05-18-20 Inside the BARN with CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg…

Inside the BARN with CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg…

(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) May 18, 2020 – Joining me inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network is CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg from District 1  discussing several topics on the national and state levels, including

  • Happy Birthday Senator Sonnenberg!
  • COVID-19 Impacts Continue
  • Concerns regarding Gov Polis Executive Powers
  • Recent Op-Ed “Polis failure put rural communities at risk”
  • Thoughts on U.S. House chooses to vote by Proxy
  • Gov Polis Executive Order to HALT signature collection for ballot initiatives – Is it a violation of the State Constitution?
  • Concerns regarding CDPHE Influence & Impact on Colorado’s Economy & their Powers during the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Concerns about CDPHE altering Death Certificates
  • CO Republican House Membership sends Letter to Speaker Becker concerning Gov Polis Executive Powers
  • Meatpacking Plants Up & Running – Limited Capacity that is…Impacts on the Cattle & Hog Industry
  • Rural Hospitals: Staff Layoffs & more
  • Field Hospitals Not being Used at The Ranch and the Colorado Convention Center
  • Will Schools & Colleges Reopen this Fall & reaction to Gov Polis’ statement on Fox News over the weekend
  • CO State Legislature Delayed Again until May 26th (CO State Budget needs to be completed by the end of June – Might see smaller Agenda with the delay)
  • Thoughts on US Space Command will be at Peterson Airbase for next years and Final decision will be made by Jan 2021
  • Thoughts about the passing of former CSU Ext Agent Mick Livingston & former State Senator Jack Taylor
  • & More

To listen to the interview, click the audio mp3 link below…


To learn more about CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg – CLICK HERE

05-18-20 Op-Ed from CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg “Polis failure put rural communities at risk”

Op-Ed from CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg “Polis failure put rural communities at risk”


May 18, 2020 – STERLING , CO – King Jared and Dean Williams have failed to protect Sterling Correctional Facility, leaving the residents of Northeast Colorado vulnerable. Safe in their ivory towers, the governor and his executive director of Colorados Department of Corrections sit congratulating themselves while the citizens of Northeastern Colorado are left to correct the mess of their colossal failures.

Governor Polis and Jill Ryan – his Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment right-hand henchwoman – issued a Stay-at-Home order on March 25th yet continued to move inmates in and out of prisons until April 10th. This unbelievable oversight put our prison workers, inmates, and communities at risk for more than two weeks. Continue reading

05-18-20 COVID-19 testing available throughout Colorado State health department encourages anyone with symptoms to get tested

COVID-19 testing available throughout Colorado

State health department encourages anyone with symptoms to get tested

DENVER, May 18, 2020: Thanks to increased access to testing supplies, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is encouraging anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 to speak with a health care provider and get tested. Colorado’s state lab has acquired significantly more testing supplies and has adequate processing capacity. This means that the state as a whole, including private partners, has the capacity to test all people with COVID-19 symptoms, as well as to expand surveillance testing.

There are currently more than 35 testing sites open to the public across Colorado, including both free sites supported by the state lab and sites operated by private providers. The public can access a map of testing locations here:

https://covid19.colorado.gov/covid-19-in-colorado/about-covid-19/testing-for-covid-19. Continue reading

05-18-20 Tri-State Announces Return of Capital to Members

Tri-State Announces Return of Capital to Members

  • Tri-State announces allocation of $45 million in patronage capital and return of $30 million to members, with $100 million returned to members over the last four years.
  • Wholesale rates for members are unchanged in 2020, marking the fourth straight year with stable wholesale rates, with rates forecast to be stable, if not lower, over the next decade.

(May 14, 2020 – Westminster, Colo.) – Demonstrating the value of the cooperative business model and its strong financial position, not-for-profit power supply cooperative Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association announced it has completed payment of approximately $30 million in patronage capital refunds to its members for 2019, and allocated an additional $45 million patronage capital to its members.

In the cooperative business model, patronage capital is each member’s share of the net margins earned by the cooperative and allocated to its members. Allocated patronage capital is refunded to cooperative members over time.

Tri-State returned $30 million in patronage capital to its members for 2019, and has returned $100 million over the past four years.

“The allocation and return of capital is one of the significant benefits of cooperative membership and a hallmark of the cooperative business model,” said Rick Gordon, chairman of the Tri-State board and director of the Mountain View Electric Association in Limon, Colo. “The allocation and payment of patronage capital contributes to each members’ financial health by strengthening their balance sheets and providing an inflow of cash.”

Tri-State’s has allocated patronage capital to its members from its net margins each year, and has returned patronage for 37 straight years. Continue reading

05-18-20 CDA: Governor Polis Proclaims Colorado Noxious Weed Awareness Week

CDA: Governor Polis Proclaims Colorado Noxious Weed Awareness Week
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Governor Jared Polis has designated May 16-23, 2020 as Noxious Weed Awareness Week in Colorado, noting that noxious weeds are a threat to the state’s agricultural crops and infrastructure, as well as to wildlife habitat.  As the 2020 growing season gets underway, the Colorado Department of Agriculture is proud to acknowledge the accomplishments of the state’s integrated network of noxious weed management agencies.

County noxious weed control programs, municipalities, state and federal agencies, conservation districts and private, non-profit organizations have collaboratively helped contain and suppress, and in some cases, eliminate significant populations of Colorado’s 79 designated noxious weeds. These non-native plants are often able to out-compete native and other desirable plants, resulting in loss of agriculturally productive pasture and range land, along with native plant communities that sustain indigenous wildlife.

“Weed Awareness Week is an opportunity for the state’s residents to celebrate the hard work of noxious weed managers, and to learn more about noxious weeds at local events being held around the state,” said Steve Ryder, State Weed Coordinator with the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “Noxious weeds are not only costly to agriculture, but also reduce viable wildlife habitat, present heightened wildfire danger and contribute to soil erosion. Some are even poisonous, to both livestock and humans.”

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Colorado Noxious Weed Act, which is the guiding statute for noxious weed control efforts around the state.  The Act states that all residents of Colorado have a duty to manage noxious weeds on lands they own or manage.  The Colorado Department of Agriculture provides support to local governing bodies in their efforts to manage noxious weeds, while coordinating management efforts at the local, state and federal levels.

For more information about local Weed Awareness Week events in your area, contact the Colorado Weed Management Association. Read the Governor’s Weed Awareness Week Proclamation here.

05-18-20 LGMA Partners with Western Growers to Offer Remote Food Safety Audits During Pandemic

LGMA Partners with Western Growers to Offer Remote Food Safety Audits During Pandemic

IRVINE, Calif., (May 18, 2020) — Mandatory government food safety audits of leafy greens farms under the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement are continuing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Announced today by Western Growers (WG) and the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (CA LGMA), is the availability of a new process developed through a collaboration with iFoodDecisionSciences (iFoodDS), that streamlines all verification documents and data for online review by government auditors. Continue reading

05-18-20 U.S Senator Gardner Calls to Extend Paycheck Protection Program Loan Deadline

U.S Senator Gardner Calls to Extend Paycheck Protection Program Loan Deadline

Letter to Small Business Committee follows bipartisan legislation he introduced to double the PPP loan forgiveness period for small businesses

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) is calling on the leaders of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship to work to extend the timeframe of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, which were established in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Gardner introduced the bipartisan PPP DEAL Act, which would extend the loan forgiveness period and amend the rehire date.

“As more jurisdictions across the country extend their stay at home orders, and as Americans in more open parts of the country remain tentative about the public health situation, the original timeline for the PPP has become outdated,” wrote Senator Gardner. “Additionally, for many businesses, revenues will not quickly return to the point where they can immediately rehire their full staffs. We should extend the time they have to spend their PPP dollars and also extend the timeline for rehiring their teams. These necessary extensions will provide tremendous amounts of relief for people across the country.”

The full text of the letter is available here and below:

Continue reading

05-18-20 USDA Invests More Than $2.2M in Partner-Driven Projects that Protect Natural Resources in Colorado

USDA Invests More Than $2.2M in Partner-Driven Projects that Protect Natural Resources in Colorado

DENVER, CO, May 18, 2020 – USDA’s Natural Resources Service (NRCS) recently announced that it is investing over $2.27 million in Colorado for a partner-driven conservation project (partner-driven conservation projects) through its Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). NRCS will leverage nearly $2.9 million in partner contributions in Colorado.

Continue reading

05-18-20 USDA-NRCS Announces Cooperative Agreements for Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction

USDA-NRCS Announces Cooperative Agreements for Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction

DENVER, CO, May 18, 2020 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of $900,000 for local governments to host a Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) pilot project for fiscal year (FY) 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.

“Food waste shouldn’t end up in landfills when options like food recovery and composting are available,” Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey said. “Such options not only benefit communities and the environment, they can also provide farmers and urban gardeners with exceptional, nutrient dense planting material.”

“We are tapping into the creativity of communities across the nation to rethink the lifecycle of food in ways that minimize waste and maximize use.” said Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach. “We look forward to highlighting the innovative practices of selected pilot projects.”

Key Dates Continue reading

05-18-20 CSU Extension: 2020 Grasshopper populations in Colorado

2020 Grasshopper populations in Colorado

Written by: Assefa Gebre-Amlak and Frank Peairs, Colorado State University Extension

The 2020 grasshopper hazard map based on the 2019 survey of adult grasshopper activity conducted by USDA-APHIS-PPQ, shows that there will be low grasshopper populations in Colorado in general with the exception of some localized spots of moderate to high populations of grasshoppers between Kit Carson and Yuma, southern Weld and Adams and southeastern counties of Colorado (https://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/grasshopper/downloads/hazard.pdf).

Continue reading

05-18-20 CO Governor Polis Provides Latest Update on COVID-19 Response

CO Governor Polis Provides Latest Update on COVID-19 Response for May 18, 2020

May 18, 2020 – Gov. Polis provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 and take questions from the media from the STRIDE Community Health Center – Jeffco Family Health Services Center in Wheatridge, CO.


Gov. Polis Announces Expanded Testing Capacity, Including All Who Are Symptomatic

Monday, May 18, 2020 – WHEAT RIDGE — Gov. Polis provided an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic at the STRIDE Community Health Center in Wheat Ridge and addressed the state’s increased testing capacity.

Today Governor Polis announced that Colorado has reached a critical goal, and now has the supplies and capacity to test anyone with COVID-19 symptoms. On April 29, Gov. Polis set the goal of testing all symptomatic Coloradans by mid-May. At the time, the state was only able to test some symptomatic individuals. With the increased capacity, Gov. Polis is now encouraging anyone with symptoms to get tested for the virus.

“Getting tested is a crucial part of our response to this virus, and I’m proud to say that any Coloradan who is showing symptoms, can and should get tested,” said Governor Jared Polis. “This ensures that infected individuals get the care they need, and prevent spreading the virus to others. This is an all-hands on deck effort for Coloradans. Significant progress in expanding testing had been made through our partnership with cities, counties, hospitals, community health clinics, and retailers in every corner of the state.”

Colorado can now test: Continue reading

05-18-20 Mexico Opens for U.S. Bison Meat Exports

National Bison Association News Header

Mexico Opens for U.S. Bison Meat Exports

WESTMINSTER, CO (May 18, 2020) – The National Bison Association welcomed the news on Friday that the Government of Mexico has formally opened its doors to import U.S. – produced bison meat into that country.

The move formally opens the doors to a new market for U.S. bison meat.
“This is a very positive development for the bison business,” said Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association. “The Mexican marketplace offers a growth opportunity for our business. Additionally, many consumers in Mexico tend to favor cuts of meat that are not in high demand by U.S. customers, so this can help our marketers balance carcass utilization.”

Continue reading

05-18-20 USDA Approves Program to Feed Kids in Colorado, Missouri, and Wyoming

USDA Approves Program to Feed Kids in Colorado, Missouri, and Wyoming

Pandemic EBT to Feed Children during COVID-19 National Emergency

(Washington, D.C., May 18, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced Colorado, Missouri, and Wyoming have been approved to operate Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), a new program authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), signed by President Trump, which provides assistance to families of children eligible for free or reduced-price meals dealing with school closures.

05-18-20 Central Colorado Water Conservancy District Awards Scholarships

CCWCD 2020 Scholarships Awarded

Greeley, CO – May 18, 2020 – Each year Central’s Board of Directors offer a $1000.00 college scholarship to one graduating senior from the 12 high schools within our district boundaries.

2020 Scholarships were awarded to:

  • Garrett Fritzler – Fort Morgan High School
  • Kyle Melvin – Prairie View High School
  • James Kuemmerle – Weld Central High School
  • Brianna Diaz – Brighton High School

CCWCD MISSION: “To develop, promote, and implement water conservation, augmentation, and management strategies to protect water resources for the benefit of the citizens of the District and Subdistrict.” Learn more online @ https://ccwcd.org/


READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, May 18th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, May 18th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

The U.S., China Relationship Deteriorating Soon After Phase One Trade Deal

Analysts already expect China to be unable to meet its obligations under the Phase One trade deal it signed with the U.S. this year. Now, the relationship between the two largest economies in the world appears to be in trouble. President Donald Trump seemed to add fuel to the fire when he told the Fox Business Network that he has no interest in speaking to Chinese President Xi (Zhee) Jinping right now. He even went as far as admitting the possibility of cutting ties with the Asian nation. Reuters says the U.S. president is very disappointed with China’s failure to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, noting that the pandemic cast a pall over his Phase One deal with China, which was previously hailed as a major achievement. “They should never have let this happen,” Trump says. “So, I make a great trade deal and now I say this doesn’t feel the same to me. The ink was barely dry, and the plague came over. And it doesn’t feel the same to me.” Trump’s irritation extended to the Chinese president, who Trump one said he had a good relationship with. “Right now, I don’t want to speak to him,” Trump told Fox. “There are many things we could do. We could even cut off the whole relationship.”


China Now Open to U.S. Blueberries, Barley Imports

China said late last week it would immediately allow imports of barley and fresh blueberries from the United States. That move came just days after announcing plans to impose tariffs on barley imports from Australia, as well as blocking Australian beef imports. The South China Morning Post says opening up to more U.S. agricultural imports is a step towards meeting the nation’s Phase One trade deal commitments. “The U.S. barley import decision is mainly due to the trade deal,” says Rosa Wang, an analyst with JCI China, an agricultural data provider. “To meet the targets, it is necessary for U.S. farm products to enter China.” Wang says it indicates China is making an effort, but also says the Australian side of things is a “separate matter.” Trade data shows that China is a long way from fulfilling its obligations. However, the Asian nation has been busy ramping up its purchases of U.S. pork. Early last week, China also exempted a total of 79 American products from tariffs. The new list of exemptions was made public just one day after China suspended imports from four Australian beef processing plants due to labeling and health concerns.


Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program Applications Open

The USDA launched an online portal to start accepting applications for the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program grants. The agency plans to make up to $100 million available in competitive grants for activities that will help expand the sale and availability of ethanol and biodiesel fuels. “As the coronavirus response continues, America’s energy independence has proven to be critical to our economic security now more than ever,” says USDA Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Stephen Censky. “We know the positive impacts that affordable, abundant, and clean-burning fuel provide to our country’s farmers and consumers. The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program will help rural communities build stronger economies and will give consumers more choices when they fill up at the pump.” USDA will make the funds directly available to help transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities convert to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends by sharing the costs related to the installation of fuel pumps, related equipment, and infrastructure. Online grants must be submitted by August 13.  


R-CALF Asks Perdue to Open CRP Land to Emergency Grazing

R-CALF USA is asking Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue to consider opening up the 24 million acres of land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program to emergency grazing. The group says it would help to alleviate the backlog in the live cattle supply chain caused by COVID-19, which has reduced overall slaughter capacity. “The fed cattle backup requires the entire upstream live cattle supply chain to hold lighter-weight cattle out of the feedlot sector of the supply chain until the current backlog of cattle can be processed,” says R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard in the Hagstrom Report. “To hold these lighter-weight cattle back, more grazing land than normal is needed to maintain their health and measured growth.” He points out that some areas in rural America are experiencing drought conditions, which means the industry is faced with a greater need for more grazing land than normal. “At the same time, some grazing lands are producing less forage than normal because of the drought,” Bullard adds. “An immediate solution to this challenge is to open CRP lands to emergency grazing and making accommodations so non-CRP landowners can rent CRP land from others for a reasonable fee.”


More Ag Groups Respond Positively to SECURE Rule on Plant Breeding

Last week, USDA announced a final rule that updated and modernized the agency’s biotechnology regulations under the Plant Protection Act. The final rule is called The Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, Efficient Rule, which USDA says will bring its plant biotechnology regulations into the 21st Century. The American Farm Bureau says the revision will encourage innovation of new plant breeding techniques while safeguarding our food supply. “We appreciate the USDA and Secretary Perdue for their common-sense approach to encouraging innovation,” says AFB President Zippy Duvall. “At a time when agriculture is facing many economic headwinds, the science-based rule provides the opportunity to solve current and future challenges for agricultural production and food security.” The American Soybean Association is another group pleased with the changes. “We’re happy that the new rule streamlines the regulatory process for low-risk crops to come to market,” says ASA Regulatory Committee Chair Caleb Ragland. “By establishing a common-sense regulatory process to ensure new biotech plant varieties are reviewed quickly with predictable timelines and allowed to go to market if they pose no threat, soybean growers will remain efficient and competitive through this continued access to innovation.”


Growth Energy Asks COVID-19 Panel to Examine Benefits of Biofuels

Growth Energy sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board asking a new COVID-19 review panel to look into the impacts of gasoline on air quality. They want the panel to examine the impact of toxic gasoline additives on respiratory health, as well as the potential benefits offered by bio-based alternatives like ethanol. “As you explore the human costs of air pollution, including the heightened risk from COVID-19 among vulnerable parts of the population, we are asking you to examine the wide body of related research pointing to readily available solutions,” says Chris Bliley, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Growth Energy. “Federal regulators have long acknowledged that biofuels reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 39 percent more, but ethanol also serves as the single most affordable and abundant alternative to toxic fuel additives.” The letter points out that the petroleum-based aromatics play a dominant role in the formation of toxic emissions linked to cancer, as well as neurological, cardiovascular, and reproductive damage in humans. “Now more than ever, it’s critical that the EPA explore the full impact of petroleum-based aromatics on air quality,” Bliley adds.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service


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