04-28-20 Executive Order on Delegating Authority Under the DPA with Respect to Food Supply Chain Resources During the National Emergency Caused by the Outbreak of COVID-19

Executive Order on Delegating Authority Under the DPA with Respect to Food Supply Chain Resources During the National Emergency Caused by the Outbreak of COVID-19

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (50 U.S.C. 4501 et seq.) (the “Act”), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1.  Policy.  The 2019 novel (new) coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing outbreaks of the disease COVID-19, has significantly disrupted the lives of Americans.  In Proclamation 9994 of March 13, 2020 (Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak), I declared that the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States constituted a national emergency, beginning March 1, 2020.  Since then, the American people have united behind a policy of mitigation strategies, including social distancing, to flatten the curve of infections and reduce the spread of COVID-19.  The COVID-19 outbreak and these necessary mitigation measures have taken a dramatic toll on the United States economy and critical infrastructure.

It is important that processors of beef, pork, and poultry (“meat and poultry”) in the food supply chain continue operating and fulfilling orders to ensure a continued supply of protein for Americans.  However, outbreaks of COVID-19 among workers at some processing facilities have led to the reduction in some of those facilities’ production capacity.  In addition, recent actions in some States have led to the complete closure of some large processing facilities.  Such actions may differ from or be inconsistent with interim guidance recently issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the Department of Labor entitled “Meat and Poultry Processing Workers and Employers” providing for the safe operation of such facilities.

Such closures threaten the continued functioning of the national meat and poultry supply chain, undermining critical infrastructure during the national emergency.  Given the high volume of meat and poultry processed by many facilities, any unnecessary closures can quickly have a large effect on the food supply chain.  For example, closure of a single large beef processing facility can result in the loss of over 10 million individual servings of beef in a single day.  Similarly, under established supply chains, closure of a single meat or poultry processing facility can severely disrupt the supply of protein to an entire grocery store chain.

Accordingly, I find that meat and poultry in the food supply chain meet the criteria specified in section 101(b) of the Act (50 U.S.C. 4511(b)).  Under the delegation of authority provided in this order, the Secretary of Agriculture shall take all appropriate action under that section to ensure that meat and poultry processors continue operations consistent with the guidance for their operations jointly issued by the CDC and OSHA.  Under the delegation of authority provided in this order, the Secretary of Agriculture may identify additional specific food supply chain resources that meet the criteria of section 101(b).

Sec2.  Ensuring the Continued Supply of Meat and Poultry.  (a)  Notwithstanding Executive Order 13603 of March 16, 2012 (National Defense Resources Preparedness), the authority of the President to require performance of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders, to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense, and to implement the Act in subchapter III of chapter 55 of title 50, United States Code (50 U.S.C. 4554, 4555, 4556, 4559, 4560), is delegated to the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food supply chain resources, including meat and poultry, during the national emergency caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 within the United States.

(b) Secretary of Agriculture shall use the authority under section 101 of the Act, in consultation with the heads of such other executive departments and agencies as he deems appropriate, to determine the proper nationwide priorities and allocation of all the materials, services, and facilities necessary to ensure the continued supply of meat and poultry, consistent with the guidance for the operations of meat and poultry processing facilities jointly issued by the CDC and OSHA.

(c) The Secretary of Agriculture shall issue such orders and adopt and revise appropriate rules and regulations as may be necessary to implement this order.
     Sec3.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.


April 28, 2020.


04-28-20 USDA Announces $15 million for Conservation Innovation Grants

USDA Announces $15 million for Conservation Innovation Grants

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2020 –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today a $15 million investment to help support the adoption of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural lands. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting proposals through June 29, 2020, for national Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). CIG projects inspire creative problem-solving solutions that boost production on farms, ranches and private forests and improve natural resources.

This year’s priorities are water reuse, water quality, air quality, energy and wildlife habitat.

“Through Conservation Innovation Grants, we’re able to co-invest with partners on the next generation of agricultural conservation solutions,” NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr said. “Conservation Innovation Grants have helped spur new tools and technologies to conserve natural resources, build resilience in producers’ operations and improve their bottom lines. This year will be the first time we are offering water reuse as a priority, and we’re excited to see how these projects play a role in USDA’s broader strategy for water reuse on agricultural land.”

National CIG

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04-28-20 U.S. Senator Gardner Applauds $9.1 Million From DOJ to Help Colorado First Responders with COVID-19

U.S. Senator Gardner Announces Colorado Will Receive $4.3 Million from HUD to Prevent COVID-19 Spread

Funding provided by the CARES Act to prevent spread of the coronavirus in public housing

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) announced today that public housing authorities in Colorado will receive a combined total of $4,386,072 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support preventing, preparing, and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in public housing.

“We must ensure communities all across Colorado are prepared to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Gardner. “I’m pleased to see these funds awarded to Colorado to address the risk of COVID-19 in public housing and I’ll continue to make sure Colorado has the resources we need to get through this crisis together.”

This funding is in addition to the $34 million Colorado received from HUD earlier this month and was provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law on March 27, 2020.

You can read more about Senator Gardner’s actions to protect Coloradans from COVID-19 here.

The following housing authorities in Colorado will receive funding: Continue reading

04-28-20 U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Announces Sysco Corporation as Newest Member

U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Announces Sysco Corporation as Newest Member

DENVER (April 28, 2020) – The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB), a nonprofit initiative that developed the industry-adopted U.S. Beef Industry Sustainability Framework, announced its newest member, Sysco Corporation, this month.

“Sysco is joining a leading group of companies who believe in U.S. beef,” USRSB Chair Ben Weinheimer said. “As we continue to expand membership and promote implementation of our Framework across the value chain, we increase trust in U.S. beef—how it is raised, processed and distributed across our country.  USRSB is excited to work with Sysco as the beef value chain continues its beef sustainability journey.”

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04-28-20 US Representative Mike Conaway’s Audio from today’s Texas Ag Forum: Latest on COVID-19 Impact on Agriculture, USDA Aid for Ag, Defense Production Act for Meat-packing Plants & More…



US Representative Mike Conaway’s Audio from today’s Texas Ag Forum: Latest on COVID-19 Impact on Agriculture, USDA Aid for Ag, Defense Production Act for Meat-packing Plants & More…

April 28, 2020 – The first virtual Texas Ag Forum was held on April 28 at NOON MT. The webinar was free and open to anyone and it featured US Representsative Mike Conaway who provided an update from Washington D.C. from his perspective as Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee…


Audio recorded from webinar being conducted by


Conaway: President Trump’s Action is Critical to Keep American Agricultural Supply Chains Running
Washington, D.C. – House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) released the following statement after President Trump’s announcement to keep meat-processing facilities operational:

“With today’s decision to keep meat-processing plants running, President Trump is showing once again that he understands the critical importance of American agriculture. I thank the President for seeking solutions that not only protect the health and safety of the hardworking men and women in these essential positions, but lessen the hardship for our farmers, ranchers, and consumers. During this incredibly difficult time, American agriculture has gone above and beyond to keep our nation fed and clothed, and I could not be more grateful to these American heroes.”

04-28-20 Press Briefing with United States Coronavirus Task Force

Press Briefing with United States Coronavirus Task Force – April 28, 2020

Opening Up America Again LogoOpening Up America Again

President Trump has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives. CLICK HERE TO VIEW


04-28-20 USDA-RMA: We’ve Got Your Back

USDA-RMA: We’ve Got Your Back


By Martin Barbre, RMA Administrator

Martin Barbre, RMA Administrator

We farmers and ranchers have always stepped up to meet national emergencies and this one is no different. The country is counting on us and the vital importance of American agriculture is crystalized in times like these. Thank you for all you do! I want you to know that USDA and the Federal crop insurance program will do everything we can to support you and your families as we band together to meet this challenge.

I strongly encourage you to visit farmers.gov/coronavirus to see all our coronavirus disease resources. There you will find information on program flexibilities and information on the recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act. This legislation contains $9.5 billion in relief, including assistance to small-business owners – such as farmers and ranchers – who have been impacted by COVID-19. Continue reading

04-28-20 Colorado Farm & Food Systems Respond & Rebuild Fund – APPLY BY MAY 4TH!

Colorado Farm & Food Systems Respond & Rebuild Fund


FUNDING FOR PRODUCERS: #COVID19 has upended the livelihoods of farmers, ranchers and others in the #Colorado food system. Restaurants, schools and other longtime buyers are buying far less, leaving our state’s producers with valuable, often perishable products with nowhere to go. That food, grown with care, isn’t making it to our tables.

If you’re a Colorado producer, producer group or intermediary that works directly with producers struggling to adapt fast as a result of COVID, you can apply now for up to $25,000 in grant funding here, round 1 closes May 4th:




Who is the Colorado Farm & Food Response Team? Continue reading

04-28-20 Inside the BARN with NestFresh’s Louise Howe: May is National Egg Month & More…

Inside the BARN with NestFresh’s Louise Howe

May is National Egg Month & More

(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) April 28, 2020 -Joining the CO Ag News Network once again is Louise Howe, Communications Team Member at NestFresh discussing May is National Egg Month…


Check out a delicious NestFresh Deviled Eggs recipe from the interview below: Continue reading

04-28-20 Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District: Project Management Plan approved for Arkansas Valley Conduit

Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District: Project Management Plan approved for Arkansas Valley Conduit

Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District and the Bureau of Reclamation have adopted a project management plan that will guide construction of the Arkansas Valley Conduit (AVC).

The AVC is a pipeline project that will deliver clean drinking water to 40 communities serving 50,000 people from Pueblo Dam to Lamar and Eads on the eastern plains. This water supply is needed to supplement or replace existing poor quality water and to help meet AVC participants’ projected water demands. The estimated cost of the AVC is between $564 million and $610 million. Continue reading

04-28-20 The 2020 Feeders and Friends Benefit has been CANCELED

The 2020 Feeders and Friends Benefit has been CANCELED

It is with a heavy heart to let everyone know that there will not a Feeders and Friends Benefit this year. As a committee it was decided that it was the right decision. We can’t have a successful benefit without our sponsors and support. We didn’t feel it was right this year to put anymore stress on businesses, individuals, communities or anyone else after what everyone has endured over the last couple of months.

Thank you all for understanding and continued support of Feeders and Friends.

Looking ahead and Cheers to 2021 being the best benefit yet!

– Toby Nelson, Feeders & Friends Committee Event Chair

In the meantime, enjoy taking a look back at previous Feeders & Friends Benefit Ranch Rodeos, courtesy of The BARN:

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04-28-20 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: U.S. Pork and Beef Industries Find Innovative Ways to Communicate with International Consumers

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: U.S. Pork and Beef Industries Find Innovative Ways to Communicate with International Consumers

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO – April 28, 2020 –

While the COVD-19 pandemic hasn’t slowed international consumers’ enthusiasm for U.S. pork and beef, it has altered their buying behavior and changed the way the U.S. meat industry communicates with consumers.

With more people across the globe working from home, spending more time at home and cooking and eating much more frequently at home, the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) is utilizing support from the National Pork Board and the Beef Checkoff Program to raise the profile of U.S. pork and beef on social media and in online promotional and educational platforms. Jesse Austin, USMEF Vice President for Marketing, has more details on the innovative marketing techniques being employed in these challenging times.

New Recording

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, April 28th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, April 28th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

CDC Issues Updated Guidance for Meatpackers

New guidance by the Centers for Disease Control seeks to protect meatpacking workers from COVID-19. The meat and poultry processing workers are not exposed to the virus through the meat products they handle. However, their work environments—processing lines and others where they have close contact with coworkers and supervisors—may contribute substantially to their potential exposures. Many meatpacking facilities across the nation have closed for short periods due to infection rates of workers at the facilities. The CDC says meatpackers should configure work environments so that workers are spaced at least six feet apart, if possible. Additionally, facilities should use physical barriers, such as strip curtains, plexiglass or similar materials, or other dividers or partitions, to separate meat and poultry processing workers from each other, if feasible. Further, facilities should consider consulting with a ventilation engineer to ensure adequate ventilation in work areas to minimize workers’ potential exposures. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association welcomed the response, saying the guidance protects workers, and supports the operation of beef processing plants.

USDA Launches Coordination Center for Livestock Producers Impacted by Reduced Demand

The Department of Agriculture announced a coordination center to assist producers impacted by meat processing plant closures late last week. USDA says livestock and poultry producers face an unprecedented emergency due to COVID-19, particularly with the closing of meat processing plants in several states. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is establishing a National Incident Coordination Center to provide direct support to producers whose animals cannot move to market as a result of processing plant closures due to COVID-19. Going forward, APHIS’ Coordination Center, State Veterinarians, and other state officials will assist in identifying potential alternative markets if a producer is unable to move animals, and, if necessary, advise and assist on depopulation and disposal methods. Additionally, APHIS will mobilize and deploy assets of the National Veterinary Stockpile as needed and secure the services of contractors that can supply additional equipment, personnel, and services, much as it did during the large-scale Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza emergency in 2015.

AEM: Additional Relief Promising, But More Needed

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers says additional aid authorized by Congress last week is encouraging, but lawmakers need to do more. Late last week, Congress passed new legislation to provide $484 billion in additional relief for Americans enduring hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes $310 billion for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, which AEM says many equipment manufacturers are relying on to keep their operations going. However, AEM President Dennis Slater says,” too many equipment manufacturers are still struggling to stay open and on the job.” The Paycheck Protection Program is helpful for many small equipment manufacturers. Still, Slater says Congress must now turn their attention to a large number of manufacturers who do not qualify for this program but still desperately need support. AEM is the North American-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers, with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide.

USTR: USMCA Effective July 1

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada-Agreement enters effect July 1, according to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. The July 1 date represents a one-month delay from the original timeline, following the signing of the agreement by the U.S., Canada and Mexico. In a statement last week, Lighthizer says the agreement supports more balanced, reciprocal trade, leading to freer markets, fairer trade, and robust economic growth in North America. The agreement contains significant improvements and modernized approaches to rules of origin, agricultural market access, intellectual property, digital trade, financial services, labor, and numerous other sectors. Lighthizer says, “The crisis and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates that now, more than ever, the United States should strive to increase manufacturing capacity and investment in North America.” Lighthizer calls the start of USMCA a “landmark achievement in that effort.” The trade agreement ensures most agriculture tariffs will remain at zero, and expands dairy market access to Canada for the U.S., among other benefits.

Senators Seek Support for Rural Broadcasters

A large group of U.S. Senators wants relief for local and rural broadcasters and newspapers. More than 70 Senators signed a letter to the Trump administration regarding local media, following a similar letter last week. The lawmakers say that in many rural areas, broadcast stations are the predominant or only form of local information. The letter says it is critical local and rural media can continue to operate to help Americans stay up to date with the latest news and information. The Senators requested the White House Office of Management and Budget to work with federal agencies to increase advertising with local media outlets. The request will help local media outlets, “ensure they are able to continue to operate throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.” Many federal agencies maintain advertising accounts to provide notices and information to the public. The recent passage of the CARES Act, according to the lawmakers, provides opportunity for the federal government to relay essential information to the public through local advertisements.

Farm Foundation Accepting Nominations for Young Agri-Food Leaders Network 

Farm Foundation is seeking nominations for its Young Agri-Food Leaders Network, a new program created to actively engage emerging leaders in food and agribusiness. The young agri-food leaders will participate in a year-long series of interactive learning and networking experiences, focused on gaining a deeper understanding of the food and agriculture value chain. The program also hopes to help young professionals build a strong, enduring network of peers and mentors in business, farming and government. Up to ten participants will be sponsored to attend events, engage in virtual conversations and participate in exclusive learning and networking opportunities. To be eligible for this program, individuals must be a U.S. citizen, between the ages of 25 and 40, be employed in the agri-food industry, and show significant leadership potential. Nominators may be colleagues, business partners, or any other person familiar with the Young Agri-Food Leader nominee’s career. The deadline to nominate a young agri-food leader is May 15, 2020. Visit farmfoundation.org for more information.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service