02-15-19 Colorado FFA Foundation to induct 2019 Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame Inductees – GET YOUR TIX ASAP – Event is Nearly Sold Out!

CLICK HERE to watch the 2017 Farm Credit CO Ag Hall of Fame

Colorado FFA Foundation to induct 2019 Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame Inductees

GET YOUR TIX ASAP – Event is Nearly Sold Out!

The Colorado FFA Foundation will induct three more members into the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame on February 27, 2019.  Mr. Jay Hickert, Akron, Mr. George “Buck” Hutchison, Englewood, and Mr. Dan Williams, Denver, will all be formally inducted into the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame in at the annual Hall of Fame Banquet.

“We are proud to add three more outstanding individuals to the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame, the applicant pool continues to be diverse, and very competitive.  I am amazed at the significant contributions to agriculture that all of our nominees possess. “said Ed Cordes, Chairman of the Colorado FFA Foundation. Continue reading

02-15-19 Agriculture Council of America Announces March 14, 2019 as National Ag Day

Agriculture Council of America Announces March 14, 2019 as National Ag Day

Overland Park, KS – The Agriculture Council of America (ACA) will host National Agriculture Day on March 14, 2019. This will mark the 46th anniversary of National Ag Day which is celebrated in classrooms and communities across the country. The theme for National Ag Day 2019 is “Agriculture: Food for Life.”

On March 13-14, 2019, the ACA will host major events in the nation’s capital including an event at the National Press Club as well as a Taste of Agriculture Celebration. Additionally, the ACA will bring approximately 100 college students to Washington to deliver the message of Ag Day to the Hill. Continue reading

02-15-19 THE 2019 NATIONAL AG DAY ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED

2019 National Ag Day Essay Contest Winners Announced

The Agriculture Council of America (ACA) has announced the 2019 National Ag Day video and written essay winners.  The winners were chosen based on the theme:  Agriculture: Food for Life.  How does our nation lead the way?

The theme presented an opportunity for high school students to address how American agriculture feeds the growing population. Entrants chose to either write an essay or create a video.  One written winner and on video winner were selected.

“CHS has long supported rural youth education and leadership programs and we are proud to give this year’s essay contest winners a platform that lets them share their ideas with a broader audience,” says Annette Degnan, CHS Inc., director, Marketing Communications, and Agriculture Council of America board member.

The national written essay winner, Grace Brose from Box Elder, South Dakota, receives a $1,000 prize and travel to Washington, D.C., for recognition at the National Press Club on March 14, 2019. During this event, she will have the opportunity to read the winning essay and will join other youth for a panel discussion on issues and challenges in agriculture.

Continue reading

02-15-19 The 2019 NAWG/USW Winter Conference Concludes with Wheat Growers Leaving Their Mark on Capitol Hill

The 2019 NAWG/USW Winter Conference Concludes with Wheat Growers Leaving Their Mark on Capitol Hill

Washington, D.C. (February 15, 2019) – The National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates held its annual winter conference from February 11-15, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Conducting meetings with Members from wheat states as well as the House and Senate Agriculture Committee and their staff, wheat growers focused their discussions on implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill, challenges facing the wheat industry, and trade. Additionally, NAWG’s Committees covered a range of topics including the farm bill implementation, U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement and other trade issues, and wheat research needs.

“The 2018 NAWG/USW Winter Conference was notably busy this year as NAWG really focused on meeting with freshmen Members of Congress as well as staff from the House and Senate Committees on Agriculture,” stated NAWG CEO Chandler Goule. “Our priority is to get the farm bill implemented as Congress intended and to educate freshman Members on who is NAWG and the role wheat farmers, and all growers, play as the backbone of the agriculture economy.” Continue reading

02-15-19 USDA and HHS Partner to Create Recovery Housing in Rural Communities

USDA and HHS Partner to Create Recovery Housing in Rural Communities

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2019 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz today announced USDA and HHS will partner to create addiction recovery transitional housing in rural communities.

“Strong and healthy communities are foundational for prosperity in rural America,” Hazlett said. “Under the leadership of President Trump, we are committed at USDA to building innovative partnerships and driving more effective and efficient use of our resources to address the opioid misuse crisis at the local level.” Continue reading

02-15-19 United States Issues WTO Counter Notification Concerning India’s Market Price Support for Various Pulses

United States Issues WTO Counter Notification Concerning India’s Market Price Support for Various Pulses

*CORRECTED* Washington, DC  U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the United States, together with Canada, submitted a counter notification in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Agriculture (COA) on India’s market price support for five pulses: chickpeas, pigeon peas, black matpe, mung beans, and lentils.

Based on United States/Canadian calculations, it appears that India has substantially underreported its market price support for chickpeas, pigeon peas, black matpe, mung beans, and lentils. When calculated according to WTO Agreement on Agriculture methodology, India’s market price support for each of these pulses far exceeded its allowable levels of trade-distorting domestic support. The United States expects a robust discussion on how India implements and notifies its policies at the next COA meeting, which is scheduled for February 26-27, 2019.

Background: Continue reading

02-15-19 Colorado Centennial Farms & Ranches Program Applications due May 31st

CLICK HERE to learn more and to download your family’s application

Colorado Centennial Farms & Ranches application now open

Applications due May 31st

DENVER, Colo. (February 14, 2019) ━ History Colorado is seeking eligible applicants for the 2019 Centennial Farms & Ranches ceremony to be held at the Colorado State Fair in Aug. 2019. The Colorado Centennial Farms & Ranches program honors the important role agriculture has played in our state’s history, economic development, and modern-day well-being. The program is a collaboration between History Colorado and the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

To earn recognition as a Colorado Centennial Farm or Ranch, a property must: Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, February 15th

CLICK HERE to listen to The BARN’s Morning Ag News w/Brian Allmer every day

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, February 15th

WOTUS Definition Hearings Scheduled

The Environmental Protection Agency has rescheduled public hearings on the updated Waters of the U.S. definition. The hearings were scheduled to take place during the government shutdown, but were postponed. The hearings will be held on February 27th and 28th in Kansas City, Kansas. The EPA, along with the Army Corps of Engineers, have submitted the proposed rule to the Federal Register. The 60-day comment period, also delayed by the government shutdown, will close on April 15th. In the Federal Register, the listing says the EPA is defining the scope of waters regulated under the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule is intended to “increase Clean Water Act program predictability and consistency by increasing clarity as to the scope of waters of the United States.” Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, called the release of the proposal a “major step toward fair and understandable water regulation on America’s farms and ranches.”

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Farmland Values Stable, but Risks to Outlook Remain

Farmland values in the Federal Reserve’s Tenth District held steady in the fourth quarter of 2018 despite risks to ongoing stability, according to the Kansas City Fed’s quarterly Agricultural Credit Survey. While demand for farmland remained relatively strong across the district, weaknesses in the crop sector continued to dampen the overall agricultural economy. The report says that risks to the outlook for farmland values in the quarter included slightly higher interest rates and an uptick in the pace of farmland sales in states with higher concentrations of crop production. In addition, continued deterioration in farm finances and credit conditions could put further pressure on values for farm real estate. Looking into 2019, bankers’ expectations for farmland values were slightly weaker than a year ago. Still, the report says the value of farmland continued to provide ongoing support to the farm sector and remained a key factor to monitor in 2019. The Tenth District covers parts of or all of seven different states, including Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming.

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USDA Prioritizes Investments in Telemedicine to Address Opioid Crisis

The Department of Agriculture is giving funding priority in a key grant program for applications to address opioid misuse in rural communities. USDA may award up to 30 special consideration points for Distance Learning and Telemedicine program applications for projects that provide opioid treatment services in 220 at-risk counties identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The deadline for applications is April 15, 2019. Outgoing Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett says the focused investment targets USDA resources “to be a strong partner to rural communities.” Last week, the Trump administration announced that Hazlett would move to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to serve as a senior adviser for rural affairs, furthering the administration focus on addressing the opioid crisis.

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Sleight to Retire as U.S. Grains Council President And CEO

Tom Sleight, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Grains Council since 2012, will retire this summer following the appointment of his successor. The Council board of directors made the announcement this week during a membership meeting in Colombia. Sleight says he has “done what I intended to accomplish,” adding he is “confident the Council is headed in the right direction.” In a news release, the organization says Sleight leaves with the organization on firm footing and with expansion on the horizon. The Council was recently awarded nearly $14 million from the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Trade Promotion Program, and was also recently awarded an increase in funding from USDA’s market development programs, the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development program. The board of directors has appointed a search committee comprised of representatives from its membership, including the corn, sorghum, barley, ethanol and agribusiness sectors.

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Senators Introduce Pesticide Registration Improvement Act

Senate Agriculture Committee leaders this week reintroduced the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act. The legislation would establish a framework for EPA when registering pesticides. The Senators, Including Pat Roberts and Debbie Stabenow, say the legislation would support the Environmental Protection Agency “in providing timely approvals of crop protection tools.” The bill also includes protections for farmworkers, including resources to train farmworkers in the safe and responsible application of pesticides. The Senators say the original intent of the legislation has been to create a more predictable and effective evaluation process for pesticide decisions by coupling the collection of fees with specific decision review periods. The legislation includes technical changes and extends authority for EPA to collect updated pesticide registration and maintenance fees through fiscal year 2023. The bipartisan PRIA legislation introduced this week is identical to what passed the Senate unanimously by voice vote in June 2018.

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Rural ACT Test Takers Suffer from Weak Technology

A new study finds that high school students in rural parts of the U.S. face significant challenges accessing technology that may adversely affect their learning. Specifically, the report “Rural Students: Technology, Coursework and Extracurricular Activities,” found rural students lack of access may impede their course-taking success, including the national ACT test. The report focuses on the well-known issue in rural America facing communities and farm families, a lack of quality internet access and the need for broadband connections. The report notes that six percent of schools in the U.S. still do not meet federal connectivity benchmarks. To better serve rural students, the ACT organization recommends finding ways to improve internet and technology access at home and at the school,  increase opportunities for rigorous course taking, and expand opportunities for personalized learning. In positive news for rural students, respondents had greater access to extracurricular activities than non-rural students, including clubs, sports and other school-related activities.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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02-14-19 Sunflower Production Meetings in 3 Locations in Kansas

Sunflower Production Meetings in 3 Locations in Kansas

The High Plains Sunflower Committee, Kansas Sunflower Commission and K-State Research and Extension are together hosting three sunflower production schools from February 27-March 1.  The schools will comprise of hot topics on sunflower production, including new innovations in sunflower production, planting, fertility, weed control, and insect control.  In addition, representatives from the industry will review recent hybrid plot results and marketing opportunities.

The schools will be held in three locations across the state – Beloit, Hutchinson and Garden City: Continue reading

02-14-19 AFBF Action Alert: SUPPORT THE NEW CLEAN WATER RULE: Take a Stand for Clean Water and Clear Rules

We’ve been waiting for this rule for more than 3 years!

On December 11, 2018, EPA proposed a revised definition of “waters of the United States,” which would clarify regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act.  You would not need a lawyer or consultant to know what is, and what is not, regulated.

Farmers and ranchers care about clean water and work hard to protect our natural resources.  As farmers and ranchers continue to reduce the environmental footprint of farming and ranching, they need a new common-sense water rule that protects water quality and gives them clear rules they can follow.  Continue reading

02-14-19 USDA Rural Development Colorado: Inside Your Corner with Director Sallie Clark…

USDA Rural Development Colorado: Inside Your Corner with Director Sallie Clark…

Colorado Rural Development (RD) State Executive Director Sallie Clark
USDA Photo by Preston Keres

DENVER, CO – February 14, 2019 – USDA Rural Development Colorado and our staff have been working diligently to ensure the needs of our customers are met in a timely manner.  We’re also moving full-steam-ahead with our priorities to focus on infrastructure, partnerships, and innovation.

With the approval of the Farm Bill in December, USDA is working quickly and expeditiously to implement this important legislation, which will govern farm policy for the next five years.  There are several exciting opportunities on the horizon for Rural Development (RD) and I look forward to sharing those with you over the next few months.

Most recently, USDA RD has ramped up our efforts to create high-speed internet e-connectivity in rural America by announcing our ReConnect program. To allow applicants adequate time to access technical assistance from USDA staff and its partners, the first application deadline has been pushed back to ‪May 31, 2019 or later. Previously, application deadlines began in April.  New specific deadlines for ReConnect Program grants, loans, and grant-loan combination applications will be posted in the Federal Register in late February. We will notify interested parties of the new dates once published. Continue reading

02-14-19 FCA board approves advance notice of proposed rulemaking to review regulations about service to YBS farmers

FCA board approves advance notice of proposed rulemaking to review regulations about service to YBS farmers

McLEAN, Va., Feb. 14, 2019 — At its monthly meeting today, the Farm Credit Administration board approved an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to review regulations regarding the Farm Credit System institutions’ service to young, beginning, and small (YBS) farmers and ranchers. Continue reading

02-14-19 Bailey Joins Sand County Foundation as Leopold Conservation Award Program’s Western Director

Bailey Joins Sand County Foundation as Leopold Conservation Award Program’s Western Director

MADISON, Wis. – David Bailey of Liberty, Utah has been hired to manage Sand County Foundation’s Leopold Conservation Award program in western states.

Sand County Foundation is a national non-profit conservation group that works with farmers, ranchers, foresters, and other private landowners to improve soil health, water quality and wildlife habitat.

The Leopold Conservation Award (leopoldconservationaward.org) recognizes farmers, ranchers and foresters for their outstanding conservation achievements on working land. Continue reading

02-14-19 USDA: Addressing the Opioid Crisis

USDA Prioritizes Investments in Telemedicine to Address Opioid Crisis in Rural America

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2019 – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is giving funding priority in a key grant program for applications to address opioid misuse in rural communities.

“The opioid epidemic is dramatically impacting prosperity in many small towns and rural places across the country,” Hazlett said. “With this focused investment, we are targeting our resources to be a strong partner to rural communities to build innovative local responses to this significant challenge.” Continue reading

02-14-19 Inside the BARN with CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg…

CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg Dist 1 040715

Inside the BARN with CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg…

(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) February 14, 2019 – Joining me inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network is CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg from District 1  discussing several topics including:

To listen to the interview, click the audio mp3 link below…

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CO SENATOR JERRY SONNENBERG’S BIOGRAPHY Continue reading

02-14-19 USDA-AMS National Organic Program News: Proposed Rule to Amend the National List for Crops and Handling

Proposed Rule to Amend the National List for Crops and Handling

On February 15, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances for crops and handling based on April 2018 recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board.

This proposed rule would allow: Continue reading

02-14-19 Sleight To Retire As U.S. Grains Council President And CEO

Sleight To Retire As U.S. Grains Council President And CEO

Washington, D.C. – Tom Sleight, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Grain Council (USGC) since 2012, will retire this summer following the appointment of his successor, the Council’s Board of Directors announced this week at the organization’s membership meeting in Cartagena, Colombia.

“I have done what I intended to accomplish, and as I move forward to this new phase of my own life, I am confident the Council is headed in the right direction and poised for continued growth as a relevant, innovative and impactful organization,” Sleight said. Continue reading

USDA – FAS Weekly Export Sales Report for February 14th

USDA FAS - Foreign Agricultural Service header

Weekly Export Sales for February 14th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, February 14th

CLICK HERE to listen to The BARN’s Morning Ag News w/Brian Allmer every day

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, February 14th

China to Meet with Lighthizer Friday

China’s President will meet with U.S. trade leaders Friday as the U.S. and China seek a trade deal before an early March deadline. The South China Morning Post reports China’s President Xi Jinping (zshe-gin-ping) is scheduled to meet with a U.S. trade delegation in Beijing, which includes U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. China and the U.S. face an early March deadline set by the Trump administration to reach an agreement that could end the tit-for-tat trade war between the two nations. However, President Trump said this week he is open to extending the deadline, saying he could let the deadline “slide for a little while.” Trump is expected to meet with China’s President sometime in March in what some say could be a move to close an agreement between China and the United States. The trade war served a blow to U.S. agriculture as China slapped retaliatory tariffs on U.S. farm commodities, most notably, soybeans and pork.

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EPA Releases Draft Greenhouse Gas Report

The Environmental Protection Agency this week released a draft report on greenhouse gasses. The report says U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell .3 percent in 2017 from 2016, but estimates that methane emissions grew 1.5 percent. Politico reports the methane emission increase in 2017 was largely due to more emissions from cows and other livestock. In all, the data shows the 2017 estimation represents the highest methane emissions since 2014. Earlier this week, Bill Gates, who funds climate change efforts through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, wrote of the methane livestock issue, stating cattle “give off methane when they belch and pass gas.” He offered no solution, but rather language to focus on solutions to curb methane emissions. Meanwhile, the comment period on the EPA draft report is open until March 14th. Comments may be submitted online through the Federal Register.

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EPA to Release Single Draft E15 Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency will release a single draft rule to expand E15 sales, and make RIN market reforms. The announcement follows consideration that the rule would be split to allow the EPA to focus on finishing the E15 rule before the summer driving season. However, an EPA official told Reuters, “the President had instructed us to keep it together.” The rule was expected to be released in draft form in February, but the government shutdown has delayed the rulemaking process. The EPA is still expecting to complete the rule, according to agency officials, by the June first start of the summer driving season. If the agency fails to complete the rule on time, E15 sales would not be allowed in many markets due to current regulations. However, while the timeline is slim, the EPA official says the agency was moving at a “very expeditious” pace on the E15 rule. The agency has yet to announce a date for when the draft rule will be released.

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AFBF’s Duvall Calls for Guest Worker Program in Editorial

The President of the American Farm Bureau Federation is calling on Congress to create a guest worker program for agriculture. In an editorial in the L.A. Times, Zippy Duvall states the U.S. has a farm labor shortage. AFBF welcomed legislation recently introduced by California Democrat, U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren, who is the chair of the House Immigration Subcommittee. Duvall says the Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2019, if passed, would provide a pathway to legalization for agricultural workers who are already here. But more is needed, according to Duvall, who says U.S. agriculture needs a guest worker program that “will help us replace the workers covered by the Lofgren bill as they age out or move to other sectors of the economy.” Duvall says the U.S. needs a guest worker program that is flexible for farmers and ranchers, and that it should grant flexibility for growers who cannot construct housing, by allowing them to use a housing voucher for workers.

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Cattlemen React to Senate Passage of Public Lands Package

The Natural Resources Management Act passed by the U.S. Senate this week offers a mixed big for rural America, according to the Public Lands Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Federal Lands, Executive Director Ethan lane. Between the creation of a public database for recipients of Equal Access to Justice funds, critical wilderness boundary adjustments, and the resolution of long-standing land and ownership disputes, the bill advances several public policy priorities for U.S. ranchers. However, Lane says the bill “also includes several provisions that are sure to leave rural communities scratching their heads.” The biggest question mark surrounds the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which the Senate voted to permanently reauthorize with only minor progress toward providing states with their “fair share” of funding. In the absence of Congressional oversight, Lane says the program “looks set to become a slush fund used to prioritize recreation over other multiples uses of federal land.”

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Ethanol Industry Makes  Significant Contribution to U.S. Economy

An economic analysis of the ethanol industry found significant contributions to the U.S. Economy. Announced by the Renewable Fuels Association during its annual National Ethanol Conference, the organization says the study shows that despite regulatory and marketplace challenges in 2018, the industry made a “remarkable contribution” to the U.S. economy. The analysis found that the industry supported nearly 366,000 jobs and generated nearly $46 billion in gross domestic product in 2018. According to the analysis, the production and use of 16.1 billion gallons of ethanol in 2018 generated an estimated $4.8 billion in tax revenue to the Federal Treasury and $4 billion in revenue to state and local governments. The analysis also estimated the impact of the ethanol industry on the state economy in top ethanol-producing states. Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois were the top three states in terms of economic impacts, but states like Ohio, Kansas, Michigan, Texas, Missouri, California, and New York also benefited from ethanol plants’ contributions.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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