03-03-20 NFU Concludes 118th Anniversary Convention

NFU Concludes 118th Anniversary Convention

Delegates Adopt Policy, Special Orders of Business to Guide Organization

SAVANNAH – The National Farmers Union (NFU) 118th Anniversary Convention concluded today following the adoption of the organization’s policy book and special orders of business. More than 500 family farmers and ranchers convened in Savannah, Georgia, to set policy positions and priorities that support American farm and ranch families and strengthen rural communities. Continue reading



The Collaborative Adaptive Rangeland Management Stakeholders Group (CARMSG) received an Outstanding Achievement Award for Land Stewardship at the Society for Range Management’s (SRM) 73rd Annual Meeting, Technical Training, and Trade Show in Denver, CO, February 16-20, 2020.  The Outstanding Achievement Award is presented by the Society for Range Management to members and other qualified individuals and groups working with rangelands.

L to R: Angela Dwyer, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies; Steve Anderson, Crow Valley Livestock Cooperative; Dana Bowman, Crow Valley Livestock Cooperative; Matt Pollart, CO State Land Board; Terri Schulz, The Nature Conservancy; Annie Overlin, CO State University Ext; Ted Toombs, Environmental Defense Fund; Andy Lawrence, Crow Valley Livestock Cooperative; (Not Pictured: Stephanie Magnuson, USDA‐Forest Service and Rachel Murph, USDA–NRCS)’

The Collaborative Adaptive Rangeland Management (CARM) Stakeholder Group – comprised of 11 members representing ranchers, conservation/environmental organizations, and land management agencies – is transforming engagement between managers and science, and bridging gaps among diverse interests by engaging in science-based, collaborative management. The group is examining how management-science partnerships can be used in a real-world manner (i.e., at ranch-level scales with manager involvement) to evaluate the effectiveness of adaptive rangeland management for production and conservation goals on semiarid rangelands. Their work takes place in the shortgrass steppe using the USDA Central Plains Experimental Range as a “living laboratory” and translating results to wider management audiences.

L -R: 2020 SRM Outstanding Achievement Award for Stewardship recipients, CARMSG members Teri Schulz, Hailey Wilmer (nominator), Ted Toombs, Stephanie Magnuson & Angela Dwyer with SRM President (2019) Dr. Clayton Marlow.

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03-03-20 Inside Colorado Corn with Kim Reddin, Randy Wenger & Mike LeFever…

Inside the BARN with Colorado Corn Reddin-Wenger-Lefever 030320Inside Colorado Corn with Kim Reddin, Randy Wenger & Mike LeFever…

BRIGGSDALE, CO – March 3, 2020 – The 2020 Commodity Classic was held Feb 27-29 in San Antonio, TX along with that was also the annual Corn Congress session 1 was on Feb 27th and Session II was on Feb 29th – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network & FarmCast Radio at this time to RECAP both events, other industry news & events are 3 members of the Colorado Corn, including:

  • Kim Reddin, Communications Director at Colorado Corn,
  • Randy Wenger, CCGA Secretary, Chair of Public Policy, and Colorado’s voting Delegate for Corn Congress (Yuma)
  • & Mike Lefever, board member for NCGA and the At-Large Director for the CCAC (Longmont)


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WASHINGTON – Today, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) announced the release of a free, first-of-its-kind curriculum, “A Guide to Conducting a Pollinator Conservation Field Day,” available for download through NACD’s new Conservation Education Hub.

The guide was developed through support from the David Rockefeller Fund Pollinator Education Initiative Grant and the Pollinator Partnership.

This new curriculum is designed to provide interactive learning experiences for grades K-8, engaging them in habitat-focused, pollinator-themed activities for the classroom and outdoors. Each activity has been correlated to education standards and provides a pathway to valuable partnerships with local soil and water conservation districts.

“By arming both traditional and non-traditional educators and facilitators with this field day guide, NACD will help provide additional avenues for communities to interact and forge relationships with their local conservation districts,” NACD President Tim Palmer said. Continue reading

03-03-20 CDA: Vet School Loan Repayment Assistance Program Benefits Rural Communities

CDA: Vet School Loan Repayment Assistance Program Benefits Rural Communities

BROOMFIELD, CO – The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced funding to assist eligible veterinarians in repaying a portion of their veterinary school loans in return for serving in regions of the United States lacking sufficient veterinary resources.

Funding is awarded through NIFA’s Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), which will pay up to $25,000 each year towards qualified educational loans of eligible veterinarians who agree to serve in a NIFA-designated veterinarian shortage situation for a period of three years.

“Resolving the burden of veterinary school loan debt expands veterinarians’ capabilities to better serve within their local communities,” said Colorado State Veterinarian Dr. Keith Roehr. “When debt loads are reduced, veterinarians have a greater ability to establish roots in rural communities and further animal health services in the areas they serve.” Continue reading

03-3-20 The 2019 Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board Annual Report: Your Dollar Kept Demand Strong

The 2019 Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board Annual Report: Your Dollar Kept Demand Strong

Your Dollar Drives Results

The 2019 Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board Annual Report is now available. The Beef Checkoff’s top priority is to drive demand for beef. This year’s report highlights exactly how your dollar helped support and strengthen the entire industry.

This Isn’t Your Typical Report

  • See how many consumers Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. has reached
  • Get the truth about meat substitutes’ popularity
  • Learn how BQA-certified producers earned more
  • Review hard data on beef demand
  • Discover the global impact of beef
  • Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.



03-03-20 CCALT: First Ranch of 2020 Conserved

CCALT: First Ranch of 2020 Conserved

In February, CCALT officially conserved our first ranch of the new decade! Read on for details about the completion of the R Lazy J Ranch Conservation Project and more exciting (and cute) updates from CCALT.
CCALT teamed up with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and landowner James Ritchie to conserve another 2,500 acres of a multi-phase conservation project near Meeker, Colorado. The R Lazy J Ranch lies along Flag Creek and stretches up Western Colorado’s Grand Hogback. The ranch provides excellent habitat for elk and is home to one of Colorado’s larger elk migration corridors. Now conserved in perpetuity, this ranch will continue to provide spectacular benefit for both the wildlife and people of northwest Colorado. Click here to read more about the project.

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03-03-20 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: U.S. Pork Products Making Big Gains in Australia and New Zealand

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: U.S. Pork Products Making Big Gains in Australia and New Zealand  

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO – March 3, 2020 – One of the regions that helped push U.S. pork exports to record levels in 2019 is Oceania, where exports to Australia increased by about one-third year-over-year and the volume shipped to New Zealand jumped by nearly 40%. Because distribution and sale of fresh U.S. pork faces significant restrictions in the region, most of the export volume to Oceania is raw material used for further processing. However, value-added U.S. pork products are also rapidly gaining popularity in Australia and New Zealand’s retail and foodservice sectors.

From her office in Singapore, Sabrina Yin, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) regional director for Southeast Asia, oversees promotional activities for U.S. pork in Australia and New Zealand. She explains that a tight labor market and rising raw material prices in these countries make finished U.S. pork products especially attractive to importers and distributors. Yin adds that USMEF is looking to further expand sales of these products through direct consumer outreach as well as by matching U.S. suppliers with prospective customers, including distributors, retailers and food service operators.

Last year U.S. pork exports to Australia totaled more than 105,000 metric tons (mt), a year-over-year increase of 31%, while export value climbed 33% to $302 million. Exports to New Zealand were 10,866 mt, up 38% from 2018, with value increasing 45% to $37.2 million.

Sabrina Yin on record pork exports to Oceania 3-2-20

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, March 3rd

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, March 3rd

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

NFU President Johnson Retires, Larew Elected

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson this week delivered his final address to the organization before retirement and the election of a new leader. After 11 years, Johnson announced his plans to retire in 2020. Delegates Monday elected Rob Larew to succeed 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 Larew says, “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.” Larew, who was raised on a West Virginia dairy farm, served as NFU’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications since fall 2016. Prior to his employment with NFU, Larew served more than 22 years in Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

USTR: Trump Trade Agenda Creating “Blue Collar Boom”

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says the Trump administration’s trade agenda is resulting in a “blue-collar boom.” In the Trade Policy Agenda and Annual Report delivered to Congress Friday, Lighthizer highlighted the trade accomplishments over the past year, including the signing of trade agreements with Mexico, Canada, China and Japan, as well as enforcement actions and efforts to bring change to the World Trade Organization. Going forward, the report states that President Donald Trump will “continue to rebalance America’s trade relationships” to benefit American workers, aggressively enforce U.S. trade laws, and take prompt action in response to unfair trade practices by other nations. Lighthizer says President Trump seeks new trade agreements with the United Kingdom, the European Union and Kenya, which would be the United States’ first free trade agreement in sub-Saharan Africa. The 2020 trade agenda also includes the enforcement of commitments by trading partners in trade agreements, including the USMCA, the China Phase One Agreement and WTO agreements.

China Calling ASF Vaccine Effective in Lab Test

A research institute in China says it’s African swine fever vaccine is proving to be safe and effective. China’s Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, overseen by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, says the live vaccine with reduced virulence was created from a series of gene-deleted viruses using the country’s first African swine fever strain, according to Bloomberg News. The institute says the vaccine is “currently the most promising one for commercial production,” potentially providing prevention and control of African swine fever. Researchers in the United States earlier this year announced a separate vaccine that was 100 percent effective. However, development and availability to farmers are still years away. African swine fever is thought to have impacted 40 percent, or more, of China’s hog herd. China is the world’s largest pork consumer and producer. However, China is set to have a record number of pork imports this year, due to the virus. In February, Rabobank expected U.S. pork exports to remain strong because of African swine fever, and recent trade agreements.

USDA Announces Additional Disaster Assistance Signup

The Department of Agriculture will open signup for disaster assistance on March 23 for producers to apply for eligible losses of drought and excess moisture. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the additional disaster assistance late last week. Through WHIP+, USDA is helping producers recover from losses related to 2018 and 2019 natural disasters. USDA is also entering into agreements with six sugar beet processing cooperatives to distribute $285 million to grower members of those cooperatives who experienced loss. Secretary Perdue says, “disaster events the past two years have been atypically widespread, relentless and unforgiving,” adding “President Trump has the backs of our farmers, and we aim to support them as they recover.” In June 2019, more than $3 billion was made available through a disaster relief package passed by Congress and signed by President Trump. In December 2019, Congress passed, and President Trump signed the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 that provides an additional $1.5 billion for the continuation of disaster assistance program delivery.

Perdue Orders USDA Fleet Vehicles to Increase Biofuels Use

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue last week directed Department of Agriculture employees to acquire alternative fueled vehicles when replacing conventionally fueled vehicles. USDA owns and operates one of the largest civilian fleets in the Federal Government. Through the directive, USDA is moving to acquire E85- or biodiesel-capable vehicles that meet USDA mission requirements instead of those that take conventional gasoline. This will occur over time during the normal fleet renewal process. USDA currently has 37,000 vehicles and replaces approximately 3,000 every year. Additionally, USDA will make $100 million in grants available this year for the newly created Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program. Through the program, biodiesel distribution facilities will be able to apply for grants to help install, retrofit or upgrade fuel storage and related infrastructure to sell ethanol and biodiesel. USDA plans to publish application deadlines and other program information in the Federal Register this spring. Secretary Perdue says both actions “underscore that USDA is putting our money where our mouth is when it comes to increased biofuels usage.”

Mid-Mississippi Delta River Region Potentially a “Next California”

A report from the World Wildlife Fund details how the Mid-Mississippi Delta River Region could become the “Next California” of fruit and vegetable production because of climate change. The report, The Next California, Phase 1: Investigating Potential in the Mid-Mississippi Delta River Region, explores the viability of shifting some fruit and vegetable production to an area of the U.S. currently dominated by row crops. Findings show that while California will continue to be a key agricultural state, the mid-Mississippi Delta River region is well-positioned to supplement fruit and vegetable production, contributing to a more distributed and climate-resilient food system. Jason Clay, senior vice president of markets at the World Wildlife Fund, says, “A hotter and drier California, with more extreme weather events, is bad news for farmers,” adding, “We need a plan to mitigate risk and take some pressure off the state and its environment.” The report identifies several advantages to selecting the Delta region as a pilot for more intensive fruit and vegetable production. These include a long history of farming, the low cost of land and labor, fertile soils, abundant rain and surface water and economic benefits.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service