01-27-20 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Consumer Education Helps Fuel Record Pork Exports to Central America

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Consumer Education Helps Fuel Record Pork Exports to Central America

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO -January 27, 2020 – U.S. pork exports to Central America set another new record in 2019. With December results still to be added, exports to the region already totaled nearly $212 million through November (20% ahead of the 2018 pace) and will finish the year at about $230 million. Of the top 20 international destinations for U.S. pork, six are in Central America (Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua). Panama and Costa Rica were the growth pacesetters in 2019, but exports also increased significantly to mainstay markets Honduras and Guatemala.

Lucia Ruano, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) representative in Central America and the Dominican Republic, notes that while most U.S. pork entering Central America is used for further processing, it is increasingly popular as a flavorful and affordable center-of-the-plate option. U.S. pork has overcome significant challenges to achieve these gains, as many consumers in the region had to be educated about the nutritional attributes of pork and convinced that it can be part of a healthy diet. She adds that USMEF’s cutting and cooking demonstrations have helped teach Central American consumers how to properly prepare U.S. pork and to avoid overcooking it.

Lucia Ruano Record CA Pork 1-27-20

Continue reading

01-27-20 Dairy MAX: Students increase dairy consumption and exercise through Fuel Up to Play 60

Dairy MAX: Students increase dairy consumption and exercise through Fuel Up to Play 60

The nation’s leading in-school youth wellness program inspires students to make positive changes in their lives and community

Wholesome nutrition and increased physical activity are two things necessary for students to be the best version of themselves. When combined, students are more likely to perform well in and out of school. The proof is in the program – the Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60) program, that is.

Launched in 2009, the FUTP 60 program was developed to encourage students to make healthy choices through consumption of nutrient-rich foods like dairy and completion of at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Today, the program boasts 14 million students making healthier eating decisions, 18 million students with more physical activity, and 130,000 adults enrolled to advise students in leading the program. In the Dairy MAX territory of Colorado, southwest Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, western Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming, there are 8 million students involved in FUTP 60.

With 2019 marking the ten-year anniversary of Fuel Up to Play 60, the success stories still abound.

Lindsay Yost, program advisor at Fort Lupton Middle School in Fort Lupton, Colorado, said that due to the FUTP 60 program, students in her school are “evidence that active students learn better.” Continue reading

01-27-20 Colorado State Forest Service: Aerial Survey -Though Declining, Spruce Beetle Remains Top Priority for State and Federal Agencies

Colorado State Forest Service: Aerial Survey -Though Declining, Spruce Beetle Remains Top Priority for State and Federal Agencies

LAKEWOOD, Colo., Jan. 27, 2020 – Forest managers are working together to address continued outbreaks of insects and disease on Colorado’s forests, including spruce beetle, which remains the most damaging forest pest in the state for the eighth consecutive year, based on a 2019 aerial detection survey led by the USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region, and Colorado State Forest Service.

Every year, the agencies aerially monitor forest health conditions on millions of forested acres across the state. Today, the agencies released the results of last year’s aerial survey and survey map.

“Healthy, resilient forests are crucial to ensure that the American public continues to have clean water and air, wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities,” said Jennifer Eberlien, acting regional forester for the USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region. “This report is a snapshot of year-round proactive efforts to manage forests statewide, promote healthy landscapes and shared stewardship.” Continue reading

01-27-20 President Trump Addresses AFBF Convention

President Trump Addresses AFBF Convention

The BARN via NAFB News Service – January 27, 2020 – Samantha Munson is inside The BARN with this…President Donald Trump addressed the American Farm Bureau Federation Sunday as part of it’s 2020 annual convention in Austin, Texas on January 22nd, promising better times for farmers…


Audio provided as a service to farm broadcasters by the President Donald Trump and the American Farm Bureau Federation



The BARN via NAFB News Service – January 27, 2020 – Samantha Munson is inside The BARN with this…The American Farm Bureau Federation named Flint, an Australian shepherd from Utah as 2020 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year, during the annual AFBF Convention in Austin, Texas. The contest celebrates farm dogs that work alongside farmers and ranchers to produce nutritious food for families and their pets across America. Owned by Beth and Rhett Crandall, Beth says Flint is a staple in their family…


Audio provided as a service to farm broadcasters by the American Farm Bureau Federation

01-27-20 USDA: United Nations Declares 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health

USDA: United Nations Declares 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health

USDA Kicks Off Awareness Efforts in the United States

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 27, 2020 – Plants make the oxygen we breathe and give us 80 percent of the food we eat. But plants are under attack by invasive pests. These pests destroy up to 40 percent of the world’s food crops and cause $220 billion in trade losses each year according to the United Nations (U.N.). That leaves millions of people worldwide without enough food to eat and seriously damages agriculture—the primary source of income for rural communities.

Continue reading

01-27-20 NFU: Tenth Circuit Court Strikes Down EPA Small Refinery Exemptions

NFU: Tenth Circuit Court Strikes Down EPA Small Refinery Exemptions

WASHINGTON – In a decision that is expected to broadly impact the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) approach to granting small refinery exemptions (SREs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit late on Friday struck down three exemptions that were improperly issued by EPA.
The court ruling stems from a May 2018 challenge brought against EPA by the Renewable Fuels Association 9RFA), the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), and National Farmers Union (NFU).
“We are extremely pleased with the Tenth Circuit’s decision to vacate the waivers granted by EPA to three refineries owned by CVR Energy and HollyFrontier,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “The Court has affirmed our long-held position that EPA’s recent practices and policies regarding small refinery exemption extensions were completely unlawful. And while the decision addresses three specific exemptions, the statutory interpretation issues resolved by the court apply much more broadly.”

Continue reading

01-27-20 CPW: Confirmation of Wolves in Colorado Renders Ballot Measure Unnecessary

Coloradans Protecting Wildlife: Confirmation of Wolves in Colorado Renders Ballot Measure Unnecessary

Groups Call for Proponents to Pull Their Measure from 2020 Ballot

DENVER, Colo.—Jan 27, 2020 Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced on Jan. 8, 2020 that it strongly believes a pack of wolves is living in the northwest corner of Colorado. The ongoing investigation into the pack includes an eyewitness report of six wolves in October 2019 as well as the discovery last week of a thoroughly scavenged elk carcass near the same location as the October sighting.

Considering this news, Chad Vorthmann, Executive Vice President of the Colorado Farm Bureau called on the proponents of the ballot measure to leave nature alone and end their campaign. “Just as predicted, wolves are making their way into Colorado on their own. This measure is pointless and will only lead to wasted taxpayer dollars and increased bureaucracy. The proponents should let mother nature work its magic, stop trying to impose their will on the natural world, and retract their ballot measure.” Continue reading

01-27-20 Crop adviser and applicator credits approved for 32nd High Plains No-Till Conference

Crop adviser and applicator credits approved for 32nd High Plains No-Till Conference

KIT CARSON, Colo. – January 27, 2020 – Twenty-six sessions at the High Plains No-Till Conference in Burlington, Colorado have been approved for certified crop adviser credits. Eight of those sessions will also offer continuing education credits for licensed qualified supervisors, certified operators, and private applicators.

Scheduled for Feb. 4-5, the event will take place at the Burlington Community and Education Center. In addition to a trade show and outdoor equipment display, breakout sessions will be presented on an assortment of subjects, including soil health, regenerative grazing, farm profitability, specialty crops, and technology. Farmers will also share their first-hand experience with composting, no-till, and other conservation methods on producer panels dedicated to grazing cover crops and finding niche and direct markets.

“We are excited to bring in a lot of new speakers this year,” said Joni Mitchek, coordinator for the Colorado Conservation Tillage Association. “And we always try to offer as many credits as possible.”

Continue reading

01-27-19 CFB ALERT: Counties Want Authority to License Farms

CFB ALERT: Counties Want Authority to License Farms 

A proposal introduced in the legislature would give counties broad new business licensing authority. HB20-1093 “grants a board of county commissioners the authority to license and regulate any business located or business activity occurring within the county.”  This proposal is very concerning to the Colorado Farm Bureau as it would give counties authority to require business licenses for farmers and ranchers and ultimately give county governments the ability to regulate the practices involved with the new business license–Something that has never been done in Colorado before.

As farmers and ranchers, our members know how best to work their land and resources that are most productive and profitable. They also know best how to grow the crops/livestock they choose for their businesses. This proposal would be an additional layer of government burden on the ability for farmers and ranchers to grow the food, fuel and fiber necessary to sustain our state, the nation and the world.

Call your county commissioners, your state representative and your state senator today and relay your concern for this proposal! CFB is opposed to HB20-1093.

Have questions about how this bill will affect you? Contact Emily at emily@coloradofb.org


01-27-20 Unique Learning Opportunities for Ranchers at the NWSS Complex on February 20th

Unique Learning Opportunities for Ranchers at the NWSS Complex on February 20th

  • Focus on cattle handling, women in ranching, wild horse training & horse/mule packing training
  • Are you interested in learning how to handle livestock with less stress to yourself and your cattle?
  • Are you a woman involved in ranching or would like to be and looking to connect with other ranching women?
  • Would you like to know the process the US Forest Service (USFS)/Bureau of Land Management (BLM) uses to train wild caught horses?
  • Do you struggle to effectively pack a horse or mule?
  • Do you need a refresher on calibrating a sprayer?
  • What are some options for providing stock water in winter?
  • Ever wonder how to safely burn a pasture?


If so, mark The Range Practicum on your calendar for Thursday, February 20.  The Range Practicum will be a hands-on land and livestock training at the National Western (Stock show) Complex in Denver, CO.  It will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.   Registration is only $85 [$45 for students] and gives you access to all the sessions occurring that day.

The Practicum features an array of hands-on educational events.  The highlight is a low-stress livestock handling workshop led by Whit Hibbard of Montana. Whit is a Bud Williams protégé and a decades-long student of low-stress livestock management.  This includes horsemanship, ranch roping, and facilities design. Hibbard brings critical thinking, evidence-based wisdom, and practical research skills to working livestock.

Continue reading

01-26-20 The Best 16 Days in January Celebrates the Second Highest Attendance in Stock Show History

The Best 16 Days in January Celebrates the Second Highest Attendance in Stock Show History

DENVER, CO – The 114th National Western Stock Show (NWSS) celebrated sixteen days with 707,922 guests, making it the second highest attended show in Stock Show history. The grand champion attendance record of 726,972 guests was set in 2006 during the 100thAnniversary.

“Thank you to every single stock show fan, exhibitor, family member, contestant and volunteer who joined in the celebration this year,” said Paul Andrews, NWSS President and CEO. “Each person plays an important role, helping us keep the Western tradition alive right here in the heart of Denver.”

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, January 27th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, January 27th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

President Trump Expected to Sign USMCA on Wednesday

White House and administration officials confirmed to CNN that the president will sign the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement on Wednesday. The new agreement was one of the president’s biggest priorities during his term and was passed out of Congress just days before the impeachment trial began. Trump is expected to tout this agreement as an important highlight during the 2020 presidential campaign, especially in the swing states that will see a lot of benefits from the pact. For example, the agreement opens the Canadian dairy market to U.S. farmers, something Trump is likely to point out in dairy-heavy states like Wisconsin. During a speech at the American Farm Bureau’s National Convention, Trump told attendees that the agreement will “massively boost exports for farmers, ranchers, growers, and agricultural producers.” The deal was originally signed by leaders of all three countries back in November of 2018. However, the text was later changed after months of closed-door negotiations between House Democrats and the Trump Administration. The updates added additional labor protections and got rid of controversial patent protections for certain drugs.  


New WOTUS Rule Appears Headed to the Courts

Environmental groups and Democratic states are already promising to sue over the new Waters of the U.S. Rule, which the Trump administration calls the “Navigable Waters Protection Rule.” The conservative-leaning Pacific Legal Foundation made a similar promise, calling the new rule not narrow enough. If the challenges happen to make it to the Supreme Court, the administration is banking on being able to win the backing of five of the justices who have a novel interpretation of the limits of federal power laid out under the Clean Water Act. Legal experts tell Politico that it’s a gamble that could result in a lasting win for the administration and its allies or a “spectacular loss.” Janette Brimmer, an attorney for the northwest office of Earthjustice, joined other environmentalists in calling the new rule “the dirty water rule.” She says, “President Trump’s administration wants our waters to burn again.” The Chesapeake Bay Foundation says, “The administration’s new definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ unravels safeguards in place since the landmark Clean Water Act first went into effect in 1972.”


USDA Recruiting for a Trade Mission to the Philippines

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will lead a trade mission to the Philippines, designed to explore new business opportunities with the island nation. The trade mission will travel to Manila on April 20-23. They’re looking for agribusiness people who want to take part in the trip. Anyone interested should apply to the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service by February 6. Morgan Haas is the FAS counselor for agricultural affairs in Manila. She says, “U.S. agricultural exports to the Philippines have more than doubled over the last decade, reaching a record $3 billion in 2018. Positive consumer attitudes and a healthy business climate point to continued growth potential going forward.” Haas also says local consumers in the country have an affinity for American brands, while the country’s rapidly expanding retail, food service, and food processing sectors offer robust opportunities for U.S. exporters looking to sell agricultural raw materials, high-value ingredients, and consumer-oriented food and beverage products. FAS office staff in the Philippines will arrange business meetings between trade mission delegates and local companies seeking to import American farm and food products. The trip to the Philippines is one of seven trade missions USDA has scheduled in 2020.  


Queen Approves Brexit, Potential New Ag Markets for U.S.

Britain’s effort to leave the European Union was finally approved by Queen Elizabeth last week, clearing the way for the United Kingdom to make the move to independence. Royal approval was the last obstacle toward Brexit. Now it’s up to the European Union leaders to formally ratify the law in a vote scheduled for Wednesday. The EU Parliament’s constitutional affairs committee voted by a large margin last week to approve the Brexit withdrawal deal, paving the way for the final vote this week. The UK is expected to then begin trade negotiations with the EU as well as the United States soon after the move is official. The Brexit move could be very good news for American farmers, but that’s only if the UK doesn’t keep the restrictive EU-based ag policy in place that limits trade. Gregg Doud, the chief agricultural negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, says a new trade pact with Britain is of utmost importance to him. “In my mind, that’s a legitimate top ten market for U.S. agriculture,” Doudd says. “When that move is official, we’ll be right there ready to begin negotiations with the U.K.” Last week at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross sounded optimistic that a deal would get done once Brexit is completed.   


Legislators Send Letter to FDA on Dairy Labeling

Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat, and Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican, have led a bipartisan coalition that sent a letter to Stephen Hahn, the new Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. They’re asking Hahn to stop the use of dairy terms on the labels of non-dairy products. The Hagstrom Report says under the former commissioner, the FDA began to review how to enforce regulations on what may or may not be labeled a dairy product, and the public comment period on the topic has concluded. “Dairy farmers are now waiting for action from the FDA,” the senators say in the letter. “We encourage you to move swiftly to address this unfairness and ensure that dairy terms may only be used to describe products that include dairy.” The senators say imposter products should no longer be able to get away with violating the law and taking advantage of dairy’s “good name.” Baldwin and Risch are also the cosponsors of the Dairy Pride Act of 2019. The act requires non-dairy products made from nuts, seeds, plants, and algae to no longer be labeled with dairy terms like milk, cheese, and yogurt.”


Beef, Pork Production Hit Record Highs in December

Pork and red meat production hit a monthly record in December. The USDA says pork production totaled 2.44 billion pounds, a nine percent jump over December of the previous year. Slaughter was also higher, up nine percent to 11.4 million head. The average live weight gaining was up two pounds to 288 pounds. Beef production totaled 4.72 billion pounds, a jump of eight percent over 2018. Slaughter increased to 2.75 million head, up seven percent from December of 2018. The five-pound gain for the average live weight was 1,373 pounds. December red meat production totaled 4.72 billion pounds; eight percent higher than the previous year. Unofficially, red meat production for 2019 was 54.5 billion pounds, three percent higher than in 2018. The USDA’s official red meat production numbers for 2019 come out in April. December’s dairy cow slaughter totaled 265,400 head, a jump of 9.3 million head from November and 4.2 million more than the previous December. The unofficial total for 2019 was 3.22 million head, a 71,000 head increase above the 2018 total.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service