03-02-20 Larew to Lead National Farmers Union as its Next President

Larew to Lead National Farmers Union as its Next President

SAVANNAH – Delegates to the National Farmers Union (NFU) 118th Anniversary Convention today elected Rob Larew to succeed Roger Johnson as the organization’s president. Patty Edelburg, a Wisconsin dairy farmer, was reelected to serve a second term as vice president. Larew and Edelburg’s two-year terms begin today and will conclude at NFU’s 120th Anniversary Convention in 2022, at which point both may seek reelection.
“I am so honored that the farmers and ranchers, rural Americans, and advocates who make National Farmers Union all that it is have entrusted me with this great responsibility,” said Larew. “Under Roger’s leadership, this organization has grown and flourished. I look forward to building on those accomplishments to further expand the reach and strengthen the reputation of Farmers Union.”

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03-02-20 Colorado’s Bledsoe Cattle Named National BQA Award Winner

Bledsoe Cattle Company of Wray, Colorado named the 2020 BQA Feedyard Award Winner

Focus on Learning and Sharing Knowledge Earns Bledsoe Cattle Company BQA Feedyard Award

Bledsoe Cattle Company has a long history, with nearly a century’s worth of experience raising, working, and feeding cattle from the Texas panhandle to the plains of eastern Colorado. But if anything, the years have taught the Bledsoe family and their crews that no matter how much you know, there is always room to grow.

This philosophy has earned Bledsoe Cattle a place as an industry leader, and the 2020 National Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Feedyard Award. The company’s commitment to BQA guidelines has not only positively impacted its own operations, but its suppliers and customers.

“Doing it right is our priority and following BQA guidelines in that process, it’s huge for us,” said Grant Bledsoe, who owns and runs Bledsoe Cattle alongside his father, Bob Bledsoe, and their families.

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03-02-20 NCBA Announces 2020 Beef Quality Assurance Award Winners

National Cattleman’s Beef Association Announces 2020 Beef Quality Assurance Award Winners

(SAN ANTONIO – February 5, 2020) – The National Cattleman’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, has announced the winners of its 2020 Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Awards during the 2020 Cattle Industry Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

The National BQA Awards annually recognize outstanding beef and dairy producers and marketers. Winners not only demonstrate high-quality animal care and handling principles as part of their day-to-day operations, but express a strong desire to improve their operations through BQA. As good stewards of the cattle industry, a common trait among nominees is encouraging others to implement the producer education program. Award categories include: Cow-Calf, Dairy, Feedyard, Marketer and Educator.

2020 BQA Cow-Calf Award Continue reading

03-02-20 CCALT: Trinchera Blanca Foundation Supports San Luis Valley Conservation Strategy

CCALT: Trinchera Blanca Foundation Supports San Luis Valley Conservation Strategy

SAGUACHE, Colo (March 2, 2020) – The Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT) is pleased to announce a generous grant from the Trinchera Blanca Foundation to help make additional conservation in Colorado’s San Luis Valley (the Valley) possible in 2020 and beyond. The Trinchera Blanca Foundation’s support will advance CCALT’s San Luis Valley Conservation Strategy, a program designed to address increased demand for conservation tools from landowners in the Valley.
“Working farms and ranches are paramount to the character and economy of the Valley,” said Louis Bacon, chairman of The Moore Charitable Foundation and its local affiliate, Trinchera Blanca Foundation. “CCALT’s San Luis Valley Conservation Strategy program will give local landowners facing increased development pressure and other uncertainties a viable option to conserve their farm and ranch lands now and for future generations.”

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03-02-20 U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Recognizes Tyson Foods for Beef Sustainability Programs

U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Recognizes Tyson Foods for Beef Sustainability Programs

DENVER, Colo. (March 2, 2020) – Three Tyson Foods, Inc. sustainability programs achieved recognition for alignment to the U.S. Beef Industry Sustainability Framework. The recognition applies to processing facilities under the Tyson Fresh Meats sustainability program as well as to auction market and feedyard partners under the Tyson FarmCheck® Program.

The basis of recognition comes from the U.S. Beef Industry Sustainability Framework, an industry-adopted resource that outlines key areas of sustainability and opportunities for improvement across the beef value chain. The Framework is inclusive of high-priority indicators, sector specific metrics and sustainability assessment guides.

“Our company is committed to continuously improving the sustainability of our beef business and this includes partnering with our livestock suppliers to encourage best practices.” said Shane Miller, senior vice president and general manager of beef enterprise for Tyson Foods. “We’re pleased to be recognized for our efforts in this important area.” Continue reading

03-02-20 CDA: Governor Polis Proclaims March 1-7 as Colorado Weights and Measures Week

CDA: Governor Polis Proclaims March 1-7 as Colorado Weights and Measures Week

DENVER – Governor Polis has issued a proclamation declaring March 1-7, 2020 as Weights and Measures Week in Colorado.  Each year, the first week in March commemorates the signing of the first weights and measures law in the United States by President John Adams on March 2, 1799.

The proclamation honors the consumer protection efforts of the Colorado Department of Agriculture and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.  The work of these departments touches virtually every Coloradan by ensuring the accuracy of all commercial weighing and measuring equipment.

“Guaranteeing the accuracy of weights and measures is one of the oldest and most important activities of government,” says Hollis Glenn, Director of the Division of Inspection and Consumer Services at the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “Every citizen and every business has a direct financial interest in seeing that transactions are fair to both the buyer and seller.” Continue reading

03-02-20 USCA Responds to Trump Administration Reopening U.S. Borders to Brazilian Beef

USCA Responds to Trump Administration Reopening U.S. Borders to Brazilian Beef

(WASHINGTON) – In response to a recent announcement lifting the ban on the importation of Brazilian beef, United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) President Brooke Miller issued the following statement: Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, March 2nd

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, March 2nd

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Oil Industry Pushing Back against Biofuel Decision

A recent federal appeals court ruling last month tightened eligibility for ethanol blending waivers. As a result, the Trump administration is on track to stop approving so many waivers it had been handing out to oil refineries. It’s a major win for corn growers and biofuel producers. However, refiners and oil-state lawmakers are asking the president to step into the situation. Thirteen Republican senators sent the president a letter warning that the 10th Circuit Court decision if it’s applied nationally, would “jeopardize nearly all small refineries” and raise gasoline prices for U.S. drivers. They are asking Trump to file a petition for a rehearing and potentially seek a Supreme Court review of the decision. Politico says the White House has long been struggling to strike a balance between oil and agriculture in their standoff over the Renewable Fuels Standard. The January court decision made it more difficult for the president to find a compromise on an issue that has angered farmers more than any other administration policy, including the trade war. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler says the agency will be issuing guidance on the blending waivers within “days, not weeks.”

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Chicken Sandwiches Helping Get Through Poultry Glut in the U.S.

U.S. chicken companies are running production at a high rate right now, sparking a glut of product on the market and sending prices for products like breast meat to record lows. Yahoo Finance says despite that, the industry might see a bright 2020 ahead. That’s thanks in part to the chicken sandwich craze that seems to be sweeping America’s fast-food restaurants. Joe Sanderson Jr. is CEO of Sanderson Farms, Incorporated. He says the “sandwich wars” among fast-food chains could end up being an unofficial “bailout” that the oversupplied U.S. poultry industry needs. As an example, Popeyes quickly ran out of its new chicken sandwiches when they were first launched nationwide last August. Even though the overall poultry industry faces a glut, supplies of the smaller chickens, between four and five pounds, is running short. Poultry buyers are turning to processors like Sanderson Farms to take larger portions and cut them down to sandwich size. U.S. chicken farmers continue to produce more meat. Egg sets and chick placements are trending four percent higher than last year. The USDA the poultry industry set to produce a record 45.3 billion pounds of broiler meat this year.

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EU Continues to Say No to Ag in Trade Talks with the U.S.

A top European Union trade official says Europe seriously wants a trade agreement with the United States. However, EU political leaders still won’t negotiate on significant agricultural policies. Bernd (Burned) Lange is chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade. He was in Washington, D.C. last week to talk to lawmakers and Trump administration officials. Reporters continued to question him about the U.S. demands that the EU reduce its ag tariff and non-tariff barriers to U.S. farm commodities. “On agriculture, everyone knows that this is not possible,” Lange says. Lange was in the nation’s capital to try and kickstart the stalled trade talks. While visiting with staff in Senator Chuck Grassley’s office, the staff members told Lange that “agriculture should be in any deal.” Lange’s response was a simple one; “it’s not possible.” An Agri-Pulse report says that is the opposite of what EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan had said in a recent visit to the U.S. Hogan had told reporters that Europe was considering taking a more flexible approach on its refusal to include agriculture in trade talks with the U.S. The EU will soon be busy as formal trade talks with the United Kingdom are set to begin on today (Monday).

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Farm Bureau Takes Lead on Mental Health Campaign

Bayer and the American Farm Bureau announced that the “Farm State of Mind” campaign, initiated by Bayer, will be transferring over to the Farm Bureau. The campaign is designed to help take away some of the stigmas on the topic of mental health in rural communities, as well as provide relevant information to farm families on this important topic. Farm Bureau is planning to combine the Farm State of Mind assets with those of its ongoing Rural Resilience campaign, expanding the reach and effectiveness of its rural mental health initiatives. Lisa Safarian, President of Bayer Crop Science, says, “We quickly realized this issue is much bigger than any one single company and no group is better positioned than Farm Bureau to take the lead on this campaign to help realize its full potential.” Bayer says transitioning this program to an organization as trusted as Farm Bureau will greatly help to expand its reach and effectiveness among farmers. “As a third-generation farmer, I’m familiar with the stress of farm life,” says Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall, “and have heard a lot of heartbreaking stories as I travel around the country.” Complicating the issue is the fact that many farmers are reluctant to talk about the effect of stress or seek help in dealing with it. “We’re excited to be able to expand our impact by growing this campaign to connect even more farmers and ranchers with the resources they need,” Duvall adds.

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New Stewardship Network Celebrates Conservation in Agriculture

The National Corn Growers Association and the Environmental Defense Fund launched the Success in Stewardship Network at the Commodity Classic. The network will celebrate and accelerate the use of agricultural conservation practices on U.S. corn farms. The network will showcase success stories from the many farmers and state-level programs putting stewardship into practice to build an ever-growing network of corn farmers who are also conservation leaders. The NCGA and the EDG recognized the Minnesota Corn Innovation Grant Program, as well as the Illinois Corn Precision Conservation Management Program, for their farmer-supported efforts to deliver clean water, healthy soils, and farm profitability. Callie Eideberg, director of agricultural policy and special projects with EDF, says, “The Success in Stewardship Network will break down the notion that conservation is only for an elite group of farmers. Practices that protect the land and water and increase climate resilience are more prevalent than many people think.” Both organizations say the new network will bring farmers and agricultural organizations together to continue making conservation more commonplace.”

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USDA Offering New Hurricane Insurance Endorsement for Crop Year 2020

The USDA’s Risk Management Agency announced it will be offering a new crop insurance endorsement, called the Hurricane Insurance Protection – Wind Index, during 2020. The new endorsement covers a portion of the deductible of the underlying crop insurance policy when a county, or adjacent county, is within the area of sustained hurricane-force winds. The coverage provided by HIP-WI can be combined with the Supplemental Coverage Option and the Stacked Income Protection Plan when acreage is also insured by a companion policy. “Hurricane season will be upon us before we know it,” says RMA Administrator Martin Barbre. “This new hurricane endorsement provides some added protection for producers along the Gulf and east coasts, as well as Hawaii. The past couple of hurricane seasons have taught us that more coverage is needed in these areas and that prompt payment for losses is important, not only for the impacted producers but also for these rural communities.” The new endorsement provides coverage for 70 different crops and is available in counties in the vicinity of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, as well as Hawaii. The deadline to purchase HIP-WI coverage for the 2020 crop year is April 30.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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