03-06-20 ICYMI: U.S. Agriculture Secretary Perdue Strengthens SNAP E&T

ICYMI: U.S. Agriculture Secretary Perdue Strengthens SNAP E&T

(Washington, D.C., Friday, March 6, 2020) – Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a proposed rule that will strengthen the way states serve Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients through Employment and Training. The proposal was announced at Jane Addams Resource Corporation (JARC) in Baltimore, Maryland where they teach low-income adults and workers the skills they need to earn a living wage, connect job seekers with good jobs in the manufacturing sector, and foster the life skills that create a path out of poverty. The Secretary’s visit comes on the heels of President Donald J. Trump’s continued historic economic expansion which includes today’s news that unemployment ticked down to 3.5% and that there are 6.4 million job openings across the nation.

Click HERE to watch a recap video of Secretary Perdue’s JARC visit.

Click HERE for more photos of Secretary Perdue’s JARC visit.


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03-06-20 Adams County firm pulls off construction hat trick – Fiore & Sons picks up 3rd award for building the 70 Ranch Reservoir

70 Ranch Reservoir near Kersey, Colorado

Adams County firm pulls off construction hat trick – Fiore & Sons picks up 3rd award for building the 70 Ranch Reservoir

An Adams County company that built an earthen reservoir in Weld County as part of Colorado’s vital water conservation efforts on Friday collected its third major award for the project. 

To build the reservoir, Fiore & Sons Inc., a Colorado civil construction company, moved more than 3 million cubic yards of dirt.

The Colorado Contractors Association presented the award to Fiore & Sons its annual H20 Awards banquet, which honors outstanding water projects in the state. Fiore won in the “dam/reservoir” category. 

“It was an honor to be part of such a unique project,” said President Butch Fiore, whose grandfather founded the firm in 1959.

The 5,500 acre-foot 70 Ranch Reservoir stores water to support the ranch’s cattle and farming operations, and provides storage for local agricultural and municipal water providers. It’s located near Kersey above the South Platte River, and below the confluence of the St. Vrain and Cache La Poudre rivers. Continue reading

03-06-20 RMFU Welcomes Representative Small’s Appointment to U.S. House Agriculture Committee

RMFU Welcomes Representative Small’s Appointment to U.S. House Agriculture Committee

The appointment of New Mexico Representative Xochitl Torres Small to the U.S. House Agriculture Committee is a welcome step forward for farmers and ranchers across the western states says Dr. Dale McCall, president of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.

“We are pleased with this action, knowing she will give voice to the families who make their living farming and ranching from our region,” says McCall. “We know she will be an advocate for farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.”

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is a general farm organization representing 20,000 family members in New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming.

Submitted to The BARN by: Continue reading

03-06-20 CSU Golden Plains Area Extension: Tis’ the season for a lot of Bull…

CSU Golden Plains Area Extension: Tis the season for a lot of Bull…..

WRAY, CO – March 6, 2020 – You can always tell when the first of the year rolls around in the cattle business. This is the time of year when your mailbox fills with bull sale flyers, catalogs, and every newspaper or cattle twice as heavy from advertisements. These ads feature calving ease bulls, bulls to improve your weaning weights, bulls with superior carcass traits, maternal bulls, and the list goes on.  We also can expect to see indices with expected progeny difference (EPD) for every trait you can imagine.  Buyers should be able to get a bull purchased, but there are some things every “bull buyer” should think about to help make that purchase more successful. Continue reading

03-06-20 NPPC: ASF Prevention, Plant-Based Product Labels Among NPPC Resolutions Approved

NPPC: ASF Prevention, Plant-Based Product Labels Among NPPC Resolutions Approved

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 6, 2020 – At the National Pork Producers Council’s (NPPC) National Pork Industry Forum held here, delegates adopted several important resolutions this week, including those that call on NPPC to: Continue reading

03-06-20 NPPC: Ten Students Awarded Pork Industry Scholarships

NPPC: Ten Students Awarded Pork Industry Scholarships

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 6, 2020 – The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) today awarded scholarships to 10 college students who intend to pursue careers in the pork industry. The Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship program is sponsored by CME Group and the National Pork Industry Foundation, and managed and administered by NPPC. The award was announced at NPPC’s annual National Pork Industry Forum here.

The 2020 winners of the $2,500 scholarships – named after the late NPPC vice president from Mt. Olive, N.C. – are: Continue reading

03-06-20 NPPC: USDA Announces ASF Response Plan; Prevention Remains Top Priority

NPPC: USDA Announces ASF Response Plan; Prevention Remains Top Priority

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 6, 2020 – At the National Pork Industry Forum today, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach announced an African swine fever (ASF) action plan should the swine-only disease be detected in the United Sates. To date, the United States is free of African swine fever; prevention remains the number one priority for the National Pork Producers Council.

According to the plan, USDA Secretary Perdue would immediately declare an “extraordinary emergency” if ASF was detected in the United States. In doing so, the USDA would be established as the leader of a national, coordinated response to control and eradicate the swine disease, which poses no human health or food safety risks. By declaring an extraordinary emergency, the USDA ensures the availability of funding and other resources to effectively manage response.

“We are grateful to Secretary Perdue and Under Secretary Ibach for hearing the concerns of U.S. pork producers,” said David Herring, NPPC president and a pork producer from Lillington, North Carolina. “We remain committed to working with the USDA and Customs and Border Protection to keep ASF out of the United States.”

Other elements of the USDA response plan include: Continue reading

03-06-20 NPPC Elects New Officers, Board Members

NPPC Elects New Officers, Board Members

*CORRECTED* WASHINGTON, D.C., March 6, 2020 – The National Pork Producers Council today elected new officers and members to its board of directors at its National Pork Industry Forum held here.

Howard AV Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wis., was elected NPPC president. A fifth-generation farmer, he owns and operates Roth Feeder Pigs. In addition to serving on the NPPC board for the past eight years, Roth previously sat on the Wisconsin Pork Association board of directors and currently serves as chairman of the association’s Swine Health Committee.

Roth takes over from David Herring, a hog farmer from Lillington, N.C., who becomes NPPC immediate past president and chairman of the council’s trade and nominating committees. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, March 6th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, March 6th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

USDA Proposes SNAP Changes

The Department of Agriculture Thursday announced a proposed rule that it says will strengthen the way states serve Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients through Employment and Training. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says, currently, SNAP participants have exclusive access to training and support services to help them enter or move up in the workforce. The proposed rule, Employment and Training Opportunities in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, makes changes to these services to “empower more SNAP participants to gain the skills, training, or work experience they need to move toward – and into – employment.” USDA says the proposed changes are evidence-based and hold states accountable for providing SNAP Employment and Training services that move participants towards work. The Hagstrom Report points out that the rule also states repeatedly that state agencies shall inform all able-bodied adults without dependents, a category of SNAP recipient, of the work requirement on them and the time limit to comply both in writing and orally.

NPPC Applauds Signing of Ag Inspectors Bill

The National Pork Producers Council welcomed the signing of a bill to increase the number of agricultural inspectors at U.S. entry points. NPPC says the bill will help prevent the spread of African swine fever, and other foreign animal diseases from entering the United States. The legislation authorizes funding for 720 new agricultural inspectors at land, air and sea ports. The legislation also authorizes 600 new agricultural technicians and 60 new agricultural canine teams. NPPC President David Herring, a hog farmer from North Carolina, says, “This is a victory for farmers, consumers and the American economy.” NPPC says the most likely path for a foreign animal disease to enter the country would be through the illegal transport of contaminated products. An outbreak of certain foreign animal diseases would immediately close U.S. pork export markets, causing significant damage to farmers and consumers. NPPC continues to advocate for other preparedness measures, including quickly establishing a U.S. Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine bank as provided for in the 2018 Farm Bill.

R-CALF Calls Again for COOL Amid Brazil Imports

In response to the late February announcement by the Department of Agriculture that it will open the U.S. market to fresh beef from Brazil, R-CALF is calling for the restoration of mandatory Country-of-Origin meat labeling. The organization points out that Brazil is a country with a history of engaging in corrupt food safety practices, and is distributing a research paper to congressional offices titled Restoring Mandatory COOL for Beef Without Running Afoul of the WTO’s Adverse Ruling. R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard says the lack of Country-of-Origin meat labeling “means beef produced by America’s cattle farmers and ranchers cannot compete against the soon-to-arrive increased quantities of Brazilian beef.” Bullard claims the only way to end consumer deception is for Congress to pass legislation requiring Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling on all beef products sold at retail stores. Congress removed beef and pork from the current COOL law in late 2015 to avoid retaliatory tariffs from Canada and Mexico, authorized by the World Trade Organization.

Midwest Lawmakers Introduce Missouri River Management Bill

Midwest lawmakers Thursday introduced legislation to overhaul the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ process for managing water resource projects along the lower Missouri River system. Senators from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska introduced the bill to establish a new program that would require the Corps of Engineers to implement a system-wide approach to water development projects to reduce flood risk and improve flood protection along the lower Missouri River. Iowa Republican Joni Ernst says, that, “As evidenced by the recurring flooding in the lower basin, the current approach is not working.” Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt says the bill gives the Corps of Engineers the “ability to develop a comprehensive system plan to design and build critical flood control projects that will do a better job of protecting people and property.” The lawmakers say the proposal provides greater efficiencies and streamlining with regard to how the Corps plans for and manages Missouri River water resource development projects from inception to completion.

2020 Missouri River Runoff Expected Above Average

Forecasters expect another above-average runoff year along the Missouri River. Current conditions, including soil moisture, plains and mountain snowpack, as well as long-term temperature and precipitation outlooks forecast runoff to be 36.9 million acre-feet, 143 percent of average, for the upper Missouri River basin above Sioux City, Iowa for 2020. Average annual runoff for the upper basin is 25.8 million-acre feet. Gavins Point releases were decreased from 38,000 cubic feet per second to 35,000  this week as tributaries downstream of Gavins Point began to rise due to the melting of the plains snowpack in South Dakota. The potential for above-average runoff in the upper basin, coupled with continued high river stages on many of the uncontrolled tributaries downstream of the reservoir system, increases the potential for flooding, particularly in the lower river. Many farmers along the Missouri River are still recovering from flooding in 2019 that started in March of last year.

FDA Creates Feed Your Mind initiative to Increase GMO Understanding

A new federal collaboration seeks to improve consumer understanding of genetically modified organisms. Created by the Food and Drug Administration, in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture, the Feed Your Mind initiative aims to answer the most common questions that consumers have about GMOs. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn says that while GMO’s are a common part of the food supply, “there are a lot of misconceptions about them,” adding, the initiative is intended to help people better understand what these products are and how they are made. The Feed Your Mind initiative is launching in phases. The materials released this week include a new website, as well as a selection of fact sheets, infographics and videos. Additional materials—including a supplementary science curriculum for high schools, resources for health professionals and additional consumer materials—will be released later in 2020 and 2021. Find the information online at www.fda.gov/feedyourmind.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service