04-01-20 Colorado Beef Council Develops Directory to Connect Consumers to Local Beef

Colorado Beef Council Develops Directory to Connect Consumers to Local Beef

ENGLEWOOD, CO (April 1, 2020) – The Colorado Beef Council (CBC) has created an online directory to help connect Colorado farms and ranches that sell beef with consumers who want to buy it. The Colorado Beef Directory will help educate consumers about beef sourcing and allow them to purchase directly from Colorado producers who sell local and freezer beef. 

“Today’s global challenges have shown us that consumers want to support their local economies,” says Todd Inglee, CBC Executive Director. “We’ve also seen a growing desire by consumers to learn more about how beef is produced and where they can find direct marketing opportunities.  This beef directory is a resource for helping make that connection.” 

Colorado beef producers wanting to submit their operation for this CBC service can go here. The form allows farms and ranches to self-list to the directory. The directory will be housed on the CBC web site at www.cobeef.com. The form for producers is also housed on the site under the Cattlemen’s Corner section.  Continue reading

04-01-20 Colorado Governor Polis Provides Latest Update on State Response to COVID-19

Colorado Governor Polis Provides Latest Update on State Response to COVID-19

HERE’S ALL THE AUDIO FROM THE PRESS CONFERENCE TOO

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***INFORMACIÓN SEGUIDA EN ESPAÑOL***

CENTENNIAL – Gov. Polis today provided an update to the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is one of the greatest challenges we’ve ever faced. The more we stay home, the sooner we’ll be able to squash this threat, start earning money, and support our families,” said Governor Jared Polis. “At this point of this crisis, masks and gloves equals lives. Ventilators equals lives. We will continue to work with new suppliers in the private sector until Colorado’s needs are met. My administration is moving heaven and earth to acquire the needed materials to support the expected medical surge, and ensure that we can do adequate testing so that we can better isolate and contain future cases.”

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04-01-20 Cornell University: Lessons from China’s nascent COVID-19 recovery

Cornell University: Lessons from China’s nascent COVID-19 recovery
Recovery may be a silver lining for direct marketers

Recognize that consumers are likely to rethink their eating habits after COVID-19: Among consumers in 11 Asian markets, only Japanese consumers said they were less likely to change their eating habits in an exclusive Nielsen survey. In China, for example, Nielsen found that 86% said they would eat at home more often than before the outbreak, tracking closely with consumers in Hong Kong (77%), South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam (all 62%). High demand for more takeaway and home delivery of food also was noted in Hong Kong, South Korea and Thailand, representing the “on-the-go” lifestyles and convenience value these options provide. For retailers, the post-coronavirus challenge will be managing supply levels and surges in demand as new habits evolve.

SOURCE

04-01-20 USDA Engages Public for Input on the Agriculture Innovation Agenda

USDA Engages Public for Input on the Agriculture Innovation Agenda

(Washington, D.C., April 1, 2020) – To further the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) work on the Agriculture Innovation Agenda (AIA), USDA today announced it is seeking public and private sector input on the most important innovation opportunities to be addressed in the near and long term. Using input provided, USDA will identify common themes across the agriculture customer base to inform research and innovation efforts in the Department, the broader public-sector, and the private sector.

“Even during this uncertain time, we recognize our work at USDA is twofold: to meet the immediate needs of our customers in this national health emergency and to support American agriculture in the face of future demands. To do this, we are taking a page from our farmers’ playbook to remain resilient and to keep an eye to the horizon,” said Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky. “We know now, more than ever, it is important to double down on innovation in order to support farmers, ranchers, and producers as they work to increase productivity while conserving our natural resource base. Although current dynamics have shifted, our focus remains on positioning American agriculture to be a part of the solution to future demands.”
“Bold and transformative innovation is needed to meet future agricultural production demands,” said Deputy Under Secretary Scott Hutchins, who leads USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics mission area. “We intend to work collaboratively with both the agricultural community and the broad innovation community to align on the most important opportunities. By working together, we can transform our nation and leave our world in a much better state for generations to come.”
USDA is currently accepting public comments and written stakeholder input through its Request for Information (RFI) (PDF, 257 KB) through August 1, 2020 following its publication in the Federal Register. Continue reading

04-01-20 NRA Teams with Colorado’s Stop the Wolf Coalition

Colorado Stop the Wolf Coalition: NRA Teams with Colorado’s Stop the Wolf Coalition

America’s largest pro-hunting organization joins local movement to educate citizens about the dangers of forced wolf introduction

Fairfax, VA -On Tuesday, March 31st, the non-profit Colorado Stop the Wolf Coalition announced its latest coalition member, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA).  With over 5 million NRA members nation-wide, this is the latest sign that national pro-hunting groups are fully engaging in Colorado’s fight to oppose the forced introduction of non-native wolves.

“Fighting for the rights of hunters and every law-abiding citizen is what we are about.  That’s why we’re proud to team with the Colorado Coalition to get the facts out about how forcing wolves on the public is such a bad idea,” said Erica Tergeson, Director of Hunting Policy, NRA-ILA.

Also in opposition to forced wolf introduction are 39 Colorado County Commissioner Boards that have come out against the initiative from across our state.  To view this list, please visit: www.stopthewolf.org/counties-opposed. Continue reading

04-01-20 USDA-NASS-CO Grain Stocks Report…


GRAIN STOCKS – MARCH 1, 2020

ARIZONA

Off-farm corn stocks in Arizona on March 1, 2020 were 2.62 million bushels, down 2 percent from March 1, 2019, according to the March 1 Agricultural Survey and March Grain Stocks Report conducted by the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National
Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Off-farm all wheat stocks in Arizona on March 1, 2020 were 2.96 million bushels, down 28 percent from March 1, 2019. Off-farm barley stocks totaled 78,000 bushels. Other Arizona grain stocks were not published separately to avoid disclosing data for individual operations.

COLORADO

All corn stocks in Colorado on March 1, 2020 were 68.95 million bushels, down 7 percent from March 1, 2019, according to the March 1 Agricultural Survey and March Grain Stocks Report conducted by the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. All corn stocks stored on farms amounted to 36.00 million bushels, down 10 percent from a year ago. All corn stored off farms amounted to 32.95 million bushels, down 3 percent from a year ago. Off-farm oat stocks in Colorado were estimated at 38,000 bushels, down 30 percent from last year. Off-farm sorghum stocks totaled 3.98 million bushels on March 1, 2020.

All wheat stocks in Colorado on March 1, 2020 were 39.79 million bushels, down 11 percent from March 1, 2019. All wheat stocks stored on farms amounted to 12.00 million bushels, unchanged from a year ago. All wheat stored off farms amounted to 27.79 million bushels, down 15 percent from a year ago. Off-farm barley stocks totaled 5.49 million bushels, down 11 percent from last year. Other Colorado grain stocks were not published separately to avoid disclosing data for individual operations.

MONTANA Continue reading

04-01-20 Coronavirus Public Health Emergency Underscores Need for Department of Education’s Proposed Distance Learning Rules

Coronavirus Public Health Emergency Underscores Need for Department of Education’s Proposed Distance Learning Rules

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos proposed new rules today that would govern distance learning for higher education students. Although work on the proposed Distance Learning and Innovation regulation started more than a year ago, the COVID-19 National Emergency underscores the need for reform and for all educational institutions to have a robust capacity to teach remotely.

“With our support, colleges and universities were among the first to transition to online and distance learning so learning could continue during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Secretary DeVos. “Frankly, though, they are working within the confines of stale rules and regulations that are in desperate need of rethinking. We know there are fewer and fewer ‘traditional’ students in higher education, and this current crisis has made crystal clear the need for more innovation. It’s past time we rethink higher ed to meet the needs of all students. Fortunately, we started work last year to develop a new set of standards that are responsive to current realities, that embrace new technology, that open doors for much-needed innovation in higher education, and that expand access for students to the flexible, relevant education opportunities they need.”

Crafted by a diverse group of experts during the Department’s 2019 negotiated rulemaking, the Department’s proposed Distance Learning and Innovation regulations enhance educational quality and reduce barriers to innovation while maintaining safeguards to limit the risks to students and taxpayers. These proposed regulations build upon Secretary DeVos’ call for institutions, educators, and policy makers to “rethink higher education” and find new ways to expand educational opportunity, demonstrate the value of a postsecondary credential and lifelong learning, and reduce costs for students and schools.

The proposed regulation would do the following:

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04-01-20 Secretary DeVos Announces New Federal Deadline Flexibility for Career and Technical Education Leaders, Allowing Them to Focus on Serving Students During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Secretary DeVos Announces New Federal Deadline Flexibility for Career and Technical Education Leaders, Allowing Them to Focus on Serving Students During the COVID-19 Outbreak

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today new flexibilities for career and technical education (CTE) leaders who are required to submit their local CTE plan for FY 2020-2023 under the Strengthening Career and Technical Education Act for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) by April 15, 2020.

Following up on feedback she received from town hall meetings between the Department and state CTE directors, the Secretary has decided to use transition authority to provide an extension for states that need additional time to submit their Perkins V state plans, allow states and local Perkins recipients to receive their first installment of Perkins V funds on time—even if they need an extension, and allow states to provide funding recipients additional time to complete their applications.

“The 12 million students in career and technical education programs today are tomorrow’s first responders, nurses, and medical assistants—those who are right now on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus,” said Secretary DeVos. “They are also those who will help rebuild and grow our economy. This Administration’s commitment to CTE programs is unwavering, and the flexibilities provided today will help to ensure their critical work continues.”

Information on the new flexibilities was provided to local leaders through a new Q&A document which can be found here. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, April 1st

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, April 1st

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

USDA Releases Perspective Plantings Report

Producers surveyed across the United States intend to plant an estimated 97.0 million acres of corn in 2020, up eight percent from last year. The Agriculture Department’s National Agricultural Statistics Survey released its Prospective Planting report Tuesday. The report says planted acreage intentions for corn are up or unchanged in 38 of the 48 estimating states. Soybean growers intend to plant 83.5 million acres in 2020, up ten percent from last year, the third-highest planted acreage on record. Compared with last year, planted acreage is expected to be up or unchanged in 22 of the 29 states estimated. NASS also released the quarterly Grain Stocks report as of March 1. The report says corn stocks totaled 7.95 billion bushels, down eight percent from the same time last year. On-farm corn stocks were down 13 percent from a year ago, but off-farm stocks were up less than one percent. And, Soybeans stored totaled 2.25 billion bushels, down 17 percent. On-farm soybean stocks were down 20 percent, while off-farm stocks were down 15 percent.

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Farm Journal Releases Poll on COVID-19 Impact

A poll by Farm Journal shows farmers and ranchers are concerned about uncertainty in commodity markets, the financial stability of their businesses, and the health of their families, and their workforce. The poll gaged farmer responses regarding top issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Survey results show 90 percent of farmers and ranchers say they expect COVID-19 to impact their business. While only 30 percent have a fear of becoming sick themselves, many expressed concerns about family and friends in higher risk categories. One-third of respondents said they’ve been directly impacted by the disease. Farm Journal’s Charlene Finck says, “Planting crops, maintaining dairy operations and other agricultural work is critical to our national security and social well-being,” adding, “We will get through these uncertain times together.” Agriculture is naturally designated as an essential or critical industry for the nation, as the farm workforce helps to feed the nation, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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DOT and EPA Issue Final Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule

The Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency released final emissions rules Tuesday. The agencies will change the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule setting corporate fuel economy and CO2 emissions standards, known as CAFÉ standards, for model years 2021-2026 passenger cars and light trucks. The final rule will increase stringency of CAFE and CO2 emissions standards by 1.5 percent each year through model year 2026, as compared with the standards issued in 2012, which would have required about five percent annual increases. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says the final rule “puts in place a sensible national program that strikes the right regulatory balance that protects our environment and sets reasonable targets for the auto industry.” Meeting the previous CAFÉ standards were seen as a way to increase biofuel demand. Under the SAFE Rule, the projected overall industry average required fuel economy is 40.4 miles per gallon, compared to 46.7 projected requirements for model year 2025 under the 2012 standards.

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NASS to Host Virtual Annual USDA Data Users’ Meeting

The Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will host its annual USDA Data Users’ Meeting virtually later this month. The event is one of many that have opted to go virtual amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. Planned for Tuesday, April 21, the event is regularly held to share recent and pending program changes, and to solicit comments and input on various data and information programs important to agriculture. Usually held in person, the online Data Users’ Meeting remains free of charge and open to the public and will take place from 1:00-3:30 p.m. (ET). The meeting is organized by NASS in cooperation with the World Agricultural Outlook Board, Farm Service Agency, Economic Research Service, Agricultural Marketing Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, and the U.S. Census Bureau. Leaders from each agency will provide an overview of current issues and then take questions and comments. Registration and participation information is available at www.nass.usda.gov.

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No World Pork Expo for Second Straight Year

For the second-straight year, the National Pork Producers Council has canceled the World Pork Expo. Canceled last year to avoid the spread of African swine fever, this year’s event is one of many interrupted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. NPPC announced the cancellation early this week due to COVID-19 human health concerns. NPPC President Howard “A.V.” Roth says, while disappointing, canceling the event allows “producers and others across the industry to focus on the essential role we play in the nation’s food supply system at this critical time.” Roth says NPPC will “do our part to support the nation’s transition back to normalcy and look forward to making next year’s World Pork Expo better than ever.” World Pork Expo is the world’s largest pork-specific trade show, where more than 20,000 industry professionals gather for three days to showcase innovations, introduce new products and participate in training and educational programs. World Pork Expo 2021 is scheduled for June 9-11 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

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DFA Named Winning Bidder for Dean Foods Assets

Dean Foods announced Tuesday Dairy Farmers of America as the winning bidder to acquire a substantial portion of Dean Foods’ business operations. In a statement, Dean Foods says. “We ran a competitive auction process and are pleased to have reached these agreements.” The two previously reached an agreement in February before withdrawing the plan to favor a competitive bidding process. DFA will acquire the assets, rights, interests, and properties relating to 44 of the company’s fluid and frozen facilities for $433 million. In addition, as part of the court-supervised sale process, Dean Foods has designated Prairie Farms Dairy as the winner of the assets, rights, interests, and properties relating to eight additional facilities, two distribution branches and certain other assets for $75 million in cash. Dean Foods has designated Mana Saves McArthur, LLC, and Producers Dairy Foods as winning bidders for the sale of the facilities located in Miami, Florida and Reno, Nevada, respectively. Harmoni, Inc. has been designated as the winning bidder for the Uncle Matt’s business.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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