05-20-20 CDA: State Steps Up Outreach on Rural Mental Health, Launches Online Toolkit (Preview)

CDA: State Steps Up Outreach on Rural Mental Health, Launches Online Toolkit (Preview)

Broomfield, Colo. –  The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), in partnership with the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), today announced a new collection of outreach materials specifically focused on behavioral health resources for Colorado’s rural communities.

The toolkit is the result of a partnership between the two agencies to promote Colorado Crisis Services, the statewide behavioral health crisis response system offering residents mental health, substance use or emotional crisis support, information and referrals.

Continue reading

05-20-20 Colorado Delegation Members Request FEMA Reimburse 100 Percent of Colorado’s Approved COVID-19 Costs

Colorado Delegation Members Request FEMA Reimburse 100 Percent of Colorado’s Approved COVID-19 Costs

DENVER, CO. – U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) and U.S. Representatives Joe Neguse (D-CO) and Jason Crow (D-CO) are requesting that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) cover 100 percent of approved COVID-19-related costs incurred by the state of Colorado and its city, county, and municipal governments and two federally recognized tribes.

“Local governments at the city, county, and municipal level, and Colorado’s two federally recognized tribes are faced with unanticipated revenue shortfalls on top of unprecedented expenses. As a result, many of them are facing significant financial strain, particularly in light of balanced budget requirements,” wrote the members of the Colorado delegation. “There have been several cases where the Federal government has adjusted its share of recovery costs above the minimum 75 percent. Additionally, FEMA is authorized to provide 100 percent of the share of these costs ‘if warranted by the needs of a disaster’ (44 CFR§ 206.47(d)), a criteria the current pandemic seems to meet. For these reasons, it is imperative that FEMA increase its share of the approved costs associated with COVID-19 to 100 percent so that these governments and tribes are able to function during this national disaster and in the immediate aftermath.”

“Municipalities are grappling with devastating revenue shortfalls, due to businesses being shuttered and restricted,” said Kevin Bommer, executive director of the Colorado Municipal League. “Waiving the local match for FEMA assistance will ensure critical municipal functions like fire and police remain at the highest level of service.”

“Colorado counties have faced significant financial strain as they struggle to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with limited resources,” said John Swartout, Executive Director of Colorado Counties, Inc. “I thank Senators Gardner and Bennet and Congressmen Neguse and Crow in leading the efforts urging FEMA to provide much needed financial relief for counties and other local governments in the state.”

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

05-20-20 Colorado Governor Polis Signs Executive Order Allowing Operation of Alternate Care Sites

Colorado Governor Polis Signs Executive Order Allowing Operation of Alternate Care Sites

DENVER – Gov. Polis today signed an Executive Order allowing the operation of alternate care sites in Colorado.

“In the event that a COVID-19 infection surge threatens to overwhelm our healthcare resources, the State may activate alternate care sites (ACS) to increase hospitals’ capacity to provide care to COVID-19 patients. The ACSs will be used to provide care to COVID-19 patients who no longer require inpatient hospitalization but still require some medical care and observation to ensure their safety and well-being while recovering from COVID-19,” the Executive Order reads.

To read the full Executive Order, click here. Continue reading

05-15-20 Join the CDA as they Launch their New Rural Mental Health Video and Toolkit on May 20th


Join the CDA as they Launch their New Rural Mental Health Video and Toolkit on May 20th

Colorado Crisis Services resources target rural communities

The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and the Colorado Department of Human Services Office (CDHS) will host a virtual press conference to launch a new collaborative effort to increase awareness and understanding of mental health issues, reduce stigma, and promote Colorado Crisis Services as a resource for rural audiences.


  • Governor Jared Polis
  • CDA Commissioner Kate Greenberg
  • CDHS Executive Director Michelle Barnes
  • Jacob Walter & Family, Featured in PSA Videos

Colorado Crisis Services is the statewide behavioral health crisis response system offering residents mental health, substance use or emotional crisis help, information and referrals. Its mission is to strengthen Colorado’s mental health system by providing Coloradans with greater access to crisis services wherever they are at regardless of ability to pay.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs help dealing with one, call the Colorado Crisis Services toll-free number 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255 for free, confidential, 24/7 counseling support.

05-20-20 U.S. Senator Bennet Welcomes $2.8 Million Federal Grant to Expand Rural Broadband in Northeast Colorado

U.S. Senator Bennet Welcomes $2.8 Million Federal Grant to Expand Rural Broadband in Northeast Colorado

Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet welcomed $2.8 million in federal funding from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to support broadband deployment in Northeast Colorado through the Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF II) auction. The FCC awarded the grant to N.E. Colorado Cellular, Inc. (Viaero Wireless) to connect 731 locations across Northeast Colorado to broadband.

“I welcome this new funding to help close the digital divide in Northeast Colorado,” said Bennet. “As the pandemic has turned our lives upside down, it’s become especially urgent to ensure our rural communities can work, learn, and access telemedicine remotely to protect themselves and their families. While this much-needed funding is welcome news for communities in Northeast Colorado, we must invest far more to deliver affordable, 21st century broadband that will meet the needs of our rural communities, not only in the short-term, but for years to come.”

Continue reading

05-20-20 USDA – FSA: March Margin Triggers Dairy Margin Coverage Program Payment

USDA – FSA: March Margin Triggers Dairy Margin Coverage Program Payment

Income-over-feed margin for March triggers first payment for 2020

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced this week that the March 2020 income over feed cost margin was $9.15 per hundredweight (cwt.), triggering the first payment of 2020 for dairy producers who purchased the appropriate level of coverage under the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

“This payment comes at a critical time for many dairy producers,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “It is the first triggered DMC payment for 2020, and the first payment to dairy producers in seven months.”

Continue reading

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

CO Governor Polis Provides Latest Update on COVID-19 Response for May 20, 2020


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Gov. Polis Provides COVID-19 Update

DENVER — Gov. Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to COVID-19 and discussed a new development impacting children. The Governor was joined by Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state’s leading epidemiologist and Dr. Sam Dominguez, MD, PhD, pediatric infectious disease specialist and Medical Director of the Microbiology Lab at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

“We are taking these new developments impacting children very seriously and want to ensure that Coloradans have the information they need to know what to look for and keep their families safe during this difficult time,” said Governor Jared Polis. “This isn’t a vacation. If Coloradans want restaurants to open like I do, our kids to be able to return to school, want to be able to ski next season, and if we want to save your life and the lives of our loved ones then we all need to continue to do our part. This is not a normal Memorial Day Weekend. It’s Memorial Day Weekend in the middle of a worldwide pandemic – the worst pandemic since 1918 and the worst we hopefully will ever see in our lifetime.”

Continue reading

05-20-20 USDA: SNAP Online Purchasing to Cover 90% of Households

USDA: SNAP Online Purchasing to Cover 90% of Households

USDA Approves New States and Retailers to Accept SNAP Benefits Online

(Washington, D.C., May 20, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that households in 13 new states – Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia – will soon be able to purchase food online with their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Once operational, online purchasing will be available in 36 states and the District of Columbia, home to more than 90% of SNAP participants.

In addition, Secretary Perdue also announced an expansion of independently owned and operated retail stores beyond those included in the original pilot. Soon more SNAP authorized retailers, under multiple store banners, will be accepting SNAP benefits online.

“We are expanding new flexibilities and innovative programs to make sure Americans across this country have safe and nutritious food during this national emergency,” said Secretary Perdue. “Enabling people to purchase foods online will go a long way in helping Americans follow CDC social distancing guidelines and help slow the spread of the coronavirus. USDA is mandated with the noble goal of feeding Americans when they need it most, and we are fulfilling that mission with new innovative programs during this national emergency.”

Background: Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, May 20th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, May 20th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

USDA Announces Details of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

The Trump administration Tuesday announced the rollout of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers. Beginning May 26, the Department of Agriculture will be accepting applications from farmers who have suffered losses of five percent or more. The funds come from the $9.5 billion in appropriated funding provided in the CARES dedicated to agriculture and $6.5 billion from the Commodity Credit Corporation. Farmers will receive a combined total from CFAP and the CCC of 95 cents per bushel for soybeans, and 67 cents for corn. The payment rate for cattle is $247 per-head of slaughter cattle, $171 per-head of feeder cattle over 600 lbs, and $45 for hogs under 120lbs. There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity. Producers will receive 80 percent of their maximum total payment upon approval of the application. The remaining portion of the payment will be paid later. Producers can apply through their local FSA office, and applications will be accepted through August 28, 2020. Additional information and application forms can be found at farmers.gov/cfap.

CFAP Welcomed, But More Relief Needed

Agriculture groups welcomed the rollout of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program direct payments but say farmers will need more relief. National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross says, “This assistance is a first step to getting farmers, and our customers, back on solid footing.” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall calls the program critically important, adding, “long-term effects of this pandemic are still rippling through the farm economy.” AFBF points out that farm bankruptcies increased 23 percent in March 2020 compared to a year earlier, bankruptcies that occurred before the pandemic dropped commodity prices. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Marty Smith adds, “this is just one step and much more needs to be done.” Details behind the $16 billion in direct payments were announced at the White House Tuesday. The Department of Agriculture is expected to utilize an additional $14 billion for relief funds to farmers and ranchers later this summer.

NCBA Responds to Trump Comments on Beef Imports

President Donald Trump at the White House Tuesday suggested the United States should consider terminating trade deals that bring live cattle into the United States. Most cattle imported into the United States come from Mexico and Canada, thus falling under Trump’s new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. However, a recent Trump administration decision to allow fresh beef imports from Brazil is something the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association urged the President to reconsider. The association says there continue to be concerns with foot-and-mouth disease and USDA’s decision to reopen the American market to Brazilian beef. Approximately 12 percent of beef consumed in the U.S. is imported product, but that product must meet the U.S. standards before allowed into the market. Woodall adds, “We encourage him to re-examine the decision to reopen the market to imports from Brazil, Namibia (Nuh-MIB-be-uh), and any other nation where there are food safety or animal health concerns that could impact American consumers or cattle producers.”

Survey Reveals COVID-19 School Meal Trends, Financial Impacts

Fresh data from the School Nutrition Association reveals significant concerns about the financial sustainability of school meal programs. The second installment of a survey effort by the association found COVID-19 closures have had a dramatic impact on school meal program budgets. Financial losses to the school nutrition program ranked as respondents’ top concern, cited by 90 percent as a serious or moderate concern. 861 school districts reported combined estimated financial losses of more than $626.4 million. School meal programs routinely operate on extremely tight budgets, funded by cafeteria sales and reimbursements for meals served. With schools closed and stay at home orders in place, fewer meals are served. The survey yielded responses from school nutrition professionals working on the frontlines to feed hungry students in 1,894 school districts nationwide. Conducted from April 30 – May 8, the survey shows 95 percent of respondents were engaged in emergency meal assistance, and combined, these districts reported serving more than 134 million meals in April alone.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation to Sue EPA

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and its partners filed a notice of intent to sue the Environmental Protection Agency this week. The Foundation plans to sue the EPA “for its failure to require Pennsylvania and New York to develop implementation plans that will achieve the 2025 Bay restoration goals.” The Attorneys General in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia also filed a notice that they intend to sue EPA as well. CBF President William C. Baker says the EPA has “failed to implement the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint.” CBF has used litigation previously to advance Bay restoration efforts. In 2009, CBF sued EPA for its failure to enforce the Clean Water Act and ensure that Bay restoration succeeds. The settlement of that lawsuit included the science-based limits established by EPA for pollution fouling the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams. The states developed individual plans to achieve those limits and committed to two-year milestones that outline the actions they will take to achieve those limits by 2025.

Farm Journal Announces New Farm Show

Farm Journal this week announced the launch of a new “COVID-conscious” farm show experience called Farm Journal Field Days, set for August 25-27, 2020, on farms in eastern Iowa and northwest Ohio. The interactive Farm Journal Field Days includes a three-day Virtual Pavilion that runs concurrent with full-day on-farm demonstrations and programming. The on-farm sessions will be hosted August 25 at Blue Diamond Company farm in Jesup, Iowa, and August 27 at Newcomer Farm in Bryan, Ohio. Up to one hundred Top Producers will be voluntarily selected to participate in person on each farm with beyond-recommended social distancing rules, but in a highly personal, interactive experience. The first annual Farm Journal Field Days will encompass equipment, crops, livestock and technology with a focus on bringing buyers and sellers together in different and unique ways. The format will include one-on-one and group settings to observe innovations in practice, as well as interactive educational and sales methods. The on-farm programs and Virtual Pavilion will be promoted across Farm Journal’s digital and broadcast footprint.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service