04-20-15 NJC’s Drone Demonstration Well Attended…

IMG_9204IMG_9189NJC, Sterling, CO – April 20, 2015 – The drone information session and demonstration held on the campus of Northeastern Junior College on Monday, hosted by the agriculture department, was well attended. Nearly 100  students, ag producers, oil and gas industry representatives and other interested parties showed up for the two sessions offered. Representatives from Aerial Data System of Broomfield were making the presentation. The question and answer portions of the session were lively with much discussion about how the technology works, use of auto pilot versus manual controlling, and what is takes to upload a flying “mission” through a data link. Joe Falconer, a trainer with the company, who also teaches a drone-related class at Denver University, put the drone into flight in an open grassy area on campus. The wind was almost too much to fly in, so he kept the aircraft hovering closer to the ground than he would have on a calmer day. He and two colleagues provided a slide presentation in the classroom before the group was invited outside to see the drone fly. This particular drone he said, could fly between 12 and 15 minutes, depending upon the type of mission it would be sent on. At an elevation of 350-400 feet, Falconer said you can cover a huge area in that short time frame. (NJC Courtesy Photos)

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04-20-15 Feeders and Friends continue giving tradition in 2015…

IMG_91602015 marked top year for annual fundraiser

By Barbara Baker

Over the past 12 years, the small, but mighty ranch-based group known as Feeders and Friends, have raised just at a half million dollars which it has given to 12 deserving families. During a celebratory dinner last week, the group presented the last of the proceeds it raised at its August 2014 event to Cody Waitley and his parents.

Cody, 17, was in dire need of a new heart last year. The son of Doug and Mary Kay Waitley, he had Dilated Cardio-myopathy, a disease of the heart muscle. It was one thing to hope that a matching donor might be identified, but it was also daunting how much such a gift would end up costing.  Aware of his circumstances, the Feeders and Friends organization identified Cody to be the recipient of their fundraising. The group was able, in the end, to donate $64,000 to the family. Continue reading

04-20-15 USDA-NASS-CO News: Colorado Crop Progress…

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AGRICULTURAL SUMMARY: Soil moisture supplies increased slightly following widespread rain and snow covering most of the State during the last half of the week. Fieldwork continued at a reduced pace between precipitation events. Thunderstorms with strong winds, localized hail and a few tornados were observed in the northeastern part of the State. Calving and lambing progressed without notable concerns. Stored feed supplies were rated 2 percent very short, 7 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 11 percent surplus. Sheep death loss was 65 percent average and 35 percent light. Cattle death loss was 1 percent heavy, 82 percent average, and 17 percent light.

To view the complete NASS-CO Crop Progress Report – CLICK HERE

View the entire USDA Crop Progress Report below… Continue reading

The Denver Cash Grain Bids…

———–PREVIOUS DAY’s DENVER CASH GRAIN BIDS————–

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CDA News: Pet and Livestock Owners Cautioned About Rabid Skunks…

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BROOMFIELD, Colo. – The Colorado Department of Agriculture and Tri-County Health Department have confirmed three rabid skunks in Adams, Arapahoe and Elbert counties in the past week. Pet owners are encouraged to check records to ensure rabies vaccinations are up to date. Livestock may have been exposed to rabies and owners need to be vigilant in monitoring health issues in their animals, and discuss any animal health concerns with their local veterinarian. Tri-County Health Department staff members will notify the residents living near each of the skunk incidents about the benefit of vaccinating their pets and livestock.
“The Department of Agriculture would like to stress two very important points,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr. “One—livestock owners need to be aware that rabies can transfer from one species to another so they should monitor their property for skunks; and two—local veterinarians are a valuable resource to help producers decide the best course of action to protect their herds from rabies.”
“These rabid skunks confirm that rabies is present in the eastern regions of these counties. Rabies can spread from skunks to other mammals and we are concerned about the increase in skunk activity this time of year. Rabies is a deadly disease and vaccination is the single best method to protect your pets and livestock. People can get rabies if an animal in their home or on their property gets sick from being bitten by a rabid skunk,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department.
Between January 1 and April 17, 2015, there have been six rabid skunks identified in Adams, Arapahoe and Elbert counties, five since March 4th. For statewide data please visithttps://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/rabies-data.

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Livestock Exchange, LLC Weekly Update…

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(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) – Each week, Auctioneer Tyler Knode with Livestock Exchange, LLC. in Brush, CO will be inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network providing a RECAP of the previous week’s auctions and also a PREVIEW of upcoming cattle & hay auctions…

CLICK THE AUDIO LINK BELOW TO LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S UPDATE…

04/20 – Livestock Exchange, LLC RECAP & PREVIEW w/Auctioneer Tyler Knode

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*********************ARCHIVED Livestock Exchange, LLC. RECAP & PREVIEW UPDATES***************************

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04-20-15 The 143rd Colorado State Fair Entertainment Series Announced…

CSF in Pueblo logoPUEBLO, Colo. – The stage spotlights will be shining down on national superstars during the 2015 Colorado State Fair; tickets officially go on sale May 9th at 10am with a special pre-sale opportunity on May 7th.
“This year’s lineup promises to entertain music fans of all genres. We kick off with the PRCA Ram Rodeo with Tracy Lawrence for our country fans, we’re bringing back a crowd favorite with Los Lonely Boys, and we’re rounding out the lineup with a long list of events to please State Fair fans,” said State Fair General Manager, Chris Wiseman.

LOOK BELOW TO VIEW THE 2015 ENTERTAINMENT SERIES LINEUP:

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04-22-15 Colorado Tumble Weed’s Crop Report with Lamar’s Don Turner…

Four Seasons Insurance website pic(CO Tumbleweed – Lamar, CO) April 20, 2015 – I will be in Franklin Texas most of this week. I will be visiting with farmers in this area. They are still wet down here. It is going to affect corn planted acres. Will also be talking to cotton farmers, too.

Wheat on 287/27 Lamar – Colorado through Oklahoma down 27 to Tula Texas: 50/40% below of normal.

Wheat 35/287 north of Bryan/College then up 183/270 to Liberal KS: good to above normal.

Wheat 83 north of Liberal KS to Colorado 160 then west: well below 50% of normal in most areas.

Late rains in SE Colorado will do nothing more than complicate claims payments. It will bring out green heads that will never produce harvestable grain. Loss procedures will kill us!!

Irrigated wheat normal but showing heat stress.

I will be documenting my Canola report on my way back north next week.

I will also be talking to my NW Colorado wheat farmers later today. I talked to my Haden Co. farmers this morning. They are waiting for the snow cover to leave, they are thinking severe damage from snow mold/freeze damage.

Will update you on Moffat County later today.

DON TURNER, CO TUMBLE WEED CROP REPORTER/FOUR SEASONS INSURANCE AGENT

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04-20-15 Op-Ed from Senators Sonnenberg & Cooke: “No Regulation without Representation…

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CO Senator John Cooke Dist 13

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NO REGULATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION

By Jerry Sonnenberg and John Cooke

It’s always wise to be wary when Washington offers to do you a “favor.” As with the money Washington sends our way, there’s almost always strings attached or a trap door hidden somewhere.

And so it is with the “favor” President Obama did for states when he seeks to impose a national “Clean Power Plan” through an EPA regulatory change, effectively taking control of power plants in all 50 states, in the name of combatting climate change.

Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency imposed the benchmarks, because Washington always knows best, but it did states that “favor” by tossing in our laps the question of how to meet this seemingly impossible mandate under the breakneck timeline allowed.

That leaves Colorado “free” to write a carbon reduction plan for our power plants that complies with EPA’s orders, hopefully without ruining our economy or bankrupting utility ratepayers. That plan, whatever it eventually looks like, will have profound implications for Colorado’s economy.

That’s why Senate Republicans are offering legislation, The Colorado Electric Consumers’ Protection Act, SB15-258, which will bring needed transparency and accountability to Colorado’s planning process. It requires that any state plan, before it’s submitted to the EPA, receives a full public airing and a thumbs-up (or thumbs-down) from our elected state legislators. Continue reading

04-20-15 NFU Releases 2015 Policy Handbook…

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WASHINGTON (April 20, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) today released its 2015 policy handbook, an extensive document that underscores the 113 year old organization’s longstanding commitment to family farmers, sustainable farming practices, and its strong grassroots underpinnings.

“NFU policy is the result of a grassroots development process – with some of the policies in this handbook starting on the county level  –  that culminates every year at the organization’s annual convention,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The policy decided upon by our members at this year’s convention will shape the direction of the organization for 2015 and ‘drive the future of agriculture,’ as the convention theme suggests.”

NFU’s policy-setting process began in late January with the meeting of the NFU Policy Committee, comprised of members who are all consideredoutstanding leaders in their state/regional Farmers Union organizations and were nominated by their respective state’s president to serve on the committee. These members began the process of revising NFU’s policy handbook and brought their recommendations to the delegate body at the NFU’s 113th Anniversary Convention, March 14-17, for consideration, amendment and adoption. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, April 20th…

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY's BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer...

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY’s BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

“FSIS Updates Safe Ingredients List for Meat, Poultry & Egg Production”

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued a revised directive to update the list of safe ingredients used in meat, poultry and egg product production – according to The Cattle Site. FSIS listed a blend of lactic acid, citric acid and potassium hydroxide as a spray or dip for poultry, beef, pork and lamb carcasses, heads and organs. The directive includes changed labeling requirements for ready-to-eat meat products that contain tomato lycopene extract and concentrate. An aqueous mix of peroxyacetic acid and a combination of sulfuric acid, ammonium sulfate and water were added for use as antimicrobial substances. In addition – oat fiber and oat hull fiber were added for use as binders in whole muscle cuts of meat and poultry, comminuted meat and poultry products.

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“Organic Farmer, Senator Calls Out Land-Grant Colleges”

During the Organic Trade Association luncheon last week – Montana Senator and organic farmer Jon Tester said advocates would have to work hard to achieve labeling of genetically modified foods – according to The Hagstrom Report. Tester says more farmers would transition to organic if land-grant colleges paid more attention to organics. While Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says coexistence is key – Tester says coexistence is not how Mother Nature works – but a line agribusiness supports even though people know it is incorrect. Since he started farming organically – Tester says his production has increased – but he believes farmers follow what the land-grant colleges tell them to do. He says land-grants haven’t given organics any credit – so farmers don’t have the tools to transition to organics. Tester says the real issue is that the government doesn’t put enough money into research of all types.

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“Meat Production Today is Environmentally Sustainable”

National Pork Producers Council President Ron Prestage says while it’s true that farmers who grow crops use less water and pesticides today – but livestock and poultry farmers have done their part to become more environmentally friendly – too. In the U.S. pork industry – Prestage says hog farmers have cut their carbon footprint by 35-percent in the past 50-years while reducing water usage by 41-percent and the amount of land needed by 78-percent. He says these reductions have come through production efficiencies – including 33-percent pig feed efficiency over the past 50-years. Prestage says pork producers have done all of this and more with significantly increasing meat production. This year alone – he says 68,000 hog farms are expected to produce more than 22-billion pounds of pork compared to 12-billion pounds produced by more than 1-million farms in 1965. Prestage urges everyone to remember that modern livestock and poultry production is environmentally sustainable and the farmers who produce U.S. pork, beef and chicken are among the best stewards of natural resources.

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“Beef Checkoff Hosts Chefs for Creative Culinary Experience”

Earlier this month – the beef checkoff hosted chefs and specialists from Performance Foodservice for a culinary tour of Charleston, South Carolina. They also observed Executive Director of meat science technology Bridget Wasser cut the Chuck Roll and Top Sirloin to demonstrate some of the underutilized cuts from the carcass. The chefs also brainstormed ways to encourage additional beef menu applications and spent time in the kitchen producing new beef appetizer and entrée concepts. Attendees thought the experience was excellent and plan to utilize what they learned to expand beef options for their customers. Visit My Beef Checkoff dot com (www.mybeefcheckoff.com) to learn more.

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“April Declared National Garden Month”

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared April as National Garden Month. Vilsack says National Garden Month is an opportunity to learn more about USDA’s People’s Garden Initiative – which began in 2009. Today – he says 2,116 People’s Gardens thrive on public and private lands across the U.S., its territories and in 12 foreign countries. Vilsack says the gardens serve as models for uniting individuals, groups and neighborhoods in a common effort to benefit communities, promote food security, utilize sustainable practices, help mitigate pollinator habitat loss and address environmental issues. Throughout the month – USDA will celebrate the contributions of gardens in providing healthy food, pleasant surroundings, recreational benefits for people and beneficial habitat for wildlife across the country.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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04-17-15 ASI WEEKLY NEWS FOR SHEEP INDUSTRY LEADERS…

Dates to Remember:


Call to Action: Special Procedures for H-2A Workers

The Department of Labor this week issued a Federal Register making proposed changes to the regulations governing the employment of nonimmigrant H-2A workers as sheepherders, goat herders and for the production of livestock on the open range. Continue reading

04-17-15 Congressional Western Caucus: Response to BLM Step Towards Oil and Gas Royalty Hikes on Federal Lands…

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Washington, D.C. (April 17, 2015) Today the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages over 245 million surface acres and 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout 12 Western states, took the first step to raise royalty rates on already restricted oil and gas production on federal lands.

Western Caucus Chairman Cynthia Lummis (WY-At large) and Chairman-emeritus Steve Pearce (NM-02) issued the following statements in response:

“The Obama Administration has made no secret of its desire to raise taxes on job creating energy production,” said Chairman Lummis. “We should all be concerned with securing a better return for taxpayers, but to that end the BLM should be looking within. Despite an 89 percent increase in oil and gas production on state and private lands since 2010, production on federal lands continues to fall because of this Administration’s hostility towards energy production. You can’t discuss oil and gas royalties intelligently unless you recognize the other costs, regulations, and uncertainty of producing on federal lands. Maximizing royalties is about balance and efficiency. But this is impossible to achieve when the Obama Administration’s entire energy policy is out of whack and out of touch with the needs of the American people.” Continue reading

04-17-15 USDA Announces Loan Rates for Wheat, Feed Grains and Oilseeds…

USDA seal logoWASHINGTON, April 17, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation today announced the 2015 marketing assistance loan rates by county for wheat (by class), corn, grain sorghum, barley, oats, soybeans and each “other oilseed” (canola, crambe, flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, sesame seed and sunflower seed). The rates are posted on the Farm Service Agency (FSA) website at www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/price-support/commodity-loan-rates/index.

Marketing assistance loans provide interim financing to producers so that commodities can be stored after harvest, when market prices are typically low, to be sold later, when price conditions are more favorable. Continue reading

04-17-15 Inside FSA-CO with Leland Swenson, State Executive Director…

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 “The USDA Farm Service Agency delivered more than $438 million in federal program payments and loans to Colorado farmers and ranchers during FY 2014. Colorado agriculture benefits greatly from the tireless efforts of our dedicated employees and locally elected County Committees.” – Leland Swenson, State Executive Director

(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) April 17th, 2015 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network is Leland Swenson, State Executive Director of the USDA Colorado Farm Service Agency and we are going to be discussing several programs and deadlines that CO’s ag producers need to be aware of including:

BIOGRAPHY: Leland (Lee) Swenson was appointed as the Colorado Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director on May 20, 2013. He is responsible for the management and oversight of all federal farm programs administered by FSA as well as the administrative operations for 39 county offices in Colorado. Born and raised on a diversified family farm, Swenson has been active in the agriculture sector for more than forty years. He has held significant leadership positions with several major agricultural organizations in South Dakota, California and Colorado, serving as the Executive Vice President of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union; Executive Director of Community Alliance with Family Farmers; President of the National Farmers Union; and President and Secretary/Treasurer of the South Dakota Farmers Union. Swenson also held Presidential and Secretarial appointments to the 21st Century Commission on Production Agriculture and the USDA Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee on Trade. Swenson served in the United States Air Force and Army National Guard. Lee is married to Kathy Fischer Swenson. They reside in Centennial, Colo., and have five children and two granddaughters.

FSA-CO Contact Information: Leland Swenson,  Colorado State Office West 6th Avenue & Kipling St., Bldg 56 Denver, CO 80225 (720) 544-2874 (720) 544-2966 Fax

The Farm Service Agency is equitably serving all farmers, ranchers, and agricultural partners through the delivery of effective, efficient agricultural programs for all Americans. The FSA is a customer-driven agency with a diverse and multi-talented work force, dedicated to achieving an economically and environmentally sound future for American Agriculture.  The foundation of FSA’s mission and vision rests upon the USDA’s long-standing core values of Strong Ethics; Customer Service,Team Work; Inclusive Decision-Making; and Fiscal Responsibility. Learn more online @ www.fsa.usdagov

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, April 17th…

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY's BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer...

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY’s BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

“House Votes to Repeal Death Tax”

By a vote of 240 to 179 – the House passed the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 on Thursday. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Philip Ellis says the death tax is a punitive tax on farmers and ranchers that is inaccurately framed as a tax on the rich. At the end of 2012 – Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act – avoiding a return to a 1-million dollar estate tax exemption with a 55-percent tax rate. The legislation provided a permanent exemption of the estate tax of 5-million per individual – 10-million per couple – and raised the top tax rate to 40-percent. American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman says the legislation provided important relief – but estate taxes still weight on many farm families. Stallman says tax policies need to help capital-intensive businesses. House Ag Chair Michael Conaway says when a farmer or rancher passes away – even though he has already paid taxes on everything he owns – the sons and daughters who want to  carry on the family tradition first have to get over the hurdle of a tax penalty that can reach as high as 60-percent. Conaway says the death tax hurts not only the next generation of farmers and ranchers – but it also hobbles an important sector of the U.S. economy. NCBA urges the Senate to act soon and vote for full repeal of the death tax to prevent an undeserved death sentence to many family-owned farms and ranches.

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“TPA Legislation Introduced in the Senate”

Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch and Ranking Member Ron Wyden introduced Trade Promotion Authority legislation on Thursday. Hatch expects to markup the bill next Thursday and hopes for Senate passage by the end of this month. Wyden – however – anticipates debate for weeks before TPA is considered by the full Congress. House Ag Chair Michael Conaway says trade is crucial for a growing and dynamic American agricultural sector that must maintain and increase access to the world’s consumers. Conaway says the U.S. cannot sit idly by and allow others to fill consumer demand around the world – and the details of trade agreements are important – but TPA is an essential part of passing those agreements. The National Corn Growers Association, American Feed Industry Association and National Pork Producers Council urge swift passage of TPA. NPPC President Dr. Ron Prestage says TPA is imperative for getting U.S. trading partners to come to the negotiating table with their best and final offers. When Congress passes TPA – Prestage says U.S. trade negotiators will have the leverage they need to close the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. He says the entire U.S. economy needs TPA – and soon. A House bill is expected to be introduced soon.

The National Farmers Union calls TPA a continuation of the same old thing – trade agreements that make huge promises of prosperity and jobs to the American public delivering nothing but bigger deficits, exported jobs and lost domestic ag sales. NFU President Roger Johnson says any trade deal the U.S. signs should ensure it will reduce the trade deficit, protect American workers and forbid trading partners from dancing around the negotiated rules and manipulating their currencies to gain an unfair advantage over the United States. NFU favors a trade policy that prioritizes domestic food production and goods supply chains in lieu of policies that put family farmers and ranchers out of business by sending the dreams of America’s middleclass overseas.

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“AFBF Sends Letter to Lawmakers Supporting Legislation to Repeal WOTUS Rule”

The American Farm Bureau Federation sent a letter to Congress yesterday (Thursday) endorsing legislation ordering EPA and the Army Corps to withdraw the Waters of the U.S. proposal. AFBF President Bob Stallman says the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 – approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee – is the first important step toward resolving this issue fairly. If EPA moves forward with a final rule – he says landowners would be forced to engage in expensive litigation to protect their rights. Farm Bureau members overwhelmingly oppose the proposed WOTUS rule. Farm Bureau believes without question that the rule expands EPA’s authority beyond congressional intent and the limits imposed by two Supreme Court opinions.

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“Young Consumers Concerned with High Protein Diets”

Meatingplace reports a new survey from Datamonitor Consumer shows consumers are becoming more aware of the potential negative health effects of high protein diets. Younger consumers are most likely to eat as much protein as possible – according to the survey – but they are also most likely to be concerned about the side effects of high-protein consumption – including constipation. Datamonitor Consumer senior analyst Melanie Felgate says concerned young adults will actively seek solutions to the problem – such as food and drinks high in fiber – while aligning with their protein intake goals. Felgate says the trend is starting to gain momentum – with an increasing proportion of new food launches labeled as high in protein and high in fiber. She says near-term trends will include a shift to beans and other foods that combine protein and fiber – and a long-term shift away from diets singling out specific food groups to more natural whole foods.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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04-16-15 National Bison Assn News: Producers Laud Change on U.S. – Canadian Bison Shipping Rules…

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New ID Requirements Reduce Stress on Animals, Costs for Producers

DENVER, CO (April 16, 2015) – The leaders of the U.S. National Bison Association and the Canadian Bison Association today applauded the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for implementing a new directive that eliminates the requirement that bison imported into the United States from Canada be branded.

The new directive replaces the branding requirement with a new rule that allows producers to identify animals with an approved RFID (Radio Frequency) tag compliant with the U.S. National Animal Identification System, and a secondary ear tag bearing the official identification number.

“This is a very positive development for the bison business. The National Bison Association, Canadian Bison Association and individual producers have worked with our respective federal agencies to request this new procedure. We are very pleased that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture responded to our requests,” said Bruce Anderson, president of the National Bison Association. Continue reading

04-16-15 NCBA Urges Congress to Support Trade Promotion Authority…

NCBA - New Image 2010WASHINGTON (April 16, 2015) – Today, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced Trade Promotion Authority legislation, which establishes concrete rules for international trade negotiations that will boost American exports and create new economic opportunities. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President and Chugwater, Wyo. cattleman Philip Ellis urged Congress to act swiftly to pass this important legislation.

“2014 was the largest year we’ve ever seen for U.S. beef exports, with over $7 billion in total sales,” said Ellis. “It is critical for our government to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade, to ensure our beef exports remain competitive across the world. TPA assures the President and Congress will negotiate present and future trade agreements with common objectives and the understanding that any agreement will receive an up or down vote when presented to Congress.”

Past free trade agreements negotiated under TPA have showed tremendous success for U.S. beef exports. The Korea-U.S. FTA will eliminate a 40 percent tariff rate, Columbia-U.S. FTA will eliminate an 80 percent tariff, Panama-U.S. FTA will eliminate a 30 percent tariffs, and the Dominican Republic-Central America-U.S. FTA will eliminate a 15-40 percent tariff; all over the course of 15 years. Currently, the U.S. exports over $1 billion in beef and variety meats to these markets, with greater opportunity as those tariffs continue to drop. Continue reading

04-16-15 NFU Opposes Repealing Estate Tax; Says Repeal Places Larger Tax Burden on the Family Farmer…

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WASHINGTON (April 13, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson opposed today’s action in the U.S. House of Representatives that would repeal the estate tax, stating the move would place a larger tax burden on American family farmers and ranchers.

“Repeal of the estate tax puts a larger tax burden on those that are currently exempted from the tax,” said Johnson. “Over 99 percent of small farms do not face the tax, as estates under $5.43 million, $10.86 million for couples, are exempted from it. As a result, NFU opposes completely eliminating the tax. Continue reading

04-16-15 Statement from USDA Secretary Vilsack on Introduction of Legislation to Support TPA…

USDA Ag Secretary Tom VilsackUSDA seal logoWASHINGTON, April 16, 2015 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement:

“U.S. agriculture applauds the introduction of Trade Promotion Authority legislation today. We look for quick action by Congress to provide the President with the authority to pursue agreements that open markets for America’s farmers, ranchers and agribusiness. Over 70 organizations representing America’s farmers and ranchers support trade promotion authority because trade is vital for U.S. agriculture. Last year, agricultural exports totaled more than $150 billion and for many of our products, foreign markets represent half or more of total sales. Those exports supported approximately 1 million U.S. jobs last year. The economy is strengthened in rural communities and throughout the entire country from the additional economic activity that flows from the expanded farm and processing business. Standing still is not an option. Not only do we face barriers in important foreign markets, but we are currently being hurt as these countries negotiate agreements that lower barriers for our competitors. U.S. agriculture’s interests are best served by ensuring America is at the table with strong negotiating authority.”

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