National Day of Prayer 2020 by Pray.com
Inside the BARN with CO Ag Commissioner Kate Greenberg…
COVID-19’s Impacts on Ag, Disaster Update, SBA’s EIDL & PPP, State Budget Concerns & Much More
BRIGGSDALE, CO – May 7, 2020 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio at this time is Colorado Agriculture Commissioner Kate Greenberg, and will be discussing several topics pertaining to COVID-19 and more:
- Colorado Animal Protection Week Proclamation by Governor Polis
- Public Service Recognition Week
- CO Western Slope Disaster Declaration Status
- SBA’s EIDL & Paycheck Protection Program Updates
- Recap of the May 1st Colorado Bipartisan Town Hall on Agriculture and COVID-19 – Listen to the Audio
- POTUS Enacts National Defense Act on the Meatpacking Industry
- NASDA Interstate Working Group Update
- CO Attorney General Joins 10 Other States in Letter to DOJ regarding market concentration & potential price fixing by meatpackers in the cattle industry during coronavirus pandemic – AP News Story
- CO Supreme Court Ruling & the Legislative Session – State Budget & Pending Ag Bills
- Concerns about Budget cuts to CDA
- Ag Event Cancellations/Postponements (Greeley Stampede, Pedal the Plains & CLA Annual Meeting) What about the 2020 CO State Fair. any decision yet?
- 2020 CO FFA State Convention going virtual this year due to COVID concerns
- 2020 Census – there’s still time to complete OnLine – Telephone – Mail
- May is Mental Health Awareness Month: Colorado Crisis Services – There for YOU When They YOU Need Help
- Food Security Task Force Response Form – The CDA and Commissioner Greenberg want to hear from you or visit https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/agmain/food-security-task-force
- & More
For more information on the tour and meet and greet, visit our social media sites at:
USMEF News: U.S. Pork Exports Reach New Heights in March; First Quarter Beef Exports also on Record Pace
Underpinned by record production, U.S. pork exports completed a tremendous first quarter with new March records for volume and value, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports also trended higher year-over-year in March, establishing a record first quarter pace.
“March export results were very solid, especially given the COVID-19 related headwinds facing customers in many international markets at that time,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Stay-at-home orders created enormous challenges for many countries’ foodservice sectors, several key currencies slumped against the U.S. dollar and logistical obstacles surfaced in some key markets – yet demand for U.S. red meat proved very resilient.”
ASI Completes Secure Sheep & Wool Supply Plan
Broomfield, Colo. – In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) has formed an Agricultural Recovery Team alongside its Food Security Task Force with the mission of developing and implementing innovative strategies to support agricultural workers and businesses in recovery and revitalization of the agricultural economy. Continue reading
U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef USRSB Releases Educational Modules During National Beef Month
DENVER (May 7, 2020) – The beef industry’s first-ever online educational modules dedicated to beef sustainability launched this May during National Beef Month.
The cow-calf, stocker, and backgrounder modules outline grazing management, profitability and efficiencies, herd health, transition planning, and worker safety. The modules were developed specifically for beef cattle farmers and ranchers by the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB), America’s leading multi-stakeholder sustainability initiative.
Agricultural industry veteran named Director of Business Development
BIRD-IN-HAND, Pennsylvania, May 4, 2020 – Agricultural data management company Medius Ag is announcing the expansion of its software solutions to a broader range of commodities around the globe through the launch of its new platform, Medius.Re. Since its creation in 2015, the company has focused exclusively on potatoes, reflecting its roots.
Medius Ag is also announcing the addition of Ryan Krabill as the company’s Director of Business Development. Mr. Krabill, a 15-year veteran of U.S. agriculture and early collaborator with Medius Ag, will manage outreach to other commodities around the globe from his office in Denver, Colorado.
“We are excited to roll out Medius.Re—a completely scalable, collaborative solution that empowers agriculture to address more fundamental challenges like productivity, supply chain stability, food security and sustainability while maintaining profitability,” said Medius Ag founder and president Bradley Halladay. “We also could not be more pleased with the addition of Ryan to our team. With his experience, we believe he is uniquely positioned to help us expand our role within agriculture.”
CDPHE: COVID-19 Media Briefing Audio for May 7th
May 7, 2020 – Colorado Unified Command Center (UCC) is now offering one media availability a week. These media availabilities will include speakers from different agencies, based on hot topics for the week. Any questions that cannot be answered during the media availability should be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and will be answered by the appropriate subject matter experts. This week’s media availability took place at 11am MT and included:
- Kevin Klein, Director, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, CDPS – Areas of expertise: State Emergency Operations Center response, alternative care sites.
- Betsy Markey, Executive Director, Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) – Areas of expertise: OEDIT’s COVID-19 response, needs of Colorado businesses based on recent survey, coordination with Colorado companies on the Colorado Mask Project.
by Kylee Kohls
Goal-getters and difference makers, innovators and change curators – today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders. Supporting these creative and intelligent young people, the 2020 Colvin Scholarship Fund awarded $42,000 to 10 who are pursuing degrees in animal and meat sciences across the country.
Honoring the Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB®) brand co-founder and executive director of 22 years, Louis “Mick” Colvin, the Fund supported 86 recipients to date. Since 1999, the scholarship has carried on Colvin’s legacy of making dreams a reality and inspiring others to do their best.
Recognizing community involvement, commitment to success and progress in the beef industry, the program recently announced 2020 recipients.
- $7,500 – Conner McKinzie Stephenville, Texas – Texas Tech University
- $5,000 – Natalie Hawkins, Atwood, Kan. – Oklahoma State University
- $5,000 – Kaylee Greiner, Christiansburg, Va. – Texas A&M University
- $5,000 – Sarah Bludau, Hallettsville, Texas – Texas A&M University
- $3,000 – Emily Glenn, Scott City, Kan. – Kansas State University
- $3,000 – Hattie Duncan, Wingate, Ill. –University of Illinois
- $7,500 – Luke Fuerniss, Loveland, Colo. – Texas Tech University
- $3,000 – Samantha Werth, Rancho Buena Vista, Calif. – University of California, Davis
- $2,000 – Lindsay Upperman, Chambersburg, Penn. – University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- $1,000 – Keayla Harr, Jeromesville, Ohio – Kansas State University
Dr. Cindy Nickerson Appointed as USDA Deputy Chief Economist
WASHINGTON, May 7, 2020 – U.S. Department of Agriculture Chief Economist Robert Johansson today announced the appointment of Dr. Cindy Nickerson as the Deputy Chief Economist, effective June 7.
In her role as Deputy Chief Economist for Policy Analysis, Dr. Nickerson advises the Chief Economist, the Secretary, and top policy officials regarding the economic implications of programs, regulations, and legislative proposals affecting the U.S. food system and rural areas.
“I am very pleased that Dr. Nickerson is joining the Office of the Chief Economist,” said Johansson. “She brings to the position significant experience both in program and policy analysis and in applying economic analysis to agricultural policy issues in USDA and in academia.”
Colorado: State announces Residential Outbreak Task Force
(Denver, Colo., May 6, 2020) In Colorado, more than 50% of the COVID-19 related deaths have been among older adults and people with disabilities who resided in high-density, group-living settings, like nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In order to reduce the spread of illness and number of deaths in these settings, the Colorado Unified Command Center (UCC) has launched a Residential Care Task Force.
The COVID-19 Residential Care Task Force has already completed or begun implementing a number of actions to immediately mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 illness in all high-density environments serving older adults and people with disabilities:
Monitoring and Testing for Disease Presence Continue reading
Thanks to everyone who joined us this morning for a great discussion with livestock producers. CoBank’s Will Sawyer guided us through industry updates and perspectives from Mike Boerboom on hogs, Butch Sensley on chickens and Shane Tiffany on cattle. If you missed the event, visit FarmCredit.com/FromTheFarmGate for a recording and a copy of CoBank’s latest report on the topic.
Thank you again for your interest, and please stay tuned as we look to bring other groups of farmers and ranchers to you through this format.
Todd Van Hoose
Farm Credit supports rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services, today and tomorrow. That’s our mission. And we serve every part of agriculture from the smallest operations to the largest – and everything in between. Learn more about who we are and the important mission we fulfill every day. Learn more online at https://farmcredit.com/
USDA Approves Colorado to Accept SNAP Benefits Online
USDA is expanding access to innovative online food purchase program
(Washington, D.C., May 6, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced approval of a request from Colorado to provide online purchasing of food to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households. This approval will allow Colorado to expedite the implementation of online purchasing with currently authorized SNAP online retailers with a target start date to be announced at a later time. Colorado’s SNAP participation is nearly 415,000 individuals, more than 200,000 households, and totals nearly $640 million annually in federal benefits. This announcement further demonstrates President Trump’s whole of America approach to fighting the coronavirus pandemic by ensuring those affected are fed.
READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, May 7th
Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation
Perdue Releases Letters on Meatpacking Investigation
Agriculture Sonny Perdue this week sent two letters to Governors across the nation and leadership of major meat processing companies regarding the reopening of meat processing facilities. The letters establish the Department of Agriculture’s expectations for the implementation of President Donald Trump’s Executive Order signed last week. The President’s Executive order directs plants to follow the Centers for Disease Control and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidance specific to the meat processing industry to keep facilities open while maintaining worker safety. USDA expects state and local officials to work with meat-processing facilities to maintain operational status while protecting their employees’ health. USDA has also directed meat and poultry processing plants currently closed and without a clear timetable for near-term reopening to submit to USDA written documentation of their protocol, developed based on the CDC/OSHA guidance, and resume operations as soon as they are able after implementing the guidance.
Meat Plant Closures Tightening Supplies
The reduction of meat processing capacity caused by U.S. plant closures and slowdowns has created a massive bottleneck in the nation’s meat and livestock supply chain. Nearly two dozen plants that process beef and pork products closed in April due to the COVID-19 outbreak, while many others have had to slow their production as a result of the disease. According to a new report from CoBank, even if the reduction of processing capacity is temporary, it will likely have a lasting impact on meat processors, livestock producers, retail stores and consumers. Meat supplies for retail grocery stores could shrink nearly 30 percent by Memorial Day, leading to retail pork and beef price increases as high as 20 percent relative to prices last year. This week, Midwest-based grocery chain Hy-Vee announced limits on customer purchases of meat products. Customers are limited to four packages of a combination of fresh beef, ground beef, pork and chicken when they checkout at all store locations. Costco announced similar limits earlier this week, as did Sam’s Club.
Bill Would Increase CCC Borrowing Authority
A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives this week would expand the Commodity Credit Corporations annual borrowing authority. The legislation from Republican Representative Austin Scott of Georgia would raise the CCC’s borrowing authority from $30 billion to $68 billion. Scott says the move would give the Department of Agriculture greater flexibility to maintain farm bill programs that support farmers and stabilize domestic agricultural markets. By raising the CCC’s borrowing limit, Scott says USDA would have greater ability to address the economic effects that COVID-19, volatile markets, and other factors have had on rural America. The CCC’s borrowing authority was last adjusted to $30 billion in 1987. Since then, agriculture has faced many challenges, one of the most difficult being the economic impacts of COVID-19. Last month, an analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation showed that if adjusted for inflation, the borrowing limit for the CCC would be nearly $68 billion, as proposed by Representative Scott’s legislation.
Gillibrand Introduces Bill to Connect Farms and Food Banks
New legislation introduced in the Senate addresses disruptions in the food supply chain caused by the coronavirus pandemic and directly connect farms to food banks. The bill was introduced this week by Senator Kristen Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, who also sits on the Senate Agriculture Committee. As foodservice entities cease operations to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, reports have emerged that millions of pounds of produce have been left to rot. Meanwhile, food banks across the country are facing unprecedented demand, as millions of newly unemployed Americans now face food insecurity. Senator Gillibrand’s proposed Food Bank Access to Farm Fresh Produce Act would provide $8 billion in block grants to food banks in the top vegetable and fruit producing states. Food banks will be able to use the funds to purchase fresh produce directly from farmers. They will also be able to use the funding to pay for distribution, processing, and additional staff needed to meet increased demand.
Report: Congress May Seek Oversight of NIFA, ERS Move
A new report suggests Congress may consider additional oversight of the location change of two Department of Agriculture agencies. The Congressional Research Service report out this month says, “Congress may consider exercising oversight of USDA implementation of the relocations and any benefits as anticipated by the Congressional Budget Office.” Last year, USDA relocated most staff positions at two of its research agencies, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Economic Research Service to Kansas City, Missouri, from Washington, D.C. The move was expected to save $300 million over 15 years, according to the CBA analysis. The report states about 75 percent of affected employees declined to relocate and left the agencies. The report says that NIFA grantees have experienced delays in receiving awarded funds, which are typically released one to two months after the start of the next fiscal year. Further reports cite USDA internal memos suggest that ERS has delayed or discontinued numerous reports.
BASF Donates $170,000 to Feeding America
BASF Corporation will join COVID-19 hunger relief efforts with a $170,000 donation to Feeding America. The company’s North America Agricultural Solutions employees in the U.S. hosted a virtual food drive in March and April to support Feeding America food banks across the country. The contribution will help their food banks secure nutritious food and resources to serve neighbors in need during the pandemic. BASF employees throughout its Agricultural Solutions division participated in the virtual food drive by making financial contributions online. BASF matched donations dollar-for-dollar for the virtual food drive. All funds raised online, including the BASF match, will be donated to Feeding America member food banks based on donor zip codes. This gives employee donors the opportunity to help their own communities and make an impact where they live. BASF will donate an additional $195,000 to Feeding America. The gift includes a $150,000 corporate donation and $45,000 from BASF’s largest facilities in Michigan, Texas, and Louisiana. In total, BASF will contribute more than $365,000 to Feeding America’s COVID-19 hunger relief efforts.