05-28-20 Inside The BARN with CCA Executive Vice President Terry Fankhauser: COVID-19, Packing Plants, Beef Prices, State Legislature’s Back In Session & More…

Inside The BARN with CCA Executive Vice President Terry Fankhauser:

COVID-19, Packing Plants, Beef Prices, State Legislature’s Back In Session & More…

The BARN, Briggsdale, CO – May 28, 2020 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio to discuss the beef industry and much more is Terry Fankhauser, Executive Vice-President of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association




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05-28-20 CO Governor Polis Provides Latest Update on COVID-19 Response

CO Governor Polis Provides Latest Update on COVID-19 Response for May 28, 2020


For Immediate Release

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Governor Polis Provides Update on State Response to COVID-19

DENVER – Gov. Polis today provided an update on Colorado’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and emphasized the importance of staying at home for older Coloradans and those with underlying health conditions.

“While Colorado is returning to greater normalcy and more Coloradans safely return to work, older Coloradans and those with underlying health conditions should continue staying home as much as possible,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We are proud of the progress Coloradans have made over the last months, but everyone needs to continue taking the serious necessary precautions to protect ourselves and our neighbors. We are all in this together, and we will get through this together. This is a difficult time for many people in our state, but we can’t lose sight of what is at stake if we don’t follow social distancing protocols, wash our hands, or wear masks when leaving the house.”

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05-28-20 Colorado Secretary of State: Notice of Temporary Adoption – Colorado Elections Rules

Colorado Secretary of State: Notice of Temporary Adoption – Colorado Elections Rules

Please see the attached Notice of Temporary Adoption for the Colorado Elections Rules (8 CCR 1505-1). The notice includes the adopted rule, a statement of basis, and statement of justification.

On May 8, 2020, the Secretary temporarily adopted rules including Rule 27 to provide necessary guidance for conducting elections during a public health emergency. Upon further consideration of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) supplemental funding restrictions, the Secretary temporarily adopts amendments to temporary Rule 27.4.3, effective immediately. Specifically, the amendments repeal inclusion of county staff members and establishes that county clerks must allow election judges to stay home if they have any COVID-19 related symptoms, concerns, illness or are quarantined without losing pay.

Additional information is available online: Continue reading

05-28-20 NPPC Urges Quick Senate Action on Legislative Relief for Hog Farmers

NPPC Urges Quick Senate Action on Legislative Relief for Hog Farmers

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 28, 2020 – COVID-related challenges have taken a severe financial and emotional toll on U.S. hog farmers, and rapid federal government assistance is needed to help thousands of pork producers weather this crisis. At a press briefing hosted by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) today, four pork producers addressed the crisis on their farms and called on the U.S. Senate to expeditiously adopt livestock agriculture provisions included in COVID-relief legislation recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Continue reading

05-28-20 U.S. Senator Bennet, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Protect America’s Food Supply

U.S. Senator Bennet, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Protect America’s Food Supply

Washington, D.C. – On May 27th, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and his Democratic colleagues on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry introduced legislation to help protect the food supply after the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis has put an unprecedented strain on farmers, workers, food banks, and families.

“From small farmers facing market uncertainty to food banks working overtime, the pandemic has created new and challenging realities,” said Bennet. “This legislation will help to fill the gaps in the food supply chain, supporting producers, processors, and distributors as they respond to COVID-19 and adjust their operations. This strategic assistance will ensure our farmers and ranchers can access new markets, safeguard the health of their employees, and feed hungry Americans.”

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05-28-20 U.S. CattleTrace Under New Staff Leadership


U.S. CattleTrace Under New Staff Leadership

The U.S. CattleTrace Board of Directors in May named Callahan Grund as the new executive director. Grund will replace Cassie K. Aherin who served as U.S. CattleTrace program manager. Grund previously worked in policy engagement, business development and animal disease traceability preparedness at the Kansas Department of Agriculture, including sitting on the CattleTrace Advisory Committee. He remained active on the committee during his most recent position as the Director of Producer Relations with Farm Strategy, LLC, an innovative agricultural start-up business in the grains sector. Originally from Sharon Springs, Kan., Grund grew up on a registered Gelbvieh, Balancer and Angus seedstock cow-calf operation and is still highly involved today. Brandon Depenbusch, U.S. CattleTrace Board of Directors chairman, says the board is thrilled to have him on board and look forward to seeing U.S. CattleTrace grow and evolve under his leadership.

“I can confidently say from the entire U.S. CattleTrace team, that we are indebted to Cassie for her two years of service,” said Depenbusch. “Cassie was the foundation and glue that held the entire team together and she will be greatly missed. I wish her luck as she moves forward in her career.”

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If you hear a sizzle and your mouth begins to water, it just might be National Beef Burger Day! On May 28th and all summer long, there’s no better time to enjoy a juicy beef burger. The day is all about kicking off the grilling season and honoring America’s favorite grilling protein – beef!

A beef burger starts with real ground beef on a bun or between two slices of bread. And don’t forget the toppings like cheese, onions, pickles, and condiments. Each one allows for the perfect customization – the mouthwatering possibilities are endless. Of course, some of us like ours double stacked, and others prefer them spicy. Add those seasonings, too, if you want. What’s really important is what’s in the middle – that delicious beef burger. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, May 28th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, May 28th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

ITC Investigating Economic Impact of Duty-Free Imports from Kenya

The U.S. International trade Commission announced this week an investigation that will outline the economic impacts of removing import duties on products from Kenya. The move comes at the request of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who asked the USITC to provide the assessment in March. The USITC expects to submit its confidential report to Lighthizer by September 16, 2020. The assessment is part of ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and Kenya. Lighthizer last week released a summary of negotiating objectives including specific goals for goods and commodities, and sanitary and phytosanitary measures. The objectives seek to “Secure comprehensive market access for U.S. agricultural goods in Kenya by reducing or eliminating tariffs.” Additionally, the U.S. seeks to provide reasonable adjustment periods for U.S. import-sensitive agricultural products. The trade talks also seek to establish specific commitments for trade in products developed through agricultural biotechnologies, including transparency, cooperation, and managing low level presence issues, and a mechanism for exchange of information and enhanced cooperation on agricultural biotechnologies.

Stabenow Introduces Food Supply Protection Act

Senator Debbie Stabenow Wednesday introduced legislation to help protect the food supply after the COVID-19 crisis has put an unprecedented strain on farmers, workers, food banks and families. Stabenow, the Ranking Democrat on the Senate Ag Committee, says, “This bill will help strengthen our food supply.” The Food Supply Protection Act will support food banks and non-profits to help increase their capacity and address growing demand. The bill will provide infrastructure grants that can be used for additional cold storage and refrigeration, transportation, personal protective equipment, rental costs and additional use of commercial and community infrastructure. Further, Stabenow says the bill will strengthen food partnerships to prevent food waste and feed families through grants and reimbursements. Additionally, the bill will use grants, loans and reimbursements to protect workers and retool small and medium sized food processors. The bill is supported by more than 40 food and agriculture groups, including Feeding American, the National Farmers Union and the United Farm Workers Union.

Iowa Ag Department Launches Pork Disposal Assistance Program

The Iowa Department of Agriculture is launching a disposal assistance program to help pork producers who are unable to harvest pigs due to COVID-19 supply chain disruptions. COVID-19-related worker shortages are causing meat processing facilities to drastically reduce production. Iowa State University estimates that, as of mid-May, approximately 600,000 pigs in Iowa were unable to be harvested. The Department is offering producers $40 per approved animal to help cover some of the disposal costs for market-ready hogs, weighing at least 225 pounds. Producers must provide documentation, including proof of proper disposal, and an affidavit from their herd veterinarian confirming impending welfare issues, to receive funding. The disposal assistance funding will be made available to Iowa producers in at least three rounds. Each approved applicant will receive funding for at least 1,000 animals and up to 30,000 animals per round, depending on the number of applicants. To qualify for the first round of funding, producers must submit their applications to the Iowa Department of Agriculture before May 29.

H-2A Positions Increase Fivefold Since 2005

The Department of Agriculture says the number of H-2A workers increased fivefold between 2005 and 2019. Calling the data an indicator of the scarcity of farm labor, USDA’s Economic Research Service says the number of H-2A positions requested and approved increased from just over 48,000 in 2005 to nearly 258,000 in 2019. The H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program provides a legal means to bring foreign-born workers into the United States on a temporary basis. Workers employed on an H-2A visa are allowed to remain in the U.S. for up to ten months at a time. Employers must demonstrate, and the U.S. Department of Labor must certify, that efforts to recruit U.S. workers were not successful. Employers must also pay a region-specific minimum wage, known as the Adverse Effect Wage Rate. The Economic Research Service says the average duration of an H-2A certification in 2019 was 5.3 months, implying that the 258,000 positions certified represented about 114,000 full-year workers.

USDA Funding Rural Water and Wastewater Improvements

The Department of Agriculture Wednesday announced a $281 million investment for 106 projects to improve rural water and wastewater infrastructure. Announced by deputy undersecretary for rural development Bette Brand, the funding will assist rural communities in 36 states and Puerto Rico. Brand says the investments will “bring modern, reliable water and wastewater infrastructure to rural communities.” USDA is funding the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Eligible applicants include rural cities, towns and water districts. The funds can be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems in rural communities that meet population limits. The funds will help rural communities replace deteriorating, leaking water pipes with new ones, and upgrade water and wastewater handling systems that are decades old. USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. For a list of funded projects, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

Propane Council Announces Game and Educational Website

The Propane Education and Research Council this week announced www.PropaneKids.com. The website is an interactive online activity center for parents and caretakers of preschool and young school children looking for learning opportunities. The site includes games, activities, and even science experiments for children that are designed to reinforce the importance of propane safety and education with a focus on the farm. Tucker Perkins, President and CEO of PERC, says, “We wanted to do our part to help provide a fun, free learning center for young children.”  At PropaneKids.com, parents, caregivers, and their children can explore a virtual farm or create their own, play games like farm bingo and spot-the-difference and color digital coloring pages. Americans living on acreages and farms away from the city center are already familiar with propane in use on their land. Nearly 40 percent of farms in America rely on propane in their farming and ranching operations to run pumps and engines, heat buildings, and dry and process crops.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service