05-12-20 CO Gov Polis: Western States Pact Urges $1 trillion in Federal Support for States and Cities Responding to COVID-19 Pandemic 

Western States Pact Urges $1 trillion in Federal Support for States and Cities Responding to COVID-19 Pandemic

Gov. Polis, Democratic legislative leaders join call for support

DENVER – In a letter to Congressional leadership, governors and legislative leaders from five western states requested $1 trillion in direct and flexible relief to states and local governments in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to preserve core government services like public health, public safety and public education, and help people get back to work.

“There is no time to waste and we can overcome the widespread economic pain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, together. I urge Congress to quickly take up and pass a new stimulus package to provide relief to Colorado’s communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. A robust, flexible federal response to this pandemic is critical to our state’s recovery and our and country as a whole,” said Gov. Polis.

“Without additional flexible aid from the federal government, our state will be forced to make the deepest budget cuts we have ever seen. Congress must help our communities, both big and small, avoid the devastating impacts of these cuts,” said Speaker Becker, D-Boulder. “These cuts would hurt vulnerable populations and further impact our already underfunded schools and institutions of higher education, which still haven’t recovered from the last recession. We are going to prioritize education and critical public health and safety programs as we work to ease how painful this budget may be, but without federal support there’s only so much we can do.”

“States all over the country have been devastated by coronavirus with thousands of lives lost and millions suffering from unemployment. But theses are just the immediate impacts. The longer, more insidious effects of the pandemic will ripple out for years to come, as state infrastructure crumbles from lack of funding,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo. “We need the Federal Government to step up and provide immediate relief to state and local governments or millions more will suffer as essential services are eroded. Coloradans are deeply resilient people, and I know that with the right help we can get through this together.”

Here is the letter and it is also below: Continue reading

05-11-20 NAFB Series “Focus on Mental Health” #2 of 5: HERD Stress Management Strategy

Pork Checkoff Series “Focus on Mental Health” #2 of 5: HERD Stress Management Strategy

The BARN – Thayer, MO / Briggsdale, CO – May 12, 2020 – It wasn’t long ago that trade wars, weather disasters, and low commodity prices were the biggest concerns for agriculture. Along comes COVID-19 and all the challenges it brings, which puts farmers stress levels higher than ever. The BARN’s Samantha Munson has this report featuring Dr. Josie Rudolphi (Rue-DOLL-fee) of the University of Illinois, who advocates for the HERD stress management strategy. She says farmer stress levels have done nothing but climb over the past six weeks…

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Audio provided as a service to farm broadcasters by the NAFB in association with the National Pork Board. This is the first of five stories in a series developed by the NAFB News Service on farmer stress and mental health. A new story will be posted each day this week as they become available…

05-12-20 SIMMENTAL PROVIDES MEMBERSHIP RELIEF IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

SIMMENTAL PROVIDES MEMBERSHIP RELIEF IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

The BARN – Thayer, MO / Briggsdale, CO – May 12, 2020 – Beef producers, like many others, are hoping for some good news these days. A recent announcement from the American Simmental Association could offer a bright light. During these unprecedented times in the beef industry, the American Simmental Association has announced a support package intended to provide relief to members, ranchers who continue to keep the cattle industry going strong. The ASA Board of Trustees recently passed the package, totaling over $280,000. The BARN’s Samantha Munson has this report featuring Chip Kemp, ASA’s director of commercial and industry operations…

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For more information, visit simmental.org.

This story and audio clips are courtesy of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters, of which The BARN is Proud to be a Broadcast Council Member.

05-12-20 CO Governor Polis: Economic Forecast Shows COVID-19’s Significant Impact on Colorado Economy

CO Governor Polis: Economic Forecast Shows COVID-19’s Significant Impact on Colorado Economy 

DENVER – Today the Office of State Planning and Budgeting released the May 2020 Economic Forecast showing the impact of COVID-19 on Colorado’s economy.

“Just as families across Colorado are tightening their belts because of this pandemic, so is our state. I know this is a difficult time for many hardworking people and Coloradans are doing all they can to make ends meet,” said Gov. Polis. “This pandemic is affecting the global economy, and Colorado is not immune to this economic crisis. This is a challenging budgetary environment and everyone is working hard to ensure Colorado remains on the right path. We are all in this together and we will get through it together.”

Continue reading

05-12-20 Inside the BARN with Ryan Krabill, Medius Ag’s New Director of Business Development

Inside the BARN with Ryan Krabill, Medius Ag’s New Director of Business Development

The BARN – Briggsdale, CO – May 12, 2020 – On May 4th, agricultural data management company Medius Ag is announced 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. Joining the Colorado Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio on ZOOM is Ryan Krabill, Medius Ag’s New Director of Business Development

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ABOUT RYAN KRABILL – DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Continue reading

05-12-20 USDA RADIO: Lower Corn and Bean Prices in USDA May Reports

USDA RADIO: Lower Corn and Bean Prices in USDA May Reports

WASHINGTON D.C. – May 12, 2020  – What is behind USDA’s adjustment down in both corn and soybean price estimates compared to the previous month?

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SOURCE

05-12-20 CDA / CPW: Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Confirmed in El Paso and Prowers Counties

CDA: Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Confirmed in El Paso and Prowers Counties

Broomfield, Colo. – The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) have confirmed cases of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus type 2 (RHDV2) in feral rabbits near Calhan, CO, about 35 miles northeast of Colorado Springs, and in a cottontail in rural Prowers County. Continue reading

05-12-20 CFVGA: Colorado Produce Growers Implement Measures to Keep Workers Safe

CFVGA: Colorado Produce Growers Implement Measures to Keep Workers Safe

May 12, 2020 – Colorado fruit and vegetable growers are working hard to protect the health of the men and women who work to cultivate, harvest and pack fresh fruits and vegetables.

At Petrocco Farms in Brighton, workers are being encouraged to stay home if they are sick, and Petrocco will continue to pay their salaries if they must do so. The farm, which employs both domestic and foreign guest workers, is training all its workers to use social distancing and to employ frequent hand-washing. The farm also has two different quarantine areas, should workers come down with the virus.

“The produce industry is vigilant about food safety, so adding additional measures to keep workers safe falls right in line with our focus on health and safety,” said Joe Petrocco, Petrocco Farms, who serves as the Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association Labor Committee Chair.

Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, May 12th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, May 12th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Lawmakers Seek Help with Livestock Depopulation, Disposal

A bipartisan group of lawmakers wants the Trump administration to provide guidance on how the Federal Emergency Management Agency can help farmers depopulate and dispose of livestock. Led by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, a Democrat from Minnesota, the group sent a letter to the White House Friday. Specifically, the lawmakers request that the Administration allow for expenses related to livestock depopulation and disposal to be reimbursed under Category B of FEMA’s Public Assistance program. A similar effort in the Senate led by Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley says farmers are facing an animal welfare crisis due to overcrowding and the challenge of providing enough feed and water to each animal. The Senate letter states pork producers send to market over two million pigs each week. If twenty percent of processing is idle, that means somewhere around 400,000 animals per week must be disposed of in some manner other than processing.

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Rural Mayors Urge EPA to Protect Biofuel and Farm Jobs

Mayors from across the U.S. farm belt Monday condemned oil industry efforts to seize markets from farmers and biofuel producers under the Renewable Fuel Standard. In a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler, 70 mayors called on the agency to “reject unjustifiable RFS waiver requests and protect rural communities.”  The letter says the closures of ethanol plants, “is having devastating ripple effects throughout our economy.” The mayors say waivers to the oil industry would further damage rural communities. The letter was offered in support for America’s biofuel producers, who have seen demand evaporate during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 70 biofuel plants have completely shuttered their doors, and another 70 have significantly cut production amid demand losses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor adds that when biofuel production shuts down, “everyone hurts – from farmers and truckers to meatpackers and ranchers that need animal feed and carbon dioxide for refrigeration.”

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USDA Approves $1.2 Billion in Food Purchases to Help America’s Needy

The Department of Agriculture last week approved $1.2 billion in contracts for the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. The program is designed to connect excess meat, dairy and produce on farms with families facing food insecurity. The funding far exceeds the $100 million per month the department initially planned for the program, due to high interest and need. The program will purchase $461 million in fresh fruits and vegetables, $317 million in dairy, $258 million in meat and $175 million in a combination box of fresh produce, dairy or meat products. The American Farm Bureau Federation and Feeding America, the country’s largest hunger relief organization, sent a letter to the USDA requesting a nimble approach to quickly and effectively get food from America’s farms to the nation’s food banks and others addressing food insecurity. USDA is authorized to spend up to $3 billion through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. These initial contracts will distribute food from May 15 through June 30, 2020.

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USDA Announces Agreements for Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction

The Department of Agriculture Tuesday announced the availability of $900,000 for local governments to reduce food waste in landfills. The grants allow local governments to host a Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction pilot project for fiscal year 2020. The cooperative agreements will support projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans. The agreements are offered through USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. USDA undersecretary Bill Northey stated food waste “shouldn’t end up in landfills when options like food recovery and composting are available.” Northey says composting options “not only benefit communities and the environment, they can also provide farmers and urban gardeners with exceptional, nutrient-dense planting material.” USDA will accept applications on Grants.gov until midnight June 26, 2020. Projects should span two years with a start date of October 1, 2020 and completion date of September 29, 2022.

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New Research Shows Farmer Perspective on Data Collection, Sharing

Several challenges prevent farmers from collecting and sharing data on their production practices with downstream supply chain organizations such as food companies and retailers. New research from Farm Journal’s Trust In Food initiative and The Sustainability Consortium found 62 percent of farmers report they are not using data collection and sharing software during the 2019 season. Of those who did, only about 30 percent say the software meets all their needs. Farm-level production data plays a critical role in conservation and sustainability efforts. Despite this importance, according to previous research, nearly 50 percent of food and beverage companies report having no visibility into the on-farm practices that produce the inputs they use. Farmers say a lack of access to capital, equipment, training and reliable data networks are the biggest barriers farmers face in scaling up their on-farm data efforts. And, 71 percent of farmers said their primary ag adviser or consultant has never suggested increasing on-farm data collection, data sharing, or both.

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U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol Selects Control Union Certifications

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol Trust Protocol has selected Control Union Certifications North America to implement an independent, third-party verification program for the Trust Protocol system. The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol will set a standard for more sustainably grown cotton. Data about Trust Protocol cotton is proven via Field to Market, measured via the Field Calculator, and now will be verified by Control Union Certifications. The company has certified more than 150 programs worldwide, including working as a key partner in the early development and piloting phases of Field to Market’s Impact Claim Verification Protocol. U.S. cotton growers will complete a self-assessment of farming practices and share their field data through Field to Market’s Fieldprint Platform. Control Union Certifications will verify the Trust Protocol annual data that will highlight key sustainability metrics – land use, soil carbon, water management, soil loss, greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency. The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol will launch in June 2020.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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