Measure

Coloradans Protecting Wildlife Ready to Oppose Gray Wolf Ballot Measure

DENVER, Colo.—Dec. 10, 2019 Coloradans Protecting Wildlife (CPW) reaffirmed today their commitment to opposing a November 2020 ballot measure to introduce gray wolves into Colorado. Proponents submitted petition signatures to the Colorado Secretary of State today. “We stand firmly opposed to this dangerous measure. We are prepared to fight to protect our state’s valuable resources and unmatched natural beauty,” said the leaders of CPW.

“For numerous reasons, wildlife experts have advised against introducing wolves in Colorado multiple times over the years,” says Chad Vorthmann, Executive Vice President of the Colorado Farm Bureau (CFB). “The decision about whether or not to introduce wolves to Colorado should be guided by science and left in the hands of experts, not the ballot box.” 

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12-10-19 AFBF and CFB weigh in on USMCA Trade Deal Agreement

AFBF and CFB weigh in on USMCA Trade Deal Agreement

The BARN – Briggsdale, CO – December 10, 2019 – The American Farm Bureau Federation is asking Congress to quickly pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, following a deal reached between House Democrats and the White House to move forward. Dave Salmonsen, AFBF senior congressional relations director, says the announcement paves the way toward approval and Don Shawcroft, President of the Colorado Farm Bureau also weighed in on the huge win for U.S. and Colorado Agriculture…


SOURCE: NAFB News Service & The BARN

12-10-19 Roger Johnson to Retire from Role as National Farmers Union President

Roger Johnson to Retire from Role as National Farmers Union President

WASHINGTON – After serving as president of National Farmers Union (NFU) for over a decade, Roger Johnson announced that he does not intend to seek reelection again next year. His current term will end at the organization’s annual convention in March, at which point an election for his successor will be held.

During his eleven-year-long tenure, Johnson has led efforts to fight corporate consolidation in the agriculture industry, help farmers adapt to and mitigate climate change, develop fair international trade agreements, provide information and resources to rural communities struggling with mounting stress and opioid misuse, and ensure the economic and social viability of family farm agriculture. Prior to leading the family farm organization, he served as North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner and as president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA).

Johnson, a third-generation family farmer from Turtle Lake, North Dakota, grew up in Farmers Union, participating in the organization’s youth programs and serving as a county president and chairman of the board of a local Farmers Union cooperative. He released the following statement about his impending retirement:

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12-10-19 USWA-NAWG JOINT STATEMENT – Signing Moves USMCA Towards Benefits for U.S. Wheat Growers

JOINT STATEMENT – Signing Moves USMCA Towards Benefits for U.S. Wheat Growers

Washington, D.C. (December 10, 2019) – Today’s signing of the renegotiated U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a welcome step toward a final agreement that will provide much needed reassurance for wheat growers and the entire U.S. agricultural industry. U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) want to thank U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for his steadfast efforts throughout USMCA development process as well as Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney, and Lighthizer for working with Speaker Pelosi and other Congressional leadership to find a path forward.

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12-10-19 NFU: Congress, White House Come to Agreement on USMCA

NFU: Congress, White House Come to Agreement on USMCA

Farmers Union Board to Assess Final Text Upon Its Release

WASHINGTON –After many months of negotiations, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi announced today that the White House and Congress had come to an agreement on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

At its quarterly meeting in September, the National Farmers Union (NFU) Board of Directors called for further improvements to the agreement before final passage. Specifically, they advocated greater protections to American family farmers and ranchers, including stronger labor, environment, and enforcement provisions; the revision of language related to the marketing exclusivity of certain prescription drugs; stronger anti-dumping protections for agricultural goods; and the re-establishment Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) authority.

Text of the agreement has not yet been made available, but early reports indicate that it makes the desired changes to pharmaceutical drugs and includes at least some improvements on labor standards. The status of the remainder of the board’s asks is still unclear; consequently, it is withholding conclusive judgement until the finalized language is released.

NFU President Roger Johnson released the following statement in response to the announcement:

“The free trade framework established by NAFTA has dominated our international trade deals over the past two-and-a-half decades, to the detriment of American workers – it has contributed to the movement of rural manufacturing jobs overseas, caused our national deficit to balloon, lowered wages, and eroded national sovereignty. Though we are encouraged by efforts to reform this framework, earlier drafts of USMCA did not go far enough to protect family farmers and rural communities. We are hopeful that this version incorporates the board’s recommendations; as soon as more details are available, I will call a special meeting of the NFU Board of Directors to decide whether we will support or oppose the final deal.” Continue reading

12-10-19 Colorado Farm Bureau President Don Shawcroft on the Announcement of USMCA Agreement

Colorado Farm Bureau President Don Shawcroft on the Announcement of USMCA Agreement

CENTENNIAL, Colo.—Dec. 10, 2019— Today, House Democrats announced their support of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The following can be attributed to Don Shawcroft, President of the Colorado Farm Bureau:

“The agreement between the Trump administration and House Democrats on the terms of USMCA is the most welcome news Colorado farmers and ranchers have had in a long time.

Canada and Mexico are Colorado agriculture’s two largest trading partners and the potential failure of the trade deal has hung over our industry and its farm and ranch families for quite some time. Recent trade agreements with Japan and other counties are important for expanding markets, but USMCA has long been a priority for agriculture and this agreement is fantastic news.

While a tricky, final vote on the updated measure still remains, perhaps the biggest hurdle has been cleared and we are confident the measure will move quickly in the coming days.

Colorado’s farm and ranch families now have another reason to be thankful this holiday season.” Continue reading

12-10-19 Southwest Colorado forests, communities get boost from new collaborative initiative

Southwest Colorado forests, communities get boost from new collaborative initiative

Rocky Mountain Restoration Initiative selects southwest Colorado forest restoration project to focus combined support

DENVER, Colorado (Dec. 10, 2019) — An unprecedented gathering of Colorado’s land managers, natural resource partners, utility providers and nonprofit organizations have selected Southwest Colorado to be the focus of a new effort to increase the resilience of Colorado’s forests and communities.

A diverse group of 30 organizations have joined forces as the “Rocky Mountain Restoration Initiative” to explore places where they can pool resources to make transformational differences in protecting the things Coloradans value most: recreation opportunities, water resources, communities, forests and wildlife habitats.

The group unanimously selected the Southwest Colorado Project, which encompasses nearly 750,000 acres along Colo. Highway 160, including the towns of Cortez, Dolores, Mancos, Durango and portions of the San Juan National Forest.

“This project really stood out to us because it’s in a place where we can move the needle quickly,” said Cindy Dozier, Board Chair of Club 20, a non-partisan coalition advocating for Colorado’s West Slope. “Collaborations already exist on the ground to get work done on a large scale; also, there is an existing wood-products industry and social license to utilize all tools, including prescribed fire.”

12-10-19 NPPC: Mexico Approves USMCA Revisions; NPPC Calls for Congressional Vote This Year

NPPC: Mexico Approves USMCA Revisions; NPPC Calls for Congressional Vote This Year

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 10, 2019 – Today, Mexico approved U.S. changes to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, paving the way for a congressional ratification. The Trump administration worked closely with Congressional Democrats to address their concerns in the revisions to the agreement. The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) applauds the administration, Congress and the governments of Canada and Mexico for working hard to fine-tune the trade deal so that Congress can vote this year.

“Mexico’s approval of USMCA changes proposed by the United States is welcome news for U.S. pork producers and all of American agriculture,” said NPPC President David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, N.C. “Members of Congress can count on hearing, yet again, from pork producers as NPPC is unleashing a grassroots call to action. We want a vote this year and NPPC will score this critically important trade agreement as a key vote.” Continue reading

12-10-19 USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on USMCA Agreement

USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on USMCA Agreement

(Washington, D.C. – December 10, 2019) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement after United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced agreement on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):

“USMCA is a big win for American workers and the economy, especially for our farmers and ranchers. The agreement improves virtually every component of the old NAFTA, and the agriculture industry stands to gain significantly,” said Secretary Perdue. “President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer are laying the foundation for a stronger farm economy through USMCA and I thank them for all their hard work and perseverance to get the agreement across the finish line. While I am very encouraged by today’s breakthrough, we must not lose sight – the House and Senate need to work diligently to pass USMCA by Christmas.”

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12-10-19 NAFB Breaking Ag News: House Speaker Pelosi Announces Deal on USMCA

NAFB Breaking Ag News: House Speaker Pelosi Announces Deal on USMCA

The BARN via NAFB News Service – November 10, 2019 – In a Tuesday morning press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a deal between House Democrats and the Trump administration to move forward with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement…


Provided by the NAFB News Service

12-10-19 U.S. Senator Bennet, Colleagues Urge FCC to Prioritize Rural Broadband

U.S. Senator Bennet, Colleagues Urge FCC to Prioritize Rural Broadband

Washington, D.C. — Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet this week joined U.S. Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and 45 of their Senate colleagues in urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to prioritize sustainable rural broadband networks as the FCC considers new rules in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) proceeding.

“If our rural communities are to survive and flourish, our rural constituents need access to services that are on par with those in urban areas,” wrote Bennet and the senators in a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “By contrast, it would be an inefficient use of resources to promote services that cannot keep pace with consumer demand and the evolution of broadband in urban areas. As the FCC moves forward to adopt new rules in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund proceeding, we urge you to promote the deployment of networks that will be sustainable even as new advancements are made and are capable of delivering the best level of broadband access for the available USF budget for many years to come.”

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12-10-19 American Agri-Women Names Dr. Kevin Folta their 2019 Veritas Award Winner

From left: Pat Yeagle, AAW Veritas committee chair, Dr. Kevin Folta, and Arwen McGilvra, Oregon Women for Agriculture

American Agri-Women Names Dr. Kevin Folta their 2019 Veritas Award Winner

Colchester, Vt. (AgPR) Dec. 10, 2019 – American Agri-Women (AAW) named Dr. Kevin Folta their 2019 Veritas Award recently at their AAW National Convention. Dr. Folta is known as an effective proponent of genetic engineering. He is currently a professor of horticulture at the University of Florida where he has a distinguished career in aiding to sequence the strawberry genome and researches compounds that affect strawberry flavoring. Continue reading

12-10-19 National Farmers Union Urges White House to Replace Aromatics with Biofuels

National Farmers Union Urges White House to Replace Aromatics with Biofuels

Switch Would Improve Public Health Outcomes, Decrease Fuel Costs

WASHINGTON – Following an initial statement of support, National Farmers Union (NFU) today sent a letter to President Donald Trump endorsing the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition recommendation to lower air toxic emissions caused by the use of gasoline aromatics. In accordance with the coalition’s position, the organization suggested that aromatics be replaced with biofuels, which are higher octane, burn more cleanly, and far better in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, and public health.

NFU is a longtime proponent of replacing toxic aromatics with ethanol, filing comments to that effect on several different rulemakings, including the Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule. In a statement, NFU President Roger Johnson emphasized the benefits of doing so and advised the administration to adopt the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition’s recommendations

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12-10-19 Federal Agency Accepts Bennet, Romney Request to Review USDA’s Emergency Watershed Protection Program

Federal Agency Accepts Bennet, Romney Request to Review USDA’s Emergency Watershed Protection Program

Following Senators’ Letter, Government Accountability Office Will Review Implementation and Effectiveness of Program

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry’s Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry, and Natural Resources, and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) announced that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has accepted their request to review the effectiveness and implementation of the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP).

Administered by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), EWP is an important tool designed to reduce financial strain and help communities across the West address imminent threats following a wildfire. However, communities often face challenges when attempting to use EWP to support recovery efforts, including after fires in Colorado and Utah in 2018. The GAO review, which will commence in the coming months, will lead to recommendations to improve EWP and more effectively assist communities recovering from wildfires across the West.

“I’m glad the Government Accountability Office heard our concerns and will quickly take up this review,” said Bennet. “We look forward to working with the GAO and stakeholders across Colorado to ensure the federal government is an effective partner to communities across our state as they recover from the damage left behind by wildfires.”

“It is welcome news that the Government Accountability Office has accepted our request in a timely manner. As the review process moves forward, I will continue working with our state and federal partners to ensure that communities across Utah have the support they need as they recover from the damage of wildfires,” said Romney.

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12-10-19 Inside the BARN with NestFresh’s Louise Howe: Holiday Cooking & Baking

NestFresh Header

Inside the BARN with NestFresh’s Louise Howe

Holiday Cooking & Baking with Eggs

(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) December 10, 2019 -Joining the CO Ag News Network once again is Louise Howe, Communications Team Member at NestFresh discussing several topics including holiday cooking and baking…


Toffee and Almond Gingerbread Loaf – LOOK BELOW Continue reading

12-10-19 USDA Helps Rural Businesses Make Energy Efficiency Improvements, Adopt Renewable Energy Systems, including Colorado

USDA Helps Rural Businesses Make Energy Efficiency Improvements, Adopt Renewable Energy Systems, including Colorado

Investments will Help 640 Businesses Boost Their Bottom Line

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2019 – Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $237 million to help farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses lower energy costs (PDF, 229 KB). The Department is providing 640 awards to applicants in all 50 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Western Pacific. USDA is providing the funding through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
“Businesses grow and create more jobs when their energy costs are lower,” LaVoy said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural businesses, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
Recipients can use REAP funding for energy audits and to install renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar. The funding can also be used to increase energy efficiency by making improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration.
For example:
  • In Colorado, four entities: CO First Southwest Bank $ 25,558 Installing a Solar Array System; Gilcrest II, LLC $ 250,000 Installing a Solar Array System; Saint Columbia Solar, LLC $ 49,845 Installing a Solar Array System; Sunday, LLC $ 106,597 Installing a Solar Array System Continue reading

12-10-19 CSU – NWSS hosting 6th Annual International Livestock Forum Jan 10-11 “Opportunity and Innovation in Global Agriculture and Livestock Production”

CSU – NWSS hosting 6th Annual International Livestock Forum Jan 10-11 “Opportunity and Innovation in Global Agriculture and Livestock Production”

Colorado State University Department of Animal Sciences and the National Western Stock Show have partnered together to host the 6th annual International Livestock Forum. The 2020 International Livestock Forum will bring together industry leaders, government professionals, and members of academia to discuss domestic and international livestock and food production. Fellows of the 2020 ILF will experience unique tours of some of Colorado’s top agricultural enterprises, behind-the-scenes access to the National Western Stock Show, and a full day of networking and interaction with an impressive lineup of keynote speakers and industry panelists. This is a premiere opportunity to engage in the future of international livestock and food production.

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12-10-19 CSU Welcomes Dr. J. Brad Morgan to Animal Science Faculty

CSU Welcomes Dr. J. Brad Morgan to Animal Science Faculty

Welcome, from Keith Belk

Beginning December 9th, we have added Dr. J. Brad Morgan to our faculty. Dr. Morgan will be serving in a 9-month at-will NTTF position. Following his interview in October, I asked Dr. Morgan as a direct hire to join our faculty in the position formerly held by Dr. Dale Woerner because we have conducted two separate searches over the past 16 months without success in filling that role. Brad has said that he will remain at CSU, depending on how things go, for between one to five years. Brad comes to CSU with a wealth of experience. He started his career on our faculty at CSU as the State Meat Extension Specialist. He left CSU in 1995 to join the faculty of Oklahoma State University where he taught courses in meat science and managed the Meat Judging Program until 2011.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, December 10th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, December 10th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

USCMA Tentative Deal Reached

A deal to allow the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to move forward seemed imminent Monday, with anonymous sources telling the Associated Press a deal was reached. President Donald Trump told reporters Monday afternoon there were “a lot of strides over the last 24 hours” with unions, adding “if they put it up for a vote, it’ll pass.” Fox Business News first reported an agreement between Trump and Mexico, along with House Democrats, and that it could be finalized and ready for action before the House of Representatives adjourns for the year. However, details reportedly still need to be finalized, and implementing legislation must be submitted to Congress. Additionally, the House of Representatives will need to schedule a vote on the agreement. The news broke as 158 lawmakers penned a letter the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging her to “seize this opportunity” to create a win for America. The lawmakers say expanding agriculture exports through USMCA “will help put American agriculture back on its feet.”

Trade War Impact $42 Billion

A trade organization says the U.S. trade war with China has cost the U.S. $42 billion since February of 2018. Tariffs Hurt the Heartland Monday released data showing that in October alone, Americans paid a total of $7.2 billion in tariffs, more than any other amount in U.S. history, with $4 billion of that total stemming from the trade war. Americans for Free Trade spokesperson Jonathan Gold says, “It’s time the administration finalizes a deal with China to end the trade war and remove all tariffs.” Talks of a phase one agreement continue, which would include agriculture provisions, but new tariffs are planned on China starting December 15. President Donald Trump last week indicated a final overall agreement could wait until after the 2020 U.S. elections. Brian Kuehl, co-executive director of Farmers for Free Trade, says the 2020 campaign will turn to farm states, adding, “The president needs to show he can close not just a phase one deal, but a comprehensive deal,” for farmers and rural America.

China Fuels October Pork Exports, Beef Exports Down from Last Year

Strong demand from China bolstered U.S. pork exports in October, while October beef exports were below the high totals posted a year ago. Department of Agriculture data, compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation, shows October pork exports increased 8.5 percent year-over-year to 225,300 metric tons, while export value climbed ten percent to $592 million. January-October export volume was five percent ahead of last year’s pace at 2.13 million metric tons, while value increased three percent to $5.48 billion. Although still burdened by China’s retaliatory duties, October pork exports to the China region reached 61,000 metric tons, up 150 percent year-over-year, while export value climbed 127 percent to $141.3 million. USMEF CEO Dan Halstrom says China’s efforts to rebuild its domestic swine inventory continue, but added, “there are still excellent opportunities for pork-supplying countries.” Meanwhile, October beef exports totaled 108,000 metric tons, an eight percent decline from last year’s large volume, while export value of $649.1 million was down 11 percent.

Farm Groups Plead for Biodiesel Tax Extenders

A group of farm organizations is asking House and Senate leadership to extend the biodiesel tax credit. A letter sent last week to leaders of both chambers says, “we believe that Congress can, and must, pass an immediate extension before returning home at the end of the year.” The group includes 11 farm and biofuels groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union. Since 2005, there has been a $1.00 per gallon biodiesel and renewable diesel blenders’ tax credit, which was created to stimulate production and consumption of biodiesel and renewable diesel. The tax credit expired on December 31, 2017. Separately, the Petroleum Marketers Association of America says Congress must “act now to retroactively extend the credit for calendar year 2018 and through at least 2019.” The farm groups charge that since the start of the year, producers have cut back production, investments in new technologies and facility upgrades, and purchases of raw materials, because of the uncertain future of the tax credit.

Petersen Sends Letter to EPA Criticizing RFS Proposal

A letter by House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson criticizing the Environmental Protection Agency suggests EPA’s proposal to “fix” the Renewable Fuel Standard undermines the program. Peterson sent a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler last week raising concerns about the October supplemental rule proposed by the EPA. In October, the agency submitted a supplemental proposed rule and suggested changes to the formula EPA uses to restore gallons waived through the small refinery exemptions process. Biofuels and farm groups are disappointed that the proposal doesn’t fully address lost demand stemming from small refinery exemptions. Peterson says, “any action from EPA that does not uphold the integrity of the RFS is unacceptable.” He claims, “The bottom line is the EPA continues to undermine the RFS at the expense of our farmers and biofuel producers. A public comment period on the proposal closed late last month. The EPA is expected to release the final rule soon, possibly on December 20.

NCBA Accepting Intern Applications for Fall 2020

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, along with the Public Lands Council, is seeking fall 2020 policy internship applications. Positions for next fall, early-September – mid-December 2020, include public policy interns and a law clerk. The public policy internship will give students an opportunity to learn about career options and provide practical experience. From tax and trade to environmental and food safety regulations, interns will work on a variety of issues and have the opportunity to work specifically in the area of their interest. The law clerk will provide support to NCBA’s Environmental Counsel on issues relating to environmental legislation and regulations that impact beef producers. The deadline to apply for either position is March 6, 2020College juniors, seniors and graduate students are encouraged to apply. PLC Associate Director, Policy & Administration, Allie Nelson, a former NCBA intern herself, says the internships “let students get an up-close look” at how policy impacts cattle producers.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service