06-30-20 CO Governor Polis Provides Update on State Response to COVID-19

Governor Polis Extends Safer at Home and Updates Protect Our Neighbor Framework, Announces Closure of Bars

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis today extended the Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors Executive Order, and provided an update on Colorado’s next steps during the COVID-19 pandemic, introducing more details on the Protect Our Neighbors framework. The Governor was joined by Jill Hunsaker Ryan, the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment; Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state’s top epidemiologist; Joni Reynolds, the Gunnison County Public Health Director; and Jason Vahling, the City and County of Broomfield Public Health Director.

“Protect Our Neighbors will allow Colorado to respond more swiftly and effectively at the community level in the event of another surge of cases. We live in a diverse state with cities, booming suburbs, small resort towns, and rural areas with plenty of wide-open spaces. Each community is having their own unique experience with this virus. Going forward, we want to increase our ability to tackle outbreaks at a community level and only issue statewide orders when absolutely necessary,” said Gov. Polis. “We are making some much-needed investments in our local public health agencies, so they can contain and quell an outbreak before it gets out of control. The fate of Colorado in both virus suppression and economic recovery is largely in the hands of Coloradans. If we continue taking the critical steps of staying at home, wearing masks when leaving the house and following social distancing practices, then we will get through this together.”

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06-30-20 CDPHE: Governor signs bill providing Colorado with new resources to improve air quality

CDPHE: Governor signs bill providing Colorado with new resources to improve air quality

DENVER (June 30, 2020): Governor Polis today signed into law Senate Bill 20-204, enhancing the state’s ability to improve air quality and protect public health and the environment by providing the Department of Public Health and Environment’s Air Pollution Control Division with new resources for monitoring, inspection, and enforcement.

The new law represents another step in the state’s ambitious agenda to improve air quality, reduce emissions and eliminate long-standing public health inequities in Colorado. Over the past year, the state has approved rules creating a new zero emission vehicle standard, reducing emissions at oil and gas sites and phasing out the use of hydrofluorocarbons in Colorado.

“Today’s bill signing means more inspections at oil and gas sites across the state. It means clearing a backlog of permit applications. It means more resources for air quality monitoring and the kind of high-quality scientific research that is the backbone of our regulatory efforts. But above all, it means a happier, healthier and more prosperous Colorado,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director, CDPHE.

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06-30-20 NASS Colorado Acreage Report

NASS Colorado Acreage Report

ACREAGE – JUNE 2020

COLORADO HIGHLIGHTS

Colorado principal crop planted acreage, which includes acres planted to all major crops and those expected to be cut for all hay, is down 2 percent from 2019 to 5.94 million acres, according to the June 1 Agricultural Survey conducted by the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Continue reading

06-30-20 USDA-NASS-CO Grain Stocks Report…


GRAIN STOCKS – June 30, 2020

ARIZONA

Off-farm corn stocks in Arizona on June 1, 2020 were 2.19 million bushels, up 23 percent from June 1, 2019, according to the June 1
Agricultural Survey and June Grain Stocks Report conducted by the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural
Statistics Service, USDA. Off-farm barley stocks totaled 29,000 bushels. Off-farm all wheat stocks in Arizona on June 1, 2020 were
2.22 million bushels, down 34 percent from last year. Other Arizona grain stocks were not published separately to avoid disclosing data
for individual operations.

COLORADO

All corn stocks in Colorado on June 1, 2020 were 48.12 million bushels, up 37 percent from June 1, 2019, according to the June 1
Agricultural Survey and June Grain Stocks Report conducted by the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural
Statistics Service, USDA. All corn stocks stored on farms amounted to 28.00 million bushels, up 75 percent from a year ago. All corn
stored off farms amounted to 20.12 million bushels, up 5 percent from a year ago. Off-farm sorghum stocks were 689,000 bushels,
down 60 percent from last year. Off-farm oat stocks in Colorado were estimated at 27,000 bushels, down 45 percent from last year. Offfarm barley stocks totaled 4.20 million bushels, down 29 percent from last year.

All wheat stocks in Colorado on June 1, 2020 were 22.82 million bushels, up 8 percent from June 1, 2019. All wheat stocks stored on
farms amounted to 4.10 million bushels, up 5 percent from a year ago. All wheat stored off farms amounted to 18.72 million bushels,
up 9 percent from a year ago. Other Colorado grain stocks were not published separately to avoid disclosing data for individual
operations.

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06-30-20 Joint Press Release: Tri-State, Delta-Montrose Electric Association close on withdrawal transactions

Joint Press Release: Tri-State, Delta-Montrose Electric Association close on withdrawal transactions

(June 30, 2020 – Westminster, Colo.) Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and DeltaMontrose Electric Association (DMEA) have completed the transactions for DMEA to withdraw as a member of Tri-State.

The closing follows approvals required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. In April 2020, Tri-State and DMEA entered into a membership withdrawal agreement in accordance with a July 2019 settlement agreement. Tri-State and DMEA have entered into certain new contracts for the continued operation of transmission and telecommunications systems.

“We wish DMEA and its consumer-members well,” said Duane Highley, chief executive officer of TriState. “The separating of a distribution cooperative and a generation and transmission cooperative after 28 years together is complex, and we appreciate the efforts of our respective teams to complete this work.”

“This separation marks a new chapter for both DMEA and for Tri-State, and as cooperatives we both know it’s important to look forward for the benefit of our members,” said DMEA’s chief executive officer, Jasen Bronec. “We recognize our ongoing partnership with Tri-State in various areas, such as transmission, and appreciate the importance of our continued cooperation. We wish Tri-State and its member-owners well.”

DMEA became a member of Tri-State in 1992. Continue reading

06-30-20 Ashley Garrison of CSFS Recognized as Young Forestry Leader

Ashley Garrison of CSFS Recognized as Young Forestry Leader

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – June 30, 2020 – Ashley Garrison, a forester with the Colorado State Forest Service, has received this year’s Young Forester Leadership Award from the Colorado-Wyoming Society of American Foresters. The award recognizes outstanding leadership by a young forestry professional in developing and promoting a program, project, or the practice of forestry and the society.

Based out of the CSFS’s Granby Field Office, Garrison works primarily in Summit County on cross-boundary, collaborative projects that protect communities in the event of a wildfire and improve forest health. Her leadership and expertise have won over partners and landowners and renewed interest in wildfire mitigation efforts across Summit County.

“It is an honor to be recognized by my peers and be among a group of other outstanding forestry leaders who have received this award in the past,” Garrison said.

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06-30-20 BARN MEDIA LIVESTREAM WEBCAST ALERTS: 2020 Weld County Fair & Colorado State Fair Updates

BARN MEDIA LIVESTREAM WEBCAST ALERTS:

2020 Weld County Fair & Colorado State Fair Updates regarding the Junior Livestock Shows, Showmanships & Championship Drives at both events in July 28 – Aug 1 and Aug 27 – Sept 7th…

KEEP IN MIND…DUE TO COVID-19 THIS IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

06-29-20 WTAS: U.S. Department of Interior Distributes More Than $514M to Communities, Supports Critical Local Services

WTAS: U.S. Department of Interior Distributes More Than $514M to Communities, Supports Critical Local Services

WASHINGTON — Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt announced that more than 1,900 local governments around the country will receive $514.7 million in Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding for 2020.

“This year’s distribution of $514.7 million to more than 1,900 counties will help small towns pay for critical needs like emergency response, public safety, public schools, housing, social services, and infrastructure,” said Secretary Bernhardt.

PILT payments are made annually for tax-exempt Federal lands administered by U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) agencies including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the National Park Service (NPS), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), for lands administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service (USFS); and for Federal water projects and some military installations.

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06-29-20 U.S. Education Secretary DeVos on Espinoza: Religious Discrimination is Dead

U.S. Education Secretary DeVos on Espinoza: Religious Discrimination is Dead

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue case:

“Today’s decision is a historic victory for America’s students and all those who believe in fundamental fairness and freedom. Each and every student needs the freedom to find their education fit, and today the Highest Court in the Land has protected that right by ensuring that families can use taxpayer funds to choose schools that match their values and educational goals, including faith-based schools. I applaud the Court’s decision to assign a manifestation of the ‘last acceptable prejudice’ to the dustbin of history where it belongs. Montana and other states should be very clear about this historic decision: your bigoted Blaine Amendments and other restrictions like them are unconstitutional, dead, and buried. Too many students have been discriminated against based on their faith and have been forced to stay in schools that don’t match their values. This decision represents a turning point in the sad and static history of American education, and it will spark a new beginning of education that focuses first on students and their needs. I’m calling on all states to now seize the extraordinary opportunity to expand all education options at all schools to every single student in America.”

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06-29-20 U.S. Education Secretary DeVos Challenges Educators to Rethink Education Options for Rural High School Students Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

U.S. Education Secretary DeVos Challenges Educators to Rethink Education Options for Rural High School Students Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Department launches $600,000 competition to advance student-centered technology education

WASHINGTON — As part of her continuing charge to state and local education leaders to rethink school, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today a challenge to advance high-quality technology instruction in rural communities. The Rural Tech Project, with a total cash prize pool of $600,000, invites high schools and local educational agencies (LEAs) to develop competency-based distance learning programs that enable students to master skills at their own pace with the goal of preparing them for the well-paying, in-demand jobs of today and tomorrow. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, schools across the country have had to grapple with how to successfully continue to educate students who are not physically in a classroom.

“Our rural tech challenge is a tremendous opportunity for educators in rural communities to rethink how students access education,” said Secretary DeVos. “As I’ve said many times, a student’s education shouldn’t be arbitrarily limited by what’s available inside their brick-and-mortar classroom, and that’s never been more apparent than now as the coronavirus pandemic has made clear the need for more innovation to ensure all students have access to robust educational options. I look forward to seeing the student-centered approaches to tech education our challenge participants develop and hope they serve as examples for other schools as they create their own technology education programs that will prepare students for well-paying, in-demand careers.”

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06-29-20 ACE Commends House Climate Committee for Report Acknowledging Ethanol is Part of the Solution to Reduce GHG Emissions

ACE Commends House Climate Committee for Report Acknowledging Ethanol is Part of the Solution to Reduce GHG Emissions

Report Recommends Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Sioux Falls, SD (June 29, 2020) – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released its report providing recommendations for future legislation in Congress to tackle climate change. American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings issued the following statement:

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06-30-20 RFA Welcomes Inclusion of Low Carbon Fuel Standard in Select Committee Recommendations

RFA Welcomes Inclusion of Low Carbon Fuel Standard in Select Committee Recommendations

Today, Democrats on the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis unveiled a comprehensive action plan to promote a clean energy economy and combat climate change. The report, which lays out a series of policy recommendations for Congress aimed at significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the decades ahead, highlights renewable fuels like ethanol as one key piece of the strategy. Among the report’s many recommendations are development of a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), broad deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and incentivizing increased agricultural carbon sequestration.

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06-30-20 NFU: Farming, Biofuels, and Public Health Groups Challenge EPA on SAFE Rule

NFU: Farming, Biofuels, and Public Health Groups Challenge EPA on SAFE Rule

WASHINGTON – A broad coalition of ethanol, agriculture, and public interest groups today challenged the Trump administration’s recent fuel efficiency rulemaking, on that grounds that it downplays the harm from reduced emission standards, ignores the efficiency and health benefits of higher ethanol blends, and fails to realize the promise of increased octane in gasoline.  Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, June 30th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, June 30th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Governors Want EPA to Reject Retroactive Refinery Exemptions

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (gnome) and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz sent a letter to Andrew Wheeler, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator regarding small refinery exemptions. They’re asking the agency to reject all of the 52 applications for retroactive small refinery exemptions from the Renewable Fuels Standard for past compliance years. Governor Noem and Governor Walz are the chair and vice-chair of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition. “We are concerned that EPA is considering exemptions for prior years that were specifically submitted to evade the court of appeal’s decision by allowing refineries with lapsed SREs to establish a continuous chain of exemptions,” the governors say. “Approving prior-year SREs in this manner ignores the court’s decision and congressional intent, and it will severely impact farmers and rural communities that support the biofuels industry. Since 2017, the EPA has granted 85 SREs, undermining farmers and biofuel producers throughout the nation.” In January, the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Tenth Circuit ruled that the EPA could not legally award exemptions to refiners that didn’t receive any waivers in previous years and had failed to demonstrate hardship in any way related to the RFS. If all 52 applications get approved, the coalition says it will cost the market more than two billion gallons worth of demand.
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ASA Names Brian Vaught as Temporary CEO

The American Soybean Association announced late last week that Chief Financial Officer Brian Vaught will replace Ryan Findlay as a temporary CEO of the organization. In a statement, the ASA says the group’s board of directors is “appreciative of Ryan Findlay’s hard work and dedication to the soybean industry.” With the organization now in transition mode, ASA says it remains confident in its staff members, both in St. Louis and in Washington, D.C., as well as in the value that they bring to the soybean industry. ASA’s governing body continues to support the organization’s growth, including in the independent policy office in D.C., and the internal management structure established throughout the organization by the now-former CEO. Findlay joined the organization in 2018. He was named to the top post after Steven Censky, who held the post for more than 20 years, headed to D.C. to become the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. Findlay is a veteran of U.S. agriculture, holding jobs at Syngenta, Michigan Farm Bureau, and as a staff member in the Michigan legislature.

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Food Exporters Unhappy with China Clampdown on Imports

China’s General Administration on Customs is asking some exporters to sign forms guaranteeing their products are free from COVID-19 contamination. Politico says that’s not sitting well with many U.S. food producers, who say they’re hesitant to sign off on the new safety protocols when they say it’s highly unlikely their food can even carry the virus. Western Growers CEO Dave Puglia (POO-glee-ah) says the new requirements from Beijing “are not based on any legitimate food safety concern,” citing international food safety guidelines that have found no evidence of the virus being transmitted through food or packaging. The pushback follows a rare joint statement from the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration that says, “Efforts by some countries to restrict global food exports related to COVID-19 transmission are not consistent with the known science of transmission.” Instead of signing the form issued from the Chinese government, some exporters are sending their own “commitment statements” with their cargo. The Ag Transportation Coalition sent its members three examples of statements they could use. “While China Customs hasn’t confirmed these statements are acceptable substitutes for the official form, we are hearing that exporters sending these statements have not encountered any issues so far with their customers clearing cargo in China,” the group says in an email.

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Not All “Meatless” Meats Good for Health/Environment

A Forbes article says science-backed claims that plant-based meats are healthier for both humans and the environment have sparked a wave of veganism. However, all may not be as it appears. Sarah Galetti, the founder of vegan frozen food brand Tattooed Chef, says that many of the vegetarian meat products aren’t as clean as consumers think. Some of the brands that make an effort to mimic meat using scientifically engineered textures, smells, and flavors. Among those ingredients is soy hemoglobin, which is made from genetically modified yeast, which is used in the product to look like blood. The Burger King Whopper only has 30 more calories than the Impossible Whopper, the company’s “meatless” alternative. The Whopper also as one more gram of saturated fat and is 270 milligrams lower in salt than the Impossible Whopper. Research from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology indicates that “Among meat substitutes, veggie burgers are associated with the highest carbon dioxide emissions, coming in at 4.1 kilograms per kilogram of the product.”

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Court Says No to Reversal on Dicamba

Late last week, a panel of judges in the Ninth Circuit Court said no to a BASF motion to stay and recall their June 3rd ruling that vacated three dicamba registrations. The move puts dicamba registrations and product users back where they started the month: with three or four over-the-top dicamba herbicides no longer federally approved for use. For now, farmers and applicators can still apply any existing stocks that were in their possession on June 3rd, according to the cancellation order issued by the Environmental Protection Agency on June 8th. They have to follow directions on the former labels, as well as any state rules that are already in effect, including state cutoff dates that may have already taken place. Looking past 2020, a DTN article says the future of three dicamba registrations is in limbo. BASF had asked the judges to recall their mandate based on several reasons. For example, BASF says it wasn’t made aware that its Engenia herbicide was at stake in the case before the June 3rd decision. That meant they didn’t get a proper opportunity to defend the product in court.

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No Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days in 2020

The Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days have been going strong for 65 years as a place that farmers can go to find out about new products and tools to boost productivity. But, for the first time ever the shows won’t happen. Farm Progress made the difficult decision to cancel both shows due to the rapidly changing conditions related to COVID-19. Show management had initially said the shows would go on with different health and safety requirements in place. State and local officials had come out in support for both shows taking place. But Farm Progress officials said it became apparent in a very short time that the situation across the U.S. is changing. While state and local officials had expressed support for the shows, Farm Progress said it became apparent in a very short time that the situation in the U.S. is changing. “We have been working with officials in Iowa and Nebraska for our shows, and we appreciate the support they expressed for us to hold the events,” says Senior Vice President Don Tourte. “They are critical partners to us, and we are all disappointed to not host the events this year but feel confident this is the right decision for our community.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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06-29-20 U.S. Senator Gardner Announces Colorado to Receive More Than $41 Million in PILT Funding

U.S. Senator Gardner Announces Colorado to Receive More Than $41 Million in PILT Funding

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) announced today that 57 local governments in the state of Colorado will receive a total of $41,738,943 through the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program. The PILT program provides funding to counties that contain federal land within their borders, offsetting the lost property tax revenue that comes from the non-taxable federal land located within the counties.

“The PILT program is an important resource for many counties in Colorado and across the country with large amounts of tax-exempt federal lands,” said Senator Gardner. “This year Colorado will receive more than $41 million in critical funding to support essential services like search and rescue missions, emergency medical services, law enforcement, school maintenance and upkeep, and infrastructure improvements in rural areas.”

The PILT program provides critical resources to nearly 1,900 counties across 49 states. Counties have used these payments for more than 40 years to fund law enforcement, firefighting, emergency response, and other essential county services.

Background:  Continue reading

06-29-20 Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District: Arkansas Valley Conduit funding signed into law

 

Governor Signs Bill to Fund Arkansas Valley Conduit

June 29, 2020 TRINIDAD, COLORADO – The Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District applauded state approval of a $100 million financing package for the Arkansas Valley Conduit that will allow construction to begin in the near future.

The Colorado General Assembly passed the annual Colorado Water Conservation project bill which contains the funding earlier this month, and Governor Jared Polis signed the bill into law on Monday.

“The Arkansas Valley Conduit will be a lifeline for the Lower Arkansas Valley for generations to come,” said Bill Long, President of the Southeastern District. “Governor Polis, the General Assembly and the CWCB have all shown vision and foresight with this support of the AVC. This goes beyond just financing a pipeline, because really it’s an investment to assure clean drinking water for the future.”

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06-29-20 NPPC Leads Coalition Warning Congress of Major Agriculture Inspection Funding Shortfall


NPPC Leads Coalition Warning Congress of Major Agriculture Inspection Funding Shortfall

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 29, 2020 – A coalition of more than 150 agriculture, trade and related groups led by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) sent a letter today to Congress warning of a major funding shortfall that could severely weaken agricultural inspections at our borders. The letter urged lawmakers to protect our nation’s agriculture by appropriating funding to address what could be a $630 million COVID-19-related shortfall through fiscal year 2021.

In the letter, the coalition highlighted a funding shortfall for Agricultural Quarantine Inspection (AQI), which plays a critical role in protecting U.S. agriculture from plant and animal pests and diseases. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) collects the AQI user fees that pay for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture inspections. Due to the recent economic downturn and travel restrictions as a result of COVID-19, there has been a significant reduction in the collection of these user fees.

“We depend on AQI to ensure that American agriculture remains safe from foreign animal and plant pests and diseases. It is inconceivable that Congress would risk widespread damage to U.S. agriculture and the overall economy by not funding these inspections,” the groups wrote.

“CBP and USDA agriculture inspectors are our first line of defense to ensure African swine fever (ASF) and other foreign animal diseases (FADs) remain outside the United States,” said NPPC President Howard “AV” Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin. “Lapsed vigilance of these inspections would have devastating consequences for U.S. pork producers and all of agriculture, the backbone of the American economy. It is vital that Congress address this significant funding shortfall, allowing U.S. pork producers to maintain a healthy U.S. swine herd.”

A copy of the letter is available here.

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