04-09-20 Cargill: Thanks to Fort Morgan, families have food on their tables during the COVID-19 pandemic

Cargill: Thanks to Fort Morgan, families have food on their tables during the COVID-19 pandemic

(FORT MORGAN, Colo.) April 9, 2020 – As people face the challenges and uncertainty caused by the spread of COVID-19, heroic work is happening around the clock to keep food on family tables and store shelves. That work is happening right here in Fort Morgan, thanks to local employees and businesses, including 2,100 Cargill employees, who show up every day to nourish people.

Communities like Fort Morgan are the heart of our food system. Local farmers and ranchers, retail workers, manufacturing and food service companies, food shelves and those who transport food are working every day to keep people and animals fed. Continue reading

04-09-20 ICYMI: U.S Senator Cory Gardner’s Telephone Town Hall with Colorado Governor Jared Polis on COVID-19

ICYMI: U.S Senator Cory Gardner’s Telephone Town Hall with Colorado Governor Jared Polis on COVID-19

APRIL 9, 2020 – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner held a telephone town hall with Governor Jared Polis about the COVID-19 pandemic, discussing what Coloradans should know and their work together to keep Coloradans safe.

AUDIO ONLY, courtesy of The BARN


Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.

04-09-20 Tri-State takes significant step to increase member flexibility, sets contract termination payment methodology

Tri-State takes significant step to increase member flexibility, sets contract termination payment methodology

  • Utility members will have flexibility to increase self-supply and local renewable energy resources.
  • Methodology approved to provide members with costs for early wholesale contract termination.
(April 9, 2020 – Westminster, Colo.) –Tri-State has achieved a significant milestone in its transition to be a more flexible and even cleaner power supplier through its transformative Responsible Energy Plan. The cooperative’s board of directors, representing each utility member, approved a new partial requirements contract option that will deliver its utility members the flexibility to significantly increase local renewable energy development and the self-supply of power. Tri-State’s board of directors also approved a methodology to calculate the contract termination payment of an existing utility member that seeks to understand the costs involved with the early termination of its power contract with Tri-State. The methodology sets a standard approach, applicable to any utility member, should that member be allowed to withdraw early from Tri-State.
“As a cooperative, our members tirelessly worked together to deliver flexibility and real change to those members that want to supply more of their own power,” said Rick Gordon, chairman of the Tri-State Board and director of Mountain View Electric Association in Limon, Colo. “We have taken significant steps on our Responsible Energy Plan commitments for cleaner energy, lower emissions, more flexibility and ultimately, lower wholesale rates.”
“Tri-State members worked together, debated options and built consensus around complex issues to arrive at an equitable solution for more flexibility,” said Scott Wolfe, Contract Committee chairman and director at the San Luis Valley REC in Monte Vista, Colo.

04-09-20 Northern Water: C-BT Water Quota Increased to 70 Percent

Northern Water increases C-BT quota to 70 percent

BERTHOUD – Above average regional water storage coupled with above average snowpack prompted the Northern Water Board of Directors to increase its 2020 quota allocation for the Colorado-Big Thompson Project to 70 percent.

The Board unanimously approved the allocation at its meeting Thursday, April 9, 2020, which was held via video to comply with state stay-at-home orders as part of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Continue reading

04-09-20 BREAKING NEWS: Colorado Governor Polis Extends Emergency Disaster Declaration

BREAKING NEWS: Colorado Governor Polis Extends Emergency Disaster Declaration


Wednesday, April 9,  2020- The disaster declaration allows Colorado to access additional resources, temporarily waives procurement statutes for purchases related to COVID-19, and authorizes the implementation of the State’s Crisis Standards of Care plan (CSC Plan).

The CSC Plan was recommended by the Governor’s Expert Emergency Epidemic Response Committee on April 5, 2020, and  verbally adopted by the Governor. Read more about the Crisis Standards of Care here.

Read the Executive Order here.

The Governor also signed an Executive Order extending deadlines for state severance taxes. This is a one-time extension from April 15, 2020 until May 15, 2020. Read the Executive Order here. Continue reading

04-09-20 USDA RADIO: USDA Lowers Price Projections for Livestock Producers

USDA RADIO: USDA Lowers Price Projections for Livestock Producers

WASHINGTON D.C. – April 9, 2020  – USDA has loweed its price projections for livestock and livestock products as the demand situation has changed. (Gary Crawford)



04-09-20 Cornell University: Virtual Meeting Hours for Livestock Questions

Cornell University: Virtual Meeting Hours for Livestock Questions

If you have questions or concerns, we have answers.

If you need assistance with any topic regarding livestock we are here to help. Meeting hours will start at 2pm on Wednesday April 15, 2020. If you are interested, you will need to contact Ashley McFarland, directly via email or phone, contact can be found in this email.

Please also have a topic idea that you are interested in learning more about or have a specific question we can address with the audience. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you on the call next week.

Stay safe and healthy,

Continue reading

04-09-20 USDA Announces Loan Maturity for Marketing Assistance Loans Now Extended to 12 Months

USDA Announces Loan Maturity for Marketing Assistance Loans Now Extended to 12 Months

Provides Producers with Marketing Flexibilities Amid COVID-19 Uncertainties

04-09-20 USDA RADIO: USDA Cuts Crop Export Forecasts and Increases Stocks Projections

USDA RADIO: USDA Cuts Crop Export Forecasts and Increases Stocks Projections

WASHINGTON D.C. – April 9, 2020  – USDA says export prospects for most U.S. crops are much dimmer than it appeared just a month ago. (Gary Crawford)



04-09-20 U.S. Education Secretary DeVos Rapidly Delivers More Than $6B in Emergency Cash Grants for College Students Impacted by Coronavirus Outbreak

U.S. Education Secretary DeVos Rapidly Delivers More Than $6B in Emergency Cash Grants for College Students Impacted by Coronavirus Outbreak

First wave of CARES Act funding will provide aid to students for expenses like course materials, technology, housing, food, health care, and childcare

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today more than $6 billion will be distributed immediately to colleges and universities to provide direct emergency cash grants to college students whose lives and educations have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. The funding is available through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump less than two weeks ago.

“What’s best for students is at the center of every decision we make,” said Secretary DeVos. “That’s why we prioritized getting funding out the door quickly to college students who need it most. We don’t want unmet financial needs due to the coronavirus to derail their learning.” Continue reading

04-09-20 CDPHE: COVID-19 Media Briefing Audio for April 9th

CDPHE: COVID-19 Media Briefing Audio for April 9th

APRIL 9, 2020 – To comply with social distancing guidance, support transparency,  and keep the media informed, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) held a remote press conference for inquiries regarding the state response to COVID-19, featured:

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


Continue to stay up to date by visiting colorado.gov/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus.

04-09-20 U.S. Senator Bennet, Bipartisan Colleagues Push Administration to Prioritize Rural Hospitals in COVID-19 Emergency Response Funding

U.S. Senator Bennet, Bipartisan Colleagues Push Administration to Prioritize Rural Hospitals in COVID-19 Emergency Response Funding

Denver – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined a bipartisan group of senators in urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to consider the needs of rural hospitals and providers with a higher share of Medicaid and Medicare patients as HHS distributes the $100 billion health care funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Bennet and the senators requested an equitable distribution of funding from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund for small rural hospitals, critical access hospitals, and other rural providers engaged in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Bennet is leading the push to provide immediate assistance to rural hospitals, clinics, and providers with legislation to provide economic stabilization and relief for rural communities.

“Last year rural hospitals closures hit a record high, and 2020 is on pace to be even higher.  So far this year we have had eight rural hospitals close, with several more on the brink. About 60 million people, nearly one in five Americans, live in rural areas and depend on their local hospitals for care.  Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, rural hospitals were already operating on shoestring budgets, and with the cancellation of elective procedures, have a desperate and immediate need for more funding. Therefore, we request you make this funding available immediately to provide relief to our struggling health care providers,” wrote Bennet and the senators.  Continue reading

04-09-20 CSU Makes It Official: Reitzenstein Named New Livestock Judging Coach and Coordinator…

CSU Makes It Official: Reitzenstein Named New Livestock Judging Coach and Coordinator…

The Colorado State University Department of Animal Sciences welcomes Kyndal Reitzenstein as the new Livestock Judging Coach and Coordinator.

Reitzenstein, a Colorado native, cherishes her childhood on the family farm in Kersey.

“My family has around 250 head of Angus cattle where we strive to meet the needs of seedstock and commercial cattle customers. My brother and I grew up showing cattle and pigs at the county, state and national level as well.” Reitzenstein said.

Continue reading

04-09-20 Cornell University: Beef Cattle Management Update

Cornell University: Beef Cattle Management Update

By Libby Eiholzer, CCE Northwest NY Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops Team, and Richard Stup, Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development

Hi Everyone, please help us get this new resource out far and wide for producers to share with their employees. There is a fair amount of misinformation floating around in the workforce and we think this should help bring some clarity. The materials are the same in English and Spanish to help managers and employees communicate more effectively.

Richard E. Stup, Ph.D.
Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and
The Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
Cornell University

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading rapidly across the world. Although cities have the most sick people, the disease has reached rural communities of New York as well. Everyone needs to take this very seriously. Agriculture is an essential business, so many of us will continue to go to work. However, we all need to take precautions to stay safe and help prevent further spread of the disease. The key things to do are limit contact with other people and keep everything very clean. We’ve prepared a new resource to help Spanish- and English-speaking farm employees access credible, multi-lingual information that they can use right away. The document appears in English and Spanish and the content is the same, we will keep both documents up to date during the present COVID-19 crisis. Access these and other resources here (http://blogs.cornell.edu/agworkforce/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/.


USDA – FAS Weekly Export Sales Report for April 9th

USDA FAS - Foreign Agricultural Service header

Weekly Export Sales for April 9th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, April 9th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, April 9th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

USDA Working on COVID-19 Aid

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the Department of Agriculture is working on a plan to allocate relief funds to farmers. In a call with reporters Wednesday, Perdue said the $14 billion allocated to the Commodity Credit Corporation, “would come later,” however, noting the CCC has only $6 billion in borrowing authority currently. The CCC can borrow $30 billion per fiscal year, and with just $6 billion left, appears to have already allocated $24 billion. The additional $14 billion authorized by the CARES Act can’t be used until July, according to USDA. Meanwhile, USDA is working to implement a plan to allocate the $9.5 billion emergency relief fund that was designated to the Office of the Agriculture Secretary. Perdue says USDA is holding daily meetings on the COVID-19 relief package for agriculture, including meeting with lawmakers. Perdue says he is hopeful a plan will be announced “sooner rather than later,” while cautioning that the process of federal rulemaking takes time.

NCBA Requests President Trump Expand USDA Market Investigation

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is asking the Department of Agriculture to further investigate the cattle and beef markets. NCBA President Marty Smith sent a letter to President Donald Trump on the matter Wednesday. The letter requests the government to act quickly to investigate the striking disparity between boxed beef prices and cattle prices in the futures and cash markets during the current COVID-19 crisis, and following the packing plant fire in Holcomb, Kansas, last August. In his letter, Smith requests President Trump to direct USDA to expand the ongoing investigation into market activity after the Holcomb fire to include current market volatility, “in the hope of identifying whether inappropriate influence occurred in the markets.” Smith says, “we need continued vigilance and oversight of all cattle market participants.” The letter also requests the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to study the influence of speculators on live and feeder cattle futures contracts to determine whether these contracts remain a useful risk-management tool for cattle producers.

Lawmakers Urge SBA to Provide Clear Guidance to Farmers

Two U.S. Representatives from Wisconsin are asking the Trump administration to provide clear and direct guidance for dairy farmers accessing the new Paycheck Protection Program. Democrat Ron Kind and Republican Mike Gallagher sent a letter to the Small Business Administration and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin seeking the guidance. Without additional guidance on PPP, many dairy operations could lose out on this vital lifeline and may not survive, according to the lawmakers. Representative Kind says, “The Administration needs to move quickly to ensure there aren’t any more delays for our small business owners and farmers,” calling the uncertainty “unacceptable.”  The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to threaten Wisconsin’s already struggling dairy economy, with some farmers being forced to dispose of thousands of gallons of fresh milk daily due to a drop in demand for dairy products typically consumed in schools, restaurants, and food services. For the past two years, Wisconsin has led the nation in farm bankruptcies with an average of two dairy farms closing a day.

Produce Industry Proposes Market Stabilization Program to USDA

The United Fresh Produce Association and industry partners have presented a comprehensive Produce Market Stabilization Program to the Department of Agriculture. The proposal would immediately support critical financial needs in the produce supply chain. In addition, 108 members of Congress have sent a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue urging USDA to support the proposal. United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel says the industry “has come together to support a consensus proposal to USDA, and Congress has come together to let our national decision-makers know how important this is across the country and every sector of our business.” The proposal is a “roadmap” for how USDA can support the industry immediately. Next, United Fresh says, will come deep discussions and analysis within USDA in channeling resources to multiple interests. Stenzel says, “we believe there will have to be continuing additional financial relief from Congress if our economy is going to be able to pull out of this crisis and grow again.”

Union Claims Poultry Industry Responded Slowly to Pandemic

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union says the poultry industry responded slowly to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Union says that over the past month, it has been imploring poultry industry employers like Tyson Foods, Equity Foods, JBS/Pilgrim’s Pride, Koch Foods and Wayne Farms to implement critical standards to protect workers’ safety and to secure the food supply chain. The industry’s response, “for the most part has only been recent, sporadic and limited to a few locations, leaving most workers unprotected,” according to the union. The organization represents 10,000 workers across the southeastern United States, many in food processing and distribution. However, the National Chicken Council Wednesday said the industry is “doing everything they can” to keep workers safe and chicken on the shelves, in that order. National Chicken Council President Mike Brown says, “Our members are following all of the CDC and local health department guidelines, and many have consulted with infectious disease physicians to develop site plans.”

Forecast Runoff for Upper Missouri River Basin Lower After Warm Spring

The water runoff forecast for the Missouri River basin is down slightly this month, though still projected near record highs. Gavins Point releases are forecast to remain near 35,000 cubic feet per second through the month of April. Runoff above Sioux City, Iowa, was 5.5 million acre feet in March, which is almost two times average. The above-average runoff was primarily due to plains snow melting over heavily saturated soils. Based on current soil moisture conditions, current plains and mountain snowpack, and long-term temperature and precipitation outlooks, the 2020 calendar year upper basin runoff forecast is now 35.5 million acre feet above Sioux City, Iowa. Although this forecast is a reduction of 1.4 million acre feet from the March 1 forecast, it is still in the top ten percent of the 122 years of runoff record. Soil moisture conditions continue to be very wet in much of the upper Missouri River Basin, increasing the potential for above-average runoff in the upper basin. The potential for flooding remains, particularly in the lower river stretches.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service