USDA-NRCS Announces $5M in Wetland Mitigation Banking Program Funds
DENVER, CO, May 12, 2020 – The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced today the availability of up to $5 million for wetland mitigation banks. This funding through the Wetland Mitigation Banking Program is available to help conservation partners develop or establish mitigation banks to help agricultural producers maintain eligibility for USDA programs. Applications must be submitted through Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. ET on July 6, 2020.
“Wetlands are critically important to the health of our natural resources — filtering water, reducing soil loss and providing habitat to our nation’s wildlife while also helping to sequester carbon from the atmosphere,” said Gene Backhaus, Acting NRCS State Conservationist in Colorado. “Through the Wetland Mitigation Banking Program, we’re working with experienced wetland mitigation partners to give farmers another option to meet Farm Bill requirements.”
USDA-AMS Posts Recording of CFAP Direct Payments Webinar
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has posted a recording of the webinar for farmers, ranchers and other producers interested in applying for direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) held Thursday, May 14, at 1 p.m. ET.
CO Governor Polis Takes Additional Executive Action in Response to COVID-19 Concerning Open Burning
DENVER – Gov. Polis today signed Executive Order D 2020 062 concerning open burning. The Executive Order continues the temporary suspension of statute in order to provide boards of county commissioners with broader discretion and greater flexibility to implement restrictions on open burning. This will reduce the risk of fire and enable firefighters and other first responders to participate in COVID-19 response efforts throughout the State.
Gov. Polis also signed Executive Order D 2020 063 ordering the continued temporary suspension of certain statutes and rules to expand the health care workforce for hospitals and other inpatient treatment facilities. Continue reading →
CDA’s Annual Colorado Hay Directory Now Accepting Listings
Broomfield, CO; May 14, 2020 – The Colorado Department of Agriculture is accepting listings for the 2020 Colorado Hay Directory. The annual publication connects hay producers with buyers.
“Every year livestock owners from across the state and nation call requesting information about Colorado hay,” said Wendy White, marketing specialist for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “We are excited to have a publication that helps producers market their hay and serves as a resource for the livestock industry.”
The listing fee is $25, and the deadline is June 15, 2020. The listing form is available at www.coloradoagriculture.com or by contacting the Colorado Department of Agriculture. The directory will be available in August at www.coloradoagriculture.com/hay, through CSU Extension offices and various horse and livestock associations in the state, as well as at agricultural events. Continue reading →
Conaway, Dunn: USDA Biotech Rule Delivers on President Trump’s Pro-Innovation Agenda
Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued its final rule to modernize agricultural biotechnology regulations, marking the first comprehensive revision of the regulations since they were established in 1987. The Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, and Efficient (SECURE) rule modernizes the agency’s oversight of traditional and new plant breeding methods such as gene-editing and acknowledges that regulations should be commensurate with risk. This announcement fulfills USDA’s obligations under President Trump’s June 12, 2019 Executive Order directing USDA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to modernize the regulatory framework for agricultural biotechnology products.
After the announcement, House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) and Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research Subcommittee Ranking Member Neal Dunn, MD (FL-2) made the following remarks:
“With this action, President Trump once again delivers certainty and predictability for farmers, ranchers, consumers, and the research community. The SECURE rule strikes the right balance of protecting plant health while positioning U.S. agriculture at the forefront of innovation,” said Ranking Member Conaway. “I am also looking forward to updates to the regulatory framework for gene-edited animals that ends the misguided regulation that inaccurately defines animals as drugs. USDA’s expertise and vision will lend credibility to what is currently an anti-innovation status quo.”
“I commend Secretary Perdue for quickly implementing the President’s Executive Order. The SECURE rule gives our scientists regulatory certainty so that their innovations addressing pest and disease pressures, food waste, and climate adaptation can be delivered to the marketplace. We are all now awaiting EPA and FDA to follow USDA’s leadership to enact pro-innovation biotechnology regulations,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member Dunn.
CBB CEO Greg Hanes Op-Ed…The Beef Checkoff: The Truth Is in Plain Sight
by Greg Hanes, CEO, Cattlemen’s Beef Board
We’ve never seen anything like this current beef situation; actually, in our lifetimes, we have never seen an economic situation like this that’s affected every industry, including ours. All aspects of the economy are reeling, and yet beef producers continue to be a strong, resilient breed who weather what life throws at them. Still, in the current environment, it is easy to get frustrated, to want to point fingers and lay blame, or to just be downright angry at the situation itself. We understand that.
With frustration often comes misunderstanding. There has been more and more misinformation floating around about the Beef Checkoff in recent weeks as producers seek answers to questions about the state of our industry. But remember, while the Beef Checkoff does so many great things, it can’t do everything. It is important to remember that we are built on a law that squarely focuses our programs on beef promotion, research, and education to drive consumer demand. No lobbying. No stance on possible political actions or laws. No backroom dealings. Nothing to hide.
We want to have transparent, open, and honest conversations about the way we operate. We welcome questions, and we have heard our share of those in recent weeks. We’re always working to find ways to clearly communicate with producers about the Beef Checkoff’s mission and programs – including where your dollars are spent – with information that is both transparent and simple to find. Here’s some key information about the Beef Checkoff and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board that may help you better understand how our programs work.
Answers to the Five Most Frequently Asked Questions about the Beef Checkoff: Continue reading →
USDA SECURE Rule Paves Way for Agricultural Innovation
Washington, D.C., May 14, 2020 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced a final rule updating and modernizing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) biotechnology regulations under the Plant Protection Act. The Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, Efficient (SECURE) rule will bring USDA’s plant biotechnology regulations into the 21st century by removing duplicative and antiquated processes in order to facilitate the development and availability of these technologies through a transparent, consistent, science-based, and risk-proportionate regulatory system. This new rule will help provide America’s farmers access to these critical tools to help increase agricultural productivity and sustainability, improve the nutritional value and quality of crops, combat pests and diseases, and enhance food safety.
“Under President Trump’s leadership, USDA is implementing the first significant update to our plant biotechnology regulations in more than three decades,” said Secretary Perdue. “USDA’s SECURE rule will streamline and modernize our regulatory system, facilitate science-based innovations, and provide our farmers with the tools they need to produce the world’s safest, most abundant, and most affordable food supply, which will help us continue to Do Right and Feed Everyone – safely.” Continue reading →
Governor Polis, Colorado Communities Come Together in Day of Remembrance for Coloradans Lost to COVID-19
DENVER – Gov. Jared Polis, individuals, and communities across Colorado are coming together this Friday evening at 7 PM MT to honor and remember the more than 1,000 Coloradans that we have lost to COVID-19. Friday, May 15 is also Peace Officers Memorial Day, which the state will commemorate by lowering flags to half staff and we encourage Coloradans across our state to commemorate as well.
“This global pandemic has cost 300,000 lives across the world and over 1,000 in Colorado alone. Too many Coloradans have lost family members and friends to this deadly virus, and we honor and celebrate their lives especially because many victims couldn’t have proper in-person funerals, remembrances, and wakes,” said Governor Jared Polis. “This is a challenging moment for many of our friends and neighbors and to those Coloradans who are struggling: you are not alone and we are all in this together. We still have work to do to stop the spread of this virus and can defeat this virus by staying home as much as possible, wearing facial masks when in public, and washing our hands regularly. Together we can avoid burying and remembering more Coloradans far too early.”
Coloradans can participate by wearing a protective face covering or masks for a minute of silence to display their effort to do their part to save lives at 7:00 p.m. They can also post on social media to raise awareness about the remembrance event.
To recognize the Day of Remembrance, the State Capitol, along with cities, counties and other organizations, will be turning their lights red at 7:00 p.m. to honor those who have passed. The state is encouraging buildings and businesses across the state to turn their lights red at 7:00 p.m. and for police and fire departments to turn their lights on at 7:00 p.m. for one minute. Additionally, cities may consider creating a Proclamation to commemorate this event.
At the time of this release, the following cities, counties have confirmed that they will participate: Continue reading →
BARN Ag Reporter Samantha Munson: Missouri Ag Groups Launch Pork Processing, Food Bank Effort
The BARN – Briggsdale, CO / Thayer, MO – May 14, 2020 – The Missouri Pork Association, Missouri Farmers Care and their supporters hope their newest partnership will solve two of the problems that have arisen from the coronavirus pandemic. Diane Slater, communications director with Missouri Pork, says pork producers are feeling the squeeze from meatpacking plants slowing down or going offline as thousands of COVID-19 cases emerge from those facilities…For more on that here’s BARN Ag Reporter Samantha Munson…
Pork Checkoff Series “Focus on Mental Health” #4 of 5: Overcoming the Stigma of Depression
The BARN – Thayer, MO / Briggsdale, CO – May 14, 2020 –The BARN’sSamantha Munson has this Pork Checkoff special report featuring Wisconsin’s Randy Roecke, founder of the Farmer Angel Network, which was started to help farmers talk about the stresses they face every day. He started the effort after a neighboring farmer became overwhelmed by stress and committed suicide. Roecker also battled his own stresses after updating their operation shortly before the recession hit in the late 2000s…
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…
WASHINGTON, May 13, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) will host a webinar on Thursday, May 14, 2020, at 1 p.m. ET, for farmers, ranchers and other producers interested in applying for direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
As part of President Trump and Secretary Perdue’s April 17 announcement of a $19 billion Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program, USDA will provide $16 billion in direct support based on losses for agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted. Also, USDA will assist eligible producers facing additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19.
USDA is hosting this webinar to share what information is needed to apply for direct payments through CFAP, once the application period begins.The webinar is an opportunity for producers to learn about the general application process and required documentation prior to the official beginning of signup. Producers who are new to participating in FSA programs are especially encouraged to join the webinar.
CDA: Governor Polis Proclaims 2020 The Year of Colorado Local Food
Broomfield, Colo. – Governor Polis last week issued a proclamation declaring 2020 to be the Year of Local Food in Colorado. Created in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), the proclamation highlights the value of local agriculture to the state and the appreciation for all who grow, harvest, process, and distribute food.
“Now more than ever it’s important that we support our small Colorado businesses who are key for our local economies,” said Governor Jared Polis. “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our farmers and ranchers we continue to grow delicious Colorado food to feed our families.”
May 14, 2020 (Denver, CO) – A new state study and web-based visualization tool called Future Avoided Cost Explorer (FACE:Hazards), led by the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) and the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is now available to help communities examine the economic risks of climate change.
FACE:Hazards empowers communities to justify mitigation and adaptation investments using climate and risk-informed decisions. Continue reading →
LMA: House COVID Bill Provides Key Livestock-Industry Support
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (May 14, 2020) – The Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) supports livestock provisions included in the House HEROS Act, particularly a Dealer Statutory Trust to improve recovery in payment defaults and additional funds for producer payments to compensate cattle price losses.
A Dealer Statutory Trust would improve recovery when a producer or livestock auction market is not paid for livestock sold to a dealer. While this is always important, the necessity to address this topic is greatly heightened today.
“The volatile down market in cattle prices due to COVID-19 has increased the urgency of the establishment of a Dealer Statutory Trust,” said LMA President Tom Frey. “The whole livestock sector is hurting and, unfortunately, this will lead to livestock payment defaults.”
CORRECTION: NSP Statement on USDA Biotechnology 340 Interim Rule
LUBBOCK, Texas (May 14, 2020)—The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today their final rule on plant biotechnology regulations which will revise decades old regulations regarding the development of certain genetically engineered organisms. National Sorghum Producers CEO Tim Lust released the following statement in response:
“We are pleased USDA has moved forward with the rulemaking process, following earlier guidelines to include new plant breeding technologies like gene editing and technologies like CRISPR. Plant breeding innovations are vital to sorghum producers and will play a fundamental role in our ability to produce more with fewer inputs and to compete in the global marketplace. By utilizing new techniques, products can be developed more efficiently, saving valuable time and resources. Continue reading →
WASHINGTON – Earlier this week, NACD submitted public comments to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on the interim Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) rule.
RCPP was first created in the 2014 Farm Bill, and conservation districts across the country have successfully applied for, partnered with and led a large portion of all projects since the program’s inception. The proposed RCPP rule implements changes Congress included in the 2018 Farm Bill. After receiving feedback from its members, NACD advocated for several changes and revisions to the law to ensure conservation districts and the locally-led conservation delivery process are prominent fixtures throughout the life of a project, from application to completion.
“Conservation districts should play an even larger role than they previously had in the implementation of RCPP projects,” NACD President Tim Palmer said. “Their history of working together with local landowners, NRCS and partners in the conservation delivery system will only help to further leverage project funds needed to protect our nation’s natural resources.” Continue reading →
May 14, 2020 – Livestock market complications that reduce calf sales can cause unexpected forage demands. Droughts can compound the problem leading to forage deficiencies. Forage shortages can cause poor animal performance, overgrazed and degraded pastures, and increased expenses. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) can help you plan and implement strategies to minimize forage deficiencies.
#TheLambChallenge: Get Instagram Live Inspiration Every Friday
The American Lamb Board’s (ALB) new consumer social media contest is all about inspiring increased at-home usage of American Lamb. The Great American Lamb Challenge has consumers preparing 2 different lamb recipes as they explore the adventurous appeal of our great product while supporting America’s farms and flocks and helping raise funds for Feeding America. #TheLambChallenge runs May 1 through June 30. Continue reading →
President Trump & Colorado Governor Polis orders flags lowered to half staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day Now thru Sunset May 15th
DENVER – On May 13th, Governor Polis ordered the Colorado and American flags be lowered to half staff on all public buildings statewide from sunrise to sunset on Friday, May 15, 2020, in recognition of Peace Officers Memorial Day, and as proclaimed by President Trump.