09-01-20 History Colorado’s Centennial Farms & Ranches Update: Meet the Ag All-Stars on September 2nd!

History Colorado’s Centennial Farms & Ranches Update:

Meet the Ag All-Stars on September 2nd!

It takes love and dedication to forge ahead, generation after generation, and put food on our tables. Every year, History Colorado and the Colorado Department of Agriculture honor families who’ve been farming and ranching for 100 years or more. And since this year’s event has gone virtual, it’s easier than ever to meet them. In case you missed it…watch the 2020 Centennial Farms and Ranches event…

To learn more about History Colorado’s Centennial Farms and Ranches Program visit https://www.historycolorado.org/centennial-farms-ranches

09-02-20 CSSRM News: Common Ground—Free Rangelands Webinar Series in October

CSSRM News: Common Ground—Free Rangelands Webinar Series in October

The Colorado Section of the Society for Range Management (CSSRM) is pleased to announce a five-part webinar series to take place this October titled “Common Ground.” The sessions are free, but pre-registration is required. See www.cssrm.org/webinars for details.
“Rangelands and their management represent a critical nexus of public and private land interests” said CSSRM president Joshua “JT” Tashiro. He continued, “generally associated with ranching, healthy rangeland ecosystems are critical to people, wildlife, agriculture and our watersheds.”

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09-02-20 Colorado State officials announce public-private partnership to expand access to broadband services for students for the upcoming school year

State officials announce public-private partnership to expand access to broadband services for students for the upcoming school year

T-Mobile to provide free WiFi hotspots for up to 34,000 low-income student households  

Colorado Department of Education to provide school districts access to $2 million for broadband services for low-income families

SHERIDAN – Thousands of low-income student households in Colorado will get access to free and low-cost internet options for the 2020-21 school year, state leaders announced today at an event at Fort Logan Northgate School, a part of Sheridan School District 2.

As part of its nationwide effort to provide internet access to underserved students, called Project 10Million, T-Mobile will provide up to 34,000 low-income student households in Colorado with a free WiFi hotspot and 100GB of data per year for free. Qualifying households will also have access to internet-enabled devices, such as tablets or computers, at a significant discount. Households in the T-Mobile service area are eligible for the program based on student participation in the National School Lunch Program.

This effort fulfills one of T-Mobile’s commitments under an agreement reached last fall with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. In October 2019, after previously joining a multistate lawsuit to block the Sprint-T-Mobile merger, the Attorney General’s Office negotiated a settlement in which T-Mobile committed to various actions that will increase broadband internet access for Coloradans, including providing free internet connectivity and equipment to households with school-age children.

In addition to T-Mobile, state leaders celebrated other provider efforts to provide low- and no-cost options for families, including Comcast’s Internet Essentials program and rural providers who stepped up to provide options for families from the Western slope to the Eastern plains.

“While most school districts in Colorado are now back to school in person, there are still some families and students who choose to learn remotely or live in school districts that haven’t resumed in-person classes yet,” said Governor Jared Polis. “There are still too many students in Colorado that lack access to high-speed broadband at home to support their learning whatever form it takes. This is why the State of Colorado, Attorney General Weiser, and Colorado Department of Education are taking steps today to help more families in Colorado have access to high-speed broadband.” Continue reading

09-02-20 USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities Affected by COVID-19

USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities Affected by COVID-19

September 1, 2020- USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Rural Development will keep our customers, partners and stakeholders continuously updated as more actions are taken to better serve rural America. 

Read the full stakeholder announcement here.

09-02-20 Top Dollar Angus Announces Search for new General Manager

Top Dollar Angus Announces Search for new General Manager

Denver CO, September 2, 2020 – Top Dollar Angus, Inc. is in search of a new general manager, following the departure of Jared Wareham of Deepwater, Missouri. Wareham’s tenure saw the business grow at a rate greater than 60% annually. “Jared greatly enhanced industry awareness of the Top Dollar Angus brand, and helped producers in all segments of the beef business understand the value of genetic verification at the feeder calf level of the market,” said Tom Brink, CEO of the Red Angus Association of America and founder of Top Dollar Angus. “He traveled extensively from coast-to-coast and established relationships that will continue for years to come, while also shaping our strategy in multiple ways. Top Dollar Angus is much closer to being a household name among cattle producers in large part due to Jared’s efforts and networking ability. We appreciate everything he did and wish him and his family the best in the new employment opportunity he plans to pursue. We’re also excited to find the next rising talent that will continue to propel the industry’s fastest growing genetic verification business forward.”

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, September 2nd

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, September 2nd…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Farmers Showing Optimism in Latest Ag Economy Barometer

Farmers were more optimistic in August, as the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer rose to a reading of 144, 26 points higher than a month earlier. Organizers say the improvement resulted from improved perceptions regarding current conditions and better expectations for the future. The Index of Current Conditions rose 13 points in August to 124 while the Index of Future Expectations rose 33 points to 154. This month’s improvement was underpinned by expectations for excellent crop yields, as indicated in the Department of Agriculture’s August Crop Production report, and nearly across the board rallies in key ag commodity prices in August. The barometer and its two sub-indices all posted their most positive readings since February 2020, when record highs were established and before the coronavirus pandemic began. Producers also indicated they were more optimistic about agricultural exports increasing than in recent months, perhaps due to recent news about additional export sales to China.

EPA Proposes Streamlined Biotech Approvals for Crops

A proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency would streamline the regulation of certain plant-incorporated protectants. The proposal allows biotech crops containing pesticide traits to be exempt from select regulations if they meet certain reporting requirements. Specifically, the EPA proposes exemptions under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act and the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act for certain plant-incorporated protectants created through biotechnology. The Agency has preliminarily determined that these substances meeting the exemption criteria have no risks of concern to humans or the environment. Under the proposed exemption, the EPA would require developers of the biotech crops to submit either a self-determination letter or a request for the EPA confirmation that their product meets the exemption criteria. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says the new rule “will provide critical new tools for America’s farmers as they work to increase agricultural productivity.” The proposal is part of President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Biotechnology Products.

NMPF: Food Chain Adapting to Coronavirus

The coronavirus crisis is far from over, but the food supply chain has adapted effectively, according to the National Milk Producer Federation. NMPF chief counsel Clay Detlefsen says, “We’ve got the food industry on the right track.” However, he concedes, “It won’t be easy to keep us there.” Early challenges in acquiring enough Personal Protective Equipment and redesigning workplaces to keep workers safe have been largely met, but the continued circulation of the virus itself makes it challenging for businesses to be completely confident disruptions may be avoided. Progress continues in making sure supplies are manufactured in adequate quantities, as well as in understanding how the virus is spread and how to prevent it. Detlefsen of NMPF is also the private-sector chair of the Food and Agricultural Sector Coordinating Council. The council was set up after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks to share information between government agencies and private businesses during crises that affect the U.S. food-supply chain.

Farmland Ownership Interest Growing

The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn more interest in farmland ownership. Farmers National Company says there is a growing interest by individuals and investment funds in owning land. Part of this interest is because of COVID-19’s impact on their investment psychology and the desire to invest in a stable, long-term real asset. The company says people are thinking about the food supply chain and sustainability of the food supply and deciding that they want to own an important part of how food is produced. Over the past several years, there has been somewhat less good quality cropland for sale than average with 2020 seeing even less for a number of months after the COVID-19 outbreak. Currently, there is additional farmland coming up for sale once again, with part of that being the normal seasonal upswing and part being people who have been thinking of selling deciding to go ahead and sell, providing some opportunity for farmers and investors alike.

Farmers are Participating in Virtual Farm Shows

Farm Journal reports more than 50,000 farmers participated in its New American Farm Show experience. The ten-day experience included the Pro Farmer Crop Tour, Farm Journal Field Days and the #FarmON Benefit Concert. A survey of participants found 70 percent considered the overall experience as very good or outstanding. Meanwhile, 85 percent plan to participate in another virtual event, and 77 percent took action to learn more about a company or product they engaged with in the event trade show. Virtual farm shows and events are the new normal for 2020, and potentially the future. Farm Journal CEO Andy Weber says farmers “conducted business exponentially more efficiently than ever before, and that’s a trend that’s here to stay.” The next major virtual farm show offering on the schedule is the 2020 Farm Progress Show, scheduled for September 15 – 17. The show combines Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days into one virtual event, including educational sessions, live insights from farmers, and unique product features.

Restaurant Industry Promoting National Food Safety Month

The National Restaurant Association is promoting food safety training, celebrating Food Safety Month through September. As the country continues to battle COVID-19, ensuring that proper safety protocols are in place at restaurants has never been more important for guests, employees and brands. Through its ServSafe program, the association’s food safety and training certification program, the organization is boosting food safety training and risk management with an educational campaign this month. Organizers say the campaign will focus on best practices for a safe dining experience and is essential as the industry does all it can to keep its restaurants clean and sanitized, and employees educated about how they can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. National Food Safety Month will take place over a five-week period. Each week will focus on a single topic. Weekly topics include personal hygiene, cleaning and sanitizing, safe food preparation, food safety procedures and COVID-19 Safety Procedures.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service