01-17-20 This just in, USDA is hosting a new ReConnect Broadband Program Workshop in Denver, CO!

This just in, USDA is hosting a new ReConnect Broadband Program Workshop in Denver, CO!

Join us on February 12-13, 2020 at the Westin Denver Downtown

“Please join us in Denver and take advantage of this great opportunity to assist our rural communities move forward with this essential infrastructure.  Having access to high-speed broadband internet connectivity is vital for economic development and an increased quality of life,” said Sallie Clark, USDA Rural Development Colorado State Director.

USDA will be announcing the 2019 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the Reconnect Program on January 31, 2020.  To assist interested applicants, USDA will be offering a series of ReConnect technical workshops around the country.

Denver, Colorado has been selected for one on February 12 -13.  This event is designed to provide information and allow for questions from those interested in applying for ReConnect program funding to facilitate broadband deployment in areas of rural America without sufficient access to broadband.

This two-day workshop will take place at the Westin Denver Downtown and will provide attendees with an understanding of the program and application requirements.

Specific topics include: Continue reading

01-17-20 USDA Announces School and Summer Meals Reforms

USDA Announces School and Summer Meals Reforms

(San Antonio, TX, January 17, 2020) – Delivering on his promise to act on feedback from dietary professionals, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced two proposals today that will put local school and summer food service operators back in the driver’s seat of their programs, because they know their children best. Under the school meals proposed rule, school nutrition professionals have more flexibility to serve appetizing and healthy meals that appeal to their students’ preferences and subsequently reduce food waste. The proposed rule also encourages state and local operators to focus resources on feeding children rather than administrative paperwork. These improvements build on the 2018 reforms that preserve strong nutrition standards while providing schools the additional flexibilities they need to best serve America’s students.


“Schools and school districts continue to tell us that there is still too much food waste and that more common-sense flexibility is needed to provide students nutritious and appetizing meals. We listened and now we’re getting to work,” said Secretary Perdue. “Our proposed changes empower schools to give their very best to our children nationwide and have the potential to benefit nearly 100,000 schools and institutions that feed 30 million children each school day through USDA’s school meal programs. Providing children with wholesome, nutritious food is part of our motto at USDA, which is to ‘do right and feed everyone.’” Continue reading

01-17-20 ACE: Mexico Supreme Court rules against E10 implementation process, not the product

ACE: Mexico Supreme Court rules against E10 implementation process, not the product

Sioux Falls, SD – This week, the Mexico Supreme Court ruled against the regulation allowing for higher ethanol content in gasoline, based on the way in which the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) implemented the change in 2017. In July of that year, the CRE decided to increase the maximum content of ethanol in gasoline as an oxygenate to 10 percent, up from 5.8 percent, outside of the major metropolitan areas of Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey in the regulatory standard NOM-016-CRE-2016. American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Senior Vice President and Market Development Director Ron Lamberty traveled to Mexico on behalf of the U.S. Grains Council over the past few years participating in technical ethanol workshops to educate fuel retailers and equipment suppliers about offering E10. Lamberty released the following statement after the Court’s ruling:

“The Mexico Supreme Court ruled against the process, not the product, and the oil/MTBE industry can’t really be happy the court said the CRE needs to weigh economic benefit (which clearly favors ethanol) against risks to the environment (which also favor ethanol). The ruling won’t go into effect for 180 days, and proving ethanol is cheaper and better than MTBE for the environment shouldn’t even take 180 minutes. Continue reading

01-17-20 U.S. Wheat Associates Board of Directors Elect Officers for 2020/21

U.S. Wheat Associates Board of Directors Elect Officers for 2020/21

Michael Peters, Oklahoma

ARLINGTON, Virginia —The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) board of directors elected new officers for the 2020/21 (July to June) fiscal year at their meeting Jan 17, 2020, in Washington, D.C. The board elected Michael Peters of Okarche, Okla. as Secretary-Treasurer; Rhonda Larson of East Grand Forks, Minn., as Vice Chairman; Darren Padget of Grass Valley, Ore., as Chairman. These farmers will begin their new leadership roles at the USW board meeting in June 2020 when current Chairman Doug Goyings of Paulding, Ohio, will become Past Chairman. USW is the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry.

“I’m excited. We have a great team here at U.S. Wheat Associates,” Peters said after his election as the next USW officer. “I’m sure there will be many challenges ahead but I’m looking forward to tackling them.” Continue reading

01-17-20 Ag industry group announces safety leaders – to be honored March 19 at national conference

Ag industry group announces safety leaders – to be honored March 19 at national conference

Awards to be presented at North American Agricultural Safety Summit

The Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America (ASHCA) has announced eight individuals and organizations to be honored for leadership in agricultural safety as demonstrated through safety training, collaboration, promotion, education or research.

The awards will be presented on the first day of the North American Agricultural Safety Summit, March 19-20, at Bally’s of Las Vegas. The summit, hosted by ASHCA, will feature top safety experts, mentoring opportunities and a unique agricultural safety learning lab.

“We established these safety awards to highlight effective and efficient practices that enhance worker safety within agriculture,” said Jess McCluer, board chair of ASHCA, and vice president of safety and regulatory affairs at the National Grain and Feed Association. “Not only is safety important for individual employees, but it also is one of the key business excellence areas that determine long-term sustainability.” Continue reading

01-17-20 U.S. Senator Bennet, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Emergency Wildfire Recovery Bill

U.S. Senator Bennet, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Emergency Wildfire Recovery Bill

Washington, D.C. — Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet this week joined Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Representatives John Curtis (R-Utah) and John Garamendi (D-Calif.) in introducing the Making Access to Cleanup Happen (MATCH) Act.

The Making Access to Cleanup Happen (MATCH) Act is bipartisan legislation that aims to expedite wildfire and disaster cleanup as well as prevent further disasters such as post fire mudslides from wildfire burn scars. The bill will authorize the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to reimburse landowners and counties for work that has to take place quickly after a wildfire as part of the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP).

“Communities that take steps to mitigate damage in the wake of destructive fires deserve a reliable partner in the federal government. The Emergency Watershed Protection Program is a valuable tool for post-fire recovery in Colorado and throughout the West, but communities often face significant hurdles accessing funding quickly,” said Bennet. “This bipartisan, bicameral bill help relieve some of the burden on local project sponsors and improve the effectiveness of EWP for wildfire recovery.”

Continue reading

01-17-20 Nutrien announces $10 million long-term investment in CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences

Nutrien announces $10 million long-term investment in CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences

Colorado State University and Nutrien, the world’s largest provider of crop nutrients, inputs and services, have entered into a strategic partnership with a primary goal: feeding the world in the most sustainable, inclusive and innovative way.

Nutrien is providing CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences $1 million each year over the next 10 years. This $10 million gift will fund state-of-the-art research and teaching initiatives on campus and provide scholarship support to students, elevating CSU into a position of leadership in developing a diverse, highly skilled agricultural workforce and boosting Nutrien’s ability to deliver industry-leading products.

“We are grateful for this incredible support from Nutrien,” CSU President Joyce McConnell said. “Both Nutrien and CSU share a vision of using high-tech agriculture to help sustainably feed the world. We face immense challenges to accomplish this task, and it is through improved research capabilities and training more students to bring their innovative ideas forward that CSU will make a bigger impact on the future.” Continue reading

01-07-20 New Parking Information for 2020 NWSS

New Parking Information for 2020 NWSS

DENVER, CO – There have been changes to parking near the National Western Stock Show grounds. In order to best accommodate our guests we will now have access to FREE parking at Coors Field during the duration of the National Western Stock Show.

Parking near the complex fills up early in the day, and many lots require a permit. The hassle free, convenient alternative is to head straight to the Coors Field lot. Guests will have access to parking lots that are paved and well-lit for safety. Parking is dedicated to Stock Show attendees, and it is easily accessed off of Park Avenue and Wazee Street. The Coors Field lot will open at 8 a.m. daily, and FREE shuttles provide guests with a convenient 10-minute ride to the complex. Shuttles will drop passengers off directly outside the South Box Office. Continue reading

12-20-19 Mark your calendar for the 2020 National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, January 11-26

Mark your calendar for the 2020 National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, January 11-26

Denver hosts the best 16 days in January during the National Western Stock Show, January 11 – 26, 2020. Saddle up for the best pro rodeo action, horse shows and livestock competitions, shopping, food and family fun.
Create the best memories at the best 16 days in January. Tickets are on sale now at the Stock Show’s website: nationalwestern.com.

01-17-20 USDA Under Secretary Ibach to Address Annual Bison Association Conference

National Bison Association News Header

USDA Under Secretary Ibach to Address Annual Bison Association Conference
400 Ranchers and Marketers Set to Gather in Denver January 22-25
WESTMINSTER, CO (January 17, 2020) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s top official overseeing the agency’s marketing and regulatory programs will be among the speakers addressing more than 400 bison ranchers, marketers and enthusiasts scheduled to gather at the Renaissance Denver Hotel January 22-25.

Greg Ibach, Under Secretary for Marketing & Regulatory Programs portrait and passport in Washington, DC on Nov. 14, 2017. USDA photo by Ken Hammond.

Greg Ibach, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulation, is expected to focus on the agency’s work in improving animal traceability, but will likely touch on a variety of other issues important to U.S. bison ranchers and markets. Agencies under Ibach’s jurisdiction at USDA include the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

“We are extremely pleased to have Under Secretary Ibach joining us at our conference because the agencies he oversees impact our business in many important ways,” said Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association. “His participation at our conference is a reflection of the excellent working relationship that the bison business has cultivated with professionals within AMS and APHIS.”
In a meeting with APHIS officials in Washington, D.C. in September, National Bison Association leaders suggested that the association could play a role in distributing animal identification tags in a process similar to a program that the Canadian Bison Association and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency conduct in that country. The Under Secretary is expected to talk about that concept during his remarks.
Other topics important to bison producers within USDA’s marketing and regulatory mission include: Continue reading

01-17-20 National Potato Council: Potato Growers Select 2020 NPC Leadership

National Potato Council: Potato Growers Select 2020 NPC Leadership

Idaho’s Britt Raybould elected 2020 President  

LAS VEGAS, NV – January 17, 2020 – Today at the National Potato Council’s (NPC) 2020 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Britt Raybould of Rexburg, Idaho was elected to serve as NPC’s 2020 President and to lead the council’s Executive Committee.

Raybould serves as chief financial officer of Raybould Brothers Farm. She previously served the NPC Board as First Vice President and Vice President of the Legislative and Government Affairs Committee. She is the third generation of the Raybould family to serve as NPC President and the first female president in NPC’s 72-year history. As president, Raybould will host the 2020 NPC Summer Meeting in Boise, Idaho, June 24-26. The Executive Committee holds office for one calendar year.

NPC delegates also approved:

·       Dominic LaJoie of Van Buren, Maine as First Vice President and Vice President of the Environmental Affairs Committee;

·       R.J. Andrus of Idaho Falls, Idaho as Vice President of the Legislative Affairs Committee;

·       Jared Balcom of Pasco, Wash. as Vice President of the Trade Affairs Committee;

·       Bob Mattive of Monte Vista, Colo. as Vice President of the Finance and Office Procedures Committee; and,

·       Ted Tschirky of Pasco, Wash. as Vice President of the Grower Outreach and Industry Research Committee.

Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, January 17th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, January 17th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Senate Passes USMCA

The Senate Thursday morning passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, sending it to President Donald Trump’s desk. The Senate vote, 89-10, moves the agreement ahead of the impeachment trial in the Senate. President Trump is expected to sign the agreement sometime next week during a formal ceremony, perhaps while the impeachment trial is underway. House Democrats took more than a year to make changes to the original agreement negotiated by the Trump administration. For agriculture, USMCA is expected to increase U.S. exports by $2 billion. The vote comes just one day after the United States signed a new trade agreement with China, which promises to increase agricultural exports overseas by tens of billions of dollars. On Twitter, President Trump proclaimed, “The farmers are really happy with the new China trade deal and the soon to be signed deal with Mexico and Canada.” The President said he hopes farmers remember he used tariff funds to “help them get through the tough times.” 

Agriculture Reacts to USMCA Senate Passage

Agriculture organizations offered applause to lawmakers in the Senate who overwhelming supported approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement Thursday. National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross says the vote ensures “corn farmers will continue to have access to our largest and most reliable markets.” Mexico is a top destination for U.S. corn. Meanwhile, Bill Gordon of the American Soybean Association says the vote “means we can start 2020 on a more positive note.” Mexico is the number two market for whole beans, meal and oil, and Canada is a top ten buyer of meal and oil. U.S. Meat Export Federation CEO Dan Halstrom says the vote “bolsters our position as a reliable supplier to two leading markets that account for about one-third of all U.S. red meat exports.” Meat shipments to Mexico and Canada in 2019 totaled about 1.25 million metric tons valued at $3.8 billion. Finally, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says USMCA “comes at a critical time for farmers and ranchers, increasing optimism that we’ll turn the corner in 2020.”

Secretary Perdue Statement on Senate Passage of USMCA

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, farmers “are eager to see the President sign this legislation and begin reaping the benefits.” Canada and Mexico are the first and second-largest export markets for United States agricultural products, totaling more than $39.7 billion in food and agricultural exports in 2018. Under the agreement, all food and agricultural products that have zero tariffs under the North American Free Trade Agreement will remain at zero tariffs. Since the original NAFTA did not eliminate all tariffs on agricultural trade between the United States and Canada, the USMCA will create new market access opportunities for United States exports to Canada of dairy, poultry, and eggs, and in exchange, the United States will provide new access to Canada for some dairy, peanut, and a limited amount of sugar and sugar-containing products. The agreement specifically addresses agricultural biotechnology, including new technologies such as gene editing, to support innovation and reduce trade-distorting policies, and the agreement institutes a more rigorous process for establishing geographical indicators.

USDA Reminds Producers to Pay Their Crop Insurance Premiums by January 31

The Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency is reminding producers that their crop insurance premiums for the 2019 crop year are due January 31. Policies that do not have the premium paid by January 31, 2020, will have interest attach on February 1, calculated from the date of the premium billing notice. USDA had deferred to January 31, 2020, the accrual of interest on 2019 crop year insurance premiums for most policies with a premium billing date of August 15, 2019, to help the large number of farmers and ranchers affected by extreme weather and other challenges in 2019. RMA Administrator Martin Barbre says, “We urge producers to make their premium payment on time to ensure they don’t get charged interest back to their premium billing notice date.”  Producers are encouraged to contact their crop insurance agents for more information or assistance.

USDA Seeks Input on New Ethanol Sales Infrastructure Incentive Program

The Department of Agriculture announced Thursday it is seeking public input to help with the creation of the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program. The new program, according to USDA, will expand the availability of domestic ethanol and biodiesel by incentivizing the expansion of sales of renewable fuels. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says, “USDA remains committed to fulfilling a key promise to American farmers to enhance the promotion of biofuels.” The request for information solicits ideas on options for fuel ethanol and biodiesel infrastructure, innovation, products, technology, and data derived from all program processes, or science, that drives economic growth, promotes health, and increases public benefit. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor welcomed the request, saying, “Smart infrastructure investments will support rural jobs and allow more drivers across the nation to take advantage of the administration’s move to unleash sales of E15 year-round.” Working with Prime the Pump, Growth Energy has doubled the number of E15 stations five years in a row to include more than 2,000 stations across 30 states.

Mexico Strikes Down Nationwide E10

Mexico’s Supreme Court this week ruled against a federal policy that would allow for higher ethanol blends nationwide. Mexico’s Energy Commission sought a rule that would allow up to ten percent ethanol in gasoline nationwide, excluding the country’s three biggest cities. The pre-existing fuel rule allows a maximum 5.8 percent ethanol content, according to Reuters. The court called for more science-based evaluation of higher-ethanol fuels. Kenneth Smith, a former Mexican trade negotiator, told Reuters Mexico should try again to craft a nationwide ten percent ethanol rule, calling it a “win-win” for Mexico. In a statement, the Mexican Association for Sustainable Mobility, an ethanol backing group, says, “Ethanol is part of the solution to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, use renewable energy, lower gasoline prices, create domestic jobs, boost the agricultural economy and improve the environment, it said.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service