05-22-20 CO Governor Polis Signs Executive Orders In Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

CO Governor Polis Signs Executive Orders In Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

DENVER – Governor Polis signed Executive Orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

Gov. Polis signed an Executive Order that increases Colorado’s Medicaid home health workforce and eliminates copays for COVID-19 testing for individuals who rely on Medicaid.

The Governor signed an Executive Order extending the state’s disaster declaration. Normal in-person instruction continues to be suspended at all public and private elementary and secondary schools in the State through the end of the school year due to COVID-19.  Read the Executive Order here.

The Governor amended an Executive Order concerning criminal justice, extending provisions related to the Department of Corrections’ (DOC) duty to receive and take custody of individuals and DOC’s ability to utilize the Centennial south campus of the Centennial correctional facility for the housing of inmates of mixed classification.  This will allow DOC to continue to manage its inmate intake process to prevent the introduction of inmates who may be symptomatic or asymptomatic with COVID-19 to DOC, in compliance with CDPHE and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. Continue reading

05-22-20 CDPHE: Air Quality Control Commission approves new rules reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving emissions reporting

CDPHE: Air Quality Control Commission approves new rules reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving emissions reporting

DENVER (May 22): The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission today approved new rules that will phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons and improve the state’s ability to accurately inventory greenhouse gas emissions.

The new rule was approved by the commission in a unanimous vote held virtually in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The vote came after two days of discussion and public comment and a lengthy stakeholder process which included utilities, industry trade groups, local governments and environmental groups, as well as public meetings in Glenwood Springs and Denver.

“When Governor Polis and the legislature gave us the directive to reduce greenhouse gases and lead the nation in the fight against climate change, we knew it was a big job,” said John Putnam, director of environmental programs at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “But we’ve approached it with dedication and scientific rigor. The new rules approved today aren’t our first steps, and they certainly won’t be our last. But phasing out some of the most potent greenhouse gases and providing the state with more data on greenhouse gas emissions is both vital and necessary.” 

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05-22-20 Stop the Wolf Coalition: CPW Confirms Wolves in Colorado Carry Deadly Disease

Stop the Wolf Coalition: CPW Confirms Wolves in Colorado Carry Deadly Disease

Open Records search reveals recent wolf pack in Moffat County infected with deadly Gray Wolf Disease, affecting humans, wildlife, livestock, and crops in Colorado

Denver, Colorado – Today, the non-profit Colorado Stop the Wolf Coalition released Colorado Parks & Wildlife documents obtained through the Colorado Open Records Act.  Their reports revealed that wolf scat samples, collected from the area where a pack of non-native Gray Wolves were recently spotted in Moffat County, contained the deadly Hydatid Disease, Echinococcus Canadensis.  aka Gray Wolf Disease.

“Echinococcus was detected via PCR and confirmed via sequencing in three out of the six samples submitted,” wrote Mary Wood, Colorado’s State Wildlife Veterinarian, in an agency email describing the CPW’s lab results.

“With Gray Wolves being the most predominate vector for spreading this deadly disease, Colorado must heed these lab results.  This is a serious public health and safety issue. People across the world die from Gray Wolf Disease so we must protect the future for our kids and grandkids,” stated Denny Behrens, Co-Chair of Colorado Stop the Wolf Coalition, a 501c4 non-profit organization.

“Hay farmers, ranchers, hunters, pets, hikers, anyone in areas that these non-native wolves roam, are now at a greater risk than ever before,” concluded Behrens.

For more information about Gray Wolf Disease, visit the National Institutes of Health at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29369720/

To support the Colorado Stop the Wolf Coalition and sign their online petition to elected officials, please go to https://www.stopthewolf.org/sign-the-petition

05-20-20 President Trump & Colorado Governor Polis Order Flags Lowered to Half Staff on Memorial Day

President Trump & Colorado Governor Polis Order Flags Lowered to Half Staff on Memorial Day

DENVER – Today, Gov. Polis ordered the Colorado and American flags be lowered to half staff on all public buildings statewide from sunrise until noon, on Monday, May 25, 2020, in recognition of Memorial Day, and as proclaimed by President Trump.


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Since the first shots fired in the Revolutionary War, Americans have answered the call to duty and given their lives in service to our Nation and its sacred founding ideals.  As we pay tribute to the lives and legacies of these patriots on Memorial Day, we also remember that they sacrificed to create a better, more peaceful future for our Nation and the world.  We recommit to realizing that vision, honoring the service of so many who have placed love of country above all else. Continue reading

05-22-20 Memorial Weekend Special: Inside The BARN with Mark Stallins, National Honor Tour – Ft Logan

Memorial Weekend Special: Inside The BARN with Mark Stallins, National Honor Tour – Ft Logan

The BARN, Briggsdale, CO – May 22, 2020 – Coming up on the final day of the 3-day holiday weekend, the nation will celebrate Memorial Day, an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. This year Memorial Day, will take place on Monday, May 25.  Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. But this year, with the COVID-19 pandemic, things will be different…except for one man…whose mission is to properly honor the fallen and educate the public of our nation’s history each memorial day weekend by playing taps at 100’s, if not 1000’s of grave sites at Fort Logan National Cemetary in Denver, CO. With that in mind, my guest is Mark Stallins of National Honor Tour – Fort Logan


Learn more and follow Mark Stallins and the National Honor Tour – Ft Logan on Facebook – CLICK HERE

05-22-20 State files lawsuit defending Colorado streams and wetlands from flawed federal rule

State files lawsuit defending Colorado streams and wetlands from flawed federal rule

May 22, 2020 (DENVER, Colo.) — On behalf of the State of Colorado, Attorney General Phil Weiser today filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Denver to protect Colorado’s streams and wetlands from a dangerous federal rule that would leave them vulnerable to pollution under the Clean Water Act.

By radically changing how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers define “waters of the United States” that are protected under the Clean Water Act, the new 2020 rule will leave a substantial portion of Colorado’s streams and wetlands without federal protection and jeopardize the integrity and quality of Colorado’s waters.

“The federal government’s new definition of ‘waters of the United States’ violates the Clean Water Act, contravenes controlling U.S. Supreme Court precedent, and ignores sound science,” Weiser said. “This illegal action shirks the federal government’s responsibility to implement this law and thrusts on Colorado the responsibility of protecting water quality with limited warning and with no support to do so. We are bringing this lawsuit to stop this new rule and reckless action from taking effect.”

The Clean Water Act protects U.S. streams, wetlands, and rivers from pollution. Previously, under Supreme Court precedent, the rule included ephemeral streams—streams that run because of melting snow or precipitation—and wetlands that aren’t connected on the surface to larger bodies of water.

“We need to challenge this action to avoid a bigger problem for our economy at a time when our state is already hurting from COVID-19. Some flood control, stormwater erosion, transportation, and other important projects may not be able to move forward because the new rule takes away the permitting path needed to ensure environmental protection and project development. That’s a problem that we need to fix.” said John Putnam, Environmental Programs Director, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

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05-22-20 WTAS: USDA Delivers Relief to America’s Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

WTAS: USDA Delivers Relief to America’s Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

(Washington, D.C., May 22, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently announced details of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s what folks are saying about USDA’s efforts to assist farmers and families during the COVID-19 Pandemic:

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05-22-20 The 70 Ranch helps feed Kersey senior citizens

The 70 Ranch helps feed Kersey senior citizens

$5,000 donation provides money for Tuesday and Thursday meal program

KERSEY, Colo., May 22, 2020 — Kersey seniors who got meals delivered to them Thursday received something besides their egg salad sandwich and tomato bisque: a book about the historic 70 Ranch just down the road.

They expressed gratitude for both.

“This is wonderful,” Lindia Brown said. “Thank you so much.”

The seniors used to eat their lunch at the Kersey Community Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays but it has been closed since the state’s coronavirus crisis. The town’s recreation director, James Neill, and recreation specialist, Kaylee Guerin, still go to the center those days to pack up the meals and personally deliver them to the seniors’ homes. Continue reading

05-22-20 Local Student, Reese Burnett of Carpenter, WY Awarded $2,500 Dairy MAX Scholarship

Local Student, Reese Burnett of Carpenter, WY Awarded $2,500 Dairy MAX Scholarship

Reese Burnett of Carpenter, Wyoming is a 2020 Dairy MAX scholarship recipient because of his outstanding scholastic achievement, leadership and achievement in agriculture. Burnett is one of four students with dairy roots receiving a $2,500 scholarship from Dairy MAX.

Dairy farmers not only produce a nutritious food for the world, but play a vital role in helping their local communities thrive. The Dairy MAX scholarship program is a way of giving back to dairy farm families, while investing in the future of dairy.

“With the scholarship program, not only are we recognizing outstanding students, but we are empowering the next generation of the dairy farmers and advocates through supporting their higher education,” said Marty McKinzie, Dairy MAX’s vice president of industry image and relations.

Burnett grew up working on his family’s dairy operations and developed a passion for the industry. He is currently studying animal sciences and industry at Kansas State University, while also pursuing a certificate in dairy science. At Kansas State he is active in the dairy challenge team and the dairy science club.

“When I graduate, I hope to start my own dairy,” said Burnett. “I want to start by leasing an existing dairy, and hopefully someday purchase or build a farm I can call my own. I love the satisfaction that comes from doing everything I can to make happy cows.”  

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05-22-20 Colorado Governor Polis Takes Action to Prepare for Wildfire Response, Releases Guidance on Civil Rights Protections

Colorado Governor Polis Takes Action to Prepare for Wildfire Response, Releases Guidance on Civil Rights Protections

DENVER – Gov. Polis took action to prepare for the State’s wildfire response and released guidance on civil rights protections.

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 072 directing the transfer of funds from the Disaster Emergency Fund to the Wildfire Emergency Response Fund so it has sufficient funds to assist local jurisdictions.

“COVID-19 has strained our first responders as they have mobilized to save lives. As identified in the State’s 2020 Wildfire Preparedness Plan, local fire departments have reduced availability to provide response and assistance outside of their home jurisdiction, and firefighting resources from other states and federal agencies have limited capacity,” the Executive Order reads. 

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, May 22nd

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, May 22nd

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

U.S. Ethanol Heading to China

According to three ethanol-industry sources and shipping data, a rare U.S. ethanol shipment will arrive in China very soon. Reuters says that may be the first ethanol shipment to hit China since the two countries struck a trade deal earlier this year. China recently waived some additional tariffs on almost 700 American products, including ethanol, to support more purchases of U.S. farm goods to help meet its obligations in the Phase One trade deal. Since China made the move, the ethanol industry has been watching for signs of renewed trade in the biofuel. Tariffs on U.S. fuel ethanol were as high as 70 percent after Beijing upped some retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports in the back-and-forth trade dispute with Washington, D.C. A slump in fuel demand brought on by COVID-19 led to an oversupply of ethanol that caused prices to bottom out, forcing producers to slash their production amounts. One of the three sources to tell Reuters about the shipment says the vessel was carrying ethanol that originated in the United States and had been resold to China, likely from a seller in Saudi Arabia. A trader based in China tells Reuters that, “People are looking to import fuel ethanol from overseas as prices in northeastern China have risen in the past few days.”


EPA Plan Would Raise Biofuel Blending Targets Slightly in 2021

The Environmental Protection Agency has drafted a plan that would include a small bump in their biofuel-blending targets in 2021. Three people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the proposed rule is undergoing a White House review. Under the rule, the EPA would require refiners to use 5.17 billion gallons of advanced biofuels in 2021, up from 5.09 billion gallons this year. The plan would include 670 million gallons of cellulosic renewable fuels, such as those made from crop residue, switchgrass, and biogas harvested at landfills, up from the 590 million gallons required in 2020. Refiners would be able to use as much as 15 billion gallons of conventional renewable fuels, including corn-based ethanol, to satisfy the mandate in 2021. In 2022, the EPA draft plan would require refiners to use 2.76 billion gallons of biodiesel, typically made from soybeans and waste cooking oil. That requirement would be up from the 2.43 billion gallons required in 2021. The EPA is expected to propose the quotas in the coming months while facing a deadline of November 30 to finalize the targets.


USDA Providing $1 Billion in Loan Guarantees for Rural Business and Ag Producers

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says the agency will make up to $1 billion in loan guarantees available to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during COVID-19. Also, agricultural producers who aren’t eligible for Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding under the USDA Business and Industry CARES Act Program provisions that are included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Other changes will allow USDA to provide 90 percent guarantees on B & I CARES Act Program loans, to set the application and guarantee fee at two percent of the loan, as well as to accept appraisals completed within two years of the loan application date, and extend the maximum term for working capital loans to 10 years. “USDA is committed to be a strong partner to rural businesses and agricultural producers and being a strong supporter of all aspects of the rural economy,” Perdue says. “Ensuring more rural agricultural producers can gain access to much-needed capital in these unprecedented times is a cornerstone of that commitment.” USDA intends to consider applications in the order they’re received, but they may also assign priority points to projects if the demand for funds exceeds availability.


USDA Accepting Applications for 2021 Export Programs

The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service is accepting applications from eligible organizations for the fiscal year 2021 funding for five export market development programs. FAS recently published the Fiscal Year 2021 Notices of Funding Opportunity for the Market Access Program, Foreign Market Development Program, Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program, the Quality Samples Program, and the Emerging Markets Program. The application deadline for all five of the programs is June 26, 2020. Under the Market Access Program, USDA provides competitive, cost-share assistance to U.S. exporters and agriculture, fish, and forest product trade organizations for international marketing and promotion of U.S. commodities and products. Under the Foreign Market Development Program, USDA partners with nonprofit agricultural and forest product trade associations to build longer-term international demand for U.S. commodities. The Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program funds projects that address sanitary, phytosanitary, and technical barriers that prohibit or threaten the export of U.S. specialty crops. The Quality Samples Program helps agricultural trade organizations provide small samples of their products to potential importers. As the name implies, the Emerging Markets Program supports technical assistance activities that promote U.S. agricultural, fish, and forest products in emerging markets.


NCGA Working to Find New Uses for Corn

The National Corn Growers Association is working hard to find new uses for corn and demonstrating it as the clear feedstock of choice. The availability of corn-based feedstocks and consumer demand represents an opportunity for stakeholders in the sustainable biomaterials industry and will help drive demand for corn higher. NCGA Director of Market Development Sarah McKay says, “The seeds have to be planted along the way to find the next big new uses of corn. It doesn’t just happen overnight.” She says that’s why NCGA works with university researchers, government entities, as well as untraditional partners to prime the pump for innovation and viable uses of corn. NCGA also works with individual companies, innovators, and research groups to engage in conversations and projects together to facilitate these technologies getting to commercialization, while also making sure their consumers understand the value of corn as an industrial feedstock. The NCGA has also held two Consider Corn Challenge contests. Many of the winners have gone on to secure additional funding to get their products to market. The contest winners have developed biosourced materials from corn that are starting materials for various biobased plastics, nylons, polyester resins, and more.


Cotton Council Joins Sustainable Apparel Coalition

Cotton Council International announced it had joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. It will use the group’s sustainability measurement suite of tools, known as the Higg Index, to drive environmental and social responsibility throughout its supply chain. With its membership in the SAC, the council joins more than 250 global brands, retailers, and manufacturers, as well as governmental, non-profit environmental organizations, and academic institutions. All of the various groups are committed to improving supply chain sustainability in the apparel, footwear, and textile industry. The U.S. cotton industry is committed to continual improvement in sustainability and continues to build upon the strong environmental gains already achieved over the past 35 years. In a release, the Cotton Council International says, “We are pleased to be joining the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and are confident that together we can scale positive impacts on product sustainability over time. We are collaborating with many other groups to enable greater supply chain transparency and informed decision making.” The Sustainable Apparel Coalition says, “Having CCI as part of the Coalition widens the scope of our impact within the industry and accelerates the changes we’re making toward responsible industry actions.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service