06-17-20 Samantha Munson is Inside the BARN with Molly Pelzer, CEO, Midwest Dairy – Dairy Industry’s Resilience, National Dairy Month & More…

Samantha Munson is Inside the BARN with Molly Pelzer, CEO, Midwest Dairy – Dairy Industry’s Resilience, National Dairy Month & More…

The BARN, Thayer, MO – June 17, 2020 – Resilience. No one demonstrates this more than dairy farmers—especially in today’s environment. This June, as the dairy industry prepares to kick-off summer with National Dairy Month, this resiliency has never been more apparent. Dairy farmers are working tirelessly to provide dairy to those in need, all while sharing their stories so people remain connected to where their food comes from. Joining BARN Ag Reporter Samantha Munson is Molly Pelzer, CEO, Midwest Dairy, discussing several examples of how the dairy community is demonstrating its resiliency and continuing to make connections with consumers to drive dairy demand like never before & more…


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06-17-20 U.S. Senator Bennet Celebrates Passage of Historic Public Lands Package to Fully Fund LWCF and Reduce the Public Lands Maintenance Backlog

U.S. Senator Bennet Celebrates Passage of Historic Public Lands Package to Fully Fund LWCF and Reduce the Public Lands Maintenance Backlog

Bennet Has Led the Fight to Fully Fund LWCF, Invest in Our Public Lands for Over a Decade

Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet applauded Senate passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, historic public lands legislation to permanently and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at $900 million and begin to address the $19 billion public lands maintenance backlog. Since his arrival to the U.S. Senate, Bennet has championed LWCF, introducing legislation to fully fund the program in every Congress since 2010, and fought for more infrastructure, maintenance, and recreation funding for our land management agencies.

“Public lands are part of our legacy, our culture, and our history in Colorado. After a decade of leading this effort, I’m thrilled the Senate has finally passed full funding for LWCF,” said Bennet. “This is the culmination of years of hard work by Coloradans – from county commissioners and local elected leaders to conservation groups, hunters and anglers, and outdoor recreation businesses. They have put in the work, year after year, calling for Congress to fully fund LWCF, invest in our public lands, and support our state’s economy. Their dedication and advocacy are why we were able to pass this bill today.” Continue reading

06-17-20 CO Governor Polis Applauds Passage of Great American Outdoors Act

CO Governor Polis Applauds Passage of Great American Outdoors Act

DENVER – Gov. Jared Polis applauded the Senate passage of the Great American Outdoors Act and released the following statement:

“Colorado’s iconic outdoors and millions of acres of accessible state and federal land are just some of the reasons why Coloradans love living here, and why so many people from across our country and around the world visit,” said Governor Polis. “Our great outdoors are incredibly fun and healthy, and the outdoor industry supports good jobs across our state.  As our economy bounces back, access to our great outdoor areas, which allow for strong social distancing, are critical to our recovery and safety.  I thank our Senators for their bipartisan effort and urge my former colleagues in the House to pass this important legislation.” 

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06-17-20 U.S. Senator Gardner: Senate Passes the Great American Outdoors Act

U.S. Senator Gardner: Senate Passes the Great American Outdoors Act

Historic conservation legislation fully funds the LWCF and maintenance backlog on federal lands

Washington, D.C., June 17, 2020 – Today the U.S. Senate voted 73-25 to pass the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act, landmark conservation legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Steve Daines (R-MT), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Warner (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and 51 other Senate members. The Great American Outdoors Act fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at a level of $900 million every year and addresses the approximately $20 billion maintenance backlog on federal public lands.

“Years of bipartisan work have led to this moment and this historic opportunity for conservation,” said Senator Gardner. “Today the Senate passed not only the single greatest conservation achievement in generations, but also a lifeline to mountain towns and recreation communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. I call on the House of Representatives to pass this bill without delay in order to provide jobs to the American people, economic stimulus to communities in need, and protections for the great American outdoors for future generations of Americans to cherish.” Continue reading

06-17-20 EPA Administrator Wheeler Appoints New Members to the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee, 2 from CO

EPA Administrator Wheeler Appoints New Members to the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee

Two from Colorado: Yuma’s Don Brown & Rocky Ford’s Phillip Chavez

DENVER, CO – June 17, 2020 – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler is announcing the appointment of thirty-three members to the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC). Established in 2008, the FRRCC provides independent policy advice, information, and recommendations to on the EPA administrator on a range of environmental issues and policies that are of importance to agriculture and rural communities.

“One of my priorities for EPA has been to restore trust for our agency among agricultural stakeholders and rural communities,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “President Trump has been clear about the Administration’s commitment to agriculture and rural America, and as part of that commitment, I am excited to reinstate the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee in 2020 with full membership. This committee will provide valuable input on how EPA’s decisions impact rural America, and I look forward to receiving the committee’s recommendations.”

“EPA Region 8 thanks and welcomes our members to the Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Committee,” said EPA Regional Administrator Gregory Sopkin. “The diverse perspectives these committee members represent will enhance EPA’s work to protect human health and the environment in the vibrant agricultural and rural communities of the Rocky Mountains and Northern Great Plains states.”

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06-17-20 USDA Extends Farmers to Families Food Box Program Contracts for Some Vendors

USDA Extends Farmers to Families Food Box Program Contracts for Some Vendors

(Washington, D.C., June 17, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will extend the contracts of select vendors from the first round of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.

“These extensions are a testament to the great work done by these vendors in support of American agriculture and the American people. They are also a testament that the program is accomplishing what we intended – supporting U.S. farmers and distributors and getting food to those who need it most. It’s a real trifecta, which is why we call it a win-win-win,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “The efforts of everyone involved form the backbone of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program and its goal to help fill the hunger gap in all of our communities.”

06-17-20 Grower Coalition Files Amicus Brief to Defend Continued Use of Existing Stocks

“Respect EPA’s Dicamba Decision & Protect Farmers’ Livelihoods During Growing Season”

Grower Coalition Files Amicus Brief to Defend Continued Use of Existing


Washington, D.C. June 17, 2020. A coalition of national grower trade associations that represents farmers, ranchers, and their families nationwide is urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to reject an NGO call to invalidate EPA’s dicamba existing stocks order for three dicamba products whose registrations were immediately vacated by the court earlier this month.

American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Cotton Council of America, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Corn Growers Association, and National Sorghum Producers have filed an amicus brief supporting EPA’s position against the NGO petition that seeks to invalidate EPA’s dicamba existing stocks order and hold the agency in contempt, citing the catastrophic consequences that could result if the NGO’s request is granted.

The grower coalition’s brief, filed June 16, makes a case for farmers caught in a highly frustrating and costly situation amid prime planting season and the narrow weed-control window: “Neither a midseason cancellation nor a vacatur unplants a seed, retroactively tills a field, or clears a storehouse of products purchased for lawful use under the prior registration.” Continue reading

06-17-20 Western Growers Welcomes De Ann Davis as Senior Vice President, Science

Western Growers Welcomes De Ann Davis as Senior Vice President, Science

IRVINE, Calif., (June 16, 2020) — Western Growers is pleased to announce the addition of De Ann Davis, PhD, as Senior Vice President, Science. Davis brings extensive expertise to the leadership team with more than 25 years of experience in the development and execution of technical global programs, including food safety, quality assurance and regulatory compliance.

“Western Growers has long led our industry’s efforts to develop and embrace food safety best practices based on science,” stated Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia. “The retirement of Hank Giclas – a pioneering leader in food safety – created a serious challenge for us in finding the right person to continue and enhance our commitment. Fortunately, today we are welcoming De Ann Davis to our team. With her uncommon blend of technical know-how, cross-sector experience, and demonstrated management capacity, De Ann is poised to take this position and drive further value to our members and the broader fresh produce industry.”

“Joining Western Growers is an exciting opportunity for me to really leverage my diverse experiences and technical background to advance food safety and scientific programs across its membership and the produce industry as a whole,” said Davis.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, June 17th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, June 17th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

USDA: Commodity Purchases Reach $2.2 Billion Through Aid Program

The Department of Agriculture announced the purchases of more than $2.2 billion of food items for fiscal years 2019 and 2020. The purchases are part of the ongoing efforts to feed people in need and assist American farmers and ranchers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. USDA is on target to reach its fiscal year goal of about $1.4 billion of trade mitigation purchases in the next phase of fiscal year purchasing, which ends September 30. The purchases were made through the Food Purchase and Distribution Program, one of USDA’s three programs in its Support Packages for Farmers. Most of the food purchased is provided to states for distribution to nutrition assistance programs such as The Emergency Food Assistance Program and child nutrition programs. The purchases include meat, fruits, vegetables, specialty crops and dairy products. The Food Purchase and Distribution Program was established in fiscal year 2019 to assist U.S. producers by purchasing commodities that have been unfairly targeted by trade partners.

USDA Updates CFAP Numbers

The Department of Agriculture has processed more than 220,000 Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments to farmers and ranchers. In a weekly update, USDA data shows the department has issued $2.8 billion to farmers so far, with Iowa producers receiving the most, at $144 million for row crops, and $150 million for livestock. Iowa also accounts for the highest number of non-specialty crop applications, at more than 20,000. USDA says some 112,000 non-specialty crop producers nationally have received more than $758 million, while roughly 1,500 specialty crop growers have received $53 million. Payments to livestock producers total $1.4 billion, while payments to the dairy sector total $667 million. The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program provides financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities with financial support that gives them the ability to absorb sales losses and increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. USDA will continue to accept applications for the program through August 28, 2020. Resources for farmers regarding the payments are available at www.farmers.gov/cfap.

Exports to China Not Meeting Expectations

Exports to China are lagging, according to Agricultural Economic Insights. Agricultural Economist David Widmar says before the trade war, soybean exports accounted for 51 percent of all U.S. ag exports to China. He writes, “Based on the first four months of 2020, trade with China has been disappointing.” After $778 million in sales in January, soybeans have mostly stalled as total 2020 sales reached $1.2 billion through April. Those figures come as the U.S. and China signed a Phase One trade agreement that included aggressive purchases of U.S. commodities by China. Through April, purchases of total U.S. ag products approached $4.6 billion, in line with 2019’s $4.3 billion figure. Yet, pre-trade war levels over the same time period in 2017 totaled $7.1 billion. China’s purchases are seasonal, with a flurry of activity early this year, and typically large purchases in the fall. Widmar says that before the trade war, China purchased 57 percent of total annual soybeans between October and December.

Survey Reveals Increased Snacking Habits in the ‘New Normal’

Staying home means snacking more for Americans. Amid orders to shelter-in-place, many Americans have turned to snacking for comfort. A new survey, conducted in May in partnership with California Walnuts and Kelton Global, explores the snacking behaviors of Americans and how they’ve changed since shelter-in-place mandates were implemented. About one in two Americans, 48 percent, confess they are snacking more than before the pandemic began. Two in five, 40 percent, of those expect to see this behavior continue after the shelter-in-place mandates are lifted. While Americans are mostly torn when it comes to the perfect flavor profile of their snacks, the preference for sweet snacks at 57 percent, currently edges out salty at 43 percent. Comfort is the first priority, with 75 percent of respondents noting that they are not trying to eat healthier snacks than they usually do, and only 20 percent remarking that they wish there were more nutritious snacking options available.

FBN opens Access to Chemical Prices

Farmers Business Network this week announced prices for all products from the online FBN Direct store will be publicly available. The pricing information is open for all farmers to see, regardless of membership in FBN, with no FBN account required. FBN says the online store has helped many farms save tens of thousands of dollars annually, with some individual farms reporting savings as high as $120,000 per year. In addition, this move comes just in time for the launch of FBN’s first-ever Cyber Summer Sale, offering up to 27 percent discounts on more than half of the ag chemical products available for sale in the FBN Direct online store now, through July 31, 2020. FBN has also announced that it will offer free shipping on chemical orders over $5,000 through August 31, 2020. FBN’s Tom Staples says, “Throughout this crisis, just as before it, FBN has been taking real action to fight for farmers’ livelihoods.” FBN is the largest independent farmer-to-farmer network. Learn more at FBN.com.

NCGA Launches Summer Virtual Fair Contest

The National Corn Growers Association is kicking-off summer with a new contest, focusing on the benefits of using corn in the feed ration. The Farm to Virtual Fair contest started Monday and runs through Monday, November 2, 2020. To enter the contest, you must follow NCGA (@corngrowers) on Instagram, tag NCGA in the post and use the hashtag #MyCornFedBarn. Participants can enter a photo or video, explaining why they use corn in their feed ration. The first-place winner will win $300, second place will receive $200, and third place will get $100. Winners will be announced by Monday, November 16, 2020. Nebraska farmer and NCGA Market Development Action Team Chair Dan Wesely says, “With so many unknowns this year, we wanted to give students participating in their local, county or state 4-H and FFA livestock shows something to look forward to.” Find more information about the contest on NCGA’s website, www.NCGA.com.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service