04-29-20 USCA: President Trump Utilizes Authority Under Defense Production Act to Keep Meatpacking Plants Open

USCA: President Trump Utilizes Authority Under Defense Production Act to Keep Meatpacking Plants Open

(WASHINGTON) April 29, 2020 – On Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump issued an executive order which invoked his authority under the Defense Production Act to secure the food supply chain during the current national emergency caused by COVID-19. The executive order signed late Tuesday afternoon at the White House specifically directs Secretary Sonny Perdue to “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.”

United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) President Brooke Miller issued the following statement:

“Earlier this month, USCA sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture urging Secretary Perdue to do everything in his power to keep meatpacking plants operational during these uncertain times. Last week, at a meeting hosted by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, we learned that the U.S. meatpacking sector was operating at only 60 percent of its full capacity, with nearly 8 percent of plants ‘off line’.  As we see farmers and ranchers forced to make difficult decisions this week due to that reduction in slaughter capacity, we are appreciative of the President’s decision to step in and ensure the safety and security of the food supply chain.  Continue reading

04-29-20 BARN Ag Reporter Samantha Munson: Long-Term Impacts of COVID-19 on Agriculture

BARN Ag Reporter Samantha Munson: Long-Term Impacts of COVID-19 on Agriculture

The BARN – Briggsdale, CO / Thayer, MO – April 29, 2020 – COVID-19 poses challenges for everyone, and those involved in growing, processing and selling food are no exception. In a new report from BARN Ag Reporter Samantha Munson has this NAFB ag news story featuring North Carolina State University, economist Nick Piggott, who says the pandemic’s impact on agriculture and food systems could be staggering…

04-29-20 CCA/CBC/CLA: Stabilizing Steps Secure Beef Supply

CCA/CBC/CLA: Stabilizing Steps Secure Beef Supply

April 29, 2020 – Like others, beef producers are learning to make adjustments in our everyday activities. Yesterday’s executive order from the Trump Administration invoking the Defense Production Act will deliver additional needed personal protection equipment and screening supplies to further ensure worker safety in meat-processing plants. Concurrently, meat-processing plants will remain open as critical infrastructure while the nation confronts growing food supply disruptions from COVID-19.

Colorado’s beef community, led by the Colorado Beef Council, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and Colorado Livestock Association, is committed to doing our part to provide the public with safe and wholesome products.

“The beef industry is doing everything possible to meet consumer demand, but the primary concern is ensuring the health and safety of those who produce, process, inspect and deliver beef,” stated Dwain Weinrich, Colorado Livestock Association President.

As a growing number of processing plants across the country started experiencing slow-downs and temporary closures, processing capacity was 14-16 percent lower than the same time a year ago – jeopardizing the ability to meet consumer needs during the pandemic.

“Being able to keep plants open and get those that were closed back open, will help keep the supply chain intact and ensure that beef will remain available to consumers,” commented CBC Chair, Sallie Miller of Briggsdale, CO. “Feeding families has always been our top priority,” she added.

Consumers should continue to be confident that adequate supplies of beef are available in their grocery store of choice. The disruptions to the food supply system have not caused lasting food shortages and impacts felt by consumers are not permanent. Meat is available in cold storage for distribution and the supply chain is catching up to consumer demand.

“These stabilizing measures will ensure beef supply, worker safety advancements and a structured return to normal operations in Colorado’s beef sector”, said Steve Wooten, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association President. Wooten went on to say, “While continued vigilance is prudent, our producers are doing their part to advance Colorado’s economy toward recovery and a vibrant future.”

SOURCE: Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Beef Council & Colorado Livestock Association

04-29-20 U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Reports Progress, New Leadership During Virtual General Assembly

U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Reports Progress, New Leadership During Virtual General Assembly

DENVER (April 29, 2020) – The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB), America’s leading beef sustainability initiative, reiterated the importance of sustainability amid the economic and emotional challenges facing the beef industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement came at the organization’s virtual 2020 General Assembly meeting where the USRSB reported its progress and elected a new Board of Directors and Executive Officer group.

The USRSB reported reaching 9,000 individuals since launching the U.S. Beef Industry Sustainability Framework last year. Also announced was a 9% increase in membership, a 98% member-retention rate, and the launch of new educational outreach modules.

The announcements represent the organization’s expanded outreach to continuously improve the production, processing, distribution, and overall trust of U.S. beef, as well as its robust stakeholder representation that accounts for 30% of cattle raised, 80% of beef processed, and 28% of consumers, leading retailers, restaurants, and non-governmental organizations in the United States.

“It is a tremendous honor to have led the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef,” said Ben Weinheimer, who served as chair of the USRSB during the past year. “I was fortunate to serve alongside leaders who shared a vision to continuously improve beef sustainability while increasing trust in beef and helping ensure the economic viability of farmers and ranchers – something that’s top of mind for the beef industry as it feels impacts from a global pandemic.”

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04-29-20 Western Growers Applauds Governor Newsom’s Farm to Family Expansion

Western Growers Applauds Governor Newsom’s Farm to Family Expansion

IRVINE, Calif., (April 29, 2020) — In response to Calif. Governor Newsom’s announcement today of a partnership with the California Association of Food Banks to increase deliveries of fresh produce and other California-grown foods to Californians in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia issued the following statement:

“We thank Governor Gavin Newsom and Secretary Karen Ross for working to boost the state’s Farm to Family Program. The collapse of the food service sector has hit farmers who supply restaurants, schools, universities, hotel resorts and other institutional buyers of fresh produce. Many farmers who planted before the economy was shut down made the difficult decision to abandon their crops rather than double their financial loss by harvesting, packing and cooling highly perishable produce with no market.

“California food banks have experienced a huge spike in demand, and it makes sense to redirect as much of the food orphaned by the economic shutdown as possible to food banks. Our growers recognize this and have more than doubled their donations of berries, baby carrots, grapes and other fresh fruits and vegetables to food banks up and down the state in March and April.

“Given the massive economic harm to farmers in our state, much more relief is needed, but this is a good step forward.”

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04-29-20 Colorado Governor Polis Provides Latest Update on State Response to COVID-19

Colorado Governor Polis Provides Latest Update on State Response to COVID-19 for April 29th



Governor Polis Provides Update on State Response to COVID-19

April 29,  2020 – DENVER – Governor Jared Polis today provided an update on the State’s response to COVID-19, reiterated the importance of Safer at Home, and discussed the State’s testing strategy.

“These next few weeks are critical and I know Coloradans will continue to be safer at home as much as possible and wear masks when in public,” said Governor Jared Polis. “Testing is an important puzzle piece to Colorado’s response to this pandemic and the state continues ramping up our testing capability, infrastructure, and epidemiological work and will continue to aggressively seek resources through the private sector and federal government. When this crisis began the state could only run 140 tests per day and we have increased that capacity 20-fold, with more to come.”

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04-29-20 Colorado Department of Agriculture Statement on Food Supply

Colorado Department of Agriculture Statement on Food Supply

Broomfield, Colo. – Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg provided the following statement in response to reports of meat supply shortages in Colorado.

“Colorado’s food supply is strong,” said Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg. “The pandemic has caused farmers, ranchers and processors to move food that once went to restaurants and food service to where it’s needed most: grocery stores. The empty shelves we are seeing do not represent a food shortage, but are a result of the challenges of keeping inventory stocking in pace with increased sales. Similarly, the temporary closures or reduced operations at meat processing facilities are to address worker health and safety. We do not anticipate severe beef shortages or significant price increases. Colorado is a top beef cattle producer in the nation and currently has millions of pounds of meat in cold storage facilities.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture exists to support the state’s agriculture industry and serve the people of Colorado through regulation, advocacy and education. Our mission is to strengthen and advance Colorado agriculture, promote a safe and high-quality food supply, protect consumers, and foster responsible stewardship of the environment and natural resources. Learn more online at colorado.gov/ag

04-29-20 USDA’s New CRP Pilot Program Offers Longer-Term Conservation Benefits

USDA’s New CRP Pilot Program Offers Longer-Term Conservation Benefits


WASHINGTON, D.C., April 29, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will open signup this summer for CLEAR30, a new pilot program that offers farmers and landowners an opportunity to enroll in a 30-year Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contract. This pilot is available to farmers and landowners with expiring water-quality practice CRP contracts in the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay regions. The program signup period is July 6 to Aug. 21, 2020.

“This pilot allows us to work with farmers and landowners to maintain conservation practices for 30 years, underscoring farmers’ commitments to sound long term conservation stewardship on agricultural land,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “Through CLEAR30, we can decrease erosion, improve water quality and increase wildlife habitat on a much longer-term basis. We want to share this opportunity early, before the sign up period, so farmers and landowners have more time to consider if CLEAR30 or another program is right for their operation.”

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04-29-20 Cornell University: Holding cattle back for better markets

Cornell University: Holding cattle back for better markets

From: University of Wisconsin Extension Livestock Program Educators, University of Wisconsin Department of Animal Science Faculty, and Iowa State University Extension Beef Specialists

In times of depressed markets many cattle feeders lean towards the “hold and hope” method of selling fed cattle, where they retain their cattle longer than is ideal with the hope of waiting out the down turn in the market.

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04-29-20 EPA, CDC Release Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Spaces Where Americans Live, Work, and Play Guidance helps facilities and families implement Opening Up American Again guidelines

EPA, CDC Release Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Spaces Where Americans Live, Work, and Play Guidance helps facilities and families implement Opening Up American Again guidelines

WASHINGTON (April 29, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidance to help facility operators and families properly clean and disinfect spaces. Developed in concert with the White House, the guidance provides step-by-step instructions for public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes, and falls in line with the Opening up America Again guidelines .

“These guidelines will provide all Americans with information they need to help the country reopen as safely as possible,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “These cleaning and disinfecting protocols will help ensure the health and safety of everyone in our homes, schools, offices and businesses.”

“Proper and effective cleaning and disinfecting are important to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield. “As our nation re-opens, this guidance is critical to help Americans return as safely as possible to work, school, and other daily activities within their communities.”

EPA’s expertise on the safe and effective use of disinfectants against the virus that causes COVID-19 informed the development of this comprehensive plan. The guidance offers a practical, three-step process for preparing spaces for reopening: Continue reading

03-29-20 USDA – Farmers.gov: Uniting to Combat Water Shortages Across the Country

A hydroponic greenhouse. USDA photo by Lance Cheung

USDA – Farmers.gov: Uniting to Combat Water Shortages Across the Country

APRIL 29, 2020 – A clean and reliable water supply is critical to our nation’s future, but freshwater is a finite resource.

Through innovation, science and proven conservation practices, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is working to develop new tools and technologies to help farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners conserve and protect our natural resources, like our freshwater supply.

Water reuse has become a rapidly expanding tool in our conservation toolbox. It reclaims water from a variety of sources then treats it, allowing that water to be reused for agriculture and irrigation, potable water supplies, groundwater replenishment, industrial processes, and other uses. Water reuse can provide alternatives to tapping into precious water supplies, helping to enhance water security, sustainability and resilience. Continue reading

04-29-20 CDPHE: State Unified Command Center supports expansion of testing across state

CDPHE: State Unified Command Center supports expansion of testing across state

DENVER, April 29, 2020: The Colorado Unified Command Center (UCC) is building public-private partnerships to increase testing capacity across Colorado.

The state lab has sent testing supplies to support 42 community testing sites that will be operated by Local Public Health Agencies (LPHAs) or community health providers.

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04-29-20 North American Meat Institute: Executive Order Will Protect Against Meat Shortages

North American Meat Institute: Executive Order Will Protect Against Meat Shortages

APRIL 29, 2020 – WASHINGTON, DC – The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) today said President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order to ensure the ongoing production of meat and poultry to feed Americans during the COVID-19 crisis.

“By keeping meat and poultry producers operating, the President’s Executive Order will help avert hardship for agricultural producers and keep safe, affordable food on the tables of American families,” said Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts. “The safety of the heroic men and women working in the meat and poultry industry is the first priority. And as it is assured, facilities should be allowed to re-open. We are grateful to the President for acting to protect our nation’s food supply chain.”

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04-29-20 USDA swears in 42 members to Potatoes USA’s Board

USDA swears in 42 members to Potatoes USA’s Board

DENVER (April 29, 2020) — Potatoes USA’s Annual Meeting concluded with formal board business, including the swearing in of new members, and the electing of a new Board Chairman as well as new Administrative Committee members and Executive Committee members.

This year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture appointed 27 new members to the board to serve three-year terms. They were sworn in on March 11 by Kelly M. Robertson, Marketing Specialist of the Promotion and Economics Division of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service’s Specialty Crops Program.

Each year, board members are nominated by the industry and are then appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Potatoes USA’s board has about 100 members, which consists of growers, importers and one public member.

New Board Members Continue reading

04-29-20 NCBA: President Trump Signs Order to Keep Beef Plants Operating

NCBA: President Trump Signs Order to Keep Beef Plants Operating

DENVER, CO (April 28, 2020) – Today, President Trump signed an executive order that orders beef packing plants to remain open and employees in those plants to remain at work through the COVID-19 pandemic. The action taken by President Trump will help keep the beef supply chain intact, ensure beef remains available to consumers and ultimately provide the food that American consumers will need to reopen the nation.

“While there are currently no widespread shortages of beef, we are seeing supply chain disruptions because of plant closures and reductions in the processing speed at many, if not most, beef processing plants in the United States. We thank President Trump for his recognition of the problem and the action he has taken today to begin correcting it,” said NCBA CEO Colin Woodall. “American consumers rely on a safe, steady supply of food, and President Trump understands the importance of keeping cattle and beef moving to ensure agriculture continues to operate at a time when the nation needs it most.”

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04-29-20 USMEF Statement on Executive Order to Help Ensure Safe, Stable Meat Production

USMEF Statement on Executive Order to Help Ensure Safe, Stable Meat Production

On April 28, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to ensure that meat production can continue during the COVID-19 crisis. More details on the executive order are available in this White House fact sheet.

U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom issued the following statement:

“The executive order will help ensure a steady, reliable supply of high-quality U.S. protein – not only for customers in the United States, but across the globe. The U.S. meat industry is already taking extraordinary steps to ensure worker safety, including COVID-19 testing, temperature checks, use of personal protective equipment and social distancing of employees. But further action is needed to stabilize our meat supply chain, and USMEF greatly appreciates the Trump administration’s prioritization of safe and consistent meat production and processing during this difficult time. The executive order comes as welcome news not only to consumers but also to U.S. livestock producers, who have endured severe economic hardship as a result of this pandemic.” Continue reading

04-29-20 NPPC Statement on Implementation of Defense Production Act

NPPC Statement on Implementation of Defense Production Act

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 29, 2020 – President Trump last night invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) to extend much-needed federal support to the U.S. pork production system. By triggering the DPA, the federal government will prioritize the continuity of pork processing plant operations. The following statement may be attributed to Howard “A.V.” Roth, NPPC president and a producer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin.

“We are thankful for the support extended by our federal, state and local government leaders. As we all work together to protect workers and the nation’s food supply, we need uniform and consistent solutions and all available resources to address this unprecedented crisis.  We thank President Trump for taking this step. Continue reading

04-28-20 USDA To Implement President Trump’s Executive Order On Meat and Poultry Processors

USDA To Implement President Trump’s Executive Order On Meat and Poultry Processors

Washington, D.C., April 28, 2020 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue released the following statement after President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order to keep meat and poultry processing facilities open during the COVID-19 national emergency.
“I thank President Trump for signing this executive order and recognizing the importance of keeping our food supply chain safe, secure, and plentiful. Our nation’s meat and poultry processing facilities play an integral role in the continuity of our food supply chain,” said Secretary Perdue. “Maintaining the health and safety of these heroic employees in order to ensure that these critical facilities can continue operating is paramount. I also want to thank the companies who are doing their best to keep their workforce safe as well as keeping our food supply sustained. USDA will continue to work with its partners across the federal government to ensure employee safety to maintain this essential industry.”

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