03-26-20 CO Governor Polis Takes Further Action to Address COVID-19

CO Governor Polis Takes Further Action to Address COVID-19

DENVER – Gov. Polis announced Executive Orders taking further action to protect public health and safety.

“We will continue taking the bold steps necessary to limit the spread of this virus including those to increase convenience for Coloradans staying at home. These new actions will ensure Coloradans can have their licenses renewed without having to go in person. We also took actions to protect our prison guards and facilities today. For now, people need to stay at home whenever possible to save lives,” said Governor Polis. 

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03-26-20 USDA Secretary Perdue Applauds State Department’s H-2 Decision

USDA Secretary Perdue Applauds State Department’s H-2 Decision

(Washington, D.C., March 26, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement in response to the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to authorize temporary waivers for in-person interviews for eligible H-2 visa applicants.

“Temporarily waiving in-person interviews for H-2 visa applicants streamlines the application process and helps provide steady labor for the agriculture sector during this time of uncertainty,” said Secretary Perdue. “H-2 labor is vital to the economy and food security of America – our farmers and producers depend on these workers to continue to feed and clothe the world.”

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03-26-20 Inside The BARN with National Pork Board’s Angie Krieger: Closer Look at the Supply Chain Situation

Inside The BARN with National Pork Board’s Angie Krieger: Closer Look at the Supply Chain Situation

The BARN – Briggsdale, CO – March 26, 2020 – A closer look Inside The BARN at the pork supply chain from packer to supermarket and the challenges from the recent COVID-19 pandemic here in the United States and more with my guest Angie Krieger, VP of Domestic Marketing at the National Pork Board

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The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety and sustainability and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at www.pork.org

03-26-20 Tri-State supports COVID-19 pandemic relief and recovery funds in four states

Tri-State supports COVID-19 pandemic relief and recovery funds in four states

  • Donation of $200,000 to be made by Tri-State on behalf of members to support relief and recovery.
  • Effort exemplifies Cooperative Principle of “Concern for Community.”
(March 26, 2020 – Westminster, Colo.) –Donations totaling $200,000 for Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming coronavirus relief and recovery efforts are being made by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association on behalf of its 46 member distribution cooperatives, public power districts and non-utility members.
“Concern for Community” is one of the seven Cooperative Principles that guide the not-for-profit cooperative business model. Electric cooperatives, which were formed by their members, have a long history of supporting their communities in times of crisis. Tri-State will re-allocate funds to be distributed to relief efforts in all four states served by the association’s members.
“We are proud to support each governor’s efforts to provide relief in their state,” said Rick Gordon, chairman of Tri-State and director of Mountain View Electric Association in Limon, Colo. “Cooperatives know well that we are all stronger when we combine our resources and work together to serve our communities.”

03-26-20 CDPHE News: State health department distributes testing kits to Larimer, Mesa, and El Paso counties for health care workers and first responders

CDPHE News: State health department distributes testing kits to Larimer, Mesa, and El Paso counties for health care workers and first responders

DENVER, March 26, 2020: The Colorado State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) are distributing 4,500 testing kits obtained from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to health departments in Larimer, Mesa, and El Paso counties so that those agencies can promote testing of first responders and health care workers in their regions.

This testing strategy helps strengthen medical capacity through early identification of health care workers and first responders who may test positive for COVID-19. Only symptomatic workers will be tested to verify their exposure and allow those with negative results to continue providing medical care and public safety services. Those with positive results will complete self-isolation following public health guidelines.

“Colorado has continued to seek ways to expand our testing of critical populations. We are grateful to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for providing these testing kits for our crucial health care workers and first responders working on the front line,” said Scott Bookman, CDPHE COVID-19 Incident Commander.  “These kits will strengthen our medical capacity, allowing us to verify positive cases among first-line resources and work to keep them — and the people they serve — healthy.”

03-26-20 CDA Commissioner Kate Greenberg: CDA Update on Statewide State-At-Home Order

CDA Commissioner Kate Greenberg: CDA Update on Statewide State-At-Home Order

Dear Customers & Colleagues,
On March 25, 2020, Governor Polis issued a statewide Stay-At-Home Order and CDPHE issued the amended Public Health Order (PHO) 20-24 to implement the Governor’s EO. The order began today, March 26, 2020 at 6:00 a.m. It requires all Colorado residents to stay at home whenever possible, except those who work in critical business areas or are performing necessary activities. Any business not considered a “Critical Business” as defined in the PHO is to close temporarily until April 11, 2020, except to protect assets and maintain personnel functions. Please see the full orders for term definitions.
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What does this mean for agriculture?

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03-26-20 Bent-Prowers Cattle & Horse Growers Association: Cattlemen to hold virtual meeting

 

Bent-Prowers Cattle & Horse Growers Association: Cattlemen to hold virtual meeting

Bent-Prowers Cattle & Horse Growers Association will hold its 151st annual meeting on Saturday, April 4. Due to the coronavirus concerns, the annual meeting, educational panel and industry updates will be on Zoom, said Pres. Amber Freouf of Bristol. The virtual meeting or webinar-style session will begin at 10 a.m. and may be accessed by computer or phone. Continue reading

03-26-20 CDPHE News: State health department enacts public health order as a critical measure to save lives 

CDPHE News: State health department enacts public health order as a critical measure to save lives 

DENVER, March 26, 2020: In accordance with Governor Jared Polis’ executive order and because the transmission of COVID-19 is widespread throughout the state, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) enacted a public health order requiring Coloradans to stay at home, except to do limited necessary activities as outlined in the order. The order is intended to slow the spread of COVID-19, saving people in Colorado from severe illness and death. The order minimizes contact between people, limiting exposure to the virus.

Colorado must act now to “flatten the curve” of increased cases, which will help hospitals to prepare for the expected surge of COVID-19 patients. Based on global COVID-19 rates of hospitalization and death, public health experts predict that without measures like the stay-home order, Colorado hospitals will be unable to handle the surge of sick people, and many in the state could die. Even with these extreme measures, hospitals likely will reach their maximum capacity to care for people with severe symptoms. The stay-at-home order aims to slow the rate of spread of the virus, giving our health care and emergency management systems additional time to grow capacity. Each and every person in Colorado plays a part in slowing the spread of the virus.

The public health order requires people in Colorado  to stay at home, except when doing necessary activities including: Continue reading

03-26-20 USDA NASS-CO Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report

USDA NASS-CO Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report

QUARTERLY HOGS AND PIGS – MARCH 1, 2020

COLORADO

Colorado inventory of all hogs and pigs on March 1, 2020 was 740,000 head, down 3 percent from December 1, 2019 and down 8 percent from last year. Breeding inventory, at 155,000 head, was unchanged from the previous quarter and unchanged from last year. Market hog inventory, at 585,000 head, was down 3 percent from last quarter and down 9 percent from last year.

The December 2019-February 2020 pig crop, at 742,000 head, was up 3 percent from the previous year. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 72,000 head, down 8 percent from a year ago. The average pigs saved per litter was 10.30 for the December-February period, compared with 9.20 last year.

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03-26-20 Pork Checkoff Hosts Ag Media Teleconference: Hogs and Pigs Report, COVID-19 Update and More

Pork Checkoff Hosts Ag Media Teleconference: Hogs and Pigs Report, COVID-19 Update and More

The Pork Checkoff hosted a news media teleconference following the release of USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report at 2pm MT on Thursday, March 26, 2020.  The teleconference featured the reactions, of several distinguished agricultural economists, to the report. The teleconference is designed for news media and will provide time for media questions to the panel.

The panelists included: 

  • James Mintert, director, Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture, West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Daniel Bluntzer, president, New Frontier Capital Markets, Robstown, Texas
  • John Nalivka, president, Sterling Marketing, Vale, Oregon
  • Additionally, Bill Even, CEO of National Pork Board, will join this call for a brief update on the response to COVID-19 by the Pork Checkoff.

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03-26-20 USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement

USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 26, 2020

News and Events
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE) develops and maintains partnerships focused on solutions to challenges facing rural and underserved communities in the United States, and connects those communities to the education, tools, and resources available to them through USDA programs and initiatives. Whether you are a small or beginning farmer, Tribal member, veteran, student, community nonprofit, minority serving higher education institution, or just want to know where to start, we provide equitable access to USDA resources.
OPPE launches a new website

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03-26-20 State of Colorado Activates 2-1-1 Colorado to Connect Coloradans with Human Services Resources During COVID-19 Pandemic

State of Colorado Activates 2-1-1 Colorado to Connect Coloradans with Human Services Resources During COVID-19 Pandemic

CENTENNIAL (March 26): Today, in partnership with Mile High United Way, the Colorado State Emergency Operations Center activated 2-1-1 Colorado to connect Coloradans with human service resources statewide. Coloradans can reach 2-1-1 Colorado online at 211Colorado.org, by dialing 2-1-1 or texting your Zip Code to 898-211. Do not call 911 for COVID-19 questions unless it is a medical emergency.

2-1-1 Colorado is a confidential and multilingual service connecting people across the State of Colorado to vital resources in their local community. 2-1-1 serves as one central location where people can access over 7,500 health and human service resources.

Callers may experience long wait times, as demand for information is high. 2-1-1 Colorado is hiring in order to reduce wait times and meet Coloradans’ needs. Coloradans can also reach 2-1-1 Colorado online at 211Colorado.org.

2-1-1 provides navigation services to resources such as:  Continue reading

03-26-20 USDA Announces 2020 Loan Rates for Wheat, Feed Grains, Oilseeds, Rice and Pulse Crops

USDA Announces 2020 Loan Rates for Wheat, Feed Grains, Oilseeds, Rice and Pulse Crops

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 26, 2020 – USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation today announced the 2020 marketing assistance loan rates by:

  • County for wheat, corn, grain sorghum, barley, oats, soybeans and each “other oilseed” (canola, crambe, flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, sesame seed and sunflower seed);
  • Region for pulses (dry peas, lentils, large chickpeas and small chickpeas); and
  • State for rough rice.

Marketing assistance loans provide interim financing to producers so that commodities can be stored after harvest when market prices are typically low, to be sold later when price conditions are more favorable.

The rates are posted on the Farm Service Agency (FSA) website at www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/price-support/commodity-loan-rates/index.

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03-26-20 CDA: Consumer Alert: Products and Services to Protect Against COVID-19

CDA: Consumer Alert: Products and Services to Protect Against COVID-19

Broomfield, Colo. – With the spread of COVID-19 in Colorado and the concern that surfaces and objects may be contaminated, many new resources and companies may be offering products or services to disinfect businesses and homes. Consumers are reminded to be aware that disinfectants/antimicrobials and antiviral cleaning or disinfecting agents are pesticides, and must be applied according to their label directions to ensure their safety and effectiveness.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) Pesticides Program regulates the distribution and use of all pesticides by any person in the state. When purchasing products or services to protect against the COVID-19 virus, taking the following actions will help ensure products and services being offered meet state and federal law:

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03-26-20 USDA Announces More Than 3.4 Million Acres Selected for General CRP Signup

USDA Announces More Than 3.4 Million Acres Selected for General Signup Conservation Reserve Program

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2020 – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced the acceptance of more than 3.4 million acres in the general Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) signup recently completed, the first general signup enrollments since 2016. Through CRP, farmers and ranchers receive an annual rental payment for establishing long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees, to control soil erosion, improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat on cropland. Farmers and ranchers who participate in CRP help provide numerous benefits to the nation’s environment and economy.

“The Conservation Reserve Program is one of our nation’s largest conservation endeavors and is critical in helping producers better manage their operations while conserving valuable natural resources,” Perdue said. “The program marked its 35th anniversary this year, and we were quite pleased to see one of our largest signups in many years.”

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03-26-20 CO Governor Polis Applauds Senate Passage of COVID-19 Bill

CO Governor Polis Applauds Senate Passage of COVID-19 Bill

DENVER – Gov. Jared Polis released the following statement after the Senate unanimously approved a measure to provide critical funding for Colorado and other states to address COVID-19. The bill is expected to pass the House this week.

“As this pandemic continues, Coloradans should not be forced to go it alone and need the federal government to step up for the economic recovery. Thank goodness people will be getting a$1,200 cash payment and $500 per child. It doesn’t make up for the lost income, but it helps. I am grateful to Senator Bennet and Senator Gardner for their work to craft and shape this bipartisan bill,” said Gov. Polis. “I’m also thrilled to see small business support beyond loans and additional help beyond the $1200 payment to hard-hit workers, including those self-employed or making their way in Colorado’s gig economy, the bill more than doubles the average unemployment benefit by adding $600 to the weekly benefit.”

Last Friday, Gov. Polis sent a letter to the Congressional Delegation encouraging aid to states, cash payments to all Americans, assistance for workers and small businesses. The Governor has engaged with the delegation daily on multiple calls and efforts to prioritize these areas of federal relief. Continue reading

03-26-20 FSIS Responds to USCA Petition on Truthful Labeling

FSIS Responds to USCA Petition on Truthful Labeling

(WASHINGTON) – The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) officially responded today to the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) petition regarding accurate labeling of beef products. The petition requested FSIS to amend the Agency’s Food Standards and Labeling Policy Book to provide that any beef labeled as “Made in the USA”, “Product of the USA”, “USA Beef”, or in any other manner that suggests that the origin is the United States be derived from cattle that have been born, raised, and slaughtered in the U.S.  Continue reading

03-26-20 Colorado State Emergency Operations held a Remote Press Briefing at 11am MT – Here’s all the Audio

Colorado State Emergency Operations held a Remote Press Briefing at 11am MT – Here’s all the Audio

To comply with social distancing guidance, support transparency,  and keep the media informed, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) will launch a remote press conference for inquiries regarding the state response to COVID-19. Please remember to mute your phone. We will only accept questions via chat. Please identify yourself and your media outlet.

The call included:

  • Scott Bookman, Incident Commander for state COVID-19 response,
  • and Mike Willis, Director of the State Emergency Operations Center

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Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.

03-26-20 FSA Makes Changes to Farm Loan, Disaster, Conservation and Safety Net Programs to Make it Easier for Customers to Conduct Business

FSA Makes Changes to Farm Loan, Disaster, Conservation and Safety Net Programs to Make it Easier for Customers to Conduct Business

FSA Services Available by Phone Appointment Only

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 26, 2020 – USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices are open by phone appointment only until further notice, and FSA staff are available to continue helping agricultural producers with program signups, loan servicing and other important actions. Additionally, FSA is relaxing the loan-making process and adding flexibilities for servicing direct and guaranteed loans to provide credit to producers in need.

FSA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only. While our program delivery staff will continue to come into to the office, they will be working with our agricultural producers by phone and using email and online tools whenever possible.

“FSA programs and loans are critical to America’s farmers and ranchers, and we want to continue our work with customers while taking precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus,” FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce said. “We recognize that farm loans are critical for annual operating and family living expenses, emergency needs and cash flow through times like this. FSA is working to find and use every option and flexibility to provide producers with credit options and other program benefits.”

FSA is delivering programs and services, including: Continue reading

03-26-20 USDA Makes it Easier to Feed Kids and Those Who Need Food During the COVID-19 National Emergency

USDA Makes it Easier to Feed Kids and Those Who Need Food During the COVID-19 National Emergency

Nationwide waivers grant states the flexibility to allow parent pick-up of meals for kids, ease burdens on local meal providers
WASHINGTON D.C. March 26, 2020 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced additional flexibilities to make it easier for children, seniors, and individuals with disabilities to get food during the COVID-19 national emergency and remove administrative roadblocks for the dedicated local staff who serve them. These changes are in line with USDA’s commitment to keep Americans safe, secure, and healthy during this national emergency and explore all options to keep kids fed during this unprecedented time.
“USDA is committed to maximizing our services and flexibilities to ensure children and others who need food can get it during this Coronavirus epidemic,” said Secretary Perdue. “This is a challenging time for many Americans, but it is reassuring to see our Government and fellow Americans stepping up to the challenges facing us to make sure kids and those facing hunger are fed.” 
Background:

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