06-19-20 Tri-State files answer to United Power complaint, makes breach of contract counterclaim to protect other cooperative members

Tri-State files answer to United Power complaint, makes breach of contract counterclaim to protect other cooperative members

(June 19, 2020 – Westminster, Colo.) – Tri-State today answered United Power’s meritless complaint<https://tristate.coop/united-power-files-court-complaint-effort-thrust-1-billion-costs-other-tri-state-members> in district court and filed a counterclaim seeking relief from United Power’s breach of its contract with Tri-State and its members. United Power’s complaint in district court is a further attempt to shift more than $1 billion in costs to Tri-State’s other members and their customers. Today’s filing by Tri-State was a necessary step to clarify that United Power must honor its contract with its fellow members and avoid this shift in costs.

In Tri-State’s answer, it denied United Power’s allegations and requests for relief, and asked the court to dismiss United Power’s complaint. Tri-State also seeks a judgment that its members’ and board of directors’ actions complied with Tri-State’s bylaws and state law, that Tri-State has met its obligations under its bylaws, and that United Power is not relieved of its obligations under its contract.

“Tri-State’s actions defend the interests of our distribution cooperative and public power district members and their customers by ensuring our largest member, United Power, fully meets its contract obligations,” said Duane Highley, Tri-State chief executive officer. “United Power breached its contract by attempting to withdraw from Tri-State without fulfilling its contractual obligations to pay for the full cost of their withdrawal. United Power’s breach of contract attempts to shift more than $1 billion in costs to Tri-State’s smaller members and their customers.”

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06-19-20 Colorado Governor Polis Extends EO Allowing Alternate Care Sites

Colorado Governor Polis Extends EO Allowing Alternate Care Sites

DENVER -On June 19th, Colorado Governor Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 107, allowing for the operation of alternate care sites in response to COVID-19.

“This Executive Order extends Executive Order D 2020 071 for an additional thirty (30) days from June 18, 2020, to ensure health care facilities have sufficient resources and to ensure the safety and well-being of COVID-19 patients who no longer require inpatient hospitalization but still require some medical care and observation while recovering from COVID-19,” the Executive Order reads.

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06-19-20 CDA: State Releases Agricultural Worker Health Guidance in Multiple Languages

CDA: State Releases Agricultural Worker Health Guidance in Multiple Languages

BROOMFIELD, CO – June 19, 2020 – In an effort to protect Colorado’s essential workers within the agriculture industry and to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has finalized state guidance for the agriculture industry.

With input and advice from the Colorado Department of Agriculture and Department of Labor and Employment, and in alignment with the CDC’s agricultural worker guidance, the new guidance addresses the use of personal protective equipment, hygiene, equipment cleaning, sick leave benefits, case reporting, and more.

“These new expert recommendations provide important direction to our state’s critically important agriculture industry and to those absolutely essential workers along every stop of the food supply chain,” said Kate Greenberg, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture. 

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06-19-20 NPPC: Capital Update for Week Ending June 19, 2020


NPPC: Capital Update for Week Ending June 19, 2020

NPPC, AFBF FILE PROPOSITION 12 APPEAL
On Wednesday, NPPC and the American Farm Bureau Federation jointly filed an appeal, challenging California’s Proposition 12, which imposes arbitrary animal housing standards that reach outside of California’s borders to farms across the United States. By attempting to regulate businesses outside of its borders, California’s Proposition 12 violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. The appeals challenge, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, asks the court to strike Proposition 12 as invalid. It is unconstitutional and seeks to allow a single state without any commercial hog production to regulate how farmers across the country operate, imposing prohibitive costs with no benefits. Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, Proposition 12 prohibits the sale of pork not produced according to California’s highly prescriptive production standards. The proposition applies to any uncooked pork sold in the state, whether raised there or outside its borders. Currently, less than one percent of U.S. pork production meets Proposition 12’s requirements. To comply with Proposition 12, U.S. hog farmers need to start making investment decisions today to be ready by the implementation date.

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06-19-20 U.S. CONGRESSMEN TIPTON’S STATEMENT ON USDA DISASTER DECLARATION FOR WESTERN SLOPE COUNTIES

U.S. CONGRESSMEN TIPTON’S STATEMENT ON USDA DISASTER DECLARATION FOR WESTERN SLOPE COUNTIES

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it has approved a request to designate Delta and Mesa Counties as natural disaster areas. Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) along with Colorado Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet sent a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue in April asking for approval of the request following the historic late season freeze that led to a near total loss of crops for several farmers in the region. Tipton provided the following statement on the announcement:

“The historic late season freeze placed an incredibly difficult burden on farmers on the Western Slope, in addition to the already challenging times created by the COVID-19 outbreak. I am glad Secretary Perdue listened to our calls to address this dire situation and provide farmers in the area additional options for temporary relief to get them through these tough times. This relief will allow farmers to financially recover faster so they may begin to focus their attention to the next growing season, and we can all look forward to enjoying the famed Palisade Peaches next summer.”

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06-19-20 Morgan Conservation District hosting Locally Led Work Group Meeting in Ft Morgan on July 8th

Morgan Conservation District hosting Locally Led Work Group Meeting in Ft Morgan on July 8th

Join the Morgan Conservation District Board of Directors on July 8th, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. for the annual Locally Led Workgroup Meeting at Country Steak Out at 19592 East 8th Avenue in Fort Morgan. This meeting will be combined with the July Board Meeting. RSVP by July 1st to morganconservationdistrict@gmail.com or 970-427-3362.

Local agricultural producers and stakeholders are encouraged to attend to voice their natural resource concerns for Morgan County. Input from these meetings are used to prioritize and address natural resource concerns both within the Conservation District and NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service).

Agricultural producers who cannot attend but would like to comment are welcome to do so with this survey: https://forms.gle/XfGELzHsLuWj7Kk96

06-19-20 Colorado Wheat: Check out the 2020 CSU Virtual Wheat Field Days

Colorado Wheat: Check out the 2020 CSU Virtual Wheat Field Days

The 2020 CSU Virtual Wheat Field Days are now available for viewing and include a series of videos that feature:

  • An introduction of the virtual field days with the leader of the CSU Crops Testing Program, Dr. Jerry Johnson
  • A walk-thru of the variety trials at Arapahoe, Orchard and Holyoke with CSU Wheat Breeder, Dr. Scott Haley
  • An update from the Executive Director of Colorado Wheat, Brad Erker
  • A discussion of wheat seed issues with the Director of CSU Seed Programs, Rick Novak
  • Highlights from seed companies discussing varieties that were entered for testing in the CSU variety trials
  • A research showcase from CSU experts on weed science, entomology, and pathology

A link to all of the videos, as well as the “Making Better Decisions” book can be found at https://coloradowheat.org/2020/06/2020virtualfielddays/.

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06-19-20 Colorado’s Economic Forecast Shows Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic

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Colorado’s Economic Forecast Shows Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic

DENVER — The Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) released its quarterly economic forecast today.

“This global pandemic has had a terrible impact on the economy and our way of life. Coloradans are resilient, innovative, and talented and we will get through this challenging time together. While we are taking cautious steps to rebuild our economy, we cannot let up in our shared efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. If Coloradans don’t wear masks in public or practice good social distancing and physical hygiene, then will see case counts rise as they have in other states and the economy will further suffer,” said Gov. Jared Polis. “I look forward to working with communities, lawmakers, and anyone to ensure the state’s economy and workforce can bounce back stronger than before.”

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06-19-20 Governor Polis Signs SB20-217, Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity

Governor Polis Signs SB20-217, Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity

DENVER – On June 19, 2020, CO Governor Polis signed SB20-217, Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity. The Governor was joined by bill sponsors, Reps. Leslie Herod and Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, and Sens. Leroy Garcia and Rhonda Fields. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, June 19th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, June 19th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Lighthizer Testifies on China Trade Deal, Criticizes WTO

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had a lot to say about the president’s economic agreement with China during testimony in Washington on Wednesday. He says Beijing is buying more American products and that the Asian nation would live up to the terms of the Phase One agreement. Lighthizer says his office is closely tracking the number of goods China is purchasing from the U.S. and is in frequent contact with Chinese officials. The New York Times says even though China has committed to purchasing $200 billion in goods by the end of next year, many analysts say that’s not realistic given the impacts of COVID-19 around the world. “Every indication is that despite COVID-19, China is going to do what it says it will do,” Lighthizer said during testimony. He pointed out the administration’s new or revised trade deals with Japan, Canada, and Mexico have improved terms for American businesses and farmers. However, he was more guarded on a possible deal with the European Union happening soon, accusing the EU of thinly-veiled protectionism. Lighthizer also renewed the administration’s fight with the World Trade Organization, saying the WTO needs “radical reform.”

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Organic Farmers say USDA “Let Down” Organic Dairies

The Organic Farmers Association is asking members of Congress to ensure that USDA’s National Organic Program complies with the law and finalizes the Origin of Livestock rule as quickly as possible. A recent deadline for the National Organic Program to finalize the long-awaited Origin of Livestock rule has passed by. The Association says the rule is necessary to close a loophole in organic dairy standards that has supported rapid growth in larger organic dairies and consequently put family organic dairy farmers out of business across the country. As many as 70 organic farm organizations from around the nation sent a letter to members of Congress, including the House and Senate Ag Committees, asking them to pressure the USDA to make sure the NOP complies with a congressional mandate and finalizes the origin of organic livestock rule as soon as possible. “The organic community is united in the immediate need for this rule,” says Kate Mendenhall, Director of the Organic Farmers Association. “We are disappointed this long-awaited deadline passed without any action from the NOP.” The groups that signed onto the letter agree that continued delays in implementing the rule will prolong the dire economic consequences facing organic dairy farmers, as well as jeopardize consumer trust in the organic label.

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U.S. Dairy Calls for An End to EU Dairy Dumping into International Markets

An economic analysis published this week shows the serious impact of the European Union’s Skim Milk Powder Intervention Program on U.S. dairy. The program hit U.S. farm-gate milk prices especially hard during 2016-2019. The report says the U.S. was economically harmed in three ways. First, the EU program depressed the global price of skim milk powder, lowering U.S. milk prices, and contributing to a $2.2 billion loss in 2018 and 2019. The program also inflated the EU market share, resulting in a drastically smaller export market share for U.S. dairy exporters, which led to export losses totaling $168 million in 2018-2019. Finally, the analysis says when the EU unleashed its stockpile of skim milk powder into the global marketplace, the disposal affected U.S. competitiveness in historically important export markets like Southeast Asia. The International Dairy Foods Association, the National Milk Producers Federation, and the U.S. Dairy Export Council sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue, pointing to the analysis as proof the EU’s SMP Intervention Program has wreaked havoc on the U.S. dairy industry. They’re asking the government to help prevent the EU from using future intervention practices to dispose of dairy products into the global market at discounted prices.

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Farm Progress Show is a Go

The nation’s largest outdoor farm event is on in 2020. The Farm Progress Show is officially a go near Boone, Iowa, despite COVID-19. In making the announcement, organizers say the show is an essential business event that provides farmers with much-needed information and tools. “We know that the market is dealing with a lot of issues,” says Matt Jungmann, the event manager. “However, agriculture is a critical business for this country, and farmers are looking for ways to get better at what they do.” The Des Moines Register says the show attracts thousands of Iowa and U.S. farmers, as well as dozens of agricultural companies. The show is scheduled for September 1-3 and has drawn people from as many as 45 countries in previous years. Organizers say they will take safety precautions, including providing additional space to allow for social distancing, numerous hand sanitizing stations, and enhancing efforts to clean buildings. “Farmers are struggling with low corn, soybean, and other commodity prices, and they need more information and tools to boost profitability than ever before,” show officials said in their statement on Wednesday. The World Pork Expo and the Iowa State Fair were both canceled this year because of COVID-19.

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Growth Energy Applauds Streamlining Biofuels Approval Process

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor is pleased with legislation designed to reduce Environmental Protection Agency delays in approving applications to produce advanced biofuels under the Renewable Fuels Standard. “We applaud the bipartisan legislation designed to break the regulatory logjam holding back cellulosic biofuels,” she says. “Studies show that advanced biofuels can cut carbon emissions by 100 percent or more while providing a low-cost alternative to the petroleum-based aromatics that poison our air and threaten our health.” Growth Energy says major investments in low-carbon biofuels have been held hostage by regulatory delays, even as farmers and biofuel producers work together to harness clean energy from agricultural residue. “By keeping regulatory pathways blocked, EPA has put an artificial cap on advanced biofuels, limiting their growth under the RFS,” Skor says. “This important legislation will help clear the deck on long-overdue approvals and jumpstart growth at a time when revitalizing rural communities has never been more important.” The bill would set a 90-day deadline for EPA to act on petitions that have been pending for more than six months. It would also fast-track approval for advanced biofuels that have already been certified under state-based, low-carbon fuel programs.

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ASA Hires First-Ever Staff Economist

The American Soybean Association hired Scott Gerlt (GER-ult), who is the first person to take on the role of staff economist with the organization. Gerlt lives in Missouri and will work out of the St. Louis office. He’s highly regarded within agricultural economic circles, thanks to his policy work with the Food and Agricultural Research Institute, where he has more than 10 years of experience. Some of that experience includes working with policymakers to develop the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills. Gerlt grew up on a diversified farm with both row crops and livestock in Missouri. In the new role, he’ll provide insight on relevant agricultural economics and analysis of current and future ASA policy. ASA CEO Ryan Findlay says, “Having an economist on staff will enrich our internal discussions on issues and strengthen our public arguments for why policymakers need to take action on behalf of U.S. soybean farmers. It’s exciting for ASA to find someone with both his policy experience and enthusiasm for working directly with farmers.” The organization says Gerlt will provide a lot of clarity on what ASA is requesting from policymakers during lobbying and how it will affect U.S. soybean farmers and their communities.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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