05-06-20 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 May 6th

Governor Polis Highlights Front Line Workers on National Nurses Day, Provides Update on PPE

DENVER – Gov. Polis today celebrated National Nurses Day and provided an update on what personal protective equipment the State has received and distributed to front line workers and other critical workers.

“Every day our health care workers and emergency responders are on the front lines of this virus. We can’t thank them enough for their incredible dedication and service during this difficult time,” said Governor Jared Polis. “That’s why it’s our responsibility to continue staying home as much as possible, washing our hands on a regular basis, and wearing a mask when out in public. When we don’t follow proper guidelines, it not only makes things harder on ourselves and prolongs the economic pain for people across our state, but it puts our medical professionals at risk as well.”

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05-06-20 Farm Credit supports Rebuild Rural letter, focus on rural infrastructure

Farm Credit supports Rebuild Rural letter, focus on rural infrastructure

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Farm Credit Council President and CEO Todd Van Hoose released the following statement today in support of the Rebuild Rural coalition’s letter to Congress.

“Parents working and students studying from home has brought the urban/rural divide on broadband to the fore in a way we can no longer afford to ignore. That same broadband would help rural residents avoid medical appointments through telehealth initiatives – decreasing their exposure to others at the hospitals and clinics,” Van Hoose said. “At the other end of the infrastructure equation, we’ve already seen the problems with our food supply chain. Once these processing plants return to normal operations, they will rely on roads, bridges, locks and dams – that are crumbling by the way – to transport that protein to consumers. As Congress considers future COVID-19 relief packages, they need to prioritize rural America’s infrastructure.”

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05-06-20 Coalition urges Congress to prioritize rural infrastructure in next COVID-19 relief package

Coalition urges Congress to prioritize rural infrastructure in next COVID-19 relief package

The 258 members of the Rebuild Rural coalition today sent a letter to the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress advocating for increased rural infrastructure funding in any future COVID-19 relief packages.

As noted in the letter, the local, state and national organizations called on Congress to, “Ensure that our rural communities have access to: clean and safe drinking water and wastewater facilities, secure and dependable surface transportation, reliable and affordable power, healthcare, housing, and broadband and research institutions with state-of-the-art facilities, in order to thrive and attract future generations. Many of these needs – including access to broadband and quality healthcare – have become acute in the past several weeks because of COVID-19. Media have reported parents driving students to fast food parking lots for access to Wi-Fi, and the current challenges of rural hospitals which struggled to meet the needs of the communities they serve under normal conditions before this pandemic and the economic viability of rural communities.” Continue reading

05-06-20 USDA Announces Grants for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

USDA Announces Grants for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

WASHINGTON, May 6, 2020 –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of $3 million for grants through its new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. The competitive grants will support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects through two categories, Planning Projects and Implementation Projects. USDA will accept applications on Grants.gov until midnight July 6, 2020.

“These grant opportunities underscore USDA’s commitment to all segments of agriculture, including swiftly expanding areas of urban agriculture,” Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey said. “Such projects have the potential to address important issues such as food access and education and to support innovative ways to increase local food production in urban environments.”

“It makes good sense to support food recovery and community-based solutions that address food access and support urban farms and community gardens,” said Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach. “The best approaches can be scaled up across the Nation.”

Planning Projects

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05-06-20 BARN Ag Reporter Samantha Munson: USDA Applauds Missouri Court Ruling on Meat Processing Plants

BARN Ag Reporter Samantha Munson: USDA Applauds Missouri Court Ruling on Meat Processing Plants

The BARN – Briggsdale, CO / Thayer, MO – May 6, 2020 – U.S. Secretary Perdue today applauded the decision made by the District Court of Western Missouri which ruled that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the primary jurisdiction over worker’s safety in meat processing plants across the country during the COVID-19 national emergency. Here’s BARN Ag Reporter Samantha Munson…


05-06-20 Inside the BARN with Beef Bank Colorado Co-Founders & Team Members in their Efforts to End Hunger and Feed Minds

Inside the BARN with Beef Bank Colorado Co-Founders & Team Members in their Efforts to End Hunger and Feed Minds

The BARN – Briggsdale, CO – May 6, 2020 – Beef is one of the most complete dietary sources of protein, rich in high quality vitamins and minerals that are proven to play a vital role in healthy brain development. With that in mind, a new group was formed to help put protein in the hands of young people across the state, it’s called “Beef Bank Colorado“.  With that in mind, joining the Colorado Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio to detail the organization and their mission of “Ending Hunger – Feeding Minds” is Beef Bank Colorado’s Co-Founders, Shannon & Jordan Levi; along with team members Lauren Barret of Arcadia, Kim Rounds & Billy Schmitz of Five Rivers Cattle Feeding


To learn more about Beef Bank Colorado watch the video below or visit their website at https://www.beefbankcolorado.org/, follow them on Facebook or on Instagram too Continue reading

05-06-20 BARN Ag Reporter Samantha Munson: Bison Industry Feeling COVID-19 Effects

BARN Ag Reporter Samantha Munson: Bison Industry Feeling COVID-19 Effects

The BARN – Briggsdale, CO / Thayer, MO – May 6, 2020 –Bison is another segment of the livestock industry that’s feeling the fallout from COVID-19. Dave Carter is Executive Director of the National Bison Association, headquartered in Colorado. He says the industry is facing some steep challenges right now. Here’s BARN Ag Reporter Samantha Munson…


Learn more about the National Bison Association online @ https://bisoncentral.com/

CLICK HERE to learn more about the National Bison Association

SOURCE: NAFB News Service,  which The BARN is a Broadcast Council Member

05-06-20 Cornell University: Set aside program proposed for holding cattle on maintenance diet

Cornell University: Set aside program proposed for holding cattle on maintenance diet

In the May 5 issue of Drovers, Greg Henderson reported that a program has been proposed by The Beef Cattle Alliance to subsidize feed yards for holding cattle on a maintenance diet for 75 days. The seven-page proposal, called a “Fed Cattle Set-Aside Program,” would seek to “alleviate the risk of massive economic collapse in the beef cattle industry.” The proposal was developed by the Beef Alliance and modeled after a set-aside program used in Canada after the BSE crisis in 2004.

To read Henderson’s complete article, go here.


05-06-20 USDA Secretary Perdue Issues Letters on Meat Packing Expectations

USDA Secretary Perdue Issues Letters on Meat Packing Expectations

(Washington, D.C., May 6, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue last night sent the following two letters to Governors across the nation and leadership of major meat processing companies. These letters establish the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) clear expectations for the implementation of President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order signed last week. The President’s Executive order directs plants to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance specific to the meat processing industry to keep these critical facilities open while maintaining worker safety.

“USDA expects state and local officials to work with these critical meat processing facilities to maintain operational status while protecting the health of their employees,” Secretary Perdue said. “Meat processing facilities are critical infrastructure and are essential to the national security of our nation. Keeping these facilities operational is critical to the food supply chain and we expect our partners across the country to work with us on this issue.”

Text of each of the letters can be found here: Letter to Governors and here: Letter to Stakeholders.

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, May 6th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, May 6th 

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Ag Economy Barometer Reaches Three-year Low

Commodity price declines, supply-chain disruptions, and coronavirus concerns pushed the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer down to a three-year low in April. The barometer recorded a reading of 96, marking the first time the barometer has fallen below 100 since October 2016, and was 72 points below its record high just two-months prior. The Ag Economy Barometer is based on responses from 400 U.S. agricultural producers and this month’s survey was conducted from April 19-24, 2020. Producers’ expectations for current and future agricultural economic conditions also declined sharply. The Index of Current Conditions suffered its largest one-month drop, down 39 points in April to a reading of 72, and the Index of Future Expectations fell 18 points to a reading of 108. In the April survey, two-thirds of respondents indicated they were “very worried” or “fairly worried about the impact of coronavirus on their farm’s profitability. More than half said they anticipate applying for one of the federal government’s COVID-19 related financial assistance programs.

Public-Private Partnership Serving 5 Million Meals a Week

A feeding initiative in partnership with the Department of Agriculture will now serve nearly five million meals per week to rural children impacted by COVID-19-related school closures – five times its original goal.  The partnership between USDA and Baylor University, along with McLane Global and PepsiCo, initially aimed to deliver nearly one million meals per week to students eligible for free and reduced-price meals in a limited number of rural schools closed due to COVID-19. However, the Meals To You initiative, “has been so successful and faced such high demand,” that USDA decided to expand the program, according to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Meals to You boxes contain 20 nutritious meals, ten breakfasts and ten lunches, to cover the meals children would normally receive at school over two school weeks. Foods contained in the boxes meet USDA’s Summer Food Service Program meal standards and may include items like milk, fruit cups, cereal, whole-grain crackers, and chili. Boxes are delivered directly to children’s doorsteps.

USDA Announces Commodity Purchasing Plans

The Department of Agriculture this week announced details of the $470 million in Section 32 food purchases to occur in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020 in addition to purchases previously announced. The purchases will provide additional support for producers and Americans in need, in response to changing market conditions caused by the COVID-19 national emergency. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says, “USDA is in the unique position to purchase these foods and deliver them to the hungry Americans who need it most.” The Agricultural Marketing Service will purchase a variety of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and seafood products. The purchases include $30 million of chicken products, $120 million of dairy products and $30 million of pork. Additionally, USDA will purchase $50 million of potatoes, another $50 million of turkey products, and $30 million of catfish products, among others. Purchases are determined by industry requests, market analysis and food bank needs. AMS will begin issuing solicitations in June and intends to begin deliveries in July.

Lawmakers Concerned with Farm Animal Depopulation Methods

A group of federal lawmakers wants the Department of Agriculture to curb depopulation efforts of farm animals. Led by Texas Democrat, Representative Lloyd Doggett, the lawmakers raised concerns about mass suffocation of animals who are being quickly cleared from facilities and urges use of more humane practices. Congressman Doggett says, “every effort should be made to get food to those in need instead of wasting it,” adding that if depopulation is necessary, “USDA should act promptly to prevent the use of these most inhumane methods.” The members reference data from the National Pork Producers Council that shows the industry could be forced to cull upwards of 700,000 pigs a week, while millions of birds raised for poultry have already been killed because of this same issue. The lawmakers detail the concerns with ventilator shutdown and water-based foam methods. When equipment fails, they say the process is inhumane, distressing, and painful for the animals “who can take many hours to die.”

Pesticide Control Group Seeks Post Emerge Dicamba Ban

A pesticide control group wants the Environmental Protection Agency to ban post-emergence use of dicamba on soybeans. The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials last month sent a letter EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler detailing the request. Given the impending decision on the conditional registration of Xtendimax with VaporGrip Technology, the group says labels should prohibit over the top, post-emergent soybean use, and label registrations should be conditional on a year by year basis. Based on application dates of dicamba complaints investigated by the major soybean-producing states in 2017 through 2019, prohibiting over the top applications could greatly reduce dicamba complaint investigations, according to the group. The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials was formed in 1947, the same year that Congress enacted the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. The organization is a professional association comprised of the officers charged by law with the execution of the state, territorial, provincial, and federal pesticide laws in the United States and Canada.

Farm Progress Show, Husker Harvest Days, Moving Forward

Operations for the 2020 Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days are underway for the events to be held in September, according to Farm Progress. Preparations include the completion of planting the corn acres used for field demos at each show location. The 2020 Farm Progress Show is planned for September 1-3, in Boone, Iowa. Meanwhile, 2020 Husker Harvest Days is planned for September 15-17, in Grand Island, Nebraska. Don Tourte of Farm Progress says the usual plans are moving forward for both shows, adding, “it’s important now, more than ever before, for us to come together at these industry-leading events.” The events hold significant economic and social roles for farmers and the ag industry. In preparation for live events returning this fall, the Farm Progress parent company, Informa, is partnering with numerous organizations within and outside of the tradeshow industry to plan and execute the events in an environment that is safe and conducive to conducting business.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service