09-09-20 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 9, 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.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information in Colorado, visit http://www.rd.usda.gov/co.

09-09-20 USDA Rural Development: Entities in Cortez Colorado Receive Investment from Trump Administration for Solar Energy

USDA Rural Development: Entities in Cortez Colorado Receive Investment from Trump Administration for Solar Energy

CLICK HERE to listen to USDA RD CO State Director Sallie Clark

$110k Investment will help with Energy Depedance and Energy Cost Savings

DENVER, CO – September 9, 2020 –  The Trump Administration announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $109,264 to help lower energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers in Cortez, Colorado.

“Four entities have received grant funding to help decrease the demand for energy and to help reduce energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers,” said USDA Rural Development Colorado State Director Clark. “The investments made in Cortez will be equivalent to offsetting the annual electrical usage of 54 homes,” said Clark.

The projects announced today are: Continue reading

09-09-20 NJC offering UAV Training Course for Community Members and Students September 24-25-26

NJC offering UAV Training Course for Community Members and Students September 24-25-26

NJC will be offering a 2 credit course to prepare individuals to take the FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Exam. The course will consist of two evenings of lecture and exam preparation while the third day will allow students hands on experience of flying two NJC owned drones (weather permitting). The dates for the course are: Thursday and Friday (9/24-9/25) from 6-8pm and Saturday (9/26) from 8:30-11:30am.

If you know anyone that is current using a UAV for their farm, ranch, business, or any other purpose, or if you know anyone that is interested in learning more about drones, please share the attached flyer with them. The cost to attend this 2 credit course is approximately $356 which does not include the fee to take the FAA exam – this course is meant only to prepare students to be successful when they decide to take the FAA exam.

Submitted to The BARN by:

Andy Bartlett Continue reading

09-09-20 Ethanol Coalition Welcomes Reports of ‘Gap-Year’ Waiver Petition Denials, Denounces Refiners’ Supreme Court Petition

Ethanol Coalition Welcomes Reports of ‘Gap-Year’ Waiver Petition Denials, Denounces Refiners’ Supreme Court Petition

September 9, 2020 – The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), National Farmers Union (NFU) and American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) today welcomed news reports that President Trump has directed the Environmental Protection Agency to reject dozens of so-called “gap year” small refinery exemption petitions intended to circumvent the Tenth Circuit Court’s decision in RFA et al. v. EPA. Continue reading

09-09-20 CO Corn’s September Webinar Series: Looking forward to the future – what impacts corn growers beyond 2020?

CO Corn’s September Webinar Series: Looking forward to the future – what impacts corn growers beyond 2020?

2020 has been a tough year for everyone, including farmers. However, the future looks bright, and staff with Colorado Corn, National Corn Growers Association, U.S. Grains Council and U.S. Meat Export Federation have been hard at work to make sure that even though the current situation seems grim, the future is promising.
This Webinar Series will focus on what is being done today to help you to continue farming in the future. They will be interactive and less than one hour.
  • September 16: NCGA’s Lesly McNitt will discuss trade policy, Kathy Bergren will talk about renewable fuels, and Sarah Henry will go over transportation and infrastructure. REGISTER
  • September 23: U.S. Grains Council President & CEO Ryan LeGrand will discuss how the USGC is continuing to move corn and other grain products beyond our borders and across the world. REGISTER
  • September 30: USMEF Vice President, Industry Relations, John Hinners will talk about how meat is being marketed and exported, and the value that brings to corn growers. REGISTER
Please register for each webinar below, and we look forward to seeing you!

Continue reading

09-09-20 The 2020 Colorado State Fair Closes a Successful, Unprecedented Season

The 2020 Colorado State Fair Closes a Successful, Unprecedented Season

Pueblo, Colo. – The Colorado State Fair has concluded a successfully reimagined 2020 season, thanks to the dedication and cooperation of thousands of on-site and virtual participants, volunteers, staff, local and state public health agencies, sponsors and community supporters.

Colorado’s State Fair was one of only 15 State Fairs nationwide that took place in some form this year. Despite the unprecedented current health crisis, the spirit of the State Fair was kept alive this season, in large part because of innovative collaboration and the formation of new partnerships.

“We are grateful for the expertise, enthusiasm and creativity of the many organizations who worked together to make the 2020 Colorado State Fair a reality, including the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Pueblo County Public Health and Environment, CSU Extension and 4-H staff, Colorado FFA, Colorado State Fair Fiesta Committee, Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and many others,” said Scott Stoller, General Manager. “Their support, and the support of our community and those in Colorado counties statewide has been incredible.”

Highlights of the 2020 Colorado State Fair include: Continue reading

09-09-20 USDA Reminds Farmers of September 30 Deadline to Update Safety-Net Program Crop Yields

USDA Reminds Farmers of September 30 Deadline to Update Safety-Net Program Crop Yields

Don’t Miss This One-Time Opportunity – First Since 2014

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2020 – USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds farm owners that they have a one-time opportunity to update Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program yields for covered commodities on the farm. The deadline is September 30, 2020, to update yields, which are used to calculate the PLC payments for 2020 through 2023. Additionally, producers who elected Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) should also consider updating their yields.

“The last time farmers could update yields for these important safety-net programs was in 2014,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “It is the farm owner’s choice whether to update or keep existing yields. So, if you rent, you’ll need to communicate with your landlord who will be the one to sign off on the yield updates.”

Recording (16)

Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, September 9th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, September 9th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Ethanol Industry Again Urging Trump to Reject Gap Year Waivers

Biofuels advocates Tuesday urged President Donald Trump to “stand up against an urgent threat facing rural communities” and reject oil industry exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard. In a letter, 93 farm organizations and biofuel industry stakeholders told the President, “We’ve seen too many plants shut down, too many jobs lost, and too many farmers deprived of vital markets.” The letter was offered in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s ongoing consideration of nearly 100 refinery exemptions, including 67 retroactive ‘gap-year’ petitions. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says the so-called gap-year exemptions, “represent a clear attempt to sidestep the law at the expense of rural communities.” The farm organizations call the waivers a brazen attempt to circumvent limits set by the United States 10th Circuit Court of Appeals for which determined that EPA “abused its discretion” over the RFS by granting similar exemptions. This is just the latest in an ongoing effort by the industry to end the waivers.

July Beef and Pork Exports Rebound, but Still Below Year-Ago

July exports of U.S. beef rebounded from recent lows but remained below 2019 levels, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. U.S. pork exports, which are on a record pace in 2020, were also down from a year ago in July but increased compared to June. USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom says, “With production returning to near-normal levels, we definitely saw an improvement in beef exports.” July beef exports totaled 107,298 metric tons, up 36 percent from June but still nine percent below last year. Export value was $647.8 million, the highest since March but down ten percent from a year ago. July pork exports totaled 222,035 metric tons, down five percent from a year ago, while export value fell 12 percent to $548.3 million. For January through July, pork exports remained 20 percent ahead of last year’s record pace in volume at and 22 percent higher in value.

Wheat Growers Applaud Relief Request for U.S. Wheat Producers

Last week, a group of lawmakers requested additional coronavirus-related aid for wheat farmers, a move applauded by the National Association of Wheat Growers. A group of 26 lawmakers signed a letter last week to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue seeking the funds. Specifically, the lawmakers asked Perdue to use existing funds through the CARES Act to begin covering 2020 crop losses and include all classes of wheat. NAWG President Dave Milligan applauded the bipartisan group of lawmakers who signed the letter, “demonstrating the significant price drops experienced this year and the need for 2020 losses to be covered.” The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program provides assistance for hard red spring and durum wheat farmers, but it does not include other classes of wheat, which represent about 70 percent of 2019 production. CFAP also only provides assistance on 2019 grain that was considered to be at risk in the first quarter of the year. CARES Act funds have not yet been made available for 2020 crop losses.

NASDA Adopts New Diversity and Inclusion Policy

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture last week adopted a new diversity and inclusion policy during the 2020 NASDA Annual Meeting. According to the organization, the new policy formally incorporates NASDA’s commitment to racial justice into its policymaking framework. NASDA CEO Barb Glenn says, “We believe that the future of agriculture is best served when all of those in the agriculture community are empowered regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation and/or religious creed.” NASDA’s policy asserts that diversity and inclusion are fundamental principles of a sustainable agricultural community and necessary to advance the industry. The policy also recommends supporting programs consistent with the new guiding principle and encourages all levels of government to do the same. NASDA recently formed a five-year partnership with the organization Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences and the NASDA Foundation. The partnership will serve to increase racial diversity in agricultural leadership, provide a deep dive into agriculture policy for students, and advise diversity training for NASDA members and staff.

Wildfires Threaten Western States

The Public Lands Council Tuesday reported 76 large active wildfires in the United States, impacting roughly 2.2 million acres. Of those, 22 are in California and 11 in Montana. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows much of the West and High Plains regions in classified drought. Many areas of the West were included in a red flag warning, which advises citizens to avoid activities that may spark a fire. In Montana, Governor Steve Bullock last week issued an executive order declaring a state of fire emergency due to extremely hazardous wildland fire conditions throughout the state. The declaration allows Bullock to mobilize additional state resources and to combat wildfires. The emergency order also suspends hours of service regulations for commercial vehicle drivers while providing support to fire suppression activities. Additionally, the emergency order suspends the brand inspection permit fee requirement and the brand inspection requirement before removal, and allows the Montana Department of Livestock to issue transportation permits by phone when necessary to cope with the emergency.

China Exporting Duck Blood to U.S. Without Inspection Records

The Food Safety and Inspection Service last week issued a Public Health alert over imported duck blood from China that doesn’t include inspection information. Specifically, the investigation focuses on vacuum-packed packages containing “Cooked Duck Blood Curds.” The product does not identify an eligible establishment number on its packaging and was not presented to FSIS for import re-inspection. FSIS has not received an official inspection certificate issued by China to certify the product as eligible. Therefore, the product is ineligible to import into the U.S., making it unfit for human consumption. Retailers who have purchased the product are urged not to sell it. Consumers who purchased the product should not consume it and properly discard it. Consumers are asked to double bag the product when discarding it to reduce the possibility of animals accessing the product because USDA cannot confirm whether the cooked duck blood curds were properly heated to control pathogens of concern to domestic livestock.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service