06-02-20 CO Governor Polis addresses protests and provides COVID-19 Update

CO Governor Polis addresses protests and provides COVID-19 Update for June 2, 2020

 

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, June 2, 2020


Governor Polis Provides Update on COVID-19 Response, Discusses Recent Demonstrations

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis today provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 and discussed Safer at Home and In the Vast, Great Outdoors. The Governor also addressed the senseless murder of George Floyd and demonstrations in Denver and across the country.

“Our state has some of the most beautiful natural open spaces in the world and we want Coloradans to safely enjoy our vast, great outdoors. While we are all still safer at home, we are also able to practice better social distancing in our great outdoors than in confined indoor spaces,” said Gov. Polis.  

“What happened to George Floyd was not only wrong, it was brutal. It was inhumane. It was murder,” Governor Polis continued. “But the reality is that this is much larger than the need to hold one officer and others accountable. It’s about a pattern of injustice and unfair treatment that Black Americans and communities of color have endured, not only in our criminal justice system, but in every area of American society. We need to listen to the voices of those who are crying out for reform, and we need to take action. To those peacefully protesting, I want you to know that I see you, I hear you and I grieve with you. And more importantly, I want to work with you. Spray paint can be power washed, and windows can be fixed, but the black lives taken can’t be replaced or brought back, and the pain and injustices that our black community members have suffered will take years and decades to repair. I am ready, willing, and eager to be your partner in that work.”

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, June 2nd

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, June 2nd

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

China Halts Some Purchases of U.S. Ag Products

China is halting imports of some U.S. agricultural products through state-run agricultural companies. The move comes as a response to tensions between the U.S. and China regarding Honk Kong. Bloomberg News reports state-owned traders Cofco and Sinograin were ordered to suspend purchases. The action is the latest by China, which puts a trade agreement full of wins for U.S. agriculture in jeopardy. Last week, President Donald Trump threatened to punish China for its relations with Hong Kong. China responded by pausing purchases of U.S. ag products, including recent inquiries to purchase U.S. soybeans. A China Foreign Affairs spokesperson says of Trump’s comments, “the measures announced gravely interfere with China’s internal affairs and undermine bilateral relations and will be detrimental to both sides.” However, the retaliation is likely temporary, as China will need more soybeans and pork, among other products. China was increasing purchases of U.S. ag products as the nation reopens following the coronavirus pandemic, but at a slower than expected pace to fulfill the Phase One trade agreement.

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USDA Lowers Ag Export Outlook

The Department of Agriculture last week lowered its export forecast for fiscal year 2020. USDA’s Economic Research Service says the COVID-19 outbreak has created a shock to world economies that will cause an unusually high level of uncertainty for the foreseeable future. ERS projects 2020 agricultural exports at $136.5 billion, down $3.0 billion from the February forecast, primarily due to reductions in bulk commodities. Projections for soybean exports were reduced $1.9 billion to $16.5 billion due in part to increasingly competitive Brazilian exports. Cotton exports are forecast down $1.0 billion on lower volumes and value as the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced foreign demand. Corn exports were projected at $8.0 billion, down $500 million, pressured by ample exportable supplies and weak domestic use for fuel ethanol. The forecast for wheat exports is down $300 million to $6.1 billion. And, livestock, poultry and dairy exports are unchanged from the February projection of $32.4 billion. The forecast doesn’t take into account the recent news of China halting some purchases of U.S. agricultural products.

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USDA Launches 2020 Feds Feed Families Nationwide Food Drive

The Department of Agriculture Monday kicked off the 11th annual government-wide Feds Feed Families campaign. The effort encourages employees from all federal departments and agencies to give in-kind contributions, food, services and time, to food banks and pantries. This year’s campaign highlights a summer of giving in June and July, along with seasonal reminders to donate throughout the year. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says, “Our USDA family has the most dedicated employees in the federal government and this campaign is our chance to help feed those in need.” The 2020 campaign focuses on online donations and virtual food drives, while also providing guidance for in-person donations and events as appropriate. The 2020 Food Drive focuses on healthy, nutritious foods. Participants may collect nonperishable foods and fresh foods, as appropriate for each food bank. Since Feds Feed Families launched in 2009, this campaign has collected more than 92 million pounds of food for donation. In 2019 alone, federal employees donated more than 2.8 million pounds.

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Representative Seeks Expanded Online SNAP Purchases

One lawmaker wants more online access for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants to purchase groceries online. U.S. Representative Sanford Bishop, a Democrat from Georgia, says he is “concerned with the lack of approved retailers nationwide.” The Department of Agriculture recently announced that 37 states will be able to use SNAP benefits to buy groceries online. However, the number of approved retailers is limited. While the number of states participating is increasing, Bishop says the vendors remain primarily in the northeastern area of the United States. Currently, only seven retailers have been approved to provide online purchasing service, limiting access for SNAP participants to purchase groceries online. Bishop says, “It is imperative USDA expands the list of approved grocers, particularly in rural communities.” His comments were included in a letter sent to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue last week. Bishop also urged Secretary Perdue to consider ways to help SNAP participants avoid any fees associated with online grocery shopping.

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Corteva Agriscience Announces 2030 Sustainability Goals to Increase Agricultural Resiliency

Corteva Agriscience announced Monday its ten-year commitments to advance sustainability throughout the global food system. The goals span a wide range of initiatives for farmers, farmland, communities, and in its own operations. Improvements in soil health, on-farm productivity, climate action, water stewardship, biodiversity, supply chain transparency and worker safety, among others, are included. Corteva CEO James Collins, Jr. says, “Our mission to lead the entire agriculture industry toward better, more sustainable outcomes across the world is more important now than ever.” Corteva’s commitments will provide tools and training to help increase yield stability, optimize inputs and improve climate resilience. Commitments to soil health, water stewardship and biodiversity are also included. Corteva’s goals will champion and protect employees and people throughout the food system and the broader agriculture community. Within their business operations, the company is pledging to innovate sustainably, establish a climate strategy, use sustainable packaging, and increase their work sites’ sustainability efforts. Corteva will report progress toward these goals through an annual sustainability report starting in 2021.

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Fuel Demand Continues Recovery

National gas prices rose again last week, gaining seven cents per gallon to reach $1.97. Demand continues to recover from the pandemic and stay at home orders this spring and provides some optimism to the recovery ethanol demand. However, GasBuddy reports the average price of diesel last week fell one cent to $2.49 a gallon. And, Patrick DeHaan of GasBuddy says, “The pace of increases has begun to throttle back over the last week in most states as gasoline demand’s recovery has slowed.” While crude oil prices continued their upward move over the last week, it has been a much slower rise than recent weeks. As the global economy continues a slow recovery and more countries ease up on travel restrictions, demand for oil has rebounded as supply remains lower due to the coronavirus curbing demand. U.S. oil inventories saw a large 7.9 million barrel boost in last week’s data from the Energy Information Administration, while gasoline inventories fell again by some 700,000 barrels and distillate inventories jumped 5.5 million barrels.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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